Crop Tops & Kale http://www.croptopsandkale.com Chase feeling good. Fri, 03 Jul 2015 00:28:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fourth of July Recipe Roundup http://www.croptopsandkale.com/fourth-of-july-recipe-roundup/ http://www.croptopsandkale.com/fourth-of-july-recipe-roundup/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 00:23:47 +0000 http://www.croptopsandkale.com/?p=3418 The Fourth of July is just the best. It usually involves sunshine (knock on wood) and some body of water or another. A good excuse for a striped crop top, perhaps? Oh man, the food can be tough though. Chips, dips, hot… Continue Reading

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Sparkling-Red-White-and-Blue-Sangria-Recipe-4

via Gimme Some Oven

The Fourth of July is just the best. It usually involves sunshine (knock on wood) and some body of water or another. A good excuse for a striped crop top, perhaps?

Oh man, the food can be tough though. Chips, dips, hot dogs, and lotsa beer.

I’m not saying you should go crazy with the restrictions this weekend, that’s not our style. But most parties or picnics require a potluck-style dish, and guess what? That’s good news. That means you get to control it! That means you can eat your hot dog with a side of spiralized vegetables.

Instead of stopping on the way to your BBQ for a box of star-spangled cookies, why not bring a fun creation of your own? Here are a few easy, feel-good ideas we’re loving for the holiday weekend:

Sparkling Red, White and Blue Sangria, topped with the cutest apple stars from Gimme Some Oven.

A killer cheeseboard (with pickled strawberries and herb roasted cherry tomatoes… drooling) from Half Baked Harvest.

Just about alllllll of the recipes in this spiralized recipe roundup from Inspiralized.

Black + Blue burgers with a side of rosemary sweet potato fries from The Yellow Table. Because burgers, there must be.

Cherry-Strawberry Chia Seed Fool from Oh She Glows, made with seasonal cherries, ohhh yum. The recipe is intended for Canada Day, but it’ll work just fine.

Hope you all celebrate America’s Big 239th in style. Check back after the holiday weekend for a fun offer we’ve got for ya. I’m not sharing any spoilers, but it involves enchiladas and a 50 percent discount. Intrigued? Yeah, thought so.

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How To Figure Out What You Want To Do With Your Life http://www.croptopsandkale.com/how-to-figure-out-what-you-want-to-do-with-your-life/ http://www.croptopsandkale.com/how-to-figure-out-what-you-want-to-do-with-your-life/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:16:42 +0000 http://www.croptopsandkale.com/?p=3398 When I started on this little journey of internal exploration over five years ago now, I thought I wanted to be a commercial real estate broker in New York. This is hilarious to me now. Like, so so funny. I want… Continue Reading

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When I started on this little journey of internal exploration over five years ago now, I thought I wanted to be a commercial real estate broker in New York. This is hilarious to me now. Like, so so funny. I want to go back pinch my little 25-year-old cheeks and pat my little 25-year-old head and say something like “Aw, you’re so cute.”

Real Estate

I look back now and realize that thinking I wanted to do that with my life was a direct result of having totally and completely lost touch with who I really am.

Since then, I’ve gone through a few iterations:

  • Real Estate Sales
  • Executive Assistant
  • Interior Designer
  • Health Coach
  • Yoga Instructor

And now… are you there, God? It’s me, Dana. Who am I?

JK. Now I know exactly what I want.

I think this happens to the majority of us though. We start out drawing rainbows, trying out for parts in plays, singing and dancing and making things with legos, just generally following our little guts around. We know, clearly, in each moment, what it is we want, what we like to do, what we might want to be when we grow up.

Fuck it, mom, I wanna be a lion tamer!

But as we actually go about the business of growing up, we’re told that we need to be practical, stop being selfish, have a good head on our shoulders and be realistic. Instead of hearing of all the different ways that we could channel our innate passion and interests into a livelihood, we’re told of all the ways we can’t. We’re shown better alternatives, like an accounting degree or medical school. We hear cautionary tails of starving artists, flakes and failures.

We basically learn along the way that not only will it be unnecessarily difficult to do what we love for a living but, we might starve too, oh and people won’t like us.

Worse still, we subconsciously learn that our instincts are wrong or selfish and something to be ignored for the better sense of others.

So we start to say things like “Oh I don’t know, whatever you want to do is fine.” We start to go with other people’s flow. We go to law school to make someone proud or because we figure that they know better. We give away our personal power to each little decision we make without really asking what we want and sooner or later the big decisions are made in the same way.

We wouldn’t actually know what we wanted to do if we bothered to ask ourselves anyway.

So, let me ask you this now. Do you know what you really want? Not just in regards to a profession but, in life. 25-year-old Dana wanted to be a commercial real estate broker, which is a pretty good indicator of how well I could answer that question back then. What’s your version of that story?

We hear a lot of you say how much you hate your job. “Should I Quit My Job” was one of our most viewed posts to date (yeah we can see what you’re reading, sneaky…).

Everyone seems to hate their job. The bosses are dumb and awful, the hours are long, the work is thankless and uninspired but, they don’t know what else they want to do.

So how do we figure it out?

How do we avoid wasting thousands of dollars on an MBA because, I guess I’ll figure it out later and then at least, I’ll have an MBA?

We can start really small instead. We can take back our personal power in every little decision we have to make throughout the day. We can start asking ourselves what we really want in the tiny, unassuming moments such as “What do you want to order for dinner?” and before we know it, we’re back to being like “No, you know what mom, fuck it, I DO wanna be a lion tamer.”

“You start small by recognizing and honoring your own preferences in every situation. When you are confronted with a choice, no matter how small or insignificant, ask yourself, What do I really want?'”-  Jack Canfield 

It’s like blasting your delts in the gym. Each decision you make based on what you really want, builds the muscles of knowing yourself and your preferences. This will lead to further intel on who you really are and what you really want.

It might take a while but, everything worthwhile takes … awhile. At least that’s what Joel always says, especially when things are taking awhile.

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One Simple Rule for Accomplishing Any Goal http://www.croptopsandkale.com/one-simple-rule-for-accomplishing-any-goal/ http://www.croptopsandkale.com/one-simple-rule-for-accomplishing-any-goal/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:42:54 +0000 http://www.croptopsandkale.com/?p=3354 Sometimes I wonder what my dog walker thinks when she comes to pick Lucy up. I have a giant stack of books on my bedside table and guys, the titles are weird. She’s probably thinking “this chick shouldn’t be responsible for… Continue Reading

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how to accomplish anything you want

Sometimes I wonder what my dog walker thinks when she comes to pick Lucy up. I have a giant stack of books on my bedside table and guys, the titles are weird. She’s probably thinking “this chick shouldn’t be responsible for another being. Seems a little unstable.”

I mean, Without Their Permission? The Magic of Thinking Big? Small Giants? Sounds like what you’d see on the bookshelf of someone plotting a violent coup d’état. Then there’s Clean, The Success Principles, The Desire Map ... Sounds like what you’d find on a pre-rehab required reading list.

All of these books are weird and awesome and important, but if I’m being honest, sometimes they just overwhelm me.

There are so many varying philosophies on health, wellness, personal development, business, happiness and success that it’s difficult to keep up with every idea. At times I’ll decide I agree with one theory and then I’ll read a new book that totally changes my mind. And, I mean, that’s okay. It’s part of the process of learning and growing. There is no right or wrong here, it’s really just about what works for us in our own lives. But, once in a while, it sure would be nice to come across a simple, straightforward rule to follow.

Well, I stumbled upon one the other day and it blew my mind with its simplicity:

“The only person I have to cheat is myself.”

Let that sink in for a minute. It’s so simple, but so good. “The only person I have to cheat is myself.”

I found this little gem on Brad Feld’s site – he’s an entrepreneur with a rocking’ blog that I’d recommend to anyone building a business, but this mantra actually comes from a guest post by web strategist and author, William Hertling.

This rule can apply to everything you want to accomplish. Career goals, financial goals … even things like time management and increased productivity but, let’s take weight loss goals, for example.

Nobody really cares how much you weigh (or what you look like for that matter). Okay, maybe coworkers are going to notice if you walk into work with a huge stain on your shirt. And if you drop 30 pounds, will your friends make a comment? Most likely, yes.

But nobody really cares if you’re 10 pounds heavier or lighter. So when you’re debating whether or not you want to have a piece of cake at the office party, nobody gives a shit if you eat one or not. When you’re deciding whether or not to go to happy hour or go to the gym, some people may ask why you’re not going or say “ah, bummer” when you decline an invite, but are they really going to be torn up over your decision all night? Definitely not. Nobody cares if you actually turn the resistance up on the bike when the instructor tells you to during a spin class, that’s your call.

Hertling argues that the agonizing, internal struggle over reaching for the cake or turning up the resistance is draining and unnecessary. He suggests that instead, you shortcut the process by choosing not to spend the mental energy trying to rationalize one small piece, what the effect might be, and whether you even want to lose weight. If this is a goal that’s important to you, you’re only cheating yourself if you don’t focus on achieving it. No one else is going to step in to take responsibility.

Forget willpower, forget expectations, forget whatever else you think may play into weight loss. When you make a decision that doesn’t serve you, the only person you’re cheating is yourself.

And why would you want to cheat yourself?

I’m thinking that if we want to accomplish more of our goals in life, it might make sense to start reminding ourselves of this rule more often.  

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Healthy Weeknight Meal: Stuffed Sweet Potato http://www.croptopsandkale.com/healthy-weeknight-meal-stuffed-sweet-potato/ http://www.croptopsandkale.com/healthy-weeknight-meal-stuffed-sweet-potato/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 02:46:07 +0000 http://www.croptopsandkale.com/?p=3378 Simple, easy meals that make you feel good, that’s what we’re about around here. Don’t get me wrong, we love a good dinner party, and would rarely pass up a four course meal at a fine dining establishment. But if… Continue Reading

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Simple, easy meals that make you feel good, that’s what we’re about around here.

Don’t get me wrong, we love a good dinner party, and would rarely pass up a four course meal at a fine dining establishment. But if you were to ask what really revs us up? We’d tell you fresh ingredients and real, whole foods. The stuff everyday menus are made of.

The key to weeknight cooking is stocking your pantry. It just makes it easy, and easy is good when it comes to eating healthy. Hitting the grocery store or farmer’s market over the weekend to grab whatever produce you need is a good habit to get into. That way you’re not scrambling on a weeknight or stopping on the way home and reaching for whatever processed food looks good when you’re hungry.

Sweet potatoes are always on my list, and I eat them in some form every day. I feel like I talk about sweet potatoes a lot (see here, here, here and here), but I just love ’em. Probably because they’re so versatile!

Here’s one of my go-to weeknight sweet potato meals. This recipe makes two halves, and sometimes I have one half for dinner and I’m good (it’s pretty filling). Other times I’ll have a half with steak or chicken, or a side salad. My apologies for the slightly terrible photo. We’re striving for simple here.

image1-4

Simple Stuffed Sweet Potato

Serves two

Ingredients

One large sweet potato

1/4 red pepper

1/4 red onion

1/4 avocado

One tablespoon olive oil

Two teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro (unless you have fresh on you, in that case definitely go for fresh)

Black pepper & sea salt

Optional: 1/2 cup cooked black beans

Method

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Poke the sweet potato with a few holes and bake for 30-35 minutes or until tender inside and skin is slightly crispy.

While that’s baking, chop the avocado, red pepper, onion, cilantro and optional black beans and mix together in a small bowl. Add the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, cayenne, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.

Once the potato is tender, remove from the oven and slice in half. Using a spoon, scoop out the center of each half and transfer the fleshy insides (yikes, sorry for that terminology) to a cutting board. Cube the insides and add to the vegetable/liquid mixture. Stir this thoroughly.

Divide the mixture in half, and add into the scooped out portion of each potato half. They will be overflowing, and that’s okay. Top with a little cilantro and enjoy!

 

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Three Simple Ways to Control Your Thoughts http://www.croptopsandkale.com/three-simple-ways-to-control-your-thoughts/ http://www.croptopsandkale.com/three-simple-ways-to-control-your-thoughts/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 20:54:57 +0000 http://www.croptopsandkale.com/?p=3359 “We come to realize that our thoughts, more so than our circumstances, sabotage our freedom and success.” – Brendon Burchard My sister-in-law will be graduating from her doctoral program this summer. After ten, long, hard, expensive years, she’ll be a… Continue Reading

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Shitty Thoughts

“We come to realize that our thoughts, more so than our circumstances, sabotage our freedom and success.”

– Brendon Burchard

My sister-in-law will be graduating from her doctoral program this summer. After ten, long, hard, expensive years, she’ll be a clinical psychologist.

She and I have spoken many times over the course of her program about life experience. She, studying human psychology and behavior in the most formal and legitimate of ways, and I, studying personal development, self-help and happiness in the most informal of ways, agree and disagree about a number of things.

There is one universal truth to all of it on which we agree though, and that is: our entire life experience happens inside of our own heads.

I’ve said this before but, I will say it again. The way we think and talk to ourselves creates our life experience. And what is beautiful about this fact is that we can control the way we think and talk to ourselves, hence, controlling our life experience.

You can decide that you are going to think positively, or you can just fall victim to your ever-changing moods, environment and circumstances.

You can decide to talk to yourself in a kind, supportive and loving way, or you can fall victim to the bitch inside your own head who tells you that you’re fat, worthless, undeserving and not good at stuff. (And we all have that voice.)

Either way, the choice is yours.

Why not choose feeling good, right? Yolo. Even if you don’t believe it’s possible yet, make the choice to give it a shot.

Here are three simple ways to start:

  1. Stop & observe and correct & re-frame
  2. No, this is good because…
  3. State an intention in the morning

Let’s take a deeper look at each step:

#1. Stop & observe and correct & reframe 

Here’s how it works: You call yourself fat. You stop. You observe that you just called yourself fat. You correct yourself, saying “No. I am not fat. I am beautiful.” (Even if you don’t believe it yet, just say it.) Then you re-frame it: “I am getting in the best shape of my life because I’m taking really good care of myself.” (Even if you don’t believe it yet, just say it.)

Seriously, it’s that easy.

You start to do this once a day, then twice a day, then all day, then all day every day, until it just becomes natural. You stop having shitty thoughts about yourself all the time. You start to actually believe that you are beautiful. Your confidence increases, you start making more and better changes in your life, taking risks, really going for it. You’re happier and achieving more than ever before. You feel fantastic. You take your top off and run around naked. You see how that works?

#2. No, this is good because…

“No this is good because….” are five words that go a long way in turning that frown upside down in most seemingly shitty situations.  Try it the next time you find yourself in an annoying situation, even if it’s just the long line at Starbucks.

Say to yourself, “No this is good because… it’s giving me a break in my hectic day to just stand here, take a deep breathe and shamelessly stalk ex-boyfriends on Instagram”… or something.

Making a habit of this will have you searching for the good in every situation. Yeah, searching for the good in every situation, like a motivational poster. You’ll love it. You’ll be one of those positive people you used to roll your eyes at, you know, the ones who share inspirational quotes on Facebook. It’s going to be awesome.

#3. State an intention in the morning 

I know, I know. Just do it, okay? So many times in life we’re cruising on auto-pilot, going through the motions, floating along with the tide. We don’t have what we want, we don’t feel the way we want to, and we don’t know why. We don’t realize that if we stopped and made a conscious intention to do things differently, it might be all we need to make massive shifts for the better.

When you get up in the morning, declare to yourself that today is a day when you try very hard to think positive thoughts. If you slip up, you’ll just use #1 above to get back on track.

Decide how you’re going to talk to yourself each morning. Ask yourself in the mirror, “You gonna be nice to me today or what!?” And then get in the shower or brush your teeth or whatever. You’ll start to live more intentionally. You’ll start to get more of what you want. You’ll start to feel good.

The bottom line is that you can control your thoughts. If you don’t think that that’s possible, it’s because you haven’t started trying yet. Try just one, for just one day, and see how it goes. Here they are again:

Three Simple Ways to Control Your Thoughts

  • Stop & observe and correct & re-frame
  • No, this is good because…
  • State an intention in the morning

Which one will you try?

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We Just Have To Decide http://www.croptopsandkale.com/we-just-have-to-decide/ http://www.croptopsandkale.com/we-just-have-to-decide/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 14:00:46 +0000 http://www.croptopsandkale.com/?p=3305 My maid of honor said something in her speech last weekend that really struck a cord. She said “A long time ago Dana decided that she was going to be happy.” Although that’s what I did, I’d never thought of it like… Continue Reading

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My maid of honor said something in her speech last weekend that really struck a cord. She said “A long time ago Dana decided that she was going to be happy.”

Decide

Although that’s what I did, I’d never thought of it like that before. I have to say, it was nice to see it through my best friend’s eyes. It felt good to be recognized for having made the conscious decision to do so, for being held responsible for my own happiness.

I now realize the power in it and as I looked back over the past few years, I realize that I consciously decided to make a lot of other positive changes, too.

I decided:

  • To put the pain of losing my dad behind me
  • To quit smoking
  • To get really good with my money
  • That I was worth taking really good care of myself
  • To lose the twenty pounds
  • That this really is a friendly universe
  • To quit my job and do yoga for a month because, YOLO
  • To start a new business
  • That I like myself

I decided on these things and then I made them happen and it’s empowering to acknowledge those decisions.

But a lot of times we don’t decide, do we? (Myself included.) Sometimes we kinda-sorta say we want things, that they would be nice. Sometimes we give it a try instead. We think about it. We whine. We pray. We consider. We make a vision board or something, but we don’t actually decide.

Because deciding is scary and means that we mean business.

Deciding is a declaration of intention and it leaves us vulnerable, lacking in excuses and responsible for the outcome. It could set us up to look like the world’s largest dope, a failure, an embarrassment, a really big, fat, loser.

So if we never decide, then we’re off the hook. We’re safe from looking like a fool. But, if we never decide, we’ll also never make any changes. We’re really just saying that we agree to give it a shot until … we get tired, or scared, lose money, feel disappointed, embarrassed, uncertain or it gets too hard.

A lot of us want to change things in our lives, be it losing weight, getting rich or being happy. We see others doing these things. We know that they’re physically possible. But we just don’t change. And why not?

I believe that we really can have, do or be anything we want, we just have to decide.

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Our Summer Reading List http://www.croptopsandkale.com/our-summer-reading-list/ http://www.croptopsandkale.com/our-summer-reading-list/#comments Sat, 13 Jun 2015 22:53:08 +0000 http://www.croptopsandkale.com/?p=3319 I woke up this morning and thought, “I really just want to read all day.” So I did. And it was glorious. How often do we take the time to sit and read for an extended period of time anymore?… Continue Reading

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kindle

I woke up this morning and thought, “I really just want to read all day.” So I did. And it was glorious.

How often do we take the time to sit and read for an extended period of time anymore? I love reading. It’s one of my favorite things to do, and I think it’s important for our mental health, but these days time allotted for it seems limited to my commute on the subway and maybe a few minutes before bed if I’m not out, or begging Lucy to lie down and then playing dead so she doesn’t get up again.

This summer, I’m committing to slowing down a bit and reading more. I have a big ol’ stack of books lined up, and hopefully more days like today to spend reading them.

Here are a few titles we either recommend, or are on our personal lists to get to. Some are new releases, some are bestsellers, and some are old favorites. The three of us are always chatting about new reads and would love to hear what you’re loving right now. Any suggestions? Leave ’em in the comments below!

Fiction

The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Nonfiction

Personal Development

The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

The Tao of Dating by Ali Binazir

Not Fade Away by Laurence Shames

We Learn Nothing by Tim Kreider

Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

Wellness & Nutrition/Cooking

The Beauty Detox Power by Kimberly Snyder

Skin Cleanse by Adina Grigore

Brain Maker by David Perlmutter

Food 52 Genius Recipes by Kristen Miglore

Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward

Education & Business

Without Their Permission by Alexis Ohanian

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

How to Fly a Horse by Kevin Ashton

Dead Wake by Erik Larson

Small Giants by Bo Burlingham

 

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10 Healthy Cucumber Cocktails for Summer http://www.croptopsandkale.com/10-healthy-cucumber-cocktails-for-summer/ http://www.croptopsandkale.com/10-healthy-cucumber-cocktails-for-summer/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 20:50:11 +0000 http://www.croptopsandkale.com/?p=3308 One of the worst dates I’ve ever been on was with a guy who I have to assume is the most boring dude to walk the earth. Let’s call him Jim, who I had met in a bar a week… Continue Reading

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One of the worst dates I’ve ever been on was with a guy who I have to assume is the most boring dude to walk the earth. Let’s call him Jim, who I had met in a bar a week prior. Why I agreed to go out with him in the first place, I’m still not sure.

Jim texted me while I was en route to inform me he’d arrived and was sitting at the bar. I was on track to get there about 30 seconds late, which for someone who is chronically late, is a feat of sorts.

The whole thing was awkward from the start. I’m sorry but if you absolutely have to ask what I’m wearing so you can identify me in a bar where there are like five other people, I’m going to respond with “a suit of armor.” When he asked flatly why I said that, and then told me he “gets really ticked off” when people are late, I considered turning around and walking out.

Alas, I stuck it out, and no, I did not see Jim again. There was however, a silver lining, in the form of cucumber gin cocktails. I discovered my passion for these puppies that night, thanks to a recommendation from the bartender.

I’m not even a big cucumber fan! But whenever I come across anything “cucumber” on a menu now, I order it without hesitation. They’re super refreshing, and as healthy as a cocktail can get. Since they’re made up of about 95 percent water, they’re hydrating (especially when you find yourself on say, an outdoor patio on a hot summer afternoon). They’re also loaded antioxidants and vitamins, which can lower the risk of chronic disease, as well as fiber, which aids digestion and weight loss. Basically the more cucumber cocktails you drink, the more weight you’ll lose.

Juuuust kidding. But really, if you’re going to drink, you may as well stir in some nutrients right?

Here are a few healthier cucumber cocktail recipes we’ll be mixing up all summer long:

Mint Cucumber Cooler via Minimalist Baker

Rosemary-Infused Cucumber Lemonade via Eating Well

Grapefruit Cucumber Cocktail via Joy the Baker

Cucumber Margarita via The Awesome Green

Cucumber, Basil and Mint Vodka Spritzer via A Nutritionist Eats

Cucumber-Mint St-Germain Cocktail via Food & Wine

Chilled Cucumber Lime Cocktail via The Chew

Ginger Beer Moscow Mule via PopSugar

Cucumber Elderflower Cocktail via Bites of Bri

Cucumber Watermelon Cooler via Organic Authority

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You Know What To Do, You’re Just Not Doing It http://www.croptopsandkale.com/you-know-what-to-do-youre-just-not-doing-it/ http://www.croptopsandkale.com/you-know-what-to-do-youre-just-not-doing-it/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 13:53:31 +0000 http://www.croptopsandkale.com/?p=3262 When we get feedback from our readers about the biggest challenges they’re facing, their biggest frustrations, many of the responses start with “I can’t lose weight. If I could just lose this gut, everything in my life would be better“.… Continue Reading

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When we get feedback from our readers about the biggest challenges they’re facing, their biggest frustrations, many of the responses start with “I can’t lose weight. If I could just lose this gut, everything in my life would be better“.

While we don’t necessarily agree that if you lose ten pounds your life will miraculously shift into a state of perfection, we do realize that losing weight is a real issue out there on these streets. We get it, we’ve been there.

What we do believe is that if you start taking really good care of yourself, you’ll start feeling better and you’ll lose weight naturally, without depriving yourself, trying fad diets or counting calories.

Losing weight and getting healthy and fit, will likely result in not only new-found energy and enthusiasm for life but, confidence. And confidence is what we’re all about around here.

We want to help you feel great so that you can go forth and conquer whatever it is you want, and we believe that being healthy and fit is the foundation upon which be build a bitchin life.

So ridle me this … why do you think it is that you can’t lose that gut you think is ruining your life? Why can’t you lose that weight and feel good sitting down in your jeans? (I’m not actually confident that was a ridle. Ridles have always confused me.)

I would assume the real challenge is not that you’re missing some nugget of wisdom that only Dr. Oz knows about. I would assume the real challenge is that you know what to do but, you’re just not doing it. Amiright?

Your goals and your actions are not in alignment. If that’s the case, you need to figure out why.

You can start by being totally honest about how well you’re taking care of yourself. I do this all the time, and in the sake of full transparency, I’m usually not doing everything I should be.

While it can be frustrating to realize you’re not really doing what you need to be doing, it’s also liberating to realize that the results are largely under your control.

Where you are now is the sum total of your recent choices so, start making different choices and you’ll likely start getting different results.

Take this little quiz to see if you are consistently engaging in these five foundational health practices. Are they part of your daily life?

#1. Are you drinking plenty of water?

Yes = 2

Kind of = 1

No = 0

#2. Are you eating only real, whole food (not too much, you know what we mean)?

Yes = 2

Kind of = 1

No = 0

#3. Are you exercising regularly (we’ll say 3-5 times a week for 30 minutes)?

Yes = 2

Kind of = 1

No = 0

#4. Are you getting plenty of quality sleep (7+ hours uninterrupted, most nights)?

Yes = 2

Kind of = 1

No = 0

#5. Are you eating lighter at night?

Yes = 2

Kind of = 1

No = 0

Circle your answers and add up the points. I don’t think you need to actually do anything with the number you wind up with, but, you get where we’re going with this, right?

If you scored a perfect ten and you really feel that you’re overweight and not making progress, shoot us an email and we will try to help you sort it out.

If you scored around a seven or below, you might realize now that you’re not actually doing what you need to be doing to get where you say you want to go.

If you scored five or lower, and you wish you could lose that gut or slim down a bit, ask yourself why you’re not taking better care of yourself.

And If you’re saying that you really want to lose weight so you can have a much better life, but yet you’re not doing these simple, universal things that will get you there, it might be time to figure out why that is.

Maybe you don’t really want it that bad. Maybe you don’t believe it’s possible. Maybe you actually don’t care all that much about your gut after all. Maybe there is something else going on.

And be honest because…

“There’s no way around it – to succeed more you have to take more initiative.”

– Brendon Burchard

“We simply must become more responsible for what we are focusing on and doing each day.”

– Brendon Burchard

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Sweet Potato and Zucchini Fritters http://www.croptopsandkale.com/sweet-potato-and-zucchini-fritters/ http://www.croptopsandkale.com/sweet-potato-and-zucchini-fritters/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 02:18:06 +0000 http://www.croptopsandkale.com/?p=3259 Ooooof, Monday. This one hit me like a bag o’ bricks. You, too? Something about the rain, and the emails and the beers I drank last night, I don’t know. I made these really awesome fritters over the weekend, and… Continue Reading

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Ooooof, Monday. This one hit me like a bag o’ bricks. You, too? Something about the rain, and the emails and the beers I drank last night, I don’t know.

I made these really awesome fritters over the weekend, and I stuffed them all into a container to bring to work so I’d have a good breakfast all week, and then I forgot them at home. Ah, well. Dinner tonight I guess!

These little guys are so tasty. I adapted a recipe from The Chalkboard Mag that was created by chef Mikaela Reuben. By adapted, I mean I used a spiralizer because I freakin’ love that thing, and also, I HATE grating things. One may argue that using a spiralizer and then a food processor is way more inconvenient than just grating something, but I really, really hate grating things. Plus it takes about half the time to spiralize and pulse a sweet potato than it does to grate it. To each his own, right? I also used sweet potatoes instead of yams, and flaxseed meal instead of almond meal.

You know we love us some sweet potatoes around here. They’ve got the vitamins (A & B6) and the magnesium, and the potassium. Pair ’em with zucchini and the smoky flavor paprika brings and you’ve got a good combo on your hands. By the way, this sauce makes for a pretty rad salad dressing, too.

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Sweet Potato and Zucchini Fritters

Recipe adapted from The Chalkboard Mag

Ingredients

1 grated (or spiraled and pulsed) sweet potato 
1 grated (or spiraled and pulsed) zucchini
1/4 sweet onion, pulsed in processor 
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cups finely ground flaxseed meal or almond meal

Method

Preheat oven to 350°.

Spiralize the sweet potato and zucchini and pulse in a food processor or blender with the onion (or grate all three).

In a separate dish mix the dijon, olive oil, smoked paprika, honey, sea salt, pepper and garlic powder. Stir well to combine.

Add this sauce to the grated vegetables and coat well. Add almond meal and mix everything together well with hands.

Shape small patties into circles that are 2-inches wide and 1-inch thick. Place parchment onto a baking sheet and spray or rub with olive oil or coconut oil. Place fritters on sheet equally spaced from one another.

Bake 30-35 minutes (until golden brown) on one side then carefully flip and bake for 30-35 on the other side.

Enjoy!

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