Overview: Sakara Life

My original plan was to post each day of Sakara Life (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), but unfortunately my phone got replaced recently and failed to back up the last few photos I had on my other phone.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that I have a few photos left to share and some “last words” on the topic. First for the #eeeeeats… in no particular order.

Chocolate Love Muffin (Breakfast) – caramel (wildflower honey, almond butter, maple syrup, sea salt vanilla), crumb topping (oat flour, GF rolled oats, coconut milk, almond flour, coconut sugar, coconut oil, lemon juice, vanilla, baking soda, salt, cinnamon), garnish: raspberries, muffin (cauliflower, coconut milk, maple syrup, almond flour, coconut sugar, garbanzo flour, coconut oil, brown rice flour, millet flour, buckwheat flour, raw cacao powder, balsamic vinegar, chia powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla, xantham gum, salt, maca)

This was so good! I rarely eat baked goods for breakfast, but sometimes a treat (and a little chocolate) in the morning does a body good. With each meal that has a dressing/topping, they provide a lot of it. I rarely used all of the honey, dressing, sauce, etc.

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Sakara Earth Bowl (Dinner)– main (tricolor quinoa, beluga lentils), lotus root (lotus root, lemon juice, rice vinegar, tamari, black sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil), avocado (avocado, shelled hemp hearts, dulse), dressing (tahini, maple syrup, brown rice vinegar, tamari, dijon mustard ginger, black garlic, toasted sesame oil, cayenne pepper), garnish (mixed micro greens, watermelon radisn), salad (heirloom greens)

Every salad dressing they provided was amazing. I understand why they sell a separate sampler of all their dressings on their site. Also, their greens are flavorful and crisp. I’m definitely going to try and recreate some of their simpler meals like this one.

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Indian Spiced Samosas w/Sweet + Spicy Chutney (Lunch) – main (rice wrappers, baby kale, brown rice), filling (green peas, chickpeas, cashews, sunflower oil, carrots, baby kale, coconut flakes, white onion, turmeric root, seat salt, coriander seeds, cumin, mustard seeds, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom powder, cayenne pepper), garnish (coconut flakes), sauce (coconut milk, EVOO, pitted dates, lime juice, coconut oil, garlic, mint leaves, chillies, sea salt, ginger)

This was very different from anything that I would eat for lunch. Again, their flavors are incredible and dynamic. I followed their suggestion and heated this one up, which made it a lot more savory/less of a cold spring-roll type situation.

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Matcha Udon Bowl w/Yuzu Vinaigrette (Lunch) – dressing (yuzu, tamari, toasted sesame oil, sea salt, kochukanru), garnish (edible flower, white sesame seeds, shelled hemp hearts), greens (lacinato kale, shallots, EVOO, tamari, salt), noodles (brown rice noodles, toasted sesame oil, tamari, matcha green tea, white sesame seeds), salad (arugula, english cucumbers, watermelon radish)

I should’ve followed their advice and sautéed this. I think the dressing would’ve melded better with the arugula and noodles, but still delicious. Also, I learned about a new ingredients. Kochukaru is Korean chili powder. Sakara inspired by to pick up a bunch of new seasonings/things to make dressing with, such as tamari, walnut oil, sesame oil, and miso paste).

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Curry Bowl that I can’t find the description to… but I can tell you that it had broccoli, carrots, string beans, spinach, purple potatoes, wild rice, cabbage, and the curry sauce was made with coconut milk.

This was my favorite lunch by far. I love curry and lots of vegetables. If I were to eat a traditional curry, I think that I would be tired and sluggish after, but this one made me feel energized. I love how they use a variety of vegetables in each of their lunches and dinners, so I was never bored with what I was eating.

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What makes Sakara really special is their attention to detail. On each box, they write a sweet little note about the health benefits of a particular ingredient or how a certain dish originated. Reading a little about what I was about to eat reminded me to be cognizant and appreciative of what I was about to put into my body.

Additionally, the number of unusual ingredients they use in each dish to create complex and interesting flavors is astonishing. They could’ve just put raw Manuka honey with the chocolate muffin, but instead they made the effort to simulate a caramel flavor by using 5 different ingredients.

Changes I am going to make after what I learned on Sakara for a week:

  1. mostly vegetarian during the week and consuming wild fish, grass-fed meat, or certified humane eggs during the weekends
  2.  limiting snacks and eating three full meals a day
  3. sitting down and chewing without distractions
  4. adding lettuces to everything – greens, greens, greens!
  5. experiment with making my own interesting dressings

Review: Sakara, Day 1

I made it! I survived! I just ate my last dinner of my 5-day trial (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) of Sakara Life. To follow up my last post, I would like to make the next five posts visually heavy but text light. So, here is a list of my biggest takeaways from this personal eating experiment (followed up by a vegan’s food porn).

1) I can survive without animal meat/fish/eggs. This was a biggie for me. I workout 6/7 days of the week rotating between conditioning, HIIT, boxing, barre, yoga, cardio kickboxing… you get the idea. I’m very active and a big believer in the “protein 30 minutes after working out” rule. Also, I generally like to start my mornings with eggs or a protein shake. Sakara is pretty much vegan (even though they don’t state it outright and they do use honey in some dressings). I am aware that it is possible for vegans to get adequate protein, I just thought it involved eating buckets of lentils and beans. Apparently, Sakara founders have figured out how to pack a lot of protein into their meals using a variety of ingredients, such as seeds/nuts (hemp, cashews, almonds), grains (millet, quinoa, rice), vegetables (broccoli, kale, spinach), etc. I didn’t once feel tired (I’m on the cusp of anemia), weak, or un-satisfied during this week.

2)I don’t really need to snack. Sakara’s 3 daily meals are designed to provide an adequate amount of calories and nutrients. They believe that in between meals, your body should focus on restoring and digesting and that no food should be consumed. Besides a few bites of pasta and some carrots and hummus, I pretty much stuck to this rule. I’m one of those people that never feels truly hungry because I’m always eating. It was actually nice to really get hungry and then sit down to an incredibly satisfying meal.

3) Chewing is the biggest takeaway. Because I was only getting those three meals, I really tried to sit down and eat. And only eat. No texting, homework, talking, standing, walking… just sitting and chewing and tasting. Not only did my digestion improve, but I actually recognized when I started feeling (which was sometimes BEFORE I was finished eating [gasp!]).

4) Convenience. As you’ll see below, I rarely had an instance where I wasn’t eating the meals straight from their containers. I work two different jobs and take classes in the evenings. Not having to prepare food, but knowing that what I would be eating everyday was going to be nutrient dense, satisfying, and delicious, was a big plus.

5) Variety. I have never eaten such a range of different vegetable-based foods in one week in my life. My diet before was 90% Sweetgreen, protein shakes, and nuts, and 10% almond milk cappuccinos, pasta, and salmon. (I’m not joking.) This past week, I had a veggie burger for the first time (and didn’t hate it- it was actually delicious and pared with cashew cheese), udon noodles, roasted turnips, wild rice curry, chocolate muffins, chocolate granola, vegan “grilled cheese,” the list goes on… see below for day 1!

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Morning Water: Rose, Silica, Trace Minerals
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Avo-Cacao Probiotic Pudding + Lavender-Almond Tea Biscuit
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Daydreamer Soba Bowl
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Winter Sun Salad: kale, carrots, dried tart cherries, shelled hemp hearts, tricolor quinoa, thyme, EVOO, wildflower honey, sherry vinaigrette, dijon mustard, walnut oil, himalayan sea salt, garlic, brussels sprouts, balsamic vinegar, walnuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: SAKARA

Let me preface this post, I’ve never done a cleanse or meal plan before. That’s right, I’ve never fasted, drank soup or liquids for an extended period time, eliminated gluten, etc… you get the idea. The closest thing I’ve ever come to one is when I eliminated coffee, but no caffeine, for three months.

There is a reason for this. It’s not because I don’t have self-discipline, but rather I just don’t think cleanses are worth the effort. In most cases, they can do more harm than good.

On the flip side, I DO think eating healthfully – meaning whole, unprocessed food, no sugar or processed foods – is worth the effort. I think it’s a lifestyle change that can benefit any and everyone.

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I’ve been aware of Sakara for a number of years now. Started by Danielle DuBoise and Whitney Tingle. And Promoted by VS model Lily Aldridge and other IG influencers, Sakara is a plant-based, organic, superfood ingredient meal delivery service. It is gluten and dairy free with no processed sugars, harmful chemicals, preservative or additives. 

THIS (above) is my kind of eating. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that eating well is not about eliminating entire food groups or macronutrients (ie carbs), but rather nourishing your body with whole, real foods. It’s not about counting calories, but prioritizing the quality of the calories you’re consuming- meaning the fiber, protein, good fat, and complex carbohydrate content.

I’m a pretty healthy eater generally, but like most, when work, school, and life overwhelms us, our nutrition and mindfull-ness fall by the wayside.

Personally, I do a decent job getting my daily greens, avoiding sugar (for the most part), and consuming high quality fats and proteins. I wanted to try Sakara, because lately I’ve been consuming a lot of animal protein and protein shakes. To be clear, this is perfectly ok. However, I am knowledgable about factory farming and the antibiotics that are present in most of the meat we consume. It’s not only environmentally harmful – high energy and pollution costs – but also, it is difficult for our digestive systems to deal with these antibiotics and toxins.

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When I’ve tried to cut back on my meat intake in the past, my iron levels drop, I feel tired all the time, and I get dark circles. In Sakara’s “Pillars of Nutrition,” they state that “getting adequate protein is variety.” Their “meals are designed to provide more than enough protein (50-75 grams per day!) – and not just in the form of nuts, beans and seeds. Vegetables are also rich in amino acids, the building blocks of protein.” This tells me that when I had cut back on protein in the past, I wasn’t compensating by adding more protein-rich food sources. Since starting Sakara, I have yet to feel tired or low energy.

So, I’m two and a half days in to my five day body/mind experiment. And so far, I think I’m obsessed. To start, I don’t have to plan my meals. They are delivered three times in a week in a cooler bag in aesthetically-pleasing, recyclable plastic containers. Sakara is like the Equinox of meal plans – aesthetics and function go hand in hand.

Second, knowing that my three meals are nutritionally complete, I haven’t snacked AT ALL in between them. If you know me, you know that I LOVE to snack and I’m a big snacker. I can eat an entire bag of popcorn and call that a snack. However, snacking can lead to overeating and never feeling hungry in between meals. Sakara emphasizes the mindful aspect of eating. I’ve had (most of) my Sakara meals without the distractions of technology or people. I sit down and take my time. I chew my food fully before swallowing. I know what you’re thinking: we all know how to chew food. But no, I’m serious. I’m pretty sure I used to just put food in my mouth and swallow, because it takes me almost twice as long to finish my food now. And this is a good thing. I have less indigestion and my body actually recognizes when it’s full now – sometimes before I’m done with what I’m eating.

Over the next few days, I’m going to post photos, full ingredient lists, and my review of each Sakara meal I’ve had. I’ll rate my favorites and at the end of it let you all know my takeaway thoughts!

Food Fact or Fad?

In my mind, the validity of health trends is comparable to news articles found in US Weekly- meaning, I believe neither to hold much factual weight.

I took a few nutrition courses while attending Smith College. I learned a lot about how the body works and what it needs to function properly, but the big takeaway was when the teacher told us that these textbooks we were using would be moot in a few years due to the ever-changing landscape of the health and nutrition industry. Scientists are constantly experimenting, testing, researching, and hypothesizing. They do labs involving test subjects and statistics, which culminate into major claims about certain food or food products.

Bone broth, fats, turmeric, coconut water, collagen, lemon water, etc… have all had (or are having) their time in the spotlight. “Health” has become a trend in and of itself, which has prompted food stores, restaurants, and brands to incorporate these trending ingredients into their products and subsequent marketing of them.

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That’s not to say that science is always wrong. Consuming these trending health foods will probably not harm you in any way. In fact, the claims are sometimes correct. Healthy fat is good for you –  the nutrients found in avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, and nuts have been scientifically proven to improve the quality of your hair and skin and lower your bad cholesterol, along with a number of other benefits. However, my concern comes from the claims that were founded through small study groups or outlandish hypotheses promoting the benefits of a certain food or food group. Usually, there are only one or two articles that come out if there isn’t a lot of science to back up the claims, but with social media these days. Even the most minuscule piece of news can make its way onto the main stage of digital platforms.

Not everyone has the time or interest to look into every healthy trend that pops up. We want to stay healthy, so we do what those do around us. We eat the avocado toast with gluten free bread and hot sauce while sipping our bullet proof coffee because that’s what the countless “health” bloggers are advising us to do. Because butter in coffee is proven to do what exactly? And what is the science to back that up? And has there even been enough time to prove what the longterm benefits of doing that are?

A few days ago, it came out in the news that turmeric has not actually been proven to do anything positive for our health or wellbeing (besides dye our towels and hands orange). And you know my thoughts on bone broth

My point of this post/ramble is to be mindful and wary of trending ingredients or food items. Inform yourself, do the research, be particular and unique about what you choose to put into your body. I’m not saying smoothie supplements such as maca or pearl are going to harm you in any way, but you might as well save that $10 you’re about to spend on bone broth and put it towards a whole roasted chicken because WE KNOW protein is good for you.

When in doubt, stick to the (Michael) Pollan way. “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

Workout Class Review: Rumble (NYC)

Not to brag, but I think I’m at a point in my fitness-confidence level to pretty much try any workout, alone, for the first time. TRX, Crossfit, HIIT, Pilates, Hot yoga… You name it, I’ve pretty much tried it or something similar. In New York, I have access to studios that specialize in a particular form of workout – SLT, ModelFit, Barry’s Bootcamp, 305, Shadowbox, Y7, etc.

I’m what some might call a fitness class junkie. I have never experienced a “runner’s high,” but I have experienced a “group-fitness-class high.” I have exceeded my fitness limits by having instructors push me to “failure” in new workouts. I’ve found that my body is happiest when I’m never doing the same workout. And studies show that variety in exercise is a good way to prevent your body from that dreaded plateau. And for me, changing it up just keeps me coming back because it’s always a new experience, new music, and new people.

That’s why I was super interested to read about a new class, RUMBLE ,that involved a sport/workout that I rarely do and had already planned to do more of in 2017. Boxing is a sport that I find more intimidating than the rest. I’m not sure why, but it could be because there is a level of technique involved that I have yet to perfect. I’m a little bit competitive with myself when it comes to working out. I like to have perfect form, sweat buckets, and not be able to stand in order to feel like I truly worked out. Ok, so exaggerating a little, but you get the idea. There are very few group boxing classes that I feel challenge me physically, are fun, and are worth every cent. Because did I mention, these classes can run up to $45 a pop!

Rumble Breakdown:

  • Founded by four entrepreneurs: Noah Neiman, Eugene Remm, Andy Stenzler, and Anthony DiMarco. Each with an impressive and varied resume.
  • What kind of workout is it? A combination of HIIT, strength training, metabolic conditioning (METCON), and cardio.
  • 10 Rounds, 45 Minute total – alternate between bag and floor work (two rounds each).
  • Marketing on point. Think cute/cool (pick your adjective) gloves, Basquiat at the entrance (it’s real), dark room with bomb music. (And the instructors are all pretty much instagrammable/insta-famous in the fitness world.)
  • For beginners? Absolutely. The nice thing about boxing is that it’s dependent on how much you give. It’s you and the bag. There’s no treadmill telling you to continue running at 9 mph for 30 minutes. It’s a series of hooks, jabs, undercuts that you can dole out as fast and as hard as you feel you can. The conditioning or floor half of the class is dependent on weights and body weight.
  • Safe? Their bags are filled with water instead of sand, which is better for your wrists and hands.

I walked away feeling challenged and energized. Hitting a bag with all your body weight to great music in a darkly-lit red room is (in one word) therapeutic. 

If you’re not convinced already to try out this new class. I’ve added a few links below to inspire you!

RUMBLE WANTS TO TOTALLY CHANGE HOW YOU THINK ABOUT BOXING WORKOUTS

Vogue: Why Boxing May Be the Best Way to Break Out of a Fitness Rut This Year

The New Workout: Boxing Without the Bruises

Why You Should Box

And then some visual inspiration:

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Southpaw
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Muhammad Ali
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Gigi Hadid (Well + Good) `

 

New Year Resolutions + Last Year Realizations

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU! Am I right? Not exactly…

I’m not a big advocator of big, unreachable resolutions. I think that New Year’s resolutions can be a bit overwhelming and stressful. This is why each year, I make “life goals” and “health/wellness/fitness goals.” The former are goals I hope to reach in my career and relationships. Those can span over a few years (or a lifetime). And the latter goals are ones that can be worked on daily and achieved weekly/monthly.

This is a peak into some of the wellness goals I set out to achieve last year (2016):

  • Reduce processed sugar in my diet
    • I am always mindful of how much sugar I’m consuming, but this past year I’ve become more aware of how my body feels from different foods. Generally, when I eat a lot of sugar I feel unfocused, irritable, and frantic. Additionally, I don’t sleep well. This goal requires a lot of mindfulness and persistence. There is sugar in almost all processed foods and it’s easy to forget that when eating something like peanut butter or bread.
  • Yoga 2-3x a week
    • I haven’t been so good at this goal this past year. There was a year after high school that I was doing yoga every day. Since then, I’ve realized that my body prefers variety in my weekly workouts, but ideally I should have been doing yoga (at least) once a week as a form of rest and recovery for my muscles.
    • Mentally, yoga has helped me tremendously. Yoga was the first form of exercise that I actually enjoyed. More so, I experienced improvement in my practice. I realized that I was strong. This is a lesson that I’ve taken into my everyday life – determination, practice, focus, and the subsequent confidence can lead to improvements in my job and growth in my personal relationships.
  • Start a new activity (rock climbing, boxing, jump roping…)
    • I have (sort of) accomplished this one. Jump roping became part of my workout for a little while, but I’ve had trouble finding a rope that I love enough to improve my jumping skills. Any recommendations for a speed rope?
  • Try meditation. 
    • I haven’t. As a native New Yorker, I think I have difficulty quieting the outside noise that I’ve become to accustomed to. I think meditation, when I do try it this year, will be extremely difficult for me because my mind is constantly thinking about a million things and I can’t remember the last time I sat and did nothing. (Expect a 2017 post on my first meditation.)

Processed with VSCO with a7 presetLooking back, I can see why I didn’t complete some of these goals. I made them and then I forgot about them. I think little daily reminders to yourself are important. I DON’T think they should stress you out, but remembering the reason behind the goal can be beneficial in actually accomplishing it.

 

 

This past year, I did achieve (or at least worked on) fitness and health goals that I didn’t even set out to accomplish. I think every year I get closer and closer to finding out what makes my body and mind the happiest. This is what I’ve learned this year:

  • HIIT is my kind of workout
    • I know, I know, this has been the fitness-buzz-word of the year, but not without good reason. If workouts are too-slow or easy, I find that my mind wanders. Fitness experts all agree that mindful workouts (focusing on the task you are performing) are crucial to seeing results. I have a hard time thinking, looking, or doing anything besides what the instructor is saying. I don’t even look at the instructor – it’s eyes ahead at my form or down at what I’m doing. I find this workout more therapeutic than running, because it’s actually fun! It pushes me to exceed what I think I’m capable of. I end EVERY class feeling like I just accomplished big time. Even better, most classes are 30-45 minutes. Mentally, it’s been amazing for me. Body wise, my cardio has improved (I can observe this during those rare occasions I do go for a run). Additionally, I think doing 100+ burpees and mountain climbers have toned my abs and arms in a way that lifting weights or crunches could never do.
  • EAT FOOD, not too much, mostly plants. 
    • You can thank Michael Pollan for the catchy way to remember how to eat for good health. Every year, I feel as if I’m exploring new foods and new ways to eat that suit my energy needs and lifestyle. About six years ago, I started eating oatmeal every morning with superfoods like chia seeds and goji berries. Five years ago, I wasn’t drinking any alcohol. Then in college, sugar, alcohol, and canola oil-heavy meals were reintroduced into my diet and I became puffy, irritable, and unhappy. Paired with my daily 6-8 mile runs, I gained about 10 pounds. Clearly, this way of nourishing myself was not ideal. Near the end of college, I started doing HIIT, walking, and eating more salads, fats (avocados and nuts), and clean protein. Generally, I became more aware of the quality and types of foods I was ingesting and how my body was responding as a result. When Pollan says “eat food,” he means real, whole, naturally occurring foods, not the stuff that comes in a box or plastic.
  • SLEEP is still very important to me.
    • This year, I have read more studies saying that sleep requirements vary depending upon age and the individual. But I think everyone should be getting 6-9 hours of sleep a night. I know many people that “get by” with less, but I’m sticking by this one. I think that most people are walking around in sleep-dep. This article elucidates some ways you can tell if you’re not getting enough sleep. I understand that some people’s schedules don’t allow for the amount of sleep. I have realized that I do more quality work and am more productive when I am not tired.
  • BALANCE is always a work in progress.
    • Finding a balance between staying fit and healthy, while at the same time not stressing out about being perfect, is tricky. The approach I’ve taken this year is to listen to my body. Generally, your body will let you know when you need to take a rest day, eat more greens, or reduce your alcohol intake. I drink tequila, eat cake and pasta, stay up till 3 am, but not all the time. In fact, not most of the time. My point being that when I want a martini, I’ll have one, but lately a HIIT workout has been more satisfying.

I’ve begun to think about this years wellness goals, and so far I have:

  • Do more yoga. So, I’ve signed up for one month unlimited Y7 classes  to jumpstart my new year. Hot yoga to The Weeknd in a dark room? Yes. Please.
  • Cook more. The best way to ensure that I’m eating “real,” whole food.
  • Boxing. Because I just graduated college. And in the “real world,” I’m learning that sometimes it helps to hit things/bags. I’ve done cardio kickboxing, but adding a bag increases your resistance training.
  • Meditation. This year is the year.
  • Continue to be mindful of processed sugar intake. Because more and more studies are claiming that it is more addictive than heroine. Like, seriously.
  • Try new restaurants. I eat simple foods and the same types of food a lot, so every now and then it’s nice to go out and experience new cuisine. It definitely feels more special to eat out when you are not doing it all the time. When I try new restaurants, I like to order what I don’t eat on a regular basis, like pasta, red meat, and dessert!

I never set my resolutions in stone, but thinking about them, discussing them with someone else, or even writing them down can be a helpful reminder of things you’d like to do in the New Year. Happy (almost) 2017! 

Recovering from Thanksgiving

Happy day after Thanksgiving! If you did it right, you should still be in bed recovering from a food coma. You might have a slight stomach ache, headache (probably from dehydration), and lethargy.

Some suggestions to quickly recover from this Thanksgiving hangover:

HYDRATE – Between the sugar from the pie, sodium from the gravy, and sugar and alcohol from the red wine, you are probably massively dehydrated. Drinking water will wake up your digestive system and begin to mediate your headache. If you’re feeling groggy, try to avoid going straight for that foamy double cappuccino. Caffeine narrows your blood vessels and increases blood pressure, which both make your headache and hangover much worse. On the flip side, if you’re a regular coffee drinker (like me) then you’ll probably want to have a little caffeine (tea) because caffeine-withdrawal can also cause you to have a painful headache that feels like a hangover. Processed with VSCO with a9 preset

MOVE – I know this is the most annoying tip, but even a 30 minute walk in some fresh air can be extremely restorative. And I’ve found that once you get started and feel more awake, you’ll feel benefits will outweigh the work. For digestion, I suggest doing some yoga twists or inversions.

EAT NORMALLY – There are two things I’ve known people to do after a big meal, eat nothing or continue to eat large portions. You might be surprised to find that you’re hungry the morning after Thanksgiving. This is actually to be expected, because your stomach has been slightly stretched due to the size of your last meal. Don’t worry, once you go back to eating normal portions it will shrink back to normal. This is where I suggest NOT having that piece of pie for breakfast. Not only will the refined carbs and sugar spike your blood-sugar levels causing you to feel jittery and unfocused for the rest of the day, but you will also probably be hungry again within an hour. The basic science behind this is that an insulin surge interferes with leptin, the hormone that sends a signal to your body to stop eating. Start your day with protein, good fats, and some leftover roasted sweet potatoes or other veggies. If you’re still craving that pie, I guarantee you’ll have a smaller piece and feel more satisfied after.

DON’T STRESS – Relax, enjoy your family, and enjoy good food. One meal will not make you fat, just like one salad won’t make you skinny. Continue to be thankful that you have this really cool body that has all these very-normal, human reactions!

The New New in New York

Times are a changin’, especially in the realm of startups in NYC. Brands such as Outdoor Voices, Everlane, and Glossier are making a name for themselves via Instagram and word-of-mouth. And it’s working for them.

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These brands are connecting to their market using millennial-worthy phrases such as “Doing Things,” “Radical Transparency,” and “Skin is In.”  The founders Tyler Haney (OV), Michael Preysman (Everlane), and Emily Weiss (Glossier), know that their customer is smart. Each CEO discovered a gap in their market’s industry, a craving that this generation (and older) had for easy, usable, wearable, affordable, and sustainable fashion and beauty. They started with good ideas and created great products. outdoor-voices-spring-2016-collection-twin-with-your-bff-01-780x520

Here are my favorites from each (and fun little quotes from the founders):

OUTDOOR VOICES, Tyler Haney: “I’m very much a risk taker. I don’t have experience on my side, but I have persistence.” (Forbes.com)

Outdoor Voices favorite: Two-Tone Athena Crop

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3/4 Two-Tone Warmup Legging

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EVERLANE, Michael Preysman: “I think the notion of a product where you know you’re going to get great quality, you know the price is going to be good and you know the company is incredibly honest and transparent about everything that happens is something that’s very refreshing.” (BoF)

Everlane favorites: The Modern Babo
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The Cashmere Crop Mockneck

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GLOSSIER, Emily Weiss: “That’s sort of how we think about things, as always a fresh start. We want to be able to make girls really happy and excited about beauty. I think that beauty is something that can be very overwhelming and very alienating and there’s certainly no shortage of beauty products that exist. We wanted to give a clear vision for something that can make you really happy, or really bring joy to your morning or your evening or your day.” (Racked

Glossier favorite: Balm Dotcom

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Haloscope in Quartz 

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Walk On: Sneaker Review

I’ll keep this post short(ish) and sweet. I’m not a runner. I find it monotonous and ineffective. I do believe that it works for some people with the runner’s high and whatnot. Just not my thing. I am, however, a walker. I walk EVERYWHERE. It’s become a running (pun-intended) joke with my friends and family that wherever I go, I opt-out of regular transportation. Reasons why I walk everywhere (like I need them):

  1. I live in a beautiful city and I like exploring it by foot.
  2. Cabs/Ubers/Lyfts make me nauseous.
  3. The trains are unreliable on weekends.
  4. Exercise!
  5. I save money. Has anyone realized the subway is now $2.75?

I’ve literally walked through the heels and soles of multiple shoes, so I’ve had to resort to sneakers for the majority of my trekking. And I just want to let you all in on a little sneaker secret…

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This magnificent creature is aptly named The Cloud by On.  And they are, indeed, heavenly to walk in.