Top 5 Ways to Werq Your Body and Mind and What to Wear: The Detox Diaries

Working out is so much easier in the summer. I wish it weren’t true, but it is. For me, it has nothing to do with bikinis or beaches, so I can’t entirely explain the phenomenon. Alas, it persists. Fall means getting creative to keep it interesting.

Here are the best solutions I’ve discovered to fix such a quandary:

  1. Look fly as f.
  2. Pick really kick-ass instructors and studios.
  3. Mix it up.

Post fashion week, I got mine handed to me in a variety of ways in a variety of neighborhoods and an even larger variety of outfits (thankful for that last one!).

1. FIND A CELEBRITY TRAINER at REAL PILATES WITH ALYCEA UNGARO

FullSizeRender 2

Pilates is no joke, and SpringTone, the latest class down on Duane Street, will make sure you’re damn clear on that. Alycea is the realest-deal, she’s trained everyone from Madonna to Claire Danes, and somehow manages to teach in a style I can only describe as 50% militant trainer, 50% maternal encouragement.

What to Wear:

IMG_7758

I kept it chic for my TriBeCa workouts in Alala, which I am just as glad to wear on the street anyway.

2. HIT THE MIAMI CLUB SCENE VIS-A-VIS DANCE CARDIO at 305 FITNESS

305-fitness-fun-dance-workout-ny_0232 copy

Named for Miami’s area code and started by 24-year-old firecracker Sadie Kurzban, 305 is deceptively difficult. Instructor Jess Evans could out-dance the Energizer Bunny.

What to Wear:  

zara terez

Photo by my sister, Aliza Spruch-Feiner, who is as unhappy to take it as I am to have volunteered myself to model fitness gear 😉 

Since I love the “Make Sweat Sexy” tagline, I opted for a class-tank and appropriately-bright Zara Terez leggings via Exhale, which might just contain the best variety of workout clothes in town.

3. MOVE TO YOUR NEAREST EXHALE (BARRE (+ DEEP DETOX), + YOGA) 

nesh booty 1

During the initial week of the detox I carved out Exhale’s Central Park South location as a second home. Sakara oatmeal in tow, I pulsed from Core Fusion Barre to Deep Detox at the spa which is not so much a spa treatment as a second workout. This treatment is recommended both after a barre class and as part of a series (though I only did one), and I’d liken it to nothing I’ve ever experienced before, short of maybe electric stimulation in physical therapy.

deep detox

At the conclusion of my treatment, I was told I’d it was like I had done the equivalent of 648 crunches. K, cool, thanks!

What to Wear: Head-to-toe Nesh, an outfit that got lots of compliments in and out of downward dog.

4. TRY SOMETHING TOTALLY NEW, ODD, AND TOTALLY DIFFERENT at TRANSFORMER WITH DISQ

crunch disq

I’m pretty sure I could try a different workout in NYC everyday for the next year and still have some options. TRANSFORMER WITH DISQ (available at Crunch gyms) is one of the less typical. It was developed as a tool to add resistance to essentially anything, anywhere, but for your average person, it makes more sense kept in a gym setting. Strapped on your ankles and hips, classic moves like mountain-climbers become that much harder when sporting a DISQ system. But you can’t help but smile when with every move; you feel like a robot/marionette.

What to Wear:

disq robot

Capitalizing on that robot-thang for a photo-op

Comfy sneaks and high-socks are key, so as to prevent friction between your skin and the ankle straps. Mine are Asics, as are my crops.

5. TAKE YOUR BRAIN TO THE GYM AND MEDITATE at ZIVA

emily f s

As soon as I thought about detoxing the body, I knew a mental detox was necessary too. Somewhat surprisingly, meditation has not been boutique-ified in the same way yoga has and since I didn’t have time to join a monastery I was thrilled to meet Emily Fletcher, who I’ve since dubbed NYC’s queen of accessible meditation. Fletcher speaks with the mixed enthusiasm of a former-Broadway-actress and calm of a very seasoned meditator. I enrolled in her online course, ZivaMind and changed my habits (and brain chemistry) in eight days. But nothing compares to the serenity of Fletcher’s small in-person space, which I also visited for an extra sesh.

ZIVAMIND

Proudest new posession

What to Wear:

spiritual ganster 2

It was pretty obvious that Spiritual Gangster was the way to go to get zen.

Clean Up Your Stomach: The Detox Diaries

“Oh my god! It’s 6 p.m. and I totally forgot to eat today…” is something I have never said. Yet, the complaint becomes ubiquitous among fashion folk during runway show time. Everybody has those stressful days/weeks/months–more out-of-office meetings, a train delay, an alarm clock disaster–whatever it is, the best of intentions don’t always translate when it comes to being a responsible adult and managing to eat three balanced meals with proteins, complex carbs, healthy fats, etc. a day. Thanks to the delightful (and thankfully easy to use) app Rise, I had a depressing track record of my impulse decisions during fashion week.

I call this screenshot, “Baring My Soul/ Bad Decisions: A Series of Plastic Wrapped Sandwiches Consumed During NYFW.” But, really, it speaks for itself.

nyfw food

Like the rest of me, my stomach was all “sign me up for the detox!” And so I did, Part One saw me through a one-day (simple and easy, thank you) LuliTonix cleanse and then I delved deeper.

Luckily I had a few collaborators that made rigorous healthy eating as easy, fun, and delicious (not to mention luxurious) as possible. After all, at BlackBook, “detox” and “pamper” go hand in hand.

Allow these detoxifying meals to inspire your own gut-health-journey. Enjoy this scientific, nutritional journey–or just add these foods to your shopping cart. (P.S. Apololgies in advance for the word count on detox, detoxifying, and detoxification about to come your way)!

SAKARA LIFE

Sakara is an organic meal delivery service built to provide high-quality nourishment. The meals prioritize a plant-rich diet, heavy in superfoods, emphasize seasonal ingredients, and contain nothing processed, no additives, no added sugar, and are gluten-free. Needless to say, it’s a popular (and quite glam) way to simplify healthy eating. It arrives at your door on ice in ready-to-go containers, because everyone knows that the hardest part of healthy eating is the effort to do so itself.

Rose Infused Oatmeal With Pear Superfoods: Pear, Lemon, Walnut, Rose Petals, Chia, Maple Syrup, Ginger

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

This meal is designed to rev up your morning, but not leave you feeling heavy and dense. The combination of oats + chia with some of the most beautifying and hydrating superfoods, namely: rose petals, ginger, lemon, and pear. Rose petals contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory elements, and keep the skin glowing and hydrated. Ginger and lemon do similarly amazing things, plus they boost the immune system after a long day.

Beetroot Muffins Superfoods: Beets, Flax, Almond, Quinoa, Lemon/Lime, Coconut, Strawberries

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Sakara believes that superfood veggies belong in breakfast too. Elle Murphy, one of the health coaches at Sakara calls them “yummy and interesting to eat first thing in the morning,” and notes that they “provide a strong start to the day.” This muffin has the unexpected beetroot that gives it a subtle flavor not to mention its pretty color. What is does for your mind + body is even bettah– in addition to various minerals and vitamins, beets contain betaine and tryptophan, which can balance the brain chemistry and calm the mind. Not a bad start to a busy day ahead! Plus, with protein rich flax, almond, and quinoa, you’ll feel unstoppable.

Banh Mi Lettuce Wraps Superfood: Wakame, Tahini, Cayenne, Radish, Cucumber, Cilantro, Rice Wine Vinegar,Umeboshi Vinegar, Sesame, Lemon

These lil’ wraps are a powerhouse Sakara lunch. Full of hydrating and energizing veggies, they’re the perfect afternoon boost. Other ingredients include Umeboshi vinegar, which is believed to combat fatigue, aging, and improve digestion. Sakara also uses a little bit of wakame seaweed to help cleanse the blood and provide healthy fatty acids, iodine, and calcium. The flavors and varied colors of this dish work to rebalance and reboot your system.

Kale salad with Garlicky Herb Croutons Superfood: Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower seeds, buckwheat, Chia, Garlic, Oregano, Kale, Olive Oil, Parsley, Basil

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I’m told this is a Sakara classic; greens, greens, and more greens! Dark leafy greens are so incredibly good for you. Kale provides a healthy vegetable protein as well as chia, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. Even the dressing and croutons are made out of greens because they serve you so well. Parsley and basil (and most herbs) are mineral and vitamin rich and work as anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidant cell protection. They also protect your heart with their folic acid and B vitamins.

FEELFOOD

feelfood

After two days on a strict Sakara plan, I headed to FeelFood in the village for a big quinoa bowl, and left with enough food to eat for most of the rest of the week. FeelFood’s approach to detoxing is to restore a sense of normalcy to your body. Sure, there are specific foods that have great detoxifying benefits, but ultimately consistency and comfort will be what resets your body. It’s not necessarily about aggressive self-deprivation, but you also don’t want the pendulum of your diet swinging wildly. It’s all about finding balance.

Watermelon Rose Agua Fresca

This potent beverage combines alkaline water (which helps to reduce acidity in the body and balance your pH levels), and watermelon is known to help the body flush out ammonia. It’s a particularly great choice for the morning to start the day off on a detoxifying note.

Squash (or any) soup

There’s a reason we always have soup when we’re sick–soup is warm and comforting! When we’re exhausted we need to pay extra attention to what our bodies need. So cozy up with some soup, hit the couch, spoon up some soup, and relax.

Matcha: Jalapeno Matcha shot and Matcha Cardamom

The kick of jalapeno helps you sweat out toxins and matcha is an extra-super(food) form of the already-super green tea, and contains chlorophyll, which helps remove toxins and metals from the body.

They also have a mini matcha cardamom drink, which I highly recommend.

matcha cardamom

Winter Fire Shot

This is a fiery elixir that the Feelfood experts recommend drinking like a tea. Poured into hot water, it’s will be like having a cup of extra-spiced tea, but very concentrated. The lemon promotes toxin removal by stimulating enzymes that convert toxins into a water soluble solution. The Ginger, cayenne, paprika, and cinnamon provide a spicy kick to get your heart rate up and help you sweat out toxins.

Kale Apple Salad

kaleapplesalad copy

Kale, superfood that it is, detoxes the liver pathways due to its high glutathione content. Apples contain some of the best detoxifying nutrients as well as pectin, which helps remove food additives and metals from the body.