In my pre-entrepreneur lifetime, I suffered from a severe case of shopaholism. Due to necessity and the sheer feeling of fulfillment I get from my life now that I’m not chained to a corporate job, I’m partially cured of my shopping addiction.
BUT, I still love a good find — and I love sharing those finds with my readers.
So I’m bringing you 12 Days of Wellness — a list of my favorite finds from 2012.
1st Day of Wellness: Food Humans Eat at Hu Kitchen
I can’t even begin to describe how much I love Hu Kitchen. It’s like all of my food dreams came true and landed in Union Square. I’m a big fan of the oh-so-filling Mash Bar, a healthy mix-n-match, choose-your-own toppings buffet — like a healthy Pinkberry or 16 Handles but without the dairy and refined sugar and chia pudding and coconut creme instead. David loves the Hu Benny, a poached egg with kale and housemade bacon on their delicious, how’d-they-do-that grain-free bread. Whether you’re craving a green juice, a hot meal or something in between, Hu Kitchen has it and you know it’s gonna be wholesome and good.
2nd Day of Wellness: Reinvention Chair at Chaise23
With the rise in popularity of boutique fitness studios, I met my fitness match made in heaven when Chaise23 opened last March. I’ve been a loyal customer ever since my very first workout with Maria. The 55-minute workouts are part Pilates, part cardio, part strength training — challenging but also a lot of fun! Nothing else has quite changed my body the way this workout has. Even better is the warm and inviting demeanor of every single staff member starting with the super-sweet owners, Lauren Piskin and her daughter Rachel. Look for Reinvention Wellness, my very own wellness programs created exclusively for Chaise23 clients, available in January 2013.
3rd Day of Wellness: Green Juice at SoBar
My first time drinking SoBar‘s green juice was at a networking event last month. Apparently, I’d missed their seasonal set-up at the Meatpacking District’s UrbanSpace (how’d that happen?!) and I’m hoping they make it back again next summer, open their own permanent location or start bottling their juices to sell because the truth is I’ve never had green juice that’s quite so tasty or refreshing. The juice combos are unique with bright citrus notes. They’re not too sweet and not too green. With a background in mixology, founder Alexis Parrin dreams up the delicious concoctions and I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment she shared with me the night we met and I raved about her juices, “You don’t have to lick the bottom of a lawnmower to drink a good green juice.” Cheers to that!
4th Day of Wellness: Flattering Fitness Apparel at Lolë
As most of you know, I’m a workout fanatic and I absolutely love love love fashionable activewear that fits well, not just to carry me through a run or a class but also to stay cute and comfy in at home. When I found Lolë Women this Summer I could barely contain my excitement. I was looking for a functional yet flattering top I could wear for my upcoming Triathlon. No sooner had I tried on the Spiral Tank Top (pictured above) than I knew it was perfect for the job. Every piece of clothing is fashion forward but it does what it’s made to do – wick sweat, keep you comfy and hold everything in place while making hugging and contouring in all the right places. I can’t get enough of this stuff!
5th Day of Wellness: Giving Back By Working Out with the Charity Miles App
As an avid runner, cyclist and philanthropist, I count on the endorphins I get from a good workout or a volunteer project. With the Charity Miles App, I can get both in the same place. Founded by my long-time friend Gene Gurkoff who is an Ironman and a philanthropist, this app gives me that extra bit of motivation I need when it’s a little too chilly or I’m a little to0 sleepy to head out the door. The app lets you choose a charity and then walk, run or bike to raise money. Do good while working out. It’s so easy! Download the App for free for iPhone or Android.
6th Day of Wellness: Straightforward Advice from The Angry Therapist
I stumbled on the web site, The Angry Therapist, by licensed Marriage Family Therapist John Kim. It’s rare I hang out on any one web site very long, but I couldn’t leave his. It’s jam-packed with straightforward banter about life and love. This guy is the real deal. He knows his stuff but he’s transparent about the fact that he’s still figuring out a lot of his own. He delivers advice, inspiration and support in a no bullshit way. It’s loaded with resources so wander on over and see for yourself.
7th Day of Wellness: Smooth Digestion with Yogi Tea
When I grabbed Yogi Tea’s Green Tea Kombucha Decaf off the shelf earlier this year, I had no idea it would quickly become a staple on our tea shelf. It’s a favorite for after dinner and I’ve even given it as a hostess gift. I love that it’s caffeine-free. The kombucha supports a healthy immune system and gently detoxifies; spearmint helps digestion. Most importantly, it tastes clean and light.
8th Day of Wellness: New-found Creativity with The Artist’s Way
Taking the time to work Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way was time well spent this year. I started it in January and ended in March but my growth continues. This book does require a time commitment but it helped me grow creatively by forcing me out of my comfort zone. The results were deep transformation, a deeper relationship with myself and some new hobbies like photography and dance! I would and will do it again.
9th Day of Wellness: Meditation at Dharma Punx
Every year, I set an intention to meditate more. While I’m not perfect, I’m acutely aware of how my days flow better when I meditate versus the days when I don’t. I credit Dharma Punx with my ability to sit longer in a meditation. Before going to this free group meditation, I would usually throw in the towel after 5 minutes of stillness. I like Dharma Punx because, like my workouts or a yoga class, it’s an opportunity to escape and go inward. The by-dontation meeting starts with a20-30 minute meditation, a short Dharma talk by the evening’s leader and an opportunity to share personal reflections on the discussion topic.
10th Day of Wellness: Get Back on Track with the Total Reset Plan
Today I officially completed each seasonal edition of the Total Reset Plan. When I set out to build this program earlier this year, a virtual, 4-week meal planning service, I was so tired of the all-juice cleanses and meal deliveries promising weight loss and happiness. I love juicing. I love healthy meals. I love cute packaging. But those cleanses didn’t work for me. I wanted to end the cycle of eat, drink, juice cleanse, repeat. At my core I believe health and wellness should be not only convenient but also sustainable enough to be able to go it alone long-term – IF you want to make it a lifestyle. We can’t all live on juice alone and most of us can’t afford meal delivery for the rest of our lives. What DID work for me, was cooking at home and eating well on a regular basis. And that is what this plan is all about!
11th Day of Wellness: Rejuvenating Ayurvedic Facial at Pratima Spa
Until I reached my 30s, skincare was something of an afterthought for me. I wish I’d paid more attention to it when I was younger, but all things considered, I’m doing alright. One important thing I learned this year about skincare is that a facial is a necessity at least once a season (kind of like the Total Reset Plan – see the 10th day of wellness). With that in mind and battling one of the worst bouts of breakouts I’ve ever had before leaving my corporate job, I marched myself into Ayurvedic sanctuary, Pratima Spa for the Ayurvedic Facial. It was soothing, relaxing and my skin glowed for weeks after!
12th Day of Wellness: Coconut Oil as Moisturizer
I’ve been cooking with coconut oil since I studied nutrition at IIN and of course I knew about its benefits as a dry skin remedy, but I’d never tested its moisturizing qualities on myself until this year. So I slathered it on my body as a cure for dry skin and it worked! But, unless you want to slide around in your chair, wait until bedtime to apply and let it dry before you crawl into bed.
Keep checking the blog daily as more finds and favorites are added.
Have your own healthy find or favorite, something that made your year a little healthier? Better yet, what’s one thing you plan to do for your health in 2013. Share with me in the comments below!