Good Eats, January 2022

Drink in a Rainbow

Smoothies and vegan fare offer healthy start to new year at Prima Elements downtown

By Janet Gibson

Photography by Cindy Burnham

About 95 percent of the menu is liquid.

Smoothies, juices, energy shots and bodycleansing elixirs are the nutrition of choice at Prima Elements Holistic Wellness Center, a downtown Fayetteville business that draws us in from the first whiff of patchouli.

Given all our food indulgences from Halloween to New Year’s – OK, maybe during the entire COVID era – Prima is a much-needed breath of fresh air. In addition to a focus on drinking the colors of a rainbow, Prima offers yoga and meditation classes, reiki alternative healing, ionic foot detox baths, and beginning this month, a bed with crystal lights – or chromatherapy – which is said to help with everything from elevating our moods to alleviating joint pain.

When we aren’t in a Zen-like state, we are taken with the hypnotic whir of dueling blenders and juicers that turn fresh fruits and vegetables into delicious, drinkable meals with names such as Rock The Beet and Berry The Hatchet. The tall man at the controls is Adrian Burgos, who looks like a rock star with flowing dreadlocks and smiling eyes.

“This place is a hidden gem,” says Kali Payton III, a local filmmaker, as he picks up his daily smoothie, trusting the choice to Adrian.

We are tempted by the Mellow Mango and Get Figgy With It, both 16 ounces, which are fabulously fruity and contain nice extras such as hemp or flax seeds ($7.20 and $8.85, respectively). The added Matcha tea in my mango delivers, as Adrian promises, an energy buzz that gets me through a deadline-filled afternoon.

Food that actually requires chewing is also on our list – and we discover a trio of vegan choices – to enjoy in a cozy dine-in area or to take out.

There’s a kale-based salad with quinoa-stuffed avocado halves, topped with an addictive agave-mustard dressing ($9.50), a liberally stuffed veggie wrap ($7.50 with avocados, $6.50 without), and a cashew-based cream of mushroom soup that is pure nirvana ($6-$7.50). The latter is made fresh daily by Adrian, who manages Prima with his wife, Audriaunna Kitterman, a flame-tressed yogi who alternates between calmness and enthusiasm when she talks in detail about the services offered at the center. Their two young sons, Legend and Rubix, are frequently nearby, along with other stunningly beautiful children who have just participated in a yoga class.

Prima is the brainchild of Hilda Burgos, Adrian’s mom. On the cusp of her 65th birthday, she is the picture of vibrant health. An Army veteran with a medical background and psychology degree from Fayetteville State, Burgos opened the business in 2015.

“When people come in with aches and pains, they can be serviced and feel safe,” she says.

Prima’s interior is minimalist with some bohemian touches. Adult yoga classes are downstairs on select evenings and Saturday mornings. Healing services are upstairs.

January through April is their busy season for one primary reason: juice cleanses. One-, two-, three- and five-day plans are available for pickup and include concoctions that blend everything from kale with sea moss and cayenne pepper with lemons. The cleanses start at $58 for a day, $115 for two days, $175 for three days, and up to $290 for five days.

Adrian is a walking, talking testimonial for the juice cleanses. He lost 40 pounds in 30 days about four years ago – and has kept the weight off.

Around that same time, Adrian and Audriaunna became vegans. “I saw the documentaries,” explains Adrian. “You can’t un-see it.” Hilda is a vegetarian.

The family also is committed to their alkaline water business as a good health measure. Some 150 subscribers in the local area pay $60 per month for a water subscription. Alkaline water is somewhat controversial, but some studies have shown that it may help with certain conditions, including acid reflux, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Essential oils, CBD products, raw nuts, various teas and elderberry syrup are among the other items that lure folks into Prima Elements.

“We’re a business,” Adrian says, “that wants to bring peace, love and joy to the community.”

Prima Elements Holistic Wellness Center is located at 124 Anderson St. in downtown Fayetteville, 910-483-8406. The hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Here is a link to the new crystal light healing therapy bed, which was handmade in Europe: www.primaelements.org/crystal-lighthealing-therapy