Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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.








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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 2.32.07 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 2.28.00 PM

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!

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 2.31.05 PM

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].



Camping Foodie Style

May 24, 2013

Off to Camp Blogaway this weekend where the top food bloggers will meet for a weekend of fun, learning and networking. I’ll report back so look for my weekend recap here.  Happy Memorial Day fun and good food wishes to all.

Camp Blogaway


The Beauty of Home(made)

April 28, 2013

Dear readers:

I know it’s been several months since I’ve had the opportunity to post, and for that, I am truly apologetic. But as I know fellow foodies and their busy schedules and explorations of all the new restaurants, I also know you’ll understand as I look to get back on track. To this end, I’m writing a post that makes me feel close to home (and heart).

There is truly nothing like the beauty of homemade cuisine. Sure, you can always feel like it’s a taste of home when you’re at your favorite restaurant or delectably enjoying the cuisine that takes you to that special place, but there is nothing like being the one slaving over the stove or having someone else do it for you to really understand the beauty of true enjoyment.

I had not only one, but two recent special occasions, where a home cooked meal was prepared especially for me (the special person knows who they are). It’s one thing to already appreciate the person who is doing it for you, but there is an extra special level when the food is absolutely delicious and prepared with love. On the first occasion, I had the opportunity to enjoy a pork chop (yes, it takes a while to cook according to the special chef who prepared it for me), stuffed with sun dried tomatoes, spinach and cheese. (The sauce was a secret recipe that the chef wouldn’t share with me).  It was paired with rice and topped with an olive – check out the amazing presentation!

photo 9

The second homemade dish I had the opportunity to enjoy was a steak that was specially marinated with mushrooms (again, chef’s secret) with plantains and avocado – yum!

photo 12

After being inspired by the special chef who cooked for me, I decided it was time to get more savvy in the kitchen and I opted to take a cooking class with friend and RD, Diane Henderiks.  She hosted us at the lovely cooking studios of Taste and Technique in Fairhaven, NJ (yes, I traveled all the way out to Jersey for the class) where we learned how to make “Culinary Concoctions.”  What was great is she showed us ways to use our leftovers from Shrimp and Arugula Salad to Turkey Taco Night to Chimichurri Skirt Steak with coffee grinds from your own coffee maker – delicious!

After a successful cooking class evening, I sought to create my own dinner for the special chef and while it may not have been as fancy, it certainly still tasted delicious and left the chef satisfied, which was the best part to thank him for the culinary skills he had shared with me to enjoy.

The Art of the Cocktail: EFFEN Vodka

October 19, 2012

No, Chuck Bass wasn’t in attendance for EFFEN Vodka’s evening of cocktail mixology at Hotel Empire, but the drinks certainly were flowing as was the creativity.

EFFEN Vodka Art of Design

EFFEN Vodka welcomed food bloggers around NYC including myself to enjoy and vote for favorite concoctions from area mixologists. And these mixologists certainly had the imaginations to dream up some delicious delights including a “Smoke N’ Cherries” made with EFFEN Black Cherry and Reposado Mezcal, “The Kyoto Cocktail” with EFFEN 80 Proof and passion hibiscus tea, as well as “Cherry
Jubilee,” with Prosecco and Marischino cherries.

Laura Cruz’ “Smoke ‘N Cherries”

Perhaps the most popular part of the event was the EFFEN Cucumber Design Station in which you had the opportunity to select your pairings. I opted for the EFFEN Cucumber with lime, jalapeno and watermelon.

EFFEN Vodka Cocktail Design Station

My concoction

Each of the mixology tables had vases whereby bloggers could vote for their favorite cocktails by dropping in marbles. The winner? Read on.

The evening reception also featured a presentation with models wearing garments in the EFFEN Vodka signature colors/flavors including Cucumber, Black Cherry, and Dutch Raspberry.

I’m feeling seriously courted as in 2013, EFFEN is creating a community of social brand ambassadors, providing bloggers like me with a bunch of ways to get involved and benefit in a big way.

It was a perfect night to imbibe stellar drinks while overlooking the city.

And now for the winner?

Jhailen Puello

The Kyoto Cocktail

1.5 oz Effen 80 proof
2 oz Tazo passion hibiscus tea
1 oz Agave Nectar
Topped with sprite
Garnished with a mint spring

The other amazing cocktails:

Laura Cruz
Smoke ‘n Cherries:

1 ½ ounce Effen Black Cherry
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup
½ ounce Reposado Mezcal
1 egg white

Danny Neff
2 oz. EFFEN Black Cherry Vodka:
3/4 oz. Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz. Honey Syrup
2 Dashes Peychauds Bitters
Shake, Strain with a Lemon Twist.

Will Peet
Scant 1/2 oz Cardamaro

1/2 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
1 oz Effen Black Cherry

James Menite
Cherry Jubilee:

6 muddled maraschino black cherries,
1 1/2 oz Effen black cherry vodka,
3/4oz vanilla syrup,
1/4 oz Maraschino syrup (from the jar)
1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice, topped with prosecco
Cherry garnish