My favorite holiday indulgences

As this week comes to a close and we move into the next two holiday weeks, it's inevitable that you'll be indulging a bit... in food, in sweets, in alcohol, and hopefully in some lounging (we all need to rest this time of year).

I think indulgence is key to a balanced life and, this time of year especially, that it can support lots of positive emotions. But, you have to be intentional and aware of your indulgence. 

For many of you sensitive, soul-driven women in my community, holidays aren't the easiest time of year. You pick up on other people's stress and emotions, you feel anxious about being with family that makes you feel like the odd one, and your personalized diet makes you nervous about what the holiday meal might entail (or if you can eat it at all). 

If you deprive yourself, skipping everything, you run the risk of feeling resentful, like you're missing out and not at all nourished. But you don't want to go all-in either, or you'll be left with an unhappy body and emotional roller coaster of guilt about it all. 

While you might just want to say f*ck it and eat whatever--having sugary foods to hype you up or drinking alcohol to take the edge off--this is not serving anyone, especially you. 

So, it's important to make choices that will feel good for your body and your conscience.

When done with intention, indulging can make you feel more included, more in connection with others, and even more tuned in to your own needs (which gets tricky this time of year). 

In hopes that you'll participate in the celebratory vibes and feel good about it, I'm sharing my favorite holiday indulgences. It's not a big list because a little goes a long way, and these things are so good, I think you'll be delightfully surprised at how satiated you feel from them. 

Here's the list:

  • My favorite holiday chocolate bar is Chocolove Holiday Fruits and Nuts in Dark Chocolate. Perfect on it's own! 

  • My favorite cookies this time of year are my "Ore-no" Cookies. They're named for having no allergens, except nuts but tasting like that famous cookie (you can substitute with ground seed flour if you're sensitive to nuts). Download the holiday recipe card I made you here. For a festive touch, top with Little Secrets Peppermint Dark Chocolate Pieces

  • My favorite holiday beverage, that feels extra festive, is nog. It's quite sweet, but I love So Delicious Coconut Nog (dairy and egg free). It's even more delicious with Crusoe Organic Spiced Rum. Best served in a holiday themed glass, since the nog is only available this time of year.

  • My favorite alcoholic beverage to pair with a meal is Stem Cider. Stem Cider is naturally gluten free and made locally in Colorado, where we can get many amazing seasonal flavors. But, if you're not local, you can also find Stem in California, Illinois, Kansas and Missouri (search your location here). If you can't get Stem Cider, look at your local liquor store for other brands of cider. Avoid big name brands that include high fructose corn syrup and other preservatives and additives. Go small batch and regional when possible. 

  • My favorite side dish to cook is Jamie Oliver's Red Cabbage (with bacon, rosemary, apple and balsamic). It's not exactly an indulgence, but it's a dish I only make this time of year. It's rich flavor profile tastes so holiday-like to me and the fried rosemary (which takes more effort than I'd use on a daily meal) absolutely makes it. It's also a happy gut food and feeds a lot of people. 

The beauty of these things is that you can have them in your own home, or bring to a gathering, and really enjoy them without guilt.

This list isn't magic, so you'll still need to take care of yourself. Don't forget the obvious things like eating vegetables and variety of colorful foods, and of course staying hydrated. If you eat more rich foods than you'd like, take some digestive supportive herbs or supplements. Take activated charcoal capsules before bed with lots of water (and away from any other medications or supplements) after drinking alcohol. Include herbal teas to help calm your nerves before gatherings or at bedtime, and always prioritize your own nutritional needs. 

Plus, remember that feeling well inside and out takes more than just food. Allow yourself some time to relax on the sofa with a book. Spend quality time with your favorite people and pets. Get outside in nature and go for walks. Hop on the bike or in the sauna for a sweat. And, don't skimp on sleep!

Take a deep breath and exhale anytime you need to recalibrate. Ask your body what it really needs and follow its lead. If you're having a hard time in any given moment, pause and think of something you are grateful for or really appreciate in the moment. This is my go to presence-ing technique! 

I really hope this email helps you get through the holidays with more ease! I'd love to know if you have a favorite indulgence from the list or that you love this time of year. Share with me on social or click reply to let me know.

Wishing you a peaceful time, where you can find your own inner joy again and again. 
Love, Brandi