Breaking up with the good stuff

Ahhhh, July 4th! The time of year that the desire for a leafy green juice (hello crop tops), collides with the exact time of year that your brain screams “BBQ”. If you’re feeling sluggish and bloated after the holidays, WE ALL DO!! The key to a healthy life style is consistency, it’s ok to indulge once in a while as long as you’re ready to get back on track afterwards. We hope this holiday weekend you all enjoyed yourselves, ate some things you wouldn’t normally eat, and took a break from your workout regime because let’s be honest who doesn’t love to sleep in and eat burgers #netflix&chill!

Now that the weekend is over, don’t look back. Just as 4 days of working out won’t change your body, four days of indulging won’t either. It’s time to move forward. Here are a few tips for getting back to your routine…..we’re all in this together!

  1. The most important rule – DON’T weigh yourself- At this point, you’re probably feeling bloated/puffy and you just want to get on the scale to see what the damage is. Don’t do that. The scale will just reflect water weight and it will go down once you get back to your normal routine – so don’t torture yourself.
  2. Start and end the day with warm lemon water– This became part of our daily routine over a year ago and we can’t get enough! Having warm lemon water first thing in the morning flushes out your system and soothes digestion. And end the day with it because it will cleanse your body while you sleep – YESS!
  3. Cut back on sugar- SUGAR BREEDS SUGAR- meaning the more sugar you consume, the more you crave it! Cut out refined sugar (white sugar) and substitute with fresh fruits and fruit infused water. We love adding lemon slices, cucumbers, and raspberries to our Fruit Infused Water Bottles because it helps with sugar cravings and BONUS- it gets us to drink more throughout the day.
  4. HYDRATE- The best way to flush out your system and get rid of the bloat is to drink drink drink, cheers! Drinking enough water will help you cut out those sugar cravings. If you have trouble getting enough water throughout the day, try infusing your water with fresh fruits, lemons, mint, basil, or cucumbers- you’ll forget you’re drinking water!
  5. Get back on your fitness regimen– When we eat right (clean all the way) and workout consistently, we feel our best. So after this holiday weekend, get to the gym, go on that run, get to that spin class, or get your inner yogi going. Just get moving- once you get your body moving, your body will naturally detox and cleanse itself out. We’re all about taking a short break from the gym as long as you’re ready to get back and give it your all!
  6. DON’T skip meals- You might think that skipping meals will help you consume less calories, but it will all just backfire, because you’ll slow down your metabolism and you may end up devouring food late at night. Instead, have 5 small meals and fuel your body with veggies, proteins, fruits, and carbs.
  7. Try hot yoga– You’re probably thinking that sweating it out is the last thing on your list at this point. From our experience, you’ll feel so much better. Plus, yoga twists help rid your body of toxins by aiding your digestion. Checkout your local hot yoga spots or we recommend Y7 and Core Power Yoga! You’ll feel like you just sweated out your entire weekend of eating!

To getting back on track,

Jessica, Rachel, & Ariella

Crunch Squared

Recipe Alert: Its all about that Fennel

Everyone has days when they are to tired and hungry to cook a masterly crafted insta worthy dinner. Thats where this salmon recipe comes in – salmon only needs to cook for 10 to 15 minutes and has a lot of protein and omega 3 to keep you full and knock out those late night munchies. This meal is easy to throw together and will take less time than it takes for the Seamless delivery guy to show up.

Its all about that fennel: Fennel is a celery-like vegetable with a black licorice-like flavor. Fennel provides an enormous amount of health benefits- it is high in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, A, B6, K, and folate. All parts of the fennel bulb can be eaten, including the seeds, leaves, and the bulb itself. In this recipe, we use every part of the vegetable for the maximum benefit and zero waste!


Ingredients :

  • Arugula
  • Grapefruit
  • Fennel
  • Ground fennel seed
  • Orange zest
  • Salmon
  • Foraged salt
  • Coconut oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Pine nuts (optional)
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh black pepper

Directions:

Salmon –

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  2. Begin by rubbing the salmon with 2 tablespoons coconut oil and season both sides with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  3. Sprinkle a generous amount of chopped herbs, fennel, orange zest, and ground fennel seed.
  4. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes

Fennel –

  1. Spray a baking sheet with coconut oil
  2. Place sliced fennel on the baking sheet and season generously with salt and pepper
  3. Then; drizzle 2 tablespoons  balsamic vinegar over the fennel
  4. Bake for 30 minutes (until the fennel wedges are cooked through and beginning to caramelize at the edges)

Salad –

  • Prepare a bowl with arugula, sliced grapefruit, pine nuts, place roasted fennel and salmon, drizzle with a touch of coconut oil and balsamic vinegar.

To clean living,

Jessica, Rachel, & Ariella

The Chipotle of Yoga is Here

For years, we’ve heard rave reviews about the mega-chain (with over 165 studios across the country) Core Power Yoga. It seemed like there was a studio in just about every city except NYC!! When we heard that a studio was opening right in our backyard (Upper West Side) we couldn’t wait to try it out, let us tell you we were not disappointed!! We Añjali Mudrā our very sore arms in awe of this yoga studio! What makes this studio a unique addition to the NYC yoga scene, and had us coming back for more, is their yoga sculpt class. The class was unlike any yoga class we have taken before – it mixed strength, cardio,  and flexibility into the practice.


The class:

During the yoga sculpt class, the room was HOT (think sweat dripping everywhere) and had us stopping to towel off many times. The class began with the classic yoga flow to warm-up our bodies. Then it moved onto the segment where we used light hand weights to intensify each yoga pose. In addition, throughout the flow, weights were used during the strength-training moves during squats, lunges, and bicep curls. The weights added an intensity to the practice and had our muscles exhausted – think bicep curls with your legs in crescent pose, or weighted squats in chair pose. Then came the cardio bursts – this was super challenging, incorporating moves like burpees, jumping jacks, and jumping lunges. The hot room helped us loosen up quickly, the fast pace of the class made sure we were never bored or looking at the clock,  and the massive amount of sweating had us feeling detoxed and cleansed.


The Studio:

  • This location has two bathrooms, and two showers. The showers were pretty basic –  shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, and not much else. Before and after class, there was a long line for the bathrooms and the showers.
  • The studio rents yoga mats and towels and sells water.
  • CorePower Yoga offers a free week of yoga for new members.

What To Know:

  • We feel that this class is not for beginners, some yoga knowledge is necessary. The instructor does not stand at the front of the room modeling poses and uses official yoga-move names.
  • Most of the moves done are based off of strength and flexibility. This allowed us to push it at our own level.
  •  Flow weights should be light (we did 5 lbs) and Sculpt weights should be heavy (we did 8 lbs). The have 3, 5, 8, 10 lb weights available.
  • Try to hydrate prior to class, the room is really hot and we felt a bit light headed at times.

Cons:

  • The mats they offer are not great- we found them to be very slippery, so we advise you to bring your own.
  • They charge for towels – this bothered us because no studio we have been to in NYC charges 34$ a class and charges for towels.
  • The room was too hot – in the description of the class it says the temperature should be between 92 – 95 degrees with no added humidity, the classes we attended the room was 98 degrees.
  • During the cardio segment, the mats were so slippery with sweat so it was hard not to slide around during the jumping jacks.
  • The room was very packed barely an inch between each mat and we kept knocking into our neighbors

To clean living,

Jessica, Rachel, & Ariella

Recipe alert: Oatmeal apple & cinnamon cookies 

Although it’s not fall, we can never resist the apple & cinnamon combination! We put together this easy recipe for chewy and flavorful apple + cinnamon oatmeal cookies. Hope you enjoy!


Ingredients:

-1 large apple, peeled and diced into very small cubes

-2 teaspoons cinnamon

-1/4 teaspoon sea salt

-3/4 cup almond flour

-1 egg

-2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

-1/2 cup agave nectar

-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

-1 cup whole grain rolled oats

-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder


Directions: 

The best part about this recipe is that it’s so easy. All you have to do is these quick steps:

  1. Set the oven to 340 degrees
  2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl (preferably liquids and then solids)
  3. Mix until thoroughly combined (you could mix by hand or use a mixer)
  4. Take an ice cream scooper and scoop medium sized balls of the batter onto a  sheet pan sprayed with coconut oil spray.
  5. Once all the dough balls are on the sheet pan, flatten the dough balls a bit with your fingers
  6. Bake until golden brown (about  13-15 minutes) They will harden as they sit and cool!

To clean living,

Jessica, Rachel, & Ariella

Superfood Sunday Spotlight: Chlorophyll

Ever see green colored water? It’s probably chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants, especially in leafy greens, and it has detoxifying and healing properties. So what’s all this hype about putting chlorophyll drops into your water?


Nutrition Facts:

Chlorophyll is an antioxidant that contains numerous vitamins like vitamins A, C, E, and K. It is rich in antioxidants and minerals – iron, potassium, fatty acids, magnesium, iron, and calcium. You can get chlorophyll from foods, supplements, or in its liquid, but getting it from supplements is more beneficial because it survives long enough to get absorbed into the body.


Benefits: 

  • Detoxifies the liver
  • Controls body odor- It helps control bad breath and other odors.
  • Improves digestion-  Chlorophyll is great for your digestive system because it helps speed up waste elimination and balance your fluid levels.
  • Promotes weight loss- Chlorophyll is proven to boost metabolism. Additionally, chlorophyll may help suppress hunger and stabilize blood sugar.
  • Energizes the body
  • Improves skin
  • Boosts immune system
  • Helps with iron deficiency
  • Helps reduce insomnia symptoms
  • Anti inflammatory effects

Suggested Uses:

  1. It’s not so difficult to include chlorophyll in your daily diet because most green plants are rich in chlorophyll. Try to consume at least 3 cups of leafy greens each day. Have salads, add kale or spinach to your smoothies, or try swish chard as your veggie for dinner.
  2. Lately, we’ve been buying chlorophyll coconut water. This can easily be made at home with organic coconut water and 2 drops of liquid chlorophyll.
  3. Add 1-2 drops of liquid chlorophyll to your water each day.
  4. Try chlorophyll supplement if its hard for you to get in enough green each day. The recommended amount per day is 100mg.

*Make sure before taking a chlorophyll supplement to check with your doctor to make sure it won’t negatively interact with any other medications you are taking.


Chlorophyll rich foods: Eating these foods raw or  steamed will give you the most benefit. 


Suggested Products:

  • Add a scoop of Super Greens into your smoothie
  • If you don’t have time to make your own, checkout this packaged chlorophyll coconut water.
  • Checkout this organic chlorophyll face mask to purify and hydrate your skin.
  • Try Time Bomb Complexion Chlorophyll Cocktail to protect, decongest, and nourish your skin for a clearer and smoother complexion.

To clean living,

Jessica, Rachel, and Ariella

 

Don’t Just Wing It : Travel Tips

Everyone knows that traveling can throw even the most health conscious people’s clean living routines off. At home you are used to planned workout routines and home cooked healthy meals, but when away it is hard to be motivated to work out and tempting to eat unlimited calories. To make it easier for myself, I always prep and plan so that I have a stress-free flight and enjoyable trip. I am sharing my best travel tips for all of those fellow health nuts out there.

Pre-travel prep

  1. Pack leggings and sneakers in your carry on because you never know when you can sneak in a run. Bonus – it will help you get over jet lag!
  2. Pack gliders,  jump rope, and resistance bands for the ultimate hotel room workout. This equipment takes up minimal space in your suitcase, but will keep your body bikini ready! Checkout Amanda Kloot’s DANCE video and our SLT-inspired workout for the ultimate in room sweat sesh!
  3. Pre-flight take vitamin C and Probiotics to avoid getting sick (there are so many germs on the plane).
  4. Bring a sleeping mask to get your beauty sleep in flight. We always pack this natural silk one.
  5. When flying, your body is confused and working to adapt to the many changes, this can throw off your digestive system. I recommend avoiding refined sugar, sodium, and caffeine, and replace with whole foods instead.
  6. Pack veggies that won’t spoil, think: jicama, baby carrots, cucumbers, snap peas -dip them into Organic Hummus for some extra protein and healthy fats.
  7. Pack to go snacks – 100 calorie almond packs, oatmeal packetsalmond butter packs, RX bars, homemade protein bars, and Oatmeal cups.
  8. Keeping you’re skin clean & hydrated in flight: always remove you’re makeup when flying. If you don’t, you’ll be more prone to break outs + you’ll leave the plane feeling oily and may we say…gross.
  9. Pack these Facial towelettes that Jessica Alba swears by!
  10. Sheet masks- yes, be that mummy looking girl on the plane (you won’t regret it 😛) we love this Sephora rose sheet mask because of its skin-calming effects!
  11. The most important thing to do pre-flight, mid-flight, and post-flight is to HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE!! Keeping hydrated will keep you’re hunger levels controlled, keep you from becoming dehydrated, and even help fight jet lag.
  12.  Research healthy restraunts in your area of travel. If your traveling to an Island take advantage of the fresh smoothies and juices. If you’re in the states, look for a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s – you can pick up juices, pre-made salads, and healthy snacks.
  13. The best thing about the wellness boom is that there’s probably a fitness studio at your destination – maybe try something out of your comfort zone! Zumba? Pole dancing? Boxing?

To safe & healthy travels,

Ariella

Braided Hair Don’t Care

As a girl with frizzy, curly, thick, unruly hair, sweating it out at the gym in style isn’t always easy. I spend 25% of a workout fixing my hair, 25% hoping my hair won’t break free of the elastic band, 25% planning when I should do my next hair adjustment, and 25% actually focused on burning some calories. It is a constant struggle to say the least, I decided it was time to give my go-to trusty ponytail a much-needed facelift. We teamed up with Serge Normat for John Frieda stylist Amanda Scott to come up with three perfect hairstyles that will hold up during some burpees. I sampled each of the looks during an hour long dance class and my hair looked just as good leaving as it did coming in. End result – the plainjane ponytail is so five years ago!!


The first hairstyle is perfect for the every day gym to streetwear look. It works for any hair type and will get you noticed by every one in the gym. The look features 2 french braids, hair wrapped around the pony tail, and the rest of the hair left loose. Double the braids, double the fun, right?


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The second look is for people who struggle with bangs and short layers falling in their face. The front of the hairline is braided back so that you don’t spend your workout blowing hairs out of your face and the look is finished off with wrapping the braid around the elastic. (expert tip – pull the braid out to get that added thick texture and lift). There is nothing basic about this ponytail!

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The third look is is a great way to get rid of those pesky baby hairs glued to your neck. We love this quick, low-maintenance option that looks like you spent hours on your hairstyle (reality – minutes). In this style your hair is secured in a picture-perfect ballerina bun that will make you want to walk on your tip-toes all day long.

 

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To Good Hair Days,

Rachel

 

When Zen meets Adrenaline: box & flow

Who knew boxing and yoga were the perfect match? Life is all about balance; fight + flow are opposites, but when they come together in the Box & Flow studio, they create a balanced mind and body workout. The studio is located in Noho and easily accessible from the subway. During the class, we channeled our inner Muhammad Ali and then transitioned into a yogi inspired power flow. The founder, Liv Young, left the corporate world and opened a studio of her own. She was super sweet greeting us and explained the workout and concept behind it. She is passionate about what she does and considers balance to be “boxing, burgers, backbends + beer” (can we be BFF??).


Why We Love it:

Like many cardio enthusiasts, we are always running, jumping and spinning. This leads to neglecting low impact exercises and stretching, which are crucial to keep our bodies injury free and strong. Hybrid classes are the future to achieving this balance – “the yin and yang workout”. We are all about getting the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible, no-one has time to hit up 2 – 3 different studios to get a full body workout. Box and flow is a dream come true for us busy New Yorkers because it delivers both aspects – the contrast between an intense fun cardio circuit mixed with a relaxing yoga flow. The 55 minutes flew by and felt like a nonstop whirlwind. We didn’t focus on the clock because we were busy punching, flowing, and belting out the lyrics to the latest Drake song.


The Studio:

  • It is located at 55 Bond St., 2nd floor. 
  • On the stairs leading up to the space, there are inspiring phrases like, “its a lifestyle” “its a passion”. Inside the studio, there are yoga mats, Everlast punching bags, and light hand weights.
  • The studio provides yoga mats, towels, and gloves.
  • Speed wraps are mandatory for class and are available for purchase for $5.
  • The bathrooms are clean and are stocked with bathroom essentials, but be aware that there are no showers. (Crack open that bottle of dry shampoo!)
  • We left our shoes and bag in the cubby – it is mandatory to be barefoot (or wear socks) during the whole class to ensure an easy transition from the bags to the mats.

The class:

  • The class is 55 minutes and consists of 35 minutes of boxing, followed by 17 minutes of power yoga, and finished off with a savasana.
  • The warm-up – The class began with 8 minutes of aerobic moves (think – jumping jacks, squats, high knees etc.) and shadowboxing while holding 2-3 pound weights. This allowed us to work on our punches and form before hitting the heavy bag.
  • The gloves come on! – 9 rounds on the heavy bags, three of which are “rumbles” where we partnered up and focused on speed and power intervals. Our one complaint is that while holding the bag for our partner our heart rate went down and we felt like we missed an opportunity to get more sweat out of our workout.
  • We finished off with a cool down on the yoga mat. This was a quick flow sequence that allowed us to bring balance to the fight and stretch our bodies for long, lean muscles.
  • Class registration is available online at box + flow’s website.

Tips: 

  • The boxing sequences require some basic knowledge about punches and stance, they do not review basics. If you are new to boxing, prior to class check out this youtube video that will show you the proper stance and punches.
  • The studio gets really warm during the workout so make sure to wear a lightweight sweat absorbent outfit.
  • We like to bring our own boxing gloves. We can be a bit of germaphobes (aka wiping down our soul cycle bikes with 3 wipes) and there is nothing that we hate more then sticking our hands into used gloves!

 

To clean living,

Jessica, Rachel, & Ariella

 

Superfood Sunday Spotlight: Avocado

For starters…for those who were wondering, avocado is actually a fruit, and a rich, creamy, and flavorful one at that! An avocado is actually a large berry with one seed….who knew? Avocados are our go-to for salads, dips, smoothies, muffins, and even our skin! We’ve all seen those picturesque snaps of avocado toast on Instagram and can all admit that we drool over them. We’re going to breakdown everything you need to know about this Insta-worthy superfood, including the good and the not so good….


Nutrition Facts:

Avocados are packed with healthy fats, nutrients, and vitamins. 1 avocado contains 322 calories, 29 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbs, 13 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, and only 1.3 grams of sugar. So as you could tell, avocados are super filling!

One avocado contains approximately 1/3 of the daily requirement of vitamin K and folate, lots of pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin C, and monounsaturated fats.


Benefits:

  • The nutrients in avocados can help protect the body from heart disease, cancer, degenerative eye and brain diseases.
  • Avocados are proven to reduce belly fat (fat burns fat)!
  • Avocado slows digestion, which keeps blood sugar from spiking after a meal.
  • One avocado provides 1/3 of your recommended daily intake of folate, which helps form a baby’s brain and nervous system. The USDA recommends avocados as one of the best sources for some of the nutrients needed when pregnant.
  • Fiber content- One avocado contains about 13 grams of dietary fiber. Adding 1/2 sliced avocado to your salad with surely keep you full for hours (just in time for your 3 pm pick me up).
  • Skin- Avocados are great for your beauty routine as well. The glutamine amino acid in avocados helps cleanse skin and offers it enough protection against harsh environmental factors. D-manno-heptulose found in avocados has been shown to boost collagen formation (hello anti-aging!). 
  • Eye health- Avocados contain many carotenoids which are extremely important for one’s eye health.

Downside:

*We know it’s hard for all of you to hear the downsides of eating avocados because lets face it…they are delicious. But, to keep your health knowledge well rounded, we wanted to mention this.

There is something called FODMAPs, fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. They are sugars that have trouble being absorbed so they ferment….leading to bloating and other gut problems. (Look out for our post coming soon  about going Low FODMAP for a few weeks). Avocados contain FODMAPs, and if you are FODMAP intolerant, consuming a large amount of avocados may lead to stomach pain, bloating, or constipation. But don’t now go and be afraid of avocados! Most people don’t have issues with high FODMAP foods so this doesn’t apply to everyone. But, if you notice any of these symptoms after eating avocados, you should speak to your doctor about how FODMAPS react with your body. So now everyone carry on and keep snapping those avocado toast pics.


Suggested Uses:

  1. Use avocado oil in your baked goods, dressings, and dips for an extra creamy texture. (We love substituting vegetable oil with avocado oil in our homemade granola)
  2. Use an avocado in your smoothie! Combine 1 cup of unsweetened almond/coconut milk, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1 frozen avocado in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy this creamy, delicious blend- perfect for a quick breakfast or pre-workout fuel!
  3. Checkout there amazing Chocolate Avocado Muffins made in a blender for a quick & easy treat
  4. DIY hair conditioning treatment- Most oils will leave a greasy feel on the surface of the skin. This is thankfully not the case with avocado oil.  Avocado oil is easily absorbed by the skin so it works well for moisturizing a dry scalp. You can purchase avocado oil at most health food stores. Simply massage the avocado oil into your scalp and leave for 30 minutes, then shampoo hair.
  5. DIY avocado mask- Mash 1 avocado until smooth. Then, simply apply it all over your face with clean hands. Leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse with warm water, and pat dry with a clean towel. This will leave your skin feeling silky, refreshed, and totally glowing! (We recommend wearing a loose cotton headband to avoid frankenstein hair lol)
  6. Make your own guacamole that’s perfect for a summer BBQ, salad topping, or dip for your chips, crackers, or veggies. Here’s our homemade guacamole recipe that’s simple, healthy, and ofcourse delicious!

Suggested Products:

  • Checkout this creamy avocado under-eye treatment to hydrate the skin and clear up under-eye bags.
  • If you want luscious locks, try this pre-shampoo hair treatment. It leaves your hair smelling absolutely amazing and leaves you with hair you don’t want to let go of!
  • Run yourself a warm bath to detox and relax and add in this avocado bath soak to moisturize and sooth your skin.
  • If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to make fresh guacamole to eat with your cut up veggies for snack, try Wholly Guacamole packets. We buy the Organic, Classic, and Spicy variations. Because they are about 480 calories for a pack, try to limit yourself to 1/3 or 1/2 of the container. We like to scoop them into portion controlled containers to make sure our portions are always on track.

To clean living,

Jessica, Rachel, & Ariella