We all need indulgence. And restraint. Both work hand in hand to keep us feeling balanced, healthy, in control and alive.
For me, indulgence generally comes in the form of food. For most of us, really. The richer the better. Bring on the butter, the bacon, the processed sugar...sigh.
On the other hand, there is inherent delight in some treats that aren't so excessive. Sometimes a little restraint aids in appreciation.
For guilt-free indulgence, try the following:
Quality over quantity: OK, I admit, there's a box of wine in my fridge. Good wine can be pricey. However, "good wine", as in wine I really enjoy, is worth the dollars sometimes. I drink it slower, and savor it. Same goes for sweets. A Mars bar goes down a lot faster than a few pieces of dark german chocolate, and with much less value to my well-being.
Mix it up: Love M&Ms? Me too. So I buy a bag of the minis and I throw a few in a healthy batch of "Tree Hugger cookies" (see recipe below). My brain thanks me for the colorful bits of joy, and my body for the rest of it. (If the candy doesn't fit for you, try mini-dark chocolate chips instead)
Freshen up Happy Hour: Highballs, beer, and even wine, can pack a lot of calories. It's in the carbs. But a bit of vodka and soda (or sparkling water) with a fresh dose of citrus or local fruit can make for a gourmet liquid treat that's easier on the waistline.
Try these: Tree Hugger Cookies
¾ cup butter – room temperature
3 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp ground flax seed
1 cup wheat germ
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
½ cup raisins
½ cup shredded carrots
1 cup finely chopped zucchini
1 cup finely chopped sweet potato
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup mini-chocolate chips (dark)
Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add to butter and sugars. Mix in remaining ingredients until just combined. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes, or until edges begin to golden.