Best of Springfield®

BOS '18: Life & Wellness

BOS '18: Life & Wellness
Photo by Joseph Copley


Food Fantasies

1512 Wabash Ave., 793-8009

You know this place is a winner before you even walk through the door. All the organic produce and spices and supplements and cookies and oils and lord knows what else combine to produce a heavenly scent that wafts past the front door even when closed, like the aroma of fine wine that is a harbinger of great things to come. Sip slowly and drink deeply of the delights at Food Fantasies. Strawberry hemp granola. Kiwi berries. Chocolate chip cookies. Carrot juice. Fruit ales. Beans sold in bulk and, of course, tofu. They also offer wraps and sandwiches if you don’t have time to cook. Readers who are into that sort of thing rave about the selection of cannabidiol oils, said to cure everything from insomnia to inflammation. We’ve always been amazed at just how much stuff they cram into this place, everything from fake sausage to the real thing from organically raised pigs. One thing, though, is constant: If Food Fantasies sells it, it must be good for you.

Finalists: Best Health Food Retail Store: GNC, Hy-Vee
Finalists: Best Holistic Health Center: Acupuncture & Integrative Wellness Center, Capitol Chiropractic Health Center, Inner Health Spa, Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy
Finalists: Best Place To Buy CBD Oil Products: Happy Daze Gift Shop, Lincoln’s Doggie Delicatessen, Penny Lane, Upper Limits

Lake Pointe Apartments

1600 Toronto Road, 529-2900

Illinois Times’ readers have spoken, and we heard them loud and clear: When it comes to apartment living, you can’t go wrong with Lake Pointe Apartments. Located at 1600 Toronto Road, Lake Pointe Apartments are a practical and affordable choice for students of University of Illinois Springfield and Lincoln Land Community College, and the complex location also offers quick and easy access to both I-55 and I-72, which is great for anyone working in Springfield or nearby communities. With amenities such as free in-unit laundry; full-size dishwashers, refrigerators, stoves and microwaves; free high-speed internet; private entrances; a 24-hour fitness center; swimming pool and an on-site office, you and your roommate(s), family, and/or pets are sure to feel right at home at Lake Pointe Apartments.

Finalists: Lincoln Square Apartments, Prairie Vista Apartments, The Villas Downtown, West Koke Mill Apartments

Frisina Family Chiropractic

1533 S. MacArthur Blvd,

They don’t just rush in at Frisina Family Wellness Center. Before doing anything else, Tana Frisina, who grew up here, will do all sorts of pre-treatment evaluations, including x-rays, to determine just what’s wrong and how to fix it. She can help with all sorts of maladies, from sore necks to aching spines to pains in your jaw and ribs. The practice doesn’t begin or end with what folks think of as traditional chiropractic care. Massage is a specialty, and they can also provide advice on nutrition. They also welcome expectant mothers and kids.

Finalists: Advanced Center for Pain & Rehab, Capital City Chiropractic, Jones Chiropractic, Waggener Chiropractic and Wellness Center

Lincoln Land Community College

You can learn to be a construction site flagger or a medical coder (someone who puts what happens in a doctor’s office into language insurance companies understand) at Lincoln Land Community College, which can translate into good-paying jobs that can last a long time. You can also learn to cook, raise bees, speak Spanish, take photographs or write better than you do now, either because you want a better job or because you want to be a better person or because you’re going abroad and don’t want to appear a doofus. That’s the beauty of Lincoln Land Community College, where they understand that education, but more importantly learning, shouldn’t stop at any age.

Finalists: Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, St. John’s College of Nursing, University of Illinois Springfield, University of Spa and Cosmetology Arts


Concordia Village

4101 W. Iles Ave., 793-9429

While some senior citizens may resist the idea of leaving home to move to a retirement community, Concordia Village provides a very attractive option. With restaurant-style dining, a fitness center and pool, movie theater, salon, library, art studio and wood shop, the amenities are what you might expect at a resort. Residents can start out in independent living apartments and transition to assisted living or long-term care, if needed. A faith-based organization, Concordia’s mission statement is “Older Adults Living Life to the Fullest.”

Finalists: Assisted Living: Eastland Retirement Community, Mill Creek Alzheimer’s Special Care Center, Regency Care, The Villas Senior Care Community.
Finalists: Independent Living: Brenden Gardens, Hickory Glen, Montvale Estates

Capital City CrossFit

1615 W. Jefferson St., 414-2544

Established in 2010, Capital City CrossFit’s mission is to “provide a positive and challenging environment that promotes health, fitness, well-being and community.” The owners and staff of Capital City CrossFit do exactly that, offering members a variety of scheduling options, as well as open gym times, on-ramp sessions designed to introduce new athletes of all fitness levels to the sport of CrossFit, and drop in-rates for out-of-town CrossFitters. Capital City CrossFit members come for the workouts, which are constantly varied and challenging yet adaptable to all fitness levels, but stay for the camaraderie. One Facebook reviewer described Capital City CrossFit as “a family environment where people really care about me and I’ve made some of my best friends.” Challenging workouts with great friends – it doesn’t get any better than that!

Finalists: CrossFit Instinct, CrossFit XLT, Fit Club Bent Steel, Rail Splitter CrossFit

Silverleaf Children’s Academy

207 S. Walnut, Rochester
3220 Pleasant Run, Springfield
2715 S. Fourth St., Springfield, 679-2029

Most new parents have to go back to work at some point, and it’s hard to know who to trust with your little bundle of joy. Silverleaf Children’s Academy is the kind of daycare that puts your mind at ease. The staff is not there to simply babysit, there is an academic curriculum that includes sign language (beginning at six months old), Spanish lessons and phonics. The children are served healthy, organic meals. Parents can receive texts and photo messages with updates throughout the day on when Johnny had his diaper changed or what Sally had to eat. More than 200 children ages six weeks to 12 years of age are cared for at three different locations and touring one will make you understand why you should get on the waiting list as soon as you conceive.

Finalists: Kimmy Kare’s Daycare, Lake Shore Learning Center, My Friends Discovery Center, Pleasant Park Child Development

Prairie Dental Group

2900 Greenbriar Road, 546-0412
While Prairie Dental Group offers the types of services you would expect from a dental office, their specialty is restoring people’s smiles through cosmetic dentistry. Patients report suffering not only from mouth pain, but also from low self-esteem and embarrassment before their broken, chipped or discolored teeth were repaired by the dentists at Prairie Dental Group. For those who have anxiety about going to a dentist, sedation dentistry is available. A Facebook testimonial from a happy patient concludes, “This is the first time in my adult life that I’ve done preventative care (previously not due to bad experiences and fear) and it is all due to how wonderful the staff is.”

Finalists: Magna Dental, Milner Dentistry, Renken Dentistry, Timothy Jones Dental

Dr. Nicole Florence

Memorial Physician Services,
3132 Old Jacksonville Road, 862-0800

Dr. Florence is a graduate of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, where she completed a residency in internal medicine and pediatrics. In addition, she is a board-certified bariatrician and co-medical director of Memorial Weight Loss and Wellness Center. For patients who want to address obesity without surgery, she helps them move past fad diets and often conflicting weight loss information to focus on achieving healthy, sustainable changes in their lives. Dr. Florence also serves as a primary care provider, helping patients of all ages with preventative health care. With her sense of humor and relentlessly positive attitude, it’s no surprise that our readers have again chosen Dr. Florence in this category.

Finalists: Dr. David Chapman, Springfield Clinic; Dr. Daniel Lanzotti, Springfield Clinic; Dr. Scott Morton, Springfield Clinic; Dr. Christina Ventress, Memorial Physician Services

BOS '18: Life & Wellness
Photo courtesy Prairie Dental Group
BEST DENTAL OFFICE Prairie Dental Group


701 S. Fourth St., 544-9846
4550 W. Iles Ave., 679-1625

OK, it’s seen better days. The HVAC system can get weird. The roof is said to leak on occasion. The locker room isn’t much fancier than the space where the basketball team from Hickory High School dressed up in the movie Hoosiers. But we love the downtown YMCA, and so did erstwhile state senator and former president Barack Obama, who once shot hoops here, which makes the downtown YMCA a historic landmark in the eyes of some. We’re not sure that we’d go that far, but the building is, undeniably, a relic, and we’ll miss it, when and if it gets scraped, as planned. In the meantime, shoot pickup hoops, send your kids to fitness classes, lift weights, do some aerobics and also enjoy the massive swimming pool. You also can do all of that at the Kerasotes branch on the west side of town, which is also a big favorite with readers, and the locker rooms are nicer.

Finalists: FitClub, Orangetheory Fitness, Planet Fitness, Powerworks Fitness


BJ Grand Salon and Spa

3055 Professional Dr., 753-8880
3300 Robbins Rd.,787-7770

The thing we like most about BJ Grand Salon and Spa isn’t the hairdos, which readers say are the best in the city. And it isn’t the facials or the pedicures or the massages or the bikini waxes (ouch!) that you can get at the city’s one-stop-shop for pampering. What we like are the strong local roots – it’s a family-run enterprise that’s been around since the 1970s, so if they didn’t know how to take care of hair, we would have found out by now – and the annual Beautiful Bra promotion that has raised thousands of dollars to fight cancer. Bras decorated for a worthy cause haven’t proven as big as the Festival of Trees, but they should be, and so go get a haircut, gaze at brassieres that would make Tina Louise cringe and be happy that we have a place like this in Springfield.

Finalists: Best Hair Salon: Appearances Salon and Retreat, Meraki Salon and Spa, Studio 6 Hair Salon, Willow & Birch Salon
Finalists: Best Spa (no injections): Inner Health Spa, Massage Luxe,  Meraki Salon and Spa, Willow & Birch Salon

Vision Care Associates

121 North Grand Ave. West
2741 Prairie Crossing Dr., 528-3233

We’ve tried the internet, and it just doesn’t work, at least for us, when it comes to glasses. Maybe it’s the shape of our face, but we always have to try on at least a billion pairs before we find frames that are just right. They don’t have a billion pairs of eyeglasses at Vision Care Associates, it only feels like it, with frames by such makers as Burberry and Versace. With two locations, eight optometrists and an onsite lab, getting new glasses is both quick and convenient. If glasses aren’t your thing, they can also hook you up with contacts or perform Lasik surgery for a more permanent solution.

Finalists: America’s Best Contacts and Eyeglasses, Bergh-White Opticians, Eyemart Express, Prairie Eye and Lasik Center

Amanda Rollins

Massage Envy
2933 S. Veterans Parkway, 210-3689

While many people get a massage to unwind or work out that knot in the shoulder, the services offered at Massage Envy could also be considered preventative maintenance. The monthly memberships can be customized to include not just massages, but stretching, skin care and aromatherapy. Therapist Amanda Rollins is also certified in prenatal massage, making her popular with expectant moms who are dealing with plenty of aches and pains. But you don’t have to be pregnant to enjoy her services; a recent client review on Facebook states, “Amanda is hands down one of the best therapists I’ve ever had. She’s very knowledgeable, thorough, and client-centered. She can provide the perfect amount of pressure for trigger points and lighter pressure for painful areas. You won’t regret signing up with her!” For her part, Amanda said, “I am so thankful for Massage Envy and the support my managers and co-workers give me. I love my clients and am so glad that they leave our building feeling renewed.“

Finalists: Chiffonia, Massage Luxe; Gabbrielle, BJ Grand Salon & Spa; Heather Fowler, Moxie Massage; Becky Ishmael, Frisina Family Chiropractic

Memorial Medical Center

Whoopee – time to go to the hospital! Who says that? Well, almost no one, but if you’re going to get sick or break an arm or visit someone who’s ailing, readers agree there’s no better place than Memorial Medical Center. Besides top-notch medical care, they offer valet parking, and the cafeteria food is pretty darn good. They even serve biscuits and gravy as well as bacon-wrapped pork filet, which, if not everyone’s idea of healthy, is just the sort of comfort food every hospital needs. Beyond health care, Memorial is a community leader that is a driving force behind a proposed new downtown YMCA, which promises to rejuvenate the surrounding neighborhood while creating healthy bodies so that people may not have to go to the hospital quite as often.

Finalists: HSHS St. John’s Hospital, Orthopedic Center of Illinois, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield Clinic

The Medical Spa at Springfield Clinic’s Center for Plastic Surgery

900 N. First St., 528-7541

While Springfield Clinic is best known as a traditional health care provider, the Center for Plastic Surgery offers a variety of cosmetic services that might more commonly be associated with a high-end spa experience. Want Botox injections or dermal fillers to even out those fine lines and wrinkles? Want laser treatments to remove hair or an unsightly tattoo? Want to try Latisse to grow thicker eyelashes? The team of doctors at The Medical Spa can do all that and more. Our readers trust the doctors at Springfield Clinic to keep them looking and feeling their best.

Finalists: Body Perfect Medical Spa, Prairie Spa, Strow Dermatology, SIU Medicine Cosmetic Clinic

Soak Nail Massage Spa

2963 Lindbergh Blvd., 546-3821

In a town seemingly saturated with nail salons, Soak has found a way to stand out. While they offer the standard services that you would expect (manicures, pedicures and massages) it’s the customer service that sets this salon apart. No matter how busy they are or what time of day you arrive, there’s rarely a wait, and the staff always seems delighted to see you, even if you walk in shortly before closing time. It’s no wonder that Soak has consistently been voted the best nail salon by our readers.

Finalists: BJ Grand Salon & Spa, Luxe Nail Bar, Pink & White Nails & Spa, Sasa Nails &  Spa

Therese Thoele

St. John’s Hospital, Women and Infants Center, 544-6464

Babies need a lot of help, and so do new parents. Perhaps that’s why our readers so appreciate Therese Thoele, who goes above and beyond the call of duty as a labor and delivery nurse. After 37 years of working in the women and infants center, she was present for the birth of some of the moms that she’s helping to deliver now. In addition to being recognized locally, Theresa has been honored with a Daisy Foundation award, which recognizes nurses internationally for outstanding care. Her nominator for that award wrote, “She gave us some confidence that we were doing better as parents than we thought.” We’re confident that the more than 1,800 babies born at the Women and Children’s Center each year are lucky to have Therese on staff.

Finalists: Jessica Akers, Memorial Medical Center; Chris Lopian, St. John’s Hospital; Angie Rinaberger, Springfield Clinic; Rachel Westbrook, St. John’s Hospital

Cindy Ward

Downtown YMCA, 701 S. Fourth St.,
Kerasotes YMCA, 4550 W. Iles Ave.,

Cindy Ward, an ACE-certified personal trainer, has a demonstrated passion to help others on their health and wellness journey to become the strongest, fastest and healthiest version of themselves. Although she’s been an active individual all her life, Cindy found her passion and motivation for fitness after completing her first 5K. As someone who sees food as fuel and power in strength, Cindy encourages her clients to go above and beyond their comfort zones via functional fitness and out-of-the-box thinking. In addition to her services as a personal trainer, Cindy has taught a variety of classes, including Ultimate Workout, Body Conditioning and Ballet Sculpt and has served as a three-time coach for the YMCA’s “Total Body Transformation” program.

Finalists: Tom Caputo, Orangetheory Fitness; Brian Chandler, Capital City CrossFit; Carl “Prez Dent” Jefferson; Grand Central Training Facility; Caitlin McCarthy, FitClub South

Ahh Yoga

2201 W. White Oaks Dr., 725-2373

Of all the places in town to learn and practice the yogic arts, our readers’ favorite is Ahh Yoga, which says in an online statement: “We believe a yoga studio should feel good when you walk in, not intimidating, not judgy and not stuffy…We want to be the place that feels warm and friendly and where you feel accepted just as you are. We believe everyone – and every body – is able to practice yoga.” Offering a wide variety of classes, ranging from those aimed at beginners (and even children) to more advanced practitioners, Ahh Yoga is also known for its special classes and outings such as “Yoga & Brew” and “Yoga in the Park.” “This was one of the best yoga classes I have taken, especially in Springfield,” said one Facebook review. “Being from a bigger city, I have missed lots of workout options and I will definitely be back!” “Ahh always welcomes new and recurring members with warmth and kindness. The studio is clean and modern and there is a perfect practice for everyone. Wide offerings for all levels of yoga.”

Finalists: Fit Yoga, Half Moon Yoga Fit, Trailhead Center for Yoga & Ayurveda

BEST AUDIOLOGIST                        
Dr. Jennifer Berry

SIU Medicine               
720 N. Bond St., 545-8000

Finalists: Lori Faber, SIU; Dave Groesch, Central Illinois Hearing; Rebecca Howard, Kerr Hearing Aid Center; Jaclyn Paisley McFadden, Central Illinois Hearing

Springfield Clinic Center for Women’s Health

900 S. First St., 528-7541

When you step foot in the Springfield Clinic Center for Women’s Health, you can relax, knowing that you are in capable hands. The Springfield Clinic Center for Women’s Health offers a welcoming lobby, friendly faces at the front desk, clean examination and procedure rooms and knowledgeable, personable medical professionals, all located in a beautiful state-of-the-art medical facility. The Springfield Clinic Center for Women’s Health features a variety of services ranging from preventative and wellness, pregnancy and childbirth, to menopause and living well, all connected to the extensive and reputable Springfield Clinic medical system.

Finalists: Memorial Physician Services, Planned Parenthood, Springfield Clinic 1st

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