Immersed at NOW®

Immersed in NOW®

I had one of those God opportunities that I wanted to share with you all.  I was invited to the facility in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.  I have been a NOW® Influencer for several years, and I have shared many of their products with you because they are affordable and trustworthy.  I’ve always stood by that without knowing the extent NOW puts into the quality of its products.  It brought me comfort looking at the third-party certs on their website. It’s an indication that NOW stands for quality but seeing what goes into that label is what I hope to share with you. So get comfy because I’ve got a lot to share.

What is NOW®, and what do they do?

NOW® is a family-owned natural product manufacturer. NOW produces high-quality natural food, healthy aging supplements/products, essential oils, and sports supplements. 

They carry over 1400 products for all of your wellness needs. And why I love NOW is they have the best quality products in the business, but they are affordable. They have something for everyone from pets, kids, adults, and aging adults. It’s where you go if you’re seeking safe, effective, and quality products. 

You can find NOW online at NOWfoods.com, amazon.com, and luckyvitamin.com, among other e-tailers, as well as in Sprouts, Natural Grocers, and other fine health food stores nationwide.

How did I hear about NOW® products?

When I first was introduced to NOW® products, it was through their supplement. It was Psyllium Husk, and I made it for this very old relic (Check out the photo. It never made it to the blog. lol), but anyways I read that NOW Psyllium husk prevented your Keto Buns from turning purple. 

So, I ordered the Psyllium Husk from NOW.

Then it was like when you get a car, and that’s all you see on the road. NOW® started popping up everywhere.  Then I got to meet Alana from NOW® at Empower Summer camp. I’ve been an avid consumer ever since.  

Then about three years ago, I was invited to become a NOW® INFLUENCER, and I love that I get to represent a brand that I can trust and fits seamlessly in my life. I LOVE and use NOW® products every day. 

Why do I trust NOW® products?

I LOVE NOW® because I can TRUST NOW®! I don’t even give it a second thought if they carry it.  Almost naively, I will buy it.  

After being immersed in NOW®, I can wholeheartedly trust and back up everything they offer.  I have never had an experience like it, and I wanted to share it with you. 

NOW® is so much more than supplements, food, healthy aging products, skincare, and supplements.  That’s what they carry, but the family behind the family-operated brand are the friendliest, most genuine, and inspirational people you want to come in contact with.  

Their passion for excellence and honor is evident in the people and the products.  I may be a little bit smitten since coming back from Chicago, and rightfully so.

Why is it essential to have a supplement brand you can trust?

Before I found NOW®, I was skeptical of many supplements and skincare products on the market. If you’ve been following me over the years, you’ve watched me explore and test many products.  Natural products are essential to me but what’s in them that we don’t know or disclosed is even more critical. With a lack of high standards in the industry, it’s hard to know if you’re getting safe, quality products. Especially if you’re giving these products to your family. 

NOW® high standards and third-party testing set them above the rest in quality.  During my factory tour, I got first-hand insight into the testing that goes into NOW® products.

What was the Immersion experience like?

AWESOME! 

Really if you check out my Instagram Highlights, you can kind of get a glimpse of the experience.

I left the Philly area Thursday afternoon with sunny skies and landed in Chicago. The flight was epic. I have been flying by myself since I was four years old. My first trip to the United States from Germany to live with my grandparents for a few months while my parents took care of our move back stateside. I have always loved to fly.  But this flight was the smoothest landing I have ever experienced.  You didn’t even realize we landed. We just glided in. The flight home was lots of turbulence and bumpy landing.  My flight into Chicago was great.

 

I arrived and immediately searched for food. I had an excellent bunless burger and fries at America’s dog in Chicago O’Hare-highly recommend their fries. 

Then I was greeted by a driver from NOW®.  I rode with Ashley Gadsen, a fellow influencer, into Itasca, IL, which is about a 45-minute drive to Eaglewood Resort & Spa.

First Night immersed with NOW®

Alana greeted me from NOW®, who I have worked with on campaigns and blog posts throughout the years. We’ve met several times in person, but this meeting was special since experiencing a pandemic together virtually. It was so good to see her in real life.  I grabbed my key and went to my room to shower and prepare for the “Iron Chef Style” competition they had planned for our first night.

When I got to my room, I let out a little squeal.  So, many goodies! NOW® spoiled us with goodie bags of NOW® products. I got dressed in “real clothes,” as my girls say, and made my way to the outdoor Balcony for the “Iron Chef Style” Competition.

Day 1 at NOW® Immersion

Who doesn’t want to compete on “Iron Chef”? My daughter Lailah was so jealous. We’d watched the show many times. And I was ready.  We had a happy hour/info session on NOW®’s history and origin and got to taste test some yummy appetizers while we waited for the competition to start.

We got plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and NOW® Food products to use for our competition. Spoiler alert my team WON! We were grouped by Apron colors that were handed out during the happy hour.  Unbeknownst to us, our apron choices would choose our team. It was a great surprise to be on Team Blue, and we had a fantastic group.  

 

We had about 30 minutes to put together either an appetizer, treat, or meal, and within minutes of the start, my team had three dishes we were ready to make. We were frantic, scooping up ingredients. We quickly got redirected-thank God and only had to make one dish. So, we chose-

Stuffed Zucchini Boats with a Tropical Pineapple Avocado Relish. Go big or go home! 

We killed it! It was so delicious and easy to make. Our secret ingredient was NOW® Foods Liquid Monk Fruit Sweetener to give the pineapple a little sweetness.  Another faith and wellness, Candace Appleby, told a great story of our tropical inspiration. 

It helps that she spends most of her days on the beach surfing, and she had the judges and audience on an imaginary Lauo as they tasted and judged our food.  

De BoltonAuthorDe

Yields1 Serving

Zuchinni Boat
 2 Zuchinni, Halved
 ½ cup NOW Real Food® Organic Tri-Color Quinoa, cooked
 1 tomato, diced
 2 Garlic, Clove
 ¼ Red Onion, diced
 ½ Red Pepper, diced
 1 tsp Cumin
 Salt and Pepper to Taste
 ¼ cup NOW Real Food® Macadamia Nuts, Raw & Unsalted, crushed
Pineapple Relish
 1 cup Pineapple, chopped
 ½ Red Onion, diced
 ½ Red Pepper, diced
 1 Garlic, clove
 2 tbsp Cilantro, chopped
 ½ Avocado, diced
 ½ Orange, Squeezed
 ½ Lime, Squeezed
 12 NOW Real Food® Monk Fruit Liquid, Organic

Zuchinni Boats
1

1. Heat skillet to medium heat.
2. Add 1/2 cup of water to saute pan and halved Zucchini Boats open-half down, let simmer 4-6 minutes until mostly cooked but still hold a crunch.
3. Remove Zucchini and set aside.
4. Add 1 tbsp of NOW Real Food® Avocado Oil, Red Onion, Garlic for 1-2 minutes to pan.
5. Add cooked, NOW Real Food® Tri-Color Quinoa and tomatoes.
6. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
7. Remove from pan and fill zucchini boats with filling.
8. Top with crushed NOW Real Food® Macadamia Nuts, Raw & Unsalted. Enjoy!

Pineapple Relish
2

1. Mix lime juice, orange juice, and liquid monk fruit in a bowl and set aside.
2. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl, except avocado.
3. Fold avocado into a bowl and pour juice over relish.
4. Enjoy!

Ingredients

Zuchinni Boat
 2 Zuchinni, Halved
 ½ cup NOW Real Food® Organic Tri-Color Quinoa, cooked
 1 tomato, diced
 2 Garlic, Clove
 ¼ Red Onion, diced
 ½ Red Pepper, diced
 1 tsp Cumin
 Salt and Pepper to Taste
 ¼ cup NOW Real Food® Macadamia Nuts, Raw & Unsalted, crushed
Pineapple Relish
 1 cup Pineapple, chopped
 ½ Red Onion, diced
 ½ Red Pepper, diced
 1 Garlic, clove
 2 tbsp Cilantro, chopped
 ½ Avocado, diced
 ½ Orange, Squeezed
 ½ Lime, Squeezed
 12 NOW Real Food® Monk Fruit Liquid, Organic

Directions

Zuchinni Boats
1

1. Heat skillet to medium heat.
2. Add 1/2 cup of water to saute pan and halved Zucchini Boats open-half down, let simmer 4-6 minutes until mostly cooked but still hold a crunch.
3. Remove Zucchini and set aside.
4. Add 1 tbsp of NOW Real Food® Avocado Oil, Red Onion, Garlic for 1-2 minutes to pan.
5. Add cooked, NOW Real Food® Tri-Color Quinoa and tomatoes.
6. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
7. Remove from pan and fill zucchini boats with filling.
8. Top with crushed NOW Real Food® Macadamia Nuts, Raw & Unsalted. Enjoy!

Pineapple Relish
2

1. Mix lime juice, orange juice, and liquid monk fruit in a bowl and set aside.
2. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl, except avocado.
3. Fold avocado into a bowl and pour juice over relish.
4. Enjoy!

NOW® “Iron Chef Style” Competition 2021 Winner: Zuchinni Boats with Tropical Pineapple Relish

After some tough competition. 

Team Blue WON! 

The victory was sweet, and we got the grand prize! 

So fun!! 

And a great party idea for my daughter Lailah’s birthday! After the competition we had dinner. Lots of vegetarian/pescatarian options and some delicious gluten-free, dairy-free desserts. I was in heaven! 

My old lady moment

I went to bed early, but others stayed up and went Cosmic bowling. I turned into a pumpkin at 9:30, so I took myself to bed and got ready for Day 2, which started at 6:45 in the morning. That’s more my time of day!

Day 2 of NOW Immersion

I got up and bright and early way before sunrise. (AS I always do) It was nice doing Bible study in a different place. I had an outdoor balcony, and it was warm early that Friday morning.  I got dressed and set off to do sunrise yoga with Jamie King. 

Sunrise Yoga with Jamie King, owner of Flex and Flow

Jamie has been such an inspiration on my fitness journey over the years and my yoga practice.  I have been practicing with Jamie virtually for over two years, and in every class, she kicks my butts.  It’s hard to sit for days afterward, but I love the challenge, and she has made yoga fun for me. 

It was a sweaty, glute-y beautiful flow, and we got to do my favorite thing. EAT! Well, shower, get all our stuff ready to be shipped home, and then eat! 

At least that’s why I did.  We had some interactive info sessions and a tour of the NOW® factory planned for the remainder of the day.

NOW® Sports Nutrition

When we got to the conference room, they had DIY Smoothie Bowl Bar and Information Session led by Bryan Morin, NOW® Sports Brand Manager. For competitive athletes and people who supplement need to trust the products they use.  

NOW® reputation precedes itself, and many Olympians and everyday athletes can trust supplements produced from NOW. I also learned how different “stacks” of supplements could help your performance—types of protein powders, why BCAAs help performance and recovery in athletes, and so much more.

I’ve spoken a lot about protein powder, BCAAs. There is so much to learn. We went into detail about joint supplementation, L-Carnitine, Taurine, and other supplements we see on the market but not sure exactly what they do. If you’re looking to optimizing your performance, I will check out the education NOW® sports provides and see what supplement stack may work for you and your needs. Check out NOW® Sports Nutrition Stacks and use FAITHFUELED to get 20% off your stack.

NOW® Solutions Skincare

During the Skincare and Healthy Aging information session led by Led Tina Tews, Personal Care Brand Manager. Tina shared all of the new product lines that NOW® is coming to help support healthy aging and skincare.  

We also make and take a Cooling Sugar Body Scrub that my girls love and a Skin Renewal Mud Mask using NOW® solutions products and essential oils.  It was fun to get to know some other influencers and make these easy self-care facial products. 

So highlights that I can’t wait for is the expansion of the Kids line and excitement about the Women’s wellness solutions coming out next year.  

My entire family uses NOW®, and it was cool to learn the innovations and new things that NOW® is working on. Check out my post on the Children supplements from NOW® and which ones Mimi takes daily. Seven ways to support your childrens’ health]

Touring NOW®  Manufacturing Facility

The highlight of immersion was the manufacturing facility tour. We had to gear up and sterilize so that we didn’t contaminate the factory. It felt a little intense, and we were washed, masked, shoes covered, and gloved. No jewelry, and we had our hair covered as we toured the facility. It looked utterly sterile like it had been in operation for days, not over 50 years. 

 

I had a duh moment. It never occurred to me what Chemistry majors do, but they work for facilities like NOW®, creating the products that I love and trust. We got to see a chemist at work—quality testing equipment valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. The ultimate “shaker bottle.” Their mixer was the size of a delivery truck.  We got to see bottling, packaging, formulating, and testing. The brilliance behind the closed doors and white coats was remarkable to observe. 

The most inspiring part was the tour. MY group took the tour with the CEO of NOW®, Jim Emme. He was like a walking TEDtalk. He was so inspiring in sharing his business practices, philosophies, standards.  So humble and kind.  He dropped so many nuggets, but the one that will forever be in my mind is when I asked him, “Does NOW® consistently works with the same suppliers, or do they give new suppliers a chance?”

He said it best; check out Jim Emme’s business practice when working with other companies.

 


We should all be held and hold others at a standard of excellence. That’s how we help each other grow.  

My NOW® Immersion experience was memorable, inspirational and I got to connect with some fantastic Influencers and professionals in the industry. Everyone is striving for excellence and trying to help others do the same.  I was humbled to think that I was invited and included in the company of these fantastic people.  

After the tour, we said our goodbyes, and I explored Chicago for the first time as a solo traveler and the first time in Chicago. Check out my experience of De lost in Chicago post. It was such a fun workcation and experience.

If you are looking for affordable products and exceptional quality, I would highly recommend NOW® for your family’s wellness needs. If you’re looking for where to get started, I will check out nowfoods.com, and if you find something you like, use code FAITHFUELED to get 20% off your order. 

Are you concerned with the quality of your wellness products? Have you ever tried NOW® products?

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