Tag Archives: to your health

Happy [Vegan] Thanksgiving

The past two Thanksgivings for Ms. S&C have been meat free. This means no turkey, no Virginia ham, and when she’s visiting family in Southwestern Va., it also means no gravy and no stuffing. Some of you may be thinking “What’s left to eat?” Trust me, you can have a rich and hearty vegetarian (or vegan) Thanksgiving dinner that’s reminiscent of the one you know and love. (And it may be one you feel better about eating.)

Start off with a cocktail we’re calling the Old Fashioned Pilgrim. Adapted from Imbibe Magazine‘s Maple-Cranberry Bourbon Smashed, we used the same ingredients as those in our cranberry sauce (yes, the same sauce that’s served alongside the tofurkey).

The instructions are easy: add a tablespoon of the cranberry sauce to two and a half ounces of bourbon (we used Buffalo Trace). Stir well. Fill glass with ice and garnish with an orange twist. Enjoy a sweet and warming seasonal variation of a classic drink.

cranberryorangesauce

oldfashionedpilgrim

The Old Fashioned Pilgrim is a lot like the classic Old Fashioned but made with fresh cranberries, orange, agave nectar, and cinnamon

Enjoy this beverage while you’re putting the finishing touches on this delicious all vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner.

  • Herbed Tofurkey (we used the Quorn Turk’y and roasted with fresh parsley, rosemary, and thyme)
  • Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes (we mostly followed this recipe but eliminated the cream, almost all of the butter — used vegan butter actually — and the brown sugar)
  • Chorizo-style Protein & Apple Stuffing (we used Field Roast protein sausage in this stuffing recipe and subbed veggie broth and beer for the chicken stuff)
  • Roasted Cauliflower (there’s nothing to it: roast cauliflower with salt, pepper, and olive oil)
  • Cranberry Orange Sauce (we fixed this version with agave nectar so it could be used in cocktail as well)

veganthanksgiving

If you’re not used to eating a protein other than turkey and sausage, the taste will surely be different (and the tofurkey on its own could have used a little gravy), but the spicy stuffing and tart citrusy cranberry sauce are more than enough to give this all veggie dinner a lot of flavor.

Happy healthy new year

Happy New Year! (Better late than never, right? And yes, S&C is still around.)

We guess you could say that there’s been a renewed sense of focus, of being, of life since our little break. Ms. S&C has completed her yoga teacher training that turned her attention elsewhere. And now she’s trying to determine how to make the best use of this little blog given her exploration of other interests and her commitment to yoga. (Yes, she’s aware that she’s a little attached and not ready to let go of it.)

So, for now, we’re gonna try to go with a “to your health” type of theme. That means: we’ll share all sorts of things you can imbibe (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and buy (accessory-wise), but all the while trying to be as good to our body (as much we can) and as good to others (as much as we can).

Let’s kick things off with this smoothie — Ms. S&C’s first-ever-made-herself smoothie. She doesn’t know what has taken her so long — it is super easy and super delicious.

Ms. S&C’s First Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • Greek yogurt (about 4-6 oz.)
  • Soy milk (half a cup)
  • Banana sliced (one, and use that very ripe one you don’t know what to do with)
  • Blueberries (small handful)
  • Walnuts (even smaller handful)

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a large plastic container. Blend together. (Get yourself a Cuisinart Hand Blender — it means this whole operation takes less than 30 seconds and cleanup is easy.) Drink to your health!

Savasana

There has been an absence of Ms. S&C lately. I guess you could say she is in Savasana. Regular readers and friends know of her love for yoga. Well, Ms. S&C went and enrolled herself in a yoga teacher training program at Yoga District. It is kind-of intense (Saturday class from 9-6:30; Sunday class from 12noon-6:30; plus homework and yoga classes during the week). But — after two weeks — she can assuredly say that it is more than kind-of awesome. It is really awesome. Wonderful, even. Totally worth it. Even though she wants to bore you with all  the details here, she won’t. (But, if you happen to be interested in this journey, you can hear all about at @yoga4everything.)

Suffice to say, Ms. S&C has some added obligations these days. And time constraints. While she’ll still be tweeting it up at @shoescocktails, she can’t promise that the blog will get a lot of attention during the next few months. But S&C isn’t dead! Savasana, or Corpse pose, is about conscious relaxation to invigorate and refresh the body and mind. It is an induced calmness so you can be reborn with full potential. We’ll be back rejuvenated and full of life!

Even though Ms. S&C is trying to use this teacher training session to instill discipline in her life (bye, bye animal protein), there are some attachments that are hard to let go. She is totally digging Athleta’s yoga clothing (recent purchases below). And her TOMS are showing some wear and tear, which is why the “exclusively ours” collection at Neiman Marcus is quite tempting.

We’ll be back wiggling our fingers and toes before long. Until then, Namaste.

posted by Ms. S&C

When in Denver

When in Denver, there’s:

Hiking

Biking

And Drinking.

And by drinking, we mean grapefruit mimosas and cucumber bloody marys for brunch (get them both at delicious, delicious Duo). And by drinking, we also mean beer. There’s so much good beer! (We can recommend Mountain Sun beer and nachos after hiking in Boulder, and Falling Rock Taphouse in downtown Denver). And while you’re in the Mile High City, you may as well check out the city’s first bar, The Cruise Room. Opened the day after Prohibition was repealed, and fashioned after one of the lounges on the Queen Mary, this art deco style bar has an extensive martini menu.

In addition to hiking, biking, and drinking, there is yoga. There is wonderful,  invigorating, heart-opening yoga (Vital Yoga is a fantastic studio in the Highlands neighborhood).

But, most importantly, there are super awesome friends in Denver. And great memories.

posted by Ms. S&C

Favorite things 2011

It’s that time of year again. It’s that time when Ms. S&C and her splendid group of girlfriends compile ten of their favorite things, meet for dinner, draw names, and exchange baskets of goodies.

At this year’s basket exchange party, Ms. S&C scored a jar of pickled asparagus (perfect garnish for bloody mary’s), delicious wasabi-flavored almonds, and a slew of beauty-related items: night cream, Olivella soap, and hair removing cream (bathing suit season is right around the corner, you know).

Here’s what Ms. S&C put in her (mostly) health-and-wellness themed basket:

  1. GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha — Yes, the documented health benefits are a bit conflicting, but Ms. S&C is convinced that this fermented tea beverage — which she drinks three times a week — is great for her digestive health and her skin. (And now she wants to make her own.)
  2. Incense — Until about six months ago, Ms. S&C probably hadn’t purchased incense since college. But — as part of a new age-y streak — she is at yoga four times a week, at the acupuncturist once a month, taking daily Chinese herbs, drinking crazy fermented beverages, and lighting Champaka.
  3. Dried apricots — A perfect snack, with a handful of cashews or a spoonful of almond butter. This treat is also great when served with pork or duck (try cooking with carmelized onions). Salty+Sweet=Yummy.
  4. Cloth napkins — Ms. S&C likes to use cloth napkins for everyday use (and bright colors means that stains don’t show as much).
  5. Nude-colored lip gloss — Ms. S&C loves the dark-smokey-eyes and nude-colored nail polish and shiny nude lips look. She also likes the “Perfectly Nude” brand from Sephora.
  6. Yoga — It is hard to put yoga in a basket. So, Ms. S&C’s love of yoga came in the form of a strap this year.
  7. Dark chocolate — This is Ms. S&C’s indulgence item. She has a fondness for fancy dark chocolate, and Mast Brother’s has a special place in her heart. (So does Vosges for that matter.)
  8. Misha’s coffee — Hooray for local artisanal coffee! (And kudos to Whole Foods for carrying it.)
  9. Running/workout playlist — Ms. S&C loves making playlists (it’s a recurring item in her basket), and this year she adapted a running mix she shared awhile back.
  10. Recipes — Thomas Keller’s roast chicken and crispy kale and are (excuse my language) fucking phenomenal.

And while there wasn’t anything cocktail or shoe-related in her basket, Ms S&C’s friends definitely came through, as gin, vodka, and sparkling rose all made an appearance.

Now, of course, Ms. S&C wants to know: What favorite things would you put in your basket? Share in the comments below!

PS) You can check out Ms. S&C’s favorite things from 2009 and 2010.

posted by Ms. S&C

Healthy Sips

These next few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be taxing on a girl’s schedule, emotions and waistline. While I’m coming up empty on helpful advice for the former two, I’ve spent a bit of time brainstorming on solutions to the latter: How can we translate healthy eating principles to the cocktail world?

The most obvious change to make is the least fun: fewer drinks! But when it’s time to socialize and cocktails are in order, I need to be prepared.

So what’s the best way to balance (relative) healthiness and flavor in a cocktail? Here are a few tips I’ve discovered – some of them are super obvious, others are a bit more creative, but all will put a healthier spin on your cocktail indulgences.

  • Use good liquor: Using high-quality liquor means you can usually go lighter on the mixer, or just add calorie-free soda water or water to let the flavor shine through. And Sister Mojito is teaching me to like scotch & soda, the perfect waist-friendly winter cocktail.
  • Make friends with citrus: A squeeze of lime or lemon

    Sparkling wine with pomegranate seeds & juice? Yes, please!

    can add tons of flavor while adding far fewer calories than other mixers.

  • Add instead of take away: I like to take advantage of a few mixers that add a healthy boost to my drink. Pomegranate juice for antioxidants, for example, or grapefruit juice for a smidge of vitamin C.
  • When it doubt, make it bubble: A bit of club soda added to white wine can stretch the drink into a refreshing spritzer without adding calories. And some bubbly champagne on its own rings in at a cool 75 calories.
  • Make friends with agave: This sweet nectar is a great alternative to simple syrup, and packs fewer calories.
  • Don’t take things too far: I tried to switch out my standard gin & tonic for a gin & soda. Bad idea.

Just because I’m relying on these simple tips doesn’t mean I’ll turn up my nose at a well-made margarita or mojito! But during the busy holiday season, it’s nice to have a few lighter options up my sleeve.

Miss Mojito wants to know: Do you have any tips for upping the health-factor in your drinks and cocktails? What’s your beverage of choice when you’re trying to be a bit calorie conscious?

Blood, sweat, and beers

A little over a year ago, Ms. S&C ran her first 5K. Since then, she’s run in ten 5Ks and one 5-miler. Her 11th race was this past weekend, when she ran the Crystal City Twilighter. It was sweltering, it was tough, but it was also so freakin’ gratifying. I don’t know if it was because of the cheering crowd, because other friends ran in the race, or because it was one of the hottest days of the year — this race was memorable.

What shoes was Ms. S&C wearing? A new pair of Brooks. What was Ms. S&C drinking? Well, a hell of a lot of water before and after the race. But, a little after 9 pm, she opened a beer — a Bud Light — and no beer has ever tasted better.

There was at least sweat and beers as Ms. S&C ran her 11th race on
one of the hottest days of the year.

Continuing with the S&C music momentum, Ms. S&C thought she’d share her current running playlist. While she doesn’t listen to music during races (she tries to make it on pure adrenaline), her iPod is a necessity for everyday runs.

The S&C running mix includes:

  • Bruises — Chairlift (the song made popular by the iPod Nano commercials)
  • Hey Ya! — Outkast
  • MMMBop — Hanson (a little embarrassing, but whatevs, it is fun)
  • Rill Rill — Sleigh Bells (love that it samples Funkadelic’s “Can You Get to That”)
  • Drunk Girls — LCD Soundsystem
  • Party in the U.S.A — Miley Cyrus
  • Empire State of Mind — Jay-Z (and the Jay-Z song was on)
  • You Know I’m No Good — Amy Winehouse (remix, featuring Ghostface Killah)
  • Crazy — Gnarls Barkley
  • Here Comes Your Man — Pixies
  • My Place — The Adverts
  • No Woman, No Cry — The Fugees
  • Time to Pretend — MGMT
  • Cold War — The Morning Benders

And finally, our public service announcement: go for a run. Go for a walk. Get outside. Then, drink to your health!

posted by Ms. S&C