One Healthy (or not so much) Paris Recap

Travel does wonders for the mind and soul, especially traveling to Paris! Here’s a quick recap of our trip along with some healthy tidbits we can all learn from the Parisians.

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Say this three times fast: fresh French food. Food is fresh in France. Whether it’s fish, fruit, veggies, meat, bread, or wine, fresh and locally made is the standard. You can taste the difference, from the simplest salad to a baguette to a gourmet meal.

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Restaurant menus change often because seasonal goods are preferred and expected. Everything is less processed. Interestingly, people sensitive to gluten or dairy often don’t feel the effects abroad, which leads us to believe that it may actually be the processing and not the food itself.

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During the cooking class we took, the first 90 minutes was dedicated to walking through the market, the butcher, the cheese vendor, and the fish market, seeking the freshest of fresh, which included dover sole, asparagus, tomatoes, and the herbs in the vinaigrette.

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As a nutritionist, I often encourage clients to grocery shop with a list; having a strategy as to avoid extras like Oreos sneaking into the cart. Interestingly, the people of Paris shop for groceries almost every day. Instead of stocking up on bulk items, they tend to buy just what they need for that nights’ meal, every day. Less freezing, thawing, bulking, and money. Smart.

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Regulations on meat and poultry are also more specific and there are simply no antibiotics or GMOs allowed…at all. Again, smart. As for wine,  there’s a push for biodynamic/organic wine, made without sulfates or chemicals. The wine tastes cleaner, goes down smoother, and doesn’t result in a headache or hangover the following day. Super smart.

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Being that we live in such a young country, it’s amazing to see such extensive history, like the palace of Versailles. Paris exemplifies the statement “worth the wait.” From the architecture to the wine and cheese, Paris is about the end result, not instant gratification.

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Cheese and refined sugar. Two things I rarely indulge in, but vacation (especially Paris!) calls for  complete indulgence. And with that, it’s time to get back on track with all things green.

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Last note: one thing we’ve far surpassed is our incidence of smoking. Ew. But if sitting is the new smoking, all of the walking around the beautiful city may just cancel it out? Definitely not promoting smoking – less smoking, more walking. And remember, Paris is always a good idea.

One Healthy Breakdown: travel, learn, drink, and eat your way around the world!

 

Wedding Highlights

I’m so excited to share some highlights from the best day of my life with you! On October 4th, 2014, I married the love of my life, the guy who introduced me to the Hamptons, and my other half…my *husband*! Our wedding day just so happened to be exactly five years (to the day!) that we met. What an amazing five years it has been and I can’t wait for the next five!

View More: http://jennymoloney.pass.us/sabatinoWedding highlights:
1. My MOB (mother of the bride) & FOB (father of the bride.) I couldn’t have imagined or executed a better wedding, beginning to end, and I owe that to my amazing parents MOB & FOB! My mom doubled as my wedding planner/organizer/queen of spreadsheets/idea executor/stress diminisher. She made my dream wedding come true when I couldn’t even really visualize what that was. I owe my wedding planner, aka my amazing mother, lots of thanks for years and years to come. Plus, she looked like a rock star on the big day too!

10712775_904298870773_1508989522148051660_nMy dad kept me cool, calm, and collected during those key moments, as if it was just the two of us in the room. One of the most special moments in a girl’s life is walking down the aisle and dancing with her father at her wedding. I had dreamed about these moments since the first time I saw Father of The Bride and I will remember them forever and always. I can’t stop listening to the song we danced to (Walk With You by Edwin McCain) and it takes me back to that day and a lifetime of memories.

10408817_594935880618586_1879594273773841636_n2. The guy. I have no idea how I got so lucky as to meet my *husband* but I do know that fate played a serious role. We met randomly at a bar in NYC while I was visiting my friend in grad school and he was out with friends. Positive that it would be my last trip to NYC for a long while, (not such a city girl here) I told my *future husband* that I would never see him again. His response: “never say never.” Lesson learned. Although, at the time, it seemed we were just two people at the wrong place at the wrong time, I’ve never been so wrong. Although I couldn’t have dreamed of a better life as we live today, I would have never imagined it as is. Fate is real, folks, you better believe it.

View More: http://jennymoloney.pass.us/sabatino3. The welcome. From the moment my wedding planner (mom) and I began planning the big day over a year ago, we started brainstorming the perfect way to welcome our guests. I wanted it to stand out as original, personal, and from the heart. It took months to put together the perfect collection of goodies that would embrace, please, surprise, and satisfy our wedding guests upon their arrival. We personally packaged gift boxes with a welcome letter (including engagment photos from Kate Petrone Photography and Jenny Moloney Photography) and the following gifts we described as “a few of our favorite things, tastes of our favorite places, and bits and pieces of where we call home:”  Tate’s chocolate chip cookies, (yum!) a PB&J Bar made by Lisa Ann’s Desserts, (an upgraded version of our favorite sandwich – a must try!) Wolffer’s white wine cider, Cape Cod Potato Chips and a lobster lollipop for some Boston flair, Hershey kisses, and a green apple (our favorite healthy snack.)

FullSizeRender(1)4. The company. The two common bits of advice we got heading into our wedding were that it’s over in the blink of an eye, so be sure to soak it all in and the realization of loved ones from all walks of life, near and far, young and old, all in the same room to celebrate your marriage. So, so amazing.

FullSizeRender(2)5. The scheme and theme. To be honest, I always pictured myself getting married during the summer months, outside, near the water. Well, things change and I couldn’t have imagined a better day (the clouds and drizzle didn’t put a damper on anything!) As soon as we decided on our wedding date, autumn in New England opened up such fun possibility. From the amazing poppy colored flowers to the pumpkin place settings, candy apples and gingerbread whoopie pies, the taste of fall, warmth of the season, and essence of love radiated throughout the night.

FullSizeRender_16. The ceremony. Since the very first wedding I remember attending almost 20 years ago, I’ve always gotten nervous right before the ceremony. I’d only imagined that the pit in my stomach would double when it was my time to walk down the aisle. But, guess what…I really wasn’t nervous for my own wedding. I was content, ready, and full of excitement. I couldn’t wait to walk arm-in-arm down the aisle with my father. I couldn’t wait to stand there with my *husband to-be* and say our I do’s. As soon as our priest (who is also a family friend) began to speak, I fully relaxed and a smile appeared on my face that lasted the entire ceremony…actually, the entire weekend. The fact that the ceremony included personal stories, humor, and lots of smiles made it that much more special.

1959281_904290547453_7805848216804552830_n7. The dress. I fell in love with that dress the moment I saw it and I knew it was the one. I said yes to the dress and never looked back. Now, if only I could wear it more often…!

389571251406931143_n8. The memories that will last a lifetime.

View More: http://jennymoloney.pass.us/sabatinoOne Healthy Breakdown: this bride feels blessed to the moon and back, thanks to all who made it possible!

*HUGE thanks to iphone photographers and the fabulous Jenny Moloney Photography for pics!

Pumpkin Pie Parfait

Who else has fallen deep into a love affair with pumpkin season and all it encompasses? I love it all, from the lattes to the scented candles. Pumpkin is an energy-packed vegetable low in fat, sugar, and calories, but high in flavor, nutrients, and warmth. If you’ve already mastered the pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread, and, of course, pumpkin pie, I happily bring you the prettiest in pumpkin creations: the Pumpkin Pie Parfait.

photo 3Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (I love Farmer’s Markets’ organic canned pumpkin puree)
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (or yogurt of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon honey or pure maple syrup
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon granola
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon pecans & walnuts (or nuts of choice)

Instructions:

In two separate bowls, mix the following:

  1. pumpkin, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and honey or maple syrup
  2. yogurt and vanilla

In a bowl, cup, or glass of choice, layer the following:

  1. a large spoonful pumpkin mixture
  2. a large spoonful yogurt mixture
  3. sprinkle granola or healthy cereal
  4. 1/2 of the shredded coconut
  5. a large spoonful pumpkin mixture
  6. a large spoonful yogurt mixture
  7. remaining shredded coconut
  8. a large spoonful pumpkin mixture
  9. top with nuts

Stick a spoon in it and enjoy!

sitting on the fenceOne Healthy Breakdown: pumpkin spice and everything nice…what’s not to love?!

Valentine’s Day Dinner for Two

Enjoy this special Asian salmon for two followed by decadent (healthy!) brownies, the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner, thanks to Teresa and Believe in Nutrition!

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Asian Salmon for Two

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon miso, preferably white
  • 1 tablespoon mirin, asian rice wine vinegar found in ethnic aisle
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • Hot pepper sauce, to taste
  • 8 ounces center-cut salmon fillet, skinned (shrimp or scallops)
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Position rack in upper third of oven. Preheat broiler. Line small baking pan with foil and coat lightly with cooking spray. Whisk miso, mirin, soy sauce, ginger, and hot sauce in a small bowl until smooth. Place salmon fillets, skinned-side down, in the prepared pan. Brush generously with the miso mixture. Broil the salmon until just cooked through in the center, 6 to 8 minutes. Garnish the salmon with scallions, cilantro and sesame seeds. Serve with grilled vegetables and a salad and enjoy, but save some room for dessert!

 

browniesHealthy Brownies

Each of these brownies is only 100 calories and tastes divine! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 3/4 cup egg whites
  • 3 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup of agave nectar
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • A couple teaspoons chopped walnuts (optional for topping)

Mix all the ingredients for a couple minutes in a food processor or blender, except the walnuts. Pour the mix into an 8×8 pan sprayed with cooking spray, and sprinkle the walnuts on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Bake at 300 degrees for an additional 5 minutes. Let cool before cutting.

One Healthy Breakdown: made with LOVE!

February HUGS Challenge

Get ready to hug it out this month! Print, pin, or save this calendar and HUG your way right through the shortest month of the year! A hug is done from the side plank position. Bend top arm under body, hold for one second, and return upright. Repeat according to the day and then do the same on the other side. Once the number of hugs becomes more than 16, you may start dividing your hugs into sets if need be. Share with your family and friends to spread the love…and the burn! You’ll feel these throughout your core: abs, obliques, shoulders, and more…enjoy!

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One Healthy Breakdown: brought to you with love, these hugs may burn!

One Healthy Mom

Enjoy this refreshingly honest and inspirational interview with local family life teacher, parenting coach, and amazing mother of five, Anastasia Gavalas!

meee1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a mom, family life teacher, author of WING IT: 6 Simple Steps to Succeed as a Modern Day Parent, and founder of the WING IT PROJECT. I live in Bridgehampton with my husband and five children (ages 15, 13, 11, 9, & 7.) Helping parents make life with children easier is such gratifying work and making a difference in the world through the WING IT PROJECT is something I’ve always dreamed of doing. I live my life in a wholehearted way where I am happy with myself and confident with the choices I make.

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2. How did ‘life as you know it’ come to be?

After I had my 2nd child I felt exhausted and couldn’t get out of bed. I was quickly diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, an autoimmune disease, that had been manifesting in my body for years. I took the prescribed medicine and it just didn’t help much. I kept plugging along but felt overwhelmed and emotionally drained. In 2003, we decided to move to the Hamptons and found out we were expecting baby #4… surprise! With all that was going on, on top of not having family or friends around for support, I quickly learned that I needed to change. I began searching for alternative methods that would support what I knew in my heart was best. I tried acupuncture, homeopathic remedies, and a new overall wellness approach for my health and for my family. It was out of necessity that I found a more organic way of living life. This included making my well-being a priority as well as teaching my children to be more independent.

3. What’s something you overcame and how?

My need to do everything perfectly and my fear-based reactions. Once I was able to recognize that the display of the “perfect” children or my role as the “perfect” mother was wearing me out and preventing me from living authentically, I let those ideas go. Perfection is based on other people’s judgements. I made a decision to separate myself from the concept of perfection to be happy. I practiced meditation starting ten minutes a day, carved out me-time every single day, and (just like I explain in the chapter, “Build Your Village” in WING IT) I began to surround myself with more supportive people who encourage my growth.

4. What is your favorite workout? Favorite family activity?

Dancing is one of my favorite things to do and I mix it with a brisk walk a few times a week. I get bored easily with exercising so I need to change my workout routine up all the time. As far as a family we like to swim (although 2 out of 5 kids hate the beach – not sure how that happened?!?) take bike rides, and go skiing. I have high-energy kids who are constantly moving and ready for adventure at all times so, we’re always moving & grooving.

5. As a career woman, mother, and wife, and how do you maintain balance in your life?

First, I redefined the concept of balance. Standing upright at all times isn’t realistic or worth the effort. But, remaining focused on a goal with a trusting, more joyful attitude will help balance appear in the most challenging of roles. I believe balance is about remaining flexible and knowing that, just as the mightiest of trees will bend and sway with the winds of world, so will mothers who strive for balance. At the end of the day, people just have to appreciate the flexibility and positions experienced.

5. Any great healthy tips for busy moms?

Yes, take time for yourself: get enough sleep, eat good food, sit down and take time to meditate so you can be the woman you were meant to be and the best mom for your children.

6. What food items do you always keep in the house?

Fresh vegetables and fruits – organic as much as possible, olive oil, different cheeses, good meats, gluten-free foods, and always a bottle of chilled champagne for those special occasions…because moms are people too!

7. What is your favorite indulgence?

Drinking tea in the morning, sleeping in (that’s happened maybe three times in the past 10 years… but, a girl can dream!) and long hot showers (alone.)

8. How do you make health a priority in your family without going overboard?

Practicing being healthy is a lifestyle choice. We spend a lot of time outdoors. I talk to my kids about nutritional balance. Four of my children are responsible for cooking one night per week. So, every night, we have a really good, balanced, colorful meal. Children learn by what they observe and I try to demonstrate a healthy lifestyle with the choices I make instead of badgering them with health talks.

9. What is your FAVORITE thing about living in the Hamptons?

The ease of living out here. There is an organic way to life. I love the diversity of people and the experiences it provides. It is a really special place to live with the most amazingly kind people. It’s a great place to raise children because you can be as tuned-in to what’s happening or tuned-out of the busyness of life as much as you want to be.

1094944_578046278901282_1736507745_nOne Healthy Breakdown: Love, laugh, play, learn, and live your life for YOU.

High Vibe Food, High Vibe Life

Kiley’s Intro: I was first introduced to the concept of raising our vibrational frequency and eating a high vibrational diet at Dream Body & Mind Re:TREAT. I am so incredibly intrigued by this realization that I just have to share. Energy – it’s everywhere. And we can control it. You know when a song you love is blasting and you feel so much energy building in and around you that you can’t help from start to dance? Or, when you’re talking to someone about something you’re passionate about and you suddenly feel happier, taller, prouder, and more energetic than you did just moments before? Turns out that the things we think, the words we say, foods we eat, sounds we hear, and everything we interact with, affects our own energy, which in turn, affects our mood and lots more. Energy is “contagious.” Everything in life has a vibrational frequency and One Healthy Hamptons aims to raise that frequency higher. And higher. We have that in common with Not Your Sugar Mamas...that and a deep love for chocolate. Kyleen Keenan & Bennett Coffey, Co-Founders of Not Your Sugar Mamas, explains this concept of connecting to our highest vibration better than I ever could, so read on!

Connecting to our highest vibration is one of the most important things we can do at this point in time. Think about it like this: everything is energy, every little thing contains some amount of energy within it, some things more than others. From a chair to a person, there is energy in each thing.

In regards to people, there are some people who are vibrating on a higher frequency than others. Maybe you’ve felt this but haven’t been able to really put it into words. You hang out with someone and you feel high and excited after you leave them. Another person may make you feel strange or down after you leave them. People who aren’t making the effort to connect to their higher vibration can energetically bring us down. Those who are, on the other hand, can bring us UP!

In regards to food, some food contains a higher vibration or more “life force” than other foods. Take kale for example. Kale is fresh out of the earth, it is a leafy green and it grows up and out, which gives us the same energetic feeling when we consume it. We feel lighter when we eat kale…as opposed to a Snickers bar.

photo(99)A Snickers bar has taken natural ingredients like chocolate, dairy, nuts, etc. and processed them so much that there is very little – to no – energy left in that food. In fact, nutritionally, a Snicker’s bar is hardly a food at all. After we eat a Snickers bar, we feel sluggish and tired, not energized and alive. We are brought down by the lack of energy in a processed candy bar and other processed foods. Not Your Sugar Mamas’ mission is to put really high quality chocolate, infused with good vibes, on the shelves and accessible to anyone. We believe that the energy from the food infused with good vibes will actually transfer into the person eating it, and help, even if in a really small way, to raise the vibration of that person.

Chocolate, particularly raw chocolate, is an incredibly high vibrational food with more antioxidants than any other. It also contains the bliss chemical that we release naturally in our brains, so we feel happy when we eat it. Putting these high quality superfoods into our bodies helps to shift the vibration. When we eat foods with more life force, we feel better. Food affects everything, even our thoughts. By eating better, we will become happier, healthier and more successful people capable of anything we put our minds to.

ChocolateWhen we are aligned with our higher vibration, we are living our truth and we are able to see and think more clearly. We have more positive and powerful thoughts going through our heads and we can attract positive things to ourselves and others around us. When we are on that higher level, we have more energy, we feel inspired, we are happier, we are lighter, we are higher.

Couple Playing on a SwingThink about a downward spiral of energy. You hang out with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself, you go to the store and get a Snickers bar, you feel crabby and pick a fight with a loved one, you continue to spiral downward, feeling worse instead of better.

Now think about the opposite. When you treat your body with love and respect, feed it high quality foods, exercise your body, and strengthen your mind, good things start to happen. This is living a higher vibrational life.

This can be the case all the time. We just have to make the choice. It’s up to us whether to spiral upward or downward. It seems like people have an obsession with control, with controlling their lives to look a certain way on the outside. But really, the only thing that we are in control of is our thoughts. We get to choose what we think about each and every moment, each and every day. When our inner world is peaceful, so is our outer world. It’s really that simple.

Keep a list of the things that bring you down and another list of things that make you feel good. Try to do MORE of the things that make you feel good, more often and LESS of the things that make you feel bad. We can catch ourselves before we start to spiral downward, we can literally stop in the moment and change our direction. How powerful is that? When we are in-tune with this idea of increasing our vibration and staying true to ourselves, there is no other outcome than happiness and success. If we were all doing this, we would change the world. Outer peace starts with inner peace. If we stay responsible for raising our own vibration we will raise the vibration of the planet and heal ourselves and the planet. There is no other way.

The only thing that sets us apart from the most successful people is the way we think. If you think you can, you can and if you think you can’t, you can’t. We have unlimited potential as human beings. So try raising your vibration, now. Why not start with some chocolate?!

One Healthy Breakdown: you had me at chocolate. And happiness!

Happy Day to All The Grandparents!

picmonkey_imageHappy National Grandparents Day to ALL of you fabulous grandparents out there. My “Nana” and “Ba” happen to be two of the most important people in my life and they are loved and appreciated for that every single day. I’d just like to take this time and space to thank them. Grandparents are really special people, they always seem to know exactly how to put a smile on their grandchild’s face.

For those who know me, you know that my family is close and incredibly important to me, my “rock.” I consider myself so so lucky to have always been very close to my grandparents. Nana and Ba (aka “Rocky”) hold a special place in my heart and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them. I have an extraordinary respect for what they’ve accomplished in life, the decisions they’ve made, and their never-ending love and generosity. In addition to their ten grandchildren, my cousins, they’ve also taken my fiancé Nick for one of their own. They have been eagerly awaiting our engagement for a long time now and we were lucky enough to get to celebrate with them this past week.

One Healthy Breakdown: Happy Grandparents Day to my Nana and Ba, my Grammy and Grampy in Heaven, and all of the great grandparents out there!

Come on, Get HAPPY

I just watched The Happy Movie andI highly, highly recommend it. Here’s a few facts, tidbits, quotes, perspectives, and words of wisdom learned from this captivation of global happiness.

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  • “The Constitution only guarantees the American People the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” –Benjamin Franklin
  • Positive Psychology (the study of happiness) became the most popular class at Harvard.
  • Genetics determine 50% of happiness, circumstances determine 10%, and intentions determine the remaining 40%. Set intentions.
  • Dopamine naturally starts depleting after our teen years; however, positive experiences (like exercise, socialization, and love) produce dopamine in the body.
  • Tangible goods produce fleeting happiness; compassion produces long-term contentment.
  • We always have a choice to be happy, or not. When it rains, we can either hide or embrace it.
  • There is no such thing as pleasure without pain. Both are necessary to be happy.
  • While the United State’s economic growth has doubled, our happiness level as a nation has remained static.
  • The top consistency among happy people, both individually, and as a culture, seems to be a close, supportive family and friends.
  • Japan has been deemed the least happy nation due to stress. Japanese people have died from forcing themselves to be more efficient. Japan actually has a name for this, when the person’s heart just stops, due to nothing but exhaustion, is “Karoshi.”
  • Denmark has been labeled the happiest country. Danish citizens not only receive free education and healthcare, but also tend to co-habitate; numerous families will reside in small homes or apartments close together, decreasing solitude. There is always someone there to share conversation, a meal, and even pain. Families save time and money by sharing chores and benefits and there is constant socialization among all ages.
  • Instead of looking at society selfishly and thinking “what does he/she have that I don’t?” if we think “what do I have that I can give to others?” we would all constantly help each other and the world would be a better place. That is true community.
  • Fundamentalists, who build their life mission on hate and segregation, are proven less happy.
  • People live longest on Okinawa Island, the only part of Japan known for happiness. Community is the center of the culture. Citizens shared their secrets to longevity: hard work, lots of sleep, sweat, neighborly love, no harm to others, and…sake. They even bury people in one communal coffin to allow for infinite connection.
  • When humans are given the choice to choose competition or cooperation, we almost always choose cooperation. We find cooperation intrinsically rewarding.
  • One uniquely happy Bushmen tribe values each member’s individual wellbeing as one. When one member of the tribe is sick, the whole tribe unites for group-healing. One member explains: “being together, that’s what makes us happy. To laugh is very important.”
  • Compassion is part of our genetic makeup; it’s in our blood.
  • Intention can physically change your brain. Gratitude and acts of kindness have been proven to boost happiness on a cellular level. Happiness can be seen as a skill we must practice often.
  • Lifting others spirits makes life meaningful.
  • The formula for happiness = play + new experiences + friends and family + meaning + appreciation. All of which are free. Things we can all have.
  • The more happiness you have, the more everyone has.

One Healthy Breakdown: Watch The Happy Movie. Practice happiness. Every single day.

Love Grace Juice Cleanse – Sunlight in a Bottle

I recently tried Love Grace Foods‘ three-day juice cleanse. This was my first ever juice cleanse and guess what? I survived! …a little cleaner, greener, and lighter from all of that bottled sunlight! Love Grace shipped me (door to door service from NYC!) five full juices plus a ginger bomb for each day. Allow me to introduce you to the colorful wonders: Super Cider, Purify, Restore, Green Sunshine, and Longevity Tonic. With names like these, you know it’s made with love.

lovegraceAlthough I liked some juices more than others, I loved the variety of organic ingredients. I loved knowing that I was truly eating (well, drinking) a rainbow, with about 20-30 varieties of fresh produce daily, way more than I would ingest normally. Although the cleanse provides a calorie deficit, each and every one has nutritional value and is instantly absorbed due to the nature of Love Grace’s juicing. This isn’t a ‘get skinny fast’ cleanse, it’s SO much more. Love Grace’s ingredients don’t just flush the body out, but also replenish the good stuff we need long-term, like cancer and Alzheimer fighters.

Juicing is detoxifying, cleansing, rejuvenating, and inspiring. This cleanse was just the refreshing kick I needed. Speaking of kick, these cold-pressed, organic, raw, juices pack a powerful punch. Like that blink a few times, woah that’ll wake ya right up! Especially that ‘Ginger Bomb Elixer,’ it’s packed with anti-bacterial and antiviral ingredients to rev the metabolism and up your energy, preventing the body from slowing down due to the lack of calories. The shot is super intense, yet totally refreshing.

photo 1 My favorites included the Purify, (breakfast of super greens sweetened with coconut water) Super Cider (apple, carrot goodness) and, of course, the Chocolate Superfood Smoothie (banana, flax, cacoa, goji berries, dates, and more.) This Chocolate Smoothie literally got me through the cleanse, it made it all worth it – the chocolately light at the end of the tunnel. Luckily, Love Grace allows customers to customize their cleanse and purchase juice a la carte. Good news for me, now that I’ve tried them all out and picked my faves. Hello, chocolate for dinner everyday.

photo 3In all seriousness though, these daily protein smoothies provide the sustenance an active body needs. Made of way more than just produce, they’re thick and satisfying. The superfood smoothies and the ginger bombs are what set Love Grace apart from all of other juice cleanses on the market, and that I like.

The other huge perk of juice cleansing was the convenience factor. With a fridge stocked with juice, I didn’t have to think about grocery shopping, meal planning, or cooking. I happened to be attending an all day Re:TREAT while I was cleansing, which conveniently allowed me to focus 100% of my attention, instead of having to think about prepping and packing meals. I cleansed in every sense of the word; physically and mentally.

So, I bet you’re dying to know: was I hungry? Yes. Not even going to lie, at times I was starving, but not to the point that it effected my body other than a grumbling tummy. I didn’t get headaches or lightheaded, not even from the torture of replacing my normal morning coffee with peppermint tea. I didn’t go to bed starving and I made it through intense workouts just fine.

So, was it worth the hunger pangs, lack of snackin’, and coffee cravings? Yes. It was worth it to wake up feeling lighter, cleaner and leaner throughout the entire day, and it gave me a new appreciation for everything I put in my mouth. Plus, the results didn’t reverse themselves (even after my much-anticipated post-cleanse breakfast of *healthy* pancakes.)

One Healthy Breakdown: Yes, I’d absolutely juice with Love Grace again, but next time around, I’ll probably customize my own cleanse. If you’re looking for an easy, reliable first cleanse or even a long-term healthy upgrade, (made with love) check out Love Grace Foods.