Doesn’t it make you dizzy just thinking about all of that? There’s probably no greater time of the calendar year that we lump so much on our plates – literally and figuratively! We often strive to make the holiday season picture perfect in every way at the cost of our own health, well being, and maybe even sanity. We envision our homes and our lives to be like a ‘Hallmark’ Christmas.
Go to the movies. Yes, there are some decent holiday flicks this month. Check them out!
Schedule a relaxing massage or a spa treatment. If it’s not in your budget, then ask one of your gift-givers for a gift certificate instead of the usual sweater or box of candy. Go get pampered and savor every minute of it.
Go out for a nice dinner with your favorite person. Make the restaurant a total treat, somewhere you usually don’t go. Make sure it’s a place where you don’t get rushed. Make a heartfelt toast even if you’re not drinking alcohol and be grateful that you’re doing something for yourself.
Some night, put everything aside, build that fire in the fireplace if you have one, and enjoy a classic holiday movie with a hot chocolate or mulled apple cider. But here’s one of my favorites to do with my topic. Christmas trees or evergreen decorations can smell lovely. Perhaps you're in a position to go out and find just the right tree or decorations. I recently found a group of evergreens which had been cut down in the woods to carve out a dirt road near a local golf course. The cut branches and small twigs I found smelled wonderful and they were full of red berries. I brought home several bags full and have spread them around a large candle as a centerpiece. The smell of the outdoor evergreens wafts through that part of the room and they add bright color.
If you can’t do the above, here’s a suggestion. It may even substitute for an artificial Christmas tree or going out to harvest a tree or wreath parts yourself, especially if it causes stress in an already busy schedule. There is a wreath company that is the supplier (their cost only) of the Christmas wreaths placed on the graves at the Arlington National Cemetery. Their Balsam wreaths, tabletop trees, and centerpieces smell and look wonderful!
Okay, folks, enjoy the upcoming week, don’t do too much, and stop and smell the Christmas tree. Your health comes first!
Feel free to leave comments after the recipe. And feel free to check out the beginning of my website where I've posted a Big Announcement! Also, my paperback or ebooks would make great Christmas presents. "Younger Next Decade" has especially good healthy living tips, important to reinforce this time of year!
Here’s a healthy spinach recipe. I think we often forget about wholesome spinach leaves which are rich in antioxidants and iron.
Spiced Coconut Spinach
1 large clove of garlic
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 tablespoon butter or sunflower oil
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup finely sliced asparagus - optional
7 oz / 200g spinach, well washed, and chopped
squeeze of lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted
Place the shallot and garlic on a cutting board, sprinkle with the salt, and chop/mash everything into a paste.
Heat the oil in your largest skillet over medium heat. Add the seeds, cover with a lid, and let them toast a bit. Remove the lid, stir in the red pepper flakes and let cook for a minute. Stir in the asparagus if you're using it, let cook roughly another minute, then stir in the garlic-shallot paste and all of the spinach. Keep stirring until the spinach starts collapsing a bit, and brightens up - barely any time at all - perhaps a minute. Finish with a bit of fresh lemon juice and the coconut.
Serves 2-3. Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 5 min.