How triathlon training & tasty non-alcoholic beer helps our family find balance

Disclaimer: Pickle Planet Moncton is receiving compensation for writing this article about Libra; however, no direction has been given in terms of content and all opinions shared are an honest reflection of our feelings towards this brand and its product.

triathlon athlete resting with libra non-alcoholic beer

An indulgence that doesn’t send you into a guilt spiral. That’s my definition of self care – and Libra is a perfect example of that. Craft beer taste, none of the alcohol, and just 30 calories for a can of the North Cape Pale Ale. Yes, that sounds like a sales pitch, and it is, to be honest. But there are two big reasons our family is willing to step up and tell you to try this product: Maritime ingenuity & mental health.

The greatest example of self care in our house is the time Alex (Papa Pickle) spends training for & competing in triathlons. We schedule our lives around triathlons & training, even booking our summer vacations around races.

triathlete running on dirt road

“It’s a bit of multi-tasking,” he says of his dedication to the sport. “There are a number of hereditary conditions that run in my family, including mental health issues. I know I can’t beat genetics, but training is something I can do to help. It helps with my self-esteem, it shows our kids the more you work at something the better you get and that some form of physical exercise should be part of your routine, and it keeps me in shape.”

MENTAL HEALTH

“Training gives me a ritual, something daily I can accomplish,” Alex explains. “Some days are hard, some are not. But I always feel better after training because it gives me dedicated time to focus on being in the moment. If I’m riding a bike, or running, or swimming, even stretching, I have to focus on what I’m doing. I have a tendency to live inside my head and worry about ‘what if’ scenarios. Triathlon training helps me stay present.”

That time focused on himself benefits us all. He comes back physically drained, but emotionally refreshed.

“I don’t really want to contemplate life right now without the training, particularly during the pandemic,” Alex shares. (And I agree.) “I truly believe a little fresh air helps everyone physically and mentally. The ‘me time’ of training lets me be a better dad, husband, and feel better overall.”

We all give up things in order for this to happen. A training session can take several hours, though Alex does his best to work out before we wake up, during lunch breaks, and after the kids go to bed.

“At first, it feels like you give up a lot,” he says. “Extra pizza, more ice cream, late night snuggles on the couch. But you don’t so much give it up as it forces you to focus. You have some pizza, but not the extra, because you don’t want to be burping in the pool. You really enjoy snuggle time because you don’t get that every night. You don’t stay out all that late, but you feel better getting up in the morning.”

But there’s one indulgence Alex has a hard time giving up, especially in summer.

“I love cold beer after training, especially after a race,” he says. “The problem is that alcohol inhibits your recovery. So if I do a particularly hard workout and have a few beer, the next day I’m still sore and being run down leads to injuries.”

We’ve tried several brands of non-alcoholic beer over the years, especially the years when I was pregnant. None tasted nearly as much like a good craft beer as does Libra.

“A lot of non-alcoholic beers taste like pop gone bad,” describes Alex. “Libra tastes like real beer. The kind of beer I can get at the local pub where I know the guy or the gal making it.”

He also appreciates that it’s local.

“I like that it’s just across the Confederation Bridge; it could be a stop on my next long ride,” he says. “This let’s me have a beer and not worry about driving home, or about impacting my training.”

MARITIME INGENUITY

Choosing homegrown products isn’t simply about lowering environmental impacts or keeping our dollars local for me. It’s about encouraging pride of place. The more we celebrate the local people behind innovation, the more we encourage our children to see the possibilities where we live.

Mitch Cobb & Mike Hogan, co-owners of PEI’s Upstreet Brewing, are great examples of turning your love for where you live into a thriving business that helps your community grow. An interest in brewing, a desire to stay in PEI, some business expertise & great friendship combined to create this company in June 2015 (the same month Pickle Planet began, so we feel an extra special connection now!).

Upstreet Brewing is known for its values, as well as its beer. The company was the first in PEI to be a Certified B Corporation, consistently donates thousands to charitable causes, and recently won an award for its workplace culture.

Launching their non-alcoholic craft beer label, Libra, fits that story perfectly. It was created to help them find balance. Working in the beverage industry requires constant sampling and socializing, says their website, noting that “motivation to socialize without sacrifice” led to a two-year journey to create a non-alcoholic beer whose quality stood alongside the other creations at Upstreet Brewing.

TRY IT YOURSELF

Whether you choose Libra for its Maritime roots, its low calorie count, or its non-alcoholic nature, we feel confident you’ll enjoy it.

We order our Libra North Cape Pale Ale direct from the source; shipping has been a dream. We haven’t had a chance to try the new Libra Hazy IPA yet – especially since the first batch sold out so fast!! — but we plan to grab a mixed 12-pack ($29.99) on the way to the cottage in August. (We’re told to expect the Hazy to be available again by mid-July.)

If you’ve tried Libra, let us know what you think in the comments! And don’t forget to check them out on social & let them know Pickle Planet sent you!

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