Daily Green Smoothies!

Sometimes it can be hard to eat healthy. Especially for someone who is super busy, taking the time to eat vegetables can seem like a chore and often, we just want to fill ourselves up with calories and get on with our day. We don’t want to take 20 more minutes to eat a big salad.. Having a green smoothie is an easy way to fix this problem!

Now I’m not talking about a fruit smoothie with a small amount of spinach in it like you would get at a smoothie bar. I’m talking about a liquid salad that might not taste like a strawberry daiquiri but delivers maximum nutritional value. Now fruit smoothies are delicious, I have nothing against them, but when maximum nutrition is the goal, they probably aren’t the best option.

If you’ve never made a green smoothie before and aren’t confident enough to give it a try on your own, there are plenty of recipes all over the internet that will probably give you a delicious, fruit heavy concoction. I encourage you to check them out and give them a try! Personally, I like to get a few servings of greens in without a lot of sugar. I’ve also found that it doesn’t really matter what you put in the blender, it can always be good.

If you’re looking for a recipe, here’s my recipe:

  • 1 piece of fruit or 1/2 cup berries/grapes
  • 2 large leaves of kale
  • 1 large leaf of swiss chard
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 5” piece of cucumber
  • 1 flip phone size piece of ginger
  • A few cloves of garlic
  • 3 cups of water

This is similar to what I have most days. The word large is ambiguous; the greens take up about 2/3 of my vitamix. If you want it to taste better, add another piece of fruit. If it’s too spicy, cut back on the garlic/ginger. If you want it to be somewhat of a meal replacement, add some hemp seeds/protein powder, flax or cricket flour to the mix.

You can switch up the recipe pretty much any way you like and I find that it tastes fine. You can use pretty much any kind of fruit and any kind of dark leafy green, although lettuce is probably not the best option. If you are going to be around people within the next few hours, I would also suggest omitting the garlic just to be polite.

So there you go! A liquid salad. An easy way to get your greens for the day. Don’t be shy, just get it in ya! You will feel energized and ready to conquer the day. Do you currently drink green smoothies? Let me know your favourites in the comments.

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Morning Routine

Decision fatigue, as defined by Wikipedia, is: “the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual, after a long session of decision making.” Basically this means that you only have so much decision making power in your day and when you use it up, the quality of your decisions suffers. For anyone looking to get the most out of their day and be as effective with their time as possible, it is important to put off decision fatigue for as long as possible. An easy way to do this is to have a set morning routine. Doing the exact same thing at the start of every day helps to save your precious decision making power for things that actually matter. It also helps to streamline your morning so you don’t have to take time deciding on things like what to eat for breakfast and can get on with your day faster!

Here is what my morning routine looks like:

6:00   Wake up! I use to app “Step Out!” which makes it impossible to snooze and gets me out of bed and moving right away.

6:05   Write in my 5 Minute Journal, which gets my mind into a good place right away and sets a positive focus for the day.

6:10   Make coffee. Yes, I’m an addict.

6:15   Meditation. I use the “Headspace” app which I find very useful for keeping track of progress and I like the “mindful moments” feature that reminds me to stay present a few times a day.

6:45   Drink a cup of coffee while I make my daily green smoothie.

6:55   Chug my green smoothie. Although they can be delicious, I drink them purely for the health benefits so I just drink it as fast as I can.

7:00   Leave for the gym. Working out first thing builds positive momentum and makes me unable to skip my workout later in the day.

8:30   Return from the gym and eat breakfast: 4 eggs scrambled with lots of coconut oil, minced garlic and chopped vegetables, served with homemade fermented sauerkraut, sour cream and coffee.

9:00   Begin my day.

It’s a pretty long 3 hour routine but it also includes a full meal and workout. I find that if I hit every point in my routine, it builds great momentum for the day and I’m a lot more productive. There are a few other things that I should mention that would be a good idea to build into your own morning routine:

Drink water: you have been asleep for 8 hours and are dehydrated. Drink two to four cups when you wake up. Coffee is not good enough.

Keep your phone off until you’re ready to deal with it: I sleep with my phone in airplane mode and don’t turn it back on until after my meditation. There’s been many times that I turn my phone on right when I wake up and see a negative email that puts me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. I’ve learned now that I need to wait until my mind is ready before I interact with the world.

Make your bed: It takes less than a minute and is a good way to start your day off with a little win. It’s all about building momentum.

Limit your media consumption: Includes social media but also newspaper, TV, radio, etc. You don’t need to start your day off by being reminded of another political issue that might upset you but doesn’t really affect your personal life.

Smile: Studies have shown that if you make an effort to force a smile even when you’re not feeling it, you can begin to trick your brain into being happy again and start to change your mood.

If you’re the type that would not consider yourself a morning person, having a solid morning routine can really help with the challenge of getting out of bed. Because every morning is the same, you can run on autopilot for the first part of your day and it might be ok if your mind wakes up a little later than your body. Having a consistent morning routine has had a huge positive impact on my life but I’m always looking to try new things and improve. I would love to hear about some things that work for you, let me know in the comments!

Strategies for Rising Early

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There are so many great reasons to get up early! Whether it’s so that you have time to exercise, watch the sunrise or just get to work on time, getting up at the crack of dawn can be a great start to the day and create huge positive momentum. However, it’s not always an easy thing to do and can even take some creative problem solving sometimes. Here is a list of my favourite tricks to get out of bed in the morning and seize the day:

1. Get enough sleep

This is obvious but needs to be mentioned. Everyone is different so figure out how much sleep you need and start preparing for bed an hour early.

2.Turn off your computer, TV and set your phone to airplane mode one hour before bed 

Looking at screens at night tricks your brain into thinking that it’s still daylight out and will make it much more difficult to fall asleep. Read a book instead to ensure that your brain is ready for sleep when you need it to be. I prefer reading fiction because non fiction makes me think too much.

3. Have a set morning routine

Know exactly what you’re going to do as soon as you wake up so that you don’t have to think about it and are less likely to crawl back into bed. It helps to stay consistent with the first 3 to 5 things you do every day. Write it down and be as specific as possible.

4. Find a creative alarm clock

These days there are many innovative alarm clocks out there that go well beyond putting your alarm across the room. There are ones that fly around the room, make you stand on a mat or make you solve a puzzle. There are also many good apps. I use Step Out of Bed! every day, which is an app that makes you take 10 to 30 steps with your phone in your hand before the alarm turns off and it has significantly improved my ability to get up early.

5. Think of your why

Before going to bed, think about and write down something positive that will get you excited to get up and on with the day. It could be something related to the bigger picture of why you want to be a morning person or it could be something smaller that you are excited to do the next day like enjoy your morning coffee.

6. Hide your clock

If you’re a person that wakes up a few times during the night, you might think you like having a clock in the room so that you know how much longer you have to sleep. The truth is, thinking about the time during the night distracts you from your real goal of a restful sleep. Taking away the clock allows you to fall asleep a lot quicker and get a more restful sleep.

7. Keep the curtains/blinds open

Unless your bedroom window is right under a streetlight, it’s usually pretty dark outside at night anyways. Sunshine naturally disrupts sleep so leave the blinds open to let the sun shine in.

8. Get your friends to hold you accountable

Have competitions, make bets, put money or embarrassment on the line. Consider creating a 6am club with a few people where you each have to send a message to the group at 6am or accept a consequence.

Although I would consider myself a morning person now, I haven’t always been. Through using these strategies I have managed to trick myself into becoming a morning person and now I have trouble feeling good about my day unless I get up around 6:00am. It takes practice and discipline but learning to appreciate the early morning is something that has made a huge positive impact on my life recently. Do you struggle with the morning? What are some of your strategies for getting out of bed? Let me know in the comments!

Become a Morning Person!

Not everyone enjoys getting up early. For some people, leaving the comfort of their cozy warm bed might be the hardest part of their day. However, there are many great reasons to become a morning person:

1. Increased productivity

While the rest of the world is sleeping and not able to distract you with phone calls, messages or random noises, you will be free to focus on your priorities for the day.

2. Positive momentum

No matter how small, every little win contributes to your overall momentum throughout the day, even if it’s just getting out of bed when the alarm goes off at 6:00am. There’s nothing wrong with spending your extra time in the morning taking in the sunrise, enjoying your coffee or reading a book.

3. Time to exercise

Everyone knows that exercise is important but sometimes the last thing that you want to do after a long day at work is go for a run or hit the gym. Get your workout in at the start of the day so that you don’t have the excuse to skip it later. Plus, the increased oxygen, circulation and endorphin release will make you feel great all day!

4. Time to meditate

If you look at the top performers in any field, you will probably find that many of them have some kind of meditative practice in their life. A 10 to 20 minute meditation at the start of the day is a great way to clear your mind of anything that’s preoccupying you and get ready to focus on what you need to accomplish.

These days I get up at 6:15 every day so that I can meditate, get to the gym and have a good breakfast before I start my day. Even though there are days that I struggle getting up, I would definitely consider myself a morning person. However, it wasn’t always that way. I used a number of different strategies and worked hard to change the way I related to the early hours of the day.

The early morning is a beautiful and under appreciated time of day. Becoming a morning person has made me more conscious with my time all day. I prioritize meditation and exercise so that I can’t skip them later and I tend to read before bed instead of watching a movie to ensure that I get enough quality sleep the next night. Are you a morning person? Would you like to become a morning person? I’d love to hear about your experiences, let me know in the comments!