Adventures, Body-Con, Fitness, LiveinVivey, Vivey Collection, Wear It

Living in Vivey at FlyBarre, Flatiron

Our second stop on the dance fitness tour took us back to the basics. It’s fun to see the rest of the nation is becoming obsessed with barre, so we had to resume our place. There are many derivatives of the Barre Method, but the goal is always the same: we want the long toned lines that we associate with dancers. And because we love a chance to hang with our own brand model, Shay Kostabi, starting with her class at FlyBarre in Flatiron was a no-brainer. My friend Pasha, who is a dancer in his own right, agreed to pay our girl a visit. When he asked what FlyBarre was, I realize now I may have been a  little too vague in my description:

“You know… like a series of conditioning exercises based on ballet barre…” He thought about it, nodded, and in we went for the FlyBarre experience.

When I kept getting evil glares from him between our sweating and low level grunting… I guess I deserved it. To his credit, he totally rocked it and Shay made us laugh through the work and grunting.

PEOPLE: ballet dancers have amazingly toned bodies because they work HARD! I know they make it look soft and easy but all the dancers I know are some of the toughest, strongest and most disciplined/diligent athletes I’ve ever seen.  If you don’t like concentrated and highly intense toning exercises that feel like they will never end, then this is probably not for you. If you like to feel a serious burn… go sign up.

Some notes on the Flybarre Flatiron Studio itself:
Coming from a grimey dance studio background, I was impressed with how polished and cool this space is kept. The reception is very professional, the slate maze-like hallways setup a serious and intense environment. They supply you with towels, water, great bathrooms, lockers; all you could ever expect from a quality studio. Added bonus: right as you finish class theres a clean-up crew that comes in on your heels and leaves the studio wiped down and spotless for the next group. Impressive!

The work is intense but the teachers are inspiring and keep the energy up even when you think you don’t have another leg-lift left in you to give. Shay was invested in our working hard and getting value, which I hear is common for the team here. You know you will work hard, probably suffer a bit, but the hour goes by fast and after it’s over your quickly laughing and enjoying yourself again. Well, until the next day at least…

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Fitness, Stay Healthy

A 5 Minute Workout for your Weekend Festivities

We all know you’re going to be eating all kinds of great summer party foods this weekend…if you haven’t already. Even though we’ve been detoxing and clearing out the old energies all last month with healthy foods and new habits, there’s no reason why we can’t enjoy a little patriotic celebrating among friends.

Just make sure to balance it out with some quick but intense workouts to enjoy the festivities guilt free.  If you feel like you don’t even have time for a trip to the gym or your usual spin class, here’s a no excuse 5 minute plan:

  • 1 minute of alternating walking lunges (add 10lb weights for a challenge)
  • 30 seconds jumping jacks
  • 30 seconds push-ups
  • 30 seconds burpees
  • 30 seconds squats
  • 1 minute alternating lunges
  • 30 seconds tricep dips
  • 30 seconds plank

Do all these exercises without rest between them and then let me know if 5 minutes isn’t enough to get a workout in! Then go enjoy all your 4th of July weekend favorites!

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Body-Con, Stay Healthy

Slow Doooowwn…

Now that's a happy face!

Now that’s a happy face!

Maybe it’s the summer heat that creeps up on you and slows you down, maybe it’s our detox theme that has made us look at some of our eating and lifestyle habits… but there’s something to the art of slowing down when possible. I know we are all on the go and in a rush to get our work done and to have a resemblance of a social life, but recently on a work trip I found an easy way to slow down and it paid off.

I was recently in Italy for the first time in my life and I decided that I would allow myself to sit and enjoy the food. All diets and guilt trips out the window. A trip passing through Florence by myself doesn’t happen everyday and I felt I had to really take advantage and enjoy. The irony is, I thought that I would return home having gained at least 5 pounds. I mean I really let myself go at it, baked goods for breakfast, pasta for lunch, pizza for dinner…I didn’t hold back. And since I usually try to be gluten-free, you can understand my surprise when I got on the scale and the numbers were the same. I didn’t even do all that much walking or exercising while I was there, so what was the big difference.

Upon reflection, I realized that the big difference was that I allowed myself the ‘luxury’ of sitting down and taking my time to enjoy each meal. I savored every bite and enjoyed each sinful platter, knowing this was a special treat. Often I didn’t even finish a full plate of pasta because the sitting and taking my time with it made me realize I was full before the plate was empty.

Hello Carbonara!

Hello Carbonara!

Ok, so I’m not saying go out and eat pizza and be merry, but there’s something to be said for taking your time when you eat, allowing yourself to savor and maybe surprising yourself when you realize you don’t have to finish the whole plate in order to be satisfied.  Of course I got back to my hectic NY life and immediately wanted to stress eat through every pizza corner place I passed.  The point is, I realized that I can have those highly desired foods if I take the time to sit, breathe and truly allow myself to enjoy every single bite until I feel full.  Thinking of being on a sidewalk café on the streets of Florence also helps create the mood. 😉

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Stay Healthy

A Weekend Project for a Healthy Home

The Stages of an Apple Seed

The Stages of an Apple Seed

Summer is at our doorstep and for those of us who like to keep our home feeling and smelling fresh, I have for you a little tip! It is a proven fact that indoor plants literally clean your air. Yes, some like Aleo Vera or certain Palms do work best, but why not start your own little gardening project with something you have in your fridge?!

Where did it all start with me?! An apple. While eating fruits and vegetables I always think about wanting to plant the seeds and have all types of trees in my backyard – then reality checks in and says…but Maral, you don’t have a backyard…not yet! So I’m working with what’s available to me today.

In the image above you can see the different stages of an apple seed. First there is the germinated seed (which I’ll go into in a second), after planting the germinated seed two weeks in you’ll have this beautiful little sprout, and third in the row is our plant in full bloom about two month’s in.

So your weekend project will be to begin germinating an apple seed! Start by eating an apple, separate it’s seeds and place them on a damp paper towel. Fold the towel so it covers the seed completely, place into a plastic bag or jar, stick it in the back of your fridge and forget about it for about 3-4 weeks. Hopefully when you open that towel up again you’ll see your little seeds starting to sprout!

After planting one of your seeds in a pot – place it on the windowsill that gets the best light, with some love, kind words and water every two days…it’ll grow, grow, grow! Truthfully, for me, there is nothing more gratifying than watching my projects grow through process – be it a plant or Vivey, with love, time and effort it all bares fruit.

Talk to your plants, as silly as it seems...they'll grow faster!

Talk to your plants, as silly as it seems…they’ll grow faster!

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Eats, Recipes

Quick & Easy 6 Ingredient Hummus

Going through Pomegranate Nation’s recipe collection was a complete drool fest for a passionate foodie like me! I want, and will, try them all. But as I skimmed through the options to find something quick and easy for busy bees like us…one stood out and touched my heart. If you’re Middle Eastern like me, as a kid you probably ate hummus for breakfast haha!

The truth is, hummus is such a versatile spread that it’s difficult not like. I mean, gluten free AND vegan – the sucker just WANTS to be loved by all! Here is my take on Pomegranate Nation’s holistic hummus recipe:

| Ingredients |

  • 1 15oz can of chickpeas – drained and rinsed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini – in this case homemade 😉 It’s easier than you think…
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth (or as smooth as you like it). Taste it and adjust flavors to your preference – we are all unique in what we like!

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Top your hummus with whatever you desire, a drizzle of olive oil and paprika are the staples at my house. Sabrina suggests toasted pine nuts and some chili – yum!

This simple, healthy and very cheap recipe is a perfect afternoon snack paired with a few veggie sticks or a great spread to add to your sandwiches – open up, try it all and enjoy!

Find all of Pomegranate Nation’s holistic and global recipes here: www.pomegranate-nation.com

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Ease The Mind, Stay Healthy

Meditating on Mercury Retrograde

yoga art watercolor print - BREATHE by Lindsay Satchell

yoga art watercolor print – BREATHE by Lindsay Satchell

About three or four times a year an optical illusion occurs where the planet Mercury slows down so much it seems to move backwards. And with it everything in our lives falls along into this reverse pattern. So if suddenly an easy breezy business deal sinks without warning, your sweet relationship turns sour or everything you say seems to come out wrong, you may be feeling these reverse effects. And the best news of all: this will be for the entire month of June.

So as we detox this month and clear out old energies for a summer soft, this is a great opportunity to start your day with meditation and get a clear head before speaking to well, anyone.  I know, meditating is hard and intimidating. So here is an easy way back into it if it’s been a while or if this is your first go. Many years ago a Doug Varone dancer started a class with this easy technique and it has stuck with me. This is what you do:

Set a timer for 5 minutes (a good starting point)

Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes.

Let your first thought appear in your mind. Instead of trying to clear your mind and not think about anything (which is virtually impossible, especially if you’re stressed), allow yourself to observe this thought and spend a few seconds with it. Once you have taken sat with it, you swipe it away with an imaginary windshield wiper and enjoy a few seconds of silence.

Almost immediately the silence will be disrupted by the next thought. The key to this meditation is to not chastise yourself for having another thought appear so quickly, but to again calmly sit with this new thought until you are ready to release it. It is this action of sifting through your thoughts and allowing yourself to sit with them that may lead you to moments of clear and blissful emptiness.

Eventually the 5 minutes feels short and you can work up to longer sittings. The treasure lies in the gap between thoughts… those mere seconds where you might just experience absolutely nothing and everything, all at once.

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Body-Con, Stay Healthy

5 Ingredients in my Morning Detox

As we look to Pomegranate Nation this month | www.pomegranate-nation.com | for sustainable versions of some of our favorite foods, I’ve decided to take cue and bring my own body back to a sustainable and energetic place.  It is the beginning of Summer after all and I want to be fresh and ready for all the events coming up, not to mention all the work that still needs to be done to bring Vivey’s collection to reality.

Starting off with baby steps after a long and tiring spring semester, I’m focusing on small changes I can implement daily, like a morning detox drink to start the day off right.

There are many fun and easy ways to create a morning detox drink as a way to get your metabolism moving with a little extra umph. The easiest one is a cup of water, half a squeezed lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper for a spicy kick. But recently I’ve added a few ingredients after some web browsing to make this a livelier experience!

So try this tomorrow morning first thing and let me know how you feel:

  • One cup of water
  • A splash of pure organic juice of choice
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • A pinch of cinnamon for good measure

If the vinegar’s too much for you, you can add a little more juice to help with the intensity. Energized day, commence…

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