Starting the Day with Intension (and Love!)

Hello friends!

I know it’s been awhile, but it’s good to be back!

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Today I wanted to share a few things that I have been adding to my wellness routine. My favorite thing lately has been adding in a morning routine that I follow/try to follow at least Monday-Friday. This routine is just incorporating a few things that I love that help me to ground myself in the day, and set intensions so I can better complete the things I need to complete that day. If mornings aren’t your thing, no worries! You can always include an evening/afternoon/break routine in your day if that works better for you! I just find if I start my day with gratitude, movement, and intension it sets me up to feel a whole lot better throughout the whole day. So, maybe just give it a shot for a week or two and see how you feel.

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To start, I like to cleanse my body by drinking water first thing. Just drinking a glass of water within the first 30 minutes of waking up can be awesome. I love to warm up some water on the stove, and then add some lemon to it to fire up my digestive system. It’s just a simple way to re-hydrate after the night, and awaken your body in a pleasant way.

 

Next, I love to get my body moving! This movement can be anything you want it to be. It can be some light stretching right when you get out of bed, yoga, it can be a walk or run around your neighborhood, it can be going to the gym first thing, or it can be just doing some crunches and push-ups before getting in the shower. Just starting with whatever movement feels best for you. This really helps me to fully wake up every part of my body, and feel more energized and productive throughout my day.

After I move, I love to nourish my body with good fuel. Since I like to prep my food ahead of time, I am a big fan of overnight oats or chia seed pudding. That way I can just have it with me and be able to dive right in for some quick, but nourishing fuel. If you have more time, making a smoothie is also super awesome! Check out this blueberry smoothie or this spirulina smoothie by Deliciously Ella if you want some inspiration (P.S. check out her instagram if you want some real great food inspiration, it’s fabulous!).

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Sometimes, I also like to dry brush before jumping in the shower. Dry brushing is just taking a dry brush and brushing over your body in a circular motion, starting from your legs and moving upwards, and then extending from your chest outward. Dry brushing can help with circulation, as well as make your skin glow by removing dead skin cells from your body. You can read more about dry brushing here. My only problem with dry brushing is that it tends to kind of dry out my skin (and my skin is already pretty dry), so to counter that I like to moisturize Almond or Sesame oil after the shower. I usually just take some oil in my hand, and apply it to make skin right after I turn off my shower (while the water is off but I’m still standing there). Just be careful if you use a lot, as it may be slippery. This might not be for everyone, but I find it incredibly nourishing to my skin.

I also love to start off my days with intension, and meditation. If you are new to meditation, I HIGHLY suggest checking out Heather Waxman’s Soul Sessions (you can check out a free one here).

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Sometimes I like to set intensions for the day ahead by doodling and making a “how I want to feel” list. I list how I want to feel during the day ahead, and then I write out some of the things I might incorporate during my day so that I can feel that way. Action items that can empower me to make those feelings happen. I was inspired to start doing this through Katie Dalebout from The Wellness Wonderland, and you can read more about it in her post here.

And here’s an example of my morning inspiration doodles:

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If you want more ideas on what to incorporate into your morning routine you can check out this post from The Wellness Wonderland.

And finally, here’s a great smoothie bowl recipe to start your day 🙂

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Spirulina Cherry Cinnamon Smoothie Bowl

1 frozen banana

1 cup almond/coconut/milk of choice or water

1/2 cup frozen cherries

1 handful spinach, kale, or greens of choice

1 tsp spirulina (optional)

1/2-1 tsp cinnamon

1/2-2 Tbs sunflower seed butter (or nut butter of choice), optional

optional toppings:

1 Tbs raw sunflower seeds

1-2 Tbs hemp seeds

Add all ingredients to a blender, blend and enjoy 🙂

What are your favorite ways to start the day?

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Pumpkin Oat Granola

Happy weekend everyone!

Hopefully this weekend will greet you with a little love, peace, and fresh air.

To start the weekend, can we interest you in some fall-inspired granola?

{fun fact, Sonoma State used to be referred to as “Granola University,” or at least that’s what I’ve been told}

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I’ve been a little hesitant to share this recipe because I have never actually made granola before, and I wasn’t sure if my recipe would be “correct.”

There’s always this sort of feeling that things need to be made (whether in terms of eating, working out, studying, working, whatever), according to a certain standard. That there’s a “perfect” sequence or recipe or order to things.

The thing is, who makes the order? Why wait for something external to tell you what to make, wear, feel, say, do, talk, or even eat?

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What if, instead, you can simply create your own path. Saying “follow your heart” has become kind of cliché, that often it looses it’s meaning.

But, maybe that’s the solution to so many of the problems we may face in life.

Taking the time to slow down, and “tune-in,” just to reconnect with yourself, can reveal a lot. It can reveal things that may be missing in your life, in your relationships, in your workouts, in your eating habits. In everything.

Slowing down, and listening within can be beautiful, it can be painful, it can be slow, or it can be messy, but it is necessary. So this weekend, in the midst of this crazy world, see if you can just take five and slow down. For yourself.

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And then maybe make some granola to fill your house with lovely fall scents.

The cool thing about this granola, is that you don’t have to follow it exactly as I have posted it. I created this granola based off what I had on hand, with the idea in the back of my mind that I wanted it to smell and taste like fall. But if something in here isn’t for you, no need to add it. Or, if you would like to add other things, that’s really awesome too. Pecans, almonds, and other nuts, or even chia and flax seeds would be lovely in it.

But, I wanted to keep the ingredient list low, and have something simple and satisfying.

This is what I came up with.

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Pumpkin Oat Granola

1 cup rolled oats (use GF if necessary)

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/2-1 Tbs Molasses, or to taste (or use 1 banana, mushed)

1/2-1Tbs Almond Milk (or enough to make mixture combinable)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 F.Combine oats, pumpkin seeds and coconut flakes, and spices in a bowl. Then add peanut butter, molasses, and almond milk. Start with 1/2 Tbs Almond milk, and add more if necessary to make the mixture combinable, without having it too wet.

Spread mixture on a baking sheet, and bake for 7-12 minutes. About halfway through baking, turn the granola over ensure one side doesn’t get too crispy.

Enjoy, maybe even spread the granola love with someone you know, or place remainders in a package for a quick snack or breakfast throughout the week (or weekend)

Let us know what you think! 🙂

Reconnecting

Before we even dive into this post together, let’s take a moment, close your eyes and connect with where you are at today. We probably get asked the question “how are you” about a million and a half times a day, but how often do you  respond honestly? Or think about the question? Or, even more so, do you take the time to check in with yourself and truly notice how you are feeling? How can you be honest and aware of what’s going on inside? I know I have a lot of trouble with this. It seems so obvious that we should be aware of what we’re feeling, yet sometimes it is easy to get so caught up in life that you forget to “tune-in,” or “take-stock” of what’s happening.

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So, as a means of reconnecting, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and allow yourself to recognize what’s going on inside. Our culture is so attached to the idea that more is better, but there is so much beauty in stillness.

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As another means of reconnecting, I’ve been trying to become more aware of what I’m putting in my body. I heard a quote the other day that really hit home with me, “Our body’s are the only thing we truly have.”

Sometimes it is easy to get wrapped up in wanting to look a certain way, that you loose sight of the amazing vessel you are within. Our bodies are so freaking amazing. They are capable of so many wonderful things. There is so much happening inside: cells, tissues, muscles, organs, all working and functioning in a beautiful symphony to carry you each day. When you start to think about how you can better help all these internal functions, and not worry so much about external appearance, suddenly making healthy food choices doesn’t seem so difficult. When we think about “dieting” as a means of loosing weight, eating healthy can sometimes start to feel like a bit of a chore, something you are doing because you have to, not because you want to.

If you start to think about food as something that is becoming part of you, the fuel which is going to energize and carry you, eating healthy just sort of makes sense. When you eat to support yourself, to support your body’s natural functions and to sustain you, then you can connect with your food and yourself on a deeper level. Then eating healthy isn’t a chore, it isn’t about looking like someone from a movie or a cover of a magazine, or impressing the people around it. Then it is about allowing yourself to become the very best version of yourself. It is about allowing yourself to feel sustained, alive, and beautiful. And every single one of us deserves that.

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Creamy Berry Smoothie

(serves 2)

1 cup almond milk (you can add more or less depending on your desired thickness, I tend to like really think smoothies)

2 cups mixed frozen berries of choice (I used a mixture of strawberries , blackberries, and blueberries; but feel free to use whatever fruit you enjoy most)

1 avocado

1-2 tablespoons almond butter (or nut butter of choice)

(optional, but really fabulous) 1-2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

(also optional) a few shakes of cinnamon

Add ingredients to blending (start first with the almond milk), blend until creamy. The cool thing about adding the avocado is that they add a really creamy texture as they blend, but if this idea kind of freaks you out, you can replace the avocado with 1-2 frozen bananas. Another cool thing to try to add in place of the almond milk is coconut yogurt, which makes the smoothie feel really indulgent.

Before you dive in to this smoothie (or your next meal) take a deep breath and think about what you are about to put into your body, and have gratitude that what you are about to eat will be fueling your actions and activities.

Enjoy! Let us know what you think! Hope your week is going beautifully.

Overnight Oats

As college students we are often notorious for not being the greatest morning people. Yet, still some of us have early morning classes and full days scheduled. Sometimes along the way simple things like breakfast can get lost in the midst. One solution that has proved valuable to me is prepping breakfast the night before. That way when I’m running out the door in the morning, I can just grab breakfast from the fridge and go, no extra stops or extra money spent.

overnight-oats

[Source]

Vegan Overnight Oats:

1 banana, mushed (Optional, but adds natural sweetness)

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1/3 cup rolled oats (gluten free if gluten sensitive)

3/4 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, but wonderful)

1 tablespoon peanut butter (or to taste, or optional, of nut butter of choice)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or container, set in fridge overnight. In the morning eat as is, or add toppings of choice. Good toppings might be fruit, crushed nuts, flax seed, etc.

Other great overnight oats recipes:

http://ohsheglows.com/2010/04/08/easy-vegan-overnight-oats/

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/08/09/basic-chocolate-oatmeal/

Enjoy! Let us know what you think! What’s your go-to breakfast food?