Luna, Beyond the Bar

LUNA is all about good food and good nutrition, but let’s face it: You’re not ONLY what you eat. Here we take a closer look at what feeds your strength. Whether you’re an athlete, an artist, a foodie or just plain awesome, we hope you’ll find something here for you.


Career pipeline from shorts to studio films fails female filmmakers
Career pipeline from shorts to studio films fails female filmmakers

For female film directors, making a short film might be both the launch and the pinnacle of their careers, according to a new study released today.

The study was conducted by Professor Stacy L. Smith and her Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative at USC Annenberg, with the support of the LUNAFEST film festival. The research examined the prevalence of female directors across more than 3,200 short and mid-length films screened at 10 top film festivals worldwide.  Also, the occupational paths and career impediments of female directors were assessed.

Short films represent a first foray into entertainment creation for many filmmakers. The findings of this study reveal that women represent 32% of directors of short and mid-length films overall at 10 worldwide festivals. However, breaking the findings down by genre demonstrates that women are only 28% of directors of narrative shorts. In comparison, other research reports from Professor Smith and the Directors Guild of America reveal that women directed 18% of independent feature films at one festival across 13 years, 16% of television episodes in the 2014-15 season, and just 4.1% of top-grossing movies in the same time frame.

“These findings demonstrate that female film directors face a fiscal cliff in their careers soon after making a short film,” said USC Annenberg Professor Stacy L. Smith, author of the study and founding director of the Initiative.  “Male and female directors are put on opposite paths as their careers progress. For males, opportunities grow, while for females, they vanish.”

Female directors are better represented—but not equal to their male counterparts—in other film genres. Thirty-one percent of directors in animated films, and 37% of directors of documentary shorts were female. The study also shows that there has been no significant change in these percentages over the last five years.

“This study offers the best data on female interest in directing outside of information from film schools,” said Professor Smith. “These findings also raise questions about how many female directors are attempting to enter the industry via educational programs or other paths.”

The career impediments facing female directors are also explored in the study. Twenty-eight female directors were interviewed about occupational obstacles. Sixty-four percent reported that balancing the demands of work and family life created career barriers; 61% stated that financial challenges are a factor. Almost one-third (29%) of women also indicated that generating interest or finance for films about females or underrepresented groups and female-oriented subject matter was a barrier to career progress.

“The obstacles women face help explain the drop-off in female participation from short film to feature content,” said Professor Smith. “Women do not start out on equal footing with their male peers, and as barriers creep in, women fall out.”

The researchers also evaluated the content of 115 short films screened atLUNAFEST film festival and compared the findings to Professor Smith’s research on the 100 top-grossing films of 2014. As a counterpoint to mainstream content, LUNAFEST is a year-long traveling film festival of award-winning short films by, for, and about women. Girls and women appear in 63% of the speaking roles in LUNAFEST shorts, and 81% of the lead or co lead roles were held by females. LUNAFEST content provides a sharp contrast to the 28.1% of speaking characters and 21% of leads or co leads who are female in the top-grossing films of 2014.

LUNAFEST shorts also feature more characters from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups than top-grossing films. A full 37% of lead or co-lead roles and 38% of speaking characters were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups in short films. In the top-grossing films of 2014, underrepresented characters were 26.9% of all speaking characters and 17% of all leads or co leads.

“When the barriers to creating films are lower, we see more diversity. Not only are there more speaking roles for female characters in LUNAFEST content, but for underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well,” said Professor Smith. “Despite the epidemic of invisibility in top-grossing films, the LUNAFEST short films reveal that diversity is possible in front of the camera, particularly with diversity of voices behind the scenes.”

“Our work at LUNAFEST is important for generating interest and excitement for content created by women, whose voices and vision are largely absent from mainstream cinema,” said Suzy Starke-German, LUNAFEST Program Manager. “The results from this study reveal why supporting female directors and their work is one step toward changing the landscape in media. We are proud that LUNA and LUNAFEST are committed to being by, for, and about women every year.”

The study will be released at the 15th annual LUNAFEST film festival launch, held on October 8 in San Francisco. The event marks the beginning of LUNAFEST’s year-long run, where it will appear in over 175 cities and reach over 25,000 people. Over the past 15 years, LUNAFEST has received over 10,000 short film submissions and had female-directed films viewed by more than 300,000 people across the U.S. 100% of all net proceeds from LUNAFEST screenings go to nonprofit organizations. To date, LUNAFEST has raised more than $3 million dollars for women’s organizations. For more information on the films in this year’s LUNAFEST circuit and to find out about upcoming screening locations, please visit,

A full description of the results and methodology of the study, can be found in the report.

This study is the most recent from the MDSC Initiative, which releases yearly in-depth analyses of the prevalence and portrayal of gender and race/ethnicity in film.  Students at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism worked on the study.  For more information on the Initiative, or to read previous studies, visit

Key Findings

Female Directors of Short Films

Females fill almost a third of the directing pipeline. Of the 3,933 short film directors at 10 top worldwide festivals, a full 68 percent were males and 32 percent were females. This calculates into a gender ratio of 2.13 male directors to every 1 female director.  

Females were more likely to be directors of documentary shorts than narrative or animated shorts. 37 percent of documentary directors were women versus 31 percent of animated directors and 28 percent of narrative directors.

Female documentary directors fare better in some countries than others. Female helmers of documentaries were more likely to have films based outside the U.S. (40%) than from the U.S. (30%). The analysis for narrative and animated short/mid-length films was not related to country of origin.

There has been no change in the percentage of female short film directors over time. Females’ participation as directors of narratives, documentaries, and animated films was examined across the five years of short film festival programming. No overtime analysis was statistically significant. As such, the percentage of female short film directors has not increased or decreased over the last five years.

Barriers Facing Female Directors and Opportunities for Change

Work/family balance (64%). Participants stated that the tasks associated with their careers are made more difficult by familial responsibilities. Responses in this category included personal challenges faced, general statements of difficulty, and considering the timing of parenthood or career moves.

Finance (61%). Interviewees mentioned that project financing was difficult, and a few personal financial barriers were described. Of females who had never made a feature film, 58 percent reported financial obstacles to creating longer-form content.

Subject matter, cast, or crew of films (29%). Women described difficulty generating finance or interest in films about females or individuals from underrepresented groups, in stereotypically feminine genres, or for female-oriented films.

Three additional barriers were mentioned by female participants. The first was that the entertainment industry favors males (25%). Women also stated that non-gender specific closed networks (14%) in the industry make it difficult to gain access to opportunities for work or funding. Finally, individuals cited stereotyping (14%) or obstacles that arose from being challenged, dismissed, pigeonholed into certain types of content, or limiting norms or beliefs about gender.

Networking and mentorship (71%) and encouragement or examples/role models (43%) were mentioned by interviewees as ways to support women. Participants also indicated that increasing funding (46%) and helping directors improve skills (32%) were useful for female filmmakers. Several individuals mentioned ways that film schools (25%) could help women. Finally, creating awareness of the problem (18%), showcasing work (18%), and hiring women (11%) were indicated as opportunities for change.


LUNAFEST shorts feature girls and women on screen. Across 115 short films, a total of 63 percent of the 744 speaking or named characters evaluated were female and only 37 percent were male. A full 81 percent depicted a female lead/co lead driving the plot. These findings are in stark contrast to the 100 top films of 2014, where 28.1 percent of speaking or named characters were female and only 21 percent of leads or co leads featured a girl or woman.

LUNAFEST shorts showcase diversity of character race/ethnicity. Of the 715 characters that could be evaluated, 38% were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. A full 37 percent of the short films’ leads or co leads were from an underrepresented racial/ethnic group. This deviates from mainstream content, as 26.9 percent of characters and 17 percent of leads or co leads in the 100 top films of 2014 were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups.

LUNAFEST shorts showcase diversity of age. Across the 179 characters coded 40-64 years of age, 54 percent were female and 46 percent were male.  This is a marked deviation from the 100 top movies of 2014 where only 19.9 percent of all 40-64 year old characters on screen were female.

LUNAFEST shorts sexualize girls and women on screen. Females were far more likely to be depicted in sexualized or tight attire (23% vs. 6%) and with some nudity (22% vs. 10%) than were males. These trends are similar to those found in the 100 top-grossing movies of 2014.

Meet the newest sweet ‘n salty LUNA Protein
Meet the newest sweet ‘n salty LUNA Protein

Juggling work, family, friends, travel and workouts? We all know that life is full of busy schedules and tough decisions, but choosing between salty and sweet shouldn’t be one of them. Now, you can have the best of both worlds with our newest addition to the LUNA Protein line - Chocolate Salted Caramel! Satisfy your sweet tooth with decadent caramel filling and silky chocolate coating made with Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa; sprinkled with a dash of salt to fulfill your savory cravings.

Made with the perfect balance of salty and sweet, LUNA Protein Chocolate Salted Caramel makes for the perfect post-workout treat or energy boost for when you need a pick-me-up. You can feel good about the bar’s organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified, and sustainable ingredients and join us in our commitment for a healthier planet and well-being. Like all LUNA Protein bars, Chocolate Salted Caramel is gluten free, low glycemic and with 12 grams of protein, will help keep hunger at bay.

Sandy Almendarez of Team LUNA Chix Phoenix
Sandy Almendarez of Team LUNA Chix Phoenix

How long have you been a member of Team LUNA Chix?

This is my second season on the Phoenix Triathlon team. I have been on the team since April 2014.

What inspired you to join the team?

It was the encouragement I received from the LUNA Chix when I first entered the triathlon world that inspired me to join the team after I gained experience. I wanted to help women take their first steps, just like LUNA Chix helped me get started. I was inspired by the encouragement of like-minded women to do something that I didn’t think was possible.

I had been a runner for a few years when joined a LUNA bike in August 2012. Running injuries led me to try swimming and biking as cross training, but I didn’t think I’d ever actually DO a triathlon. I was the slowest person on the ride ride, but the LUNA team made me feel welcome. LUNA Chick Jill stayed with me the whole time, encouraging me because, she said, I could do more than I thought I could.

The next weekend, I showed up at LUNA’s open water swim clinic with then LUNA Pro Terra Castro at a nearby lake. We learned about wetsuits, drafting in the water and (gasp!) peeing on the bike. LUNA Chick Kim discussed googles with me and even offered to meet me for coffee because I was kinda, sorta thinking about doing a triathlon.

One more LUNA bike workout, and I was convinced. I was going to be a triathlete. I completed by first one in September, two months after my first LUNA workout, and I remember seeing LUNA Chick Laura before the race with a big smile, telling me “You’re going to love this.” She was right.

What's the value of the Team LUNA Chix program?

The program is invaluable.

The Pro team is filled of amazing athletes that have advanced sports for women of all levels. The LUNA pros are so accomplished (for instance this year, Katerina Nash won her first endure event at the Nor-Cal Enduro series and Catharine Pendrel won the Sea Otter Classic XC), yet they are so humble and willing to help the local teams by leading clinics in our cities and at Summit. They are amazing!

The sponsored athletes offer a great guide to the many of us who are balancing our race schedules with busy lives. As my life is about to get a lot busier (with a baby due June 11) , I can look to Andrea Fisher as an example of a woman who has young children, yet still finds time to excel at triathlons.

And of course the local teams have provided the most value to me. The local Phoenix team has created an atmosphere of encouragement that has led to the strongest bond among friends. I’ve watched women accomplish so much by being connected to LUNA from their first open water swim to their Ironman distance PR, and I’ve met some pretty heft goals myself, including two 70.3 distance races and competing in a triathlon while I was eight months pregnant.

What's been the most memorable event/race during your time with TLC?

My most memorable race was in May 2015, when I raced with my LUNA kit at eight months pregnant. It was at Esprit de She, a female-only triathlon in Tempe, AZ, that our team used as a focal point for the season. We held clinics in advance that specifically targeted the Esprit de She course to encourage women to participate.

I was happy to only volunteer at the event, which was the original plan, but the Friday before I got the opportunity to get a race entry. I discussed with the LUNA team, and they encouraged me to go for it. I wasn’t sure I could do it, even the short super sprint distance, but I had the fire inside me to try. Plus, since I did the shortest distance, I was still able to volunteer for the women who competed in the longer races.

Yes, I was slow; yes, I didn’t quite fit in my kit; and yes, the eight miles on the bike felt like 60; but I did it! It was so great to get the encouragement from spectators as they would say “Go LUNA mama!” and “You are amazing.”

It was the most memorable because it embodies what being on the LUNA team means: taking the leap into something you want that’s hard. I did it knowing I had the support and love of like-minded women. People outside of this world may think I’m crazy, but the LUNA Chix and their supporters get me; that is something I won’t forget.

What female (or male) pro athlete do you look up to and why?

I want to answer every LUNA pro athlete! I want to handle a bike like Andrea Waldis, jump from triathlons to cyclocross like Hannah Rae Finchamp, and get an Olympic medal like Georgia Gould.

But the athlete that I most look up to is LUNA sponsored athlete Terra Castro. She led an open water swim clinic for the Phoenix Triathlon Team in 2012 that I attended before I competed in a triathlon. Watching her ease in the water and her run form were amazing, and she was so kind to give us tips on improving in these areas of triathlon. I saw her, and I thought, “If that’s a triathlete, that’s what I’m want to be.”

A year later, Terra came back to lead a transition clinic for the team. By this time had a few races under my belt, but was not on the LUNA team yet. She showed us how to lay out our items and how to put cycling shoes on while riding so we could leave them clipped on the bike.

I still use the tips she gave us about swimming, running and transitions, but the best lesson she taught was to keep it fun. She said racing should be fun, and if it isn’t, we need to change something to make it that way. That’s something I remind myself when the training gets discouraging.

I’ve followed Terra on social media after her retirement from the LUNA pro team and her move to Detroit where she coaches at a gym and continues to push people to accomplish their goals. Plus, I am in love with her new dog Luna; Terra, please post more pics of her!

What does "be bold" or "stepping out of your comfort zone" mean to you and how have you lived out either of these mantras in your own life?

Real life happens outside of the comfort zone. It’s a risk, and it’s scary to know that failure is just over that cliff, but expanding beyond want you know can do is what give us memories. Happiness comes from growth, and that can only be achieved by leaving the security of sameness.

Triathlons are a great way for me to step out of my comfort zone, always with a mind to conquer new distances, challenges and races. My first sprint was so remarkable, but then so was the first Olympic. In 2014, I completed my first 70.3 in a race I was warned against; it was a difficult course and poorly run. After that, I knew I could do anything. My second 70.3 triathlon came a week after I found out I was pregnant.

This pregnancy has spurred many uncomfortable thoughts. I am happy and excited for my son to come within the next two weeks, but it’s not comfortable to think about how he will change everything. Can I still be a triathlete? Will I be able to meet my work and personal commitments with a baby? Can I even be a mom?

I’m sure the answers will be yes; in fact, they have to be yeses for me to keep sane.

But just to ensure I continue to step out of my comfort zone, I have signed up for my third 70.3 triathlon less than five months after I give birth. Thankfully, I will have the support of most of the Phoenix LUNA Triathlon team and other amazing tri women who have also signed up for Ironman Austin 70.3 on Nov. 8.

Can I train for this race with a new born? It won’t be comfortable, but it will give me memories and make me happy.

What LUNA flavor coincides with your personality and why?

My favorite LUNA bar: Honey Salted Peanut. Like me, its diversity combines to create a sweet, strong package that’s (mostly) organic. Also like me, it encourages women to get through difficult training days.

Julia Lewis of Team LUNA Chix Phoenix
Julia Lewis of Team LUNA Chix Phoenix

In Julia's words: This isn’t all about triathlon, although it may seem so. This is about an overweight little girl who was often made fun of for her weight, who believed she wouldn’t make sports or dance teams, so she didn’t try out, and she was never asked out on dates and therefore believed she wasn’t pretty. She believed she would always be heavy and always spoke negatively to herself. This is now a girl who is beginning to believe in herself and understanding that this is about the journey, not just crossing the finish line. I still catch myself talking down to myself or disregarding my dreams. Then in the quiet moments, I remember that I’m pretty badass. That I’ve accomplished a lot. And for that, I am proud. I am practicing speaking highly of myself. More often than not, that is harder than training for the actual race. Then in the quiet moments during a race, when I only have my thoughts to listen to, the feelings of accomplishment surface. I remember what it feels like to be scared, to believe that I could never be great, or live my goals. I know what it’s like to work hard, really hard, feel the pain, and overcome the obstacles. Overcoming the obstacles are what got me where I am now. All of these thoughts rush through my body, as if I’m reliving them in 1,000x speed. And then I cross the finish line and the tears come. I did it. This is really what it’s about.


How long have you been a member of Team LUNA Chix? This is my first year.

What inspired you to join the Chix? I had just finished my first triathlon and was still riding the high when I learned about Team LUNA Chix. I was drawn to the idea of an organization of women supporting each other in being healthy and training for triathlons. Prior to joining the team, I had lost 70 pounds and was supported by incredible women along the way. I chose the phrase “Why Not?” to be my motto for 2015, so when the opportunity to apply for Team LUNA Chix presented itself, I said, “Why Not?”

What's the value of the program? The Team LUNA Chix program provides support, community, and friendship to all ages and abilities of women. TLC has pushed me beyond what I ever thought was possible.

What's been the most memorable event/race during your time with the team? Esprit de She in May 2015. It was my 1st Olympic distance, 2nd triathlon ever, and 1st race as a LUNA Chix. I had the best race! Everything went smoothly and I was on a high the entire race. I always get emotional at races but I was extra emotional at this race. I kept thinking, "I'm doing a triathlon! And I'm on a team!" The overweight girl that sometimes is still in my head was crying. I worked hard, I broke through the barriers, and I took control of my life! I feel so grateful to be on Team LUNA Chix, partly because I can support other women like I have been supported.

What pro athlete do you look up to and why? Katerina Nash. She’s an incredible athlete and a beautiful person. She rode the hills with me at LUNA Chix Summit when I was struggling. I didn’t know she was a pro athlete until the end of the ride and felt honored that she stayed back with me.

What does "be bold" or "stepping out of your comfort zone" mean to you and how have you lived out either of these mantras in your own life? Applying for a triathlon team is being bold and forced me to step out of my comfort zone! I felt inadequate and scared. But my motto “why not?” pushed me forward and I am forever grateful. Shortly after being accepted onto the LUNA Chix team, I signed up for my first IM 70.3. I never even dreamed of doing an ironman, talk about stepping out of my comfort zone! I know I can do it, especially with the support of Team LUNA Chix!

What LUNA flavor coincides with your personality and why? Chocolate salted caramel. Because I am sweet and savory. 

Learn more about the Phoenix Triathlon Team LUNA Chix!

Her Story: Kelly Lam of The Whole Purpose
Her Story: Kelly Lam of The Whole Purpose

Kelly Lam is the founder of The Whole Purpose, a company that designs custom wellness programs for individuals and corporations based on mindful wellness and purposeful communication. Kelly is an experienced consultant and teacher of nutrition, with extensive knowledge in the wellness and nutrition sector and over 15 years experience in yoga as student and certified instructor. She is also the co-founder of Mindful Her, a unique women's wellness conference and lifestyle events and the co-host of TuneIn Radio’s “Healthy Happy Hour,” a weekly podcast featuring celebrities and corporate leaders who discuss their secrets to healthy lifestyles.

What was your initial inspiration for creating The Whole Purpose?  

I worked in commercial real estate for years as the director of marketing and business development for an architectural design company. Working in a fast-paced, demanding field, I quickly lost my sense of being and focused solely on work.  In the midst of climbing the corporate ladder, I not only gained weight but also became very unhealthy. I began to notice that the people around me were suffering from the same issues and decided there had to be another way of life.  Practicing yoga and holistic health practices began to turn my own personal health around. I realized that I could help others do the same and wanted to focus on those in corporate America, which ultimately birthed my business plan to create The Whole Purpose.

How do you define "mindful wellness"?  

Mindful Wellness is your own personal approach to finding true wellness that works best for you. Being aware of your journey to becoming well, both mentally and physically, and honoring what is best for your mind and body.  One approach to wellness may not work for everyone, being mindful in your approach and honoring yourself through your journey is key.

In your corporate work, what do you believe are the most important tenets of having a happy and healthy workplace?  

It is important that employers honor their employees and recognize that everyone has a life outside of the office.  If an employer can help their staff to be happy and healthy at work it will then transfer over to their home life. Giving employees extra benefits that not only help them personally grow but can help increase their health. Studies have shown that this in effect helps business, as happy and healthy employees are more productive. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

What is the importance of rest and relaxation?  

We all know that we need rest for our body to physically function, and our brains need to rest too.  I like to use the example of a car: we take the time to maintain our cars so they function properly, and we need to the same for our body.  Taking time to rest and rejuvenate is the best way to maintain a healthy mind and body.

What are some wellness apps or daily rituals/practices that you find have been most helpful for your clients?

Malika Chopra has a simple yet lovely app called “Intent.” I recommend it to clients so that they can post their intent for the day and see what others are working on, too.  The key to being healthy starts with working from the inside out and beginning your day with an intention is a perfect start!  

A daily ritual for health that I recommend to each and every client is to start their morning off with a cup of hot water and lemon. It’s detoxifying, gets the metabolism moving, and is alkalizing for the body. 

If you could have lunch with any female figure, past or present, who would it be?  

Mother Theresa

As a female entrepreneur, what's the most important piece of advice you can impart to other women who want to build their dream businesses?  

Do good. If you build a business with the intention of doing good and helping others then good things will happen.  

What LUNA flavor coincides with your personality & why?  

Honey salted peanut, I am a mix of sweet and salty!

Behind the bar: Meet Product Developer Maja Toft
Behind the bar: Meet Product Developer Maja Toft

Why don't you start with introducing yourself and talking about your role with LUNA?

My name is Maja Toft and I'm a Product Development Manager here at Clif Bar. I joined the company a year ago and I've been primarily working on the LUNA brand. I've been working on developing some new flavor concepts, basically from the ground up. I have also been working on tweaking the existing LUNA flavors so they have what we feel is a better nutritional profile. I have a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and a Bachelor's degree in Food Science and Engineering, so I have a nutrition background combined with food science.

I've always had a passion for product development. I like to cook and bake at home. It's kind of my passion, exploring new flavors. So, product development is really interesting to me. It doesn't always feel like work. It feels more like play time, like exploring. It's a fun job. Part of my role is to come up with new flavor concepts. At Clif Bar, there's a big team that works on product development. Basically, we have a team that's called Craft Quality and Innovation and it is divided into three groups. The first group works primarily on product development - basically, new products. The second group focuses on quality and they make sure that our products are always delivering the same quality so that the consumer can have the same eating experience every time they eat a bar. The third group ensures that our ingredients are always living up to the quality that we expect.

There's so many LUNA Bar flavors, obviously. Do you have a favorite one?

I do and I actually ate one today. It's the Chocolate Dipped Coconut. I love the toasted coconut layer on top. It's just really, really yummy. It's like a treat.

How do you decide which flavors to create?

It starts with a dialogue between Research and Development and the brand team. The last time we had to come up with some new flavors we had a kick-off meeting where we came up with some ideas. Then, we all went home and worked on our lists. Then, we met again and shared ideas and came up with a general presentation and we showed those ideas to the brand team. Sometimes products are launched that came from a concept we created in the kitchen. We have what we call "play time," where we just explore and make products that we feel could be innovative and delicious. We may show it to people and maybe they think it's just the most fantastic idea and decide that we want to launch it. Other times, the brand team does a traditional market research study, where they find out what's trending and what the consumers are interested in right now. Then, they may find that we need to develop a product with a particular flavor or nutritional profile and we will develop it to their wishes. So, it really goes both ways.

You talked a little bit about being a foodie and liking cooking. Does any of that - your, sort of, outside interest and passion - come into that play time in the kitchen?

Absolutely. As a product developer, it's sometimes hard to distinguish what's really work and what's just your interest and your hobbies. On a Sunday afternoon, I often just go in the kitchen and start making fun new recipes. That may be how I generate ideas and new concepts.

Have you always been involved in cooking? Is that a big part of your family?

I grew up on a small family farm. When I was small, we had cows and pigs and we grew our own crops. We grew all our own vegetables and fruits and berries, etc. I was involved in the picking and the chopping and the pickling and making jams and baking all the breads, etc. So, I've always been involved in that whole process. I guess I kind of grew up with it.

Very cool. How long is the process from idea to packaging?

I would say, typically six to twelve months. When it goes really fast, it can be three to four months. That's quick.  In the ideal world, you would want to have at least twelve months, but sometimes we're so excited about a product that we want to launch it quickly.

Is there one particular flavor or product where that was the case? Where you guys were very excited as a team and made it happen at an accelerated pace?

Yes. The last year, we've been working on a project that involves all the LUNA flavors. That has been on an expedited timeline. We took a lot of risks along the way and had some back-up plans in case it didn't work, but everything is looking good so far. We're on track but it's been quite a ride along the way. Everybody really had to give everything, and they did. It's been an amazing team work. We can't wait to share it with LUNA fans in the near future.

Why is including organic ingredients so important to LUNA and Clif Bar and Company?

Well, there are a lot of requirements for organic ingredients. I don't think all the requirements are really known to the general public. First of all, organic ingredients contain no genetically-modified ingredients. It's a requirement. Organic ingredients can't be radiated and organic crops cannot be grown with sewage sludge. So, that's three very important requirements. Then, I think organic is also important for Clif Bar as it relates to our five aspirations, two of them being people and planet. Organic crops are grown without artificial herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides. So, there's no run-off into our water streams. There's no residue left in the soil. The animals that may live in the field or in the surrounding area are not exposed to pesticides, etc. Then, of course, the people that grow the crops. They're not exposed either. The people that eat our products- they get clean food, so it's really a win-win.

You talked a little about this, but let's get specific. Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from a lot of places. I mentioned before that I like to cook so I do have a big pile of cookbooks at home that I get inspiration from. Then, I also have subscriptions to a few magazines, so there's something coming in the mail every month that shows what's new and trendy.

What magazines?

I get Vegetarian Times and Bon Appetit. So Vegetarian Times is maybe a little bit more out there and Bon Appetit is more about fine dining. It gives me two different views.

Do you have a favorite cook book?

I like Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s book The Joy of Vegan Baking.  I enjoy that. It's more of a baking book than a cook book. That's probably my favorite book. It's full of little Post-It notes and scribbles.

So, you may be jumping into this but you are there cooking shows that you like or cooking blogs?

I don't watch cooking on TV. I know some people really enjoy that. It's not my thing. I don't really read blogs either but I do use Pinterest a lot. Then, if we have an idea that we want to make in the kitchen, you can search for those ideas. You can find some creative flavor combinations.

What food trends are hot and interesting right now in this category?

I think in general, the plant-based diet approach is really up-and-coming. It's been out on the periphery for years. It's not been fully mainstream. You can find the plant-based protein sources in the grocery stores butthey are on a special shelf. I can see it moving more mainstream over the next five to ten years. Then the other one I see coming is global inspiration. A movie that inspired me was The Hundred-Foot Journey. Global inspiration is about using traditional ingredients in your food in a non-traditional way. Then, also, maybe more Asian-inspired food. I see matcha becoming more mainstream. I do also see a merge of savory and sweet. Like putting basil in a peach pie, for instance. Who would have thought about that ten years ago and now you see it here and there. 

So, the global inspiration piece is really interesting. So, how do you stay connected or on top of that?

When there's a food-focused movie coming out, I go see it. Then, we are also working with a trend company that gives us the headline news in a weekly newsletter.

How do you feel when you see somebody, like at a store or somewhere, eating a LUNA bar that you know you crafted?

I haven't had that experience yet since I've only been here a year. So, I haven't launched any LUNA products yet but from past experiences I know that it's almost a humbling experience to see your products on the shelf. You kind of put your soul into it a little bit. Actually, not a little bit. A lot. So, you're always hoping you have done everything possible to make it perfect and that nothing goes wrong. You really just hope it's perfect.

The Nutritionist Is In
The Nutritionist Is In

Tara Dellolacono Thies is LUNA's in-house registered dietition and leads nutrition strategy for Clif Bar & Co. In this audiocast, she discusses why LUNA is designed with women's nutritional needs in mind. Tara also shares her top five mantras for developing your own personal nutrition philosophy. 

Karen Hinkle of Team LUNA Chix Salt Lake City
Karen Hinkle of Team LUNA Chix Salt Lake City

How long have you been a member of Team LUNA Chix? This is the first year for the Salt Lake City Run Team so it's my first year too!

What inspired you to join the team? A friend told me about the team being established. I researched the cause and felt that this would be a great team to be part of - the ability to be part of something that was bigger than myself!

What's the value of the LUNA Chix program? Invaluable - this gives me the chance to get to know other women who share my values and push me to be a better me!

What's been the most memorable event/race during your time with the team? Race for Grief - great race for a great cause and I was able to take first in overall women! 

What pro athlete do you look up to and why?  Tara Summers - while she may not be considered a "pro" - she is a pro in my eyes.  She is a very good friend and talented runner that has pushed me beyond what I ever thought I could do!  She continues to support me in many ways!

What does "be bold" or "stepping out of your comfort zone" mean to you and how have you lived out either of these mantras in your own life? My entire life I have actually been pretty shy - being a part of TLC has given me the opportunity in many ways to do exactly that - "be bold" and "step out of my comfort zone".  As a team member I have been able to talk to many others about joining the team for our weekly team runs.  I have also been able to talk with fellow runners at different runs about the gear that I am wearing and the cause I am supporting.  Lastly, as I continue to push myself to be better and faster, I am stepping out of my comfort zone as I have set a goal to qualify and run in the Boston Marathon.

What LUNA flavor coincides with your personality and why?  White Chocolate Macadamia - I have always been told I am a sweet person, but I can be a bit nutty at times!

Join our Salt Lake City Run Team LUNA Chix on their next run! 

Meet Mel and Tori of Fellow Flowers
Meet Mel and Tori of Fellow Flowers

Since starting Fellow Flowers in 2012, over 25,000 women from across the country and world have joined Mel and Tori's movement. Their mission, from the beginning, was to create a space where women could honor, share and celebrate the reasons why they put one foot in front of the other, in running and in life. Their flower – a simple yet unmistakable symbol of connection – is becoming a familiar addition to races all over the country, worn by women who believe there is more to running than just our miles.

What is Fellow Flowers' mission?

Fellow Flowers is a women’s running movement that honors, shares and celebrates the reasons why women run, because we believe that every woman has a story and every woman runs with a purpose. We offer running flowers, apparel and products to inspire women who are putting one foot in front of the other, whether that’s in running or in life. We have built an amazing community for women to share their stories, build friendships and collectively, realize their true greatness and self worth.

Where do you see the movement growing in the next 5-10 years?

Over the next few years, our goal is to create and produce meaningful and memorable one-of-a-kind experiences for our growing community of women. These opportunities will range from small group coaching to virtual programming to girls getaway weekends in amazing locations throughout the country. Our vision for this is coming true with the launch of Rock Retreat Run, taking place in Scottsdale, AZ, November 5-8, 2015. Think running meets retreat meets girls getaway weekend. We’ll have three amazing days with women to learn, explore, run and create fearless connection with other women who get them. Our events are always all inclusive and open to any woman who feels like she’s either ready for her next adventure or is looking for something more. Our mission is to fill a void in the women’s running community, particularly for women who are hesitant to call themselves “runners” and we’re determined to do just that by embracing every woman into our community.

Tell us more about how running has transformed your community:

Friendship + Running = Transformation.

We are a women’s running community and movement that believes it is not just about the miles, but more so about the moments of transformation that running gives each and every one of us. We believe that every woman – no matter if she’s running her first 5K or if she’s been a runner for years – has a story. And we are on a mission to create the space where those stories can be shared.

We feel that our upcoming Fiercely United Virtual Run on August 29, 2015 is a perfect way to celebrate both friendship and running combined. Whether women live miles apart or can run together side by side, our goal is to have as many women running with flowers in their hair, all across the country and world on that day. We always say that when you run with a flower, you never run alone and this race epitomizes that philosophy.

What is your most memorable race-to-date and why?

Tori: I’d have to say it was the 2011 Cellcom Half Marathon. The race where a group of our friends all wore orange gerber daisies in our hair for the first time. I didn’t run those 13.1 miles next to anyone, but I had so many reasons, purposes and stories within me that I was celebrating along the way. The flower just so happened to be the perfect way to connect all 14 of us. I remember coming around the last corner in the finish shoot and crying tears of joy for the opportunity to be there with all of those women. And from that day Fellow Flowers was eventually born.

Mel: My Declare It Day goal for 2014 was to run a half marathon in under 1:55. During the months leading up to my race, I trained harder than I ever had and really committed myself mentally, as well as physically. I came across the finish line at 1:48 in complete disbelief that I had crushed my goal by that much. I was extremely proud, and my husband and girls were there cheering me on, making it all the more sweet.

If you could run alongside any female past or present, who would it be and why?

We have the honor of running alongside hundreds of women throughout this country and we consider it a privilege to be part of their story and part of their lives. Our passion is fueled by real and honest women who are out there setting goals, defying odds, overcoming challenges and serving as extraordinary examples of what we’re capable of when we just try…and go for it.

And honestly, knowing so many phenomenally unique women, each motivated by her own personal reasons, it’s impossible to choose just one. We like to think we can run with them all, in stride or in spirit. The power of Fellow Flowers is in the fiercely united spirit of our community. Why run alone when you can run united with thousands.

What does "Be Bold" and "stepping out of your comfort zone" mean to you?

Tori: To me, “Be Bold” means showing up. Putting yourself out there despite fear, uncertainty, risks or questions. Stepping out of my comfort zone means that I feel the fear and do it anyway.

Mel: To me, the essence of ‘be bold’ is unapologetically being your authentic self and giving yourself permission to step into your power, beauty and dreams. Being bold takes courage and it takes believing in yourself. It will also mean ruffling a few feathers along the way. When you’re bold in who you are, not everyone is going to agree with your perspective. The key is realizing that as long as you are living a life fully aligned with your values, they don’t need to.

What LUNA flavor coincides with your personality & why?

Tori: Lemon Vanilla. For starters, this is my favorite Luna bar due to the flavor combo because it’s the perfect blend of tart and sweet. Lemon always makes me think of sunshine and fun, which definitely fits my personality. Yellow just so happens to be my favorite flower to run with as well.

Mel: Chocolate Dipped Coconut for sure! I love the simplicity of combining two of my favorites - coconut and chocolate - and the taste is perfection. The only hard part is trying to hide them from my husband and kids because they love this flavor too!

Meet Sara Mearns: Ballet Dancer Extraordinaire
Meet Sara Mearns: Ballet Dancer Extraordinaire

Sara Mearns, a principal with New York City Ballet, began her training in Columbia, South Carolina. Mearns entered the School of American Ballet full time in 2001 and became an apprentice with New York City Ballet in 2003. The following year, she joined the company as a corps de ballet member, becoming soloist in 2006, then reaching principal in 2008. Mearns is known for her roles in Swan Lake; Balanchine’s Symphony in C, Diamonds, Serenade, Walpurgisnacht, Mozartiana, Chaconne, Concerto Barroco; Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering, The Four Seasons, and In G Major. She has worked with and originated roles in pieces by world renown choreographers such as Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Peter Martins, Justin Peck, Karole Armitage, Benjamin Millipied, Liam Scarlett, Richard Tanner, Susan Stroman, and Emmy Award winning choreographer Joshua Bergasse. She has commissioned works for the Fall for Dance Festivals at New York City Center in 2013 and 2014. She also starred in a full night production, “A Dancers Dream”, at the New York Philharmonic. She is a board member of the Dizzy Feet Foundation founded by Nigel Lythgoe and Adam Shankman and on the advisory board of Dance NYC. Mearns was featured in the Aol Series, “City.Ballet”, produced by Sarah Jessica Parker, and is also in partnership with Cole Haan designing a new line of ballet flats as well as being an brand ambassador for the world beauty/fragrance brand, Guerlain. She recently guest starred in the Tony nominated Broadway revival, On The Town. Sara also just worked on a video project to promote a new laptop product for Hewlett Packard.

When did you start dancing? 

I started dancing when I was three when I my mom put me in. What else do you do with an active 3 year old girl?

You are a role model to many women and girls. What message would you want to share with other females who are pursuing their passion?

Chosing to be a ballerina as a profession, is possibly one of the hardest things to do. It is not guaranteed, your entire career relies on your body, and the pay will never be enough for the time you put into it from the age of three. BUT if you love it 150% and you put your entire life into it 150%, it will be paid back to you. Having a passion in life is one of the best gifts life can give you, not everyone can say that. Not everyone can say “I cant live without…”, cherish it, take care of it, and respect it as if it could be gone tomorrow when you wake up.

Do you follow any specific rituals to help center yourself before a performance?

I have developed a reputation of a artist/dancer who performs as if she is a wild animal or has been taken to another realm. So, I guess I would have to say that I don’t really center myself before I go out onstage. The beauty about our profession is that we are artists, meaning we are always changing and will never look the same or feel the same while performing our craft. Every night I go on stage, I am something different. I have what happened to me that day or what I'm feeling affect me in the show. It's what fuels me, and keeps the performance completely unexpected. I obviously have calm moments to myself before the performance, to focus and concentrate, but I never consider it being centered. I am a very emotional hopelessly romantic person, and that lives in me on stage. So, to answer that question, I guess I don't know how to do that!

You are incredibly active, and always on the move (literally!) How do you keep yourself nourished throughout the day?

I dont like to eat big meals thru out the day. I have a huge array of snacks and liquids that get me thru the rehearsal day such as greek yogurt, cashews, granola, bananas, occasionally a LUNA Bar, and lots of vitamin water, a coke zero, smart water, and orange juice. I will have some pasta before the show to give me instant carbs for energy. i have my big meal at night after the show which will fuel me for the next day. I always have protein like sushi, red meat, or chicken, with lots of veggies and some pasta. I never like feeling weighed down or full before a show.

When you are able to find the time, what is your ideal way to unwind and relax?

Relaxing at home on the roof with my two adorable puppies and my love, josh bergasse. we both have insane schedules, so we find those small precious moments to have together and those of the best. We usually like to watch our tv series like downton abbey, walking dead, game of thrones, or homeland. We also love walking the dogs to the pier and being by the water. we are huge ocean people, so it calms us both to be there.

Do you have a dance career highlight you could share with us? A goal you are working towards?

To name a few, Swan Lake on February 14, 2011 with Jared Angle. Nothing will top that performance in my career, we were on the entire 2.5 hours. The sound of the audience will be something I will never hear again. Just recently, a performance of Rodeo in Saratoga Springs, choreographed by Justin Peck, the magic of that night will never be matched. The late Albert Evans, my coach, was dancing and swirling among us. My debut in Mozartiana and Chaconne last fall with NYCB, ballets I never thought I would get the chance to do, ballets that change my life every day I get to perform them. My goal every day is to be the best artist I can be, and to move forward and not to regret. This career is ever changing and exciting and I dont want to miss a minute of it.

If you could dance with any female, past or present, who would it be and why?

I feel like I am the luckiest girl in the world because I have performed and premiered along side Wendy Whelan. She is the definition of ballerina and ever changing, ever involving artist. She is it for me. Also my collaegue, Megan Fairchild. I aspire to be her every day in class and on stage.

How do you stay inspired?

Staying inspired has never been hard for me. I am always inspired by the ballets I am working on, the artists I am workingwith, and my top inspiration is the music I am dancing to, I am very lucky in that I get to perform to live music 95% of the time, and it doesn't get better then that. I am a huge classical music fan, so it always sweeps me off my feet and takes me to another otherwordly place.

What do the phrases, “Be Bold” and “Step Out of Your Comfort Zone” mean to you?

To be bold is stepping out on stage every night for me. Stepping out of my comfort zone is trying something that has nothing to do with dance. Dance is my home, my peaceful place, where I find harmony and the beauty in life. Everything else is scary to me and a step out of my comfort zone.

What LUNA flavor most reflects your personality?

I LOVE the protein bars, especially the Chocolate Cherry Almond! 

Carrie Atwood of Team LUNA Chix Seattle
Carrie Atwood of Team LUNA Chix Seattle

In 2012 our Team LUNA Chix season was just starting. It was my 6th season with the local team and my first season as co-leader. We had just returned from a fabulously fun time at LUNA summit, I was three weeks away from racing in the ITI Cross World Championships and I went for a bike ride with a member of the Team LUNA Chix Seattle Cycling team.  It was on that ride that I noticed something wasn't quite right. The following week consisted of a first place finish in a mountain bike race, my 38th birthday and the loss of vision in my left eye.  I also found out I had a brain tumor and I was going to have brain surgery.  


The same day I found out, the team had already planned to meet for photos for the website. I confided in two teammates that day, and I told the rest of the team shortly there after. The love and support I received from my LUNA teammates, the LUNA participants and LUNA corporate was amazing. The LUNA Chix swooped in and took care of me and my family. The teammates took over the leadership duties, they provided weeks and weeks worth of meals, they comforted me in the scary days before surgery and they made me laugh and heal in the days after. The doctor even gave them permission to help me hobble around while still in the hospital - a task given to only the most trusted and capable individuals. I had never felt what it was like to be part of a community.  Sure I knew what it meant, and I lived in one, but it wasn't until I was in this place of need, did I truly understand what it meant. The LUNA Chix are community.  

Two weeks after surgery, my husband took me to the gym and I peddled on a recumbent bike for 20 minutes and then slept for 3 hours! Recovery was hard, but the 6 weeks of daily radiation treatments were exhausting.  My family, friends and the LUNA girls helped me through it all. They were there for all of my first post surgery races including a half marathon PR (personal record) the following summer! I'm not as competitive these days but I still take my role with the LUNA Chix as seriously as I did that first season over 8 years ago and I try to give to them as much as they have given to me!

Read more of Carrie's story at

Meet Designer Shelby Olson
Meet Designer Shelby Olson

In honor of National Packaging Design Day on May 7th, we're so excited to introduce you to Shelby Olson, LUNA Bar's own incredible designer!

How long have you been a designer for LUNA? 7 awesome years

What was it like seeing packaging you designed on shelf for the first time? Really fun!! I love being in different parts of the country and suddenly coming upon a LUNA Bar in random places. Like little Easter eggs reminding me of my work.

Where do you get inspiration for packaging design from? A lot comes from traveling, seeing new places and products with fresh eyes. Wandering the gourmet chocolate aisles in stores. The colors and beauty in nature. Oh, and really good coffee.

What packaging project are you most proud of? That’s hard to say. I’ve gotten the opportunity to work on several amazing brands at Clif Bar. I definitely have a special place in my heart for LUNA though.

How long does it take for packaging ideas to go from concept to shelf? It can take a few months or up to a year depending on the amount of change a package design goes through. 

What LUNA flavor coincides with your personality and why? I’d have to say Chocolate Dipped Coconut. I’m a huge fan of anything coconut (reminds me of being somewhere tropical) and I love the teal, ocean blue color. All in all, a very happy flavor.

Meet Georgia Gould: LUNA Pro Team Member, Chef & Olympic Medalist
Meet Georgia Gould: LUNA Pro Team Member, Chef & Olympic Medalist

After exploding onto the mountain bike scene in 2006 with a win at the U.S. National Mountain Bike Championship, Georgia has steam-rolled the domestic competition ever since.  Georgia grew up in Baltimore, attended boarding school at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Montana. “My teammates teach me a lot and are always willing to share their insights and knowledge. I am proud to be on the LUNA Team for 2015.”

Other interesting facts about Georgia:
•  Can play the banjo…well

•  Spent a year in Ghana, West Africa, studying for her BA in Psychology, and is the 2001 Ghana University cross country running champion

• Holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Montana, but still looks up pre-race game mind strategies on Wikipedia

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself; where you live, where you grew up and what you do for fun?

Georgia: I grew up back east. I’m from Baltimore, Maryland. I currently live in Fort Collins, Colorado. I've been out west for probably about ten years. I'm a professional cyclist. I do lots of other stuff, but a lot of my time is spent doing that.

Q: What would people be surprised to know about you?

Georgia: I play online Scrabble. Dork. I don't know. Maybe they wouldn't be surprised, maybe they already know.

Q: Explain how long you've been competing in your sport, and who or whatinspired you to get started.

Georgia: I've been racing bikes since about 2000. I've been professional since 2004 and on the team since 2006, so I've been doing it a long time. I started racing as just a challenge to myself, I really like pushing myself and seeing what I can do, so yeah, the challenge of it.

Q: What was the moment that you knew racing was what you were meant to be doing?

Georgia: For me, I don't see racing as the only thing I could be doing now, it's just something that I'm good at that came in the right time in my life. Probably the first race I did, because after that ... Here I am.

Q: What does bravery mean to you?

Georgia: I think bravery is something when you put yourself out, maybe in public, maybe even not, but when there's the possibility of failure, and you do something anyway knowing that can happen but not caring enough to not do it.

Q: Can you think of an example of a time when you felt the fear and did it anyway, or pushed yourself out of your comfort zone?

Georgia: Pretty much every World Cup race that I ever do. Sometimes we see really scary features in the World Cup races, whether it's a jump, or there's a trail where there's jagged rocks on the sides, and I've definitely struggled with fear of crashing and hurting myself. The satisfaction I get when I race the race and don't end up breaking myself, that's just a great feeling to have overcome that.

Q: Obviously, choosing to pursue your passion in the way that you have, and obviously you've been really successful in it, it takes a certain amount of listening to your own intuition. Is there an example of a time where you listened to your inner-voice when the rest of the world or the people around you were saying something else?

Georgia: For me, a lot of times it's listening to one inner-voice over the other sometimes, or my inner-voice versus my interpretation of what everyone else is saying or doing. I, over the years, have gotten better at tuning out that outside stuff. You don't get to this elite level of any kind of competition without being able to push yourself, but what I think a lot of people struggle is taking it easy, and knowing when to focus on recovery. Especially when things aren't going well, it's easy to say, "I need to push harder, I need to train more, I need to dig deeper," instead of saying, "Actually, maybe what I need is to take a step back to let my body recover." I've gotten better over the years at not just always pushing through and pushing through but knowing when to say, "Today, I'm not recovered, I'm not going to get quality," and knowing when to turn around and go home instead of just pushing through. It's hard because even knowing the benefit that that can have, I still have that voice that's like, "No, you should probably just train harder, you should just go faster." For me, I struggle with that all the time, and I'm getting better, slowly, slowly.

Q: When you're on the trail, you obviously have to get into a certain mental space. Can you tell me about how you prepare yourself?

Georgia: That's a really good question, there is definitely an ideal mental space that you can have in competition. I wish I could tell you that "I always get there, and there are three steps, and it was so easy", but in reality it's something that I think a lot of us struggle with trying to find that perfect flow where everything's lining up, and more often than not you're kind of… (panicking sounds), and so I think a lot of times it's how to still be consistent, and still have a good race, even when you're mind isn't cooperating. Being able to manage, and something happens; you crash in your warm-up thirty minutes before the race. Do you let that ruin the race, and can you reset and try to tune that out? For me, it's trying to be consistent even when you can't find that ideal flow.

Q: What is the hardest, or most worthy challenge that you're facing right now athletically? Is there something that you're really working on or trying to overcome right now that's super challenging but totally worth it?

Georgia: Yeah, I think right now for me, I've had a couple off-seasons where I haven't had my best results, and I really had to evaluate why I'm racing, what keeps me motivated, and why I do what I do because when the results aren't there, it's like disappointment after disappointment. It's like, what is it? Why do I still do this, then? What makes me still care about it? People think pros have it all figured out, we don't. For me, the last couple years have been a lot about discovering why I'm doing what I'm doing even when the times are hard at the races. For me, it's really remembering that I love riding my bike, and remembering that when I'm training, and remembering that when I'm racing also.

Q: What does it mean to you when you hear people say, "Everyone benefits when a woman pursues her own unique adventure?"

Georgia: I think that, to me, that means that we all benefit when people are discovering new things about themselves or other people, or have an idea that they're pursuing, because each person is so different, and we all obviously have a lot of similarities, but also just different ideas and in order for us all to benefit, we have to know what your ideas are, and what my ideas are, and share and collaborate and if people are keeping that to themselves then we're all the worse for it. Unless they're bad ideas, in that case, keep it to yourself. I don't want to know.

Q: There a lot of opportunities for women in particular in your sport. Tell me about what opportunities exist for women to get to your level in this sport.

Georgia: When I first started racing, there weren't very many organized opportunities for especially young women and girls to get into the sport, and now there's the NICA mountain bike leagues, and that's been a hugely positive thing for the sport. Not just for getting more women and more kids on bikes, and then also being able to ... Just that is great. Whether you're competing or not, just experiencing the outdoors in that way and starting healthful habits at an early age, but also being able to identify early talent in the next generation of world champions and Olympic champions, which wasn't really around when I was in high school and college. All of the sports were sort of more teen sports and I think the individual sports appealed to me more, and I wish there was a mountain bike league when I was growing up, but then as a woman entering the sport, the LUNA team in a way was pretty much the only all women's mountain bike team out there at all. Then, to have the level of support on the same part as what the men in this sport were getting was pretty unheard of. I think it showed with the results of the women came onto the team, that that system really worked, and the team has been able to develop so many stars coming from nowhere, and giving them that support. I think you see it with no one really leaves. I mean, you have people that have been on the team for ten years, and even beyond once they retire from racing, still be involved with the team. It's been such an honor to be able to be a part of it and be developed by the team and to feel like it's not just a race team. There's more going on there. When I see what other race teams are doing ... It's just a different feeling on our team.

Q: Obviously, when you say support, sponsors are supporting athletes, and certainly that's sometimes financial support, logistics, training and access, but it sounds like there's something more that LUNA provides in terms of its environment and belief system. Can you just tell me a little more about as a sponsor, what kind of support you get?

Georgia: LUNA, besides providing for our plane tickets and our equipment and all of this stuff, which is world-class, top-notch stuff, we also have superprofessional staff. We have, all the logistics are taken care of. We have just a team dynamic. We have team meetings and we know each other really well and we do things together, so it's not just every man or every woman for himself, you know? We kind of work together when we're traveling and if we stay in a house or a condo we cook together, we eat dinner together, and I think that way we all are learning from each other. Not just out on the race course, but also get to know each other, but then, learning from each other on the race course, too. Learning for me, as a more experienced, older racer, being able to share all the mistakes I've made and all the things I've learned over my years of racing with some of these new riders so they don't have to repeat some of those, and they just have that extra jump, and maybe that will help them to be more successful. They teach me about things like dubstep and weird music that I've never heard. No, but I mean the younger riders also bring in an energy and excitement and so it's really fun for us to get to learn from each other.

Q: What is it about LUNA as a brand that makes you feel comfortable making that connection and trusting your brand with them?

Georgia: I think even before I was on the team, LUNA had such a good reputation for sportsmanship, for being mentors, and being the kind of people that not just girls and women, but men and boys can look up to. There's one of the coolest things that I've experienced is when a little boy comes up to me and thinks that I'm cool and wants my signature and thinks that I'm really fast, and to me, that is such a positive thing for the future and for more equity in sports and athletics, so I think that reputation that LUNA has, for just being good competitors regardless of gender, is so unique. I mean, I've been proud to be a sponsored athlete and to represent LUNA and it just melds so well with my own feelings of what kind of person I want to be. It's been a great journey so far.

Q: If you had a chance to go back and have a conversation with your younger self, if you could whisper three pieces of advice in your younger self's ear, what would you tell her?

Georgia: If I had to go back and visit my younger self ... I would definitely stress being patient. I think it's easy when you're young and you're motivated to spread yourself too thin to try to do everything, you know, you want to be at every race, you want to do everything, but in the end, you only have so much energy, so not spreading myself too thin. And then, listening to my body. Again, that's something I've learned that I've started to do now, but not just always pushing harder and pushing harder, but being able to say, "You know what I need is some rest. I need some recovery. I need to give my body time, or my mind time to just rebuild and get stronger."

Q: What advice would you give to young people who have a passion to help them feel confident in pursuing that passion?

Georgia: I think for young people that have a passion, my advice would obviously be to go for it. But when I was deciding whether or not to get my license, I'd first done a few races, I liked it, but I didn't grow up thinking, "I want to be a professional athlete," but when I got to this point, I thought, "What could I do if I fully committed myself to this?" I wanted to look back as an older person in my elderly years and think ... I want to make sure that when I look back, I don't say, "What if?" I want to make sure that I gave it a go, and if it did work out, that's great, but I didn't want to have that, "What if?" If you're passionate about it and you see the glimmerings of some potential there, give it a go, because even if it doesn't work out 100%, even if you don't become ... You know, you got third place in a race, like me, then at least it isn't a waste of time if you've learned something from the experience, and pretty much from every experience you can learn something, so even a failure isn't a waste of time.

Q: Did you have any role models growing up? Are there certain people that you looked up to?

Georgia: I was not involved in sports growing up. I'm a pretty latecomer to the whole sports party. If you talked to people I knew in high school, they would be like, "Who is a professional athlete? Hold on a second." I guess I don't really feel like I had specific role models in that sense more that, again, that there's qualities in different people that I picked and chose of how I want to be. As far as in the sport, I didn't start riding mountain bikes until I was nineteen.

Q: Would you consider yourself a role model?

Georgia: I hope so. I try to be. I really try to do what I can to be the kind of person that I would like to be.

Stay up-to-date on Georgia at 

Heather Schimmel of Team LUNA Chix DC
Heather Schimmel of Team LUNA Chix DC

How long have you been a member of Team LUNA Chix?

I'm in my 7th year as a member of Team LUNA Chix DC Tri.

What inspired you to join the program?

As my husband and I thought about expanding our family, I realized I was about to lose my only tri training partner. While I had several female friends to run with, I knew I would be lonely while swimming and biking if I didn't do something to expand my network of active women.

What's the value of the Chix program?

The community of positive, supportive women that Team LUNA Chix builds. Initially, this community helped me fend off the isolation that is all too common with early motherhood. It provided a reason to find time to invest in myself and figure out how to find time to keep being "me" and not just someone's mom, wife, boss, employee, etc. Over the years this community has lifted me up in innumerable ways from the simple (balloons on my birthday at the track... us December babies often have our celebrations overlooked) to the more complex (hugging me while I ugly-cried about a crushingly disappointing race and refusing to let me ignore the strength it took to get across the finish line). The deep, in-depth conversations about life that inevitably come from miles together on the road or trails have always been the way I've built close friendships. The team expanded the number of like-minded, positive, driven women I've had the pleasure to meet and grown my community far beyond my expectations. 

What's been the most memorable event/race during your time with Team LUNA CHIX? 

Savageman was the most memorable event I tackled personally during my time as a member of the Chix I never, ever would have taken on this crazy hard race as my first Half Iron distance tri without the support, encouragement, and company of fellow LUNAs.

That said, the most memorable team event was the Nike Women's Half marathon. Working the LUNA booth and having the opportunity to meet so many women who were conquering that race was amazing. I got to see 15,000 women reach a role, got to participate in all facets of a sport I enjoy (especially meaningful 2 weeks after the Boston Marathon bombing), and further exposed our participants to LUNA (a few volunteered at the cheer station and in the booth). That event is girl power on steroids and it was so fun to be a part of it!

What pro athlete do you look up to and why? 

Margie Shapiro. She's been my coach for nearly 10 years and is the first coach I've ever had that focuses on what I *can* do and my strengths as opposed to my areas of weakness that need to improve. It's amazing how good she is at combatting the negative/fearful voices in my head. Beyond her support of me personally, I look up to her because she balances her pro career with motherhood beautifully, has weathered ups and downs with grace and appreciation for her gifts, and she always looks for opportunities to lift others around her. She's 100% real at all times and I think that's awesome.

What does "be bold" or "stepping out of your comfort zone" mean to you and how have you lived out either of these mantras in your own life?

Being willing to fail. Committing to something 100% when you don't know how it's going to play out. Boldness is taking on the challenge with such vigor that there is no safety net - you push your limits and if you fail, you find the lesson for next time. Or, you soar and accomplish something beyond what you felt was possible. 

To be honest, I'm still working on living this mantra. I'm a risk manager by nature and thus, while I've always been willing to take on some big, crazy challenge that pushes me, there's a voice in the back of my head going through all of the reasons it might not work and what I need to do to mitigate against the failure. Work/train harder. Manage my pacing. Read everything I can. Silencing this voice is my mission, but I'm a work in progress.

What LUNA flavor coincides with your personality and why? 

Honey Salted Peanut - I'm a little bit sweet, salty, and nutty.

filler 17
Her Story: Megan Alexander
Her Story: Megan Alexander

Megan Alexander is a national news correspondent, host, emcee and actress. She can be seen every evening as a correspondent on the longest-running, top-rated syndicated national news magazine television show Inside Edition. Alexander is also a Special Correspondent for CBS Television with the team at Thursday Night Football, covering NFL games and related stories for all CBS affiliates around the world. She has covered the last five Super Bowls, the Democratic National Convention, the MTV awards, the CMA and ACM awards and serves as a guest commentator on shows like the Wendy Williams show, Showbiz Tonight, Fox News and CBS. She sits on the Board of Governors for the Hugh O’Brian Youth foundation. Megan splits her time between New York City and Nashville, TN. Megan and her husband are the proud parents of a 4-year-old son and have a baby on the way.

What is it about the field of journalism that excites you the most?

What excites me the most is the opportunity to tell stories. There are countless stories to tell – our country is rich with them – from the lighthearted to the serious, to the inspirational. It is an honor to serve as a vehicle for those stories.

What has been your most memorable assignment to date and why?

This is a very hard question to answer but I am proud to be the only news reporter who has swam underwater with tigers, ligers and orangutans. I did this at the Tigers Reserve in Myrtle Beach, SC. It was just an awesome experience.

What advice would you give other young women who are interested in the field of TV/sports journalism?  

Work hard, be willing to give up vacations and holidays, hustle, always keep learning and learn to fit everything into a carryon suitcase – ball gowns included!

With such a busy schedule, how do you stay fit and active?

I love group exercise classes – it motivates me to be with people and workout to great music. I enjoy kickboxing, crossfit, step and water aerobics. Whenever I am spending a few days in a city for work, I look up the nearest athletic club and find out how much a guest pass is.

Can you give us the inside scoop – what NFL team is your family cheering for each Sunday?

Both my husband and I were born and raised in Seattle – and all our extended family still lives there. I bleed blue and green – Go Seahawks!


If you could have lunch with any female past or present, who would it be and why?

It would be pretty fabulous to sit down with Susan B. Anthony. I would love to thank her for leading the charge on allowing women to vote, and hear her war stories from that experience. We owe so much to her! Queen Victoria of England would be pretty fascinating as well for similar reasons. Can I do it with both of them? Talk about the ultimate Girl Power lunch! 

What does "Be Bold" and "stepping out of your comfort zone" mean to you?

“Be Bold” means to constantly try something new and challenge yourself. It can be as simple as trying a new exercise class or committing to eat clean, or it can mean moving to a new city for a new job. I have relocated several times for my line of work, and although it can be scary and new, I am so thankful for those experiences. It teaches you to appreciate all cultures and locations, and to find friends wherever you are. My social circle has greatly expanded due to “stepping out of my comfort zone”. Life is an adventure – and every adventure makes you a better person and citizen.

What LUNA flavor coincides with your personality & why?

I am pretty partial to LUNA Protein Chocolate Peanut Butter  – I love the combo of chocolate and peanut butter and it’s great after a workout. 

Follow Megan on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

Team LUNA Chix

Team LUNA Chix brings together women interested in learning new sports, staying active and inspiring others to do the same. TLC consists of 14 Local Teams, including women at all levels and the Pro Team which includes 6 of the country’s most amazing (and winning) professional athletes. Together the teams train, compete and support each other, while also fundraising for the Breast Cancer Fund

Connecting Women Through Film

LUNAFEST is a traveling film festival of award-winning short films by, for, and about women. Every screening raises funds and awareness for local women’s nonprofits and LUNA’s beneficiary, the Breast Cancer Fund.

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Causes We Support


Only 1 out of 10 women with breast cancer have a genetic history of the disease. Breast Cancer Fund is working to find and eliminate environmental causes of breast cancer.



Educates parents, supports protective policies, and engages communities to create healthy environments where children and families can flourish.