Since January 1st I’ve been constantly e-welcomed by “January specials” from various gyms, private trainers, and barre method studios, all of them inviting me to take advantage of a “beginners” special offer of up to a 50% reduction—if I join NOW!!
Ugh… I’m so sick of this January “health month”! Why are companies so desperate to get us in the door in January? Of course, I get that there are millions of folks out there who are either on a post-holiday guilt trip or have made a New Year’s resolution (which often only lasts for a week or 2) to sign up for a gym/body changing institution membership or a private trainer.

But what I particularly don’t understand is why I’m getting emails from places/institutions I’m already working out at! Don’t they know who their current clients are? Or are they simply not paying any attention to their email marketing lists? In my book, both are bad.

Problem: I’m getting so sick of these offers that I’ve stopped opening emails from places I frequently work out at. In the long run, this can become problematic for the company. In the past, these companies have sent me super interesting information, including new offers that would suit me as well as information about hours of operations and so forth. Now, after January, I’m inclined not to pay attention anymore.

The Fix: Categorizing mailing lists is key. For example, a good way is to send emails is through Mailchimp. Also, have at least 3 different lists such as current clients, inactive clients, and new clients. Obviously, a fourth list could be generated by buying a mailing list and blasting out a fluffy newcomer offer with a January special.

So, January is considered the Month of Health, when post-holiday, everyone tries to cut down on sugar and fat and joins the gym. This is understandable, as most of us (myself included) have just overindulged on scrumptious holiday food and cocktails for the last 4 weeks of the year.

The sad thing is that brands and the media have convinced us that cold or hot pressed vegetable and fruit juices are the key to a cleaner diet!

Oh, dear! I was a victim of this way of thinking until I met Dr. Lipman (https://www.bewell.com/about/), who informed me that I should stop counting calories and fat and pay attention to my sugar intake instead. Huh? But then I started to investigate, and sure enough, it turns out that your body converts any extra sugar (that you don’t need or burn) into fat! Plus, it’s the kind of fat that settles around your stomach and midsection!

The Problem (and it’s a BIG one)
Brands such as Odwalla claim that their juices help us feel our inner vitality! What? With 45 grams of sugar per bottle?! Yeah, I’ll definitely feel my fatty vitality after drinking this sugary drink for a month… In all honesty, continual ingestion of sugar will turn your body into grease (mostly around your belly). Worse, not only will your body turn into a marshmallow, but sugar tricks your brain into thinking that you need even more of it!
Jamba Juice offers a product labeled 100% fruit juice (whatever that means), including a Banana Blueberry smoothie with 45 grams (or 11 1/4 teaspoons) of sugar per serving! Yikes— a whole bottle could fuel a whole army for a week!!!

The Fix
Read nutrition labels and stay away from anything with more than 8 grams of sugar per serving. In fact, ideally, we shouldn’t ingest more than 25 grams of sugar per day.
Just FYI for those of us who like our morning coffee (I love my medium latte): a medium latte with regular milk contains about 1.5 teaspoons/about 8 grams of sugar. There you go—that’s about one-third of the “normal” sugar intake for the day! I’ll stop here, as you’ll have to calculate the rest of your sugar intake (morning muffins, scones cookies, etc.) for yourself!

Two weeks ago, one of the Fiskur Bistro partners in Manhattan announced that they had closed their 7th Avenue South location in New York City. I was so bummed out to hear it, as I really enjoyed the atmosphere, food, and cocktails (especially their signature cocktail Viday).

On the bright side, rumor has it that they might reopen in a different location under new management. Once it’s confirmed, I’ll be counting the days until they open 🙂 and I’ll be one of their first guests!

Good luck Team Fiskur,

At the beginning of 2017, my partner and I decided to try one of the prepared home meal box services. We picked Blue Apron as our choice, as they offered the best sign-up discount. The system works really well in terms of choosing your meals 1-2 weeks in advance, and they claimed that their ingredients were truly seasonal, provided by local farmers.
Over a course of 3 months, however, we had a few not so pleasant meals, mostly with regards to the fish as well as other proteins that tasted either like over-boiled eggs (dry and stinky) or sour shark (a cured, rubbery, Icelandic shark that is positively un-chewable). So, we decided to try another service.

A friend who is a foodie referred us to Sun Basket, based out of California, and after doing some research, we decided to give it a try. It’s the same concept as Blue Apron, but all the ingredients are organic (if possible) and seasonal. So far, it has been good, and I much more prefer Sun Basket over the others we have tried. No more gagging over bad poultry or Tilapia as Sun Basket won’t provide ingredients that aren’t in season 🙂

The disappointments (but not too bad):
The people at Sun Basket promote that their packaging is recyclable and it is, but trash is trash. I wish they’d find a way to combine some of the ingredients in fewer bags to eliminate some of the tubs and plastic. It’s terrible tossing out all that paper and plastic, including an outer paper bag and several tiny Ziploc bags that cannot be easily reused. That said, my partner and I love the little plastic tubs, which we reuse constantly 😉
Also, on a few occasions, the recipes have been drastically off in terms of cooking time, resulting in either undercooked rice or rock-hard, inedible sweet potatoes 🙁 Basically a waste of meal!

My favorite service experiences this year—shown in order of my devoted love for each brand:

Curio Concept: This unique boutique caters to those who aren’t afraid to take an individual style stand as well as those who aren’t typical brand whores.
Curio is all about individuality, culture, and fashion democracy.
See post here: http://tertiaryreport.com/curio-concepts/

Calphalon: No BS service promises here. If you buy their pots, pans, or other kitchenware, their lifetime warranty is a promise you can count on—and they mean it! They rock!!! Read my post and you’ll understand why I love this brand so much: http://tertiaryreport.com/calphalon/

Leather Spa: There is no other company in NYC that can repair shoes, handbags, belts, and other leather goods as well as Leather Spa. The service in their stores is lacking somewhat in the amount of attention they give to customers, but their repairs are beyond belief! The shoes I got repaired this fall (some are over 10 years old) look exactly the same as when I first wore them.
See post here: http://tertiaryreport.com/leather-spa/

 

My least favorite service experiences this year—shown in order of my devoted dislike for the brand:

American Airlines: Hands down, the worst service and safety experience I’ve ever experienced in my life! Which places them below airlines I’ve been on in Cambodia, Iran, Vietnam, Burma, and Fiji, to name a few. I’ve never felt so unsafe and uncomfortable on a flight: therefore, I’ll never step foot on an AA airline ever again!
See post here: http://tertiaryreport.com/american-airlines/

The Whitney: One of my favorite architects, Renzo Piano, the master behind the Pompidou in Paris, made me really sad when I visited his latest building in NYC: the Whitney Museum in the Meatpacking district. What an utter flow crash, with no concept of lighting, color, or the spirit of the art. The modern art on display is badly curated, placed in such a way that you just want to throw up and take a shit at the same time— meaning I almost felt hungover rather than being refreshed and inspired by the art.
See post here: http://tertiaryreport.com/the-whitney-museum/

Aire Spa NYC: Love the concept and the interiors of the bathing area, but unfortunately, the chlorine smell overwhelms the experience. Nor is the staff helpful, and by staff, I mean everyone from the front desk check to the masseuse.

Also, the temperature in the massage rooms is totally off and the music can be so loud that there is no way to relax and enjoy an aromatherapy massage. In fact, I was so tense during my massage that I came out of it feeling in worse physical and mental shape than when I walked in. It’s not worth the $300 unless you just want to experience a beautiful space full of the smell of chlorine.

However, I do believe with a few tweaks this place could be amazing. The first thing to do is to change upper management and train the staff to shut the f(*$ up while attending to their clients.
See post here: http://tertiaryreport.com/aire-spa-nyc/