March 13, 2014

Da Money Makin $peciali$t

As Picky Bars continues to grow and expand, so does the staff. And thus we birth Mel in Picky HQ. This French speakin' hard workin' professional runner from Reno, NV Nevada is our new 'money makin' specialist.'

 

How did you stumble across Bend, OR?
I am a runner with the company, Oiselle, and they were starting a group in Bend with other awesome runners. (Lauren Fleshman, Betsy Flood, and Christine Babcock)  I couldn't pass up the opportunity. 

 

If you could live anywhere else where would it be? Why?
Seattle. It's my most favorite city. I know the rain gets a lot of people down, but I think it is a beautiful place. There is always something going on, it's always green, and when it's sunny, there truly isn't a better place to be.

 

Tell us about your pet skunks.
Haha! Well let's see here....my mom has two pet skunks. I'll get everyones first and biggest question out the way first....no they can't spray. The little guys names are Amos and Andy, and my parents bought them from a breeder in Ohio. (Fun fact: People have domestically bred skunks for 70 years!) My mom is an animal health technician, and grew up working in a vet office surrounded by weird animals. She also grew up with a three pet raccoons, so I guess you could say that her love from ALL animals started at young age. They are really nice, never bite, and when they aren't "snurffling" for food, they love to play.

 

What do you love about Picky?
I love the people (the best bunch of people ever!), the environment, and of course the bars.  It's the most stress free and supportive environment anyone could work in. We have fun while getting "ish" done.

 

How do you live the Picky Life? What does it mean to you?
To me the Picky Life is all about being passionate and "being you."  Whatever and however that may be. Just being awesome and embracing it in all aspects of life. 

 

Best French phrase?
"avoir l'esprit d'escalier". It  means thinking of that perfect riposte too late.  I like this because it always happens to me. Favorite french word would have to be pamplemousse. It means grapefruit, but it is just fun to say.

 

Most rad life experience?
Any sort of traveling that I get to it. I love love love to travel.  I studying abroad in Paris a few summers ago, which is pretty high up on the list of experiences. 

 

Well folks, there is a little piece of the Mel we are learning to know and love. Stay tuned for more didactic (11 words to make you sound smarter) teachings from the Picky Crew.

March 12, 2014

Ready, set, digest!

Erin Taylor is the founder and Head Coach of JasYoga. Picky Bars has teamed up with Jasyoga and Erin will be sharing inspiration  and blogging about yoga for athletes to sustain balance for sports. Sometimes living the Picky Life can be hard on the body and JasYoga can teach us how to #hitreset and rejuvinate for the active lifestyle! 
We hear ya, Picky eaters, the eating post-game can be a pain — literally. Luckily, hitting up a few prime yoga poses can help to stimulate digestion by increasing circulation and gently compressing internal organs, encouraging them to release and usher out toxins.
 
Try this sequence about 30 minutes after your next meal to help ease digestional woes and keep your workout plans on track. Focus on breathing as “big” as possible — as if you’re inflating your belly like a balloon, and then squeezing out every last bit of your exhale.
 
Hold each pose for 5–10 deep breaths.

 

Seated Twist
1. Sit on your heels or with your legs crossed (whatever is more comfortable)- if sitting feels like hard work for your hips (hip flexors in particular), sit on a rolled up blanket or a few pillows.

 

2. Inhale- lengthen your spine and sit tall.

 

3. Exhale- gently twist towards your right, resting your left hand on your right thigh and your right hand on the floor just behind you.
 
       
      Technique Tip: Twist safely.
      While the instinct when it comes time to twist is to rotate as far as possible — often by way of momentum or arm strength — there’s a few principles to keep in mind for safer, more effective rotation in both your yoga practice and your sports (and life!) movement. This is not only good for digestion, but also great for your back:
       
      • Your low back (lumbar spine) needs to be stable — Always stabilize your pelvis by creating a strong foundation with your legs, and engaging your core.
      • Twisting should happen from your mid(thoracic)-spine.
      • Be honest about how far you can twist with the strength of your abs and consider stopping at that point, rather than cranking yourself further with your arms.
       
      Knee into Chest
      1. Lie on your back and hug your right knee into your chest.

       

      2. If it feels like hard work, bend your left knee (opposite leg) and place your left foot on the floor, otherwise keep it straight.
         
        Knees into Chest
        Just what it sounds like: hug both your knees into your chest. There’s a reason why yogis call this “wind releasing pose”… consider any farts an added bonus.
         
        Reclined Twist
        1. From Knees into Chest drop your arms onto the floor into a "T" shape with your palms facing up.

         

        2. Lower your knees to the floor on the right, keeping them tucked close to your right arm (think "fetal" position) and if they don't easily land on the floor, stick a below beneath.

         

        3. Turn your head the opposite direction.
           
          Got a few more minutes? Put your Legs Up the Wall — equally as optimal increasing circulation and easing an upset stomach.
           
          For more deets about keeping yoga real aka relevant to your sports, and your life, check out jasyoga.com.

          March 10, 2014

          Picky Picks! 3/10/2014

          Snow is turning to rain and spring is just around the corner! Here are the Picky Picks for this week that motivated us in the office and, hopefully, can brighten up your day as well.

           

          1. 81 and Looking. A beautiful tale of an older gentleman who has lost no vigor for life and inspired many others along the way.

           

          2. Finding foundation and getting rooted in the office. JasYoga motivates us to #hitreset on the daily.

           

          3. Alan Webb makes his triathlon debut Sunday. Read more about the man we all love

           

          4.The last great race on earth. See photos from the Iditarod here.

           

          5. What does it look like to downhill ice skate at high speeds? Pretty scary! Watch videos!

           

          6. The Pacific Northwest is pretty dang amazin'. If you see all these PNW hikes you will be visiting us out here in no time. Please?!

           

          7. Ten runners you should follow on twitter. @fleshmanflyer anyone??

           

          8. All sorts of wondAful people responded to Lauren's suggestion to #keepitreal on twitter and social media. See some inspiration in Runner's World of peeps keepin' it real. These ladies seriously inspire us beyond belief.

           

          9. Patrick gets a running injury and buys a SWEET mountain bike. #iamspecialized. What do you do to fight off the winter blues?

           

          10. This was seen. #inBend. Boom chicka ow ow.

          February 19, 2014

          #HitReset with Jasyoga

           

          We are really excited to be teaming up with Jasyoga

          We have been watching (aka social media stalking) this awesome team while they host really cool events (Beer + Yoga? Sign us up!). We are obsessed with the #resetrevolution, and we NEEDED this tank immediately after we saw it.  We knew they were living the #pickylife, and we wanted to team up

          This means awesome stuff to come for all the Picky peeps out there! We will be having monthly updates from Jasyoga, and some fun giveaways in the upcoming months.  All we can say is: How would you not want to team up with this group??

          January 31, 2014

          PickyLife: Narrative of an Ice Climb Adventure.

          Picky Bars Dude, Josh Warren shared an awesome photo with us last week on twitter and we were beyond stoked! The Picky Life is about is about connecting, encouraging & supporting each other; healthy, active dreams who keep it fun! When we saw Josh living the Picky Life, we wanted every one to know his story. What Josh wrote below allows us to enter into a snapshot of an ice climb and all the radness that goes along with it. Read on!

           

          Midday, feeling the dizzying effects of hunger, I reached for my stash of Picky Bars and housed a Blueberry Boomdizzle (formerly known as Runner's High).
          At 6:00 AM on Sunday morning I awoke to Pete stirring in the kitchen. For the last 27 years he has been the Grand Poobah of our motley crew of ice climbers. At 61 years young, Pete has climbed most of New Hampshire’s rock and ice features, and has been organizing a skiing and ice climbing weekend for his friends since the year I was born. I climbed out of my sleeping bag, tiptoed over a few sleeping bodies strewn across the living room floor and joined him in the kitchen. A chalkboard hung on the wall read “MLK #27.”


          Over coffee, Pete and I discussed the plan for the day. We decided that we were going to drive to an ice flow not far from Lincoln, New Hampshire that had enough ice to support our group of 12 climbers. With temperatures in the high 20’s, it was going to be wet. I was glad that I packed my rain gear. Minutes later we were joined by Dave, who wore a teal corduroy hat that read “NO GUTS NO GLORY” in bold hot pink letters, his trophy from the day before and a cross that he would have to bear for the next 12 months.

          One of the many traditions of our annual MLK Weekend trip is to award the hat at dinner on Saturday night to whoever takes the hardest fall on the slopes or the ice, or just generally makes the biggest fool of himself on the first day of the trip.  For the last quarter century it has been won with broken collarbones, yard sales under the chairlift, black eyes in the terrain park, or in Dave’s case, what would prove to be much more painful, “verbal buffoonery.”

          One by one, the entire group awoke and before long the small condo was abuzz with the sounds of flushing toilets, sleeping bag zippers, rattling of carabiners, ice axes and crampons, and relentless jokes about the Dave’s “new” hat.

          Dave (Right) with previous hat winner, Paul (Left).

          With comments like, “Twenty years ago we’d just be leaving the bar,” some of the older veterans in the group let us youngsters know that our early departure from the bar the night before was not how things were when they were our age.  I counter their gibes with a photo of my “32oz Arm Curls” from Saturday’s après climbing trip to the local brewpub, another annual tradition.

          “32oz Arm Curls” of Oatmeal Stout.
          After my second cup of coffee and a light breakfast, I stuffed my sleeping into its sack and began sorting and packing my climbing gear that had just dried from the day before. Helmet, check! Ice axes, check! Harness, carabiners, slings, ATC belay device, crampons, hat, gloves, sunglasses, check, check, check. Picky Bars… oh no. Picky Bars…
          After a panicky few seconds I found my stash of Picky Bars hidden beneath my spare pair of gloves. A proven bonk buster, Picky Bars have become my mid-morning, mid-day, and midnight pick me up. Whether I am out climbing or off on a long run, they are my go-to source of energy and nutrition. Crisis averted, I had everything I needed and was ready to rock.

          After a short drive up 93N, four of us found ourselves at the trailhead. We had offered to leave ahead of the rest to claim a spot on the ice and drop a few ropes. With a short approach through the woods we elected to put on our crampons at the car.  We bushwhacked our way through the trees and before long were standing at the base of the ice.

          With ropes in hand, Rick, John, and Nick scrambled up a hill and around the back of the ice-encrusted cliff. I stayed put, and let them know how things were looking from below. After setting up anchors and a bit of back and fourth about where to drop the ropes, Rick and John yelled, “ROPE!” and in unison two ropes dropped, one on each of the main flows. Seconds later, the three rappelled down.

          Not wasting any time, I tied in and began my first climb of the day.

          Me on a mixed climb underneath a small curtain of ice.

          After a few climbs, the rest of the group arrived and the sound of dripping icicles was drowned out by the sound of swinging axes, laughter, and words of encouragement.  

          John makes the transition from rock to ice on a mixed climb.

          Pete makes his way up a thin layer of ice.
          Midday, feeling the dizzying effects of hunger, I reached for my stash of Picky Bars and housed a Blueberry Boomdizzle (formally known as Runner’s High).
          Nom, nom, nom.
          After a full day of climbing we broke down our anchors, packed up our ropes, and hiked back to the trailhead. Exhausted, we exchanged hugs and high-fives, hopped into our cars and headed home. For many of us living in New England, this meant a 4-hour drive. For some, living as far away as Virginia, the trip home would be much longer. None of us knew how many of coffees, rest area naps, or spent gallons of gas were in our immediate future, but we all knew that next year, the chalkboard on the wall would read, “MLK #28.”
          When Josh isn't ice climbing, honing his skills as a chainsaw artist, or rocking out to Meat Loaf, he is hard at work managing Team With A Vision. Since 1993, Team With A Vision has joined blind and sighted runners at the Boston Marathon to race and raise funds to support the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. This year's team roster boasts 70 athletes, 25 of whom are blind or visually impaired! Also joining this year's team is host of NPR's Wait...Wait...Don't Tell Me, Peter Sagal and actor & comedian, Drew Carey.  
          Click here to support Josh's work! 
          And thank you to all the Picky peeps for getting out there and LIVIN' life!
          Have a #pickylife story you want to share? Email us at pickyteam@pickybars.com!

          January 21, 2014

          Picky Problem Solver: Picky Patrick

          Meet Patrick! He is the Picky Bars Problem Solver (aka VP of Operations), and he currently has been with Picky Bars longer than any other employee. He is an awesome guy, talented athlete, and Apple techie enthusiast. If he had to own just one kitchen utensil, it would be his $300 Japanese knife. Little to our knowledge, Patrick is also a talented and engaging writer, so read on to learn more about a truly stellar fella...

           

           Describe Patrick to the fullest extent. Where, how, and what does he eat, breathe, live, celebrate, and play?
          Eat what makes you happy and life will be better.  I go on bacon for breakfast binges from time to time and my pre-meet meal in college was a jumbo Sunday from Fenton's.
          Breathe audio content? I love to multitask, so I listen to podcasts or audio books EVERY waking moment that I'm not at work or with another person. (As of Jan 6th, I've listened to over 24 hours of audio books for this year.)
          Live a blessed life. I have a big and amazing family. Lauren says that my older brother is the nicest person in the world, but she's wrong; my lil' brother is. My older sister just won 'Mom of the Year' and my younger sister is smarter than all of you combined, times 10... I'm not kidding. Did I mention I'm proud of them?
          Celebrate New Years, V-Day (in the lucky years), Apple Special Announcement Spring (also in the lucky years), Birthday, Apple WWDC, 4th of July, Apple iPhone Event, Apple iPad Event, Halloween, Christmas. 
          Play with my dog Guinness (see photo) in the wonderful outdoor playground of Bend, Or. 

           

          What is your mantra for life?
          "Life is better with sound effects." I make them for 99% of the things I do. 100% if I'm alone. (Side note: Patrick also makes sound effects 100% of the time while at Picky HQ. Bomb dignity!!)

           

          What are your favorite parts about working for Picky Bars and living the Picky lifestyle?
          I love that we truly live the life of our brand. I know that if I have 50 things on my plate and 1 hour of sunlight, it's more important to I take a break and go enjoy a run than it is to immediately make the number 49.

           


          No caption needed.
          The ocean, backpacking, family, friends, and shenanigans.
          What influences how you live?
          I try to let everything I experience contribute to my outlook on life, but my goals and relationships with those close to me guide my bigger life decisions. 

           

           Is there any human being in Bend, OR who could beat you in the 100 yard butterfly? (If he answers yes, he is lying).
          YES! I think Logan Madson, a former Auburn swimmer from Bend, might be around town. He would crush me. Plus, probably 15 teenagers, both guys and girls. I'm not lying. Could maaaaybe take the young-ins in a 25.  

           

           What New Year's resolutions or goals have you set?
          I'm not a fan of New Year's resolutions. I know that sounds cliche these days, but I developed this outlook in my early teens. Starting at age 14 I had 5:30 AM practice where we did what swimmers call "dry-land." (I've since learned it's just normal exercise.)  Every January a bright eyed mass would show up ready to turn their lives around, but by February it would be back a crew of awkward teens and the group of true blue dedicated patrons. Witnessing artificially spurred attempts to make a life change every year showed me that the changes you make in life can happen at any time, but they must be inspired from the heart to take hold. 

           

          You have been the longest standing Picky Bars employee. And a stellar dude. How has it been watching and contributing to the companies growth and changes over the years?
          It's been a blur, and I've loved every second of it. I'm just honored that I get to work for and with such genuine and awesome people who share a passion for empowering and inspiring others to seize the adventure of life.

           

           What words can you share with us that are really and truly the words of Patrick O'Neil? Something we would only hear you say! Advice? Jokes?
          "Pppppeeeeewwwwssshhh!" - That was the sound effect I'm going to make when I finish this blog and hit send on this email in 3, 2, 1....

          January 09, 2014

          Picky Babies! Another One on the Way

           First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy, Steph! The Picky Crew is super stoked to add another Picky baby to the Picky family. We thought it would be fun for you to answer some questions for all the folks out there!

           

          1) How far along in your pregnancy are you? And how did you find out you were pregnant?
           17 weeks. I drank coffee one day and it tasted nasty and I'm like I gotta be pregnant. Took a test the next day and bam positive!

           

          2) Who did you tell first?  
          I told Ben (duh). Next was my mom and brother when they came up to visit us in Flag.

           

          3) What was Ben's reaction when you told him?
          He cried. Sorry to out him:)

           

          4) Did you have morning sickness?
          No morning sickness, just all day long sickness.

           

          9) Do you have any food cravings?
           I was so sick in the beginning I hated literally all food. The only things I could eat were baked potatoes in the morning, lemonade, jolly ranchers, then chicken and mustard tacos. I really dislike coffee and chocolate which is sad for me. Usually I would eat a food and if it sat well, I would just eat that same food for days on end. Curries, lomo saltado, Five Guys french fries, and now lunch meat (ham).

           

          5) Do you plan on finding out the sex of the baby?
          Yes, we're gonna find out in a few weeks.

           

          6) Any names picked out yet? Is "Boomdizzle" in the running?
          Yeah boomdizzle if its a boy and boobyay if its a girl.

           

          7) Who do you think the baby will look like? You or Ben? 
          We have some theories our baby will either be blue eyed, blonde and super cool or a curly red haired baby allergic to everything. 

           

          8) The big pro-athlete question: How will this effect your running this year & in the future?
          Pregnancy is going to affect my running big time this year. First off my goals of racing and getting fit will be on hold until late 2014. I plan to train as best I can over the next few months while also being super flexible. Post baby the goal is to get back to competitive racing in the best way that sets me up for a go at the 2016 Olympics.

           

          9) Have you bought anything for the baby yet?    
          Both Ben and I bought each other Christmas gifts. I gave him a onesie that says Mommy and Daddy's Running Buddy and he got a big puffy teddy bear jacket.

           

          10) Are you excited? Nervous? Scared? Tell us how you are feeling!
          I'm all of those. Excited, nervous, and scared of course. I tend to visualize things like I do when I'm getting ready for a race, only I know the pregnancy will be way less in my control and I have to get used to that. We are thrilled to finally start a family and have a play buddy for Jude the Dude.

           

          Thanks so much for sharing, Steph! We can't wait to follow along with your pregnancy. If you are interested in getting updates from Steph on running, recipes, and other pro-athlete tips, you can sign-up for her Newsletter here! BOO-BABY-AH!

          December 26, 2013

          Christmas happened! Picky Picks for the Week

          Christmas has come and gone and the best part of the year is still happening. Read the Picky picks for the week! Don't forget to be uplifted for the New Year and keep in mind the blessings of 2013. 

           

          1. Currently obsessing over Coeur de Pirate. Have you seen Adieu?

           

          2. Justin made THIS VIDEO of a Deschutes River Trail Run. Yes sir.

           

          3. 15 Amazing Gingerbread Houses. Too pretty to eat!

           

          4. Winter Time Dawn at Crater Lake. This makes negative temps okay?

           

          5. Because Jay at Rebound Physio is incredible. Fur Realz. Watch this.

           

          6. Taking a poll.... How many Christmas cookies did you consume this week? How many miles did you travel to see family? How many glasses of eggnog? 

           

          7. Did food allergies hamper your holidays. Don't let it happen again! Check out these Vegan Christmas Recipes.

           

          8. Why aren't we all in Paris for Christmas?

           

          10. What are your New Years Resolutions? Need some inspiration? Set realistic resolutions with checkpoint goals along the way. :-)
          Happy New Years Picky Peeps!!

          December 20, 2013

          Picky Picks! 12/20/2013

          1. This Milk Prank Video had us howling with laughter.

           

          2. The closest a Wing Suit Pilot has ever been to the ground? Heck yes.

           

          3. I got this Runner's World Cookbook for Christmas. And it rocked my culinary experience!

           

          4. Can you distinguish your American dialects? We found out there are 24 different dialects of English in the US!

           

          5. Winter officially begins! List of the 10 Best Ski Lodges in the U.S.

           

          6. The Ultimate Christmas Prank from Jimmy Kimmel.

           

          7. Really helpful interview with local PT Jay Dicharry on designing running shoes to prevent injury.

           

          8. More athlete gift guides for last minute shoppers? Well, okay!

           

          9. Kishi Bashi's Bright Whites. Yeah, we dig it.

           

          10. Wait, did we forget to say Merry Christmas!? Hope your holiday is full of merriment, joy, and cheer! :-D

          December 18, 2013

          Featured Blogger: Amy Blake; Major Studlette and Mother of the youngest #Pickyclub member

          My name is Amy, and I’m a Picky fan living in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the “U.P.” as we call it here, it’s that huge hunk of land north of Michigan’s “mitten,” which is the part that most people know. The U.P. comprises almost 30% of the total land mass of the state but only contains about 3% of the population, so we’re sometimes forgotten. I’ve even seen people - news organizations - leave our part of the state off maps in infographics or consider us part of Canada. Hey, it’s okay; Canadians are cool.

          To say my family and I live in a remote area of the country is a fair statement. I mean, we’ve got running water and electricity (it’s a really long extension cord), but life is a little slower up here. There are more trees and trails than mini-malls, and I’m lucky to live in an area with some world-class trail systems to satisfy the runner/biker/fledgling skier in me.
           
          We’re an active family - two young kids that we’re trying our best to not break or ruin, and work daily to enjoy and appreciate the good things in life that matter.

          So what do Picky Bars have to do with any of this?

          I first heard of Picky Bars in June of 2013. I’m pretty sure I have someone on Instagram to thank for this, and as a lover of energy bars/food on the go with ingredients I recognize and can pronounce, I ordered a sampler. Remember that part about living out in the boonies? Yeah. No Picky Bars to be found anywhere. Thank you, Internet!
          Immediately after trying my first bar, I joined the Picky Club. There was no question. These bars and my somewhat delicate gastro-intestinal system and I were meant to be together. Sorry if that’s TMI.

          While in my earlier less-frazzled years I would’ve called myself a non-runner athlete (sports with balls and sticks! Woo!), these days I consider myself primarily a runner who’s participated in a few races over the last ten years, the marathon being my favorite distance challenge. Picky bars came at a time in my training when I was struggling to find something that would “work” for me before and after long training runs. I’m not a science gal, so I’ll trust the PB experts on the “freaking science” part. But I do know that the gluten/dairy free part definitely helps my delicate digestive system. Plus, they’re incredibly tasty.

          I had no doubts that this was the beginning of a beautiful relationship between me and PB. What I wasn’t expecting was that my son, who was just over a year old and starting to enjoy food that didn’t come out of me or a breast pump, was going to be a fan too.
           
          (Just so you know, so he wouldn’t choke, in the beginning I picked out the big hunks of nuts. And ate them. Like any good mother would.)

          At first it was pretty cute. “Hey, Aaron! Want to try mommy’s Picky Bar?” And as a mom who <strike>sometimes gives in just to stop the begging and crying</strike> tries very hard to keep her kids’ best interests as a top priority, I was totally cool with him grabbing a few bites of my Picky Bars here and there. Which he did. With gusto.
          And then a nifty Picky Club water bottle came in the mail and soon we were arm-wrestling over who got to use it. It should be noted that I did not always win these battles.
          He was also getting molars now and a voracious appetite to match and whole Picky Bars were disappearing in minutes (he favors Lauren’s Mega Nuts and Runner’s High). I had to take the basket in which I’d stash my bars and hide them on high shelves in dark closets. I was eating my bars in secret at work and making sure I left no wrapper out in the open, because if I did? Picky Madness ensued.

          I mean, I love my son, but he was starting to take over my Picky Club goodies. Something needed to happen.

          Maybe it was the sprinkling of holiday spirit, or just the plain fact that I was getting tired of sharing my picky bars with my adorable offspring (especially after he and his sister ate the new picky flavor bar), but I finally took action.

          Aaron is now a proud and happy member of the Picky Club, and possibly the youngest member to date! (I’ll have to check with Lauren Fleshman on this to see if Jude has him beat.)

          (I wanted to record the squealing that took place when little dude saw the bag of picky bars yesterday but he was wildly shoving a handful of bars in my face and grunting, and I only have two hands.)

          As you can see from the photo, he approves. He also let mom have the t-shirt. Love this kid.

          Even though we’ve only known of Picky Bars since the summer, I feel like they’ve been a part of our lifestyle forever. As other moms know, you can’t leave the house without snacks (for kids AND sleep-deprived moms who didn’t have time to eat lunch before we ran out the door. Late.).

          But all Picky Dude fun aside, the Picky Bars community feels like family, which I love. Picky Bars, thanks for everything. You’re keeping our lives fun, tasty, and my son extremely happy.
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