Like energy bars? Element Bars lets you design your own.

When I travel, I’ll usually have a couple of energy bars in my bag. They are the kind of thing that can be really handy after you have been stuck on the tarmac for 5 hours with nothing but a bag of nuts. Your average wellness store will have 100’s of different bars on their shelves, and it can be really hit or miss when it comes to finding the right bar.

Element Bars is taking a different approach to energy bars, by letting you design your own custom bar. You start by choosing the consistency of the bar (chewy, oaty, crispy or datey), then you add fruits, nuts, sweets (they offer the usual flavors like M&M and chocolate chips as well as some unique add-in’s like brown rice syrup and agave syrup). At the end, you add your boosts; whey protein, soy protein, immunity boosters, omega-3 or fiber.

The bars are all made from natural ingredients, with no artificial sweeteners. As you build your bar, the nutritional information panel is constantly updated helping you tweak your selections for the exact values you want.

What you end up with, is an energy bar made to your own specifications. The bars ship in packs of 12, and you’ll pay $36 and about $5 for shipping. Payments are done through Paypal.

Of course, you’ll have to be the judge of whether you think three and a half bucks is acceptable for an energy bar, plus you always run the risk of being disappointed in the bars you selected. Element Bars also offer a variety pack with 12 of their more popular flavors, which may be a good way to check out their products.

Price aside; being able to design and tweak products like this seems like a great idea, and I’m sure we’ll see other companies put the Internet to good use with more custom food in the future.

Clif Bars now Producing Wine

Clif Bars are a staple part of any backpacking trip I’ve ever been on.

These chewy energy bars, in my opinion, are the best on the market–they are neither too much like cookies nor too much like paste. They’ve got great flavors such as Cool Mint Chocolate, Peanut Toffee Buzz, Crunchy Peanut butter and they are all packed with carbohydrates, protein, and fiber to increase blood sugar levels and boost energy.

The family owned business, which has done quite well providing outdoorsmen with all the healthy nutrients they need, are now branching out to a product with entirely different benefits: wine.

Clif Bar Family Wines comes to us from a plot of land in Napa Valley on which the family practices sustainable farming. So far, the vineyards have produced just four vintages:

The Climber, 2004 North Coast Red Wine
Kit’s killer cab, 2003 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Gary’s Improv, 2003 Napa Valley Meritage
Syrah, 2004 Napa Valley

Bottles range from $15 to $35 and can be purchased here.

I haven’t tried any myself but certainly will. In the meantime, it brings a smile to my face that after decades of getting us to the top of mountains, the Clif family is now providing entertainment for us once we’re there.