Mastering “The Start”

Waking up on the right side of the bed starts the day before.

— Life is a Recipe

Have you ever awakened with the nastiest hangover? Maybe you drank a little too much, had too much salty or sweet food, or you went to bed far past midnight. You probably woke up cranky, bloated, or with a headache the size of Haley’s Comet.

How we set ourselves up and how we take care of ourselves really determines how we are going to wake up.

Is it possible to know in what state we will wake up? Why does one inexplicably awaken in a bad mood? I have a teenage daughter who wakes up quite grumpy and stays that way for a few hours. When comparing notes with other moms, they’ve told me they experience the same thing. When I try to make her come around with humor, my mother tells me to leave her alone; that I was 20 times worse in the mornings when I was a teenager. I learned later that because the teenage brain is growing faster than at any other time in life except infancy, teenagers can need up to 10 hours of sleep to even function at a normal level!

Now that I’m older, mornings are my favorite time. I love breakfast; I love checking out my garden while I sip my morning cup of tea. So much of how I transitioned from a grumpy morning dragon to this very eager morning person has to do with the day before. How well I have eaten, managed my stress levels, the hour I went to bed, and making sure that most of my day was filled with positive thoughts, all add to a “Life Recipe” for waking up happy now.

Now, almost all of my mornings seem to be good. Imagine not wanting to hit the snooze button because, even with all of it’s potential challenges, I can’t wait to see what the day will bring. Consistently starting fresh has drastically changed my quality of life.  But the truth is that waking up on the right side of the bed actually takes a little prep.

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I have a good friend who always complains that she works out constantly, but she never seems to lose weight. One day we went over how she eats. Like many people, she skips breakfast. She doesn’t like eating when she wakes up. That habit changed when I had her come over one day and prepare a recipe with me. It’s so simple and quick, and now she has a favorite breakfast recipe. My kids also love this breakfast, and it’s really fun to make. Even if we don’t like eating breakfast, we must train ourselves to eat it, so that we don’t have “monster grumbles” that everyone can hear, we don’t become “hangry” throughout the day, and so that we can be more vivacious and alert. We need to be fueled.

A friend of mine, who is a nutritional expert, once told me something that never left my mind: He asked me if I had a Ferrari, what kind of fuel would I put in it? I obviously replied, “the best fuel possible.” Looking seriously into my eyes, he said, “You can replace the Ferrari you waited years to get, but your body is the only one you’re ever going to get. If it falls apart, you cannot replace it!”

Every day, we need to put the best ingredients in our body, make sure we rest well, eat well, drink enough water, and exercise regularly. These are all ingredients for waking up in a happy mood.  It’s simple but it’s something we often forget.

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Life Recipe:
Mastering "The Start"

  1. Think about your perfect sleep environment. What's missing from you current environment that will help you rest well?
  2. Make sure you plan ahead, so that you have enough hours of sleep scheduled. Just like we schedule our days, we should schedule our rest. The prep for a wonderful next day is similar to how you prep for creating a wonderful meal.
  3. Try going to bed at the same time every night.
  4. Make sure you don’t watch or read anything that will fill you with negative thoughts before bedtime.
  5. Focus your thoughts on being grateful for what “is.”
  6. Keep a gratitude journal by your bedside and list five things that day that made you feel thankful. Go to bed at night with three positive thoughts. These can be the simplest things, such as what you are grateful for, the best part of your day, what you’re looking forward to. If you’re not looking forward to anything, create something.
  7. Get excited about breakfast and starting well. You may not realize it but it sets the tone for the rest of the day. Envision the kind of powerful, peaceful, and productive day you envision.

Breakfast Recipe:
Breakfast Sandwich & Yogurt Lassi Smoothie

  • 2 slices gluten-free bread
  • 2 slices green tomato (fresh)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup baby spinach
  • ½ teaspoon butter (to spread on toast)
  • 3 slices of bacon (crispy)
  • coconut oil (or ghee)
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1 pound strawberries (fresh)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (organic)
  • a pinch of cardamom
  • ¾ cup of Greek yogurt
  • ice cubes

Instructions for Green Tomato and Bacon Sandwich

  1. On medium-low heat, warm 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and fry the egg.

  2. Sprinkle with salt and Life is a Recipe® Garam Masala on top and set aside.

  3. Toast bread to your desire while cooking egg.

  4. Butter bread.

  5. Add spinach on top of bread.

  6. Next, layer green tomato and add fried egg on top.

  7. Top the fried egg with bacon slices and cover with bread.

  8. Cut the sandwich in half and let the yolk of the egg take over.

Instructions for Strawberry Yogurt Lassi

  1. Wash and cut off stems of strawberries and add to the blender.

  2. Add yogurt to blender and puree.

  3. Add honey and ice cubes and blend.

  4. Pour into glass and sprinkle with cardamom.

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