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Holiday Recipes Revisited

The recipe for a wonderful holiday may lie in what you give to yourself

by Jessamy Scovil

I sat down to write this article and thought, “Do I dare? Really? Should I? How bold! Simply give away my holiday recipes?”

The thought seems ridiculous. I invent these culinary delicacies and purposefully keep them secret. They are under lock and key in my Longaberger recipe card basket. You know the one; the overpriced floral bow basket with LONGABERGER written across the top and signed by every artist. That basket cost me $150!

Recipes made from THAT box taste better. The S’mores cookie bars are top notch. “What about the peanut butter fudge?” I scream. These delectable recipes deserve to be shared. I wrestle with my thoughts for weeks until finally I breakdown and decide “YES! They deserve to know!”

The recipe below is unique - I’m warning you. There are no calories. There is zero fat.

There is a long standing family tradition behind this recipe and I am ashamed to admit that I make it every year. The ingredients often change, yet the outcome is always the same.

My infamous family recipe looks a little something like this:

One month of unabashed overspending

Two weeks of overcommitted parties, shopping trips, and company rendezvous

Three days of blatant over-eating followed by

A dash of guilt

A smidgeon of shame

Add a bushel of holiday cards that should have been mailed last year

A gallon of re-gifts to sort through

Stir well

Let stand for the holiday season

Sprinkle with optimism that next year will be different

What? You were expecting something resembling a gingerbread woman?

Well, this woman, not quite a confectionary goddess, typically crumbles despite my best intentions to keep it together. I seem to follow the aforementioned recipe to a tee.

If this sounds like you, keep reading, if not, read it anyway! I promise there is someone in your life who acts just like I do, and believe you and me, they are going to need your support.

As a fitness professional and wellness coach, I have made a vow this year to bring cheer, merriment, and balance to this holiday season. The idea came to me rather innocently when I happened to be alone one morning – shocking isn’t it?

The girls had just started back to school and I was celebrating my freedom by listening to one of my 8,000 self-help CD’s. I was half listening, half reciting my list of “oh I should usually do these but often forget” affirmations, when I heard a word that piqued my interest: Salubrious.

It almost sounds like the noise my car makes when I forget to put oil in it. But alas…I decided to do some homework.

What does “Live Salubriously” mean?

I hurry home, trip over the dog and look up the word, NOT in a book but on, my friends. Salubrious is an adjective that means “favorable to promoting health; healthful.” I kept reading.

Apparently, in Ancient Greece, it was a citizen’s responsibility to live salubriously. To live in a balanced way that would promote optimal health. Why was I utterly shocked by this? Perhaps because our society as a whole does just about anything BUT promote balanced living.

What if I adopted the notion that my life’s purpose is to live in harmony with my own soul rather than feeling as though there is something “wrong” with me if I am unable to juggle ALL of my regular tasks in addition to the extravaganzas the holidays can often provide?

What if I allow the holidays to wash over my life while I enjoy another magical season?

Can I play with the childre, and take a nap? Bake cookies and then read? Honor holiday traditions and still meditate? Entertain the in-laws and continue to exercise? Shop my brains out and donate my time to charity? Surely Julia Child concocted new recipes on a passing whim?

Couldn’t I create something new and delicious that leaves me full and satisfied? With salubrious as my guide, my mission becomes balance rather than overextending, relaxation instead over over-committing, sensible budgeting instead of overspending.

That’s it! I have seen the light and I no longer want to push myself to the limit!

My mantra this holiday season is balance. As I move through the holidays, I‘ll tuck my toga into my purse, channel my inner Grecian goddess and live salubriously, where the joy of this year’s season will be in knowing that the gift of a salubrious life is the first item on my list!

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During her early thirties, Jessamy returned to college to complete her degree, where she studied African dance and attended workshops with Jeh Kelu Dance Company. She began to express herself through movement, learning to release stagnant emotional patterns and freeing herself to enjoy the act of moving regardless of external circumstances.

Recently, Jessamy has been establishing herself among the top Zumba instructors in New England. She received her Level One Zumba license in 2009, Zumbatomic (Zumba for Kids) in 2010, and her Zumba Level Two license in 2012.

Since receiving her licensure, Jessamy has continued both her dance and fitness education. Accomplishments include ISSA Personal Trainer certification, Flirty Girl Fitness certification, Yoga Fit Training – Level 1, Red Cross First Aid/CPR certified. She also holds an Associate Degree in Human Services with a minor in Psychology.

Jessamy has performed with Cape Cod African Dance and Drum, and continues her studies with TIDES Dance Company. Since joining TIDES, Jessamy has performed in various roles for Chatham’s First Night program, as well as Chatham’s 300th Gala Event and The Choreography Project.

Originally from Connecticut, Jessamy Scovil now lives in Brewster with her husband and two daughters.