July 08, 2014

Picky Bars How to: Cold Brew Coffee

It's summer. This means a lot of things. It means the weather is glorious, the days are long, and that we are sweating our faces off in our little un-air-conditioned warehouse office. Whether you are running, working outside, or just sitting at work summer is a time for cold things. Our neighbors at Palate Coffee have been saviors to us by some of the tastiest 'Cold Brew Coffee' in all the lands. Watch this quick YouTube video or read our tutorial (below) for instructions on how to make your own cold brew. It's simple!

What you will need:

  • 1 pound of coffee (Jason & Jodi recommend Stumptown)
  • 1 toddy maker  (or Filtron)
  • 1 toddy filter
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1 coffee grinder 
  • Optional: A beer to pass the time while the coffee brews)

 (Pictured: Jason at Palate. Jason & Jodi are the cutest and the shop owners of Palate. They graciously agreed to help Picky Bars make a Cold Brew video of which we are presenting to you!)

Steps:

1. Grind the 1 pound of coffee on the coarsest setting. (This is usually the French Press setting).

1. Pour the ground coffee into the toddy.

2. Put the toddy on top of the decanter (part of the toddy system).

3. Pour 2 quarts of water evenly onto the coffee bed.

4. Wait 14 hours. Don't skimp on this part! (This is where a cold beer would come in hand).

5. After you have waited 14 hours drop the plug and let the cold water extraction drip.

6. Now you have the concentrate! Mix two parts water with one part concentrate and....

 

...Wala! You have yourself cold brew coffee. Enjoy. 

 

Cheers! 

 

July 07, 2014

Cloggin' the Noggin

We want to clog up your noggin with all sorts of GOODNESS. We really do. Hopefully you enjoyed the long weekend celebrating freedom and America! It can always be hard to get back into the swing of things after a holiday, but here are some interesting tidbits to get you stoked about the Monday that is staring all of us in the face!

 

1. How prepared are you for the wild? Take this quiz to find out.

 

2. Declaration of Independance facts. Watch:

3. Calorie counting technology now on the market! How do you feel about this?

 

4. Irish athlete writes powerful words about her upgrade to a medal because of convicted doper who was awarded medal ahead of her. Roisin writes, 'The moment is lost now.' (Photo from independant.ie)
5. Last weekend was the largest 10k road race in the world in Atlanta, GA. Check results here from the Peachtree Road Race.

 

6. Check out 'The American List.' Where to find and purchase American made products.

 

7.Do you have any summer hiking adventures coming up? Check out the best backpacks of 2014.
8. The 26 best spots to pitch a tent in the US. Which one of these is nearest to you?

 

9. Doing strength work can be a bummer when it requires you to have a gym membership. Here are 50 bodyweight exercises that you can do anywhere. Booyah!
10. Turns out shaving your legs can give you 15 watts on the bike! Apparently it's unbelievable! Here is the raw data... and the responses.

 

There you have our picks for the week! Let us know what you think and we'll give you some more next Monday :-). Cheers!

July 02, 2014

July Pro Updates

Picky Bars started doing 'pro updates' last month in order to keep everyone updated on what Lauren, Jesse, and Steph are up to each month. As founders of the company we believe that this trio does a great job of living a life full of dreams, adventure, and support. Summer is always a time with lots going on for everybody. Read on to see what each of the pros is up to in July! 

Lauren Fleshman

  • Lauren went to NYC in June to race the 'mini 10k' which is the largest women's only race in the country. She is not typically a 10k runner, so a 10k on the roads was something new for her...getting the feet wet for this weel! She did well and ran a strong hard race. Read about it here on Lauren's blog.
  • Lauren will head to Atlanta, GA this week with teammate and Picky employee Mel Lawrence to race in the Peachtree USA 10k championships on the 4th of July. It's gonna be nice and sticky down there!
  • At the end of July, Lauren and Mel will head to Napa for the Napa to Sonoma destination 1/2 marathon. This will be the first 1/2 marathon for each of them. Hopefully they can work in some wine tasting after the race! 
  • Jude turned 1. Lauren threw him a very special 1st birthday party complete with a replica of the cake she had for her 1st birthday. Watch below, 'Jude eats cake,' to see this little man's first experience with lots of sugar.
Jesse Thomas
  • Jesse's season is well underway. He raced, won, and set the course record at IM 70.3 Mont Tremblant several weeks ago. This is the same course that 70.3 World Championships will be held on, so a great course to test.
  • Last next week Jesse shot down to Lubbock, TX to take third in the Buffalo Springs 70.3. Two 1/2 Ironman races in a row is quite a bit, but Jesse is trying to make sure he can get enough points to compete at World's in the fall. Now he has two weeks to rest up! 
  • Jesse will be in Eugene on July 25th and 26th to speak at the 2014 Rolf Prima Triathlon. The rest of the Picky Crew will be in Eugene at this time as well for the Eugene Marathon where Lauren will be speaking!
  • His next big race will be the Vineman 70.3 on July 13! Keep your eyes peeled.
Steph Rothstein Bruce
  • Steph had the biggest news last month when she & Ben welcomed their new baby boy, Riley James, into the world. Read about it all here in a Q & A with Steph. What a beautiful momma (see below)!
  •  Steph's husband Ben Bruce will be racing the Napa 1/2 marathon with Lauren and Mel at the end of July. Riley James will be coming which means Riley can have his first encounter with future best friend, Jude the Dude!
  • And exciting news for fans of Steph! Now that Riley is born, she is getting very excited to get back to running and hopes to have some mileage under her belt by the end of the year. :-) 

 

That wraps up our July Pro updates. Stay tuned for more updates at the beginning of each month. Cheers!

July 01, 2014

Say Hello to Riley James!

Picky Bars co-founder and professional marathoner, Steph Rothstein Bruce has welcomed new life into the world! Steph and Ben Bruce made the Picky Bars family one person larger with the arrival of their son, Riley James Bruce. Steph and Ben are on an incredible new adventure! We had the chance to catch up with Steph last week and asked her several questions. Read on to see her responses!

Q: How is it having a son? 
A: It's indescribable awesomeness! No one could have prepared me for the love I feel for someone whom I just met.

 

Q: How did you choose the name Riley James? Is it a family name?
A: We chose Riley James based on two reasons. Ben believes his mom almost named him Riley and James was my late father's name so we wanted to keep his memory part of our life.

 

Q: What are you most excited for in his future?
A:  I'd have to say I'm most excited for his travels. I know that sounds crazy to a lot of people: traveling with a baby. Traveling has, and always will be, a part of mine and Ben's life. Our job requires us to travel all over the country and world to race, and we can't wait to share our experiences with Riley. We want this kid to have a record infant passport (though I know we'll face stiff competition with Jude the dude).

 

Q: How has the break from running been? How do you think this will benefit you in the long term?
A: The break from running truthfully has been up and down. Some days I miss it terribly and can't wait to be back there, while other days I'm content to just let my body adjust to all the changes it has gone through and have patience for my return. I think it will benefit me because my fire and desire is deeper than it has ever been to compete again, and I know with having a baby I'll make the most of my opportunities.
Q: Is it weird and awesome to have the baby living life with you now instead of living inside you?
A: It's the weirdest thing ever to see him some days. Ben and I have to remind ourselves when he's sleeping that, "oh we have a baby in the room."

 

Q: You did well growing a 9 pounder! It seems he is very healthy, what advice would you give to future moms?
A: Advice for future moms: Enjoy and embrace your personal journey through pregnancy and birth and don't let anyone influence your choices or make you feel bad about things you do. Take advice with a grain of salt. 

 

Q: Do you plan on using a baby jogger at all?
A: We do plan on using a jogging stroller but still looking for the best fit for us. I was in contact with Mountain Buggy who also works works with Phil and Teds and we got a sweet baby travel sleeper. We'll have to test a few strollers out before we decide on one. 
Q: We are sure he will be very athletic! Do you want Riley to be a runner like his parents or just feel out what is right as he grows up? 
A: We'll let Riley decide if he wants to be a runner or not. 

 

Q: You just started coaching this year. Coaching athletes and mothering a son can line up in some ways. What similarities do you draw or will you use as crossover?
A: I've been coaching Running with the Bruce's for about 2 years now and have loved to get to know my athletes and see them grow. I imagine motherhood will crossover as I see Riley grow up and learn new things about himself and the world around him. Much like my athletes who during different training segments learn about their strengths and weaknesses in training and racing.

 

Well, thanks Steph! There ya have it. Some advice and honest answers from a 'pro.' We are very excited to watch Riley grow up and see how his life unfolds!  

June 30, 2014

Cloggin' the Noggin

Happy Monday! Last week we saw the valiant efforts of track and field stars at the USA National Championships in Sacramento, CA. This week we get to celebrate the USA on Independence Day this Friday. The US soccer team advanced and will be playing again tomorrow! It's a big week! Time to get stoked for the week that lies ahead.

 

1. Did you miss the last US World Cup game? Catch up with a recap before watching their next match against Belgium at 1 p.m. tomorrow. 

 

2. USATF championships saw something new this year. Last year's female 800 champion, Alysia Montano, raced while 8 months pregnant. She noted that she did all the things she normally does to prepare and just 'didn't want to get lapped.' A 2:32 half mile is pretty impressive while carrying another human! Photo from @NBColympics

3. Do you follow endurance races? The most well known 100-miler happened last weekend as well! See results from the Western States 100 mile endurance run.

 

4. Read about some of the best 'Made in the USA' gear right here.  (Pictured: Mike sporting his 'Freedom' trucker hat).

 

5. Have you seen 'The Napsack' by Poler? Probably important for everyone to have one of these babies.

 

6. 'Tabless Thursday.' Watch this comical presentation about only opening 'one tab at a time' on your browser. We had to laugh at ourselves while viewing!

 

7. Did you see this gluten & dairy free Fourth of July Picky Bars recipe? Being healthy on a holiday doesn't have to be painful, it can be quite delicious!
8.  1,000 Ultimate Adventure Guides. Because it's summer. 

 

9.A few more healthy Fourth of July recipes. Now you have lots of options to impress the potlucks of America.

 

10. We all know it's summer. It's racing season. Here are 8 triathlon essentials to carry you towards a personal best in your next competition. 
There ya have it! Our Cloggin' the Noggin picks for the week. Stay fueled with real food and fueled by life at the same time. Cheerio!

June 26, 2014

The Alaskan Adventure: Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone || Luke Kelly

The Alaskan adventure with Luke Kelly continues on.  Luke's just a few weeks into his commercial fishing journeys up off the Alaskan coast & shares his insights with us on what a day in the life is for him.  With lack of sleep, the sweet smell of fish and spilled coffee, Kelly's appreciation for what he's doing grows on him.

 

“Alright, cut her loose.” The skipper gives the order, and although I’ve heard it before, I still feel a wave of adrenaline come over me. It happens every time we leave port. I untie the stern line and the spring line, give the boat a strong push, and hop over the railing onto the deck. We idle out of the rainy harbor, the familiar scent of diesel and algae giving way to fresh salt air as we turn the corner and hit the open water. 
The wind comes first, and then the waves. I have to pull my hood on tight to keep my hat from flying away. The skipper opens up the throttle, and the engine starts to thunder, loud and true. White water is crashing over the bow, and I’m stoked by the thought of what the next few days will hold. Will we catch fish? Will 
the weather cooperate? I’m overcome by anticipation as I look up at Southeast Alaska’s spellbinding jagged peaks, the fog clinging tight to their massive granite walls. Just off of the boat’s starboard side, an orca whale jumps clear out of the water. At the same time, a pair of bald eagles soars above us. We’re going good now. I feel like Billy Tyne at the end of The Perfect Storm. “Is there anything better in the world?”

 

It turns out, in fact, that there are many things better in the world. The romantic side of commercial fishing, I’m reminded, wears off quickly. Just as I’m marveling at the eagles, the skipper tells me to get my head out of my ass and to get to work. Thirty-seven long hours after that, I’ve slept for all of forty-five minutes and my head is reeling with fatigue. My hands ache from pulling the net, and everything reeks of fish. I’m feeling miserable in my rain gear, which is drenched in a cold mix of sweat and saltwater. It’s anything but romantic. 
At some point during the night, I push myself past the brink of exhaustion. All I want to do is shut my eyes, but instead I go inside for a quick cup of joe. Out of nowhere, we take a roller to the side of the boat that rocks it hard. My coffee, along with the dishes, goes flying all over the galley, and I hold on tight. One second, I’m looking down at the sea, and the next, I’m looking up at the sky. A bucket of hydraulic fluid on the roof breaks open, and I run up top to contain the mess. I crouch down low to avoid being tossed over in the rough swell, and at some point I wonder, what the hell am I doing here? Is it worth it?I dig deep and quickly answer my own question; I have no doubt that it’s worth it. What I am doing here is reminding myself of how much I’m capable of accomplishing and enduring, both of which are very different than needless risk-
taking. I believe that it’s important to push beyond your comfort zone if you want to learn what you’ve got inside. 
As I get back to work on deck, I think about how It’s very easy for an individual to become too comfortable in his or her situation—whether it’s in a job that they’re afraid to leave, or hanging around a town that they don’t like—that they forget to take chances and to push themselves, both of which are necessary in order 
to lead a rich life. I don’t want to let that happen; we’re all capable of more than we think or try. In doing things that are inherently difficult and not giving up—whether it’s running long distances, going back to school, commercial fishing, or whatever is—we are reminded of our potential, and of the value in living boldly.

 

Luke Kelly will be blogging for Picky Bars periodically throughout the summer so stay tuned for more narratives and adventures from this man of courage.

June 25, 2014

Red, White, & Blueberry Picky Bars Pudding

Laura Caccavo can come up with some dang good recipes! She was a featured blogger last winter in a post about staying healthful during the holidays. And thank goodness for her! Fourth of July is just around the corner and she has supplied a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan desert that we can fall in love with over and over again. Did we mention it's made with Picky Bars?

 

 

 

The ingredients below may sound a bit insane, but trust me on this one. This dessert is freakin’ delicious and honestly is filling enough (lots o’ protein and healthy fat) to serve as a meal. (Do it.) Also, if you ignore the sugar, it’s basically a health food.

NOTE: Before you do anything, stick the can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge. It needs to be there for 4+ hours before use! Also, once the chocolate pudding is made, it will need 1+ hours of fridge time as well.

RELATED NOTE: Due to the refrigeration required, this is a great make­ahead dessert!

 

Red, White, & Blueberry Picky Bars Pudding

Makes 4+ Servings 

Ingredients

Chocolate Pudding

Based on a combination of recipes from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, Eat, Live Run, and Chocolate Covered Katie. 12 oz Silken (sometimes called “Soft”) Tofu
2 tbs cocoa powder
2 tbs powdered sugar

1⁄2 cup chocolate almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract
1⁄2 vegan chocolate chips, melted 1⁄2 tbs instant coffee or espresso Pinch salt

Whipped “Cream”
Recipe from Whole Foods!
1 can full fat coconut milk (do not shake!), refrigerated for 4+ hours 1 tbs powdered sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract

Everything Else

4 Picky Bars, flavor of choice (recommended: Blueberry Boomdizzle) Handful Raspberries (or Strawberries) Handful Blueberries

4 small ramekins or bowls for serving

Process

1) If you have not already done so, put that can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge. For best results, it needs to hang out there for 4+ hours!

Now for the chocolate pudding!

2) Throw all of the ingredients in the “chocolate pudding” category into a food processor and let ‘er rip for about 1 minute or until completely smooth.

3) Spatchula that chocolatey goodness into a container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Fast­forward 1 or more hours!

4) Once the full fat coconut milk has been sufficiently chilled, open the can and scoop out the creamy deliciousness. NOTE: if there is any liquid coconut milk at the bottom of the can, set aside and save for other recipes. 

5) Whip the full fat coconut milk with the powdered sugar and vanilla extract for about 3 minutes in an electric mixer.

(Almost) assembly time! 

6) While the full fat coconut milk is whipping, start assembling the Picky Bars in circles around the top the ramekins like so: 

(If you are feeling extra crazy or hungry, you can double up on the Picky Bars for full ramekin coverage.)

7) Once the whipped “cream” is ready, it’s time for full­on assembly! Take the chocolate pudding out of the fridge and spoon a generous amount into each Picky Bar’d ramekin.

  

8) Top chocolate pudding with a dollop of whipped “cream.”


9) Distribute raspberries (or sliced strawberries) and blueberries on top.

 

10) Serve and enjoy!

 

Nom nom nom

June 24, 2014

800 Miles into the PCT

Julia and Phil agreed to be guest bloggers for Picky Bars over the summer while they complete the strenuous Pacific Crest Trail Hike. They are amazing people, living an inspiring life, and following their hearts in order to learn about life and themselves. We are inspired an incredible amount by this pair and hope you feel the same after reading this latest entry below. Julia's perspective of a grateful and thankful attitude while encountering extreme conditions is motivating and humbling at the same time.

This has been an amazing adventure so far. We are currently in Independence, CA, mile 790 of the PCT. We entered the Sierra Nevada mountains at mile 700, after enduring over a month of desert. One thinks of the desert as sandy, flat, and hot, but we really saw it all while traversing this area: high points and low points (both emotional and literal), 100 degree days and 25 mile waterless sections, snow and freezing temperatures, idyllic mountain towns, barren stretches of desert, and endless mountains. We'd finish with one mountain pass just to round a bend and see that another awaits us, or finish descending 8,000 feet into a desert basin just to see that another, larger climb is next. The terrain was constantly changing and constantly up and down. We saw 5 rattlesnakes, a TON of lizards, and lots of those crazy horned toads, among other wildlife. The desert was a challenge and crazy in its own way, and I'm a little sad that it's over. The biggest surprise in the desert, for me, was seeing how much the terrain changed day to day and realizing how BEAUTIFUL the desert can be.

Having the chance to hike all day and see California in this way is amazing, and a true gift,  but it has its fair share of challenging moments. I find I need to remind myself every day that we are CHOOSING to be here and that I should probably stop complaining about my heavy pack, hurting feet, or the boiling (or freezing) temperatures. I have moments where I get pointlessly frustrated and mad at the trail, the rocks, the trees, even the little lizards that frequently dart in front of me. But, amidst the frustration, there are so many moments in each day that make it worth it. The beauty of our surroundings is overwhelming. All we have to do is walk each day, and that affords so much time for thinking and reflecting. And, we are meeting so many unique, interesting, and amazing people along the way.

Once we hit Kennedy Meadows at mile 700, the official end of the desert and start of the Sierras, the terrain changed almost immediately. It was crazy. Suddenly there were huge mountains, things were GREEN, and there was water everywhere. We've only been in the Sierras for a week, and I am blown away so far by the spectacular scenery. The mountains are HUGE, so dramatic, and go on forever! I've never seen mountains like this before. It is such a privilege to be able to hike through them and see them inside and out. 2 days ago we hiked to the summit of Mt. Whitney, which is the highest mountain in the lower US at 14, 505 ft, and that was probably one of the coolest experiences so far on the trail. My legs were tired from days of up and down, and at times I wanted to quit, but I'm so glad we did it. You could see for miles, the Sierras on one side and the desert on the other.

 

Tomorrow morning we'll continue on, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks ahead. I am so excited for everything to come, and so thankful to have the chance to experience this adventure.

June 23, 2014

Cloggin' the Noggin: Week of 6/23/2014

Hey, DUDES! It's Monday again and we want to welcome you to the work week in a nice way. Read our Cloggin' the Noggin recommendations to be inspired and excited for everything that lies ahead on this fine week.

1. This app has become all the rage this week and all it does is say, 'Yo.' We had lots of fun 'Yo-ing' each other to death and hope that you do as well!

2. People tend to ramp up the miles and intensity during the summer. Overtraining can be very real and you may be experiencing it. Watch this short video on overtraining to understand how you can know when to cut back.

 

3. Raw vegan s'mores? Well, ain't that fancy!

 

4. How do you compare mental toughness to physical ability? This article does a good job of presenting how important that mental edge is. 

5. This article lists 'The Last of the Real Mountain Towns.' What do you think?

 

6. 'Hanging out with a Bear.'

 

9. World Cup is now well underway. Who will you choose for the win?

 

10. Picky work week stats are in! Check it out. Motivate your office by tracking things like health & physical activity.

 

Hope we got you excited for lies ahead this week. Keep on keeping on.

 

Cheers!

June 20, 2014

Pics of Da Week: 6/20

Boomshakalaka, Friday is upon us & the weekend is here dudes! We've got some rad pics this week to get you drooling for the summer solstice.  

Don't forget to tag #pickylife on your instagram pictures so we can be sure to consider you for our Picky pictures each Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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