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Are the Holidays Overwhelming You? 7 Tips to Help Regain Balance

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Ever feel that you're doing so much that you don't get anything done "right"? And then... here come the holidays?

I'm feeling a little bit like that now... and I'm the one who uses the words "A Life In Balance" on a regular basis and even made those words the title of my new cookbook!

I like to think that I'm a person who walks the walk and talks the talk, but in the last few weeks, I'm struggling with that! Who isn't? I've got the food part down pretty well, but right now I'm struggling with the lifestyle balance.

So, I've devised some strategies for myself that might help you, too. I've resolved:

  1. To eat healthy.
  2. This is my greatest source of strength! No junk food for me over the holidays! Understand, please, that this doesn't mean no "treats." For example, my cookbook includes a great healthy recipe for Arla's Truffles (see recipe below!) that tasters are raving about. They're easy, uncooked and filled with nutrients. I've been serving them as samples at my book signings lately, and they're a huge hit.

  3. To begin my day by sitting quietly, drinking my tea and taking a few minutes to notice the world around me in the quiet hours of dawn.
  4. I listen to the crash of the waves and the chirping of the birds, observe the morning light illuminating some object on a shelf in my living room, and just feel the silence and movement that surrounds me, the space between objects. And only after I've taken a few minutes to notice things will I cook and eat my breakfast. I do this instead of immediately turning on my computer to dive into my work and check my Facebook and e-mails and cooking at the same time. Yes, I've developed bad habits like this lately.

  5. To shut my computer off at 5 p.m.
  6. Because I work at home, this is a toughie for me. But if I want to do the next step (number 4), it's a necessity. It's always tempting to turn my computer back on and get sucked back in for "a minute" and then two hours later... you know what I mean?

  7. To turn out the lights at 10 p.m. (at least from Monday through Friday).
  8. This is another tough one for me, but I've always believed in the idea that an hour of sleep before midnight is like getting two hours of sleep after midnight. Is this scientifically proven? Probably not, but I know how good I feel when I do this, so I'm going to force myself to do it to keep healthy this holiday season -- and maybe beyond!

  9. To spend an hour a day just doing the things I need to get done to "clear my mind."
  10. I don't know about you, but if I don't do this, I get to a point where I can't get anything else done.

  11. To relax.
  12. I remind myself that I work hard, and that if something doesn't get done, it just doesn't.

  13. To simplify.

I don't want to make a list so long that it's not doable, so I'll just start here with my pre-New Year's resolutions. If you're inspired to do this along with me or choose one doable "balancing step," that's great!

Do you have a favorite strategy to help keep your life in balance? If so, I'd love to hear from you.

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2010-12-03-Arlas_Truffles_HP.jpg

Arla's Truffles

Truffle coating (make first):
½ cup Brazil nuts
½ cup of shredded coconut

Then...
1 cup Brazil nuts
¾ cup walnuts
1/8 cup dates (about 3)
½ cup dried apricots
1-2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
¼ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons organic raw cocoa powder (omit if you'd prefer plain)

Chop Brazil nuts and coconut in a food processer. Pour in a bowl and set aside for coating.

Run second set of Brazil nuts, walnuts, dates and apricots through the food processor until evenly chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until combined. Roll into balls, then roll each ball in the Brazil nut/coconut mixture to create a truffle coating. Enjoy!

Note: These keep best if stored in the refrigerator.

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