Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Vegetarian Thanksgiving: Would You Go Meatless on Turkey Day?

If you're like us, Thanksgiving is the holiday where you load up on carbs like gooey mac and cheese, sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows, and plenty of pumpkin and pecan pie.  You'll notice we left out the requisite turkey and ham, and pig tails are sauerkraut which is an oddly popular side dish in our family.  Since we don't eat poultry, pork or red meat, unless we bring grilled salmon and a salad with us, we're left with the calorie-filled carbs. 

A meatless Thanksgiving? Image by Ohmyveggies

But maybe there's a way to get your family and ours on board with a healthier and happier Thanksgiving holiday. Here are a few tips from Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Lifestyle Coach Vanessa Chamberlin:

Have fun planning a menu. Don’t limit yourself by thinking only of traditional foods. If you’re cooking for a larger group and they’re expecting their holiday favorites, there are ways you can emulate those foods with a healthier recipe, like mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. But if your guests are adventurous, go outside the box! There are tons of amazing seasonal recipes you can make to celebrate harvest time without loading them full of meat and dairy, and you can also look to other cultural dishes to really explore the world in your menu.

Get physical. Keep in mind that your holiday can still incorporate your healthy habits. There’s no reason why post-Thanksgiving fun can’t be a walk around the block or an hour at the park. You can even pick up a football and play together. 

Take time for yourself. It’s not uncommon for us to spend so much time trying to make an enjoyable experience for our children and loved ones that we end up exhausted at the end of the day or weekend. Make sure you have time to unwind. Get in a workout, meditate, and relax. Whether you enlist help making food or spend some time prepping for your meal in the days before, do what you need to do to keep from getting burned out during the holiday.

Here is Chamberlin's favorite holiday recipe for cauliflower mash to get you inspired for your plant-based Thanksgiving.

Cauliflower Mash

• 1 lb. bag frozen or fresh cauliflower
• 1/4 cup fat-free soymilk
• 1 clove garlic, chopped
• 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
• 1 tsp poultry seasoning
• 1 tsp nutritional yeast
• 2 Tbsp cornstarch
• 2 Tbsp water to mix with corn starch
• 1 Tbsp fresh parsley

In a pot, steam cauliflower for 10-12 minutes or until very soft. Drain well using a colander. In a saucepan, combine soymilk, garlic, 1/4 cup water, Italian seasoning, poultry seasoning and yeast over medium heat. When it begins to boil, slowly mix the cornstarch/water mixture into the sauce, stirring constantly until thickened.

When cauliflower is cool enough, squeeze as much water out as possible. Place the cauliflower in the processor or high-powered blender and blend for about a minute. Add sauce and fresh parsley to cauliflower and process until creamy and smooth. If it’s too thick, you may adjust the consistency by adding a little bit of soymilk. Makes 4 servings.

Vanessa Chamberlin is a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Lifestyle Coach and author of The Fire-Driven Life: How to Ignite the Fire of Self-Worth, Health, and Happiness with a Plant-Based Diet. For more information, visit, and connect with her on Twitter, @vkchamberlin.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

7 Natural Hair Care Products We Love, New from Cantu and TGIN

While shopping in Target with one of our girlfriends, we stopped in the "ethnic hair aisle," as we like to call it. Our friend was looking for a specific pomade made by Carol's Daughter, and during our search we encountered a couple other determined women perusing the shelves for tried and true and new hair care products for locs and twists. As women of color, our hair story is something that unites us, so it was reassuring to have an impromptu meet-up group with other freedom hair sisters.

Cantu natural hair care products inspire you to be your own beautiful /Image courtesy of Cantu

Thank God It's Natural products are salon-quality./Image courtesy of tgin

For our two cents, we added that SheaMoisture and Kinky-Curly have satisfied most of our natural haircare needs for many years, however, we were recently introduced to new products from Cantu Shea Butter and tgin (Thank God It's Natural).  And we love both paraben-free brands. Here's a sampling of Cantu and tgin products that will prevent your natural 'dos from becoming natural don'ts:

1. Tgin Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer ($14.99) hydrates dry strands and helps create well-defined twists and twist-outs.  Available at Target stores nationwide and online, all tgin products are free of parabens, sulfates and animal testing.

2. We love a good deep conditioner and tgin's Honey Miracle Hair Mask ($14.99) restores dry, damaged, and color treated hair, and reduces shedding and breakage. 

3. Packed with green tea, shea butter and argan oil, tgin Green Tea Super Moist Leave In Conditioner ($14.99) replenishes your hair's natural oils, reduces split ends and breakage, and promotes healthy hair growth. 

4. We're told that celebrity hairstylists use Cantu Shea Butter Super Shine Hair Silk ($5.99) to style the coifs of Jada Pinkett Smith, Alicia Keys and Tracy Ellis Ross. And we certainly see why.  The lightweight, non-tacky formula helps prevent breakage, repair split ends and reduce frizz while leaving your hair stronger, healthier and silky smooth.  

5. Untangle and relax your kinks and curls with Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Coil Calm Detangler ($4.97). Made with pure shea butter, this coconut fragrant detangler softens and conditions hair for easy, knot-free styling.

6. Made with pure shea butter, Cantu Moisturizing Rinse Out Conditioner ($4.29) revitalizes dry, brittle hair with deep penetrating oil and emollients. Along with softening and detangling, it adds shine and provides extra protection from split ends and breakage.

7. Cantu for Natural Hair Deep Treatment Masque ($7.99) penetrates deep into the hair shaft to help condition and repair damaged, dry and brittle hair. The intense moisturizing masque and all Cantu products are made with 100 percent pure shea butter and are free of mineral oil, sulfates, parabens, silicone, and other chemicals and harsh ingredients.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Halloween Costumes for Your Pet from PetSmart, #MonsterCute

Fido and Fancy may not agree, but it's fun to dress up your pets for Halloween.  And from Disney characters, to alien and princess "rider" costumes and festive pumpkin sweaters and tutus from Martha Stewart Pets, PetSmart has a variety of too cute costumes for cats, dogs, and even guinea pigs.  But if your furry friend is fussy about being dressed up like a bumble bee or little devil, a tiny witch or cowboy hat will still do the trick...or treat.

It pays to get your pet in the Halloween spirit, too. Through Sunday, October 25, pet parents can show off their adorable kitties and pooches in PetSmart’s fifth annual Monster Cute contest. One grand prize winner from three categories – scariest, cutest and most #trending will each win a $1,000 American Express gift card! 

To enter, simply post photos of you and your creatively dressed pet by using #MonsterCute on Instagram and Twitter, or by visiting the Monster Cute page on the PetSmart website.  The winners will be announced on Halloween (October 31).

Photos courtesy of PetSmart

Even if you don't enter the contest, from October 27-30 you can vote for your favorite Monster Cute contestant. PetSmart will select one random vote each day for a $50 store gift card. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Healthy Snacks for the Weekend and Pre-Holiday Season

As the temps drop and the days become shorter, many of us become less active.  And with the holidays approaching, it's super important to watch what your waistline now so that you'll be able to treat yourself to that extra serving of macaroni and cheese and slice (or two) of pumpkin pie, later.  To plan your snacking strategy, Everything She Wants has compiled a short list of healthy treats and beverages to nosh on before the holiday gluttony begins.

Pass the Peeled Snacks, please.

1. Brooklyn-based Peeled Snacks makes the first certified organic, baked pea snacks. Peas are a uniquely nutritious veggie--they're packed with fiber, iron and protein. The brand of non-GMO (non-genetically modified) snacks also makes dried fruit, apple clusters and trail mix. Available at Whole Foods and online.

2. New to the U.S. market, 1907water from New Zealand is naturally alkaline balanced, which helps your body balance its acidity levels by mitigating the negative effects caused by stress, lack of sleep and poor diet. The water comes from a true artesian source and its high alkalinity and low mineral content give it a silky smooth finish. We received a case and enjoyed every drop. Each BPA-free bottle is made of 75 percent recycled material and are always 100 percent recyclable. Available at Fresh Market, Whole Foods and Shop Rite.

3. Appropriately named Boxed Water, another natural water we love comes in a box. Because the packaging is mostly made of paper, it reduces the carbon footprint.

Dancing Deer Baking Co. Chocolate Delights Sampler ($29.99).

4. Although cookies aren't the first thing that come to mind when you think of healthy snacks, if you're gonna cheat, make a quality choice. Dancing Deer Baking Co. goodies are made from scratch with wholesome ingredients. The preservative-free and Kosher sweets come beautifully packaged and they make great gifts. Choose from a variety of cookies, gingerbread bites, and the best brownies and blondies we've ever had. Dancing Deer has gluten-free treats, too. And with each Sweet Home gift purchased, Dancing Deer donates a portion of proceeds to help homeless and at-risk families. Save 20% on any cookie, cake or brownie gift with the code DEER6 (expires 12/31/2015) at or call (888) 699-3337.

5. Green tea is packed with antioxidants that can improve your health. For instance, green tea has been shown to lower cholesterol, prevent breast and colorectal cancer, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Green tea is also a natural fat burner and in conjunction with a balanced diet is often used to promote weight loss. Our pick is Chai Diaries Organic Green & Skinny, a fragrant and potent blend of Indian organic green tea.

Chai Diaries also makes Ayuverdic teas based on your individual dosha (Vata, Pitta, Kapha), which governs your temperament and body type. Our dosha is Pitta (Fire), which means we need cooling and stabilizing ingredients like chrysanthemum, saffron, green cardamom, hibiscus, lemon, peppermint and raspberry leaves.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookies Inspired by Empire's Cookie Lyon

Get your crunch and munch on while watching Empire with Cookie Lyon-inspired cookies from the acclaimed David Burke Group.  That's right, they did it for the Cookie. The sweet and savory cookies ($4.95 each) are currently available at David Burke at Bloomingdales located at 1000 Third Avenue. 

Executive Pastry Chef Zac Young has crafted a delicious and stylish cookie inspired by the Empire matriarch's sweet, salty and totally fierce personality, masterfully portrayed by Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson. Zac’s delectable chocolate chip cookies are infused with caramel and sea salt, and decorated with bold animal print patterns inspired by Cookie's urban chic flair for fashion. 

Cookie Lyon-inspired cookies at David Burke Bloomingdales./David Burke Group

But if you're not in New York City or you prefer to make your own Cookie-inspired cookies, the David Burke Group has generously shared the yummy recipe with Everything She Wants.

Cookie’s Cookie at David Burke at Bloomingdales
makes 24 - 3 inch cookies


·         2 ½ sticks unsalted butter (at room temperature)
·         1 cup granulated sugar
·         1 ¼ cup dark brown sugar
·         2 large eggs
·         1 tablespoon vanilla extract
·         3 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
·         1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
·         1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
·         1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
·         1 pound 4 ounces Valrhona Dulcey Chocolate chopped into small pieces
·         ¼ cup coarse sea salt such as Maldon
·         1 pound Valrhona 61% dark chocolate


· Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

· In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined. On low speed, add the flour mixture in two instalments and mix until just incorporated. Add the chocolate and mix until evenly distributed.

· Scoop the dough using a 1.5 ounce ice cream scoop onto two parchment lined cookie sheets. 
Sprinkle the tops of each cookies with a few flakes of the Maldon salt. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes until the edges are golden brown but the centers of the cookies are still light. Let cool on the pan.

· Microwave the 61% chocolate until two thirds of the chocolate is melted. stir the chocolate so the residual heat melts the remaining chocolate. Dip half of each cookie into the melted 61% chocolate, let the excess chocolate drip off the cookie before laying back on the parchment lined cookie sheets. 

Let sit so the chocolate hardens. If desired, decorate the cookies with a colored cocoa butter “transfer sheet” or draw stripes with melted white chocolate.

Cookie can't wait to get one of these David Burke cookies./Fox

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rockport Shoes for Fall, Feel the Difference

We hate to sound like a broken record, but we love comfort shoes.  And Rockport is one of the best brands for comfort and style.  Just in time for back to school (even though our school days are behind us), we were sent a pair of Rockport's XCS Rock On Air Laceup, and we've been wearing them all around New York City and on a recent trip to Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

Feel the Rockport difference. 

The lightweight sneakers are fashion forward with a subtle Zebra embossed print, and they're so comfy they live up to their name. You'll feel like you're walking on air.  And get this, the leather is machine washable. 

About Rockport comfort shoes:

You may be familiar with the brand and what they're known for, but what you may not know is the awesome technology behind every pair. Whether walking shoes or 3" + high heels, every style is engineered from the inside out with amazing technology to provide you with all day comfort. ADIPRENE by adidas sport technology will lead you feet first into each daily adventure; in both comfort and style. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Get $50 Treatments During Spa Week Fall, October 12-18

It's that time again.  During the annual Spa Week, October 12-18, 2015, you can treat yourself to  facials, massages and alternative health treatments for just $50!  That's right, just $50. But appointments fill up quickly, so book yours today.

Essential Therapy L&Y Spa is participating in Spa Week, October 12-18, 2015.

Everything She Wants was invited to preview a treatment at Essential Therapy L&Y Spa (122 E. 25th Street, 212-777-2325) in New York City, one of many participating spas. For Spa Week, Essential Therapy offers: a 50 minute Custom Organic Facial with Pumpkin Masque and Extractions; Eyelash Extensions from Synthetic Mink; and a 50 minute Pumpkin Spice Massage with choice of deep tissue or Swedish technique. I recently pulled a muscle in my neck and my upper back, and I needed a massage, big time. So the timing was perfect.

Essential Therapy is conveniently located near Gramercy Park and the Flatiron District. From the outside, you can't tell the tranquil experience that awaits. The space is adorned with Buddha statues, wooden fixtures, hanging lanterns and candles that give it a decidedly Zen vibe. The waiting area is warm and inviting and the treatment rooms are spacious.

Spacious treatment room at Essential Therapy./Spa Week

My massage therapist was Yan, which initially took me by surprise.  I usually prefer a female masseuse, but Yan was friendly and his massage techniques were excellent. And he was willing to apply less or more pressure at my request.  The pumpkin oil and lotion he used was a nice touch. "Now you smell like a pumpkin," he said. I left my treatment feeling relaxed and more limber.

The spa is dedicated exclusively to the healing power of massage and holistic facials. Essential Therapy has a lot of regular customers, and I can see why. Use of the sauna, Jacuzzi and steam room is complimentary with each treatment.  So make sure to give yourself enough time to take advantage of those perks.