Alison Désir

You guys know Alison Désir? No? Well, you should. With all these social changes happening, now more than ever, women need to stick together. I've heard about Alison and her movement through Insta-friends from New York and thought to myself that this woman is who everyone should look up to, not those who are famous for having big asses and sex tapes. Believe it or not, I met her at mile 14 of the Boston Marathon. We were both running and I recognized her from pictures and introduced myself, yes, while struggling one mile at a time.

From then on, I've been following her journey of raising HELLA money for Planned Parenthood and starting Run 4 All Women to continue the initiative success of raising money for PP. I honestly cannot rave enough about how awesome Alison is and it's all coming from a genuine background, absolutely nothing fake about it.

Read on to get to know more about one of our modern-day activists...

When did your interest in running come about?

"I started running in 2012 when I was going thru a period of depression; my boyfriend was cheating on me, my father was suffering from Lewy Body Dementia and I was unemployed.  I spent all day at home, on social media, feeling hopeless and without purpose. Luckily, I saw that a friend of mine was training for a marathon and raising funds for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and that sparked my interest. I was drawn to the way that running was changing his life and helping him to create connections and, honestly, I knew needed a drastic change in my life. With nothing to lose, I decided to follow his footsteps and signed up to train and raise funds for the same organization. Running transformed my whole outlook on life and what I thought was possible. I ended up raising over $5,000 for the organization and, within a year, started Harlem Run to share my experience with others in my neighborhood. Harlem Run has since grown into a movement that is inspiring people around the world to use running a vehicle for personal transformation and social change."

Tell us more about Run 4 All Women...

"Run 4 All Women was an initiative I launched in January in response to the results of the election and the threat of Planned Parenthood being defunded. My idea was to run from Harlem to DC and raise  $44,000 for Planned Parenthood; what ended up happening was far bigger than that. Hundreds of people joined me on the run along the way and we raised over $100,000 in less than 30 days. Due to the massive success and energy around using running as a form of protest and engagement, I decided that it was important we keep the momentum going. With the help of dear friends, I launched an ambassador program for women to similarly create events rooted in our newly formed guiding principles - empowerment thru fitness and advancing the conversation on women’s issues. Those 23 ambassadors come from around the US and Canada and have been powerful change agents over the past 8 months. This weekend, there will be 5 events - in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, California and NJ - led by our ambassadors that are all raising funds for their local Planned Parenthood affiliates; the events have raised $30,000 to date. For more information: crowdrise.com/Run4AllWomen."

How has being a brand ambassador for Under Armour impacted your life?

"Working with Under Armour has been incredible and life-changing; UA has really amplified my voice and my story, allowing my message to resonate with women everywhere. I’m currently featured alongside American Ballet Theatre® principal ballerina Misty Copeland, world champion sprinter Natasha Hastings, professional stuntwoman Jessie Graff, and Chinese taekwondo champion and actress Zoe Zhang (Lanxin Zhang) in Under Armor’s latest global campaign, Unlike Any, which celebrates and honors the unprecedented achievements of female athletes that rise above gender comparisons and stand on their own as marvels of athletic prowess."

Any recent projects we should be on a lookout for?

"I just launched the podcast Finding Meaning (on the RUN), available on iTunes, Google Music, SoundCloud and Stitcher!  Find Meaning (On the RUN) offers conversations with powerful and inspiring people in the world of sport and beyond, uncovering how they find meaning. The show demystifies what makes people tick and, as a result, how they achieve greatness. My first episode features my fiance, Amir Figueroa (@alacrityamir); and yes, I’m still basking in my engagement, less than a month ago!"

What is your day to day look like?

"My day to day is hard to describe; no two days are alike! I am thankful to be able to work from home and really create my own schedule. I spend a lot of time planning for future events, answering emails, hosting runs, connecting with Harlem Run leaders and Run 4 All Women ambassadors. My schedule allows for a lot of collaboration and creativity, which I think are the foundations of success."

 

This Sunday, August 13th, a few women will be running from Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester to Thomas Park in South Boston in an effort to raise awareness for PP. Total Mileage: 50 miles. Everyone is encourage to join in on the run or welcome back runners at the end point in Thomas Park.

For more information and to donate, CLICK HERE.

sunday brunch at davio's

An Italian Steakhouse that's expanded its menu and added on brunch to cure your Saturday night's aftermath, make sure to add Davio's to your list of Sunday brunch go-to spots. Known for their handmade pasta and fresh ingredients, Davio's now serves anything from french toast to beef tendorloin benedict on Sundays from 11am to 3pm. Yesterday, my friend Liz and I enjoyed brunch that really displayed our gluttony.

Cheers! A Crimson Crush with Absolut Ruby Red, St. Germain, cranberry juice, orange juice, and seltzer water for me and a Rose Sangria for Liz. I have to tell you, you will get your money's worth with the amount of alcohol they put in their cocktails!

Cheers! A Crimson Crush with Absolut Ruby Red, St. Germain, cranberry juice, orange juice, and seltzer water for me and a Rose Sangria for Liz. I have to tell you, you will get your money's worth with the amount of alcohol they put in their cocktails!

To start, Liz and I shared their Crispy Fried Oysters BLT with baby lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, served with their house tartar sauce and their Philly Cheese Steak Spring Rolls with spicy mayo and spicy homemade ketchup topped with onion rings. 

To start, Liz and I shared their Crispy Fried Oysters BLT with baby lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, served with their house tartar sauce and their Philly Cheese Steak Spring Rolls with spicy mayo and spicy homemade ketchup topped with onion rings. 

For our entrees, we ordered items that we would also share. We went for their Beef Tenderloin with poached eggs, potatoes, topped with truffled hollandaise sauce in a popover and their White Cheese Pizza topped with crumbled bacon, fried eggs, scallions, tomatoes, and truffle oil. They're as good as they look.

For our entrees, we ordered items that we would also share. We went for their Beef Tenderloin with poached eggs, potatoes, topped with truffled hollandaise sauce in a popover and their White Cheese Pizza topped with crumbled bacon, fried eggs, scallions, tomatoes, and truffle oil. They're as good as they look.

As if we haven't had enough to eat, we made sure we made room for dessert. Cannoli with fresh fruit salad for me and Chocolate Lava cake with vanilla ice cream on the side for Liz. Mine was the "healthier" choice and Liz's was just heaven. Safe to say that I definitely took more than a few bites of Liz's cake.

As if we haven't had enough to eat, we made sure we made room for dessert. Cannoli with fresh fruit salad for me and Chocolate Lava cake with vanilla ice cream on the side for Liz. Mine was the "healthier" choice and Liz's was just heaven. Safe to say that I definitely took more than a few bites of Liz's cake.

David's also serves lunch and dinner and is located on 75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116. They also have restaurants in Lynnfield, Foxborough, Chestnut Hill, Manhattan in NYC, Philadelphia and King of Prussia in PA, and Atlanta.  

gre.co boston

I've been on a Greek kick lately so when Gu and I were invited to try Gre.Co, the latest Greek spot in the Back Bay, I instantly fell in love! Ok, so I'm going to be straight up and tell you that by "Greek" kick, I mean I have been obsessed over gyros... and extra feta cheese, please. That's really all that comes to mind when it comes to anything Greek.

Anyway, Gre.Co believes in the traditional Greek ways of gathering around a table, enjoying fresh food with a modern twist on fast food. On the menu, they offer the traditional gyros, along with plates and salads that you can customize yourself.

I went for their Classic Chicken, which is marinated chicken, in a pita bread and get this, drizzled with honey mustard instead of tzatziki sauce and FRIES! YUP, you read correctly, FRIES. One bite and mind BLOWN! 

Gu ordered the Horiatiki salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, Kalamata olives, olive oil and a huge ass chunk of feta cheese and whipped spicy feta. His meat of choice was lamb. We ordered the Zucchini Chips with a side of tzatziki dip to share.

What's a meal without dessert? I had never tried Loukoumades prior to dining at Gre.Co so I trusted Zoi, the general manager, to pick for me the most delicious and photographic loukoumades she has to offer. I was not disappointed. She made us the Yayas, doughnuts covered in hazelnut praline, Oreos cookies and powdered sugar. I seriously died, went to Heaven and back! 

Second time around...

Gu and I enjoyed Gre.Co so much that we went back 2 days later. I ordered the same Classic Chicken and he went for the Classic Pork this time. As Gu said, "Classic Pork is the way to go!" And wouldn't stop talking about it the whole time we were in the vicinity. The Classic Pork came with marinated pork, tzatziki sauce, with onions and tomatoes in a pita bread. Oh, and fries too! We again ordered the Zucchini Chips to share.

As we were heading to the door, we saw Zoi thanked and said goodbye to her. She immediately stopped us and told us to wait for loukomades! We didn't want to be rude and say no, so we waited. She handed us a dish with a mix of the Yayas, which is what we got the first time, and the Papou's, which was mastiha creme drizzled doughnuts with crumbled pistachios. Again, to die for!

It's safe to say that Gu and I will be repeat customers of Gre.Co, located at 225 Newbury St. in Boston. You can't beat affordable, fresh Greek food with customer service that makes you feel like you're part of their family!