VIVA LA VEGAN!

WHAT IS VEGANISM?

Vegan is defined as abstaining from all animal products in your daily diet. In other words, any bi-product of an animal such as milk, cheese or chicken. So I’m sorry vinas, no more half & half in your iced coffees or butter filled croissants from the local bakery.

BACKGROUND

Countless studies and documentaries have been produced to convey to the public why intaking certain foods and drinks on an everyday basis is unhealthy. For example, “What the Health” is a documentary on Netflix that addresses how the meat industry lies about how and where animals are raised. Not to mention either how the bi-product of the animal is altered. Thinking about how poorly chickens are raised is concerning and quite disturbing. Not all baby chicks are running freely in grass and consuming natural nourishment, but instead trapped in tight cages. Considering even a small amount of knowledge regarding the food industry and major food corporations can open eyes and mouths to what is really nourishing for our bodies.

WHY GO VEGAN?

Going vegan and reducing the amount of animal product intake can help with heart problems, tiredness, and overall health. Dairy is especially fattening and can cause stomach issues to some. For example, lactose intolerance is no longer uncommon and rather more apparent than ever. In addition, getting the proper nutrition you need from protein and healthy fats can come from many alternatives to meat and dairy. Below are some suggestions.

WHAT TO EAT

Here’s a very short list of items you can still enjoy while being vegan! Always remember to check labels and keep your eyes peeled for yummy treats in the grocery store, at local markets, or in the latest newsletter from your favorite place to shop!

FOOD

Tofu, tempeh, pasta, rice, beans, lettuce, chips, potatoes, fruit, veggies, nuts, dark chocolate, vegan cake and cookies

DRINKS

Milk (almond, coconut, nut, cashew, rice, soy), coffee (hallelujah!), juice, kombucha

OVERVIEW

Contrary to popular belief, going vegan is very affordable and easy. Fruits and vegetables are a comfortable price while tofu and tempeh are significantly cheaper than red steak or chicken drumsticks. There are always ways to spice things up and switch tastes around by adding, for example, different sauces to your tofu. Don’t get discouraged about running out of recipes or ideas. With plenty of resources online and convenient videos, making vegan dishes can be very fun, while also tasting yummy without maxing out your credit card.

Educate yourself, take time to see what foods are out there, and get to shopping! Mix up your life with adding a splash of coconut milk to your coffee while saving one precious cow at a time. Now that’s what I call a-moo-zing!

xo,

Mia Costa

To find your fellow vegan vinas, join the Vegetarian and Vegan Community on Hey! VINA. Swap recipes and plan some vegan dinner nights in or out with the girlies today!

QUICK, HEALTHY MEALS FOR THE ON-THE-GO VINA

With careers, friends, family, and school, we vinas are beyond busy! It’s hard to find time to even eat. Fast food is well, fast. This affordable alternative to a nutritious meal is many times unhealthy and a wallet drainer if eaten too often. Instead, try these delicious meal combos that are good for you and your wallet both and are even Instagram-worthy!

BREAKFAST

As a chocolate advocate, I recommend trying a chocolate quinoa breakfast bowl. Quinoa is known for its multitude of health benefits. It’s also one of the only plant foods with all 9 essential amino acids. This meal is filling with a protein-rich base—and tossing in bananas and berries gives you a tasty serving of fruit.

LUNCH

Dijon chicken and veggies are easy to make and customize with different seasonings for different tastes. The versatility allows freedom to please every taste palette. I like to complement this dish with asparagus and potatoes for a nutritious and filling meal.

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DINNER

A staple of my childhood instantly became one of my favorite meals as I grew up. Red rice and beans with veggies and a hint of lime is just asking for a fiesta in your mouth. This simple dish can even be spiced up with a hint of cilantro.

DESSERT

Perhaps the most important meal of the day—try mini ice cream sandwiches. Putting frozen yogurt with chocolate bits or almond grinds in between two vanilla wafer cookies is my go-to for a cute and simple healthy dessert.

Tried these delicious finds? Tag @vinazine so we can see your yummy creations!

Join our Foodies or Vegans & Vegetarians community on the Hey! VINA app to connect with other vinas who want to try out the local eating scene!

5 MEAL PLANNING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

I’ve always been a planner. I’m a type A vina for sure. But… I’m finding that it’s nice to have a flexible meal plan, one that is sort of a “no plan” menu.

What I mean by that is, I do like to sit down at the beginning of the month and go through my favorite cookbook or my binder of accumulated recipes. I pencil them into my calendar printable, and we do one big grocery trip at the beginning of the month for all the non-perishables.

But do we actually STICK to the plan? Nope. Because the truth is… vinas have cravings! When the weather is cold, I want a grilled cheese sandwich. Or when I’m feeling down, I just want some freaking chicken fingers and fries, or macaroni and cheese.

So… if you need meal planning and you hate planning, here are some tips for you.

CONSIDER TRYING A MEAL SUBSCRIPTION BOX FOR A WEEK OR TWO

If you really hate the idea of sitting down to actually plan your meals, think about it! I wouldn’t say they are great for an actual replacement to meal planning, but if you are constantly ordering in or eating out instead of making your own food, this will save you money. It’ll also give you a more realistic meal plan when you’re starting out.

This is great if you have literally no experience or interest in planning your meals. It makes it SUPER easy, and it’s flexible—you can choose which recipes you want to try, they deliver the ingredients and the recipe book to your door, and you can cook them on whichever day of the week you please.

Plus, a lot of them have excellent discounted trials for the first week!

Here is my mini meal planning service review for the one we’ve tried:

HelloFresh – LOVED it. It’s definitely more expensive than cooking yourself, but you are paying for the convenience since they make it so easy. Even if you aren’t a total newbie with meal planning, it might be fun to try! We tried it when we were in frantic moving mode, and it was SUCH a lifesaver. And we kept all the recipe cards so we can make them again on our own! HelloFresh is available in Canada and the US.

Chef’s Plate – They are Canadian, and I don’t think they deliver anywhere in the US, but if you’re in Canada they are a good option. I did find the food didn’t stay fresh for as long as HelloFresh’s food did, though. And I was a little disappointed to find that their recipes included ingredients like “spice mix” that would make it hard to replicate later on, even if you keep the recipe card. Still, worth giving it a shot!

GoodFood – Also Canadian. The recipes we tried from GoodFood have been phenomenal. The food lasts quite a while—there was one recipe we made the day after the meat’s best before date, and everything was still delicious. The vegetables weren’t too gross, so it turned out awesome. They also have excellent customer service, though it is a bit slow.

I would say my favorite was HelloFresh, but GoodFood is right up there!

TRY GIVING EACH DAY OF THE WEEK A THEME

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For example, you could do Mexican on Mondays, pasta on Tuesdays, stir-fry on Wednesdays, vegetarian on Thursdays, and maybe a comfort food/free-for-all on Fridays. That gives you some structure, but then you can choose exactly what meal you feel like at the time.

Keep staples for those meals on hand, so that you can actually make them when you feel like. So for pasta, keep the pasta and some sauces around, some rice for your stir-fries, and your choice of meats and veggies. (You could get ground beef and chicken and just freeze it, so you always have it.)

Weekends can be even more flexible—you can use what you have left to make whatever you want, or just keep going from your categories.

MAKE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH EASY

Protip for meal planning when you hate planning: make it so you have to plan as little as possible. Keep a variety of options on hand for breakfast and lunches, and then you only really need to plan dinner.

We usually keep instant oatmeal, bagels, and cereal around for breakfast, and choose whatever we feel like in the morning. On weekends we often make egg sandwiches with turkey bacon (or regular bacon, low-sodium).

For lunch, my partner takes deli meat sandwiches because his job doesn’t really allow for him to reheat leftovers… and I usually do just take leftovers.

For snacks, we usually have Clif bars and boil some eggs to keep around for a filling snack (that protein keeps you full longer, and it doesn’t take long to do it). We also have rice crackers, veggies and dip, and trail mix (the ones with M&Ms of course!) You could do whatever you like.

Aaaand, boom! We barely have to plan the majority of our meals. No plan menu FTW!

KEEP REALISTIC LAST-MINUTE OPTIONS AROUND AT ALL TIMES

By this, I mean literally just frozen pizzas, instant noodles of some kind, and frozen chicken fingers and fries. (Whatever works for you.)

That way if you’re in a pinch, or you’re feeling lazy, you’ve got something to eat that is SO EASY you don’t have to try… and you’ll prevent yourself from ordering in every single time. Save that moolah!

So there you have it! 5 ways you can meal plan when you hate planning.

This post was originally published on FlightandScarlet.com.

Download the Hey! VINA app to find other meal-prepping vinas with even more tips!

PIZZAS TO MAKE WITH YOUR VINA FOR NATIONAL PIZZA DAY

So, it’s safe to say if I was stranded on a desert island, the one thing I would bring with me is pizza. Although, once that pizza would be finished, I’d totally be jonesing for some more. I LOVE pizza! The fact there is actually a nationally recognized day celebrating pizza just affirms the love I have for it. Grab your vina and your rolling pin for some awesome ideas for National Pizza Day!

I “HEART” PIZZA!

This is one of my favorite ideas for making a pizza. It’s in the shape of a heart! You don’t need to be a culinary pro to master a heart-shape from a circle, and you don’t even need to start from scratch. Buy a pre-made pizza crust and carve the edges to form a heart. Then top it with more love: extra cheese! Bake the cut-off pieces along with the rest of the pizza and dip in some leftover pizza sauce for instant breadsticks. 

VEGGIE PIZZA FOR LIFE

Cauliflower everything has become the star of the produce aisle. Take this cruciferous treat and make it into an amazing pizza crust. You and your vina can look up some super easy recipes for cauliflower pizza crust on the internet. The overall composition is: steamed cauliflower, egg, seasonings, and some people like to add cheese to the mixture. Once it’s made into a doughy consistency, you can flatten it out and add any toppings that you and your vina desire.

MEGA PIZZA LOVE

Ok! Get ready for the most fantastic, out of this world, monstrosity of a pizza: two pizzas in one! Yes, I said it—TWO pizzas! Think of it as the homemade version of deep-dish. The idea is rather elaborate, but again, it’s really not as difficult as you may think. Start with two medium-sized pre-made pizza crusts. Bake them so that they are firm but not baked completely. Pull them out of the oven, and add your sauce, cheese, other toppings, and then another layer of sauce and more cheese. Make sure that the top layer of cheese is a hearty amount compared to the bottom layer. Take the other pizza crust and place it on top of the made pizza. Gently press the crusts together so the top crust will adhere to some of the toppings. Now it’s time to return it to the oven. Lower the temperature slightly, but allow for longer cooking time. When the cheese is melted and the crusts are brown, you can remove and enjoy this mega pizza.

If making your own pizza is not your thing, there’s nothing better than hitting up the best local pizza place for a gourmet slice with some icy cold soda!

Whether you’re a pizza lover or not (um… I never met anyone who was not), National Pizza Day is an awesome excuse to host a vina hang on the Hey! VINA app. 

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO KEEP HEALTHY HABITS?

Remember when you signed up for the gym and vowed to go every day? How are you doing on your weight loss goal? Just this morning my sister texted me saying, “I’m going to try and eat clean this week. I can’t stand the way I’ve been feeling.” So why do we make plans to make HEALTHY changes to our habits and fall short on the follow-through?

On average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic. Two months doesn’t seem like a long time, but when you are attempting to make a healthy habit a part of your daily living, it can feel like decades. As humans, we gravitate toward the familiar, and we enjoy the sense of security that the repetition of our habits give us. We dish out some steps to overcoming that obstacle and getting that healthy habit to stick:

BE CLEAR WITH YOUR HABIT CHANGE

When you’re trying to set up a new healthy habit, it is very necessary to be as clear as possible with what you are changing. When you are thinking of your habit, view it as something you are already including with your daily life. When you make the habit precise and already in progress, your mind will subconsciously make the habit take affect. For example, if you want to drink more water, you can say, “I am having a bottle of water with my spinach salad today” or “I will refill my 20 ounce water bottle two more times before I leave the office.”

BITE-SIZE PIECES TASTE JUST AS GOOD

I have found that the smaller the habit change, the easier it is to keep it. Smaller scales mean smaller measurements—literally, if you’re counting calories! I take the ultimate goal that will result from my health habit change, and I break it down into small pieces. Let’s say I want to lose 50 pounds. Instead of looking at the BIG picture, I simply set my standard to 5’s. I measure my success on five-pound increments, 230 pounds, 225 pounds, 220 pounds, and so on. Each five-pound loss is a success and, eventually, they will accumulate to my overall total.

ASK YOUR VINAS FOR SOME HELP

Holding yourself accountable can be difficult, but very well worth it. There are a lot of apps that help remind and track your habit changes. If your phone is stuck in your hand most of the day, what better way to get into your healthy habit than with a pesky notification reminding you? The tried-and-true method of paper tracking is still a great option for people that use planners and rely on them for their daily tasks.

One of the most effective ways of accountability is inviting a friend along. Choose a vina that you trust, can be honest with, and will have your best interest at heart. Leaving yourself open and vulnerable to hearing feedback from your vina will persuade you to make the right decisions and follow through with your healthy habits.

Habits are hard to break. The ones that we have already formed have been a part of our daily lives and have given us to comfort and solace that we are always seeking. Creating a new healthy habit out of an old one will take time, but once you see the change you expected, it will be worth it.

Join other vinas trying to keep healthy habits on Hey! VINA, hold each other to your goals, and, most importantly, support each other!

THE PERFECT VINA VALENTINE’S DATE IDEAS

‘Tis the season for heart-shaped everything, mountains of roses and heaps of chocolates. Love is in the air, and that’s a beautiful thing! I believe one of the most unfortunate misconceptions about Valentine’s Day is that it’s centered around romantic love, specifically. I don’t subscribe to this notion, and neither should you! Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate all forms of love, especially friendship. So, why not set aside some time this February to get together with your vinas and celebrate each other? In fact, I’ll even offer up some ideas to help ensure you have the perfect VVD—Vina Valentine’s Date!

GET FANCY

I love to dress up for an evening out—any excuse to put on a dress and a pair of heels. If you and your vina(s) feel the same, go all out with your fancy plans! Here are some ideas for your kickass date:

  1. Get blowouts together—there’s nothing like going out with your hair on-point, and it’s that much better when you have your vina pals with you! Many salons will throw in a complimentary glass of champagne or wine.
  2. Prep for your date together, and plan to get dressed and ready together. I always love doing this with friends before a big event—we chat, help each other get ready, and pregame for the evening with some wine. So, why not put on some mood music, bust out the bubbly, and shamelessly compliment each other while you get glammed-up for a fantastic evening?
  3. Go to that fancy-ass restaurant you and your vinas have been dying to try! This is the perfect opportunity to splurge and enjoy a dining experience you wouldn’t normally treat yourself to. Also, there should absolutely be candlelight—this is really non-negotiable.
  4. Exchange Valentine’s gifts over dinner. Do you love giving and/or receiving gifts? Me too! You can go the more traditional route and give each other ostentatious bouquets or more personalized gifts that represent your friendship.
  5. Don’t forget dessert! Honestly, I think dessert should be mandatory for all dates. If your dinner isn’t followed by a delicious sweet treat (Mmmm, ice cream. All day. Every day. Ice cream), then I don’t think it truly counts as a date, but I digress.

BE ADVENTUROUS

Are you and your vinas looking for something a bit more exciting? Do I have the PERFECT plan for you! You know how you’ve both talked about wanting to get a tattoo, but you just never seemed to get around to it? Here’s your opportunity! I HIGHLY recommend choosing an artist in advance and doing a consultation to ensure you and the artist are on the same page regarding your tattoo vision. Here’s the perfect game plan for you and your besties:

  1. Start the day off with a scrumptious brunch (I suggest avoiding booze).
  2. Shake off nerves by watching your and your vinas’ favorite Netflix series (I highly recommend “Queer Eye” or “Grace & Frankie” 🤗).
  3. Get your tats! Some parlors will let you sit in the room with each other as moral support (you can always chat with your artist beforehand about this).
  4. Take some time to admire each other’s new ink.
  5. Celebrate! I recommend ice cream followed by hours of dancing (either out on the town or in the comfort of your home wearing your coziest PJs).

FEELING CRAFTY?

Do you love getting creative and creating eye-catching crafts? Then you’d better prepare yourself for this epic VVD!

  1. Both of you choose a Valentine’s craft from Pinterest and purchase the supplies prior to the date.
  2. Meet at either of your abodes and exchange crafts (this can be your V-Day gift to each other)!
  3. Take it a step further before you begin your crafting extravaganza by both picking a cocktail recipe to try. Besides, I’m pretty sure cocktails make everyone better crafters.
  4. Construct your creations.
  5. Admire each other’s works of art!

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KEEP IT COZY & CASUAL

Not feeling up for a night on the town? Opt for a cozy night in instead! You can have a perfectly wonderful Vina Valentine’s date within the comfort of your own home. Here’s how:

  1. Dress code: pajamas (10 points to Gryffindor if they’re footies).
  2. Have everyone bring their favorite snack to share.
  3. Menu: comfort food—whatever brings warmth to your heart and happiness to your tummies. To go along with your pajama theme, you can prepare a menu of your favorite breakfast dishes (i.e. pancakes smothered in peanut butter and maple syrup 😍).
  4. Have some wine or mimosas (if you go with the breakfast theme), and let your vinas know how awesome you think they are.
  5. End the evening with your favorite best friend flick! Can’t think of one? “Bridesmaids,” “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” and “First Wives Club” are all excellent options.

GET PAMPERED

Treat yourselves to a day of relaxation and self-care. Here are some steps to your perfect date:

  1. Start the day off at your favorite cozy breakfast spot. You can even order-in, if you’re wanting to keep it super chill.
  2. Surprise your vinas with a trip to the spa.
  3. Enjoy luxurious facials, massages and mani-pedis.
  4. Afterward, go for a refreshing smoothie.
  5. End the evening with a relaxing yoga session at that awesome spot you’ve heard so much about.

Whatever you decide to do with your vinas this Valentine’s Day, remember to set aside some time to express your gratitude for each other and remind one another what badasses you are!

There’s nothing quite like being affirmed and appreciated by a friend, so jump on the Hey! VINA app to start connecting with your potential new besties! 

5 NEW HOBBIES TO START OUT YOUR YEAR

Well vinas, it’s 2019! A new year to learn new things about yourself. This year, challenge yourself to take on a new hobby. Learning a brand new thing will not only keep your brain healthy and strong, but it will also add to your tool belt. Here are five ideas to try, as well as some inspiring success story to help you get started:

KNITTING

My sister went off to college and very quickly realized that studying all day and all night was getting tiring. She was introduced to knitting by another friend and it was love from the on. Vinas, knitting is no longer your grandma’s pastime. My sister got so good at knitting, that she quickly learned to knit hats, headbands and scarves! She was offered an opportunity to make her own brand and even sell her items in a store.

LEARN TO PLAY AN INSTRUMENT

For the more patient vinas. I recently watched a video of a girl who taught herself how to play the violin in two years. I know, I know, it’s not one year….but still. If you really dedicate your time and you see progress, I say keep at it!

PHOTOGRAPHY

This goes beyond the “selfie”. Give your dad’s old camera a try. Choose a subject and play with lighting. Research the types of photography out there, and find out which ones attract you. Don’t be scared to get creative. If you really want a challenge, look up photos and try to recreate them with your own style. A good starting-off point? Henry Carroll’s Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs, an easy-to-read and understandable guide on the basics of seeing and photographic techniques. 

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READING

Remember in middle school, how you could read 3-5 books in a month? Start a book club with your bookworm vinas and converse every week about what you’ve read—wine glass in hand if that’s your preferred method. Dive into a different period in time, a romantic novel, or a good informative read. Watch your grammar improve and your knowledge expand! Win-win. 

BAKING / COOKING

This hobby for me is actually very relaxing. Before I got married, the kitchen was not my friend. I would look up videos of how to cook rice, or bake cookies—you know, the simple things. I found out I was actually pretty good at it; The more I would cook or bake, the more creative I would get. I realized that cutting up veggies or mixing up ingredients relaxed me and made me feel confident that my end result was going to be delicious. Trust me, your spouse will have no problem being the judge of your baking/cooking! Grab your bestie and create something together, all while helping each other improve.

Whatever you decide to do this year, give it your best shot and enjoy it. Remember that a hobby is not a chore, or that you are on a time limit to improve. It is your creative space, your “me” time. Don’t get frustrated if your first choice of hobby doesn’t work out or interests you. Find another hobby that makes you happy and motivated! Cheers to new skills!

In need of a vina to help you navigate your new hobbies? Head over to the Hey! VINA app and meet vinas in the different communities that share your new-found interests! 

CHAMPAGNE TASTE ON A BEER BUDGET: THE ULTIMATE NYE BASH FOR LESS

The trick to falling in love with New Year’s Eve is to not take it so seriously. I went through a phase where I hated the holiday because it just felt like too much money and too much hype, and I was always disappointed by one or the other. So, a few years ago I decided to take back NYE by taking it less seriously. One of my favorite ways in the past few years to do this is by throwing my own party. Not only do you literally not have to leave the house, but you also get to control a lot of how your evening plays out (I’m not a control freak, I swear). But, parties get pricey quickly, so below are a few tips to stay in budget while also throwing a killer bash.

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The playlist is everything. This will prevent everyone else from putting on their terrible music and help keep the vibe up. Mix it up between some old classics, ’90s music, and as we get later into the evening, some serious dance party jams. Just in case you were briefly considering hiring a DJ, don’t.

All you need is lights. Don’t even worry about other decorations. String lights and twinkle lights and lantern lights. NYE is all about the glitter, so it’s really the only special decor you’ll need to get the vibe going. (Plus, string lights are on super sale right now since the holidays just ended!)

The dollar store is your friend. Hit up your local dollar store and stock up on party hats and noise makers because they’re really the thing that separates New Year’s from any other party. Don’t forget the obligatory 2018 plastic sunglasses!

BYOC: bring your own champagne. When you send out your invite, tell your vinas to all show up with champagne in hand, this way you never run out and you don’t have to spring for several cases.

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Thrift for your dress. It’s easy to feel like you have to drop a chunk of change on the perfect dress, but it ain’t so. People make tons and tons of donations during the holidays. It is one of the best times to go scouring through the racks. Some babe’s 2017 dress is your oh-my-gosh-it’s-perfect 2018 dress.

Delegate duties to your vinas. You’re hosting, which is arguably the most important job for any party, so feel free to call on the troops and ask them to lend a helping hand. Whether it’s making appetizers, grabbing extra booze, or helping you clear the furniture from the living room to make room for a dance floor—chances are, they will be excited to help!

Late night junk food is a crucial party element. On NYE, the drunchies will strike and, as host, you’ve got to be ready. As we get older, we almost expect to be fed when we go somewhere, whereas at a younger age I was fine with drinking all night long. Food is a must at some point. But this can be the biggest spender. It might sound silly, but frozen pizza is the best invention ever. All you have to do is put it in the oven, and then cut it up into little pieces on a cute wood cutting board. People will be ecstatic when you bring it out, and they start at just a few dollars in the frozen section. Don’t get fancy here, everyone’s going to be too smashed to notice.

Most importantly, remember that simple is best. The biggest money drains come from the little things because they add up quickly. No one is going to miss the $25 dollar candles that you didn’t buy at the farmer’s market, no one cares if the orange juice for their mimosa is freshly pressed, and last year’s dress is still just as cute as ever. The key to a killer New Year’s Eve is to care less and enjoy yourself more with your friends!

What are your NYE plans? Check out the Hey! VINA plans in your city to end 2018 with a bang!

SPICE UP YOUR EGGNOG GAME WITH THESE MUST-MAKE COCKTAIL RECIPES

You grabbed the obligatory carton of Eggnog from the grocery store, just because, but rather than leave it in the fridge and sip from it over the next few weeks, here are a few new ways to spice it up for your Vinas.

Esquire’s Spiked Eggnog

Brighten the holiday spirits with a little Don Q and Hennessey ‘nog. Your vinas will be praising your mixology skills all night long!

5 large eggs
8 oz. cognac
4 oz. Gold rum
1/8 whole milk
nutmeg

Method:

Crack the eggs and separates the whites from the yolks. Keep both. In a bowl, whip the sugar with the yolks until dissolved. Gradually stir in the spirits, then milk. In another bowl, whip the eggs whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold into the mix. Grate half a nutmeg on top. Refrigerate for one hour, then serve.

MERRY & BRIGHT EGGNOG

from Natasha David, NiteCap

For serious drinkers only, this “no Eggnog needed” Eggnog will liven up any holiday fête.  Get it at the infamous NiteCap in NYC or make it at home with Natasha’s recipe.

4 oz. Truly Spiked & Sparkling Colima Lime spiked sparkling water
1 oz. spiced rum
1 oz. vanilla almond milk
1 tsp. Stevia powder
1 egg white
Grated nutmeg

Method:

Combine spiced rum, vanilla almond milk, Stevia powder and egg white in a cocktail shaker. Begin by shaking without ice to incorporate all ingredients. Next, add ice to the cocktail shaker and continue to shake. Strain the liquid into a Collins glass without ice and top with Truly Spiked & Sparkling Colima Lime. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

Mrs. Claus called, and she’s ready to party.

CHUBBY HONEY EGGNOG

Hotel Arts Barcelona

Choose to head somewhere warm to celebrate the holidays while others stay home. For those who cannot travel to Hotel Arts Barcelona during this busy season, the hotel’s head mixologist Diego Baud has it covered with this recipe.  And can you say “cute!” with these eggs as the cups!?

12 large eggs
500g organic honey
10oz brandy
12oz Amontillado sherry
1L whole milk
24oz organic heavy cream
Grated nutmeg or cinnamon on top

Method:

Using a mixer on low speed, beat eggs until smooth. Slowly add cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar until they are fully dissolved. Add the Torres 15 Brandy, Amontillado sherry, milk and cream. Refrigerate overnight and serve in empty eggshells or small chilled cups. Sprinkle nutmeg or cinnamon on top before serving.

Have a fave eggnog recipe yourself? Share the cocktail fun by hosting a little get-together at your place! Download the Hey! VINA app to meet other spiked eggnog-loving vinas like yourself.

UGH! I’VE GAINED BACK ALL THE WEIGHT. NOW WHAT?

We’ve all had the “girl, you are 10 pounds heavier, WTF” conversation with ourselves.  Regrets, self-doubt, self-hate etc. etc. It’s a viscous cycle. You’ve taken care of yourself,  you’ve been doing so so good until one day it all just stops. Before you know it, you are right back where you started. It’s a harrowing feeling, but thankfully, change is possible and we don’t have to punish ourselves for falling of the fitness wagon every now and again!

There are several things linked to subconscious weight gain. One of which is emotions. Jon Gabriel wrote in this article“Emotional turmoil and stress caused from not being fulfilled emotionally can activate a chemistry in the body that causes weight gain.” Right?? I mean we all know that some comfort food goes a long way when we are feeling a little under the weather, but that emotional stress could actually trigger a part of your brain that shuts down the metabolism.

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Gabriel goes on to say that our insecurities act like a chronic stress that spikes our cortisol levels and tells our bodies to store fat. Cortisol is a hormone that our bodies release during moments of stress. For example, when you get an adrenaline rush during a fight or flight response, this is the hormone responsible for that feeling. Now that we have established a possible cause, let’s look at some solutions.

REDEFINE FITNESS

If you are not an extremely physical person, you can try Tai Chi, Yoga or Pilates. These exercises are not necessarily easier than any other workout regimes, but they may work more effectively for someone who doesn’t enjoy weight training or high intensity fitness.  These exercises are also great for stress relief. A couple of minutes during a stressful situation, or perhaps worked into your daily routine will do you a world of good. If you are more physical, exercises like dancing, boxing, and spinning are proven to help relieve stress. For those of us who like to dance-it-out (thank you Meredith Grey), try Daybreaker!

REDEFINE YOUR SCHEDULE

If your weight gain is not related to emotional stress, it could be related to a busy schedule, and not enough time to take proper care of yourself. There are a number of books and scholarly articles about habit forming behavior, and a lot of them deal with how to break unhealthy habits, how habits are formed, which behaviors to avoid, and most importantly, how to create new habits. It only takes 3 weeks, 21 days to make a new habit, or break a bad one. It actually is possible to fit everything into one day, including eating healthy and exercising.

photography of woman in pink tank top stretching arm

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

These are just two examples of what could possibly be the reason for your weight gain.  If you believe something more serious is going on, please consult a trained medical professional. The important thing to remember is that if it bothers you, or if it is a health concern, then it is a problem. If it doesn’t, and it’s not, don’t make a big deal out of it. It will only cause you more tension.

Fun fact: Did you know that the average person over 35 gains 1 pound every year without changing anything specific?

Please take note that I offer advice as a fellow woman who loses her way sometimes. I am not a doctor or an expert and my comments are based strictly off of my own opinions and research.

Download Hey! VINA to meet other vinas who wanna get their fit on and lose the weight! You can join the Athletes or Yogis Communities and make some exercise plans together.✌️