Life Update & September Wellness Events in Boston

It’s been forever since I’ve posted to the blog and I just wanted to stop by good ol’ Pumps to say hello and assure you all that I haven’t been abducted or suddenly decided to quit blogging. In fact, things will be back to normal around here starting next week!

I had way too much going on between the blog, teaching, my aromatherapy course and moving into a new apartment and I quite frankly just couldn’t maintain everything. The aromatherapy course is self-paced, but needs to be completed within a year’s time and I was *extremely* behind. I’d spot my textbooks on the shelf above my desk each day and a wave of anxiety would rise up in my chest. Tomorrow. I’ll dedicate all of tomorrow to studying. But then something would come up with the blog or teaching and I’d put it off yet another day.

That constant nagging stress of being behind on my studies finally led me to take these last couple weeks off from blogging to just focus on the course. I work best when I’m not dividing my time and instead focused solely on one task, so it was the best decision I could have made. I’m now pretty much caught up and absolutely loving learning about essential oils and aromatherapy. I can’t wait to share my new knowledge with you all once I’m certified! You can look forward to lots of blog posts sharing blend recipes for specific issues, moods and ailments; general info on how to incorporate essential oils into your every day life; and anything else on the topic that might interest you. I’m also thinking of offering private consultations to create blends personally crafted for an individual’s needs.

As for the move, it went as well as moving on September 1st in Boston could go. In other words, it was a complete shitshow but hey, we survived! This move was unexpected, which added to the stress, but I could not be happier with our new apartment—it’s wonderful! If you follow me on Instagram you got a pretty good idea of how weird our old building was. It was extremely loud (still haven’t confirmed what in the hell our upstairs neighbors did every day but our best theory was bowling while wearing tap dancing shoes and dragging dead bodies across the floor). It was also extremely sketchy. The basement storage units looked like a scene from that abandoned hospital episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? 

Adding to the sketchiness was the fact that most the units were operated by a third party as airbnb rentals. So there was a constant transient flow of strangers in and out of the building (all with the access code to the front door). Sometimes it’d be fine, but other times there would be some SHADY characters staying next door. I could write a novel of all the ridiculous things I witnessed/heard while living in that building.

Our new place is so NORMAL. We’re obsessed! I still have lots of unpacking, organizing and decorating to do but you’ll get to see it soon enough in workout videos. 🙂 (I don’t know why I’m acting like it’s some Extreme Makeover: Home Edition reveal—it’s just a standard one bedroom apartment haha).

September Wellness & Fitness Events in Boston

Fall is always a fun time in Boston with lots going on, and I wanted to share a couple local events that I think you guys would be into. If I hear about any others, I’ll be sure to keep you updated!

Tone It Up Tour – Sat 9/9

This Saturday, the Tone It Up Tour comes to Lawn on D. There’ll be workouts led by the Tone It Up girls, Jillian Michaels and CorePower Yoga, rosé tents, healthy food, beauty bars, swag bags and more fun. It’s essentially a big fitness festival. GA tickets are $110 BUT I’m giving away five pairs of free tickets over on Instagram for you and a friend. I’m picking the winners this afternoon so hurry on over to enter if you’re interested!

Fit University’s Back to School Blowout – Sat 9/9

This is a *free* fitness festival for college students (and non-college students!) with lots of different workouts to choose from going down in Copley Square. Details here.

Wellness Meet Up with @nobread: Turning Your Passion into a Career – Mon 9/18

If you’re a local influencer/blogger or in the wellness industry, I think this event would be right up your alley. Nicole from @nobread will be talking about how she left her full-time job at JP Morgan to pursue her passion and will be offering advice for those looking to do the same. Event details and tickets here. You can take 15% off with the code NICOLE15.

TRAIN360 Charity Class at Everybody Fights for UNICEF – Sat 9/23

Workout for a good cause! If you follow a lot of Boston fitness peeps on Instagram like I do (shameless stalker over here), you might know @baddiedae. My girl is running the NYC marathon for UNICEF and raising money with a charity class at EBF. After your circuit-style TRAIN360 workout, you’ll be treated to free Dig Inn. Details and tickets here.

Wellness Collective Panel with @balancewithb and @ebaily_fitness – Mon 9/25

Speaking of people I stalk on Instagram, the Wellness Collective is having their inaugural event this month, teaming up with @balancewithb and @ebailey_fitness. There’ll be a panel discussion about living well; thriving mentally, physically and emotionally; and turning a passion for wellness into a career. Juices and smoothies will be provided and everyone will receive a gift bag filled with wellness goodies. Details and tickets here.

photo by Nick Cosky

Best Acai Bowls in Boston

A complete guide to the best acai bowls in Boston.

I did it. The ultimate guide to the best acai bowls in Boston. I tried every single option in the city (that I’m aware of), often eating them for both breakfast and lunch to get this article finished before summer ends. Yes, blood sugar levels were sacrificed for the sake of Pulitzer-worthy investigative journalism. It’s a tough job, but dammit someone’s gotta do it.

Acai bowls are absolutely delicious, the most refreshing breakfast (or dessert) on a warm summer day, and oh-so-easy on the eyes. They also can be high in sugar and calories from the banana(s), berries, granola and nut butter. I personally don’t care because it’s coming from nutritionally dense foods, but just wanted to throw it out there that I’m certainly not eating these every single day now that this piece of groundbreaking journalistic gold is complete. 😉

If you live in Boston or are visiting for the weekend, stop into one of the following juice bars for an acai bowl.

Best Acai Bowls in Boston: A Local’s Guide

I did my best to list these in order of preference with my most highly recommended first—it’s hard to pick favorites though! It’s more of a general spectrum than a hard and fast ranking. Really the only place I wouldn’t recommend is Juice Press. Other than that, they’re all good—it just depends on what type of bowl you’re looking for and if organic ingredients are important to you. I’ll include all that information in this guide, and you’ll notice I list organic places towards the top of the list for the most part.

As far as price goes, there isn’t much of a difference between the following spots. If you’re looking for an acai bowl in Boston, be prepared to spend about $10-12. The one exception to that is B. Good which only charges $5 (smaller serving size).

Pressed

A complete guide to the best acai bowls in Boston.Beacon Hill—120 Charles Street
South End—643 Tremont Street
@pressedboston // menu

So it’s a little confusing but there’s a Pressed and then a Pressed Juicery in Boston. Pressed Juicery is a national chain and while delicious, doesn’t offer acai bowls so we’re not talking about them in this post. The acai bowl at Pressed is a blend of acai, maqui berry, cacao, almond butter, ripe berries and banana and house-made granola. It’s definitely in my top three of favorites. Their menu is mostly locally sourced and organic, and the acai bowl is a big, filling serving (definitely a meal, not a snack). The acai blend makes for the bulk of the bowl and there’s the perfect amount of granola and fresh fruit on top to make for a satisfying meal while still giving you the refreshing satisfaction of a smoothie. All around just a damn good bowl.

The Juicery

A complete guide to the best acai bowls in Boston.North End—66 Cross Street
@the_juicery // menu

The acai bowl at the Juicery is incredible. When I teach in the North End, I ALWAYS stop by to order one. The Classic Acai Bowl is made with an acai and frozen banana blend, fresh banana on top, peanut butter, granola, coconut, cacao and almond milk. As far as serving size goes, it’s on the larger side so I always feel satisfied after eating one—it’s definitely a meal, not a snack. The Juicery uses all organic ingredients when possible. This bowl is on the sweeter side and they top it with a good amount of peanut butter (hmmm wonder why I love it so much?? lol) so sometimes I’ll even eat it as a dinner+dessert on hot summer evenings. If you’re looking for a bowl that’s less dessert-y, this might not be the one for you but otherwise seriously can’t recommend it highly enough.

Revolution Juice

A complete guide to the best acai bowls in Boston.Back Bay—150 Huntington Ave
@revolutionjuice // menu

Revolution Juice cares deeply about providing only organic and non-GMO foods. They have a large menu of smoothies, juices, bowls and some ready-made foods. Their acai bowl is a blend of acai, banana and date and then you get to pick four toppings. I usually go with granola, fresh fruit, coconut and hemp seeds, as shown above. It’s a big bowl (you definitely get an entire smoothie’s worth of the acai blend), and I just love their commitment to quality produce.

Cocobeet

A complete guide to the best acai bowls in Boston.Government Center—100 City Hall Plaza
@purecocobeet // menu

Cocobeet’s large menu is organic, raw, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, non-HPP and locally sourced. Phew that’s a mouthful. Their acai bowl is a blend of strawberries, maqui berries, banana, acai and more topped with homemade granola, coconut and blueberries. It’s delicious! Sometimes I do ask them to put less granola on it though because the ratios are a bit off and the last few bites end up being just spoonfuls of ‘nola.

In addition to their acai bowl they have some other smoothie bowls (I think I like their pitaya bowl better than the acai bowl actually) and some delicious refrigerated raw foods. I love their sandwiches, quinoa bites, truffle balls—so many good things going on at Cocobeet and I love their commitment to high-quality ingredients.

Thirst Juice Co.

A complete guide to the best acai bowls in Boston.Downtown Crossing—44 School Street
@thirstjuiceco // menu

Thirst offers up four different delicious acai bowls. I’m a big fan of their Peanut Butter Acai Bowl (the prettiest deep purple color going) and Coconut Acai Bowl. Sometimes I’ll also order their superfood bites and then crumble them up on top of the bowl (#ProTip). The only reason I didn’t put Thirst higher up on this list is that sometimes they’re closed on random days, especially on the weekend. I’ll walk all the way over there to find the lights off which is a bummer. Recently they’ve also been out of certain ingredients when I go to order one of their bowls. I’m not sure if the produce Thirst uses is organic or not. They don’t advertise it as organic on their site or storefront so I’m guessing it’s not? Their menu is vegan and gluten-free and their juice are raw.

The Juice Box

A complete guide to the best acai bowls in Boston.

Southie—359 West Broadway
@juiceboxbos / menu

Man has Southie come a long way since I lived there! Workout studios, delicious dining options, A JUICE BAR?! The closest thing we had back when I was there were the salads at Shenanigans, which are surprisingly delicious for being served at a bar named Shenanigans. But I digress …

The Juice Box has three different acai bowl options in addition to several pitaya bowls (think acai but bright pink). Pictured above is the Good Morning Bowl which is delicious, but basically the same as a smoothie. I’d recommend one of their other ones topped with granola so you get that satisfying crunch.

This has nothing to do with the quality of their acai bowls, but I have to mention that they use those environmentally-friendly wooden spoons which is very responsible, but the feeling of them in my mouth is like the physical manifestation of nails on a chalkboard.

Kwench

A complete guide to the best acai bowls in Boston.

Downtown Crossing—230 Congress St
@kwenchjuicecafe / menu

I would never know about Kwench if it wasn’t for Joe because the Financial District is like a confusing maze of tall buildings and suits that I try my best to avoid. I always feel like a very unproductive member of society when I walk through there on weekdays wearing bright purple spandex and a muscle tank, but I persevered to maintain the journalistic integrity of this blog post.

Kwench sources local and organic ingredients for their menu and serves up a delicious acai bowl. They have a few different options but I went with the South Station because it contains peanut butter and duh. It was delicious, filling, and a great acai blend-to-toppings ratio.

Mother Juice

A complete guide to the best acai bowls in Boston.Back Bay—291 Newbury Street
North End—Boston Public Market
Kendall Square—625 West Kendall
@motherjuice // menu

Mother Juice has a large menu of juices, smoothies, breakfast bowls and organic, plant-based food (although their location in Boston Public Market has a limited menu). Their acai bowl is a blend of acai berries, almond milk, banana and blueberries topped with almond butter, granola, fresh fruit and coconut flakes. It’s delicious but I always feel like it’s more a fruit bowl or granola parfait than a smoothie bowl. They top it with a ton of fruit (often even more than pictured above) and then a layer of granola and then the acai blend at the bottom, so there’s a lot of chewing involved. Not a bad thing! I really like their bowl but if you’re looking for more of a smoothie consistency to refresh you on a hot summer day, this one might not hit the spot.

I haven’t been to their Kendall Square location, but the one on Newbury is super cute (very Instagrammable). They have seating indoors and outdoors so Mother Juice would be a great option if you’re looking to sit down with friends and leisurely enjoy your breakfast rather than just doing a grab ‘n go.

Jugos

A complete guide to the best acai bowls in Boston.

Back Bay—145 Dartmouth St
West End (summer pop-up)—The Clubs at Charles River Park
@jugosboston // menu

Jugos has an extensive menu of juice, smoothies, acai bowls, pitaya bowls, chia seed pudding and other plant-based foods. I’ve honestly never been disappointed with an order and think everything on the menu is delicious. The only bummer about Jugos is that they don’t use organic produce (I do, however, think the frozen acai they use is organic). Since their prices are just about the same as the other nearby juice spots that do use organic produce, I don’t frequently go to Jugos.

That being said, is a non-organic smoothie going to kill you? No. If you’re visiting Boston and Jugos is the most convenient to where you’re staying, check it out—their bowls are delicious! Just be prepared to be a little overwhelmed during peak times because the space is tiny (just enough room for a line of customers to pass through). My go-to orders are the Kai or the Los Verdes without goji berries (throws off the texture for me).

Squeeze Juice Company

A complete guide to the best acai bowls in Boston.

Financial District—53 State Street
Seaport (in Everybody Fights)—15 Channel Center Street
Back Bay (in Healthworks)—441 Stuart Street
@drinksqueeze / menu

Squeeze has a few locations, two of which are attached to gyms (EBF and Healthworks) and one of which is in the lobby of a building downtown. So if you’re visiting Boston and strolling around, they’re not exactly a destination I’d suggest or that you’d stumble upon while strolling down the street. They do have a few delicious acai bowls though! If you want something outside the traditional acai bowl, I’d suggest their Avocado Bowl. It has more of a citrus taste than others and the avocado is a fun, filling topping. I don’t believe they use organic produce because it’s not advertised, but I could be wrong!

B. Good

A complete guide to the best acai bowls in Boston.

Lots of locations—see website
@b.goodofficial / menu

For years I’ve loved B. Good for lunch and dinner (their seasonal salads and grain bowls are delicious!). Recently they’ve made a push to offer breakfast as well and among the options is an acai bowl. I’m not 100% sure if all their locations are offering this, but the one on Summer St definitely is.

If you want a light breakfast or more of a snack than a meal, B Good’s bowls would be a good choice. Unlike most of the other places, which give you a full smoothie’s worth of acai blend with the toppings, B Good’s serving size is more along the lines of a yogurt. They have two options—the one pictured above and then one with peanut butter, which I haven’t tried but sounds delicious.

Juice Press

A complete guide to the best acai bowls in Boston.Back Bay—500 Boylston St
Seaport—109 Seaport Blvd
Equinox Franklin St + Dartmouth St
@juicepress // menu

Juice Press has some good smoothies and I love their kelp pesto noodles but I would definitely NOT recommend their acai bowls. Honestly, I’ve always thought Juice Press was overrated (and according to responses I got to an Instagram story about this, a lot of you guys seem to agree!). I do love that it’s all organic, but I’ve given the acai bowls many chances and have always been disappointed—most of the time I don’t even finish them which says a lot seeing as I typically could eat smoothie bowls three meals a day, seven days a week.

The granola tastes burnt (and they put way too much on) and half the time it’s not blended all the way so the texture is icy and chunky. They’re pretty bland, which I guess is good if you need to watch your sugar intake, but if you’re looking for a refreshing summer treat, this is not going to cut it. The almond butter one is a little better than the plain one but it’s still blah. If you do find yourself at Juice Press, I’d recommend customizing your own—don’t go off the menu, and don’t get the granola.

___________________

Phew. I really poured my heart and soul into this post, guys. I don’t know why seeing as no one could possibly care this much about acai bowls, but at least I can now write off a month’s worth of breakfasts as business expenses. #worthit

P.S. Fellow Bostonians, if I missed a place that serves up acai bowls, do me a favor and seriously just don’t even tell me. I’m exhausted.

Instagram Stories Q&A

Despite questioning the validity of blogger/influencer Q&A’s (do they just make up the questions or are people really asking them these things?!) I decided to do just that yesterday. I asked those who follow my Instagram stories if they had any questions and thankfully some of you sent them my way. Oh man that’d be awkward if I didn’t get any questions. I’d either have to 1. Casually pretend I never asked in the first place and hope that no one noticed the lack of blog post with answers or 2. Make up the questions to my own damn Q&A which would be a new low. So shoutout to those who asked questions! My street cred remains in tact.

Instagram Stories Q&A

What do you usually snack on?

When I’m working from home, I have to be careful about the snacking because more often than not, the snack turns into a meal. I’m one step from my kitchen and especially if I’m stressed or working against a deadline that day, I will mindlessly snack All. Day. Long. So for me personally, I find it’s best if I stick to three larger, satisfying meals a day and keep snacking to a minimum. That being said, I listen to my body first and foremost and if I’m hungry between meals, you better believe I’m snacking! Here are some of my favorites:

  • Hummus and baby carrots (I usually put a scoop of hummus on a plate then immediately put the rest of the tub away or else I’ll eat the entire thing in one sitting)
  • Larabars if I’m on the run (Blueberry Muffin is life)
  • Peanut butter banana toast (toast + peanut butter + banana slices + a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon if I want something sweet)

Because of the blog, I also get sent a lot of snack samples and will munch on those in between meals (could be anything from popcorn to pistachios to seaweed).

Do you work out daily?

I work out 5-6 days a week (in the summer it’s usually five; the rest of the year usually six). One of those days my workout is filming for YouTube. I’ll shoot 1-2 routines in a day depending on how long they are. The other four-five days are a mix of group fitness classes and maybe a run outside paired with a HIIT workout from my blog. I switch it up and don’t follow a fixed workout schedule. If I had a specific training goal in mind, I might be more precise with it, but right now I’m just training for life and mixing up my workouts—it’s so enjoyable this way!

Between teaching and walking around the city (I walk everywhere and rarely take the T), my days off from working out are still fairly active. That being said, of course there’ll be a lazy Sunday thrown in from time to time where I lay on the couch binge watching Vanderpump Rules and only leave the apartment to get food. 😉

Are you thinking of making any sling trainer (TRX) workouts?

Yes! I want to do the TRX certification course this year (I know how to use them but would like a formal training background before posting workouts). Right now I have to focus on the aromatherapy course I’m doing (OMG I’m so behind on this just typing the word aromatherapy is giving me anxiety) but once that’s completed, I’ll look into TRX training.

Besides Btone/Lagree, what is your favorite workout in the city (Boston)?

So hard to pick just one, but right now I’m really into boxing. I love the Bags x Body class at EverybodyFights (I usually take Shane’s classes at the FiDi location). It’s 40 minutes of bag work with bodyweight exercises in between rounds. Usually the last round is partner work sharing a bag, but otherwise everyone has their own heavy bag. I’ll go to Title by North Station for their Box 60 class as well. Same general idea, but longer stretches hitting the bag. You start with 15 minutes of warming up/bodyweight exercises, go into eight 3-minute rounds of boxing, and then finish with 15 minutes of core work.

There’s definitely a learning curve, and I think it’s fair to say you’ll feel a little lost your first class with the number system and combos (I sure did!), but it’s SO FUN when you start to get the hang of it. Every class I feel like I pick up a tip from the instructor to improve my punches and one more piece of the puzzle clicks, which is the best feeling. Plus beating the sh*t out of something for 40 minutes is a whole new mode of therapy I never knew I needed (LOL).

Tell us about your boo. How did you two meet?

The large blonde man I’m hugging in all my Instagrams is Joe. He grew up on the Jersey Shore and hockey brought him up to Boston College. After college he got a job in Boston and has been here since. I went to college at UNC: Chapel Hill and while I loved it there, I soooo do not belong in the south. I hightailed it back home to New England after college and settled in Boston. A couple years later, I met Joe through a mutual friend (she had spent a summer on the Vineyard in college and we worked at the same restaurant and always remained friends).

One night in 2012 she texted me asking if I wanted to go with her to her friend’s place (Joe) for a few drinks before heading out to a bar. At 24 it didn’t take much to convince me to go out so we headed over to Joe’s apartment. If you had told me that night that I would one day be LIVING in THAT apartment WITH HIM I would have laughed in your face. No. Fucking. Way.

We walked into the strangest, messiest studio apartment I had ever seen in my life. The walls were a dark paneled wood and heavy red velvet curtains hung over the windows. In one corner there was a naked mannequin missing its arms and in the middle of the floor was a massive stuffed water buffalo head. Had my friend just brought me to a serial killer’s den? Was I about to be murdered?

Over walks some tall blonde dude with crazy long hair sticking out everywhere and I thought, This is it. This is how it ends. I am about to be murdered.

Joe gregariously introduces himself and starts chatting away, welcoming us into his lair and offering us a drink. He was the friendliest serial killer I’d ever met! And HILARIOUS. I still to this day don’t understand how Joe’s brain works but the ideas he comes up with and things that come out of his mouth have been cracking me up since that night. 

We had a couple drinks at his place and then all went out to a bar close by for a few. A couple hours later, my girlfriend and I left and headed home. It was pretty uneventful. There weren’t any crazy love-at-first-sight sparks. I was confused/entertained by Joe but didn’t think anything more of it.

He, however, asked my girlfriend for my number and started texting me. I wasn’t into it romantically for months, and he got that and never pushed it or made it awkward. In retrospect I’m sure he was a-ok in the lady department and felt no need to aggressively pursue me because of it (LOL). Still, we kept talking as friends and would see each other out at parties on the weekends.

It’s hard to explain Joe’s humor without meeting him. It’s one part laughing at him because he’s just hilarious and ridiculous and one part laughing with him because he has this brilliantly strange wit that is like nothing I’ve ever encountered. Our text conversations would have me dying laughing and then he’d lose his phone and I’d get Facebook messages and even collect calls from phone booths (seriously).

One day I was sitting at my desk (back when I had a 9-to-5 office job) g-chatting with a girlfriend and a thought hit me. Do I have a crush on Joe?! This was four or five months after we’d first met. I messaged my friend: I think I might actually like that Joe guy. Her response was something along the lines of: Nah. I doubt it. (LOLLOLLOL).

That weekend, I decided to meet up with Joe with an open mind and see if there was anything there. Me and a friend met up with him and some of his friends at a bar and that was it. We’ve spent barely a day apart since then. 

Joe is not only hilarious but the most universally liked guy I’ve ever met. He’s the type of person who knows someone everywhere he goes (we walked into a random bar in AUSTRALIA and he immediately spotted a friend—WTF?!). He’s kind, patient, fun, generous, loving, easy-going. Being with him these past four and a half years has truly made me a better person and I’m grateful for him every day. He brings so much joy to my life!

This blog post will be promptly deleted if we ever break up.

😉

Enjoy your weekend!