Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bits & Morsels: Are you living your best life?

Truvia-topped strawberries at “Live Your Best Life Weekend.”

This past weekend marked the 10th anniversary of O magazine. To celebrate, Oprah Winfrey hosted the “Live Your Best Life Weekend.” I was not planning on covering the weekend, but it turned out to be an inspiring few days that I felt I should share.

The three-day event included a welcome reception, Saturday workshops, “An Evening with Oprah,” and Sunday morning walk. The welcome reception took place at Gotham Hall. I go to a lot of events and given the scale of this particular one, I was expecting plenty of long lines and waiting, waiting, waiting. I was dead wrong as I have never in my life seen an event run more smoothly. Registration took 5 minutes and included a welcome box. The box contained a guide for the weekend, Truvia mints, a scarf, and a journal.

The crowd was made up of mainly women from all over the world who shared a common goal: to improve their life. We were welcomed by Nate Berkus, who reminded us that the whole point of the weekend was to the take time to focus on ourselves and to look forward to living our best life. The weekend dress code: wear what makes you feel your best.
Live Your Best Life at the Javits Center.
Saturday's events took place at the Javits Center. The main events were the seminars given by some of O Magazine's contributors, Dr. Oz, Nate Berkus, Suze Orman, Donna Brazile, and Martha Beck. All of the seminars offered useful and practical advice on how to get your life organized so you can get the most out of it. I’m not an Oprah devotee, but I do love Dr. Oz. One of the takeaway points from his seminar was how imperative it is to get in shape now, so you will retain the necessary vitality for when you are older. Countless diseases can be prevented by eating right and exercising. There are many things you have no control over in life, but you can control what you eat, who your friends are, and how organized you can be. Stop stressing and just take action. And change.
The Welcome gift box.
My schedule. My journal ...
Lunch was included. I had salad nicoise.
Chef Sam Talbot with Zanna McFerson, the founder of Truvia. Truvia is from the stevia plant.
Truvia-topped strawberries.
Soy Joy was one of the sponsors. Blue Diamond gave out chocolate almonds at the Walk.
On the second floor of the Javits Center was a hall filled with sponsor exhibits, an Oprah store, and a sneak peak at OWN. Truvia was one of the weekend's sponsors, and they were passing out Truvia-topped strawberries. Truvia is the first all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener made from the Stevia plant, which is even sweeter than sugar. And is it safe for diabetics (I have found myself occasionally sprinkling some Truvia in my coffee). Starbucks should offer it as a sweetener as it’s a much healthier alternative to other artificial sweeteners. When exiting the Javits Center, all attendees received a gift bag that included a t-shirt for the walk on Sunday. There was actually an amazing gift at every event, plus the staff was happy and helpful.
The highlight of the weekend was the Saturday night show at Radio City, “An Evening with Oprah."

For about 2 hours, Oprah was on stage, alone, talking about her life and how she got to where she is now. And to think her parents assumed she would become a maid, because that was all she could aspire to be. Simply by her ambition, Oprah has become one of the most influential people in the world. She has a lot of faith and believes that things do happen for a reason. She closed by saying, “I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know who holds the future.”

If this weekend turns into an annual event, it’s worth your attending. I have been touched and I’m trying hard not to lose it.
Live Your Best Life Walk.
On Sunday, I took my digital to the new Limelight Marketplace. The marketplace has been getting a lot of attention, because it’s located in a 163-years-old church that was converted into a famous night club before it became the Limelight Marketplace. Some of the shops include Hunter boots, Silly Souls, The Cupcake Stop, Soapolgy, Brocade Homes, Olatz, Le Sportsac, Havaianas and Petrossian. They will also have a J. Sisters Salon and a soon-to-open Grimaldi’s. The marketplace is filled more with kiosks than with actual stores, but they do have a good selection and I’m sure you will find whatever you are looking for.

The Limelight Marketplace
656 Avenue of the Americas
Limelight Marketplace at 656 Avenue of the Americas.
The entrance to Limelight Marketplace. View from the 3rd level.
I love the Hunter store ...
Silly Souls.
Silly Souls gift sets.
Cute shirts at Silly Souls. They even sell whoopie pies at Wannahavacookie.
Sophie and Teddy's dog store.
Lots of doggie goodness at Sophie and Teddy's. The stained glass windows inside the Limelight Marketplace.
Caviar at Petrossian.
Mari's flavored brownies.
For your sweet tooth.
Pure Soy Candle at Soapology. The drippings can be used as massage oil.
Great scrubs, all made in New York.
Lev Ekster, founder of the Cupcake Stop.
Delicious cupcakes from the Cupcake Stop.
The Cupcake Stop shop is filled with authentic paraphernalia from the 50s.
Apparently you can eat a healthy diet even if you only have access to a bodega. Instead of buying twinkies, stick to healthier items like Sun chips, canned tuna, bananas and frozen vegetables. Frozen vegetables are actually as nutritious as their fresh counterparts, because they are frozen immediately after being picked at the peak of their freshness. [NY Daily News]

There is currently a romaine lettuce recall.
It hasn’t affected many restaurant in New York, but just to be sure you should double check when you order a salad. Salad bars, a la Just Salad, have also advised customers that they too have been unaffected by the recall, and their lettuce is safe. The recall does not include any bagged salads that you would buy in a supermarket. [CNN]

Have you ever been in a restaurant and heard the chef scold one of his employees? A reporter for Diner’s Journal happened to be dining at Restaurant Marc Forgione when he overheard chef Forgione loudly scold and embarrass one of his staff members. He mentioned it to Chef Forgione who kicked him out of the restaurant. [Diner’s Journal]

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