Reformulated Chapul Cricket Bar Review

Reformulated Chapul Cricket Bar Review

Awhile back I reviewed Exo and Chapul, cricket flour based protein bars, and compared the two since they both were very similar product offerings. At the time I had harsh words to say about Chapul because they had way too much sugar, barely any fat and a minimal amount of protein. Here is a quote from my last review:

Chapul has very little fat since there are no nuts and coconut. Therefore leaving the Chapul bar a very high carb snack that will leave you with with a sugar crash quickly after consuming it.

Reformulated Chapul Cricket Bar Review

You can read the full review here, but that all sounds pretty terrible for Chapul. However, I was recently contacted by a Chapul representative and was told that they’ve taken in a bunch of feedback from customers and critics and have totally reformulated their recipes to contain more protein and less sugar. I was told that the changes were made to improve the nutritional benefits of the bars and to follow consumer health trends. That was the pitch I was told, so let’s take a closer look at how these bars have reinvented themselves and to see if they’ve redeemed themselves in my eyes from being a low fat, high sugar, low protein bar!

As always we will be reviewing these reformulated bars for: Nutritional Profile, Affordability, Taste. Let’s get to it!

Nutritional Profile

Reformulated Chapul Cricket Bar Review

Now this is where the rubber meets the road, or the cricket meets the… grass? Bad joke sorry. Ok so they sent me their sampler pack which has one of each of their bars. I’ve listed below the new nutritional profiles for each of their bars:

Reformulated Chapul Cricket Bar Review

Chapul Matcha Green Tea & Banana
Total Fat: 10g
Total Carbohydrate: 14g (Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 8g)
Protein: 10g
Ingredients: Coconut Nectar, Chapul Protein Blend (Chapul Cricekt Flour[Brown Crickets, Acheta Domesticus], Pea Protein, Rice Protein), Almond Butter, Tahini, Dried Bananas, Date Paste, *Sesame Seeds, Pea Protein Crisps, Green Tea Extract, Matcha Tea Powder, Vanilla Extract, Natural Banana Flavor, Salt, Monk Fruit Extract. *Organic

Chapul Chaco: Peanut Butter & Chocolate
Total Fat: 13g
Total Carbohydrate: 15g (Dietary Fiber 5g, Sugars 8g)
Protein: 10g
Ingredients: Coconut Nectar, Peanuts, Date Paste (Chapul Cricket Flour[Brown Crickets, Acheta Domesticus], Pea Protein, Rice Protein), Cocoa Powder, Sunflower Butter, Cacao Nibs, Salt, Vanilla Extract, Monk Fruit Extract. *Organic

Chapul Thai: Coconut & Ginger with Lime
Total Fat: 15g
Total Carbohydrate: 15g (Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 9g)
Protein: 11g
Ingredients: Coconut Nectar, Date Paste, Sunbutter, Almond Butter, Almond Pieces, Chapul Protein Blend (Chapul Cricekt Flour[Brown Crickets, Acheta Domesticus], Pea Protein, Rice Protein), Coconut Flakes, Powdered Ginger, Vanilla Extract, Salt, Monk Fruit Extract, Lime Oil. *Organic

Chapul Aztec: Dark Chocolate, Coffee & Cayenne
Total Fat: 10g
Total Carbohydrate: 18g (Dietary Fiber 6g, Sugars 9g)
Protein: 10g
Ingredients: Sunbutter, Coconut Nectar, Date Paste, Chapul Protein Blend (Chapul Cricket Flour[Brown Crickets, Acheta Domesticus], Pea Protein, Rice Protein), Cocoa Powder, Cocao Nibs, Pea Protein Crisps, Coffee Grounds, Vanilla Extract, Salt, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Nutmeg, Cayenne Powder, Monk Fruit Extract. *Organic

Ok so that’s a lot to look at but I wanted to get each bars new formulation listed here so we can take a look at a few things. I want to see how this new formula stacks up to their old formula and how it stacks up to my all time favorite primal protein bar: Exo. First let’s take a look at what they’ve done new here. Here is their old formula from my previous review of the Chapul Aztec: Dark Chocolate, Coffee & Cayenne bar:

Chapul Aztec

Old Chapul Aztec: Dark Chocolate, Coffee & Cayenne
Total Fat: 2g
Total Carbohydrate: 36g (Dietary Fiber 7g, Sugars 25g)
Protein: 5g
Ingredients: Organic Dates, Cocoa, Chapul Cricket Flour (Brown Cricket, Acheta Domestica), Organic Espresso Roast Coffee Beans, Cayenne.

WOW. First off congratulations to Chapul for seriously changing up the nutritional profile of these bars. Honestly, this is a pretty substantial change. Just looking at the fat, carbs and protein what do we see? First off this is no longer a low fat bar. This bar now has a pretty substantial amount of fat in it which will be good for your fat burning beast energy needs. Second we see the carbs drop WAY down from 36g to 16g. Amazing they cut it in half, with now only 9g of sugar per bar. That’s pretty great. Third is the protein… Now by the numbers this is great, they’ve doubled the protein from 5g to 10g. How did they go about doing this? Well, by the ingredients you can now see they’re doing a “Chapul Protein Blend” which is Cricket Flour, Pea Protein and Rice Protein. When I first saw this I reached out to Chapul and asked why they made this change and they said they “added a blend of other protein sources to increase the protein and the taste of our products.” It would’ve been nice to see these bars use 100% cricket protein for their protein source but I see the reasons they incorporated this blend – also I’m sure it’s cheaper to use a blend like this instead of pure cricket flour which helps brings the cost of the bars down or improves their profit margins.

Now let’s see how this new recipe compares to my all time favorite protein bar by Exo:

Exo Cocoa Nut

Exo Cocoa Nut
Total Fat: 20g
Total Carbohydrate: 23g (Dietary Fiber 7g, Sugars 13g)
Protein: 10g
Ingredients: Almonds, Dates, Coconut, Honey, Cricket Flour (Acheta Domesticus), Cacao Nibs, Cacao Powder, Ground Flaxseeds, Vanilla Extract, Sea Salt.

What I love about Exo is they taste great, have 10g of protein, have a good amount of fat to sustain your energy needs and are relatively low in sugar. Chapul’s new recipe however almost gives my favorite Exo bar a run for it’s money! It doesn’t have nearly as much fat but it’s still a great improvement from before. The protein is matched at 10g granted it’s now a blend instead of pure cricket flour like Exo – but it has fewer carbs and sugar than Exo. Definitely a worthy competitor to my favorite Exo bar.

All of these bars have varying ingredients like ginger and coffee and matcha to get those variations in the bar flavors, but I like how they’ve added more nuts and seeds to each of their bars. I like the sunflower butter and almond butter additions to these bars to bring up their fat content. Also the fact that they add in Monk fruit is a good way to make the bars still taste sweet while keeping them low in sugar. Kudos Chapul.

Overall, great job Chapul on the new recipes!

Affordability

Reformulated Chapul Cricket Bar Review

New Chapul Aztec: Dark Chocolate, Coffee & Cayenne
Price per bar: $2.55 (subscription)
Price per 12 bar box: $30.60 (subscription)

Old Chapul Aztec: Dark Chocolate, Coffee & Cayenne
Price per bar: $2.83
Price per 12 bar box: $34.00

Exo Cocoa Nut
Price per bar: $2.66 (subscription)
Price per 12 bar box: $32.00 (subscription)

There really isn’t too much to say here regarding price. They stack up more or less the same to a bar this quality. I’ve included their pricing from my previous review because I think they now have a subscription model like Exo which brings their price per bar down. I haven’t seen the price of these in my local health food store but they may be slightly cheaper there especially if they’re on sale.

As I’ve said before, I’m willing to pay almost $3 per bar for something like this because it’s a pretty substantial snack. It’s not just some high carb-no protein-low fat bar like Nutrigrain bars or something. You’re going to have to pay slightly more for a bar made with real food – and I’m ok with that.

Taste

Reformulated Chapul Cricket Bar Review

With these new recipes these really are brand new bars. Granted they have the same names, they have so many different ingredients that I was really excited to see how they taste. I ate these over the course of a week so I could eat it after working out and swimming and see how long it kept me satiated, as well as really getting a sense of what each bar tastes like. I didn’t want to just bite a piece off of each and tell you how they kinda taste. And just to get it out of the way, no, none of these bars had cricket legs or antennas in them. The crickets are not noticeable. Specifically because it’s a powder/flour from ground up crickets. If you’ve never had a bar made out of crickets, you should try these bars. It’s not a big deal. Now that we got the cricket thing out of the way. Let’s see what each bar tastes like:

Chapul Matcha Green Tea & Banana
You really taste the banana in this bar. It has a nice crunch from the sesame seeds and pea protein crisps but the texture is kind of grainy for some reason? I’m not exactly sure why. The bar is significantly sweeter than the others. I do like the taste though, it just really leaves a banana taste in your mouth. So if you don’t like bananas probably stay away from this bar. I like bananas though so I really enjoyed this bar.

Chapul Chaco: Peanut Butter & Chocolate
This one is more chocolatey than it is peanut butterey. Very filling bar. Though peanut putter isn’t Paleo, I still enjoyed this bar very much. It has a little bit of a crunch with the bits of peanut pieces. This bar was slightly more chewy than the others but that may be because it was a colder day when I ate it. If I left this in my car on a warm day I imagine it would be very soft and gooey. Mmm.

Chapul Thai: Coconut & Ginger with Lime
This one is probably my second favorite bar. It has a really good ginger taste at first and then and once you start chewing you really taste the coconut. The texture of this bar is good, it doesn’t have too much crunch nor is it too grainy. I really like the taste of this one, there isn’t one flavor that’s too overpowering which I like. All the flavors go together very well including the hint of lime.

Chapul Aztec: Dark Chocolate, Coffee & Cayenne
This one is probably my most favorite bar. I really like the taste. Just a little hint of the cayenne. Definitely more filling with the seed butter. Nice texture not too chewy. Similar texture to a Larabar. You can taste the crunch of the crisps and some coffee bean flakes.

Conclusion

I really think Chapul has a done a great job at improving the nutritional profile of their bars while still tasting amazing and I’m so glad they took the time to reach out to me and let me know they reformulated their bars. To be honest I kind of wrote them off in my mind because I was never too excited to eat a 36g carb protein bar with low fat and low protein. So thank you Chapul for the samples, reaching out to me and for reinventing your cricket protein bars!

Buy some samples and decide for yourself:*
Chapul Sampler Pack
*After you figure out which flavor of Chapul you like I suggest you sign up for a subscription.
Buy some Exo too to compare yourself

Reformulated Chapul Cricket Bar Review

5 Ways to Eat More Greens

5 Ways to Eat More Greens

Everyone knows that we should be eating more leafy greens, but sometimes it just seems so hard to fit them in our day. That’s why I’ve assembled this list of 5 ways to eat more greens so that we can all make some sort of attempt to get something green in our diet on a daily basis.

1. Shakes

This one’s pretty easy and it’s nice because when you make a shake with some berries, protein and fat – you can always throw in some frozen or fresh leafy greens.There’s really no thought to this one, throw as much in the blender as you like and you won’t even notice it in your shake. I normally prefer kale or spinach but when I had swiss chard in my garden, that was a nice addition too to a shake mixed with some Primal Fuel.

2. Big salads with primal dressing

This is my preferred way to get a bunch of greens. Every day for lunch I just throw a whole bunch of greens in a bowl and toss with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. When I get tired of that dressing I normally make my own Caesar with avocado oil and anchovies or I really like Primal Kitchen’s dressings or Tessemaes. All you have to go is find a dressing you love without industrial seed oils and you’ll have no problem eating a whole bowl of greens with seeds, cheese and meat.

3. Frozen bags of greens

This one is quick and dirty. Just cook some frozen greens with some butter/olive oil and garlic in a large pot or skillet and make it a quick side for your dinner (or breakfast). You can throw in a ham hock or something like that and make some traditional southern collard greens. If you’re looking for another side for your dinner, this is always a great choice.

4. Kale chips

Its so easy to eat a whole bag of potato chips but we should try to replace that habit of eating a whole bag of kale chips. The problem with that is a bag of potato chips is less than a dollar and those really good kale chips are like $5 for a small bag. So you should make your own. It’s a great way to eat a whole bunch of kale and they taste great. I normally follow a recipe similar to this but throw some dill, onion powder and garlic powder on them to give it a little “ranch” feel.

5. Omelets

Now I’m still perfecting my omelet technique but really all you have to do is cook a bunch of leafy greens on the side with some butter or lard and then toss them inside an omelet with a bunch of cheese or something. Whenever my wife and I are on vacation I love it when the places we stay have those build your own omelet bars because I ask if they can cook my omelet in butter, then I hand them the little cubes of butter normally by the rolls – then I just have them throw everything else in there making it a leafy veggie stuffed omelet.


There ya go, some very quick idea starters on how you can incorporate some more leafy greens into your day!

Baked Bacon

I hate cooking bacon in a skillet. It gets bacon grease everywhere and your stove is left a mess. We cook bacon so much in our house that we had to find a different way to cook it, otherwise our stovetop would be a permanent greaseball.

Mmm

After googling other ways to make bacon, the one trend I saw the most was to bake it. Now there’s a bunch of different ways to do this and a million posts on google about how to bake bacon, but I wanted to share my way of how we’ve been doing it for literally the past few years.

Ready to eat

This is the greatest way to cook bacon because you can literally set it and forget it (until the timer goes off). You don’t have to flip it or anything. Sure your oven will get really dirty overtime, but who cares at least it’s not the stovetop!

Load up the bacon on a foil lined baking sheet
Load up the bacon on a foil lined baking sheet

Pull it out after 18 min or so
Pull it out after 18 min or so

Place the bacon on some paper towels to dry, crisp up and drain
Place the bacon on some paper towels to dry, crisp up and drain

Baked Bacon
Print
Ingredients
  1. 10–12 slices of bacon
Instructions
  1. DO NOT PREHEAT YOUR OVEN. I’m not sure why this works so well but this is the way we do it and this works the best: don’t preheat your oven. You will turn it on when you put the bacon in the oven.
  2. But first line a baking sheet with a big piece of foil so you can keep or dispose of the bacon fat once you’re done very easily. Once the baking sheet is lined, load it up with bacon. We pretty much fit as much as we can on there but 10–12 pieces is a good number to go by.
  3. Then put it in the oven and turn the oven to 400°. Then set a timer for 15 min. After 15 min look at the bacon and see if you need to keep it in there longer. This time will totally depend on your oven because all ovens are different. My oven normally takes about 18–20 minutes. But I suggest checking first at 15 minutes if you’ve never done this before. Then just keep checking on it every 2 min until it’s golden brown or your desired doneness.
  4. Once it’s done to your liking, pull it out of the oven and use some tongs to put the bacon on a couple pieces of paper towels to dry, crisp up and drain.. Give it a couple minutes, then dig in!
That's So Primal http://www.thatssoprimal.com/

3 Tips to Have a Happy New Year

3 Tips to Have a Happy New Year

As the year kicks off it’s inevitable to see new years resolutions posts all over the web by bloggers and news corps. This year Whole30 and Paleo has been ranked as the worst diet you could follow. Don’t believe them – I lost over 30 lbs a few years ago and have maintained my weight on the Primal/Paleo/Perfect Health Diet.

Without bogging you down with yet another post about how to start a New Year’s resolution or how to follow Whole30 or how to start the Primal Blueprint 21 Day Challenge – I just wanted to keep this short and sweet with 3 tips you can generally apply at the beginning of the year to help you start off on a better foot than you may have been on in the past. If you’re really serious about a structured plan I suggest you check out Whole30 or The Primal Blueprint 21 Day challenge. I however just want to lay out 3 simple tips you can apply for the new year.

1. Just Eat Real Food

We can get into specifics if we wanted to about what to eat by reading this or this but just keep this as a general rule as you’ve probably seen the hashtag #JERFJust Eat Real Food. If you apply this principal to the food you eat this year, I guarantee you’ll be better off than you were the year before. What’s real food you ask? Well, it’s not Doritos taco shells from Taco bell, it’s not McDonalds, it’s not 99% of the stuff on the inside rows of the grocery store. Real food is all those veggies and fruits in the produce section and it’s all that meat at the meat counter. Just stick to real food this year and you’ll have a happy new year.

2. Move Frequently

The fitness tracker market has blown up like crazy with Fitbit, Apple Watch and Android Watches tracking our every move. But all these really are telling us is that we aren’t moving enough. When we live in a society that generally consists of people sitting in cars, to go sit at a desk to sit back in a car to sit on a couch then to lay on a bed – when is it that people are moving?! Check out this post about how to move more and just keep telling yourself this year to do those things like park further away, take the stairs, take a walk after dinner, go on hikes on the weekend, etc… We were made to move so don’t fall into the trap where we just sit in boxes all day.

3. Sleep More

I was really having to think to myself what are the top 3 priorities of my health and sleep just has to land here (with getting in the sun as a close tie). Sleep plays such a huge part in our lives (obviously) and I’ve written about it here and so have these people. But nevertheless we need to take sleep as a priority this year. The recommended amount is 7–9 hours. If you really look at how much sleep you get every night does it fall into that range? For myself it’s really tough to get that amount of sleep every night but I want to really work on it this year because of how huge of a role it plays in our health and I hope you place it as a priority as well.


There it is guys, I hope you read through this in less than 5 minutes, but that it sticks with you all year. It’s simple: JERF, Move, Sleep. Happy New Year everyone.

That’s So Primal 2016 Christmas Gift Guide

That's So Primal 2016 Christmas Gift Guide

I honestly feel like I just wrote a post about Christmas gifts, but that actually was a whole year ago. Time really does fly, I know everyone says that but I really believe it even more so this year. I think having kids somehow multiplies how fast time flies. Nevertheless I still wanted to put together a list of some gifts you can buy that Primal person in your life or soon to be converted Primal person in your life. I won’t make the list long I promise, but hopefully these may spark some ideas for how you can think of some gifts as a little more useful than just wool socks or prepackaged Axe dopp kits from Target.

Kitchen Gadgets

Instant Pot
Instant PotAmazon
I had this on my list last year but I think it’s worth having on this list as well. Everyone on Instagram is always posting about this pot and raves about how great it is. There’s even great recipes out there that people post specifically for cooking in this pot. It’s great for if you don’t have the time to cook something that normally takes a crock pot – i.e. a batch of bone broth or pulled pork. If you don’t get this this year, make sure to keep your eye on it for next year’s Black Friday sale as the price on Amazon always drops dramatically around that time.

Boning Knife
Boning KnifeAmazon
Now normally I’m the kinda home cook that only needs a chef’s knife and pairing knife, but there is that occasional time that I need a boning knife to cut meat away from the bone on those large inexpensive cuts of meat. I normally cut a pork shoulder that’s relatively cheap to make carnitas, but I always have to cut the meat away from the bone – doing this with a chef’s knife always makes me feel like I’m gonna cut off my finger or arm. Not a good idea, it’s best to use a flexible boning knife like this to tackle those large roast cuts of meat.

Dehydrator
DehydratorAmazon
This is the same one I have and I love it. To be honest I really wish I could use it more in the kitchen. It’s great for making jerky or dried fruits. There’s a bunch of great recipes out there for homemade jerky, and the best part is that you really get to control your ingredients in your jerky. Say goodbye to added sugar, msg and gluten.

Exciting Books

Well Fed Weeknights
Well Fed WeeknightsAmazon
I did a giveaway for this book after I interviewed Melissa, and I have the book myself, and man I love it! I have always loved Melissa’s books and her approach to meals. They are friendly, easy and practical – and most of all always taste delicious. Be sure to pick up this book!

The New Primal Blueprint
The New Primal BlueprintAmazon
You can read more about this updated book here. In short, if you haven’t read this book yet it would be a great time to because Mark updated it to include his newest research and to update his charts like the Primal Blueprint Food pyramid and the Primal Blueprint Fitness Pyramid. I love the added insight and updated thoughts in this book. Be sure to pick it up.

Practical Paleo Second Edition
Practical Paleo Second EditionAmazon
I loved her first edition of this book and I actually want to pick up this second addition myself. Her charts, illustrations and pure knowledge in these books are amazing for veterans and anyone starting out on Paleo. With this being the second addition I’m sure she just expanded on the things that already make this book a great staple for anyone who cares about their health and food they put in their bodies.

Workout Gear

Weighted Vest
Weighted VestAmazon
Adding weight to your workout and strength training is a great way to switch up what you’re already doing with typical bodyweight exercises. It helps build strength outside of what you can do with just your bodyweight. Even if you don’t pick up a weighted vest you can still just add weight somehow to your workout regimen. This follows the Primal principle of lifting heavy things every once in awhile, and in this case your “lifting” your body plus some. Heck you can even wear it around the house while your cooking.

Pull Up Bar
Pull Up BarAmazon
How many people do you know that can do 5 pull-ups? 10 pull-ups? When I first went Primal I literally couldn’t even do one pull up. Now pull-ups are apart of my typical strength training of pushups, pull-ups, squats and planks. Pull-ups are essential! Pick up one for Christmas if you haven’t already.

Fitbit Flex 2
Fitbit Flex 2Amazon
In the war to end all wearable wars, I bet Fitbit will be the brand to survive potentially. Many have already come along, even the big boys like Microsoft and Motorola have decided to step out of making wearables. If you can’t afford an Apple Watch Series 2, maybe pick up this Fitbit Flex 2 because you can wear it all the time, it’s waterproof and has a long battery life. Maybe not as long as the Misfit Ray, but I think it looks slightly better. It’s good for tracking all activity since you rarely have to take it off and it will give you a good picture of how active (or inactive) you were for the day. All of us need reminders of how great we’re doing or how NOT great we’re doing 😉

Play!

Frisbee
FrisbeeAmazon
This one is simple. Just get a frisbee. They’re great. They’re fun for everyone and they can really get your body moving if you take it out to a large field. Sure they may take a little getting used to if you’ve never thrown a frisbee before or if you’re just terrible at it but once you get the hang of it you’ll have so much fun. They’re also great to just leave in the back of your car for that random time you’re at a friends house or at the beach and you want something fun to do. Trust me, frisbees also come in handy when you’re looking for something fun to do on your lunch break.

Slack Line
Slack LineAmazon
I’ve made progress from last year – I had this on my Christmas Guide last year and I didn’t get one until my birthday last month so I haven’t yet had the time to set it up and make the anchors in my backyard yet. BUT I just can’t wait to use this thing. Our daughter even seems interested in it, though I’m not sure how well she will be able to use it – either way it will still be fun to have set up in the backyard. It’s great to have for yourself or when people are over to test their balance, build your core and improve the functionality of your bare feet. Slack lines are awesome and you should definitely get one already if you haven’t yet.

Primal Snacks

Exo
ExoBuy
This should come as no surprise to you. I love these bars and I think you should buy some, like now. Don’t worry about the fact that they’re made from crickets, you won’t even know they’re there. These bars are just a great value, they taste good and they fill you up. Read more about them here and pick some up today!

RXBAR
RXBARGet $5 off your first RXBAR order!
My second go to bar. If crickets freak you out just go ahead and pick up some of these bars. They’re made from egg whites and a bunch of other goodies. These too are a great value, they taste great and they have all the right ingredients in them. Read more about them here.

Handmade

Etsy
Anything on Etsy. Just a plug for Etsy real quick. If you don’t want to buy traditional things like I have listed above, check out Etsy for amazing handmade things. I just bought my wife a cool copper ring on there for our 7 year anniversary last month. It’s nice to just buy directly from the person making it. I’ve purchased watch bands on there and shoes even. Just check it out for anything that interests you and I guarantee you’ll find something that you’ll want to pick up. Just move fast because since these things are hand made and they may take a little time to get to you.


That’s it guys. Another year another dollar – spent. But hopefully you can feel good about spending your money on the things listed above for that special person or persons in your life. Take hope in the fact that these things listed aren’t just junk that fills up your house, they’re things that can help you take hold of your health and things that can improve the quality of food you’re putting in your body. Merry Christmas everybody!