5/20/14

A taste of San Fran


After two days of moving, unloading boxes and getting my kitchen Trimarni-ready for some cooking, I was off to the West Coast for the Clif Bar RD summit.
I will write more about this summit in another blog post but I was invited to the summit, along with 18 other RD's from around the US (many from NY) to learn about Clif Bar, the company and products. As a RD, I take my role as a health professional very seriously. Specifically, with my focus on sport nutrition and fueling a body in motion, this was a great opportunity for me to understand a  sport nutrition product company that focuses on sustainable fuel and taste products to better educate and inform the public and athletes.

As you know by now, real food is how I role. Bars are not my first choice when it comes to nourishing my body or when I need a snack but that doesn't mean I don't travel without them in my stash of traveling eats.
For this direct 5 hour flight from Charlotte to San Fran, I enjoyed a delicious lunch of Ezikiel bread cinnamon raisin bread with fresh smashed raspberries and PB along with a banana. I picked up a Chobani yogurt (all they had was flavored but I typically choose plain 0% and dress it up myself) at the airport for a perfectly balanced (and yummy) lunch. I also brought along some trail mix and an apple.


On behalf of Clif Bar, my trip was paid for and they selected this stylish hotel, right in the heart of downtown, for our lodging. I had my own room but spent little time there as I was always exploring the city. 


Our itinerary had us meeting in the lobby at 7:45am but seeing that I was still on East Coast time, I "slept in" until 5am (8am EST) and my running shoes were calling my name. 


As my first run since St. Croix 11 days ago, I could not have picked a better place to shake out my legs and to explore a new city.






6 miles later and several camera stops, I was ready to clean up and officially start the day. 


My hotel had these cute little maps in our room which was handy for anyone who likes to follow a map. As for me, I let my feet guide me along my own little journey around town.


I will save the pictures from my day at the Clif Bar HQ for another blog but let's just say that I LOVE the Clif Bar corporation and the foundation on which the company thrives.
I was given Raising the Bar: Integrity and Passion in Life and Business: The Story of Clif Bar Inc. in my Clif Bar goodie bag and I am currently working my way through the book. I highly recommend this book - it is very inspiring to read about Gary, who is the creator of Clif Bar.

"In April of 2000, Gary Erickson turned down a $120 million offer to buy his thriving company. Today, instead of taking it easy for the rest of his life and enjoying a luxurious retirement, he's working harder than ever. Why would any sane person pass up the financial opportunity of a lifetime? Raising the Bar tells the amazing story of Clif Bar's Gary Erickson and shows that some things are more important than money. Gary Erickson and coauthor Lois Lorentzen tell the unusual and inspiring story about following your passion, the freedom to create, sustaining a business over the long haul, and living responsibly in your community and on the earth. Raising the Bar chronicles Clif Bar's ascent from a homemade energy bar to a $100 million phenomenon with an estimated 35 million consumers, and a company hailed by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. four years in a row. The book is filled with compelling personal stories from Erickson's life-trekking in the Himalayan mountains, riding his bicycle over roadless European mountain passes, climbing in the Sierra Nevada range--as inspiration for his philosophy of business. Throughout the book, Erickson--a competitive cyclist, jazz musician, world traveler, mountain climber, wilderness guide, and entrepreneur--convinces us that sustaining one's employees, community, and environment is good business. If you are a manager, executive, business owner, or board member, Raising the Bar is your personal guide to corporate integrity. If you are a sports enthusiast, environmentalist, adventure lover, intrigued by a unique corporate culture, or just interested in a good story, Raising the Bar is for you."


Clif Bar believes in sustainable energy and local, fresh and organic food. They are heavy into recycling, giving back to the community and taking care of the environment/earth. So what better place to eat at than at Central Kitchen. Local, fresh organic food enjoyed over 2.5 hours. With four courses and a room full of RDs, there was a lot of yumming going on!





YUM!

This was not Marni-friendly (it had fish in it) but others were yumming).

YUM!

Check out those carrots! And the bread was SO good! YUM!

It was getting dark but this was worthy of a pic!

The potatoes were SO good! Double yum for this plant strong athlete!

Desert - chocolate custard with warm cookies. SO GOOD!

I made sure to get some restful sleep to avoid suppressing my immune system with all that was (and has been) going on in my life so after waking up without an alarm, I had a little time to waste and what better than to use my free time for a morning run. 



5 miles later, it was time for breakfast with the group and then a scavenger hunt around the city! 


We were divided into groups of 4 and had check points at certain times as well as opportunities to get points along the way. We had a camera and a book of to-do's for points. So much fun - I love a good fun challenge with my body!

I think I need Karel to fit me.


If you are ever in San Fran, be sure to rent a bike - this was one of our activities/check points (we got the bikes for free and they were all ready for us) and it was a great way to see the city. We were moving our bodies for 3 hours that morning!

One of our activities was to be blind folded in a garden (sitting down) and to taste and identify 5 different herbs. Oh they were amazing! I felt like I was on Amazing Race!


I haven't put my Fit Bit to full use yet but I am so excited to try it out! I've heard great things about it.

My awesome team!

I was a little jealous  to see a group of triathletes swimming in the water but that's ok.....


We were having so much fun!

Oh bread...how I love you!


A stop at the Boudin Bakery was on our to-do list

And I can not resist a delicious slice of fresh bread. YUM!

A stop to see the seals...who were very chatty!

And what scavenger trip can not be complete with a market stop....

And ice cream!

Once the scavenger hunt was officially complete around 11:45am (points deducted if you were late), it was time for a delicious picnic lunch. 

And we got to try our own Clif Bar's that we made the day before at the HQ!
Our had cashews, dried blueberries and cherries, beet chips, chocolate chips and almonds.


Yay!! Our team won the hunt!!!

How cool are these awards? 

So great to meet Tara, the RD at Clif bar!
Once the hunt was over, it was time for our good-byes and see ya later.

I had a red eye leaving at 10:15pm so I had a good 6 hours to explore the city once more (after a little computer work was done).


Beer always makes me miss Karel when I travel.

My European hubby would have loved to try them all!

It was SO great to see my good friend Doris (and website designer, Trimarni athlete and creator of the Trimarni logo) in San Fran - she only lives 30 min away from this cool city!



We had Blue Bottle Lattes which were delicious! 


And then I got a meal to -go to enjoy around dinner time in my hotel lobby from The Plant - Organic cafe


There's something special about plant strong food that is so exciting for the taste buds! 


Well San Fran....you left me satisfied with a happy belly and my legs loved exploring the city. Until next time West Coast....


Now it's time to explore my new city of Greenville, SC!!!