MEET May Mashhour

The founder of Clean Bars Egypt makes snacking a healthy and guilt-free pleasure.
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May Mashhour, 29, has always been passionate about cooking. “I used to make sinful, fattening desserts,” she confesses. “After I started working out and leading a healthier lifestyle, I searched for an alternative. A friend encouraged me to initiate the Clean Bars idea. I tested some of my bars out on my husband and friends and they loved them!” And so, Clean Bars Egypt – “homemade, delicious and healthy bars for the maximum in overall well-being and guiltless pleasure,” as May describes her growing brand, was born in March 2015.

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“Yes, I do everything myself – the recipe making, creating, marketing and sales,” says May, full time wife and mother of three. She wakes up every morning at 6 AM, sends her kids to school and then heads to the Heliopolis club for her morning training session with IGNITE. After that, she has her coffee at the club, heads back home, freshens up with a shower and breakfast, and begins her day. “My work is one of my main sources of happiness and self-fulfillment. It’s what makes me jump out if bed with excitement every morning.” And with all that hard work, dedication and a fully booked scheduled to boot, comes a product like no other. Clean Bars are clean bars in every sense of the word – made from all-natural ingredients with no preservatives whatsoever. They’re homemade so quality and cleanliness are guaranteed. And May is not one to sacrifice on taste, either.

What began with four post-workout Protein bar flavors, Clean Bars’s menu has now expanded to include Energy and Granola bars as well. May breaks down each category as such:

“The Protein bars contain 20g of protein, making them perfect as a post-workout snacks\ since the protein speeds up muscle recovery, reduces muscle loss, and helps builds lean muscle. Even adults that don’t exercise can still enjoy the Protein bars as snacks between meals. They will fill you up and satisfy sweet cravings, without any feelings of guilt.

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The Energy bars are relatively high in natural sugars (sourced from dates alone) and in carbs as well. They are more of a pre-workout snack good for fueling the body up and boosting energy to maximize performance during a workout. They are high in vitamin A, potassium, iron, and magnesium, to name a few.

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The Granola bars are delicious as a snack. They’re a great addition to any lunch box at school or work.”

The demand for Clean Bars has been high among Cairenes, and beyond the capital as well (Clean Bars recently announced that they are now available through Fresh n Fresh in Alexandria). “The response was unexpected, to be honest,” May shares. “It surprised me and made me really happy to see how health and fitness awareness is rising in Egypt.” Riding high on the health and fitness wave, May encourages those new to Clean Bars to add a bar to daily nutrition plans as they will satisfy sugar cravings, and provide your body with all the vitamins and nutrients that you would want and need from a snack. Clean Bars are also a great way to supplement diets with the right amount of protein.

Not sure which bar to choose? May’s bar of choice, though not an easy decision to make as each bar has its own mood and state of hunger, would have to be the lemon flavor. She also has plans to include goji berries in future recipes, along with more products, promotions and points of sale coming up soon. Until then, read on for more from our interview with the Clean Bars guru:

Her food philosophy…
“What you eat accounts for 80% of how you look.”

She loves bananas…
“Bananas are my all time favorite fruit. I usually have them for breakfast with brown bread and homemade peanut butter or with almond butter and chia seeds. I also love them with strawberries. Sometimes when I’m craving ice cream, I freeze bananas and use them to make my own homemade ice-cream.”

A few of her tips for eating healthy…
“Never starve yourself.”
“Don’t eat heavy meals at night.”
“It’s ok to have a “cheat” meal every now and then.”
“Avoid fried and processed food as much as you can.”
“Whether or not you’re exercising, you should make sure to include protein in your diet.”

The one song she can’t stop playing at the gym…
“Cheerleader by OMI.”

Best health advice she’s ever received…
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

Best health advice she can give…
“Same as the one I received. Never skip breakfast.”

Her beauty secret…
“Enough sleep.”

Her guilty pleasure…
“Carbs in general, especially pasta.”

Her greatest indulgence…
“Nutella.”

Her healthiest travel habits…
“I always choose to walk instead of taking transportation.”

What inspires her most…
“My husband is my main source of inspiration, as he was the one who encouraged me to start Clean Bars. Also, another person who inspired me is my fitness trainer and brother, Hussein Abdel Dayem. He believed in me and made me believe in myself too.”

Her rule for life…
“When there is a will, there is always a way.”

Her perfect day, morning through night…
“Workout in the morning, finish some work, spend some quality time with my husband and kids, and get to bed early.”

And if she could have any profession other than her own…
“I love my job and would never wish for a better one.”

For more of Clean Bars Egypt visit their Facebook and Instagram pages.

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