Interview

with Rebecca Leffler

Rebecca Leffler is an American journalist, author and consultant who recently traded the red carpets of Paris for the green carpet in NYC.

Rebecca Leffler is an American journalist, author and consultant who recently traded the red carpets of Paris for the green carpet in NYC.
The former France Correspondent of The Hollywood Reporter and French TV personality is now the author of “Green, Glam & Gourmande,” a cookbook and healthy lifestyle guide that launched in France in March and is already a best-seller. The US version, “Très Green, Très Clean, Très Chic” will be released in March, 2015.
She also hosts “Green & Glam” events blending yoga, healthy food and positive vibes in Paris and NYC and works with brands to offer consulting and communication services in the wellness world.
Leffler took time from her busy schedule to talk to BWB about Paris and her favorite places.

Paris plaisir – gourmand.. where to indulge!

Chambelland bakery – Now you can have your gluten-free cake and eat it too! This new spot in an adorable, quintessentially Parisian square in the 11th arrondissement offers incredible gluten-free breads and baked goods.
Their loaves of rice and buckwheat flour-based breads have quite literally changed my life!

L’Arpège – Even before it was trendy, chef Alain Passard was making French vegetables cool. Chez Passard, veggies aren’t just side dishes, they are stars!
He grows his own vegetables in a nearby farm – these vegetables are so fancy they even have their own chauffeur! I’ve never tasted vegetables as delicious in my life.
Dining at l’Arpège is truly a memorable experience- everything from the welcoming service to the vivacious chef himself is unforgettable.

After a pause for renovations, Chef Alain Ducasse is back at the luxurious Parisian Plaza Athenée with a menu focusing on whole grains, veggies and fish.

Rose Bakery – “Je vois la vie en Rose… Bakery!” This is one of my favorite places in Paris, that now boasts locations in le Marais, Montmartre, near the Bastille and a très chic tea room at le Bon Marché.
Their “assiette de légumes” is a hearty plate of hearty seasonal salads made fresh daily.

Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athenée – Chef Alain Ducasse recently shocked France’s gastronomy scene with his announcement that he won’t be serving meat at his new restaurant at the Plaza Athenée.
After a pause for renovations, Ducasse is back at the luxurious Parisian hotel with a menu focusing on whole grains, veggies and fish.
The restaurant offers gluten-free and vegan options and focuses on top quality products from farms all over France hand-picked by the chef.
This is French farm-to-table at its finest!

I love Café Pinson in the Marais. It’s a cute shop with happy vibes and a menu featuring mostly vegan, gluten-free food and drinks. Perfect for a Matcha latté break in my favorite neighborhood, “NoMa” (North Marais).

I also loving popping up to the rue des Martyrs for a walk in the neighborhood and a visit to Pousse-Pousse, where Lawrence Aboucaya makes fresh juices, smoothies, soups and delicious raw and vegan food every day. Try a gluten-free tartelette, a “super bowl” filled with grains and veggies and finish it off with their famous raw chocolate cake for dessert! Everything is so flavorful and original and packed with les pousses, aka sprouts!

Touristic places you love:

I love being a tourist in Paris!
The Luxembourg Gardens is my favorite place. There is nothing better than walking around the park or sitting by the pond and people-watching on a gorgeous day.
I love that, like so many places in Paris, this place never changes! I also love the Jardin des Plantes – the greenhouses, menagerie, medicinal herbs, 17th century royal garden and flowers are magical.
It’s like falling down the rabbit hole to Alice in Wonderland…in the middle of Paris!

I also love just sitting at the Café de Flore or the Café Charlot for the best Left Bank or Right Bank people-watching.

Le Marché Raspail: My favorite thing to do is to wake up early on a Sunday morning and visit my favorite French farmers and their vibrant vegetables at this organic market. As soon as I arrive, no matter what the season, I feel like I’ve truly come “home”.
I also love just sitting at the Café de Flore or the Café Charlot for the best Left Bank or Right Bank people-watching.

Your Paris Beauty Places:

I’m still not sure how French women get that je ne sais quoi glow of ageless beauty, so until I figure it out, I love to spoil my mind and body with beauty treatments at:
The Mandarin Oriental Paris : Le Mandarin is the greenest hotel in town, with a green building certification, yoga mats in every room, detox drinks and smoothies on the breakfast menu, a beehive on the roof and a gorgeous garden café.
I love escaping to their downstairs spa for an amazing massage or facial bridging Eastern medicine with Western luxury.
Their essential oils are amazing and the massages are quite simply the best anti-jetlag cure on the planet.

I am a huge fan of Dr. Hauschka’s skincare products in general, and their Paris “house” is my (not so) secret to glowing skin!

Clarins Spa and Kure Bazaar manicure at Molitor
The new Molitor is right in Paris, but it feels like a vacation! The Clarins spa offers incredible massages and facials, plus manicures by my favorite non-toxic nail polish Kure Bazaar.
Their “anti-jet lag” massage and facial is the best cure ever for mind and body before or after a long flight – it’s miraculous!
Plus, their pool is spectacular and their gym is the best hotel fitness center in the city, hands (and biceps!) down.

La Maison de Dr. Hauschka This clean, green and serene spot in Paris 11th arrondissement recently had its own facelift and just reopened after some renovations.
I am a huge fan of Dr. Hauschka’s skincare products in general, and their Paris “house” is my (not so) secret to glowing skin!

Biologique Recherche Think: your doctor’s office meets a fancy French spa. Ever since my skin discovered this amazing beauty brand, it has never been the same. This skin-changing and life-changing company provides miraculous medical care for your face and body. Their flagship location on the Champs Elysées is an oasis of calm and it’s now a must for regular face and body treatments. Their cult lotion P50 is a game-changer and all of their products strike a nice balance between natural ingredients and noticeable effects. It’s my new obsession !

Leonor Greyl I love to let my hair down at Leonor Greyl’s “L’Institut” in Paris. Their all-natural hair products are the best in the world and their signature treatments for the scalp and hair at their salon in the 8th arrondissement are amazing. My hair feels like air when I leave and I love that the ingredients in the products are natural and – almost! – good enough to eat (think: seaweed, coconut, jasmine and, my favorite a “tonique végétale”).

And for Wellness:

I adore Carol Issa and her fun, energizing flow infused with positive vibes. This English-speaking yogini who trained in NYC and at an ashram in the French mountains is the first and only certified Jivamukti teacher in France and is also certified in Kundalini yoga. The classes are physically challenging, but also mood-boosting. Be prepared to move, to sing, to breathe and to smile. Carol teaches all over Paris and travels often so check her schedule at  Carol’s class is unlike any others I’ve done in NYC or in Paris – it’s a very special moment.
Yoga classes with Sandrine Bridoux. Sandrine teaches yoga “Strala”-style based on Tara Stiles’ famous NYC studio, with a French twist (literally!)
Her positive energy is a refreshing breath of fresh air in Paris and her flow is dynamic and strength-building, yet also gentle and adaptable to anyone.
Sandrine teaches at CMG Sports Club Pure Bastille, at the W Hotel on Saturdays starting on Nov. 29th and at events with Reebok.

Yoga on le Paris Boat along the Seine on Saturday mornings with Cassandra Kish.

Yoga on Le Paris boat along the Seine on Saturday mornings with Cassandra Kish.
There is no better way to spend a Saturday morning than some butt-kicking yoga à la fellow American in Paris, Cassandra Kish, with an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower.
It’s truly a special experience.

Le Tigre Yoga Paris: This spot in Paris’ 16th arrondissement is the epitome of La OM couture. Its sleek design and amazing amenities (think: massage rooms, showers, spacious studios, cute in-house café/restaurant…) make it look like a luxury fitness club, but the warm welcome and great yoga teachers keep the vibe down to earth.  The French say “keep me in the juice” to mean “keep me posted” or “keep me up to date”.

I’m also a fan of the Atelier Marais, a charming spot conveniently located off of the rue de Bretagne. Try Julia Truffaut’s class, a lovely flow filled with positive energy – le best!

LOLE just opened an adorable shop on the rue des Francs Bourgeois. Now I can roll out the yellow carpet everywhere! I love this brand’s message and “yellow label” initiative that recycles old coats and donates proceeds to local food banks.

I keep myself in the green juice in Paris with a stop as soon as I arrive at Bojus, a new, très chic petite juice bar in the center of the city where the lovely Marie-Victoire churns out fresh, cold-pressed juices, smoothies and nut milks daily based on seasonal, local and organic produce.
I also love to order a “detox cure” à la Nubio – a “fresh start” or an “intense” cleanse. Their unique blends are all delicious and infused with off-the-beaten-path ingredients like rosemary, lime, rose water or cardamom. They even use coconut water from fresh Thai coconuts delivered daily- Nubio-là-là!

For healthy groceries, I love WELCOME BIO in the 11th arr. – it’s like Whole Foods, only everything is organic and French, j’adore!

I also love to eat a plate of super superfoods at Sol Semilla, just off the Canal St. Martin.

Also, meet French farmers and pick up veggie wherever you’re staying in the city thanks to La Rûche Qui Dit Oui. I say OUI to this farm-to-table initiative.

MERCI This concept store that literally means “thank you” in French is one of my all-time favorite spots in the city.
I love eating at the downstairs café – fresh squeezed juices, smoothies and soups and daily seasonal salads that are flavorful and healthy, using mostly organic, local produce.
I love to sit in the quaint bookstore upstairs and shop around for amazing vintage clothing, jewelry, design and home products and Aesop oils and skin care. Part of the proceeds benefit charity so I feel good about everything I buy there.
It’s philanthropy-chic at its finest!

ARCHE To run around this magical city, I need comfortable shoes, bien sûr! I love Arche’s colorful designs that literally are like walking (or running!) on a cloud.

You can follow Rebecca’s green adventures adventures at her blog Lafleurparisny.com, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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