Benefits of a Routine

I’m not sure if this is just an American thing, or it’s the whole world over, but we have a pathological fear of boredom in this country. I’ve always hated being bored. In fact, I would do anything to avoid, like most people. Interestingly though I’m also a creature of habit. I love my daily routine. I do the same thing almost every day when I’m at home. And it never bores me. This has me wondering if perhaps a well-thought out routine is the tonic to boredom. Is it that the structure of the routine provides room to play? Don’t get me wrong, when I’m traveling, I love the break from the everyday, arriving at a new destination or my usual one, and dropping my bag, heading out for a walk, exploring, and then going for a drink or a quick bite. I’ll eat the local food and skip exercise (except for walking around).

At home, though, I stick to my routine with few exceptions (dinner out with friends, unexpected meetings, editing, production, house guests). I wake early every morning, do that oil pulling thing for 20 minutes, make the bed, drink coffee, cook the same breakfast everyday. And I have admit, I’m as excited about that first cup of coffee every morning as I would be if it were my first ever. Everyday I eat steel cut oatmeal (not instant!) with berries, nuts and cinnamon. I love it. I feel good after I eat it. When I’m away from home, maybe I’ll eat shrimp and grits or a huevos rancheros or a big old bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit, but at home it’s oatmeal. Every morning.

At 8AM or so, I go to work. I work till about 6PM everyday. At noon I go to a fitness class, come home, make a kale smoothie – I always, always look forward to the smoothie. It never gets old for me. I’ll eat some nuts, go back to work. And then mid-afternoon, when I feel that dip in energy, I meditate. It’s back to work after that. And then it’s the first beer or glass of wine of the day, at around 7PM. I’m as excited for that as I am for the kale smoothie or the coffee. Eat dinner (something from the Ageless Diet™ menu I’m developing), watch TV, read a book, and then go to bed. And tomorrow I’ll do the same thing. For some of you this would seem like the worst thing in the world – a boring, predictable routine. Just the word routine makes some people roll their eyes. Well, perhaps it’s time for us to rethink routine. We do well on one. We do well when we eat food that energizes us; we do very well when we work out and meditate daily. The other benefit of a routine is that it can give you room to play. You can enjoy what the Buddhists call the leisure to practice.

A routine can give you a sense of security and pleasure. It’s not about monotony; it’s about knowing you’re well taken care of – by you! With that in mind, I learned something today about my routine. It’s time to add lunch to it. I usually skip lunch (figuring the kale smoothie and maybe a few nuts is enough) but today I had leftovers from one of the new meals I’ve been trying out (again, from the Ageless Diet), and it was delicious. I felt much better. And then after the kale smoothie, I noticed my energy was cleaner, more even-keeled. Time to add lunch to the old routine.

My advice to you, develop your own routine that supports and nourishes you and make sure it includes a great, energizing breakfast (and of course, our favorite workhorse- the kale smoothie)! Share your daily routines with us & your favorite foods that energize you!

My favorite brand is Lotus Foods Forbidden Rice

Here’s the recipe for my lunch:

*1 cup cooked forbidden or black rice

1/4 of a small red cabbage chopped

1/2 an avocado

1 cup cooked broccoli

1 stalk celery chopped

*1/2 can or jar of pole/line caught albacore tuna in oil

2 T olive oil

1/2 lemon, squeezed

1 tsp salt

Dash of cayenne

 

In a large bowl, squeeze the lemon, add the olive oil & salt, whisk together with a fork, add the cabbage, cut up avocado, broccoli & celery. Toss together so everything is coated with the vinaigrette, add a dash of cayenne and the tuna, taking care to keep it in nice chunks while getting in combined with the rest of the ingredients. Serve over warmed black (forbidden) rice. And enjoy!

*Before it is cooked, the rice is black. As it cooks, it turns a deep purple. It’s color comes from the high anthocyanin content.

Anthocyains can help protect us from cancer and inflammation. They are also considered to be neuro-protective. They help protect your nervous system from degeneration. Anthocyains give plants their color. They are part of the flavonoid family. Black rice has more anthocyains than blueberries. It is also high in fiber, iron, vitamin E and other antioxidants.

*Because I made this salad with leftovers from the night before, there was approximately 1/2 a can of tuna left but if you want, use the whole can or jar of tuna in oil.

 

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About the Author: Tania Van Pelt is the creator of Happiness Series. After working in film, she realized that creating content for an online world that moves and inspires people is where it's at. She loves the immediacy and the vibrancy of working online. Tania created Happiness Series because she wants to empower people to live healthier, longer, more joyful lives through fitness, nutrition, stress management and integrative wellness. After years of research and practical application, she is excited about the newest project, Ageless Diet™. Ageless Diet is a lifestyle that promotes an Ageless You. Because getting older doesn't have to mean aging, and losing weight doesn't have to be hard. Happiness Series and Ageless Diet are going in new directions, bringing people together in beautiful settings with retreats and conferences. Books and a cooking series are soon to follow. Tania also recently completed her sitcom web/TV series pilot Employees Only, at http://employeesonly.tv.