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NOW Foods Immersion and EPIC Giveaway!

I cannot wait to tell you about the NOW Foods Blogger Immersion of this weekend and then to give you the chance to win a MASSIVE giveaway!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Big ups to the lovely Katie (who I finally had the pleasure of meeting and have a heart to heart with!) Marvelous Monday!  Also linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Jen from Pretty Little Grub, Michelle at Fruition Fitness and Nicole from Fitful Focus. Also, this post and the trip it profiles are sponsored by Now Foods and Fitfluential. Of course, all opinions are my own!

Now Foods Blogger Immersion recap and Giveaway http://suzlyfe.com/now-foods-immersion-epic-giveaway/

Now Foods Blogger Immersion Trip #NOWGetFit

I have been so lucky during my blogging career to participate in some amazing blogging opportunities. This NOW Foods Blogger Immersion might be one of my favorites! From meeting fabulous people that I have become friends with over the years (but never met) to learning more about a company that I now will absolutely endorse and recommend to clients, friends, and use myself, this blogger immersion was 100% worth the chaos it brought to my week 😀

So what happened?

Meeting Longtime Friends and Eating Delicious Food

Upon arriving at the Hilton Indian Lake resort, I was greeted by the NOW Foods team and SNACKS. I’m kind of beyond obsessed with NOW Foods’ tropical mix of dried fruits. It is like the boxes of cereal where you get just the clusters or just the marshmallows. #cantstopwontstop

I arrived just before a bunch of other bloggers, so we immediately hugged it out and then disbanded to unpack. I went to the little gym to do squat-like things (my phrasing) because I didn’t have enough time while at work. There, I ran into Laura and Jennifer (who were rocking the cardio) as well as Megan, and then Megan and I went up to the pool area to have a proper catch up after months of being friends but never meeting!

Megan of Skinnyfitalicious and I finally got to meet at the Now Foods Blogger immersion!

Finally, it was time for dinner, and we gathered everyone up and headed over to Glen Prairie for a DELICIOUS meal (I literally cleaned my plate!), an introduction to the company and management team, and some serious heart to hearts with my girl Lisa, another longtime friend from afar, and Erin, who I don’t get to see as much now that I work uptown. 

Suz and lisa at the Now Foods Blogger Immersion dinner at Glen Prairie! suzlyfe.com

An Early Morning Workout at Lifetime Fitness

After the long day, of travel (I may not have flown, but I spent a LONG time in the car to get there!), we decided to retire to our rooms to get ready for an early morning on Friday! And by early morning, I am talking a meet up at 6! I made coffee in my room, and Laura brought her preworkout mix, but it was still a bit early, if you know what I mean. 

Laura of Sprint to the Table and I were a bit unsure about waking up for an early workout at the Now Foods Event!

We arrived at the PALACE of a gym–seriously, this is the biggest gym I have ever seen! And gorgeous to boot. We got our booties (seriously, I could feeeeeel those glutes the next day between my squaty things and this workout!) handed to us by Amy, on of Lifetime’s trainers.

She took us through the C9 workout, which was developed as a collaboration between Target and Lifetime. The hour long workout consisted of 3 rounds of 3 exercises, broken up by cardio bursts, and finished with about 15 minutes of yoga and stretching. The programming was fantastic, and I definitely got a great workout, even though I didn’t sweat (#proof of that common fitness myth!). The class gave me some ideas for my Ladies Night Boot Camp at Anytime Fitness.

Lifetime Fitness did a great job of hosting the Now Foods and Fitfluential Bloggers! What a great workout! Suzlyfe.com

But my muscles were tired, I felt refreshed, and I was ready for our post workout shakes using NOW Foods’ protein powder and then breakfast at the hotel when we returned! 

Then it was time to gather up my things, put them in the car, and head over to NOW Foods’s factory for a tour. THIS PLACE IS BANANAS.

The Now Foods factory in Glen Ellyn, Chicago, is incredible! Check out a tour at Suzlyfe.com

We were all agog at the expansiveness, order, and in particular the innovation and attention to detail of NOW Foods as a company. The amount of care that they put into producing their product is exemplary, and the fact that they are still a family-owned and run is obvious in the atmosphere: this company and the product are labors of love.

Of the over 1500 products, 100% of Now food Products are organic and non-GMO and 88% (and increasing) of their supplements are non-GMO assured. If that wasn’t enough, all products are carefully sourced and subjected to testing that isn’t even available to other companies yet (because NOW Foods is pioneering the testing!) to ensure quality and consistency. Their laboratories alone hold $40 million worth of testing equipment. They mean business! Plus, we got to look sexy.

 

Now Foods Headquarters

Next, it was time to head over to NOW Foods corporate HQ for lunch and presentations from Wendy Bazilion, a fun activity where we made a relaxing bath soak from NOW Solutions products, and then a trip to the Culinary Innovation Center.

I sat next to Katie (our lovely hostess today) and I can confirm that she is just as lovely in person as she is on her blog! What a gem of a lady.

Suz and Katie at the Now Foods Blogger Immersion event. suzlyfe.com

First, I needed to do work on some delicious Whole Foods Market catering. This was plate one. But there was also a return to the food as well as all the snacks (they brought back that dang dried fruit mix). 

I loved the presentation by Wendy Bazilion, DrPH, MPH, RD, on food tribes and the impact of food tribes on fitness and performance. Much of the information I already knew, but she presented the comparison of diets and food tribes such as Gluten Free, Paleo, Zone, and others on athletes’s lifestyles and performance in a way that really brought to light the differences and effects of these food tribes. 

After the presentation, we made Epsom salt bath soak bags (such a great gift idea) and a gym equipment cleansing spray, from NOW products. I currently have my soaking bags hanging in my shower (we no longer have a tub) so that each time I take a shower, I get the aroma!

Adventures at the Now Foods Culinary Innovation Center! Oil tasting, new products, and a make your own Mason Jar Salad bar! Suzlyfe.com

Lastly, we headed up to the Culinary Innovation Center and learned about new Now Foods products on the shelves, from their Living Now® allergy friendly line to the Ellyndale® cooking oils, which we then got to taste. Chef Suzy Singh led us through that tasting and explained how to do a proper oil tasting, which I didn’t even know there was a technique for, lol. Too soon, it was time to wrap up, but NOW Foods didn’t leave us empty handed: they set up a mason jar salad bar for us and made us vegan, gluten free blondies to take with us.

Now Foods sent us home with mason jar salads and vegan gluten free blondies! Suzlyfe.com

I had been eating for the past 3 hours, so I saved my blondies (my salad was not so lucky). 

After saying goodbye to our hosts, we said goodbye to our friends, and then I started the drive back to the city, which took an hour and a half (!!!) for 30 miles. That was fun. 

Health, fitness and food came together at @NowFoods' #NOWgetfit #fitfluential #organic #spon Click To Tweet

Alex’s Senior Resident Dinner

I got home with just enough time to change and get put together for Alex’s Senior Resident Dinner, which was held downtown (in my old neighborhood).

Alex and I dressed up for his Senior Resident Graduation Dinner!

It was a lovely event, an amazing way to wrap up these 3 incredible years. I can’t believe that in the next month, so many of our friends and Alex’s peers will be moving away. Such a crazy feeling. 

I was beat and came home early (but missed the last bus of the night to our neighborhood by 30 fricking feet) because I had Team Challenge coaching the next morning and then work!

Saturday–Matchy Matchy, Group Fitness, and The Finger

Saturday morning, I woke up with a GIANT finger.

My giant finger!

I burned it on the oven last week, and it had been doing fine, but when I woke up Saturday, it was HUGE (I am now on antibiotics for it). 

Team Challenge long run day with Coach Bill and I twinning

Funniest moment of the day? Coach Bill and I twinning so hard (and not trying to!). 

Then it was off to work, where Tiffany started our new Group Fitness classes! I was a bit distracted (and not feeling well) but I am so excited to see so much of her, and next week we’ll get lunch. 

After fitness consultations and training our new PT Isaac, it was finally time to go home. Alex and I spent an easy night at home, watched Spy Game, and I went to bed early. Sunday was our usual style: gym, groceries, laundry, and work! It was a packed few days, and I had so much to catch up on.

An epic trip to @nowfoods, twinning, and #winning all around! #fitfluential #nowgetfit #ad Click To Tweet

Now Foods Giveaway

Super long post, I know, but there was just so much to tell you! As a reward and treat for you all, NOW Foods is giving away a welcome bag of products to one lucky reader of mine! I could barely carry my bags back inside, so believe me, this is an INCREDIBLE giveaway! Enter via Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends next Monday, June 13 night at midnight, and is open to US only.

Don’t miss the Fitfluential Twitter chat on Thursday, June 16 2016 at 9pm ET!  All the immersion bloggers will be involved and using the hashtag #NOWGetFit. 

Check out NOW Foods on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.  They spent a lot of time videoing us, and you will definitely be seeing some familiar faces!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How important is it to you that a company be so involved in the testing and quality control, as well as taste and effectiveness, of its products?

What was your favorite part of your weekend?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of NOW Foods.

 

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