I could write an ENTIRE blog post about the “details” of my trip to the very first blogger immersion at the NOW Foods headquarters in Bloomingdale, IL (Chicago) last week, starting from the time I touched down at O’Hare until I was back on the shuttle headed back to O’Hare with a new lunch bag, banana bread and brownies on my breath and my head swarming with information. I just figured you wouldn’t be interested.
But it’s the details of how I got there in the first place that are worth mentioning. And it has nothing to do with just wanting to go on a free trip or wanting to gain more followers by saying I went somewhere. This was bigger. And it started by a chance meeting last year at June.Last year, while attending FitBloggin in Savannah, GA (this year it’s in Denver. Are you coming?), I had the opportunity to sit down with Amber of NOW Foods for about 15 minutes. Needless to say, I was blown away. Up until that time, NOW Foods was just a brand I had picked up in the store because it was the cheaper option. I, honestly, didn’t know anything about it. What I learned in 15 minutes changed my perspective of how I viewed supplements, the companies that make them and the companies I want to align myself with long term. I also found out that NOW Foods made FOOD because I spent the weekend chomping down on some amazing trail mix and brought home some stevia which has now become the only brand of stevia my eleven year old will use. True story.
We (twelve of us) had the opportunity as FitFluential Ambassadors to not just visit NOW Foods but we sat down and had dinner with the main people of the company including people from marketing, the head of each major department (did you know NOW Foods makes supplements, food AND personal care items) and the CEO (Jim) whom I had the pleasure of sitting next to and engaging in dialogue with for the night. On the other side of me was the grandson of the founder of the company(Dan). Not only did the conversation solidify my beliefs in this company (the commitment to create quality products at an affordable price so health is accessible to the masses without them having to worry about if they are being cheated for a profit) but we were constantly checking the score of the Bulls game (they won the series that night) and talking about the Cubs. How can you NOT love people who are D. Rose fans?
When we got up the next day, we headed to a spin class (I haven’t done spin in a million years) and a little yoga. We then got to actually go inside of the plant where the supplements are actually made. I am no science girl but the technology and the process of it all amazed me. I cannot believe how much detail actually goes into making sure these products are TOP NOTCH. And I don’t just mean keeping some shelf life so they can last longer for you to buy them. I mean making sure the potency is efficient, making sure there is nothing extra hanging out in your supplements/products that shouldn’t be in there (did you know people do that?) and making sure that the label is correct and precise. The chemists working in there were so focused and there were people yelling down the hall about how it was THE best place to work EVER. There were awards not just for good products but for going so many years without an accident in their warehouses. THAT is amazing. I was trying to keep up with it all but I was sort of overwhelmed. I should have paid more attention in chemistry.
We then headed over to headquarters and I participated in my first oil tasting. Have you ever tasted macadamia nut oil? It’s the first time I’ve ever wanted to drink a bottle of oil. 🙂 I was really impressed with the knowledge of the staff, the taste of the green smoothies we were given and the consistency of the mission. EVERY person who spoke to us said the same thing I felt: they had a commitment to health, to making it accessible to the masses. They believed in quality. They believed in inclusiveness. They loved what they did. They loved how the company expanded while retaining its focus. And EVERYBODY (except for Dan) LOVED the honey roasted pecans. As a team, we got to bake at the end but I’m not much of a baker so I sort of just handed out ingredients and chatted my way around the kitchen (sort of what I do at home). I was really sad to leave. I, honestly, feel like NOW Foods is my family. I email them. I tweet them. I Instagram them. They support me in everything I do.
I was BLOWN AWAY by their hospitality and their welcoming spirit. We stayed at the one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever seen. I was greeted with a sangria (hey now!) and a key to my own room. When I got to room 545 and opened the door, I, literally, almost screamed. On the table were three bags. In those bags was EVERYTHING I could have asked for from vitamins to protein powder to green tea to an essential oil diffuser to shampoo to mouthwash to biotin to brownie mix and coconut oil to stevia. Did I already mention the honey roasted pecans? 🙂 I couldn’t even get all of it in the picture. 🙂 I couldn’t even get it home. NOW Foods is mailing it to me. I’ve started stalking UPS trucks. 🙂 There were so many NEW products. There were so many products period. And if you know me, you know I am the product queen. And it was pretty much ALL stuff I use. And now I KNOW what kind of quality it was made with and care and consideration that was put into it.
This company gives me hope that people like me (I’m not rich and my supplement use is not a line item budget in this house. I have a lot of issues that I am trying to handle without meds and that can get expensive. Did I mention I eat a plant based diet, am trying to lose ten pounds, am about to turn forty and lift weights/work out for a living and have an achilles that has a mind of its own? Yeah. Sometimes I just can’t afford it) will be able to take charge of their health without going bankrupt. This company gives me hope that there are still companies who believe in people over profit. This company gives me hope that people will realize the beauty is in the giving. The receiving is never far behind….
And THAT’S why NOW Foods (did I already say they are amazing?) is giving one of my readers the opportunity to win THOSE THREE BAGS OF GOODIES that were on the table in my hotel room. We’re talking $400 (at least) worth of items. Oh my goodness….this is the biggest giveaway I’ve ever done with one of the companies who’s supported me the most. I’m actually VERY emotional typing this:
Here’s what you need to do to enter:
- Leave a comment telling me what your favorite NOW Foods product is or what NOW Foods product you’d like to try. Click here to visit their website!
- Follow NOW Foods on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you did so.
- Follow NOW Foods on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you did so.
- Folllow HipHealthyChick on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you did so.
- Follow HipHealthyChick on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you do.
- Follow FitFluential on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you did so.
- Follow FitFluential on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you did so.
- Tweet about the giveaway and leave a comment here letting me know you did so. Tweet: I just entered an AMAZING giveaway for hundreds of dollars in @NowFoods products with @hiphealthychick! #NowGetFit #fitfluential
Please leave a SEPARATE comment for each action you take as it will be counted as an extra entry. Giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12th. Winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 13, 2015!
I’m off to take a NOW Foods B-12 before yoga! There are some of those in the bags too! Thank you all for having me! I will never look at any supplement the same!
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of NOW Foods.