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The Anti-Diet: Sarah Jenks Tells Us How to Handle Emotional Eating and Get Healthy

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Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Sarah Jenks, the creator of Live More Weigh Less and founder of SarahJenks.com. I love Sarah because she has the sanest approach to weight loss I’ve heard about in a while. Instead of cutting out entire food groups or counting calories like it’s going out of style, Sarah advocates a balanced approach to food, which starts with maximizing your enjoyment of life. Sarah took the time to explain her refreshing approach to eating well and maintaining a healthy weight (hint: just don’t say the word diet). 

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The Best Dark Chocolate on the Planet: Well-Balanced

You wouldn’t know it from how much we talk about cookies, but Birchbox staffers are a pretty healthy bunch. We love our veggies and mind-clearing workouts, and are always up to try the latest fitness class or nutrition bar. Which is why we have new regular column: Well-Balanced. Check back weekly for our latest wellness obsession.

It’s a well-documented fact, that I am a Cookie Monster of the first order. I’ve about given up on conquering my sweet tooth, but I am attempting to make healthier choices. When I chatted with Food Matters founder Tricia Williams, she told me that one of her favorite snacks is dark chocolate, preferably raw and/or organic, which has the highest concentration of antioxidants. Fun fact: raw cacao has more antioxidants than any other food. With that glowing endorsement, I embarked on the herculean task of finding the best healthy chocolate on the market. Click through for my favorites.

One Lucky Duck: This New York-based raw food cafe has a knack for making virtuous food taste absolutely decadent (witness their beloved Mallomar). I recently discovered their line of raw (and organic and vegan) chocolate bars, and I’m hooked. Their five-bar gift set would make a great Valentine’s Day present for your greens-loving buddies. My favorite: The Buckwheat Chocolate Bar, which sounds ridiculous, but tastes amazing. Think grapenuts plus chocolate. Or just toasty chocolate—either way, it’s fantastic.

Pacari Ecuadorian Chocolate: This family-owned company is known for its artisanal bars, made in small batches from single-origin Ecuadorian cacao. All of their products are organic, but they also have a line of completely raw bars, which are produced at extremely low temperatures. Unlike some organic chocolate, Pacari’s bars have a smooth and melty mouth feel, and come in a range of exciting flavors. My favorite: The Salt & Nibs, which pairs flaky Peruvian sea salt with organic dark chocolate nibs.

NibMor: our director of marketing, Deena, introduced me to this line of New York-based organic, vegan chocolate. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, GMO-free, refined sugar-free…and somehow still tastes indulgent. My favorite: Dark Chocolate Almond, for its nutty crunch factor.

Fine & Raw: I love everything about this Brooklyn-based line, from the gorgeously designed recycled paper wrappers to their high-brow flavor combinations. I’d eat a bar a day if I could. My favorite: Bonbon Bar, a deep dark bar laced with vanilla, sea salt, and agave.

What’s your favorite healthy chocolate? Tell me in the comments!

The flip side of being a cookie addict? Being equally loyal to exercise. Check out our take on the latest fitness craze.

The Dreaded “D” Word: Well-Balanced

You wouldn’t know it from how much we talk about cookies, but Birchbox staffers are a pretty healthy bunch. We love our veggies and mind-clearing workouts, and are always up to try the latest fitness class or nutrition bar. Which is why we have new regular column: Well-Balanced. Check back weekly for our latest wellness obsession.

After a Thanksgiving holiday filled with nonstop eating and drinking, I’m due for a little de-puffing. I gave up diets long ago, but I like the idea of an occasional detox. I don’t mean the Master Cleanse variety — my idea of a detox is going a week without drinking, a few days without processed foods, or even just a weekend of yoga and only homecooked meals. 

My latest cleansing tool: Kusmi Tea. The Paris-based brand has a range of high-quality teas, but I especially love the wellness blends. Their Detox tea is made from green tea, mate, and lemon grass, all of which spur digestion, flush out toxins, and generally undo your Thanksgiving damage. It’s aromatic and smooth, with none of the bitterness that lesser green teas can carry — I’ve been sipping it in the afternoons instead of coffee. A few more vinyasa classes and I’ll be back to normal just in time for the next round of holiday feasting.

—Mollie

Another tea that does wonders for digestion: Chamomile. Try Zhena’s blend, which is one of our faves.