sweetgreen.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am absolutely and completely obsessed with a fast-casual salad mecca called Sweetgreen. My team at work is definitely sick of hearing me talk about how much I love this restaurant, but oh well! I first started eating at the original location in Georgetown, before I even attended school there, when my brothers were still in school. At the time, it was just one adorable little shop located about a mile away from campus and now they are a salad giant with locations across the U.S.

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I’ve come to love Sweetgreen so much that I don’t think I could move to a city without a location and hopefully there will be a time when every city has a location.

What I love So Much:

Sweetgreen is dedicated to using local, organic and sustainable produce and livestock. This helps support local farmers and emphasize Eco-conscious behaviors.

Most, if not all, of Sweetgreen’s cutlery and materials are compostable.

Seasonal menus! Though it can be depressing when your favorite grilled peach summer salad is off the menu, the seasonal menu just means you’re getting the most fresh ingredients at the best time for harvesting.

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An incredibly easy to use app with mobile ordering! Partnered with Level Up, you receive $10 (pretty much a free salad) every $100 you spend.

They are dedicated to giving back! Sweetgreen gives 1% of each app purchase to assist primary schools nutritional programs.

 There’s so much to love about sweetgreen! Please get out to your local sweetgreen and try it if you have not. But I will tell you this, they are cash free so make sure you download the app or bring your card!

enjoy your healthy eats!

Gabriella

why i yoga.

I started practicing yoga when I was in college because it was something that gave me an outlet during a very difficult time in my life. I was going through a horrible break up and  the 6 am “power hour” at Down Dog Yoga in Georgetown was my only solace. For one hour of the day I was able to take time for myself and stop thinking about everything else. Bikram was simply so difficult for me that ALL I could focus on was breathing and what the next pose was! It was during that time that I learned the basics of yoga.

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Down Dog Yoga Georgetown

Fast forward 3 years to May of this year and I found myself back in the yoga studio with my best friend Anna. She is super serious about staying in shape and she always drags my fass (fat-ass) to the newest workout craze whenever we are together! She took me to something called solidcore in May of 2015 and lets just say there is a reason we didn’t work out together for a year.For this workout adventure she wanted to try a yoga class that I was not excited about. I had heard of corepower yoga before but something always bothered me about mixing weights with yoga. I can never say no to Anna so we ended up going to my first ever yoga sculpt class at corepower and my life has not been the same since.

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My first sculpt class was absolute torture. My body was burning in places I didn’t even know it could and it was unlike any other yoga I’ve ever done but I loved it. First of all, corepower has stunning locker rooms and the spaces are beautifully created. You can shop for yoga apparel, accessories, mats, towels and more for men and women, in the studio! It’s modernized yoga with a plethora of classes including some that are more closely associated with what some might consider a classic vinyasa style (look for a C1, C2 or HPF).

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Corepower instructors typically play modern music that is inspirational and helps keep you going once you reach the edge of your poses. The instructors are all trained in house with the most thorough training possible. The first week is FREE, you read that correctly! Seven days of FREE yoga, no strings attached. And if you do decide to join, you can go to yoga at any location across the entire country and still receive the same level of training you would back at your home studio! It’s truly like the Starbucks of yoga.

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It’s safe to say that corepower yoga has changed my life. Not only is yoga still that one hour of my day where I can unwind; but it’s also the first form of exercise I’ve ever actually looked forward to! My best friends Anna and Kim attend yoga classes at CPY in Virginia and Chicago, respectively and it’s something we can bond over, even from a distance. I’m part of a community of wonderful people that want to see you succeed and are there to help you through every single pose. My body and mind have never felt stronger than they do today after only three months of regular class attendance.

If you’re scared of trying just remember this… Every body is a yoga body. And in the words of Dina Manzo: “Namaste, Bitches.”

corporate yogi,

Gabriella

healthy breakfast smoothies.

To start, I am completely obsessed, and have been for a few months, with the food blog “Love and Lemons.” I actually found this blog accidentally because I was trying to online shop at the clothing store “For Love and Lemons,” best mistake ever. Jeanine, the author at Love and Lemons, does an awesome job of making vegetarian dishes fun and exciting and tells you how to easily turn any dish on her site vegan or gluten free. I recently purchased her first cookbook and I am so happy I did.

I am new to the breakfast smoothie game but have quickly found some amazing recipes, most from page 283 “Smoothies” of the L&L cookbook, that I really enjoy to start my day. What I love so much about her smoothie recipe is that there are 3 common staples and you get to have creative liberty over whatever else you choose to add-in. On the blog Jeanine has an entire page dedicated to the Rainbow Breakfast Smoothies.

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To make a creamy smoothie Jeanine suggests you always start with one cup frozen banana, one cup almond milk and a handful of ice. Even with these ingredients you have some wiggle room! For example, I like to switch it up with my choice of dairy… sometimes I use kefir or coconut milk instead of almond milk; or I’ll do half almond milk and half pomegranate juice, that part is totally up to you.

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Possible Creamy Add-Ins

Kefir this is a wonderful lactose-free dairy option that is full of probiotics, more than in yogurt, and it’s wicked good for your intestines which can help cut out some bloating.

Coconut Milk is another lactose-free and vegan option that is rich in a medley of vitamins including: C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.

Almond Milk yet another lactose-free and vegan option that is rich in vitamins like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. The other nutrients available in this milk include vitamins such as vitamin C, B-6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate and vitamin E.

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Optional Extras:

Flax Oil: I like to use Barlean’s Flax Oil Swirls in a variety of flavor to add vitamins to my smoothies without impacting taste.

Matcha is a very powerful add-in because it is full of antioxidants, it helps burn fat and is a natural source of caffeine which I miss when I’m drinking a breakfast smoothie in place of my morning coffee.

Cacao Powder is rich in magnesium, which helps regulate body temperature and promotes bone strength, and iron, which promotes hemoglobin and red blood cell production to give you more energy throughout the day.

Goji Berries are a wonderful super fruit that help promote healthy skin, and have also been known to help boost the immune system and protect the eyes

xoxo, newly corporate

Gabriella

meal delivery services 2

Greek Orthodox Lenten season has begun! I have officially gone vegan and in doing so I had to stop my Blue Apron meal service and decided to swap it out for The Purple Carrot.

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The Purple Carrot is a completely vegan meal delivery service curated by my favorite vegan guru, Mark Bittman. If you’ve read my post on VB6 then you know that Mark has been one of the country’s leading advocates for increasing plant-based meals in our diets. The vegan meals that are being curated by The Purple Carrot are exciting, super easy and fresh. They also are paying close attention to the impact that they have on the environment.

Here’s How It Works:

It’s very similar to other meal delivery services where three meals, with enough food to feed two people (or four if you choose), are delivered to your doorstep once per week. Each meal has perfectly measured out ingredients all individually wrapped in their own bag with the name of the meal on it.

What I like:

I have never cooked with vegan meat substitutes but The Purple Carrot makes it easyFor example, I had never even heard of “jackfruit” before TPC but they made a recipe really easy to make and delicious using it as a meat substitute.

I have never experimented much in cooking with tofu and I had never seen so many variations of tofu. TPC has really taught me how to make tofu delicious in so many recipes.

Plant-based eating has made me feel more energetic and a lot more healthy. I’ve noticed that my skin has had slim to no breakouts and my body has become more lean.

Before TPC lent was boring for me. I would make tomato and bread sandwiches or boring salads but now I am making incredibly flavorful and filling meals.

After eating the meals I am completely satisfied, not wishing I had anything else.

What I don’t like:

 Most meals take 40 minutes to make, which can seem pretty long after a long day at work.

Some of the meals require intense equipment, like a food processor. Fine for me, but not for beginners, which I feel limits their market.

xoxo, newly corporate

Gabriella

long hair, don’t care.

I figured that I’d stick with my current theme of natural care and talk about what I’m doing to change my hair care routine. In September 2014 I chopped off several inches of dead hair that was the result of some bad ombre hair coloring. Also, I wanted to look like Kylie Jenner with her short black hair, no shame.

What I forgot was that, unlike myself, Kylie has unlimited time and financial resources so when she grammed a photo of her new long locks, a mere 3 days after I chopped all of my hair off, I was very upset. How could she have gotten extensions when we were going to rock our cropped hair together? I was outraged and immediately searched for the best biotin pills money could buy.

It has been a long journey growing my hair from above shoulder length to where it is right now, just about mid back. Here are some products, tips and tricks I’ve used to grow it out:

Shampoo and Conditioner:

 My hair is the kind of hair that you wash and is a big ball of grease within like 12 hours. I never know if it’s “thinning” or “dry” and half of the time I have no clue what any of that means and the shampoo aisle confuses me. However, I do love the Andalou brand and decided to try their Argan Stem Cells Age Defying Shampoo and Conditioner ($9.95 each). So far, it’s wonderful. It smells awesome and I know there are no harmful chemicals. My hair is clean and has beautiful shine.

Extra Conditioning:

What I’ve learned from living up north is that your hair needs all the moisture it can get if you want it to grow long and strong. So most Sunday afternoons, especially in the winter, I take about a tablespoon of Dr. Bronner’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil  and work it onto the ends of my hair. It does a wonderful job of moisturizing, adding shine and protecting against split ends. When the winter is in full swing I often massage a little into my scalp, especially when it’s extra dry, to nourish the hair from root to tip.

Best Blow Out:

I’m actually obsessed with my hairdryer, the ghd air. It is wicked expensive but in my mind, it’s worth every cent. It is much more powerful than a normal hairdryer and the body itself is shaped to give you a faster blow-dry. It uses advanced ionic technology to lock in moisture for softer, shinier results that last longer, with far less frizzing. It never takes me more than 5 minutes to completely blow dry my hair, which is AMAZING.

 Hair Vitamins:

Many women know the benefits of a daily hair, skin and nail vitamin to keep hair growing, nails firm and skin radiant. I was using It-Works hair, skin and nail pills and I loved the results but the horrible taste made them difficult to take. I saw Khloe Kardashian mentioning on Instagram that she uses SugarBearHair Gummies and I decided to try them. Not only are they adorable little blue gummy bears but my friends have told me that they taste like Scooby Snacks, not actual vitamins.

General Nutrition:

Drinking lots of water is incredibly necessary to keep your body functioning properly and when you are hydrated your skin and hair are the most healthy. It is also important to get the proper amount of protein, good fats and fiber for your hair. Think, leafy greens, salmon, chicken, shrimp, broccoli, etc. What you put in your body has a huge impact on the outward appearance and general health of your skin and hair, and is even more important than the products that you use.

xoxo, newly corporate

Gabriella

my natural regimen.

So last night I posted about my new natural skin care obsession and today I thought I’d share with you all the products that I use to create my natural look. Disclaimer: some of my products are not all natural but I did say that I was doing a combo of chemical and natural before completely going off all my usual products.

Below is my step-by-step process with the products that I’m crazy about. When using the below products make absolutely sure that you apply to your face AND neck:

Step 1: Cleansers:

Morning: Andalou, this brand is sold at MOST Whole Foods Markets. I prefer the Meyer Lemon Brightening Cleanser ($12.95) but I’ve also used the Apricot Probiotic Age Defying ($12.95) because it smells so yummy.

Night Time: Trilogy, this brand is a little bit more tricky to find and a bit more pricey. It is sold at some Whole Foods Markets and upscale Spas but I purchased it on their site. I specifically use the Active Enzyme Cleansing Cream ($44).

Step 2: Toner- Day and Night

I’m seriously OBSESSED with the 1000 Roses Floral Toner ($12.95) from Andalou. It smells amazing and it’s gentle and refreshing. I keep a bottle of it at my desk and spritz myself when I need a refresh! Toner is important because it allows your skin to soak in moisture.

Step 3: Aloe Vera Gel- Day and Night

Earth’s Daughter Aloe Vera Gel is my preferred brand. I purchased mine on AmazonPrime for roughly $20. I always recommend you check Amazon before paying retail, but that’s just me! Aloe is important because it deeply moisturizes the skin.

Step 4: SerumsDay and Night

This is where it gets interesting because you can really use whatever you like here and this is where you treat your specific skin problems! I personally have oily, acne prone skin and some blackheads. The serums I use include: Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil ($44), Image Intense Lightening Serum ($40, but check Amazon!), and SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($163 Retail, $118 on Amazon Prime).

Step 5: Moisturize– Day and Night

I use the SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel ($78, but check Amazon!) and it is my absolute favorite. It’s seriously amazing! It moisturizes my skin, without making it oily, and gives me the matte finish that I like!

Step 6: Tinted SPF– Day

There are TONS of natural tinted SPF’s out there but I have really come to like Juice Beauty SPF 30 Tinted Mineral Moisturizer-BB cream ($29) sold at most Whole Foods Markets. The important part about finding a tinted SPF that you like is making sure the sunscreen is made from zinc. It can tend to be a bit on the thick side, but that’s what I love about Juice Beauty’s BB Cream, it’s not too thick at all and doesn’t suffocate my skin. SPF is the most important part in the whole process, it protects your skin from harmful sun damage and free radicals.

Now, I know that sounds like a lot… When Krizstina told me I had to do all that shit I laughed at her in my head but I have come to love my new morning routine! As far as products go, here are the ones that I, personally, love!

xoxo, newly corporate

Gabriella

going natural.

What I’m about to say might be a bit crazy, but if you have ever read my blog before you already know i’m a complete nut job. I get hydrafacials once every 4-6 weeks. It’s indulgent and I loveee it. I believe we should all practice a little bit more self-love and pampering.You may recall how serious I am about skin care from, IHM.

Recently, I got a facial done at a spa here in Boston, Bella Sante Spa on Newbury Street. I would recommend this spa to even the most selective of my friends (looking at you, mom). It’s a great location, yes the treatments can be pricey ($$$) but I believe it’s totally worth it, this is your skin we are talking about… indulge a little. The staff is so kind and it’s a very luxurious experience.

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I saw Krisztina, and she’s seriously incredible, she’s like a miracle worker. She didn’t try to push expensive products from the salon on me but instead helped me understand what might work best for my skin. We also spoke about why natural and organic products can be the best out there for your skin.

I would like to introduce you all to my favorite new website:

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This website will rate the products you’re currently using and let you know why they may not be the best for your body. Many products with fragrance, harsh chemicals and heavy metals expose our skin to harmful carcinogens. The EWG helps you learn about all the ingredients that are in your products. The iPhone app “Think Dirty” also allows you to scan products and checks the toxicity from their database, though it is not as extensive as the EWG’s.

After that initial facial I started to really care more about what I’m putting on my skin knowing that it has effects in my body as well. I’ll go into detail on my new skin regimen on my next post!

xoxo, newly corporate

Gabriella