We didn’t always know that we were going to launch a chocolate line— though it was a dream for quite some time. Once the thought landed in our imaginations, as with anything worthwhile, it was one that had a lot of factors to consider. We are dreamers over here, so there are lots of ideas that come and go, but for us to really pursue a new one, there had to be two very important elements present:
1. Good ingredients that contribute to a healthier mind and body
2. Good flavors that are not compromised just because the product is healthy.
It’s no mystery these days that cacao is a hugely beneficial ingredient for so many systems in the human body— that’s why we knew that our starting ingredient had to be 100% cacao. The amount of positive elements packed into this tiny little bean are truly impressive— Inflammation-reducing polyphenols, antioxidants, improved blood flow to your brain, mood-boosting properties and, in some cases, even anti-diabetic qualities. Not to mention, there isn’t anyone on the planet who doesn’t love the taste (we choose to remain blissfully unaware of the rare species of people who claim to not like chocolate). Dare we say, there may not be a more tasty union of health & flavor in one ingredient?
Which is, ultimately, why we knew we had to see this dream through! Chocolate was a go!
Over the last year, we’ve spent a lot of time brainstorming flavor combos, creating recipes, taste-testing, tweaking, removing, improving, starting over, repeat. Many a lunch breaks were spent around the conference table with samples ready and waiting to be tasted and critiqued. We knew that we were using only the best ingredients— real fruits, nuts, seeds, spices + 100% cacao— but what we also needed to ensure, was that the flavors were all what they could and should be.
Fast forward to today and what we consider to be, 4 AMAZING chocolate flavors with the same emphasis on REAL, plant-based, paleo ingredients with ZERO added sugar. This is an addiction you can feel good about … and yes, we are officially addicted, in case you were wondering.
We could not be more proud or excited about all of the time, hard work and heart that have gone into this very special Chocolate line, because, guys, it’s GOOD.
Head to our website to check out all 4 of the new flaves and shop the discount by using the code:
Who doesn't love a good breakfast bowl? Quick, easy, and so delicious we decided to do our own version with our favorite Thunderbird Bar on top! Check out the recipe below!
Every breakfast bowl has to start with a solid base, whether that's yogurt, oatmeal, chia, etc. With spring's arrival and the warmer temperatures upon us, we decided to go with the SO Delicious coconut-milk yogurt from Natural Grocers as our base.
Next up, FRUIT! You can go as crazy as you want with this. We kept things simple and snagged some frozen Raspberries and Blueberries along with 1 organic banana, but feel free to adjust what gets thrown in. P.S. We find that frozen fruit is especially yummy because it creates a flavorful syrup once it melts down.
Truth be told, you could stop at this step and it would already be a pretty impressive breakfast, but, we're all about elevating things! For this particular bowl, we added our Almond Apricot Vanilla bar for an added dose of fiber and flavor!
And now for the final touches! You can truly finish things off with whatever you would like (cinnamon, cacoa nibs, the sky's the limit!). We decided to go with a sprinkle of shredded coconut and a drizzle of Local Hive Texas Honey. SO GOOD.
We all know breakfast is important. And even more, we know how inconvenient it can sometimes be. This recipe is as quick as it gets-- just throw your ingredients in a bowl and voila! You won't regret prepping this for your week day AM routine-- we are definitely officially addicted and already scheming up some new ideas for bowl combos! Bon Appetit, friends!
1 Cup yogurt of your choice
3/4 sliced frozen/fresh fruits (All one or a variety!)
1 Thunderbird Bar
1 Tblspn Shredded Coconut
1 Tblspn Honey
Start out by putting your yogurt into a larger bowl. You will want room for all of the other goodies! Place the frozen fruits in first (this way the juices will mix in with yogurt). Chop up one Thunderbird bar of your choosing and add to the mix! Sprinkle the coconut & finish off with the drizzled honey. Lastly, ENJOY!
A few months back, we had the pleasure of driving out to one of Austin's loveliest camping grounds to hang around with our RV buds, Molly & Jonathan, under a green canopy of Texas Oaks. We had a million questions for them. What was life like on the road? What have the challenges been? What have the lessons been? Hearing these two talk about the new life they had forged for themselves, despite all of the road blocks and unforeseen sacrifices, left us feeling so, insanely inspired.
A lot of work goes into living minimally. Rewarding work, but, work nonetheless. All of a sudden, things that weren't necessarily challenges before ... became challenging. There were little things like limited storage space, flat tires in the middle of nowhere and a toilet debacle which shall remain unnamed. But then there were also more personal things. As we sat around the picnic table with their two pups at our feet, Jonathan talked about his past experiences working as chef and how it hasn't been the easiest thing to know how to carry his passion for cooking into the RVing world. He dreamed out loud about maybe putting together a cook book, but the vision wasn't quite yet clear ... it was more the consistency of soup. Literally.
Fast-forward to just a couple of weeks ago, when we received a very exciting announcement!! Jonathan DID make that cookbook and was officially sharing it with the world! We couldn't help but feel so proud of our friend for having a goal and making it happen. After all, pursuing a life of less stuff was all about creating more space for joy, creativity and passion!
Congratulations friend, and thank you so much for sharing your amazing culinary creativities with us! We can't wait to get slurpin!
Purchase your very own copy of Soup Share HERE
Once a month we really love to feature one of our amazing Ambassadors, as a way to say, WE SEE YOU and THANK YOU!
Kaila is a super special Ambassador of ours, because she's one of the originals! We have seen so much loyalty, hard work and creativity come from her hands and could not be more honored to still have her by our side. Read on to learn more about Kaila!!
What are your favorite ways to stay active? (food, exercise, meditation, etc)
My favorite way to stay active is doing ANYTHING outdoors. I am runner, but due to some health issues I haven’t been able to run in over a year now. So I’ve had to find some new ways to get an endorphin high and stay fit! I’ve been loving hiking, mountain climbing, and taking long walks. In fact, I am going mountaineering in Patagonia in February and walking across Spain in June….with the help of Thunderbird for fuel of course. I also love strength training, biking, and playing with my pup, Ella!
What inspired you to take on a Paleo lifestyle?
I am not Paleo, but I don’t discriminate when it comes to different diets. To each their own and I applaud anyone who takes the time to figure out what diet works for them and makes them feel their BEST!
How did you hear about Thunderbird and how do you incorporate the bars into your daily routine?
I came across Thunderbird bar online doing some google searches for REAL FOOD bars years ago, and was immediately drawn to their innovative ingredients combos and flavors. Plus, you can’t beat the nutrition in each bar. I LOVE that they have no added sugar and are now Paleo certified. I bring Thunderbird bars with me when I travel, for snacking on the go, and even for a healthy treat when I am craving something sweet. I even make recipes with them….like this Raw Vegan Cherry Cheesecake!
Any challenges you've overcome that you're particularly proud of?
Dealing with physical and mental health struggles throughout most of 2018 made it THE hardest year of my life so far. I am proud of myself for staying as strong and positive (as possible) during that rough time and entering 2019 with a renewed sense of belief and confidence in my abilities to overcome obstacles.
What advice would you give to others who are interested in going Paleo and/or just pursuing a healthier lifestyle?
Make SMALL changes, one at a time. Trying to overhaul your diet all at once may seem like the easiest/quickest to achieve your goals, but it’s not sustainable. Long term success and wellness takes setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) goals and tackling them slowly….as opposed to rushing through them for instant gratification. This goes for health, diet, and really ANY aspect of life you’re trying to improve!
Tell us anything!
I went skydiving for the first time last year and absolutely FELL IN LOVE with it. I’ve gone twice since then and would LOVE to get my license someday. I also am a proud pet parent to a 9.5 year old yorkie and a 1 year old tabby cat. I will be adding a new member to my furr family next year…a whippet!
Thanks so much Kaila for all of the hard work and love! If we could give you a high five we would! Keep up the good work :)
The way you start your morning can really impact the rest of your day, so start out with a morning ritual and set yourself up for a success! Give one, or all of these a try the next time you roll out of bed.
#1 No Devices
Upon first waking up in the morning, most people reach for one of their devices to check their emails or catch up on the latest social media updates. When this happens, you can easily get caught up in your inbox or fall into a social media black hole and, before you know it, are already running late and haven't even left your bed yet. Do yourself a favor and try to avoid checking your phone! Take some deep breaths instead, and think about the warm shower you're about to climb into or the warm coffee you'll soon be pouring or the yummy Thunderbird bar just waiting for you!
Another way to replace that instinctual phone grab, is to think of one to three things you are grateful for right upon waking. Whether it is waking up in a warm bed, being employed and having a job to go to (even if you don’t want to leave your warm bed), or perhaps it is waking up next to your significant other. Think about what you are grateful for in your life and go into your day with an attitude of gratitude.
Instead of automatically pressing the snooze button on your alarm clock, take five to fifteen minutes to close your eyes again (yay!) and meditate. Most people think meditating means clearing your mind of all thoughts, but that is not entirely true. Your mind will always have thoughts, but meditation is all about acknowledging those thoughts and then releasing them without getting swept away in them. If you notice your mind wandering, focus on deep breathing or counting. Even repeating a particular word or phrase can assist you in keeping your focus.
After catching eight to nine hours of shut eye, your body needs some good ole H20. Get up and grab an eight ounce glass of water or leave one on your bedside table overnight. Do not worry if the water is room temperature when you wake up, it will absorb in your body quicker, meaning you will hydrate faster! Gulp, go, and you are good. For an added touch of flavor, add a squeeze of flavor from fresh citrus fruit like lemon, lime or orange, which will help invigorate your senses. If you feel like detoxing after a long night, try a combination of lemon + cucumber + mint.
Whether you go for a walk around the block, hit the gym for a sweat-sesh or do some light stretching on your own, wake your entire body up with some sort of movement. Be sure to choose a movement you actually enjoy though, that way you are more inclined to get out of bed and get moving!
#6 Healthy Choices.
Start your day off with a hearty and healthy breakfast. We recommend some sort of plant-based protein, paired with a healthy fat and fiber! Too busy for a sit down meal? Grab a Thunderbird bar. Don’t mind if we do! ;)
No one likes to start their day rushing out the door and already stressed and strung out. Do yourself (and your health) a favor, and start your new year off with a healthy morning routine! You can thank us later <3
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!
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 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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org