Discovering delicious food on the block at The 2016 NY Summer Fancy Food Show

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Every year I attend the New York Fancy Food Show held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, and I must say that every time has been a tremendous experience. I went on Monday and Tuesday of June 27th and 28th and it was a major turn out. Hundreds of food booths are available for you to stop by and try their samples, and allowing you to chat and connect with them as well. Many wholesalers, retailers, and distributors all regarding the food industry come in for this show every year to make connections. There is such a huge range regarding the food that is offered to you, which is nice because you get a little taste of everything from all over the world!

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Il Gelataio G7 is a gelato brand that is made in Italy and is the most delicious gelato I have ever tasted in my life. It was unreal! The company had so many different flavors to choose from to try, but I went for the Hazelnut, my all time favorite flavor. This gelato is special because of the handmade filling procedure, filling ever tub with gelato manually. They also make sure to use the best Italian ingredients and fresh Italian milk when making the amazing gelato flavors, also including everything is gluten free (yay!). My taste buds were going crazy because of how tasty this gelato was. I asked for three samples every time I was at the booth and went back for more samples the second day I was at the food show as well. I hunted down this booth because I couldn’t leave without having a taste before the show was over. The workers probably were sick of me always asking to try all the flavors. I didn’t care, that’s why they are here. Il Gelataio G7 is sold worldwide, but you can find the gelato in the United States located in California, Texas, Missouri, and Michigan.

SIGDAL

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Sigdal Bakeri is a Norwegian family owned bakery that started their crispbread production in 2010. Crispbread, aka, some of the best tasting all natural wholegrain crackers I’ve ever eaten, comes in ten different flavors, all which are appetizing! Each cracker flavor has a unique taste that contains different seeds and kernels. It’s been hard for me to find a healthy, good tasting, and nutritious cracker all in one. Talk about the perfect cracker! This was the first booth I went to at the show and it was amazing! If you pair these crisps with avocado or hummus it is the ultimate snack for the day. These crackers are sold in the Norwegian, Scandinavia, and several European markets. You can find these crispbread crackers sold online at the VeganSupply.ca or their website sigdalbakeri.com that is available to the United States. They also are exported here in New York City.

I recommend attending the food show next summer to anyone and everyone! Come with a very empty stomach because you will be having your breakfast, lunch, and dinner all at this event! Let me tell you, it does not disappoint!

KASIA

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Jeannine Canino Bieda: “With Faith, There is Hope”

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Every year, March 8th marks the celebration of the achievements of women all across the globe, better known as International Women’s Day. It’s a day to acknowledge the economic, political and social accomplishments of women everywhere. But this year when March 8th came around, I was acknowledging one woman for her accomplishments in her personal life, a woman who has inspired me greatly through her vulnerability and strength, Jeannine Canino Bieda.

Cancer is a term we hear quite often nowadays. You can get it genetically. You can get it from smoking and/or poor health decisions. Heck, you can get it from too much sun! But what a lot of people don’t realize is that you can get it for absolutely no reason at all; and it certainly doesn’t discriminate against age. Many of us think it’s never going to happen to us. We eat clean. We workout everyday. We even meditate to maintain a healthy mind, body and soul, right? But I’m here to tell you the truth: you’re not invincible, and that’s okay! Just as Jeannine told me when we first met, “you don’t choose cancer, it chooses you.”

Jeannine shared with me her journey. At age 32, she found a lump in her breast. Following an exam, mammogram and ultrasound screening she thought she was in the clear, that is until her primary care doctor advised her to see a breast surgeon. It was then that she met her guardian angel, at least that’s what Jeannine calls her. Dr. K. explained that although she was only seeing fibroid tumors, it would be easy for cancer to hide, especially in a mammogram. Why? Because what most women don’t know is that if you have dense breasts, your mammogram will show a lot of white, the same color cancer would appear as. And Jeannine’s screening was covered in white. Dr. K. advised Jeannine to begin annual screening, something most women don’t begin until much later in life. Little did she know this advice would save her life.

Jeannine was a hard working career woman.  She had no family history of cancer. She ate healthy and worked out often. And as a new bride, she was living in bliss. She had already survived many struggles in her life and displayed real strength. Jeannine, in my opinion, was superwoman. The thought of cancer had never even crossed her mind. But that all changed in an instant when she received a phone call from her sister, who was also a physician and in contact with Dr. K. Following a mammogram, suspicious ultrasound and an MRI, Jeannine was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 36.

Jeannine lived through a real tragedy. Having to have surgery, undergo radiation and handle all of the emotional and physical struggles that go along with such a disease is not only difficult, but life changing. What is so amazing to me is through it all, she never asked “Why me?” One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer; so instead Jeannine was asking, “Why not me?”

Jeannine was very fortunate to have had a doctor advise her to have annual screening done before the “normal” age because she was able to catch her cancer early. “It’s all about early detection,” she says. So when she was approached by Advocate Healthcare in Chicago to join their breast cancer campaign, how could she say no? They must have been as inspired by her strength as I am, because she quickly became the face of their campaign. It was all very unexpected but exciting! If she could reach just one girl, she thought, it would all be worth it. And that she did!

When I asked Jeannine what her defining moment was as an advocate, she explained to me a story of a woman who reached out to her via social media. This woman was diagnosed with breast cancer and truly struggling with the whole experience. But because of Jeannine, she was able to get help, find a therapist and find a medication to help her handle the emotional side effects of the disease. Jeannine is a true inspiration to me because unlike a lot of people, she allowed herself to be vulnerable by embracing the opportunity to help others. That is real strength.

Today, Jeannine has the breast cancer ribbon displayed proudly on her side, the same side as her breast cancer. Written are the words, “With faith, there is hope.” Everyone has their ups and downs but to Jeannine, positivity is an important aspect of healing. She believes there are no right or wrong feelings through such a journey but with faith, there is hope.

I would like to thank Jeannine for allowing me to share her story. I only hope you are all as inspired by her story as I am and that you allow yourselves to be vulnerable as Jeannine did. You never know, your story may help someone else find their strength too.

P.S. As always I would like to hear from you. Share with us what motivates you and how do you overcome struggles and challenges in your life.

 

KASIA

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Super Bowl Commercial Review

 

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As a health educator and a fitness fan, I have always loved sports. What better way to get in shape and stay healthy then by doing something that feels nothing like a workout? Getting your friends together to hit, throw or kick a ball around while you boost morale and confidence by cheering on those closest to you is one of the best ways to stay fit and lift your spirit. And healthy competition is always fun right? That is why as American’s it is no surprise that we can’t resist inviting all of our friends over, cooking up a storm and turning on the television for the big, annual game. You know the one. The Super Bowl!

Since you won’t find most of us on the field, the Super Bowl isn’t exactly a workout. But whether you follow the sport, place a bet for a little friendly competition or just enjoy the gathering of good food and friends we can all agree on one thing, we cannot wait for the commercials. Yeah, those things we pay money for to fast forward on the daily, well we actually want to see those now. So incase you happened to miss any while you were entertaining what felt like the Patriot’s entire defensive line, here are a few you must see:

 1. My favorite ad without a doubt this year is the Budweiser’s Best Buds. It should come as no surprise, seeing as Budweiser comes up with an ad to pull at our heartstrings each and every year. The Clydesdales. The puppy. I have to fight my tears back every single time. Good luck fighting yours while you watch this one.

2. Go Daddy. No, I’m not referring to the sacrificing business owner. I’m referring to the adorable puppy commercial they originally planned to air, just not the last five seconds. Buddy, who looks like the he might be the same pup who starred in the Budweiser ad, is absolutely adorable and Go Daddy is absolutely horrible for creating an ad that received a lot of negative attention and discussion on animal cruelty. Sorry Go Daddy, I won’t be “raising a chip, with some dip on it to you,” but I do think Buddy deserves to shine so click below to watch both ads.

3. Bud Light. Okay, this ad was far from genius, but the idea of a real life pac man sure is and who wouldn’t want to play. For that reason alone you have to check it out. Be warned, it might ignite a childish desire to go laser tagging, or something of the sort.

4. Toyota. As someone who loves any and all types of inspiration and motivation, sharing the Amy Purdy and Muhammad Ali montage seems appropriate. Although I wasn’t exactly inspired to buy a car from you Toyota, you sure make me want to head out for a nice long run. And Amy Purdy is quite the role model. Attention all, if she can do it, so can you!

 5. Last but not least, I feel the need to share the Like A Girl spot done by Always. There were a lot of great messages presented through touching ads this year but as a woman and role model, I find this a very important message to all girls. Throwing like a girl isn’t bad or weak because girls are strong and unstoppable. So I agree Always, it is time to rewrite the rules. Watch the full ad not shown on TV below.

Now you tell me, what were your favorite 2015 Super Bowl commercials?

KASIA

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Perfect Bar for perfect body

Everybody has a story. Theirs is a little nuttier than most.

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In 1961, Dr. Bud Keith opened one of the very first gyms; it was called Healthhouse Gym and Juice Bar. Dr. Keith was a nutritionist and health fanatic way ahead of his time. “He knew that what we eat has a direct effect on what we feel,” and he wanted to share this knowledge with the world. So Bud decided to travel the states in a motorhome with his family to educate others on the importance of healthy living. And in an attempt to feed his eight children, he and his wife Barbara created their own protein bar that is now known today as the “Perfect Bar.”

Bud partnered with Jack LaLane in an effort to help change the way people viewed health and fitness, and to share his belief that “whole foods are the only acceptable source of nourishment for your body.” Don’t you agree? But while constantly traveling, it began to become difficult to feed his eight children whole, healthy foods. So one day Bud ground up a bunch of dried fruits and vegetables and mixed them with fresh peanut butter and honey. When he took one bite the only words he had were, “it’s perfect!”

The kids loved these “peanut butter” bars and would sell them on the street as other kids sold lemonade. It wasn’t until 2005 when their father was diagnosed with skin cancer that the idea to start a real business was ever discussed. There were now thirteen children and with a need to provide for her children, Barbara knew it was time to take a gamble and turn their family recipe into a family business.

“For the children to carry on that legacy is a show of dedication and passion and love for their father,” said Mike Burgener, Senior International Weightlifting Coach and friend of the family. And daughter Lee has explained that the business is truly “about learning and growing and building and sharing those nutrition principles that were instilled in us as kids… all of that together is what I think makes perfect bar perfect.” And I must say, I completely agree.

These days it may all be about “gluten free” or “organic” foods but in the 80s and 90s, Dr. Bud Keith and his ideas were considered a little out there. Luckily today the bars and the nutrition concepts behind them have become widely accepted and the loved by many. And with 20 organic super foods and high quality protein in every bar, who can complain?

You can find the Perfect Bar in the refrigerated section of your local grocery or convenience store like Wholefood. The Keith’s believe in Mother Nature’s natural preservative, cold. And remember as they say, “if a bar is not refrigerated, it is not perfect.” So go out today and look for Buddy the Bee, you know, that flying bodybuilder with wings and a stinger, and try one for yourself. I recommend the classic recipe, Almond Coconut. Or if you want the same nutty taste but with fewer calories, check out Almond Acai let me know what you think!

BONUS FOR YOU: If you would like to try these delicious bars visit http:www.Snackbear.com and enter promo code SnackSmarter at check out and receive 10% off. ENJOY!

P.S. As always I would like to hear from you what is your perfect bar experience? Which flavor is your favorited and how do you snack while traveling? Share your comments, tips and suggestions with the rest of us.

KASIA

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How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

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The holidays have come and gone. All that hard work you put into finding the perfect present for your significant other and baking holiday cookies for your work party finally paid off. But lets be honest, by the 26th you were exhausted. Fortunately, by the 31st you had rested up a bit and it was time to throw on that gorgeous cocktail dress of yours, or perhaps some silk pajamas for a cozier night in with loved ones; either way you raised your glass at midnight and toasted to the new year, and a new you.

But today isn’t the first of January and it’s possible you’ve already broken some of your resolutions. Yes it can happen that fast, and no you’re not alone. Many people get carried away with resolutions for a better year and fail all to quickly. It’s why you can find a greatly discounted gym membership this week. They know you’ll head to the gym for a few days, maybe weeks or months but eventually stop going and forget your being charged monthly. It’s a trick and a struggle we can all relate to.

So whether you’ve already broken a few resolutions or you’re just looking for some advice on how to keep the promises you made to yourself, I am here to help. Here are a few tips that I hope will lead you to a better year in 2015, and a better you!

Eliminate the “shoulds.” When you made your list of resolutions this year were you thinking of what you really want? Or were you thinking about what you “should” want based on the general public or opinions of others? Don’t waste your time by committing to a change you don’t really want because it won’t last and you’ll only feel defeated. Making a change, no matter how big or small, is difficult. Make sure your resolutions are ones you really want to commit to so you won’t waver when things get tough.

Choose wisely. As much as I would like to make 20 resolutions for 2015, I know that the more I make, the less focused I will be. It’s better to focus all of your energy on two or three main goals in a year than to spread yourself thin across 20 and not fully complete even one goal. In order to be successful, I advise you narrow your resolutions down to just a few that are most important to you. That way, you won’t worry about overwhelming yourself and throwing it all out the window. Commitment is key. Give yourself a fighting change by focusing on only a few.

Plan it out. Now that you’ve made some real resolutions it’s time to get specific and make a plan. Let’s say your resolution is to eat healthier, reword it in a way that gives your clarity on what exactly that is.  For example, instead say “I will learn to cook one new, healthy recipe every week,” or “I will only eat out twice a month.” Then write what steps you will take to follow through. Maybe you commit to researching recipes and making your grocery list every Tuesday night, doing the shopping every Saturday morning and cooking the actual meal every Sunday night. By creating a routine for yourself that you can realistically follow, you will be less likely to slip up because there are no excuses. You know exactly what you need to do, when you have the time to do it and how you will do it. Stay honest with yourself and create an action plan that works for you.

Keep your head in the game. You chose these resolutions. You eliminated the ones you didn’t really want for yourself. You committed to doing these few things because it’s what you truly desire. And you made a plan to make it happen. But how will you make sure you stay on track? Maybe you need to set repeat mobile reminders incase you lose focus. Or maybe you have a tendency to lose your motivation. Try changing those reminders to inspiring quotes that get you excited so when you get a random pop up on your phone with a great quote, that motivation will flood through you all over again. And if technology isn’t your friend, try doing the same thing with pen and paper. Create a chart for yourself that you can stick to your fridge or add it all to your wall calendar. Find what works for you and do it now. You will thank yourself later.

Hold Yourself Accountable. Like I said earlier, we need to be honest with ourselves. We aren’t always perfect so we know a slip up is possible. Just like you did when creating an action plan and making your own reminders to keep you focused, you have to plan ahead for failures and have a consequence ready for yourself in case of emergency. For example, let’s say you ate out three times this month. Then tell yourself that the amount of money you spent on that third meal out has to be donated to a charity or corporation you hate. This way you’ll think twice about slipping up because you’ll be forced to do something you don’t want to do.

Reward yourself. You’ve put a lot of energy into these few resolutions and prepared for the worst, but the end goal doesn’t have to be your only reward for keeping your resolution. You are displaying discipline. You’re working hard. You deserve a reminder that you are doing great. Reward yourself. Maybe your goal was to lose 5lbs a month for the entire year. If you’ve stayed on track every month, buy yourself a new outfit or treat yourself to a manicure. Not only will you feel great for losing those 5lbs that month, but you will also be excited to do it again next month.

Now is the time to set yourself up for success. Follow these few, simple steps and you will be on your way to success, and a very happy new year!

Outfits:

On57 Gray dress

Dolce & Gabbana camel coat

LV black bag

Kobi Thorn white/black dress

P.S. As always I would like to hear from you what is your New Year’s resolution and how you are planning to make it happen? Share your tips, suggestions and advice with the rest of us.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

KASIA

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