Meet Thunderbird Sponsored Athletes Laurel and Rebeccah Wassner

Thunderbird is excited to announce our 2015 partnership with New York professional triathletes, Laurel and Rebeccah Wassner. These inspiring twin sisters, who race on the international circuit, certainly know the importance of quality nutrition for not only training and racing, but also for everyday health. We are thrilled to support those that share our same values of living life to the fullest through a foundation of clean healthy eating.

For the past few years we have followed the sisters’ results, and continue to be impressed not only by their accomplishments in the sport, but by the obstacles they have overcome. From beating cancer, to coming back from injury, to working back from maternity leave, the Wassners have done it all. 

Thunderbird bar is a real food bar, designed by athletes for everyone seeking a truly healthy and clean foundation of energy for life's next adventure. Our goal is to provide energy for today, health for tomorrow. We knew the Wassner twins were a perfect fit for Thunderbird when we became addicted to their food blog! Fast and healthy recipes for active individuals: what athlete can resist that?

Laurel and Rebeccah have spent the early part of 2015 at a team training camp in Florida, preparing for the upcoming triathlon season. They put in some HUGE weeks of training, and are now back in New York, resting up before they hit the road again for some early season races. We thought it would be the perfect time to introduce the new Thunderbird athletes!

Lets find out more about their training, racing, motherhood, and of course the inspiration behind their oh so delicious food blog, athlete food.


Interview:

  • How was the camp? It looks like y’all didn’t get the typical Florida sun, but it didn't seem to have slowed y’all down.
  • L- Training camp was immensely challenging but also very rewarding. It was a solid two weeks of hard swimming, biking and running.  The cold, wind and rain made some of the sessions even tougher but being surrounded by a positive, motivated and supportive group of people helped us get through it.


  • Have y’all always enjoyed cooking? What inspired you to create athlete food?
  • B - I've always enjoyed cooking and did a lot of cooking for the family when we were growing up. I also spent many years working as an accountant for one of New York's top bakery's (Amy's Bread) where I learned a lot about making good food - my desk was practically in the kitchen. Laurel and I were inspired to start Athlete Food after we started fielding questions about what we eat to fuel our triathlon endeavors. We teamed up with our good friend and food writer, Melissa Lasher, and started developing recipes that we could share with our friends, family and anyone interested in healthy eating.


  • You’ve just finished a workout, it’s 7:30 p.m. and you need to get dinner on the table. What’s your go to quick and healthy meal?
  • L: my go to fast meal is the Athlete Food lettuce wraps with tofu, with a side of sweet potato fries. I can usually get this made in 30 mins and it feels like a real meal. Recipe


  • Rebeccah, any tips for new mothers trying to balance motherhood, work, and training? Has it been a difficult adjustment to go back to training and racing full time?
  • B - my best piece of advice is to do your own thing. Do what feels natural and don't force anything when it comes to getting back to training and racing. I didn't run at all for over three months after having Amy because it just didn't feel right. Running fast took even longer. There were some difficult times and I'm still not back to where I want to be, but the whole process has been extremely rewarding.


  • Has (baby) Amy tried a Thunderbird bar, yet?
  • B- yes. I've had to hide them in the back of the pantry because if she sees the box, she won't let me be until I give her one…or three.


  • What are three things you always pack in your gym bag?
  • Sunscreen 50spf, headphones, and Bobbi Brown lipgloss and moisture balm.


  • Do y’all follow a particular diet? How does Thunderbird fit into your views on nutrition?
  • B - I'm gluten-free because it helps control my allergies. I wasn't able to eat bars for so long because I couldn't find one that was GF that I liked until I found thunderbird. I also try to eat as many whole, unprocessed and super foods as possible. The ingredients in the thunderbird and gather bars are what I would sit down and eat, but in a portable package.


  • How far into your pregnancy did you work out, and how soon after birth did you resume training?
  • B - I exercised (which should be defined very loosely!) until about 7 months. I ran until about halfway and did as much walking as I could. After having Amy, I started exercising again at about 3 months. I started racing again when she was 4 months. I raced for pure enjoyment and for the challenge of it (not for money or podiums), on very little training. I started training again full-time when Amy turned 1.


  • Do you think your healthy lifestyle contributed to your beating cancer?
  • L- Yes, being an athlete with a healthy body and mindset helped me tremendously. My doctors told me that right away. I was able to fight the disease much better than an unhealthy person.


  • Best tip to get out the door on those days you are really struggling to find the motivation?
  • If you are struggling to find motivation , smile!  Think of a way to make the workout fun, put on some good tunes and remind yourself that you will feel great afterwards!

     

  • Favorite Thunderbird bar?
  • B- Currently it’s the hazelnut heart Gather bar

    L- Pecan persistence

    To learn more about Laurel and Rebeccah and for some great recipes, head over to their Athlete Food blog and follow them on social media @athletefood @athletestyle.


    Ben Munguia
    Ben Munguia

    Author