Do you long to pursue a slower lifestyle, but worry that you don't have enough time to make it work? I suspect this is a common reason slow living remains in the wish stage.
Slow down? I don't get enough done as it is!
Slow living asks you to make more time for what matters most. But what if it feels like there's no way you can do that right now?
It's always my suggestion that you start small and make gradual changes. It creating a slower lifestyle is going to be possible, this is likely to be the easiest way to find out and then, to do so.
And speaking of wishes long deferred, let's look at morning routines. Maybe your dream morning routine would require a lot more time than you have to spare, as a busy stay at home mom.
But what if you only had to find ten minutes? Here are 5 ideas for a ten-minute morning routine for moms, and one way to create a morning routine that combines them...
5 Ideas for Creating a 10-Minute
Slow living, as a philosophy, encourages you to live according to your values and set intentions for the way you will choose to spend your time. To reject busyness as a virtue and to slow life down to spend more time with those you love, doing what you love.
But what does that look like, practically speaking?
Here are 20 slow living routine ideas for stay at home moms & slow lifestyle families.
Choose a few that appeal to you, that you and your family can try. Use them to create more time for yourself, and more time to spend with those who matter most to you.
10-Minute Ideas for a Slow Morning Routine
(1) Linger over a cup of your favorite tea each morning.
(2) Add ten minutes of meditation to your morning routine.
(3) Do a yoga or stretching sequence each morning.
(4) Take ten minutes each morning to write in your self-care journal.
5 Slow Living Routine Ideas for Evenings
(5) Spend time connecting with your kids after school, instead of chauffering them each day to one activity after another.
(6) Let go of one commitment that doesn't serve you & replace it with a daily or weekly activity that matches your values, like spending time with friends or family.
(7) At least once a week, eat dinner as a family without any electronic guests.
(8) Create time to read each night as part of your wind-down routine.
(9) Make a cup of lavender or chamomile tea each night to help yourself relax and unwind.
(10) Before getting up in the morning, identify your top 3 priorities.
(11) Take five minutes between one activity and the next each day to breathe deeply and slowly.
(12) Create a wind-down time each evening that helps you let go of daily stress & become sleepy enough for bedtime.
9 Weekend Ideas for a Slow Living Routine
(13) Bake cookies with your kids each Saturday afternoon for a slow living Saturday.
(14) Eat a slow cooker meal once a weekend with your family.
(15) Take the kids to see their grandparents each Friday night & have a weekly date night with your spouse.
(16) Each week, get together with your friends for a weekly game night.
(17) Have a weekly weekend movie night with your family.
(18) During your Self Care Sundays, set intentions for the following week.
(19) Create a brief letting go ritual & do that at the end of each day and at the end of each week.
(20) Create a capsule wardrobe, so each Sunday, it will be easy to plan next week's outfits.
(21) Bonus idea: set intentions for the week each Sunday and write them in your journal.
Which ones appeal to you most? Tell me in a comment below.
See you next time!
Get more ideas about how to create a slower
lifestyle for yourself & your family by
downloading my free Slow Living eBook.
Are mornings difficult for you? Are you a night owl (and tired mama) whose kids wake up bright-eyed long before you’re ready to admit it's morning again?
I've put together the ultimate guide to creating your perfect morning routine and you can read it right here. It's a morning routine guide for moms who want happier mornings not just for themselves, but also, for their families.
Ready? Let's get started…
Lifelong Night Owl Tales of Woe
On the one hand, morning 'larks' prefer getting up and going to bed early, and are at their peak performance early in the day. On the other hand, night 'owls' like sleeping in and staying up late, and don’t perform well until afternoon or evening. - Psychology Today
A night owl is someone who not only prefers to be up later at night, but functions better later in the day or evening, and does not do so well early in the morning. Sleeping in works better for them.
A typical preferred schedule for a night owl might be going to sleep around 2 or 3 in the morning and waking up around 11 a.m. or noon. Is that similar to the schedule you would choose, if you could?
For night owls, going to bed at what seems like the right time, often leaves them lying awake, wishing they could fall asleep.
And then they frequently glance at the clock, still awake, and recalculate how much sleep they’ll get if they fall asleep soon. But they don’t fall asleep soon, because they can't.
I am all too familiar with this struggle.
I was born just before midnight, and I suspect I have struggled to go to sleep on time ever since. I remember lots of childhood nights, lying awake well past the time I went to bed, bored, and wishing I could be in the family room, watching TV with my parents. I could hear the faint sounds of whatever they were watching, and those sounds called to me.
My mother seemed surprised and annoyed each time she came to check on me, and found with my eyes open, still wide awake. She didn’t know what to do to fix it, and neither did I.
I know I did not get enough sleep during my childhood. Did you?
Children who are wide awake at bedtime and sleepy the next morning, often grow up to be adults who struggle to conform to the cultural norms of going to bed at a reasonable hour, and then getting up in time to go to work, or begin the day with their own wide-awake children.
Has that been your experience? It certainly was mine.
When my work days began at 8:30 or 9:00, I struggled nearly every day to make it work. I’d fall asleep right after David Letterman said, “wake the kids and call the neighbors.”
And the next morning would find me struggling to wake up, feeling like I was moving through molasses as I tried to get ready as quickly as possible so I wouldn’t be late. Eventually, I was eating in the car, and putting on my makeup, during the half hour drive to work just to try to give myself a better chance of getting there a minute before I’d be late.
Once my son became my personal alarm clock, the struggle continued, just in a different way. He was bright-eyed and bushy tailed, eager to hang out with his mommy, and I could barely open my eyes.
What is the solution for those of us who struggle with an early-morning wake-up call? Many night owls try to become a morning person.
Become a Morning Person?
There is lots of advice out there about how to become a morning person, but is that really possible? You can wake up earlier, start your day earlier, and decide to go to bed earlier at night, but can you become a morning person?
Based on what the experts say, I think not.
Most people can’t simply switch wake up and bed times, because their bodies won’t allow them to. Our circadian rhythm is controlled by a tiny area in our brains, the suprachiasmatic nucleus. -Dr. Nathaniel Watson, co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Centre, incoming president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. -BBC
But it is possible to get to the point where you are waking up in the morning, naturally, without an alarm, at your ideal wake-up time.
Your Ideal Wake-Up Time
Do you know what your ideal wake-up time is? Though it is less likely to be an exact time on the dot than a general range of time, it provides for the amount of time you need each morning.
That sounds simple, but for those who struggle with getting up on time, or with getting ready as quickly as we need to in order to be ready for our obligations, it may not be simple at all.
And I’m not saying that your ideal morning time is your preferred wake-up time. But it is the time that would make your morning life, and your mom life, run the most smoothly.
What’s your ideal? It may be affected by the time you go to bed, because functioning your best, on any given morning, is likely to depend on sleeping enough and sleeping well the night before.
Do you struggle to get to bed or to sleep on time? That would push your ideal wake-up time forward in a flexible schedule. But if it’s not as flexible, then we need to get you a better night's sleep.
Your Best Night's Sleep
For night owls, what constitutes getting to bed or to sleep on time may be different than it is for morning larks, those who love mornings. And if you don’t work outside the home, getting up early enough to go to work on time is not an issue.
Plus, there’s no universally agreed upon best time for going to bed and falling asleep. But whatever late turns out to be, for you, it will deny you the sleep you need.
So the goal becomes whatever time gets you better sleep and enough of it.
But with no agreed upon standards, your ideal bedtime will be based on your lifestyle and needs. If you’re a mom, it also will be based on what time your children wake up, what time school starts or homeschool begins, and when you need to sleep in order to be your best during their mornings.
What is Your Ideal Bedtime?
Experts suggest that we need 7 to 9 hours of sleep in order to function optimally and be at our most healthy. So, in order to find your ideal sleep time, you need to know when your ideal wake-up time is.
If it takes you a while to “yawn and stretch and try to come to life,” (Dolly Parton, Nine to Five theme song) then your wake-up time probably needs to happen before your kids get going in the morning. How long does it take you to wake up properly and be ready to roll?
And what time do your children wake up? If it takes you an hour or two to be functional, then you’ll need to get up an hour or two before your children do, and be asleep 7 to 9 hours before then. That hour is your ideal bedtime.
It may take some experimenting to find those numbers. And you may need more time in the morning than you think.
Does it need to work out perfectly? Perfection may not be possible.
I find that I need to be awake and out of bed at least 3 hours before my son wakes up – probably because I am also an introvert – and now that he’s a teenager, and we start our homeschool day later in the morning, that works out well.
But when he was younger, I couldn’t make that work, and had to settle for 2 hours when I really needed three.
So aim for the best combination of sleep time and waking up, and then make the very best of whatever way it shakes out in practice.
And once you have your ideal bedtime and wake-up times in mind, the problem becomes getting yourself to sleep at that time, if you’re a night owl. What’s the best way to get to sleep at that time?
Well, you may have heard or read that getting to sleep on time will become much easier if you back away from your devices an hour or more before you want to go to sleep.
Ninety percent of people in the U.S. admit to using a technological device during the hour before turning in, and children often use electronic media to help them relax at night. If you’re among these nighttime technology-users, you may not realize the extent to which this can make it harder to settle down to sleep. But it can. The truth is, using electronic devices before bedtime can be physiologically and psychologically stimulating in ways that can adversely affect your sleep. -National Sleep Foundation
I found this to be true in my own life. I had just moved, and had to wait a week before my cable appointment. Plus, no one came at the scheduled time, which added another 2 weeks of being without my favorite TV shows!
But here’s what happened that surprised me.
I found that without having the TV on all night, it was easy to go to bed a couple of hours earlier than I normally did. And not only that, I would go to bed, thinking I’d probably read for an hour or so, and find myself getting sleepy in 20 minutes or less.
It was so easy. I got more sleep, and woke up earlier than I had been getting up before the move. So, to be honest, I felt ambivalent about finally getting everything set up with cable.
Would I be able to stick to my new schedule once those late night shows were available? I knew the answer was probably going to be no, and I was right.
TV can be irresistibly tempting. But it also, apparently, throws off your sleep biology and will make it harder to go to sleep at the time you have chosen.
Unless you are able to talk yourself into turning it off ahead of time.
But once you’ve turned off the TV, stepped away from the computer, and put your phone aside, what do you do then?
Do you like to read? Or listen to music? Have another hobby, like knitting?
This is where creating an ideal evening routine comes in.
How to Create an Ideal Evening Routine
for Better Mornings
If you need an earlier wake-up time, and thus, an earlier bedtime, then getting your evening routine right will empower you mornings. But what would make for an ideal evening routine?
Let’s talk about that next.
Here are 4 must haves for your evening routine…
(1) It needs to help you wind down well enough to become sleepy when you need to, so it will be easy to go to bed when you’ve chosen.
(2) Though this one isn’t a must, it is ideal – your evening routine should help you let go of and recover from any stress you experienced during the day.
(3) And ideally, your evening routine will give you time for things you love to do.
Reading, watching a movie, spending time with your family. In an ideal evening routine, there is time for what makes life sweeter.
(4) But that also means that eating dinner and getting the dishes done need to happen in time for the rest of your evening routine to occur.
How can you carve out time for an evening routine and what would it include?
Once you have planned an evening routine that will work for you, it’s time to craft the ideal morning routine.
5 Must-Haves for Crafting
Your Perfect Morning Routine
(1) It needs to give you plenty of time to come to life before having to function well.
(2) It needs to help you be more present to your children and what they need.
(3) It needs to make it easy to be on time for whatever you’ve got on your morning schedule without having to rush.
(4) It needs to empower and support the day you want to create.
(5) It needs to create the feelings you want to experience. How do you want your mornings to feel?
And would slower mornings feel better?
7 Reasons Why a Slower Morning Routine Will Make Your Mornings Easier
Slow morning routines are morning routines during which you don't rush through the process of getting ready and you take the time for self-care or other experiences you'll enjoy as you gradually wake up fully and become more alert.
Slow mornings don’t rush. In fact, they are carefully designed to move more slowly, and to bring what is needed to the person who got up for them.
So, aside from the beauty and wonder of slow living, in general, slower lifestyle mornings may actually be more practical for those of us who struggle with mornings.
Here are 7 reasons why…
(1) They give you the time you need to become fully functional. You’ll no longer have to do something while you’re only half awake.
(2) They eliminate the stress of rushing and falling behind in your schedule.
That frenetic, rushed, harried experience that happens when there’s something to do that feels urgent, but there isn't enough time, is part of what can make mornings so unpleasant in the first place, right?
(3) They give you the opportunity to create moments and experiences that help you enjoy mornings more. Like a self-care routine. Or morning coziness.
(4) If you're a woman of faith, a slow morning routine will give you enough space in your morning for a quiet time that fosters a deeper connection with God.
(5) Slowing down your morning routine will give you time to set and attune to your intentions for the day, and prioritize the ones that are most important.
(6) Your slower morning routine could be designed to give you some alone time before the deep dive into interactions with your family and others.
(7) With a slow morning routine, you can take back your mornings, instead of being owned by them, so that mornings feel better.
I'm a big advocate of designing your morning routine based on the way you want your mornings to feel.
But if you don't have a morning routine that you've created, and made time for, then you lose some of that freedom to choose the way you want mornings to feel. And they are much more likely to feel rushed.
So, I’m suggesting a slow morning routine, but how long should a morning routine be?
There is no ideal amount of time it needs to take. Instead, it’s whatever amount of time you need to become fully functional.
Do you know what that amount of time is, for you?
Even if you don’t fill it up with mindful activities, then your morning routine will allow that much time to pass. Silence and sips of tea are just as good as anything else you might include, as long as you don’t pressure yourself to be completely operational before you’re ready.
Cozy Mornings & Hygge Moments
What if you could make mornings more cozy?
Denmark winters are cold, dark and dreary.
But Danish people fought back with hygge and they won! Could deliberately creating cozy, hygge moments help you take back your mornings the way it helped them take back winter?
The definition for cozy is giving a feeling of comfort, warmth and relaxation.
And hygge, pronounced hue-geh, is a word that is hard to translate precisely into English, but involves the same kinds of cozy feelings.
Hygge is an intended focus on creating warmth and coziness, both through what you do and what you place into your environment. It is an emphasis on doing all the comforting things you enjoy, and it’s a way to enhance those moments so that they are even sweeter.
So if you love to read, hygge plumps the pillow on the chair you’re sitting in, brings you a cup of tea, lights a candle nearby in your favorite scent and hangs your favorite throw over the back of your chair in case you get cold.
If you love spending time with your friends, hygge invites them over for game night, but tells them to come in time for nachos & beer first, and promises dessert after the games are over so your friends will stay longer and you’ll have an even better time.
Then, it adds cozy atmosphere in the room where everyone will be by keeping a fire lit so they’ll want to stay inside where it’s so warm and cozy, rather than leaving to face the cold.
Hygge is like a cozy best friend!
Simply put, according to the dictionary, it’s “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).”
What would it be like to add elements of hygge coziness to your morning?
I know it has worked for me, over and over again. When getting to work on time was a struggle, and there were days I wished I could stay home, the promise of making my cup of tea when I got there, and lighting a vanilla candle or two, helped me have something to look forward to when I got there.
By the way, back then, no one seemed to care of you set your building on fire, so I was able to light as many candles as I wanted. But unfortunately for me, that soon changed, candles were disallowed, and I had to come up with other ideas.
I also made my office look like a cozy living room and seeing it, with my throw across one chair, and my other decorative touches, made me feel good each morning, and every cozy change I made helped make those mornings easier.
Now that I work from home, my mornings include a great big cup of tea, and any candle I want to light. Plus, other cozy moments that make each morning easier than mornings used to be.
Could that work for you, too?
Here are 5 ways to create cozy, hygge moments each morning…
(1) Light a tealight candle. This could be especially soothing if you wake up when it is still dark out, or not quite fully light.
(2) Drink your favorite beverage and give yourself time to linger over it.
Let yourself relax fully. And make that moment just about the tea or coffee, not a backdrop for whatever else you are doing.
(3) Spend your first moments in your favorite room and make it look cozy. Open the blinds or curtains to let the sunshine in.
Maybe you could have your beverage on your balcony or patio, so you can breathe in fresh air and watch the birds fly from one tree to the next.
(4) Instead of checking in on social media, to see whose pictures and status updates suggest they are is having a better life than everyone else, spend a few minutes reading, or listening to music that inspires and energizes you.
(5) Give yourself enough time to connect with someone you care about and you get to have the cozy warmth of that connection at the start of your day.
12 Ways to Use Aromatherapy
to Empower Your Morning Routine
I've created a cozy morning aromatherapy guide, with essential oil recipes and blends you can use to empower your morning routine.
To find out more about it, and how to access it, fill in the form for the morning routine quiz. You can use aromatherapy as part of your next steps in creating an ideal, personalized morning routine.
But first, let's look at 12 ways essential oils can be a positive influence on your mornings...
What’s so remarkable about essential oils is that they influence the whole being. Just as they are the catalyst that can make a wound heal, or a mind relax, so can they transport a soul. – Valerie Ann Worwood, Aromatherapy for the Soul
(1) Morning aromatherapy can ground and center you for a peaceful morning.
(2) You can use it to help you relax deeply for your morning meditation.
(3) Use morning aromatherapy to help you think clearly as you write in your self-care journal.
(4) Morning aromatherapy can help you stay focused on a task or project you need to get done.
(5) You can use it to help you wake up fully and become more alert each morning.
(6) Morning aromatherapy can help you leave behind the cranky mornings and have cheerful ones, instead.
(7) It can help you be more present with the kids.
(8) It can help you stay on task instead of becoming distracted or returning to sleepiness.
(9) Morning aromatherapy can support the way you want to feel as you do your yoga sequence or poses.
(10) Morning aromatherapy can help you banish the sluggishness & molasses moments that make it harder to move through your mornings.
(11) It can help you return to calm more easily after a stressful moment in your morning.
(12) Morning aromatherapy can help you create coziness as you spend mornings with your family.
Journal Prompts & Questions for Reflection
What changes have you felt inspired to make as you’ve read this post?
What will you need to do to make those changes possible?
Is there one change or shift you could make right away?
Putting it All Together
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve taken in a lot of information about how to create an ideal morning routine.
Keep in mind that gradual change is more lasting. And creating an ideal morning routine is not about the shoulds, it’s about empowering yourself to create the best morning experience you can have.
Doing that will transform mornings for your children, too.
Start small and adjust as needed.
What’s the first change or shift you feel inspired to make? Tell me in a comment.
See you next time!
morning routine quiz & then, watch my video for
results & next steps. Fill in the form here to access it...
This year, I have written here, to beloved women of faith, about creating a slower lifestyle, about needing a slower faith process, about slower, everyday quiet times and about creating a Sabbath simplicity lifestyle, part one and part two.
Today, I want to suggest a wild idea. You know that struggle we sometimes have with truly resting once a week, on the Sabbath? I want to suggest we take that struggle and live it every day.
Mmmhmm. Told you it was wild. But no wilder than anything else I have said this year. Let's talk about it...
5 Reasons to Give the Sabbath Lifestyle a Try
Many of us worship busyness every day with just as much energy and commitment as we worship God on Sundays, and in our quiet times. And obviously, that means our culture snuck in to our way of thinking and living, and it's not what God wants for us.
Though he only commanded a Sunday Sabbath rest, I believe he offers and wants a restful lifestyle for us, in general, and that truly being a people of God will mean letting go of the hold that busyness and faster and more have on us.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light. - Matthew 11:28-30, NKJV
Jesus was describing someone there, who is constantly tired. That's us, moms! And he offers us a better way.
Here are several reasons why a daily Sabbath routine might be worth the trouble of putting it into place and sticking to it...
(1) A daily, evening Sabbath would mean creating a daily rhythm of rest instead of a weekly one, and we all need far more rest than most of us get.
(2) It might only require an hour or two each evening, and five minutes of rest here and there as you pause in between your activities, but the impact on your lives and on the lives of your family, could be dramatic. Imagine how it might impact your health and well-being.
(3) Your daily quiet time is a kind of Sabbath activity, a time apart where you stop, are still and quiet and resting, and avoid getting distracted by busyness and work. So the idea of a daily evening Sabbath routine is not so farfetched.
(4) And speaking of your quiet times, Sabbath evenings will lead to better and easier quiet time experiences. Because a wind-down Sabbath evening routine will make sleep easier and more restful, so getting up the next morning will be easier, too.
And you'll spend time with God that you might have spent yawning, stretching and trying to come to life, o quote Dolly Parton, or just staring into space as you try to get your mind to start working.
(5) As a mom, if you give your children a daily Sabbath experience, and model taking one, yourself, they will become masters of the longer, weekly one by the time they leave for college or enter the work force.
Our pace is determined not by the length of our to-do list but by whether we pause (and for how long) in between the items on those lists. -Keri Wyatt Kent, Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity
3 Ideas for a Daily Sabbath Lifestyle
(1) Give yourself five minutes in between your daily activities to pause. During those five minutes, take a moment to tune into God's presence and remind yourself of his sovereignty.
(2) Have a sit-down dinner with your family, with no electronic guests at the table.
(3) Create a restful evening wind-down routine for the hour or two before bedtime.
Your evening routine could include time alone or with family and you could choose the kinds of activities you do on Sabbath afternoons or evenings.
Know that no matter what you decide about the Sabbath, God's love for you is constant, and is wider, deeper and stronger than any of us can begin to imagine.
This post is just a gentle invitation (no new rules here) and you are free to reject it. Or, to fail miserably as you give it a try, the way I usually do.
Either way, it won't change a thing between you and God.
But even if you only do it sometimes and badly, I believe that the impact could be life-changing.
Even without intending it, your days will have more God in them. More awareness, more openness to his presence, more connection with him.
Nothing wrong with that, right?
See you next time!
I haven't been writing a lot about budget meal planning, or healthy meals for several months now. I am still getting all the deals I can find at the grocery store, but just haven't felt much like writing about it. I doubt it will be a mainstay topic for this blog.
But I do want to talk about healthier eating today.
I've gained some weight. So may reasons - winter blues weight gain, stress eating, unwanted assistance from a medication whose side effects seem to have an all roads lead to weight gain situation going on.
But the bottom line is that I need to make some healthier choices. And soon. Now-ish.
Well, in the past, one of the easiest ways to change my relationship with food has been to do some kind of detox or cleanse, followed by a rather strict diet. The emotional benefit of a detox or cleanse is that it breaks the spell of habitual eating, and once it's over, the slate was clean and I could create new habits.
What always went wrong was that I would try to diet afterward. Though I know I need to find other ways to deal with stress, and to create serotonin, I don't do well with being told no.
It is much better when it comes from within than without, and I have found that a more intuitive eating approach works really well.
So what would be ideal is a breaks-the-spell detox or cleanse, followed by healthier, intuitive eating.
But the really drastic detoxes I used to do made me sick for days, I never finished them completely, and felt hungry the whole time. I need something kinder than that.
So, lately, I've been looking at kitchari cleanses. Let me tell you more about it, and why it might be just the thing.
The Kitchari Cleanse
As I understand it, the basic idea behind an Ayurvedic kitchari cleanse - as is true with any cleanse, I suppose - is to give your digestive system a rest, while you repeatedly eat healthier food, so your body can deal with and unload toxins.
You eat a one-pot meal of rice + vegetables in one bowl, and you eat it for 2-3 meals a day, though you can have it again if you get hungry.
What I have read is that it is an Indian Ayurvedic dish, meant to balance your doshas, and some Indians eat it every day of their lives. But it also is suggested as a way to do a less painful cleanse for a few days or a week.
Though I am very interested in Ayurveda, and I believe I am a Vata/Kapha blend, I do not know enough to explain it very clearly, and thus, will not try...
Ayurveda is a form of alternative medicine that is the traditional system of medicine of India and seeks to treat and integrate body, mind, and spirit using a comprehensive holistic approach especially by emphasizing diet, herbal remedies, exercise, meditation, breathing, and physical therapy. - Merriam-Webster
Yeah, I could never have said all of that. And a dosha is one of three biological energies your body has that affect your physiology and mental processes. You are likely to be influenced by one more than the other, and it is important to keep that dosha in balance. More and better dosha info at Ayurveda 101.
So the kitchari meal and cleanse is part of this same holistic system (Ayurveda). When you make kitchari (pronounced kich-uh-ri, the Internet tells me, not kich-ah-ri, as I was thinking), you blend rice, lentils and other pulses, like mung beans, with spices.
"Because of its simplicity and ease, many people find that doing a detox on kitchari is very pleasant and far less of an undertaking than a juice fast, for example. Eating this dish exclusively for three to five days is said to purify the digestive organs while cleansing the body of toxins."
- Sarah Britton, in a post on Mind Body Green
There are also spices in the kitchari mix, and I have to admit I had some concern about that, when I began to look at recipes. The spices are said to assist in the digestive process.
But I did not grow up eating spices like those, and they tend to make my stomach try to revolt. Actually, most spices do, but there are some I can tolerate in moderation.
So I began to wonder if there was a way to create a kitchari cleanse using the basics - rice + veggies + pulses + spices - using choices I am more familiar with, that will feel more comforting, that my tummy is more used to, and hopefully, will not reject.
Did I mention I have a sensitive stomach?
So, I began thinking about a soul food kitchari. And I began to wonder just how creative we can be when planning our own kitchari cleanse.
Getting Creative with the Kitchari Cleanse
I wanted to know whether or not I could create a soul food version of kitchari, that I could eat for several days in a row, and then possibly keep eating if all went well.
I decided to keep the basmati rice I saw recommended, along with Sahara Rose's recommendations to soak it overnight and then cook it for 40 minutes before eating it. And she suggests eating oatmeal for the breakfast meal, which works for me.
All that decided, I went looking for what else I might do, of the vegetarian soul-food variety.
Vegetarian Soul Food Kitchari?
The first thing I did was to make a list of pulses, veggies and spices that were said to ease digestion. Then, I looked for ones I was familiar with eating.
Can I just say that there is a lot of info out there about how wonderful pulses are and how easy it is to find ways to eat them without discomfort?
Rinse and soak and cook a long time. Repeat.
Or, just eat the easy ones. I looked up beans, lentils, pulses, veggies and spices.
Here is where I landed: I think the soul food kitchari might be Hoppin' John. I often eat a vegetarian version on New Year's Day, and sometimes even it is too spicy, so as a cleanse dish, I'd have to tone it down a bit.
I think I may try it. And I wonder how it would taste if I added some sweet potatoes?
Oatmeal for the breakfast of champions, and Hoppin' John for lunch and dinner, with a side of sweet potatoes or some mixed in.
There's a vegetarian Hoppin' John recipe I want to try, from Well-Plated. I plan to leave out the carrots & some of the spices, and I may cook it all in a slow cooker. But still, it's a great recipe.
I feel pretty sure I can do it for 3 days, and will report back on my results. Wish me luck!
Have you ever tried a kitchari cleanse? Or tried to take a cleanse and make it your own?
See you next time!
P.S. Want more healthy meal planning ideas and budget meal recipes? Click one of these 3 links and check out the ultimate meal planning bundle.
It's a summer self-care Sunday! Do you have your essential oil blends so you can have an even sunnier day?
This blog post will be short and sweet, so you can get back to your self-care Sunday afternoon. I just want to point out how well lazy Sundays, self-care routines and essential oils go together. Plus, I've got more information for you, if you'd like to learn more.
Self Care Sunday & Essential Oils
Bring at least one guest who needs Sunday afternoon comfort. Here are several ways essential oils and/or essential oil blend recipes can make your self-care Sunday even better...
(1) Essential oils can deepen your sense of relaxation. You might try a blend of lavender and orange in your diffuser for sunny relaxation and a peaceful afternoon.
(2) Essential oils can offer comfort after a stressful week, and help you let go of that week as you prepare for the week ahead.
It has been said that lavender feels like a mother's hug. And both lavender and orange can be used to leave your week behind in the rear view mirror.
(3) The same essential oil blend can help you during the wind down part of your self-care Sunday evening, so that you may find it easier after that to get to bed at the time that's best for you.
(You hearing me, night owls?)
If you'd like to learn many more essential oil recipes, check out the Herbs and Essential Oils Super Bundle. Just one of the eBooks has 75 recipes alone.
Blessed be the Lord ... who bears our burdens. - Psalm 68: 19
Do You Like Traveling?
At first, it was exciting, but it didn't take long before I got really tired of traveling. Especially, by plane.
All the hurry up and wait. Standing in line, while keeping an eye on my luggage. Taking things off so they could be scanned. Hassle.
But one of the things I dislike most is packing, lugging and carrying whatever I am taking with me. To be honest, even after I have handed off the biggest luggage, walking around with my carry-on and purse and whatever else I can't afford to lose is just annoying.
Do you get me on that, anyone?
But I tell you what would make it a lot easier. If I had someone with me who carried all of it for me.
Silently and without expecting a tip or a free vacation.
What if someone carried my luggage, held onto it until it could be handed off, and carried both my carry-on and my purse, holding everything and just handing me what I needed occasionally? Like my Kindle.
And what would be even better was if I never had to carry any of it in the first place. Even to pack it.
I'm telling you, if all of that could be taken care of for me, traveling might actually be fun.
But We are Being Carried
And so is our luggage, as we travel through life.
The Bible says that God bears our burdens, and that his burdens are light. So what are we carrying that feels so heavy?
You know how they say that even after losing a limb, people often still feel it? In fact, it is said that they feel the pain of it. Phantom pain.
Well, beloveds, I think that's what we're carrying. It's not real, but it feels real.
Oh, but if we could let it go. What would that be like?
Start Letting Go: He's Got it
The truth is, our traveling through life, day by day, could be a lot easier! We make it harder than it has to be.
We're not supposed to be carrying anything. Or packing anything up to take with us, except our faith. And complete trust in him.
And anything that would make that harder is probably something we won't need on this trip. We can leave it behind.
We can give it to him. And let him carry us through it and to it, wherever he's taking us.
Slow Faith Journal Prompts
During your next morning quiet time, grab your journal and a cup of tea, and take some time to work through this idea. See it as clearly as you can in your own life.
Here are some journal prompts that may help you think it through...
(1) What burdens have you been carrying, yourself, that he has been trying to carry without your help?
(2) How might he have been using your life to try to gently persuade you to hand them over?
(3) Do you feel ready to let go of them now?
(4) If not, pause for a moment & have a conversation with him about that; then, write down whatever you hear from him.
(5) Ask him to guide you and tell you what you can do differently, so that you no longer feel the phantom pain of those burdens he has been carrying all along. Whatever he says - write that down, so you don't forget.
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