I do really well with daily routines. They help me form, break, or keep habits, prevent decision fatigue, and provide a sense of comfort. I know this isn't true for everyone. Cary, for example, doesn't like the idea of routines as much. He doesn't want the days to feel mundane or boring. But I think small routines throughout a day while also leaving room for spontaneity can be really nice. Here I've listed just a few small things that I do (or strive to do) each morning, plus a recipe for my favorite summertime breakfast.
I set my alarm for at least 1.5 hours before I need to start working. I've found that I need this time to slowly wake up in the morning. It gives me time to get ready, have coffee, and relax for a bit before diving into the day.
The first thing I do is make the bed and open the blinds. It takes all of 3 minutes, and having a freshly made bed with natural light flooding in the room is such a great start to the day.
I haven't been able to get into the habit of stretching or exercising in the morning. I'm just not a morning person, so while it works for some, it would just make me grumpy and even less willing to get out of bed.
There's a few things that I do first thing in the morning, because if I don't do them right away, I probably won't do them at all. One of the things that I am trying to get into the habit of doing is putting moisturizer with SPF on my face. It's so important, and it's one of those things that would be a great thing to have in my routine when I am on autopilot in the morning.
Coffee. As soon as I go downstairs, I drink coffee. Most of the time Cary has it ready for me (huge perk of being married to a morning person!). Before I have coffee, I cannot answer any questions, I cannot have a conversation, I cannot do anything else. It's a necessity for my overall well-being and I'm totally OK with that. We have been really enjoying this coffee lately.
We have a few ways of making coffee in our house, I'll have Cary help me put together a post about that soon!
Over the past few weeks, I've been eating smoothie bowls for breakfast. I'll go a month or two (or three!) eating the same thing every morning. I love it, because I don't have to make a decision about what to eat, and I look forward to eating it since it's delicious! What I love about these smoothie bowls is everything about them is adaptable - I throw in whatever I happen to have in my pantry at the time. I always make a big batch of each once a week so I don't have to worry about cooking anything in the morning. I also really like making my own granola, because it's much cheaper than store-bought granola, and this recipe in particular is sweetened with maple syrup, so it's not too sugary while still having a touch of sweetness.
Daily Smoothie Bowl Recipe
The recipes for both the smoothie and granola are flexible and adaptable. I've included suggested ingredients here, but feel free to play around depending on what you like and/or have on hand. Both are gluten-free, low in added sugar, and can be dairy-free if you use a non-dairy milk in the smoothie.
For the smoothie:
2-3 frozen bananas
1/2 - 1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup spinach (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup nut butter (I like peanut butter)
Milk of choice - I start with around 1 cup and add as needed.
1-2 Tbs honey
1-2 tsp turmeric
1-2 tsp cinnamon
Any extras your heart desires (flax seeds, chia seeds, protein powder, coconut flakes, etc.)
Add everything to a blender and blend until combined.
Store extra servings in mason jars in the freezer.
For the granola:
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (or vegetable oil)
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups nuts, chopped (I like almonds)
1 cup dried fruit (optional - I often leave out).
Preheat oven to 325 F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together the oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Thoroughly stir in the oats and nuts, making sure that the oil mixture evenly covers the oats and nuts. **DO NOT PUT IN THE DRIED FRUIT YET!**
Spread mixture evenly onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Press down with the back of a spatula or spoon. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown. *Make sure to check on it at 25-30 minutes - depending on your oven that may be enough!*
Let granola cool in the pan for 30-45 minutes. Break into smaller pieces, stir in dried fruit. Store in a large jar or Tupperware.
To serve, pour some of the smoothie into a small bowl, top with the granola, and enjoy!
If you are serving the smoothie after being frozen, leave out on the counter to thaw or defrost in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
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