by Dan Newman

Healthy meal options have been on my mind lately, so when I heard of a smoothie spot in Wausau, I had to check it out.

Ignite Nutrition, 515 Third Street (next to Janke Book Store) in Wausau almost a year ago, and is what’s known as a “Nutrition Club.” These are businesses that serve meal replacement shakes and often have other health related services like body boot camps and yoga classes.

I walked in a fish out of water, drawn in by the health aspect alone. The first thing that strikes you when you walk in is a huge mural that owner Kayla Ermeling says represents all she holds dear, and was created by a local artist. It’s a neat piece that demands your eyes. There are tables and couches, a bar and lots of space for activities. Bright colors and upbeat music add to the energetic nature of this type of business.

Ermeling was introduced to nutrition clubs while attending college in Green Bay.  She said, “A couple classmates invited me to go to a nutrition club to have a shake for lunch, which I thought was super strange, but I walked in, loved the atmosphere, the environment.”

So much that she wanted to bring the experience back to her hometown of Wausau.

First you get a shot of aloe, which aids digestion. I got the mandarin flavor, and it was similar to those juice drops you can get to flavor your water, but a little thicker. It was only one ounce so I downed it like tequila and chased it with the next part: the iced raspberry tea. They told me this is for energy and metabolism. It was a nice, refreshing drink, bold raspberry flavor but enough of the tea came through to make it a good summer-like beverage.

On to the third and final part: The meal replacement shake. These are healthy because they use soy-based protein combined with fruits and ice. You have the option to add protein or fiber, and they offer a probiotic version and a new mom’s formula as well.

I ordered “whatever is most popular” and got a blueberry muffin shake. The shake was heaven, not gonna lie.

It was blended so thoroughly and the blueberries were strong in color and flavor. I have some experience with soy based protein drinks. There’s a substance to them and usually they’re thicker than a milkshake, sometimes getting a little chalky if not mixed properly. This shake had none of that but retained the wholesome soy protein flavor so you know you’re getting something healthy.

It was sweet and smooth all the way through.

Ignite Nutrition has a good smoothie and I highly recommend you try one. They have 26 smoothie flavors and six kinds of tea to choose from, so you should find something you like. And the staff are friendly and energetic people.

They also offer one-on-one nutrition coaching, have fit camps, and they have plans to start body boot camp workouts and more yoga in the near future.

Check out my video review above to see the place, how they make a smoothie and to meet the owner!