Meet Ilana - Westport Moms

How old are your kids and how long have you lived in Westport? My girls are 9 and 5. We moved to Westport in July 2020 – a pandemic move!  It was an easy decision; we’ve been coming to Westport to visit friends almost every summer for the past 10 years. Westport was always a top contender for when we left NYC, but COVID definitely accelerated our move by a few years. We couldn’t be happier to be here now!

How did you end up where you are now in terms of your job, or whatever passion project it is you might be doing? Five years ago, as a nursing mom when I was on maternity leave with my second daughter, I couldn’t eat dairy, soy or gluten. I felt so limited in what I could eat. I needed an easy way to fill up on nutrient-dense foods to fuel me through my exhausting days. While I was a practicing attorney, my real passion was healthy eating and I had been developing recipes for healthy publications like Vegetarian Times. That inspired me to create my baked OatMEAL Cups, which are like a superfood-packed bowl of oatmeal you can eat with one hand. The OatMEAL Cups were a game-changer for me and I wanted to share them with other busy moms, so I listed them on a few mom boards and within 2 weeks I had orders for over 250, and requests for weekly subscriptions. Three years ago I left my legal job to build the Stylish Spoon brand full time. I have continued to grow the business over the past few years, adding a line of grain-free/vegan cookies, doing lots of events and collaborations with other healthy brands like Sweetgreen, Athleta and Lululemon, and teaching healthy baking and cooking classes.

What was your best memory from 2020, a strange year we know… Sunset dinners at Compo Beach with my family. It somehow felt like a mini vacation.

What are you most looking forward to in 2021? I am really looking forward to seeing this pandemic end, and hoping that happens in 2021. As far as things that are more in my control, I look forward to continuing to build a new community of friends in Westport, and finding a great commercial spot in Fairfield Country where I can move Stylish Spoon’s production to.

What is the last book you read? Summer Longing by Jamie Brenner was the last book I read. It was the perfect escape; a mini trip to Provincetown with some juicy, modern family drama. Also fun fact: The author said a lot of Stylish Spoon’s OatMEAL Cups were consumed during the editing of the book (she tasted them during an author event in NYC and then started getting her own subscription!).

What’s your favorite app right now- for you- and for your kids? I just started using Varris by Equinox for workouts. I like the HIIT workouts, which are around 30 minutes and really efficient. Some of my old instructors are on there so it’s fun to see familiar faces, and I need a class to force myself to do harder exercises (if you can make yourself do burpees without someone telling you it’s part of a class, you’re my hero!). My daughter is really into the Super Stylish app, where she has “clients” that she styles and dresses for events. She gives me fashion advice, so I benefit from it too.

What is one food you could not live without? Gluten-free oats in any form, but especially in our OatMEAL Cups. They keep me full, satiated and energetic. They also satisfy my raging sweet tooth in a healthy way.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I love to power walk. I know everyone looks at it as an old lady sport, and one day I will be an old lady and still doing it! Walking outside is my absolute favorite form of exercise. Whether I’m alone listening to a podcast, or using the time to catch up with my sisters or a friend, just 30 minutes of walking outside lifts my mood and centers me like nothing else can.

If you weren’t doing what you are today, what do you think your career path might have been? I have a very good eye for detail and stellar research skills so I could have been a personal investigator.  I just don’t have the stomach for it as a career, but I plan to put my skills to good use when my girls are in high school.

If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted to do, what would it be? I would sleep in without anyone waking me up, have a leisurely breakfast outside (green tea and a chocolate OatMEAL Cup) while reading a good book. I’d go for a power walk along the beach, then head to the spa for yoga and a massage with my girlfriends. We’d sit by the pool at the spa after our treatments, ordering healthy snacks, green juices (or prosecco) and chat all afternoon. Then I’d get a blowout (I love when someone else does my hair), and meet my husband out for a nice dinner somewhere with great salads and truffle fries.

What is the best white lie you have told your kids? My breath does not smell like chocolate. It’s a vitamin I just ate.

Are you a morning person, or a night owl? How does sleep fit into your life right now? I am a night owl for sure. It’s so much easier for me to get things done at night, and I get a second burst of energy if I’m not careful about starting a relaxing bedtime routine that involves a warm beverage, bath or shower, essential oils, reading and meditation.

What thing has surprised you most about being in the suburbs? How much I don’t mind driving. Driving in NYC is so stressful. Here it’s so much easier; no one in Westport has given me the finger or thrown their cup of coffee at my car if I needed to change lanes at the last minute. I just wave and they let me in.

What is the first thing you do when you walk in the door after a long day? Hug my girls. I love hugs. There will be a day when they are stingy with their cuddles (already coming up on that with my nine-year-old), so I give them lots of big squeezes while I can.

Who in your life was the greatest inspiration for what you’re doing today? My mom is definitely my biggest inspiration. She was an amazing mom, one of the warmest people, and a great baker. She died of breast cancer when I was nine. There is no stronger why for me in terms of my healthy eating. I want to be around a lot longer for my girls than she was for me, and I truly believe that a healthy lifestyle will help me do that. Use code Westportmoms for 15% off any online order!! 

Cake or Pie? Pie
At a movie: Candy or Popcorn? Candy
Pancakes or Waffles? Pancakes
Iced Coffee or Hot Coffee? Hot!
Beach or Mountains? Beach
Puzzle or Board Game? Board Game
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate
Reading or writing? Reading
Ketchup or mustard?  Mustard
Watch or play sports? Play
Winter or summer? Summer!
Comedy or Drama? Comedy

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