Healthy New Year Week 4 & Round Up with JuicePlus+ [Sponsored]

February 1, 2016

This New Year 2016, I set out to incorporate some simple changes in my life, to inspire myself as well as you to live your healthiest life yet. As the month of January comes to a close and this campaign with Juice Plus+ officially comes to a close, it by no means indicates that I will stop incorporating these simple changes into my life.  In fact, I will be following up with a post after the next 3 months to show you my journey of becoming the “best” of me health wise thanks to the boost from Juice Plus+ – so I invite you to stay tuned into my journey – and feel free to tag #MySimpleChange in any ways you’re incorporating simple changes into your life so I can help support and encourage you on your health journey!

The theme of this week’s #MySimpleChange is staying consistent as it helps you to create a healthy pattern!   I’ve also recapped the other simple changes I’ve incorporated this month – hopefully you’ll find one or more that will inspire you!

Simple Change #1: Stay Consistent with my Early Wake Up & Working Out

Finding that waking up early to work out to boost my day and kick it off on the right foot was immensely transformative for me.  It was important for me to stay consistent with this routine as I know it works for me.  Perhaps you’re not an early riser, however, and night time workouts are best for you. Whatever it is for you, just carve out a routine that works for you and stick to it – I promise you’ll feel more satisfied and the structure will help you create more of a routine that will start to become natural to you.  I have remained consistent with waking up early and continuing my hot yoga practice with a mix of classes from more flow-based to sculpting that are more intense to also keep it interesting and not remain stagnant with my results.

Simple Change #2: Encourage Others

Whether it’s in my own Cycle class each Wednesday or just striking up a conversation after a class I’m in, it feels so good to encourage others in their health goals.  Even a simple smile says, “I support you!”


Simple Change #3: Take a Moment to Slow Down & Breathe

I documented this earlier in the month on #MySimpleChange journey, but taking a moment out of our hectic schedules is so valuable.  I mentioned appreciating the sunset.  This week I took a moment to step out right before the sun set on Venice Beach and breathe, just taking in all that was around me.  This helped clear my head from the distractions of the day and was an easy and great kick start to my weekend.


The other simple changes I have implemented this month that I invite you to adopt as they work for your lifestyle:

  • Get Outside/Move on My Lunch Break
  • Eat Breakfast
  • Take More “Me” Time on Sunday
  • Change Up My Workout
  • Appreciate the Sunset
  • Reflect & Appreciate Progress
  • Wake Up Earlier
  • Pack in Some Early Morning Cardio
  • Challenge Myself
  • Stay Consistent with my Early Wake Up & Working Out
  • Encourage Others
  • Take a Moment to Slow Down and Breathe

How are you going to implement some simple changes in your life?

Disclosure: Juice Plus+ provided me with the products mentioned in exchange for this post.









Healthy New Year Week 3 with JuicePlus+ [Sponsored]

January 25, 2016

As a continuation on my #MySimpleChange journey with Juice Plus+, showing easy ways to inspire you to live your healthiest life yet, I’m excited to share this week’s simple changes in my life that hopefully help inspire you too!

The theme of this week’s #MySimpleChange is waking up earlier as it allows you to be more productive and feel better!

Simple Change #1: Wake Up Earlier

Waking up earlier was a game changer for me this week.  Not only did I feel already accomplished by the morning, but I was more productive throughout my day.  I did this consistently 3 out of the 5 days this week as well as changing up my workouts, incorporating hot yoga for the first time ever.


Simple Change #2: Pack in Some Early Morning Cardio

In addition to waking up earlier, packing in some early morning cardio allowed me to really jump start my day.  I took a SoulCycle class which gave me even more inspiration to fulfill the day’s work I set out to do – and left me with an energy boost throughout the day. I continue to incorporate the Juice+ Dutch Chocolate Shakes into my morning routine for a tasty, healthy and satisfying morning breakfast – especially great for on the go.


Simple Change #3: Challenge Myself 

Our bodies are capable of such amazing things. I had never done a hot yoga class, so I conquered two challenges off the bat – waking up early and doing a hot yoga class.  As a next step to challenging myself, I decided at the end of the week after waking up early consistently throughout the week, to add on to my hot yoga practice with sculpt and barre – I didn’t let my mind hold me back from doing it and I was able to achieve everything I set out to do.


Wishing everyone a great week ahead filled with simple changes – you can do it!

Disclosure: Juice Plus+ provided me with the products mentioned in exchange for this post.


Healthy New Year Week 2 with JuicePlus+ [Sponsored]

January 18, 2016

Hello foodie friends!  As a continuation on my #MySimpleChange journey with Juice Plus+, showing easy ways to inspire you to live your healthiest life yet, I’m excited to share this week’s simple changes in my life that hopefully help inspire you too!

Simple Change #1: Change Up My Workout

As I teach cycle/indoor spin classes as well as run frequently, it’s important to change up my workout routine when I get the opportunity to help drive different results in my body.  This past week, I decided to change up my workout by moving from cardio to more body sculpting/strengthening with Pure Barre. Prior to class, I enjoyed the Juice+ Complete Dutch Chocolate Shake with almond milk to boost my energy.


Simple Change #2: Appreciate the Sunset

Gratitude is a simple change you can enjoy every day. I utilized the sunset to not only get  a great run in, but also to reflect on my successes of the day and be grateful for my progress – remember, you’re exactly where you need to be!



Simple Change #3: Reflect & Appreciate Progress 

Yoga is one way I can reflect as well as let go as I set my week. As I practice frequently, I changed up my yoga workout and went into a more heated room with a more powerful flow – it’s important to appreciate the progress you’re making no matter your starting point.



Disclosure: Juice Plus+ provided me with the products mentioned in exchange for this post.


#MySimpleChange: A Healthy New Year with JuicePlus+ [Sponsored]

January 11, 2016

Hello foodie friends!   I’m excited to share with you that over the course of the month, I will be documenting #MySimpleChange journey with Juice Plus+, showing easy ways to inspire you to live your healthiest life yet!  Whether it’s a new recipe, workout idea, or just a health tip, I hope you’ll enjoy learning how simple it is to make lasting changes for your health.

Besides getting familiar with the products (capsules, chewable and shakes), I really wanted to incorporate a few different things to change up my routine.  For reference, Juice Plus+ is whole food based nutrition, including juice powder concentrates from 30 different fruits, vegetables and grains. Juice Plus+ is made from quality ingredients from farm to capsule to provide natural nutrients your body needs to perform at its best.


Simple Change #1: Get Outside/Move on My Lunch Break

While I typically eat at my desk or eat between meetings and calls, I wanted to take dedicated time to enjoy getting outside in the beautiful sun and by the beach which is by my home (and that I don’t take enough advantage of).  I took a 5K run by the beach and it not only lifted my spirits, but helped boost my metabolism and kept me focused and creative for the rest of the day. Before running, I tried the Orchard Blend capsules – I felt energized throughout my run, and got a nice serving of fruits and veggies in easily on the go.


Simple Change #2: Eat Breakfast

I don’t always make time to eat breakfast or find a lack of inspiration for breakfast, so some times I end up skipping this most important meal of the day.  To change this, I opted to make the Dutch Chocolate shake with almond milk.  It was delicious (and I have tried a lot of powder shakes in the past) so I was pleasantly surprised.  It was a delightful morning treat and I also love the fact that it’s 100% vegan and there are no additives. I felt full until lunch and it took less than 5 minutes to make.


Simple Change #3: Take More “Me” Time on Sunday 

I really wanted to take more advantage of utilizing my Sunday for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.  On Sunday I took a yoga workshop which allowed me to clear my head, set some great intentions and get my week started off on the right foot. It was great to have the chewables to snack on to keep my energy up throughout the 2-hour workshop.


I am looking forward to this week and sharing more simple changes with you!  Cheers to your health!

Disclosure: Juice Plus+ provided me with the products mentioned in exchange for this post.








White Oak Tavern: Business in the Heart of NYU

January 9, 2016

In continuation of my “Ladies (& Gents) Wining & Dining Series” dedicated to the best lunch, dinner and drink spots for doing business while enjoying the best cuisine that New York City, Los Angeles and other top cities across the country offer, a little gem in the heart of NYU – White Oak Tavern (21 Waverly Place) – is a great place if you’re looking for an easy, laid back meeting place.

I met up with the founders of Startup Island, dedicated to creating epic spring breaks for young student innovators and entrepreneurs, who suggested the location.

Wanting something a bit lighter for lunch, I chose the Ancient Grain Salad with quinoa, wheat berries, goji berries, chickpeas, nuts, seeds and topped with a tamari vinaigrette, as well as a side of the Roasted Butternut Squash with goat cheese, kale, brown butter, sage and hazelnuts.

Summary: The spot wasn’t crowded, was easy to talk as it wasn’t overly noisy and the menu offered a lot of interesting seasonal selections, perfect for the time of the year as the weather was starting to turn cold. The staff was incredibly friendly yet not overly involved as they can tell who is conducting business over a meal, which was nice so there were few interruptions. If you’re looking for a laid back place with reasonable prices and good food, White Oak Tavern is a good choice.

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(Image Credits: Yelp)

Speakeasy Business: The Garret NYC

December 29, 2015

Happiest holidays, readers!  As the next post to follow in my “Ladies (& Gents) Wining & Dining Series” dedicated to the best lunch, dinner and drink spots for doing business while enjoying the best cuisine that New York City, Los Angeles and other top cities across the country offer, I’m pleased to introduce a new favorite – The Garret NYC (Garret West- 296 Bleecker Street & Garret East – 206 Avenue A).

I had the opportunity to enjoy the Garret West which sits nestled upstairs from Five Guys (yes, it’s completely hidden and you do have to walk through the Five Guys) for some amazingly creative cocktails in the city that never sleeps and dreams up these unique inventions.

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The Garret West NYC (Image credit: CBS Local NY)

A prospective client of mine chose the venue and having never been, I had to double check the email a couple times to ensure I was in the right place and that I wasn’t just being duped into eating a Five Guys burger (which is delicious, don’t get me wrong).  As I arrived first, I was able to snag one of the few booths inside the small space which offered a beautiful view overlooking Bleecker Street and recall the times I had a jonesing for Bleecker Street Pizza which also sits directly across from the building.

Being somewhat of an adventurous cocktail connoisseur and loving the name, I started with The First Lady, a combination of gin, combier, matcha green tea, lemon, egg white and fresh basil.

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The First Lady (Image credit: Well+Good)

For the second round, I opted for The Missus Wheeler with bourbon, banana, ginger, drambouie, and lemon. The one definitely packed a punch!

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The Missus Wheeler (Image credit:

Summary: The Garret NYC has a strong appeal as it’s off the grid so it’s great for locals as well as those who are out of state and want to feel like they’re getting the “inside track” to NYC. The cocktails are finely crafted (and therefore somewhat pricey), but worth the spend. As it’s small, it’s not a good option for a larger group (3-4 max is ideal). Additionally, as they don’t offer food, you may want to start out the night here and then head to dinner after, either downstairs at Five Guys if you’re looking for something informal, or choose from the many options of finer dining/sit downs with the vast array of restaurants all nearby in the West Village.

Bourbon & Business: Maysville NYC

December 12, 2015

As a follow up to my new series, “Ladies (& Gents) Wining & Dining Series” dedicated to the best lunch, dinner and drink spots for doing business while enjoying the best cuisine that New York City, Los Angeles and other top cities across the country offer, dear readers, meet Maysville NYC (17 West 26th Street), one of the newest hot spots just due west in the Gramercy area offering soul food and finely crafted bourbon and whiskeys (some of the more rare varieties you can get as the owner has even stocked the bar with some of his home collection).

For lunch I chose the Chilled Pemaquid Oysters on the half shell (note: they only serve East Coast oysters, so if you’re a fan of West Coast oysters like me, just keep that in mind) and the Crispy Grits with country ham and bourbon aioli.  You can also enjoy a range of salads, their famous “Chicken Under a Brick” with carrot, bacon and pickled onion or even the squash soup (seasonal) to sip on to combat the cold.

To finish, they offer a scoop of ice cream if you’re leaning towards dessert, or instead, a liquid option – a 1 oz. taste of Evan Williams White Label bourbon – why not?

Chilled Pemaquid Oysters on the half shell; Crispy Grits

Summary: Maysville is a great option if you’re looking for a sit down lunch without a long wait. While I went with a female friend and business connect, if you’re taking the male clientele out, they’ll most likely appreciate it even more given the stock of fine bourbons and whiskeys (especially if they’re Southern given the appeal of the soul food themed menu).  The restaurant is a bit small, so I recommend a reservation, but if you look around especially during a lunch meeting, you’ll see lots of other like-minded business meetings happening.  They also have free wifi so if you need to hole up to get some work done while waiting on your party or after they leave (like I did), you can cozy up to the bar with an espresso (or finely crafted cocktail of your choice).


Introducing the Ladies (& Gents) Wining & Dining Series: The Best Spots for Business Eats

November 21, 2015

Hello readers!

I’m excited to share that despite a brief hiatus since earlier this summer, I will be launching a new series here called the “Ladies (& Gents) Wining & Dining Series” dedicated to the best lunch, dinner and drink spots for doing business while enjoying the best cuisine that New York City, Los Angeles and other top cities across the country offer.

I hope this will inspire some great ideas for you as you travel on business, particularly if you’re looking for a unique spot to wow client and colleagues, old friends and new, from the easiest to the hardest to please foodies. The series is designed to provide you with insider insights beyond the contents of that magazine in the seat back pocket and what’s on the menu from a first-hand business and foodie expertise perspective.

I invite you to dialogue on any of my recommendations as well as offer up any of your favorite/can’t miss spots as well (business success stories welcome too!) to inspire fellow business travelers on their culinary and business adventures.

Enjoy! Bon Appetit! Buen Provecho!

[Reviews coming soon: Maysville (NYC), The Garret (NYC), White Oak Tavern (NYC), Javelina (NYC), Pig & Khao (NYC), The Rockefeller (Manhattan/Hermosa Beach, CA) and more].



Breakfast Munchies

June 7, 2015

If you’re on the hunt for a filling breakfast in a hurry, look no further than Phanny’s at 1021 S. Pacific Coast Highway in Redondo Beach. Calling themselves the “healthiest fast food in town since 1982” might be a stretch, but they do serve up authentic breakfast burritos, omelettes, burgers and specialty sandwiches.

The building is fairly non-descript and sits between a variety of other local haunts, so it’s best to program this one in your GPS to ensure you don’t miss it.  There isn’t true table service here, so you’ll want to ensure you place your order at the front.  While it isn’t a place to choose for ambiance, it’s quality and you can tell by the volume of many locals in and out the door, opting to sit in for a quick bite or pick it up on their morning strolls through the area.

I opted for a Ham breakfast burrito with eggs, potatoes, cheese and salsa. You could definitely split this if you’re not too hungry, or eat the whole thing if you’re really ravenous.



Phannys 4

Phannys 2

Phannys 1

Looking for other great breakfast spots in LA and outside the city?  Try these:

  • Tops Burgers – 1792 E. Walnut St., Pasadena, CA – Offers a great selection of breakfast plates, sandwiches and burritos and of course, burgers. There’s something about the butter they use in the potatoes that just makes it taste extra special.  Again, nothing fancy here, just take out or sit down in a low-key, off the grid building.
  • Grand Burger – 710 S. Grand Street, Glendora, CA – Like Tops, this spot offers a variety of breakfast offerings, though they’re most famous for their burgers. I’ve been for breakfast and lunch and you can’t beat it. They also recently opened for 24 hour drive through service, so whatever time you have a breakfast craving or otherwise, you can swing through.
  • Manhattan Bread and Bagel – 1812 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Manhattan Beach, CA – Can’t beat bagels if you’re on the go, but they also offer a wide selection of breakfast items from french toast to frittatas, oatmeal, “sinful scones,” “marvelous muffins,” and breakfast pastries. It’s also close to the airport so it’s a great place to swing through if you’re coming from the South Bay to LAX to beat those lines and overpriced breakfast sandwiches at the airport.
  • Uncle Stavros – 201 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach, CA – Cute (and small) so be prepared to wait for a table as it’s also right by the entrance to the beach. As it’s family run, service is a little slow, but enjoy a mix of greek dishes, traditional breakfast fare and sip a mimosa before you head to beach for a lazy day.

Have a recommended can’t miss breakfast spot? Let me know in the comments here.

NYC to Los Angeles: Foodie Reflections

April 28, 2015

It’s really hard to believe that it’s been almost two years from this date that I have touched this blog.  My last entry was right before I enjoyed Camp Blogaway in California and I dreamed about being here since that time. Fast forward and my journey has led me here to the city of Angels as of this past July.

I love blogging and I love writing. I love food. None of that went away when I wasn’t blogging here, but there was always a little sensation, a passing comment or curiosity peaked when I mentioned that I have a blog related to the culinary adventures I had documented here. Those little moments kept the blog alive for me even while I wasn’t faithfully writing.

So with that in mind, after a nearly two year respite of writing here, it only makes sense to me to share you with, dear readers, a journey from nearly 10 years in NYC to one in Los Angeles, a place I had wanted to be and now am, on this greater journey called life.

I was really fortunate to have experienced all the culinary delights I had the chance to explore in New York City – from City Lobster to Bell Book & Candle, Kaia Wine Bar, The London, Social Eatz, Koi, B. Smith’s, Dardanel, and my all time favorite (yes, I’m revealing it!) David Burke Townhouse, to name a few – these are not only the places I remember and have documented, but the moments I truly cherish in looking back on the delicious experiences – culinary and company wise, almost as if they were yesterday.  I remember exactly who I was sitting with and what the experience was like. After all, good food is supposed to take you right back to that moment you experienced it, right?

I don’t have a verdict yet on NYC vs. Los Angeles like you might be wondering as I’m still new-ish to Los Angeles, I can give you some compare and contrasts.  The biggest is certainly the distance. While in NYC you can easily get from delight to delight, Los Angeles is a bit harder in that way as it is very spread out. Both NYC and Los Angeles boast great chefs and great establishments so those are a fair comparison, and there are definitely hidden gems in both cities.

So what are some of my favorite haunts in Los Angeles thus far? Read on…

Greenbelt (36 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach, CA) – Greenbelt serves everything using local farmer’s market produce and the dishes are delicious for it. I’ve now been for brunch, lunch and dinner and can tell you that you can’t choose a wrong item on this menu.  Depending on what meal you’re going for, I recommend the Grilled Avocado benedict with basil hollandaise. Best part? No bread and you get the healthy fats from the avocado with other great seasonal vegetables that’s filling and it’s also gluten-free for those who have any allergies. Lunch?  Go for a shared pizza like the burrata, mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, basil and pesto. Simple and yummy. Dinner?  I love tuna so the Grilled Yellowfin Tuna with coconut black rice, shitake mushrooms and thai curry is great. Spicy alert on this one though, so the faint beware.

Grilled Avocado Benedict

Grilled Avocado Benedict

Grilled Yellowfin Tuna

Grilled Yellowfin Tuna

Uncle Bill’s Pancake House (1305 Highland Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA) is the ultimate comfort food. I went on a weekday holiday with friends which was great as only on weekday holidays and weekends do they serve the eggs benedict which was delicious.  We also opted to share a side of what they are famous for – pancakes (when in Rome, right?) with coconut and chocolate chips. And for the view alone, the picture says it all.

Eggs Benedict

Eggs Benedict & Coconut Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Uncle Bill's

Uncle Bill’s

Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach

Others not pictured?

Mediterraneo (73 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach, CA) because of its can’t beat shared apps like the Deviled Eggs with harissa oil, Roasted Dates prosciutto wrapped and stuffed with cambozola blue cheese (my favorite on the menu), Polpette beaf meatballs with San Marzano tomato sauce and parmagiano (really you can’t go wrong with anything here), in addition to the very carefully crafted cocktails, do yourself a favor and check it out. Plus you can walk off dinner as you’ll be right by The Strand for a lazy afternoon or crisp evening beach walk.

Manhattan Beach Post (1142 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA), it’s called a “Social House” for a reason. It’s always busy. And the food and scene is why. I also came on a Sunday for brunch when it’s likely at its peak. But it’s entirely worth the wait starting with some Bacon Cheddar biscuits with maple butter like the tasty ones at Red Lobster (but better) and for shared plates like the French Toast stuffed with house ricotta, bartlett pears and candied almonds and the benedict (yes of course I had to try it, lest you forget the name of my blog).  What else is cool?  The fact that the menu changes seasonally and on the whim of a chef. Can’t hate on that.

Zinc at the Shade Hotel (1221 N. Valley Drive, Manhattan Beach, CA) come for brunch, walk the beach later. Or come during the week and enjoy one of the festive cocktails like the Are You Man Enough? with the Patron Silver Tequila, Veev acai spirit, agave, lime and muddled jalapenos or for a less spicy option the Aviation with gin, lemon juice, maraschino liqeur and creme de violette.

Ok, ok, you’re asking where are all the places not at the beach?  Don’t worry, my friends, I have you covered!

Check out:

Taste on Melrose (8454 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA) – their tagline is “eat, drink, indulge” and that my friends, you can do. I came with some friends who also happen to be awesome work colleagues and we shared the calamari and Pommes Frites with garlic aioli and remoulade. They have great dishes all around whether you’re going healthier with a grilled natural salmon, or more indulgent like the Rigatoni Bolognese I tried.  Fun fact: Grilled cheese night is every Tuesday and you can add their housemade Pommes Frites for only $5. Yep.

Sugarfish by Sushi Nozawa (Multiple locations, I went to 4722 1/4 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA) – You can’t explain this sushi, you just have to try it for yourself. It’s served warm and melt in your mouth worthy. I know what you’re thinking. After I was in NYC for so long, can it get any better?  But this truly is an experience.  If you’re really hungry, go for the Nozawa Trust Me. It’s worth it. It includes organic edamame, tuna sashimi, albacore, salmon and yellowtail sushi, halibut sushi, Toro hand roll, Blue Crab hand roll and the daily special.

041 Bacaro (9552 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA) Chef Conrad came from NYC so that’s almost enough to be said there, but there is true Italian love in this food. Try the roasted brussel sprouts or french fries with truffle oil to start (or both if you’re sharing) and the entrees speak for themselves though I enjoyed the risotto with mixed wild mushrooms. It’s like a slice of Little Italy NYC. Go.

And of course there are more to come.  Have a must try place for me to check out?  Feel free to comment here whether you’re an Angeleno or just know some great spots here in the City of Angels.