Monthly Archives

June 2015

Dessert

Dreamy Coconut Chia Pudding

Ch-ch-ch-chia! I never put 2 and 2 together until my mom pointed out “Chia seeds.. is that like chia pets?” Good point mom. Being a 90’s kid, I grew up to the chia pet commercials where you could water a terracotta shaped animal and it would eventually grow “hair” aka a chia plant. Originally the seeds were grown largely throughout South America, but now Australia is the leading producer of chia seeds.

Chia seeds can be added to smoothies, salads, baked goods, porridge etc. They’re the superfood of choice for many atheletes because they contain essential vitamins and minerals, protein, fiber and lots of omega-3.

When they come in contact with liquid they turn gelatinous- which reminds me of the tapioca bubbles in boba/bubble tea and the rich and creamy coconut milk  gives it a lot of flavor and makes it creamy instead of the thinner/milky texture you get when you use almond milk to make chia pudding.

This chia pudding is my mom’s recipe and is super simple to make! It’s also raw so it doesn’t require cooking just mixing and whisking! It makes a delicious vegan and dairy free breakfast, dessert or snack.

 

 

Enjoy!

xx SS

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 can of coconut milk

5 tbsps of chia seeds

1 tablespoon of organic sugar ( I use less- adjust according to preference)

 

DIRECTIONS:

Whisk all the ingredients together until the chia seeds start to become gelatinous and the mix starts to hold together. Pour into ramekins and refrigerate for at 3 hrs for best firmness.

Bon Appetit!

 

Travel

Healthy City Guide to Asheville

This past week I visited Asheville, North Carolina a city which reminds me of a hybrid between two of my favorite places: Silverlake in LA and Austin, Texas. I love visiting here because of all the historic landmarks and nature combined with a hipster, trendy city.

 

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I happened upon cute, vegan coffeehouse and cafe called Green Sage while staying at the downtown at the Crowne Plaza in Asheville. They had a huge variety of superfood smoothies, fresh pressed juices, matcha lattees, yerba mate and a large vegan menu. When it came to breakfast time, let’s just say it wasn’t easy to choose. Also thanks to Eat Drink Better, one of the nights I wandered to Hendersonville, NC and had dinner at the tasty Never Blue restaurant which had tasty vegan options, friendly staff and a beautiful atmosphere. I stocked up on healthy snacks for the trip home at this really cute market in Brevard which hands down one of the  biggest assortments of natural, organic, vegan and healthy goodies I’ve ever seen in a market. ( They even sold loose teas by the pound !) They also had a naturopath upstairs which I thought was pretty awesome ( wish Wholefoods did THAT!)IMG_456690129-4

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When I wasn’t hiking it was easy to keep up with my sculpting throughout the week at the Crowne Plaza which had tennis courts, a sauna, a golf course, ziplining and a full gym. A few more days left in Miami and I’ll be back in NYC! Yay for summer!

 

 

xx SS

 

City Sculpts

Workouts We Tried: Surf and Sculpt

While I’ve never actually tried surfing on a beach ( sad I know since I’m from FL), I love taking surf inspired workout classes from “Surfset”, a company that created surf simulator type classes. The class combines elements of yoga, cardio, pilates and core so it’s amazing for your body and of course it’s also cool to be working out on a surfboard- when else does that happen after all?! Using your own bodyweight, the surfboard is set on  a sort of bosu ball-esque platform so balance and stability is key to this class.

 

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Earlier this month, after taking 2-3 classes I bravely took the intermediate class in the East Village. I’m happy to say that I think I finally got the hang of the surf board under my feet feel! Now that I know I can trust my own body weight while balancing and standing up on the board I think it’s given me the confidence to step onto a real surf board sometime in the future! Not to mention I love working on my core during this super fun class! Using the “rate the sculpt” meter ( 1= I kicked its ass and 10= it kicked my ass), I would give this class at 7 ( more that I kicked its ass) because it was definitely challenging at some points in the class but definitely not impossible. Once you go a couple times you can master some moves and perfect your surfing skills! If you are in NYC I would definitely recommend snagging a spot at Surfset because where else can you surf and sculpt?

 

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Happy sculpting!

xx SS

 

 

 

 

Eat Out

Out & About: Vegan Dinner in Delray Beach

This week has been crazier than usual with both of us Sculpt & Shine girls “out of the office”- Michelle flew to DC midweek for job interviews and I took a trip down to sunny South Florida for a little R&R.

While in Florida, I checked out a new local vegan restaurant for dinner in Delray Beach called “The New Vegan” that was recommended to me by some friends. The restaurant which is entirely vegan, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, wheat and GMO free is new to the Atlantic Avenue area so I decided to check it out.

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(Source: Photo)

The extensive menu offered a wide variety of vegan dishes (that was impressive even to a person who has been to a lot of vegan restaurants like me) because I saw like at least 5 things I was curious to try! I decided on a portobello and chickpea sandwich that came with a salad and side of wild rice. The sandwich was so different that what I have ever tasted but oooh so good! My friends order the “toona” wrap which was made of heart of palm and beet burgers.

Overall was fresh and prepared with top notice, plant based ingredients. The restaurant was family owned and the staff was highly accommodating. Overall, I would definitely come back and try some of the other offerings on the menu. I’m always excited to see healthy, vegan restaurant options in Delray!

 

 

City Sculpts

Fitness Friday – Summer Outdoor Workouts

I actually do not have a gym membership right now (since I am in transition from Boston), so I have tried to develop an outdoor workout that mimics what I typically do in the gym. I chose a few exercises that are mainly anaerobic workouts, but you can choose to include running (aerobic ) exercises as well.

1.) Stadiums

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This is the go-to workout for varsity teams, whether they be collegiate or high school. It’s not surprising to me that coaches make their athletes run several sets of stadiums. What better way is there to integrate aerobic and anaerobic exercise while also maintaining a challenging aspect to a workout? When I first began doing stadiums, I did 10 sets. I would suggest doing the same, but at your own pace for the first week you begin this exercise. I like timing how long it takes me to complete 1 set, and then challenging myself to beat that time. It’s a fun way to compete against yourself!

2.) Up-Hill Walking Lunges

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Up-hill lunges workout your glutes to the extreme! I do 6 sets, but if you feel like this is too difficult or easy modify the workout to your specifications. I also like to add in a sprint up the hill after every 2 sets of walking lunges.

3.) Mountain Climbers

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I never thought much of this exercise until I realized how much it works out your abs! I typically do 2 sets of 15-20 reps.

4.) Abs – Obliques

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Since it’s the summer, ab season is IN! I use the bench to help my legs maintain a vertical position. This challenges your lower abs more than the regular crunch stance. Additionally, I twist my upper body to each side, switching at regular intervals. For this exercise I suggest doing 5 sets of 20 reps.

 

Detox

Beauty Detox: The Benefits of Charcoal

I first started seeing charcoal when a few months ago I walked into Juice Generation one day and saw a black chalky looking “charcoal lemonade” drink. Super confused I asked about it and then started conducting my own research. I came to find out that charcoal is an amazing step to detoxification. It can be found in various forms, everything from soap and bamboo charcoal sponges to juice.

So what’s the deal? While it isn’t an “every day” thing, charcoal can be an amazing way to detox, especially after a long night drinking/ partying because it helps to reset your system and draw the toxins out of your body. Charcoal has been used for centuries ( over 10,000 years) in Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine. Activated charcoal naturally soaks up poisons in the body and aids in improving intestinal health using an “adsorption” process aka the charcoal “binds to” toxins instead of absorbing them. While charcoal is used in some hospitals, this remedy it also is available to purchase to help with any gas, bloating, intestinal issues, general detoxification, heart health, body odor, teeth whitening, jet lag and anti-aging. it can aid in controlling food cravings, moodiness and feelings of sluggishness after a meal. Activated charcoal contains millions of tiny pores that naturally capture, bind and remove unwanted toxins, heavy metals chemicals etc. using a negative electric charge that attracts positively charged unwanted toxins in the body.  If you’ve ever seen a Brita water filter, this lower grade charcoal can be seen used in the filters used to capture unwanted materials.

Charcoal can also be found in a wide range of skincare products. I purchased a Konjac sponge infused with  bamboo charcoal from Ricky’s about a month ago and it has done wonders for my skin! I have never felt something more soft and detoxifying- and it can be used to cleanse your face naturally without cleansers and makeup removers. The sponge also naturally balances out your skin’s pH which is pretty awesome! Since your skin is your biggest organ, I prefer using the sponge and this charcoal & shea butter bar soap I bought in Australia to detox.

*take 2 capsules when consuming alcohol or unhealthy food. Please consult your doctor since everyone responds to different dosages and use in moderation. Excessive charcoal consumption without magnesium can result in constipation. Never take activated charcoal with prescription medications!

{ I am not compensated for any external links in this post! All opinions are my own and products I have tried and think are worth sharing!}