Sweet Eats: The Juice Box, New Haven

As I made my way down Chapel St towards The Juice Box, , I instantly visualized Rory Gilmore promenading along this very same road with a friend as she babbled on in her 5 words per second banter that she’s fondly known for, only stopping for a minute to order a cold brew coffee at The Juice Box counter. It’s reminiscent of a Brooklyn style green juice spot where the gang from Friends would congregate and chit-chat the day away over avocado toast and a few rounds of almond butter açai bowls. An instagrammer’s dream for aesthetically pleasing content and a health nut’s dream for delicious smoothies, green juice and grab-n-go bites (always vegetarian with vegan and gluten-free options), The Juice Box is my current favorite for all things  gut-health indulgent.

Sasha Zabar (yes, that Zabar), Max Young and Sammy Chamino are the  masterminds behind this new, yet already popular, juice spot. Growing up in New York where the food scene is rapidly expanding, these health food gourmands saw growing potential in the Elm City market.

There are many things said about juicing. Haters will say that juicing of any kind is bad because all nutrients are lost through the juicing process. The juices at The Juice Box are cold-pressed and never heated, thus keeping the nutrients in tact (bye haters).

As we learn more about how an abundance of sugar can negatively effect our bodies, it’s great to know that Sasha (the chef de cuisine) does not add extra sugar or ingredients to his juices (what’s on the label is what’s in the bottle). In addition to cold-pressed juices, you can also get gluten-free avo toast with pickled red onions, smoothies, grab-n-go bites such as kelp noodles, energy balls covered in cacao nibs and watermelon jerky! Click here to view the full menu.

It’s great to go into a juice bar and meet the owners and see that they are extremely passionate about how eating a diet filled with plants and whole-foods can positively impact our health and wellbeing.

What sets these guys apart from every other juice bar, you ask? Well, I think with their minimalist decor and relaxed (yet proficient) knowledge of healthy foods, they’re approachable. They care about using real and whole ingredients. It’s not about the bells and whistles…it’s about good food. They care about where their food comes from and that in turn will pique your interest (if it wasn’t piqued already).

The Juice Box is a place my generation and younger can go and feel like we’ve found our tribe (as cliché as that sounds). It’s not just “another juice bar”, it’s a lifestyle.

The Juice Box

1092 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510

203-562-0068

 

I was provided a complimentary meal for review. All content and opinions are my own.

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Sweet Eats: Eggs | “Pasture Raised” vs “Cage Free”

If you care about where your food, specifically for this piece: your eggs, comes from, keep reading; and if you don’t care….keep reading, because you should!

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If you’ve ever watched one of those Netflix documentaries that give you nightmares about the food industry and make you question your whole existence then you too are just like me. After watching Food Inc and GMO,OMG, I took a stand and actively decided to try and eat as close to 100% organic and GMO-free as I could. I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian (sorry you passionate vegans out there), but I do care about what goes into my body.

I thought I had an intolerance to eggs a while back, but that turned out to be temporary (thank God!), and once I was back on the egg train I was gung-ho on eating CAGE-FREE eggs. I thought I was taking a stand by making sure the eggs I consumed were hatched by hens who were not stuffed into a jail where they had no room to even blink….boy was I wrong!

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As you can see in the diagram above (provided to me by the lovely folks at Vital Farms), “Cage-Free” hens barely get any room to breathe….they get room to blink (unlike the caged ones), but they have no room to think. They have no outdoor space, no chance to breathe fresh air; all they are doing is being squished “out of their cage” in a dark factory on top of their neighbor (some who may have died days before). Imagine, it’s like being on a crammed T during a Red Sox game where you can barely even breathe because your face is either squished against the T door or someone’s ass…not ideal, right?

Even “Free Range” hens don’t have that much outdoor space to roam around. It’s like a poor little dog who is chained to a tree and wants so badly to run out into freedom to play with a ball that is 3ft away, but each time he tries to move more than 2 ft outward, the chain yanks him back, tugging on his neck.

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IMG_1331I was so happy that I came across Vital Farms and Carol’s Organic Eggs who are both committed to raising hens who have up to a minimum 108 square feet of free land (that’s PER HEN!…that’s a lot of land) to roam and all of the fresh air to breathe that their little hearts desire. They are not cooped up in a cage, or squished against their neighbors bum, instead they get to roam free and enjoy being mother hens. I also love the fact that these hens are fed salad and feed that is free of herbicides and pesticides (this way of foraging makes for rich and delicious eggs which are naturally better for you).

These companies are also certified humane (not all pasture raised are organic AND certified humane), meaning, they are closely monitored to ensure they are treating their hens with respect and kindness and following all of the rules to be considered “certified humane”, especially during the the process of “Beak-Tipping” which was defined to me by a lovely woman at Vital Farms as:

“We instead do a small infrared beak treatment called beak-tipping” and this is only to reduce the sharpness of their beak hooks. If we didn’t do this, they could do some serious harm to each other. The treatment is painless when we do it (the nerve endings do not grow in until after a week or so) and does not affect the hen long term. It actually allows them to enjoy a much less stressful life. “

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So if you’re not a vegetarian or a vegan, but you still care about what you put into your body and how the animals are treated before hand, then try buying certified humane, organic and GMO-free, pasture raised eggs and let me know what you think!

xoxo

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SweetEats: Wellness with Buddha Teas™

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Ever since I can remember, in my family, tea was the remedy for everything. My Jamaican mother would give us tea when we had a fever, a sniffle, a cough or a scraped knee (okay, maybe not a scraped knee, but you get the picture). When I was younger I didn’t know that tea had healing properties, I just thought that was what everyone did, drink tea every day.

As I got older, especially now that I’m more interested in what I’m putting on and in my body, I know the healthy and healing benefits of tea.

When Buddha Teas™ reached out to me via instagram I was 1. very excited because this was the first company to recognize me because of my blog and 2. I had an organic tea company to add to my collection!

Buddha Teas™ was started by CEO John Boyd as a way to bring quality natural teas to the world. As stated on the company’s website:

By taking from the earth no more than what we need, and giving back to it through recycling and compostable products, Buddha Teas would strive not to profit from the earth, but to honor it and its many blessings

Even though I grew up a big tea drinker, until I started drinking Buddha Teas™, I had no idea that most companies bleached their teabags. Buddha Teas™ has unbleached teabags and tea that is 100% kosher and has no GMOs, MSGs, artificial flavors and preservatives, or colors; and it is great for the environment as it is 100% recycled and come in recyclable cartons.

Needless to say, I was sold. After viewing their site, John asked me what I liked/ wanted in a tea. I told him I love ginger as it settles the stomach and aids in digestion. Right away he knew which carton to send me: The Tumeric Ginger tea. This tea is a natural source of antioxidants, as well as a great source of protein and fiber. As an added bonus, each tea bag comes with a happy and motivational quote to get your morning going on a high note.

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The taste is delicious, unlike any other tea I have experience. It tastes like someone literally walked into a forest and gathered all the natural ingredients from the earth and made the tea right in front of me. I can also attest to the benefits of the fiber (you can never have too much fiber to get the wheels turning).

Currently, I’m on vacation in OBX, NC where the sun is shining at highs of 70, so I have remixed this tea and created an iced tea version to sip on the deck as I watch the waves crash into the sand of the bay.

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What you will need

-Tumeric Ginger Buddah Tea (5 tea bags)

-ice

-a chopped peach

-honey

In a pot, I boiled some water (depends on how much you want to make) adding 5 tea bags to steep for 5-7 minutes. I also added a tablespoon of organic, light amber honey.

I added the pot to the freezer to allow it cool down a little faster as we needed to head out the door to explore more of Outer Banks.

After about 5 minutes I removed the tea from the freezer and added a few pieces of the peach and stirred the concoction. I then added a handful of ice to the pot and stirred once again.

In a cute little tight lid container, I added my iced tea mixture, some more ice and topped it off with more peaches.

This recipe is great for those hot summer days to just have handy in your fridge not only for the nutritional benefits, but also for the refreshing taste! (the peaches leftover make for a delicious snack as well)

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Follow Buddha Teas™ on instagram and twitter and don’t forget to check out their website for more information on how you too can get some Buddha Teas™ in your life and diet!

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xoxo

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SweetBeauty: The Bees Knees

My boyfriend likes to make fun of me because I’m sensitive to everything: pollen causes my sinuses to swell up, dairy does NOT agree with my belly, and a small breakout on my skin leaves behind a dark spot that takes expensive products to get rid of.

As I continue to learn more about the food I eat, I’ve also started taking a look at the products I’m using on my skin. Just as much as “you are what you eat”, you’re also what you put on your skin. Harmful ingredients such as parabens, fragrances, and phthalates seep into your skin, potentially being the catalyst for illnesses such as breast cancer and kidney damage.

After reading up on the risks these ingredients pose, I decided to make an effort to use products that are more natural and organic. Mother nature has all of the healing properties we need if we just take a moment to remain patient rather than look for a quick (and potentially harmful) fix. (next I’ll start making my own products)

I wanted a product for my face that would brighten and correct any discoloration in my skin, as well as reduce/ remove dark spots.

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I have been faithfully using these Burt’s Bees products for a month (almost two) now, and others have already noticed the difference in my skin. Compliments of my skin appearing brighter and my dark spots fading away are coming from my colleagues at work and my boyfriend at home and  only solidifies the true power of natural products.

Ingredients such as willow bark, honey, daisy extract and jojoba esters work innately together to create a lasting change to your skin.

On my body, which is also susceptible to break-outs and dark spots (especially on my back) I have been using Alaffia’s “Everyday Shea” body wash. (in my favorite scent of the moment: Lavender).

Everyday Shea products are made with about 5 natural ingredients (shea butter soap, leaf extract and plant based surfactants) and are paraben free, vegan, non-GMO, gluten free as well as many other attractive qualities for someone like myself.

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This journey of educating myself on the ingredients in the items I eat and use daily is very empowering and rewarding. I will continue to try out different products and live a wholesome life with wholesome and beneficial products.

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Question of the day: What natural/organic products do you use in your daily routine?

Leave a comment below or tweet me!

xoxo

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