Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Enjoying the Season of Thanks

Family enjoying dinner

How can you prevent your Thanksgiving from turning into four hours of ‘awkward?’ The key is in the planning. Have some go to conversation starters to keep things from getting sticky and focus on enjoying the time with your family. Here are some tips for a foolproof holiday!

Reminisce
And not about the time that your sister came home with a tattoo. Arrive with happy memories that you can share with your parents and siblings that will bring laughter. Think of bonding moments, like when the cat got the handles of a paper bag stuck on his neck and ran around the house trying to get away.

Brainstorm Fun
Talk about things you’d like to do in the future, like visit a nude beach in the South of France or drink frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 2 in New York. It tends to be safer than talking about the past and present.

Ask to Hear More History
Ask your parents about what they did when they were younger, even if you’ve heard it 100 times. Ask your Mom about the Beatles or Woodstock or how she used to iron her hair every night when she was your age so her bangs wouldn’t frizz up.

Talk About Movies and Pop Culture
Celebrity gossip is always safe because its not about “us” You can spend the first half of the meal on the Branjelina breakup and not even mention Gwen and Blake until after dessert.

Express Concern of Kids and Health
And we’re not talking about how heavy little Natalie has gotten or whether of not Junior ever graduated middle school. Keep track of family health and achievements. Remember what they enjoy doing.

Ask About Their Plans For Black Friday
But don’t leave the table and go shopping and definitely don’t pull out your i-pod and start buying your online gift list. Be appreciative of the time you get to spend with family and friends and do Thanksgiving the way it should be done!

Happy Thanksgiving, good luck and best wishes to all. Let us know how your Turkey Day turned out! We love to hear from you!

Creating a Thanksgiving Tablescape

Thanksgiving table

It may be hard to believe, but there will probably be a lot of tacky Thanksgivings this year. “But what could possibly go wrong with a turkey and corn theme?” you think. Do you need to be reminded about the rice crispy turkey legs someone made for the kids last year? Or what about the cheese ball with the cat face and pretzel whiskers? If your hosting Thanksgiving this year, we know you want to keep it classy. So leave the crochet turkey in the closet and hang the Gobble Gobble apron on the hook in the kitchen. Here’s some tips for a beautiful Thanksgiving tablescape.

Feathers and Dry Florals
You can bring a wild and natural look to your tale this year. Fill up a vase with dry florals like cattails, bromeliad, queen portea and red broom corn. Complete the look with some rustic plate ware topped with feathers and some seagrass tumblers. Keep the linens light to keep the look fresh and clean.

Black, Gold, and Green
Go black this holiday season. Use a black table or tablecloth for your background. Set out some mixed metal silverware and plate ware and set out a produce filled centerpiece using baby watermelon, artichokes and pears. You can eat it when you’re done.

Persimmon and Eggplants
Create a table fit for a king (or queen) with persimmon and eggplant accents, Add a fragrant garland bursting with magnolia leaf. Mix in some color contrast with elegant green goblets and black, white, and gold dinnerware for a fresh take on Thanksgiving.

Pottery and Pears
Go natural with this ‘less is more’ look. Delicate flatware can be mixed with unfinished textures like linen napkins and wooden cheese boards. Use some mini red pears as a centerpiece and place one on each plate next to the place cards, garnished with fall leaves.

Pear and Purple Cabbage
Purple cabbage flowers are a beautiful and original option for your table with a dark jewel toned velvet tablecloth complete with gold and marble tableware. Pears make a creative contrast to the scene, placed on a slate cheese board or on a candle holder.

Linen and Walnuts
Think feathers for your Thanksgiving display, in dove grey tones or golden hues. A bowl full of walnuts gives the setting a Scandinavian rustic, complimented by sprigs of herbs and Belgian linen.

So much better than the cupcakes topped with miniature turkeys, don’t you think? So think minimal this year with fresh clean spaces, and write to us and tell us all your Thanksgiving Past and Present. We love to hear from you!

The Truth About Tryptophan AKA Turkey Syndrome

We’ve all been there. Thanksgiving dinner has been hours, maybe even days, in the making and the food is the proof of all the love and effort that went into making this meal so special. To show your appreciation for the food and the love the meal signifies, you eat. A lot. And then, without fail you’re dozing on the couch or feeling like you desperately need a nap after dinner. You probably have been told why this happens hundreds of times: the tryptophan in turkey makes you sleepy. But is that really true? We did a bit of digging to discover whether the turkey is responsible for you passing out during a football game or if there is a bit more to the story.

Tryptophan formula.

What is Tryptophan?
Experts say that L-tryptophan is among the most essential amino acids. Since the human body can’t make it, the diet must supply tryptophan. Amino acids have been termed as ‘building blocks of proteins’. Tryptophan certainly is rich in turkey, but it is also found in meat, fish, eggs, other poultry, cheese and yogurt. Tryptophan is used to make niacin, a B-vitamin that helps out with skin care, digestion, and nerves, and serotonin, a brain chemical that plays a huge role in mood and can assist in creating feelings of relaxation and well-being.

Your body uses serotonin to make melatonin, which you may recognize as an essential hormone that controls your sleep and wake cycles. Since turkey contains tryptophan and tryptophan, it ends up creating melatonin, that’s the reason turkey makes you sleepy, right? Not so fast…

The Tryptophan Myth
You’ve probably been told since you were young that it’s the turkey that makes you sleepy on Thanksgiving. In reality, turkey contains no more than tryptophan than any other meat or poultry. If it was the tryptophan that was really responsible for you feeling so sleepy and sluggish after your Thanksgiving meal, why don’t you feel that way after having some grilled chicken or a burger at a barbecue?

Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, LDN and an American Diabetic Association spokeswoman explains where your feelings of grogginess really come from. “It boils down to Thanksgiving being a time when people overeat. When people overeat, the digestion process takes a lot of energy. Don’t incriminate the turkey that you ate, incriminate the three plates of food that you piled high.”

Other factors that can result in a post-meal food coma include the fact that on a holiday people tend to already be a bit more relaxed and there is often alcohol served before, with or after dinner (or all three!). Additionally, Thanksgiving meals often feature very starchy carbohydrates and immense amounts of sugar, both of which cause a spike in blood sugar. After the spike, however, comes the fall and the result is that you feel tired and wiped out.

There are ways to help avoid the post-meal exhaustion. First, drink alcohol in moderation, it’s better for your health anyway when you don’t overindulge. Next, go easy on the carbs. Pick the mashed potatoes or the white bread, or just have small amounts of both if you can’t resist. Lastly, control your sugar intake. Too much sugar at any one time is going to result in a serious crash effect. Heed our advice and you’ll be awake and alert after your meal so you can really enjoy the time with your family and friends.

Vine Vera with Holiday Food Tips – VineVera Reviews

Thanksgiving time is here, and with this holiday comes immense amounts of glorious foods. When you are planning your dinner and dessert menu, thinking of your skin isn’t something that normally comes to mind. There are ways in which you can have great tasting food without lacking in flavor what-so-ever, while cutting down on the baddies such as salt and sugar, and incorporating ingredients that are more natural and fresh, yet full of flavor.

Vine Vera Cosmetics wants to help you maintain great skin throughout the holiday season. There are some foods which provoke problematic skin to act out, such as excessive oil production, and acne. These conditions can be completely tamed if we choose to change our diets and add more fresh, wholesome ingredients into the mix. Vine Vera shows you a few simple and easy changes you can make to ensure your skin is in good health.

Bottle of iodized table salt

Say Nay to Iodized Table Salt

Iodized salt is known to cause water retention and bloating, and who really wants to deal with that? With all of the cute new clothes you bought for fall, it would be a shame if you swelled to a size where you couldn’t wear them for a while. Salt is also known for exacerbating acne and blemish prone skin, and is better substituted for something more natural, such as sea salt. Sea salt is a natural compound derived for consumption in or on food. Being that it is non-iodized, there are some fantastic health benefits to swapping out your table salt for sea salt. Help control your acne prone skin and offer a healthier alternative to your guests. Chances are, they will never taste the difference!

  Beautiful pumpkin pie surrounded by mini pumpkins

Say Yes to Pumpkin

Pumpkin, believe it or not, has been known to do amazing things for your skin. It is loaded with Alpha Hydroxy Acids, which brighten and soften the skin, as well as increases and speeds up the skin cell regeneration process. So, feel free to serve a delicious pumpkin pie – although cutting back on the sugar content will be your best bet – and it will still taste fantastic! Try roasting pumpkin instead of using the canned kind to bring out its natural sweetness and make your dish more flavorful while cutting back on the added calories of extra sugar.

Gravy boat full of healthier grav

A Better Gravy

There’s nothing like mom’s homemade gravy, right? Well, you can make your own version of a Thanksgiving gravy while nixing the pan drippings, and using a low fat turkey stock instead! Use the amount of turkey stock you would normally use from the pan drippings, and make as you normally would. It tastes fabulous and also cuts down on fat content – and best of all, won’t cause blemishes, as would pan drippings. Amen to that!

While it can take a little bit of getting used to, making small changes in your holiday meal are the best thing you can do for your skin. By taking responsibility as to what goes into your body, you have the power to control what appears on your body. You can thank us later!