The Coveteur began as a passion project exploring the homes and closets of global street style stars,lifestyle, fashion, and culture. The Coveteur pulls back the curtain on heretofore unseen adventures in style, travel, arts and more.
We arrived at Qimmah Saafir’s Brooklyn apartment fully intent on discussing HANNAH, the biannual print publication she founded, in her words, as “an ode to black women.” We wanted to know what inspired the magazine, how she got Issa Rae and Tarana Burke on covers without the glossy allure of a Hearst or Condé Nast umbrella, and the vision she has for HANNAH in the years to come. We accomplished this, but, unexpectedly, there was someone else in the room we were just as interested in getting to know: Saafir’s two-year-old daughter, Leahn. So, as we discussed the challenges of launching a print venture in the age of digital fixation, we also snacked on Goldfish and snapped some mother-daughter portraits.
One of nine siblings born and raised in the Bronx, Saafir grew up in a tight-knit family more mindful of what they did have then what they didn’t. “We had a house, and it was a great house, but we were poor,” she says. “My siblings and I never really noticed, though, because my parents did a really great job of surrounding us with so much love and activity that we never felt like we were without. We had each other, so we had enough.”
After graduating from Bronx Science High School, Saafir went to Spelman, where she majored in English and minored in Japanese. Though she planned to pursue international business—even living in Nagoya for a year—a discovery her freshman year hinted that she was perhaps destined for something else.
“I saw the first issue of Honey with Lauryn Hill on the cover, and I was like, ‘This is a magazine for me. Specifically for me.’” A magazine made in celebration of and dedicated to young black women was a marvel at the time, and like many of her peers, Saafir collected every issue and was crushed when Honey folded in 2003. “[Around that time] it started brewing to create something similar, but I just didn’t know how.”
Saafir’s first job out of college was in event planning at Columbia University, working in the office of President Lee Bollinger. It didn’t take long for her to realize it wasn’t a fit, and soon after she delved into publishing, writing for The Ave., a since-shuttered social and political magazine. Later, she landed at XXL as the sole research editor—a job much bigger than the paycheck she was earning, she says.
“After XXL I decided to freelance, and that’s when I started to work at every single magazine there is. Seventeen, InStyle, Lucky, Marie Claire, Maxim…everywhere. I was doing writing and research, but I would always get discouraged with the writing because I would pitch stories on women of color, and the response would always be, ‘That’s not our direction,’ or ‘That’s not our demo.’ This was before #blackgirlmagic—before we were a trend—and I got tired of trying to force stories on women of color into the pages of other magazines.” A mentor gave her some simple, straightforward advice: “You’ve had this idea for your own magazine for years,” they told her. “Just do it.”
Without financial backing to get the project off the ground, Saafir reluctantly started a Kickstarter (“I didn’t want people to think, ‘Oh, here she goes begging for money.’”) She ended up surpassing her goal, and thus, HANNAH was born, named after what her late father and his grandmother called the sun.
Saafir describes the process of putting the magazine together as “loosely formulaic,” likening each issue to a time capsule. When deciding who to approach for covers, she asks herself, “What black woman has done something in this time frame that’s historic? I want to make sure that when we look back on these books we can say, ‘Yeah, that was a big moment.’”
Members of the HANNAH team include deputy editor Aja Riddick, whom Saafir has known since high school; designer William Pope, Leahn’s father, who also goes by Pope Phoenix; creative producer Robert Vance; special events coordinator L’Rai Mensah; and assistant Kennedy Williams, among numerous others. They work with different writers, photographers, and stylists every issue.
“When I first started HANNAH, people thought I was crazy,” Saafir says, citing the steep declines in print circulation, “but shortly after the first issue came out, there were all these articles [being published] about how mainstream magazines are folding, but very niche, independent publications are thriving.”
So what does Saafir consider to be the draw of HANNAH in particular?
“The draw is that it’s something that was not. There was a void, and the draw is something created well—and intentionally, with love—specifically for black women. This is just in celebration of us, unapologetically.”
Thus far, pages have been dedicated to the work and words of Toyin Ojih Odutola, a conversation between Jenna Wortham and Morgan Rhodes, interviews with Ruth Carter and Joy Bryant, and many more nods to black women. And while HANNAH is for everybody and anybody who wishes to read, learn from, and appreciate it, there’s one person in particular Saafir hopes it resonates with.
“Leahn was born when the first issue of HANNAH was born,” Saafir says, looking at her daughter. “I want her to see me working and creating something that I love, but I also want her to see herself. When she looks at HANNAH and she sees faces that look like her, that matters to me.”
Saafir’s long-term goal is to grow the publication into a multimedia platform that focuses on various underrepresented groups, though celebrating black women will always be at its core. Her plans to scale are ambitious, but according to her, she’s already experienced unparalleled success.
“Before we put the first issue out, we did a content preview on Tumblr of what the layouts would look like, and a lot of people started following it,” she says. “I got a letter from a girl who I want to say was in Missouri or Nebraska. It was handwritten, and she said, ‘I want to let you know that what you’re doing with HANNAH, it makes me feel like I’m home anywhere I go. I’m in college where I’m the only black person, but when I go to my room, I go online and look at HANNAH, and I feel like I’m safe. I feel like I’m seen.’
“If we never get any more press, if only two people buy the next issue, that one letter will be enough. That’s why I do this.”
Everybody knows how tough it can be to find a quality sunscreen that doesn’t leave you with irritated, broken-out skin. And given the range of ingredients in different formulas, it can feel like a guessing game to pick one that works for you. Luckily, I’ve done the leg-work over the past dozen or so years, ever since I realized that you don’t have to slather a body-specific sunscreen over your sensitive complexion (and it doesn’t need to sting in order to work). Since a new product tends to give me a nice, fat pimple right in the middle of my cheek if it doesn’t agree with my skin, I’ve compiled a short (but growing) list of all the facial sunscreens I use year-round. Check out my 7 favorites below.
Consider her part of the anti-bling club. Twenty-five-year-old Jean Prounis’ namesake fine jewelry is an ode to another era of craftsmanship. Let’s just say you won’t see a halo or pave band here. Instead, Prounis is redefining the modern heirloom, taking nods from ancient handcrafted goldsmithing techniques and details inspired by her grandfather’s collection of storied antiquities and her Greek heritage. What you’ll find are old-world cut gemstones like chubby cabochons, rose cuts, pear and emerald shapes, and imperfect, perfect pearls set in a matte recycled 22k gold. She adds details like granulation (tiny little gold spheres fused in intricate patterns) that are hard to come by in contemporary styles. Every piece is thoughtful, down to the sage suede pouches that hold your jewels, inspired by the tablecloths of the Versailles nightclub her great-grandfather, Otto Prounis, co-owned in the 1940s that drew in the likes of Edith Piaf and Texas Guinan.
Big red doors and a discrete gold plaque facined to 16th century stone are the only signs you’ve reached Palácio Belmonte. Connecting Lisbon’s charming Alfama neighborhood to São Jorge Castle, the former palace is a welcome reprieve in the bustling city. Indugling in a glass of rosé and fresh salad at Grenache in the front courtyard isn’t a bad way to get settled in either. Once on the other side of the historic front doors, 10 impeccably preserved and restored suites, each with its own unique characteristics and original 16th century azulejo tile motif by Portuguese master tile-makers, Manuel Santos and Valentim de Almeida—commissioned in 1720 and 1730 by the original family—are found in every corner.
Wraparound terraces draped in fuscia bougainvillea that overlook the Tagus river make having breakfast (complementary with your stay) anywhere else seem drab in comparison. We also need to talk about the bathrooms: deep soaking marble tubs and rainfall showers strategically placed so it feels like you’re rinsing off outdoors in complete privacy. You’ll save it as inspo for later.
The rest of the property, a cozy library with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, an expansive ballroom converted into a lovely lounge area, and alcoves that overlook the terracotta roofs of Alfama can’t be missed either. We’d be surprised if you don’t leave with a camera roll full of Palácio Belmonte vignettes.
Once upon a time, HBO was the kingdom of prestige television—the land of Sex and the City, The Sopranos, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. And though all has not yet been lost (here’s looking at you, Big Little Lies) the face of streaming TV is changing rapidly.
In the next nine months or so, five new streaming services will storm the market: Disney+ and AppleTV+ this fall, and HBO Max and as-yet-unnamed platforms from NBC Universal and Discovery next year. Expect smaller spinoffs too, both in scope and length of content; for example, Quibi, or “quick bites of quality entertainment,” will be by design delivered to a device near you in, as the New York Times reports, “10-minute chunks” It’s enough to make your head spin. And your wallet empty.
Gone will be the days when you can subscribe to Netflix and Hulu, and maybe Amazon and HBO, and be perfectly able to keep up with the latest shows at the proverbial water cooler. In the next year, the way we will be able to access shows will change drastically. But is it better—or just different?
Perhaps the biggest change will be that streaming platforms are entering an unprecedented arms race with each other, which means a major emphasis on more hours of TV, regardless of quality, as per the Times. Previously, networks competed for subscribers by helming the ship with marquee shows, and filling in the gaps with shows that might be considered more niche or fluff.
No more. Though Game of Thrones–style shows won’t be ushered out completely, the push to create the next big show may be replaced with the drive to crank out as many shows as humanly possible. And that has already started, especially at smaller networks.
As Nick Weidenfeld, an independent TV producer who was formerly president of programming at Viceland, told the Times: “To fill the hours in the day for sales, we had to make essentially 300 hours [of TV] a year” at Viceland. “So we could have made a huge show. The Vice version of Mad Men, our version of Game of Thrones, whatever.” But it wasn’t worth it. “We’re spending $8-to-$10 million an episode on it, and we’ve wasted our entire budget!”
Instead, they zeroed in on smaller, low-budget, easy-to-produce shows that encouraged people to partake, especially in small quantities on mobile devices. As the landscape shifts, that, too, will become a major consideration.
It’s already happening at the bigger companies as well. When was the last time you opened Netflix, randomly flipped through new shows you’ve never heard of, and found a show you actually liked? If the answer is never, same—though shout-out to the original Tales of the City, from 1993, starring Laura Linney, Parker Posey, and Olympia Dukakis, which appeared on Netflix recently. (If the answer is more than never, are you magic?)
Get ready, too, for more game shows. Weidenfeld told the Times he was working on a pitch for a new game show, “on the theme of impostors,” which he described as “so stupid but so sellable.” Can’t wait for that one.
Also prepare for a musical chairs situation as networks reclaim their rightful shows. For example, the parent company launching HBO Max owns the rights to Friends, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Pretty Little Liars and others huge shows. If you don’t plan to subscribe, get your Friends binge on before the end of the year.
But if you do, you’ll have plenty to choose from, though who’s to say about the quality of what’ll be on offer. When HBO Max launches early next year, it’s set to cost slightly more than the existing HBO Now streaming service, which is priced at $14.99 a month. The new service “is anticipated to premiere with 10,000 hours of premium content,” as CNN reports.
There is at least one upside to all of this. More creative freedom is being passed from the networks to the series creators themselves, which means a break from familiar TV formulas and more experiments (in some cases, at least). The unending appetite for new shows has meant more diversity and inclusivity, as the Times notes, pointing to places at the table for Donald Glover’s Atlanta, Ramy Youssef’s Ramy, Issa Rae’s Insecure, Ryan O’Connell’s Special, and Lindy West’s Shrill.
From the moment that long-awaited ring slips onto your finger, the endless parade of wedding planning tasks commences. Like, say, the guest list (will you invite your SO’s loquacious Trump-loving cousin twice-removed?), the venue, the search for the elusive non-cheesy photographer (just say no to matching outfits), the DRESS (!!!)—it goes on and on. Then there are the beauty treatments. We’re not talking extreme face-changing procedures or deprivating cleanses (seriously, guys, it’s never worth it!), but more of the non-invasive, non-permanent ones that leave you looking like your best self (the key here: still looking like you, just glowier).
But what are the most popular pre-wedding treatments? According to RealSelf, botox, CoolSculpting, Invisalign, Juvederm, and Restylane top the list. Are they worth it? We investigate.
Top 5 Pre-Wedding Beauty Treatments
The non-invasive treatments most popular among brides-to-be:
How long it lasts: Three to five months before wearing off.
“Botox relaxes the facial muscles that fold the skin causing wrinkles. For a patient who has never had Botox before, I generally do not recommend trying it for the first time before a wedding. I’d like to treat the patient first, make sure that she is happy with how she looks, and then retreat a few weeks before the wedding. While Botox is an outstanding treatment, it does slightly change your appearance, especially when you smile, so I always want to make sure that the bride knows exactly how she will look on her big day,” explains dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner.
“CoolSculpting is one [of] the best options for non-surgical fat reduction. The results do not really compare to liposuction. Liposuction can deliver dramatic results after one treatment, whereas CoolSculpting can only deliver a 20-30% reduction in fat and may require multiple treatments to reach a patient’s goal. CoolSculpting is great for patients who only need a small reduction in fat or who are averse to more invasive procedures,” says dermatologist Dr. William Groff.
“Invisalign is one of the most popular procedures before weddings. Brides who have been thinking about Invisalign for some time tend to come in and start treatment once they get engaged. What better time to have straight teeth? This is super popular in combination with whitening right before the wedding. Invisalign attracts a lot of brides because it’s fairly easy and yields maximum results,” says dentist Dr. Victoria Veytsman.
What it’s good for: Plump lips, smile lines, under eyes
How long it lasts: nine to 12 months
“Fillers are very popular to restore lost volume to the face. We can enhance cheeks, address under-eye hollows, and plump lips. Because of the risk of bruising and swelling, fillers should be given at least a few weeks before the wedding day,” says dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner.
We’re not ones to pry, but we’re going to kick this one off with a bit of a personal question:
How much did you spend on clothes last month?
OK, you’re still with us. But if you snapped your laptop closed or threw your iPhone across the room with a defiant “HOW DARE YOU?” we don’t blame you. It’s like asking how much you weigh or how many drinks you average per week (“um, pass?”) or why you disappeared for two months during the summer of 2009 and emerged with a noticeably perkier nose.
There are some things we just don’t want to talk about. Or think about. Ever.
Money is always a touchy subject (especially if you’re snagged in the catch-22 of working in an industry—cough, cough—that necessitates dressing like a Céline model on a Forever 21 salary; ah, the things we do for love).
No matter your paycheck, we all have those stomach-drop moments when we have to face the truth about how much we’re spending. Like when you peek at your Visa balance with eyes squinted into slits, as if that’ll somehow take back the 23 dinners you ate out this month. Or that requisite pinched smile when your squad announces they’re upgrading the group’s Coachella quarters to a four-star suite. And then there’s the tiny sigh of relief you breathe when you see “Approved” flash on the machine after you ball out on Balmain.
But that’s about to change. We talked to our favorite anti-Wall Street financial guru, Priya Malani of Stash Wealth, about how we can have it all—and, in our world, that means the Ferragamo and the fuck-off fund.
So here it is: our 12-step plan (we’re going all Shopaholics Anonymous on you here) to ending the year with a way better closet—no matter how much you make—without dipping into your savings account. Because you totally have one of those, right?
You read that right. Don’t do it. It doesn’t work. Malani advocates doing the opposite, with her aptly titled Reverse Budget:
“It doesn’t sound much sexier, but the point is it actually works,” she says. “The concept can best be described as ‘save first, blow the rest.’ With that in mind, there’s no such thing as ‘overspending’ on your wardrobe because you can spend as much as you like on whatever you want—clothes, happy hour, Soul Cycle—until the money runs out each month and never think twice.”
That means instead of, say, having a $300 monthly clothing budget, have $300 of each paycheck automatically transferred into your savings account. Once you’ve figured out how much your monthly inevitables are (rent, groceries, transportation, etc.), the rest is basically Monopoly money for you to blow on whatever you want, guilt-free.
“No one wants to be told they can’t spend on what they love. Compromising isn’t in our nature, and if a reverse budget is set up properly, you shouldn’t feel like you’re compromising at all,” says Malani. “This also prevents you from becoming a victim of something we call ‘lifestyle creep’—getting used to a life you can’t afford.”
Sounds pretty damn smart, right?
Do the math
Let’s calculate your reverse budget. Here’s Malani’s formula:
Fixed Expenses = no more than 50 percent of your spendable income (think rent, groceries, insurance, pet care, etc.).
Lifestyle Expenses = no more than 30 percent of your spendable income (think clothes, Class Pass, Uber, alcohol, brunch, etc.)
Future Savings = no more than 20 percent of your spendable income (think short-term savings, like for a trip, and long-term savings, like your 401K).
According to this logic, here’s the maximum you should be spending per month on your lifestyle expenses (based on a few after-tax example salaries):
$40k salary = $1,000 per month on lifestyle stuff (including clothes)
$60k salary = $1,500 per month on lifestyle stuff
$120k salary = $3,000 per month on lifestyle stuff
Buy for cheap: trendy pieces (think festival-wear)
Rent: unique items you don’t see yourself wearing more than once or twice (think that flapper dress for the Great Gatsby party you were invited to) or accents you don’t really need to own at all (like a statement jacket that’s really only fashion-week-appropriate).
It’s also good practice to have a no-buy list—for Malani, that’s cocktail dresses (the cost per wear just isn’t worth it) and designer sunglasses. For us, it’s absurdly priced designer denim. Again, a personal choice.
Play the “What’s It Worth?” game
If you’re a compulsive over-spender on items that just aren’t worth your hard-earned dollars, Malani suggests playing a shopping game with yourself—and no, we’re not talking about a Kardashian app.
“When I’m trying on clothes, I never look at the price tag first. Once in the dressing room, I’ll try on the item, look in the mirror, and decide what it’s worth to me,” says Malani. “[I say], ‘I love this so much, I’d pay xxx’ or ‘This is really only worth xxx to me,’ and then I get to look at the price. The rule is, if the price tag is higher, I don’t let myself buy it. If it’s lower, it’s on the table.”
Big Spender < Big Renter
“I had a client who was spending about $350 a month on clothing, which was above her comfort level within her reverse budget and affecting her ability to spend on other ‘lifestyle’ stuff,” says Malani. “So she switched to RTR Unlimited, which is a service for $139 a month.”
(For those unfamiliar with clothing-rental vernacular, that’s Rent the Runway Unlimited, basically a Netflix for designer duds. It even comes with free dry cleaning, because they get you.)
“That coupled with the occasional trendy-piece purchase has left her feeling like she’s got increased bandwidth in her wardrobe and her wallet. Previous annual cost? $4,200. New annual cost? $1,668…a $2,500 difference.”
You’ve got [the best] mail [ever]
Curb your buyer’s enthusiasm by ordering in. Sites like DailyLook and Le Tote have clothing subscription boxes with different price points and methodologies (with some, you only pay for what you want to keep; others, like Style Lend, let you keep the outfit for a week and then send it back).
Window shop ’til you drop…
...your credit card down a manhole. Kidding, but Malani says one foolproof way to avoid buying something you’ll regret later is to leave your Visa at home.
“Going shopping without any money [sounds] extreme, but it means you avoid impulse purchases that are just that—impulsive,” says Malani. “Once you get home, away from the excitement, the items that keep coming back to mind from your shopping trip are the ones to consider buying.”
Clean out your closet
(I said I’m sorry, Mama / I didn’t mean to buy shoes)
Before a potentially splurge-y shopping trip, heed the advice of new-age prophets Mary Kondo and Eminem, and clean out your closet.
“What most people tend to say is that after spring cleaning, they realize how much they actually have,” says Malani. “All the pieces they own are fresh in their mind, so they don’t end up buying their eighth pair of hole-in-the-knee jeans. Plus, when you see how much you are selling or donating, you’re likely to be more mindful about purchases immediately thereafter.”
Love it? List it
And by that we mean Christmas isn’t the only season to have a wish list—it’s actually beneficial to have one going year-round. Not only is it a reminder of the items you actually love versus compulsively want, but you can use it to track the best time to buy pricier pieces.
“My Shopping Notes is a site that tracks wish-list items and sends alerts when they go on sale,” says Malani. “Chances are, by then it will actually be time to wear the item, since the fashion industry is always a few months ahead of the season.”
“Siri, define ‘investment’”
Sorry, guys. ‘Investment piece’ is a bit of a misnomer: Unless you’re one of the rare few who becomes a Hermèllionaire after re-selling a Birkin, you’re looking for staples, not investments.
“If you’re in the process of building out your staples, I would suggest creating a sub-savings account and automatically funding it with a little money from your savings,” says Malani. “That way, within a few months you can make a purchase and then start rebuilding towards the next one automatically.”
So there you have it: permission to bring on the 401Kenzo.
Sell it, don’t dispel it
We’re all for donating our outfit outcasts, but there are some pieces—usually the more expensive or barely worn ones—that are worth selling. Malani suggests going through your wardrobe twice a year (minimum!) and selling whatever you aren’t wearing.
“Sites like Poshmark, Tradesy, and Linda’s Stuff are great places to sell or swap what you own for new stuff so you don’t feel like your wardrobe is getting stale,” says Malani. “It also helps to subsidize the cost of future purchases.”
Seek professional help
In an age when you can get your blowouts, massages, and manicures delivered, it only makes sense that you can order in a professional get-your-shit-togetherist too (granted, that’s not their preferred title). For NYC dwellers, there’s a new site called Fresch Style (NY Mag named them “best closet organizer”) that’s half professional organizer and half personal stylist. They help you declutter your closet, edit your wardrobe, and—the best part—take you shopping to help fill in the blanks with better stuff.
Don’t get us wrong—there are still many celebrities for whom yacht-hopping, island-renting and private jet-setting is a thing. But there are equally as many, if not more, who routinely pass on exotic, over-the-top getaways for something we’ll call luxe deprivation (and no, we don’t mean “glamping”). We’re talking weigh-ins, raw-food diets, Epsom-salt cocktails, vomit-inducing hikes, colonic irrigation, and all the other forms of semi-abuse celebrities sign up for when they check into one of California’s luxury wellness retreats. To find out what exactly goes down at these exclusive resorts (and just how much they’ll cost you/your life), we did some digging into five of the West Coast’s most extreme detox destinations, from a juice-only fasting spa in Desert Hot Springs, to a no-frills boot camp that made Oprah cry (yes, really).
The stories that come out of this place are insane, from Rebel Wilson’s weight loss, to Lea Michele’s former romance with Ranch trainer Matthew Paetz. But perhaps the most shocking thing we’ve ever heard about The Ranch at Live Oak is the sheer amount of exercise guests must submit to while they’re there. A day starts with the sounds of Tibetan chimes at 5:30 AM, followed by a one-hour morning stretch, a light breakfast, a crazy-steep four hour hike through the Santa Monica Mountains, and three hours of strength training and yoga. You’ll refuel on meals free of wheat, sugar, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol (think: chickpea and onion salad, parsnip puree, and Epsom-salt cocktails). A daily deep tissue massage, a one-hour nap every afternoon, and an 8:30 bedtime are the only somewhat redeeming aspects of the program.
Price: Approximately $7,800/week
From the website: “On our [four-hour] morning hikes, you will receive a small handful of almonds (generally about 6) … to help replace electrolytes and fuel the body.”
You’ll subsist entirely on a liquid diet of green juices, lemon water, and veggie soups while at We Care—a holistic fasting spa that has Liv Tyler, Heidi Klum, and Donna Karan among its fans—but the numbers speak for themselves: guests lose an average of seven pounds per week, the resort has a return rate of 85 percent, and rooms are usually booked a year out. The juices are supplemented by a range of treatments ranging from lymphatic stimulation to daily colonics (“an important cornerstone of your cleanse”)—plus, soaks in hot mineral pools, yoga and Pilates classes, and nightly Transformational Fire Ceremonies (we can only imagine).
Price: Approximately $2,800 per person for a six-day stay.
From the website: “Clear the negative energy that has been blocking you!”
While the name of this retreat conjures images of chakra cleanses and endless chaturangas, its militaristic fitness program is not unlike what you’d expect to find at a fat camp. Julia Roberts is reported to have fled the camp after a few days, Gwyneth Paltrow shed 10 pounds in a week, and Oprah supposedly cried (CRIED!) because of the dawn-to-dusk schedule, which combines daily 18-mile hikes, weigh-ins, hours-long gym, dance, and strength training, and 1,000-calorie-per-day raw-food meals that are eaten with chopsticks (to slow down the eating process—seriously). As for the digs, the accommodations and bathroom facilities are all shared, and there are no phones, Internet, or TV allowed.
From the website: “You can easily lose 5 to 10 pounds a week if your goal is weight loss.”
If you’re miserable and starving, you might as well be comfortable, right? That’s seemingly the logic behind Cal-a-Vie, an upscale European-inspired health resort whose interiors—all French tapestries, priceless antiques, and 16th-century stone fireplaces—exude Louis XVI grandeur. Not that you’ll spend much time lounging or taking in the scenery (citrus groves and lavender fields, if you were wondering). During your visit, you’ll adhere to an intense fitness and nutrition program that includes morning hikes, strength training, yoga instruction, nutritional lectures, and calorie-controlled meals. If you slack, a 5:1 staff-to-guest ratio will ensure it’s not for long.
From the website: “Quiet your mind in our labyrinth.”
At this Laguna Canyon boot camp, a yogi and his wife, a former model and CHANEL ambassador, will guide you through exhausting days filled with power yoga, 5- to 11-mile hikes through terrains with 1,200-foot climbs, weight-lifting sessions, and Tai Chi instruction. You’ll eat no more than 1,200 calories per day, drink absurd amounts of hot lemon water, and sip savory veggie broth every night during “cocktail hour.” Your reward? Facials, massages, Jacuzzi time, and a dropped pant size.
From the website: “All our dishes are made with love.”
Sometimes we want to put away the egg, avocado toast, and smoothie breakfasts we fall back on during our nine-to-five and swap out for something to satiate our sweet tooth. Can you blame us? Yet indulging in the most important meal of the day can throw your entire day, nay, week, of healthy eating off kilter. Unless, of course, you have a friend like a holistic nutritionist and certified nutritional practitioner and My New Roots founderSarah Britton on speed dial to cull together the most delicious, sweet, and, yes, healthy dessert recipes you can eat right when you wake up.
2 cups rolled oats, gluten-free if desired
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 1⁄2 cups unsweetened puffed rice cereal (rice, millet, quinoa, etc.) 1⁄2 cup dried fruit (raisins, dates, figs, prunes, goji berries), roughly chopped 1⁄4 tsp flaky sea salt
1–1 1⁄2 tbsp matcha green tea powder (to your taste) 1⁄3 cup brown rice syrup
3 tbsp maple syrup 1⁄2 cup tahini
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 325°F/160°C. Combine oats and pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the oats are golden and have a nutty aroma.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the brown rice syrup, maple syrup, tahini, coconut oil, and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Do not overheat.
3. In a large bowl, combine the cooled oats and pumpkin seeds with the chopped dried fruit, rice puffs, salt, and matcha. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and stir quickly to mix.
4. Pour the mix into a brownie pan lined with plastic wrap or baking paper. Press the mixture firmly, especially into the corners. Place in the fridge for a couple hours to firm up, then remove from fridge and slice into bars. Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to two weeks.
1⁄4 cup milk of your choice (nut, seed, goat, rice…)
6 tbsp coconut oil, melted
6 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups pumpkin puree (I used 1 small Hokkaido pumpkin of 2 lbs)
2 cups wholegrain spelt flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder 1⁄2 tsp fine grain sea salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom 1⁄2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 1⁄8 tsp ground clove
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (substitute with any other nut or seed, if desired) 1⁄2 cup chopped dark chocolate (optional, but delicious)
fresh honeycomb (from an organic source, if possible)
flaky sea salt to garnish
1. If making your own pumpkin puree, preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Slice the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, and place on a baking sheet cut sides down. Roast until soft, about 30 minutes (time varies depending on the size of your pumpkin). When cool enough to handle, place both halves in a food processor and blend on high until as smooth as possible (for extra nutrients and ease, try to find a pumpkin with edible skin, such as Hokkaido).
2. Reduce oven to 350°F/175°C.
3. Line a standard loaf pan with baking paper, or lightly oil and dust with flour, shaking out excess (a silicon loaf pan works well too).
4. Put the milk, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and pumpkin puree in a blender, and blend until smooth.
5. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add pumpkin mixture and combine using as few strokes as possible. Fold in nuts and chocolate.
6. Pour batter into loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes. Remove from loaf pan and let cool on a wire rack.
7. To serve, toast or grill slices of the pumpkin loaf until warm and crusty. Slice a portion of honeycomb, let sit on the warm bread until very soft, then smash with a knife, sprinkle with good, flaky sea salt, and enjoy.