1) Pinole Blue When Eddie Sandoval was a kid in Solomon, Kansas, his parents often had pinole in the kitchen. This ground, roasted corn has been around since the Aztecs. Today it’s known to build long-distance running endurance among Chihuahua’s Tarahumara people, who consume it as a warm beverage called atole. Skip to 2017, when Eddie spent a college break hauling heirloom Mexican corn from the border back to Wichita. Soon after, he launched Pinole Blue, a line of drink mixes, tortillas, cookies and more, made with high-protein, antioxidant-rich, imported blue corn. The business has exploded, and Eddie returns a portion of proceeds to the Tarahumara. “It’s all about the story,” Eddie says. “My family sharing it, and giving back to the tribe.” pinoleblue.com
Three to Taste
Pumpkin Spice Atole Mix Perfect for fall, this cinnamony blend is Pinole Blue’s most popular atole flavor. Add a scoop or two to warm milk for a cozy drink healthier than a Starbucks PSL.
Tortillas Blue corn has a lower glycemic index and more protein than white corn. Swap in Pinole Blue’s stone-ground tortillas for Mexican night.
Endurobites Pop a few of these chewy morsels—made with blue cornmeal, agave, peanut butter, oats and chia seeds—for a pre-workout snack packed with plant protein.
Eddie Sandoval of Kansas turns heirloom Mexican blue corn into nutritious gold. In addition to supporting the Tarahumara tribe, Eddie sponsors Tarahumara athlete Lorena Ramirez, who wins marathons all over the world running in traditional dress and recycled-tire sandals. Photo: Blaine Moats.
2) Mic Drop for your #MeTime “I just want to be vulnerable, so give me a chance to show it all. What love can I give if I can’t love myself?” Those honest lyrics from Detroit singer/rapper/producer/choreographer/activist Tunde Olaniran are a friendly reminder to chill out and practice a little self-love. Our fave off his latest album, Stranger: the catchy, gospel-infused “Miracle.”
Tunde Olaniran. Photo by Steven Piper.
3) A Welcome Mat Downward-facing dog is a little more comfy on Big Raven Yoga’s cushy, slip-proof and eco-friendly mats. The Minneapolis biz releases new collections every month. From $107. bigravenyoga.com
Big Raven Yoga Mats. Photo by Jay Wilde.
4) Cup to Cause Mental Health too often gets ignored. Not at this Chicago coffee shop. Sip of Hope in Logan Square is a collaboration with Dark Matter Coffee, serving up both lattes and community mental health resources: It’s the world’s first coffee shop to put 100 percent of profits toward suicide prevention. When you can do good and enjoy one of the city’s best cups of joe, everyone wins. sipofhope.com
Sip of Hope in Logan Square. Photo Courtesy of Juan Gabriel Moreno Architects.
5) Guiding Light Chicagoan Henry Kisor was inspired by his dog, Trooper, to create a service animal traveling guide with co-author Christine Goodier. Whether you’re boarding Amtrak with a service dog or flying with a miniature guide horse, get tips for packing, handling tricky policies and even getting around Disneyland (University of Illinois Press, $19.50).
Traveling With Service Animals by Henry Kisor and Christine Goodier.
6) The Stat: Plant-Based Meals The sales of plant-based meals at grocery stores from 2017 to 2018 has increased by 20 percent as consumers (especially millennials) demand more healthful, planet-friendly options.
7) Pack Your Sneakers Weekend getaway? No need to cut back on exercise. Forget tiny, windowless gyms that smell like chlorine. These hotels are seriously stepping up their fitness game.
JW Marriott, Chicago Open 24/7, this hotel’s spa-level fitness center is huge—and comes with perks like Nike Master Trainers fitness classes and cryotherapy treatments.
The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel, St. Louis You’ll wake up early to work out (seriously) at the 18,000-square-foot Santé Fitness Center, with 40 weekly classes, a smoothie bar and massage services.
Even Hotel, Omaha Choose from 18 virtual classes in the Athletic Studio’s Flex Room or on your TV. Rooms are equipped with gear like stability balls and resistance bands.
Grand Geneva Resort and Spa, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin You expect perks at a resort—but indoor tennis courts, a junior Olympic-size lap pool, 40 fitness classes and a rock-climbing wall? We’re listening.