Recently, Breathe Repeat had the pleasure of chatting with Denise Mari, the founder of Organic Avenue, one of our favorite spots to score some organic juice and smoothies!
Mari recently released a new recipe book, Organic Avenue: Recipes For Life, Made With LOVE*, and on July 4th she celebrated the grand opening of Mari Manor, the first-ever Bed and Cleanse located in Westhampton Beach. It’s a healthy alternative to the traditional bed and breakfast. They offer private yoga, massage, nutritional counseling sessions, and of course, lots and lots of yummy, organic vegan food and juice!
DM: Yoga, meditation and pranayama. I study with Dharma Mittra in NYC and I bring his teaching of Ahimsa (non-violence) and the physical practice of Asana along with meditation into my daily lifestyle.
BR: We know you live a very healthy, vegan, organic lifestyle, BUT… what’s your guilty pleasure?
DM: “Guilty” and “pleasure” don’t go hand in hand… guilt takes away pleasure. Something I LOVE to treat myself to is Justin’s Dark Chocolate + Peanut Butter cup.. ooooolalaaaa… soooo good! I just have to watch out when I start buying them by the full box and not the individual packs!
BR: What are your “entry points”? In other words, how do you drop back in when you’re feeling disconnected? Take a yoga class? Go for a walk on the beach?
DM: The number one thing is cleaning up my diet (focusing on vegan and raw whole food, and fresh green juice). Number two is meditating… both are essential for me.
BR: If you could have anyone – living or dead – do an Organic Avenue juice cleanse with you, who would you choose?
DM: I’d take that cleanse experience with Gandhi. He was always experimenting with foods and appreciated raw foods… as does Dharma Mittra, my yoga teacher, and his guru was also a big fan of eating only raw food. The life and spiritual insights cleansing with all of them would be amazing.
BR: Now that it’s super hot and humid, which juice/ smoothie do you crave the most?
DM: I love making smoothies with my son, Oliver. it’s so much fun to watch him get excited and pick all sorts of fruits and vegetables that I would not usually choose (like cauliflower!) and throw it in the blender. It’s the best feeling ever to see him drink it with a smile – and a smoothie mustache! It nourishes me twice! Yesterday with Oliver’s assistance we drank: baby kale, banana, cucumber, tomato, blueberry, mango, cauliflower, grapes, almond mylk with a small scoop of a plant based protein powder! I called it his Super Hero Smoothie.
DM: Mari Manor is a healthy and compassionate place to stay. When I first conceived of Organic Avenue, I also envisioned retreat centers around the world. I knew that accessing the lifestyle in NYC was absolutely necessary and therefore it was imperative to launch Organic Avenue in NYC, and I also realized that people MUST leave the city to truly recharge, rejuvenate and be able to reevaluate life. I think Mari Manor is the first of many boutique hotels that will offer a healthy and compassionate lifestyle experience outside of NYC. Also in my travels – like any other health conscious individual – I realized it’s never “easy.” I wanted to take some of the questions out of the experience where someone living a consciously evolving lifestyle can find relaxation, enjoyment and a sense of ease as they visit a new place. Westhampton Beach is an awesome Hampton to visit – or live in! But like most areas outside of NYC there are not a lot of healthy plant-based organic and vegan places to eat. Even sleeping at hotels you are compromising with the “down feathers” and while paying for a breakfast buffet, you will have to skip most items on the menu. At Mari Manor I take care of the menu and we offer juice cleansing as an option. This way people who want to try the Organic Avenue juice cleanse, yet feel that they need some downtime to do it, can do just that.
BR: What is your favorite yoga class in the city? In the Hamptons?
DM: Dharma Mittra. That said there are also many wonderful teachers and classes I have not taken in the city. In the Hamptons I focus on my personal practice at Mari Manor.
BR: What’s your favorite pose right now?
BR: What’s your favorite post-yoga snack (or juice)?
Sure, you can sip too much rosé on the beach all weekend and then head back to the city feeling more depleted than you did before you left, and we will never judge you. Promise. OR… you could book your next weekend getaway at Mari Manor, nourish yourself with organic, vegan food, get a massage, and while you’re in the hood, take a class at Yoga Shanti Westhampton Beach, then sip some Organic Avenue Sweet Greens juice. You’ll be glowing with vitality and feeling super-charged as you board the jitney and head back to Manhattan!