Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Women in Wellness : Nita Pettibone

Today I'm happy to introduce to you: Nita Pettibone. Nita is a certified health coach, wellness educator, author, and motivational speaker that teaches classes, groups and individuals how to feel their best by eating well, living happily, and finding balance in their lives. She has helped thousands of people achieve their own goals with food and lifestyle changes by guiding them with a mentality that feeling great doesn't have to be complicated. As a mom to one human, one canine, and a growing business, Nita understands the demands of every day life. That is why she is spreading the message that when you Fall in Happy with yourself, anything is possible. 

Your food philosophy: 

Eat what makes you feel good and avoid what doesn't. I like to call myself a FeelGOODitarian and teach others to do the same. 

Dream breakfast: 
Green Smoothies 

Daily breakfast: 
Always a Green Smoothie of some variety 

Morning ritual: 
I Set the alarm early so I can snooze, then use that as my quiet or reflection time before the busy day starts. As an example, the first snooze is used to share gratitude for a new day and all that I'm thankful for. Once I decide to get out of bed it is time for a full glass of water, sometimes with lemon, getting my smoothie and lunch ready. 

Your go-to juice or smoothie: 
My favorite go-to juice for inflammation is celery, apple and parsley. But I tend to make smoothies more! Currently I'm all about the chocolate, banana and kale. My base is either water, green tea, or coconut water. And then, I throw in a banana, frozen kale, a couple pieces of dark chocolate, a scoop of cacao powder, some seeds like hemp or chia, and then what ever else I have in the house; like Maca, chlorella, or wheatgrass powder. 

What supplements do you take: 
Actually, I don't take any supplements except for a once in a while Vitamin D capsule in the winter months when the sun is hiding. 

Your fave kitchen tool: 
Oh my Kale… Pretty sure I couldn't live without my Vitamix. I would take it with me everywhere if I could. 

5 pantry staples: 
Almond Butter, Chocolate, Nutritional Yeast, Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil 

Favorite thing to cook for friends: 
I love dehydrating kale when friends come to visit because it is the one thing they are always surprised that they like. As for a meal, I like to have taco/fajita nights so everyone can choose what they use. 

Favorite way to workout: 
Oooh CrossFit, is definitely my favorite! 

Strange wellness habit: 
When life gets hard, I'm having a challenging moment, or writers block; I journal my thoughts over and over on a piece of paper in fun designs. So I continuously write over the thoughts until they are completely ineligible but the design of scribble comes out pretty cool. It clears my head of anything negative going on and allows the positive or new ideas to flow back in. Kind of like doodling, but with words. 

Favorite thing to wear: 
Tank tops and Jean shorts. I'm a simple girl. 

Favorite place you've traveled to: 
I'd probably have to say the Isle of Palms in South Carolina. I was able to take a three day solo trip once and it was so rejuvenating. 

Where would you like to travel:
 I've really been wanting to go to Key West, Florida! 

Your favorite healthy place in your city?
Oh man, do I have to choose just one? I guess if I have to pick one, it would be the Juice bar near our house. But if I get to pick more than one, I would add a restaurant called Tomato Head where everything can be made with dietary preferences in mind, and of course CrossFit Knoxville where I learned so much about myself. 

One piece of health advice: 
Fall in Happy with yourself. When you begin to change your thoughts about yourself, everything else will begin to change. 

Healthy recipe to share: 
I love this old recipe from Happy Herbivore because it is so easy and quick. Happy Herbivore's Spicy Teriyaki Chickpeas. 

Ways to connect with Nita:

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Roadtrip Pt. 2 : Carmel-by-the-Sea and 17-Mile Scenic Drive

On our second day we got up early, got some tea and coconut milk mochas to go and headed down south towards Big Sur. We made it to Santa Cruz in little over 2 hours (thank goodness for carpool lanes!), but were there actually so early that the amusement park was not even open yet. We enjoyed breakfast on the boardwalk and got back on the road right after. It was going to take another 90 minutes to get on the Bixby Bridge in Big Sur. 
We also stopped at a gorgeous little village along the way called Carmel-by-the-Sea and had light lunch of veggie paninis at Carmel Coffee and Cocoa Bar located in the prettiest open-air shopping center I've ever been to, The Carmel Plaza. Carmel is filled with cute little storefronts, historic buildings and storybook cottages, and there's flowers and trees everywhere. Just adorable.
When leaving Carmel we took the famous 17-mile Scenic Drive (despite the $10 toll you need to pay to drive through it). But yeah, way better than being on the highway. Too bad we were on a pretty tight schedule to make it home before the dark, but we had some moments to stop by the beaches and admire the scenery.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Roadtrip Pt. 1 Napa Valley

My sister came to visit from Finland a couple of weeks ago and wanted to visit Napa, Santa Cruz and drive along the Highway 1. So we did all that in just two days. First stop was Napa Valley. We arrived pretty late and since most wineries close between 4-5pm we only got to visit two of them along the Silverado Trail: The Black Stallion and Mumm Napa. The original plan was to rent bicycles from our hotel and ride along the Silverado Trail which has multiple wineries, but we did not have the time. 
We stayed at the Silverado Resort which might be the closest hotel to the Silverado Trail. Husband and I have stayed here multiple times and it has become our favorite hotel in Napa. I mean look at this entrance. Gorgeous. 
After wine tasting we were quite hungry and had light dinner at our hotel restaurant. She had fish tacos, we shared truffle fries and Moscow Mules with beautiful views outside in the patio.
We'll be back Napa, we'll be back...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


I cannot even remember where this little Buddha came from but it has traveled with me through multiple apartments. We burn a lot of incense in our home and this is made for burning incense cones. 
Next to the Buddha you can find this lovely reindeer candle holder from Finland (Pentik) that at the moment holds few pieces of my everyday jewelry like my rings, "Miracles" bracelet and earrings.
This pretty Indian style box holds some of my crystals. I found it at my old job in NYC and since no-one claimed it for about a year, I took it when we moved to California. Sorry guys! It was me in case you were wondering where it went. It went with me :). 

Underneath the box is a hand cream from Madara. Non-toxic and super-rich, perfect to put on before bed and let work its magic overnight. I easily get rashes from soaps, lotions and detergents so I make sure there's no funny stuff lurking in them. Madara's products are safe and organic, nothing synthetic about them.
This picture is a picture I took of a picture back in Southampton, NY when I worked in a private residence. Hubby doesn't like to  have this profanity hanging on our walls so I keep it on our bedroom floor :). Hanging from it is my gym bag that holds my water bottle, leggings, sweat rag, almonds for after workout snacking and a warm pullover to keep me warm for the after-gym bike ride. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016


Women in Wellness series continues!Today I'm happy to introduce to you my friend Carolyn Gatus. She is a Dancer, Health/Energy and Movement Coach and Founder of Dynamic Body Mind & Spirit. We met while being classmates at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and have continued our bi-monthly accountability sessions via Skype till this day. She lives a mere 6 hour drive from me in sunny L.A. Here are her answers to my quick-fire questions:

Your food philosophy 
Eat what you love and what makes your body feel good! Many people do one or the other but not both.  When you do both, it's heaven! 

Dream breakfast
Fresh tropical fruit and a variety of exotic fruits from different countries!  Delicious green juice, vanilla chia pudding and fruit parfait, gluten-free belgian waffle.

Daily breakfast
Fresh fruit and green smoothie made with green apples, kale, cucumber, ginger, lemon juice, and a green superfood powder; Sometimes I add soft boiled eggs.

Morning ritual 
I do 15-30 minutes of morning meditations followed by writing in my journal and setting my 3 intentions for the day.  Then I go and drink 2 glasses of water, one warm with lemon juice.  After, I either take a walk or do a workout with mantras, which is followed by stretching and intuitive dancing/choreography on some days.  Then, I prep breakfast.

Go-to juice or smoothie 
My green smoothie is made with green apples, kale, cucumber, ginger, lemon juice, and a green superfood powder

What supplements do you take 
I don't really take much supplements - some iron once a month, vitamin D3, and algae oil Omega-3.  My superfood powders have adaptogenic herbs like maca, ashwagandha and many others.  It also has spirulina and chlorella, and plenty of "raw" slow-dried vegetable powders.

Your fave kitchen tool
My spiralizer so I can make zucchini noodles!

5 pantry staples
Dried seaweed snacks, quinoa, black beans, nuts - walnuts/brazil nuts/almonds, tamari

Favorite thing to cook for friends
I like to make salads and vegan desserts.  I make a good Asian slaw salad and vegan coconut cream pie.

Favorite way to workout
Dancing and intuitive movement!

Strange wellness habit
Oil pulling, Clay toothpaste, Looooove sauerkraut and fermented foods more and more!

Favorite thing to wear
Yoga pants and a comfy loose shirt or tank

Favorite place you've travelled to
Sagada, Mountain Regions, Philippines

Where would you like to travel
The whole world! - South America, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, Europe, Australia, India, Japan, China, everywhere!

Your favorite healthy place in your city?
UBATUBA - make great Acai bowls

One piece of health advice
Tune in to your body, talk to it, listen and make the health & lifestyle changes it asks so it can thrive.

Healthy recipe to share:

Strawberry-filled Chocolate Date Tarts 

Easy Peasy Recipe:

10 pitted medjool dates
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup soaked walnuts
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 Tbsp. cacao powder
(some coconut oil and coconut flour to dust bottom of mini cupcake pan)

6 chopped strawberries

Brush bottom of mini cupcake pan with coconut oil and dust with coconut flour. Add crust ingredients in food processor and pulse until well mixed. Press combined chocolate/date/nut mixture into mini cupcake pans to form tart crust. Fill with chopped strawberries and enjoy!

For an alternate filling: Dairy Free Chocolate Mousse

1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 1/4 cup pitted dates (softened)
3/4 tsp vanilla 
5 tbsp cocoa powder 

Have can of coconut milk sit overnight in a cool area to let water and cream separate. Open can and scoop the cream off the top of the can and place in the food processor or blender. Add the softened pitted dates (Soften by soaking in water for 5 min.). Add vanilla and cocoa powder and process or blend all ingredients until smooth. Scoop into date tart crusts. 
Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for a cool treat with loved ones later!

Connect with Carolyn:
Private Facebook Group (request to join!)

Saturday, May 7, 2016

My favorite self-help books

it has been exhausting two weeks while training on the new job and simultaneously still working at my old job until the end of my 2-weeks notice. So yes, I quit my job in San Francisco after being there for 6-months. I met some amazing people and learned so much about the city, but I just didn't want to continue. I wanted to create more time to spend at home, go to the beach and the gym, and I also decided that I didn't want to commute anymore after doing it for 10 years in NJ-NYC. I'm taking my time back and doing something fun with it! 
One thing I want to start doing more is reading. One of my co-workers and friends in San Francisco told me that he reads at least one book per week which inspired me to start my one-book-per-month-challenge (for the 15th time...). I mean if he can read a book in a week, I should be able to read one a month. I'm doing a challenge soon on Instagram and Periscope that is related to this so please follow me there and join our challenge support group on Facebook called Plant-Powered and Fabulous.
I previously showcased some of my favorite plant-based cookbooks that I like to collect, and this time I'm showing you my favorite self-help books. Whenever I go to a bookstore I automatically steer towards the self-help section (right after the cook books!). 
1. The Big Magic
"Cracks open the world of wonder and joy."

2. Essentialism
"The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter."
3. Spirit Junkie
"A guidebook for overcoming fear, changing perceptions, and creating a life you’re psyched to wake up for."

4. Add more Ing To Your Life
Learn how to bulldoze negative thought patterns and create personal change through positive affirmations, physical activity, and visualization meditations. Get prepared to change your life by accessing a state of "flow" to help you connect with your -ing. You'll release your negativity and choose happiness!

5. Fire Starter Session
"The Fire Starter Sessions is an apathy-kicking, integrity-infusing guide to defining success on your own terms."

6. The Four Agreements
My favorite book to travel with. " The Four Agreements reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love."

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


I had a short but lovely visit to Nashville, Tennessee last month when I got the opportunity to work at a conference there. I really enjoyed the laid back vibe, handsome cowboys, the constant live country music coming out of the bars and restaurants from early morning on and best of all, the beautiful Southern accents. I wish I had an accent like that! I only had couple of hours in the morning before my flight back to see the downtown Nashville so I hopped on a tour bus and did a 90-minute sightseeing. Anyways, here's my photo diary outside the conference center (which is a whole 'nother post because it was gorgeous!).