spring cleanse


So you've been cooped up all winter. Your diet has been limited to a handful of root vegetables, carbs and cheese. You haven't been moving as much, and you're ready for a detox. Cleanses are more and more popular these days, but I thought I'd take a minute to share a couple techniques that don't involve juice. There are plenty of ways to help remove toxins from your body aside from a liquid diet. Either use these in conjunction with a cleanse or on their own. Either way you'll be wringing out the bad, and welcoming in the new. Spring is a time to restart, so why not help your body out a little and give it a clean slate.

(image sources: 1, 2)

1. Take a cold shower: cold water causes your cells to expand and open up. You might not be able to stand cold water for an entire shower, but try just turning down the heat right at the end. You'll get an invigorating rush, and your cells will open wide making it easy for them to release guck that's been trapped inside.

2. Get or give yourself a good massage: follow a traditional Ayurvedic routine, and it will tell you to give yourself an oil massage every morning before you hop in the shower. Not only does it relax the muscles, but it removes the knots, pushes oxygen to the surface, and encourages your tissues to release toxins they've been holding on to. Frequent massages are known to improve cellulite as well as muscle-related issues. If you're doing it on yourself, a rule of thumb is to use linear motions between joints, and circular on the joints themselves (elbows, shoulders, knees, etc.).

3. Load up on antioxidant rich foods: sometimes cleansing isn't about what you don't eat, but rather what you do eat. Try subbing in antioxidant rich foods more than usual. Add blueberries to your morning yogurt,  minced garlic to sauteed veggies, or chia seeds to stirfry. They'll work to remove free radicals in the body and restart your body for spring.

4. Sweat: we all know one of the best ways to push things out of our body is with some good old sweating. Go for a run or switch it up with a body cleansing yoga routine. I love the detox yoga flow from Seane Corn which offers 30 and 60 minute detox routines. Lots of twists are great for your liver and colon. Having the two in good shape is key in cleansing the system and absorbing the last of those life sustaining nutrients. Keep the two running smoothly, and you'll be ready for feel good spring. 

5. Try 20 minutes of oil pulling: I recently just found out about oil pulling. It's a way to keep the mouth clean by pulling bacteria and debris out of your teeth and gums. Warm some coconut oil and add a drop of oregano oil which has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Swish a spoonful of the mixture for 20 minutes - do not swallow!- and spit out all the bad at the end. The mouth is the main entryway to the body, so why not start there in keeping it clean.  

hangin with marley


You got me at under bite, but the furrowed brow, white paws, and droopy lips are pretty adorable too. Hangin' with this bitch never gets old. Happy belated birthday Marley dog!

making babies


So here is the big news...I'm moving in with Adam...and...we're going to have...

A garden! Full of little babies! Babies as in plants that is. Tomatoes, peppers, kale, herbs - it will be full of all our favorite things. We got started on the little guys that need a time inside using recycled bottles. All you have to do is cut the bottle in half with a utility knife, drill small holes in the cap, and then you have a self-watering container to germinate seeds in. A week later to the tee, we have little guys sprouting up. Now that they're showing some green, we turned on a fan to circulate air and flood lights equipped with agro bulbs to give them light. Stay tuned for all the updates as we build planters, compost, fertilize, harvest, and of course, COOK, this season. This is going to be fun, here's to new life!

adam's clam pasta


Alright, alright, this is not the healthiest recipe ever to appear on this blog, but sometimes you need food that is straight good for the soul, and that, it is. Clams, I did not know, are surprisingly easy to cook - and cheap! We spent $8 on a dozen, but felt like royalty slurping them down. The air of elegance is pleasantly deceiving when you go to take out the wallet. Paired with my favorite ancient grain pasta, Adam made a zesty, Marsala stewed tomato sauce to top it all off. If you're looking to impress guests, this is good one to whip out.

Ingredients (serves 2):
12 Top Neck Clams
1 Yellow Pepper, diced
1 Yellow Onion, sliced
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
8oz Tomato Sauce
1/2 Cup Marsala
1 Vegetable Bouillon Cube
1/2 Stick Butter
2 Thyme Sprigs
2 Tbsp Herb de Provence
1 Tbsp Red Pepper Flake
1 Tbsp White Pepper
Juice from 1 Lemon

1. In a large sauce pan, saute onion, garlic, and yellow pepper. Deglaze with Marsala, and add 2 cups of water, bouillon cube and tomato sauce.
2. Once boiling, toss in clams, and cover pot. Cook until clams open up. Remove from pan once cooked.
3. Boil pasta until almost aldente. Strain, and then toss into your sauce and let the pasta cook the rest of the way.
4. Spoon pasta onto a plate and then place clams around the border to serve.

weekly scenes


Spring is in the air! Ok, it's still a few days away, but I'm ready for it. Adam and I checked out the Philly flower show on an exceptionally beautiful day last weekend. We stopped into Reading Terminal market and split a monster breakfast sandwich beforehand. With all there is to see and shop, you need a full belly to take on that flower show. We didn't even get to half of it because he had to get to work. He did give me a beautiful bunch to take home; however, and that made up for all that we didn't get see inside. When I got back to my room, I arranged the yellow beauties into glass bottles on the mantle. I deep cleaned all of the surfaces, and instantly everything felt fresh and new, like spring. It got me inspired for the incoming warmth. That little taste. It leaves me daydreaming over long runs, gardening, and t-shirts. I am ready to shed winter's cocoon. The time is oh so near.

trust your knees


I lay on Lois's table as her energy-filled hands hovered over my body, reading its signals and in turn, communicating back. She got to my knees, my weak weak knees, and asked if I had issues with the left. A little taken aback, I didn't know what to say. It had never been medically labeled as problematic, but then again, I had always considered it a little defective. I replied saying exactly that, and we moved along on the path to healing.
We were all wrapped up and she had one last thing to say. "About your knees....it was interesting what you said, that they were weak. They say that your knees are where you hold your ego. You need to believe in them more. Trust that they will carry you. They will take you wherever you want to go, you just have to believe it."

I was so struck. It's true! I don't trust my knees at all. I'm always doubting their strength, thinking that they're awkward and not made as strong as all the others. What a metaphor for everything I'm scared of. Something in me doubts that my body and brains can take me where I want to go, but that's all bogus. I can do anything and I will do anything. It starts with trusting. I'm smart enough, strong enough, original enough, and brave enough.

Tell yourself this everyday & trust your knees - they will carry you.


(all image sources here)

a day at the museum


Last weekend my friends and I hit up one of my favorite Philly spots, the art museum. Housed in an iconic structure right on the water's edge and filled with some of the most beautiful artwork in the world, it's such an inspiring and entertaining place to be. Pieces include everything from my favorite Monets to Duchamp and Seurat. I love examining the textures - the skill and utter beauty. As someone who enjoys digital photography, I love thinking about the fact that each work is a realized vision. When I take a photo and then drop it into Photoshop, I can play around with it and let it become whatever strikes me in the moment. The end result isn't always something that springs out of a vision, but rather my current emotions and the way I'm interacting with a photo in that moment. These painters knew exactly what they wanted to paint: the light it would have and emotions it would trigger. It takes a lot of planning, skill, and intention - and that is just something I can't help but respect.

superfood cereal: hot quinoa, blueberries, maca, and ginger


About a year ago, I used to eat hot quinoa with maca powder for breakfast on the regular. Over the summer I somehow forgot about it, but I'm happy to say that it has recently reappeared on my menu. It all happened because I got these blueberries in my CSA box. I decided to prepare them as filling for homemade poptarts for Kristina's birthday. I am not a baker, though. My wholewheat pie crust failed, and I was left with this jar of awesomely sweet, ginger blueberries. I needed a new purpose for them, and I thought they would go great with breakfast. And so, the hot quinoa cereal popped into my mind, and made its reappearance on the scene... 

Combined with the ginger blueberry mixture, this is probably one of the best things you can eat for breakfast. Quinoa is protein loaded while blueberries give you a kick of antioxidants, ginger balances your digestive track, and maca powder loads you up with vital minerals. Essentially, this cereal will give you energy, keep the toxins out, and make everything run smoothly. It's also warm and comforting, perfect for those winter months. 

Now, what better way to start off the day?

Ingredients (serves 2):
1 Cup Quinoa
2 Cups Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Blueberry Ginger Ingredients (makes 1, 8oz jar):
1.5 Cup Frozen or Fresh Blueberries 
1/2 Cup Cane Sugar
2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/2 Inch Ginger, peeled and finely grated
Juice from 1/2 a lemon

1. At least 2 hours before you want to make your cereal, stir blueberry mixture ingredients together in a jar, and let it sit in the refrigerator to take on flavor.
2. Place quinoa and almond milk into a sauce pan. Over a medium/low flame, simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the quinoa is cooked, but is slightly soupy. Stir it every now and then during the simmering process.
3. Pour quinoa into bowls and then spoon desired amount of blueberry mixture over top.
4. Mix up and eat.