Heartland Revival

Out and About

Interview: SOL Sweat

Interview, Out and AboutAmber BransonComment

As a wellness coach, I like to have a "toolbox" of holistic health modalities that I take part in regularly as part of my self-care routine. My latest obsession is sweating it out in infrared sauna! I've always wanted to try out a sauna but for some reason was never able to find one that wasn't hidden in a very expensive, private gym. Enter SOL Sweat! While searching on a whim a few months ago, I could not believe my eyes when I found a studio dedicated just to infrared saunas. I promptly made an appointment to check it out and try my first session. The studio is easy to find and very accommodating, with 3 rooms dedicated to saunas (one even being for couples who are open to sweating together ;) ).  Each room also provides a water cooler to stay hydrated, chairs and hooks for your belongings and my favorite part, a cool washcloth infused with essential oils to help you feel refreshed after your session. Needless to say, I am hooked and wanted to share the love!

Stacy Sullivan is the genius behind the operation so I reached out to her to learn more about SOL Sweat and learn her wellness necessities. See her thoughts below and check out the beautiful space she has created: 

Q: What compelled you to open SOL Sweat? I have always loved heat, hot yoga, and going to spas. My body and mind relax when I sit still in heat. After joining an expensive gym and only using the steam room and sauna, I had an idea to open an easy access sauna studio that doesn’t require a membership.

Q: What are the top three reasons someone should incorporate infrared saunas into their holistic routine?  The top 3 reasons an infrared sauna should be added to any holistic routine are:
1. Stress relief
2. Self-care and sweating out toxins is very important to our well-being
3. To feel the radiance of the sun’s rays without exposing oneself to UV rays.

Q: What are the top three questions asked by your customers?  
1. What is the difference between a traditional gym sauna vs an infrared sauna? (A gym sauna is usually a hot room, where an infrared sauna penetrates the body and it is a gentle, more effective way to experience heat therapy.
2. What do I wear in the sauna? People can use the towel provided, a swimsuit, or light cotton clothing.  
3. How often should I go? We recommend 2-3 times a week, if working on a specific lifestyle change or wellness initiative. However, 1 session will bring relaxation and stress relief. Everyone’s needs are different - it comes down to time and budget.

Q: If you had a list of ‘best-kept secrets’ (websites, books, local businesses) you’d recommend, which would you include and why? I am very open-minded to all new activities that stimulate the mind, body and spirit. I am always reading the paper and checking out Facebook events for happenings around the city. Float, Yoga Buzz, Grand Basin Yoga, Women’s Weekend, Sym*Bowl, Sound Healing with Anu French and Southtown Yoga are my favorites.

Q: What is a non-negotiable in your self-care routine? Why?  Sleep. I absolutely need 8 hours of sleep to be motivated to be my best.

Thank you, Stacy for sharing your thoughts! For more info on SOL Sweat, follow along on Facebook, Instagram or book a session at gosweattoday.com

 

Crowdfunding Round Up

Food for Thought, Out and AboutAmber BransonComment

This week on Facebook, a friend posted about the Flow Hive (which I'm dying to get) and that got me browsing through Crowdfunding sites looking for other health-minded/environmental projects. Being a creative person myself, I love the idea of people coming together to invest in others originality and creativity so I thought I would share some projects that I thought were fun and exciting! And even if it's too late to donate, check them out!

Flow Hive: Honey on Tap Directly From Your Beehive

Noocity Growbed - Ultimate Urban Gardening System

Green Pea Cookie: These delightful cookies are made from roasted green peas.

Smart Rope is an LED-embedded jump rope that connects to your smartphone.

A local small farm CSA in Virginia wants to renovate two large chicken coops into high tunnels that will grow year round organic food.

Birthday Cooking Class

Out and About, In My KitchenAmber BransonComment
cooking class.jpg

Last week, for my birthday my guy gifted me tickets to a Vegan cooking class at the Kitchen Conservatory. I was most excited because the theme was Mexican inspired and I would probably eat Mexican every day for the rest of my life if I could. The class was taught by Susan of Yellowbird Nutrition and the menu featured everything from tamales and mole sauce to tempeh tacos with cashew cream. The group was partnered up and then the pairs chose what recipe they wanted to tackle. We went for the pickled onions and pickled vegetables and then also helped another pair with the homemade flour tortillas. The food was delicious and I'm excited to try the recipes at home!

Pumpkin picking + Red, White, Green "Hen" Chili

At Home, In My Kitchen, Out and AboutAmber BransonComment
pumpkinpicking2015

Happy Halloween! On Sunday, we made our annual trip to a pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect pumpkins for our stoop. We visited a new-to-us patch, Stuckmeyer's Farm Market, since it was closer and we were short on time. For some reason we always seem to go on the hottest day in October so we didn't hang around too long, just enough to find our pumpkins and for me to gawk at the chickens for a bit. Once we got home we each started a pot of chili (meat for him, no meat for me) and let that simmer while we carved away.

 

henofthewoodschili

Recently, we were given some hen-of-the-woods mushrooms that had been scavenged by my boyfriend's dad and when we discovered it had a meaty texture, I knew I had to use it for a mock white chicken chili.  I love white chicken chili but haven't had it since I became pescatarian. Once I started collecting ingredients, I realized I was unprepared and only h one container of white beans. So enter red beans, green chilies, bell pepper and tomatoes, making this a Red, White, Green "Hen" Chili.

Ingredients:
1 medium onion
1 medium bell pepper
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups hen of the woods mushrooms (any meaty mushrooms would work - such as portobello)
1 small can diced green chilies
2 containers of beans (26.8oz combined)
1 can or jar of diced tomatoes
32 oz vegetable broth
2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Dice onion, bell pepper, garlic, and mushrooms. Saute in stock /chili pot until vegetables are soft and onions are translucent. Stir in spices and saute for about a min until fragrant. Add beans, green chilies, tomatoes, broth and maple syrup. Stir and then bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce to low. Simmer for at least an hour. About 15 minutes before serving, stir in coconut milk.

I topped mine with sour cream and some tortilla chips. Here is a cashew sour cream for you vegans out there.

Note /// Spices are very subjective so feel free to improvise. The chipotle chili adds some smokiness and then the maple syrup balances out the spiciness. I actually had added some cayenne pepper to my batch and it turned out very spicy so I omitted it here.

Be well,
Amber

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