Monday, May 19, 2008

Why I Broke Up With Lenny & Larry

I'm doing what I can to stem the tide of obesity that is sweeping this country. Since I'm only one prone-to-chubbiness woman I can't do it alone but I do two things: I keep my own weight in line and I refuse to reward companies that give misleading portion information.

My favorite pre-workout snack is was a Lenny & Larry Muscle Brownie - either in peanut butter or triple chocolate flavor. The brownies are very tasty and a caloric bargain at 170 cals per brownie. Or so I thought. Today, I really looked at the label - serves 2. Are you kidding me? Since when does an individually wrapped snack serve 2? Does a Snickers bar serve 4? Of course it doesn't. It's infuriating when companies fudge on their nutrition labels. It's hard enough to get people to pay attention to healthy eating. We don't need companies making it more difficult.

Would I have bought the brownies if I'd have known that they were 340 calories? No. But I would have happily bought a smaller portion at 200 calories - I'd have even paid the same exorbitant price for the product.

I'm betting other people won't buy them at 340 calories either. These are a popular item at the juice bar at my gym. Before I left, I wrote "340 Calories" on the display box in Sharpie marker.

Lenny & Larry, I'm so over you.


  1. Hello Christine,

    While doing a search for Lenny & Larry's Muscle Brownie, just to see what websites are now selling our products, I came across your post. When I read "My favorite pre-workout snack is a Lenny & Larry's Muscle Brownie"...I was so excited! Then I read a little more and I was very disappointed.
    In no way are we 'fudging' our nutritional claims. Unlike some competitors, we are true to all of our claims.
    Under, Code § 101.12 Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed Per Eating Occasion: General Food
    Brownie: 40g
    Our Muscle Brownie is an 80g item and is to be listed as 2 servings per FDA guidelines.
    We do not try to sweeten our products with sugar alcohols or chemicals to reduce the calories. We use only all natural ingredients. Protein blend is the first ingredient, not sugar. Our brownies are very filling and I eat one every day. We spent a year developing this product and we are very proud of the Muscle Brownie as well as the fun packaging.
    I am hoping you will continue to support our Muscle Brownie and please accept my sincere apology if you felt mislead in any way. We have been around since 1993 with an amazing following.
    Best Regards,
    Barry Turner
    Lenny & Larry's

  2. I was shoppinug around for some of these brownies and came across this post. My wife turned me on to these and I think they are great. I highly recommend these on their taste alone(peanut butter is my favorite). I use them on my cycling rides and as my mid day snack. Although I am no expert on FDA guidelines I do feel (as with all food products) the consumer should always look at the "number of servings" on any product. It sounds like the problem is not on Lenny and Larry's end, but with the FDA guidelines as the serving size is based on weight not calories. Below is the link to the FDA Code that Barry Turner mentioned:


    is the correct post. It was cut short for some reason.


    sorry again the link keeps getting cut short. If it does this time then goto the link on barry's post.

  5. Hey, I somehow missed Barry's reply. It's awesome that he took time to do that.

    It really is a tasty, tasty product. Other than on my long run days, I can't work it into my calorie allotment, but it is very tasty.

  6. Hi Christine,

    Just wanted to let you and other readers (especially Stephen) know that we are working on 2 new flavors and a "light" version, to keep the calories down.

    Our new website should be up in a few weeks.



  7. It is just plain common sense to look at the serving size on Nutrition Facts, I've been watching what I eat for years and know that you always have to look at the servings. Regardless, to get 20 Grams of Protein in something that can actually satisfy your sweet tooth, 340 Calories isnt very bad, if you eat 6 meals with that many calories you have the desired 2000 Calorie diet..

  8. I love these things, they taste awesome and dont have soy protein in them, which always annoys me about protein products. Soy sucks. The only thing I would change about the muscle brownie (If I could) would be to create a a brownie with the 40/30/30 ratio that is known as the optimum macronutrient ratio, if this were to be achieved, they would either need to cut back the carbs in the bar, or up the protein. If it were to happen though, me and my zone diet habit would be hugely excited.

    As to misleading, I think this is just a case of consumer responsibility. If you didn't know, it is your own fault. The first time I ever ate one of them I read the packaging THOROUGHLY and knew exactly what was in there. It's your own damn fault if you don't pay attention to the info on the back, part of the naive practice of buying and eating anything at your gyms juice bar, just because it's at your gym. They wouldn't serve me anything unhealthy at my GYM would they? Seriously? Wake up a little, the fitness industry is a commercial and corporate industry, it will always be about the bottomline, they're going to label something with the intent of selling it, they don't care if it's truly healthy. It's contingent upon YOU to be able to distinguish products that are helpful, from products that are just products. Take some damn responsibility.

  9. Maybe if Mr. Turner keeps selling brownies, he'll finally pay the $1000's of dollars in back child support that he owes.

  10. omfg, cut in in half! its not that hard. you dont have to shove the whole thing down your throat.

  11. I add some comments here.

    First, I think it's awesome the Barry Turner wrote a clarifying note. I'll be thrilled to see a lighter version of the product.

    Second, yes I get that it personal responsibility. However, supersizing of portions is a large contributing factor in America's obesity epidemic. Packages that appear as single servings, but aren't are part of an overall problem than Americans have a hard time recognizing an appropriate portion size.

    Third, if you want to leave me a snarky comment that's fine. However, have the courtesy to include your contact information.

  12. Is it true that barry owes child support. That is real question?

  13. I was recently introduced to Muscle Brownies and I love them. Finding these postings with both sides of the story is very helpful info.

    Constructive feedback shows maturity so stay positive with your mental attitude as well as your physics.

    My 2 cents or rather 5 cents, counting inflation and the rate of our economy these days... :-)

  14. @Barry --

    Okay fine as per FDA guidelines a brownie is 40g, yours being an 80g item you need to list it as 2 servings fine.. but then why advertise on the front that it's 20g of protein? it's fishy.

    I myself have had one (yesterday) actually and I loved the taste -- but all this really is is a snickers bar with 20g of protein

  15. This article might be old but I just wanted to add my own opinion.

    I just ate a Brownie from the American Classic Bakery (A brownie from the vending machine) The nutrition facts state that the serving size is for one (1) and the size of the brownie is 77.9 grams (2.75oz) so what gives?

  16. "Since when does an individually wrapped snack serve 2?"

    There are several examples:

    Fig Newtons (

    Pop Tarts (