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!

 

Antigua Adventures and Island Yoga

After a brief hiatus, much-needed internet cleanse, and a big birthday celebrated with family, friends, and cake, we’re back in business (and ready for spring to be honest!)

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Feeling rested, restored, and rejuvenated, it’s time to reminisce a little, shall we? Antigua Adventure yoga and wellness retreat was absolutely incredible and I’m excited to share our journey…and some super special island yoga so that you can experience it right along with us!

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Welcome to our private yoga studio, where we enjoyed daily yoga classes and private sessions in a jungle of palm trees with the vibrant sunshine and cool island breeze surrounding us.

IMG_0342Like tree pose, the retreat as a whole encouraged us to get grounded, root down, balance, grown, and flow. We were so lucky to have the Hamptons’ best yogis (Jenna Raynell, Erica Velasquez, and guest instructor Lois Nesbitt) guiding us through our daily practice!

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Following our morning yoga, which set the tone for an amazing day ahead, we enjoyed some seriously delicious eats, like local produce, refreshing smoothies, and fresh-caught seafood. As the Nutritionist on board, I prepared healthy eats to fuel our bodies and satisfy our souls!

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We met lots of new friends throughout the week and became a little family in no time. The days were full of island adventures like paddle boarding, swimming, zip lining, hiking, and tons of R&R. We soaked up the sun at Pigeon Beach down the street or our own pools right outside our villa.

IMG_0150Our group was pampered, well-fed, and caffeinated with awesome gifts thanks to our amazing sponsors: Hampton Coffee Company, Pure & Peaceful, Hamptons Handpoured, RX Bar, Hampton Sun, Boat Hampton, Health Warrior, Wolffer Vineyard Estate, and Megan’s Morsels!

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What an awesome crew, each one added something unique and inspiring to the group. We ventured out together for dinners, drinks, live music, and a breathtaking sunset yoga class on the water.

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That photo pretty much sums it up – our Antigua Adventure was absolutely amazing. Keep your eyes peeled for more amazing retreat offerings to come – both near and far! In the mean time, here’s a present from the lovely Jenna Raynell –  60 minute Gentle Island Flow straight from Antigua!

One Healthy Breakdown: sometimes you need to leave behind all you know in order to GROW!

Looking Forward to Antigua Adventures

So, we’ve officially transitioned from bathing suits to boots and watermelon to pumpkin. Soon, we’ll go from raking leaves to shoveling snow. Ugh. The bad news is that another cold, long, snowy winter is upon us. The good news is that we can all escape the frigid weather and lack of Vitamin D this January! That’s right, we’re counting down the days until Antigua Adventure!IMG_0051Here’s what your retreat co-hosts are most looking forward to:

I can’t believe how lucky we are to spend a full week in this oasis with the best company I could ask for. Of course, the beaches, pools, yoga, fresh foods, and sunshine will be nothing short of amazing. On top of that, the women on this trip already blow me a way with their inspiration, positivity, creativity, and purity. I’m looking forward to learning from each other and applying the various aspects of wellness in paradise. Healthy living always seems to come a bit easier when the mind is relaxed, the water is near, and the sun is shining. From the intentions we set, the meals we enjoy, and the adventures we share, I know that we’ll have an amazing week and return home feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and refueled. Not to mention, a little sun-kissed as well 🙂 ~ Kiley DeMarco, Founder of One Healthy Hamptons and private Nutritionist in the Hamptons.

I am looking forward to so much–specifically that exciting feeling that flutters inside when the final countdown begins — 3 days, 2 days, 1 day, and then finally we are settled into beautiful Antigua. We become relaxed into our tropical palace literally made for island princesses and we begin to feel colorful joy. The bright colors of Antigua create magical feelings – crystal clear aqua water to feel refreshed, bright shades of tropical fruits to feel nourished, and dazzling white sands to feel grounded. The rainbows of Antigua are jaw dropping beauty and the blue skies are constantly flawless. I’d say I am most excited for the colors of Antigua – not only to view on the outside – but to feel from within and to experience with our retreat group. We are truly in for a treat because on Antigua, life is simply colorful. ~ Erica Velasquez, Founder of Yoga in the Vines at Wolffer Estate Vineyard and yoga instructor in the Hamptons

I am most excited to explore a new island with new friends. Adventures are filled with the anticipation of a new experience. Exploring Antigua, hiking to the mermaid pools, yoga with new & exotic views all add those magical elements of excitement and anticipation. Every day will be a chance to test the boundaries of our comfort zone & to fully live in the present moment soaking in the beauty of adventure. ~ Jenna Raynell, Founder of East End Mermaid, yoga teacher in the Hamptons.

IMG_0034We’re also super excited to have our wonderful sponsors Hampton Coffee Company, Hamptons Handpoured, RXBar, Pure & Peaceful, and Health Warrior, traveling with us, along with many other gifts along the way! Best of all, there are still a couple of spots left on our adventure and early bird rate is still in effect! Click here to read all about Antigua Adventure Yoga Retreat and email antiguaadventure@gmail.com for more information. Spots will sell out and flight pricing will increase, so plan your getaway soon and start counting down the days along with us!

One Healthy Breakdown: Live adventurously. Listen carefully. Love passionately. Go fearlessly…to Antigua with us for an adventure of a lifetime!

Livin’ Life in Vacation Mode

This summer’s motto goes as follows: “live everyday like you’re on vacation.” photo 3What says vacation more than palm trees and sunsets?! Believe it or not, this picture wasn’t taken in the Caribbean or downloaded off the web. I recently snapped this baby (no filter, may I add) at a local beach club over a casual family dinner of fresh-caught fish and chilled rosé. Just one of the many moments this summer when I’ve truly felt like I was on vacation.

Ah, that magic word: vacation. What is it about being on vacation that puts us at ease? Whether it’s a ski trip, sight-seeing, or a tropical getaway, the action of traveling somewhere free of the usual to-do’s really allows us to check-out of the daily grind and check into “vacation mode.”

Day after day, I found myself walking the dog around Sag Harbor marina, surrounded by couples, friends, and families all clearly in “vacation mode.” As a year-round local with a job to do and a life to live, I honestly started to feel a little bit jealous of these vacationers, who appeared to have nothing on the agenda but beach days, family meals, and R&R. I instantly snapped out of jealousy it when I reminded myself that I’m the one that gets to stay here in this paradise!

I decided that it was time to make a conscious decision to tap into vacation mode at least once a day, all summer long…why not all year round? A permanent summer vacation? No, not every minute of every day, (that would be a really unproductive summer!) I’m talking at least a few minutes of every day. Once I adopted this mindset, my eyes instantly opened up a little wider and I began to snap in and out of vacation mode on the regular. Every day of sunshine, stroll around town, date night, barbecue, yoga class, summer cocktail, outdoor run, afternoon adventure, trip to the farmer’s market, and even business meetings began to feel more relaxing and less taxing. Every day is an adventure, a new opportunity to try new things, soak up the sun, have the best summer yet…what are we waiting for?!

I invite you to join me on this stay-cation. Remind yourself daily to check into vacation mode at some point or another. If that means waking up earlier to walk along the beach, make it happen. Whatever you have to do to get into that stress-free mindset, make it a priority. Take some deep breaths of fresh summer air and decide how you’ll make time each day for a mini-vaca. And, at least once this summer, play hooky and do something on your summer bucket list. That’s an order.

One Healthy Breakdown: Looking back, you may not remember the work you put in or how clean your house is, but you will remember the sunsets, family dinners, and beach days.

Surviving and Thriving on Vacation

Wouldn’t it be great to feel balanced, relaxed, and perfectly indulged on vacation? And then to return after a week away feeling better than ever? Not to have that feeling looming over you upon your return, the pressure to hit the gym, start a cleanse, or diet to make up for overindulging on vacation?

Vintage Balance ScaleAs you probably know, I spent last week on a family vacation in the Dominican Republic. I remained balanced, happy, indulged, active, content, and returned feeling great too. I know that this isn’t always the case after a week away from our normal routine, (for me included) so I thought I’d share my top tips on surviving and thriving on vacation:

1. Allow yourself a break from your everyday habits, your body will thank you. It’s good to switch things up and stray from our routines every once in a while, with both diet and exercise. Taking a break from certain foods may actually make those nutrients double effective upon your return. Same with exercise, giving your body time to rejuvenate is key.

2. Find a happy medium between pure laziness (which we all know will ultimately make you feel crappy) and any strict diet or fitness routine. This balance, not deprivation, will result in both satisfaction and lasting confidence. Stay active, not strict.

3. Find the local produce and go to town. Fill up on fresh fruits and veggies, especially your favorites that may not be available at home this time of year.

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4. Indulge with all of your senses. Food is only one piece of the puzzle. Open your eyes and ears to all of the wonders of your surroundings, wherever you may be. Being more mindful in this way produces gratitude, calmness, and contentment far greater than a piece of pie.

5. Focus on the purpose of your trip. Quality time with family? Friends? Business? R&R? Culture? Whatever it is, keep that in mind and embrace it. My week was all about family time, R&R, and basking in the warm sun (with SPF of course!)

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6. Try new things. For me, it was water aerobics one day and parasailing another. Not a day went by without a walk on the beach. And while I didn’t ditch the gym all together, my indoor workouts were shorter and less frequent, which was exactly what I needed.

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7. Learned this one from Gabby Bernstein: “when in doubt, play it out.” For example, you’re eyeing the bread bowl or dessert. Play out the situation. If you indulge, will you feel satisfied and content or will you feel guilty and sluggish? Opt for those indulgences that fully satisfy and enjoy every bite.

One Healthy Breakdown: vacation should be a positive reset, both physically and mentally. A step forward, not backwards, in our healthy journey.

Adios La Republica Dominica

I’m saying adios to mis amigos y mi familia at the Iberostar Bavaro Grand Hotel today. Please excuse my spanglish in the coming weeks, it’s the language of choice around here. I’m going to miss the kind people, fresh fruit, turquoise water, hot sun, relaxing days, island dinners, beach walks, pool drinks, and most of all, quality time with my family. Sad to say goodbye but also pretty excited to return to one of the best places on earth…see you soon Hamptons/hasta luego, DR!

1618485_619029788146912_1455486425_nOne Healthy Breakdown: vacation is amazing, but life in the Hamptons is better!

Living An All Inclusive Life

Lucky for me, I’m spending the week in the Dominican Republic with my family (hence the lack of posting between shaky wireless and some much needed R & R. Thanks for understanding!)

photo(134)But I do have something on my mind worth sharing. As I walked the beach this morning, I got to thinking about the term ‘all-inclusive.’ What an American dream-come-true, an endless supply of anything and everything you can eat and drink…and then eat some more. Everything Eastern culture idealizes: get as much as you can, as quick as you can.

The all-you-can-eat buffet especially depicts our society. From piled plates to dessert platters at every meal, even breakfast, second helpings, then thirds…made me think realize that not only was I, along with everyone else, eating more, but I was also eating faster. This realization immediately made me slow down. What’s the rush? How much of a good thing is too much? Sure, vacation should involve indulgence, that’s ok. What’s not ok is the ‘more, more, more, now, now, now attitude that American society has ingrained in us and the all-inclusive lifestyle cements. The problem is that the more we have, the more we tend to want, not the more we appreciate.

I started thinking about the non-conventional all-inclusive amenities: the miles of endless beach, soft white sand, infinite turquoise sea, and the warm sunshine, lack of work pressure, kids building sand castles, families bonding, couples holding hands, people setting sail…Now THAT’S what it’s all about. That’s abundance. It’s not about having it all, it’s about valuing, enjoying, tasting, and loving what we do have. I’d much rather live an abundant life than an all-inclusive life, and luckily, that’s available to us all. So, slow down and tune in to the abundance in your life. Breathe it in, taste it, touch it, see it, hear it, and embrace it. And with that, I leave you for the abundance of beach, sunshine, relaxation, and QT with the fam awaiting me, hasta luego amigos!

One Healthy Breakdown: slow down and enjoy the abundance that surrounds you.

Do What You Can, With What You Have, Where You’re At

Just a little Monday post from the heart today. I spent the weekend in Richmond, Virginia for a family wedding. Our flight was delayed and we arrived really late Friday night/early Saturday morning. Exhausted. Although I typically have a plan for weekend workouts to fit my schedule, whether it’s a fitness class or two, squeezing in an early run if the day is packed, heading to the gym, etc. I went to bed upon our arrival at the hotel not really knowing what the weekend would bring. I didn’t have a plan or expectations, I figured I would just wake up and listen to my body. Although I was leaning towards taking the day off after a long week, I DID know that I would feel much better the entire weekend if I did get a workout in, somehow, somewhere. Although I went back and forth on whether or not to pack my sneakers, I threw ’em in last-minute just in case.

I let myself sleep in Saturday morning since we arrived so late, didn’t even set an alarm clock (crazy I know!) I woke up thinking I have two options: roll over and go back to bed until who knows when…OR get my butt up and out. Knowing I would just feel better all around if I got some sort of exercise in instead of sleeping late and rolling right into brunch, I chose the latter. I got my workout clothes on and went downstairs, unsure of what was to come, but already glad I hadn’t chosen to roll over. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get motivated: getting out of bed and lacing up your sneakers.

I figured I was in a new place and the sun was shining, might as well explore it. An easy couple of miles was exactly what I had in mind. I figured I’d get to see a little bit of Richmond and get myself moving. Well, when I asked the woman at the front desk of our hotel where I should go for a run (any good trails? any back roads? any scenery?) Nope, our humble abode was pretty much smack dab in the middle of a concrete jungle. She thought for a moment and said “you could run laps around the mall.” Hmm, not exactly what I was thinking, but why not? So, I headed out per her directions, quickly found Macy’s, and proceeded to run around the mall. I knew that passing cars were probably thinking I was nuts, but oh well, I got in a rhythm and zoned out. I even came upon a big gym and just ran right along by. Although cement scenery wasn’t exactly what I had pictured, it was a gorgeous day and I was just happy to be outside and not sleeping the day away.

photo(2)I ran around the mall and down a few side roads, making sure I wasn’t going to get myself lost in totally unfamiliar territories. After an easy three miles, I headed back to the hotel, feeling those exercise endorphins, excited for the day ahead. That runner’s high lasted all day believe it or not, which made every second of those 29 minutes, 53 seconds well worth it. I didn’t really push myself, didn’t break any records, didn’t go hard, or get a full-body workout. And that was A ok with me. I didn’t feel like a slacker while my friends at home had just finished the Hamptons Half-Marathon because my three miles were better than nothing. I did what I could, with what I had, where I was. Sometimes, that’s more than good enough. If you’re out of town or just out of your normal routine, listening to your body and making some sort of exercise a priority really is good enough. And ya know what? It’s a darn good thing I ‘explored’ our surroundings and found that mall because it kept us occupied all day!

One Healthy Breakdown: Do what you can. Better than nothing is usually good enough!

I’m Coming Home…#weddingvenueshopping

Whew! Touring wedding venues is EXHAUSTING! Super fun, special, and exhausting! Over the past week, my mom and I checked out seven wedding venues in The Hamptons and Boston (where I’m from.) It’s been an exciting few days for sure and I think I’m ready to return to my normal routine back in The Hamps.

photo 3I’ve quickly learned that wedding planning includes a hell of a lot of champagne and desserts. Not complaining! But, it’s a lot. Even without a wedding to plan, we all have weekends, celebrations, parties, meetings, traditions, and vacations. While it’s important to enjoy these events to the fullest and live a life of balance, not deprivation, it all adds up. The drinks, the clinks, the cals, the bubbly, the courses, the birthday cake, cake pops, pies, and so on.

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Who wouldn’t want to dig right into this?! You better believe I did. I tasted almost everything because it’s not everyday a girl is offered a sampler of fresh desserts involving carrot cake pops, chocolate covered strawberries, macaroons, and pumpkin whoopie pies…now is it? But, a taste is a taste and I do want to be able to fit into a wedding dress over the next few months! Yes, I had my cake and ate it too, but I also focused my enjoyment of this whole process on seeing the venues, enjoying the beautiful city of Boston, spending quality time with my mom and the rest of my family, and meeting new friends along the way!

photo 5I took advantage of this mini-vaca and enjoyed the time and these indulges. However, I did not sleep in and I did not forego my workouts. Balance is about enjoying what life has to offer, but not unraveling, or straying from goals. My goal is pretty loosely a body and mind that feels good, strong, and healthy, and a balanced, fun life. While my afternoons and evenings have been spent touring venues, getting drinks, lunch, or dinner with family, and, of course, the occasional frozen yogurt, my mornings have been spent running, spinning, at the gym, or on the yoga mat. And I love it that way. Work hard play hard, that’s really the message here.

Whether you’re in or out of your normal routine, do what you can and enjoy it. The weather is amazing this time of year, perfect for outdoor walks, runs, hikes, or bike rides. Choose something you love and do it. That way, exercise isn’t a chore but an activity. Something you know will pay off in the end, whether it’s to negate that cake pop, strengthen your muscles, stretch your body, refresh your mind, or all of the above, it’s always worth it if you ask me. Did I want to get up early yesterday morning to go to yoga? Not necessarily, but once I hit the mat, after a few downward dogs, I couldn’t have been happier that I did. That yoga class was exactly what I needed after lots of spinning. And, I enjoyed that yoga-zen for hours afterwards, an added bonus. Strive for balance, not perfection. It’s possible to enjoy every celebration, big and small, while living a healthy life. A healthy life is a longer life! More moments to enjoy!

One Healthy Breakdown: When all else fails, take the stairs!

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