NB: Denise Mari

In 2000, Denise Mari set out to make delicious plant-based food and cold-pressed juice an easy and convenient option for those wishing to make healthier choices. Organic Avenue, the business Denise started in her tiny Manhattan kitchen, is now a multi-million dollar company with locations all over the city.

I caught up with Denise recently to talk about her favourite beauty and well-being
products and practices.

"I'm always on the search for products that work well and are sustainable. It's important that they are created by companies that share my values when it comes to protecting the environment, loving animals, and enriching human health. The toxicity of cosmetics and the lure of advertising – accompanied by mostly false claims – and the lack of regulations on food can wreak havoc on the body (and mind). Therefore, reading labels and researching is crucial. Through my own investigations, I've been lucky to find plenty of cruelty-free, environmentally-sound products that will make you look and feel your best."

1. Rahua Shampoo/Conditioner

Rahua products contain oils harvested straight from the Rainforest and are free of sulfates and parabens, chemicals that can strip the hair of moisture and cause skin irritations. The shampoo is very gentle while the conditioner keeps my hair soft, moisturized, and frizz-free (my stylist even tells me that my hair feels healthy and is impressed with how the products perform). Plus, a little goes a long way – every time I wash my hair, I only need to use a small amount so the bottles last for months.

2. Gabriel Organics Red Seaweed Moisturizer

I was delighted to discover Gabriel Organics one day while scouring my local health food store for new products. Their Red Seaweed Moisturizer is perfect for faces that can get a little greasy – it's very lightweight and doesn't cause breakouts. (Every skin type needs to be moisturized, even skin that might not seem dry.) One of the key ingredients is green tea extract which is super calming, a benefit for anyone who might live a stressful life (which is basically most of us!)

3. Gabriel Organics Sea Mineral Hydra Mist

Just like the seaweed moisturizer, Gabriel Organics' misting spray has a calming effect on my skin. It's a really fantastic on-the-go skin refresher that contains white oak bark (which combats irritation) and skin-firming kelp. I keep a bottle in my bag and spritz it during the day whenever I need a little pick-me-up. It also acts as an aromatherapy spray and moisturizes thirsty skin.

4. Aura Cacia Tranquil Chamomile Aromatherapy Mineral Bath

Throwing some of these bath salts into the tub is like creating a spa day right in my own home. The Epsom salt acts as a muscle relaxer and the chamomile scent is pleasant but not too strong, creating an all-around therapeutic experience. My skin feels so soft after a good long soak. It's the perfect way to dial down after one of those nonstop-on-my-feet-days.

5. Perfect Food Raw Organic Green Super Food

I live on fruit and veggies but even for me, it's sometimes hard to get in all the recommended green servings each and every day. That's where this supplement comes in. It's a powder that you mix into water to make your own vegetable juice. You can also turn any smoothie green and feel confident in your daily dose just by adding a packet a day. It tastes straight-from-the-garden, easily sweetened by berries or bananas, plus it's super energizing and keeps me going all day.

6. Organic Avenue LOVE* Deep Cleanse

This is our signature juice cleanse that I do when I feel like I'm in need of an energy boost and want to hit "reset" on my diet. Six different juices and one booster shot each day, for three to five days. Everything is organic certified. The juices are tasty – especially the Coconut Mylk which is practically a milkshake – and I never feel deprived. Plus, the variety keeps me from getting bored. The cleanse is sustainable and promotes clarity and is incredibly hydrating. It’s also available to guests at Mari Manor as a part of our Bed & Cleanse experience!

7. Organic Avenue: Recipes For Life, Made with LOVE

Talk about a labor of LOVE! This book is the culmination of years of practice and study, and is a simple "how-to" take on the challenge of cleansing. I also explain the ins-and-outs of why we should cleanse. It's full of healthy vegan recipes that are easy to follow – lots of smoothies and juices, as well as salads, soups and wraps. (And sweets: I wanted to show that you can still eat healthy and satisfy your sweet tooth!) The photography is beautiful, too. I'm very proud of it!

8. Be Love "World Peace Through Inner Peace" Tank Top

This tank is so soft and has an easy, loose fit that works just as well for yoga practice as it does running around doing errands (it's made of low-impact jersey knit). What's more, Be Love Apparel donates $5 from every order to Alexandria House, a shelter for homeless women and children in Los Angeles. When a business can make a profit while helping others, it's just beautiful. That's why I love these garments. Also, the messages are simple and profound and allow you to speak your mind without saying a word.

9. Demeter Honeysuckle

All of Demeter's fragrances are simple one-notes that are completely natural and made by hand. But what's really amazing is the accuracy of their scents, like my favorite Honeysuckle, which smells exactly like the real thing. Just one whiff and I'm transported back to summertime gardens, even if it's the dead of winter.

10. (seed) Healthy Hand Cream in Relaxing Lavender

Hands are forever exposed to the elements and take on everything from typing to cleaning dishes. So I give mine some extra love with this hand cream from (seed), which I try to apply anytime I wash my hands. It's got a subtle, lavender scent and is incredibly hydrating. It's enriched with grape seeds which offer anti-oxidizing and nourishing benefits.

© Denise Mari

Denise Mari is the founder of Organic Avenue, the author of Recipes for Life, Made with LOVE* (available here [UK] or here [US]) and the proprietor of Mari Manor, a wellness-focused Bed & Breakfast in Westhampton Beach.
She lives in New York.

Find Denise on TwitterFacebook & Instagram.



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