5-Minute Weekly Breakfast Meal Prep 🥣

When it comes to eating a healthy breakfast everyday, we have constantly innovated new recipes and iterated efficiency ‘hacks’ so that none of us needed to be in the kitchen longer than 10 or 20 minutes each morning. While the mission has been successful, we have doubled-down on this quest. The result? ONE MINUTE each morning is all that is needed for us, and you, to have hot breakfast and coffee!

You might be asking yourself, by what kind of sorcery is this possible? It’s a fair question, as the laws of physics do continue to exist on my stove.

Fortunately, you will not require any spells or incantations for this enchanting breakfast outcome. All you need is five minutes on a weekend to make this magic happen. Here are some tips:

We love a lazy Sunday as much as the next person. To help pep us up for 5 minutes of breakfast prep, we have 1-2 favorite, energizing songs queued up. May we suggest “Si no le contesto” by Plan B or a long-time favorite “Drunken Lullabies” by Flogging Molly. Play beat-the-song as you put ingredients together.

It’s a good idea to have all your necessary containers clean and ready. We gathered glassware and lids for this little adventure.

Have a plan. We chose to have our ‘magic potion’ coffee and oatmeal. Basically, you choose what you want to have with your meal items and put the non-perishable ingredients in the containers.

Some ideas for the coffee cup: instant coffee, collagen, protein powder, herbs or adaptogens

For the oatmeal container: oatmeal, chocolate, greens powder, hemp seeds, goji berries or other dried fruit, nuts

That’s it! On the day of, just add hot water and fresh fruit, if desired. There you go, a healthy one-minute breakfast all in less time than it takes to do a drive-thru run. You’re welcome!

Have more time for delicious, semi-leisurely breakfasts during the week or weekend? Check out our other delectable and nutritious ways to start your day:

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Southwestern Skillet

Cherry Almond Pancakes

Great Goji Groatmeal

Enjoy!

💔 Break up with Sugar + What Happens

Perhaps you’re popping the last bonbons or chocolates of Valentine’s Day into your mouth as you read this. “Okay, yeah, I know sugar isn’t good for me but how bad is it really? Isn’t it just extra calories?”

How Sugar Harms our Health

Unfortunately, added sugars in our diets are way more deleterious to our health than just giving us extra calories. They can actually cause nutrient depletion, contribute to excess body fat and weight gain, cause a blood-sugar rollercoaster ride, low mood, energy bursts + slumps, disruption of a healthy gut microbiome, feed abnormal cells (e.g. cancer), and so much more.

How to Reduce Sugar in our Diets

Every meaningful change starts with awareness.

  • Learn about how much added sugar the average American and you eat (don’t be fooled – one of our vegan clients ate mostly healthy food but also managed to get in 117g of added sugar into a single day!)
  • Educate yourself about how the body processes sugar and its detrimental effects.
  • Figure out how to identify the many names for sugar in the ingredients lists of the foods you eat.
  • Check your foods (and your children’s and pets’) for hidden sugars.
  • Get guidance from a nutrition expert who can help you break your addiction to sugar and support you on your wellness journey.
  • Tools & Resources to Reduce Added Sugar Consumption

    We understand how hard it is to break up with sugar – it was one of our first loves! After deep-dives into educating ourselves and seeing the effects of poor diets, including too much added sugar, in hospitals and clinical practice, we committed to taking control of our own sugar intake and helping others do the same. It’s not easy but it is doable.

    Fortunately, we have two options to further both your education + implementation around breaking ties with sugar and gaining better body composition, weight loss, digestion, heart health, better skin, naturally elevated energy levels and more!

      1. Join our Sugar Busters Masterclass on Thursday

      1. The ’25’ Sugar Detox Challenge is where we have 25g or less of added sugar for 25 days. We have group and individual sessions to help you achieve your best results. Starts on Sunday!

    What Happens when you Stop Eating Added Sugar?

    A variety of good things! Here’s what some people have experienced through our programs and work together:

    “I was already eating well but having a layer of junk food on top of it! By paying attention to sugar intake and assistance in reducing it, I have lost 18.6 lbs in two months!” – Bobbie A., Columbus, OH

    “Fall 2018: While eating my second to last of an entire package of cookies (chocolate macadamia nut I believe they were) and calling it lunch, the thought that I love sugar a little too much once again crossed my mind. Those tasty treats also reminded me of my life-long turbulent love affair with sugar… remember when my dear love sugar gave me diabetes for an anniversary present about 10 years ago! While eating that last cookie, I pulled up an article that listed the characteristics of a sugar addict and I think I nailed 5 out of 6! Maybe… maybe now is the time I can do something to gain control over what looks more and more like a real addiction….

    Spring 2019: So there I was… standing on a digital scale in my closet looking down at a weight I haven’t seen since the 10th grade (that’s 37 years ago if you’re curious)!” – Steven (full success story here)

    “The individual calls focused on one area and the chance to ask questions one-on-one. This helped me feel accountable and made me think before I ate something. Despite the fact I could have put more effort into it, I did see improvements and lost 7lbs!” – Jane V., Columbus, OH

    “Weight loss of 5lbs, pants feel better! I’m in control and am seeing results.” – Erin D., Columbus, OH

    “There are so many sources of hidden sugar in the foods than I ever knew! I would recommend this program to everyone, especially moms.” – L.B., Columbus, OH

    “I started the challenge because of all the sugar I eat (I love candy). I have had none during this challenge and my whole body feels better. I feel more alert and love seeing how little sugar I can eat. Even more than losing weight, I love the mental focus & overall better health that I’m experiencing during this detox”- Jan R., Columbus, OH

    There are only a few questions to ask yourself at this point:

      1. What’s your current sugar consumption and health like? What will happen if you don’t make any changes and continue on this path?

      1. What do you believe is possible for yourself – how you’d feel, look, focus and produce – if you broke up with added sugar?

    You can change the trajectory of your life right now, with your very next meal or snack. Start with reducing added sugars to win big!

    🤯 Therapy vs. Life Coaching 🧠

    therapyvslifecoaching

    “Maybe you should talk to someone”

    You agree with the suggestion but then feel overwhelmed about next steps. Maybe you don’t want to see a “shrink” and you feel a sense of shame around managing your mental health. Perhaps you’re unsure of the level and type of care you need. Psychiatrists and psychologists are different in that the former is a medical doctor who can prescribe medication while the other is not a medical doctor, though they might hold a doctorate degree, and usually specializes in talk therapy. The term “therapist” encompasses those who are trained and licensed to provide a variety of treatments or to help rehabilitate people. So how is therapy different from life coaching? This guide will explain what each role and area excels in to help point you in the right direction.

    The Benefits of Therapy & Life Coaching

    Therapy is typically used to treat mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or trauma. It involves talking to a therapist about past experiences and current feelings in order to gain insight into the underlying causes of a person’s struggles.

    Life coaching, on the other hand, is more focused on helping people achieve specific goals and objectives in their life. The coach works with the client to identify areas that need improvement and then creates an action plan for how they can get there. Life coaches often help people find clarity around their purpose in life and create strategies for achieving success in various aspects of their lives such as career, relationships, finances, and more.

    When to Seek Support From a Therapist or a Life Coach

    Therapy and life coaching are two very different approaches to help people reach their goals. Therapy focuses on understanding the root causes of a person’s issues, while life coaching is more goal-oriented and action-focused.

    In the field of psychotherapy, many of the founders were focused on the patient’s background and childhood. Therapy is the appropriate place for getting a diagnosis and dealing with unconscious, repressed emotions and trauma from the past. Additionally, brain disorders, addictions (e.g. alcoholism), anxiety and depression, and personality disorders (e.g. narcissistic and borderline personality disorders) are within the purview of therapy. Looking into the past with therapy can be the place to start when people feel they cannot function in their lives or that their career, relationships, and other aspects of life just not working. These people might find it hard, if not impossible, to pull themselves up by their bootstraps much less pull themselves off the couch.

    Outside of this, there are many issues that don’t require therapy in order to be solved. With life coaching, instead of being stuck in the story of the past, you’re creating a new narrative for yourself. There’s an analysis of your current state and then a distinct movement forward. Changing thoughts and behavior along with active problem-solving are involved. This person tends to be ‘functioning’ in life but they want to do, be, and have better. Support around optimizing and thriving to get to the next level is the name of the game. These people aren’t severely depressed and struggling to get out of bed; instead, they might be thinking of how to best structure their morning routines for increased productivity.

    Think of functioning on a spectrum; there is non-functioning (which could include people with severe anxiety and/or depression, suicidal thoughts, or PTSD), functioning being more in the middle (being able to get out of bed and hold down a job, etc) and then thriving. Therapy can really help move from non-functioning to functioning. Life coaching can really help people move from a functional level to more of a next-level way of playing the game of life.

    Therapy vs. Life Coaching: How do They Differ?

    A therapist and a life coach are both professionals who can help individuals to make positive changes in their lives, but they do so in different ways. Here are some key differences between the two:

    • Training and qualifications: Therapists are trained mental health professionals who have a degree in psychology, social work, or a related field. They must also be licensed in order to practice. Life coaches, on the other hand, come from a variety of professional backgrounds and may or may not have formal training in a specific field. Some life coaches may be certified through a coaching program, but this is not required in order to practice. here is a responsibility for self-regulating and appropriately referring out clients who need therapy.

    • Approach to treatment: Therapists use a variety of techniques, such as talk therapy, to help individuals address and overcome mental health issues or personal challenges. Life coaches don’t “treat” anyone; they help individuals to set and achieve specific objectives, and may use techniques such as visualization, goal-setting and accountability to help their clients make progress.

    • Past-focused vs. future-focused. In short, therapy tends to be more past-focused and life coaching is more future-focused. Through focusing on the past, as well as present concerns, therapists can help individuals identify and work through underlying emotional issues. Life coaches, on the other hand, focus more on the present and future. They can help you develop a sense of purpose and satisfaction in work and life, resilience, meaningful connection with others, and create more joy and balance in life so that you can optimize fulfillment.

    • Scope of practice: Therapists are trained to work with individuals who have mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or trauma. They are qualified to diagnose and treat these issues. Life coaches, on the other hand, do not diagnose or treat mental health issues. They focus on helping individuals to achieve specific goals or make positive changes in their personal or professional lives.

    Overall, the main difference between therapists and life coaches is the scope of their practice and the approach they take to treatment. While both can be helpful in making positive changes in one’s life, it is important to choose the right professional based on your specific needs and goals.

    In the Client Spotlight with Teresa Curtiss! 🎉

    How did this program change things for you?

    This program was a game changer for me. I knew I had food sensitivities and thought I had cut all of them out of my diet, but yet I was still sick. I learned that I had a reaction to some of the healthy things I was eating daily [emphasis added]. I finally have a list of foods to stay away from, no more guessing at what might be the issue. I stay clear of these, plus some additional food intolerances, and I feel great. 

    What surprises and new strengths have you gotten from this experience?

    I have my health back. I’m starting to enjoy food again instead of dreading eating and getting sick. I was just sticking with the same items that I thought were safe, not wanting to try new recipes.

    My diet has opened up to more options now that I know what to avoid. I’m surprised at how much more variety of foods I can eat now. Even though there are quite a few foods I need to steer clear of (for now), I still have more options than I did before. I’ve just recently gone back to recipes in my cookbooks that I loved in the past, but thought they were making me sick. I can eat them again with no issues.

    What is the thing you benefited from and/or enjoyed the most so far?

    Getting my health back!

    I had hoped to find out all the foods I had a food sensitivity to and to relieve my symptoms. I didn’t know I could feel this good again! It’s wonderful to be able to consistently feel good and not have to worry about my symptoms interfering with my day and holding me back from the things I want to accomplish.

    I really appreciate our time together and definitely hope to stay in touch (I just referred someone to you last week).

    Thanks,

    Teresa Curtiss


    Imagine something ‘healthy’ you eat almost everyday – like a banana or maybe some kale – and it actually being the culprit behind your symptoms! This is one of the reasons why it’s important to assess for food sensitivities and intolerances – a problem food could be flying beneath the radar because it’s a ‘health food’. Luckily, Teresa has figured out some of the major ones and her symptoms have improved! Could identifying potential food sensitivities do the same for you? Find out here and schedule a complimentary, 20-minute Discovery Call to get started!

    10 Healthy, Plant-based Fall Snacks 🍂

    Maybe it’s all the autumn activities or just the season of our lives, but we’re probably not alone in feeling like a squirrel on a sugar-high. Scattered. Busy. Trying to maintain a mental map of the yards where we hid our nuts. Okay, maybe not the last one.

    Still, the increase in activity, even if just shopping on Early Prime Days, tends to lend itself to eating more snacks. And that’s okay. Let’s try to have some that land on the healthier side of the spectrum. Here are healthy, plant-based fall snacks that run the gamut from no-bake and about 10 minutes to delicious, baked goods that might have you salivating at the ding of the timer after 45 minutes of somewhat patiently waiting at the oven door.

    Gold Mine Pudding

    Celebrity Couple! Choco-cado Cookies

    The Anytime Warm Apple Crisp

    Gluten-free Cashew Coconut Bread

    10TV Recipe: Cocoa-Maca Energy Balls

    Just another Mochi Monday

    Chocolate Chunk Tahini Cookies

    ‘Nacho’ Average Nachos

    Death-by-Chocolate Zucchini Bread

    Roasted Root Vegetables

    Enjoy!

    Recipe: Hasselback Potatoes by Mr. Chef

    As the lucky recipient of Mr. Chef’s iterations of Hasselback potatoes, we couldn’t wait to share the deliciousness of this recipe. Beware: you may be used to our quick, delicious, and nutritious options and this is not how Mr. Chef operates; he pours a half-hour into making a salad and a few hours of labor and slow-cooking for a curry soup. What can we say? Opposites attract. If you have the patience of a saint or an oyster, give it a try. The pearl is worth it.

    Ingredients:

    Russet (or other) Potato – one per customer
    Olive oil (or butter, for non-vegan customers)
    Herbs – rosemary or thyme preferred – to taste
    Vegan feta OR goats cheese (again, that would be non-vegan)
    Oregano – a must in my mind


    Step-by-step instructions: 

    1. Make an oil/butter infusion: low temp heat oil/butter with herbs for as long as you can bear
    2. While that’s going,
        a) put a potato on a cutting board, put chop sticks (or some other “stop” on the cutting board along its longest dimension
        b) Slice along the longest dimension to make a flat surface for the potato to stand firm while
        c) begin cutting at 1/8″ or 1/16″ intervals straight down (the thinner the better!).  The chop sticks prevent cutting it into separate slices.  The goal is to slice downward finely but not to cut the potato into slices – keep it whole.
        d) This will represent a lot of slices – as always, prep is the labor-intensive part.  Be careful to keep the blade perfectly perpendicular to the cutting board as you slice.  This might tax your knife skills a bit.  It’s worth it.  Carry on.
    3. Cover potato(es) with oil/butter infusion, place in pre-heated oven at ~430 degrees Fahrenheit.  A parchment paper-covered flat baking sheet is best.
    4. Wait an excruciatingly long time, like an hour or perhaps more depending on the volume of potato(es).
    5. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, apply vegan or anti-vegan cheese.  Cover in oregano.  Try to sort of “push” herb topping into the crevices formed by slicing.  Serve.

    The outside should be crispy, with a circular gradation into the center becoming almost as smooth and soft as mashed potatoes.  While eating, the layers should fold into interesting patterns as the knife/fork scoop them up.

    I’d never eaten one but discovered it while researching thanksgiving sides.  I am somewhat obsessed now.  It won’t be on the menu this year because it takes so long and requires a cooking temperature way over what’s recommended for a turkey.  Maybe save this for a quiet night in when time is no object.  But do it!

    Vitamin L for your Heart ❤️

    There are all sorts of nutrients that your heart needs in order to be healthy, including: magnesium, polyphenols, omega-3s, fiber and folate. However nutritious your food choices, there is a nutrient of supreme importance – vitamin L.

    How is this vitamin different from the A, B, C, D versions you’ve heard about? One, it’s not a physical nutrient. Two, it is among one of the most powerful forces in the universe. Three, when you have it, and share it, your heart beats with pure joy. Vitamin L is vitamin Love. Unlike a pill, you can’t just ‘take’ love. In fact, you have to give in order to receive it.

    Could you use a little, or a lot more, of Vitamin L in your life? Let’s start with perhaps the hardest one.

    Love for self. Does this surprise you? Most people get a bit flustered or even breakdown crying when asked if they love themselves. It’s such a simple question, but even we were perplexed the first time a holistic doctor asked the same question. Do you love yourself? How do you know if you do? Scrape off the first few layers of how you dress, the car you drive, what you buy for yourself, or the spa treatments you might get – do you truly and completely love and accept yourself? Don’t feel bad if the answer is “I don’t know” or even “no”. You’re certainly not alone. Many of our clients have hidden behind a form of ‘over-performing’ and strict eating and living principles. But really this wasn’t self-love or appreciation, it was a form of self-flagellation. It was shame or guilt that motivated their ‘healthy’ actions. Religious upbringing can play a part in this, but that’s a story for another time.

    Imagine if we nourished ourselves with love, appreciation, and joyful experiences. It’s something a green smoothie can’t even touch, in terms of deeper nourishment. So then the question clients want to know the answer to is “how Do I love myself more?” As you might expect, it needs to be personalized, like knowing your own love language.

    It might be helpful to image yourself as a separate human being. Would you tell this person, immediately upon seeing them, “boy you look horrible today, and damn girl, look at those thighs”? Probably not. Then why do you say that to yourself in the mornings, upon gazing into the mirror? Being kind to ourselves, in thought and in words, is a form of self- love. Take that vitamin daily. Maybe even double the dose.

    Again, imagining yourself as a loved one, would you say “oh, you’re tired? Well, you can go to bed after you clean and organize the whole kitchen, eat the bag of chips and watch another episode, or finish your taxes” or would you say to her “you seem tired and you’ve accomplished a lot today; get some sleep and you’ll feel refreshed and ready to start again tomorrow”?

    It’s possible that so many of us were given messages that our worth was in being “good” – as in pleasing others, never asking for what we needed, hiding unpleasant emotions from the public (and ourselves), warning against vanity (through Greek mythology and Narcissus, a man of unparalleled beauty, who fell in love with his own reflection and caused his own demise) and therefore never saying nice things to the person in our mirrors. These factors, and more, can play into how we speak, feel, and act towards ourselves.

    Love for others and greater humanity. Aim for positive interaction which each member of your family, with your spouse or partner, your children and your friends. No one is perfect but we can extend kindness nonetheless and give a benefit of a doubt. The best part is that, if you’ve incorporated more vitamin Love for youself in your life, it will spill over into other areas more effortlessly. When you pour from an empty pitcher, you give to others but there is a sense of resentment and depletion. When you pour from a pitcher that is constantly being refilled by your own nourishment, there is plenty to go around, with more joy too.

    When we care about our brothers and sisters throughout the world, we make choices about the clothes we buy, the companies we support, and money we donate. Though we will never solve all of humanity’s ills, we can start lessening them. Get into microlending to support small business abroad, say no to fast fashion and buy quality pieces from companies whose dyes don’t pollute waters, refuse to buy from companies who buy water rights and deny clean water to local communities, share information and knowledge to help people improve their own lives.

    Share some vitamin L(ove) today and start a new, positive ‘pandemic’ in your own house, community, and perhaps a ripple effect throughout the world.

    Health Trends & Predictions 🔮

    We’ve been approached by a couple of companies this week to consult about health trends and the future of nutrition and wellness. Would you like to take a peek into the now and what’s to come? No crystal ball nor clairvoyance needed.

    #1 – Personalized medicine and nutrition. We’re all so used to customizing our license plates, shoes, clothes and the like…and when it comes to health and dietary advice we know there’s no-one-size-fits-all. What works for a celebrity, your best friend, or even cousin may not work for you. We all want to know what we should be eating to best fuel our bodies for performance, heal our guts, and be genetically appropriate to help prevent cardiovascular disease or even improve our memory and brain health. Enter food sensitivity testing and DNA testing to fill a gap in the market that helps figure out the best foods to avoid, and incorporate, for your unique body.

    #2 – CBD products. Many of us are interested to see what CBD can do for our pain, our poor sleep, and even to help with anxiety. From gummies to tinctures and pain patches, there’s a lot of research and people experimenting on themselves with these substances to alleviate health issues.

    #3 – Herbs & Botanical Medicine. Plants have been used to help our species deal with all sorts of maladies since time immemorial. During the Middle Ages, folk healers were called upon to help people in the community with their health issues. However, sharing generations of herbal knowledge was parti-cu-larly dangerous during this time as a church in power not only had strict roles for women, but also condemned the pagan practice of herbalism. This sent herbalism underground and it nearly died out. Fortunately some pioneers in the 1960’s and 70’s brought this ancient knowledge back into ‘mainstream’ attention. Depending on the plants used, and the knowledge of the herbalist, this can be an effective, low-cost option, and generally one without so many of the dangerous side effects mentioned in pharmaceutal drug ads.

    #4 – Plant-based diets and Intuitive Eating. There are many specialty diets floating around these days: keto, gluten-free, low FODMAP, vegan, paleo…and interest in plant-based eating is growing. Whether for health, animal or environmental reasons, many people are looking to incorporate more plant-based meals. Meatless Mondays are a good start, if that’s something of interest to you. Intuitive eating, or mindful eating, really is different than just letting your inner two-year-old run your diet. It’s about paying attention to your thoughts and feelings around your meals and after. How do you feel physically after your meal? How full or stuffed are you and what does that feel like? Part of Intuitive Eating is about slowing down, which creates a little bit of tension in a world that seems to demand that we eat quickly while we do any other number of activities – including driving, working, or watching TV.

    #5 – In, out, and all-around Health & Wellness Changes. A typical progression when making healthy changes is starting by changing what one is putting into their bodies – mainly their food and drink. After having spent time reading through ingredients lists on food, the next common change is that people will take a look at their personal care products and/or cosmetics – the ingredients put on the body (which, of course, get absorbed through the body’s largest organ, the skin). The next progression tends to look more at changing the environment closest to one’s individual bubble – such as the home – and then thinking more globally. This could initially look like changing the cleaning products used in the house and adjusting laundry detergents, fragrance sticks and plug-ins, or water quality. Thinking globally, one might start looking the company practices behind their favorite coffee, chocolate, and more to see if they value fair trade practices, organic or sustainable farming practices.

    While some of these are certainly not new, they were definitely more fringe ideas back a decade or so ago. Which ones do you think will trend into the future? What are some other changes you anticipate seeing in health and wellness?

    Recipe: Easy Breezy Basil Pasta

    As many of you have probably heard us say, we love food; however, what we don’t love is spending an hour preparing each meal of the day. Sometimes we just need a lunch or dinner to fit 3 requirements: to be nutritious, delicious, and quick. This meal checks all of the boxes and more – it’s gluten-free and plant-based (vegan even). After the early days of taste-testing gluten-free pastas (mostly with dismal results), we are deeply in love with Banza pasta – it provides about 14 grams of protein per serving, about double that of regular pasta, and is made from chickpeas. *Italian chef’s kiss* You’re welcome in advance 😉

    Disclosure: some of the links below are affiliate links or discount codes, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may make a commission

    Prep time: 15 minutes total

    Servings: about 2

    Ingredients

    1/2 box Banza Cavatappi

    1/2 package Miyoko’s Vegan Mozzarella , chopped or shredded

    2 cups tomato sauce

    2 tsp nutritional yeast

    1 tbsp fresh basil, sliced

    1 tsp dried oregano

    1 tsp dried rosemary

    1/2 tsp garlic powder

    Instructions

    Boil water, add pasta and cook for about 10 minutes or until desired firmness. While waiting, heat chosen tomato sauce on low and add nutritional yeast, dried oregano and rosemary, and garlic powder. Thinly slice fresh basil. Once pasta is done, drain and place on plate with tomato sauce , vegan mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil on top. Easy chickpeas-y meal. Enjoy!

    A Case for Morning Routines

    Have a better tomorrow by learning about morning routines then building and implementing your own! (Video version available here in our Go with your Gut free Facebook group).

    Benefits of a Morning Routine

    1. With a set morning routine, you’re on auto-pilot and the morning flows fairly seamlessly. The alternative is jumping all over the place as you feed the dog, get dressed, check your voicemail, and look for your keys.

    2. Peace is a result of a well-planned morning routine; instead of feeling scattered and stressed, you can enjoy your cup of coffee or tea and know that you are ready for the day.

    3. Feeling organized about your day – you can see your appointments and activities laid out, and you have a plan to achieve your most important goals, even building in self-care!

    Life before a AM Routine

    We’re speaking for ourselves here, but you can likely relate.

    1. Inconsistent wake (and sleep) times. Sometimes we’d wake at 6am, or 8:45am or 11am…this left us feeling discombobulated and stressed as we struggled to fit in all our appointments and to-do tasks. Even worse, we’d work into the night and then create a self-perpetuating problem of inconsistent waking times.

    2. Adrenaline rushes. Running around grabbing work materials, finding the outfit we planned on wearing was in the laundry hamper and having to figure out an alternative, looking for keys or an umbrella…and then hoping and praying traffic to get to meetings on time. Mornings were full of stress and anxiety.

    3. Forgetting water and/or lunch. This lead to us either skipping lunch or buying a $13-20 lunch when we had perfectly good food at home. What typically followed was both food waste and money waste (from lost groceries and eating out).

    This way of living cost us time, peace, and money. Something needed to change. Tired of the results we were getting, we decided, “No more of this chaos, we’re getting organized with our mornings.”

    Our First Attempts at a Morning Routine

    We’ve read all these articles about successful people who wake up at 4am or 5am, so we decided to enlist willpower and sign ourselves up for a 6am boxing class (during the snowy/icy winter season). Spoiler alert: it didn’t work. Why? For one, it didn’t work with our life and sleep schedule. We don’t go to bed at 8pm or 9pm typically and so we were always tired in the mornings. For two, we like food; the problem was fueling ourselves around this class. If we skipped breakfast, we’d typically feel faint during the 1-hour high-intensity workout. If we ate even a small snack 15-30 minutes ahead of time, we felt nauseous.

    Reading about the great achievers, such as Richard Branson and Tony Robbins, showed me that some of these morning routines were 2-3 hours long. That was never going to work with our lifestyle so we had to create our own flexible 30 minute AM routine with exercise included. We’ve changed it throughout the years and kept it flexible to support where we are in life. Here’s what it looks like now (we’re big fans of alliteration, as you’ll see):

    1. Wash and water – we brush our teeth first thing and then drink 1 cup of water before jumping into exercise…

    2. Strength-training and skincare – we’ll play a very short podcast and bust out squats, full push-ups, ab work, bridges, ‘superhumaning’ (laying on the belly and lifting arms and legs), and pull-ups. All done in about 6 minutes! Then we’ll typically wash our face and body and get dressed.

    3. Bunnies (pets) and breakfast – we have two (unbonded) bunnies and we’ll let one out as we prep our coffee or tea and breakfast. About halfway through, we switch them out. Typically we’ll also do our ‘mental/spiritual gym’ exercises. For your purposes, insert dog/cat/kid(s) where we have bunnies listed.

    4. Launch into life – we go into the office and check the day’s calendar and our most important goals; we set alarms and put the phone on airplane mode (as needed); we’ll also take breaks to do household activities (e.g. laundry) during the day

    This is not a *perfect* morning routine. Use this for inspiration to create your own routine. Now that we’ve created a customized morning routine, the only regret we have is not starting earlier in life. High school, college, and post-college could have been SO much easier and not filled with stress and anxiety. Peace is a gift we can give ourselves with a simple morning routine. The key is to make it work for YOU!

    So what do you think? Do you already have a morning routine? Is there a way to improve your mornings by putting them on auto-pilot?