I’ve recently made a big change in my life. Two months ago I gave up meat (except fish), all dairy and have been leading a plant-based diet filled with greens, legumes, smoothies, green juices and some fish here and there. Why you ask? Well, that’s for another post, but in this post, I wanted to talk about doing things to remain balanced.
If you’re familiar with my blog then you know I have an awesomely inspiring series called, A Balanced Life, where I interview BOSS women who juggle so many different roles in life, all the while keeping balanced (whatever that may look like to them). Eventually, I want to interview myself and talk about how I lead a balanced life, but until then I’m going to keep seeking activities, events and people who contribute to this goal. One way that attributes to my balance is exercise. I’ve been going to the gym pretty frequently and have even gone to a few classes at different studios. When you feel good then you’re able to do good and be good to others.
The last week in April I plan to go to a different work out class every single day. On April 30th, I will be attending Yoga Reaches Out with some great people for an amazing cause. Taking place at Gillette Stadium, Yoga Reaches Out is an organization that raises funds for organizations that impact the health, education and well-being of children. The event will be from 9am to 5pm at the Empower Field House at Gillette.
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
I was provided a complimentary meal for review. All content and opinions are my own.
May I be completely honest with you guys for a moment?
Well, I have been going through a rough patch for the past two or three weeks. My mind has been mulling over who I am, what I want and where I want to be. I’ve gone from loving Boston to wanting to move far away and find something fulfilling to permeate my days. Like I told my mother on a frantic phone call one afternoon, “my soul has been feeling empty”. I haven’t been living my life for me or immersing myself in the things that I’m passionate about, and as a result, have been becoming more reclusive. I have been living to what society says is right: graduate college, get a job, get married, have babies, grow old. Don’t get me wrong, I do want to get married and have babies, but I have never been a lover of the typical 9-to-5 office job. I have never been known to walk around like a lemming on the same path that is expected of us day in and day out.
When I was asked to attend the Day of WELLness as a blogger, I was so excited. The first time I met Gianne, the owner of Organic Bath and founder of The Well Summit, I felt inspired by her. She was (and is) such a genuine person. We sat down and spoke for forty-five minutes (no exaggeration) about goals and dreams and health + wellness, and we had JUST met. So of course I wanted to spread the word about her event.
If you follow me on Instagram, especially via my Insta Stories, then you know I love health + wellness. I spend my down time reading about organic food and beauty products, natural ways to combat a cold or allergies, how pre-and-probiotics can transform our gut health, and how you can revamp your skin just by drinking smoothies full of antioxidants, and of course 8 glasses (or more) of water. These are the things that fulfill me, and after attending the Day of WELLness I have confirmation that following my dreams and pursuing a Masters in Holistic Nutrition and turning my blog into a business/ brand is where my path is leading.
The day started at 8am on Saturday March 18th, a little earlier than I’d like to be up on a weekend, but I sprung out of bed like it was the first day sleep-away camp. (you know how excited you were to be around your best friends in a cabin all summer). We had an overnight oat breakfast spread provided by the lovely Heather Stevenson and her company, Thirst Juice Co.
After an intro into what we could expect from the day, we then broke off into our respective classes. My first class was also one of my favorites of the day. Entitled, “Eat Like the Future Depends on it”, and led by Heather Stevenson, we learned about the impact what we eat has on our bodies (physically and mentally), and our ecosystem.
If you have seen the jaw-dropping and mind-blowing documentary, Cowspiracy, then you have an insight into what was discussed. If you haven’t then I’d advise you to gather a group of friends and have a viewing party; and while you’re at it, read articles by Dr. Esselstyn, and Dr. Drew Ramsey . There are also other documentaries, such as the newest by the producers of Cowspiracy, What The Health (WTH).
Once you’ve watched the documentaries and read about how what we eat can transform the way our bodies operate (mentally, psychologically and physically), then you’ll probably want to read books such as “How Not to Die” by Michael Greger, and “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead” by Joe Cross.
Next, we heard from Emily Kanter, owner of Cambridge Naturals, on how to Create a WELL Home. I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of times about how the toxins in the chemicals we use in and around our home has a direct effect on our brains. Not only do they effect our brains, but they effect our hormones and make us susceptible to things such as illnesses, reproductive issues and cancers. Read more about how our cleaning products are harmful, here, here and here.
We also learned about what “clean” products you can replace your toxic cleaning products with in each room of your home (example: mineral based toothpaste in the bathroom). I’ll talk more about that in a future blog post where I’ll recommend a few products that I have used and can say work with certainty.
We briefly discussed financial wellness with the canny, gorgeous and witty, Nora Yousif. This woman is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to finances and how to get to the point of living WELL off (ex: how to save one million dollars by the age of 65). To round out the end of the day, I had a session called: “Get Real: A Scientific Guide to Wellbeing” with Dr. Rachele Pojednic and “Gut Health: The Foundation of Wellbeing” with Jennifer Hanway. One startling piece of advice that I learned in Dr. Rachele Pojednic’s session was that on average, 60% of an American’s diet comes from ultra-processed food. Mind boggling.
During Jennifer Hanway’s session, I finally had an answer as to why I have developed an intolerance to eggs and a random allergic reaction/hives to one type of mushrooms. Did you know that when your gut health is compromised you can develop random allergies and intolerances that never existed prior? Some ways to regulate and improve gut health is to pay close attention to how different foods make you feel (eliminating the ones that make you feel bad and increasing the ones that makes you feel great), eat the proper strains of pre and probiotics, as well as fermented foods. I will cover more gut health improvements in a further post.
We closed out the evening with a transformative meditation by Sara DiVello. When she was speaking about feeling lost and unfulfilled, I knew she was speaking directly to me and that being at the Day of WELLness was where I was supposed to be. If you want to learn more about Sara and how she went from a successful corporate job to an even more successful and fulfilling career as a highly sought after yoga instructor, speaker and NYT Best selling author, then read her book, “Where the OM am I?”
I’d like to thank Gianne, the Well Summit and all of the vendors and speakers for inspiring and motivating me during the Day Wellness. It’s something to be seen and felt to spend time surrounded by like-minded people, seeking a healthier and more balanced life. Can’t wait for the big event: Well Summit 2017 in NYC. (more information coming soon).
As a verb, balance is defined as: “to keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall”. As a noun, balance is defined as: “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.” When it comes to my new series “A Balanced Life” I have chosen a few lovely ladies to feature that I believe embody what it means to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. These women inspire me to keep buying organically (even if it is more expensive and some people just don’t get it), to keep working out (even if it is the first time in my life I am getting fit in a healthy way) and to keep up the positive attitude and energy.
A highly sought after yoga teacher, an Athleta Ambassador and a best-selling author (Where the OM am I?), Sara DiVello is the epitome of a balanced life. Appearing in multiple publications and tv networks (CBS and the Huffington Post Live, as well as in Forbes, The New York Times, ABC, CNBC, The Washington Post), and contributing articles to health minded websites (The Good Life Magazine, MindBodyGreen), Sara DiVello is what I consider a health and wellness guru. She will also be at this year’s Day of WELLness! Grab your tickets before they sell out!