It seems wrong to pair the words “holiday” and “stress” together because the very definition of the word holiday is “a day of festivity or recreation when no work is done”. Whoever came up with that definition might not have had children or an extended family! As a kid I can remember the suspenseful and magical feeling when we counted down the days to Winter break, with anticipation of gifts and holiday treats. Well years later I realized the stress sometimes comes from having to make this magic happen. It’s a beautiful thing to watch, but it takes some serious planning and energy to pull off the holiday sparkle.
With so many people to think about, cook for, buy for and clean after, holiday stress is a real thing. It starts to creep up towards the end of November and by the second week in December the anxiety tends to be in full effect as fuses are shorter and loved ones are perhaps a bit more snippy with each other. Yes the beginnings of Festivus!
It is not surprising that during these cold and stressful weeks I seem to lean on ROYALE® 3-Ply Facial Tissue much more than other times of the year. When high emotions ensue along with the beauty of the holidays (I cry when I hear groups of people singing Christmas carols) ROYALE® 3-Ply Facial Tissue is always there through the happy and sad tears.
We choose ROYALE in our home because it’s the softest and most comforting on our sensitive skin. When you’re having a holiday “moment” you can rely on the strength of kitten soft ROYALE® 3-Ply Facial Tissues to add comfort to every situation.
There’s something else that I always keep on hand when the stress craving arises and that’s my homemade 3- ingredient chocolate.
Chocolate is a feel-good food. When we are stressed or feeling low in energy, this is one of the most common foods we crave as it boosts our mood and evokes the same feelings as when you are in love.
Many of the chocolates offered around the holidays have a high amount of sugar, poor-quality oils and artificial ingredients, which can lead to mood disruptions and weight gain. We obviously don’t need anymore emotional triggers to set us off during the holidays so steering clear of these ingredients is important in managing holiday stress. I like to add some extra ingredients and make it into a festive bark to have on hand when I need a piece or to share with our family and friends. These additional ingredients also have stress-busting nutrients.
Cacao Powder: contains one of the highest sources of magnesium, which helps to induce calmness and reduce anxiety.
Coconut Oil: the medium chain fatty acids and antioxidants present help to minimize free radical damage from stress.
Almonds: rich in vitamin E and selenium, important for maintaining a healthy immune system during times of stress. A selenium deficiency is associated with depression.
Cashews: contain tryptophan (the same amino acid responsible for mellowing you out after a turkey dinner). Cashews also have B6, which helps you to feel more centered.
Golden berries & mulberries: (super berries) contain potent antioxidants that help the body to recover from stress.
Here’s the easy recipe!
Homemade Dark Chocolate Bark
½ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup cacao powder
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup almonds, chopped
¼ cup cashews, chopped
¼ cup golden berries
¼ cup mulberries
1. Preheat the oven at 300 F
2. Place almonds and cashews on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 10-12 minutes
3. In a small saucepan, add coconut oil, cacao powder and maple syrup and stir together over low heat until coconut oil is liquid
4. Remove nuts from oven and carefully pour chocolate mix on top
5. Chop golden berries and mulberries and scatter throughout mix
6. Freeze for 15 minutes or until hardened
*Store in freezer
Wishing you a sparkly, low stress and soul-nurturing holiday season!