fall and winter are filled with a nonstop lineup of holidays that make this a truly sweet time of year – in every sense. From Halloween right through New Year’s Eve, we’re bombarded by sugar-laden offerings everywhere we go. Naturally, there’s a time and place to indulge, but there’s a fine line between embracing the season and tumbling right off the wellness wagon. Wellness pro and yogi, Sophie Jaffe, has the balance as close to mastered as possible. Here are a few practical tips (and a totally clean recipe) from Sophie to help you stay balanced in the face of all that sugar this season…
My guess is you found yourself here because you are someone who cares about personal well-being and nourishing the body from the inside out. Me too. So I want to tell you that just because it’s the season of indulgence doesn’t mean you’ll be sacrificing all the good you’ve done all year. In fact, because of all the good you’ve done, you shouldn’t feel guilt or shame around indulging a little as long as you do it intentionally, and indulge from a place of love.
A lot of fear around food comes up during the holiday season. Between all the tips and tricks for avoiding sweets, we end up setting ourselves up for failure the second we eat a cookie or have a slice of pie. We end up feeling guilty which is does way more harm to our bodies then satisfying a craving. We look at holiday sweets and treat them as “bad” instead of just food—food that has the potential to fuel us and feed our cravings. Make a choice to change your perspective. It’s okay to enjoy a slice of home-baked warm pumpkin pie or chocolate goodness. It’s about balance.
This holiday season, remind yourself of all the good you’ve done, and all the good you’ll continue to do. Step into the present and fully embrace time with friends or family. Indulge a little and enjoy with love and kindness.
5 Tips To Handle Sugar Temptation During The Holidays
To help maintain balance during the holidays, and in order to truly enjoy a few indulgences, here are my tips for navigating the holiday season:
Nourish yourself | All throughout the day and whenever you can. Before going to a holiday party, fuel your body with whole, nutrient-dense meals. Eat gently and flood your body with organic fruits and veggies. Superfoods and adaptogens are a great way to give your body a boost when you need it.
Hydrate, constantly | Keeping yourself well-hydrated keeps your body feeling full longer. Our snack cravings often come from dehydration. Enjoying a cool glass of high-quality water will also help you tap into what your body is actually craving. I love making herbal water infusions when I’m craving a little more than just water.
Get plenty of rest | Another body cue that people mistake for hunger is exhaustion. When you aren’t getting an adequate amount of sleep, blood sugar and hormones that affect appetite can be affected in ways that lead you to feel hungrier than usual. People who are sleep deprived also tend to have more intense cravings for sugary foods and simple carbs as the body seeks a quick energy boost. Be sure to get a full night of restful sleep or take a mid-afternoon nap to avoid rampant ravenousness. Create a sleep ritual that keeps you grounded and balanced. I love diffusing essential oils, taking a bath with a detox bath soak and putting my phone on airplane mode in my bathroom (away from my body).
Make substitutions + create recipes with love | Volunteer to bring a dessert to a holiday get together and make a recipe that may seem like a sweetness overload but is actually nourishing for the body and full of vitamins and nutrients. I love making healthy dishes disguised as desserts because it not only feels good making it, but it tastes amazing and you feel just as good after. Try Nice Cream, Dark Chocolate Bites or my own Immunity Chocolate—they are all ways to satisfy a sweet tooth but also feed your body with things it loves. Make sugar substitutions when you can and use intentional ingredients (like the Fall Vibes Pumpkin Pie Superfood Blend) which is loaded with superfoods and adaptogens combined with the traditional pumpkin spice flavor we all love.
Above all, enjoy it | The holidays are a beautiful time of the year, and over before you know it. When you enjoy a little sweet here and there throughout the season, really take time to enjoy it. Savor each delicious bite. By tuning into the beauty of the experience, you’ll truly feel satisfied and actually pretty good about yourself. Remember, when we deprive ourselves and restrict foods, it triggers a mechanism of survival in our brains. Cravings, overeating and binge-eating happens when we deprive and neglect ourselves from simply enjoying our food, our lives and the moment.
The below holiday loaf recipe is not only delicious, but also dairy-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free. We used our cacao superfood blend for an energizing nutrient boost that tastes absolutely mouth-watering divine. Add pumpkin spice (or our pumpkin pie superfood blend) to turn this into a pumpkin loaf. Enjoy!
Paleo Cacao Holiday Loaf
Makes 1 loaf
Follow the Simple Mills instructions for mixing and baking. Before pouring the mixture into your bread pan, add in nut butter, honey, protein powder and pumpkin spice (if using) and mix until well incorporated. Follow baking instructions. Drizzle cashew butter and honey on top then finish with dark chocolate chunks. Slice off a piece and enjoy!