Feeling Rushed? How to Have a Slower Morning

Good morning and happy Thursday!  It doesn’t feel like Thursday this week, does it?  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this one change I made in my daily routine lately, and I thought it would be fun to talk about it here.  And since I’m enjoying my slower morning now, I figured it would be a good time to write this post.

how to have a slower morningWhen we travel, I always pick up some trinkets or souvenirs to remember our trip and the places we visited.  I usually end up placing them around the house, my office, or even in my car as a constant reminder of the amazing experiences and places we’ve been.

When we traveled all around Scandinavia, Russia and Europe this May, something felt a little different.  Of course, I wanted to get some of the classic items that the countries were known for, but I couldn’t help but admire more of their way of life than their material items.  A lot of things stood out to me.  Perhaps the one we’ve taken to heart the most, though, is slowness and consciousness in daily activity.  Let me explain….

I couldn’t help but notice a few things that were different in places like the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, etc.:

  • No drive-thrus
  • No fast food joints, except for the occasional train station or airport McDonald’s
  • Not a lot of to-go options at restaurants or cafes
  • Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and Panera were missing and replaced by cool, chill cafes
  • No white paper cups in people’s hands as they hurried off to work or school (they’re too busy biking everywhere — no earphones or anything!). 

In other words, it seemed to me like their culture was not based off of being in such a rush all the time.  It made me realize that, although I love the U.S., we have an entire industry and culture dedicated to getting you somewhere faster.

how to have a slower morning barristersbeet.com

Since my brain tends to think about everything in terms of health and food, I couldn’t help but notice the effect this has, or seems to have, on our health.  So I thought to myself, “What can I do to implement small changes to slow down and enjoy what I’m doing at the time I’m doing it?”  I thought about how different my daily morning routine looked compared to that of a typical working person in the Netherlands, Denmark, etc.  I had to be honest with myself and think of how rushed I was/felt.

I’m usually rushing around, packing plenty of food (in to-go containers, of course), making coffee and putting it into a huge insulated mug, drinking coffee in the car on the go (not even enjoying it because I’m not stopping to think…), etc.

Now I’m trying something new.  Something that looks a little more like intuitive eating (thanks to Paige!), but which also applies to things other than food.  So what am I actually doing? Slowing down and enjoying what I’m doing at the moment — aka. having  slower morning.  Here’s what I’ve done to try to implement a slower, more enjoyable morning:

  • Go to bed at night earlier, in order to accomplish the next thing…
  • Wake up earlier 
  • Get out of bed within a few minutes of waking up
  • No TV in the morning (not watching the news has lifted my mood!)
  • Making coffee to enjoy at home with Ryan
  • Making a very small breakfast (I’m not particularly hungry when I first wake up – so I still like to eat my breakfast when I get to work)
  • Sit, without TV or my iPhone, with Ryan and enjoy our coffee and breakfast.

It’s made such a nice difference!  It’s a work in progress and it definitely can’t be every morning — I still have hearings, depositions, or other work/life obligations that don’t allow me to sit and enjoy each morning the same way.  But at least I’m doing it some or most of the time!

Have you guys ever brought home anything from a trip that has stuck with you?  Do you enjoy slower mornings or think they would help set you up more a calmer, more enjoyable day? 

Healthy Breakfast Choices at Panera

No matter how much preparation you put into your meals, fitness, and overall health, there are always going to be times when you need food on the run.  Panera is one of those places that I stop by for breakfast on my way to work when I don’t have time to prepare anything, and it’s also a place I like to grab coffee and a healthy snack to write these blog posts ;  )

Before recently, the general thought about Panera in the healthy eating community was that they disguised themselves as a healthy restaurant when really their food was made with chemicals, additives and lots and lots of unhealthy carbs… until recently.  Have you guys heard about all of the changes Panera has made?  Of course, they’re not perfect and there are still improvements to be made, but this is an awesome start.

So what are some things you can order if you’re trying to eat well and you need to grab something on the run?

healthy breakfast panera

One of the best things on Panera’s breakfast menu is the Steel Cut Oatmeal with strawberries and pecans. It comes with a sugar and cinnamon topping, but you can ask for that on the side (like I did in the above photo).. 

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Where do I begin?

After reading over a dozen healthy living blogs almost every day for the past several years, I couldn’t wait any longer to get my own.  Don’t get me wrong — I love my blogs (visit my “Blog Friends” page to check out the ones I consider the best around), but I felt like I was missing something and I couldn’t find a blog that really spoke to my lifestyle.

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I work in an office environment in one of the most stressful, intense professions out there.  I’m constantly reminded how much I make health a priority in my life because of how much I stick out like a sore thumb in the office.  I can’t remember the last time someone looked at my tupperware at work and didn’t ask, “What is THAT?!”.   The look on their faces when I answer “homemade cashew milk”, “protein shake” or “turkey meatballs with spaghetti squash” is priceless! They usually follow up with a comment or question about how I find the time, how “lucky” I am not to have kids (read: time) or that I’m lucky that I’m young and still have a fast acting metabolism.

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