The Big Breakfast Adventure | Hollywood Tavern

Day: Sunday

Agenda: Great SANE food, great company, relaxing couple of hours.

Location: Hollywood Tavern, Woodinville – an American roadside tavern.

Weather: Sunshine!  A tad chilly and a few clouds, but…sunshine!  I’ll take it.

Cuisine: Upscale American diner fare with a focus on fresh, local ingredients.

Famous for: Fried Cauliflower. No, seriously.  It’s what got them a spot in 425 Magazine.

Big Breakfast Adventure  |  Hollywood Tavern  |  Carrie Brown

Server: A tall, lanky lass with intricately braided black hair that had us all fascinated.

Breakfast Buddies: Wendi the hilarious and excitable lawyer, and her daughter, Olivia.  Wendi is one of the kindest people I have ever met.  Shirt off her back kinda gal.

Menu: Almost entirely inSANE, and apart from a few interesting vegetable sides just about everything needed substitutions.  Luckily, they were totally down with substitutions.  I should mention that this is the only place to date that has charged me to sub out a salad for the fries.  That was disappointing.

Food: Fried Cauliflower (but of course!) followed by The Hollywood Burger (sans bun), plus bacon, sautéed mushrooms, and with a Tavern Caesar salad instead of the fries.

Big Breakfast Adventure  |  Hollywood Tavern  |  Carrie Brown
Beverage: Peppermint tea.

Seating: Cute little table for four right underneath a window overlooking fields of green.  It’s in the country, and the view was delightful.

Decor: Distressed wooden tables, a collection of antique thermos flasks, more lampshades than a lighting store hanging from the ceiling , eclectic mis-matched china, fire-pit in the courtyard.  Easy-going, unpretentious style.  Get’s real busy on a Sunday lunchtime.

Summary: Relaxing atmosphere, good service, and great food if you can get past all the ginormous plates of *inSANEity on the menu without faltering.  Just looking at the vat of Mac ‘n’ Cheese made me think I was going to have a coronary.  And not because of the cheese.

Big Breakfast Adventure  |  Hollywood Tavern  |  Carrie Brown

The After Party:  Home to meet Harley and Rosie the cats before heading off to Redmond for a trough of sugar-free hazelnut latte that while completely delicious I started to regret about an hour after I had chugged it all down.  The less I drink cows milk the more it affects me when I do.  I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that the joy of drinking it just isn’t worth the 4 hours of bloating misery and other unmentionable side effects.  Darn.

After a considerable time putting the world to rights nestled in a cozy corner at Victors Celtic Coffee Co., Wendi inveigled me to take a trip down to Bellevue Square – oh holy heck of a mall – to avail her of some equipment so that she could commence production of her very own scrumptious SANE ice cream.  It’s been 2 ½ years since I have been to Bellevue Square.  A churner and 3 melamine pouring bowls later, we wandered around Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn ooohing and ahhhing at all the ridiculous prettiness and Easter pastels.  The milk in that latte made me want to take a long nap on one of Pottery Barn’s massive, squishy, cushion-ladened sofas.  I am so not a shopper.  Once the impromptu shopping expedition was over we wended our way back to Redmond for a lovely stroll down the river, being dodged by a stream of runners, roller-bladers, and dog walkers.  We admired the ducks as they splashed in the mud puddles on the waters edge.  Despite all the human activity it was a truly tranquil hour.

It was a lovely, relaxing, nurturing day.  The two-hour agenda turned into an almost all-day affair as we allowed it to just unfolded as we went along.  And it was awesome.

Whatever makes you feel good, do more of that.

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Heidi - Question for you what is the best SANE way to order a coffee when out at like a Starbucks? If you want a latte or such? I never know what is right whole milk, FF Milk? I sure wish SB had almond milk. Any information would be great I am so confused the few times a year I want a special coffee what is best. Thanks

carrie - Heidi – I order sugar-free hazelnut latte (whole milk) when I go to Starbucks. I don’t do it that often, but that’s what I choose when I do. Hope that helps!

Mike: The 40-year Yoyo Dieter

If you haven’t joined the SANE and ECCENTRIC Forum over on Facebook, you might want to hop over there.  Apart from the lovely *SANE community making you feel right at home in the world of *SANE living, and the endless tips and tricks, you’ll also bump into Dr. Mike Keen.  Dr. Mike is one of the doctors on the forum, and he is a really, really good egg.  Mike also appeared on our CreativeLive Course, all the way from sunny England, although given it was November it might not have been that sunny.  You can watch him talk about his journey here.

Now retired from his medical practice he freely devotes a portion of his days to spreading the word about how to eat and exercise smarter, volunteers for The Samaritans – a British organization that provides a 24*7 helpline for people in crisis, and supports his wife, Wendy, and his daughter, Jessica, in their respective creative pursuits.  He’s a busy bloke!  Mike’s wife, Wendy, makes amazing stuff out of glass, while Jessica is busy launching her career as a music artist – she has an incredible voice and released her first song – Wolf Cry – late last year.  They sure are a talented family, those Keens.

29603_10151261363402781_1163774032_n

Dr. Mike is doing great work in England helping others start their *SANE journey.  Why is he so committed to his *SANE lifestyle?  Read on.  Here’s his own journey to eating smarter, exercising smarter, and living better.

“As a Family Doctor (British General Practitioner) for 32 years I also worked in diet clinics in the 1970’s. Their income came not from their successes, but from the failures who kept re-attending. In the back of my mind I knew there had to be another way to lose weight and maintain the weight loss.

Fast forward to 2013 – I had not been attending to my own weight which had ballooned to 255 lbs. I felt fat, unfit, and lethargic. I started Googling ‘weight loss’ and ‘maintaining lost weight’ rather than yoyo dieting, which I had done for over 40 years. I landed at Jonathan Bailor’s website and it made perfect sense. So I embarked upon a journey that involved not dieting, but eating MORE in a smarter, evidence based way.

The weight started to come off.  I wasn’t hungry – strange that I could eat more and lose more – it defied conventional weight-loss wisdom. I also found links to Carrie Brown’s metabolically balanced, fat-burning recipes including ice cream and soups. I bought myself an ice cream churner, the book ‘Eat Smarter! Ice Creams’, along with the new-to-me ingredients and made the most delicious SANE chocolate ice cream I had ever eaten in my life.  And I love ice cream! I ate this 3 times per week and continued to lose weight. So I bought Carrie’s soup cookbook next, ‘Eat Smarter! Soups’ and started to eat the most delicious, taste bud teasing concoctions – and I continued to lose weight whilst feeling fully satisfied.  I am never hungry after a SANE meal.

I started spreading the word amongst my overweight, unhealthy,  pre-diabetic friends. They had been told that if they lost 15kg (at least 30 lbs) that their decline and slide into full Type 2 Diabetes would be halted, and may even reverse. So far we have had amazing success with their blood work reverting to normal, along with fat being lost safely and them, like me, feeling energised and no longer having the spectre of Diabetes looming over their heads.

All this time I continue to lose weight and so far I have lost 47 lbs using Jonathan’s website and Carrie Brown’s amazing food ideas. I am very proud to say that I am now on the SSoS / Calorie Myth team as a medical advisor – a very challenging and stimulating position.  We all do what we do for free because we want to change the lives of as many who will listen and try the new way of eating and exercising.

I must admit that when I first started my *SANE journey in April 2013 I was as sceptical as could be – but the spectacular results are plain to see and feel.  I have lost 47lbs, my body fat has gone from 40% to 16%, my waist from 42″ to 35″, and my clothes size from XXL to M.  I am now 60, do my eccentric exercises every week and eat an abundance of healthy foods.  I wholeheartedly endorse this smarter approach to eating and exercise – the proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating!  Welcome to much healthier living!”

Mike Keen MB BS LRCP MRCS
SANEitizing the UK
Family Doctor for 32 years, yoyo dieter for 40 years, *SANE success story in only 7 months, 47 pounds lost and counting!

 

GO, Mike!  What an inspiration!  And THANK YOU for all you do for the Sane and Eccentric Community and The Samaritans.  You ROCK.

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

The Transformation: Rejuvenation

Don’t tell anyone, but I think I left this topic until last because rejuvenation has been {by far} the hardest part of my transformation to get my head around.

My whole life I have been running along at breakneck speed, getting stuff done.  It’s what I do.  I am always busily engaged in something productive.  My definition of ‘productive’ has never included watching movies, reading books, walking in the park, hanging out with friends, watching TV, playing games, napping, lying on the couch staring at the ceiling, listening to music, or sunbathing.  No.  Productive to me has always meant re-modeling the kitchen, building furniture, writing cookbooks, developing recipes, writing blog posts, shooting images, driving somewhere, the day-job, helping others, installing vertical blinds, cleaning, digging in the yard, or doing any number of other actively useful things.  Relaxing has never been a core competency of mine.  I would even go so far as to say I don’t know how to relax.  For me it is a case of feeling I am not good enough if I am not busily engaged in something useful.  Intellectually I know that is ridiculous – we all have huge intrinsic worth – but emotionally I feel like I have no value if I am not contributing in some way.

And then my adrenal glands went on strike and my world came to a screeching halt.  Most days when I got home from the day-job I barely had the energy to climb the stairs in order to go to bed.  There were several days when I thought about camping on the blue leather couch in the living room under a pile of blankets instead.  Mr. McHenry would have loved that.  I quickly realized that it’s hard to be productive when your body simply refuses to get up and go.  This, of course, drove my brain completely nuts.  But once Dr. Bizzy had figured out what was ailing me I recognized that rest and relaxation were a major part of the prescription for getting my adrenals back online.  Enforced inactivity.  Eeeek!

1239442_637336416286800_1607325988_n

Having a body that wasn’t able to function was my biggest ally in learning how to relax, so as strange as it may seem I am very grateful for this experience.  I have learned how important it is to get adequate rest and rejuvenation and I am even learning to look forward to relaxing.  I cannot believe I just typed that.

Here’s some of the things that I started building into my life in order to give my brain and body the rejuvenation it needs on a regular basis.  Some of these things I have covered in other recent posts, which just goes to show how marvelously integrated all the various pieces of our lives are.

  • Once a week I walk to the coffee shop with my bestie for a large mug of green tea and some girlie natter.  That’s 50 minutes of healthy walking, a huge pile of anti-oxidants, some wonderful support, and a bunch of giggles over the course of 2 hours.
  • Once a week I do a restorative yoga class.  75 minutes of calm, mindful, relaxing peace.  I never knew being still could feel so good.
  • Twice a week I workout for 15 minutes to strengthen my body, switch on the fat-burning hormones, and get a “runner’s high”.
  • I started viewing weekends as time for rest and rejuvenation instead of an extra opportunity to work.  I work hard enough during the week.  I am now using weekends for well-earned R ‘n’ R.  This is such a dramatic change for me and I admit I’m still a bit lot lost.  I should point out that I include pottering in the garden as R ‘n’ R although some of you would consider that work.  I find growing and nurturing things very therapeutic.
  • I started meditating for 15 minutes a day, usually right before bedtime, but sometimes first thing in the morning.  Nothing fancy, no complicated mantras, tying my legs in knots, candles, incense, or tasseled pillows.  Just a comfy chair, eyes closed, and focusing on my breathing.  Amazingly rejuvenating.
  • I read before I go to bed every night instead of being online checking email.  It might be only 15 minutes some nights, but it gets my brain to switch gears, and I am getting through books that I’ve had on my bedside table for years!
  • If I make myself a cup of coffee at home I’ll go sit on the couch and hang with the ‘kids’ for 15 minuets instead of drinking it at my desk or slurping it between tasks.  It has brought new meaning to the term coffee break.  15 minutes can be amazingly reviving.
  • I started The Big Breakfast Adventure.  How often do we say to people, “Oh we must grab coffee and catch up!!”?  And then 3 months later we hear ourselves exclaiming that exact phrase to the same person because we still haven’t had coffee.  And I’m talking about people that we love and want to be around.
  • Some Saturdays I’ll walk – or perhaps more accurate would be wobble – over to Starbucks after my eccentrics at the gym, order a large green or peppermint tea, find a comfy chair in the corner, relax, and people watch for half an hour.
  • If I am working at home and the sun is out, I’ll take 15 minutes to sit in the sun and watch Mr. McHenry and the gang chase insects or play in the grass.  It’s like re-booting your brain and clearing out all the clutter.
  • On weekends I’ll curl up on the couch for a few hours with a positive, uplifting read, a pile of cats, and a blanket.  It took me a while but I am finally OK with spending some of my weekend this way.
  • I shut my computers off at 8pm at the latest on work days, which gives me an hour to relax, take a long, hot shower or bath, or whizz through a few home or personal tasks before I start my pre-bed routine.  I find that getting a few short tasks done every day during the week really frees up time at the weekend.  Doing tasks in little chunks feels a lot less like work than doing chores for several hours in one hit.
  • I stopped reading the news.
  • I started reading good books.  The kind of books that inspire, uplift, encourage, and make you look at the world (and yourself) in a positive light.  You know – all those ‘woo-woo’ books in the self-help and motivation departments of the book store.  Books like The Seven Habits, The Four Agreements (favorite. book. ever.), The Road Less Traveled.  You get my drift.  Books that let me know I can.  Books that make me excited about life.  Books that make me feel good; particularly about myself.
  • I started being more selective over who I hang out with.  Positive, supportive, uplifting, joyful people – yes!  Negative, unsupportive, critical, draining, unhappy people – not so much.  Of course, everyone has bad days – I am talking about people who are chronically negative and unhappy.  You can’t help people who don’t want to be happy, and they don’t help you, so that’s a lose / lose  all round.
  • I created a few positive mantras for myself which I focus on here and there throughout the day, especially if I notice I am feeling a little tense or not my bubbly self.
  • I’ll take 10 minutes here and there to visualize happy outcomes, joyful feelings, and favorite moments.  Things that make me feel good.  Doing this can change your whole day around if it’s not going in quite the direction you’d like.  Doing this when you feel great just makes everything feel even better.
  • I put ‘Do Nothing’ on my to-do list and schedule.  Our best ideas come when we are not working.  They come when we are playing, out in nature, having fun, doing nothing.  Create some space for your brain to go wherever it feels like.
  • I spend a few minutes every day reflecting on all the things that I am grateful.  Gratitude makes you feel good. 
    1785_464287816952280_458903415_n

The hardest thing for me in all this is not the doing but in how I think and feel about doing them.  I find it easier and easier to do these things on a regular basis, but I still struggle mentally with not feeling productive for every minute of every day – even though I know from the last month or so of doing these things that they are highly productive, just not in the way I am used to thinking of productive.  They are highly productive in that they cause me to be more productive with the rest of my time.  Doing less some of the time = being able to do more the rest of the time.  A refreshed and rejuvenated brain and body can do more in less time.  For me it’s a mental paradigm shift, but that shift is happening faster and faster the more I experience the results of some relaxation and rejuvenation.  The irony is that in being forced to do less, I have been able to help more people through this series of blog posts about my recovery.  Had I not had this experience I wouldn’t have been able to write about it.  It’s a funny old world.

Now, stop reading this and go get some R ‘n’ R!  Then come back and share with us what you do to get relaxed and rejuvenated.

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Susan - Many great ideas. I plan to incorporate some of them into my life.
Thank you for sharing.

Stephanie Reisler - Best blog post ever! Thanks Carrie for sharing.

Allison Sherman - Such a great post. Did you find it freeing that you actually had to take time for yourself? Like when people asked something of you and you said “Nope, can’t. Gotta rest. Doctor’s orders”. It’s like we don’t give ourselves permission to relax until we can point to a professional telling us we have to! I guess either way you get there it’s a good thing.

I have experienced something similar since my adrenals also took a bit of a vacation (not anything like yours, though). I know that the kids get home from school at 3:30 so every day around 2:30 I think “Gotta get to the couch!” And I spend 45-60 minutes on the couch reading the news, playing scrabble, chatting with friends via text and sometimes taking a snooze. It’s my time and I love it. Helps me be more focused when they do get home. Thanks for all the ideas. I’m an extrovert so my energy comes from people interaction so texting friends is good for me! :) And my goal for 2014 is to read all the Harry Potter books. I’m starting book 4 now. It’s been fun to read something so imaginative and different than all the diet books I used to read.

A question about your eating… now that you’ve dropped a bunch of sizes, do you find yourself saying “Oh I can have that treat a little more now” and falling off the SANE wagon a bit? Seems like anytime I make a little progress it’s a slippery slope back to the inSANE world. Just curious if your eating mindset has changed.

lee adley - Carrie can I use almond rather than coconut milk in your hardcore green smoothie?

A Veritable Transformation » Carrie Brown | Life in the SANE lane - […] The Transformation: Rejuvenation […]

Isabel - Carrie, your open-ness regarding your difficulties is incredible. Your post on depression, on your brain trying to kill you, I have never read anything that put it so succinctly. I have lived with depression most of my life (up and down like a toilet seat as they say – I’m an expat too :) and never could explain it, how it felt, to those that matter to me. I have bookmarked that particular blog post so next time I am asked I will say – read this, this is how it feels.

I applaud your courage – writing about it, living with it, and having it under control.

The Big Breakfast Adventure | Tilikum Place Cafe

It was a particularly beautiful Sunday back in March when I kidnapped Alisen off her front door step and sped away towards the early morning delights of downtown Seattle for a Big Breakfast Adventure.  The sky was clear except for a rim of puffy white clouds resting on the horizon.  It was remarkably busy as we ambled down the freeway at 7:30 am.  Apart from one driver who clearly either had a death wish or a desire to hand over wads of cash to a policeman, it was a peaceful, happy drive.  We nattered away furiously as we scooted along in the sunshine.  Before we knew it, although not before a few moments of panic when we realized the I-5 was under construction and we’d have to find an alternate route, we were cruising down 4th Avenue towards the Space Needle.  Our destination was the Tilikum Place Café – positioned at a very confusing intersection where Denny Way & 5th collide and the monorail zooms overhead.

It was a few minutes past the hour when we wandered in after parking karma elicited us a spot a few strides from the door.  Tilikum is a popular place on a Sunday, but we snagged a cozy little table before the stampede started.  Tilikum is most famed for it’s Dutch Babies – so *inSANE a dish that just the thought of one makes my arteries tense.  For the uninitiated, a Dutch Baby is a very dense and eggy pancake.  They are huge, thick, and puffy – which is exactly how I felt 4 years ago when I first ate one.

There was *SANEity staring at us from all over the menu, but it was the specials board that caught my eye – more specifically the Pork Schnitzel.  I was in the mood for something decidedly different, and schnitzel for breakfast had different written all over it.  It came with a cucumber and arugula salad, a citrus vinaigrette, and a pile of red potatoes.   Hmm.  Time to see if Tilikum were up for a spot of subbing.

Carrie: “I don’t eat potatoes.  Would it…”

Server: “I’ll bring you some fresh greens then.  Would you like a poached egg on top, too?  I had it for lunch yesterday and it was delicious.”

Carrie: “That would be awesome!  Thank you!”

Clearly they’ve had that request more than a few times.  Certainly up here in this little corner of the world I have never met a place that wasn’t willing to tweak a dish to make it *SANE for me.  Things are a changin’! 

Big Breakfast Adventure  |  Carrie Brown

If you know what schnitzel is, or you’re looking closely at the picture, you might well be sitting there thinking, “Wait a minute.  There’s breadcrumbs coating that piece of pork!  WT…!!”  And you would be right.  But really, in the grand scheme of things, that tablespoon of breadcrumbs was so tiny compared to the mass of meat, the egg, and the colossal amount of greenery, I wasn’t going to let it bother me.  I doubt my body even noticed it amongst all the other brilliant *SANE stuff that went winging its way down my gullet.  Maybe ‘winging’ isn’t exactly the right word though, because man that was a lot of food on that plate.  You can’t see it in this shot but that piece of pork was enormous.  And then there was the fresh greens on the side that I didn’t grab a shot of.  It may have been a monster breakfast, but this dish was exactly what I needed to drag me from the eggs-for-breakfast doldrums.  Winning!

Truth be told, I had to stop and take a break several times before I got through it all.  Thank goodness Alisen was there to help fritter away the time while my stomach was resting.  We talked mostly about how our bodies are changing in response to our eccentric workouts, and compared notes on increasing machine weights and shrinking body parts.  Alisen did 55lbs on the chest press (!!!).  55lbs and I am still only at 40.  I think it’s because she has a 4-year-old and a 7-year-old to lug around.  Well, that’s my theory, anyway.  We also played “Where does it hurt most?”  I can’t believe I am saying this but I actually like the way my body feels the day after my workout.  I don’t even know who I am any more.

Daffodils  |  Carrie Brown

It was such a beautiful day that we decided a stroll around the Space Needle was in order.  They do an outstanding job of planting stuff at the Seattle Center so our walk involved lots of oooohing and ahhhing over the daffodils gently bobbing in the breeze, and the trees heavy with pink and white blossoms.  Despite all the sunshiny goodness there was a little nip in the air so we stopped off at Starbucks for a fancy-pants coffee.  I love that they have all those sugar-free syrups to choose from.  Lattes in hand we ambled around the park until it was time to get Alisen to her 11 o’clock rendezvous.

It was a most fantastic start to a Sunday: favorite girl, amazing food, sunshine, daffodils, laughter, hot coffee, and uplifting conversation.  These Big Breakfast Adventures are good for the soul.

Whatever makes you feel good – do more of that.

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

The Transformation: Consistency and Routines

Wait!  Don’t go!  I know the title of this post is all kinds of boring and probably has you yawning right out of the gate.  Either that or you want to scurry away shrieking.  But hang in there for just a moment while I persuade you that the contents of this post will cause you to have a more fun life, not a less fun life.

The fact is that getting the important things done routinely just makes everything else in life better, where important things = things that actively improve your health and wellness, stress levels, and general wellbeing.  Or put another way, important things are things which if you do not do them consistently result in declining health and wellness, increasing stress levels, and a reduction in your overall wellbeing.  It’s just like getting your car in for routine maintenance.  Give yourself the same care and attention.  You will find you are able to enjoy a lot more of the fun and interesting things in life and have more time to do it, all in exchange for a tiny bit of time doing a few routines.  Trust me on this one.  Routines allow you to be a lot more spontaneous the rest of the time.

What routines really do is ensure you are consistent with things that are important to you, and consistency is absolutely key to lasting and effective change.  Being consistent allows you to monitor your progress effectively, and ultimately, consistency is often the difference between failure and success.  Routines help stop you getting overwhelmed and stressed.  And that means you get to enjoy more of life’s excitement. 

549181_10151393413161893_1930044054_n

Here are some of the things that I have routinized as a result of my recent transformation that I have found make a significant difference in my life, in no particular order.  This list is not exhaustive, but it will give you ideas for your own life.

Supplements – every couple of weeks (but you can do whatever frequency works best for you) I get a pile of small Ziploc baggies and put a days-worth of supplements in each one.  This means in the morning I can just grab a baggie and go without having to take the time to undo a multitude of bottles every day.  Yes I could get up 5 minutes earlier to make sure I have time to take supplements, but a) I value my sleep more, b) it gives me one less thing to do as I start my day, and c) I never miss taking them.  If you are interested in what supplements I take and missed that post you can read it here.

Supplements – I take some with breakfast every morning and some with dinner every night.  I put the morning baggie next to my smoothie and the evening baggie in the middle of the counter so I can’t miss it at dinner time.  If you are not consistent with supplementation you may as well not take them at all.

Green tea and breakfast smoothie – the first thing that I do when I walk into the kitchen every morning is put fresh water in the kettle and switch it on so I can brew a big mug of green tea with peppermint.  Ok, yes, I do put the lights on before that.  Once the kettle is heating I get the vitamix out and whip up my breakfast smoothie.  If I allow myself to get distracted before I have done these two things I know that the chances of them getting made go down exponentially as the minutes tick by.  This gets me 6 servings of non-starchy veggies, a healthy dose of protein and all that fantastical green tea down the hatch within 15 minutes of being awake.

Eccentric exercise and interval training – for the eccentrics I decided which day and time would consistently work best with my schedule to go to the gym, set a recurring appointment in my calendar, and made a commitment that no-matter-what I would go.  Same thing for interval training only I do it at home.  This keeps my fat-burning hormones switched on and my muscles strong – all for 25 minutes of routine a week.  Bargain!

Yoga – I found a class at a time that I could commit to every week, set a recurring appointment in my calendar, and made a commitment that no-matter-what I would go.  This 75 minutes a week benefits my life enormously.

Sleep – I go to bed at the same time every night and set my alarm for the same time every morning.  Give or take the odd time I have to be somewhere super-early.  Our bodies love routine and consistency – especially when it comes to sleep.  An hour before bedtime I start my nightly routine so my brain and body know that I am winding down to sleep time.  Read this post on sleep if you want to know why it’s so important and how to get better at it.

Eating SANE – I go to the grocery store every 4 days to get fresh spinach for my smoothies so I make sure I get everything else that I need during those trips.  I keep a running list of things I need on my phone so every time I go I know exactly what I need.  I save so much time and frustration doing this because I rarely run out of anything.  Not running out of anything means I am far more likely to stay on the *SANE path – I don’t have to do emergency runs to the grocery store which gives more opportunities to be waylaid by *inSANE stuff.

Eating SANE – once a month I get online for the things I don’t get at the grocery store.  I schedule a recurring appointment in my calendar to do it.  I order anything that I am getting low on, such as egg white powder, supplements, pork rinds, whey powder, thick coconut milk, almond flour, etc.  This means I don’t run out of anything, plus saves me money by buying in bulk to boot.

Rejuvenation – relaxation, R ‘n’ R, call it what you will, but don’t forget to build some into your life.  Set up routines if that’s the way to make sure you get it in there.  It is so easy to get on the treadmill of life and become consumed with working or otherwise doing all the time.  I find that scheduling time to curl up on the couch and read a book makes it much more likely to happen.  Schedule walks, schedule trips to the movies, schedule time with friends. Even knowing that I have time set aside specifically to get some R ‘n’ R makes me feel less stressed.  When your brain and body know there is a break coming, you can be more productive in the moment.  Sometimes I will block an entire day out for doing nothing.  When the day arrives I can do whatever I want as long as it doesn’t look like work or housework.  I should mention that having been a workaholic my entire life I am still a work in progress on this one.  I struggle with the notion of not being productive in the traditional sense every waking minute of every single day.  I am getting better. And it’s awesome.

Finances – I check the online balances for my checking and credit card accounts every morning.  It takes me 2 minutes, but if there is an erroneous debit or some other funky goings-on on any account I can stop anything bad happening immediately.  This 2 minutes a day has saved me an enormous amount of stress and money over the years.

Finances – I schedule an hour at the beginning of every month to reconcile all the financial activity for the previous month including gathering all documentation required at tax-filing time, and entering my business income and expenses in a spreadsheet.  This saves me DAYS of time, frustration, and worry at tax time the next year.

Walking with my BFF – instead of randomly scheduling time for coffee which inevitably turned into months going by without seeing each other, we scheduled a recurring appointment every week to walk to the coffee shop, drink green tea, and walk back again.  That gives us 50 minutes of healthy walking and a total of 2 hours of restorative, supportive, happy chat time.  It has become our favorite 2 hours of the week.  My BFF will tell you that routinizing this one thing has transformed her life.  It is amazing what 2 hours of support, and love, and laughter a week can do for you.

The Big Breakfast Adventure - every Sunday I schedule to meet someone somewhere for breakfast.  It gets me out of the house, provides me with new experiences, gives me time with people I love and enjoy, and has someone else doing the cooking for a change; all of which fuels my creativity, brings me joy, quietens my mind, and uplifts me.  If I didn’t have it set as a routine I would probably only think to go twice a year.  The benefits are worthy of way more than twice a year.

Backups – as well as the cloud backup I have running constantly in the background, once a month I backup all my data, images, and websites to several different removable hard drives which I store offsite.  This simple monthly routine has reduced my stress more than I can even explain. 

998958_10152035849342781_1242217969_n

Figure out the things that are most important in keeping your life and health on track and then build a simple routine so they stay front and center.  Think about the biggest stressors in your life and find routines that lower that stress to a minimum, or stop it altogether.

Then you can go out to play!

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Monica - This is Exactly where I am. But, as a wife and Mom of under a dozen children, I don’t have as much control over my circumstances as I *think* you have(?). That leaves me with changing my perspective on cortisol raising moments and doing what I can with regard to lifestyle changes (i.e. 10 pm bed time, eating an anti inflammatory diet/SANE, not stressing about losing weight :P, exercising etc). Thanks Carrie for putting it out there. Good counsel. :)

A Veritable Transformation » Carrie Brown | Life in the SANE lane - […] The Transformation: Consistency and Routines […]