This post is sponsored by NOW Foods and Fitfluential, but all opinions are mine! I love NOW Foods – read on for why!
I never thought putting on a hairnet and protective jacket would be fun, but let me tell you – a couple weeks ago it certainly was! I had the opportunity to go to the NOW Foods Influencer Immersion in Illinois for a really amazing 24 hours.
What’s that, you ask?
Well, basically NOW hosted a group of healthy living influencers out at their headquarters, where we were “immersed” in learning about NOW products, getting to know the awesome company and people, and connecting with each other over healthy living. It was seriously great!
I didn’t know a lot about NOW before this project – I had seen their products and even used a few of them at times, but I certainly wasn’t a “regular” and I also wasn’t aware of the company’s philosophy, history, or their huge range of products. They even have pet products for my Great Dane Daisy! I’m now a super huge fan of both the company and the products after sampling, tasting, reading, learning, and getting to know it all.
First, a few basics about the company:
- NOW has been around since 1968, making healthy products that are accessible and affordable for everyone. It is still family-owned and operated!
- NOW is committed to sourcing the best natural ingredients, and is strictly non-GMO.
- NOW has a thorough quality-control and testing standards. We got to see this first hand on our plant tour.
- They have a HUGE range of products – from supplements to natural foods to sports nutrition to essential oils to personal care products to pet supplements. Seriously, I was blown away by the sheer number of products they are producing.
When we arrived, we checked in and headed to our room at the Eaglewood Resort and Spa in Itasca. Waiting in my room was a HUGE pile of stuff!
Keep reading – you can win the same basket of goodies by entering below!
I headed out for a run with Darrell from So THIS is Fitness – we had bonded in the car ride from the airport and were instant friends, bonding over fitness and podcasting! We ran several miles and then it was time to get ready for the welcome dinner.
We had a fabulous meal at Glen Prairie Restaurant in Glen Ellyn, but the real treat was getting to know the CEO Jim Emme. Jim spoke to the group, but since he was sitting at my table at dinner, I got a chance to get to know Jim and also the company philosophy a little deeper, and to hear him answer some really interesting questions.
Jim explained that NOW is committed to the best value at the best possible price. People ask how they can sell the same high-quality ingredients at a lower price than competitors, and it’s simple – they don’t spend a lot of money on marketing, and they don’t package a million little samples. The company has grown by leaps and bounds because it’s great stuff, and because they build trust with their consumers.
Here are a few quotes I jotted down that really struck me:
“Follow golden rule. Treat others as you want to be treated. Respect. Be fair to people – vendors, consumers. Do the right things for the right reasons. Be honorable.”
“Life is more than business” – they hire refugees, and he personally knows them and helps them start new life.
“Are our customers willing to pay for that?” – when faced with big decisions like whether to spend money on an expensive ad campaign.
Quotes like these struck home to me, as they truly show that they put the consumers first. And their employees – when the company grew to the point where they invested in machinery to do packaging and labeling, they didn’t do any layoffs and they still hold by that policy.
Me, Jim Emme (CEO of NOW Foods), and Jes from Run on Organic
FUN WITH FITNESS
One of the most fun parts of the trip was taking a HIIT fitness class with the other bloggers! We got in a great workout to start the second day!
And when you get fitness bloggers together… this is what happens!
With Darrell and Jes!
After the workout class we were given customized post-workout smoothies, and I absolutely loved mine! Can’t wait to make this at home.
The personal care products are the “Solutions” branch of the company – essential oils and other products. They don’t do animal testing, they test for allergens, and they don’t use parabens. They have a Board-certified toxicologist on staff, and they post purity spec sheets on the website for each oil. They buy from the same vendors as others, but they buy in bulk and don’t buy a lot of exotics in order to keep the costs down.
We had some fun making our own oils – a gym equipment cleanser and a muscle massage oil. I’ve actually never done anything with essential oils, so I’m excited to try these and also the ones in our gift packs (which you can win… enter below!).
NOW FOODS PLANT TOUR
Ahhh then the fun began. We took a bus to the NOW Foods plant and got our very own tour. It was really cool! But first, we had to don the protective gear.
Do you like my new look?
We got a great sense of how things work there – and I was paying particular attention to how allergens are packaged. I’m so thrilled that the entire company is peanut-free, and they seemed to have a proactive and thorough approach to allergens in general.
The plant tour was really fascinating – I learned a lot!
Watching the precision and care that went into the process was really eye-opening.
I loved learning how each thing is packaged and labeled and sealed for safety.
We also got a tour of each lab – don’t ask me to repeat what each lab does, but there were several testing facilities that ensured quality.
And being the mom of a kid with food allergies, I learned so much about the process and labeling in that regard, too! NOW made the decision to go peanut-free a while ago, but they are careful with the allergens that are in the facility.
After the plant tour, we went on to learn about NOW Sports. I’m fascinated with the supplements as an endurance athlete, and learned a lot about the range of products. I have a better understanding of what each supplement does, and I like that they are clean and wholesome with very few ingredients. They also break down how much of each ingredient is in the product, which isn’t the case with every brand!
NOW NATURAL FOODS
After the Sports session, we did some tastings with Chef Suzy! She was seriously awesome.
It was fantastic and delicious. We tasted nut butters and oils – olive oils, avocado oils, coconut oils, and more.
It was incredible to taste them all side-by-side.
We had a blast and I found some new oils that I loved.
Seriously, these coconut oils are AMAZING!
We also got to make our own “Q Cups” – quinoa cups that we added healthy toppings to. It was a great dinner later before my flight, so I’m in love with the Q cups as on-the-go healthy options.
NOW FOODS GIVEAWAY!
You can enter to win a NOW Foods gift pack just like the one I got in my hotel room! It’s seriously amazing – it even includes a blender and an oil diffuser! Enter below and share it with your friends. You won’t be disappointed!
As you’ve seen, I’m now a huge fan of the company – the integrity and values really impressed me! I’ll be talking more about NOW Foods in the future because I’m going to be partnering with them now as a NOW healthy living influencer, so I’ll have a chance to try more of their products and share what I love with you!
Do you use any supplements in your fitness nutrition? Do you use essential oils? Let me know in the comments which ones!