Permissible Indulgence: Treating Yourself to a New You
Written by Stephanie Puckett on
It's a new year, and that means that people all over the world are making resolutions for ways to better themselves in 2022. The majority tend to be related to dieting, hitting the gym, and generally improving physical health. Unfortunately, most of those resolutions are also given up by mid-February.
What is the most likely reason behind this? Resolutions are often very black-and-white. For example, you might say that you're going to lose a certain number of pounds, commit to a vegan or paleo diet, exercise an hour every day, or cut out dessert completely. You make this promise to yourself, but if you slip up a few times, it might feel like you've failed and there isn't a point in continuing to try. The solution is simple: cut yourself some slack, and allow yourself room to still enjoy your life.
What is Permissible Indulgence?
Whether or not you've heard of this trend by name before, permissible indulgence is something we all have put into practice in our lives at some point. Say you decide to start a strict new diet, but then you give yourself a "cheat day" once a week. The comfort foods and treats that you have on that day are a good example of permissible indulgence.
It is a popular belief that indulgence is not a good thing, and terms such as "cheat day" seem to support that idea. Finding a balance between eating healthy and satisfying your sweet tooth is a challenge we all face, and it doesn't have to feel like you're cheating. In the end, it really comes down to your definition of what healthy is for you.
For some people with celiac disease, allergies, or other food sensitivities, "healthy food" might just mean whatever food you can find that doesn't make you feel sick. Others might strive for a diet free from fats and sugars, but allow themselves one sweet treat a day that just makes them smile. Mental health is important, too!
The real idea behind this trend is granting yourself permission to eat a little bit of the foods that make you feel good, for a diet that is kind to both your mind and your body, and doesn't leave you feeling deprived of anything. Here are some great ways that you can implement this concept in your day-to-day.
5 Healthy Ways to Treat Yourself in the New Year
Earn Your Dessert
When lofty resolutions feel a little overwhelming, try setting daily goals for yourself instead, and rewarding yourself with your favorite treats. It could be something as simple as a bite of a cookie after your workout, a piece of candy when you finally finish reading that book, or a scoop of ice cream after cleaning out the attic. You'll have less guilty feelings about enjoying a little something sweet if you feel that you earned it, and if you don't reach your goal one day, it's alright! You have the next day to try again.
If all need to keep going with the rest of your diet routine is a bit of dessert every day, then find a tiny treat that will work for you. Good things can come in small packages! If you tend to crave cupcakes, look for mini cupcakes instead (like these from our blog). If fudgy brownies are your weakness, try cutting them into smaller pieces and just enjoying one piece at a time. If you do weekly meal prep as part of your diet, this is a great way to exercise some portion control. Enjoy those bites, and take the time to really savor them.
For those of us with food allergies, having to adapt a favorite recipe to meet a dietary need is a tale as old as time. That's how Nuflours came to be! It may take some trial and error, but where there's a will, there's a way. If you're missing you favorite desserts because you've sworn off certain ingredients for a diet, try experimenting with replacement ingredients at home. Replace processed sugars with natural sweeteners, try a vegan butter or milk alternative, or simply use more organic ingredients.
A local farmer's market is a great place to shop for treats when you're trying to watch what you eat. You can find fruits and veggies straight from the source, honey from local bees, artisan baked goods, and so much more. Give yourself a chance to splurge every now and then on a unique food find that will brighten your day, or just enjoy the warm, bright bustle of the market, and maybe treat yourself to a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers instead.
Goodbye cheat day, hello dessert day! If all else fails, and you're up for the challenge of a strict diet for the rest of the week, granting yourself one day to go wild with a box of chocolates or a cake can be the best feeling.
Whatever your approach is to a healthy year, keep in mind that you're doing this for you. You owe it to yourself to leave room for joy!