Friday, August 29, 2008

Kardea Nutrition Bars

The nice people at Kardea Nutrition asked me to sample and review a few of their nutrition bars. I'm happy to report that my first experience with the Chai Spice flavor was great!

The Chai Spice Kardea Bar had an amazing chai aroma, which hit me as soon as I opened the package. The flavor of the bar was equally wonderful-- nice and strong. My only (small) gripe about these bars was the consistency, which reminded me of a Power Bar-- soft, sticky, and chewy. I prefer a much more solid and dry bar like a Larabar, but these are definitely worth a try. If you like a bar with a taffy-like texture, you will LOVE these. The nutritional elements are pretty stellar too.

From the Kardea website:

  • Plant Sterols-1 gram
  • Total Fiber-7 grams with 5 grams Soluble Fiber
  • Viscous Soluble Fiber- 3 grams --50% More Viscous Soluble Fiber than Heart Healthy Oatmeal
  • Protein-7 grams with 3.5 grams Soy Protein
  • Vegetarian-Friendly (Chai Spice & Banana Walnut Are Vegan)
  • Kosher Certified
  • Only 150 Calories/Bar
  • No Trans Fats
  • Lower Glycemic Formulation
Delicious selection:
- Banana Walnut
- Chai Spice
- Cranberry Almond
- Lemon Ginger

Nutrition Bar Lemon GingerNutrition Bar Cranberry Almond
Nutrition Bar Chai SpiceNutrition Bar Banana Nut


Kate said...

Hi Tina!

You know I'm a huge fan of the blog, and I really appreciate your support of my blog. You recently asked if anyone had any suggestions for improvements about the blog. I thought long and hard before I decided to say something because I really enjoy your blog and value your friendship in the blog-world and I don't want there to be any uneasiness between us. It would have been very easy for me to post anonymously, but I decided if these are my beliefs and thoughts, I should take responsibility for them, so I'm signing my name. I know that you'll take my thoughts with the good intentions I am sending them with.

When I saw this post this morning, I realized that I did want to say something. In the blog world, sometimes companies approach bloggers to review products. I've done it, Kath's done it, Ari, Jenna - pretty much everyone's done it. You score some free stuff, you get to try a new product, and your readers learn about something new. Everyone wins.

Lately, I've noticed that your posts sound less and less like Tina's opinion and more and more like an infomercial for such and such product. I don't really care what such and such product wants you to say, I want to know your thoughts about it. I'm not saying that you're not telling your true impressions, but its the volume of what is written. Entire posts dedicated to products is not in the spirit of what I think your blog represents. In my opinion, food blogs like yours and mine are about learning about new things, our daily life - triumphs and struggles with food and exercise, and our own musings.

Throwing in a paragraph or two is one thing, but pages and pages of product descriptions is aggravating and detracts from the great content of your blog - YOU. Your thoughts. I want to hear your thoughts, not a product brief.

Again, I have nothing but the utmost respect for you and the blog, but this is a suggestion I have for how Carrots and Cake could be further developed.

All my best,


Tina said...

Hi Kate,

I'm actually really surprised by your email. It was never my intention to sound like an infomercial with my product reviews. I actually try to keep my reviews to a minimum-- they're usually not more than a paragraph. I think the additional information that I add is helpful to those who have never heard of these specific products. Personally, I'd like to have this general info available when I read a product review. These companies don't tell me what to say about their products, and if a product stinks, I will tell my readers.

I'm glad that you commented. It definitely gives me something to think about.

Anonymous said...

im with kate.

Anonymous said...

I agree with kate too. sorry!

Anonymous said...

I think your product reviews are right on. I enjoy having the product descriptions and can't remember the last one I read that was longer than a paragraph! Keep up the good work, I love reading your blog every day!

Annie said...

Hi Tina!

I love the product reviews. I use yours (and other bloggers') opinions to determine if I really think a product is worth my money. Of course, I am all about trying new things on my own. But your input helps in my decision making. A huge example: every week I would eye the Larabars at Wegmans but unsure if I would enjoy them. After reading many of your blogs, and others I decieded to try one and I've loved them since.

Keep doing what you're doing! :)


runnershigh said...

I haven't noticed this in the reviews--you seem to be pretty honest. Perhaps people are just getting jealous of your free barney butter swag?? haha

Sammie said...

I enjoy reading your reviews and I have actually purchased many products due to your input. I absolutely hate buying a new product, getting home and it tastes like crap. I am more likely to try something that I see on your blog. I have tried other things you suggest and we seem to have similar tastes in food. Having met you in person I know what a sweet and honest person you are. Thank you for what you do and please keep up the good work, I look forward to reading what you have to say.
I hope you have an awesome weekend.

Anne P said...

I personally love the reviews! You don't do them too often and you are always very honest as far as I can tell, even saying if something is gross, as you have in the past (I forget what it was in relation to). And I appreciate the extra info from their website and everything too, since I'd never heard of this company before. So, I say, keep it up :) The reviews always seem honest and informative to me :)

ash said...

I like your product reviews and they don't seem to take up to much of your blog to me at all. I think you are doing an incredible job!

One Food Guy said...

Hey Anonymous posters, you are all cowards. At least Kate had the common courtesy and decency to sign her post. If you have some criticism to share with Tina, sign in and make yourself known. Have some class, show some character!

So Tina loves Barney Butter and she loves granola planks. And Tina has received a few, yes only a few, products from some suppliers. She has always stated that they were given to her and she has always shared her honest opinion. There is nothing wrong with that and Tina should not be criticized for sharing this product information with others.

And this blog is about leading a healthy lifestyle, right? So what is wrong with sharing the nutritional values of these products? The answer is nothing. And those of you who post anonymously, you are nothing too. You are cowards and maybe you are jealous that Tina has received recognition for all of the hard work and time she has put into this great blog.

Krista said...

I would have to say that I enjoy product reviews on any blog that I read daily. Seeing as I'm Canadian, at lot of products that I'd like to try aren't available here and I have to purchase them online, sight unseen. I have relied on product reviews to determine whether or not it's worth the "hassle" for me to order something online. One example of a product that I LOVE but would have missed out on if it weren't for Tina is Old Wessex 5-Grain cereal. Another are the medjool (sp?) dates. So Tina, I say "keep up the great reviews!" Your comments and opinions are most welcome!

Anonymous said...

I very much appreciate the reviews! Especially when they come with such honest and valuable information like flavors, nutritionals etc. I never would have heard of the single serving barney butters and they have changed my life! Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

sorry but i have to say kate is 100% wrong. first of all, tina you don't sound at all like an infomercial. i think your reviews are awesome and as someone else already said, very helpful in encouraging or discouraging me from trying something new. i also have to say i think kate is being incredibly hypocritical. with an entire (boring) video segment devoted to product review, she is in no position to write you a multi-paragraph criticism of your brief blurbs. her blog has just as much in the product review department if not more. the passive-aggressive tone of her email questioning your integrity is pretty ridiculous. keep up the great work - you are awesome!

Kate said...

Come on, anonymous. My comment was thoughtful, respectful, and genuine - written at Tina's request for suggestions about her blog - which Tina and I followed up with a private email conversation. I wrote my comment with nothing but respect for Tina and CnC. I clearly don't have a problem with product review, as you mentioned, I do reviews myself. I mentioned in my comment that lots of bloggers do. I was just address the volume and tone of the reviews. Please don't twist my words to be "passive-aggressive" or "jealous" or otherwise. There has to be a way to offer constructive criticism.

Kath said...

I like the product reviews and appreciate the extra background like nutrition info or ingredient lists so I don't have to look it up myself. I actually clicked to comment on this post so I could say:

Oooo new bar!! I have never seen that kind, but it looks like something I'd like.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I agree with Kate. Onefoodguy -- if Tina's blog is truly about 'leading a healthy lifestyle' than why promote (*really* promote) a processed food like Barney Butter? True almond butter should be just that -- almonds and nothing else. Barney Butter makes the addition of palm oil AND sugar (listed as evaporated cane juice) to its almond butter. So why is Tina sending everyone looking for this stuff? My guess is that it's less about promoting a 'healthy lifestyle' and more about the free products that arrive at her door.

kristin said...

I concur with kate...

runnershigh said...

Anonymous--a "healthy lifestyle" varies for everyone. Tina makes a point of making more healthy choices than not, while maintaining a vibrant work, social, and family life. From what I know based on reading her blog, she is not one to spend her every living moment on finding the most pure possible food choice. For many individuals, that is extreme end of the spectrum is equally unhealthy.

caroline said...

I love reading your blog daily...keep doing what you are doing.

Ginny said...

Hi Tina,
I've never commented before, butI just had to say that your product reviews are so helpful!The nutritional stats of the products are especially interesting to me. You save me the time of looking up that info myself...and after all, CnC is a blog devoted to healthy living! You're doing great, Tina! Hope you have a great weekend. :)

Miss White Skirt said...

Tina!! I am going to say "don't change a thing about your reviews!". your blog is very well-rounded and I think a lot of bloggers actually do lots more reviews than you. I think you're opinions on the products you review are honest and very very helpful (and I remember you even have negative things to say about a few bars... I forget what they were but I remember reading about how one was too green tasting or something).

please take this comment as one reader who really enjoys reading your reviews just how they are!

Beth said...

I guess I'm in the middle. I like hearing about new products on blogs but I'd rather someone just say "this is good, it tastes good, it's cheap," whatever instead of a full blown review that makes the blog a little more corporate-y. This is something I've noticed on many blogs lately, not just Tina's, so I guess it's a trend....I dunno.

Anonymous said...

I like the reviews!

But i cannot figure out why two of those bars are vegan and two are just vegetarian. Anyone figure out the difference in ingredients?

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