Souping, the New Juicing

soupingSouping is the new juicing.  Yes, you read that right.  Some genius health foodies in LA are starting to cash in on the latest trend and it's only a matter of time before the rest of the country (or NYC at least) catches on.

Unlike juices, which often leave one hungry, soups focuses on fiber, fat, protein and the veggies that need to be cooked for maximum nutritional benefits.  I'm a huge fan of drinking green juice in the morning, (healthy green juice recipe), but can definitely appreciate this new souping fad.

Sold separately or as a complete cleanse, there are currently two companies on the cutting edge - Soupier and Soupelina, both in Los Angeles.  Soupure has they're own chef and recipe developer as well as a nutritional specialist and nutritionist on board.  With a large of products, the brand is part your grandmothers elixer part food science part modern health program.  They specialize in both cold and hot versions of soup and even make soup smoothies.  Yum!  Whether you're vegan or not, their bases range from vegetable, chicken and beef broth.  All all-natural, of course.

5 Health Inspired Apps Worth Your Time

apps, iphone, health,

We're addicted to our phones; Let's just be honest here. It's 24/7, but if we're going to be on our phones we might as well make sure we're using them wisely. Here are 5 health apps to download immediately (you're welcome).

Charity Miles

charity-miles-small-logo, charity, health, fitness, app,

The premise of this app? Simple; For every mile you run you get to donate $0.25 to the charity of your choice. What could be better than that? You get a great workout and help your favorite organizations. Some of the organizations included in this app are Feeding America, ASPCA, Habitat for Humanity, RED, Autism Speaks, and more!

Trivia Crack

Trivia_Crack_logo, brain, health, app,

Now, we're sure you've heard of this app but, if you haven't, let's review! This app is great, because it's like a mini trivia game show you get to play with your friends, which is great for you mind. You won't even notice you're getting an amazing brain workout, and really, it's just as important to workout your brain.


Lose It! (1), fit, fitness, health, app,

This is another great brain workout, except, this is the Insanity of brain workouts. You can download the limited version of this app for free or get the upgrade for $15 a month (and trust us, it's worth it). The best part? You can track your progress and watch as you turn from oblivious to Einstein!

Personal Zen

personal-zen-mhAV1Z0, stress, health, brain, app,

Honestly, this is one of our favorite apps. Finding zen is an important part of functioning as a human being. This app will help with relieving stress and helping you find the perfect balance in your life by focusing on helping you find the positives and releasing the negatives. You can get this peaceful app for free in the iTunes app store!

Lose It!

Lose It! (1), weight, health, fitness, app,

This is another great (free) app, and you know how much we love those! This one helps keep track of what you're eating and does the calorie counting for you, because that's the most stressful thing in the world if we're being honest. All you have to do is enter what you're eating in the database. Plus, it has bonus feature like logging your weight or allowing you to store great recipes that make it a must-have.

Indulging on the Quantum of the Seas, Our Way

royal-caribbbean-quantum-of-the-seasDid you see my Instagram pics from last weekend?  I was on a cruise!  That's right, Royal Caribbean launched a new ship, Quantum of the Seas, and invited Joe and I to set sail for two nights to check it out.  Let me tell you, I've been on Royal Caribbean cruises before with my family, but this ship is a game changer – especially for people like us – who like to indulge on vacation sans the calories.  Here's what I mean...

royal-caribbbean-quantum-of-the-seasIt's the first smart ship – ever!  I had wifi the entire time out to sea so I was able to Instagram my journey.  While that's a huge plus, one thing that I always loathe about cruises is the inevitable weight gain.  Twenty-four hour buffets, ice cream bars and bathing suits.  Not my style.  The new Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas however, was a place Joe and I were able to indulge in relaxing and staying fit.

royal-caribbbean-quantum-of-the-seasMorning FlyWheel classes were followed by hours at the spa.  Yes, the ship actually had a FlyWheel studio, which was one of my favorite parts.  Overlooking the ocean, the gym had many fitness classes you could sign up for like TRX and more.  We didn't miss a beat.

royal-caribbbean-quantum-of-the-seasThe Vitality Spa offered everything from Botox to massages.  I indulged in a facial and massage, because with two days at sea, what else is a girl to do?  The massage was wonderful.

royal-caribbbean-quantum-of-the-seasWhen it came to eating, of course being that it was all inclusive, we could have been disgusting.  However, we found a juice bar and really enjoyed the restaurants the cruise had to offer.   One of them, Devinly Decadence, is run by "Biggest Loser" winner and chef, Devin Alexander.  She tailored the menu to ensure nothing is over 500 calories.


Of course, the wine was flowing and deserts were abundant, but a healthy lifestyle didn't have to be sacrificed on this ship.  The Quantum of the Seas is our kind of cruise.

Finding Peace in the City that Never Sleeps

jeannine-morrisWhen I first met Gabby Bernstein back in April, I had no idea my life would be forever changed – for the better.  As a freelance journalist who thrives off of the energy of the hustle and bustle of NYC, I've found the time and interest to begin following a spiritual path.  Through meditation, Hatha yoga and workshops I'm more present and centered than ever before.  And this is only the beginning.

secret_daily_teachings__large Years ago I read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and began practicing the law of attraction – if you think it and believe it, it will come – and it has.  Little did I know, that this was the first step in my spiritual journey.  When living The Secret, you are taught to retrain your thoughts of negativity and weakness (I'm so broke.) to positive, empowering ones (The check's in the mail.).  The positivity you project through your thoughts starts to become your reality.  Today, I credit The Secret for much of my success in business.

gabby-bernsteinThen, I met Gabby Bernstein.  At a press event for Philosophy, Gabby began talking about her life as a spiritual teacher and educating us on practical ways to meditate in today's world, and I immediately wanted more.  One example of a practice she gave was about taking a "mental shower," in which you practice a breathing exercise during your morning shower to set the tone for your day.  (Breathe in for five seconds, hold for five seconds, release for five seconds.  Repeat.)  I went on to read all of her books, attend her workshops and now, practice meditation at the Integral Yoga Institute in NYC. The same place, she learned to meditate.

"Our mind is like a drunken monkey stung by a scorpion," Jyothi, my meditation teacher explained.

The breathing, chanting and vibration of meditation allows for a togetherness with complete strangers who I have zero attachment to.  I'm addicted.  I feel alive and present when I'm at the IYI and find myself craving the next time I can go back.  While I'm still trying to dedicate myself to meditating twice a day at home, the group meditation really works for me.

Now, not only am I practicing The Secret, but I've enhanced my life with Gabby's spiritual practices as well – to try to always be in the light by trying to bring forth my highest energy and elevate my state of joy.  Through forgiveness and willingness, I'm trying to vibrate at a frequency of positivity and hoping to spread the love in order to make a radical impact on others. With this shift in energy, I am at peace, allowing myself to be present and see the world through eyes of love.

Through my mind and body, I've started to find peace in the city that never sleeps. Interested? Then start reading The Secret and then read Gabby Bernstein's books.  The practices learned lead to living an optimal lifestyle.  And if you think you don't have time to read or try meditation, then ask yourself (in Gabby's words), "Do you have time to feel like shit?"

Hidden Beauty Benefits in Your Food

beauty-benefits-in-your-food.jpgDid you know that some of the food you eat can help fight free radicals, moisturize your skin and even keep you trim?  Ah! Now you're paying attention.  Yes, there are hidden beauty benefits in your food.  Through a survey conducted by Simple Skincare, 50%of women claim they strive for a healthy diet. However, they are missing key foods that can do wonders for their beauty health. We talked with Nicole Avena, PhD, author of Why Diets Fail to get the scoop on how these foods can benefit us and some tips on how to incorporate them into your daily routine.

Brussels sprouts are one of the most beneficial foods when it comes to your long-term health. “They can lower cholesterol and help with DNA protection,” Dr. Avena explains. “And they are among the highest content when it comes to glucosinolate, which is a cancer-protective element.”  Avena suggests steaming brussels sprouts for your lunch or dinner veggie.

If you’re looking for a food to increase your mood (and who isn't), walnuts are the food for you. And believe it or not, improving your mood goes hand in hand with improving your skin. Avena explains that they are packed with B-vitamins, which is good for stress and mood management. “B-vitamins, together with Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant, help fight the free radicals induced due to stress. This further delays the ageing process.” And who doesn’t want that, right?

Another food that benefits your skin is wild salmon. It’s a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps keep your skin supple and moisturized. Salmon is also great during summer because it contains selenium, a mineral that protects the skin from UV-exposure.

Looking to maintain a healthy figure?  Avocados will help keep you lean and trim. "They're a great source of both insoluble and soluble fiber," Avena explains. Insoluable fiber keeps you regular, while soluable fiber helps control appetite by making you feel fuller.  This is a favorite of Avena’s. “I’m really liking avocados right now. They are easy to turn into a dip by mashing 1-2 up and adding some spices. Also, they are delicious on their own for a quick healthy snack. I cut them in half and eat then out of the skin with a spoon.”

What's your favorite beauty food?  According the the survey, 68% of women are missing out on Brussels sprouts, 62% on walnuts, 57% on salmon and 56% miss avocados.  Ladies, let's get munching on the right stuff!

The Tequila Diet

I hate drinking.  It's not that I don't like catching a much need buzz from time to time, but the act of drinking alcohol just doesn't appeal to me.  As a selective vegan (don't put a brownie in front of my face) and someone who's obsessed with staying fit, posioning myself through drinking just doesn't make sense with my lifestyle. However, I'm still human.  Welcome tequila...

Living in NYC and Hoboken now, my work and social life revolves around cocktails. I typically order a glass of wine and nurse it for the night simply so I don't have to hear, "Why aren't you drinking?" over and over again.  When your preferred drink is ice water, you're automatically labeled as no fun.  And then, when everyone around you catches a good buzz, being the only sober person really isn't fun.

Recent research presented at the American Chemical Society this week suggests that agavins, the natural sugar found in the tequila-producing agave plant, can help with weight loss and diabetes.  How?  Because unlike other sugars, agavins aren't absorbed into the body and since they're a source of fiber, they'll make people feel fuller, longer.

This had me thinking.  I actually Googled "benefits of drinking tequila" since I knew that the it was low in calories to begin with and this Forbes article came up.  Since there are about 100 calories in a shot of tequila, and you know the saying: one tequila, two tequila, three tequila... it wouldn't be such a sin.  While agavins aren't on the market yet, I could be a fan of the skinny girl margarita for now.  Sour mix? Ew. Save it for the fatties.

5 Foods That'll Make You More Beautiful

You are what you eat.  Literally.  Giving up milk made me find my collar bone that was there, but now it's predominate thanks to the lack of dairy (see post).  There was literally what I like to call a 'coat of bloat' (hot right?) lying on top.  Just like the way I decided to eliminate food for beauty, there are also foods we should be eating to enhance our beauty.  An old friend of mine, Jolene Hart, a certified beauty and health coach and author of Eat Pretty, filled me in on five essential beauty foods.

1. Lemons. My skin has extra glow ever since I made it a priority to start my day with a simple detox drink: warm lemon water. Lemons are full of collagen-building vitamin C (our collagen production slows as we age, so a collagen boost means more youthful-looking skin), plus they clean out the digestive tract and balance aging acidity in the body.

2. Avocado. Half an avocado will instantly supercharge a smoothie, and it makes a beautifying snack spread on gluten-free bread or sprinkled with a little sea salt and spices. Avocado burns quickly and easily for energy, naturally detoxes the body and supports strong, well-hydrated skin cells.

3. Greens. The greens in my kitchen change with the seasons and my mood; they might be dandelion greens in the spring, watercress in the summer or kale in the winter. With fresh greens at hand, I can whip up a green drink, throw together a salad, or create an instant dinner by steaming them and tossing with a protein-rich grain like quinoa and fresh sauce. Greens have their own unique benefits, but all tend to be high in vitamin A, a beauty nutrient known to smooth skin, renew and repair skin damage and fight acne by regulating sebum production.

4. Cinnamon. Spices are beauty powerhouses and, since I have a major sweet tooth, cinnamon is the spice I reach for most often. When paired with high glycemic foods like sweets, it reduces the aging, blemish-causing blood sugar spike that we experience. It’s a favorite beauty secret to fight wrinkles, breakouts and signs of aging.

5. Ginger Root. In the winter, fresh ginger is a cold-fighter; in the summer, ginger makes a cooling addition to spicy food. Ginger supports healthy digestion and reduces inflammation— two powerful essentials for a calm, even, radiant complexion.

Jolene's book, Eat Pretty, offers plenty more!  Check it out on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

How to Make the Healthiest Green Juice

Whether you're a daily green juice drinker or or can't stand the thought of drinking your veggies, you should read this post.  I had the chance to concoct the healthiest green juice with the Founder of Juice Generation, Eric Helms, who's reasons for juicing may make you want to start blending your own.  Here are his tips on how to create the perfect green juice no matter what your palette can handle.

"People have preconceived ideas about juicing being time consuming, expensive and messy, but if you have $20 a week, you can have a green juice ready in five minutes every day that won't taste like your front yard," Helms commented.

You can start slowly with spinach and apple, but as your palette adjusts you're going to want to go more and more green simply because of the way it makes you feel. "Unlike coffee, which gives you a spike in energy and then a crash, the energy you get from green juice is sustained throughout the day."  The greener you go, the more energy you'll get.

Step 1: Gather the Freshest Ingredients

We used 1 cucumber, romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, parsley, 2 celery stalks, a 1/2 an apple and a 1/4 of a lemon.  Depending on how much sugar you want to add, adding apples will help sweeten your juice.  Try adding two if you're starting out.  Lemon helps to cut the taste.  Again, depending on your palette and where you are in your green juice journey, you can add as much as you'd like.  When possible, buy organic because the skin isn't harmed by pesticides.

Step 2: Prep 

Clean all of your produce with cold water and a touch of vinegar to make sure its free of potential chemicals on the skin.  All of the nutrients in the greens are held in the leaves, so rid all of the stems and peel your lemon.  Keep the skin on the rest as it holds the most nutrients.  Don't worry about seeds from apples and lemons though, most juicers have strainers to catch them.

Step 3: Blend

The way you put your produce into your juicer matters.  Add the greens first (spinach, parsley, kale) and then add something that will juice like a cucumber to push it down.  Repeat this process.

Into it?  I thought you would be.  Besides sustained energy, green juice is also good for your skin, hair and nails.  For more recipes and advice check out Helms's new book, "The Juice Generation: 100 Recipes for Fresh Juices & Superfood Smoothies."

How to Accomplish Your New Year's Resolution

According to Forbes, 40% of Americans make New Year's Resolutions, but only 8% of us keep them and actually achieve our goals.  Well let's see... maybe because with a fresh start most of us are optimistic dreamers and as the year goes on, life gets in the way and we become realists.  Here's a simple tip on how to keep and accomplish your New Year's Resolution.  Get pumped! The key to succeeding is to be realistic, specific and simple.  Honestly, saying you're going to lose weight or eat healthier this year will last a maximum of two months, OK maybe three and fluctuate all year, but will you really accomplish an end goal?  And what exactly is the end goal? Did you lose five pounds when you could have shed a healthy 15 or occasionally throughout the year not order the side of fries?

Instead of being so general give yourself a specific, realistic goal like "I'm going to work out three times a week."  Another great example is the campaign that Special K is doing to Fight Fat Talk.  #FightFatTalk - Simply, don't bash your thighs.  I wrote about it here.  Most women (guilty myself) always have something to complain about when it comes to their bodies.  Make it a resolution to stop and instead of complaining, change it.  Simple, realistic and specific.  Good luck!