Spring Cleaning: New Season, New Goals

Although, we are still having some chilly days, Spring has officially sprung. My winter blues are finally gone. It is amazing what a difference the spring air does to my mood. I am much more energized these days.

Along with the start of this new season, and this new found energy, I am setting some new goals. These goals range from, diet and fitness to house and garden – this Spring there is a lot on my agenda.

Home & Garden

I am going to begin with my home.

My husband and I have owned our 1945 duplex in the DC area for about 3 years now. I have written blog posts about it in the past, but for those who are new to reading this blog, when we moved in we had absolutely no furniture. It sounds a bit weird, but none of the furniture we owned previously was worthy enough to move over to our new place. By leaving our old stuff on the curb, it left us with a blank canvas for designing our new home together. I highly recommend this! It is important for couples to move into a place together and build an interior space that really reflects both of them as individuals, but also expresses their identity as a couple.c44fe257f8631560a0f6e3f0a5e135f4Over the last 3 years, little by little, by collecting things we love, our house has become our home.

Having patience is key!¬†Although this is a tip of mine, it definitely was a struggle at first. When moving in I desperately wanted to feel settled. This unsettling feeling can make you take the easy way out, and just buy whatever for the time being, but I didn’t want to waste my money on temporary pieces. I wanted to purchase higher quality furniture, that would last. However, along with higher quality comes a greater expense. I also didn’t want to just fill the space with pieces because I need them, I wanted the right furniture for the space. Older houses have smaller spaces. So this put me on an epic hunt, for furniture that had the charm I was looking for, but was small enough. I had to get creative, and have patience, but as time went on, I fount my house filling up. It is a successful mix of new higher quality staple pieces, with vintage finds.

This is how we went about it..

The first year we were here, we focused on purchasing some big items, couch, bed, dining room table. We wanted these items to be high quality pieces that would last. So we spent the money on custom made pieces from Ethan Allen.

The second year, we focused on accent pieces, such as side tables, lamps, rugs, shower curtain, etc. We also used our front porch to make a peaceful outdoor space. It is there that, we can enjoy a latte while lounging on the wicker love-seat.

shower curtain

This last year, I finally purchased some major pieces that I was on a desperate hunt for. My major challenge has been finding furniture to fit such small spaces. Because most USA furniture is larger, I had to get creative. I ended up refinishing an old antique dresser. I finally found a beautiful hutch for my kitchen/dinning room, to store my Vitamix and other kitchen appliances. I replaced the ugly old dinning room over-head light with a beautiful rustic chandelier. And then, my husband made a coffee table from an old whiskey barrel, that we found in Fredericksburg. It is the prefect hight, width, and gives us that rustic feel that I love.

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dresser diy

 

coffee table

This spring we have some new house projects to accomplish. Some are fun, others are necessary.

  • Replace Windows – which we just accomplished on Easter Weekend! They are beautiful!¬†
  • Replace Furnace
  • Replace Fence
  • Put up new blinds or shades
  • Paint 3 rooms
  • Clean up Yard
  • Start Garden

We did our research, and finally in March, we decided on a custom made window replacement. And this Easter weekend, Window Nation came over and completed the project. So one of the necessary house project is now checked off the list. The windows are beautiful and much more energy efficient. Soon we will be picking out blinds or shades.

dining room

As for the others on the list, we are still coming up with a game plan, but I would have to say one thing I am most excited about is my veggie garden that I will be starting up again this season. I normally do a garden every year, but last year, because of my wedding, it was impossible for me to devote the time to a garden. I missed it so much.

This year I can’t wait to watch things grow, and enjoy fresh veggies from my backyard. I also can’t wait to hit up all the local farmer’s markets. I hope you look forward to some gardening posts in the near future.

Diet & Fitness

As for diet, like always, my plan is to eat well balance meals that are made up of fresh organic food. Lately, fruit is the number one thing I crave and my refrigerator has been stocked with it. However, fruit taste so much sweeter when it is in season. I am really excited to eat watermelon again, and have tons of fresh fruit to make juices and smoothies. I want to be cooking and grilling up a storm this summer. I am looking forward to trying new recipes and keeping things colorful.

Fitness wise, I will admit I have taken it down a notch. When it comes to running, it was too snowy and icy this winter. I look forward to getting some short easy runs in once the weather warms up. But what I have really am getting into is yoga and swimming. I also want to attempt some hiking this season.

So those are my future healthy lifestyle goals. Yesterday was 75 degrees. And this week is suppose to continue to stay in the  60s.

This weekend, my husband and I are heading down to Del Ray Beach, and South Beach Miami. I can’t wait to soak up some sun, and eat some Cuban food.

I want to hear form you…

What are some of your home projects? What are your goals for the spring?

© 2015 sweat1xdaily

 

What people say about weddings…

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There are a lot of things people say about weddings…¬†

Planning a wedding is fun…

Planning a wedding is stressful…

Weddings are expensive.

It’s not about the wedding, a wedding means nothing…

It is about the marriage, the marriage means everything.

Try to really take the time to enjoy every moment of your wedding, because if you don’t, you may miss something. And all those little details you spent so much time on, you don’t want to miss one of those.¬†

Leading up to your wedding, you may be so stressed, you just want to get the damn thing over with. You will cry. You will just want to go home. But this is normal behavior, every bride feels like this at some point.

But when your actual wedding day comes… Your wedding day will come and go. Trust me, it goes by way to fast.

After your wedding day is over you will remember the time you were so stressed and eloping sounded like a great idea.

But now that your wedding day is over, you are so thankful you didn’t elope… Because your wedding day was the best day ever.¬†

Along with being the best day ever, your wedding day was so much fun you wish you could do it again tomorrow.  

There are a lot of things people say about weddings…¬†

and guess what?

its all true… every last bit of it.¬†

Today marks one month since our wedding day. It is hard to believe we have been married for one whole month.

Happy One Month, Baby!

I love you to the moon and back!

xo

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

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Spring Cleaning (your diet)!

Today is the first day of spring…

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Hellooo Spring!!

Goodbye effing Winter!! 

During the cold winter months, fresh, local, colorful, produce has been nonexistent. However, I have been avoiding heavy comfort foods and staying true to my clean organic lifestyle by eating tons of spicy soups. They have kept me warm and satisfied during this brutally cold winter. ( If you haven’t read my soup posts do it now. )¬†My soup recipes are easy to make and you can freeze a pot full for later.

Soon though very soon, temperatures will warm up and farmers markets will open. Plus, I love to grow some staples of my very own in my backyard garden. Herbs such as basil, sage, mint, and rosemary are easy to grow and add flavor to many dishes. They are great additions to urban gardens for those who live in city apartments/condos. They also add a refreshing burst to fresh brewed ice tea.

So first comes first, it’s time to Spring Clean your fridge and kitchen.

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Eliminate all processed foods and all foods that are not clean and organic.

Reduce sugar intake.

This is a hard one but it makes a huge huge huge difference in preventing disease and in your waist line. Trust me, I know, I use to drink my sugar. According to the American Heart Association the average woman should get no more than 30 grams of added sugar a day.

Added sugar can be hidden in juice, tea, non fat milk, milk replacement products, yogurt, granola, oat meal, salad dressings, sauces, and many more foods. Easiest way to reduce your added sugar intake is by reading labels, eating whole foods, and making your own sauces, dressings, and granola from scratch. For more information read my post on added sugar and try making making Scott Jurek’s vegan granola by following the recipe I posted.

Also clean your kitchen of any foods that have chemically made sweeteners, aka sugar replacements. If it is made in a science lab it is not a clean food.

Research your oils.

I have many oils in my kitchen. Different oils have different flavors. My stash includes Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sesame Oil, and Coconut Oil. Make sure all oils you have in your kitchen are cold pressed. This means your oils are truly what the label says and not mixed with any other oils. Also make sure your oils are unrefined. Along with cold pressed this means they have the highest standard of processing. If it is not unrefined during processing your oils may have been heated too hot. When heated too hot the nutritional value may be in jeopardy. Also keep in mind that some oils have more saturated fat then others. For example: The American Heart Association recommends no more than 16 grams of saturated fat a day. 1 table spoon of coconut oil has 12 grams of saturated fat. Although, coconut oil has many health benefits, use it is small doses and be careful not to heat it over 300 degrees. I like to use my coconut oil in substitute to butter or cooking sprays when greasing baking sheets.

Increase your raw food intake.

Although, I had fun making pots of homemade soups (Broccoli with Pickled Ginger, Chicken with Sweet Potato and Chipotle in Adobe, Farro, Pumpkin, and Vegan Chile) by now I am ready for some veggies in the raw. I am not going completely raw, but the plan is to eat as much raw fresh produce as I can. When it is the season, raw is way more sweet, flavorful, delicious. Why cook and ruin a good thing.

Eat the Rainbow.

The more colorful your food is the better. Rich, bright, vibrant color means more fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants!  Runners especially need antioxidants because of the wear and tear/ stress that is put on the body daily.

Hydrate!

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Drink water. After the winter months, the air has been cold and drying. This leads to dehydration. It is time to up our water intake. I recently purchased a new water bottle that I plan to bring with me everywhere. Every chance I get I plan to refill. Having adequate amounts of water helps regulate metabolism and cleans the body of toxins. Another tip I do, is add lemon to my water. The lemon is a natural cleanser. So by adding it to your water I will be hydrating and detoxing at the same time.

Meal Prep.

This is something I am constantly working on. I love it when I have done it but it is a hard one to do. But if you can do it – well done! For those that don’t know what meal prepping is… I’ll explain. First you must plan your menu for your week. Second, get to the farmers markets or grocery store and buy your food. I normally do this on Saturday. Next thing, prep all food by washing, cutting and portioning raw foods. Cook foods that need to be cooked. Portion all meals with a protein, complex carb, and healthy fat. Follow your macros for portion sizes. These meals are now portioned and prepared ready to go. If you are eating clean you should be eating a small meal every 2-3 hours about 6 meals a day. The meal sizes depend on your calorie intake and macros. If you can do this, it will save you. It will help you avoid ever getting “hangry” and impulsive. It will help you avoid the need to eat out at restaurants. It will keep you high with energy and your metabolism speedy.

So that is it, thats my advice to spring cleaning your diet.

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So get in your kitchen.

Let’s clean, shop, and cook!

This post was inspired by an article in Runner’s World (march.) I love their idea to use dandelion which is high in vitamin A, C, and K in salads and pesto. They also mention fiddlehead, ramps, and rhubarb. I’m definitely keeping my eyes open for these!

What are your nutritional tips for spring?

© 2014 sweatdaily

Recipe: Asian Broccoli Soup with pickled Ginger and Black Sesame

The winter months are days full of desiring real comfort food. Its cold outside so one wants to eat a filling warm meal. It doesn’t help that farmer’s markets are scarce and the colorful produce that existed during the summer is now limited or in many cases nonexistent.

I still want to eat clean, organic, plant based, because everyone knows, “A summer body is made in the winter.”

So what is a girl to do during these cold gray winter months.

Crave soup.

Eat soup.

The variety of soups are endless. Soups are easy to make. You can make a huge pot for the week. You can freeze left over soup. Not all but many soups are an amazing way to eat clean, and still feel satisfied. They are warm, and to even make them hotter, smokey, spicy, try adding a pepper, such as chipotle in adobo sauce.

The soup that I am going to introduce to you today, is made with Asian influence. Because I am heading to Asia this week, I am all about the asian flavors.

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Broccoli Soup with pickled ginger and black sesame seeds.

Ingredients

1) Broccoli
2) Ginger
3) Ground Ginger
4) Soy sauce
5) Sea Salt
6) Sesame oil or toasted Sesame oil
7) Pickled Ginger
8) Black sesame seeds

Directions

1) Prep two small heads of broccoli by cleaning and cutting them into small pieces.

2) Place them in a pot of water with a chunk of natural ginger in it. Bring ginger water to a boil. Cool over high heat until broccoli is tender.

3) Once broccoli is tender, scoop out and discard ginger. Place broccoli into food processor or blender. Add two cups of the ginger infused cooking water.

4) Combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce with grounded ginger, and sesame oil. Cook in a small pan over heat. Once heated pour over broccoli in blender.

5) Blend all ingredients.

6) Once blended reheat over stove until desired temperature.

7) Serve in a bowl topped with pickled ginger and black sesame seeds.

8) Enjoy!

What are your favorite soups? How do you eat clean during the winter?

Mermaid Farm – Raw Milk, Yogurt, Mango Lassi

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This is Mermaid Farm located on Martha’s Vineyard. If you are looking for fresh raw milk on the Island, this is where you get it. They also have yogurt and mango lassi. Yum! You don’t have to call for an appointment. When it comes to payment they are on the honor system. That way you can get what you need, when you need it.

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The idea that fat free milk is healthy for you is a myth. During processing they remove all fat and replace it with sugar/chemicals. They add 12 grams of sugar per cup to make it taste good. The American Heart Association suggests no more than 30 grams of added sugar a day. One cup of fat free milk is almost half of your added sugar intake. I don’t drink milk, but if I was going to, Raw Milk is the way to go.

Mango is one of my all time favorite summer fruit. Mango Lassi is a popular traditional yogurt drink from India. Here on the Island you can find fresh home made Mango Lassi at Mermaid Farm.

I am so glad I had the opportunity to try this, because now I am inspired to make it at home on a regular basis. I also think it would be a delicious base to my vanilla Vega Sport Protein powder.

Fall is right around the corner so it is time to squeeze in some last minute, end of the season juicing and Mango Lassi making, while the produce is still fresh and in season.

Anyway, if you are on the Island, Mermaid Farm is definitely worth the quick stop. So check it out. It only takes five minutes to grab what you need.

How do you drink your milk? Do you think dairy is healthy?

Alive Juices

I first learned about juicing when I read the book The Crazy Sexy Diet, by Kris Carr. Immediately after reading this book, I knew I had to try juicing. This led me to buying a juicer, purchasing organic produce, and later even growing my own organic vegetables.

Soon after learning how to make my own juices, I started to see juicing everywhere, including on Dr. Oz. It was refreshing to see that my new healthy habit became trendy and went main stream.

WHY JUICE?

The Pros
The health benefits of juicing are never ending. When you juice the organic produce’s enzyme, antioxidants, and vitamins are absorbed into the blood stream immediately. Consuming freshly juiced juice also helps balance the pH level of the body. Because these juices are normally alkaline they help eliminate any acidity and toxins.

The Cons
Even the most healthy, positive thing, has some negative traits. In order to achieve the most high quality juice, you need a cold pressed juicer. These juicers are very expensive. The more affordable juicers make fine juices, but these juices need to be drank immediately after juicing. The longer you let them sit, the more they loose their healthy benefits. Also juicing takes a lot of time, produce, money, and can be very messy.

However, these negative aspects can be eliminated with Alive Juices.

ALIVE JUICES

Alive juices

Alive Juices is a new juice company located in Washington, DC. They are unique and different from any other juice because…

  • They use USDA certified organic produced.
  • They freshly press their juices and do not pasteurize them, preserving all living nutrients and enzymes.
  • The juice recipes are NOT based on a raw food diet, but rather are based on nutritional research, which supports the combination of both raw and cooked ingredients. The goal is to ensure that all nutrients is absorbed directly by the body as efficiently as possible.
  • Alive Juices also used ingredients such as ginger, garlic and sprouts

Because of Alive Juices you can now have all the healthy benefits of juicing, but you don’t have to do any of the work.

No purchasing an expensive juicers.

No wasting your time shopping for organic ingredients.

No making the juice itself.

No cleaning up a messy kitchen.

Because, Alive Juices does all of the above and they deliver.

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MY REVIEW

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to try Alive Juices. The green one of course was my favorite. The thing that I liked best about the flavor of these juices is that they are not over powered by sweetness. The juice itself was very smooth and mild. These juices are amazing by themselves, but you could also get creative with them by blending them with your protein powder.

I am so happy Alive Juices stumbled upon my website, because their juices are amazing and they want to give you a gift. All of my readers receive 10% off their first purchase. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. And for more information on Alive Juices please check them out on Facebook.

© 2013 sweatdaily

 

 

Beet and Lentil Dip

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Inspired by Hummus. On the right is Beet and Lentil dip.
Ingredients:
  1. 1 large roasted or boiled beet
  2. 1/2 cup of cooked green or black lentils
  3. lemon zest
  4. garlic clove
  5. 2 tbsp of cold pressed olive oil
  6. 2 tbsp of tahini
  7. sea salt

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Pair with cut veggies and/or pita bread.

Note: This dip is sweeter than hummus. Feel free to add any other ingredients to enhance flavors. Get creative and make it your own.

Enjoy!

© 2013 sweatdaily

City Summer, Urban Garden

Refreshing Swims in the Ocean.

Barefoot runs on the beach.

Boat rides.

Sun bathing pool side.

Eating crab feasts.

There are a lot of fabulous things about summer…

But I don’t belong to a pool. I don’t own a boat. And the closest beach is 2 hours away. So what is the point? What is good about city summers? I’ll tell you… although, everything above is fabulous, and every begining of every summer I tell myself, “This summer I am going to be at the beach every weekend, the pool every morning, on a boat on the Fourth of July…” the truth is I never do. These fabulous things just don’t exist in a city, but guess what does… Vegetables.

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Some people truly believe that people don’t change. Well I couldn’t disagree more. I actually find it funny how people grow and change. The one thing that will never change about me is the simple fact that I am happier when surrounded by beautiful things. But is it possible that what I find beautiful has changed? In my early 20s, I always considered myself a city girl, well that is what I was… But now in my late 20s I have found a greater apprieciation for both worlds, and actually find myself longing to be surrounded by less archetechturally beautiful buildings and more nature.

The more educated I become about food, the more deeper my desire is to grow as much of my own food as I can. My love for plants first began when I was a child when my mother planted a flower box garden outside my bedroom window. It was my job to water them a couple times a week. I also always had some sort of cactus or indoor plant in my bedroom to tend to. As an adult having a garden had always been in the back of my mind, but seemed impossible, when living in a rented apartment.  But last spring (Spring 2011) after reading the book, Crazy Sexy Diet, by Kris Carr, I started to consider attempting to grow my very own vegetable garden, rented apartment or not.

In the, Crazy Sexy Diet, Kris Carr is a cancer survivor, that changes her life, by changing her diet. She goes from eating the average american diet, full off processed foods to a vegetable based diet, that revolves around juicing. The juicing part of the book is what stuck with me most. I was inspired and immediately bought a juicer and began making yummy juices.

green juice, sweetened by farmers market bought, honeydew melon.

Juicing was an easy way for me to get in a morning breakfast pre run or post run. But it also got expensive, always buying fresh produce. Especially when juicing Kale or Spinach because this type of produce perishes so fast. I then began to think- It would be awesome if I could grow this stuff.

As you may know, I am a hairstylist, and one of the many amazing things about my job is that everyday I get the opportunity to converse among several different clients. Of corse I brought up my idea of starting my very own vegetable garden to each and every one of them. And to my surprise, many of my clients had gardens of their own, and they were openly willing to share their tips of the trade with me. One of my clients actually told me not to be discouraged. “You don’t need a yard.” She’d say… “You can grow anything, in a container.” ¬†So that is what I did, successfully.

This year, I actually moved. I only moved one zip code over, but I am no longer in a rented apartment, but rather my very own first home. Home ownership feels good, but moving is a lot of work, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to plant my garden in my yard. Plus I was debating on building a raise bed. I also wanted to test the yard’s sunlight. So I continued my container garden, successfully.

I spy a pepper.

Basil, Mint, Sage.

Herbs

Lemon/Lime tree

Cucumber/ Melons.

Kumquat Tree

Rosemary Jungle

Tomato Plant

Eggplant, my pride and joy.

Basil, rosemary, fresh from the garden.

So let me tell you some wonderful advantages you have when growing plants in containers. The most awesome advantage is that you have all the control.

  • Soil:¬†You can can control the soil. For example if your plant is organic, then use organic soil. If your plant contains mainly water, such as cucumber, then choose moisture locking soil.
  • Sun Exposue:¬†You can control the amount of sun or shade your plant receives, by simply picking it up and moving it to a more sunny spot or more shady spot.
  • Temperature: You can control the temperature. If it is to cold outside and your plant can’t survive in cold temperatures you can bring your plant indoors. If it is to hot¬†and the leaves are dry and wilting, let your plant spend the day inside.
  • I also find that when plants are in a container, animals tend to leave them alone. I could be wrong about this, but that is my experience.

The only real disadvantage of a container garden is that your plant will only grow as big as the container lets it. This can be limiting in harvest, but for those plants that grow like weeds, such as rosemary, mint, basil, etc. you have the control to set their boundaries by planting them in a containers. Also another slight disadvantage is that your plants may not come back the next year, but to my surprise last year my romaine lettuce reappeared in its container this spring. So I guess anything is possible.

I love having a vegetable garden. I would have a farm, but my yard simply isn’t large enough. I love eating fresh summer vegetables ripe, right from the vine, it is my favorite thing about summer.

Questions for you…

  1. What is your favorite thing about summer?
  2. Do you have a vegetable garden?
  3. What are you growing and eating?

©2012

My little farm.

I am an advocate for supporting local business, including local farms. If you ever check out my tumblr blog, CASHMERE & SILK,you will learn about all the local yarn shops I go to, and all the local yarns I knit with. Anyway, one of my favorite summer time hobbies is hitting up the local farmers markets in my area, and let me tell you there are a ton of them.

Visiting farmers markets, and tasting the sweetness and glory there is in a truly fresh organic piece of produce, motivated me to start my own little farm. I also juice a lot, so having access to Kale or other veggies, made it easier and less expensive.

My boyfriend’s stepmom would tell me stories about her garden, and how nutritious her soil became by composting.¬†I never thought, that I would be successful at growing plants, because unfortunately I didn’t have a yard to use. But what I did have in my favor was a very sunny back deck, that was high off the ground. The sun helped my plants grow, and the hight of my back deck kept birds and¬†squirrels away.

Below are some pictures of my veggie garden from last year. I am telling you, you would be surprised what you can grow in a container. I am hoping for success this year. We shall see though, because I might be moving, and do not know yet about how sunny the location will be.

© 2012

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