How did you come up with the idea for Bonberi?
I originally founded Bonberi with my friend Vanessa Packer who went on to found Modelfit. At the time, we were searching for a place online that focused on wellness but presented it in a chic, fashion-forward way. Sure there were plenty of crunchy "green goddess" sites, but where did the girls who read Vogue go for kale salad recipes? Coming from a background in magazines, I wanted to marry that curated, editorial look with subjects that cover holistic living, nutrition and well-being. Not all plant-based blogs need to be crunchy :)
How has being a mom changed the way you work? How do you manage both the site and spending time with Jude?
When I first had Jude, I couldn't even imagine the concept of "working mom" since I was so overwhelmed but about six weeks after giving birth, I got a writing assignment and had to dive right back in. It was a struggle in the beginning. It took me a while to figure out how to balance being there for Jude and also committing to work. I've learned to prioritize better and just "get it done". There's less time to second guess things, which I guess is a good thing. Now I try to focus my weekdays on work (barring colds, fevers and teething spells) but come the weekend, everything stops and it's mommy time. I've come to look at it a precious mommy and me time that is both restorative for Jude and me. I also make sure I do every good morning and goodnight song. There's nothing better than story time--as long as they involve trucks.
How has your son inspired you in your work?
Since becoming a mom, I've been inspired to include more healthy kid and baby-friendly recipes on the site and also feature moms who are raising their families in a healthy, holistic way. It's so inspiring to see what other moms are doing and to know there's not only one right way. My commitment to natural, organic products and foods has always been strong but since having Jude, I've become hyper-aware of what I put in his body and mine. That said, I've also become way more relaxed since the biggest thing motherhood has taught me is that we cannot control situations no matter how much we try. That has been the biggest learning curve for me.
What are your favorite kid-friendly restaurants in NYC?
Wild for gluten-free pizza; The Butcher's Daughter for almond butter toast and smoothies; Morandi for their soups and veggie sides.
What has been your favorite family vacation to date and what made it so memorable?
Every summer my husband and I used to go to Ibiza and last summer we took Jude for the first time over his 1st birthday. Taking him to every hidden beach, cliffside restaurant and cobblestone side street that my husband and I discovered on our own was so special since now we were a family unit. The plane ride back was unforgettable too--but not exactly for the same reasons ;)
What are your go-to meals to cook at home for your family?
A hearty vegetable soup is always in our fridge made with bone broth, chopped veggies and a dash of fresh dill with himalayan salt; brown rice pasta spirals with a creamy pesto sauce made dairy-free with steamed zucchini and cauliflower pureed with fresh basil; and a ground turkey, kale and beet ragu over roasted spaghetti squash.
What is your best health and nutrition advice?
My personal philosophy when it comes to nutrition is 80% plant-based, alkaline, whole foods and 20% indulgent foods. I try to eat as much raw, whole plants as possible whether it's in the form of salads, smoothies or juices. Food combining is also big thing for me, not mixing starch and protein in one meal to aid digestion. That said, the biggest thing when it comes to eating healthy for the longterm is don't forgo the pleasure. Listen to your intuition and see what you're craving. If you want crunch, add tons of cucumbers, bell peppers and toasted sunflower seeds to your salad. If you're craving pasta, go for it but choose the healthy option with whole grain options, tons of veggies and a savory sauce. If you want sushi, go for the avocado or veggie rolls since it's the rice that makes a roll. If you want a glass of red wine, go for it. Listen to your body. It's divinely intelligent and knows what it wants. Once you're the flow of listening to your intuition, eating healthy will most likely become your natural instinct.
What are your favorite all natural kids products?
TruKids Eczema Soothing Face & Body Wash; Earth Mama Angel Baby Angel Bottom Balm; Moon Valley Eczacalm
What is the best market for fresh organic produce in your opinion?
I recently discovered Heermance Farm Purveyors on Christopher Street, which only carries fresh local produce from their upstate farm in Tivoli. I also love Health & Harmony, Lifethyme and Integral Yoga Market.
What values do you hope to instill in your son?
As a child, my father always instilled in me a strong sense of principles, which I carry to this day. "The 4 D's," he used to call them. Dedication, Determination, Drive and Dignity. I hope one day I can convey the same values to my son.