I am the Queen of Routine.

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 Without a doubt, I am the queen of morning routine. If anyone ever disrupts my morning routine, I am out of sorts for the entire day. In fact, I probably need medication for that problem! However, upon researching routines, I feel much better about my   “routine oddity”. It has been proven that people like patterns and predictability. A structured morning routine allows the day to flow more smoothly and eliminates any unnecessary stress. We can all agree that less stress is a very good thing. After all, an abundance of stress contributes to sickness and disease. Yuck!

 I roll out of the bed every morning at 5:03am. Why the strange time? Because 5:00 am is entirely too early. I find that I am most productive when my mind is freshly rested. As soon as I wake, I stagger up the stairs to the exercise bike where I spend 15 minutes exercising. Even in this short amount of time, I am able to get my oxygen flowing while
I raise my metabolism. Even a modest amount of exercise sets my tone for the entire day. This is a very good time to check morning emails and reminders on the ipad.

Once I am finished on the bike, the next 45 minutes is spent sipping coffee and making lists to mentally prepare for the day. I separate everything that needs to be done into two categories, work and home. Even if there are snafus during the day, I find that I can handle those situations if I have already had a mental walk-through of my day. When you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

Also included on my list are my daily chores. After a tiring week of teaching, the last thing I want to do on Saturdays are tons of chores. By scheduling a chore for each day of the week, I can save my Saturday afternoons for bigger house projects, spending time with friends and family, or wine tasting. We all know that wine tasting is my favorite activity! My afternoons without chores can be used for shopping or relaxing.

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Every morning, I connect with God by reading a devotional. This ensures that my mind and spirit are in sync with my body. I write the bible verse of the day on my chalkboard, which is just inside of the entryway. Every time I walk into the house, I am reminded to keep my focus on God. A queen and her castle are nothing without guidance from God!

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Breakfasts at QueenJarrell’s castle are routine as well. I have tried different things, but scrambled egg whites work the best for me. The protein keeps me satisfied until lunch. On Sundays nights, I chop vegetables to use in my eggs. As I get bored with the same vegetables, I switch them every week. Nearly nothing is off limits in my egg whites! I even try different spices. A queen needs adventure!

 

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Often, my lunches are routine. While I am chopping vegetables on Sunday nights, I throw together a few salads for the week. I usually use a mixture of spinach and baby kale. Today, I accessorized my salad with vegetables, and olives and walnuts for healthy fats. I am not overly excited by meat, so I mostly rely on the nuts and greens for protein. A small orange completes the lunch and is beneficial for vitamins. Teachers do tend to get sick!

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Throughout the day, I have made it part of my routine to drink, drink, drink. (No, not wine!) Drinking lemon water is important for boosting the immune system and clearing toxins. I really don’t love water and must make an extreme effort to drink. I do like green tea, hot or iced, sweetened with stevia. Green tea is an excellent antioxidant!  Ideally, I would use no artificial sweetener, but let’s not push the limits too much. Quality of life is important. Being a southern girl, I’m not sure that life would be worth living without sweet tea!  Stevia seems to be accepted among the nutrition gurus as the form of sweetener that is most safe. I definitely stay away from sugar and chemically laden sweeteners, which have been proven to poison the body. I do try to avoid poisoning myself when possible!

While routine may seem boring, a healthful daily routine can benefit the mind and body. Take it from the Routine Queen, when you feel less stressed and have more energy, you can enjoy being flexible and can better handle challenges that life will inevitably throw at you!

 

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Queen of Books: Inspiring to be Inspired

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Fiction is too far-flung these days…..

When I need inspiration, my “go-to” are self improvement books! Lately, I have been intrigued by nutrition books. I thought that I would share a few that I L-O-V-E! Trust me when I tell you that these are all entertaining, easy reads. I will not waste my time reading boring books! I will add to this list as I find new favorites. Please check back often for updates!

The Little Book of Thin: Foodtrainers Plan-It-To -Lose-It Solutions for Every Diet Dilemma by Lauren Slayton, MS, RD

The Sugar Detox by Brooke Alpert, MS, RD, CDN & Patricia Farris, MD, FAAD

Thin Side Out, How to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans Too, by Josie Spinardi

Eat, Drink, and be Gorgeous: A Nutritionist’s Guide to Living Well While Living it Up, by Ester Blum, MS, RD, CDN, CNS

Skinny Thinking: Five Revolutionary Steps to Permanently Heal Your Relationship with Food, Weight, and Your Body, by Laura Katleman-Prue

Fruit Infusion: A Collection of Day Spa Inspired Fruit Infused Drinks by Audrey Johns

Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel

 

 

 

Queen of Vacations

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65678_10152168615609571_23458196_nYes! I am truly the Queen of Vacations. We recently returned from a cruise to the Bahamas. I know what you are thinking. The Bahamas? Really, Kathi? Can’t you be more creative? The Bahamas works for us. It’s easy. We know what to expect. It’s inexpensive. Need I say more? It was a quick drive to the port and we were on our way. Our vacation was even better, sharing it with friends! Our first stop was Nassau, where we did the “usual”. The “usual” is a trip to John Watlings distillery at http://www.johnwatlings.com/ . What an awesome place! Admission is free and the guide gives a wonderful tour of the facilities. Of course, what could possibly be better than sampling the fine Bahamian rum and cocktails on the patio.

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Don’t forget shopping at the straw market where you can find a variety of bargain handmade items.

IMG_20131113_163014_322Of course, our “usual” trip wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the chocolate factory for lots of samples. Check them out on Facebook at Graycliff Chocolatier! It is Ashton-approved!

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You will probably also see a rogue pirate. Of course, it is the Bahamas!

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While touring Nassau, check out some of the historical things. We found the most beautiful old church on our walk. It was the oldest church in Nassau. It was breathtaking! One could definitely find peace in that church!

Please don’t believe the negativity surrounding the Bahamas. A vacation is what you make of it. Beauty can be found anywhere. An attitude of gratitude is the best thing that you can bring with you on any vacation!

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Personal Goal- Working Out!

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I did it!!! I joined a gym. Yes, I know. I have been there and done that. The last time I joined, I went for one month. However, things are different now. My husband joined with me and we are going to be a team. HOORAY for team QUEENJARRELL! Now that I am eating healthier, I would like to walk 180 minutes a week. I feel that it is a very obtainable goal. I CAN DO THIS!!!!