5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

After such a positive response to this post that I wrote last month, I’m back with some more healthy little tips – this time I’m giving a little sneak peak at what my morning routine looks like. Yours might be more or less busy/hectic than mine – I work from home and don’t have kids to get off to school – but hopefully there are a couple of tidbits in here to inspire.

5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

1. Wake up & take a sec to cuddle with the dog.

I’m one of those people that doesn’t need an alarm clock because we have 2 hungry dogs that wake us up pretty early. After they’re fed, the little one bounds back in and lays by my head. They say dogs can help lower anxiety so before I get up to start my to-do list, I make a point to pause and take an extra minute to cuddle with the pup.

5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

2. Fuel up on a protein shake to start the day.

With 15 grams of plant-based protein and 4.5 servings of vegetables,* Burt’s Bees™ Protein + Healthy Radiance is a healthy way to embrace the day. Their formula is carefully crafted from a mix of pea, rice, oat, flaxseed and sunflower seed protein. I mix it with water or almond milk, or blend it into my favorite smoothie. I prefer the vanilla flavor but it comes in chocolate as well. While I drink my shake, I usually finish up that day’s blog post and take a first pass through my email.

5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

3. Skip the gym and go for a walk outside instead.

I have an old injury that prevents me from doing high impact workouts, but I love to walk. It’s not only great exercise but it helps me clear my head and work through whatever problems or projects I might be working on. I swear more “ah ha” moments happen during my morning walk than any other time of day. Weather permitting, I like to walk as many mornings as I can.

   5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

4. Breakfast!

By at least 10am, I’m hungry for a post-walk breakfast. It’s not always the same, but it usually involves avocados. They say that healthy fats are good for the brain and skin. I make my avocado toast with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt. Sometimes I sprinkle on some nutritional yeast and hemp seeds as well.

  5 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine

5. Take a few minutes to clean up my work space.

Ok, to be honest I wrote this one here as a reminder for myself because I typically have 7 empty glasses and a bazillion post-it notes all over my desk. I’m not a neat worker, but I feel SO much better if I can take 5 minutes to tidy up my desk space before diving into work for the day. Next year’s goal will be to do this clean-up before I end the work day, but for now, baby steps.

Do you have a morning routine that works for you? Let me know!

*Based on vitamin content. 4.5 servings of fruits and vegetables would be needed to reach 25% Daily Value of Vitamins A, C, E, K and the B vitamins listed on the Nutrition Facts Panel.

Fennel & Clementine Chopped Salad

Fennel & Clementine Chopped Salad

There’s exactly one thing I love about winter – the colorful produce! I know, I know, the winter is not so bad here in Austin, but I feel for those of you up north because I used to be one of you. I live for warm sunny days so I made this salad of bright winter produce with you in mind – to send some love – and lemons… and well, also some clementines.

Fennel & Clementine Chopped Salad

First step: gather as many colorful winter veggies like fennel, radishes, cabbage, carrots, clementines, and mint. I like to slice my fennel on a mandoline, but if you’re using a knife try to slice it as paper thin as you can.

Fennel & Clementine Chopped Salad Fennel & Clementine Chopped Salad

Next, whisk together this dressing. This one is made with lemon juice, clementine juice, miso paste, ginger, and garlic. It’s pretty zippy. The citrus juices soften the veggies and tone down the bitterness of the cabbage and radishes.

Fennel & Clementine Chopped Salad

The inspiration for this recipe came from an unexpected place: method’s new kitchen hand wash :). We’re partnering with them for the next couple of months and, as you know, I’m a huge fan of their naturally derived products. Their new kitchen hand wash is specifically formulated for messy food hands – it works especially well for that slippery layer of olive oil that I’m always trying to get off my hands while making salads like this.

Fennel & Clementine Chopped Salad

I love this salad for lunch because all of these crunchy vegetables keep well in the fridge for 2 to 3 days after it’s first assembled. For dinner, add some garlicky chickpeas, some seared tofu, or top it whatever protein you like!

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Really Yummy Miso Citrus Dressing

Really Yummy Miso Citrus Dressing

Popping in today with a really quick recipe! It’s citrus season and this is a simple zippy dressing that I’ve been putting on everything lately. It’s a bright, tangy combination of clementine, lemon, miso, garlic and ginger. All of these ingredients also have detoxifying properties – so consider this a little health kick after last week’s Valentine’s treats.

Here are a few ways that I like to use it:

– Pour it over sliced cabbage and other crunchy veggies and make a slaw. Let it all marinate in the fridge together for a few hours or overnight.

– Over simple steamed veggies. Easy as that.

– Salads of course! And grain bowls. It makes simple veggies really sing.

– Tossed with cold noodles and stir fried veggies. Add a protein of your choice and some toasted cashews or peanuts.

Easy Power Lunch Bowls

Easy Power Lunch Bowls

Most people say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I personally get most excited about lunch. People who say “I was too busy, I forgot to eat lunch”… I don’t get you. But maybe I’m the only weirdo who eats breakfast and then immediately starts counting down the hours ’til lunch?

This bowl was inspired by one ordinary day last week when I made a quick lunch for myself with kale, sweet potatoes, some other things I had on hand, and these Yves Kale & Quinoa Bites. It’s definitely an “I work from home” kind of lunch, but the whole thing came together within the 20 or so minutes that it took to roast the sweet potato cubes. I usually have most of these ingredients on-hand so this sort of bowl is a go-to formula for me.

Easy Power Lunch Bowls Easy Power Lunch Bowls

What kicks this bowl up a notch are these tasty Kale & Quinoa Bites. I think they taste like mini falafels, plus they add some good veggie protein to your bowl. They’re a yummy little addition, especially if you’re not someone who has time during your lunch break to make homemade falafel.

I marinated my chickpeas in a zippy lemon-dijon dressing and then basically smothered everything in olive oil, lemon juice, and tahini. Done and done. Now I’m off to start thinking about what’s for dinner…

Easy Power Lunch Bowls

Vegan Raspberry Lemon Chia “Cheesecake”

Vegan Raspberry Lemon Chia "Cheesecake"

Happy early Valentine’s day… or Galentines Day… or whatever holiday you like to celebrate with heart shaped treats and little paper cards. As I’ve written about many times before, Jack and I have this Chocolate Molten Cake Valentine’s tradition. This year I switched things up a bit and made this decadent yet mostly raw raspberry “cheesecake” slice. How cute are those layers!?

A few notes about this recipe – it takes a little time for each layer to freeze before you add the next, so be sure to make this either the morning of, or the day before you’re going to eat it. Other than the time it takes to freeze, this is a piece of cake to make.

Vegan Raspberry Lemon Chia "Cheesecake" Vegan Raspberry Lemon Chia "Cheesecake"

I have two versions below – one version uses raw cashews for the white “cheesecake” layer and the other version uses vegan cream cheese. I wanted to offer these two options because one requires a fancy high powered blender to really cream the nuts out of those cashews and the second option will work with any blender.

Both versions also taste different – if you’re used to eating “raw” desserts you will love the cashew version. It has a fresh taste that I really like. Jack preferred option 2 which tastes a little more authentically like cheesecake. The topping was inspired by the raspberry chia jam that I make all the time – but instead of jamming it, I blended it the raspberries with chia seeds to create that bright pink layer.

Vegan Raspberry Lemon Chia "Cheesecake"