May 2014


One of the best things about being a runner is meeting other runners. (I sometimes joke that I’m not sure if I “like” running, but that’s how you get to meet all the cool kids.) At the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in D.C., I was lucky enough to score an invite to the unofficial Blogger Brunch hosted by Stephanie of Cat Lady Runs and Roaen of Love Life Logistics About twenty running bloggers met at Sequoia, a sweet brunch spot right by packet pickup, where the waiters quickly informed us that there were bottomless mimosas and brunch drinks (cost: same as two flutes of mimosa). Score one for the bloggers!

The other women were pretty amazing! I happened to sit right by Lizza (of ) and Kathleen & Lauren (of ) and really enjoyed getting to know the women behind the words. Of all the women there, I think Cynthia gets the prize for best blog title:  After a few sips (or drinks) and a quick order, Stephanie and Roaen started handing out the goodies from our sponsors.


I had never heard of The Racer Wall Frame, but as soon as I saw it I knew exactly what to do with it. The design is pretty brilliant—the curvy edges are aesthetically pleasing, but more important allow me to frame stuff without obsessing about whether it is perfectly centered—and I love that the frame is easily “reloadable.” Once I got it home and opened the box, I found instructions and an easel stand built right into the box. Seriously smart. There is no glass (perfect for me, and any home where a wandering housecat might knock it over), and it comes with a lifetime guarantee.












photo 2The gift bags came next, painted to match the event (thank you, I will be reusing this one!), and filled with treats from the event’s sponsors. My very favorite discovery was an adjustable headband from BaniBands. You’ll be hearing more about them on this blog in the near future, but for now you can read more at I love them because apparently I have a giant melon of a head, and when you combine that with my slippery hair, most headbands go flying off of my head. In fact, I am so fond of BaniBands that I am begging them to be an ambassador. (Okay, not literally begging, but definitely applying!)

Everyone received some individual nuun samples and Honest Tea’s bottle tea and something new (to me, anyway) a canned Honest fizz. Great to have some post-race rehydration on hand, as I flew in and TSA security theatre would have removed anything bottled I tried to bring with me. There were bicbands, Sweat Pink shoelaces, Sparkly Soul headbands, Papa Steve’s protein bars (a huge score, since I got chocolate coconut crunch, the best flavor combo ever), and Action Wipes (perfect for the immediately post-race pre-shower dust off). There were also discount codes from Magical Miles: The Runners Guide to Walt Disney World and Zensah compression (my favorite sleeves), among others, and a free virtual race from Jost Running.


We were still chatting up a storm and pawing over the goodies when brunch arrived. Can I just say nomnomnom?

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Next came the raffle (mostly for items impractical to donate in 20s). This was the first time I’d encountered Red Fox, which donated a variety of cool race electronics (wireless earphones, portable blue tooth speakers). There was a bag from Apera, which donates bags to Special Olympians; an Arm Pocket; xx2i racing sunglasses; and all manner of other loot. As each number was pulled the winner got to choose from the sponsors’ generous donations.

My first pick was a delicate running necklace from Scott James sport jewelry ( ). Since I’ve caught whatever disease it is that compels one to sign up for more and more races, running has permeated my wardrobe choices (running shirts are acceptable work attire) to my hairstyle (no more fancy layers, they won’t stay in a ponytail), and it seemed appropriate I should choose running jewelry. A little something to keep my Nike Women’s Half Marathon finisher bling company, you know?SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES


My second pick was a racing tank from X Race Wear ( ). I’m excited about this one because the chief design feature is a zippered mesh pocket that can hold your race bib! This means for a mud run or obstacle run, you don’t have to risk losing your bib or getting stabbed. I’m a huge fan of black, but blue and pink are also options (in the women’s sizes).

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe blogger brunch was a great way to kick off my race weekend! Many thanks to Stephanie and Roaen for their hard work in putting on this event, and for allowing me to attend.

In a marketplace evermore crowded with Big Food’s prepackaged pseudofoods, Clif Bar remains an independent, family-owned company producing bars with ingredients you can pronounce (and love). Also, I personally have to love a company that has headquarters in Emeryville, CA, once described by then-Alameda County District Attorney and future Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court Earl Warren as “the rottenest city on the Pacific Coast.” Naturally I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to try the Clif Bar Mojo Dark Chocolate Trail Mix Bars and Clif Mojo Fruit & Nut Bars.  In a tag: #nomnomnom Box of Clif Mojo Bars The new bars come in Wild Blueberry Almond, Cranberry Almong, Coconut Almont Peanut, Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond, and Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt. Despite my love for chocolate, my favorite flavor is Coconut Almond Peanut. The dominant flavors are toasted coconut and nuts—NOT sugar!—and it makes a fulfilling snack.  Here are the ingredients:

Organic Peanuts, Almonds, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Coconut, Organic Rice Crisps (Organic Rice Flour, Organic Cane Sugar, Salt, Calcium Carbonate), Organic Inulin, Organic Honey, Organic Roasted Soybeans, Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Natural Vitamin E (Antioxidant).

Two Clif Mojo barsWhile I didn’t need to eat more than one at a time to feel satiated, I certainly wanted to eat them all. Eventually I did eat them all, but I did it one at a time so I could really taste each flavor. That made it harder to pick a favorite, but I’m a sucker for a coconut bar that doesn’t taste like it was made with sugary sticky oversweet leftover Mounds or Almond Joy. Two more mojo barsBefore I even tasted the bars, I surfed around the Clif website. Because there is so much green-washing and outright lying going on in the world of Big Food, or perhaps because I practice law, I’ve been pretty skeptical of anything provided in a press release.  (To be clear, I received the Clif bars with only a single-sided postcard featuring a photo of the bars, a short phrase describing each flavor, the suggested retail price, and the Clif Bar social media links. No press release.)

I decided to ask some questions outside of what I could find on the website.  This was both to satisfy my own curiosity and desire to use this blog to only endorse products that I love and believe in.  I was not disappointed!

Here is my mini-interview with Clif Bar:

Q:  I know that the chocolate is Rainforest Alliance certified, but can you tell me about the other ingredients? Are there any specific projects or programs with a single ingredient?

A: We use USDA-certified organic palm kernel oil in many of our bars, which ensures a strong ecological approach to palm oil production. Currently, 65% of our palm kernel oil is Rainforest Alliance Certified. Our organic supplier is currently working towards 100 percent Rainforest Alliance certification. We have worked with our suppliers to understand their commitment to positive environmental and community practices.

Q: What is Clif Bar’s involvement/commitment/aspiration in the Fair Trade department?  I know that the Fair Trade label has undergone some changes, and that it has never been accessible to many small and co-op farms; I’m more interested in the principles (working with suppliers and paying a fair price to the farmers historically disadvantaged by the global market) than the official label.

A: Fair trade is an important issue and Clif Bar wants to ensure a socially just and environmentally responsible supply chain. We recognize the importance of fair labor conditions, community development and environmental sustainability. As of June 2013, all of our CLIF Bars are being made with Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa. In addition we have a responsible sourcing and supplier code of conduct that outline our minimum expectations of how our vendors do business as it relates to legal requirements, ethical practices, and labor conditions. Our code is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions, and covers a full range of ethical trading issues focused on basic labor rights; including a safe working environment, the right to organize, and non-discrimination in the workplace, among many others.

Q: There is currently a certain amount of backlash in the twitterverse against “Big Food,” especially as big international conglomerates are buying up what used to be “mom and pop” organic brands.  Can you tell me more about Clif Bar’s plans for the future? Will it remain a family company for the foreseeable future?

A: We are an independent, family-owned company, continuing to make progress on our 5 Aspirations (Sustaining our Planet, Community, People, Business and Brands). To further invest in our future as an independent, family-owned company, we recently announced plans to build our own bakery in Twin Falls, Idaho, which is scheduled to open in 2016.

Afterwards, I felt even better about liking these bars, which are also gluten-free and low glycemic index. The Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond are both backed with a thin layer of dark chocolate. It’s not too much chocolate—after all, this isn’t a candy bar—but it is the kind of quality-tasting chocolate that doesn’t require snarfing down an entire bar. Ordinarily I don’t go for fruit in my bars, but the Wild Blueberry Almond and Cranberry Almond both won me over. Frankly, they are delicious.  I’d still choose the Coconut Almond Peanut any day though. One bar You can learn more about Clif Bar on their website, or by following them on Twitter (@ClifBar) or Instagram (@ClifBarCompany). Clif Mojo Fruit & Nut and Clif Mojo Dark Chocolate Trail Mix Bars are available now.

Disclosure: I was provided with a box of Clif Mojo bars, two of each flavor, to sample and discuss on social media.  I did not promise a favorable review (or any review, for that matter). Except where specifically noted above, all words used in this review are my own.