Supporting your body and de-stressing during the holidays

Written by contributor Donielle Baker of Naturally Knocked Up.

Over the last couple of years I’ve been noticing more and more how stress affects my body. Every time I have too many deadlines or too much going on at the same time, I can see my health deteriorate, I get overwhelmed, and all of a sudden I can’t do anything right.

I’ve realized that I have to stop.

I have to slow down and say no and take a break. For my own health and the emotional health of our family.

The problem is that often times the holidays add extra stress to our already full lives. We have church and school functions, holiday parties with family and friends, and when you have little ones there’s even extra stress in making sure that you make it a magical or meaningful time as well.

This year I’ve decided that things need to be different and I’ve put in to action a few things that will help de-stress our schedules, support our bodies, and keep our family sane during this holiday season.

Three ways to stay sane this holiday

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Gingerbread cookie recipe (and mix for gifting)

Written by contributor Krissa Jeldy of More Than Mundane

Growing up, my family had a tradition of making gingerbread men and decorating one for each person at the table to use as a place card.

I have fond memories of all of us girls sitting together doing our best to make the gingerbread men look their best and even though our decorating skills might not have been the greatest, I love the look they added to our Christmas table each year.

I think these little gingerbread men cookies would be great for gifting to friends at the holidays, or if you want to leave the fun part of making and decorating to them, you can make a gingerbread cookie mix in a jar.

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Raw chocolate ‘caramel’ fruit dip

I‘m a big believer in lowering our consumption of sugar, especially refined sugars. But at this time of year, as we head in to the holiday season, it just seems to breed unhealthy and overly sweet foods!

It’s a good thing I’m also a believer in finding healthier recipes so that my family (and I!) can still feel like we’re indulging a bit, without giving up on eating a mostly whole foods diet.

One of my absolute favorite fall treats has always been caramel apple dip! It was a staple in our home growing up and we always brought it to holiday functions, so this year I decided that I needed to find a replacement for the high sugar treat. And found it I did.

Three reasons I LOVE this dip:

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6 easy ways to boost your immune system this fall

Written by contributor Stephanie Langford of Keeper of the Home.

The green tomatoes on the vine outside my window make me want to deny the truth that summer is winding down and fall will be here in a matter of weeks. (Sniff, sniff.) With the change in seasons comes the usual struggles with various colds and flus that work their way through our homes and communities.

Like the other writers here at Simple Homemade, I prefer to handle bouts of illness with simple and effective home remedies. Even better, though? Not getting sick in the first place!

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How to Roast Almonds {and a Spiced Almond Recipe}

 Editor’s note: The following is a guest post from contributor Stacy Karen of A Delightful Home while I take a little writing & publishing break. 

With Fall on the horizon my mind has been wandering to roasted nuts, sweet smelling spices, and other cool weather treats.

My family enjoys roasted nuts much more than raw ones. Roasting nuts brings out a wonderful flavor and makes the house smell good, too.

We usually eat plain roasted almonds for a snack, but I have also used them to make roasted almond butter, which is delightful. I’ve then added that almond butter to homemade power bars, which were also, well, delightful!

Roasting almonds is straightforward. If you’ve never done it before, I hope you’ll give it a try.

How to Roast Almonds:
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