In your own words, how would you describe what you do? And how did you get into it?
I am a freelance writer, editor of food and wellness blog Bonberi and mom of 16-month-old Jude. I began my career at ELLE magazine in my 20s where I assisted fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon. I learned so much shadowing him on shoots and discovering how the industry worked. I then moved to Vanity Fair where I worked as an editorial associate helping book photoshoots for features editor Jane Sarkin. Eventually I left to pursue a career in writing. Throughout this time I was always trying to reconcile the sometimes manic office environments with a subconscious yearning for something more authentic and nourishing. As I delved more into learning about spirituality, health and wellness through teachers including Gabrielle Bernstein and Gil Jacobs, I realized there was a void online that married a fashion-forward, edited lens with the subject of nourishing your well-being. Where do people who read Vogue, read about wellness? In 2014, I launched Bonberi with my friend Vanessa Packer. We were pleasantly surprised to hear interviews and articles we posted resonated with our peers and even people we never met, which was super motivating, to know we struck a chord.
Where does your interest in health come from? My father had diabetes and as a child, I was always aware of how eating directly affected your health. After college and many years of crash dieting, I knew I had to find a better way. I came across Natalia Rose’s Raw Food Detox Diet book in Whole Foods and was immediately intrigued. Through that book I found Gil Jacobs, a colonic therapist who changed my life. He taught me about the benefits of juicing, raw food (i.e.: fruits and vegetables), food combining, colonics and infrared saunas. The more I practiced this life, the more improvement I saw in my body and spirit.
How do you approach incorporating health into daily life? I wake up and dry-brush to get my blood and lymphatic system flowing, then I try to do one of Gabrielle Bernstein’s guided meditations before getting Jude. I do love my daily Americano with steamed almond milk and stevia so I always have a green juice after to offset the acidity. My current favorite is kale, celery, ginger and pineapple. Then I workout at Tracy Anderson or take a hot yoga class at Modo or Y7. Sweating is super important to me. I try to stay raw until the late afternoon, which is easier during the summer when I’ll snack on juices, smoothies and fruit. Lots of fruit! Like a bag of clementines. In the winter, I’ll stay raw until at least 1pm and then have a raw salad of winter greens like kale and arugula, avocado and something warm like vegetable soup or a veggie sandwich on sprouted grain or sourdough. I try to incorporate one self-care act a day into my life (which is hard as a Mom!) but if I have time I’ll get a quick massage, acupuncture, go for an infrared sauna or I’ll get a colonic with Gil. For dinner, it’s important for me to cook most of my family’s meals so it’ll most likely be a big salad with gluten-free pasta or basmati rice with a bunch of veggies. I occasionally like to do a rotisserie chicken from Hudson and Charles, which my husband is always happy about.
As a new mom, how have your routines changed? I used to be a night owl, now my ideal night includes being in bed by 10:30pm. One of my favorite Saturday morning rituals includes making Jude his daily smoothie, going out to get coffee with Jude in tow, then hitting the farmer’s market to pick up our weekly vegetable haul all before 10am. I used to be rigid about my gym schedule and now if I miss a day or three, it’s ok, everything balances out. When I was pregnant, my friend Latham Thomas who is an amazing doula told me motherhood has a way of showing us that we are not in control. That was a huge lesson for me. To learn to let go of the reins a little. I’m still learning to do that.
What are your 5 favorite places in NYC for incorporating health into your life? 1. Gil Jacobs for colonics 2. Gravity East Village for infrared saunas 3. Juvenex Spa for Korean body scrubs and shiatsu massage 4. Gingersnap’s Organic for yummy raw and vegan food 5. Lifethyme for organic groceries and centrifugal juice
How do you incorporate your love of wellness into your love for entertaining? I love having friends over to eat tons of food and have them leave better than they did before rather than leaving in a food coma or feeling guilty. Everything I make is typically properly food combined. So we start with a big salad or a beautiful crudite platter with fun veggies like whole radishes, fennel, raw sweet potato, blanched snap peas and olives. Then I’ll do a homemade hummus or babaganoush. If we’re doing a protein dinner of chicken or fish, we’ll incorporate raw goat cheese into the salad and serve goat soft serve from Seed & Mill for dessert. If we’re doing a starch meal, we’ll add in avocados to the salad and do a big pasta arrabbiata or vegan pesto. Another fun thing to do is DIY Mexican with chips, salsa and guacamole, lots of plant-based options, slow-cooked beans and cilantro rice.
What are your favorite products from CAP Beauty? 1. RMS Lip Shine in Moment & RMS Living Luminizer (can’t pick one!) 2. Captain Blankenship Sea Salt Shimmer Spray 3. CAP Beauty Pink Mountain Salt 4. Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner 5. Baby Jiva Body Oil
How does your family practice health? Most meals we have are home cooked, which immediately takes a lot of guesswork out. My son likes to help by sitting on the kitchen floor and pretend mixing. About six months ago, we discovered Jude was allergic to dairy and fish, which helped me to get creative with his meals. His diet is mostly plant-based so we do lots of veggies, legumes, pasta, soups and all types of grains. We love to make a green juice every morning. Jude’s favorite is romaine, celery, green apple and a tiny bit of lemon. On special occasion date nights, my husband and I go to Koreatown for body scrubs and vegan Korean food afterwards, which has become a fun ritual. He also goes for colonics now, which he’d probably kill me for saying.
When do you feel your healthiest? After a really sweaty workout and a green juice. Or being on vacation! Salt water and Vitamin D are everything.
Do you have any daily non-negotiables? 1. Making sure my son has his morning juice or smoothie and lots of kisses. 2. Having a green juice every morning. 3. Sweating.
What does “beauty is wellness and wellness is beauty” mean to you? I love that people are catching onto the fact that beauty no longer means covering up our flaws but healing ourselves from within to let our true beauty shine. That said, a little plant-based shimmer highlighter never hurt anyone either.