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I’m actually extremely surprised that I haven’t made a post about canned food here!

Canned food is great. It’s a fast and easy way to put something together for a quick dinner, and in some cases can even have more nutritional value (such as tomatoes that went through a higher heating when being canned which increased the lycopene, and which is another reason why I love to can my own fresh tomatoes and eat them cooked)

But the nutritional value of canned vs. fresh food is really a conversation for another post. I want to focus this post on legumes.

Legumes, being beans, lentils, peas, and lupins.

Canned beans are convenient, but they also contain tons of sodium used for preservation, and you have to rinse the sh*t out of them before you use them – and that right there should tell you enough that they can’t be good.

Not only can they include sodium, but other added chemicals/ingredients like calcium chloride, animal fat, and even the world’s deadliest ingredient of all – sugar. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to have sugar – it’s going to be in the form of something sweet and delicious, not in my beans!!!

So I want this post to show you just how easy using real beans is. Most people are afraid to use real beans because they are “too much work”. But if you plan ahead of time, they are no inconvenience at all.

First of all, real beans are SO much cheaper than canned. You can get way more bang for your buck just by buying big bags of beans/peas/other legumes. Second, they are just as delicious and a million times better for you, so if planning ahead is all you need to do, sign me up.

There are a couple ways you can handle your beans once you get them. You can soak them overnight or for the whole day on a weekend, and then boil them for a few minutes until tender.

Or, you can bring them to a boil for a couple minutes and then let them soak in the hot water for an hour.

Or, you can cook them with a pressure cooker in about 10 minutes.

It’s a small step to take, but can have enormous long term benefits.

 

So I realized I haven’t done any food journals on here yet! This is pretty surprising to me because I think this was the most useful thing that I would use when cutting out processed foods. Reading what other people ate for the entire day really helped get myself on a plan, and maybe this can give you some ideas too!

Every Sunday I dedicate 4-5 hours of the day to simply cooking for the week. I like to just get it all out in one day, but you can spread out cooking over the week, too. So here we go, here is what my fridge is packed with this week:

Hummus Deviled Eggs (Puree 2 cans of chickpeas with garlic and lemon juice, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Stuff in boiled eggs with yolk; and top with garlic powder/paprika. (Eaten around 6:30-7am)

5 Mason Jars filled with Berries and Almonds (Eaten at 8:30am w/ a banana or orange)

4 Mason Jars of Squash Soup and 3 Mason Jars of Sweet Potato Soup (both made with apples for sweetness) (Eaten around 9:30-10:30am)

6 Mason Jars filled with Quinoa Stir Fry; 2 bags of cut up bunches of spinach and 6 avocados: (Eaten around 11-12pm) See my favorite Summer Salad Blog for this meal: Favorite Summer Salad Blog

6 tupperwares of zucchini boats: Cut a zucchini length wise and scoop out the center. Fill the center with stir fry and top with ground nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. (Eaten around 2-3pm)

Roasted Egg Plant topped with puree tomatoes and roasted veggies, sprinkled with grounded nuts (7-8pm)

This food usually gets me through Monday through Saturday; and I run out right on Sunday when I need more!

 

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Studies show that people who wake up early are more successful in life. So I guess that explains why I’ve been reading a lot of posts lately on “How To Be a Morning Person” – and it seems as though most people truly do want to master the morning mayhem. Growing up, I was NOT a morning person at all. In fact, my Mom once bought me a pajama shirt that said “Not A Morning Person” because she thought it was funny when I would be wearing it in the morning, grumpy and tired and not talking at breakfast.

In college, that all kind of changed. I started waking up at 5am, and enjoying a couple hours to myself before the stresses of the day began flowing in. It’s a habit I have maintained, as I believe waking up early has 1) Kept me Sane 2) Lowered my overall stress level and 3) Has made me a healthier/better person.

So take it from me, an ex morning hater, how to really be a morning person.

It Starts The Day Before

If you really want to wake up the next morning, and every morning after that, feeling awake, energetic, and ready for the day, then pay attention to how you live during the daytime. Don’t drink alcohol. Drink a lot of water. Eat Well. Work Out. Be Productive. Address all of your worries. Write down what is stressing you out and develop a plan of attack. Don’t let the sun go down until you’ve accomplished everything you wanted to, or made a plan to accomplish what you didn’t.

Make a night time routine, and Stick To It

Make a bed time routine and follow it religiously. Start when the sun starts to go down. Take a hot shower, and get ready for bed- slowly. Take your time, and really pamper yourself. Pamper yourself, and you’ll sleep better. I don’t know why that’s true, but it really is. Also, if you’re not tired, don’t lay your head down on the pillow. If you try to force yourself to go to sleep, you’ll just lay there awake all night. Read a book, clean out a closet, take up a craft like scrapbooking or knitting, do something that will make you tired, and your body will get used to winding down at the same time every day. It takes time to train your body, so be patient.

End your night with hot tea

Buy some chamomile mint tea and take a couple minutes laying in bed with a hot cup of tea & honey reading a book or writing down a to-do list for the next day. Tea is good for you, and it relaxes you and prepares you for night time. I’m a big fan of using a real tea pot to steep loose leaf chamomile and real mint, or whole ginger root. I then add honey & lemon, and my body says thank you in the form of sweet dreams and productive REM cycles.

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When You Wake Up:

Stand up and Look out the window. This should be the very first thing you do when you wake up. Take a couple minutes after you open your eyes to drink three huge glasses of water, and just stare out the window. I know this sounds weird, but forcing yourself to drink 3 glasses of water AND forcing yourself to look out the window when you do it is extremely energizing in the morning. It hydrates you, and really gets you excited to be awake and alive. Just try it! You will also be surprised how thirsty you actually are when you wake up, and how energizing just drinking water can be. It’s also a nice time to analyze the weather outside and how you want to dress ! 😉

Take up Skin Brushing

Skin brushing is a technique where you literally brush your skin with an all natural haired brush. In the morning, get in your shower and brush your arms, legs and back/stomach in soft strokes towards your heart. This stimulates your lymphatic system, and wakes up every single cell on your skin. It feels amazing, and is incredibly energizing. Skin brushing has been proven to increase circulation, improve digestion, detox your entire body, reduce cellulite, exfoliate, and has many more benefits other than just feeling plain good.

I like to turn on music in my bathroom while I do this and while I shower afterwards. The combination of the music, brushing, and hot shower puts me in a great morning mood. I got my skin brush at CVS but you can also find them online. Click here for an example: Skin Brushes at Amazon

Prepare Breakfast the night before; or on Sunday; so it’s ready to grab and go/eat right away

I love preparing fruit and berries in mason jars either the night before our several days before, and then I can just grab the mason jar to eat on my way to work. I will also get out of the shower, crack a couple eggs on a hot skillet with some pre-chopped mushrooms/tomatoes/spinach, and let them cook sunny side up  with the veg while I do my hair and make up. By the time my hair/make up is done, the egg breakfast is usually done and ready to eat!

You can also prepare a smoothie the night before, a bag of oatmeal/flax seed/cinnamon ready to be microwaved, or some home made granola and nuts. Deviled eggs are also a great snack to make a head of time and eat while you’re getting ready in the AM. For a no mayonnaise deviled egg recipe check out my deviled egg blog post here: Greek Yogurt Deviled Eggs

Eating should be first priority in the morning, and will give your body what it needs to fire on all cylinders during the day.

Rebound for 2-10 minutes

Rebounding is a quick easy way to get your blood flowing before you walk out the door. You don’t sweat when you do it (unless you want to) and it’s been endorsed by NASA as the best work out you can do to get your lymphatic system moving. Rebounding is a great digestive aid, and really helps you in the morning to get your digestive system working properly :) It’s been proven to increase immunity and prevent colds, and 10 minutes on it is equal to a 30 minute jog. I usually just rebound for 1-2 minutes in the morning before my skin brushing and shower, and then for another 30 seconds to 1 minute before I walk out the door.

Don’t know what rebounding is? To be short and sweet, it is a mini trampoline that doesn’t take up a lot of room and can easily fit behind your living room couch. Rebounding is the act of just bouncing up and down on the mini tramp like a little kid. Bouncing lightly is enough to wake up your lymph system, but if you want a work out in 10 minutes equal to a 30 minute jog, then jumping up and down with a bit more height is your trick. It’s also great for high rise living, because the jumping won’t wake up your neighbors! Click Here for some Rebounders via Amazon

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Adding just one of the above tricks, I promise, will drastically change your opinion on the mornings. There’s nothing better than being able to pleasantly enjoy that crisp morning air, and witness a new day breaking, all while wearing a new pajama shirt that says “Warning: I’m A Morning Person”