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Health Buzz

The Wellness Bar gives Coeur d'Alene a place to drink fresh-pressed juice

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For several years, the fitness and health scene has been booming in Coeur d'Alene. Those familiar with the area know the city is teeming with cyclists, mountaineers, paddlers, yogis, triathletes and the like.

Monica Engebretsen noticed this movement and wanted to help keep it going, so two years ago she started publishing North Idaho Wellness magazine. Then she noticed something missing.

"We just saw a need for a juice bar in Coeur d'Alene," Engebretsen says.

Along with her husband, she opened the Wellness Bar in July at a section of Fourth Street she calls "the wellness nook," because the vicinity is filled with fitness places like CrossFit Coeur d'Alene, Kyle Rutley Fitness and a hot yoga studio.

You can get something to munch on like wraps, salads, sandwiches, hot soup and Protein Pucks, and they serve organic coffee from Evans Brothers and Tao organic tea. But the fresh-pressed juices and smoothies are the focus ($6 for 16 ounces).

The Keep It Moving juice features apple, pear and cinnamon, which tastes like a healthy-for-you, liquid apple pie. The Super Power is packed with spinach, kale, cilantro, green apple and lime.

"It gives you the most amazing natural vitamin buzz ever," says Engebretsen.

If you need an after-workout recovery smoothie, she recommends the CDA Athlete, a blend of banana, ground chia seeds, kale, blueberries, cinnamon, almond milk, almond butter and protein powder.

With both smoothies and juices, you can buy a logoed Mason jar for $10, which includes your first drink and 50 cents off each subsequent drink. Also, if you do something active to get to the Wellness Bar — like ride your bike or skateboard — you get 50 cents off your drink.

For Engebretsen, the Wellness Bar is about more than simply serving nutritious juices; it's about inspiring healthy living. In the back room of the shop, just past the office where she publishes the magazine, is a gathering space that hosts free Wednesday wellness chats from 6-7 pm. Engebretsen brings in local health care providers and others to talk on subjects like diabetes, eating paleo or managing anxiety. ♦

The Wellness Bar • 312 4th St., Coeur d'Alene • Open Mon-Fri, 7 am-7 pm; Sat, 8 am-3 pm, Sun, 8 am-1 pm • niwellnessbar.com • 208-665-9098