Latest Fitness Obsession: Foam Rolling

The last few years I’ve taken up running more and more because it’s a quick way for me to torch calories at the gym. While I love running because it quickly works up a sweat and also leaves you sore, I’ve always skipped stretching, foam rolling and other exercises that are suggested for runners because they seemed too low intensity. That is, I ignored all of that until my knee started bothering me and I went to one of Manhattan’s highly-sought after sports doctors to get to the bottom of it.

Luckily, I didn’t tear anything in my knee and the doctor quizzed me on my running style and whether I regularly foam rolled. After telling him I didn’t, he lightly scolded me and walked me through the benefits of foam rolling and then recommended TriggerPoint’s Grid X foam roller, $50. So, after getting a TriggerPoint foam roller, I started using it every single day and I have to say it’s addicting and my legs and knee feel so much better. It was like one of those epiphanies once I started using it and I regretted not using it years earlier (Kind of similar to how I scold myself for not using sunscreen all through my 20s!)

Here’s what I love about TriggerPoint– It has ridges in the foam roller that really work on the knots in my IT band down the side of my legs. I do a bunch of different exercises on the roller for about a total of 5-7 minutes daily, mostly focusing on my legs. Starting at my hip, I slowly roll it down the side of my leg to my knee, stopping every time I hit tension. I let the ridges in the roller sit there for 30 seconds or so to help break up the knots before rolling to the next knot. At first, this was really painful, which shows how overdue I was to use a foam roller and was a testament to the tightness in my legs. Now, it’s become less and less painful and I’m running stronger and better than ever. If you’re a runner, it’s a no brainer to invest in this. It’s also great for other types of cardio. Added bonus: Gwyneth Paltrow says that from rolling helps rid the body of toxins and helps eliminate cellulite!

Treat Yo Self: Valentine’s Gifts Edition

Who says you need a significant other to spoil you this Valentine’s Day? Whether you’re spending the day with someone special or your Galentine’s, I view it as an excuse to shop. Really, I view everything as an excuse to shop if I’m being honest. Here’s what’s on the top of our Valentine’s Day Wish Lists.
These super lush Kitzbuhel slip ons from Avec Moderation, $225, are an absolute dream. I have them and they are often my piece de resistance — the one part of an outfit that everyone comments on. This Italian brand is based in Florence and takes a distinctly Italian view towards luxury and craftsmanship. The fur is faux, but is whimsical and feminine and I love wearing them around indoors and outside.
A super sexy lace body suit from Fluer du Mal? Yes please. The one pictured is $395.
Giving yourself the gift of a good sleep (and a luxurious one at that) is the definition of pampering. We love silk pillow cases from Slip, $99.
A box of chocolates goes straight to the thighs. This box of lace briefs from Cosabella is much preferred. Nine pairs for $280.

Our Favorite Go-To Healthy Snacks

We chronicled earlier this week our new eating plan, which is all about eliminating sugars and processed foods from our diet. Like I said in the last post, it takes more planning than eating whatever you want and one of the pitfalls people fall into is not having healthy snacks on you to grab, causing you to pick up something unhealthy to satiate a sugar craving. So, I’ve stocked up on some protein-packed snacks that taste delicious, have very little sugar and are very filling. When I started planning my meal plan, I noticed that not every protein bar is created equal. So many are pretty much sugar-filled candy bars disguised as protein bars, so we’ve done the research to find ones that are really healthy. Here’s what we’ve been picking on.
Buff Bake: Their protein cookies and almond butters are almost too good to be healthy (but they are, we promise). Their cookies make a great snack or meal replacement and come in delicious flavors such as white chocolate peanut butter (my personal favorite flavor), frosted oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodle and birthday cake. Are you sold yet? A whole cookie is around 300 calories and has 16 grams of protein. They have around 16 grams of sugar in each cookie. Super filling, colorful and the packaging is bright and fun. Whenever I whip one out, people just assume I’m cheating on my diet, and sometimes it tastes like I am, without the guilt. They also have a line of fun, flavorful protein almond butters in flavors such as birthday cake (so yummy), snickerdoodle and rocky road. One of my favorite snacks is putting some of the almond butter on a banana or apple.
d's naturals_no cow_bar_Sampler-Bars
D’s Naturals: This plant-based wellness company has an amazing line of protein bars and “fluff butters” that are unlike most on the market. Their No Cow Bars are dairy free and made with organic brown rice, pea proteins and other natural ingredients. Their flavors are great, such as raspberry truffle, lemon meringue and peanut butter chocolate chip. What I also like is the consistency of the bars. They aren’t chocolate coated and have a chewy nature to them. At around 170 calories a bar, they pack a lot of protein, with 21 grams and just 1 gram of sugar. Their fluff butters are protein-infused nut butters in flavors such as chocolate s’mores and brownie batter. They’re also dairy free and very low in sugar.
RXBar: I first noticed these bars at Starbucks and liked that it prominently listed every ingredient in them, boldly on the front of its packaging. When you read the label, it’s all natural ingredients and no fillers. They typically have more than 10 grams of protein and contain ingredients such as egg whites, dates, cashews, almonds, and other power foods. Added bonus: it’s Whole30 approved. They are gluten free and dairy free, too, which is an added benefit for those trying to eliminate both from their diets.
Zing Bars: These great snacks come in a variety of flavors and types — chocolate covered, soft cookie and nut butter and fruit. At around 200 calories, the have around 10 grams of protein and around 10 grams of sugar. The flavors are super yummy — my favorite is almond blueberry, but the dark chocolate-dipped bars are great when you need a 3pm pick me up. I keep them in my desk next to me at work so when the craving strikes, I have something healthy to reach for.

Eliminating Sugars and Processed Foods in 2017

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With the new year in full swing, I’ve decided to completely overhaul my eating plan. I’ve always eaten pretty healthfully, but lack of planning, laziness and too much alcohol caused empty calories, salt, sugars and the occasional carb to creep into my diet, which is something I’ve set out to rid in 2017. So, for the last few weeks (and going forward the rest of the year) I’ve set out to eliminate any processed foods and added sugars from my diet and to eat as cleanly as I can. I’ve decided to share my tips, since friends have been asking as well.

First of all, what I’ve learned is that eating this way is not as painful as I initially had anticipated. I have a lot more energy, I feel full and I am MUCH LESS bloated than I used to be. It’s easy to forget all of sugar’s harmful effects that cause bloating, bad skin and weight gain, and I’ve noticed an immediate difference since starting this new way of eating.

This diet (I hate even calling it that) requires much more planning and diligence, so I’ve been ordering weekly grocery deliveries so that I can meal prep. Basically, the end of each week I look at the calendar for the following week and sort out how many breakfasts, lunches and dinners I plan on eating at home, so I know what and how many ingredients to order. My daily diet tends to look a lot like this:

Breakfast: iced coffee with almond milk and a protein bar with very little sugar. I’ve been turning to D’s Naturals and Buff Bakery for breakfast because their bars/cookies are super tasty, packed with protein and have very little sugar. If I don’t have a bar, I’ll have a Fage Greek yogurt for breakfast. (Greek yogurt is pretty much the only dairy I allow myself to have)

Lunch: This is one of my favorite lunches to make and is super easy. I make a salad of arugula or kale, roasted chicken, avocado, grapes, kidney beans, tomatoes and raisins with red wine vinegar. I make it the night before and dress it in the morning.

Dinner: I either repeat what I’ve had for lunch or use my crockpot to make a low-fat turkey chilli, packed with protein from kidney beans or make shredded chicken in the crockpot. On nights I eat out for dinner (pretty often), I order simply grilled fish with loads of green veggies.

Snacks: Throughout the day I keep either Zing protein bars on me or RXbar protein bars. (These are amazing and basically taste like dessert even though they are super healthy). I also grab fruits such as bananas and put protein almond butters from Buff Bakery or D’s Naturals on them. These almond butters taste so good you almost feel guilty eating them because they feel like an indulgence, but are low fat and low sugar.

The most difficult part of this diet has been cutting back on alcohol. I’d pretty much kill for a large glass of red wine, but I do have to say that not drinking has also helped on the bloat and also helped with weight loss. Added plus: I’m never hung over, so my workouts, sleep and productivity are better. While I plan on resuming my drinking later in February, I think I’ll cut back on the amount in order to keep up these results.

An added bonus: I’m saving a ton more money eating this way. Before doing this, I’d grab breakfast or lunch when I got into the office, shelling out $6-$7 for a coffee and yogurt and around $12 for a soup that was low in protein and high in salt. Now, on average breakfast costs $2 and lunch is around $5 for all of the ingredients each day, so that’s a pretty big savings. I also enjoy making my coffee each day which I find oddly cathartic. Strangely, I don’t miss the carbs and sugars and feel oddly satiated, knowing that I’m fueling my body in the right way.

Stay tuned for our comprehensive post of our favorite healthy, protein-packed snacks coming later this week! Also, we’ll be incorporating more fitness-focused posts into the blog this year, so let us know what you want us to write about.

Mansur Gavriel Is Expanding Beyond Bags

The designers that brought us the “it” bucket bag that has dominated West Village brunch circuits and the Hamptons for the better part of four years is now branching out into clothing. Mansur Gabriel will launch a ready to wear line of clothing that is set to debut at September’s fashion week. “Creatively, we were always ready,” said co-designer Rachel Mansur to the Business of Fashion. The line will be available in-season as the fashion community shift to on-demand collections driven by the power of social media.

Riccardo Tisci Leaves Givenchy

The fashion world had another big shakeup this week with famed designer Riccardo Tisci, a Kim Kardashian favorite, exiting French fashion house Givenchy. Tisci reinvented Givenchy, making the brand relevant again and adding edgy designs and sexy cuts to the clothing. Soon after his appointment it became a celebrity favorite, often sported by the likes of Naomi Campbell and the Kardashian clan. There have a been a series of high profile designer departures as of late, like Raf Simons leaving Dior. Stay tuned here for where Riccardo turns up.

The Perfect Valentine’s Day Scent

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and it’s traditionally the time of year where I change my scent to something sweeter. What better time of year to indulge in yourself (or point your significant other in the right direction of the perfume aisle?)

I’ve chosen three feminine and flirty scents that are just perfect this time of year, and also make a great gift. Britney Spears’s newest scent “Fantasy in Bloom,” starting at $32, has notes of cherry orchards, jasmine and tuberose.

Juicy Couture’s new “Viva La Juicy Sucre” perfume, $96 for 3.4 fluid ounces, is just delightful. I’m living for the bottle’s design, presented in a golden cupcake wrapper with what looks like frosting dripping down the top of the bottle. The perfume has notes of red currant, orange flower and almond cream. It has this wonderful, whimsical cupcake shop, dessert-quality to it that I really love. Editor’s Note: I’m wearing it now as I type.

Last but not least is Estee Lauder’s new launch Giorgio Beverly Hills Glam. It starts at $42. It is very floral (think peony) and earthy, with hints of sandalwood and amber, making it smell warm and inviting.

I love gifting perfume to friends and significant others because it captures memories that last for months at a time and remind that person of you whenever they apply the perfume.

Stranger Things Star Lands Calvin Klein Deal

The star of one of my favorite shows in recent history, “Stranger Things,” just landed a plum gig as the new face for fashion house Calvin Klein. Millie Bobby Brown, who plays “Eleven” in the Netflix series, will be the face of Calvin Klein’s “by Appointment” line. The twelve-year-old has become a fashion plate since the show debuted, often walking the red carpet in adult-style fashion that lends to her precocious air. I’m pretty sure haute couture to me as a 12-year-old consisted of slap bracelets. Looking forward to seeing ht looks from he campaign. And on a separate note, if you’re in the market for a show to binge watch, definitely give “Stranger Things” a try!

Designer Spotlight: Vetements

By Natasha Marsh
As a fan of streetwear fashion, I couldn’t be happier that Vetements has become a worldwide name. Similar to off-white, and hood-by-air, Vetements is a brand that has taken over streetwear. Vetements, pronounced vet-MAHN is French for “clothes.” The leaders of this buzzing streetwear collective are former Louis Vuitton and Masion Margiela designer Demna Gvasalia, and brother Guram Gvasalia.

The brothers aim to design two collections a year with the hope to stop overproduction, thus cleaning up the fashion industry. The brand officially launched in Fall 2014, however, many consider this a soft landing as they did not yet appear in fashion week until the next collection. Guram Gvasalia was the one to commercialize the brand, arranging showroom presentation and relationships with buyers, until they secured a spot on the catwalk. Fashion soon knew Vetements in 2015 when a model walked down the runway in a yellow DHL t-shirt. Various fashion experts were appalled at the design, including Trend Analyst Aleksandra Szymanska, and the DHL team saying that Vetements was ruining the fashion industry.

However, the DHL t-shirt had more likes than dislikes. This practical streetwear brand quickly started appealing to the likes of Kanye West, Rihanna, and Kylie Jenner. The fashion industry had no choice but to accept the brand to move with the zeitgeist.

In fact, fashion critic Robin Givhan, from The Washington Post set the scene by stating, “Gvasalia propose individual, individualistic items, designed to stand by themselves. They’re clothing people, not fashioning them.”

Fashion insiders who are concerned at the rate of which fashion is moving and the demand of the consumer are quite pleased with Vetements approach. Gvasalia clothing can be paired with any one garment and can fit in any season. Thus, challenge the obsolescence of the fashion industry.
Vetements will continue to succeed with their oversized pants and overcoats, simple constructed t-shirts, asymmetrical shapes, and distressed denim. See below our favorite celebrities sporting the brand.

So what’s next for Vetements? Demna and Guram plan to make the clothing more affordable so more followers can purchase pieces. The dilemma they face is with the maintaining the high standard quality at an affordable asking price. The issue I see with this lies in the essence of luxury. Luxury prides itself on exclusivity, it will be interesting to see how celebrities and the upper class react to the brand if everyone can now afford it. I guess we will worry about that when it happens.

Celeb Style: Blake Lively

By Natasha Marsh

Woman of the hour, Blake Lively continues to impress us with her style powers. Follow us below for our favourite looks of Mrs. Lively as we dissect some of her classic style elements.
All White Everything: Blake rocks white year-round, accompanied by a great tan. This look is not for everyone, but if you’re able to pull it off, we endorse it.
Short and Sweet: She frequently rocks short dresses to show off her figure but classy fabrics and silhouettes that show she’s a respectful mom of two. She definitely has the legs to pull this look off, and usually pairs it with high heels.
Form-fitting gowns: So, she may have more occasions to wear gowns than the average person, and when she does, she finds exactly the right fit. Cinched in at the waist, low cut, etc.

Shop Blake’s Look: