Today’s run: a few slow, easy miles with my favorite big black dog. He’s such a sweetie. I’m so proud of him for still being able to run at such an old age.

So, in my opinion, these peanut butter cups were too un-sweet. I used really dark chocolate because that’s what we had on hand. My husband loved them, but I haven’t had one since trying them several days ago.

These, on the other hand, are TOO sweet! I’ve been inspired by some of the recipes I’ve seen on to try to create a vegan bar/brownie that’s covered first with a layer of cookies or chips and then with a rich, sweet liquid and baked. I tried making these brownie/oreo/coconut milk bars, but they were just too rich. They’re good, and they certainly look yummy, but I have to tweak the recipe before posting it. That’s not stopping me from eating them, of course.

I have to admit, I was downright terrified when I poured the coconut milk mixture on top of the brownie dough. I had never made anything like this, and I just didn’t see how all that liquid would bake into something  – but it did! The mechanics of the recipe worked; I just need to reduce the sweetness a tad. It’s a good excuse to make more brownies, eh?

Too-sweet vs. not-sweet-enough – not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but definitely a balance that needs to be struck correctly when making dessert!

The concept of balance is something I’m constantly working on. As a lawyer, it is really hard for me to strike a work/life balance; in fact, from talking with other working parents, I’m not convinced that there is ever a perfect work/life balance. My job is so intense, as are my children, that I sort of feel like I am 100% committed to whatever I’m doing at the moment. When I’m practicing, I’m focused 100% on being a lawyer; when I’m at home, it’s 100% focus on the girls; when I’m playing the horn, I’m totally focused on the music I’m working ont; and when I’m teaching, I’m completely focused on my class. Maybe that’s just my personality, though. I tend to do things in a very focused, deliberate, intentional manner.  I tend to feel very strongly about a few certain issues, some of which are very specific (veganism, extended nursing, cloth diapers) and some of which are more general (the environment, animal rights, the rights and needs of the disadvantaged, socialism). If it’s not something I feel strongly about, I generally don’t have an opinion one way or another; I’ve always thought that this makes me laid-back, but maybe it just makes me laid-back in some contexts and super-intense in others 🙂 I wonder if focus and intensity, although both good qualities, can tend to lead to imbalance, as it can be hard to divert focus or difuse intensity.

Two areas in which I am always trying to strive towards more balance are exercise and eating. I have run several marathons and run most days of the week, but I’d like to find a middle ground between training for a marathon and running 3 miles every single day. A few years ago I was good at running 3-6 miles on a daily basis, but now it’s 3 miles or 10+ miles.

I also am always aware, in the back of my mind, of unbalanced eating. I’ve been a vegan forever (17 years) and I never have internal battles over whether I want to eat non-vegan food; being a vegan is so a part of my identity that I don’t really have a battle with it. I’m also lucky to have a fast-ish metabolism and slim-ish build, so fat/calories are not something I battle over either. What I have internal battles over is food choices: too much dessert, too much pasta, too much tofu, no fruit, too much of the same veggies over and over. (I LOVE veggies but I rarely eat fruit – terrible, I know!). Lately I’ve been devoting some mental energy to thinking about going raw for a day a week, or a few days a month. I wonder if eating a raw diet every now and then would force me to consume food more intentionally and pay more attention to what I put in my body. I think for many people, going vegan does that, but as I said, I’ve been vegan for so  long that it is completely second-nature to me – no thought required! I wonder if eating raw would be good for both my body and my mind.

Any thoughts? Does anyone out there have opinions on going raw, either completely or part-time, or any thoughts on how to achieve balance in a particular aspect of your life? Do you think there’s such a thing as work-life balance? Have you achieved it?


2 responses to “Balance

  1. Yes indeed, balance is so essential to, well, everything! That’s what I’m always telling people when they ask how I can manage to hold down a part time job, take classes, blog, write cookbooks, and do freelance photography. It all works when I can balance that stuff with scheduled down time. 🙂

    That being said, I take the same approach to the whole raw concept. For me, it makes the most sense to mix raw and cooked regularly, because there are many benefits (health, taste) to be gained from both.

    • You are right; balance is part of, and essential to, everything! It puzzles me that balance is something that some of us conscientiously work at, and that for others it is basically unattainable (and yet I know people for whom it is not at all an issue – it just comes naturally).

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