Angela Maxwell Is Walking Around the World for Women

On May 2, 2014, with $12,000 saved, Angela Maxwell left her best friend’s home in Bend, Oregon, to start a five-year walk around the world. There’s no pre-approved path for the small ranks of pedestrian circumnavigators, the dozen or so people who’ve claimed they’ve walked around the world —so Maxwell devised her own route. She traveled the 175 miles to Portland, and then across western Australia. She next headed to Vietnam, where she hiked 60 miles from Da Nang to Hue and then spent three weeks recovering from dengue fever. A year into her circumnavigation, she arrived in Mongolia. One night, a two weeks’ hike from Mongolia’s capital city of Ulaanbaatar, in a valley surrounded by mountains, a stranger entered her tent and raped her. “It was the moment that every woman is afraid of before they go out into the world,” the 37-year-old former business consultant says. After the attack—“it was over in minutes,” Maxwell says—her assailant left. Maxwell packed her gear, hiked a few miles

Taste Test: Boon Nut Butter First Look

A new brand from the creators of GU, Boon launches this month with nut butter and stroopwafels to keep even the hangry-est athletes from bonking.

After a long run with friends, Magda Boulet, the VP of Innovation at GU Energy, was hungry. Maybe not hungry enough for dinner, but certainly for something filling and nutritious — and nothing in her pantry fit the bill.

As an elite ultrarunner, Boulet is acutely aware of the importance of healthy food in daily life. I can attest to this personally, as she harps on my frequent ice cream indulgence every time we run together.

Soon after the kitchen incident, the idea for Boon was born. The conversations on purposeful snacks between workouts grew, and now, a few years later, the team is preparing to bring Boon to market.

September Berkley Boon Shoot Photo Myke Hermsmeyer

Boon will launch with two products — nut butters and stroopwafels — and grow from there. Both of the products will come in four flavors: ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and espresso. The stroopwafels are gluten-free and contain quinoa, chia, buckwheat, millet, and amaranth. The brand crafts nut butters with ingredients like almonds, cashews, and MCT oil. These provide healthy fats, protein, and fiber.

For the last few months, I’ve been a beta tester of the nut butters — I wish eating nut butter could be my full-time job — learning firsthand about the importance of good food in my daily life. As Boulet likes to say, every snack we eat is helping us prepare for our next adventure.

Boon Nut Butter: Tasty Flavors, Not Overpowering

Ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and coffee have been used for centuries for a wide variety of benefits. More importantly, these flavors are delicious. Boon employs these flavors in its nut butters, helping you prepare for hiking, biking, running, and climbing adventures.

September Berkley Boon Shoot Photo Myke Hermsmeyer

Two things initially stand out about these flavors. First, each is surprisingly subtle. They aren’t a dominating force like a lot of candies and artificially flavored snacks. Instead, you can taste the nuts and oils, with an added flavor of spice.

Second is the variety. Most nut butters sold today are plain, chocolate, maple, or honey. The additions of cinnamon, coffee, and ginger stand out in the market.

A Spoonful: Ingredients, Taste, Texture

The Boon team is obsessed with small details. The ingredients list best demonstrates this. For example, the brand sources the coffee beans from Equator Coffee, also local to the Bay Area. And the Ginger People supplies the ginger, ensuring the highest-quality ingredients.

The team only partners with socially responsible, environmentally conscious brands that align with its values. None of the nut butters have palm oil, added sweeteners, or artificial ingredients.

The ingredients list is short, easy to comprehend, and, frankly, probably easy to copy if someone wanted to. The differentiator for Boon is quality. I probably could — and sometimes do — just eat full spoonfuls of these butters. They are that good.

In the last couple months, they have become my go-to complement for toast, bananas, apples, bars, crackers, carrots, and most handheld foods. The nut butters are made from California almonds, cashews, and unique sources of fats like MCT oil. And, in general, they’re more firm and concentrated that many oil-heavy butters on the market.

The Bottom Line: Cost, Packaging, Availability

Boon will be sold in packaging similar to GU Energy gels, which are single-serve and easy to open. This will make them easy to pack and take on the go. The brand has plans to sell Boon nut butters in bulk packaging as well but has not released details on it yet.

Boon will hit shelves at the end of October, available online and in select retailers starting at $16 for a box. As of writing this, the brand has not set a price for an individual package of nut butter.

The post Taste Test: Boon Nut Butter First Look appeared first on GearJunkie.

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