Interview with Corey Stanford, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of

Corey Stanford, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of, tells us about his successful online-based platform, which links the general public to established industry experts and celebrity talent, his healthy and green lifestyle, and his favorite charities.

So tell us about your company.

Blazetrak is an online-based platform that provides video access to the world’s top professionals in the areas of music, fashion, tv/film, sports, business & lifestyle.  It is the first website that allows you to get directly in touch with established industry experts and celebrity talent – and be guaranteed a direct video response.  Blazetrak has a roster of 400+ professionals utilizing the platform including Big Boi, from the Grammy Award-winning duo Outkast, Edyta Sliwinska, formerly with “Dancing With the Stars”, Tyson Beckford, Ralph Lauren Supermodel, Mathew Knowles, World-Renowned Music Executive, Tara Conner, Miss USA Winner, and Darren Sharper, of the New Orleans Saints.

We, at Organice Your Life®, promote a healthy and organic lifestyle in all areas of our life.  What do you do to stay healthy?

I workout six days a week, which includes taking a Zumba class, completing a Kukuwa Dance Workout, a strength-based session at the Firm Studios, playing basketball, and swimming. In addition to working out, I eat a well balanced meal on a daily basis, with the exception of Friday’s. I generally splurge with pizza on a Friday.

Does living a healthy lifestyle carry over into your work? Do you let others around you know the benefits of eating organically and being green?

Living healthy is not only part of my work; it’s a part of my life.  My wife is a physician and a workout fanatic. She continuously encourages me and leads by example. I frequently hear stories of her patients who end up in the hospital due to a poor lifestyle choice. Many of the complications she faces with her patients could have easily been avoided if they lived a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes we run to medicine as the solution when ultimately, the solution may be as simple as changing your diet or being physically active.  Instead of just telling my colleagues, associates, and friends the benefits of eating organically, or being green, I demonstrate it.  I walk to the grocery store. I carry my green shopping bags. Sometimes, I even post my grocery list on Facebook and Twitter.

As a very busy executive, what are the major drawbacks that you see regarding living a healthy life?  How do you overcome these? 

The major drawback is definitely traveling. It’s very difficult to maintain your balanced nutritional plan, when the only food selections around you are fast food restaurants.  To overcome this challenge, I typically pack FiberOne Bars and apples in my suitcase. It’s pretty amazing how full you become eating those two items. I also generally purchase a grilled chicken sandwich from a fast food restaurant. I have to admit, at times, I do succumb to the combo meal. However, I pay for it with an intense workout afterwards.

What are your healthy living secrets?

My healthy living secret is to partner with someone to stay healthy. Without my wife, I would have a difficult time. It can be a spouse, companion, friend, colleague, or associate. Encourage each other to eat healthy. Plan workout dates or even report to each other what you have done, good and bad. It really helps.

Do you have a favorite charity? What kind of charity have you been involved with?  Tell us about your charity.

My favorite charity is Rosie O’Donnell’s, Rosie’s Theater Kids. Rosie’s Theater Kids is an arts education organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children through the arts. Using professional teaching artists, Rosie's Theater Kids provides instruction in dance, music and drama and a professional theater experience for children who might otherwise not have the opportunity. Blazetrak has supported this organization through in-kind donations, including capturing some of their highlighted moments on video ( Blazetrak Co-Founder Nathaniel Casey sits on the Jr. Board of Rosie’s Theater Kids as well.

Blazetrak has also recently become a premium sponsor and has partnered up with event producer Faisal Al-Juburi, who has assembled a consortium of not-for-profit organizations – including Friends In Deed; God’s Love We Deliver; Hispanic Federation; International AIDS Prevention Initiative; The NAMES Project Foundation; and Rosie O’Donnell’s Rosie’s Theater Kids - to serve as beneficiaries of funds raised at a gala event to be held in New York City during the week of World AIDS Day. This event, centered around a staged reading of QUILT - A Musical Celebration, will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the AIDS crisis and the 25th anniversary of The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. A large scale viewing of portions of The Quilt is also planned to coincide with the reading, curated to reflect panels made by and/or for New York City artists in the fields of theatre, music, and fashion.

Lastly, we’re also working with Blazetrak Advisory Board Member, Candice Cook, who has connected us with several global organizations. She is assisting us with developing a solution to integrate our technology with the non-profit sector, to spread awareness and receive donations online via our platform.



Valentina by Alique

Interview with Top Model Valentina Zelyaeva

Valentina by Alique
Valentina by Alique

Get to know top model Valentina Zelyaeva through the Organice Your Life® circle of 5: What’s it like to see yourself in almost all the advertising for Ralph Lauren? What does the perfect day look like for her? What does she love? Valentina, top model and THE face of Ralph Lauren, gives us a sneak peek into her life following the circle of 5 from Organice Your Life®!


Lonneke: Can you give me a short introduction to yourself?

Valentina: "I was born in Ulan Ude, Russia. My father was in the military (a Russian colonel), so my family had to move from place to place. Finally, my parents settled down in Moscow, where I grew up. Being the tallest and the skinniest girl in school, I was constantly being picked on by the others. Growing up, I wanted to become a flight attendant - traveling all over the world was my biggest dream. When I was 16, my friend took me to the Elite Model Look competition. I thought if I made it, I would make some extra cash for me and my family, but I never imagined that I would be living in New York and modeling full time. I didn’t win the modeling contest; I didn’t even take any place. In fact, my two friends won. But I did meet a scouting agent from Tokyo. He invited me to go to work in Japan for 2 months. I spent 2 years in Tokyo, modeling for local catalogs. I have traveled all over Japan, and I loved living there. I got to know the Japanese culture and I received a lot of modeling experience like traveling by myself, speaking English, becoming comfortable posing in front of the camera, etc. When I was 20, I came to New York for the first time. It was September fashion week. My agency sent me to meet with clients and designers. I had booked a few good shows, but the biggest and the most important show of my career was Ralph Lauren SS2004. Ralph Lauren chose me out of hundreds of girls to open his show. It was a huge start for me, the start every model can only dream of. And it happened to me! After opening the Ralph Lauren show, I booked ads. After that, I signed an exclusive contract. I think this was due to the fact that I’m very professional and that I take my job very seriously. I’m in the middle of a great, and most importantly, long career. After discovering raw food, the organic lifestyle, eco-friendly and natural products, I have really learned how to take care of my body, my skin, and hair through healthy eating and regular exercise. Modeling is all about the looks, so it is very important to always be in your best shape and to be healthy! Also, it’s very important to maintain a good relationship with clients."

Valentina and her dad


Valentina with her dad as a young girl



Where is home? And why do you like it there?

Valentina's view in NYC
Valentina's view in NYC

"New York has been my home for the past 9 years , but about 2 years ago,  I got a cute place in Miami, Florida. Since then, I have been alternating between living in New York and Miami Beach. I just LOVE the weather in Miami! But I miss New York a lot when I spend too much time on the beach. New York is such an exciting city. I never get bored here! Besides, I know all the best restaurants, farmers markets, juice bars, healthy food stores, gyms, and places to see. I truly feel like home here!" 

In what style did you decorate your house?

"My home has to be in clean, calming colors - it is my place to relax after a busy day. I love candles, so you see them all over my place. I love fresh flowers, and I always bring home live flowers after visiting the farmers market. I want to start framing the pictures that I took while traveling, and put them on the walls. It adds a personal touch to a place."

Her apartment in NYC
Valentina's apartment in NYC

What is your favorite room in the house? 

 "When I’m in New York, I love to sit on my cow chair with an iPad and my cats close by.  Here I find myself relaxed and inspired to write new posts for OYL And when I’m in Miami, I spend my time on the most comfortable sofa in the world, reading a book or watching a movie."

What “green” or healthy contraptions do you have in your home?

"Well, I have few “green” things that I would highly recommend for everyone. Here they are:

1. Last year I finally installed a Kangen water machine. Basically what it does, is that it turns tap water into alkaline oxygenated healthy living water. I drink this water, I cook with it, I wash my face... It is the best investment in your health.

2. I also bought produce bags (no more plastic bags for wrapping apples).

3. I have a tea container made of glass, which I take with me when I’m working so I don’t have to use plastic cups and throw them away right after.

4. I have a glass straw, which is a brilliant way to replace all plastic straws! (I wrote about it in our first issue of OYL magazine)."

 What other places on this earth do you love and Why?

"I love warm countries. I like visiting Brasil. I feel like the people there are always happy no matter what! Besides, the abundance of fruit and vegetables is just beyond belief! I went to Anguilla last year for a photo shoot, and I was lucky enough to stay a few extra days. I fell in love with the island! It’s so tiny you can cross the island by car in 30 min., but there are so many beautiful spots for snorkeling. That’s what I did for the rest of my stay! I also love my mom’s countryside house, not far from Moscow. My mom has planted tons of vegetables, berries, herbs, and flowers. I go there every summer for a health boost, to hike in the nearby forest and to swim in the lake. Last summer I went to Santorini, Greece. It was so romantic and so beautiful! We rented a boat for a day, and did a round trip around the island. We snorkeled, ate local grapes, drank organic house made wine and we watched the sun go down. Santorini is the #1 place on Earth for the most breathtaking sunset!"



Ralph Lauren.

RL ad Valentina

 How is it to have been the iconic face of Ralph Lauren for so many years?

" I can’t describe enough how lucky, grateful, and proud I am to have been the face of Ralph Lauren for ALL THOSE YEARS!  To me, he is the best designer in the world and the best American clothing designer! I was a big fan of him before I came to the US for the first time, and from the moment I signed an exclusive contract, it was like a dream come true. To have such a contract for so many years is the best thing that can happen to a model."

 What  is Ralph Lauren like in real life?

 "Working with Ralph Lauren closely is like watching a great artist. He is aware of everything and he is involved in every step of designing the clothes. He is a generous person and has a great sense of humor.  He is very loyal to his employees, some of them have worked for him for over 25 years! It is extremely rare in this ever changing fashion world. I'm proud to say that I have been working with Ralph for almost 10 years now! He comes from immigrant parents, was born and raised in the Bronx, a self made man. Today he is one of the most successful designers in the world."

What does a day of work for RL look like?

" I always look forward to RL photo shoots, because the whole team has become a big part of my life and I love them all. The locations are always exciting and the pictures we create together are of timeless beauty! So, if I have to travel for a shoot, I usually leave the night before the job. The day I arrive on location I have a fitting, then I have some time to relax. I usually go to a spa or sauna, or go for a walk to explore the location and maybe to buy some souvenirs. The night before the shoot, I have a very light early dinner (room service) and go to bed. I usually have a vegetable salad with olive oil and a cup of chamomile tea. Call time is around 7 AM. We meet with the crew at the lobby, then I’m off to the location. While getting my hair and makeup done, I chat with the makeup artist and hair stylist. We have known each other for a long time so we have lots of catching up to do. If I need to cut my hair, I always take the opportunity to do it on the set. And I always get the best results! Before lunch time, we go through half of the outfits - around 5-6 pictures. The lunch is always great! I try not to over indulge, so the food doesn’t drag me down. If I need a boost, I ask the production team for a cup of green tea or I snack on dark chocolate. There are always lots of snacks around: fruits, veggies, guacamole, nuts. We finish at 5 p.m. or so. After that, the team gathers together and we go to a local restaurant for a dinner to celebrate a successful day."

Valentina shoot
At a Ralph Lauren Shoot


 What do you like best about modeling?

 "The best part of my job is the chance to see the world. I travel a lot, and I have been to many amazing places. I enjoy the chance to meet with different people from different countries. They all have great stories to share and great experiences. Many people also have great advice. Because of my job, I speak foreign languages that I could never have imagined being able to speak."

And the least?

"My least favorite part of my job is feeling homesick, jet lag, and sometimes lack of healthy food on the set." 

 What has been your favorite trip for a modeling job so far?

"My favorite trip was 4 years ago when I went to Zihuatanejo, Mexico to shoot Ralph Lauren ads. We were shooting at a private house, located on a cliff facing the ocean. We had private chefs who prepared food for us. I have never eaten so much, or eaten such good guacamole as I had there! The hotel I stayed at was located right on the beach. It was the time of the year when sea turtles lay eggs on the beach. The hotel staff had collected tiny little baby turtles in a special pool, and at night all of us guests of the hotel had a chance to release baby turtles into the ocean! It was like an episode from National Geographic. These are the type of memories I will never forget. We had to stay an extra couple of days because some of the outfits didn’t arrive on time. A couple of crew members and I used this opportunity. We took a van and drove to the city. I bought a nice handmade necklace for myself. We had a chance to visit the farmers market and flea market. I love when I get to see local places. At the end of the shoot, the owner of the house hosted a dinner party with the best Mexican food and margaritas! We also enjoyed the live band a lot! Wow! It was by far the best trip I’ve ever had.Plus, the pictures came out absolutely stunning - one of my favorite ads."

with the baby turtles!
with the baby turtles!

 What do you do on a day off?

"When I have a day off, I use it as much as I possibly can! For instance, I organize my desk, my closet, and old stuff that has been lying around that I haven’t decided what to do with. I also use my day off to take care of myself - pedicure, manicure, massage, and facials are involved. I check my fridge and see if I need to make a trip to the farmers market to buy fresh, local produce."

 What are your favorite pastimes?

"My hobbies are reading inspirational books, searching the internet for more info on raw food and a healthy lifestyle, skiing, wake-boarding, capoeira, cooking, creating new smoothies and juice recipes, watching movies on Netflix, and writing for OYL."



 What is your secret skin care regimen that leaves you looking so healthy and beautiful?

"It is more important what you put inside your body, than what you put outside. So I eat lots of fruits and veggies. I mean, really a huge amount - I make vegetable juice first thing in the morning (cucumber, fennel, kale, oranges, celery) followed up by big fruit smoothies (apple, banana, celery, strawberries). Then I snack on more fruits in between the meals, and I have a big salad or two during the day. My skin care routine is quite simple: I wash my face before I go to bed, using a toner followed by a treatment serum (Vitamin C). First thing in the morning, I dry brush my face with a very gentle face brush. It helps to remove dead skin and helps to renew my outer layer (better than a scrub!). After that, I spray Evian water (I try to stay away from tap water as much as possible) and, using cotton, I wipe my face with alcohol-free toner. Then, I take moisturizer and add a few drops of Argan Oil. I apply it all over my face, and then I use light eye cream. That’s all I do!"

Your favorite workout?

" I have a few favorite work outs:

1. I practice capoeira in New York with a private trainer twice a week.


2. Sometimes I take a yoga class when I feel like I need a good stretching or just to release stress.

3. I just discovered Pilates! It does wonders to my body.

4.  If I’m in Miami, I go for a run on the beach. Running helps to clear my mind and to release negative emotions. "

What do you do to relax and/ or pamper yourself?

" I can truly relax at home doing nothing! I put on some music without lyrics. I call it “spa music.” I make myself a cup of herbal tea, read books, or watch movies that make me feel good."


You are into raw foods. Why do you think it is so important to eat foods raw?

"This is one of my favorite topics of conversation. I can go on and on. But I’ll try to explain it in a few sentences. When we cook our food, we destroy 50% of the vitamins and up to 80% of the minerals. Worst of all, we completely destroy essential enzymes that every living food has. We need these precious enzymes to digest the food that we eat. When you eat cooked food, in order to digest a meal, your body must steal its enzymes from itself. By doing this, we age slowly and different sorts of diseases start to appear (cancer, heart decease, diabetes). It is very important to include as much raw food in your diet as possible. I’m not suggesting to go 100% raw, but start to add more salads, juices, and smoothies to your diet. And, by “raw food” I don’t mean sushi or steak tartare! I’m talking about fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds."


 What is your favorite recipe?

" I love this recipe for gazpacho tomato soup. All you need is blender to make it. No cooking involved, and it takes 3 min. to make it:

•4 tomatoes •1 celery stalk •1/2 red bell pepper •1/2 cucumber (skin removed) •1

clove garlic •2 Tsp olive oil •Sea salt + pepper Blend everything in a blender. Ready!"

 What do you eat when you cheat on your diet?

 " I love seafood pasta! I have it, when I am in a really good Italian restaurant. I like milk chocolate, so I look for organic/fair trade chocolate. I can't get enough of Laduree macarons from their store in Paris! "

 Favorite restaurant?

"I like  "Caravan of Dreams" in NYC. It is a vegan place with lots of raw food options. For fresh seafood I go to "Avara" Greek Restaurant. "Le Pain Quotidien", they have great vegan and vegetarian choices, plus they mostly use organic ingredients. I go to "One Lucky Duck" it is a raw place with a great juice bar and amazing salads."

Fashion, design & shopping.

Favorite shop?

" I shop at Ralph Lauren all the time. I always find great items. Sometimes I go to Intermix, as well as Barneys. I love the vintage market on Lincoln Road for unique jewelry."

What is your favorite thing to shop for?

"I love to shop for natural beauty products:  essential oils, organic skin care, natural sunscreen, chemical-free shampoos, natural tooth paste, aluminum free deodorant... I like to shop for kitchen tools: new pots, a new blender, glasses, etc. I also like to shop for fruits and veggies at farmers markets, because I always discover new things. I also like to go through vintage jewelry at flea markets."

 Have you ever made a mistake purchasing something that you did not like in the end?

"This used to happen to me all the time, but now I only shop if I really urgently need something. I was going through my closet and found out that I have so many clothes that I bought but never wear, or only have worn it once! I was able to make four big bags and send it all to my sister and cousins in Russia."

 Best buy?

"My best buy is my juicer! It was money well-spent, because I juice every day, even sometimes twice a day.

 Favorite piece of clothing you own?

"My absolute favorite piece of clothing is a Ralph Lauren cashmere wrap sweater. I use it everyday: at home, underneath the jacket when I go outside, and I wear it on the plane when I travel. I’m thinking of buying it in all the available colors."

RL ad

Favorite designer or artist?

"Favorite designers would be Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney. Their clothes are timeless, classic, and beyond chic! Both of them do not use real fur.




What do you like to do most with friends?

"We like to go out and dance, catch up over lunch, and discover new and healthy restaurants."

 Best way to stay in contact with friends?

"The best way to stay in contact with friends is to pick up the phone and call them. Now we have Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, Vkontakte, Skype, etc. And I think this is a great way to find your friends and stay in touch with them. But nothing compares to lunch or dinner with a group of friends."


Are you in a relationship, if yes, Why is this person so important to you?

"I have been with the same person for almost 7 years now. He always supports me in every situation no matter what. He is always on my side and is always there for me when I need it most. With the time passing by, I'm falling more and more in love with him. I'm so incredibly lucky to have found a person like that!"

What do you see for yourself in the future when I say: baby?

"I can’t wait to be a mother! I truly hope my  husband and I will be a great example to our kids as loving and caring parents. I will do my best to raise my kids to be healthy and happy."

 What is your favorite thing to do on a special day like Valentine’s Day?

"To me, every day with my boyfriend is Valentine’s Day, but to make it even more special on the 14th of February, I’d like to give him a sweet little present, cook a dinner at home, open a bottle of wine and cosy up on the sofa."




What charity do you support?

"I support the breast cancer charity Polo Pink Pony. Money goes to a cancer research center. Also, I support a charity called LakayPam. Donations go to victims of the earthquake that happened in Haiti a few years ago. 

Polo Pink Pony
Polo Pink Pony

What else have you done to help others in your life?

"It’s hard to remember everything, but the first thing that comes to mind is:

•sometimes I send donations to a charity that provides food for homeless people.

I send money to children cancer research center.

•I send money to my family in Moscow, and with it they were able to build a country house.

•I adopted my cat from a vet hospital in Miami.

•I buy organic produce from local farmers markets. By doing this, I’m supporting small farmers and helping them grow.

•I have signed up for one of the local and organic home delivery services, that way, I can also support small farmers.


Valentina loves:

•Animal: Siberian Tiger

•Color: White, green.

•Fruit: Persimmons

•Tv Program:  "SMASH" & "Downton Abbey"

•City: New York City

•Travel: Caribbean Islands & Brasil. 

•Car: Tesla Model S (all electric car)

•Movie: Documentary “Food Matters”

•Song: “Coming Back” by Citizen Cope

•Inspiring person: Dalai Lama

•Favorite quote: “Value who you are. Enjoy your uniqueness and don’t compare yourself with others and put yourself down. Love is everywhere!” Deepak Chopra

Valentina on Cover of Organice Your Life® magazine nr 4.

Ralph Lauren Romance ad

Nacho Figueras and wife Delfina Blaquier.

ralph Lauren ad

The latest ad for the Ralph Lauren  fragrance "Romance" is featuring Ralph Lauren Model/ successful polo player Nacho Figueras and his wife Delfina. I have known them for a while working together for Ralph, and I was interested to know about their family life, for the latest issue of Organice Your Life® magazine "Family First." So I spoke to Delfina and Nacho about their lives in Argentina and the USA, their gorgeous kids and Nachos favorite food! Also just in time for Valentine's Day!- By Valentina Zelyaeva.

Let's start from the beginning: Delfina,  how did you two meet?

Delfina: In November 1997, I met Nacho when we were both watching a polo match (the Argentine open) in buenos aires. I was going up the stairs towards my seat and when I looked up he was looking down at me, standing, about to take his seat. he was a little further than where I was, and I felt that silence you get in an empty room. Later that day, we were introduced by my cousin whom I saw chatting with him, so I went and asked her who he was and she told me “his name is Nacho Figueras, and he asked me the same about you!” After that, we went on vacation separately as it was the end of the year and Summer holidays. Coincidentally, we met again that following March.

Nacho, you are a professional polo player, where did the love for horses come from? Was your family a big influence on your choice of profession?

Nacho: "My father loved the sport. he always wanted me to play. I started riding when I was 9 years old. Then, my father bought a farm close to the farm of his best friend, whose son Lucas also played polo and that’s how we became best friends."

Nacho playing polo

Delfina, tell us about your passion of photographer. What kind of photos do you like to take? Have you had any exhibitions already?

Delfina: "I’ve always loved art and photography. In 2003, Nacho’s grandfather gave me a 1963 Polaroid camera (which I still have and use when I can find film for it). I started taking portraits of Nacho’s horses, and then I got into a more creative mood so I began working on a fragmental image. That allowed me to speak with my eyes and show what I thought the beauty was in them. after that, I started portraying women in that same way. I approached things in a very simple manner, almost from the minimalist side, which again allowed me to portray the beautiful soul. and then I thought I would like to do the same with architecture. After that, I met Aldo Bressi, the great Italian photographer who moved to Buenos Aires and who later became my mentor. With him, I had showings in Buenos Aires Photo, in galleries, and at the Museum Centro Cultural Recoleta. Last September, an exhibition opened at Vered gallery in East Hampton, New York."

You two have 3 beautiful kids. How do you entertain them? What are their favorite things to do? Are they into horses as well?

D: "We do lots of riding, including our baby who loves riding with Nacho or me! Aurora rides a pony, and Hilario is already playing polo! I think my children inherited our passion for horses. We love to spend a lot of time together. Hilario is 11, Aurora is 6, and Artemio is 2 years old. As you can see their ages are varied, and their interests are as well. But the kids play a lot together and enjoy themselves, and I like that."

Ralph Lauren Romance ad with family

What do you find the most important things to teach your kids?

D: "For the boys I think that manners and to respect women are the most important things. Then I say to them ‘ Always look someone in the eyes when talking or listening to them!” That’s something that seems to be very difficult nowadays with so much going on. There’s too much information everywhere in this “multitasking” era we live in! I think that it is very important to keep true to yourself, so no matter what you are doing or who you are with you should never forget where you come from and who you are inside. and the key is to keep family together as much as you possibly can."

Do you have family traditions? Perhaps a sit- down dinner every evening? Or a family holiday getaway?

D: "Yes, we spend Christmas and the end of the year together. We have dinner at home with the kids every night, and I have lunch with Nacho every day since we live very close to the stables and polo grounds, that is, in the suburbs of Buenos Aires where all the polo is. So for us it is quite easy to stay together."

What is your favorite family summer vacation destination and why?

D: "We love going to the coast in Uruguay, or to our farm. We like to stay home or around home a lot as we don’t get to do as much of that as we’d like to, due to all the traveling during the year."

 Delfina, share with us your secret family recipe that is Nacho's favorite meal, and what is your kids favorite meal?

D: Every time we have rotelle with tomato and basil, i can see it in his eyes! he could have this meal every day and be the happiest man on earth.

Recipe for rotelle with tomato and basil:

  • Cook pasta following instructions. (it can be any pasta, but semolina based is better)
  • Cut cherry tomatoes in half. (organic or from a farm stand tastes so much better! it’s my son’s favorite!)
  • Grate parmesan cheese using a thick grater.
  • Use olive oil and balsamic vinegar as dressing and pepper makes it so much better!
  • If you like, you can add salt but i prefer not to as the parmesan has a lot in it already.
  • Get the basil leaves, wash, dry, and cut them.
  • Serve one bowl with the hot pasta and use a separate bowl for the tomatoes with parmesan and dressing.


Ralph Lauren Romance ad

Your romance fragrance ads look incredible! Tell us about the experience of making it. Where did it take place and how was it shooting together? And why do you think Ralph Lauren chose you to be the next "Romance" Couple?

D:  Thank you! It was shot in Argentina at my father’s estancia “La Concepcion”. That was where he and his siblings (he has 7 sisters and 1 brother) grew up-- some of them got married there. it was also where all of their children (my cousins and I) grew up, too. so it means a lot to all of us. We even got married there as well... I think Ralph Lauren falls in love with real things and real people. He saw a real family in us and “Romance” for me goes beyond a romantic dinner or getaway with your boyfriend/husband. Once you have children you experience this whole new love--this whole new “romance”. you share so many things together so you find romance in small things, like in a conversation, or making future plans while lying by the fire together...or just finding time to spend alone... which is hard nowadays due to the speed of the World.

Watch here a behind-the-scenes video of the Ralph Lauren Romance commercial

What does "Home" mean to you?

D: Home is home. It is where we find each other at ease. We make the world our home, and sometimes we are lucky to be in Buenos Aires where our family is and our house and horses too. but as I said before, home can be anywhere as long as we feel safe and together.

Ralph Lauren Romance

Buy the fragrance here: Ralph Lauren Romance Womens 3.4 oz EDP

Follow Nacho Figueras on Twitter

Follow Organice Your Life® on Twitter

Watch the commercial here:


This interview was published on by Valentina Zelyaeva on February 11th 2012. 

Interview with Hines Ward: NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver

Growing up in Pittsburgh, there was hardly a day that would pass without hearing about the Steelers and in particular, Hines Ward. The city adores #86. His loyal sports fans even tuned in weekly to watch him compete on Dancing with the Stars and flooded the downtown streets waving terrible towels when he took home the Mirror Ball Trophy. The Steelers wide receiver is a two-time Super Bowl Champion and earned the coveted MVP title in Super Bowl XL. On and off the football field, Ward tackles every task with alacrity, and his energy is contagious.  I had the chance to ask him a few questions and wanted to share with OYL readers:

A: Did training for Dancing with the Stars challenge you in a different way than training for football? If so, how?

H: Training for Dancing with the Stars was a challenge for me because I wasn’t a good dancer. I wouldn't even go to school dances to avoid embarrassment. The focus, physicality and agility that I use in professional football had to be applied in a totally new venue but this experience allowed me to adapt and excel. I was determined to succeed and Kym (Johnson) was an excellent partner and teacher.

A: What is your diet like during Steelers’ season? Do you incorporate any organic food?

H: During preseason and during football season, I am more strict than during the off-season. I eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables and good protein sources. I try to eat organically but being on the road and eating out sometimes makes that difficult.

A:Do you take any vitamins on a daily routine?

H: I take fish oil and my doctor just recently told me to add vitamin D to my regimen.

A: You are successful in so many areas that extend beyond the NFL, what motivates you to perpetually challenge yourself and not to settle into one area?

H: I am a person who wants to excel at everything I do. God has blessed me; and my mom has made many sacrifices to raise me to be the best I can be. These are great motivating factors for me and I use the same approach for other opportunities that arise. I’m committed to be a good example to my kids and all my fans.

A: With today's economy and widespread layoffs, it is not by choice that many people enter new fields. What advice would you give on how to keep a strong mind when re-inventing careers?

H: People should not be afraid to seek new career choices when things don’t workout. But there is no substitute for preparation and hard work to be successful whether it's in football or challenges in life. Believe in yourself, stay focused and look for opportunities that suit you as an individual- then go for it.

The NFL player started the Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation in the U.S. and Seoul, South Korea where he was born. The non-profit organization seeks to improve literacy and aid children with opportunities to succeed. For more information on how to become involved, please visit Hines Ward's Helping Hands Foundation

Interview by Antoniette Costa for First published on January 29th 2012, updated in 2019

Interview with Mimi Kirk - the raw food diet enthusiast.

Curious about raw food diet and its benefits? I interviewed a 73 year old Mimi Kirk - the raw foodist, winner of an annual contest "Sexiest vegetarian over 50" and an author of    "Live Raw" the  raw food recipe book.  She shares with us her skin care routine, her exercise, a basic raw food recipe for beginners and her thoughts on the date December 21 2012.


You won an annual contest "Sexiest vegetarian over 50". Congratulations! You were a vegetarian for over 40 years. Why did you decide to "go raw"?

I went raw after finding out my blood pressure and cholesterol were up, and I started feeling little arthritic pains in my joints.

Once you went from cooked vegetarian to raw-vegan, did you notice any physical changes?

It really seemed the changes were very quickly noticed. My skin looked better, and I just looked younger. I certainly felt younger and after 6  month, my doctor said my cholesterol was down 26 points and my blood pressure was normalized, and I've never felt an arthritic pain since going raw.

How do you stay motivated?

the results of how I felt and looked eating raw foods, and of course my age was enough motivation. I felt if I didn't change my diet, even though I thought I ate healthy, I could get worse as I aged, so it was easy for me to make the commitment.

What recipe would you suggest, from your book, for someone who is new to raw food?

I like to encourage people just starting out to fix a green juice or smoothie every morning. Don't give anything up, just add the drink. slowly you will notice how good you feel having this nutritious drink will help you transition. Then have a salad for lunch, eat a cooked healthy dinner and slowly make the change to raw. I find all raw best for personally, but if someone at 75-80% raw, that would make a big difference in one's health.

A basic green juice contains 2 apples, 4-5 stalks celery, 1/2 cucumber, 3-4 handfuls spinach. Juice. If you blend, you will need to add water to desired texture. I changed this basic drink by adding berries, a banana, or other fruits in season. There are lots of green drinks and smoothies in my new book "Live Raw", raw food recipes for good health and timeless beauty.

What are your favorite places to shop for local and organic produce when you are prepering your meals?

Being a California girl, I have to give a top grade for my home town. I now live in the San Diego area and there is a organic farm stand 10 minutes from my home. They have some of the best produce I've ever tasted. I also like to support all local organic growers. I really think the produce is superior to even health food stores.

What's your skin and hair care routing like?

I use 100% coconut oil on my face and body. It is so nourishing to my skin. I even use it in my hair before I wash it. Any products that are organic and not tested on animals I will give it a try. My hair is colored in a beauty shop, they claim what they use to colr my hai, has very little chemicals,a nd since there is no smell or burning on my scalp, I tend to think that is true. My hair is very healthy beacuse of what I put in my body more then what I use on the outside.

I've read somewhere that you practice Qigong. Tell us little bit about it.

I do a varity of exercise, Qiqong is a spiritual practice as well as a external one. I also like yoga for the same reason. They both are gentle stretching with an inner balance. I also like to walk as I feel it's like a meditation.

In your opinion, what are the essencial keys to harmony living with your body and nature?

I think our bodies need nature. we should walk barefoot on grass, in the sand and feel the Earth to ground us. Being in nature is so healing. Deep breathing, and feeling the connectedness to all living things is very energizing.

There are a lot of theories about the date December 21 2012. What are your thoughts about it?

I think the world is going through a major change at the moment, but nobody knows for sure what will happen Dec 2012, its all speculations, but when I first learend to meditate at age 30, my guru mentioned the Kali Yuga happening in 2012. He said it would be a time of realization, some who are already working on this will have it easier, than those who have to adjust quickly. I think it could be an evolution of consciuosnedd, and perhaps a refinement of our mental energies. I think we live in very exciting times, and Im looking forward to experience what life has to offer.

One place that we will never see Mimi Kirk?

Jumping out of an airplane.

What's your motto?

Be kind, compassionate, laugh a lot, and give and recive love with all your heart.


check out Mimi's website

Organic Wine: Interview with Founder of Yellow+Blue Wines

With the booming popularity of natural and organic grocery stores has come a greater demand for organic wine.  I interviewed Matthew Cain, the Founder of  Yellow+Blue Wines about the company and the growing industry. Yellow+Blue is one of OYL's favorite organic wine brands because its top of the line taste, affordability and eco-friendly packaging.

Can you explain what differentiates organic wine from non-organic in terms of production? Is there a difference in flavor?

Organic wine is essentially produced with no chemicals.  None in the vineyard and none in the winery.  "Normal" grape growing and wine making typically employs a plethora of chemical treatments to find a homogeneous house style.  We try to let the vineyards and vintage speak for themselves, naturally.

What motivated you to venture into this market with the Yellow+Blue Brand in 2007? Is there a story behind the name?

My background is small production French and Italian wine.  I've been in the wine import business most of my career, and at some point started thinking about the business model of wine itself.  It seemed to me that there was a lot of waste built in to the model, and given the advances in technology and packaging, I decided to make my best attempt at building a 21st century wine business.  We buy only certified organic or certified sustainable wines, ship them in an environmentally friendly way, and "bottle" them in modern packaging.  This allows us to have a carbon footprint that is half of what it would be in the "traditional" model.  We also offset the balance of our carbon footprint with carbon offsets.  Thus... Yellow+Blue=Green!

Where are your vineyards located? How do you select your winemakers?

We work with high quality producers in Argentina, Spain and California.  I personally visit the growers we work with a few times per year.  I taste and select the blends for all Yellow+Blue wines.  This is the fun part of the job!

In a 2010 survey , the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that less than 25% of wine and liquor bottles are recycled. How is your eco-friendly packaging a better option?

The number of wine bottles that are recycled is closer to 15% in the U.S. glass recycling is important for sure.  However, it's not the only important aspect.  Glass is very energy intensive to produce, very heavy and expensive to ship, and expensive to recycle.  A 9 liter case of wine in glass weighs 40 pounds.  It's made up of half glass and half wine.  A case of my wine weigh 28 pounds for 12 liters.  It's 93% wine and 7% packaging.  In addition, the packaging itself is made primarily of paper from sustainably run forests.  As I stated above, our carbon footprint is half of what it would be if we worked within the traditional wine import model.

A number of upscale restaurants in NYC are starting to carry wine in Tetra Paks- do you believe that the stigma of boxed wines as being of lesser quality is starting to dissipate? Have you noticed a higher demand for your product? If so, what do you attribute this change to?

We work with many quality conscious restaurants all across the U.S.  We work with upscale restaurants like Rouge Tomate, great wine bars like Terroir, and cool joints Momo Sushi Shack.  The restaurants where we are most successful...don't hide the fact that the wine is in a box.  They promote the wine and the packaging because they believe in what we're doing.

I personally believe that, given all the information, the general consumer is quite fine with what we're doing.  If we have an impediment to success, it's really the wine business itself. As an importer, we can't sell direct to consumers.  We must sell through a distribution network, which then re-sells the wines to retailers, who then sells to the consumer.  The distribution and retail networks are very traditionally minded groups that don't live anywhere close to the cutting edge.  Our difficulty is selling them on our new model of the wine trade when their view is fundamentally different.

It's a tall task, but I think we're doing something right.  Our 2011 revenue was four times larger than our 2008 revenue.  In addition, we were recently named to Entrepreneur's list of 100 Brilliant Companies.  We were the featured beverage company, and the only wine company on the list.  I like to pull that out whenever I'm having a bad day.

My Interview with Denise Mari: Founder of Organic Avenue

In April myself and a few other Organice Your Life contributors were lucky enough to to complete a cleanse with Organic Avenue, which was part of our OYL Detox week, and where we each documented on our blogs a day by day breakdown of each day! (Look back at past posts to see our reviews and experiences!). It was an amazing and unique journey, and I was lucky enough to interview Denise Mari, Founder of Organic Avenue, where she shares her wisdom, inspiration and passion for a green, vegan life! Check out the interview below, and by the end I have a feeling you will finally take the plunge to embark on your own beautiful cleanse with Organic Avenue.


With summer around the corner, the word ‘cleanse’ is thrown around a lot. With heaps of people looking to embark on a cleanse journey, especially here in New York City where there are many to choose from, what sets you apart from the rest?

Our commitment to the best business practice that looks at the long-term effects of what we do. We bottle in glass instead of plastic for people’s health and because plastic is detrimental to the environment. We only use organic ingredients of the highest quality, without chemical or genetic modifications, and we do so because we want to deliver the healthiest product and continue to create this amazing business. We also don’t want to hurt or kill animals and believe that a plant-based diet is healthiest. Science and experience backs this up. We also utilize as cold-chill supply chain to maintain the integrity of our final product. Lastly, Organic Avenue is interested in creating more events and community-gathering opportunities. It’s very exciting to see lifestyle behaviors change and be rewarded with new friendships and conscious connections. We’re interested in creating an exciting place to work and to foster a healthy and rewarding work environment.

How do you approach a prospective client before they embark on a cleanse? Do you advise them on overall lifestyle changes, or warn them it might be a difficult process, as I really think it is an overall mental, physical, and even social experience.

We have many different ways of communicating with potential cleansers and newbies. It’s all about learning where they are, what their goals are and aiding in the transition gently so they can create a healthy foundation. I think the best place to start is with a whole food, plant-based vegan diet, and that takes some learning. Next is the exciting intake of consciously-prepared juices and raw food. Right now I’m working on a book and a program to help touch the lives of as many people as I can. There are definitely points to learn in order to experience all the benefits. I think it’s important to know about the potential challenges in advance, and to be ready to answer all the questions your friends and family would inevitably ask. You have to know how to navigate all the food options and choose healthy foods as often as possible. It’s really all about the individual experience. We want our customer experience to be gentle, loving and challenging too. We all learn most from our challenges.

Do you ever advise someone not to follow through with a cleanse? Especially if they lead a very ‘unhealthy’ lifestyle where maybe cleaning up their diet first and incorporating exercise might be the first step, then advising them to come back at a later date to start a cleanse.

Cleansing is a very personal choice and an extremely self-motivating experience. We are here to provide the products, food and resources and to point people in the right direction based on their needs. We’ve created five cleansing programs for many different entry points and we have a call center available to answer questions. We can switch someone’s program or put it on hold for as long as necessary. It is very rare that one would not be able to complete a cleanse at their own pace. We also suggest that when you sign up for a cleanse, if at any point you feel the strong need to eat something else, do it! It’s not a contest. Every attempt leads to a greater experience and results. It’s so confidence-boosting and allows you to take a closer look at your habits. Remember, most people are addicted to something. We are being played by major food companies with taste enhancers and marketing. It will take awhile to clear your mind and body. Every step is one step close toward the goal of  health and happiness.

Living in New York City, I know how hard it is to sometimes find local, organic produce, where do you source all of your produce and ingredients?

New York City is loaded with stores that stock organic produce and products. We use local sources and national distributors. Anyone in New York City has access to one of the best selections (next to California that is)!

How do you come up with the flavors? And do they change from season to season?

I love vegan food and juice, and I love to turn old favorites into healthy new favorites. I also work closely with Organic Avenue’s chef to come up with new recipes seasonally and when I’m inspired.

Does Organic Avenue differentiate between a detox and a cleanse? If so, what is the difference?

I think of detox as more of a symptom of a cleanse and a cleanse as more of an event and an experience. Cleansing doesn’t always end up with unpleasant detox symptoms. A cleanse is a boost of energy and clarity.

I completed the 3 Day Love Deep Cleanse back in April, and although I had a wonderful experience, I also found it mentally and physically difficult. I already was a vegan and eat a 50/50 diet of raw and cooked foods, but with everyone being different it all affects us in certain ways. What would be the best 3 pieces of advice you would give someone who is about to part-take in an Organic Avenue Cleanse?

  1. It is not a contest so you cannot fail. It’s an experience.
  2. Observe yourself in the process – your thoughts and your cravings. Don’t judge, just observe.
  3. Start slow with LOVEeasy (our introductory cleanse and raw food experience) and then take it a step further with LOVEfast, which gives you juices and salad. After that you’ll be ready for LOVEdeep, which is all juice. Play with it and have fun!

What is on the horizon for Organic Avenue?

More stores so we can serve more people. And more events so we can all be aware, educated and connected. Sign up on our website for a LOVEnote (email) and you can learn about our big event coming up on 11/11/11!

What is Organic Avenue’s all-time favorite Juice? And the most popular?

Our Green LOVE juice is our best seller and most necessary juice! But this summer we are also loving the Spicy Tumeric and Watermelon Juices.


Thank you Denise and Organice Avenue!

Visit to sign up for your cleanse now. After doing the LOVEdeep I can't recommend it enough! It is the perfect summer cleanse, and I truly hope everyone embarks on one, sometime during their life ;) But I think this summer is the perfect time to set sail.

Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful summer season.

love and stay cool


Interview with the Sapmeesters (Juice Masters)!

During Detox Week last April, Ireen and I did a juice cleanse by the Sapmeesters (Juice Masters). Intrigued by the concept, I decided to do a little interview with them. Read below and enjoy!

Who are the Sapmeesters, and what do you believe in?

Sapmeesters is a juice company that specializes in developing and producing juice cures, and the Sapmeesters in question are: Dennys Franssen and Sunny Schippers. We believe that many health problems are caused by overeating and eating the wrong things and therefore we want to state the health benefits of fresh juice. To run a juice company like Sapmeesters you need some good machines and use high quality, good and fresh ingredients to make it happen. We deliver to all of Holland to make it possible for as many as possible to kick-start and support a healthy lifestyle.

How and why did you start this initiative?

About two years ago we were talking about starting a company together where we could work with our shared passions: healthy food and active lifestyle. After discussing several concepts we found that this concept was exactly what we wanted. After some research we discovered that you can find a lot of juices (mostly concentrates, pasteurized, long-lasting) everywhere, but we didn’t find any fresh products.

What is detoxing, and why would anyone do it?

Detox is short for detoxification. It literally means detoxifying the body by removing the harmful substances (toxins) that are stored in the body. At the same time you minimize the intake of new toxins.

What are the pros and cons of detoxing?

The pros of this method are that you will experience more energy and feel and look better. In addition it helps you to become aware of your regular eating pattern, and at the same time motivate you to break with unhealthy eating habits. A detox diet involves a change in consumption habits and can help support a healthy lifestyle. A con is that it can provoke physical and psychical reactions such as headache, mood swing and constipation.

What can you expect from a juice cleanse?

Detoxify your body, lose weight, feel healthier and more energetic

Who would you recommend a juice cleanse, and who not?

We recommend juice cleanse to people who want to experience the benefits of a juice cleanse.

A juice cleanse is a method not advisable to everyone. This includes pregnant women, children, and people with chronic conditions. Also, it is not recommended for patients who recently underwent surgical procedures or people on drug prescription. Ask your doctor for advice if you are in doubt if your health condition is fitting for a juice cleanse.

Compliments for you creative and delicious juice combinations! Was it trial and error?

We’re glad you enjoyed them! We have studied, experimented and worked together with specialists (e.g. dieticians) to give you the optimal taste and beneficial combinations.

To be honest, I had a very difficult time eating only 800 calories a day (very low physical and mental energy), why so little? Is there a special reason for that amount, or it possible to increase it?

You are right, the amount of calories is very low and it is important to listen to your body’s reaction. As it says in the manual you can supply your Detox 800 calories cure with fresh uncooked vegetables and fruit.

One of our US contributors felt somewhat emotional during her cleanse, because of her difficult relationship with food when she was younger. She suffered from anorexia, and the hungry feeling took her back to that time. Do you have any tips for (former) strugglers with eating disorders?

People who struggle with (or did it in the past) eating disorders should not do a detox cure if there still are elements of control with food. Part of the treatment is that you should eat varied and balanced and if you get emotional and associate the cleanse with a difficult relationship with food it is not recommended to do it.

And finally, how do you envision the future for Sapmeesters? World domination?  For instance, I noticed you use plastic bottles, whereas I would have expected glass ones. Any other ideas/ambitions regarding growth and development of your company?

The first year we used (and reused) glass bottles, when we delivered only in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, now that we have gone nationwide, it is impossible to use glass in packages sent by mail. The environment is something we valued very high in our considerations when we chose to use sustainable bottles from recycled plastic. As a part of our MVO (sustainable entrepreneurship) plan, we will switch to using only biodegradable packaging as quickly as possible.

In May we launched our first organic box. We went all in and decided that 100 % of the ingredients should be organic in the BIO Sapkuur Detox (3 dagen). From the 1st of June you can see on the label of the bottles from the other boxes which ingredients are organic.

We are very proud of the fact that all of our juices are freshly prepared without processing, heating, or addition of additives. Our mission is to improve health in Holland and to encourage awareness about good food choices.