My Adventure in Wellness and My First Giveaway!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Yesterday I promised you a great big blog posting about my Adventure In Wellness.For a lot of us out there we think of wellness as well boring. Images of bland foods that taste cardboard and straw, boring exercise routines or even worse. I'm here to dispel those images and whatever other thoughts might be running your little minds right now.
 I got the chance to spend a lovely afternoon yesterday at the Third Annual Wellness expo at Earth Fare in Bearden-Knoxville, Tennessee. I honestly would never have even entertained the thought of attending a wellness expo before but the email that the wonderful folks at Earth fare sent me telling me about it looked so inviting I decided to go.Boy was I glad I did.
 Earth Fare in case you didn't know started in 1975 by Roger Derrough in Asheville, North Carolina. Mr. Derrough was unhappy about the lack of fresh food options and that was the inspiration he needed to start Earth Fare. Back in the 1970s when he started out it was called Dinner for the Earth. The first store was a 1200 square foot building. In 1993 Dinner for the Earth became known as Earth Fare.
As one of the largest natural food retailers in the nation, Earth Fare has 28 stores in eight states, they offer everything from a bakery that includes great gluten free options (be sure to try one of their vegan brownies- these are so good that if you didn't know you would never know they were vegan) and a whole selection of lovely cakes and tortes. My personal favorite is their seasonal offering of Chocolate Peppermint Truffle Torte. Yes this is as decadent as it sounds. Dark chocolate cake layers with a rich chocolate peppermint truffle filling, chocolate ganache, chocolate curls make for an absolutely fabulous dessert. A slice of this and a good steaming cup of coffee would be the perfect ending to any meal .They also sell and support growers of both local and organic farm fresh fruits and vegetables, and full service meat, poultry and seafood departments. They also have a deli department that is filled with tasty and wonderful foods including salads, side dishes etc.Click here to find the store nearest you.
The staff at Earth Fare is always more than willing to help you find exactly what you need no matter what it is. I have been to both Earth Fares in Knoxville as well as the one in Johnson City,Tennessee and have gotten the same great service at all three locations.
 So let me tell you about all the fun I had at the Wellness Fair. When I got there I noticed that there vendors of various types in the wellness area of the store. However when I glanced up I noticed hanging from the ceiling a bicycle! Yep, you heard me right, a shiny bright red bicycle was hanging from the ceiling

The grand prize at the end of the day was this shiny red bicycle
That shiny red bike at the end of the afternoon would be going home with some lucky winner. A bike wasn't the only prize that was given away. No there were gift baskets of all sorts that you could enter to win from a bath set baskets to baskets with electrolyte replenishers (which replenishes the electrolytes we lose during our daily activity. Gee I only thought we lost them when we got sick. Learn something new everyday)

The young man in the photo doing his best game show host impression is Thomas , one of the friendly employees you'll find there.
Thomas explained to me about exactly what the wellness fair is. The topic was "New Year-New You", he explained that Earth Fare is a community resource for folks wanting to improve their health.
After talking with him a little about the Wellness Fair I decided to start off on my adventure...
 The first person I met was a young lady named Rachel who is with a company called Soothing Touch. Soothing Touch sells high quality all natural bath and beauty products. Rachel was kind enough to let smell some of the products she had there. I decided to smell one called Peppermint-Rosemary Bath Salts. They smelled wonderful but were a bit strong for me. I mentioned something to Rachel about using them in the baths for when people have colds and she said she used them recently when her daughter got sick. I then smelled the Lavender bath salts and loved them! She gave me a small sample container to take home to try and see how I like them.
 She also various scents of sugar scrubs. Sugar scrubs are made from brown, maple, or white cane sugar with skin softening body oils and scented essential oils. They are great for sensitive skin since they aren't like a salt scrub where they salt crystals are more angular as the sugar crystals are rounder and gentler.
 I decided to smell the chocolate-peppermint sugar scrub and take a small sample home to try out.I cannot wait to try it. It smells just heavenly, like a minty hot cocoa.
 The one product samples I have tried and used is the Muscle Comfort Massage Oil . This oil according to their website "One of our most complex blends of rich, therapeutic essential oils. This blend stimulates, releases and helps heal the muscle fibers. It contains the essential oil blend of Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Clove, Camphor, Geranium, Fennel, Orange, Rosemary and Ginger. It contains the infusion of Arnica Flower, Juniper Berry and Thyme Leaf to aid with muscle pain by penetrating deep into the area."  It did smell great and did help ease the pain where I still am recovering from the walking pneumonia to the point that I was able to enjoy the afternoon comfortably.
The young lady is Rachel. Take a look at the great products that Soothing Touch offers. There is something for everyone .

" Eat your greens !" has been a parental mantra for generations and kids for generations have refused to do so. Now what if I told you there was a tasty and easy way to get your kids to have some green healthy things like organic wheat grass, organic barley grass, organic alfalfa, organic oat grass and organic rye grass in  their diets? If you're like most parents you're waving your hand saying "Tell me!" Well, I'm going to do just that.  
I got the chance to talk to Cameron who represented AmazingGrass  
 You're probably like I was at first thinking  "Eww, grass! Are they for real?" However once I tried the Amazing Grass Berry Green Superfood , I thought differently. It had a nice pleasant berry tase-not too strong but just enough to be pleasant . If you are looking for a super sweet drink I will tell you up front that it is not sweet like say Gatorade or sweet tea or a soda.

This is Cameron telling a person about Amazing Grass.

  By this time the first four gift baskets were drawn for and four lucky people got to claim their prizes.
I then got a chance to talk to was the gentleman from New Chapter. New Chapter vitamins are whole food complexed - cultured in probiotics with organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs. These vitamins are gentle enough to be taken on an empty stomach.

The young man from New Chapter Vitamins
The next person I had the pleasure of meeting was Debby. She had a basket with some odd looking nuts in them. I thought they might have been chestnuts . Turns out I was semi right. They were actually Shea nuts just like what they make Shea butter from. These little nuts are one of the main ingredients in Alaffia skin care line. I as never seen a Shea nut so I was pretty fascinated about them. Debby answered all my questions and even explained how they are harvested. The women in Africa where the Shea nut butter comes from gather the nuts that have fallen on the ground and help turn them into all natural unprocessed Shea nut butter.
These are Shea nuts as they appear in their natural raw state

 Alaffia is active in many ways to help women in the communities where they are active. They provide maternity care for women there. Maternity care may not seem like a big deal to us but in western Africa the average rate of maternal deaths in 5,500 per 100,000 pregnancies. They also have given over 3,000 used bicycles to students to use for getting back and forth to school. The average distance for a secondary school is about 7 kilometers from the local village. Most families simple cannot afford the luxury of transportation so the students dropout.By getting good used bicycles to students who need them Alaffia is helping stem the high dropout rate especially among girls where over 90% dropout of secondary school.
 By the way I looked up the meaning of the word Alaffia when I returned home and found it means in central Togo, Benin and Nigeria, Alaffia is a greeting. It is the first thing that is said when greeting another person. It is also the last. Alaffia means a state of peace, health and well being. A very fitting name for a company that is working to improve the well being not only of folks who use their products but also of the women who help to produce them. 
Debby was kind enough to give me some samples of their Cocoa & Shea Butter Intensive Body Lotion. This product is great. It is more like a creme than a lotion, very thick and creamy. It has a nice fresh cocoa smell. It also absorbs quickly so you aren't feeling greasy or slick like some lotions out there.
By this time I was hungry for some lunch. There were plenty of options to chose from. There was the salad bar, the hot bar , the deli as well as sushi, sandwiches and pizza. I chose my favorite thing - wings! I chose 6 meaty vegetarian diet fed chicken wings. They had 4 different flavors to choose from, Thai Chili, Teryaki, Barbecue and Buffalo style. I decided not to try the Thai Chili ones since Thai food is reputed to the some of the hottest in the world. The wings I got were delicious. The best ones were the barbecued flavored. They had a wonderful sweet tomato tasting sauce that reminded me of homemade barbecue sauce. The teryaki were just as good with little sesame seeds in the sauce. The buffalo ones had just the right amount of heat to make them enjoyable. 
This young man was making wings galore yesterday. The best seller seemed to be the teryaki flavored ones. While I was waiting he made an order with 18 of them. Next time I might try the Thai-Chili wings if I'm brave enough

After a tasty lunch , I thought about where I should go next. There were still plenty of folks I hadn't met yet and products that looked great
 Being of the feminine persuasion, I made my way to a brightly colored table where a young lady in a purple dress was telling folks about Acure Organics. The lady who started Acure named the brand '"Acure Organics as a way to honor my grandmother, who battled breast cancer for over 10 years. I wanted to help raise money for breast cancer research and awareness while also providing healthy products that promote healthier living and a greener planet. We are proud to donate to Bright Pink and to help provide free mammograms to at risk women.”—Kristy Guerra  ' (from the company's brochure.
She explained to me that they use Argan Stem Cells. Okay I'll be honest and thought "Stem Cells? I don't about this." She explained to me that Argan Stem Cells come from plants only.  She explained the benefits of the Argan stem cells. She gave some samples of their very easy to use skincare line to use.
The Acure skincare line.

 By this time more gift baskets had been given away. If your name was called and you were unable to pick up Thomas called them to congratulate them and let them know they were winners.
This the VegaOne and VegaSport line that I got to try out

 I has passed a young man earlier who giving out samples of what looked like a milkshake. They were VegaOne all-in-one nutritional shakes. He let me try a chocolate shake and a vanilla-chai shake (which personally I liked better as it was a touch sweeter than the chocolate) as well as their natural plant based  pre-workout engerizer part which is part of the VegaSport line. The VegaSport line was formulated by Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman triathlete and best-selling author on plant-based nutrition. The Vega Sport performance system is 100% plant-based, free from dairy, gluten and soy, and contains no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. Interesting fact, Brandon won Canadian 50-km Ultramarathon Championships in 2003 and 2006. Fifty kilometer is about thirty-one miles a lot whole more than most of us want walk much less run at one time.
 He asked what I did for a living and I explained that besides writing this blog I also write article for ezines, help Uriah run our business plus take care of the kids and house. He smiled and gave me a sample of their lemon-lime pre-workout energizer. He said that it would help me more focused and have better energy levels. I haven't tried it yet but am looking forward to doing so.
Greens Plus -the chocolate bars are the best tasting

 There were only a few more people I hadn't met yet. The next vendor I met was gentleman who had Greens Plus products including Chia seeds. I asked him if these were the same things as what grew on ChiaPets-they are. Sorry but I have memories of that bad commercial jingle "Ch-ch-ch-chia!" as the chia pet magically grew "fur". The surprising fact is that Chia seeds are amazing good for you and they can be used in baking and cooking. According to the USDA, a one ounce (28 gram) serving of chia seeds contains 9 grams of fat, 5 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of dietary fiber and 4 grams of protein. The seeds also have 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, 27% phosphorus and 30% manganese, similar in nutrient content to other edible seeds such as flax or sesame. To me that is an excellent reason to check out chia seeds
Next to him was a young man telling people about Nature's Plus Source of Life supplements. He told me about some of their product line including Source of Life liquid vitamin. It actually had a very nice berry flavor to it and was not bitter like you'd expect a liquid vitamin to be like. He also told me about Nature's Plus E Fem Capsules which are natural Hormonal Balace amd Boost of Youth for Women. For the men they have GHT Male Capsules which help improving the testosterone and HGH levels.  He gave me some samples of their products try. 
Last but most certainly not least was a young man from Gaia Herbs. Gaia Herbs make all sorts of products including Black Elderberry Syrup to various herbal teas. I had heard of Elderberry before but never Back Elderberry Syrup.
  To cap off my wonderful afternoon, I was given a chance to get some more samples to try. I picked up a few that looked interesting to me to take home.
I took a few minutes to take some more photos of the friendly Earth Fare staff and some pictures about some of the great upcoming events
Starting February 9th when you sign up for the Earth Fare emails you can get a free dinner for 4!Visit their website for more details
The friendly butcher at Earth Fare with a Tomato Bank Scratch off-card. Tomato Bank is a great way to get credit to spend at Earth Fare. I have over $16 to spend!

Cupcakes!!A few of the wonderful gluten free goodies that you can find at Earth Fare

 Here is a chance to win a great Super Bowl party prize pack including 25 delicious wings!!

Hard working and friendly cashiers helping people to check out quickly and efficiently.

 About this time, the sun was starting to lower in the western sky and I was anxious to let my readers know a little something about my adventure and tell them about my first giveaway!!
That is right you did read correctly . I have two wonderful prizes from Earth Fare to give two lucky readers of my blog The rules to enter are super easy, just leave me a comment that has your name and email below. The wonderful Random Picker will pick a random number for each prize on Friday February 1, 2013. This gives everyone plenty of time to enter and tell your friends about this great contest.
Good luck everyone and until next time... 


Victoria said...

That is some great information! I will have to check it out. TY

Tami Logan said...

Sounds like you had a great time! I wish they had these type fairs where I am! I'd be dragging all the kids with me!

Von Koenigsegg said...

Drat, I can't enter because I'm her Hubby... And I have seen the prizes...
Sorry can't tell you what they are but to the winners go the spoils....
And to think she's preparing an even bigger blog with more goodies and lots of fun added too to boot, and again I'll sit silently watching these great prizes go to someone else...
Still to all her follower and to all who will watch her grow I must add one ending jest. I have an even greater victory that I can enjoy - I get to spend my waking moments with the most beautiful woman in the world(My lovely Wife, Best friend, and lover), so I already have the real prize... :-)

Rebecca L. said...

Ok..let me try again from the reading your stuff...

Anonymous said...

I'd like to enter- I found your blog on the Earth Fare facebook page. I love this store and all the cool stuff they sell, especially the sandwiches at the hot bar and the bakery items (vegan cupcake is my favorite when they have that, along with the vegan everything cookie... and btw I'm not vegan). Glad you enjoyed the health fair and loved reading your recap of it- we had one here at our Earth Fare too, lots of fun!

Amy Lauren

Dana Russell said...

I was all set to comment and then I saw your husband's post and now all I can say is AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!

So sweet.

Sunrise Mountain

Sunrise Mountain
This is located where my husband grew up in New Jersey

Koenig's 3rd Birthday

Koenig's 3rd Birthday
We went to a local heavy equipment dealer for Koenig's 3rd birthday so he could see the bulldozers there
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