Product: Training's a Breeze with These Bars
It's summer, and with teaching-time on hold, I'm so excited about making small steps towards my goal of achieving a diet as minimally processed, within reason, as possible. I've been eagerly making mental lists of big ambitions designed for this aim: I've been picturing myself baking beautiful loaves of wholesome breads, and lovingly preparing Sunday roast chickens, slicing the bulk for weekday luncheon meat for Dave';s sandwiches. So far, routines aren't revolutionized quite like I envisioned, but I'm pretty happy with small strides nevertheless. I'm enjoying lunchtime salads more, fresh and crisp in a bowl as opposed to limply sitting in a zip lock. Our raised beds are looking increasingly promising, and I'm head-over-heels for whole grain breakfast salads and porridge in the morning. There's one key area, however, where I'm habitually and fairly greedily all about processed food science, and that's training fuel. When out on the bike for hours, or pacing through a long run, sometimes the less natural something tastes, the more instantaneous and significant the reward. Not to mention, I love the excuse to eat jelly beans under the guise of sport. And Power Bar smoothie flavors have improved upon the original prototype to the point that they really are item that could have been considered snack foods of childhood, a la Laffy Taffy. Still, I can't say I feel great about pounding engineered product down my system throughout a long day of training or racing. I just put the blinders on deliberately in this case, like one does when a certain area of the home becomes acceptably messy to the point of invisibility, like an unorganized garage or over-crowded basement. Fortunately, however, more and more sport products are becoming available that do not require so much compromise. And of these, all natural Breeze Bars really stand head and shoulders above the crowd. Creator Breeze Brown has her Master's in Nutrition and is working to become a Registered Dietitian. An accomplished triathlete, Breeze began making her bars in her home kitchen here in Boulder, Colorado, largely inspired by her sister, who was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Effervescent and radiant with enthusiasm, Breeze is passionate about developing bars that offer meaningful calories that taste delicious. Wheat, gluten, and dairy free, Breeze Bars do not have an imposing list of ingredients more suited to a chemistry lab than your body, unlike many sport "foods". In fact, not only can you read, pronounce, and understand every ingredient listed, everything included conjures a mental image. These are wholesome granola bars your Mom might have made at home, only they deliver a solid punch of energy for fueling and replenishing workouts.
I had a chance to really appreciate the natural impact of Breeze Bars this past weekend, at Ironman Kansas 70.3. We were camping in sweltering heat for this race, and I felt like I was sweating half my body weight the day before. I couldn't hydrate enough, nor could I really sleep. Moreover, I was on the tail end of two unfortunate rounds of antibiotics for a nasty sinus infection and felt ill-prepared to begin with. Race day, somehow I managed to get into the mode, focus, and have a decent day, but in doing so, I was pumping myself with as much Gatorade and Gu as I could handle. After finishing, I really felt saturated with quick, saccharine sugars, and hungry for real food, but at the same time not quite up for anything that required any labor to digest. Our friend Brendan, an amazing triathlete who also happens to be Breeze's neighbor, had given me a Chocolate Breeze Bar at the campsite, and it was one of the first things I thought of. Back at the site, it didn't disappoint, packed with nutty crunch from crisp flax, peanut butter and roasted edamame, and delicately sweet with a touch of dried cranberries, raisins, and clover honey. Find out more about Breeze Bars at theBreeze Bars website, http://www.breezebars.com/Home_Page.html.
Photo Credit: Stiletto Sports Review