Brighten your winter days with some guilt-free indulgences

Posted Feb. 22, 2012, at 9:08 a.m.
Metro Creative

The middle of February couldn’t feel any longer. The holiday season is way in the rearview mirror, but springtime and warm weather are still at least a month away. To fix that lull in your calendar (and your step), Emmi of Switzerland, a maker of Swiss-style and artisan dairy products, has these suggestions for some “permissible indulgences” to feel great as the winter winds down:

_ One of the first ways to indulge is through aromatherapy by filling your home with pleasing scents, like those you might smell at a spa. Pleasing scents create a calming environment, while scents like lavender relieve anxiety and headaches. Try lighting candles with lavender scent or spritzing your pillow or fabrics around the home with lavender water to spread the scent around the home.

_ Then you might want to indulge your taste buds by continuing with the spa theme and making some spa water. Just add sliced cucumbers, sprigs of fresh rosemary or sliced citrus fruit to a pitcher of water and letting it stand for two or three hours prior to enjoying to let the flavors infuse. Your spa water will taste best on the same day you make it.

_ Giving hasyayoga a try is great way to feel good and keep healthy. If hasyayoga sounds unfamiliar, there’s a less technical term for it: laughter yoga. Laughter contributes to lower stress levels and lower blood pressure, so watching a good comedy or telling a good joke every so often is quite healthy for you.

_ A regular stretch is an easy indulgence to make you feel good. Breathing deeply and holding each stretch for ten seconds will increase circulation, flexibility and range of motion for that body part. Emmi suggests Bob Anderson’s book “Stretching,” which recently released a 30th anniversary edition, as a guide to good stretches.

_ After all that laughing and stretching you may have worked up an appetite. But don’t ruin your health karma by splurging on something that’s salty, greasy or overly sweet. Pick a healthy snack like fruit, granola or yogurt _ Emmi, of course suggests the company’s Blueberry low-fat Swiss yogurt. Top your favorite flavor off with some homemade granola and you’ll have a healthy, filling snack.

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