First Two Stops in Manhattan {y7 for the dopest vinyasa practice and sweetgreen for the best salad}

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So I officially touched down in NYC last night. In an effort to completely forget jet lag, I took my first day by storm, which of course included visiting two of my favorite places Y7 and Sweetgreen, where else?

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I started my day with a Vinyasa Y7 flow at their newly opened Meatpacking location. It was everything I wanted it to be and everything I always remembered it to be. Teacher Ashley Dixon guided a spiritual yet fun Hip Hop Wednesday. I loved the new studio and even broke a little bit of the bank for their exclusive “I’m not your happy baby” t-shirt. Y7 will always hold a very special place in my heart. As one of their oldest fans, who started taking their classes when they were only a very small business (when classes were held in a small studio apartment in Williamsburg), I am so proud to see how this business has grown into a known and well appreciated enterprise. THEY FLOW HARD.

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Practice was followed by none other than the Kale Caesar from Sweetgreen. It is my classic pick, I rarely sly away, but I must say the rest of their menu does really rock. Everything is 100% seasonal, and they always have salad specials (that are usually very tempting). As usual, I was not disappointed. Sweetgreen is another one of those awesome things I have seen grown enormously since I have left NYC. And with good reason. Sweegreen, can you come to Paris please?

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Last FYI – tomorrow I will be taking over @thethirty Instagram. Stay tuned and give them a follow to see my other favorite NY spots. It’s gonna be epic.

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The Yoga Lovers {aka tatiana and alex, two of the best yoga teachers in paris}

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Nothing goes more hand in hand than yoga and love. This spiritual practice teaches us self-love and how to love others. So what could be better than a real couple of real yoga lovers, Tatiana and Alex. The two were brought together by destiny in New York City and have trained with some of the best in the world (Dana Trixie Flynn, Sharon Gannon, David Life etc.) They are now based in Paris with a rigorous yoga schedule, to which I am positive you can find time to practice with them.

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Tatiana and Alex live by the philosophy of F F C aka fly, freedom and creativity. You can be sure to play with inversions and arm balances in their classes, as well as find a true sense of internal freedom and sheer creativity in your practice and in your life. These two incredibly inspiring yoga teachers have made an enormous impact on my personal practice and I can assure you that if you give them the chance, you will have the same experience. I have found a sense of confidence, fun and release through their practices that has benefited me in more ways than I can even imagine. Their schedule is available on their website, and via their social media platforms, @tatianayoga and @alexavilayoga. They also have a yoga retreat coming up on the Greek Island of Amorgos from April 30th to May 7th. There are two spots left so act quickly if you’re interested. On March 11th they will both hold 2 separate masterclasses, that I am very excited about. Alex’s will be held at Omm Studio and Tatiana’s will be at Elephant Paname (more info on their site). Trust me people. These Yoga Lovers have so much love to give.

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Mantra Raw Vegan {the best vegan raw vegetarian spot in milan, and probably all of italy}

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Best healthy address of Milan is HANDS down, Mantra Raw Vegan. This awesome spot is ideal for any and everyone interested in healthy and delicious juices, meals and desserts. I must admit, I have yet to find a spot that compares in Paris. Mantra Raw combines a market, where snacks, seeds, superfoods, cold pressed juices, teas and sweets are available for purchase as well as a fully functioning restaurant that is open for lunch and dinner. I had the pleasure of stopping by for a bite and a juice while in Milan.

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Owner and founder Marina insisted on preparing me their house signature and best seller – TOSTAVO. This delectable is a composition of raw bread, dehydrated for 18 hours, with mashed avocado, cold smoked cherry tomatoes, marinated fennel and edible flowers. It was not only beautiful but supper yummy. Likewise, I tasted and very much enjoyed a coconut tiRAWmisu (ha ha – it’s true though) that Is caffeine free! Perfect for those looking for cut back on their caffeine or that are very sensitive to caffeine in the evening hours (like me). And finally, to drink, the Mantra cold pressed AUMARANCIONE. A juice consisting of carrots, oranges and lemon. Oh la la, incredibly fresh and wonderful.

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I truly do not have enough positive things to say about this wonderful place. It has everything you could ever want or need to feel good and eat right. Its pretty much worth a trip to Milan just to try this raw utopia. Please follow them on Instagram for some serious food porn @mantraw and check out their site for more information.

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Vinyasa Yoga in Milan {a vinyasa practice at pura vida power yoga in the center of the city}

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The most important address to find while traveling (for me) – is the best yoga studio in the city. I must admit for Milano this was not an easy task. I spent a decent amount of time browsing the web to find the studio that correctly corresponded to my flow based practice. I must say the research was well worth it. Happiness was found at boutique studio Pura Vida Power Yoga. Located in the center of the city, this studio is calm, discrete and sweet. I spent the morning practicing with Claudia Allegreti, who led a harmonious and challenging power flow that started my day on a high note. Pura Vida executes a traditional vinyasa practice focused on inner dialogue to your outward expression. A practice that aims to reduce stress and focus the mind, while challenging your muscles. Let me say they did the job!

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I likewise had the pleasure of speaking with founder and owner Gabriela Estrada, a fellow American expat who has been practicing yoga for nearly two decades. She has lived all around the world and has other new and exciting projects in store, so please keep your eye on the @puravidapoweryoga Instagram for the inside scoop – and most certainly pay a visit to Pura Vida when you are in Milan. It can only add bliss to your visit.

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Where Creative Energies and Minds Meet in Paris {bliss studio, a place for bohemian creativity}

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Not long ago through my Instagram travels, I stumbled upon Bliss Studio. The warm and welcoming logo lured me in and I found myself browsing their Instagram page and soon their website for more information. I had finally found one of the missing voids here in Paris. A place for people to connect on a creative, spiritual and intellectual level. A space for people like us.

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Bliss Studio is located near Republique in central Paris. It is a place full of life and is truly dedicated “to promoting bohemian creativity, nourishing inspiration and encouraging ambitious and creative minds”, says founder and owner Hanna. This place is a manifestation of everything Hanna is, a place overflowing with positive energy, creativity, kind people, listening, and sharing. Bliss is defined as “the highest level of happiness” and this is what she hopes to evoke in her peaceful and calm setting. But what really happens at Bliss? Well, it entails not only a co-working space, but also a creative space where Hanna holds events ranging from popup stores and drum concerts, to yoga classes and meditation sessions.

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I must say I felt the bliss in this space. The positive energy inside envelops you in the best way possible. Please stay tuned on my Instagram @jjchase and Facebook page for events being held at Bliss. Hanna and I have a few ideas brewing together too. Don’t forget to check out the Bliss page as well for more information. Cheers to the beginning of many new happy and great things in Paris with Bliss Studio.

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34.4 Skin Care Naturally {aware and conscious beauty products that are all natural, made by hand and supporting the natural beekeeping trust}

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Last weekend while strolling through Broadway Market in London, I stumbled upon a true gem. Even though Elka was shutting down for the day, she quickly attended to the presence of a new customer at her stand. Intrigued by the various beauty products, like none I had seen before, I asked Elka, brand owner and founder, for a more information. Little did I know, there was quite a lot to know about this skin care brand.

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34.4 is a all natural skin care brand for women and men. All products are created by hand and are 100% all natural. Every sale supports the Natural Beekeeping Trust (an enterprise “hoping to inspire people to live in peace with the bees, be good hosts to them, guard them and grow for them, in all ways imaginable”) and is a registered Social Enterprise. Elka and her team see business as having an impact on both the individuals who work within it as well as the wider community. Another awesome anecdote – their products are tested on friends, not animals. And why the name? Well, it’s the optimum temperature for a brood to thrive in the heart of the beehive and the percentage (3.44%) that is donated to the Trust.

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So what product did I select?  Face No. 2 – an easily absorbed, light moisturiser, made with beeswax and honey blended with apricot kernel oil and coconut oil that is hydrating and even makes your skin radiate (if I do say so myself). The product can also be used as a makeup base, and it works excellently. Even cooler – 34.4º has a Cradle to Cradle® policy, meaning for every six empty black containers returned to them, you’ll be sent one free product of your choice. I can’t wait to try more of their products, as I truly believe in everything this wonderful brand stands for. Please check out their website for more information and stay tuned for some collaborative work together.

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