Spring Travel: Get Outdoorsy in West Virginia

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The Greenbrier combines lush nature with modern grandeur. Photo via istockphoto

The six-hour drive from Philly to the Greenbrier resort sets the tone for what’s to come: Busy four-lane highways morph into quiet two-lane country roads that cut through mountains so densely covered in trees, you begin to wonder if West Virginia is one big state park. The property’s meandering driveway leads you to the gleaming white hotel, which rises like a mirage. This, you will think to yourself, is the definition of old-school class. But there’s no need for posturing — the Greenbrier was built in the 1700s and has hosted royalty, celebrities, 26 presidents, and Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, who recently held their training camp on-site. Read more »

Spring Travel: Get Healthy in Miami

Workouts with a view. Photo via Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

Workouts with a view. Photo via Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

Sure, Miami — a city arguably best known for its late-night partying and accompanying please-don’t-raise-the-blinds mornings — might not seem like the ideal place to kick-start a healthy lifestyle. But the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, a towering 150-suite beachfront property nestled on the tamer north end of Miami Beach, doesn’t dish out typical South Florida debauchery. Instead, it offers an impressive 70,000-square-foot wellness facility — a veritable playground (complete with rock wall, spin room and juice bar) for guests seeking a Goop-like health and fitness overhaul. Read more »

Spring Travel: Get Hungry in the Poconos

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Photo via istockphoto

If we’re being technical, the Lodge at Woodloch bills itself as a luxury spa destination — and with its indoor pool, salon, trio of hot tubs, and a treatment menu that stretches from body wraps, facials and massages to hydrotherapy and reiki, that’s certainly an apt descriptor. But this resort, tucked three hours away from Philly in the far northeast corner of our state, is also (surprise!) a food lovers’ paradise. Read more »

A Smart (and Useful!) Way to Repurpose Citrus Peels 

I’m not sure what comes over me when I enter Target, but I always find myself back home, unpacking a bag filled with luxe, eco-friendly kitchen surface cleaners that I imagine Gwyneth Paltrow uses, that give my home the lovely scent of Lemon Verbena mixed with financial irresponsibility.

So, my wallet can thank the folks over at Healthyish for this tip to keep my kitchen spray free of gnarly chemicals and smelling like citrusy deliciousness while spending very little money, and reusing some stuff that would’ve otherwise gone in the garbage. #Winning.

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Why This Local Cookbook Author Is a Big Fan of the Cheesecake Factory

Erica Daniels with son Leo | Photo courtesy Erica Daniels

Erica Daniels with son Leo | Photo courtesy Erica Daniels

Raise your hand if you or your kids have food allergies or struggle with autism-related food issues. Okay, now meet Maple Glen resident and autism advocate Erica Daniels, your night in shining apron. When Daniels’s son Leo, now 12 years old, was a year old, she found out he had a peanut allergy. Then, a bit later, she found out he was struggling with autism and was affected by GI issues, too. This news led to years of experimenting in the kitchen — often with Leo by her side — to create allergen-free recipes her entire family could enjoy. The fruits of all this labor: A new allergen-free autism family cookbook, Cooking with Leo, complete with over 60 recipes free of common allergens like gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, and more. Or: Your new cooking bible.

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What Philly Fitness Trainers Buy at Whole Foods

Whole Foods | Photo by Adjua Fisher

Whole Foods | Photo by Adjua Fisher

I’m just going to say it: Whole Foods is kind of a weird place to me. It’s a little bit intimidating with all of its trendy healthy foods. Some I’ve never even heard of, let alone know how to cook or cut into (I haven’t even mastered cutting mangos, so don’t you dare confront me with a jack fruit. Am I alone? … Help!). But they do have the Chao Vegan Cheese Slices I love, so I have popped in a few times to pick up some of that goodness.

I have not yet visited the new, beautiful and heath-foodie-friendly Whole Foods location on Pennsylvania Avenue (the shame!). But don’t worry, it’s on my to-do list for this weekend (really!). And now I have a cheat sheet of sorts for my first trip (and so do you!): Here, we got a slew of Philly personal trainers to dish on what they throw in their carts at Whole Foods. Their answers: 15 mostly healthy, must-try foods, from $3 frozen samosas to nori sheets you can sub in for wraps, and more. So grab some paper and a pencil because your grocery list is about to get a little bit longer. (Psst: If you’re headed to Trader Joe’s this weekend, we’ve got Philly fitness pro-approved buys for TJ’s here.)  Read more »

The Checkup: The Healthy Food Trends You’re About to See Everywhere

• If you follow every health-obsessed, acai bowl-Instagramming food blogger alive like I do, then you are well aware of the fact that Expo West, a giant healthy-food expo where companies showcase their latest creations, went down in Los Angeles last week. Here, the Well + Good team predicts, based on what they saw there, the seven healthy food trends — from mushrooms in everything to specialty canned and bottled coffees (hey, La Colombe Draft Latte) — we’re about to see all over the place. [Well + Good]

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FYI: You Can Work Out With the Bachelorette’s Shawn Booth in Philly

CitySTRONG event | Photo credit: Zach Harrison Photography

CitySTRONG event | Photo credit: Zach Harrison Photography

On Saturday, March 25th, Philadelphia will be graced with the presence of two (2!) Bachelorette celebs: Shawn Booth, who won the heart and hand of Kaitlyn Bristowe on season 11 of the show, and the Bachelorette herself. And it gets better: They’re hosting a workout — and you’re invited. (We promise not to judge if you’re jumping with joy.)

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Stripp’d Juice’s Fishtown Grand Opening Is Friday (And They’re Offering a Sweet Deal!)

Acai Bowl at Stripp'd Juice | Photo courtesy of Stripp'd Juice

Acai Bowl at Stripp’d Juice | Photo courtesy of Stripp’d Juice

Boys and girls, hang on to your hats, because the time has come: This Friday, March 17th, Stripp’d Juice’s brand-spankin’-new Fishtown location will be hosting its grand opening shindig from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. And, let me be the first to tell you: You’re going to want to get there right at 10 — the first 10 people in the door will get a free ginger shot.

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Your (Free!) Spring Workout Calendar: Dilworth Park’s Free Fitness Returns!

This morning, I had to wait at the Girard El stop in 27-degree weather for upward of 20 minutes, watching three packed-like-sardines trains pass before one came that I could squeeze into. By the time I pushed my way onto the car — some days, you just have to be that person — I could not feel my toes anymore.

That said, it’s kind of hard to believe that outdoor workout season, and all of the awesome free fitness that pops up around town along with it, is right around the corner. But it is! And here’s proof: The Center City Parks District has announced the lineup for Spring Training at Dilworth Park, their annual series of free spring workouts hosted at the park. Go ahead and bust out your calendars, people!

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