Patterns to a healthy, happy life

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Quick and Healthy Food Options with Quinoa Meals

Quick and Healthy Food Options with Quinoa Meals

Quinoa has exploded on the health scene for some time now. I love it as an alternative to rice where I create my own quinoa bowl, complete with veggies, beans and some avocados, for a satisying and quick dinner option. But this isn’t always the […]

Dr. Smood: Healthy Boutique Cafe Popping Up in NYC

Dr. Smood: Healthy Boutique Cafe Popping Up in NYC

With the focus on health and well-bring becoming increasingly mainstream, the options to purchase organic food and drinks have far surpassed the options solely found in your local health food store. Restaurants and even cafes are ‘getting it,’ offering health-conscious consumers tons of nutrient-rich options […]

Interview with virtue + vice: Women’s Sustainable and Ethical Clothing Brand

Interview with virtue + vice: Women’s Sustainable and Ethical Clothing Brand

There are so many factors that go into how our clothing is made. From where it is sourced to what materials that are used, the production of fashion has changed over the years to offer consumers cheaper items that are made a faster rate. This has a direct impact on the environment has more clothing is making its way to our wastelands–not to mention creating a new culture focused on cheap, fast consumerism. However, there are also many brands that are adhering to both ethical and sustainable practices to change the industry and thus how we consume. One such company that we recently learned about is virtue + vice, a women’s sustainable and ethical clothing brand.

Started by Melanie, who used to source and develop clothing for some well-known big box and fast fashion American retailers, wanted to do things differently and created virtue + vice. As a new clothing brand, virtue + vice provides eco-conscious women with style that promises to produce the smallest possible carbon footprint, while offering a safe work environment and living wage to artisans in India. With a focus on consumer education, virtue + vice gives a ‘behind the seams’ look at how the clothes are made, showcasing each piece’s unique story and the people behind it.

The debut collection, features a gorgeous collection prints, like oversized palm leaves, vintage florals, and scalloped mermaid scales is perfect for hot, sunny days, tropical getaways, or even just trying to bring a beachy bohemian vibe to your regular happy hour. To learn more about their styles and how the clothing is made, we spoke with Melanie who gave the insider scoop on this exciting new brand:

Interview with virtue + vice

virtue + vice ethical fashions dresses

Wellness Patterns: How did the idea for virtue + vice come about?

virtue + vice: I have worked in the fashion industry for over seven years, and lived and worked throughout Asia. During that time I have seen a lot places and a lot of things. I wanted to create a brand that pulled back the glamorous curtain of the fashion industry; and educated consumers on what it really takes to create shiny editorial magazine photos and pinterest porn. I wanted to do this while creating an ethical and sustainable brand with real 100% transparency, as a model for what the industry should strive to become.

Wellness Patterns: How is your production model important for the retail industry?

virtue + vice: Most retailers produce too much. They do this for a couple of reasons. Sometimes it is actually cheaper for them to make more (you get better prices the bigger the order) and to have left overs, than it is to make less. Crazy, right? They also produce to discount. They make the markup ridiculously high because they are planning for most of it to sell on sale. We don’t believe in either of those practices. We make what we believe we can sell, even if we don’t meet lower price minimums, and we price fairly. It’s less wasteful this way and better for the customer.

Everything we make is also ethically and sustainably made. We believe in paying more for quality products and factories with safe working conditions and fair wages.

virtue + vice ethical fashion skirts

 

Wellness Patterns: What can someone expect from the collection?

virtue + vice: Easy to wear day to night pieces. Most of the clothes are easy transitions from a day at the beach or a bbq, to going out at night. It’s a cute relaxed look, without trying too hard to be trendy.

clothing production at virtue + vice

Wellness Patterns: How are the clothes made?

virtue + vice: Everything is made in Gujarat India right now. I used a lot of khadi, which is hand spun and hand woven fabric. It doesn’t use any electricity or water to make, and each spinning machine and loom that is replaced by man power creates 150 jobs. I use low impact non azo digital printing on the khadi. Digital printing uses less water and electricity than typical industry printing, and creates less air emissions. I live at my factory usually for about 3 weeks during production times, to ensure fair practices and quality.

virtue + vice ethical fashion shorts

Wellness Patterns: What is your favorite piece?

virtue + vice: My favorite pieces are the VADA khadi shorts. I LOVE khadi, and the waist band is super stretching and comfortable.

Wellness Patterns: What are your plans for the future?

virtue + vice: I plan to introduce a lower price point line for spring 2018 using commodity fabrics, to make sustainable and ethical fashion even more accessible to everyone.

Excited to check out virtue + vice! They are also hosting a 48-hour private flash sale. Check out the details below to save big on their stunning sustainable fashions:

 

virtue and vice 48-hour private flash sale

Healthy Smoothie Yogurt Bowl with Chia Seeds

Healthy Smoothie Yogurt Bowl with Chia Seeds

I’m really trying to be better about having breakfast. Dubbed forever as ‘the most important meal of the day,’ I notice that I get super cranky or my stomach has a life of its own if I don’t eat something in the AM. With three […]

Interview with Portraits for Good: Online Art Gallery that Gives Back

Interview with Portraits for Good: Online Art Gallery that Gives Back

It’s so important to have something to believe in. No matter what our work may be, giving back is a way to support those in need. One such company that is doing their part a quite an impactful way for both consumers and artists is PORTRAITS […]

Healthy, Gluten-Free Pancakes to Start the Day

Healthy, Gluten-Free Pancakes to Start the Day

While I love breakfast, it’s not always the healthiest option, or if there are healthy alternatives, they tend to take time to prepare. I just discovered an awesome way to meld both of those needs after sampling some delicious pancakes from Simple Mills Pancake & Waffle Almond Flour Mix. A gluten-free, grain-free, paleo-friendly, and non-GMO blend, the Simple Mills pancake and waffle line was so easy to create where I simply needed oil, milk (or water), eggs and the mix. After whipping it all together, the pancakes cooked within minutes and were ready to serve my hungry family. After plating them with some fruit and maple syrup, my family dug in and loved the nutty flavor or this reinvented morning meal that also happens to be low in sugar and made with seven simple whole food ingredients!

kids cooking  Simple Mills Pancake & Waffle Almond Flour Mix

simple mills gluten-free pancakes

simple mills gluten-free pancake box

Founded by Kaitlin Smith, who started by creating the mixes in her home, Simply Mills wants to change the way America bakes to help people live healthier lives. This includes a providing a range of wholesome and convenient products that aren’t processed or contain grain, soy, artificial flavors or fillers!

Healthy, Gluten-Free Pancakes to Start the Day

And there’s even more reason to celebrate eating healthy this summer with August 24 being National Waffle Day where you can whip up a batch of Simply Mills waffles to commemorate this 148 year ‘holiday.’ Additionally, you can combine their gluten-free Pancake & Waffle almond flour mix to create a variety of delicious recipes including: Chicken ‘n’ Waffles, Pumpkin Spice Waffles, Savory Veggie Waffles with Herbed Kefir Cheese and more.

For more information on Simple Mills and their product line, please visit: https://www.simplemills.com/

We were provided with a sample for review. All opinions, as always, are our own.

 

 

Find the Perfect Meal in the New FoodFaves App (and an Interview!)

Find the Perfect Meal in the New FoodFaves App (and an Interview!)

We all have our food cravings, that on a given day, can be heightened when we scroll through social. Most food apps work to get food quickly and conveniently to you, but for the most part, that’s it. Most apps don’t know what your food […]

Interview with Family-Owned Karen’s Naturals (Formerly Just Tomatoes)

Interview with Family-Owned Karen’s Naturals (Formerly Just Tomatoes)

You can pretty much go into any grocery store these days to discover aisles dedicated to organic and healthy snacks. What was once a niche category that you could only find at a health food store has now grown to $43.15 million dollar (2015 stats) […]

New Yorker Jay Asparro to Run 75 Miles for Alzheimer’s in Grandparents Honor

New Yorker Jay Asparro to Run 75 Miles for Alzheimer’s in Grandparents Honor

Running is powerful form of exercise. In the great game of you vs. you, it’s all about the strength, power and focus that comes from within. Fellow New Yorker, Jay Asparro will be embarking on these challenges when he will run a collective 75 miles this November (48.8 miles from Jones Beach to Teddy Roosevelt Park in Oyster Bay and the next morning he will run 26.2 miles at the New York City Marathon). This intense endeavor is driven by his passion to raise money for The Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation, a disease his grandmother, Ann, battles everyday. Last year he completed this same run, finishing 90 miles, tired yet inspired by how the awareness of his run had raised $38,000 for the Foundation. This year, the 75 miles represents what would have been his grandparent’s 75th wedding anniversary. Leading up to the run, Jay partners with local business to help raise money and awareness for his cause. This has included family bowling events to selling purple bagels at a Long Island based deli to the first annual Ann Asparro 5K. We had the pleasure to learn more about this run and the incredible cause during our recent interview with Jay. Read on to check out more about him and his cause-driven run.

New Yorker Jay Asparro to Run 75 Miles for Alzheimer's in Grandparents Honor

Interview with Jay Asparro on Running, Causes and Inspiration

Wellness Patterns: How did the idea to raise money through running come about? Why running?

Jay Asparro: I feel as though most people do not like running. If I am going to run an Ultra-Marathon, I believe I’ll be able to grab the attention of these people. Everyone knows the NYC Marathon but I don’t think anyone has heard of someone running 48.8 miles the day before the marathon. Then there are those people who love running. Most do not run more than a marathon, so I felt with an Ultra-Marathon, I could grab the attention of these people as well.

New Yorker Jay Asparro to Run 75 Miles for Alzheimer's in Grandparents Honor

Wellness Patterns: Your goal is 75 miles for this upcoming goal! How do you train for that?

Jay Asparro: I’ll be running 48.8 miles on Sat. Nov. 4th and 26.2 miles on Sun. Nov. 5th at the NYC Marathon. I hired my running coach, Patrick Hammond, from Educated Running and he puts my running schedule together for me. Unfortunately, I sprained my ankle in March and have a torn ligament in my ankle. So I swim, bike, and take hot yoga classes on top of my running 4x a week.
For recovery purposes, I take Epsom salt baths, go to Cryotherapy at Cryofit in Syosset, NY, go to Physical Therapy, get massages, and I do push-ups, sit-ups, stretch and roll everyday.

Nutrition is extremely important as well. So I’m constantly on top of my food intake eating good carbs (brown rice, sweet potatoes), protein (chicken and fish) and drinking at least 100 oz of water a day.

Wellness Patterns: What has been the reaction to your run?

Jay Asparro: When I tell people about my 75 mile run, their eyes get big and they tell me I’m crazy. Then I explain to them that I am running in honor of my grandmother to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s, then they understand. 90% of the time I tell someone I’m running to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s, they begin to tell me someone they know who is living with Alzheimer’s.

As for media attention, I believe it is still too early to get their attention. I’m hoping when the run gets closer- TV, Radio, and any other media outlets will give me an opportunity to speak about Alzheimer’s and the impact it has had on my family.

jay asparro running

Wellness Patterns: Why was it important for you to do this for your Grandmother?

Jay Asparro: Unfortunately, my grandmother doesn’t know who I am anymore. I know who my grandmother is and I refuse to have Alzheimer’s define my grandmother’s life. My grandmother lived with Faith, Joy and Love for her Family. That is what I run for and I always appreciate an opportunity to talk about my grandmother. She has three sons, who married three great women, she has seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren that she loves and is very proud of. I run all of these miles with love for my grandmother and my family.

Wellness Patterns: What’s something you’ve learned first-hand about Alzheimer’s?

Jay Asparro: I’ve seen the toll it takes on the caregivers. My parents, Aunt and Uncle are the caregivers for my grandmother. I also run for them because I know how much they have sacrificed to be there for my grandmother everyday. Their strength and love for my grandmother is something that helps me train when I don’t want to train.
Again, when I talk to people about Alzheimer’s, I’ve met caregivers and I see the stress and pain they have gone through or going through. I not only run for my family but I run for families living with Alzheimer’ and families who have lived through Alzheimer’s.

Wellness Patterns: How can someone help out if they aren’t a runner?

Jay Asparro: I’m raising money for the Long Island Alzheimer’s foundation, so donations would be greatly appreciated. They can go to www.theannasparrorun.com and click on the donate link. If people want to help me promote the run, that would be great as well. They can email me at annasparrorun@gmail.com.

Below is more information about the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation:
For 29 years, LIAF has been providing supportive community-based services to Alzheimer’s families on Long Island. LIAF offers critically needed social adult day programs for individuals facing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their caregivers. LIAF takes considerable pride in its pioneering role in the development of cutting edge services that foster the independence, dignity, well-being and safety of individuals with Alzheimer’s. LIAF is pleased to announce that the organization’s headquarters have relocated to a new state-of-the-art facility at 1025 Old Country Road in Westbury. The more centrally-located facility will provide the opportunity to bring services and programs more easily to those who need them. A special community open house and grand opening celebration is planned for spring 2017. For information call (516) 767-6856 or visit www.liaf.org.

 

You can also follow along with Jay’s fitness and fundraising journey on Instagram- jayasparro7, The Ann Asparro Run Face Book Page as well as on www.theannasparrorun.com.

New Book Tackles the Importance of Friendship and an Interview!

New Book Tackles the Importance of Friendship and an Interview!

There’s no denying that friendship is crucial part of our health. Whether it’s having someone to vent to, cry with or share a private joke, meaningful friendships can enhance your life and even heal. The new book, Friendship Matters addresses some of these issues as told […]