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Asbury Park & Vegan Food Shares

Asbury Park has somewhat of a bad rap.

But despite it’s rough, questionable past, as the rest of the tri-state area continues to rapidly gentrify, Asbury Park is no exception.

Filled with high-end galleries, salons, boutiques, juice bars and a board walk, not to mention being the home of The Stone Pony, Asbury Park has quickly transformed into a chic, trendy, (slightly hipster?) cool spot for up and coming musicians.





A few weekends ago I decided to take a trip and explore it myself, go on another one of my vegan food shares and go on an out of the city adventure.

This unexpectedly cool oasis also boasted an impressive beach area, complete with a dedicated surfer’s area and a naturally formed rock jetty. After working up an appetite after a long beach day, I came across a chic vegan cafe.


The Yelp reviews did this place no justice. Picturing a tiny juice stand, I was shocked to find a large vegan spot with earthy, rustic vibes. From the outside Twisted Tree cafe looked dope AF and the endless smoothie menu and innovative menu only made it better. Props for a quick turn around time on the food and probably one of the best salads I’ve had at a vegan restaurant ever. My second vegan food share in New Jersey turned out to be one of my faves, granted it’s proximity to the beach definitely played a factor in my decision. 



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Lunching at Manhattan’s Newest Hotspot: The Pennsy



(Photo by: J. Lisa)

Located in a New York City’s Midtown West neighborhood ( on 33rd and 7th Avenue) is the latest trendy eating establishment, “Pennsy” which pays homage to meatpacking’s renown “Chelsea Market” but includes offerings from some of the city’s most upscale eateries such as The Cinnamon Snail, The Little Beet, Lobster Press, Pat LaFrieda, La Colombe, Mario by Mary (by Mary Giuliani & Mario Batali.)

Pennsy, which opened early last month, offers a varied palette of gourmet fast casual options coupled with a chic atmosphere, and plenty of indoor open seating ( 8,000 square feet worth!)

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( Photo: instagram @Thepennsy)

The Cinnamon Snail, the vegan hot spot which has a loyal, cult-like following was previously a food truck and it’s newest location at the Pennsy signifies it’s first foray into having a brick and mortar location. The veggie focused, gluten free destination, The Little Beet also serves up a diverse menu chock full of clean eating options such as the beet and quinoa bowl, and the lentil, quinoa, chickpea beet box.

Mario by Mary takes a gourmet spin at classic soup and sandwich combinations, while Pat LaFrieda offers hot toasted sandwiches, roasted vegetable sides and side salads. The Lobster Press redefines the traditional lobster sandwich by transforming it into a warm, freshly pressed panini. There’s even a counter serving La Colombe coffee and lattes!

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( Photo: instagram @Thepennsy)

Pennsy signifies a change in the area surrounding Penn Station that is known for it’s sparse to nonexistent healthy eating options. This new delicious destination has already proven to be largely popular (with long lines to prove it), so if you haven’t already checked it out, try and come before the lunchtime rush!






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Juicy Mondays at The Butcher’s Daughter

For the latest Juicy Monday post, we checked out the Butcher’s Daughter outpost, The Butcher’s Daughter Market, located next store to the original restaurant in Manhattan’s chic Nolita neighborhood. While I’m always a fan of the Butcher’s Daughter cafe, the market is a great spot to grab a healthy smoothie, fresh pressed juice, homemade nut mylks or healthy baked treat.



I tried a #4 Green Juice ( on their “simple juices” menu) which was made of cucumber, kale, and green apple. I loved how they switched to eco-friendly packaging ( cute cardboard juice carton) since I had been there last. They also offer red, orange and yellow juices for grab and go at the market; while the cafe features more elaborate “heritage” juices such as the “waterflower” juice that features cactus pear, lavender flower, watermelon, fennel, honeydew and lime. My favorite at the cafe though is the goddess of green, if you go definitely give it a try. The #4 Green Juice I ordered was refreshing and definitely hit the spot, plus not having to wait for a table during brunch hour was a huge plus.



Happy Healthy Monday & Cheers to a New Week!


xx SS

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The Vegan’s Guide to NYC

As I was putting together this list for my friend Katy ( Flo Dron), visiting from London, I figured it would be worth sharing. It’s a growing problem among my vegan friends who come to NYC and aren’t sure where to eat; but the truth is, whether it’s finding a vegan friendly grocery store or a restaurant, New York has so much to offer. Here are a few of my favorites:



By Chef Chloe (west village)
Candle cafe
Quintessence (raw)
Juice press
Beyond sushi
Peacefoods cafe
Sacred chow
Caravan of dreams
Bliss cafe
Integral yoga natural foods
Rockin raw
Little Choc apothecary (vegan crepes)




xx SS

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Juicy Juicin’ in Vermont

After a brief hiatus, I’m excited to close out the summer with brand new posts encompassing the adventures I took this summer, and sharing the healthy spots I found along the way.
For this Juicy Monday post I visited The Vermont Juice Company as I was passing through Burlington, VT while on the road, heading back from a trip to Canada.
This quaint juice shop definitely stood out among the juice places I’ve visited, each juice bursting with unique flavors and creating the best charcoal lemonade ( my guilty pleasure) I have tried hands down.
As an avid juice drinker, I’ve had my fair share of cold pressed juices in and around New York City and while traveling ( because who doesn’t love healthy traveling?)
On this particular day, I walked into this small juicery with warm rustic interiors just as a juice taste testing was taking place, (lucky me) so I actually sampled a few before settling on a mean greens and saving a sweeter green juice for later. All the juices were organic, cold pressed and were unique in flavor. The menu also featured smoothie and acai bowls as well as other raw food options. If I had a cooler, I would’ve stocked up on more raw goodness to try!
The verdict: hidden gem of a juice bar with amazing flavors and located close to UVM ( University of Vermont). I wish juice always tasted this good!
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Eating Vegan at by Chef Chloe

For this week’s vegan food share, I tried out the West Village’s latest vegan hotspot, By Chef Chloe.  By Chef Chloe is a new vegan, plant based eatery that was started by award winning vegan chef and winner of Cupcake Wars, Chloe Coscarelli.


The Bleecker Street restaurant which is just over a week old is an airy, ethereal space that features eclectic decor, suspended hanging chairs and succulent plants. The staff was super friendly and gave the place great vibes.



The menu featured made to order smoothies, salads, soups, burgers and sandwiches. There was also a grab and go section with kelp noodles, salads, fresh pressed juices, chia pudding, kombucha, and coconut water.



With a large selection of bakery items, (and since Chloe is most well known for her killer baking skills), I had to try one of her cookies. I also ordered the Green Smoothie of the day that was made out of pineapple, kale, mango and banana and almond milk ( soo good!)




The place was packed and for good reason! It was definitely some of the best vegan food I’ve tried in the city. On my way out I also bumped into Chef Chloe herself and got a chance to talk to her! She’s hand down the nicest chef I’ve ever met and can make some mean vegan food. I definitely have to come back to By Chef Chloe to check out their burgers and brunch menu.


Verdict: Definitely try this place! ( Perfect for your next lunch date)





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Hot Air Balloons & Vegan Brunch

This weekend I escaped the hustle and bustle of New York City to visit the Quick Chek Hot Air Balloon Festival in New Jersey.

We started out our day with an amazing vegan brunch at Veganized , a new vegan restaurant in New Brunswick, NJ close to the Rutgers main campus. I settled into the eclectic atmosphere, vibrant color scheme and interesting plates hung from the walls. We were the first ones there for brunch but we felt welcomed by the high energy, friendly servers who were also vegan enthusiasts. The classic rock songs playing that helped us momentarily forget our hunger and set a cool mood. Their bottomless cold pressed coffee definitely gave me the energy I needed to help kickstart my morning.


I ordered the Unscrambled, made with shitake corn tofu scramble, bell pepper sauce, sweet potato wedges, cashew sour cream, sautéed kale, and toast. The food was beautiful presented and bursting with vibrant colors (Instagram friendly — which tested our self control as we paused to take lots of pictures).


My sister got the flaky biscuit, paired with smoked mushroom sausage, avocado tomato, aioli, and a simple salad. I gave it a try as soon as food envy set in and it was the best vegan biscuit I’ve ever tried!

Next, we headed to the balloon festival. We got there around noon but we somehow missed the memo that the balloon launch is a sunrise and sunset activity. (Queue the ultra bronze tans that took place as a result.) Five hours later, we had the balloon experience of a lifetime!

There were 100 balloons, with some traditionally shaped and some custom shaped ( Darth Vader, Yoda, Sea Monkey, etc.) All the balloons were apparently competing for an $100k prize sponsored by Quick Chek, a convenience store chain in New Jersey.


Watching the sunset with 100 balloons ascending was truly magical and well worth the wait.


Happy Weekend!

xx SS

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Rise & Shine at Dimes

This week for Sculpt & Shine’s first ever weekly vegan food share, Nastasia had brunch at Dimes in New York City’s Lower East Side.


Dimes is a quaint, hidden gem in the LES that is very popular among locals, but well worth the wait. The menu features plant-based cuisine with both vegetarian and vegan options as well as a fresh take on cocktails (including one with wheatgrass.)


It was honestly hard to settle on one thing to try, (everything sounded SO good) but I opted for the Lavender Acai Bowl which was an acai smoothie bowl made with coconut milk and topped with blueberries and corn flakes. By the time I got my acai bowl I was for sure having major food envy as the tables around me dined on black rice, chia pudding and savory salads. The lavander acai bowl was the perfect portion, filled with flavor and unlike any acai bowl I’ve ever had. Definitely found a new favorite! But next time I come back I’m definitely trying the chia pudding!




Dreamy Coconut Chia Pudding

Ch-ch-ch-chia! I never put 2 and 2 together until my mom pointed out “Chia seeds.. is that like chia pets?” Good point mom. Being a 90’s kid, I grew up to the chia pet commercials where you could water a terracotta shaped animal and it would eventually grow “hair” aka a chia plant. Originally the seeds were grown largely throughout South America, but now Australia is the leading producer of chia seeds.

Chia seeds can be added to smoothies, salads, baked goods, porridge etc. They’re the superfood of choice for many atheletes because they contain essential vitamins and minerals, protein, fiber and lots of omega-3.

When they come in contact with liquid they turn gelatinous- which reminds me of the tapioca bubbles in boba/bubble tea and the rich and creamy coconut milk  gives it a lot of flavor and makes it creamy instead of the thinner/milky texture you get when you use almond milk to make chia pudding.

This chia pudding is my mom’s recipe and is super simple to make! It’s also raw so it doesn’t require cooking just mixing and whisking! It makes a delicious vegan and dairy free breakfast, dessert or snack.




xx SS



1 can of coconut milk

5 tbsps of chia seeds

1 tablespoon of organic sugar ( I use less- adjust according to preference)



Whisk all the ingredients together until the chia seeds start to become gelatinous and the mix starts to hold together. Pour into ramekins and refrigerate for at 3 hrs for best firmness.

Bon Appetit!


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Out & About: Vegan Dinner in Delray Beach

This week has been crazier than usual with both of us Sculpt & Shine girls “out of the office”- Michelle flew to DC midweek for job interviews and I took a trip down to sunny South Florida for a little R&R.

While in Florida, I checked out a new local vegan restaurant for dinner in Delray Beach called “The New Vegan” that was recommended to me by some friends. The restaurant which is entirely vegan, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, wheat and GMO free is new to the Atlantic Avenue area so I decided to check it out.


(Source: Photo)

The extensive menu offered a wide variety of vegan dishes (that was impressive even to a person who has been to a lot of vegan restaurants like me) because I saw like at least 5 things I was curious to try! I decided on a portobello and chickpea sandwich that came with a salad and side of wild rice. The sandwich was so different that what I have ever tasted but oooh so good! My friends order the “toona” wrap which was made of heart of palm and beet burgers.

Overall was fresh and prepared with top notice, plant based ingredients. The restaurant was family owned and the staff was highly accommodating. Overall, I would definitely come back and try some of the other offerings on the menu. I’m always excited to see healthy, vegan restaurant options in Delray!