Creation Nation - Protein and Energy Bar Mixes

Today’s Friday Favorite is a bit of a follow-up to my last post: Protein & Snack Bars

Today i’m sharing the freshest, most customizable, adaptable protein // snack bar of them all…

creation nation…

…made the world’s first protein bar mixes ever back in 2014. I first tried them about 1-2 years ago, and I’ve been obsessed ever since!

I also want to note that this post is NOT sponsored— it is my honest opinion!


A few of the reasons I love Creation Nation:

1.The mixes are delicious. End of story.

2. You control the level of sweetness.

  • The “recipe” on the mix has an option for “sweet”, “original”, or “sweet-less”. So, you decide how much sugar you want to put in. Here’s what the recipes look like:


3. They’re super customizable.

  • Not only can you control the sweetness level and what combination recipe you use (see above), but you can add extra goodies in if you really want to! Each mix has a “fun” recipe on the bag in addition to the original. Here’s an example:


4. The mixes are suitable for multiple diets.

  • There are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and soy-free options. Their flavor mixes (with the cutest names) include:

    • Vegan Energy Bite - Oat Yes! Chocolate Chip

    • Vegan Protein Bar - Peas Love & Cocoa

    • Vegan Protein Bar - PB & Jelly Get in My Belly

    • Keto Protein Bar - Whey Hip Chocolate Chip

    • Keto Paleo Energy Bite - Cocoa for Coconuts

5. They’re more eco-friendly with a reusable pouch and no individual wrappers.

6. they’re made with real ingredients, full of healthy fats, protein, and fiber!

  • Here’s a few of the packages to click through.


Here’s a comparison from Creation Nation’s website.

(I think they’re comparing to a bar that made my favorites list in the last post) 🤭


If you’re thinking that you don’t want to spend time making your own bars or bites, hold your horses for a hot second.

To make one pack (8 bars or 24 bites), it legitimately takes five minutes. That’s 37.5 seconds per bar. Plus, you make them all at once, and you’re set for a couple days! It’s a lot faster than making a smoothie or post-workout shake, that’s for sure.

If you ask me to pick a favorite mix… I can’t!

Try any of them and you won’t be disappointed.

Here’s a few shots of I’ve taken of these yummy mixes:

To find Creation Nation in a store near you, click here for their store locator.

If you’re like me and don’t live in a state that sells any mixes, you can shop online.

Protein & Snack Bars

I don’t know about you, but the protein/granola bar section of the grocery store (and the market in general) can be very overwhelming. I feel like there’s a new kind of bar, a new company, or a new flavor of bar every darn day. I’ve honestly tried almost every bar out there (maybe not every flavor, but the kind of bar), and I’ve narrowed down my favorites.

This really was not easy. There are things I like and don’t necessarily like about each bar (usually), but in general, here is the list of my 4 favorite bars and a couple honorable mentions.

There is also a list at the end of bars that didn’t make my rankings, in case you’re wondering for comparison.

top 4:

(in no particular order)

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Perfect Bar

Tastes like: A legitimate block of nut butter.

Texture: Super soft and melt in your mouth!

Made with: Nuts, obviously! There’s over 20 superfoods in each bar, and they’re sweetened with honey or dates (vegan options available).

Nutrition: 300-350 calories, 10-20 grams of fat, 10-15 grams of protein, and about 15 grams of sugar from the honey.

Favorite flavors: Dark chocolate peanut butter, coconut peanut butter, and trail mix!

Where to buy: Perfect Bars are sold on their website, on Amazon, and in most grocery stores! Click here for their store locator.

Special notes: These are stored/sold in the fridge, but they’re good for up to a week at room temperature!

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Tastes like: Raw cookie dough… literally.

Texture: Soft and the slightest bit chewy with giant chocolate chips throughout.

Made with: Mainly made from a blend of pea protein and brown rice protein, along with tapioca syrup, a small amount of erythritol (sugar alcohol), nuts, and chocolate.

Nutrition: 150 calories, 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of erythritol.

Favorite flavor: Chocolate chip cookie dough.

Where to buy: Orgain bars are sold on their website, on Amazon, and they can be found in select grocery and supplement stores. Click here for their store locator.

Special notes: The above notes are discussing the “Organic Protein Bars” line. I have not tried the new line of ‘simple’ protein bars, but I’m sure they’re nothing short of amazing either!

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RX Bar

Tastes like: Depends on the flavor, but they’re similar to Larabars. However, much more dense and slightly sweeter.

Texture: Soft and very, very chewy with chunks of nuts and/or chocolate throughout.

Made with: Nuts, dates, egg whites, and any necessary fruit and/or chocolate add-ins. “No B.S.” 🙂

Nutrition: About 200 calories, 9 grams of fat, 12 grams of protein, and 13 grams of sugar (0 added).

Favorite flavors: Chocolate sea salt, lemon, and chocolate cherry.

Where to buy: RX Bars are sold in most grocery stores, and you can also buy them on their website or on Amazon. Click here for their store locator.

Special notes: There is literally a flavor option for EVERYBODY!

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Hope Bars

Tastes like: A rice krispy treat that actually has flavor, and it’s perfectly sweet and rich!

Texture: A soft rice krispy treat!

Made with: Quinoa and millet puffs, nuts, hemp seeds, and brown rice syrup.

Nutrition: About 160 calories, 7 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, and 7 grams of sugar. They feel bigger than that!

Favorite flavor: Peanut butter chocolate.

Where to buy: Find Hope Bars for sale on their website.

Special notes: These bars are truly UNIQUE. It’s different than the other 8 million bars on the market. I love supporting this small company, too!

Honorable mentions:



Tastes like: Strongly depends on the flavor, but they all taste exactly like the flavor listed on the package. They aren’t super sweet and tastes are slightly subtle, though.

Texture: Soft and chewy, but not too chewy!

Made with: Dates, nuts, and occasionally fruit and/or spices.

Nutrition: Just under 200 calories with 9 grams of fat and 15-20 grams of sugar (0 added). The new protein line has about 10 grams of protein as well.

Favorite flavors: Almond butter chocolate chip, cashew cookie, and all the new protein bars!

Where to buy: Larabars are very accessible. They’re sold in most grocery stores, as well as on their website and on Amazon. Click here for their store locator.

Special notes: These are perfect on-the-go because the taste and texture aren’t affected by heat or being smashed in a purse.

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Tastes like: Cheesecake. No joke. With a chocolate coating. SUPER sweet and rich!

Texture: Soft like cheesecake on the inside with a thin chocolate coating that “snaps”.

Made with: Greek yogurt, chocolate, cane sugar, and a little bit of whey protein.

Nutrition: About 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, and 10 grams of sugar.

Favorite flavor: Vanilla.

Where to buy: You can buy these online and in select stores such as Walmart, but they’re not always easy to find. Click here for their store locator.

Special notes: These are also a really unique bar. Since they’re made with greek yogurt, they contain probiotics (gut health). 🤓 I love putting mine in the freezer!


Kate’s Real Food

Tastes like: A Clif bar, but 20x better. It’s not as dense, and the nut butter flavor is pretty strong.

Texture: Soft! Also dense, but still light. Slightly chewy.

Made with: Oats, honey, nuts, and necessary chocolate, fruit, and/or seeds.

Nutrition: (for entire bar) About 250 calories, 10-12 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, and 15 grams of sugar.

Favorite flavors: Peanut butter hemp & flax and peanut butter dark chocolate.

Where to buy: Other than a couple of places in Wyoming, the only place to get these is online. Click here for their store locator.

Special notes: The wrapper lists these as two servings… but they definitely aren’t 🙃


Rise Bars

Tastes like: Similar to a Perfect Bar in that the taste resembles a block of nut butter. They’re pretty sweet, and you can taste the honey (in the flavors that use it). Very simple, yet incredible, taste!

Texture: Soft, smooth, and not hard to chew. No chunks of anything.

Made with: Nuts, protein, and honey or coconut nectar to sweeten.

Nutrition: 250-300 calories, 10-15 grams of fat, 15-20 grams of protein, and about 15 grams of sugar.

Favorite flavors: Chocolatey coconut (plant-based) and almond honey (whey).

Where to buy: You can find Rise Bars in many grocery stores, especially more “health focused” ones. You can also get them on their website and on Amazon. Click here for their store locator.

Special notes: I prefer not to eat whey protein, so I tend to stick with the plant-based flavors. The almond honey bar is WAY good though (and literally just the three ingredients!). Pop these in the microwave for a soft, warm treat!

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Elemental Food

Tastes like: Sweet and nutritious. I’m not sure how else to describe this one 😂 but I love it!

Texture: They’re soft but super seedy/crumbly, which requires some chewing.

Made with: Buckwheat, nuts and seeds, honey, and flavor additions. They are FULL of nutrients!

Nutrition: About 220 calories, 15 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, and 8 grams of sugar.

Favorite flavors: I love all four equally!

Where to buy: These are sold in very select stores, such as Natural Grocers. Your best chance to find them is in California. You can also buy them on their website. Click here for their store locator.

Special notes: Store these in the fridge to keep them fresh. They’re good one week on-the-go!

What didn’t make the list?

For reference, some of the bars I’ve tried that did not make the list include:

GoMacro, Health Warrior, Quest, ONE bars, Clif, Ancient Nutrition, Olly, Bulletproof, Costco protein bars, KIND, FitJoy, 88 Acres, Powercrunch, Exo, Hemplete, Square bars, NuGo, Pure Protein, Detour, FitCrunch, Primal Kitchen, Farm & Oven, Epic, Garden of Life, Oatmega, Luna, Think Thin, Eat Your Coffee, No Cow, Nuzest, Z-bars, and some of the more common name brands such as Nature Valley, Quaker, and NutriGrain.

This doesn’t necessarily mean I DON’T like those bars, but for various reasons, I prefer the ones above.

If there’s any bars you love that weren’t on this list, leave a comment below and let me know! I’d love to know your favorites, too 🙂

Nuzest Protein & More!

Aside from collagen (which you can read all about HERE), Nuzest is the ONLY company that I buy powdered supplements from. They make a number of different products that I really love, so I’ll do my best to give you a detailed overview without writing a novel.

And note:

You can use code “KYLA” for 15% off any Nuzest products!

(plus free shipping over $50)

The list of reasons why I love Nuzest’s Clean Lean Protein could get pretty long, but here are a few key points:

  • It’s vegan

    • I do eat dairy, but I try to avoid excess amounts, including whey- or casein-based protein powders. Nuzest is made with premium European Golden peas, and stands up to the protein quality of any dairy-based product!

  • SUPER clean and simple ingredients

    • The natural flavored protein is pure pea protein isolate, and the flavored options use only natural sources of flavor.

  • NO added sugar

    • Not that I avoid added sugar (I definitely do NOT), but when the taste is great without it, I prefer an option without.

  • Texture

    • If you mix just the protein with a little bit of liquid, it literally turns into a smooth, creamy pudding! It’s also great for baking.

  • alkaline

    • It’s one of the few alkaline proteins available, supporting the pH balance in your body and helping to cleanse your systems.


    • Flavor options include chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, coffee, and more!

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If you currently use a protein supplement, I really encourage you to try Nuzest and see how it compares… the taste, the nutrition profile, how it digests, and the versatility— you can make so many different things with it!

If you don’t use a protein supplement, whether that’s because you don’t think you need one (you might not), you’ve tried some and never loved them, or you’ve never really thought about using one, Nuzest could add some QUALITY protein to your diet, and you could notice a multitude of benefits because of it!

the fun doesn't stop there!

Give me a minute to explain though, because these other products could sound a little bit weird at first.

Nuzest has amazing fruit and vegetable powders as well as multivitamin drink mixes, too.

Their “Just Fruit & Veg” mixes are a blend of 5 different fruits and 5 different vegetables mixed with pea protein, and they come in three different flavors:

  • Fresh Coconut

  • Wild Berry

  • Cacao Mint

These taste good on their own in water or milk, or you can throw one it into a smoothie for one heck of a healthy punch!

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The “Quick Vita Kick” is a blend of greens, fruits, veggies, and pea protein isolate that is fortified with tons of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Just like I recommend that everybody take a multivitamin (no matter how great your diet is), I think it’s important to fill in any gaps with a comprehensive supplement, and this will keep you covered! It comes in the flavors of:

  • Cacao Honey

  • Cacao Mint

  • Cacao Banana

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Smoothies are definitely one of my favorite things to make with Nuzest’s products, however, I also love to make bread, muffins, protein ‘pudding’, cookies, brownies, hot cocoa, protein balls, and more!

I didn’t even cover all of the amazing products that Nuzest makes in this post, so be sure to check out their website for more! There’s bars and “functional protein powders” that are made with things like turmeric, MCT’s, and matcha!

Don’t forget, you can use code “KYLA” for 15% off + free shipping on!

Just to note, I only have this code because I personally believe in and use the products myself. I would never promote something or work with a company otherwise!

12 Instagram Accounts that I love to follow

Happy Friday!

Today’s post is a few of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow. It was REALLY hard to narrow it down, because there are so many people that I love to hear from everyday and feel like the message that they put out is so powerful.

I tried to include a few different types of content and accounts. I’ll tell you a quick bit about what I love from each.

I also took a screenshot of some of the most recent posts from each person. Click the handle to be taken directly to their profile. I highly recommend checking them out :)

Here we go!


Haley is a fellow dietitian who is SO passionate about Health at Every Size. The way she articulates is incredible. Her posts challenge me and my thoughts both as a person and a practitioner, and I bet they’d challenge you too.

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Another dietitian, Anna tells it like it is. She is also a magnificent advocate for Health at Every Size, body positivity, and disability. She’s real and raw. There’s no BS on this profile.



Molly is a mental health counselor who is also passionate about Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size. She loves to drop ‘friendly reminders’, truth bombs, and some yummy food pictures along the way. I love her insight!

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Jeannette is R-E-A-L. Currently pregnant with baby #2, she shares her life: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. She talks openly about her past struggles and how she’s overcome to where she is now. Her family is the cutest thing, but her vulnerability and delicious, healthy food are too good to pass up.

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As I try my best to advocate for Intuitive Eating, of course one of the founders of the movement, Evelyn Tribole, is going to be on my favorites list. If you’re interested in learning more about Intuitive Eating, follow her. Who better to learn from than THE professional!

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Clara is another dietitian, and I love to follow her for exactly what her handle says: food, fitness, and faith. She has the best meal prep recipes and easy dinners, and her words and insight regarding both health and faith are quite breathtaking.

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Best… doodles… ever! Also a dietitian, Taylor sends Health at Every Size messages in such a unique way. I cannot get enough of them!

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Lacey is yet another (sorry not sorry) dietitian and also a personal trainer. She posts workouts, science, real talk, and cats. Lots of cats. But I love her desire to experiment and learn the most!

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Lex is somebody I’ve been following for longer than I can even remember. Longggg before she had baby T, but he is such a cutie! I’ve loved watching Lex’s journey of recovery, getting married, and starting a family. Her and her husband, Thomas, cooking together is so much fun! She is the queen of eggs and shares about skincare products and her faith as well!

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I’ve been receiving the daily Finding Balance devotional email for years now. Follow this account for prayer, encouragement, and freedom. I absolutely love the new “What If Wednesday” series, too!

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Last dietitian on my list today… Mia shares the simplest, most delicious recipes. And she makes them look REALLY dang good! You’ll find something yummy to make on her page for sure.

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I just recently discovered this account. The Natty Professor is the place to go for proper exercise form and all kinds of training knowledge. Even as a personal trainer (as soon as I take the exam), I’ve learned so much in such a short period of time!

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There are so many more that I know and love, but I can’t go on forever! Comment below any other accounts you like to follow, and be sure to check my account out if you don’t already follow me :) I’d love to connect and learn more about you!


Have a fab weekend everybody!


So before I say ANYTHING… let me set one thing straight:

Real pasta is GOOD.

SO good.

And it’s not bad for you.

But I love Banza pasta too, and I eat all the things I love! :)

Now that we’re clear…

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If you’ve never heard of it, Banza is pasta made from chickpeas. This means that is has less carbohydrates and more protein and fiber than traditional pasta. It’s not necessarily “low carb”, because chickpeas are still a carbohydrate source, but the carbohydrates that it does contain and complex and high in fiber.

Personally, I don’t find the taste of Banza to be all that different than traditional pasta; I’m pretty obsessed with chickpeas in any form (did somebody say hummus?!), but I don’t think that’s a flavor present in the pasta. The only difference I find is while cooking; white foam tends to accumulate above the boiling water. This is what happens when you cook chickpeas themselves, so it’s not weird or anything to worry about.

Along with the chickpeas that make up over 90% of the pasta, the ingredients in Banza include tapioca, pea protein, and xanthan gum. According to Banza, these ingredients help to add volume to the pasta and bind the chickpea flour together as somewhat of a vegan egg replacement, since the pasta is vegan. 

They make all the different shapes and styles of pasta you could ever think of too:

  • Rigatoni

  • Penne

  • Spaghetti

  • Linguini

  • Shells

  • Elbows

  • Wheels

  • Ziti

  • Cavatappi

  • Wheels

  • Rotini

  • Angel hair


And they’ve recently released a line of mac & cheese too!

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These aren’t vegan, but they are delicious:

  • Elbows & classic cheddar

  • Elbows & white cheddar

  • Shells & classic cheddar

  • Shells & white cheddar

  • Cacio e pepe (my favorite!)

Here are the nutrition facts and ingredient labels from a box of pasta and a box of mac & cheese:

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I’ve made so many different types of pasta, bowls, mac & cheese, and flavor combinations with Banza. If you’re looking for recipes to try, check out the Banza website for tons of ideas! I have one recipe on my blog as well, with more coming for sure!


cashew cream pasta with roasted artichokes





If you’re looking to buy Banza near you, here’s their store locator: 

You can also buy it right from their website if you prefer! They also have an FAQ page with answers to any questions you might have.

If you have any other questions about anything, you’re always welcome to send me a message! (HERE)

If you’ve ever tried Banza pasta, let me know what you thought below! If you haven’t, let me know what you want to make with it first :)

Happy Friday!


Friday favorites blog post number one! I’m so excited to start this series because there are SO many things I want to share with you. Any products that I do share, I’ll be sure to give you a really good rundown of what it is, why I use it, how I use it, and where you can get it.


My first ‘favorite’ is COLLAGEN!

Have you tried using it before?

I started to incorporate it over two years ago and have been loving it ever since!


What is it?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It’s made of amino acids (like all proteins are), and it helps give structure to our hair, skin, nails, bones, ligaments, and tendons. The amino acids glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and arginine are all essential for the connective tissue in our body, and these are present in much higher concentrations in collagen compared to other proteins. (These amino acids can also contribute to improved quality of sleep!)

Why do we need it?

As we age, collagen production slows down. Stress can also impact collagen production, but supplementing can improve these levels. Collagen makes up about 70% of the protein in our skin, so anti-aging properties and less wrinkles are often reported with use of the supplement. I think I noticed the effects most in my hair and nails; they grow like crazy! Maintaining adequate collagen levels can also improve joint and tendon health, as well as bone density. Another HUGE benefit that many people aren’t aware of is collagen’s gut-healing properties. If you have (or even if you don’t) any digestive issues, collagen could be a game-changer!

Taking collagen internally, such as in powder or capsule form, provides much greater bioavailability for us than an external application such as lotion or skin cream. This means that our body can digest and absorb it better, ultimately giving us maximum benefits.

How to use it?

Collagen peptides are colorless, odorless, and flavorless, and they dissolve in both hot and cold liquid! They do not change the flavor or texture whatsoever, and you’d never know there was anything mixed in unless you actually saw somebody pour the powder in.

My favorite way to use collagen is to mix a scoop into my morning coffee. It puts the collagen into my daily routine, so I’m consistently getting it’s benefits. Some other things you could mix it into are:

  • Water

  • Soup

  • Yogurt

  • Smoothies

  • Oatmeal

  • Dips (hummus, guacamole, etc.)

  • Baked goods (pancakes, waffles, banana bread, cookies, etc.)

  • Protein or energy balls

  • And more!

Collagen vs. Gelatin?

Collagen and gelatin are both made from animal collagen and have the same amino acid profile, but their structure and properties are different. They offer many of the same health benefits, but collagen has been treated further to break the bonds between amino acids, giving it the ability to dissolve and digest easily. Gelatin does not dissolve so easily; as the name suggests, it “gels” when prepared. It can be used to make things such as gummy candies or marshmallows.


If you’re a vegetarian, you can get collagen peptides that are sourced from fish. The benefits of grass-fed (bovine) collagen and marine (fish) collagen are essentially the same, however there is some evidence that marine collagen may have the greatest hair, skin, and nail benefits, while grass-fed collagen may be the best for overall body health and recovery. Either way, I believe you can experience all of the benefits of collagen from either source. Marine collagen tends to cost just a little bit more than grass-fed.

Where to get it?

Now that collagen has become fairly popular, there are a lot of different brands and even types of products that you can buy. I’ve tried a number of different brands, but I have two go-tos. All products are linked!

  1. Further Food

This is the brand I typically purchase. You can use my discount code on any of their products if you choose to purchase. (FINDINGBALANCE)


2. Vital Proteins

This was the very first collagen I ever tried. They offer a LOT of products for different ways that you can incorporate collagen. I’ll list them in the order I’d recommend them.

I hope this was helpful to you! Collagen is one of the only supplements that I truly believe everybody can benefit from using. If you’ve never tried taking it, I hope you consider it now.

If you want to read more about collagen peptides, read the article linked here.

If you do already use collagen, comment below your favorite ways to incorporate it! Feel free to contact me with ANY questions (HERE), and I’m always happy to help. Happy Friday!

 *Note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and I could earn a small commission if you purchase any of the products.