Habits and routines often have a bad reputation. Especially on the surface, many people consider it dull, tedious, or monotonous to do the same things consistently each day or week. However, I beg to differ, agreeing with British writer, Arnold Bennett who said “the pleasure of doing a thing in the same way at the same time every day, and savoring it, should be noted.” Although it’s exciting and beneficial to go new places and try new things, a routine can also contribute significantly to our happiness. And it certainly does to mine. I love traveling in general, especially the time recently spent back in the States with my family, but I am also happy to be settling in back “home” and getting back into my usual routine. I love working out daily, I love going down to Cork Coffee Roasters for my black Americano, I love eating clean foods, and I love going for walks with Jon and Coco chatting away. In a weird way, I guess I also love even the mundane tasks of daily life like running errands, cooking, and cleaning. And I certainly love seeing the people who appear at regular intervals throughout my week – I’m looking at you #Flexers!
A lot of research shows that routine, rituals, and traditions are beneficial for our physical and mental wellbeing because they help to eliminate some of the pressure and complexity that constant decision making can overwhelm us with. One of the founding fathers of psychology, William James said that “habit simplifies our movements, makes them accurate, and diminishes fatigue.” And establishing a solid routine can help us to not only to build in more predictability and command, which frees up mental space and energy for more important tasks, but it can also assist us in making progress towards our goals and resolutions. You probably don’t have to exert much effort in remembering to brush your teeth daily; it’s something which you do automatically at particular times without much hassle. As Sean Covey famously said, “we become what we repeatedly do.” Good habits are built by repetition and by making them a part of a routine, you can make them nearly effortless, or at the very least, much more consistent!
When we establish a routine, we become more efficient. We don’t have to constantly think about all the things that we need to do or if we really “feel” like doing them. It reduces the time required for this contemplation and as we become more proficient with repeated practice, it can reduce the time spent on particular tasks and our propensity for error. And although many people perceive routine to be boring or stifling, my personal experience has been just the opposite. Scheduling my day provides me with the opportunity to ensure that the most important things get accomplished (which inevitably makes life less stressful and in turn boosts my happiness) and allows me to plan accordingly, ensuring that I have more time to do the things that I actually want to do. Plus getting things checked off the list often builds momentum and energizes us.
Determining what should be a part of your routine or how to best establish one largely depends upon your goals, resolutions, and what works for you specifically. I personally really need to make a to do list everyday to make sure I can see what is ahead of me and be able to map our my day accordingly and strategically. I also need to plan out my meals and set aside a few hours for meal prep over the weekend. Doing so eliminates stress, time, and frustration during the week and ensures that we are well fed, within budget, and have what we need on hand when we need it. And since another key component of my routine includes early morning barre, I make sure to prepare an on-the-go breakfast option in my meal prep every week. More often than not, that includes some version of a frittata – the flavor combinations are endless so I never get bored, it’s delicious hot or cold (or more commonly somewhere in between for me), and it’s portable, making it easy to grab a slice and eat while walking, in the car, on a plane, or at a desk. #winning Keeping with tradition and my commitment to routine, this week is no different with a new creation – a savory Whole30 Tuscan Frittata, packed with flavor and already making guest appearances everywhere I go in the morning! Starting my day out with a satisfying paleo breakfast and some shaking at the barre are two key ingredients of my AM routine which sets me up for the rest of the day whatever that might entail. As the 19th century French artist, Eugene Delacroix, described in his journal – “even one task fulfilled at regular intervals in a man’s life can bring order into his life as a whole; everything else hinges upon it.”
- Coconut Oil 1 TSP
- Garlic Cloves, Minced 3 each
- Sliced Mushrooms .75 cup (100 g)
- Eggs 10 each
- Full Fat Coconut Milk .5 cup (120 ml)
- Dairy Free Pistachio Pesto (recipe here) .25 cup (60 g)
- Sun-dried Tomatoes, Thinly sliced .33 cup (20 g)
- Marinated and Drained Artichokes .5 cup (85 g)
- Asparagus, Chopped into 1" pieces 1 cup (125 g)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C and lightly grease a 9x9 baking pan with melted coconut oil.
- Heat the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and then add the garlic and mushrooms. Sauté and allow to cook until softened and fragrant, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, coconut milk, and pistachio pesto together until well combined.
- Add the remaining ingredients, including the mushrooms and garlic.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and place in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until set.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool and then slice up and enjoy!