There is so much more to New York City than the bright lights, large crowds and overpriced hybrid foods like a cronut that people wait hours in line for. There’s a health and wellness boom and this is my guide to your healthiest day in New York City!
I was born and raised in NYC so I have seen it all. I have spent time in Union Square, Times Square and Madison Square, waited in line for a cronut (croissant-donut hybrid food), fought my way through crowded subway platforms and strutted the streets like I owned every block. New York City has changed a lot since my childhood days and for me, it’s a whole new city. As I embark on this new health and wellness journey, I have begun to let go of the old New York that I once knew. I’ve been more open to learning about the new and exciting places to see that will make me a healthier and happier person.
In the past year, I have changed a lot. Enrolling at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition pushed me out of my comfort zones even more than I could have imagined. Exactly a year ago, I emailed Kayla Kleinman asking if she wanted a fitness buddy after having seen a photo of her on the roof of the building where I grew up. I also built an online friendship with many people from all around the world, not just in New York City. Instagram has been an amazing platform for me to share my insights and learn from others. I am always so inspired but what other people are doing, what they are eating, where they are working out and how they define health and wellness for themselves. A lot of my friends this year have been people I interact with every day online, but have never met in person.
So 2 months ago, a few of us had an idea to bring together a group of people in New York City and show them the healthiest places in the city and to meet the faces behind the ‘gram so that we can be friends offline as well!
What started as a small group gathering turned into an incredible event with a full day of activities from lunch to herbal elixirs to a sensory yoga experience. And every person went home with an amazing goodie bag of all of our favorite products from brands we interact with every day on line. The girls I organized the event with went above and beyond in my expectations for a goodie bag, and it was incredible to see the relationships we had built with brands and people that they would allow us the opportunity to share our love for their products with others. And I am so grateful that a group of women who only knew each other online were willing to meet on a Saturday afternoon with a group of strangers and experience completely new things together.
So thank you Dana, Melissa and Stacy for helping organize this incredible Day of Wellness with me and for once again pushing me outside of my comfort zone. This day was so incredible and I cannot wait to share all of the healthy things we did, all of the food we ate and the places we saw.
A Healthy New York City
When I travel to different cities, it’s always hard to find the “health and wellness” things to do. When you research activities in any city, you get a long list of tourist attractions and expensive restaurants. But I prefer the healthy things like local workouts, restaurants with Paleo friendly meals and shops with herbs, crystals and kombucha. You know, the stuff no one really wants to be thinking about on vacation! But I love being healthy at all times, and that is especially true when I travel, so it is important for me to find the healthy places in every city. So the places we went to with this group, are just a few of my favorite health and wellness locations that I hope others will find useful in their day to day activities, or on their travels to this big and overwhelming city.
If you are a New York City local, or if you’re planning a trip to New York City, I highly suggest visiting the places below. You will eat the best food, drink the best ayurvedic tonics and have the most out of this world yoga experience that will leave you sweating and zen all at the same time.
So let’s jump right in it…here is my list of the healthiest places to visit in New York City!
90 West 3rd Street
New York, NY 10012
First, girls have to eat, right? We started the day with a delicious lunch at Springbone, located in the West Village. If you are looking for the cleanest, healthiest lunch without the expensive price tag, you must visit Springbone. I am here at least once a week for a cup of bone broth, or a meal made without grains, sugar, GMO’s, canola oil, or processed ingredients. As someone who grew up in the area, I always struggled to find healthy places to eat, and Sprinbone was the answer this neighborhood was looking for. You will also never meet anyone nicer than the co-owners, Sam and Jordan. So grab a seat at the community table with your bone broth in one hand and a bite of anything on the menu in the other, and get cozy and nourished all at the same time!
What is bone broth?
Bone broth is made from the bones of the entire animal and has been used for years as the foundation of many recipes, but is also being seen as a delicious liquid that can be sipped on all on its own!
Health benefits of bone broth include:
- repair leaky gut
- boost the immune system
- increase energy
- improve bone and joint health
- reduces the symptoms of the cold and flu
Bone broth is the ultimate beverage at Springbone, but it is also used to cook certain items on their menu (I mean, have you ever heard of anything better than carrot fries cooked in 100% grass-fed beef fat). The menu is all organic, 100% grassfed meat and contains no artificial ingredients, fillers or processed foods. You will leave Springbone feeling nourished, full and happy.
I gravitated towards Springbone because it aligns with my belief that food is medicine and we can use nourishing foods to heal ourselves without the use of antibiotics, prescription medication, surgery and fad diets.
What was on our Day of Wellness menu?
Everything! We had the opportunity to try a few bites of everything, and let me tell you, nothing disappointed! What do I recommend on the menu? The chakra broth is a meal on it’s own and is the best broth that I have ever tasted. It is made with chicken bone broth, sweet potatoes, garlic and turmeric. You can also grab a plain chicken or beef bone broth to go, and walk down the city streets with a warm cup in your hand that has the best fat, lowest calories and no sugar. Replace your cup of coffee with bone broth and you’ll feel more energized and focused than you ever have before.
The “Spaghetti” & Meatballs features zucchini noodles with grain-free meatballs, tomato sauce and broth (hold the Parmesan cheese for dairy allergies).
The Wild Bowl was made with turmeric cauliflower rice, brussel sprout-cabbage-carrot slaw, apples and broth!
And the delicious vegetables featured were Braised Organic Kale, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Herb Roasted Rutabaga, Sweet & Spicy Broccoli and Carrot Fries. And for dessert we all had a small bite of chia pudding and the raw brownie balls.
The best part about Springbone is the menu can be customized to your dietary preferences. Don’t eat beans but want the Mexican Bowl? Kindly ask them to leave the beans off the bowl! And you can swap the wild rice for turmeric cauliflower rice any time to make your meal completely grain free. The menu is so friendly to all dietary preferences, I promise you will not leave hungry!
The Alchemist Kitchen
21 East 1st Street
New York, NY 10003
I love coming to The Alchemist Kitchen for all of my alternative health needs. The cafe features plant based food and herbal tonics that support holistic health and healing. Events are also held in the space to educate individuals on the power of plant based healing and herbal remedies as well as guide and support anyone looking to understand more about the connection between plants and improving overall well-being. You can shop for all of the sage, CBD oil, ayurvedic and chakra oils that you need. Downstairs is the infrared sauna at Higher Dose where you can detoxify your body. And our group was able to get a free booster shot with Nutridrip.
Our group was treated to State-Changing Elixirs, which simply means that we chose a drink based on how we feel and the intentions we want to set. There were elixirs for enhanced mood, relaxed muscles, energy, open heart, calming and immune boosting. The most popular elixirs were Kava Nectar and Spirit Elixir, both helping to calm the body and mind and both featured kava.
What is Kava?
Kava is a root that is used to calm any stress or anxiety in your mind and body. It can be used topically or internally, such as in a tea.
Health benefits of kava include:
- boost the immune system
- eliminates toxicity in the body
- fights cancer and reduces the size of tumors
- improves quality of sleep
It does induce a state of euphoria and overall state of zen so it is important to not drink kava before driving or doing anything mentally or physically straining. It is an ayurvedic medicinal herb that is slowly finding its way back into Western medicine practices.
What is Nutridrip?
IV treatments are nothing new, but now people are starting to realize that the best way to get vitamins into the body is through the blood. IV therapy gets the vitamins where they are needed in the highest concentrated doses and ensures maximum absorption through the cells.
Nutridrip offers packages that will give your body the dosage of Vitamin C, B and/or D that you need for optimal health. You are able to choose the drip package that your body needs the most, whether that’s to help detoxify from heavy metals, boost your energy, hydrate, or build immunity.
The most popular nutridrip boosters were the “Skinny Boost” which contains 8 vitamins to boost your body’s energy, burn fat and increase metabolism, as well as “Sunshine D” which contains 60,000 units of Vitamin D to help improve mood and concentration.
If you are in New York City, you can schedule a free booster shot here!
New York, NY 10012
The final stop on the New York City Day of Wellness tour was at WOOM Center on the Bowery. This is not your typical vinyasa flow class. This is a sensory, meditative, athletic experience that is so different from the norm, that you will be wondering where you are and when you can come back!
My first experience with WOOM was at Medi Club in 2016 when Elian and David guided us on a blind-folded meditation experience. I recently went to the studio for a class with Kayla and fell in love with the beautiful space, the people and the experience.
When you first walk in to the studio, you are greeted with the love and energy of the room and the people. Elian and David welcome you with open arms, hugs and love. You can set your belongings aside and relax in the gorgeous light filled cafe. Then, step inside the WOOM and let go of all inhibition as you meditate, chant, howl, and flow. Elian guided us on a journey filled with strength, power and happiness.
The woom is completely white; bulsters, mats and blankets are provided and after a blindfolded meditation, you open your eyes to the sights and sounds of the room which is filled with projections of colors, constellations and movement. The class ended with a blindfolded shavasana complete with aromatherapy and stillness that we needed to restore our bodies after moving them so much and so hard only a few minutes previously in class.
When you exit the woom, you are treated to a body awakening tonic — a complement to the body relaxing yoga experience. We sipped on lemon, ginger, maple turmeric elixir before packing up to complete our Day of Wellness in New York City.
Wellness is much more than being healthy. It is living a lifestyle that brings you joy, nourishment and happiness. It is the process of changing your mind and body as you grow and learn. Every body is different so what heals one person might not heal another. But we can all agree that a healthy diet and fitness are the foundation of wellness. The locations we visited on our Day of Wellness were meant to inspire everyone to be happy and healthy. It was a day free of stress which is the most important part of being well. So find things that excite you and motivate you so that it becomes a natural habit instead of mundane routine. Make your mind and body a priority and you will be well!
Some Extra Goodies!
I wanted to give a quick shout-out to the brands that supplied products for our Day of Wellness goodie bags. We gifted everyone who attended a bag filled with our favorite products that we truly believe make us well — from food, skincare, self-care and hydration! So check out the brands below that we featured!
88 Acres / Seed Butter
Bitsy’s Brainfood / Organic Snacks
Blissful Eats / Granola
Blue Moose of Boulder / Hummus, Pesto & Salsa
Cocokind / Organic Skincare
DrinkNooma / Electrolyte Drink
Eating Evolved / Coconut Butter Chocolate Cups & Hot Chocolate
Emmy’s Organics / Organic Coconut Cookies
Essentially Coconut / Coconut Butter
Fatco / Body Butter & Deodarant
Frank & Whit / All-Natural Lifestyle Products
Healthy Human Life / Stainless Steel Rover Pints
Modern Table / Easy To Make Meals
Nutbutter Nation / All Natural Peanut Butter
Nuttzo / Nut Butter
Osea / Seaweed Skin Care
Powmab / Superfruit Chews & Baobab Skincare Oil
Primal Kitchen Foods / Grass-Fed Collagen Bar
Primal Palate / Organic Spices
Rickaroons / Coconut Dessert Energy Bars
Rxbar / Whole Protein Bar
Safecatch / Lowest Mercury Canned Tuna
Salba Chia / Premium Whole & Ground Chia Seed Travel Packets
Sweet Mint / Vintage Handmade Spoons
Ultima / Electrolyte Drink Mix
Vellabox / Artisan Candle
Woodstock Foods / Organic Almond Butter
This post is not sponsored by any brand. None of the links above are affiliate links. All opinions are my own.
Originally published at www.balancedlife-leslie.com on January 22, 2017.
Originally published at medium.com