Okay before I even start I would just like to say that this post is way overdue. I started putting all my thoughts together and have edited a million times. I didn’t want it to be long and boring nor did I want to leave out any details. I did my best to highlight all of the awesomeness that I experienced while travelling to the CLIF Bar HQ back in April.
It all started when I received an email from Alex (who is going to kill me for taking 2+ months to publish this). She offered me the opportunity to travel to San Francisco, California for a media tour of the CLIF Bar HQ. I was floored. I couldn’t understand why they wanted me there. The other three media people who were going wrote for magazines and here I am with my little blog going on this tour with a bunch of cool and important people.
When we got to the CLIF building I could not believe what I was seeing. I don’t think words will ever do it justice. Imagine a building made of recycled materials, bikes and boats hanging from the ceiling, open space, smiles on everyone, dogs walking around the building. DOGS. People bring their freaking pets to work. And CLIF Bars everywhere. It’s welcoming, clean, and screams environmentally-friendly. If anyone ever offers you a job there please do me a favour and say yes. And then recommend me as their next employee. Thank you in advance.
They have an awesome gym with spin classes, personal trainers, massage rooms, a dance studio, and people ride their custom CLIF bikes to work (yes you read that correctly). The company promotes active living like cray. It’s amazing. It was like a mini community full of beautiful active people and I wanted them to adopt me as one of them.
I learned a lot about the motivation behind the company and about their “5 aspirations” : sustaining the planet by keeping their impact on the environment small, sustaining their community by giving back, sustaining their people by creating a workplace where life is still lived to the fullest, sustaining their business by continuing to grow slowly and steadily, and sustaining their brands by giving people what they need.
So much thought is put into creating each and every product. From ingredients to packaging, CLIF has it covered. Here’s an example – you know the CLIF shots? How they look like they have a little handle on them?
That’s called a litter leash and is there to keep the wrapper intact even after you rip the top off. If you’ve ever raced, you will often see wrappers all over the ground. The bottoms are easy to clean up but a lot of the time the tiny little tops that we rip off with out teeth will get stuck and are impossible to pick up. Keep the top and the bottom together via a litter leash and TAHHH-DAHHH!!! Easy clean up = happy environment = happy people. You learn a new thing every day!
While I was there I also got to talk to Tara, the on-site nutritionist. I always had a hard time figuring out how to fuel for long runs and races so I was really looking forward to talking to her. I was most curious about what made CLIF Bar products different from other brands. Well…CLIF Bar uses non-GMO organic ingredients in all of their products and all of their food is free of trans fats, hydrogenated oils, and high fructose corn syrup. When you are fuelling for energy, you want that energy to come from a good source. If you eat a clean diet, doesn’t it make sense to fuel with clean foods while you train too? Makes sense to me!
I’ve been fuelling with CLIF Shots and Bloks for all of my long runs since and so far so good. I will be racing the Road to Hope Marathon with the CLIF Pace Team in October and I’m really looking forward to it. Especially the part where I won’t be able to walk for two weeks.
It was such a great learning experience and I was so blessed to have the opportunity to visit CLIF. My current goals are (a) to find a way for them to send me back there and (b) to try not to eat all of the CLIF Bloks I have in my house as if they are candy.
Have you ever run with a pace team before?
What is your preferred type of nutrition for rides/runs/hikes? Gels, Bloks, real food, liquid, etc?