DEC
05

Sunset's Healthy Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Sunset's Healthy Holiday Gift Guide 2017

This year, give the gift of good health. Inspire your loved ones with thoughtful gifts that won’t add to the laundry list of seasonal indulgences. Plus, knock out some of your holiday shopping at the grocery store. 

Nice Olive Oil
Olive oil may already be a pantry staple, but splurging on high-quality oil isn’t something many people typically buy for themselves. For a full-flavored and fruity choice, we recommend DeCarlo Classico Olive Oil. It has elements of almond in flavor, apple in aroma, and pepper in the finish. It’s also packaged in an attractive, refillable ceramic bottle.
$23.99

 

Olive oil photo
Vinegar photo Nice Balsamic Vinegar
Similar to olive oil, vinegar is a pantry must-have that many people don’t think much about—but should. A nice vinegar can totally transform a dish. We recommend Aceto Balsamico by Due Vittoria. It’s dense and full-bodied with just the right amount of acidity. Aged in durmast oak barrels, it’s woodsy on the nose and slightly sour on the palate. It’s the type of vinegar your recipient will savor to the last drop.
$24.49

Lavender Tree
Help your loved one de-stress during the holidays with an elegant lavender plant. Tamed into the shape of a miniature Christmas tree, this calming, classy, and pet-friendly alternative to the poinsettia can be enjoyed long after the holidays are over.
$19.99

Lavender tree photo
Spanish almonds photo Spanish Almonds
Brimming with heart-healthy fats, protein, fiber, and minerals, nuts make a satiating holiday snack that will help offset all those sweets. For something that’s a step above your everyday nut, we recommend Spanish Marcona Almonds by Cocina Selecta. Imported from Spain, they’re rounder, sweeter, and have a more delicate, buttery flavor than typical California almonds.
$6.39
Dark chocolate
Everyone can appreciate a good bar of chocolate. Gifting dark chocolate raises the bar for health benefits and flavor complexity. We recommend the Pink Himalayan Crystal Salt Caramel bar by Vosges Haut Chocolat. Its smoky, salted caramel oozes out between two layers of rich, 72% dark chocolate. It’s pink gooey perfection.
$6.99
Chocolate photo
Utensils photo Kitchen Utensils
For a thoughtful gift sure to get lots of use, try this 5 piece Bamboo Utensil set by Totally Bamboo. Although most home chefs have at least one of the basic kitchen utensils—wooden spoon, slotted spoon, spatula, etc.—this set ensures your lucky recipient can keep on cooking when their items are in the dishwasher. Perfect for whomever’s hosting Christmas dinner!
$5
Tea
There’s nothing like unwinding with a warm cup of tea on a cold winter’s night. We recommend Organic Peppermint Bark ‘cool winter’ herbal tea by The Republic of Tea. This caffeine-free blend has a delightful balance of refreshing peppermint, warming cocoa, and sweet vanilla. The perfect calorie-free dessert tea for the holiday season, it will fill your loved ones’ home with the scents of winter.
$12.00
tea photo
soap photo Soap
There’s no question that hand washing is important during cold and flu season.
Help you recipient stay well the gentle way, without harsh chemicals that can lead to dry, cracked skin. We recommend goat milk soap by Zum Bar scented with frankincense and myrrh. It’s woodsy, sweet, and seasonally appropriate.
$5.79
Gourmet Popcorn
Fiber-rich and low in calories, popcorn is a mouthwatering snack you can feel good about. We recommend Black Popcorn by Black Jewel Natural Grain. Grown and harvested on small Midwestern farms, the eye-catching black kernels turn snow white once popped. Looking to take your gift up a notch? Gift gourmet kernels alongside an air popper and truffle oil.
$7.39
popcorn photo
maple syrup photo Nice Maple Syrup
There’s a big difference between a corn syrup-based “pancake syrup” and real maple syrup. Despite the colossal difference in quality, many shoppers aren’t willing to splurge on the good stuff. We recommend Hilltop Sugar Bush for 100% pure Wisconsin maple syrup. It also comes in a sculptural bottle that adds some pizzazz to the pantry.
$11.99
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NOV
16

5 Ways to Avoid Overeating this Thanksgiving (Without Feeling Deprived)

5 Ways to Avoid Overeating this Thanksgiving (Without Feeling Deprived)

Eating may be the reason for the season, but there’s a fine line between feeling pleasantly fed and gorging yourself to the point of agony. Here’s how to stay in control this year.

Overfed photo
Show up satisfied 

Have you ever walked into the kitchen starving, opened the fridge, and ate the first thing you saw (and the second, and the third…)? That’s not how you want to approach Thanksgiving dinner.

It’s tempting to arrive at dinner famished in preparation for the big meal. However, our ability to make good decisions tends to break down once we become too hungry. Instead, eat your typical breakfast, a light lunch, and if needed, a healthy snack a few hours before dinner. Focus on fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables to keep calories in check and hunger pangs at bay.

Save evidence of appetizers

Our stomachs can’t count. Our memories are even worse at math (i.e. have I eaten two bacon-wrapped dates or three?) Leaving your hor d’oeuvres’ skewers, toothpicks, shrimp tails, and chicken bones in-sight provides tangible evidence of how much you’ve eaten. 

Research shows these visual reminders help us eat less. Researchers at Cornell University gave Superbowl party-goers a bucket of chicken wings. For some party-goers, researchers cleared away their bone scraps. For others, researchers provided a bowl to put bone scraps in, and left the bowl on the table. Not surprisingly, those who were forced to look at their bony remains ate 28% less.

Pause for conversation

We tend to eat less mindfully when we eat at social gatherings. Eating with others is part of the fun of Thanksgiving, but don’t let your company cause you to overeat.

When your mind is focused on your sister-in-law’s vacation photos or your cousin’s funny story, it’s not focused on your food. While most of us know not to talk with our mouth’s full, try not to listen with your mouth full, either. If you find yourself engrossed in good dinner conversation, put down the fork and give your fellow diners the attention they deserve. After they finish their point, pick the fork back up, and give your food the attention it deserves. Take a moment to notice your dinner’s colors, textures, aromas, flavors, temperatures, and mouthfeel. Savor everything about this particular eating experience—after all, it only comes around once a year!

Serve food off the table

Out of site is out of mind. You probably didn’t realize you wanted another serving of stuffing until the heaping platter caught your eye.

The tablescape plays a big role in how much we eat. The more food that’s in front of us, the more tempted we are to overeat. Especially if your favorite food is conveniently located inches from your plate. Rather, have guests serve themselves in the kitchen or at a separate serving table—and leave the food there throughout dinner. If you’re still hungry, by all means, go get seconds! By physically standing up to do so, your decision to continue eating is a more conscious one. 

Eat to 80%

Remember how many Thanksgiving dinners you felt almost sickeningly full? Then remember how when dessert was served, more room in your stomach magically appeared?

Most Americans stop eating when they’re full (and in many cases, ‘full’ means ‘in pain’). Those in leaner cultures stop eating when they’re no longer hungry. In fact, the Okinawans—Japanese islanders known for their longevity—have an expression for when to stop eating. They call the concept hara hachi bu—eating until you’re just 80 percent full. Studies show that if you serve yourself 20% less, you probably won't even notice. Study participants noticed when they were served 30% less, but a 20% a difference flew under their radar.

 

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