It all began 7 years ago when Katie and I decided to become endurance athletes. We purchase our first set of road bikes, swim caps, and “serious” running shoes. The freedom and satisfaction of pushing the limits of our newly discovered endurance was exhilarating. Within in a few months we were logging entire days soaring on top the challenging terrain and punishing heat of the Central Texas asphalt. Those old bikes and running shoes experienced a few of the most epic days of our lives! Our first 100 mile bike ride and our first 20 mile run were both brutal and inspiring. We were learning serious lessons about our inner limits and the ability to push through suffering. t wasn’t long before we realized that consuming the correct quantity and quality of food was more important than our underlying internal drive. Too many times we “bonked”, “blew-up”, “ran out of gas”, and worst “atomic bombed”.
The immediate problem was the unavailability of decent tasting, conveniently packaged, whole food that could meet our energy demands. The energy bars we regretfully ate were loaded with sketchy and unrecognizable ingredients, difficult to digest, and not very tasty. It was no surprise why we struggled with consuming adequate calories in those early days.
It wasn’t long before we began creating our own portable whole food energy products. We constantly tested them on our long rides and began adapting our formulas in response to how we felt. Our early “beta” foods ranged from sweet potato nut cookies, beet and carrot muffins, and our own grass-fed bison jerky. While eating our own creations we noticed that not only were we riding longer and faster, but we were becoming leaner, and recovering quicker. We had a new competitive advantage!
Along with the refinement of those early energy products, Katie and I became more serious with our training. Through participating in local bicycle races, marathons, and triathlons we were pushing our bodies further and harder than ever before. In 2010 we entered Ironman Wisconsin. It was super epic! Not only did we finish but Katie won her entire division and earned a slot in the Ironman World Championship Race in Kona, HI. Not too bad for some young dreamers who were eating funny looking handmade bars out of zip-lock bags.
While training for Kona Katie unexpectedly developed a severe and chronic knee injury that defied all medical diagnosis. Her training was greatly reduced and eventually she was forced to be non-weight bearing for an entire month. Taylor immediately began researching and experimenting with natures most potent sources of naturally occurring anti-inflammatories. Through the use of cherries, turmeric, cinnamon, and buckwheat we developed a bar to help combat Katie’s unexplained knee inflammation. This was the birth of the first modern day Thunderbird Bar “Cherry Walnut Crunch”! Through determination, hard work, and the healing properties of plant based whole foods, Katie’s knee gradually became strong again. She resumed training and performed magnificently at the World Championship Race. It was at that special race that Thunderbird Energetica debuted to the world. We hand made shirts, cycling kits, and hats in support of Katie as well as handed out free bars to people we thought looked cool.
Now Thunderbird Energetica is more than just an energy bar used by athletes. It is enjoyed by overachieving business men and women as well as underachieving slackers. It is mother approved and more importantly kid tested. Due to an ingredient label unlike anything else, Thunderbird Energetica represent REAL food for people who appreciate clean and healthy living.
Thunderbird Bars will always be the conveniently packaged, whole ingredient, healthy living that Katie and I first sought. We hope you enjoy our simple yet highly powerful bars. May they fuel your life adventures!