Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nap Your Way to the Top

Day 3 officially marks the mid-point of my juice cleanse. I would have to say that everything is going quite well and has been slightly easier than expected (what a relief!). I definitely think the almond nut milk is the perfect "juice" to end the day, a filling and sweet treat before bed.

Contrary to what I had thought in the beginning, that I wouldn't have as much energy because I wasn't eating solid food... I actually have more energy because I am still getting all the day's necessary nutrients and according to studies the body isn't using the 20-30% of its total energy that it normally does digesting food.

When performing my research beforehand to prepare for the cleanse, I came across many articles that enforced the fact that juice cleanses are excellent ways not only to reset your body but your mind and soul as well. Many sites played with the idea of getting spa treatments to further enhance the detox process. Never being one to turn down advice on indulging in some spa treatments (I mean it's all part of the this process right?) I went on Gilt City and bought my mom and I deals for a facial/nap combo at YeloSpa.

{All pink - definitely my type of spa}
Recently I read in a magazine about YeloSpa as a place where you can pay to take a nap... at first this concept confused me, but after trying it out first hand its actually pretty cool! Though I didn't exactly fall into a deep sleep, the feeling of floating in a zero gravity chair while listening to zen music for 20 minutes was quite intriguing. The facial was among the best I have ever experienced and the esthetician was extremely friendly, treating my mother and I as if we were long lost family. What a nice relaxing way to end this Wednesday :)

{Zero gravity chair "NAP YOUR WAY TO THE TOP"}

Monday, March 11, 2013

Refresh. Restart. Rejuvinate.

Call me crazy... but today I officially started the first day of my Cooler Cleanse. Yep, me, going on a juice cleanse. The girl who loves food more than anything and has the word "chocolate" in the title of her blog is actually going to go an entire week living solely off of just liquid alone.

{My juices for the day}
I'm by no means one for "fad diets" but after hearing about all the healthy and detoxifying effects of juice cleanses I decided that I would give it a try. I mean who doesn't want to "feel cleaner, lighter, brighter, younger and more energized with a clearer body and mind" (according to Cooler Cleanse's reasons on why to cleanse).

I have been prepping all weekend by only eating only raw, organic foods to make the transition to consuming only liquid easier. Not knowing exactly what is considered a "raw" food, I headed down to my local Juice Generation that carries a "raw cooler" menu for those who are seeking a moderate, food-based raw cleanse consisting of only raw ingredients. Saturday I tried the Live Pizza, which to my surprise was delicious and tasted like something that could be ordered at a restaurant. On Sunday night, I tried the Maki Rolls, which turned out to be another delicious meal. Eating raw ended up being a lot easier and tasty than I had originally expected. I think I feel ready to dive full swing into the juice cleanse now.

{Maki Rolls and Live Pizza}

DAY 1:

7:45am: Getting up a little earlier than usual, I headed down to the Juice Generation on 63rd and Lexington to pick up my first 3 days worth of juice. Originally, I was planning on heading straight to work after I picked up the 72 hours worth of nourishment. Little did I realize how heavy and bulky 288oz. of natural juice was going to be. As I lugged the enormous white bag clearly labeled "COOLER CLEANSE” down Lexington Avenue, I was praying that no one noticed me. I soon realized there was absolutely no way I was trekking all the way to work holding this 18lbs. of liquid. I quickly grabbed a cab to drop the next two days worth of juices at my apartment and headed to the office.

9:00am: Looking in my little white cooler pack at the labeled caps numbered 1-6, I grabbed number 1 to start my day. Here goes nothing, my first of 30 juices for the week. "Sweet Greens", a mix of kale, spinach, parsley, watercress and apple turned out to be a lot sweeter and satisfying than I was originally anticipating.

11:15am: Now onto my 2nd juice of the day - Pineapple & Ginger. With only two ingredients, I wasn't sure exactly how this was going to taste. However, I am a huge fan of both ginger and pineapple so the combination was a perfect blend, I absolutely loved this one, definitely a very nice kick from the ginger.

{Sweet Greens; Pineapple & Ginger}
1:15pm: Juice #3 "Essential Green" - cucumber, celery, dandelion greens, watercress, spinach, parsley, kale, pear, lemon & ginger. What a mix. Sooo I definitely wouldn't consider this my favorite... counting down the minutes until the next one. This is going to be a struggle.

3:40pm: The juice most commonly associated with the Master Cleanse... Spicy Lemonade made with lemon, lime, cayenne pepper, raw agave & filtered water. Honestly, I had expected it to be worse. This one I can deal with, basically just tastes exactly like its name.

{Spicy Lemonade, Essential Red}

6:00pm: Just leaving the office and grabbing my Essential Red to go – a mix of carrot, beet, apple and lemon. Judging from the bright red color I could already tell the beet was going to be the most dominant flavor, I was right.

8:30pm: Ending the day with the most delicious juice yet. Juice number 6 is Almond Nut Milk made from raw almonds, vanilla bean, dates and filtered water. It basically tastes like a melted milkshake, I’m in love. Finishing off the 480-calorie bottle, I am definitely satisfied and ready for a good night sleep.

{THE best juice}
1 day down…. 4 to go….

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Educate a Girl - Change the World

Last night I attended yet another exciting event, with the invite being extended to me by my parents... once again. As the cab dropped us off at the Paris Theater for the movie premiere of Girl Rising, judging by the ubiquitous amount of paparazzi standing next to the red carpet, it already appeared as if this was going to be quite a star-studded evening.

This heartfelt documentary focuses on the lives of 9 extraordinary young girls in 9 different countries, each telling their unique story through the voices of 9 well-known actresses, including Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Selena Gomez, Alicia Keys and Salma Hayek. The movie highlights the importance of girl's education in the developing worlds. Throughout the film, many statistics are brought to life demonstrating how significant the problem of girl's education truly is (ex. "A girl with an extra year of education... can earn up to 20% more as an adult"). Considering most of the girl's families in the movie are barely able to afford any schooling at all, this really shows the affect not having an education will ultimately have on the girls. An education that here in the US we continuously take for granted. While I definitely remember days where I would wake up dreading to go to school and would do everything in my will power not to have my parents make me go... girls in other countries are actually showing up and being sent home due to insufficient funds.

All in all, I'm not normally a documentary... more or less movie person for that matter... but I would definitely recommend seeing this inspiring movie that comes into theaters today!

{Our ticket to the after party at TAO!}
After the movie premiere everyone headed over to TAO for cocktails and appetizers. I have never been to the New York location but judging from my past Las Vegas experience (the bouncer not letting me in with my REAL ID) I have since been hesitant about the place. We entered into what seemed like an Asian oasis with an enormous buddah and candles everywhere. The place was majestic and needless to say after trying their lychee martini and the perfectly cooked Kobe beef sliders I instantly fell in love. The night ended with chocolate covered strawberries and an inspirational speaker with a lasting note... "If you educate girls you can change the world". Think about it.

{Mother and I with our cocktails}

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Last night: Zainab Salbi Book Signing & Half the Sky: Movement Game Launch

I have to admit. My parents get invited to the coolest events. Luckily for me, they always extend the invites, though you would think it would be the other way around.... :)

Last night I had the opportunity to finally meet in person the amazing lady I did my global comm 131 project on in college, Zainab Salbi. She is the founder of Women for Women International, an organization that helps women who have been victims of war and conflict rebuild their lives in eight different countries. She recently published a book that vividly demonstrated though beautiful photographs and emotional stories the lives of some of these struggling women. Listening to her speak about her different experiences while creating this book and traveling to these countries was very inspiring.
{Zainab Salbi and I at her private book signing}
After the book signing, we jetted off to another fab party at No. 8 for the launch of a social media app called Half the Sky: Movement. Having recently just been the venue for the Bloglovin x Who What Wear party a few weeks ago, I'm sure I was able to spot the black unmarked door much easier than some of the other party-gooers. If it weren't for the bouncer standing outside I doubt many people would have suspected that was the entrance to the oh-so-swanky No. 8. Inside, Olivia Wilde along with Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn mingled with guests and introduced this new social media game for change. In this era of new technology and every-changing media, it is was so interesting to learn about how online games can be used in conjunction with non-profits to raise funds and awareness for causes that can actually create real-life results.

{Olivia Wilde speaking at the Half the Sky: Movement game launch party}
Capping the night off at Death & Co. and PDT was the perfect finish for this March Monday evening!

Monday, March 4, 2013

....and I'm Back!

2013 calls for some changes. A new year. A new career. And a new-found passion for blogging again. I can't believe it has been a year and a half since my last post, boy how time flies! 18 months and 10 countries later... I definitely have a lot of catching up to do.

In the midst of spending my last semster studying abroad in Italy, graduating college and scoring an awesome full-time job in NYC, needless to say I haven't had much down time. Now that I am just finishing settling in and starting my real-world career, I think it's about that time to get back on that blogging hype.

To play a quick game of catch-up, here are a few pictures that help capture a few of my abroad adventures across Europe:

{Living the Parisian lifestyle at the Lock of Love bridge}

{Snowy days in Switzerland}

{I left my heart at the top of the Duomo - My and Syd's signature sign}

{Beach living in Monaco}

{Wine & cheese... The ultimate abroad staples}

{THE best... And I repeat THE best dish you will ever taste. Cheesy truffle oil gnocchi}

{Bora Bora beach club in IBIZA... Enough said}

{Beautiful canal streets in Amsterdam}

{The crew on our first weekend in the Amalfi Coast}

{Oktobefest.... Where beer lovers unite}

{Sunset strolls in my magical city}