Archive for the ‘Burning Man’ Category

Post 9 - Amazing Grass Savory Almond

Brand: Amazing Grass (They don’t have a website)

Product: Green Superfood Sweet and Savory Almond

Weight: 1.6oz / 45g

Cost: $2.49/per, online (not from manufacturer)

Stats

Calories: 220

Total Fat: 13g, Sat. Fat 2.5g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 120mg

Potassium: 260mg

Total Carb: 21g

Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 12g

Protein: 6g

Protein per ounce: 3.75g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.42

Carb to Protein Ratio: 3.5-1

Vit A: 10% DV

Vit B12: 2% DV

Vit C: 6% DV

Vit K: 6% DV

Calcium: 4% DV

Iron: 10% DV

Organic, cold processed, gluten free, non-GMO, and vegan.

Not made in a gluten-free facility.

Flavor:

Pretty tasty, better than most protein bars but nothing spectacular or memorable. The bar is a mass of nuts and chocolate chips mashed together with a superfood greens blend, it’s got rose hips, maca, acai, spirulina, and tons of other really healthy and tasty things in it…albeit in very small amounts. While this advertises being a superfood bar the only benefit it has over anything else I have reviewed so far is being cold processed. There really wasn’t anything remarkable about this bar but it would be pretty good for Burning Man since it isn’t a chocolate-heavy bar. I was pretty impressed that the company that makes this bar has no website of any sort for any of their products, it is all sold through third parties. Maybe I am weird but that makes me a bit skeptical of Amazing Grass and any other company that doesn’t have a website to provide information about them and their products.

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Post 7 - RawRev Golden Cashew

Brand: Raw Revolution

Product: Golden Cashew Organic Live Food Bar

Weight: 1.8oz / 51g

Cost: $1.89/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 230

Total Fat: 14g, Sat. Fat 2g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 0mg

Total Carb: 23g

Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 15g

Protein: 7g

Protein per ounce: 3.89g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.27

Carb to Protein Ratio: 3.29-1

Vit A: 2% DV

Vit C: 6% DV

Calcium: 6% DV

Iron: 15% DV

Organic, raw, gluten free, vegan, kosher, and dairy-free.

Made in USA in gluten-free facility.

Flavor:

It’s been a couple weeks since I had a RawRev bar and, since the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle was so amazing, I decided to try out another bar by Raw Revolution. This time I tried the Golden Cashew with very high hopes after how delicious the last one by RawRev was, but I was a bit disappointed. The Golden Cashew bar wasn’t bad, not by any means or measure, but it also wasn’t particularly better than anything else I have reviewed. It packed in less flavor than the other bar by RawRev which is nutritionally identical, which means this bar is rather mediocre by comparison, it tasted like a lame version of GoMacro’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip protein bar but with no chocolate chips. With no chocolate at all this is a very desert friendly protein bar, but it also doesn’t really have much flavor past the cashews.

This bar, like the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle,  is one of the few I have come across that was actually made in a gluten free facility, this makes it ideal for people who have extreme allergies to gluten and need to be extra certain that something is entirely gluten free. If nothing else, that is a selling point for the Golden Cashew bar.

It's kind of blurry...no one's perfect!

It’s kind of blurry…no one’s perfect!

Brand: Essential Living Foods

Product: Keen-Wah Decadence Organic Raw Cacao Chia

Weight: 1.5oz / 42g

Cost: $3.29/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 195

Total Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat 4g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 57mg

Total Carb: 18g

Fiber: 4g

Sugars: 10g

Protein: 6g

Protein per ounce: 4g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.54

Carb to Protein Ratio: 3-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 0% DV

Calcium: 8% DV

Iron: 17% DV

Organic, non-GMO, gluten free, soy free, and vegan.

Not made in a gluten free facility.

Flavor:

 Chocolate upon chocolate upon chocolate. It wasn’t bad but it also really wasn’t anything to write home about in my opinion. My girlfriend thought it was delicious, so there is some hope for it. I felt it was a little dry, reminiscent of that chalky cheap protein bar taste I am not a fan of.

The protein per ounce and carb to protein ratios were great but the cost per gram of protein makes this the most expensive bar I have reviewed so far (and I expect it to be the most expensive I will review, but time will tell). Given the high price, mediocre flavor, and lack of nutrients past the bare minimums, I personally would not recommend this bar. I especially would not advocate it for Burning Man given the chocolate upon chocolate; it is guaranteed to turn to a liquid clump of cacao in a foil bag in the heat out there.

Post 5 - GoMacro Peanut Chocolate

Brand: GoMacro

Product: Protein Pleasure Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip

Weight: 2.5oz / 71g

Cost: $2.89/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 290

Total Fat: 11g, Sat. Fat 2.5g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 10mg

Total Carb: 38g

Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 15g

Protein: 12g

Protein per ounce: 4.8g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.24

Carb to Protein Ratio: 3.16-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 0% DV

Calcium: 2% DV

Iron: 20% DV

Organic, gluten free, non-GMO, no refined sugars, sustainably sourced, macrobiotic, and vegan.

Not made in a gluten free facility.

Flavor:

It tasted like a peanut butter Clif bar with an almost identical mouth-feel, but with chocolate chips. I personally love peanut butter Clif bars for the flavor and mouth feel, I also love chocolate chips, so this was a win all around for me. In terms of nutrition, the GoMacro bar is one of the best reviewed so far. Next to the Daly Mocha Mantra, this bar has the highest protein per ounce ratio, the GoMacro bar also has a cheaper cost per gram of protein, making it a better buy for those looking to bulk up on a budget. The GoMacro bar has double the iron of the Daly Mocha Mantra which makes it ideal for people who need extra iron in their diet.

This would be a great protein bar to bring to Burning Man. While it does have some chocolate in it, the chocolate is minimal and a lot of it is inside the bar so it won’t become a gloopy mess all over the inside of the wrapper.

I talked to a friend who is a personal trainer and he suggested adding a ratio of carbs to protein, since that is required to properly process the protein. An ideal ratio is between 2-4 grams of carbs to each gram protein. I’ll work on adding it to all the previous reviews and it will be in all future ones.

Post 4 - Evo Hemp

Brand: Evo Hemp

Product: Cashew Cacao + Raw Antioxidant (Blueberries)

Weight: 1.69oz /48g

Cost: $2.25/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 185

Total Fat: 8g, Sat. Fat 1g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 0mg

Potassium: 300mg

Total Carb: 24g

Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 10g

Protein: 7g

Protein per ounce: 4.14g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.32

Vit A: 6% DV

Vit B1: 4% DV

Vit B6: 6% DV

Vit C: 4% DV

Magnesium: 15% DV

Zinc: 4% DV

Calcium: 4% DV

Iron: 15% DV

Phosphorous: 10% DV

Manganese: 10% DV

Organic, raw, gluten free, vegan, and soy free.

Not made in a gluten free facility.

Flavor:

If you couldn’t tell from my previous posts, I love hemp, so the idea of a protein bar largely made of hemp definitely has some appeal. The flavor wasn’t particularly inspiring nor unpleasant in any way. It was somewhat sweet, yet savory, the dates that make up much of the bar are a large flavor component. The mouth-feel was totally awesome! It had a cake-like texture, reminiscent of a denser angel food cake or pound cake. There are many benefits to eating a raw diet and for those who choose to eat raw your options in terms of protein bars is very limited. Thankfully, you have the Evo Hemp Cashew Cacao protein bar, which has the third highest protein per ounce ratio out of the bars I have reviewed so far paired with one of the better flavors/mouth-feels. This is the only bar I have reviewed that contains any phosphorous, manganese, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins; this wide range of nutrients makes the Evo Hemp bar, perhaps, the overall most nutritious bar I have reviewed so far. This would also be a great protein bar for bringing to Burning Man as there is nothing in it to get melty and gooey inside the wrapper.

Post 3 - Simple Square

Brand: Simple Squares

Product: Coconut, Nuts, and Honey Organic Snack Bar

Weight: 1.6oz / 45g

Cost: $2.49/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 230

Total Fat: 17g, Sat. Fat 5g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 95mg

Total Carb: 16g

Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 10g

Protein: 6g

Protein per ounce: 3.75g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.41

Carb to Protein Ratio: 2.6-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 0% DV

Calcium: 4% DV

Iron: 10% DV

Organic, gluten free, no refined sugars, soy and dairy free.

Not made in a gluten free facility.

Flavor:

While this is labeled as a “snack” bar not a protein bar like the others I am reviewing, it still packs roughly the same protein per ounce into the bar. I love the simple square for it’s simplicity, only 6 ingredients and they are all things your grandma would recognize. Not only was it simple it was also delicious! It didn’t have any of the chalky powdery feeling that many protein bars do, this tasted and mouth-felt like eating a hand full of granola slicked with honey and vanilla. It didn’t taste like a candy bar the way the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle bar did but it was quite tasty.

I’ve been giving these posts a Burning Man tag because protein bars are a must-have out there on the Playa. That said, it is a very bad idea to bring chocolate out there because it melts. This Simple Square has nothing in it to get melty in the ridiculous heat of the desert sun, making it the best bar I have reviewed so far to bring out to the Burn.

Post 2 - Chocolate Raspberry Truffle

Brand: Raw Revolution

Product: Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Organic Live Food Bar

Weight: 1.8oz / 51g

Cost: $1.89/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 220

Total Fat: 14g, Sat. Fat 2.5g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 0mg

Total Carb: 23g

Fiber: 5g

Sugars: 13g

Protein: 7g

Protein per ounce: 3.89g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.27

Carb to Protein Ratio: 3.29-1

Vit A: 2% DV

Vit C: 15% DV

Calcium: 6% DV

Iron: 15% DV

Organic, gluten free, non-GMO, Kosher, and vegan.

Made in USA in gluten-free facility.

Flavor:

Delicious, it was like eating a candy bar made of nutrients. It definitely tasted like a chocolate raspberry truffle, the dessert type – not the mushroom. I tried to take my time to really savor the flavor but I ended up scarfing it pretty quickly, despite all best attempts. It didn’t have any of the chalky powdery feeling that many protein bars do, where it feels like you are chewing on gummy dirt that tastes like peanuts and chocolate. I would put this at the top of my list of protein bars I have tried, it’s better than the other organic ones I have eaten. That all being said, this is only the second of these reviews that I have done and my real decision on which organic protein bar is the best will have to wait until the last of these reviews.

While the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle packs less protein into basically the same amount of space, it has a slightly better cost per gram on the protein content compared to the Daily Mocha Mantra I reviewed last time. While I love the coffee flavor of the Daily Mocha Mantra, I have to say, flavor-wise, the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle is a clear winner over anything I have tried by 22 Days so far. Since this bar is one of the few I have come across that is actually made in a gluten free facility this makes it ideal for people who have extreme allergies to gluten and need to be extra certain that something is entirely gluten free.

Hey readers, my apologies for my extended absence. My writing career has begun to take off and I have been doing a lot of cannabis writing for other sites, at the expense of my own blog. I’ve decided to correct that by starting a new series of posts on here profiling the various organic protein bars I have found at my local health food store. I have always been big on physical exercise in various forms: dance, weight lifting, biking, soccer, sword fighting, parkour, running, basketball, martial arts, boxing, volleyball, football, archery, and much more. I have also always been a big fan of proper nutrition, the combination of those two loves has given rise to this current series.

As the focus of this series is on the protein part of the protein bar I have included a “protein per ounce” category. Protein bars come in all shapes and sizes and some inferior ones use creative packaging to appear more nutritious than others. I feel that calculating a protein per ounce ratio of weight-protein is a simple and effective way to level the playing field. For the budget conscious I also included a cost per gram of protein. I do recognize that more than the protein content matters, which is why I have included the full nutritional content and a flavor profile.

The first protein bar I am profiling is 22 Days Daily Mocha Mantra.

Post 1 - Daily Mocha Mantra

Brand: 22 Days

Product: Daily Mocha Mantra

Weight: 1.7oz / 50g

Cost: $2.99/per from manufacturer.

Stats

Calories: 220

Total Fat: 12g, Sat. Fat 2.5g, Poly Unsaturated 2.5g, Mono Unsat. 6.5%

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 20mg

Total Carb: 21g

Fiber: 5g

Sugars: 14g

Protein: 10g

Protein per ounce: 5.8g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.30

Carb to Protein Ratio: 2.1-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 0% DV

Calcium: 6% DV

Iron: 10% DV

Fair Trade organic, plant based, dairy free, gluten free, Natural Food Certified, Produced with Solar Energy.

Not made in gluten free facility.

Flavor:

While this review is of the Daily Mocha Mantra flavor I have had various protein bars by 22 Days and they have been my go-to protein bar, up until this protein bar review series. Who knows which one my favorite will be by the end of these posts? The Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Nirvana flavor is delicious but also pretty standard chocolate/peanut protein bar. Looking over 22 Days website for this post I see they have stepped their game up and now have 20g protein versions I will need to check out for a future post. As of now, the Daly Mocha Mantra packs in more protein per ounce than any other bar I am reviewing, but not necessarily at the best price or with the best flavor.

The Daily Mocha Mantra protein bar is the only one I have come across that is made with real coffee. This protein bar is caffeinated and flavored with actual coffee, not any BS or fillers. If you want a real “get up and go” protein bar for your morning work out then this is it. You can pass on the Starbucks with this protein bar. I am a huge coffee fan, so I found this to be a selling point; for the same reason other people may not like it. I’m not sure if it is the coffee or the hemp protein powder they use but something gives this bar a slight grittiness. I really don’t mind it, because at least it isn’t that chalky powdery taste that nearly all non-organic protein bars have from cheap protein powder. I will take coffee grittiness over a dry chalked up mouth any day. As this is my first review in the series I can’t give you any comparison. But stay tuned to future posts and the recap I do at the end of the series.

As stressed in previous posts on the topic, Burning Man is whatever you make of it. It is a place to lose yourself and find new selves amongst the dust and ashes. Some people go for the music and dancing, a few brave souls are there to fight in the Thunderdome, others go for spiritual reasons. I go for a mixture of the above and the below. This post is going to be about finding spirituality in the dust of the Black Rock playa. This year’s Caravansary is going to be ripe with opportunities for growth, as long as you are open to them. To begin I would like to borrow from Ron Feldman, Ph.D., a religious scholar and writer I met at a previous Burning Man. Quoting from his piece Sleeping in the Dust at Burning Man,

“The Talmud says, ‘Three things are a foretaste of the world-that-is-coming: Sabbath, sunshine, and sexual intercourse’ (Talmud Berakhot 57b). In various ways, all three of these tastes of the messianic era are to be had at Burning Man, the weeklong festival that takes place in late August near Reno, Nevada.”

Burning Man definitely has the sunshine covered. Not just the sun, but also the moon. Both sun and moonrise are very dramatic on the playa due to the natural geographic features, it tends to extend twilight a bit and give things and otherworldly light. The surreal feeling is only made more intense by the ritualistic howling at the moon upon nightfall, a time honored Burning Man tradition increasingly forgotten. As the sun and moon are both important symbol for numerous faiths and spiritual practices this is a major plus no matter what your beliefs are. Sexual intercourse has its own important role in spirituality, most notably in tantric meditation and yoga practices. It would seem, after reading Ron’s piece, that all of Burning Man itself is a Sabbath, a separate place in time and space for the sacred to happen, outside of the everyday world. The Playa isn’t just a Sabbath for Jews and other followers of the Abrahamic faiths, it’s a sacred place for everyone of all faiths or lack there of (it can also be a great place to find your faith, in self or something higher than).

I was raised as a Nichiren Buddhist, but now I primarily identify as someone poly-spiritual, embracing many faiths. A major component of my current spirituality is the belief that spontaneity and serendipity work together to bring us omens and gifts from the universe (possibly through quantum entanglement on the sub-atomic level…a topic for another post). My first burn I camped with a coffee camp, one morning while serving coffee I happened to meet three people from a Nichiren Buddhist camp. Burning Man is a crucible for serendipity, it loves to bring people together who need to meet. Last Burn I met two brothers I grew up with from my time as a Nichiren Buddhist, we haven’t talked in years and  they just happened to camp across the road from my friends. That small thing, a choice in a camp site, has now rekindled a friendship.

Another major component of my spirituality these days is alchemy, and there is a whole village dedicated to it, Sacred Spaces. This camp hosts classes on alchemy, yoga, tantra, sacred dance, and more. The alchemy village also has some pretty awesome music going on every night, generally with a bit more of a tribal sound than the generic wubwub dubstep you hear broadly across the Burn.  I am definitely a fan.

So whether you are out there for the music, out there for the Sabbath, or just to talk to people about God Burning Man has a place for you. The Playa is a big enough desert for everyone to coexist without even needing a bumper sticker to tell them so. And really, we’re better off for it. The world could do with less Priuses driving around sporting more bumper stickers than the number failed Nader presidential campaigns. Burning Man is certainly great for the lack of cars, which also adds to the spiritual element. Everywhere you go out there feels like a pilgrimage, especially in a bad dust storm. You are living in the present, in the scene, without barriers like cars or cellphones to keep you distracted. Nothing cultivates a deep sense of spirituality faster than dwelling in these Zen moments where you are connected to what is happening around you.

For many westerners that may be as close as we ever get to meditating in our daily lives. Burning Man can be a time to meditate on life in very active ways, it all is a matter of what you welcome and allow into you while there. You will certainly be welcoming a barrage of dust onto your person and into your being; otherwise it will be a rough Burn. Speaking as someone very OCD about dirt, it is easier than you think to be at one with the dust. Embrace it, do a dust angel in it, do whatever you need to be okay with it. Like in Dune, know that the dust permeates all things out there, you will sleep in it, eat it, and breath it.

You will become the dust. The phrase “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” comes to mind. We all will become dust together, Burning Man just serves to bring the transient nature of all things to the surface of our consciousness through the physical act of burning things. Once Burned the Man, Temple, and other art pieces are gone forever; just like the artists who made them will be gone to dust in time. Just like the cities they hailed from, and our very planet on a long enough time scale. Like mediation, this idea of all things coming to an end may be hard for westerners to handle. Many of them come from a religion that tells them their soul is eternal and will live on in Heaven, or they may embrace a materialistic culture that teaches them to ignore death to consume more in the present. The Sabbath at Burning Man helps undo these wrongs that have been done to the collective human conscious.

Stay tuned for another upcoming post on spirituality at Burning Man, reviewing the book The Electric Jesus.

Back from a brief hiatus from blogging to focus on other projects I’m back to fill your inboxes and thought-boxes with new blog updates. Today will just be a brief guide for my fellow Californians on how to conserve water. While this will be a short post it may be one of the most important things I post given that California is in its worse drought in 500 years. If it wasn’t bad enough it not appears to be getting worse. Things are so bad that the Governor and many cities are calling for voluntary rationing. The life or death question is – why the bloody hell hasn’t anyone made rationing mandatory? Hellooooo guys, worst drought ever, what about that isn’t scaring you into imposing mandatory rationing? My current city and hometown of San Francisco leads the state, using 49 gallons per person per day on average  versus 100.

1. If it is yellow leave it mellow, if it is brown flush it down. We probably all heard this as kids from environmentally conscious parents, I know I heard it enough were it became rote. I would imagine that is a result of growing up in California and dealing with near constant droughts all my life. We Californians should be used to drought conditions by now. This is a major one since your average toilet flush uses over 2.5 gallons of water and is flushed over 5 times a day. That’s over 12 gallons a day for most toilets.

2. Shower less. No really, shower less. If you currently shower daily, shower ever other day, if you already shower less often than daily cut back to less. I’m showering twice a week now and no one has said a peep, it’s amazing what deodorant and changing your shirt daily can do. At Burning Man I went a solid ten days without a shower, that is pretty close to my maximum limit in the dusty context of the Playa. No shower for ten days does not mean not bathing, you can do wonders wiping yourself down with baby wipes (even your hair). Showers account for 17% of residential water use. Most showers average 7-10 gallons a minute, but there are ways to reduce that. Think about that next time you extend that morning shower just because it ‘feels nice.’ BTW, despite that ten days of dusty no-showers I still consider myself a clean freak, just less OCD than I used to be.

3. Develop a system for washing dishes. I’m working on implementing a system in my house with a soaking tub to reuse water for soaking and minimize the use of new water for rinsing. Using cast iron is also immensely helpful since you hardly ever use water to clean cast iron.

4. Cook things that use less water. I love making soup, but soup is half water. Now is not the best time to be making soup if you can opt for cooking things that use less water. Rice and pasta are also pretty water intense. You can always use cooked in pasta water as grey-water for watering plants once it has cooled!

5. Use your grey water. Whenever possible find ways to reuse your water. One thing I often do is use the same water to rinse out multiple bottles to put in the recycling. Oh yea, did you know you’re supposed to wash out your recycling and not leave it filled with food remains? Common courtesy folks and it makes the somewhat inefficient recycling process slightly more cost effective. You can use any water without chemicals in it to water plants; I would not recommend using dish water unless you are using a totally biodegradable/organic/all natural soap. The food waste could be an issue, or compost?

6. Set up a rain capture system. There are various ways to do this but most are variants on a barrel design. You can even pull water out of thin air using a fog capture system, something I am considering for my home in San Francisco.

7. Let your lawn die. Just stop watering it, let it go fallow, then plough that crap under and make a garden. If you are going to use water to maintain plants at least make sure they are drought resistant plants or useful things like food-baring plants/herbs.

8. Stop washing your car. I don’t even have a car anymore so I stopped this years ago. Thankfully cleaning a bike is much more water efficient than washing a car too. At the least create a more efficient system to wash your car, efficiency is the name of the game.

9. Gamify saving water, especially with kids. I like to use gamification to turn mundane things into fun games I can play with myself and the world. One game I am big on right now is “how little water can I use today?” For children you can try rewarding them for positive behavior, such as praise for taking a shorter shower or remembering to leave yellow mellow. I leave the games up to the individual as only the individual will know what properly motivates them to right action.

10. Group showers? What happens in San Francisco stays in San Francisco…

[EDIT]11. Transform sewer water into drinking water. Yep, it’s possible and here is the DIY guide on how to make what you need to do it. I’m ready for the apocalypse.