6 Summer Events That Combine Fitness, Booze, And Awesome Food In The Lehigh Valley

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by Stephanie Eckelkamp

Sure, we all love how we feel after a great workout, but sometimes getting our butts out of bed and into gym clothes requires a little extra motivation. And if that motivation includes a strong cocktail or some killer farm fresh food, then you bet your ass we’ll be squeezing into our most flattering yoga pants faster than you can say mimosa. 

Lucky for all of us, local Lehigh Valley businesses have fully embraced trend of combining fitness classes (think: yoga, barre, crossfit) and a stiff drink, beer, or tasty nibbles. Squats and sangria, anyone? Burpees and beer? Pigeon and pinot grigio? I could go on...

Here, we’ve rounded up some awesome ways to detox and retox that are happening soon.

 

1) Sunday Morning Sweat: CrossFit at Weyerbacher
When: Sundays, June 25th, July 23rd, and August 20th, 10am
Where: Weyerbacher Brewery
Price: $10

Join South Mountain CrossFit instructors for a fun and interactive intro to CrossFit followed by a nice, cold 12 oz glass of the best recovery drink we can think of: beer! Haven’t mastered the art of the deadlift or the burpee? That’s fine. This event is perfectly suitable for CrossFit newbies. For more info and to purchase tickets, click here

2) Barre3 in the Vineyard
When: Sundays, July 2nd and August 6th, 9am
Where: Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery
Price: Free

Grab your yoga mat and a friend and join Barre3 instructors for a complementary sweat session followed by delicious mimosas and food by BlendLife Food Truck. No need to register; just show up! Want more details? Click here for the July event and here for the August event.

3) Yoga Happy Hour at Triple Sun Spirits
When: Wednesday, July 12th, 6pm
Where: Triple Sun Spirits
Price: $20

Work got you feeling blah? Grab a fellow disgruntled coworker and bust through the mid-week blues with an invigorating yoga flow followed by a hand made Triple Sun Spirits cocktail. To purchase tickets, click here

4) Farm Food Flow
When: Saturdays, July 15th and August 19th, 5-8pm
Where: Kreeky Tree Farm
Price: $75

Join yoga instructors Melanie Smith and Britt Tag for an outdoor vinyasa yoga class at Kreeky Tree Farm followed by a cooking demo and tasting with ingredients grown/raised on site by owners Allan Schanbacher and Chris Gangi. Bonus: You get to hang out with loads of cute farm animals while you’re there, including goats, donkeys, horses, chickens, and ducks. To enroll, email kreekytreefarm@gmail.com or call 610-442-2719. Click here for more details. 

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5) Yoga + Brunch with Greenmouth Table and Easton Yoga
When: Sunday, July 16th, 8am
Where: Easton Public Market
Price: $18

Join Alicia Rambo Wozniak of Easton Yoga and Sarah Hinsch of Greenmouth Table at the Easton Public Market for a healthy and delicious start to your Sunday. Alicia will guide a one-hour gentle morning flow to wake your body up and Sarah will prepare a nutritious breakfast to enjoy at the end of class. To register, click here

6) Pints and Poses: Yoga at Weyerbacher Brewery
When: Sunday, July 16th, August 6th, 10am
Where: Weyerbacher Brewery
Price: $20

Grab a mat and join guest instructor Stephanie Riggs in front of the brewhouse for a fun, adventurous sequence linking basic and advanced yoga poses, followed by a beer cocktail and some tasty snacks. To purchase tickets, click here

Got an event we should add? Holler at us below and we'll be sure to include it!

Local Gym Spotlight: Steel Fitness Premier

By Siobhan DeRemer

I have a confession: Gyms aren’t always my jam. I only started embracing the idea of strength training semi-recently (within the last few years) and though I feel like I read something every day about how good it is, especially for women over 30, it’s not my go-to for a workout.

You see us post all the time on our Instagram about barre and yoga classes, but today, I’m here to throw you a curveball. The Lehigh Valley has some great gyms that are locally owned and when Steel Fitness contacted LWLV to check out their facilities (they've got Steel Fitness Premier in Allentown and Steel Fitness Riverport in Bethlehem), I figured I should bite the bullet and suppress my disdain for grunting bros doing deadlifts (a fitness move I've now come to really love!) in front of a mirror. At least for a few weeks. 

I’ve been trying to get in my 30 minutes of daily movement since the beginning of the year, and though I’ve slacked a bit on this promise, I figured a gym membership might keep me motivated and perhaps even more energized. I was a semi-devoted member of Planet Fitness back in the day so I thought I knew what to expect (the bros), but I was given a lesson in full-service gym membership almost immediately.


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The Facilities
There are great facilities if you’re a solo fitness enthusiast (weight room, cardio equipment, pool, indoor running track) and some kick-ass group classes and personal training opportunities if you need a little extra push to get on that TRX or pick up a kettlebell. I never had to wait for an elliptical or even a set of weights I needed. The locker rooms were enormous and provided locking storage, hair dryers, and decent shower facilities. Though it wasn’t something I utilized, the childcare facility seemed like it would allow you to focus on your workout while your little one is given a chance to move, too. The steam rooms and sauna don’t hurt either!

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The Classes
What’s great about Steel Fitness Premier is that you have tons of options to choose from. I took a few of the barre classes, and while I’m still a barre3 girl at heart it was great to jump into a slightly less intense barre class with people of all ages and then follow that up with a quick run on the treadmill afterward for some extra cardio. I know the yoga and Pulse X classes are super popular there, too, and would be on my list when I return. (Check out their class schedule here.)
 

Personal Training
So let’s get to my absolute favorite part of my time at Steel Fitness. Sarah Campbell, my personal trainer for all of 3 sessions, was the best. Not only did she whip me into shape with some killer workout suggestions and take me through them with just the amount of drive and motivation I needed, I wanted her to be my BFF.

This is Sarah. She will kick your ass—in the best way possible.

This is Sarah. She will kick your ass—in the best way possible.

In the midst of my squats, kettlebell swings, and my ungodly quest for the ability to do more than 3 push-ups in a row (someday!!), we would chat about local LV weekend activities and how to integrate my workouts into an outdoor setting come summer and how to do things at home. I am no stranger to gyms even though they’re not my favorite, but Sarah really allowed me to feel confident about striding up to the TRX straps and getting a workout in. Of course, it helps that she’s a super confident redheaded female somewhat like me.

I’ve been focusing on my yoga practice, barre classes, and getting outdoors more lately, but hands down, I’d return to Steel Fitness in a heartbeat to have Sarah push a kettlebell back at me.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a great local gym with a competent staff, fun class opportunities, and some sweet (but kick-ass) personal trainers, and minimal bro sightings, then give Steel Fitness a visit.
They have locations in both Allentown and Bethlehem.

Not in the position to splurge on a membership? We recommend dropping in for the day. A day pass is just $17 and grants you all-day access to their classes, the pool, gym equipment, the track, and more.

Check with Steel Fitness for full membership options. They’re a great local option to help you find your gym confidence (or get it back like I did) and keep you accountable in the process. Lehigh Valley Gym Nerds unite!

Got a favorite Lehigh Valley gym? Tell us why it's worth checking out in the comments below!

5 Things That Happened When I Floated In A Tub Infused With 1,000 Pounds Of Epsom Salts

By Stephanie Eckelkamp

Me and my goofy grin after 90 minutes of floating therapy at Metta Relaxation Co. in Bethlehem, Pa. 

Me and my goofy grin after 90 minutes of floating therapy at Metta Relaxation Co. in Bethlehem, Pa. 

It’s pitch black, I can’t hear a sound, and I’m naked and alone, floating on by back in an extra-large tub. In fact, I’m really floating—I couldn’t sink if I tried. That’s because the tub is filled with water that’s been mixed with about 1,000 pounds of epsom salts, making my body more buoyant than it would be in the Dead Sea. 

No, this isn’t a weird form of torture (I actually paid to do this). It’s called floating therapy, and what I’m lying in is a sensory deprivation tank. It’s a service that’s becoming increasingly popular at spas in big cities, so when I heard that it was available at Metta Relaxation Co in Bethlehem, I was pretty pumped. Not only because I’ve heard floating is relaxing AF, but because some people say it mimics the effects of an acid trip….and really, what health-minded person with no intention of EVER doing acid wouldn’t find that intriguing?

The purpose of the tank (shown at right) and the room in general is to eliminate all senses: The room is sound-proof and, once you turn the lights off, light-proof; you float, thanks to the salt, so all of the pressure is taken off of your body, allowing you to fully relax; and finally, the water in the tank and the air in the room are heated to precise temperatures meant to eliminate your ability to feel where the water ends and air begins. 

As someone who deals with stress and anxiety (and who's distracted after about a minute every time she tries to meditate), the idea of total and complete (and somewhat forced) relaxation sounded pretty great. But what’s it actually like? Here are 5 things I experienced...

Within seconds, I learned a hard lesson
For the love of God, don’t shave before you float! The water in the tank feels pretty damn great temperature-wise, but because there’s so much salt in there, any small cut or nick on your skin screams when it comes into contact with it. And because I generally do a bit of a hack job with my shaving routine, there was some major stinging in the first few minutes (which did eventually subside) even though I’d shaved a fully 24 hours before. Give it a couple days to be safe.

“Snap, crackle, pop” went my joints
I can’t emphasize how cool it is to float so damn effortlessly. You can fully relax your body, even your heavy noggin’, and you’re fully supported. The owners of the spa recommended doing some stretches in the tank, so I did, and was pleasantly weirded out to hear a ripple of back cracks and minor popping in my neck, shoulders, and hips. All totally normal, as my body was in a completely weightless state and adjusting to a pressure-free setting for the first time.

I thought a lot about death
Thankfully the session was 90 minutes, because I could not stop my mind from racing for the first 30. I was concentrating too much on what I “should” be feeling, which is anything but relaxing, and I was also thinking a lot about death, for a couple of reasons. For one, my grandfather had died very recently, and two, I kept thinking “this is what death must feel like.” I mean, really, when else are you going to lose all of your senses except when you’re dead? Once I got that thought process out of my system, I started to relax. 

Things got a little trippy
One crazy thing about being in a completely light-proof room is that there’s absolutely no difference between what you see when your eyes are open versus when they’re closed. This fascinated me at first, so I kept blinking. I also started to see some neon purple outlines of moving shapes. The more I concentrated on them, the more active they seemed to get. So, while it was kind of cool, I eventually had to tune them out and focus on something else, like my breathing, so I could calm down. 

I FINALLY relaxed
I’d say I got about 20 solid minutes of being completely and utterly relaxed in a meditative state like I’ve never experienced. I felt warm, comforted, and completely pain free, so I focused on those good sensations and eventually my mind was pretty damn blank (in a good way) despite the fact that I was awake. As with regular meditation, I can see how the more you float, the better you get at reaping the mental benefits from it. So, I’d definitely be up for trying it again. 

For more information on floating and other spa services (like reflexology) that Metta Relaxation Co. offers, check out their website.  

Volunteering Spotlight: Furry Friends

By Siobhan DeRemer

There’s nothing like overindulgence at the holidays (or perhaps knowing so many at the holidays that need our help) that makes me want to get out and see what impact I can make in the community. Of course, our help is needed throughout the year, so we are planning to highlight local institutions each month that are very much in need of volunteers and people willing to commit their time to making the Lehigh Valley a sweeter place to live for all. Are you looking for a New Year’s resolution to get yourself out of the house more and meet people in this area? Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to start volunteering but just need local info. That’s why we’re here!

For the month of March, we start with a cause near and very dear to all our of hearts here: our animal companions. Since March brings us National Puppy Day on March 23rd, Love Your Pet Day was back on February 20, and Pet Day (April 11) and Pet Month (May) aren’t too far off, we want to highlight some organizations in the Lehigh Valley that need your help and give you some amazing chances to help your favorite four-legged friends.

Since we know many of you have kids and would love to bring them along to your volunteer time or want a fun way to give your kids a way to volunteer in the area, we’ve marked and mentioned those organizations that are kid-friendly below. Check out the Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley for more animal-friendly options in your area. And be sure to check back here for more volunteering chances each month!

**Watch for animal shelter and rescue opportunities in the future, but if you want to check some local ones out soon, check out the Sanctuary at Haafsville and the Center for Animal Health & Welfare.**

Gress Mountain Ranch (Kid-Friendly)

The 15 acres here in Orefield are 100% volunteer run and provide a home to a number of animals providing therapy, animal and environmental education, and training for all those in need. The alpaca, goats, horses, cats, and dogs here are always happy to see eager volunteers (and even interns) for groundskeeping and animal care. Be sure to check when you call as some activities may be better than others for kids.

Equi-Librium

This therapeutic horse farm in Nazareth, one of only 7 accredited centers in Pennsylvania, provides accessible therapy to individuals with behavioral, emotional, and health-based needs. Volunteers may assist with therapy sessions, care for horses, or even provide office and grounds assistance. No prior horse experience is necessary, but all volunteers must be 14 years or older. Check out training dates here and fill out a form to get involved.

Lehigh Valley Zoo

The Lehigh Valley’s biggest animal sanctuary is always looking for volunteers to help manage the 200,000 annual visitors to the Zoo. You can spend time next to the otters and the penguins while also educating and guiding visitors. Great for groups/families with older kids, too. Fill out the interest form here and get started! For smaller kids who may not be able to volunteer in person, you can adopt one of the LV Zoo animals and donate to the conservation and education efforts of the Zoo (and get an adorable plush and certificate to boot!).

Pleasure of Your Company

For those who can’t own a dog but are in need of their companionship and joy, the therapy dogs from POYC are there to help. Volunteers and their pups must undergo a small evaluation and test for temperament and behavior (mostly for the dogs, but it helps if you’re friendly, too!) and provide visits to improve the quality of life of those at nursing homes, schools, libraries, and hospitals. If you have a dog you think fits the bill, check out how you can start helping others with his or her furry love.

Tails of Valor (Kid-Friendly options)

You can volunteer in a number of ways for this group based in Coopersburg that raises and trains puppies to assist veterans with PTSD and physical disabilities. Help a service member return to civilian life by becoming a puppy raiser, providing a foster home, trainer, or community educator. Get your family involved by teaching kids the valuable ways training a service animal can be helpful to the community and especially the military community.

Horses 4 Hope

For friends willing to travel just over the border into NJ, this horse farm, formerly located in Bangor, has many volunteer opportunities for maintenance, fundraising, sidewalking with horses and clients during therapy sessions, and even instructor options for experienced horse lovers.

Horses & Horizons Therapeutic Learning Center (Older Kid-Friendly)

A bit farther to the west in New Ringgold (about 40 minutes northwest of Allentown), this horse therapy center is looking for teenagers and adults to help clients with sidewalking and those with a bit more experience can be trained to work with clients and handle the horses (and ponies!) during sessions.

Flint Hill Farm (Kid-Friendly)

This educational center and working farm in Coopersburg provides living arrangements for those who wish to learn to farm or have a personal agricultural experience. In addition to needing volunteers for carpentry, tours, gardening, and office work, there are many opportunities for milking goats and cows and tending to gathering eggs. Suitable for families and individuals.

 

Meet The Baker Who's Turning Lehigh Valley's Carb-Fearing Health Nuts Into Bread Lovers

By Stephanie Eckelkamp

In part 1 of a two-part video series, John Glagola (aka The Wayfare Baker) shows us around his kitchen, discusses the health perks of his bread, and talks about his process of making long-fermented sourdough.

I thought I could live without bread....I once bragged about going a year-plus without the fluffy sliced stuff (#Paleo), never accepting toast with my diner scrambled eggs, and thinking that lettuce wraps were a perfectly acceptable vessel for my organic turkey breast. 

That is, until I met John Glagola (aka The Wayfare Baker). Turns out, I just hadn't yet experienced real bread.

When you talk to Glagola, it's clear why his bread is so freakin' delicious: He's an artist. Never will you find him combining store-bought flour, yeast, and water to make a cheap and easy loaf. Instead, he likes to kick it old school....like old-world sourdough old school.

Glagola, who started The Wayfare Baker about a year ago, honed his bread-making craft with literally the best of the best in the United States: Richard Bourdon of Berkshire Mountain Bakery in Massachusetts, a guy who's so badass he made an appearance in Michael Pollan's Netflix documentary series Cooked to talk about his European style, natural sourdough bread-baking style, which goes back thousands of years (way before the days of preservative-laden Wonder Bread) and requires milling your own flour from fresh, local grains.  

Sourdough isn't a flavor of bread (contrary to popular belief), but a style of bread-making, which can be applied to breads of nearly any flavor or loaf shape. And it's how all bread used to be made before we went and messed with a process that didn't need messing with in the first place.

Each of Glagola's breads are made with a combination of freshly milled grains from local PA farms that he then combines with a naturally fermented sourdough starter culture. Before baking, the dough is allowed to ferment 24-48 hours, which creates an amazing depth of flavor and helps break down a component of grains known as phytic acid, thereby making it easier to digest than some conventionally produced breads. 

Check out our video above to learn more about Glagola's process. Then be sure to pick up a loaf at a local Lehigh Valley farmers' market or one of these 8 retail locations!

Moving Well in 2017

By Siobhan DeRemer

This is the first in a series of our individual promises and journeys for Living Well in 2017 from all of us at Live Well Lehigh Valley. Stay tuned for updates to this and other journeys from Steph and Nina as we continue to commit to Living Well in 2017 (follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for pictures, too!) and be sure to let us know what steps you’re taking to move into the new year with intention and purpose. Perhaps you want to shop locally more, join a CSA or a yoga studio, or even just keep on being your amazing self—we can help you do all of those things (and we’ll cheer you on, too)!

Shout-out to all my desk-job workers out there! Full disclosure: I am actually standing at work while I write this. If you have a desk job and even have the remote ability to request or use a standing desk, I highly recommend it. It really keeps you accountable and even though I still do a fair amount of sitting throughout the day, I love having the option to get up and stretch without missing an email (though let’s be fair, a break from email isn’t a bad thing!).

Even with my standing desk, at the end of 2016 I was feeling like a lazy bum. The holidays just have that way of reminding you that there are 500 things to do and your motivation just struggles to keep up (you know, and that cookies are basically the best therapy when you put off wrapping presents for the 1,000th time). My days are usually filled with 8-9 hours (or more) of work and time with my cat, husband, friends, and our vast collection of board games. I am perhaps what you’d call a fairweather exerciser. I have dabbled in strength-training programs, yoga, Pilates, taken a barre class or two (see my adventures with that here)—but none of them on a regular basis. I’d hit up a yoga class every 3 weeks or go to the gym at work once every month...and then when winter hit, I just stopped altogether. I knew I needed a change and so, as many people do, I decided to make a promise to myself for 2017: I’d integrate at least 30 minutes of movement into my day. Every day. Not for weight loss, not even really for the perfect beach body come summer (though if it works out, awesome), but because I just know my body is aching to move and DO something. And the extra energy that comes with moving regularly could be a bonus, too.

So we’re only 11 days into 2017 and I’ve basically turned this into a yoga challenge since that’s the easiest movement I can manage at home when it’s freezing outside. This might change come spring and I’m desperate for fresh air, which is why I made this about movement and not any one exercise—it’s all about freedom and giving myself the options so I won’t make excuses. Right now, I make time at the end of the day (or the morning if I’m brave) to get to my mat and move for about 25-30 minutes. I’m not new to yoga, but so far I’ve noticed muscles I haven’t used in a while waking up and my love for yoga reinvigorated (not to mention my digestion is totally on track. TMI?). The practice can be anything you make it: soothing, energizing, meditative. I’m certainly not a yoga master, but I love that I can feel any type of way and bring that to my practice. I’m also waking up in the morning with more drive and feel a bit less in need of caffeine in the afternoon (except that’s not going anywhere; I’m trying move, not lose my sanity). Maybe I falter a little on my Standing Split (or fall down completely, it happens!) or I roll my eyes at that 10th Chaturanga or I completely cry out with joy when we get to Pigeon—no matter what, I’m there. Moving into 2017. Maybe moving with grace will come in 2018…

Event Spotlight: All-Day Yoga & Spin-A-Thon!

By Stephanie Eckelkamp

Jess Yusko and Sue Amato, co-founders of Yukato Yoga and hosts of the Lehigh Valley's first ever yoga + spin-a-thon on January 14, 2017.

Jess Yusko and Sue Amato, co-founders of Yukato Yoga and hosts of the Lehigh Valley's first ever yoga + spin-a-thon on January 14, 2017.

What could be better than a day full of yoga and spinning classes with intermittent breaks to sip on local cold-pressed juice, kombucha, and craft beer? Not much. Especially when the money raised from those classes goes toward cancer research AND gets you entered to win some seriously kick-ass prizes.

Enticed? Then mark your calendars for the Yoga + Spin-A-Thon Against Cancer presented by Yukato Yoga / Sole Artisan Ales Cycling Club on January 14th at Yukato Yoga in Bethlehem. (Sign up for classes here to reserve your spot!)

Spearheaded by Yukato Yoga co-founders, Sue Amato and Jess Yusko, the event will feature 12 hours of yoga and spin classes (8 AM to 8 PM), each of which are about an hour long.

"You can come and go as you please, and take as many classes as you'd like," says Amato. "We'll also have a local vendors serving up snacks and drinks, including Stark Juices, Lehigh Valley Kombucha, Funk Brewing, and Subway Madison Farms. And local doctors Matt Conroy and Mackenzie Hubert will be on site offering chiropractic bodywork."

(Full disclosure: Between yoga classes, you'll probably find us double-fisting Funk Citrus and LV Kombucha while perusing Yukato Yoga's selection of handmade jewelry. Come say hi!)

The event, which suggests a $10 donation per class (a pretty sweet deal), is raising money for three members of the Yukato Yoga/ Sole Artisan Ales Cycling Club to participate in the Pennsylvania Perimeter Ride Against Cancer (PPRAC) this July. This intense, 6-day cycling event begins in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and ends in Palmerton, PA. Each rider must raise $2,000, all of which is donated to the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the American Cancer Society and Dream Come True, an organization that helps fulfill the dreams of kids in the Lehigh Valley with serious health issues.

Amato came up with the idea for the yoga + spin-a-thon as a way to support her husband, Nat, and friend, Erin Mascelli, both of whom are riding PPRAC in honor of family members who were taken by cancer far too soon. "We have a studio, and we know so many local businesses and people in the cycling industry, so it just made sense," she says. 

One of the event's many selling points is that classes will not only be taught by Yukato Yoga teachers, but also by teachers from other Lehigh Valley studios such as The Yoga Loft. "It was so nice to see how many people in the community wanted to donate their time and skills for a good cause," says Mascelli, who's helping coordinate the event.  

In addition to going toward a seriously worthy cause, each of you $10-per-class donations gets you two raffle tickets for over $3,000 worth of wellness-oriented prizes donated by local businesses (full list of prizes and sponsors below). Personally, our fingers are crossed for the SUP yoga class. You can also donate $100 for an all-access class pass and 30 raffle tickets. 

For more information on the event and details on specific classes, click here.

We hope to see you there! 

RAFFLE PRIZES

  • Giant Bicycles (Escape disc bike $650)
  • ASSOS Cycling Apparel (USA Cycling jersey, bib shorts, cap, socks $480)
  • Jade Yoga (Travel yoga mat + cork blocks $88)
  • OOFOS (5 drawings of Recovery sandals $55 each)
  • Saucon Valley Bikes (Gift card $100)
  • Lille Syster (Custom Bouquet $100)
  • Fringe Sytlz Salon (Gift Card and cosmetics $95)
  • Bicycling Magazine (Prize Pack - Magazine subscription, cycling jerseys, calendar $200)
  • Swiftwick Socks (Prize Pack - 14 pairs of cycling and running socks $150)
  • Thule (Prize Pack - Subterra  25L backpack + swag $150)
  • Shimano (2 drawings of pedals - $75 each)
  • Selene Yeager (Prize Pack - authored and co-authored books $75)
  • Miss Melanie Yoga (SUP yoga class $45)
  • Dave Pryor (Monkey Knife Fight Entry x 2 $40)
  • Greenmouth Cafe (Gift Card)
  • Kids Co-op (Birthday Party $325)
  • Bodacious Hair and Body (Gift Card and product)
  • Two Rivers Brewing & Cosmic Cup (gift cards)
  • Lululemon (2 drawings of a yoga mat + top)
  • Conroy Chiropractic & Wellness (New Patient Package (1st visit + 2 follow-ups), foam roller and Rocktape, $200)
  • Linda White Health Coach (One coaching session & DoTerra essential oil)
  • Young’s Pharmacy (Gift Card)
  • Genesis Bicycles (Gift Card $100)
  • Cannondale/Sugoi (Men and women’s running & cycling apparel)
  • Unity Bank ($50 Visa Gift Card + Organic Cotton Pullover Hoodie)

EVENT SPONSORS

10 Healthy (Last-Minute!) Holiday Gifts To Buy In The Lehigh Valley

By Nina Elias & Stephanie Eckelkamp

Attention! There's less than a week until Christmas and the start of Chanukah. Which means you need to get your butt in gear with the gift shopping. Luckily, we've got a short and sweet curated list of our favorite gifts for foodies, yogis, health nuts, and enlightenment seekers. The best part? All are from local retailers. So you can feel good about supporting the little guy and spend zero time waiting for packages to arrive. Now go do some shopping!

Sato Salon Organics Rose Facial Scrub & Lemon Sage Body Scrub ($14)
During winter, my skin is inevitably rough, dry, and flaky. My new go-to solution: Sato Salon Organic's sugar scrubs. They combine sugar to slough off dead skin, coconut oil to rehydrate and nourish, and specific ingredients with anti-aging and antioxidant properties such as rose petals, lemon zest, and sage. -SE

Reflexology and Float Package from Metta Relaxation Co. ($100--holiday special!)
Give your Groupon addiction a rest and give that health nut in your life a new kind of relaxation: a reflexology session and float from Metta Relaxation Co. in Bethlehem. Floating, according to Metta's website, "is pure relaxation in nine hundred pounds of pharmaceutical-grade Epsom salt dissolved in ten inches of water warmed to skin temperature." Without gravity, the outside world, or your body's processes keeping you down, you can relax and meditate on a whole new level. I love that you can pair it with reflexology for a truly detoxifying day. -NE

House of Metalworks Lotus Flower Friendship Bracelet ($20)
I'm totally in love with House of Metalworks, a new handmade jewelry shop in Emmaus, located right under Armetta's Pizza. This piece in particular caught my eye. Probably because it has such cool meaning behind it: "The Lotus Flower grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment." -SE

Easton Public Market Gift Card
If you have a lot of foodie friends, you can't go wrong with a gift card to Easton Public Market. It's accepted at each of their vendors (Mister Lee's Noodles, Tolino Vineyards, and Chocodiem just to name a few) and can even be used for the cooking classes that take place at their on-site kitchen. -SE

Social Still Spiced Rum 
Okay, okay, we get it. Spiced rum isn't exactly a "healthy" holiday gift. But when combined with some hot apple cider, this stuff is seriously life changing. Bring one to your next holiday party and you're sure to make a few new friends. Pick up a bottle at Social Still or at your local Fine Wine & Good Spirits store in the PA section. -SE

Monocacy Coffee Co. "Jolly" Holiday Coffee Blend ($13)
The perfect gift for coffee lovers? Coffee, of course. But be sure to make it this festive roast with notes of fruit, sweetness, and molasses from local Bethlehem roaster Monocacy Coffee Co. Bags are available for purchase online, and are often sold at Greenmouth Juice Bar & Cafe, but shoot them an email (info@monocacycoffee.com) for the location nearest you that carries them. -SE

Soy Candle from Loose Threads Boutique ($12.99)
I used to think candles were the lamest gifts in the WORLD. Now, they are near the top of my wish list. I don't mean your every day, run-of-the-mill candle—I'm talking about healthy, naturally scented candles that fill your home with an authentic aroma that won't exacerbate asthma or disrupt your body's natural processes like artificial fragrances do. They're hard to find and they're often expensive. These handmade, 100% soy candles fit the bill. Beyond using natural fragrances, these soy candles burn cleaner than paraffin, making them a safer snag for you and your family (including pets!). -NE

Holiday Breakfast Sampler from the Granola Factory ($35)
I spent many years as a sluggish, foggy no-breakfast gal—now, I can't live without the magical, superhuman powers a high energy, whole food breakfast gives me. And how lucky are we to have an artisanal granola bakery right here in the LV?! This gift is perfect for the person in your life that insists on breaking their fast with bagels and donuts...or nothing at all! Plus, the gorgeous aroma of this ethically-sourced coffee is strong enough to wake up even the deepest of sleepers. -NE

Yukato Yoga 6-Pack of Classes + Yoga Mat Bag (or 30-Min Massage) ($100--holiday special!)
This yoga studio in Bethlehem Township (which just celebrated its 1st anniversary) is offering two delightful holiday packages: 6 yoga classes + the choice of a gorgeous yoga mat bag designed by LV local Emily Moore, or a 30-minute massage. While you're waiting for your class to start, lounge on one of the comfy couches, browse their selection of hand-crafted yogi jewelry, or sip on some locally brewed kombucha. -SE

Lehigh Valley Kombucha ($75 for 12 wine bottles--holiday special!)
I'm a little kombucha obsessed. So I was pumped to discover that Gary of Lehigh Valley Kombucha is offering a kick-ass reduced holiday rate when you buy 12 bottles (normally $120!). So grab a couple for yourself and some of your closest friends, and give the gift of health and awesome taste this year. The best part: Their seasonal flavor is cranberry! -SE

 

 

Greenmouth's Super Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

By Stephanie Eckelkamp

We've arrived at that time of year (between Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukkah/whatever-you-celebrate) when all you want to do is shove your face with sugar cookies, peppermint mochas, PSLs, and Reese's peanut butter Christmas trees. And who could blame you? With friends and family urging you to "treat yo' self, it's the holidays!" it's not surprising that a day or two of indulging can somehow turn itself into a month of forgetting what vegetables are. But we've got your back. Or at least the folks at Greenmouth Juice Bar & Cafe do.

According to Linda White, a Lehigh Valley-based health coach and yoga instructor who also manages Greenmouth's Easton location, you can get all that delicious, desserty, decadent flavor of your favorite fall dessert (pumpkin pie!) while loading your body with nutrient-rich super foods. Here, she shares her super pumpkin pie smoothie, which you can easily whip up at home or pick up at your nearest Greenmouth location.

This blend is packed with protein and anti-inflammatory omega-3s from hemp and flax seeds, skin-brightening beta-carotene from pumpkin, hormone-balancing maca powder (which can actually help reduce PMS symptoms!), and electrolyte-rich banana and coconut water to boost post-workout recovery. It's also naturally sweetened with dates--no added sugars!

Super Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

5 oz (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) coconut water
5 oz (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) coconut milk
1 Tbsp hemp seeds
1 Tbsp flax seeds
1 tsp maca powder
1-2 dates, pitted
3-4 Tbsp pumpkin purée
1 frozen banana
1/4 tsp vanilla
Small handful of ice

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and drink that goodness up!

Does the holiday grind have you feeling unmotivated when it comes to maintaining healthy habits? Contact Linda White for a health coaching consult (620-781-7062), or shoot us an email and we'll connect you. 

Coconut-Curry Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

By Stephanie Eckelkamp

Fall is in full swing, which is pretty exciting for more reasons than one. Not only do you have full license to wear long, butt-covering sweaters and wool-lined moccasin slippers, but it's soup season. Specifically, butternut squash soup. And we've got just the recipe. It's creamy, delicious, and surprisingly good for you. Paleo and vegan dieters, we're talking to you, too! 

STEP 1: Assemble ingredients. Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped (save seeds!)
  • 1 green apples, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons cooking fat (butter, avocado oil, coconut oil, and olive oil all work well)
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk (from can)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to taste

STEP 2: Add cooking fat to a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, curry powder, ginger, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute until onions are soft. 

STEP 3: Add squash, apples, broth, coconut milk, salt, and pepper to pot. Simmer, partially covered, until squash and apples are fork-tender, 15-20 minutes.

STEP 4: Remove from heat. Puree soup with an immersion blender on low until smooth (or carefully puree soup in a traditional blender in batches, then return to pot). Return to heat and simmer soup on low to medium-low, stirring frequently, until it reaches the desired thickness, 10-15 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

STEP 5: Rinse squash seeds thoroughly. Add to a skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of cooking oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toast seeds, stirring frequently, until crispy, about 15 minutes. Remove from skillet and cool on a paper towel-lined plate. 

STEP 6: Ladle yourself a big old serving and sprinkle with toasted butternut squash seeds and maybe even some leftover turkey, bacon, stuffing, cranberry sauce...whatever. We won't judge. 

Got any amazing fall or winter recipes you want to share?? Shoot us and email, or leave a comment below, to potentially be featured! 

 

How Barre Kicked My Booty (And I Loved It)

By Siobhan DeRemer

First off let me say (if you couldn't tell by my other stories here at LWLV), you are much more likely to find me at a bar than at barre class. Don't get me wrong, I do love a good exercise challenge and I've been known to dabble in various studio classes when I'm able, but my idea of an exciting time usually involves something shaken and served to me, not my whole body shaking from exhaustion. But when a barre3 class was organized at my day job, I jumped at the chance to participate. And from that point on, my life (and my quads) would never be the same.

A mix of yoga, Pilates, and energetic (and constant) motion, barre3 gets your heart moving and WAKES your legs the hell UP with the smallest of movements. I'm not a stranger to ballet conditioning classes (though it's been a while) and I'd like to think I'm a pretty flexible person, but my God this was a wake-up call. I realized I was working muscles I didn't even know existed and decided to show themselves through what barre3 instructors lovingly name "earthquakes." When I wasn't concerned about my leg seizures, I was dreadfully sad that I had forgotten water since I was thinking this class would just be a leisurely start to my afternoon. I was mistaken, but in the best way possible.

I did have to stop part way through many of the holds and movements to confirm I didn't have tachycardia, but it made me want it even more! And having the upbeat instructor's words in my ear were way more motivating than frustrating as time went on. I'd love to think we were at an advanced level, though something tells me that I was struggling with the beginners' class, but let me have my day, OK?! Either way, I am hungry for more, and once my legs stop me from using the stairs like a normal human, I'm totally down for a class at one of the studios in the Valley. Come join me (or, if you're a seasoned professional, maybe let me know when you're going so you don't need to be seen with me until I have a few classes under my belt...) and we can quake together and live up to the challenge!

barre3 Allentown

3900 Hamilton Blvd (across from Dorney Park)
Drop in/single class: $22 / New clients get 1 month unlimited for $99 or 3 classes for $40

Pure Barre Bethlehem

4773 Freemansburg Avenue (in the Shop Rite shopping center)
Drop in/single class: $23 / New clients get 1 month unlimited for $99

How to Make Healthy(ish), Locally Sourced Apple-Bacon Mini Pies

By Stephanie Eckelkamp

First, let me just say, holy mother of baked goods, these are delicious. 

I've been craving pie lately, but as a someone who's pretty health conscious and really damn busy, I just couldn't muster the energy to make a traditional, pain-in-the-ass, nutritional shit-show of a pie crust.  So I decided on mini single-serve pies with an almond flour and nut crumb topping that lets you truly appreciate the apples. Oh, and just for fun, I added some bacon (from Breakaway Farms, purchased at the Emmaus Farmers' Market!) to the filling, because bacon makes anything good, great. It adds just the right touch of smokiness, and the saltiness actually enhances the sweet elements of the pie. 

So, go get your hands on some Lehigh Valley apples (check out one of these local orchards!) and whip up these bad boys ASAP. 

Pie04.jpg

Mini Apple-Bacon Paleo Pies

Filling:
4 medium to large apples, cored and sliced
2 slices bacon, chopped (preferably uncured and organic)
Sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice

Crumb Topping:
1 cup almond flour
½ cup chopped pecans
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp allspice
2 Tbsp grass-fed butter, chilled
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup

1) Prepare filling: Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add chopped bacon and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add sliced apples to skillet with bacon and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Add spices and sauté an additional 2 minutes. 
2) Prepare crumb topping: Add almond flour, pecans, and spices to a medium bowl and mix to combine. Add butter, “cutting” it into the dry ingredients with a fork until it’s well combined and mixture has a crumbly consistency. Add maple syrup and combine all ingredients, mashing them together with the fork and trying to maintain the mixture’s crumbly texture.
3) Divide filling among four custard cups and top each with about two heaping tablespoons of crumb topping. Place custard cups on a baking sheet.  
4) Place mini pies in oven and broil on low until tops start to brown and crisp up, about 10 minutes. You may need to finish them up on high for about a minute.
5) Enjoy! These things are freakin amazing.

Get Into the Local Spirit

By Siobhan DeRemer

As the Lehigh Valley continues to be on trend with some of the most metropolitan areas, local distilleries are popping up (with more to come, so be sure to watch this space for more reviews). If you’re one to enjoy a nice cocktail (as we are here at LWLV, but do drink responsibly, of course), why not enjoy what local spirits have to offer? Sometimes that drink tastes even better when you know you’re contributing to a local business! We know it can be hard, if you’re health-minded, to find clean, well-crafted cocktails with hearty and worthwhile mixers (instead of your run of the mill sugar-laden options) that won’t make you feel guilty (or woozy) the next day. Here are highlights of some of our picks in the area, complete with recipes (some directly from the makers), tasting room hours, and locations. Watch (and like!) their Facebook pages and our event calendar for distillery-sponsored events popping up all around the Valley. Bottoms up!

And be sure to keep watching LWLV’s coverage of local spirits and distilleries—there are even more on the horizon that we’ll be featuring soon!

Eight Oaks Craft Distillers

Location: 7189 Route 309, New Tripoli
Hours: Tue - Sun 11am - 6pm

If you want to sip on some of the Lehigh Valley’s spirited history, try some of the applejack here with views only rivaled by some of the wineries in the area. This distillery (which is less than a year old!) also creates gin, vodka, and rum with local grains (most of it grown on-site and all of it milled by the distillers/owners). The apple cider used in the Applejack is also a local commodity and also a throwback to the earlier days of Pennsylvania imbibing culture (seriously, drink this with a little fresh cider, it’s like spiked heaven). Rye whiskey and aged bourbon are on their way. The tasting room is spacious and inviting and tasting fees are waived if you pick up a bottle while you’re there. Also, you can enjoy classic and seasonal cocktails with a local cheese/meat plate or bring your own picnic to enjoy. Enjoy a tour (which includes a cocktail) or if you can’t make the trip to New Tripoli, head to the Easton Farmers’ Market for a sample.

Try the Log Cabin:

2 oz Eight Oaks Authentic Applejack
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Rosemary - Honey Syrup (see below for recipe)

Fill Glass with Ice & Scholl's Apple Cider. Garnish with rosemary sprig & lemon wheel.

Rosemary - Honey Syrup
Bring 1 Cup Water to a Boil
Remove from Heat & Stir in 1 Cup Honey
While Honey Mixture is Cooling Add in 5 Sprigs of Rosemary
After Cooling, Keep in Refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Social Still

Location: 530 E Third Street, Bethlehem
Hours: Wed - Thu 4pm - 10pm; Fri 4pm - 11pm; Sat 12pm - 11pm; Sun 12pm - 8pm

If you’d like a place to try a number of great local spirits with a full kitchen and plenty of seating at your disposal, then Social Still on the South Side of Bethlehem is a great option. With super trendy decor and a newly expanded menu of small plates (we are dying to try the ahi tuna tartare), sandwiches, and larger entrees, Social Still’s list of liquors grows by the moment (and they have tons of freshly made nonalcoholic drink options, too). They have 9 (!) types for you to try either mixed in a well-crafted cocktail or however you’d like it. There are also a number of house-infused spirits, wine from Franklin Hills, and a rotating tap selection of local brews. Maple vanilla bourbon has just been released and if you can’t make it to the distillery itself, you should be able to find many of the flagship spirits at your local Wine & Spirits (or behind the bar at local establishments).

Check out their take on a G&T (Grapefruit & Thyme): Grapefruit & Thyme-infused gin, Grapefruit Syrup, topped with tonic. 

County Seat Spirits


Location: 905 Harrison Street, Suite 128, Allentown (part of Bridgeworks Beverage Alliance)
Hours: Fri 4pm - 8pm; Sat 12pm - 6pm; Sun 12pm - 4pm

This distillery is located in perhaps one of my favorite places in Allentown (I mean, where else can you hit up a brewery, meadery, and a distillery all without leaving the building?). They offer wonderful cocktails in their teeny tasting room with their 6 spirit options and the owner/distillers are usually happy to give you a little tour of the space (where they mill their PA grains and bottle their spirits) and provide you with a (free!) taste of whatever you’d like. I’m a fan of the Class 8 Vodka for its clean and crisp flavor, myself, and they have a cachaca style white rum that is perfect in a caipirinha. Watch for collabs with Colony and Hijinx (who share the building with County Seat) and check for County Seat offerings at local liquor stores and bars in the area. Food trucks make regular stops here and the event list at this spot is plentiful.

Their Lock Keeper gin is the star in the Evil Bees Knees: Muddle rosemary with fresh lemon and honey simple syrup, add Lock Keeper and garnish with fresh rosemary and lemon slice.

Triple Sun Spirits

Location: 518 Bank Street, Emmaus
Hours: Thu - Fri 6pm - 10pm; Sat 2pm - 10pm

Triple Sun is the newest addition to the Valley’s offering of locally produced spirits, currently offering Cuban-style rum (think Bacardi) and corn whiskey (read: drink up, gluten-free friends!). Gin, spiced rum, and bourbon are in the works in this small-batch workshop less than a block from the popular Funk Brewing Company (and newcomer, Yergey Brewing Company makes it a place to stop on your next trip to Emmaus). We love seeing local businesses grow and collaborate (especially when we benefit from the deliciousness)! Small samples are free, but you can enjoy a Mason jar cocktail or a larger pour for a few dollars. Food trucks are a pretty solid staple and Switchback Pizza is just a skip and a jump.

Try their Moonshine Mary for a brunch sipper that's sure to wake you up:

2 oz Triple Sun unaged corn whiskey
3 oz tomato juice
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 drops Tabasco
Salt and black pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until cold. Strain into a glass. Garnish with lemon wedge, celery stalk, or green olives.

 

Get to Know LWLV: Meet the Founders, Check Out Our Mission

By The Co-Founders

IMG_5503.JPG

Thanks for stopping by the LV's brand-new wellness hub. 
We think you're going to love it!

Our mission: Connect our community with undiscovered and underrated resources that cultivate healthy bodies and healthy minds. The Lehigh Valley is chock-full of really cool sh*t, and we want to tell you all about it! We plan on doing this by highlighting local businesses, restaurants, entrepreneurs, and events that keep wellness and sustainability top of mind—and that make you think, How cool is it that I live here?! Our content is for green juicing health nuts, natural health newbies, and everyone in between. Because living well is for all of us, and it doesn't have to feel like work. 

Got a tip on what we should cover? Holler at us! And be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up to date on all the healthy Lehigh Valley happenings.

NOW LET US INTRODUCE OURSELVES...

Steph Eckelkamp

Steph is LWLV's resident nutrition nerd (although, she's been known to cry tears of joy while eating an Emmaus Bakery apple fritter). She's also a grad of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is certified as a holistic health coach. By day, she's a nutrition editor at Prevention magazine and mom to Milo, the cutest pup in all the Lehigh Valley. By night, you can probably find her in the kitchen eating organic chunky peanut butter straight out of the jar, or tossing random sh*t into a cast iron skillet and calling it dinner. 

Nina Elias

Nina is a Bethlehem-obsessed writer, singer, and Kate Spade addict in the thick of her lifelong journey toward good health and happiness. She’s passionate about clean beauty, DIY anything, and creating a toxin-free home. When she’s not researching natural deodorant, you can find her singing and dancing in local theater productions, ordering fermented veggies online, eating at Molinari’s with her fiancé, and serving as Moravian College’s content editor.

Siobhan DeRemer

Siobhan a self-described cocktail enthusiast, avid board game player, word nerd (she's a copy editor at Prevention magazine), and all-around seeker of fun and exciting events in and around the Lehigh Valley. Originally from Connecticut, she has been an Allentown resident for 10+ years and is always eager to chat about new restaurants, bars, and the occasional favorite yoga studio popping up in the area. Her favorite things in life are her cat Aurora, singing Broadway tunes, inspiring yoga classes, and building the occasional LEGO set.


 

 

Holistic Counseling: The Completely Approachable, Stigma-Busting Way to Prioritize Your Mental Health

BY NINA ELIAS

Real talk: my experience (and expectations) of counseling or therapy comes from what I’ve seen in movies or on TV—you enter a perfectly-decorated office inside a medical building, lay on the random chaise, and talk your therapist's ear off until your 60 minutes are up. 

After chatting with Lenore Stine, LPC, owner of Lehigh Valley Counseling, LLC on Elizabeth Avenue in Bethlehem, I walked away with a strong sense that holistic counseling is about so much more than, “…and how do you feel about that?”

After 19 years in the Lehigh Valley, Stine is not only affecting a culture shift around counseling, but she’s also building an incredible, support system of healthy resources around her. I stopped by her beautiful, calming space (her couch was way comfier than those weird chaises seem!) and picked her brain about what holistic counseling is all about.

First of all, what is holistic counseling, and how is it different from traditional counseling?

The short answer is, holistic counseling is about mind, body, and spirit.

To me, Western medicine is like this: your knee is bothering you, so let's look at only your knee. Holistic counseling, like holistic medicine, is about total mind, body, and spirit. It’s all about alignment, as well. If you’re tired, or you’re sick, or your thyroid isn’t functioning correctly, you can feel depressed or angry and anxious.  

I have my undergraduate degree biology from Wilkes University, so I often get a medical-based intake from my clients. That’s important to me, because many young clients aren’t seeing doctors regularly, so I will often send them to a doctor. If you have Hashimoto's, for instance, you have to work on that as well as your anxiety. But no one's looking at them in that realm, because they’re so young—but it’s on my mind because I understand the psychological implications of other health problems.

You can’t care for anyone else unless you care for yourself. If you’re standing firm and tall, people can lean on you.
— Lenore Stine, LPC

Wow, that’s a refreshing way to approach a patient.

People have a hard time looking at themselves. I don’t look at people like that they have issues—I view them as needing to make course corrections. I want them to ask themselves, where am I going, and why am I going there? Am I going there because my friends are, or because I really want to?

What else do you take into consideration with your clients?

Food and nutrition for sure—I want my clients to not only be aware of what they’re eating, but also how it makes them feel. I think about their exercise, substance use, and existing medical conditions. I raise their awareness about how all elements in their lives make them feel. And then, there’s meditation. Not only to treat, but also to figure out how their individual brains work.

You have a degree in Pastoral Counseling from Moravian Theological Seminary. Is there a spiritual element to what you do?

Absolutely. When something bad happens to someone, they want to make sense of it. Different religions and spiritualities approach this differently—Christianity goes like this: I’m starving here, but when I die I’m going to have a banquet. While Buddhism is all about no judgment, it just is. Path of acceptance.

From there, I can help my clients figure out where they fit within a non-secular realm, as well. Spirituality is not religion, it is how you walk through the world. But I ask them about their faith in order to figure out where they pull support from so we can create a customized spirituality.

Despite better representation of mental health issues in popular culture and politics, there is still quite a stigma around seeking treatment. What’s holding us back?

Judgment. I don’t judge you if you break your knee or have cancer—why am I judging you, or myself, if I have depression? People are so hard on themselves. They don’t think they’re worth it, or important. But you can’t care for anyone else unless you care for yourself. If you’re standing firm and tall, people can lean on you.

LIVE LIKE LENORE

Check out Stine's favorite local healthy hot spots

  • Beyond Juice on 3rd St. in South Bethlehem for green juice and smoothies

Even with so many healthy resources, it’s a challenge to advocate for your own health. Especially when Western medicine doctors and naturopaths are sometimes contradicting themselves. What’s your advice to reader’s going through this?

Above all, trust your gut. If you’re not getting a good feel from a practitioner, traditional or not, don’t do it. You’re already paying all this money! Too many of us want to fix things with a pill or an operation. Ask your doctor about five things you can do before that operation and then really do it. Do your homework, and commit.

Local Mixology Highlight: The Bookstore Speakeasy

By Siobhan DeRemer

Image courtesy of The Bookstore Speakeasy

Image courtesy of The Bookstore Speakeasy

Location: 336 Adams Street, Bethlehem / Tue - Sat 5pm - 2am

The South Side of Bethlehem is known for small unique shops, delicious and fresh restaurants, perhaps a bit of outlet shopping, and handcrafted cocktails. The last of these is perhaps best showcased in The Bookstore Speakeasy on the tiny side street with one of the most nondescript entrances in the Valley. This candlelit, exclusive space has some of the freshest cocktails (and cuisine) our area has to offer, not to mention amazing throwback Prohibition-era live music that will have you feeling like your drink should be outlawed.

The Bookstore’s attention to fresh housemade ingredients and inventive cocktail menu truly set it apart from the rest. All juices (with the exception of pineapple, and who can blame them, when's the last time you squeezed a pineapple?) are fresh squeezed in-house, and many options of bitters, whipped cream, chocolate mousse (yes, they use it in cocktails, too!), brandied cherries, and syrups are housemade as well. One of the newest additions to their healthier options is a simple syrup recipe that now uses turbinado sugar over the white granulated version. While there is some research out there that states raw and granulated sugar are about the same calorically, turbinado sugar is made from non-GMO ingredients, while much of granulated sugar is not. Also, turbinado sugar has a much richer taste (thanks to the molasses, yum), meaning you may feel satisfied by fewer drinks than packing on the processed kind. Bartenders on staff are also super prepared for your allergies, too, with the ability to make a gluten-free cocktail (just for you, celiac sufferers!) that’s miles ahead of a simple gin & tonic. With most cocktails listed online, you can pick your favorite (and browse their extensive beer and wine lists) before you hit up the Speakeasy, or you can go bold by asking the bartender to make his/her own choice based on your taste (my favorite thing to say when ordering these is “something refreshing, light, and not too sweet”––and be sure to let them know what you don’t like, too!). Pro tip: Be sure to try and either call ahead or make reservations; it gets booked up super fast! Either way, you’re guaranteed to have a fresh, lively, and delicious time––and be sure to tell them that Live Well Lehigh Valley sent you!

Fresh from the menu, the genius minds behind The Bookstore’s cocktail menu have allowed us to share two inspired cocktail recipes with you. You can attempt these on your own at home, but be sure to go and check out their take on these and even more!

(For your measuring purposes, the small end of a jigger is 0.75 oz and the large end is 1.25 oz.)  

Image courtesy of The Bookstore Speakeasy

Image courtesy of The Bookstore Speakeasy

Arizonan #2


1.75 oz Gin
0.75 oz St. Germaine Elderflower Liquor
0.5 oz Domain de Canton
0.5 oz fresh Lemon juice
0.5 oz simple syrup
Muddled cucumber slice and fresh peeled ginger root 

Muddle cucumber slice and ginger root, combine all ingredients in a martinis shaker and pour over block of ice. Garnish with lemon twist. 

 

Image courtesy of The Bookstore Speakeasy

Image courtesy of The Bookstore Speakeasy

 

 

Grimm's Apple Cider

1 oz apple cider
1 oz Sailor Jerry rum
0.5 oz St. Germain elderflower liquor
0.25 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
Top off with Wyndridge "Crafty cider" (local PA cider)

Combine all ingredients in fluted glass and top off with cider. Garnish with lemon wheel and cinnamon stick. 

 

Yoga Studio Spotlight: West End Yoga

By Siobhan DeRemer

Image courtesy of West End Yoga

Image courtesy of West End Yoga

Location: 2313 W Highland St, Allentown / Schedule

Class Prices: First class is free! $10 drop-in, no pre-registration required (our fave for the casual yogi is $95 for 10 classes with no expiration or 1-month unlimited)

Class Recommendation: WE Flow Lvl 2-3 with Leah, Sunday at 10am (expect to work!) For those who’d like a little bit of an easier time, check out WE Flow Lvl 1-2 with Laura, Sunday at 11:30am.

This small two-room studio in West Allentown appeals to all levels of yoga, from kids/prenatal to Level 2-3 (including warm and hot yoga as well as teacher training). There’s also a great Yoga for Athletes class that focusing on stretching, strengthening, and body conditioning. They also have a number of totally free breathing, meditation, and yoga nidra classes available throughout the week. The schedule does have a fair amount for those working a typical 9am-5pm day and a variety of weekend classes for the yoga weekend warriors among us. We’ve never met an instructor we didn’t like at the studio (quirks and all!) and it’s been really fun trying out different levels based on what our yoga needs are (sometimes you just can’t hold a plank position at the end of a busy day, am I right?), especially with the low cost for classes. The website is also really helpful, guiding you through West End’s explanation of yoga levels, class descriptions, instructor profiles, and yoga inspiration. Go get your flow on at a class today and let them know you heard about them through Live Well Lehigh Valley!

Image courtesy of West End Yoga

Image courtesy of West End Yoga