Thursday, December 1, 2016

2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Him

This post is brought to you by CJ Affiliate’s VIP Content Service. Thank you Sierra Trading Post for sponsoring this post. While this was a sponsored opportunity from Sierra Trading Post, all content and opinions expressed here are my own. 

As you guys probably remember, Mal is quite the fashionista (fashionister?). He loves clothes and knows how to dress well, so when Sierra Trading Post reached out about partnering this holiday season, I knew just the guy for the job!

Sierra Trading Post sells all kinds of name brand apparel, footwear, and outdoor gear at very affordable prices. In fact, when Mal was shopping online, he was pleasantly surprised by their selection and the value of what he saw. Mal had never shopped at Sierra Trading Post before, so he was especially excited to see a number of his favorite brands: Barbour, Woolrich, Frye, Carhartt, The North Face, and more. Sierra Trading Post also sells products for women, kids, and pets, so I have a feeling that the Haupert family will most definitely frequent the website in the future!

2016 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR HIM

Mal had the opportunity to try a couple of items from Sierra Trading Post and this Barbour Chirdon Sweater Jacket immediately caught his attention. The brand, Barbour, is an English company and one of the world’s leading makers of high-quality outdoor attire, apparel, and footwear. It’s a brand that Mal is familiar with, so he was especially happy to see it available at such an affordable price. He immediately added this Sweater Jacket to his shopping cart. I mean, hello, it was (and still is) 60% off retail price. Score!

Barbour Chirdon Sweater Jacket

The Barbour Chirdon Sweater Jacket has a button-on detachable hood, so Mal wears it as outerwear as well as a cardigan, so it’s quite the versatile staple in his wardrobe.

Barbour Chirdon Sweater Jacket

If you’re thinking about purchasing apparel for the special guy in your life, here are some stylish and affordable picks from Sierra Trading Post! ***DEAL ALERTSierra Trading Post has free shipping on orders over $75 with code ACJDEC6 until December 31st!

G.H. Bass & Co. Arctic Terrain Fleece Explorer Vest: This vest is a serious value at $24.99! Worn with layers or on its own, this fleece vest holds in heat without weighing you down. Comes in 4 different colors.

Woolrich Overlook Moccasins: You can beat $14 for a pair of microsuede slippers! Just about any guy would love to open up a gift with these cozy moccasins inside this holiday season!

G.H. Bass & Co. Mountain Fleece Sweatshirt: Made from a super-soft knit cotton blend with a fleece interior, this sweatshirt is guaranteed to become a go-to piece in your guy’s wardrobe. Priced at just $19.99 and available in a variety of colors, you can’t go wrong!

Frye Mason Venetian Loafers: Frye boots and shoes have a 150-year history grounded in fine craftsmanship, so the brand and price of these elk leather loafers immediately caught Mal’s eye. He actually ended up ordering these shoes and can’t wait to wear them once the weather warms up!

Threads 4 Thought Triblend Full-Zip Hoodie: Made from ultrasoft and lightweight fabric (a blend of recycled polyester, organic cotton, and rayon), this hoodie feels perfectly broken in from the start. It’s just $29.99 and comes in 5 different color options.

2(x)ist Active Comfort Shorts: Every guy loves a good pair of sweatshorts! These ones come in both gray and navy, and the price can’t be beat at $14.99.

Avalanche Wear Rocky Shirt Jacket: This fleece-insulated shirt jacket is super versatile as a lightweight coat or a cozy layer over a long-sleeve shirt or t-shirt. Priced at just $19.99, it’s a piece that the special guy in your life will wear again and again!



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17 Gifts That Will MOVE You

7 Lighter Ways to Kick Off Your Holiday Meal

It’s that time of year when our opportunities to O.D. on cheese and crackers are more abundant than we would like. We love a baked Brie just as much as the next person, but if you’re hosting a holiday get-together, the cocktail hour should consist of light, refreshing bites that anticipate the meal ahead without completely spoiling it. If there’s a creamy, bubbling-hot dip on the table, it should come as no surprise when your meticulously arranged crudite platter goes untouched and, worst of all, your guests are too stuffed to enjoy the main event. Small bites that are not only light but also quick and easy to make are best for everyone in attendance — especially the host — so choose recipes that require no more than 20 minutes of prep work (the less time, the better). Here are five finger foods you can count on to hit the mark at your upcoming soiree.

Vegetarian Spinach-Walnut Pate (pictured at top)
Save your Even though “pate” and “caviar” don’t necessarily go together, but this creamy, flavor-packed appetizer spreads like pate, and the tart bursts of pomegranate seeds are a little like caviar.

Baked Coconut Shrimp
Plump shrimp with a crisp breading — what could be better when mingling over hors d’oeuvres? These homemade coconut shrimp tossed in panko breadcrumbs are baked — not fried — for a crunchy bite with just 167 calories per serving.

Polenta Squares with Mushroom Ragu
If your guests will need a relatively empty belly in order to tackle the main dish, keep the appetizers bite-sized. Giada De Laurentiis tops tiny polenta squares with a savory mushroom sauce for an easy, elegant appetizer.

Mushroom-Pesto Crostini
Pungent porcini mushrooms plus garlic and Parmesan give great kick to Giada’s pesto that’s balanced with crunchy crostini slices. They’re a great crowd-pleaser for a party or just to eat as a snack.

Eggplant Ricotta Bites
Think of these lightly breaded eggplant bites as a slimmed-down, miniaturized version of eggplant Parmesan. Sauteing the eggplant gives it a desirable crunch, without the excess oil you get with deep-frying. Channel the classic presentation by topping each round with a dollop of ricotta, diced tomatoes and shredded basil.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Tarlets
Food Network Magazine knows that store-bought phyllo dough is the secret to any time- and sanity-saving appetizer. Here, a flaky phyllo crust cradles a light spinach and goat cheese filling for an elegant cocktail party canapé.

Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip
Racing desperately against the clock? Ellie Krieger’s red pepper and walnut dip is quick and easy to make (it’s done in 15 minutes!); set it out alongside a vegetable platter for an elegant appetizer spread.

For more festive appetizers, check out these recipes from our friends:

Devour: Spread Holiday Cheer with These Cheesy Appetizers
The Lemon Bowl: Baba Ganoush Recipe
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Miso Mashed Potato Stuffed Mushrooms
The Mom 100: Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
A Mind “Full” Mom: Christmas Tree Deviled Eggs
The Fed Up Foodie: Italian Cheesy Bites
Taste with the Eyes: Holiday Entertaining: Oysters with Caviar
Swing Eats: Turkey Bacon Wrapped Dates with Cheese, Marcona Almonds, and Herbs
Creative Culinary: Pecan, Pineapple and Gorgonzola Cheese Ball with Dried Cranberries
FN Dish: Easy, Cheesy Appetizers Your Holiday Guests Will Hover Around



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How Paleo Could Revolutionize Medicine

Weight It Out: The Math Behind Vacation Weight Gain

vacation-weight-gain

I used to weigh myself daily, sometimes multiple times a day (why?!). I do think a scale can be a useful tool to track trends and motivate someone with a goal to lose more than a pound or two. I don’t think that all scales need to be banished from society as they have a place in the weight loss world for those looking to get healthier. But if you’re healthy and happy at the weight you are, a scale will likely cause more frustration than cheer. The only time I weigh myself now is at the doctor’s office. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my goal is to feel good in my body and in my clothes, and a number can’t tell me that.

As I have made peace with my body over time, I realized that the number on the scale discouraged me more than it helped. Stepping on a scale after a vacation was one of those times. I have overheard folks report back from a week-long vacation, “I gained 10 pounds on my trip to Italy!” I want to tell them to weight it out.

stuffing-pizza

I’ve learned that it takes about 2 days into a vacation of eating more than I usually do, in both portion size and richer foods and alcohol, to notice that my body feels different. And upon my return it takes me about 4 to 5 days to feel normal again. Most of this extra weight is in the form of water. Remember that to gain a pound of fat you have to eat 3,500 calories more than your body needs to burn to function.

Consider a vacation to a big city where you might walk five miles a day sightseeing, visit a hip new fitness studio once during the week, and go for one run while you’re there. You are likely burning 2,200+ calories per day. That means you’d have to eat 2,200 PLUS 500 calories more every day to average a single one-pound weight gain on your trip. 

If you came home from your Thanksgiving trip five pounds heavier on the scale, you likely didn’t eat 17,500 calories above maintenance in a week – that would be an average of about 4,850 calories per day! Now I know I’ve probably come close to eating that number in one day before, but not seven days in a row. I find that my body usually wants to eat less the day after I eat a lot. #balance

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The reason for the five pound “gain” is water weight. Not only do certain rich foods leave you retaining water, but you also have the physical weight of the excess food traveling through your system for at least 48 hours or so. Kind of gross, but it’s in there!

Once you’re home, just slip back into your healthy routine (you’ll probably want to!), stock the fridge with fresh produce, and wait it out. Do not weigh yourself. Wear your stretchy pants (so as not to get discouraged by tight jeans) and see how you feel a few days later. I bet the jeans fit perfectly. I used to feel more self conscious about my post-vacation bloat, but then I realized that no one else can tell. It’s more about how you feel than how you look. And the squiggly line effect will take care of the rest. 

xmas-cake

So relax during Christmas. Knowing the math and how my body operates helps me truly embrace the holiday (note I didn’t say holiday season – that’s a formula for a few extra pounds for sure!). Remember that just a few days of healthy eating is all it takes to counteract a few days of overeating. 



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