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Top 5 Foods to Indulge in During the Holidays

Top 5 Foods to Indulge in During the Holidays

The holidays bring so many lovely memories to the forefront for me and mostly they revolve around food. Homemade sauces, braised meat, cheesy mashed potatoes, sweet cookies and pies; you name it, my grandmother, mother or aunts made it and we all ate it!

Over the years and considering my developing yoga practice, I have become a bit… sensitive to certain foods. Which is kind of a bummer because like I said, I love to eat those warm, comfy foods, the creamy soups, the thick cheeses and the decadent chocolates and desserts.

For a few years I “suffered through it” and ate Brie, Smoked Gouda, pecan pie and everything else, because well, it was the holidays after all. It would take me months to recuperate from my poor bowels screaming at me. Now, combine my consciousness concerns around food choices with my stomach issues, and I could be one starving, young woman at the holiday party this year unless I make some decisions.

So this is what I came up with as a “must have” over the holidays. And let me preface this by saying I am not a vegan, I am not a raw-foodie, I dabble with vegetarianism and every now and again I could be caught eating Annie’s Mac and Cheese with my daughters.

1. Brussel sprouts and beets. My mother would laugh at this because when I was eight, I sat at the table until bedtime, refusing to eat my brussel sprouts. Now I can’t get enough of them! Same with the beets. But there is something about a roasted vegetable that warms my belly. Add some rosemary and garlic cloves in there and you got yourself an easy dish that will fill you up and make everyone happy!

2. Sweet potato mash. Oh yah… orange foods are amazing for you! Mash up some sweet potatoes with coconut milk, molasses and/or honey … maybe crumble some granola on top… yum!

3. A really good Risotto. Risotto is so easy and you can put anything you want in it! Mushrooms, vegetables, fish, chicken – make your favorite dish and you needn’t add cream. Instead use vegetable or chicken stock, maybe some butter because well, it IS the holidays!

4. Pico de Gallo with anything! Fresh cilantro, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and lime juice … oh yah! I can eat that daily and usually do. Add some beans or avocadoes and it’s almost like a meal in itself! Serve it with fish, chicken, chips, eggs … I’m telling you, it’s a staple in my house.

5. Desserts … oh boy. The sweet thing is hard for me. I love chocolate … decadent chocolate, not the cheap stuff. And I know the holidays are about pies and cookies too. I bake hundreds of cookies with my daughters every year. One year I made a batch of “healthy cookies” and no one ate them. So for now, in this moment, I say in the sweet department, give in. Indulge for sure. (Molten chocolate cake for me, in case anyone is wondering what to serve at any of the parties I’m attending this year.)

This is my gauge for eating over the holidays: I ask myself, “Will I be able to get on my mat tomorrow morning and move my body freely without worrying about the smells my body is emitting? Will I feel gross and sluggish? Hung-over perhaps? “ And then I decide from there if the food is worth me missing my practice. And sometimes, the indulgence is the practice … keep that in mind. When you indulge, indulge completely … don’t feel guilty… love every, single, last bite.
By Dana Damara


“My passion on the mat is proper alignment, powerful breath and effortless flow so you feel that off your mat. Your practice becomes sacred space where you arrive to find more meaning, depth, authenticity and integrity in your life."

- Dana Damara: mother, author, yoga instructor, speaker and yogini. Visit 

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