It’s a new year and a perfect time for resolutions, goals and trying new things. Throughout the years, I’ve learned of new ideas, tricks, tips, concepts, etc. (thanks to the help of friends and of course….the internet.) Some of these have been short lived as part of my life and some have stayed the course. The ones that have stuck, I can’t help but feel like “why didn’t someone tell me sooner?” So….here I am. In the spirit of a new year, new starts….I thought I would share some of these gems with you.
BULLETPROOF COFFEE (KETO COFFEE)
Two words: life changing. This little gem is going to be with me for the long haul. It’s a daily staple that I just can’t live without (and yes, that is fully intended to be as dramatic as it sounds). If you haven’t already heard of bulletproof coffee, it is coffee with grass-fed butter and coconut oil. In our house, we make our own coffee concentrate using the Toddy cold brew system (which I could write a whole other blog on my love for the Toddy). We use a flavored coffee (just a preference), 1 healthy pad of Kerrygold grass-fed butter and a solid teaspoon of quality coconut oil. As with anything we put in and on our bodies, it’s important to have it be high quality. Grass-fed butter is a necessity on this recipe, don’t skimp. Put all the ingredients in a small blender (like a Magic Bullet) for 20 seconds or so and enjoy. The benefits of bulletproof coffee include: sustained energy, feel fuller longer, less or lack of coffee jitters and no real coffee crash (that I’ve experienced). Oh and did I mentioned the buttery flavor and froth? De. Lish.
So, while we’re on the topic of beverages, I have to introduce lemon water to the party. Now I know this can sound like a lot of beverages in a morning (or afternoon), but hear me out. The benefits of lemon water are worth making part of your routine to some degree. Squeezing lemon juice into warm (not hot) water can offer many benefits to your body. Lemon water in the morning can help wake up your digestive system and improve digestion. It can also relieve constipation, boost your immune system and assist in weight loss. Who knew!?!
This isn’t as much a hack as it is bringing attention to something we all talk about and know we should do, but struggle in executing. We know one thing for sure, we all must eat. A lot of us have families to feed and in a busy household, this is usually not an easy task. By taking minimal time at the beginning of the week to meal plan, you’ll save yourself from the “So….what should we have for dinner tonight?” conversation that happens at 5pm or later and also removing the temptation to grab take out or fast food. Meal planning sounds daunting, but it’s not that bad once you embrace it and see how much stress it saves you during the week. Here’s the jist of it: on the weekend, look at your calendar for the week, decide on meals that fit your schedule for each day, make a list of those meals and the ingredients needed and grocery shop in one fell swoop. I know this isn’t a hack, it’s logical. But see….it’s not that bad. Now meal prep…that’s a different beast that I still can’t get myself to do. Meal planning helps me plan to have meats thawed, ensure I have all of my ingredients and know my plan when I get home.
THE PRESSURE COOKER
And there is no better transition into the pressure cooker than talking about meal planning. So, you know how I called the bulletproof coffee a “life changer”? The electric pressure cooker…..”life saver”! Hands down. My Mom has been trying to convince me to get a pressure cooker for YEARS and she kept telling me how they make “fall off the bone ribs in no time”…..but as someone who’s not a major rib lover, this just didn’t resonate with me. NOW…..when I hear it can take chicken breasts from rock solid frozen to pull apart shredded in 35 minutes….YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION. This “magic pot” (as we affectionately call it in our house) has been a life saver for dinner time. My go to uses for this gem are shredded chicken, hard boiled eggs (7 mins), pot roasts (75 mins), variety of soups (60 mins), applesauce (8 mins) among other things. I’m not lying when I say that my pressure cooker spends more time on my counter either being used or getting cleaned, than it does put away in my cupboard. The possibilities are endless, give it a shot. You won’t regret it!
To venture away from my two most favorite things, food and beverages, and on to something else near and dear to me…..meditation. Now don’t go running away, this isn’t as intimidating as some may think. I, personally, love the Calm app. It is very simple, user friendly and offers a decent number of features for free. They offer meditations, guided and unguided, starting at 2 mins. I encourage everyone to try and sneak a few minutes in per day to calm their mind. Meditation is great for stress and anxiety management, falling asleep, finding focus and for general rest of your mind. A little goes a long way. No need to sit on an actual cushion or chair. I have meditated in my parked car for a few minutes before. I have heard good things about the Headspace app as well as Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience app. Give your mind a quick break. It needs it.
Try one… try all, but most importantly…..try something new this year. You never know when you’ll stumble upon something that will make a difference in YOUR life. When you do find something….share it with others.