Western North Carolina has become known for a wide variety of outdoor activities. People here love the outdoors with its majestic mountains. Fishing, kayaking, gliding, hunting, shooting, mountain climbing, skiing, or biking are only a few of the hundreds of activities that pull one into the wilderness. These activities are all exhilarating. Some are strenuous, but all can keep you fit and healthy.
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ith any outdoor activity you need to bring along something light, something tasty to snack on, in a pocket or backpack, along with perhaps some water or other liquid. When your energy level is low and personal battery needs to be recharged, you may seek a burst of energy. A new product has recently come on the market that stands out for its quality and exceptional taste: a package with a tagline “Fuel the Moment.” These Threshold Bars are certainly something worth trying. They are delicious.
Josh Mitchell and Diane Hutt, the owners of Threshold Provisions, are producing these bars, which are filled with exotic nutritional ingredients that will sustain you through your exercise. Nourishing the body with a wholesome food seemed a natural outgrowth of their lifestyle. Diane comes from a family of bakers. Her Dutch grandmothers loved to bake but without recipes. It was always “a pinch of this; or a pinch of that.” Both she and Josh did a lot of research, in fact hours and hours to see what would taste and achieve the desired results. At the 2009 Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race, Diane made the Greek pastry, baklava, and learned that the dates and honey were very sustaining. From talking with friends, they knew they wanted to get rid of dairy products, gluten, soy, GMOs, and sugars. Both knew they had production requirements and wanted to be as healthy and sustainable as possible.
Slowly they developed recipes to formulate the bars. They found suitable sources to buy the ingredients. Bit by bit, they tried out the new bars on friends, who might suggest: “Sorry, too sweet, or too sticky.” Finally in December of 2012, Josh took a prototype to Argentina, where he was invited to Patagonia by a friend who designs gear for Arc’teryx. Josh stayed at the base camp where he tested his nutritional foods, including their other provision, wild salmon jerky. Happily, the jerky and bars were well liked and considered nourishing, sustaining, and delicious—the best. This resulted in a big boost of confidence and the incentive to continue the quest to produce a marketable energy product for extreme athletes.
There are currently four delicious bars offered: Blueberry Ginger, Cherry Coconut, Mango Mate, and Pistachio Chai. Just pick your favorite flavor. These provide high octane fuel to get through a low moment and help to sustain your energy to get you through a needed task. The wild salmon jerky comes from the cold waters of the Pacific and provides a quality source of protein, amino acids, and omega-3s. Josh was working on the back deck of a fishing boat in Alaska, and noted, “with all this amazing salmon, why am I not eating salmon jerky?”
Both the bars and the jerky are perfect for the athlete who wants to improve their performance.
Diane and Josh have travelled extensively, worked in remote parts of the world, and understand the need for an occasional energy boost. Both have fished in Alaska, trekked in New Zealand and Patagonia, worked on fishing boats in windy, rolling seas in Alaska, and love high endurance sports. Josh has been a commercial fisherman since 1999. In addition, he is an avid bike racer and mountain climber. Diane, a former Mars Hill University professor of art and humanities, works part of the year on a research boat as a lab technician in the Antarctic. Over the years she has been involved in many study projects for the U.S. Antarctic program.
Packaging and design is important in selling a product for it to be seen and noticed on the shelf. The graphic design on the Threshold Provisions label is simple and clear with interesting graphics and lettering. The Blueberry Ginger bar, for instance, lists organic pumpkin seeds, organic dates, almonds, organic blueberries, honey, chia seeds, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Certainly all the ingredients are easily recognizable—nothing artificial or unpronounceable.
Diane and Josh source as many ingredients as possible locally. Their headquarters are the Blue Ridge Food Ventures in Candler, North Carolina. Diane says, “I can’t tell you how wonderful they have been. People in other towns are jealous of Asheville for having such a great place to produce our product.” The salmon jerky, however, is dehydrated in Seattle, Washington, and shipped east. It would be too expensive to ship the frozen salmon all the way across the United States and process it here.
A number of stores in this area and neighboring states now carry these healthy provisions. In addition, Diane and Josh sell the products at many festivals and events, such as Cycle to Farm, Beer-City Beatdown (a cross-fit competition), and in many tailgate markets all around Asheville. You can also find the provisions at Earth Fare, West Village Market and Deli, or the French Broad Food Co-op in Asheville, The Hub and Backcountry Outdoors in Brevard, or at many bike stores in Asheville, Boone, Winston-Salem, or Greenville. Of course the products can be ordered online at thresholdpro.com. These provisions, the salmon jerkies and nutritional bars, are easily digestible, healthy, and delicious. They are not just for a threshold athlete, but are for anyone seeking a healthy lifestyle on the go.