The Chic Series + The Whole Tulip Team Up For “Healthy Happy Hour”
Carolyn and I met over 5 years ago. We were introduced by a mutual friend shortly after we moved to Charlotte from NYC. Our past lives in Manhattan brought us together but our passion for health and wellness solidified our bond. Over the next five years, that I spent in Charlotte we collaborated on multiple projects. When we left last summer Carolyn and I stayed in touch and often would discuss how there was no central hub for the “healthy mom”. You had to go to one site to find recipes for yourself, another for your kids and if you wanted clean beauty or athleisure fashion those were also both separate destinations.
As this blog continues to evolve I find myself wanting to explore wellness and what that means for us moms. Always at the top of my list is food. When it comes to questions on nutrition and how to lead a “normal” healthy lifestyle for us and our kids I defer to Carolyn. Normal to us means, inexpensive, accessible, simple and of course tasty. We both are avid followers of multiple wellness blogs and lovers of Goop but it seems that without an endless bank account or six hours to prepare a meal healthily often means overwhelming or unattainable. We are partnering together to debunk this notion.
Carolyn’s extensive background as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach is beyond impressive. Carolyn attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s live program in New York almost 10 years ago. This was a time long before anyone was talking about gut health, gluten, food sensitivities, and elimination diets to name a few current health buzz words. Since then she has worked with numerous one-on-one clients, guided 100’s through clean eating cleanse group programs, and presented at countless speaking engagements. Over the 10 years, her approach to health and wellness has never changed, and that is, it is not a one-size-fits-all approach. When it comes to eating and living well, it is about listening to your body and making the connection between what you put in your body and how you feel.
Carolyn and I both believe in the 80/20 rule. Living a healthy life 80% of the time so you can allow yourself the opportunity to indulge the other 20%. We both enjoy a great happy hour and as busy moms, we both agree that we need it! With the warm weather and impromptu meetups happy hours, BBQs, and summer soirees this 80/20 balance can easily slip to a 50/50. So I partnered with Carolyn to create a post dedicated to the “healthy happy hour”.
Hi, I’m Carolyn. Mom of two, Tripp and Arabella, and married to my wonderful husband, John. My health and wellness journey started about 10 years ago. I was miserable in my political fundraising job, full of anxiety, slept poorly, consistently had a stomach ache, and took all my stress out on people I loved. I knew I had to make a major career change and I wanted to feel better.
My mom started practicing yoga 40 years ago and was quick to give us herbs before antibiotics. So when I started to search for a career and purpose that fulfilled both my curiosity and authenticity, an integrative approach to nutrition completely appealed to me. I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and after the first weekend of listening to leaders in integrative nutrition, I knew I was in the right place. I started making small dietary changes like adding in more dark leafy greens, experimenting with removing gluten and dairy, and exercising on a routine basis.
Within weeks of listening to my body, I transformed inside and out. I felt lighter, slept better, and fell in love with all new foods. I take all of this into my practice and with the information I like put out. The food system is crazy confusing and there is a new diet every week that makes claims of weight loss and being “the” solution. My goal is to help people with attainable changes that will make them feel better and that they can use over a lifetime. I am constantly making changes and trying new things so that my experience stays present because starting this 10 years ago with no kids looks a lot different than my life now with 2 kids approaching my 40th birthday.
HEALTHY HAPPY HOUR COCKTAIL
The biggest downfall to cocktails (besides having too many) is the sugar. Tequila cocktails are on every menu right now, but many of them have simple syrups that add a lot of sugar and do not leave you feeling spirited the next day. Here’s a sweet and spicy cocktail, but without all the sugar. While making this is a little involved on the front end, once you make it, it is an easy go-to. It makes a great gift too.
And, guess what I served at my husband’s 40th birthday party…tequila, of course.
JALAPENO AND PINEAPPLE INFUSED TEQULIA
You will need:
Container, air tight jar or pitcher (large enough to hold a full bottle of tequila, cut up pineapple, and peppers) and a strainer.
1 bottle blanco 100% agave tequila
3 jalapeno peppers
1 fresh pineapple
Cut each pepper in half, remove and discard the seeds, then place the peppers into container.
Cut the pineapple into pieces so that they will fit into the container and then place pineapple into container.
Poor entire bottle of tequila into container, cover with lid and place into a dark area like the pantry or kitchen cabinet. Keep the original tequila bottle.
After 24 hours, taste tequila for your spice level. If the tequila doesn’t have enough “kick” for your preference, keep the container stored for another ~12 hours. If the tequila is spicy enough after 24 hours, remove the peppers only using a strainer (keep the pineapple in the container).
Restore the tequila and pineapples for another 24 hours. After a total of 48 hours, remove the pineapple from the container, and strain out any remaining seeds/pineapple. After straining twice (and removal of all pineapple and pineapple residue), safely poor the tequila back into its original bottle.
Your pepper-and-pineapple-infused tequila is ready to go.
FOR THE COCKTAIL
Poor 1.5 oz of the tequila into a cocktail glass with plenty of ice, soda and a juice of half a lime. Enjoy!
HEALTHY HAPPY HOUR APPETIZER
I’ve taken this appetizer to several parties this spring and summer and it is always a hit. People love the saltiness from the prosciutto with hint of sweetness from the pear, and the creaminess from the goat cheese with the spicy crunchy arugula. It truly hits all the taste buds.
PROSCIUTTO ARUGULA SALAD WRAPS yields 8 rolls
4 cups arugula (loosely packed)
1 pear (stems and seeds removed, thinly sliced)
1/2 cup goat cheese (herbed if you can find it)
6 oz prosciutto
Divide the arugula among the prosciutto slices.
Crumble goat cheese on top of arugula and top with 2 slices of pear