friday favorites, psychology

Friday Favoritos: Miracle Mornings and Gardening

Back with another round of favorite things! Warmer weather, less travel restrictions, vacation on the mind. Here are a few things I’m enjoying lately.

Balcony gardening

I admit, it’s a tiny little balcony garden. I decided to start small in case of failure, and see how it goes. I’ve failed at this a number of times in recent years, but this year my balcony gets a lot of sunlight so I decided to try again! I planted radishes, arugula and chives. And I also grew sprouts in a jar in my bathroom, as they need darkness. The experiment has been a success so far! I tasted a couple of the radishes this week and they were amazing.

I see you, little baby radish

Book: Miracle Mornings by Hal Elrod

Okay. Honestly, the writing of the book was kind of awful, it feels like an endless sales pitch and the author is really self-congratulatory for my taste. But the general idea stuck. What’s the idea? It’s so simple: get up earlier, perform a routine including six basic tasks, and this will jump-start your day and your life. The six tasks Elrod says we should do create the acronym SAVERS.

  • Silence
  • Affirmations
  • Visualization
  • Exercise
  • Reading
  • Scribe

This blog posts breaks it down for you, so I don’t have to. 🙂

He also mentions drinking a full glass of water first thing when you get up.

I have to admit, I’ve only been doing three or four of these things but I feel a noticeable difference in my energy levels. Here’s my version of the routine:

  • Night before: lay out my yoga mat and exercise clothes.
  • Drink water. I try to finish a 500ml bottle but I usually only get through three quarters of it.
  • Put on my workout clothes.
  • Sit down cross-legged on my yoga mat and do around 7 minutes of meditation, focusing on breathing.
  • Put on my daily video from Blogilates. I’ve saved different videos for each weekday: abs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, arms on Tuesday and planks on Thursday. The instructor, Cassey Ho, is very motivating! The videos range in length from 6 minutes to 20, depending on the day.
  • Do a face-cleansing routine and actually get dressed. (This is making a big difference too!)
  • Heat up my oatmeal and tea and have a calm, quiet breakfast before starting my classes.

I am trying to do more reflective writing, but I don’t make time for that in the mornings. I prefer to write in the evenings to process the day. Reading is the same: a during and after dinner or before-bed activity. As for affirmations and visualizations, I may start incorporating them at some point, but I’m happy with my current routine. Elrod also recommends getting up at 5am or so, but I find 6 or 6:15 is just fine for me.

Food: Mug Cake

I’m still chugging along with plant-based eating during the week, though I’m working on ways to ingest more protein. So I’ve gone back to eating canned tuna some days. In general though, I’m feeling pretty good eating this way. I stumbled across a fun-looking recipe on Instagram last week by the nutritionist @blancanutri. A very nice-looking mug cake! So I clicked to open the recipe, and found it’s super simple. Gluten-free, sugar-free, lactose-free. All you need is a banana, an egg, some pure cacao powder, dark chocolate, and a little baking soda or baking powder. Blend those up into liquid, pour into a mug, stick a little piece of dark chocolate into the center, and into the microwave for about 1.5 minutes. Dump it out of the mug onto a plate, let it cool and enjoy!

Product: Keiras Hair Conditioner

I was walking home one day and noticed a hair salon supply store, so decided to pop in. I noticed in the window there was a hair conditioner by the brand Keiras for 60% off so I decided to try it. It smells so good, and now my hair is extra silky and smooth! Great for this dry climate that I now live in.

Silky smooth hair even under a bike helmet

Mountain biking

I recently rode a real mountain bike for the first time ever! It was a little scary, especially going over the rocks, but I loved it. The circuit I did, near Fiscal in Huesca, was perfect for beginners. Challenging but not technically too hard. I can’t wait to try this again!

Javascript for simple game building

This week I’ve had so much energy, thanks to my routine, and I think the mug cake helped too. (No, seriously. I’ve been like, bouncing off the walls.) So I had this idea, what if I made a random topic generator and a Taboo game my students could use in class to speak about different ideas? I did a little sketching it out and thinking up possible code solutions, went online to double check and here’s what I came up with. The same code is used for the topic generator, only changing the names of the variables. There are a lot more options in the Taboo array, but this is just an example to keep it short. Feel like playing? Go for it!

var taboo = ["lay off. can't say: fire, job, lose, company", "burn out. can't say: stress, tired, work, too much"]
function newTaboo() {
var randomTaboo = Math.floor(Math.random() * taboo.length);
document.getElementById("tabooDisplay").innerHTML = taboo[randomTaboo];