Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Are You Natural?

I used to think that being natural pertained to aesthetics. Living in New York City, I am immersed in the height of image-obsession. So, to me, ‘natural’ meant being free of restructuring bodywork, from nips and tucks to inserts and pulls. However, the past few months have led my life on a new journey, both in terms of my health and my career and have drastically altered my perception of the term ‘natural’ and what it means to my life. I truly believe (as cheesy as it may sound) that God only gives us what we can handle, and for every seemingly ‘bad’ thing that happens, there is always a ‘good’ that comes through- trust me, I have learned first hand...

For those of you who follow my blog, you have probably gathered that I have had to postpone production of my first video series. I have had some health problems and was recently told the reason was likely due to a version of celiac disease. The lamens definition for this disease is: “A chronic nutritional disease, caused by the inability to metabolize gluten, which results in malnutrition, and causes a host of other problems in the body. The disorder can be controlled by a special diet that emphasizes the elimination of all foods containing gluten. In the beginning, people with this disease must also eliminate all refined sugar and dairy from their diet”.

Let me tell you, everything I ate up to this point contained one if not all three of these things – so the diet I must now adhere to is traumatically life changing and difficult to follow. Going through this I have seen some of the best western and eastern doctors in the world, along with top nutritionists. Not only did I want to learn how to eat this way, but I wanted to know everything I could about our bodies (celiac or no celiac) and how nutrition plays a direct role. At first, I thought “no dairy, sugar, sweetner or gluten?? My life is over, I might as well live in a cell, and even inmates probably have more to choose from”. However, I have learned that it basically means everything I eat must be true whole, natural food. If you think about it, this is what our bodies were originally meant to eat in the beginning. Hundreds of years ago, humans did not eat processed foods, refined sugar etc. They ate whole fruits, vegetables, grains, lentils and meat. Eventually I will be able to add back in dairy and sugar, but I am no longer having withdrawals, I have a new way of eating and cooking which I enjoy and makes me feel better than ever. I’m not going to lie, I still have my cravings and it’s not always easy, but it’s a discipline just like anything else and it’s one with a positive outcome. Keeping my eye on the goal is what keeps me motivated and eating ‘clean’ really does make you feel different – I urge you to try it even just for a week!

Above all, this journey taught me more than just nutrition, it changed my state of mind, I learned that natural is not just physical & aesthetic, its also what you put IN your body. It’s all about mindset and the way you live your entire life, which includes how you eat, how you train, the way you carry yourself and how you treat the world, the environment and others. Bill Lange, VP of Marketing at ZICO Premium Coconut Water put it best when he said: “It’s about believing in the value of “being natural” and having the discipline to act that way in almost everything you do”.

My connection with ZICO has been fateful to say the least. I have recently taken over the face of their ‘natural enough’ campaign, while simultaneously going through one of the scariest health problems of my life. The ironic part is that aside from water, almond milk and seltzer I don’t have many beverage choices… but ZICO is the one brand I can still drink. I actually got into ZICO last January when a friend introduced it to me as an incredible recovery drink, then I started drinking it after flights to rehydrate and restore energy, now with this disease I’ve had to eliminate anything unnatural or remotely unhealthy – GOOD NEWS: Zico is all natural!

In working with ZICO I have met some of the best quality people. When I told Bill about my condition we had a lengthy discussion about it and how the team at Zico could help. Being natural in every aspect of life is truly what they are all about which is why I see Zico has having a completely different brand personality and value than any other beverage choice. I am proud to be working with them and enlightened on how the combination of my condition and working with ZICO has turned me into a healthier, more natural person. For more Zico benefits visit: http://zico.com/products/benefits

Monday, August 16, 2010

Behind the Scenes

The Crew


Wow, I know I've been talking about news to come for quite some time, and to be honest, I jumped the gun a bit and wanted to spread the good news as soon as I could, but needed to hold off. However, the information was released publicly today, so I will be soon to follow on my website with the full details of everything. It has been an incredible experience and I am so thankful to everyone I work with and also to you, the readers who follow my blog. I want you to know that I personally read all emails and try to respond as quickly as I can to any questions you have.

I have recently been asked a lot about a couple of the new pictures I have posted on my facebook page and website. Yes, I do modeling, mainly swimsuit and fitness but have been branching into other areas. I decided to start sharing some of the work that I do, and will put up a few galleries. The modeling industry is something I have been fortunate enough to get to know and has been an incredible experience. Most of us only see the finished product so I thought it would be interesting to see a glimpse into what goes on 'behind the camera', and what a typical day on set looks like. I had someone take pictures at one of my recent shoots and will get them online as son as I can, in the mean time here are a few! Thanks to everyone at this shoot!



Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I know I have been talking about my big news for 2 weeks and still haven't said anything (I really couldn't)! I'm sure you're probably wondering if there actually is any - well the time is finally coming! I will make my announcement Monday which is very special to me - if you are in NEw York City area, you can come in person! It will be at the corner of Thompson and Watts in Soho at noon - so drop by on your lunch hour if you can!!

And the perk: I will be giving away free samples of ZICO PREMIUM COCONUT WATER!!

Hope to see you all there, and if we haven't met - please introduce yourself, I'd love to meet you :-)


Monday, August 2, 2010

How to be Caffeine Free - 5 ways to wake up without coffee

Caffeine gives many people the perfect morning jolt they need to make it through until lunch hour…but for some, the dreaded “caffeine crash” that comes along with a cup of coffee is just not worth the high it initially provides. Try one, or all, of these tips this week in those early morning hours rather than reaching for your usual cup of java.

1. Take a cool shower - not a cold shower! A freezing cold shower will shock your body (making you less than happy) but a cool shower will rev up your senses for the full day of work ahead of you. The clean, refreshing feeling that you experience after taking a shower will energize you and kick-start your day. Don’t have time for a shower in the morning? Splash cold water on your face for a mini pick-me-up.

2. MOVE! Take a brisk walk (or run) around the block in the sun. The exercise will release feel good chemicals to your brain and pump energizing oxygen throughout your body, while exposure to sunlight in the early AM hours increases energy and keeps you alert. Because exposure to sunlight also increases your level of serotonin, your level of fatigue will decrease and your mood will skyrocket.

3. Eat an energizing breakfast. The wrong morning meal will send you straight down the rabbit hole and back into sleep mode before lunchtime. Avoid sugary foods such as danishes, doughnuts, and sweet cereals – the sugar high you get from these will quickly dissolve. Your breakfast should include some complex carbs and proteins. Try egg whites with turkey bacon (hold the salt!) or whole grain cereal with skim milk and fresh fruit.

4. Have an icy cold glass of water. After you roll out of bed and before you do anything else in the morning, the first thing you should do is stumble your way to the kitchen and get a tall glass of icy cold water and drink it in its entirety. Providing your body with fluid in the AM hours will prevent dehydration, which can easily tire your body throughout the day. Not only will the water energize you, but it will also fill you up and make you feel better.

5. Listen to something. Waking up to a radio alarm clock, flipping on the TV during your morning routine, or even turning on your favorite audio book could help you to snap out of sleep mode and into alert mode. Listening to your favorite workout tunes could get your blood rushing and pump you up, while even just engaging yourself in the current events of the TV or radio station could instantly perk up your mood and make you more alert.

Rid yourself of the caffeine dependency, and try to go ‘au natural’ in the morning. Not only will you free yourself of the 3 o’clock caffeine crash you’ll save some serious money in the long run! Happy Energizing!