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Tess Ghilaga Headshot

Under the Microscope

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When it comes to quality of life I love to swap intelligence with like-minded individuals. Fashion stylist Lulu Chen recently enticed me from my uptown digs to Organic Avenue's Lower East Side store. This particular establishment made headlines last year when health conscious Gwyneth Paltrow requested their custom healing food/juices delivered to her while hospitalized at a Mount Sinai Hospital. I could relate. Years ago, I spent two months in traction at Mount Sinai - top-notch doctors -- the food -- hardly.

In the realm of nutritional healing, I've discovered the numerous physical and emotional benefits of detoxing -- but there's always more to learn. Case in point: Denise Mari, Organic Avenue's Founder, CEO and Nutritional Microscopist, is well known for her work in blood analysis and cleanses. Perhaps she could tell me what is running through my veins. Coming off a wicked bout of bronchitis, I anxiously awaited her findings.

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When Mari was just eight years old she lost her younger sister to leukemia. Later, her mother was diagnosed with the same disease and also perished. These twin tragedies drove Mari to blood analysis. This past year, she trained with Dr. Robert O. Young, known for his ph miracle Alkaline Diet. By balancing the body chemistry and removing acidic thoughts and foods like meat, dairy, and simple carbohydrates, the body becomes cleaner and healthier.

My blood analysis indicated that I have sensitivity to sugar, need to increase healthy fats, and eliminate animal proteins. Organic Avenue promotes the vegan lifestyle, and Mari has guided many luminaries through their LOVE (Live Organic Vegan Experience) cleanse programs. Even the acerbic jocks from the Howard Stern Show, like Tim and Robin, are thrilled with their detox programs (Robin even lost 90 pounds!).

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Doug Evans, Organic Avenue's Partner and Investor and Advocate for AdBrite, serves as a coach of sorts to certain top executives used to getting their way. Eternally clad in unbleached, organic fibers, he's not shy of calling his billionaire clients to the mat for craving a hamburger. Green Day is celebrated daily as Organic Avenue's juices and smoothies are contained in retro-style chubby glass bottles as an effort the save the environment. Clients return them to the store, or they are picked up as far afield as the Hamptons, Greenwich, Ct and New Jersey.

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Photo by: Jimmy Bruch

Supermodel/author/actress Carol Alt, 48, came to this lifestyle after seeing a young friend diagnosed with reproductive cancer become cured through a raw food diet. Alt, who has been living this nearly raw diet for 13 years, and her boyfriend hockey player, Alexei Yashen, are regulars at the store and receive deliveries. Her youthful complexion is a product of her own beauty line, Raw Essentials, which has routinely sold out on HSN. Seeing her contemporary Kathy Ireland's pre-weight loss picture recently on the Huff Post confirms that eating right and managing stress does a body good.

A divinely sent episode of Wife Swap perfectly illustrated the extremes of food choices in this country. One rifle-toting Mom cooks the meat her family shoots from the back woods of Kentucky and a sun-gazing (for nutrition) raw foodist from Arizona who protests animal rights.

It's clear I know what the right food choices are, but I'll have to buckle for a Reese's Peanut Cup and the prime rib at the Post House every once in a while.

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