This month we have BRAVO's Lala Kent from Vanderpump Rules which graces our front cover of the May Issue, we talk about her music, being on the show and importance of family. We also talk with Chef Todd Richards who just released his cookbook, Soul Food and how important this cuisine is to the food scene. We also talked with Dr. Paul Nassif of E!'s Botched about his new skincare line.
Read the May Issue here.
What's your food's journey, what are the myths and activism that are taking place in the industry? We talked with international investigative journalist and documentarian, Nelufar Hedayat that explored these areas within her new show, Food Exposed on FUSION. This season she tackles issues alongside an array of celeb guests that include Nicole Richie, Moby, Jordana Brewster and more.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about how you got into journalism and the various shows/positions you took that eventually led you to your current show?
NELUFAR HEDAYAT: I should really attach my CV, which would be boring so let me give you the abridged highlights version. I started out in journalism when I was 20, so ten years ago now. I was fascinated by how the War in Afghanistan was being presented. I was watching a lot of Afghan coverage and it was so different to what I was seeing in the Western News. This got me going and I made a tester tape with my friend Reva and submitted it to BBC Three under the extremely brave commissioner at the time, Danny Cohen. He decided to allow me to make a one-hour documentary about what life was like for young Afghan girls my age so off we went. That was basically the start. The doc did very well for BBC Three and was winning awards, so I was asked what more do I want to make. Boom/flash! Here I am today with Food Exposed. A series I have been dreaming to make for 5 years at least.
AM: What is 'Food Exposed' and what is the purpose behind this show?
NH: A: It’s a doc series that investigated the hidden, darker side of food production. I traveled the world to go to where the issue was and speak to people first hand allowing the story to dictate where we went in order to present what we found. A lot of it was quite shocking even to me! From Palm Oil and Pork to water and the dairy industry we tackle all the issues we saw as being on the brink of changing the outcome for people and the planet.
AM: You have a number of celebrities that are in each episode. What was the process like in creating the theme of each show and attaching the topics/celebs to each one?
NH: This one’s easy. We really tried to find people who can amplify the issue and really be a beacon for people to discuss the topics we covered for Food Exposed. Nicole really cares about making sure she has a zero waste household and campaigns for the issue too. Jordana, a Yale graduate, was passionate about understanding GMOs and Moby has been an advocate for animal rights for thirty years. It wasn’t that we had to find spaces for them—they fit very effortlessly into the discussions we are trying to have.
AM: There seems to be an interesting mix of food, activism as well as pop culture within this show, what topics would you like to tackle that you have yet to do in this season?
NH: Oh my goodness so so many. I want to understand where the future of our food productions lie. How will we feed the earth with the planetary space we have. It would be great to look into insect proteins, sustainable farms and clean meat too. So so many—you’re making me think about season two already...
AM: What celebs would you like to see in upcoming episodes?
NH: I think the issues and subjects drive the celeb interviews but I’d love to chat to Miley Cyrus and Chris Hemsworth about plant based eating, Mayim Bailik about the world's class based food production and I'd shoot for Leonardo DiCaprio or Vice President Al Gore about the environmental impact of food production. I can think of so many more, but what's interesting here is that these guys are using their talent gotten celebrity to drive discussions and issues. I have a lot of respect for that.
AM: What is your favorite episode in this season?
NH: You’re making me choose between my children. So hard to say! There are ones that have special places in my heart like the Dairy episode directed by Will West. I expected to see dairy cows treated horrifically by an industrial system rife in misinformation, but when I saw people treated as collateral damage I was shocked. Then there’s the Waste episode for which I teamed up with the folks at the World Food Program to launch the #recipefordisaster campaign. Together we are trying to nudge people to think differently about food and food waste, and a scene from the Waste episode of Food Exposed with Nelufar Hedayat (I eat a very brown banana) has become the symbol for the campaign, which is excellent. This is the kind of impact I would hope the films have.
AM: What have you learned about foods that you wouldn't have learned via this show?
NH: I think the one thing that I was really not expecting to find out was how interconnected we all are around the globe. You only have to look at where your strawberries and asparagus and beef jerky comes from, or know that our food system is an illiterate one that isn’t always efficient for the planet, but works towards the bottom line of corporations and the global commodities market. Whether we like it or not, a drought in west or South America is as important to us as whether the produce we are buying is in good shape or organic and so on. We have been purposefully and systematically removed from knowing where our food comes from and this allows those who want to make a profit at any cost to do so unscrupulously. We have to arm ourselves with information and knowledge in order to make choices we are comfortable with and not let them be made on our behalf as we are kept in the dark.
AM: What is the takeaway that you want viewers to have in watching your show?
NH: I think the takeaway would be to inform and engage people with how the food we eat is produced. There’s a very famous saying by Paul McCartney that "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.” I think the same can be said for dairy farms in Wisconsin through to palm oil fields in Indonesia and GMO farms in Uganda. It’s easier to do something once we know. What I really don’t want to do is to prescribe a type of lifestyle to anyone. It’s absolutely not my intention to convert anyone to a certain type of diet. I think people make the best decisions for themselves and their communities when they know the truth about what’s going on and I’m trying to do that in one small way.
AM: Where are you based and in your area, where can we find you eating, shopping and going to work out?
NH: I’m based in London Town and you will always find me loitering near a Mildred or a good coffee shop. I tend to shop around East London, keeping it quirky, independent and local. I practically live online so Susi Studios is one of my favorite online stores. I’m also massively into Matt and Nat and other brands that are trying to bring new luxury design and innovative materials to the Fashion industry. It’s only now that I've turned thirty that I seem to have found my work out mojo and you will always find me running around Hampstead Heath Park or walking all over town!
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Harmony Program, an organization that brings free instrumental music education into under-served communities across New York City and Long Island. Over the past ten years, the Harmony Program has provided over 1,000 children with free instruments and over 350,000 hours of music instruction.
The Harmony Program was created in 2003 by Anne Fitzgibbon as a pilot program within the New York City Mayor's office. Anne was later awarded a year long. Fulbright Fellowship in 2007 to study El Sisterma, Venezuela's world-renowned national youth orchestra program, and adapted tenets of that successful model to meet the needs of children and families in New York.
Harmony Program's 10th Anniversary Benefit Concert celebrated Harmony Program's decade-long deliverance of quality music education directly into communities who need it most, providing students with free instruments, intensive music instruction, orchestral training, and a variety of transformational cultural experiences. Year after year, their students emerge from the program with life-long friendships, increased self-confidence, and improved academic achievement - all from a shared love of music.
Harmony Program hosted their 10th anniversary gala and benefit concert this month with students as they play alongside Grammy-award winning violinist Joshua Bell, Grammy-award nominated producer and curista Jorge Glem, New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill, string trio Time for Three, and soprano Larisa Martinez, to name just a few.
Warner Musi Group was the lead sponsor of the gala and has supported the work of Harmony Program in the past, most recently with its inaugural Warner Music Prize, which seeks to foster the talents of promising young musicians. Warner is committed to strengthening the relationship between the two organizations.
Food has been a large portion of this month's issue especially as it pertains to keeping things fresh as we are in the beginning stages of enjoying all that is Spring. We've been fans of Claire Thomas' Kitchy Kitchen for awhile and chatted with the new mom about Farmer's Markets, her latest cookbook Sweet Laurel and how she stays creative with meals for her family includings pets, Mochi and Buster.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Can you tell us about your journey in the culinary world as in researching you, we realized that you have been involved in a number of areas!
CLAIRE THOMAS: Thank you so much! I started the blog The Kitchy Kitchen 10 years ago and my focus was on ingredient driven, simple food that was delicious and easy to prepare. Now that I am a new mom, that is more important than ever! It needs to be delicious but it needs to be done. I need to be able to put it together pretty easily.
Because of my background in photography as well, the food needs to be really beautiful as well. I do think that the cliché is true, we eat with our eyes first.
AM: The Kitchy Kitchen, what was the thought behind coming up with that?
CT: I grew up in a food family, my mom was a great cook. I grew up in Southern California where I was surrounded by a lot of great produce. I’m so lucky to have the great home that I have. I honestly was just inspired by the food world around me. I am also a huge Food History nerd so that was a part of it. But it was really about creating recipes that I was passionate about and that made people’s meal times a little easier to get inspiration for your home cooking. I love home cooking, I myself am a home cook and I think that it can be just as good as restaurant food.
AM: As you’re such an aficionado on this topic, here in the East Coast, we keep getting teased with the notion of Spring which doesn’t quite get here. What are 3 easy to make dishes that we can make at home that get us to this season even in the midst of the flip-flopping weather?
CT: One of my favorite things ever is a tartine which is just a fancy way of saying, an open faced sandwich. I’m from L.A., the land of avocado toast and I’m sure that this is familiar to everybody! For me, the idea of creating new recipes and trying something new can be a bit stressful for people. You have a new recipe and you’re thinking, “oh gosh, what if this doesn’t work – I don’t know?” I like the idea of taking something that you’re really confident with or familiar with and just adapting it a little bit. In my case, the tartine or open faced sandwich, I took ingredients I know like cream cheese – that full fat, it’s so delicious and then smoked salmon which is so beautiful and such a classic combo and then I add things like fresh lemon zest and fresh herbs chopped into the cream cheese. All of a sudden, it’s a completely different flavor profile. It’s elegant, it’s elevated, but it literally took 30 seconds. I do that with my food, my family’s food and even my pet’s food. I really think that whole delicious ingredients is so important for everybody.
AM: I love the tartines – do you have 2 other quick and easy items that can be made?
CT: I am also a big fan of scrambled eggs and being a mom I basically have 5 minutes to whip things together. Eggs are just a really brilliant canvas. So I’ll do things with scrambled eggs where for instance, if I have cheese left over from a cheese board – so fancy cheese, you can grate that in or melt it into the eggs and all of a sudden it has a completely different flavour, it's really delicious, it's also beautiful topped with things like fresh pro, it's really delicious, it's also beautiful topped with things like fresh prosciutto – and honestly, I’ve done ones where I have added a little bit of orange juice which is kind of an unique idea but my aunt from Australia showed me that and it adds a really beautiful brightness. So that’s one of my easy breakfast moments.
For dinner, I love pasta but my husband is paleo, so I had to come up with a few options there. I know everybody knows about zoodles doing zucchini noodles and sweet potato noodles.
I really love doing sweet potatoes that have been sliced thinly, but in sheets so that you can make lasagna with it. I love doing a nut milk cheese if you are trying to go dairy free as well. It’s really easy to put together as well. I have my second cookbook that just came out that I co-wrote with my dear friend, Laurel Gallucchi, it’s called Sweet Laurel. It’s all grain free, refined sugar free and dairy free baking recipes and you can find our recipe for our own Nut Milk Cheese, Everything Bagel Bread, pies, cakes, but they are all completely paleo and grain free. So I have been using that a lot for my husband’s meal.
AM: That’s fantastic, when it comes to your home, because we spend so much time running around so when we want people to come over and to have your friends and family with you, what should people have on hand whether you’re watching a game at home, brunch or a girl’s night in?
CT: I love that and it’s such a good point. For me, I’m so bad and my brother will come over and open my fridge and will say, “you have no snacks,” and I will say, “I know, I have a million ingredients though, so let’s make something.” One of my favorite things that I like to call my Lazy Hostess Recipes because you get to look very fancy and put together, but it takes about 10 seconds.
My favorite thing for movie nights, because I love Movie Nights, is I take out my air popper and, I let people pop popcorn as they need but then I set up my table where I basically clean out my pantry. I have all those flavored salts, different types of olive oil, brown butter, melted butter, truffle oil – all those things so that people can make their own DIY popcorn and it’s fun because all I have to do is put things out and I don’t have to do anything! So that’s the trick! So I’m actually not even making anything!
That same idea of flexibility and versatility is so important to me in the kitchen whether
it’s for friends, for family or my cat Mochi.
AM: How do you juggle your schedule and keeping meals creative?
CT: Dinner time is getting kind of hectic as we have our 8 month year old son now in the mix, we have our 2 pets and everybody eats at the same time - pets included. For me, I saw that I had eaten my 1,000th bowl of cereal and I was getting kind of bored with what I was eating and then looked over and saw Mochi eating out of her bowl and then I thought, "well my goodness," she eats the same thing everyday too. So, I was really excited when I came across the Purely Fanciful Feast Filets because they are a whole ingredient snack which is beautiful compliment to Mochi’s meals. Now that I am a mom, I literally read the nutrition menu to see what’s in it. I was really blown away by how simple the filets were. They were beautiful for my cat and Mochi was my first pet so she’s my fur baby so I want to make sure that she still feels like she is getting love and attention. So, the filets are a really great way to do that. So, I just flake them off, sprinkle it on top of her regular food and all of a sudden it’s new and exciting OR I just let her snack on it like a whole filet – while she likes it like that.
So, I kind of take a similar vibe with what I am doing with my own food. I use recipes that I am already confident with that I know how to make and then I just do a little adjustment – let’s add some new ingredients to the mix, what herb can I do that’s different then what I’ve had before? Things like that are small tweaks that take 30 seconds to do but all of a sudden it tastes really different and it’s not the same old same old.
AM: Being someone that is so creative, how do you maintain your creativity to bring it across the range of projects that you have going on?
CT: For me, it’s about finding inspiration in the world around me. For me that means, if I’m in a rut, I go to the Farmer’s Market and it’s spring time. Here in L.A., it’s 85 degrees and I know that in the rest of the country, it’s like Spring is eventually coming. When it finally arrives, it’s Farmer’s Market season! It’s across the country and they’re popping up everywhere. I love going because the best kept secret is that farmers actually know how to prepare their food better then anyone. If you talk to a farmer and you say, “what do you do with these carrots?” They’ll tell you and it’s usually something super simple and it’s usually different then what you would expect. They may shave it really thinly and put it in a salad because that specific kind of carrot has a really fabulous crunch and is already very sweet.
So I love going to the Farmer’s Market, and I love eating which sounds silly but to be a good cook you have to be a great eater. So if you’re in a rut, go ahead and eat, try something new, a cuisine you haven’t had before, try an ingredient, be adventurous that way, I think you can inform the food you make at home. Because adding a sprinkle of something or sometimes just reshuffling the deck in terms of how you incorporate the ingredients, that can make a huge difference. I feel that way about the food that I make for myself, but then also for Mochi and Buster, my dog’s food as well. I want to make sure that they are eating whole ingredients that makes them feel great because they are part of my family too.
AM: Do you have 3 favorite veggies as I had to ask!
CT: Well right now, it’s so fun as I have the veggies that I eat all the time because of my husband being paleo. So it’s like sweet potatoes is literally 90% of what we eat right now. Other than that, I’d say that in the season, right now everything is so fresh, bright and green. English peas is probably one of my favorite things in the world – I love doing a smashed pea tartine as they are the new avocado toast as that’s what I have heard. It’s so delicious, fresh and sweet. Zucchini blossoms are coming in so stuffing those with different types of fillings like a veggie quinoa filling, a nut cheese if you are trying to keep things a little lighter. Another veggie that I am really loving is Romensco, which looks kind of like a psychedelic cauliflower if you look at it very closely. But it’s beautiful with bright colors and when you roast it, it’s like candy. So that’s one of my favorite things to serve as a side with meals.
AM: Fantastic, where can we find out more about you and everything that you have going on?
CT: Absolutely, please check out TheKitchyKitchen.com for more information on my recipes, my DIY’s, my family content and then to find out more about Mochi’s new favorite snack, please check out FancyFeast.com/FiletYourWay.
The Spring is all about keeping it fresh and when it comes to updating your closet, we always have to introduce a few pairs of sneakers into the mix, We sat down with founder, Belieni Stevens of BELIENI. His line is comprised of luxury Italian sneakers that are truly ways to elevate the athleisure style.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your fashion background.
BELIENI: My fashion background started when I made the decision to start a men’s line of footwear.
AM: When did you realize that you wanted to create your own line?
BS: I have honestly always wanted to start a men’s line. I was just fed up with the limited options out there for men and young men with larger feet, who wanted something other than basketball or skate shoes to wear. I love luxury sneakers and dress shoes just as much as basketball shoes, but the number of luxury brands that cater to 14 and above are small.
AM: Why are you inspired by Italian Craftsmanship?
BS: Italian craftsmanship and design are second to none, just the heritage alone is enough. Today, companies are using their materials but crafting them in other countries. I am old school in the idea of why fix what isn’t broken.
AM: Fashion has so many categories within it. What is it that speaks to you about footwear and that you felt that you could create something that wasn't there?
BS: Nothing comes close to bringing an outfit together quite like the right pair of shoes. You could have on the nicest, most expensive outfit, but if you have on the wrong shoes, you might as well be naked.
AM: Tell us about Belieni and what celebrities have worn the brand?
BS: Michael Thomas, Jared Cook and Masika that I am aware of.
AM: What celebrities would you like to see wear the brand and what collaborations would you like to see?
BS: Personally all of them..but to name a few Jay-Z, Wale, 2Chains, Kid Cudi, Rick Ross, Fabolous, Will Smith, Mark Wahlberg, Idris Elba. I would love to collaborate with Bentley and Tissot.
AM: Tell us about the assortment and will there be new offerings this Spring?
BS: Yes, we have already released 2 new color-ways this spring. We have our low tops that we will be unveiling later this year as well.
AM: What additional items do you see being included within the Belieni brand?
BS: I am working on backpacks and possible apparel, I am still playing with that idea.
AM: Who is the Belieni girl/guy?
BS: Well… I guess that would be me. I design both the men and women’s lines.
AM: When you're not designing and working on this line, how do you take time for yourself?
BS: When I can find time, I draw and design no surprise, jump on the sticks when I can and ride my motorcycle to the coast.
AM: Where are you based out of and where do you enjoy grabbing a meal, working out and shopping?
BS: BELIENI is based out of Florida. I love Sushi, Sushi Katana is one of my favorite spots. Even with my busy schedule, I try to hit the gym at least 5 days a week.
AM: What is currently on your playlist?
BS: Future, Kid Cudi, Wale, Nipsey, Steve Aoki and Morten.
AM: How important is giving back and what do you do in terms of philanthropy/charity?
BS: It is very important, I volunteer at my local VA (Veteran Affairs) , and donate when I can to Ocean conservation organizations.
PHOTOS COURTESY | BELIENI
THE HANDMAID'S TALE
Hulu; Starts April 25th
This month, Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale is back for its second season and all eyes are on Offred/June
(Elisabeth Moss) and Gilead. If you haven't seen Season 1, then you need to go back and binge the first season where viewers are privy to a patriarchal society of Gilead which is an intense nightmare. Season 1 focuses on content that you can find in Margaret's book and ends with Offred/June bundled into the back of an anonymous van as she makes an attempt to escape.
Season 2 lets viewers see if she was able to escape or if the Eyes, agents of Gilead took her back to the Colonies. Expect to see more about her pregnancy as well as her fight against this obtrusive system. In addition, we'll find out more about her past and her friends as well. In case you were wondering, plan on another "really dark" season -promised by Moss herself!
Girl Boss Media
From Girlboss Radio and in partnership with Sephora Collection, #LipStories is a podcast that accompanies the Sephora Collection of lipsticks available in their stores and online. The lipsticks are 40 colors strong and are inspired by real life stories. The podcast also shares stories over six episodes with six influential inspiring female founders, creatives, entertainers, thought leaders and activists.
Stories include Aminatou Sow, Molly Hayward, Pia Arrobio, Jen Rubio, Aurora James and Sarah Robb O’Hagan talking in their own words about their memories and what sticks out to them and how it framed who they are and where they are now!
Hosted by Sophia Amoruso, founder of Girlboss Media and former CEO of Nasty Gal she navi-gates their stories to find out more about them as they continue to trailblaze in their careers, enjoy time with friends or reflect on memories in the past that stick out to them to this day.
When we ask Siri, Google, Cortana to sing us a song, check our calendars or to tell us the time - we simply make our requests and receive an answer that points us in the right direction. But who are these assistants that we use? Where does this information come from and how do we keep getting it?
Sandra is a podcast from Gimlet Media that delves into the person or people behind these assistants. In Oklahoma, there is an office where Sandra is actually a number of people that are able to provide you information in her voice but who have a number of personalities and issues that they are dealing with.
One of the many people who play Sandra begins the podcast looking for a job and a means to live her best life, gets her dream job and due to being her best self as Sandra, finds herself not only on the outside looking in but becoming close with one of the users who has plans of his own that can harm someone in his life.
Sandra tackles the nature of identities, what it means when human behaviour merges with technology and what we do when it's time to make the right call and to add a personal touch.
Preorder on Amazon
When you've shattered glass ceilings as a C-Suite executive in Corporate America and are faced with the reality that you are unexpectedly terminated, do you find another job or do you decide to be your own boss? These decisions are not uncommon and author, Heather Monahan faced this very situation and decided it was time to start fresh on her own and to empower others to be their best selves with the tools that they needed.
Confidence Creator shares Heather's triumphs in making a Boss in Heels and shares these tips with those who are looking to trailblaze in their careers. Readers will find her personal stories to obtain the confidence they need.
When a woman has to make a choice between defending her husband and herself - the choice seems to be an impossible one in this domestic thriller.
Angela met Jason Powell when she catered a dinner party in East Hampton and thought that the romance would be nothing more than a fling for the summer. But their romance led to a marriage the next summer which also gave her son a stepfather and stability.
6 years later Jason has a successful bestselling book and is in the limelight and places Angela in the public eye - where she has worked so hard to be out of. When women come out accusing Jason of serious allegations and another one emerges, although she initially believes him until one woman disappears. This makes her re-evaluate her husband and regret not believing the allegations that she chose not to believe.
Fans of HGTV may miss seeing Joanna and Chip on the network; however, they still have a number of projects that will give you your design fix. Out this month, Joanna released Magnolia Table which focuses on her love of all things family. This lifestyle cookbook focuses on preparing and serving dishes in her home. The recipes are inspired by Gaines family favorites and classic comfort selections from the couple's new Waco restaurant, Magnolia Table. The book shares 125 classic recipes— from breakfast, lunch, and dinner to small plates, snacks, and desserts— American classics. As Joanna loves her garden, rest assured that dishes incorporate seasonal produce.
We love a lifestyle cookbook and one that really takes what we do in the kitchen to other centers in our day to day. We talked with Melissa Coleman about her new cookbook, Minimalist Kitchen, hyggelig and how she solves problems as a maker.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your background and how you came from being a graphic designer, to a food blogger to now releasing your first cookbook as an author!
MELISSA COLEMAN: It’s my first book and maybe my only haha. I said before that I could not make a book unless it would pour out of me. I never thought that I would make a book until they called me and I was like yes! A little bit about my background, from the earliest days of my life, I have always been a maker. I like to make things and my medium has changed over the years, but I also came out loving food.
My mom would say that I would sit at the breakfast table and would ask what was for lunch or for dinner for the day. She would always say, “Well, Melissa eat to live – don’t live to eat and I am still living to eat." I love food! So, I painted in high school and then I studied graphic design and became a graphic designer.
About a year after becoming a graphic designer, I started my blog about 10 years ago as everyone had a blog. It was probably the second post that it turned into a food blog as it documented my recipes. I cooked a lot in high school as I liked to bake and I used to love watching Martha Stewart. It’s not a joke, but I used to workout to Martha Stewart!
AM: Wait what!?!
MC: Yeah! That was the early days when I was in college I used to record it. So, I would record her and then I got home from work, I would workout to Martha Stewart. So that’s where I learned to cook and bake in a lot of ways. I wanted to know how to do everything.
I like to make things and at my core, I am a creator. With food, I felt that as a designer, designers try to solve problems beautifully and with food, I needed recipes that were simple and wholesome and I tried a number of diets over the years. By the time I finished college, I landed on a whole foods diet. I like to eat whole foods and a vegetable forward meal. The vegetable forward part came into the blog later. As a designer who likes to solve problems, I created recipes of things that I wanted to eat.
AM: What is a Minimalist Kitchen?
MC: A minimalist kitchen is a paired down kitchen or a kitchen equipped with the essentials. Everything from the ingredients, to the cooking tools to the pantry – which is always the biggest trouble maker in the home as well as the techniques. I wanted to use efficient and even repetitive techniques. I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel as I cooked. I want to be really good at what I am doing especially at 5pm on a Tuesday at night. It’s pairing down to the very best things for the essentials.
AM: Is this throughout your lifestyle?
MC: I do. It’s funny, in the book I say, “Where minimalism starts and stops in your life, let it be”. Because, I found success in the kitchen by just getting rid – I mean I have kind of always been a reductionist. When I painted and you looked at my style at the end of my painting career, it was very minimal. Then you look at my graphic design style – I’m a reductionist who likes the essentials. I don’t like to do things for the sake of doing things. That naturally flowed over to my life and part of that as an adult, and it wasn’t true as a child – I wanted to be responsible for less and when I keep less around, I am responsible for that and it gives me time to do the things that I want to do or that brings me joy. It extends to my closet, I kind of have a uniform and my friends know that I wear the same thing all the time and we laugh about it and I don’t care!
I like to pay attention to my habits and partly because I have always had a designer brain and that’s partly because as a kid, I would get frustrated about things and I remember my dad looking at me one time saying, “Do you want me to take you to this person to help you fix it?” And I was like, “No I will fix it”. And that’s kind of how I go about life. When I looked at my drawers, I would look at my clothes that would stay folded most of the season, the jeans on the floor that I would wear every single day and that was happening in the kitchen too!
I would have one spatula that I would always use and so I started to pay attention to that stuff and I started to get rid of stuff that was just collecting stuff and taking up space.
AM: Your book reminds us of our interview with Meik Wiking about hygge.
AM: And when thinking about that, it brings up notions of comfort and cozy things – how does this lifestyle and minimalism come together within this concept?
MC: Well minimalism can be seen as a stodgy, cold and austere word. But I don’t describe my approach as that. I say, that as a designer, I am a cozy minimalist. That’s kind of where hygge is – it brings the cozy in. Aesthetically, I try to bring visual warmth. Hygge is like the practical warmth. It’s sitting in front of the fire, playing a game and signing off from the rest of the world. It’s saying no to things or just being. Even for me, it’s a 2pm break in the afternoon because I need it and I am giving myself what I need and it goes back to responsibility. I wanted to be responsible for less so I deleted a lot of things that were in my life so I could do those things that I find most fulfilling. In those gaps and blank spaces, and there are plenty of those in our lives, which can be uncomfortable sometimes, we fill them with hygge moments. Just being, embracing the simplicity. Impotent is such a bad word but my fear is that I would become impotent of getting lost in the flicker of a flame or that I wouldn’t be able to taste the sweetness of an almond. That I would just overload my life with everything that I couldn’t see things for what they were.
AM: What drew us to the concept of this cookbook is that over the last few years, cookbooks have grown from including a recipe and an image to showcasing a lifestyle. We love that this book showcases a methodology in organization and are believers in creating that sense of placement in one part of your life, allows you to do so in other areas and to obtain clarity whether physically or mentally. How did you decide that this was the way that your pantry should be, these are the items that will be slimmed down to x, what you considered essential agreements and how you basically can be a coach to people’s kitchens to conquer the madness that is in there!
MC: RIGHT! For me, I learned to cook with a ton of time on my hands, I was fresh out of college and I didn’t have anything begging for my attention on the weekends. But when I became a working mom, it was so inefficient and I used to be a web designer that created blogs and we talked a lot about user experience and creating a good one. And I recognized that I was having the poorest user experience in my kitchen. So much so that I looked at my husband one day not too long after my daughter was born, and I said, “I’m quitting the kitchen or I am going to fix this place.” So the Minimalist Kitchen is the culmination of that big problem and over the years, I wrote about this but in one week, I stabbed myself twice in my catch all kitchen drawer with tools that I never used. But you know, you stick your hand in there because the spatula flips up and you can’t get it open and then you stab yourself. I was like, “why am I doing this to myself?” So I slowly started pairing down and it’s kind of an expensive process – or maybe I would say that it’s an investment to do this. We did it because my husband was in graduate school and I supported us on my design salary. So I just did it little by little. In the book I say, “that once you clean the front of the drawer, you notice the back of the drawer is very similar.”
It feels weird to publish this book as this process is never finished for me and I am constantly thinking of reworking space especially in the kitchen. I like that idea too because it frees it up for people and it doesn’t have to happen over night. Life is organic and changing and good things take time. That’s the truth of this system, it takes a little time.
AM: When it comes to the kitchen there are so many gadgets. We love our Breville Tea Maker, a number of items that we enjoy eating necessitate various products to make them versus having one tool that can do five things – so we’re always trying things out. So for you, when new things come to market and you feel that it works, do you do a mental checklist, where bringing in an item makes you remove something you have?
MC: EXACTLY! I’m always doing a mental checklist and I am able to do that because I have so much less on my checklist. I am probably the slowest adopter when it comes to buying things. I don’t have an Instant Pot and I’m not sure if I will because I have all of the other tools that I need and it would be a huge learning curve for me and I’m not sure if I would do something like that in my everyday. But I am so careful as I picture myself at the back door of our house saying (even my husband is a much bigger shopper then me), “woah, woah, woah what are you bringing in here?” It’s going to require work, we’re going to have to reorganize and we will have to get rid of something. Why spend time doing something that we don’t need to spend time doing?
AM: How did you go about organizing the cookbook and what would you say that someone should expect to read when they are going into it?
MC: When I am cooking in general, I mentally lump my recipes into weekend cooking, weekday cooking and make ahead – and as we started on the book, I said can we create tags so that people know exactly where to put the recipes in their life? I mean, I know where to put them, but people don’t know what to do with my recipes. So we separated them like that so that people could have it and I wanted to set them up with the most success possible. I feel like overwhelmingly that people are frustrated with their kitchens – which was true for me. How many expletives come out when you’re opening the Tupperware drawer? There are things in the kitchen that are expletively producing haha.
AM: So true and we get annoyed, stuff everything back in and then think we should do something about it!
AM: It’s like the Groundhogs Day, Kitchen Edition!
MC: Yes that would happen to me to! I remembered that my mom would deal with these things to. I used to think that she was so nutty and then I found myself doing the same things in my kitchen too!! I was like, “I can fix this.” I do think that it’s crazy and I want to acknowledge that I got the chance to really spend time on making my kitchen work and then to write about it! That’s a very rare opportunity and many don’t have time to do something like that because our lives are so busy – even a paired down one! I think that this book has done the work for people so that it will make them feel more successful in doing this and even down to where the recipe should go in their week.
AM: I agree it’s good for them to figure out when they should prep, where in the week they should go to the grocery store, it’s a nice map to follow! Especially when you live in a place like NYC where even the simplest task of going to the grocery store can be quite a journey. You know that you can only carry so much and that there is an option for convenience, but do you want someone else picking out your produce? Logistically, someone sending your food to you is great but syncing up the times and for those that don’t have a doorman – this is a problem. It’s nice to have order.
MC: True – even the shopping techniques, I shop a lot like a city dweller. I live in a large city but not like NYC – but I walk to the grocery store and I carry back everything that we eat for the week. I carry them on my shoulders like you do and I have enough fresh produce for what we eat that week and the pantry is stocked by way of Costco or other types of bulk shopping so I am only doing maintenance shopping or minor shopping. I hate grocery shopping with a child.
AM: The anxiety of walking up and down the aisles everytime you get to the grocery store can be a bit much.
MC: Absolutely and with my book, I wanted to get rid of that feeling of, “oh this is what I do on my Saturday, I shop every store – can’t I be doing something better with my life?”
AM: You know that you have to eat, you can’t do takeout all the time even if it’s healthy. But sometimes you get to the store and you hear all the sounds and other stimulations and you kind of need a plan to tackle it! So what are your 3 favorite meals from the book and what music do you play along when making those dishes?
MC: Ok so I realized that my 3 meals are all weekend meals. I don’t want to take away from the deliciousness of the weekday meals. When I sit down to a meal that took 15-20 minutes it’s still so satisfying, but weekends are celebratory around here as it is in every home. So on Friday night we kick it off with the Crispy Pizza with the caramelized onions or a cheese pizza with the base recipe. Anytime it’s pizza night, we listen to the Mamba Italiano Radio on Pandora – it always feels like we’re at an Italian restaurant. Or we make these Summer Veggie Fajitas – we love those. They are a Stonehenge in our lives. We used to eat them out all the time and then we started making them our whole married life. On that night, we listen to Spanish Guitar Radio on Pandora. Then on Saturday or Sunday morning, it’s a flow brunchy type of thing so we make, the Dutch Baby because my 4 year old picks it. It’s magical because it just blows up in the oven and we listen to Early Jazz Radio on Pandora and it sounds like you’re sitting in a French or European café. Early jazz radio is so good!
PHOTOS COURTESY | MINIMAL KITCHEN/MEREDITH BOOKS
NBC's Rise, from the producer of Hamilton, Jeffrey Seller, focuses on the lives of highschoolers who are navigating family, friends and teachers. One of the breakout stars, Erin Kommor chats with us about how she got into the industry, parallels in her character and being a yoga teacher.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about how you got into acting and what your journey in the field has been as we know you have done theater, film and TV.
ERIN KOMMOR: No one believes me now when I say this - but when I was younger, I was cripplingly shy. I hated talking to people and would hide when I was introduced to any person I did not know. When my mom started bringing me to the theater, I had this sudden pull. I wanted to be up on the stage, but I could barely speak to a stranger. For some reason, it was much easier for me to be someone else/engage with the audience & humanity when I was on stage. After doing theater for a while, I became less shy & more comfortable in myself, and in that, much more personable/friendly. I think theater helped me find myself by way of becoming someone else, in a manner of speaking.
I started acting & singing classes as a kid on the weekends in Louisville, Kentucky (where i’m from), and began doing community theater shows. From there I auditioned for our Youth Performing Arts High School, and got accepted. Those years really shaped me and prepared me for the next steps. I auditioned for my dream school, The Boston Conservatory and was thrilled to get accepted. From there I moved to New York and continued doing shows and taking class.
AM: Who have been mentors of yours whether in film, theater or TV?
EK: I owe so much of my success to the generosity and kindness of my mentor, Paul Hardt. He is an exquisite casting director in New York City. I met him a few months before I graduated college and he immediately took me under his wing. He has always been there to give me advice about everything in the industry, and to check in and make sure own I am okay (career wise & emotionally!). He is like a father to me. His guidance, wisdom and humor have gotten me through my time in New York. I would not be the performer I am if it were not for him, and for that I am so grateful!
Another big hero of mine is Jeffrey Seller (producer of Hamilton, Rise, Rent, Avenue Q, the list goes on...) I first auditioned for him a little over a year ago for a new show he was directing called “The Man in the Ceiling”. I ended up getting that job and working with Jeffrey was an absolute dream. He is so genuine in everything he does and he has helped me grow immensely as a performer. He is the reason I even got to audition/book Rise, as well. I adore Jeffrey, and respect and admire him in so many ways.
AM: For those that may not be familiar with Rise, tell us about this show and about the character that you play.
EK: Rise is a new drama about discovering inspiration in all different ways. It takes place in a modern high school where these students are navigating their way through some challenging life experiences. The show really focuses on the relationships between these kids and their families, peers & teachers.
I play the role of Sasha Foley. Sasha is a student at Stanton High, and a part of their theater department. She absolutely loves the theater troupe and that gets her through her days. Her family life is challenging - she is an only child with just her dad. Her father lost his job and they are really struggling financially. She doesn't have much support from any adults in her life. Tracey becomes a beacon of light for Sasha.
AM: Are there any parallels between yourself and Sasha Foley?
EK: Sasha and I are both extremely passionate about theater & music and use those art forms as an outlet to express ourselves. We take our hardships from our lives and pour it into our art. For both Sasha and I, theater is immensely healing, theraputic & transformative.
Sasha and I also both value friendships and what it means to be a good friend. We have both in a sense chosen our families from the friends and loved ones around us, not necessarily blood related. We are sensitive & vulnerable, though we may put up a tough exterior as a defense mechanism at times.
AM: What is the social impact of this show in today's climate with many being concerned about the reduction of funds for the arts in schools?
EK: NBC Rise started a R.I.S.E America project where NBC awarded 50 high schools with a $10,000 grant! The grant covers the theatre department’s needs such as production expenses, technical equipment and master classes. NBC partnered with the Educational Theatre Foundation (ETF), an organization dedicated to shaping lives through theater education, to administer the grant applications and award process.
Rise is making a huge effort to help high school’s theater departments, and I think that is SO important and special. Theater has been proven to help students in a myriad of ways.
AM: What has Rise been like from the audition process, to being accepted and then filming the current season?
EK: Rise has been such a dream to be apart of from day one. The audition process was very quick and I actually didn’t initially audition for the role of Sasha. I went in for Jolene, and a few days later my agents called to inform me I landed the role of Sasha. I was over the moon. I had been dreaming of being on TV since I was a little girl, and this was my television debut. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. The filming process was a dream. Jason Katims is my favorite writer of good all time (I grew up obsessed with Parenthood & Friday Night Lights), and to get to bring one of his characters to life and work with him was surreal. He is such a brilliant man, and his work is so incredibly powerful and touching. The whole cast and crew was amazing to work with, and I feel insanely lucky to be able to say “work” and living my dream are one in the same.
AM: When you saw the promos running during the Super Bowl, what was your reaction?
EK: I cried when I first saw the Superbowl commercial. I actually was drinking coffee in bed and spilled it all over myself. I just could not believe how stunning the commercial came out. Seeing myself and my friends on TV is still so surreal. The reaction has been overwhelmingly lovely from everyone around me.
AM: We know there are a number of phenomenal actors including Rosie Perez, what was it like working with her?
EK: Rosie Perez is easily the best scene partner I have ever worked with in my entire life. She is such a brilliant and generous actress and human. The scenes we shared together were so very meaningful to me. She taught me a lot in the work we did together, and I’ll never forget those special moments we shared. Between takes and offstage, she was so amazing and kind as well. Not to mention- she is HILARIOUS. She was always cracking me up. Rosie is a goddess!
AM: Do you have any upcoming projects that you are apart of that you can share?
EK: Not that I can share... yet. I’ll keep you all updated! :)
AM: In addition to being an actress, you are also a yoga teacher - why did you embrace yoga in this manner?
EK: Yes! I love yoga and meditation. When I moved to NYC, in the mix of auditioning and working, I needed something to ground myself. This city and industry can be overwhelming, and it’s nice to have yoga to center me. I practice yoga daily and on set before I film. It’s a way to check into the present moment, be aware of your breath, and really get in touch with the here and now. I love being a teacher and sharing the gift of yoga with others. It has done wonders for my anxiety and I love helping other people find that same sense of calm. Yoga is really a key part of my life and I would not be the same person or actress without it.
AM: In NYC, where can we find you working out, grabbing a cocktail and a meal and shopping in the city?
EK: Working out, you’ll find me at my yoga studio, Yoga to the People!
Grabbing a cocktail and a meal, I really love a spot in my neighborhood, Harlem Public. Amazing vibes and great food & drinks! I love shopping in Soho — that area is adorable.
AM: Do you have any plans to travel this summer and if so, where?
EK: I don’t have any travel plans as of now, but I love traveling and I would love to plan a trip. Somewhere tropical ideally. I love the sunshine!
AM: How do you stay balanced between auditioning, preparing for roles, and taking personal time?
EK: It takes a lot of time management skills. My friends and family are so important to me, and they are also very understanding of my demanding schedule. I make sure to schedule set time with my loved ones and hold myself accountable. As for time with myself, that’s what my hour of yoga a day is for. It’s a time to unwind, refocus and come back to myself.
AM: Do you give of your time in terms of philanthropy/charity and if so, what?
EK: In the next couple months I am starting to volunteer at an animal shelter in NYC. I love animals and want to give back and help animals in need.
PHOTOS COURTESY | PG 50 VIRGINIA SHERWOOD/NBC | PG 53 CINDY ORD/NBC
We always love our covers and it's always fun to have the opportunity to work with someone that we have previously worked with before. We're excited to have Danielle Moinet as this month's celebrity cover and our first person to grace two covers for Athleisure Mag! We enjoyed our photoshoot with Danielle and we sat down to catch up on what she's up to since we last spoke to her. We talked about her life as an athlete, about her road to the WWE, new projects that she's excited to be apart of, running the Chicago Bears out of Soldier Field, the importance of empowering women and girls in and out of sports and her love for the fans that she continues to see on her many trips as she is always on the go!
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your athletic journey as we know you have played a number of sports!
DANIELLE MOINET: For me I always played sports. I was an athlete growing up - I ran track, jumped hurdles and played tennis. In college and when I got out of it and moved to Chicago, that's when I joined the Lingerie Football League, the LFL, and I played for the Chicago Bliss and I played Corner Back and I loved it. I played 3 years and it's full contact 7 on 7 football - very aggressive.
Then I went on to wrestle and a lot of the girls that hadn't wrestled before in WWE had some form of an athletic background. Health and fitness has always been a big thing for me and getting to the gym, so I think that people that work out a lot too are athletic as well and being in a women's sport is very important.
AM: Specifically, tell us about your journey into wrestling, WWE and what you are currently doing.
DM: I was working a Comic Con in Chicago, and WWE was there and it was a dream of mine to get in. There was not an application process setup like there is now when I first started, so I ran over to their booth and told them that I was interested and that I had been wanting to do this for years. I decided to play football for another year and then that's when I went down to WWE to have my tryout and 6 weeks later I was down there training and working out and I got my contract. So it was really a great place in time. There were only 6 girls training at the time. I was the 6th girl and now there is something like 20 or 30 girls training. WWE was amazing - I wrestled there for 6 years and I was on the main roster on Mon. Night RAW, Tues. Night Smackdown for 4.5 years and got to live out my dream.
As of Nov, I left WWE to spread my wings to other avenues and to be able to enjoy life and live it through new eyes. It's bittersweet as I miss my fans and the people I worked with, but I see my fans more often because I do so many appearances where I get to travel the world to meet them.
AM: We caught up with you when you were in the midst of a media tour - can you tell us what you were promoting?
DM: During my time in NY when I did my photoshoot, I was doing a lot of things! I was taking meetings, doing photoshoots with a number of modeling agencies and then I was also there for my first non WWE appearance that was in Manhattan and so I was able to go onto CBS Radio and talk to them about women in sports and the importance of women having a presence in athletics and for young girls to have role models to look up to - being athletic and knowing that strong is beautiful. Body positivity is something that is very import ant to me and I think it's great to be able to speak out to that! It was so much fun and I love everyone in NY!
AM: On set, everyone loved your hair, what products do you use and what tips do you have for healthy hair?
DM: My hair! I'm very fortunate that my mom is a hairdresser and growing up, she never let me dye it crazy purple or orange and crazy colors. I had actually never even dyed it until my mid twenties. I am super blonde naturally and I was always in the sun as a kid by the pool. I always used great products like Biolage or Matrix. One thing that was really amazing that I started to use the last couple of years is a wet brush. The wet brush helps with the breakage in your hair and having bangs, I have really noticed the difference using the wet brush because my hair doesn't break as much and it's able to stay long and healthy - that is something I absolutely swear by and love. And also, good Moroccan Oil and having good oil everytime you blow dry your hair - it's very important.
AM: We know from your IG that you're constantly on the go, what are 3 beauty products that keep you looking fresh and dewy and are a must in your routine?
DM: I am always on the go so beauty products that I love - I always have a spray tan, I do not go in the sun a lot so I always try to protect my skin as far as sun exposure goes, so it's all about wearing SPF. I do not go into the tanning bed so I can keep a wrinkle free life. I love love love and swear by Skin Medica - they're TMS Serum is something that I really do love. I completely see a difference in my skin when I use that. Their eye cream - amazing - it's expensive and I have tried alternate routes and dfferent things and I just see such a difference with them and that's something that's just great. Another thing I love - my lips don't get too chapped too much because I'm always on the go in airplanes - I love the Lip Slip by Sara Happ. It's a lip balm and it's so thick and potent and it lasts you forever - I got it from Nordstrom and I love it. My lips never crack, never peel and I love it.
AM: What's your personal style - what do you work out in, what do you go out in for a night out and what is your beach style?
DM: My personal style is super super different - I look very girly, but I am actually super tomboy! I love my Jordans, I love my Jays, I've become a big sneaker person since living in LA so really ideally, if I could live my life I'd do it in workout clothes and athleisure vibe and tennis shoes. That's how you could catch me everyday wearing. If you catch me in jeans or everyday pants it's because I have to because I am going somewhere. What I actually work out in is - I'm very cute on Instagram with matching outfits, but that is not how I am. In real life, I'm not like that I don't think. I get a lot of workout clothes sent to me from different brands and people that I work with so I can never find anything that matches when it is time to work out. I am not that girl who matches in the gym - I'm getting in there with a hat the majorty of the time with no makeup. I hate wearing makeup - I love getting glammed up, but I don't like makeup. I am usually in a hat, with it pulled down super low and getting my workout done because I don't want anyone talking to me and workout time is not playtime for me.
For going out, now that I live in LA, I have a very different west coast vibe. I love everything that is oversized and I love a great Tor Merch long sleeve shirt 2 sizes 2 big with baggy pants and a cute heel. If I'm going out, you can catch me in jeans, boots, a body suit or tank top. That's my vibe and I rarely wear a dress - again unless I have to or if I'm in Vegas or a place that's dressy. LA is just not that dressy and NY isn't really either. I have very different vibes - sometimes it's Bohemian or Urban - I like to change up my style.
Style and music are very all over the place for me as there are tons of genres of music I like and tons of styles that I like to dress in.
Beach style is bikini, flip flops and a cover up. Nothing special - no makeup maybe a little chapstick - that's all - very low maintenance.
AM: What are 3 of your favorite foods that are your go to for energy to assist in working out and do you have splurge foods that you enjoy as a treat every now and then?
DM: I'm a big fan of black coffee before working out. I try to stay lately from pre-workouts that have artificial sugars in them and I am trying to go back to that coffee route or just getting enough sleep as that is very good. Protein is a must for my diets and if I don't have a protein shake, I see a huge difference in my legs and body as far as my abs and cellulite go. I can see a negative difference without them and I need my protein high up. I also need some nuts before the gym - healthy fats are good. I don't like to be super full when I go to the gym because when I am full, I want to take a nap. Cheat foods that I love, pizza! I am obsessed with pizza, Mexican food, I love Queso and chips. My friends make fun of me because I eat a whole tub of queso - it's just really ridiculous as I need to be nowhere near that and then cookie dough. Cookie dough is my downfall! I went through a phase where I was obsessed with cookie dough for like 4 months and my friends and I joke that that’s where my butt came from the four months that I ate it. So we call it my cookie dough butt! I still have it but now I am just training it in the gym!
AM: We saw that you did something pretty amazing with the Chicago Bears last fall, can you share with our readers?
DM: Chicago Bears – so in the fall, ran the Bears out of the tunnel and was the first women to ever run them out of the tunnel! They said it had something to do with the fact that the flag is really heavy and then at Soldier Field, the lake wind effect off of the lake is so strong that it just moves the pole around and it’s crazy heavy! They usually don’t have guests running people out of the tunnel BUT I knew someone that knew someone and they reached out to me and asked if I wanted to do it. I was kind of unsure if I could and then they said that a woman had never done it before and that’s when I said, “well of course then – I have to be the first at everything that I do”. Don’t put me up to a challenge and I will never say no, especially if it is the first woman. It was amazing and fun. The players were super confused as to why I was down there haha! I’m a huge Bears fan so I loved it!
AM: What travel plans are you looking forward to this summer?
DM: This summer I am very fortunate that I am traveling all over. I have so many bookings for appearances to see so many of my wrestling fans. I’m a little west coast, a little east coast. I may have a few things that are Canada and then I am really really really excited about something that we haven’t announced yet which we can’t announce yet but it’s overseas and it is taking me to one of my places on my bucketlist – so I’m very excited about that!
As far as trips go, I look forward to taking my girls trip which we are going to Mykonos, Greece and I have never been there. We are just going to have a great time and I am looking forward to that because I have a great group of girlfriends.
AM: In LA what is your favorite place to shop, a workout studio that you attend as well as where you love to grab cocktails and a meal?
DM: Living in LA, obviously we have great killer stores. All the stores on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Grove the Mall – that’s really good and we have large stores with all the name brands. Some of the places that I really love to shop and that are fun that I tell my friends to go to when they’re in town – hidden gems on Melrose that are kind of really trendy and inexpensive and I love them – one is called Eden Sky and the other one is Style Delivered and I get really cute fun sunglasses, earrings and bandanas. I got my stuff from Coachella there and it’s good finds that are inexpensive so when you pair them with other really good pieces, that’s great. And of course, we have things like Revolve out here and Pretty Little Things and House of CB, Mistress Rocks – LA’s great we have some really good shopping. As far as food goes, I love Urth Café, it’s one of my favorites. I’m pretty sure that I brought my mom and dad there, friends from back home in North Carolina. You just sit outside and have bubble tea – which is amazing and all different kinds of food which is really good. We actually just got a Joe & the Juice which they have in NY and I’m obsessed with so I am really happy about that being there. I love all the healthy food options we have out here the salad places and everything like that which is really good. And then we have great trendy workouts. I love SoulCycle – I swear by SoulCycle as it’s fun and it makes me feel amazing to just get out there and sweat – so I really love that. Unfortunately, I have been dealing with an ankle injury for the past 3 months so I have kind of been having to deal with that and it’s driving me nuts. But I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things soon.
AM: Are there any projects that you're working on that you want to let our readers know about?
DM: I’m just really excited to be working with so many brands right now! I have two clothing companies that I am working with and I will be able to get my own line out and then I have one kind of beauty thing I am working on. I’m taking meetings with other people as far as my appearances go and doing things overseas so it’s all in the beginning baby stages. I have only just started to be able to do this stuff as I wasn’t able to do this with WWE and am looking forward to spreading my wings. My sister’s charity is back home in North Carolina – The Dean Thomas Moinet Foundation - love working with them when I go back home and am looking forward to doing a special project with them when I am back home to raise money in the Raleigh/Durham, NC area for the charity!
We shot Danielle Moinet in Manhattan's Lower East Side at Hotel Indigo LES which is filled with a number of great hitoric sites. Christopher White, the properties' Director of Sales and Marketing talked with us about the hotel and how it connects with the community.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Are there different personalities that Hotel Indigo represents on the city/community?
CHRISTOPHER WHITE: Hotel Indigo’s ethos is design, art, music and embracing the neighborhood that we are in - so every hotel will represent those qualities in different way depending on the location.
AM: Specifically, tell us about Hotel Indigo LES - when did it open, what is the atmosphere and the amenities that are offered for guests.
CW: Hotel Indigo LES opened in the heart of the Lower East Side in November 2015. Reflecting the community, the hotel is an urban oasis that features spacious accommodations and breathtaking views of the Manhattan Skyline. Hotel Indigo LES is equipped with everything needed for the modern traveler - think a rooftop bar and pool, a gym, package handling, parking and we even provide amenities for your furry friends because we know kittens and pups are important too.
AM: Tell us about the lounges and pool.
CW: Hotel Indigo LES is the perfect spot to visit day or night - with stunning views of Manhattan from every place you look, the view is unbeatable - especially now that Summer is right around the corner! The 14th-floor lobby is decked out with floor-to-ceiling windows that wrap around almost the entire room, spacious L-shaped couches, coffee tables and a cafe. Not to mention the ceiling is covered in a mural by the famous Lower East Side graffiti artist, Lee Quiñones.
Beyond the lobby, guests are invited to checkout the heated plunge pool and bar, Mr. Purple, both located on the 15th floor rooftop. The space offers summer drink menus for guests to enjoy, while taking in amazing views of Lower Manhattan.
AM: Is the pool for guests only?
CW: We prefer to keep the pool exclusive to hotel guests – if locals are looking for a pool break we recommend booking a staycation at the hotel.
AM: What do locals have the ability to enjoy whether they are staying as guests or just wish to stop by?
CW:The lobby, cafe, and of course Mr. Purple - come relax, get some work done, or have a drink - locals and guests can do it all at Hotel Indigo LES!
AM: What Spring/Summer packages do you guys have coming up?
CW: Yes! Our Mother’s Day and Royal Wedding packages are can’t miss. Check them out and more on the Hotel Indigo LES website.
AM: Tell us about the neighborhood that surrounds Hotel Indigo LES.
CW: Located right in the heart of the Lower East Side, there is nothing you can’t find around Hotel Indigo LES! Tons of art galleries of all different styles, music halls, bars and restaurants all surround the hotel. Think hotspots like the famous Beauty & Essex and Katz Delicatessen, Rockwood Music Hall and more.
AM: Tell us about Mr Purple!
CW: Located on the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo Lower East Side, the space completely captures the vibrant and artistic spirit of the LES. Boasting a 360 degree view of downtown Manhattan from the two outdoor terraces and a beautiful interior, the venue recreates a hip, artist-loft ambiance. The larger terrace includes its own swimming pool (enough said) and outdoor bar, a perfect setting for yummy bites and signature sips against the backdrop of NYC.
AM: Does the Hotel Indigo LES have activities that they participate within that are local to the community?
CW: We sure do! Our goal is to hire all of our line staff from the community which is part of our ethos and culture. We participate in LESSEN which is part of the Henry Street Settlement in the Lower East Side and 30% of our line staff from pre-opening was hired from there. We also volunteer quarterly for Manny Cantor Center, Bowery Mission and am always working to always give back to the community that we are in.
AM: Please feel free to share anything that we may not have asked you but that you would like to share?
CW: Hotel Indigo LES is all about the art. From the moment you walk, to the sleeping rooms and lobby area, the spaces all reflect the art that can be seen all over the LES. With artwork featured from the likes of Mr. Brainwash and Lee Quiñones, guests can see the spirit of the LES at every turn.
We see big promise in blockchain and crypto technology and solutions and are excited to sit down with crypto payments pioneer Ben Way, CEO of Digits.io.
Ben is an acclaimed serial entrepreneur in technology, with decades-long experience, and has been innovating in crypto since back in 2011. His company Digits.io is creating a way for people to use any debit or credit card as a crypto card! He also is quite into extreme activities and sports and has some wellness and detox tips for us as well.
Digits.io is ushering the future of crypto payments by making paying with crypto easy and secure. When the consumer pays with a credit or debit card registered with Digits, payment may be made with cryptocurrency instead of fiat currency. Merchants can enable cryptocurrency via Digits without any additional merchant account or agreement. They do not need to change any process in order to accept cryptocurrencies and the settlement times, processes, and fees, are exactly the same as they experience today. Digits’ Hedge Lending Network™ is a real-time marketplace optimized by artificial intelligence to choose the best outcome for both consumer and lender in real time. Find out more and signup at http://Digits.io
ATHLEISURE MAG: Ben, thanks for taking some time with us. Why is Digits.io well-suited to jumpstart crypto payments? How and why will it be adopted at this early time in the industry?
BEN WAY: For merchants, they don’t have additional agreements they have to sign; worry about the price of crypto, when they are going to get it - they get it when users swipe that crypto card, the merchants get exactly what they are expecting, exactly when they are expecting it. And from the users’ point of view, it is incredibly simple. They just have to swipe their card like they would be accustomed to, and their payment goes through. The registration process to connect you into crypto is really very easy. You just type in your 15/16 digit credit card number already on the credit card in your pocket and we then connect your Coinbase account and when you do a transaction, that money is taken out our your crypto account.
AM: Sounds incredible, tell us more about the vision behind it.
BW: There’s two very fundamental parts to Digits. One is becoming the next generation payment processor for crypto, and the other thing that is very unique to us because our team is coming from Visa, PayPal and Apple Pay, we really see ourselves as from a standpoint that there is already a very established payment ecosystem - and we believe we are the bridge between the new and the old world, which is where we want to be. And part of being the first part of that world, is that we had to come up with solutions to the two major problems in crypto payments, which is volatility and network transmission time, and that’s what we did with something we developed called the Hedge Lending Network™ (HLN). This is a new instrument we designed which is why will be able to pay the merchants what they are expecting when they are expecting it.
AM: Hedge Lending Network™ does sound cool. What’s the story with that?
BW: It’s actually quite complicated, but from the users’ perspective it is really quite simple. Basically, every single transaction is turned to a smart contract backed loan, and even though it is a loan, from the users’ point of view, the costs of the loan are included in the transaction fee, and because it is a loan, it means we can do two things that are pretty cool for the consumer - the first is we can finance a short termed backed event; and the second, the user can pay back that transaction within a year at the price it cost them of purchase, so you can get any upgain in the value of crypto. So to give an example of that, if you are going to buy something, and crypto has then doubled, you can actually at the end of the loan term pay the initial price off, and get the upside worth of crypto back.
AM: Are you taking registrations now? Is there a Beta launch?
BW: We are signing people up for the waiting list. We imagine we will be in Beta in about 90 days. We have already done our first end-to-end test run and we’re seeing it is working nicely. We want people to sign up and be the first to test the technology. Digits will be making some big announcements in a couple weeks, please check-in at http://Digits.io and our Telegram Group.
AM: Who’s on the Digits.io Team?
BW: Well, the team is where we are very, very lucky. We have an exceptional team in the payments and the crypto space. Our team is coming through Apply Pay, Visa, PayPal, and Ripple. And the first CFO of PayPal is our Chairman. And we have a just incredible team. I am a serial entrepreneur, my background is extensive in technology and crypto, started crypto in 2011. You’ve got Nick Fallon, our CTO, who has extensive experience designing enterprise-scale software systems; and Leo Patching, COO, great operational guy, very knowledgeable in finance. Laura Wagner is our CCO, who was responsible for being the first person to have credit cards swipe in McDonalds, among other accolades. We have a great team and board.
AM: Where do you see blockchain, crypto and technology coming in the upcoming decade?
BW: I am a futurologist at heart. I track a number of technologies. Crypto, AI, Robotics.. all are game changing technologies, which will be making an intense impact in the next fifteen to twenty years. Especially, a lot of the issues of transferring value, the different applications and decentralized nature of interconnected disciplines, including payment tech, will become incredibly powerful and lifechanging.
AM: We heard you are quite adventurous and into extreme sports and wellness. What are you passionate doing and what has helped you for health and wellbeing?
BW: I am quite an extreme human being. So every year, for last 7 years, I’ve done a full 90-day detox, where I basically become vegan, I cut my calorie intake down to about a third, and I exercise 5 times a week. And it is really a biological cleanse and it is incredible. I can tell you it is so powerful that any gray hairs I have at the end of the year disappear by March and you’ll see a huge weight-loss, say 20 pounds in say 60 or 70 days. I have a very active lifestyle, and this is a personal technique that I have come up with for age reversal through diet and exercise. I have a personal trainer 5x a week and I combine cardio and weights. Weights has been recommended as more of a focus. I am very passionate about extreme sports – I am a rock climber, a handglider, I firebreathe and firedance, ski, snowboard, dive.. if it can be done, I’ll try it once. Hah. I am a big believer in the combination of cayenne pepper, ginger and garlic. Those three ingredients combined are very powerful. A little aside, garlic is so powerful that if you leave it on the skin for over twelve hours it will give you second degree burns.
Disclosure: One of our members is an advisor to Digits.io and Etheralabs.io. Under no circumstances should any content or material in this publication, and related sites, about blockchain or cryptoassets, or any other topic, be construed as an offering of securities or investment advice. Readers should look at all risks and always consult with a professional investment advisor before considering or making any investment decisions or actions.
Tribeca Film Festival is back for its 17th year for another full season of parties panels and films that span documentaries, thrillers, romances, sci-fi and more. We kicked off our time at the festival by heading to PUBLIC Arts at the PUBLIC Hotel in the LES for MCM's debut of the first global teaser for The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion Documentary.
The exclusive viewing party paid homage to hip hop. The documentary honored the cultural influence of stylists such as Misa Hylton who defined ’90s hip hop fashion by creating some of the most iconic looks with top artists such as Lil’ Kim, Mary J. Blige, and Missy Elliot. The film's producer, Lisa Cortes and director Farah X talked about the upcoming documentary which will debut in full, this fall.
The night's emcee and TV personality, Bevy Smith welcomed a number of performers who hit stage wearing styles for the upcoming MCM X PUMA collaboration that has yet to be released. Paula Weinstein of Tribeca Film Festival said a few words about the importance of the film and providing recognition to the efforts of those featured in the film. DJ Olivia Dope and 9th Wonder spun throughout the night along with hip hop dancers that hit the stage. The night culminated in two performances with this years 2 time Grammy nominated rapper, Rapsody and one of hip hop's founding father's Big Daddy Kane - all rocking the upcoming collaboration.
Additional attendees at the event included: Stefano Tonchi (Editor, W Magazine) Rich The Kid (Rapper), Naturi Naughton (STARZ's Power), Ryan Leslie (Recording Artist + Producer), Casanova (Rapper), Sheldon Bailey (Actor), Young Paris (Rapper), DJ Trauma, T-Barz (Rapper), Vickatrillion (Model + DJ), Talia Coles (R&B/Soul), Luann de Lesseps (BRAVO's RHONY), Gillian Hearst Simonds (Contributing Editor to Towne & Country), Hailey Laine (Wilhelmina Model) and Makalea Reve Heard (Wilhelmina Model).
In our lifecycle, the concept of napping has an interesting notion. When we're infants, you take long ones throughout the day, as you get older during adolescence - you avoid it and then when we are fully embracing adulthood, we embrace the notion of taking them again - we even tout the benefits of the Power Nap. For those of us in NYC, we don't have to wonder about where we can go to get a little shut-eye.
This Spring, Nap York brings a number of concepts together within the wellness aspect of a live/work balance. Guests can purchase naps at 30-minute blocks of time up to 8 hours and
the facility is open 24 hours a day! This wellness club does not stop at just focusing on your needs for a sound sleep, its pods allow you to get a bit of shut-eye, or to meditate in silence with the ultimate goal of relaxation.
Each pod has a canopy of twinkling stars that provides a private space. The eco-friendly pods are private, safe and are soundproof. These pods accommodate one person. When reserving
the pod, they are outfitted with an Airweave mattress and pillow which has the newest innovations in sleep technology. Items can be stored under the beds and they have a Nest Protect which is an innovative alarm that detects smoke and CO. Recharge your phone as you relax as long as it stays on silent mode.
Situated in Midtown's Garment District, provides hollistc services that work within your flow from, quiet workspaces (these can be rented by the half hour which allows you to work when you're looking for a quiet space that is an alternative to a coffee shop), a café with a number of healthy options that fit your dietary needs, meditation classes as well as yoga.
Guests find a new destination that merges the mind/body/soul connection. In addition, the space also has a welcoming environment that makes you feel like you have left the urban
jungle with a botanical jungle that is filled with greenery and soothing decor that places you in a nature oriented environment.
Hand-crafted locally in New York City, our eco-friendly pods are designed with privacy, safety, and sound proofing in mind. Rest your body on an Airweave mattress and pillow, which use the newest innovations in sleep surface technology. This means no springs and no foam, providing you with sleep unlike any you've ever had.
480 7th Ave
NY, NY 10018
Skin is always an essential no matter the season, and this time of year makes us think even more so about soft, smooth and hair free skin. We chatted with Carrie LaMarca, Celebrity MUA and Skincare Expert who has worked with a number of celebrities from Ashley Graham, Bethenny Frankel, Emily Ratajkowski, Marcus Samulesson, Millie Bobby Brown, Olivia Culpo, Wolf Blitzer and Ronda Rousey. We wanted to know what we could do to find out how we can meet our goals in this manner as well as how to get that summer glow with a little help with cosmetics.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Smooth skin is an essential, what are your recommendations for your face to keep the little peach fuzz that we get away?
CARRIE LAMARCA: When I have a new model or celebrity in my chair, one of the first things I do is analyze their skin. If there is any peach fuzz I quickly remove it using my clio beautytrim personal hair trimmer. It is so quick and easy to use and doesn't irritate the skin at all. Removing that excess peach fuzz is key so that skincare and makeup go on smoothly and evenly.
AM: For the face, what are your recommendations for minimal makeup looks that appear as if its makeup-free but give you a sun-kissed glowing look for Spring and Summer?
CL: I love using Glossier's stretch concealer only in the places that need coverage and kind of buff it out to blend with your natural skin. Next, I use a cream bronzer like Benefit Hoola Creme Contour stick. Cremes melt into skin and look more natural, rather than powders, which tend to sit on top of the skin. If you do use a powder, make sure to use a heavy moisturizer or face oil under to help it look more natural. Most importantly though, is that you blend!
AM: As we sleep at night, what moisturizers should we focus on that work on our skin at this time?
CL: Serum is your hero at night! Depending on what you are looking to correct, will help you pick a serum to use. For example, Retinol is great for fine lines, while Vitamin C works for evening skin tone. And then, moisturizer is important to layer on top of the serum. It will seal everything in, while hydrating and plumping your skin as you sleep. One with Hyaluronic Acid is great!
AM: With swimsuits being in our very near future, what is a routine that we can do for our bikini line and legs to ensure soft skin and of course - hair free!
CL: The biggest thing you can do to start getting your bikini line ready is exfoliate! That is step one before hair removal. For a smooth bikini line, I love using the clio bikini trimmer. Because it’s an electric trimmer, it’s so much more gentle on the skin and will help prevent any irritation or ingrown hairs. The best part is that you can use it wet or dry, making it perfect to throw in your beach bag for on-the-go touch-ups!
AM: Post hair removal, what should we add to our routine from apparel, beauty products etc?
CL: Right after shaving your legs and bikini line you just want to make sure to wear breathable cotton clothing and underwear to allow your skin to heal. And always moisturize your skin to prevent any drying out that shaving can cause.
AM: To get a glow all over, what beauty products should we use and how should it be applied?
CL: I absolutely love all of the St. Tropez tanning products. They give such a great natural color and don't have the strange odor that most do. Just make sure to exfoliate and moisturize before applying. And remember that less is more when it comes to self-tanner. Definitely, wait a day or two before applying another layer because the tan usually develops more after 24 hours.
Hair 2.0. is being hailed as the modern hair concealment solution of the future. The great thing about it is that it is here now and people are taking full advantage of it. Both male and females alike are enjoying the astonishing benefits Hair 2.0. renders when it comes to hair loss problems. Capable of delivering hair fibers in only a few seconds, the product is changing how people deal with hair loss.
The ingenuity behind the product lies within its keratin fibers. This groundbreaking formula utilizes keratin derivative which mimic real human hair. Keratin after all, is the element where real human hair comes from. Utilizing these ingredients found in Keratin, Hair 2.0. advanced technology method allows it to deliver superior quality hair fibers.
A Perfect Combination
The cornerstone behind the intelligent technology in Hair 2.0. are the high quality hair fibers. These scientifically advanced hair strands are almost as real as human hair. Whenever you use them on your existing hair, they cling together forming a unique and beautiful combination. Together, your real hair and the keratin hair fibers, result in a natural and fuller look. That's why it is so easy to create such a dense and thick appearance of hair. Your unique hair texture mixes perfectly with the keratin hair fibers. You can choose from three different colors, depending on your own.
A large number of those who successfully use Hair 2.0. take before and after photos of themselves. These are able to showcase how the keratin hair fibers blend in so well with their own hair. People with crowns, bald spots, thinning areas, gray hair and other problems, cover it up instantly using Hair 2.0. In mere seconds, the missing hair is restored by the modernized keratin hair fiber technology. By filling the thinning or problem areas with the hair fibers, the appearance of volume, density and thickness is boosted.
Made To Last All Day Long
Some of the problems people who use other hair loss products had with them was their inability to last all day. Many of them were also unable to withstand sweat, water and other rigors. Hair 2.0. is not only capable of withstanding all types of activities, it is also water resistant. This is great for anyone who wants to go to the beach, pool or a lake. The same for those who love to play sports or engage in other arduous endeavors.
The superior quality hair fibers in Hair 2.0. last all day long. That means you can apply it, set it and never have to worry about your head throughout the day. Whether it is at the office, meetings or anywhere else, the keratin hair fibers will stay strong and splendid looking. Use either soap or shampoo when you are ready to remove the product. If that wasn't enough, the top rated hair loss concealer is also safe and free of harmful chemicals. Since it is totally organic, there are no harsh chemicals to worry about.
Customers Love Hair 2.0.
Those who use Hair 2.0. adore how easy and fast it is to use. The modernized thinning hair solution allows hair regrowth fibers to go to work instantly. You get a head of hair that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also natural looking. Fuller and thicker hair comes immediately and naturally via the contents on Hair 2.0. Each of the hair regrowth fibers in Hair 2.0. are made with keratin derivative. This natural protein is the best and safest way to build blocks of hair. The formulation of keratin derivative in Hair 2.0. delivers never before seen results. Natural looking hair fibers which are strong and add volume to your head. No wonder so many are choosing to add Hair 2.0. to their hair styling routine.
We had the opportunity to take a class led by Aerospace High Performance Center's co-founder, Michael Olajide (former middleweight boxing champion) who has trained a number of
celebrities including Victoria's Secret models, Shay Mitchell, Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sean “Diddy” Combs and more. The NYC location is a two story 6000 sq ft fitness center that is "machine free" and allows you to be the force in optimizing your workout.
With facilities in NYC's Chelsea neighborhood and in West Hollywood, those who attend these classes are introduced to a mix of boxing and aerobics that Michael, who also choreographs
a number of big budget boxing movies creates.
By taking the best workout techniques from professional sport, this studio provides an array of courses that include: OPEN SPACE for a personalized cardiovascular and muscle sculpting
programs for sparring in a sleek boxing ring, IMPACT TRAINING CENTER which incorporates full-circuit boxing equipment and AERO STUDIOS which is for group classes.
Additional classes include Aero3, Aerojump/AeroSculpt (we took this class which is a high impact class that includes jump ropes and resistance bands), Intro Aerobox, AeroImpact,
Intro to Aerojump + FORTE, Aerobarre, Aerobox, MO Impact Class and of course you always have the option to have one on one training to ensure you are getting the attention needed
for a workout plan that works best for your goals.
After class, guests can enjoy amenities that include access to showers, mats and lockers. We suggest that you come to class with handwraps as well.
AEROSPACE HIGH PERFORMANCE CENTER NYC
121 W 27th St
NY, NY 10001
1234 N. La Brea Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90038
Read more from the April Issue and see Athleisure List | Aerospace High Performance Center NYC in mag