This post was sponsored by NOW as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
If you’ve been following me on instagram, you already know that I went to Chicago for a bomb influencer trip with NOW Foods to celebrate their 50th anniversary. It took me a while to edit all my photos – I took a couple hundred – but I’m finally done and ready to recap everything for you guys. I arrived in Chicago at around 11 so I had time to explore before meeting up with everyone at 5. I checked into my spacious room at Eaglewood Resort & Spa and unpacked.
On top of that, I’ve been thinking about getting a diffusor, and now I can check that off my list as well. I’ve always wanted to get into essential oils, but I never did – don’t ask me why because I have no idea. I don’t have an excuse anymore though because they gave me a bunch of different oils to play around with soooo expect a post on that in the near future!
Also, they’re giving one very lucky reader an opportunity to win the SAME swag so definitely make sure you enter via rafflecopter. All you have to do is follow them on instagram, and as always, there are a bunch of bonus entries available to up your chances of winning so make sure you take advantage. This giveaway is open to residents of the US and ends on 10/29/18. Good luck, guys!
A closer look at my swag! NOW sells more than 1,400 products so they pretty much carry anything and everything you need – think functional foods, sports nutrition, supplements and oh so much more. They’re dedicated to quality control so you know whatever you get is going to be amazing…and then some! For those of you interested in sports medicine and/or wellness (aka all of us), know that their company can be trusted 200%. The supplements industry often gets a bad rep, but NOW truly goes above and beyond what’s required so you KNOW what’s on the label is what’s in the bottle. No surprises. No BS.
A peek at my lunch! I got a bunch of different things from The Market at Eaglewood because I was starving. I got an egg white burrito with veggies, a cup of mushroom soup, a coffee, and some hummus. And yes, I ate almost all of it! #NoShame #SorryNotSorry
After lunch, I walked down to the lobby to meet Alana and the other influencers. Now, before I get into Day 1 festivities, I need to gush about this amazing group because they were all gems. I can’t even begin to tell you guys how much I loved hanging out with them. They were such a great group of people, and I genuinely wish I could’ve spent more time getting to know them. Linking them all here because you guys definitely need to check them out:
Leenie Kardos, Rajesh Durbal, Chandler Hatchett aka The H Is For, Anastasia Smith aka Glamorable, Michelle Lenhardt, Bari Cohen aka How Hard I Tri, Candy Calderon, Janine Hill aka A Beautiful Whim, Azanique Rawl aka Lots of Sass, Paige Flamm aka The Happy Flammily, Chanelle Smith aka Eat Move Make, Deanna Underwood aka Honey + Lime, KiSheyna Durham aka Kiwi the Beauty, Amanda Hernandez aka Nutritionist Reviews, Alyson Alconis aka The Beauty Vanity, Sarah Marturano aka Must Have Mom, Aly Mashrah aka The Michigan Mom, Kendall Rayburn, Brittany David aka Sunshine Momma, and Tara Kuczykowski aka Unsophisticook.
OK so back to the recap! At 5, we bussed over to NOW’s Cooking Skills Academy. We were greeted by Jim Emme, their wonderful CEO, and Dan Richard, the Vice President of NHG Global Sales and Marketing. We watched a video about their company and listened intently as Dave Rosenberg, their Foods Category Manager, gave us an informative but succinct rundown of their natural foods line. Afterwards, Chef Suzy Singh – if she looks familiar, it’s because she was a finalist in Masterchef Season 2 – did a fun recipe demo for us before challenging us to create our own app/mocktail. We were split into teams of four and it was done “iron chef” style.
Day 2 started off with an hour long kickboxing workout at 6:40. I was worried it’d be too much for the early morn, but it was totally fine – thank you, martial arts training. I’m just glad we didn’t have to do HIIT because that would’ve been a brutal way to start the day. As much as I love interval training, it’s more of an afternoon activity for me, lol. After sweating like a mofo, we hit up their DIY smoothie bar. I made mine with half a banana, strawberries, protein powder, almond butter and almond milk. I wanted to take pictures of everything, but I forgot to bring my camera battery [insert sad face here].
We listened to Bryan Morin, the NOW Sports Brand Manager, talk about supplements and sports nutrition while enjoying our drinks. NOW’s extensive line has more then 900 nutritional supplements (!!!!!) and they’re pure and effective. I for one can’t wait to try their Probiotic-10, Ultra Omega 3, BCAA Big 6, and their organic plant protein powder. After his session, I rushed back to my room to pack and shower. I hurried because I wanted to get breakfast, lol. Hey, I totally get hangry if I skip a meal so don’t judge! I hit up Burnham’s for their breakfast buffet, and it was the bomb.com – definitely make sure to indulge in you’re in the area.
After noms, we bussed over to NOW’s factory for a private plant tour. We all had to wear coats, hair nets, gloves and shoe covers to keep things sanitary. I absolutely loved seeing everyone in action, and impeccable doesn’t even begin to describe their facility. It’s so clean, you could eat off their floors, lol. Neil Levin, Now’s Nutrition Education Manager, and Jim Golick, a super knowledgeable nutritionist, showed us around and gave a full rundown of their operation.
After the tour, we bussed over to their corporate office to have lunch! Whole Foods catered, and the selection was unreal. I went HAM on their falafel, feta cheese, and pickled veggies. Sidebar: make sure you guys try their cookie mixes! They’re reallllly freaking good, and I may or may not be drooling just thinking about them.
Then came two really cool sessions: Recover + Renew! DIY Natural Healthy & Beauty Recipes for your Daily Routine & Amplify Your Fit Routine NOW – Race Training Secrets from #NOWWellness with Toni Church. The DIY beauty sesh was led by Tina Tews, and I had SO much fun creating my own facial mist and sports soak. The face mist is super easy to make, and it’s really moisturizing. Create your own with 2 oz. distilled water, 1/2 tsp. of NOW Organic Argan Oil, 12 drops of NOW Lavender Essential Oil, and 12 drops of NOW Helichrysum Essential Oil Blend. Simply dilute the oils in the argan oil and combine everything together before pouring it into a glass bottle.
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