December 04, 2018


We recently had the honor of spending an afternoon with our full-time RV friends, Molly and Jonathan, when they passed through Austin last week!  It was truly such a fun, refreshing time to be around these dreamers and doers-- we left feeling so inspired and reminded that you really can do whatever you put your mind to (with a lot of hard work, time and commitment, of course.)

Real food for the road.


Molly and Jonathan came up with the idea about 5 years ago, while they were both working and living in Philly-- Molly as a teacher and Jonathan as a chef.  They knew there were going to be a lot of steps between where they were and where they wanted to be, but they also knew that it was important enough to wait for and work toward.  Over the next few years they got serious about budgeting, saying no to life's many temptations like eating out on the reg and making purchases they didn't absolutely need.  They saved as many pennies as possible and eventually sold the home they owned and purchased a new one on wheels. 

There was a lot of research to be done when it came to renovating because, as it turned out, there was a lot they didn't know!  What kind of RV do we need, how do you install electrical outlets, tile a shower or build on a budget?  There were all kinds of surprises that popped up throughout the process and they had to learn their way through them! (If you ever get the chance, be sure to ask them about the RV toilet procedures ... but don't tell them we told you to!)  

After about 2 months of painting, building, tiling and wiring Molly and Jonathan continued asking all of the questions, making mistakes and working through them until finally the day had come that their house was sold, their RV was ready and it was time to the hit the road!

Horns on the wall, for good measure.
When there's not a lot of storage space, 
choosing the snack necessities is key.

When I arrived to their campsite, Molly was set up with her laptop at a little park bench and Jonathan was lounging in a hammock among the trees.  I was VERY happily greeted by two little furry buds named Ziggy and Watson and immediately welcomed with smiles and stories from the road.  It became very clear, very soon that living this life was NOT as easy as it looks on Instagram.  There are significant and sometimes scary mishaps along the way (they actually had to change a flat tire immediately after I left them).  Life on the road is not for the faint of heart.  You are always saying goodbye to people and possessions, always having to adjust to whatever gets thrown your way and always having to think a little bit ahead to make sure that there will be a place for you wherever you are headed. Jonathan was still in the process of figuring out how to pursue his passion for cooking on the road, and Molly admitted that she wasn't entirely sure how she was going to have guaranteed wifi to teach her online classes. 

In the midst of all of these very real challenges, what stood out to us the most, was how resolved Molly and Jonathan were to continue pushing forward.  "This is our life," they said matter-of-factly.  It's not a vacation-- they don't have things laid out for them, ready to go before they wake up in the morning.  In order for it to work each day, they have to make it work.  And they do.  And with all of the challenges that arise, even more beauties seem to surface as well.  We heard so many stories about new friends in new places, breathtaking views and exciting adventures!  As with any pursuit in life, nothing good comes easy... but it does come :)
Their beloved Lemon Tree "Limona" was not handling #roadlife
too well, so they decided to part ways with her and
leave her with us to grow in Austin.
Sharing is caring.  Especially when you're on the road!

We really appreciate the opportunity to have stepped inside a small moment of the big adventure these two have taken on together!  And, more than that, we appreciate the honesty and candidness with which they described their experiences.  Molly and Jonathan aren't trying to make it seem easier than it is, or tie a bow to the top of things.  As freeing, exciting and adventurous as their lives are on the road, it can and has also been challenging, confusing, gross (again, you don't even KNOW what has to happen with the toilet) and uncomfortable.  But, to these two adventurers, it's all worth it.  And that's what matters.

Texas down!  Time to officially place the Lone Star State on their travel map.Texas Down!  Time to officially place the sticker
for the Lone Star State on their travel map!

Don't ever forget about what matters to you or what your dreams are.  We live in a real world-- it's not easy to achieve your dreams, but it is possible.  Even if you have to spend years planning, saving and preparing for it.  Keep one foot in front of the other and don't stop moving toward the life you desire, because you're only gonna get one.  And, of course, whatever you do, make sure it's #FueledByThunderbird!

Bon Voyage, friends!  Good luck out there!

November 16, 2018

Hemp Seed Secrets!

Ok they aren’t actually secrets, but hemp seeds are definitely one of those ingredients that you might have heard are good for ya, but never really knew why.  The health benefits of these nutrient-dense seeds (fun fact, they are technically nuts!) make up a long list of reasons for why we might all benefit from making them a more regular part of our diet!  And we’ve made it even easier for you snack on this power ingredient because, in addition to our Hemp, Sunflower, Pumpkin Seed bar, you can also find them in our Chocolate Mint Walnut and Almond Apricot Vanilla bars!

Here are just a few of the many reasons why hemp lives up to its hype.

1.  Healthy Fat and Essential Fatty Acids
Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat, two of them being linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3).  These two essential fatty acids are not created by the body and must be supplemented via the diet.  They are necessary for many of the body’s growth and repair processes and are precursors to many substances in the body needed for regulating blood pressure and inflammatory responses!

2.  Complete Protein Source
This one is my personal favorite.  Hemp seeds are, on their own, a complete protein source!  This is rare for a lot of plant-based ingredients as they typically lack one or more amino acids to complete the chain.  Hemp seeds, however, comprise all of the necessary aminos!  Just 2-3 tablespoons provide about 11 grams of protein!  A little goes a long way with these guys.

3.  May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in America, so anytime we hear about something that may reduce our risk, we are interested!  Hemp seeds contain an amino acid called Arginine, which produces nitric oxide in our bodies.  Nitric Oxide is a gas that makes our blood vessels dilate and relax which, in turn, lowers blood pressure.  Studies are now showing that an increased intake of arginine are resulting in decreased levels of C-reactive protein (CRP).  This is really good news, because higher levels of CRP in the body are associated with heart disease.  No thank you!

4.  Digestion Aid
Hemp seeds are a fantastic source of both soluble (20%) and insoluble fiber (80%).  Soluble fiber forms a soft, gel-like substance in your gut.  It promotes beneficial digestive bacteria and also helps to reduce spikes in blood sugar.  Insoluble fiber helps pass food through your gut and has been linked with a reduced risk in diabetes.

We truly are what we eat!  Choosing ingredients that allow our bodies to function optimally, while also protecting us from disease is what we are all about.  Our fuel should always be Real Food and we’ve got you guys covered on that front!

November 05, 2018


It's that time of year, friends, when your already-busy schedule goes into overdrive.  Holidays, traveling, shopping, dinner parties, entertaining, cooking, cooking and more cooking!  Did anyone else just have to take a deep breath?

There is no way around it, the holidays are hectic.  Before you know it, you'll be moving full speed ahead with an ever-growing to do list and a mountain of things you're behind on.  But, before things go haywire, we wanted to take a moment to stop and recognize this calm before the storm.  It's all too easy to barrel into things blindly, while vowing to keep your head down until it's all over and done with.  But, that's no way to enter the new year.  Instead, we wanted to encourage you to get outside and make some moments for yourself in nature, so that you will be better equipped (mentally and physically) to handle this coming season with calm.

We get it, you don't have time.  Neither do we.  But, the secret truth is, we actually do have time-- we just aren't always the best at prioritizing doing "nothing" over doing everything (all at once).  So!  We decided to dive into some of the reasons why intentional down time in nature is so important.  In pursuing these reminders, we emerged motivated, encouraged and determined to create a more mindful holiday season for ourselves and, in turn, each other.  And Step 1 begins right now!  Take a deep breath, walk yourself to a quiet spot outside and read along with us about the amazing and amazingly accessible benefits of nature!

1.  Vitamin D
We all know how important this one is, especially now that shorter days are upon us and Mr. Sunshine isn't on our side as much!  Studies show that as little as 10-15 minutes in the sun each day, is enough for it to start working its magic.  In addition to contributing to good bone health, Vitamin D also helps to improve symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, protect against Respiratory Infections, Hearth Disease & stroke, and improve mood!

2.  Sleep
Being in nature is known to improve sleep quality, which, let's be honest, we could all benefit from during the holidays!  Exposure to sunlight can increase your melatonin production at night, which is needed to regulate your sleep cycle.

3.  Stress Relief
This is a big one!  Studies continue to show the amazing abilities nature has to reduce tension and depression.  One study has even shown that just looking at IMAGES of nature, increased people's mood (though we still recommend the real thing).  What's more!  We are actually learning that there are some really good reasons to play in the mud.  It is now believed that dirt contains a bacteria that activates the production of serotonin in the brain, and more serotonin, means a happier you!

4.  Perspective
This is a personal addition to the list, but I find that every time I make moments in nature, I leave with an altered perspective on my daily world and life.  When I surround myself with things that are larger than I am and have been around longer than I have, I always leave feeling lighter and less worried about whatever I went into the outdoors with initially.  We have a way of making mountains out of mole hills, but when you get outside (in actual mountains, if you're lucky) it does wonders for shifting your perspective about what actually matters vs what you have made into a bigger deal than it should be.  This is exceptionally important, I have found, around the holidays.

So, with the ever-approaching list of holidays on the horizon, we really hope to encourage you to create a plan now, for how you can incorporate nature breaks into your day.  As you've read, it doesn't have to be a 3-hour trek into the woods!  It can be as simple as spending time under the trees in a local park or taking a quick stroll down one of your local hike-and-bike trails.  The benefits of nature are very real and very needed for a healthy body and mind.  We came from nature, so spending time in it should always be a priority!  We'll see you outside!

October 02, 2018

6 Tips for Traveling Vegetarian/Vegan and Gluten Free

Hi everyone!

It’s Carly Helfand from
52 Cities
, here to talk travel—specifically, how to travel with dietary restrictions. While navigating a foreign country AND a particular diet simultaneously may sound tough, I promise, it’s doable! Below, I’m sharing six tips that have helped me travel the globe while eating near-vegan and gluten-free over the past several years and that I hope will help you do the same!

1.  Enlist translation help
Not all foreign countries understand “vegan” and “vegetarian” the same way you do—or at all, for that matter. Some people may consider a dish meat-free if it contains only chicken or fish (as opposed to red meat), or if it contains meat broth, rather than meat itself.

To make sure nothing gets lost in translation, ask your hotel concierge or Airbnb host to write out a list of your dietary restrictions or any questions you may have for waitstaff in the local language! You can also find card decks online before your trip that come with a variety of pre-translated food phrases and food photos you can use to help get your point across.

2.  Choose “foodie” restaurants
If there’s one thing I’ve found while dining out, it’s that the “foodier” a restaurant is, the more likely it’ll be to accommodate your dietary needs. Chef-driven establishments tend to be more sensitive to dietary restrictions, if for no other reason than that they seem to take providing you with a gastronomic experience you’ll remember really seriously!

Look for creative menus and tell-tale signs like locally sourced produce. These are indications that care is going into the menu and will likely go into your overall experience as well.

3.  Opt Asian on planes
For those of us who are both gluten free and vegetarian/vegan, choosing an airplane meal can often seem like a lose-lose proposition. Pick the vegetarian option, and you’ll undoubtedly receive a pasta dish. And is it just me, or is the gluten free option always chicken?!

Fortunately, depending on which airline you’re flying, there may be another way to go! Qatar Airways, Etihad, Emirates and others offer so-called “Asian vegetarian meals” that feature Indian dishes made from ingredients such as chickpeas, lentils, potatoes and cauliflower, and they’re generally served with rice. This is the option I now request on every flight!

(Vegan friends: Unfortunately, this option won’t always work for you; sometimes, the dishes will contain paneer, an Indian cheese.)

4. Consider cooking classes
The best way to control what goes into a dish you’re eating is, of course, to make it yourself, and the good news is that in many destinations, you’ll find opportunities to do just that. Cooking classes can be a great way to engage with locals and get a unique window into local culture, and you’ll usually be cooking in a small group with an instructor that can help you choose dishes you can eat and/or tailor menu items to your needs.

One note of caution: Make sure to read reviews of a cooking school before signing up, and don’t eat anything you’re worried has been stored or prepared in a way that isn’t sanitary. The last thing you want on a trip is to be sidelined by food poisoning!









5.  Stash away snacks
Let’s face it—no matter where you are, when you’re in transit, food options are limited. I seldom go anywhere without a snack reserve, since in many places, the chances of finding gluten free, vegetarian/vegan options during a layover or a pit stop is slim.

If I’m being honest, most of the time, I’m toting around bars of dark chocolate, but nuts, dried fruit, protein bars, and roasted chickpeas or edamame make for healthier options that are just as lightweight and convenient! I’ll usually bring these from home in my carry-on; it saves time and the hassle of trying to navigate a foreign grocery store. Plus, I love having a bag that gets lighter as I go!

6.  Don’t be shy!
Don’t see anything on a menu you can eat? Ask. I can’t count the places I’ve been that have had off-menu vegetarian entrees or an entire gluten-free menu available upon request.

I know, I know—people tend to feel embarrassed (and even, at times, disrespectful) about making extra requests or asking to tweak a dish, but just remember: Generally speaking, restaurants want you to enjoy your experience as much as you want to enjoy it. That’s especially true in today’s world, where Internet reviews can make or break a business.

Trust me, I felt like an irreverent clown showing up in Rome and asking if a restaurant had gluten-free pasta. But if I hadn’t inquired, I wouldn’t have discovered that gluten free pasta is actually common in Roman restaurants; there wasn’t a single place I went that didn’t have it!

If you’re still feeling shy, remind yourself that you’re probably not the first to ask for whatever it is you may want—and that even if you are, the worst someone can say is no!

For more travel tips and info on how to use points and miles to travel for free, check out 52 Cities’ free resource library or follow along on Instagram at @carlyhelfand.
September 04, 2018

Thunderbird 2.0: Improving Real Food with More Real Food

Here at Thunderbird, there are two things that are most important to us.  First: Staying true to our roots by only using Real Food ingredients and never adding a drop of extra sugar (or any other sweetener).  Second: Continuing to ensure that our ingredients and flavors are the absolute best that they can be!  With that being said, we are very excited to tell y’all about the latest improvements we've rolled out across the line, for both Thunderbird and Thunderkids bars!  

1.   The full line of our 10 Thunderbird bars are *drum roll* Paleo Certified!  We’ve pulled out the remaining non-paleo ingredients like buckwheat groats and quinoa to offer our paleo pals even more flavors to love!

2.  All bars, including our Thunderkids line, will soon be officially Kosher certified!  You should start to see the Kosher symbol on all packages very soon, so stay tuned!

3.  We’ve made a few yummy tweaks to some of our flavor profiles and ingredient ratios, by incorporating more superfoods into the mix!  More real (100% cacao) chocolate, more mint, more roasted hemp seeds-- because more of a good thing is a good thing!  With these tweaks, we’ve even renamed 2 of our bars!  Cherry Walnut Cinnamon is now Cherry Hemp Turmeric and Cacao Hemp Walnut is now Chocolate Mint Walnut.  Mmmmm we’re drooling just thinking about ‘em!

4. Lastly, we have also jumped on board with the newest FDA guidelines for nutritional transparency (read what they are HERE), which means that all of the Thunderbird bars get a fancy new, bold-lettered statement reading “Includes 0g Added Sugars.”  No agave, no honey, no refined or processed sugar, no fructose, glucose or any others you can think of!  With all of these improvements comes a few changes to the nutritional facts for each bar.  You can see the updated nutritional panels HERE. 

We have been and will always remain a Real Food Bar company using only fruits, nuts, seeds and spices.  Nothing else, no matter what!  Thanks for being on board with our mission and for making the Thunderbird flock the coolest one out there.  (We're also sometimes known for throwing in bonus, top-secret information for the ones who read all the way to the bottom of our blog entry ;)  So, here it is:  Be on the lookout for an entire line of CHOCOLATE bars, coming soon.  You heard right.  Still 100% cacao, no added sugar and no dairy.  Get excited, y’all!

Thank you for your ongoing support and for continuing to make our story one that we are so proud to tell!

Your Thunderbird Team

Still have questions?  We want to hear them!  Call us at (512) 383-8334, or let us know your thoughts at

August 27, 2018

Time to Ditch Your Childhood Idea of PRUNES

If you were anything like me growing up, an appreciation for prunes was about on par with the desire to eat any of the green vegetables on my plate.  To be clear, it was zero.  I had zero interest in those wrinkly, dried up blobs of old plum that my grandmother tried to feed me like candy.  Gross, grandma.

But!  What I didn't know then (and hadn't yet learned to care about) was how jam-packed with nutrients those little suckers were!  Thankfully, I grew out of my childhood eating habits and traded my love for candy, soda and salty snacks for much more well-rounded, sustaining plates of food!  I discovered how hard my body works to maintain itself and how important it is for me to support it!  This is a transition that many of us go through as we get older-- we learn to love food for much different reasons than before.  Instead of prioritizing the fleeting satisfaction of unhealthy meals and high-sugar snacks, we learn to love the ingredients that truly contribute to the health of our bodies long-term.  We learn to love prunes, y'all.

And let me tell you, there is a lot to love about them!  Below are just some of their amazing benefits!

Prunes are very high in potassium- an important electrolyte which aids the body in many important functions like digestion, heart rhythm, nerve impulses, muscle contractions and blood pressure.  The body does not produce it's own potassium, so it's super important to make sure that we provide it!

Dried prunes contain a very important mineral called Boron, which helps to build strong bones and muscles.  It is also thought by many to aid patients with osteoporosis, as well as decrease the amount of bone loss that occurs in postmenopausal women.

When your body is low in iron, it can result in a whole host of unwanted symptoms: Shortness of breath, irritability, fatigue and weakness.  However, the good news is, prunes are a great source
of iron! One half-cup of prune juice, on contains 3 mg, or 17 percent of your Daily Value.

If you aren't in love with the benefits of prunes by now, we've got even more for ya!  Research suggests that prunes may help slow the development of atherosclerosis (a narrowing of the arteries), by reducing your body's buildup of fat and cholesterol.  Additionally, studies have shown that people who ate prunes on a daily basis saw a reduction in blood pressure!

Excluding skin cancers, colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women.  A recent study conducted by Texas A&M University, however, found that eating prunes may actually help to increase the amount of microbiota (good bacteria) in your colon, reducing a person's chance of developing the disease!

I don't know about you guys, but all this healthy prune talk really has me craving them now!  And, because we have probably all under-valued these special little fruits at one time or another, we want to celebrate them now by offering a 20% off discount on our prune-based Pineapple-Mango-Papaya bar.  Head to our website and be sure to type in WELOVEPRUNES for your discount! (Offer good through September 8, 2018)

August 06, 2018


As a yogi and athlete, Beija Faria relies on clean ingredients to fuel her active lifestyle. After searching far and wide for a convenient snack made with only wholesome, delicious ingredients, she found Thunderbird and fell in love. Quickly after she joined our flock and became a Thunderbird Brand Ambassador.

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July 31, 2018

What is Maca Root?

Hazelnut Coffee Maca

The most common question we get in regard to our Hazelnut Coffee Maca bar is pretty straightforward: 
"What is maca?" We're here to shine a little light that question so y'all can enjoy your bar even more than usual, knowing how healthy this mysterious ingredient is for your body. 

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July 17, 2018

Summer Stories: RV Adventures

With summer in full swing, we're daydreaming about the iconic America adventure: road trips. And what better way to travel the open road than four wheels that double as a home to sleep in? We took a little time to research the history of the classic RV and here are some fun facts we came up with:

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July 02, 2018

Blog ›  

Every Body is a Summer Body

2018 has been the year of body positivity. Women and men across the globe are standing up to say, I love my body and I love myself! Or just as often, it seems, Sometimes I don’t love my body or myself, but this is how I’m trying to change that. And a fair few magazines and advertisers are doing less retouching, and highlighting a variety of body types. 

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