I love the holiday festivities, but I’d be lying if I said that the high highs weren’t balanced out with some pretty low lows. The truth is, this is one of the most stressful times of the year for me, and I know it’s the same for a lot of other folks, too. There’s so many social gatherings to attend, people to host, shopping to do, decorating, cleaning the house in preparation for guests, dealing with the harsh winter weather and short dark days, traveling at the busiest time of the year…it can be a lot to handle. All these little stressors end up having an impact on your health—with your cortisol levels rising you can end up feeling exhausted and depleted, but end up having trouble sleeping at night. When I’m most stressed, I am completely worn out but spend hours staring at the ceiling above my bed at night unable to sleep because all the worries I have are keeping me from being able to completely wind down. Then I wake up the next day exhausted, and start the cycle over again. It can be hard to break out of a cycle of stress once it is in place, (trust me, I know), but with so much going on this time of year it’s especially important to pay attention to your health, and one of the easiest ways to support stress management is by aiding your body’s natural stress response systems (like the adrenal and endocrine systems) with good foods.
I started paying closer attention to specifically eating things that would support my adrenal system, like avocados, olives, coconut, chicken, nuts, and seeds, and paired that with a little herbalism in the form of Gaia Herbs Adrenal Health Daily Support. Since most people are feeling a little burnt out by the time the holidays actually roll around, I recommend making a restorative DIY gift set for your friends and family, starting with this *insanely good* granola. It’s full of delicious and adrenal-boosting ingredients like flax seeds, avocado oil, coconut flakes, pecans, cashews, Gaia Herbs Maca Powder, and pumpkin seeds. If you’re unfamiliar with maca, it’s a root vegetable that looks kind of like a white beet and is a member of the mustard seed family. It’s an adaptogen, meaning that it helps your body promote and maintain a healthy stress response system*, and in its powdered form I found it to taste oddly similar to a really concentrated version of sunflower seed butter. It adds a little extra bit of nutty flavor to the granola and helps round out all the delicious fats and proteins that help your body’s stress response system keep doing its job. Delicious and good for you! And it looks reallllly cute in an assortment of different shaped glass jars and containers. I tied yarn around the top of each one with a little bit of fresh juniper so that the gift would smell soothing (and also because the yarn kind of looked like each bottle was wearing a tiny scarf. ADORABLE.) I recommend pairing the granola with some other fun calming goodies like a homemade massage oil, Gaia Herbs Adrenal Health Daily Support, and/or homemade bath salts for a little relaxation gift set. And don’t forget to get/make a little extra for yourself, too!
This post was brought to you in partnership with Gaia Herbs, but all opinions within the post are my own, as usual!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.