A Healthy Guide to New York City

healthy-food-guide-new-york

healthy-food-guide-new-york

I wish I could live in New York for the summer; the city is perfect for a couple of months: there’s so much to do and most importantly, so much to eat!

Instead of searching for the best bagels, pizza, and street-food in New York City, I’m usually on the hunt for trendy healthy spots. It’s so satisfying finding food that is yummy AND good for you.

I barely scratch the surface with this list but hopefully it gives you an idea of a few places to check out next time you’re in the city. If you live there, I would love suggestions for future visits!

Where to eat in New York City:

Two Hands Cafe: I was walking to work one day and stumbled upon Two Hands cafe. Their bowls and breakfast items are made for Instagram and their waiters are pretty cute :).

The Butcher’s Daughter: A open and airy juice shop and cafe. I’ve only tried their juices but they were delicious.

the-butchers-daughter-new-york

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream: All right ice cream may not be the healthiest option out there but I was so excited to find a place with good vegan ice cream. I tried their vegan dark chocolate ice cream with vegan chocolate syrup and it tasted heavenly!

van-leeuwen-vegan

By CHLOE: I was blown away by how busy this restaurant gets. No matter at what time you go, there is a line out the door. The avocado pesto pasta & mac and cheese were good but what really hit the spot were the vegan desserts. I’ll definitely come back when I’m craving cupcakes!

By-Chloe-Quinoa-Taco-Salad_Pesto-Meatball_Air-Baked-French-Fries

Hu Kitchen: Paleo-friendly casual dining spot with snacks, meals, and juices. I’ve tried the almond crusted chicken and chia seed pudding and enjoyed them both.

Can someone send me back to New York please? I would really love some vegan ice cream right about now!

POP Pilates Instructor Training

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pop_pilates

I am so thrilled to be an instructor-in-training for POP Pilates! For the last few years I’ve had a dream about becoming a group fitness instructor. I imagined it would be when I was a bit older, with kids, and maybe at a point where I was more “comfortable” with my life.

However, when I heard about the POP Pilates training in the Bay Area I knew it was a sign for me to take this chance. What’s the point of waiting for something if it excites me now?

POP pilates is a format that takes traditional mat pilates to the next level by choreographing all moves to the beat of music. It was designed by the creator of Blogilates, Cassey Ho!

I discovered POP Pilates through Cassey’s YouTube videos about four years ago when I began my fitness journey. I remember days in my dorm room where I would be jumping around my mat and listening to Cassey’s voice to motivate me.

It used to be only Cassey & I on the mat. Now, I’m excited to bring it to a whole community of old & new POPsters.

On a serious note, it was extremely inspiring being in a room of women who love teaching fitness and who truly believe in the message of POP Pilates. The message essentially conveys that fitness is supposed to be fun, inclusive, and help both your body & mind. I met some amazing people who I know I’ll be good friends with in the future.

So what’s next? Well in the next two months I need to learn all the choreography so I can tape my video evaluation where I’ll be teaching a group of people! If I pass, I can officially start teaching. Finding a place to teach will be another challenge but luckily a lot of 24 hr fitness clubs actually have POP Pilates classes.

How am I feeling about this? Scared. Nervous. Excited. But most of all inspired! I have a new level of respect for fitness requires. The job not only requires a certain level of physical fitness and knowledge, but also it asks for genuine passion & personality.

I’ll make sure to keep you all updated on what’s next! And if you anyone want a free workout in the next couple of months let me know and we will make it happen :).

Why I created A New Blog: Citrus & Gold

Why I created CitrusGold

Hello new friends and old friends! Welcome to my new blog: Citrus & Gold. For those that know me I’ve been blogging on the side for a few years but I’ve never put as much energy into it until now. I wanted to share with you why I was motivated to start from scratch to create something completely new. I’ve shared a version of this post on my old blog, but if you hadn’t had a chance to read, here it is:

I started blogging in college to claim a little piece of the internet. You know, to have something of my own where I could freely share my thoughts. I didn’t really have a focus when I first started to blog so I wrote about whatever piqued my interest. Slowly but surely, I saw a trend: I began sharing healthy recipes, interviewing inspiring people, and writing posts related to running/ working out. The more time I invested in blogging, the more I realized I focus on the particular niche of health & fitness.

Which is why I started Citrus & Gold.

I want to inspire people to be bolder, healthier, and happier.

I’ve learned a lot about who I am as a person by focusing my energy towards my health. When I started paying more attention to my well-being, I realized that a lot of the “new habits” I was picking up were actually things my mom tried to teach me at a young age.

For example, she tried to convince me about benefits of yoga & breathing exercises; she also made me drink turmeric milk when I was sick; and she would often suggest using natural products for skincare. All of the tips & tricks she tried to teach me were rooted in South Asian culture. Though all of these may be trendy now, I want to share a perspective that brings it all close to home.

I’m excited start a new phase of my blogging “career”. The whole process definitely didn’t happen overnight: I’ve been working on planning & creating the blog little by little these past 3 months and I have big dreams for this blog!

I truly appreciate your support and would love if you could be part of the community:

1. Follow me on instagram at @citrusandgold for the latest update.
2. Subscribe here to receive a curated monthly newsletter (may change it to bi-weekly!).
3. Tell me what health & fitness topics you’d like to hear more about by asking me here or on social media!

Blogging 101: Choosing a Blog Name

Blogging-101- choosing-blog-name

Blogging-101- choosing-blog-name

You know how some people are good at creating witty/fun names for sports teams, group projects, or blogs? Yeah I was never that person.

My first blog name, akanshaagrawal.com, shows you the extent of my creativity. Therefore when it came to choosing a name for this blog, I started to panic just a little bit.

I wanted a blog name that first and foremost represented a brand, a certain kind of feeling, a lifestyle.

Find your purpose:

A good place to start is to start brainstorming names that fit your blog’s focus. Personally, I wanted a blog name that represent not only me, but also a lifestyle of health & fitness.

Some bloggers choose straightforward names that tells you directly about the focus of their blog. That works perfectly fine but I chose to pick a name that’s more abstract to give me flexibility to transform my brand over time.

Brainstorm like crazy.

It took me about a week to decide on “Citrus & Gold” and I was constantly thinking about it in the back of my mind. I asked my mom, my best friend, my boyfriend to help me brainstorm names. On my iPhone Notes app, I had a list of over 30 potential possibilities.

My advice is to write anything that comes to your mind – no matter how boring or crazy it may sound. At some point, you will stumble upon a name that has a nice ring to it. You’ll keep it in your back pocket for the next few moments and finally decide that it is right for you.

Research to find something that works across all platforms

You want a name that’s unique and sets you apart. First, check to see if the domain is available here.

Second, you should choose a name wisely so that you can use it consistently across all platforms. It’s important to have a recognizable identity on Pinterest/Instagram/Twitter etc.

Think about the future

“How long do you want to continue your blog?” is an important question to answer. When I asked myself this, I realized I needed to choose a name that was timeless and not temporary.

At first, I was thinking of names that defined me at this moment: running, California, my twenties. But what happens if I stop running and move onto another sport? What if I move from California and what if (god forbid!) I turn 30?

When creating a name, it’s important to find one that you can identify with for a long time (at least, if you want to continue blogging in the future).

In the end, it’s more about the brand than the name

If you’re still trying to find the PERFECT blog name I wouldn’t sweat it too hard. The name is important but it will not make or break your blog. What really matters is your brand & content.

Think about “Apple” for example. What does a macintosh apple have to do with computers and technology? Nothing. Yet the company was able to take that name & strategically brand itself to make it mean much more.

Finally, what I’ve learned from a few years of blogging: content is KEY. If you have a fancy name, a beautiful website, but you have weak content, you’re not going to get too far long-term.

Anyone else have any tips they’d like to share? I’d love to hear it in the comments below!

image from Bloglovin