Rocky Mountain High

This week has been a bit of a trying one. While everything I have going on is exciting and I am grateful for it all I am finishing this week exhausted and with a cold to boot. I rarely if ever get sick, and when I do it is almost always stress induced. With that said my apologies that I have been light on the posting this week!

Tomorrow Doug and I head off on vacation with my family to Aspen, CO and I could not be more excited (despite my cold). I have to admit I am a bit nervous about the flight. Flying when pregnant is not the most fun activity but I have a few tips and tricks to try that I will be sure to report back on.

I love the mountains and spent much of my childhood and teen years vacationing in Aspen. I am a huge skier but given my current “condition” will not be hitting the slopes this trip. Instead I plan on spending the week doing yoga, going to the spa, walking around town with my dad and sister (also not skiing) and eating good food. I know a week of relaxation in the mountain air will be just what I need.

Have a great week and I will be back in March!

Holiday Weekend Sweet Potatoes

This past weekend was one of indulgence. Doug and I were in East Hampton for the holiday weekend, and we certainly made the most of it. We checked out the Hampton’s Film Festival, ate an amazing dinner at Tom Colicchio’s new Topping Rose House ( it was very dark so sadly no photos), rode the new Soul-Cycle bikes at the Bridgehampton Barn, and spent many hours lazing around. It was the perfect way to end my Birthday Week (yes I said week). There is no place I would rather be than by the beach with my husband and dog. It truly is my happy place.

One of the culinary highlights of the weekend was a true indulgence for me. On Sunday afternoon we went to Milk Pail Orchards, for a very autumnal lunch.

Amidst the pumpkin patches we indulged in roasted corn (picked that morning!), hot apple cider, and best of all fresh sweet potato fries. Normally I would not touch anything fried but something about a crisp autumn day and local sweet potatoes made it hard to resist! It was certainly a treat but very well worth it!

Maddy even got in on the action! Doug was kind enough to share some of his with her.

 While the made to order sweet potato fries were incredibly delicious, they did leave me feeling sluggish and sleepy for the rest of the afternoon. Perhaps it was the rainstorm, but once we got home I took a very long nap. Certainly the fried food had something to do with that!

There is no reason delicious food has to leave you full and exhausted. These oven baked sweet potato fries are the perfect alternative to my Sunday indulgence. They are still crispy and salty, yet much better for you. Served with spicy beet ketchup they are a great treat!

Sweet Potato Fries with Beet Ketchup

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  1. Pre- heat the oven to 425.
  2. Slice the sweet potato into fry- like spears.
  3. Place sweet potato spears on a foil lined baking sheet.
  4. Rub with coconut oil until throughly coated.
  5. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and balck pepper.
  6. Bake at top rack of oven for 30-35 minutes or until the sweet potato spears brown at edges.
  7. Serve with Beet Ketchup.

Beet Ketchup

  • 2 medium beets roasted and peeled  (or one package Love Beets)
  • 2 small cloves of garlic
  • 1 T coconut or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • stevia to taste
  1. Blend all ingredients in a Vitamix or high speed blender until smooth.
  2. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Hamptons Juice Tour Part Three- Jack’s

I grew up surrounded by coffee and coffee drinkers. My father made his career in coffee, sugar and cocoa, and by the time I was a teen I was enjoying a cup or so of java a day. There were always bags of exotic coffee in our house and the smell still makes me nostalgic for my childhood. You can imagine the shock in my family when I quit drinking coffee about four years ago! For me quitting coffee was a huge step in cleaning up my eating and drinking habits. Not only did I quit coffee but I also was finally able to quit dairy as the skim milk in my daily latte was the last vestige of dairy in my diet.

So what was I doing at Jack’s Stir Brew on a rainy afternoon with my sister? Getting green juice! Jack’s in Amagansett carries their own house made pressed juices! They also stock my favorite Harmless Harvest raw coconut water which is an added bonus!

My favorite pressed juice at Jack’s is the Mr. Green. It is green enough for a hard core green juice drinker like me, but still mild enough for newbies! I love the idea of someone picking up an alkalizing green juice to have before their highly acidic coffee.

I picked up some Mr. Green’s for myself and a few extra for Doug to have when he arrived from NYC. Along with delicious green juice and coffee ( so says my sister) Jack’s also stocks a few SJM approved treats including  Mast Brothers Dark Chocolate and Brad’s Raw Chips .

My favorite thing about Jack’s is that my sister and I both adore it for different reasons. We can go together and each get exactly what she want. For her it’s an iced latte, for me it’s pressed green juice!

 

Hamptons Juice Tour Part Two- wellNEST

Do you ever find a store that you love so much you want to visit every day? That is how I feel about wellNEST in Sag Harbor, the second stop on my Hamptons green juice tour! Located in a historic Sag Harbor house, wellNEST is an extremely well curated lifestyle store that carries some of my favorite goodies from Tara Harper Skincare and Priti nail polishes, to loveshackfancy dresses, to fantastic one of a kind gifts for anyone in your life. On a recent visit I spotted an “Adopt a Meerkat” kit which may just end up in the Christmas stocking of several animal lovers I know!

Along with green beauty and home items wellNEST also gets bi-weekly ( tuesday and friday) deliveries of pressed juice and raw foods from The Juice Press in NYC. Doug and I always stop by on Fridays to pick up our juices (and sometimes a few other items) for the weekend ahead!  Similar to the rest of the store, the selection of items delivered to wellNEST from The Juice Press is a curated collection of the best green juices they make.

On this visit I chose two “Simple Green” juices to have the following morning. This juice is a delicious mix of cucumber, celery, lemon, aloe, kale and blue manna with a pinch of sea salt. The addition of aloe, blue manna and sea salt to an otherwise typical pressed green juice really makes it uniquely delicious!

No visit to wellNEST is complete without a stop in their Puppy Pantry to pick up some goodies for Maddy. On this visit I got her some Happy Tails Eye Pads to help clean the gunk and tears from her eyes. 
With my juices in hand ( or purse) we headed off to our third and final stop, Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee in Amagansett. What was a devote non coffee drinker doing at Jacks? I’ll let you know tomorrow!

Hamptons Juice Tour Part One- The Juicy Naam

Whenever I travel for any period of time I always make sure I know what my green juice options are where I am going. One of the many, many things I adore about The Hamptons is the plethora of spots to get green juice. While I am here I never have to worry about getting my daily juice in!

Last week I decided to spend a particularly rainy day going on a little Hamptons green juice tour with my sister. Betsey is not a green juice drinker but I still thought it would be fun to have her along to see what she would and would not order at my favorite juicy Hamptons haunts. Plus, I think she enjoyed the adult time away from her eight month old twins!

Our first stop was The Juicy Naam in East Hampton. The Juicy Naam is an amazing juice bar that sells local produce, prepared raw foods, supplements and more. I also hear that Giuliana, the owner creates amazing custom cleanses for clients.

Their menu of organic juices and smoothies is extensive. Usually I stop by in the late morning post workout at Soul-Cycle, Chaise 23 or KamaDeva Yoga to get a “Moon” juice ( or two). The combination of cucumber, kale, pear, lemon and parsley is perfectly refreshing and green. While I usually do not like fruit in my juice I make an exception at the Juicy Naam. My juice never tastes too sweet or fruity.

Our juice tour didn’t start until the later afternoon and I had already had my daily green juice so I decided to get a smoothie instead. I only ever drink green juice on empty stomach and didn’t’ want to risk the pain and bloating so late in the day!
I ordered an “I Am Grouded” smoothie which is made with coconut water, vital mineral earth, cacao nibs, almonds and banana. Bananas do not agree with me so well ( I find them bloating) so I asked for blueberries instead. I also added some kale to give my smoothie a green infusion! My concoction was really delicious. Betsey ordered an “I Am Cacao” which is made with hemp milk, cacao nibs, cacao powder, almonds and bananas. It look so decadent I just had to try a sip. It was delicious as well!

Although this was technically a juice tour I fully enjoyed my green smoothie. Betsey loved hers too! From the Juicy Naam we moved on to WELLNest in Sag Harbor which I will tell you all about tomorrow!

07/10
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We just got back from a fantastic week in Los Angeles. L.A. is truly one of my favorite places to visit. For years my mother, sister and brother lived there so I always feel at home when visiting. L.A. is also the last place I saw my brother before he passed unexpectedly so being there always makes me feel close to him. It’s amazing how certain places hold very powerful and charged memories.

This past week was spent shopping, eating amazing food, exercising, seeing friends, and attending a dear friend’s spectacular wedding. Here are some of my favorite moments from our trip!

As soon as we landed at LAX and got our rental car we headed to Santa Monica to one of our favorite spots, Plant Raw. Planet Raw is one of the original raw, vegan restaurants in the country and Chef Juliano is a true master. Their out of this world shakes are always the first thing I want upon arrival in LA.

While we waited for our shakes, Doug and I shared a young coconut- the perfect post flight dehydration remedy!

One of our favorite meals in LA was dinner at Red Medicine, self described as “not a traditional Vietnamese restaurant.” The vegetable dishes we had were amongst some of the most inventive and delicious I have ever had! We had Chinese Lion Peppers with almond skins, honey, soy, violet basil, and dates.

Heirloom Black Carrots with guava, purple kale, dulse, young walnut and tamarind.

And Brussels Sprouts with caramelized shallots, fish sauce and vermouth. These were my absolute favorite and the best brussels sprouts I have ever eaten. I am still craving them!Over the course of the week we made many visits to the WEHO SoulCycle. We had a blast trying out a new studio! SoulCycle is such an amazing community and we were welcomed with open arms by the teachers and staff as New York regulars. It is always great to be able to travel and still keep up my exercise routine!

Everyday after spinning we would stop at the West Hollywood branch of my favorite LA juice spot, Pressed Juicery. Pressed makes some of my favorite green juices and I am always excited to have one (or several) when I am in LA!

Ever since hearing that San Francisco vegan legend Cafe Gratitude was opening an outpost in Hollywood I knew we had to check it out on our visit. If you have never been to a Cafe Gratitude you are missing out on some of the tastiest vegan food around. Their menu items are named as affirmations such as “I Am Pure, I Am Strong or I Am Celebrating. ” When your sever brings your dish they reaffirm ” You are Pure, You Are Strong, You Are Celebrating.” Food that is good for you and makes you feel good about yourself! There is also always a question of the day such as “what do you want to be acknowledged for today?” Talk about mindfull eating!

On our first (of three) lunches at Cafe Gratitude I ordered the I Am Pure a ginger-tahini kale salad with avocado, sea palm, nori, cucumbers, carrots, cilantro, basil and green onions. I had mine topped with kim chee which was an amazing addition to this perfect kale salad! I proceeded to order it on all of our other visits!
Our visit to LA ended with one of the most spectacular and special weddings I have ever attended. My girlfriend was a stunning bride and the love between her and her new husband was inspiring and beautiful. At the party, Doug and I danced until 3am! Pardon the blurry photo, it was dark and I didn’t have my real camera with me!

 

 

Highlights From South of The Border

Hola! I just returned from a wonderfully relaxing five days at one of my most favorite spots ever, the Banyan Tree Mayakoba. Not only is this resort truly breathtaking but it holds a very special meaning for Doug and I as the location of our wedding.

This trip was filled with sun, ocean, delicious fresh food, lots of family time and a little alone time as well. Here are some highlights from our trip south of the border!

Flights are super dehydrating so as soon as we landed, cleared Immigration and Customs and got our luggage I was so psyched to have this delicious Coconut Water from Pure Nutrition waiting for me in my suitcase. It was still slightly frozen but the June in Mexico heat took care of that quickly!

My go to lunch while in Mexico is always the same. Guacamole (I am a guac connoisseur and the Banyan Tree’s is amongst my favorites), fresh salsa, crudite, and tejin(mexican chill salt). Yum.

Each day on the beach I would order a coconut. There is nothing that says Mexico more to me than drinking fresh coconut water and eating fresh coconut meat on the beach! Hydrating, satisfying and just perfect.

To celebrate my father in law’s birthday we had a Mexican Parrillada (BBQ) in our villa. To start we were served this delicious tasting plate family style which included guac, different salsas, and ceviche. I almost filled up before dinner. Almost.

In a rare departure from my guac and veggies lunch Doug and I shared grilled hearts of palm and cactus one day poolside. It was lovely and reminded me of the grilled cactus we served at our wedding.

Speaking of our wedding, I surprised Doug one night before dinner with a visit to the spot where we exchanged vows. I had packed our original handwritten vows in my suitcase and we read them to each other again. We both teared up a bit. It’s amazing how much power a certain place can hold.

Continuing on the trip down memory lane we visiting the site of our wedding reception as well. Although it looked very different without all the flowers, lights, decors and guests we still had a fun time dancing with each other.

On our second to last night Doug and I took his siblings down to Tulum for drinks and dinner. If you have never been to Tulum I urge you to go at some point. Tulum is a perfectly serene strip of beach south of Playa del Carmen studded with small hotels or “palapas.” Some  of them have power (most don’t). Doug and I stayed in Tulum on our first ever trip to Mexico in a palapa directly over the ocean. The food in Tulum is amongst the freshest, cleanest, most delicious anywhere.

For dinner in Tulum we ate at La Zebra, our favorite spot in the area. The cocktails are all made with fresh squeezed juice, fresh coconuts, and herbs. My spicy margarita was truly divine. Everyone ordered the fresh caught grilled fish-beacuse that’s what you eat in Tulum! Sadly, due to the limited lighting it was to dark by the time we got our entrees for me to get a picture!

 

 

 

 

 

Paleta Sip ‘Til Supper Detox

I think I can safely say that I have tried every juice cleanse on the island of Manhattan. From one to seven days programs, I have sipped my way through them all! While I have enjoyed most of the juice cleanses I have taken on I find that drinking green juice and eating an extremely clean diet each and every day works much better for my body than the occasional juice cleanse. However, there are some times when I want to kick things up a notch and really do some deep internal cleaning. By juicing I can give my body a break from digestion so it can spend it’s time doing some much needed “housekeeping”.

With busy summer weekends sometimes leaving me feeling a little sluggish come Monday ( too much rose anyone?), I was thrilled when the folks from Paleta in LA sent me a one day Sip ‘Til Supper Detox to try. Paleta is a very popular farm to table meal delivery service in LA that also offer pressed juices and cleanses. They recently began shipping their Paleta Pressed cleanses nationwide, and I couldn’t have been happier to receive this packed cooler from them!

 

My one day Sip ‘Til Supper Detox consisted of four juices, a light snack, a clean vegan dinner, and a little sweet treat to end the day. Since drinking lots of water is encouraged on a cleanse they also included two boxed waters from BOXED WATER IS BETTER. I have to agree, boxed water IS better. It is much more sustainable than using plastic bottles, can be shipped empty and flat (taking up less space than empty plastic bottles), and is recyclable. Inside my cooler Paleta included a detailed step by step guide for my cleanse. I found this very helpful as it took a lot of the guess work out of what to drink when. Also, they detailed the specific  benefits of each juice I would be consuming during the day. I always love learning more about the power of veggies!My favorite juice of the day was without a doubt the Kale Kooler. Packed with jicama, pineapple, kale, cilantro, serrano and lime it was like a spicy margarita in a bottle! Yum! According to Paleta’s guide the Kale Kooler removes heavy metals, stimulates metabolism and is antioxidant rich. Refreshing and powerful, my kind of juice!I thoroughly enjoyed the juice portion of my detox. Some of the juices were a bit to sweet for my taste, but then again I am a pretty hard core and experienced green juice drinker! I usually take my green juice with no fruit at all. I am sure combos such as the Red Roots (beet, carrot, apple, lemon, ginger) and Sunshine State (orange, grapefruit, ginger, cayenne) would be a welcome break from greens for most people. I just happen to really, REALLY love my greens.

While I enjoyed all of my pressed juices, the late afternoon snack and dinner portion of the cleanse were not my favorite. The snack consisted of celery sticks and peanut butter. I personally choose not to eat peanut butter as I find it too acid forming in my system. Again, I think a leas seasoned cleanser would be thrilled to get to munch on celery and peanut butter mid cleanse! The vegan supper was a chili which was quite good. However, I personally do not eat beans as they do not digest well in my system and can leave me bloated. The dessert was a DELICIOUS raw truffle that I cannot wait to recreate. It was really the perfect sweet bite.

Overall I enjoyed my experience with Paleta. For someone who is a novice at cleansing, or does not drink green juice every day I think it would be ideal. Living in New York, surrounded by so many juice companies I am not sure if I would make deliveries from them a habit. The carbon footprint for the shipping is just a little too big for me. However, I am traveling to LA in July and most certainly will be ordering a few Kale Kooler’s to be delivered to my hotel!

Long Weekend Highlights

Memorial Day weekend is my favorite weekend of the year. It is the unofficial, official start to summer and for me and Doug that means the start of weekends away from now until September. Doug, Maddy and I split our summer weekends between the Hamptons with my family, the Hudson Valley with his, and the Connecticut shore where I serve on the board of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. It’s a lot of hours in the car but well worth it for all the sunshine and time out of the concrete jungle of NYC.

This past weekend in the Hamptons was filled with many healthy highlights for us. We got to take four Soul-Cycle classes in three days(yes we are mildly obsessed) with our beloved SoulGuru Laurie Cole, drink lots of green juice and smoothies, eat lots of veggies, and spend time with friends and family.

One of the high points was a visit to the Organic Avenue pop-up shop in South Hampton. Only open in the summer season, this OA outpost had everything we needed for a healthy weekend. It is so refreshing to be able to get raw snacks, green juice and treats away from home. I love that Organic Avenue has continued to open so many shops, and cannot wait to see where they pop up next! Selfishly I hope it is near my apartment…
Doug throughly enjoyed his hummus and flax crackers!Green juice is good for doggies to! Thanks to the kind staff at OA, Maddy got to try small glasses of Green Love and Cucumber Juice. She adored both. I think the green juice consuming population of our household just increased by one!  The Juicy Naam is another summer weekend favorite of mine. I don’t think a trip goes by where we do not visit at least twice. They have great juices, smoothies, and freshly prepared raw food. There is also a small farm stand in the front with local produce! I hear Giuliana’s Juicy Naam Cleanse is also wonderful. I have yet to try it myself but this may be the year!

I love the “I Am…” names of all of the smoothies. The juices also have wonderful names. The Jupiter and Moon are my personal favorites!Seaweed salad + kelp noodle salad + I Am Buzzing + Lulu’s Chocolate = quite the perfect picnic! On Saturday I got an “I Am Grounded” smoothie substituting the banana for coconut meat.
It was delicious, filling and hydrating!I hope your unofficial start to summer was great! I will be back tomorrow with the start of an exciting new post series. Hint: it has something to do with the other season some would say we are in!

 

I Love a Good Bar

It is no secret that I am a fan of easy, healthy snacks. At any given time you can find me with a large assortment of goodies in my purse, from crudite to dark chocolate. I never like to be caught without something to keep me from getting hangry (hungry and angry).

For me and Doug this past weekend was the kick-off to what will be a marathon of mini-road trips from now until September. Like our parents before us, every Friday we rush to pack up the car, the dog, a cooler of snacks ( green juice and veggies in our case) and battle the traffic for the privilege of spending the weekend somewhere, ANYWHERE but NYC. It is totally fun and exciting in May and June, but come late August we begin to long for a lazy Saturday at home free of traffic, luggage and shlepping. What makes this ritual the hardest is being sure we have enough healthy food to snack on should two hours in the car turn into five (our personal weekend record). Most of the items in our cooler and not really driving and car friendly. If you have ever tried to open and drink a green juice while driving you (and your dry cleaner) know what I mean. Also, as much as I love guac and veggies they are not exactly easy to eat on the go.

With this dilemma in mind I was so happy when the lovely folks over at BluePrintCleanse sent me some of their new BluePrintBars to try. These 100% raw bars made from the simplest ingredient perfectly fit my criteria for an easy on-the-go option.

BluePrintBars are made with fruit and nuts. JUST fruit and nuts. Nothing else. Love that! The ingredient list on the back of each adorably packaged bar reads just like the name at the front. The Cashew Date bar contains only cashews and dates. The Cranberry Lemon Cashew Date bar is packed with cranberries, cashews, dates and lemon zest. Nothing else.

Each of the four bars has it’s own special “super power” if you will. According to BluePrint:

Cranberries eaten whole contain a wide variety of phytonutrients, which aid in protecting the cardiovascular system and the liver.

Cashews contain Zinc, which rebuilds the body’s collagen supply and helps prevent wrinkling and stretch marks.

Cherries contain melatonin, which helps regulate sleep patterns, prevents memory loss and delays the aging process.

Lemons are an excellent source of Vitamin C, an important antioxidant and immunity builder.

The Lemon Almond Cashew Date bar was my most favorite. In fact, it didn’t make it into the photo above because I couldn’t’ what to tear in. Seriously yum. It tasted like the best, healthiest, cleanest lemon square ever.

This coming weekend when Doug and I pack up the car again I know I will be stashing a few BluePrintBars in my purse in case we hit some nasty summer traffic. Much better than dealing with hangry road rage!

 

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