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Health & Fitness

Choose Your Own Adventure

Outside Inc. resident chef Biju Thomas is combining his cooking expertise with entirely new adventures.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

If you were to scan Outside Inc. resident chef Biju Thomas’ résumé, it would read more like an adventure novel than a mere list of accomplishments.

After all, here is a man who

  • raced bikes (and now spends as much time on two wheels as on his own two feet)
  • penned three best-selling FeedZone cookbooks, which aim to fuel top-performing (and amateur) athletes with real food, not fillers
  • cooked for Lance Armstrong and the RadioShack cycling team
  • co-founded Skratch Labs, a natural sports nutrition company named in 2015 by Inc. as one of the fastest-growing companies in the US
  • launched Biju’s Little Curry Shop, a fast-casual South Indian restaurant based on the food he grew up eating in Kerala, India
  • adheres to the Outliers theory, that coincidences and connections have a hand in success.

Thomas, with his bright smile, boundless zeal for life and ready-for-anything demeanor, epitomizes the healthy and active lifestyle that Clean Eating — and Outside Inc. as a whole — champions. In his new role at Outside Inc., you can consider Thomas the poster child for all things vigor.

“It’s a perfect fit,” he says. “My background and my set of skills, they’re a storytelling bridge between an active lifestyle, an outdoor lifestyle and cooking.”

In addition to having a hand in creating food-as-fuel content for the company, Thomas also brings his magnetic energy to Outside+. The exclusive program nabs members a litany of cool stuff: award-winning magazines (of course!); meal plans; a $50 credit to the Outside Shop, which is filled to the brim with products chosen by the gear editors (coming soon: personalized gear advice and gear-testing opportunities); adrenaline-spiked movies and shows; GPS tracking apps; tutorials (think MasterClass for the outdoor- and healthy- lifestyle minded); a yoga pose library; and travel discounts.

But where Thomas really shines is in helping create the program’s trips. “Members get access to a lot of super-cool, curated, high-touch events,” he says. “I’m already doing these. In Telluride, at the Madeline Hotel, we had brought together world-class skiers and surfers, gear, cameras, clothing — it was a curated luxe event.” The experiences are typically small and personalized. There’s one in the works for Napa, and there will be others specific to cycling, fishing, skiing, surfing, etc. The plan is to create a platform that transports the member into the heart of the action. It’s meant to be unique, extraordinary and experiential. “For me personally, this is a dream situation to be in,” Thomas says. “It combines all the things I’m good at: food, bringing people in and making people feel looked after.”

The key, says Thomas, is that, although outdoor and food focused, Outside+ events aren’t just reserved for the experts. “My role is to connect universes and to create hospitality,” he explains. “Whether you’re a beginner climber or have been climbing for 30 years, we all get excited about being outdoors, about food, cooking and eating. That’s where our brands have so much depth and power — we can make it accessible.”

And now, Thomas can officially add adventure tour guide and social chair to his lengthy résumé.

As an added bonus for Clean Eating readers, Thomas is sharing two of his favorite recipes. Try his flavorful yet easy-to-make meals below:

Roasted Pepper and Tomato Soup

Roasted Pepper & Tomato Soup
(Photo: Avery Stumm)

You’ve got to try this elevated take on tomato soup – get the recipe here.

Ginger & Molasses Chili with Red Beans

Ginger & Molasses Chili
(Photo: Avery Stumm)

A comfort food staple that’s completely customizable, you’re going to want to make this flavorful chili tonight. Get the recipe here.

To learn more about Outside+ and become a member yourself, keep reading.