morning glory (and overnight oats)

good morning! today i’m sharing with you my morning routine. it’s been a little wild lately; never knowing what the day will bring, or when we will be able to venture out freely into the world (without a mask) again. i’ve found solace through my morning routine during this time.

the first week when i realized things were really getting heavy was late february, and i was unable to sleep and constantly worried. but after a week of this, i realized i had to make some changes. enter: the new morning routine.

i’ve always had a morning routine, but for some reason, when the pandemic hit, i couldn’t keep it up… until i made a full-out effort on it. namely, sticking to it no matter what. things changed immediately. so, i’m going to write about my morning routine. and this will relate to food. i’ll get there!

first things first, i turn off the alarm on my phone without glancing at all the notifications (this is a skill in and of itself). i then set my phone aside, out of mind, and grab whatever book i’m currently reading from my nightstand. i read ten pages, at least. this is how i transition states from sleep to wakefulness. i think the benefit is three-fold. one, i’m not inundated with external noise first thing in the morning. two, i have control over what i’m inputting into my mind and body. three, i’ve accomplished something productive! ten pages is no small feat when added up over time. at least ten pages in the morning, plus at least ten pages at night… gets books read!

next, i meditate. it seems like meditation is all the rage right now, but you know what? for good reason. it’s not often we harness our thoughts and energy into our breath, or into nothingness. it takes work to start on and improve upon, but once i began to grasp the concept of meditation, i’m realizing that i can apply its philosophy in every part of my life. if ever i’m feeling stuck on an idea or a situation and can’t get it out of my head, i’m beginning to learn that i can turn inwards to reset. likewise, i realize that even unpleasant situations may have something to teach us. for example: i really do not like public speaking (at the moment). i don’t know how long i’ve been like this. but lately when i have had to present something at work, i’m leaning into it. i’m expressing gratitude for the insane rush that i get from it. how i approach it and process the feeling makes all the difference. meditation allows me to turn a situation around to see it in a positive light.

next up, i try my hand at something creative. i often write in my journal, and more and more, i’m trying to write here on my blog to share my thoughts with others. i used to do this a lot when i was in college and had a different blog, but for whatever reason i stopped. i enjoyed sharing my thoughts and i love writing, so here we are. writing about food is the perfect medium for this. making something is just one more “productive” item i’m able to check off my list, and it helps to connect me with the external world.

now comes the time of morning where i exercise. for me, there is nothing like the feeling i get from running. it provides a rush like no other. i hate it, i love it, i want it to end, i want to keep going. but ultimately, what i’m after is the feeling i get from completing the run, and this feeling lasts the rest of the day. it’s an endorphin-high, it’s a feeling of productivity, it’s simply knowing that i’ve already completed my exercise for the day. i don’t have to dread it, i don’t have to worry about it throughout the day. it’s already been knocked out. the physically hardest part of my day is done. one more item to add to the productivity list.

finally, finally, we arrive at breakfast. i have a pretty full morning of leisure and exercise, so i don’t often have time (or mainly the will) to cook breakfast. enter: overnight oats. i cannot describe the way it feels to know that i have a pleasant breakfast sitting in a mason jar in the fridge for me in the morning. that i prepared for myself. my past self cared enough about my future self to prepare these oats.

oats are wonderful. they’re filled with a bounty of nutrition and they fill me for hours on end. the oats are a perfect canvas to add whatever toppings my future self is in the mood for, whether that’s peanut butter, roasted nuts, chocolate, or fresh fruit. i should say, it’s not only overnight oats i prepare for myself. sometimes it’s simply knowing i have leftover banana bread. today, however, i am feeling very indulgent. i made minimalist baker’s chocolate chip banana muffins (recipe here) yesterday and have leftovers. and i also made overnight oats! so i’ll either have a feast for breakfast, or maybe i’ll save the oats for tomorrow. we’ll see how i feel after my run.

overnight oats, taking care of business!

my overnight oats recipe:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup plain nut milk
  • 1 tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • To add when ready to eat: sweetener of your choice (like 1 tbsp brown sugar or 1 tbsp maple syrup), and whatever toppings you want

Instructions: Stir and everything together in a mason jar or other airtight container. Then leave in fridge for several hours or overnight. When you’re ready to eat, you can top with sliced banana, roasted nuts, nut butter, dark chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla extract, or anything your heart desires… along with the sweetener, and you’re all set!

another perk of overnight oats is that they last for several days in the fridge. so you can prepare a few containers at once and then your future self is covered for several days.

and that’s it for my morning routine. i hope you find something useful in here, only if it’s confirming that your morning routine is way better for you! what is your morning routine like? let me know!!

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