Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Born Sweet Zing™ Organic Stevia Sweetener – Zero Calories but all opinions are 100% mine.
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, I feel like there is a mile long list of things I would love to change. In an ideal world, I would work out more, use my phone less, eat more veggies, meditate … you get the idea. But year after year of swearing this will be the year everything changes, I don’t succeed. Basically, I am just setting myself up for failure. That’s why this year, I am trying something new!
Instead of making a hundred resolutions, I am going to commit to making some small changes to my routine that will help set me up for success. For me, that means starting first thing in the morning.
I don’t know about you, but my morning sets the tone for the rest for my day. If I start out my day out on the right foot, then my whole day goes more smoothly. A breakfast made with real ingredients leads to healthier choices all day. A few minutes of tech-free time to focus on gratitude change the way I approach challenges. Working out gives me more energy and always makes me feel more productive.
So this year I am getting out of my morning rut (i.e. hitting snooze at least 3 times and spending my first waking moments scrolling through social media), and jumping into something new. A fresh, energizing morning routine packed with nutritious food, happy brain space, some movement, and an earlier wake up time. Don’t worry, not too much earlier.
1. Waking Up 30 Minutes Earlier:
With two children under two, I rarely get a moment to myself. Reflecting on the past few months, I came to realize that whenever I would randomly get up before them, we would all have a more relaxed, peaceful day. So now it’s time to start doing that on purpose.
My ridiculous, effective strategy: Putting my phone across the room so that I have to get up and physically walk across the room to turn it off. Not only will this guarantee I get up, it will also ensure I don’t spend hours in bed scrolling through social media before getting some zzzz’s.
2. Start the Day with Apple Cider Vinegar:
I have been reading about the benefits of apple cider vinegar for years, and am finally jumping on the bandwagon. Not only is it supposed to lead to better digestion, more energy and more luminous skin, I’ve also heard it may lower blood sugar. I plan on mixing 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water, 1/4 cup of natural fruit juice, and a packet of Born Sweet Zing™ Organic Stevia Sweetener – Zero Calories to cut the vinegar flavor.
Since I am trying to incorporate more real foods in the morning, Born Sweet Zing™ Organic Stevia is the perfect option. It’s a product I feel good about since it is a plant based sweetener with zero calories and no bitter aftertaste. It adds a delicious sweetness to virtually any recipe without the calories. I use it in this apple cider vinegar drink, my morning coffee, smoothies, oatmeal and even savory recipes.
3. Energize my mind OR body:
As much as I would love to find time to exercise every morning and take time to meditate or reflect, it’s just not going to happen. Instead of setting myself up to fail, this year I am going to use my extra thirty minutes in the morning to either energize my body or mind.
For my body that could mean a quick walk outside, a fitness video, or some time on the treadmill. When it comes to energizing my mind, there are three main things I will do: meditate (I use Headspace), reflect and plan (personal goals or business goals), or reading (usually focused on inspiration in business or my personal life).
4. Easy Breakfast On The Go:
One of my biggest goals this year is to make a healthier breakfast made with real ingredients a priority. Lately, I have been in the bad habit of pushing through the morning on nothing but coffee and a few handfuls of cereal. This inevitably leads to a late morning caffeine crash. Not this year.
In order to make this happen, I need to plan in advance and have some options ready to go in the fridge. That’s where these overnight oat smoothies come in! They are prepped in advance with whole grain oats, yogurt, almond milk, chia seeds, flax seeds, my favorite Born Sweet Zing™ Organic Stevia Sweetener for sweetness, fruit and even some veggies.
The amazing thing about these overnight oat smoothies is that when morning rolls around, you have the option to either eat them as overnight oats or toss them in a blender for an on-the-go smoothie that will actually keep you full all morning long, thanks to the oats and yogurt. Personally, I almost always go with the smoothie option, since it’s a portable meal I can drink on the go.
Below you will find the base recipe for these tasty Overnight Oat Smoothies! Once you make the base, add any of these delicious flavor combinations or create your own!
Carrot Cake Overnight Oat Smoothie
- Add ½ cup grated carrots, ½ cup pineapple, ½ tsp. cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg
Strawberry Cheesecake Overnight Oat Smoothie
- Add ¾ cup strawberries, 1 tbsp cream cheese, extra Born Sweet Zing™ to taste depending on the sweetness of your fruit
Apple Pie Overnight Oat Smoothie
- Add ¾ cup cooked apples (or raw), 1 tbsp almond butter, ½ tsp. cinnamon
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oat Smoothie
- Add 1 chopped banana, 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tbsp. peanut butter. Optional: add 1 cup spinach
Now in my world, no morning routine would be complete without coffee. This year, to enhance this part of my daily ritual, I am planning on doing two things: First, I am going to add collagen to my morning coffee routine to boost digestion, add some extra protein, and give a boost to my hair and nails. Secondly, I am going use Born Sweet Zing™ Organic Stevia Sweetener to sweeten my coffee without adding calories. Delicious tasting, added protein, no guilt. Win-win.
What does your morning routine look like?
One final routine tip: Since I almost always have at least one coffee or tea on the road during the day, I am planning on keeping some Born Sweet Zing™ single serve packets in my purse. Not only can I use them to sweeten up my coffee, I can see them saving me in lots of situations where I don’t have a lot of guilt-free sweetener options.