morning

In the Morning: The Breakfast Sandwich

(c) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(c) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

If you read my post last week on boosting productivity with a morning routine, you know one of my resolutions is to have a heartier breakfast each day. I’m on the move pretty early in the mornings, so breakfast for me is usually whatever I can grab and go. My ideal breakfast, is something protein-rich to help keep me full until my first break. So, I took to Pinterest to search for quick but nourishing breakfast ideas. The first recipe I wanted to try was one for a breakfast sandwich. I modified the recipe a bit to eliminate the pork and diary ingredients. It took only 30 minutes to make a batch that will last in the freezer for the rest of the week. And because it’s so simple, you can easily make these while cooking Sunday dinner.

(c) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(c) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

The ingredients you’ll need for this version are:

  • Plain English Muffins (Or Whole Wheat etc.)

  • Omega-3 Enriched Eggs (1 egg for each sandwich)

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  • Daiya Cheddar Style Vegan Cheese Slices (Found at Whole Foods)

  • Wellshire Classic Turkey Breakfast strips (subbed for bacon. Found at Whole Foods)

  • Optional Garnish: Thinly Sliced Red Onions, Garlic and Tomato (can also add Spinach if you’d like)

In terms of special tools, you’ll need medium-sized ramekins (the ideally same size as your English muffins) and a baking sheet in order to easily transfer the ramekins in and out of the oven.

First, grease each ramekin with a small amount of oil or butter. This will help keep the egg from sticking to the ramekin in the end. Then crack 1 egg into each ramekin and remove the chalaze with a fork (the chalaze is the white substance attached to the yolk). Doing so will help break the yolk and help the eggs bake thoroughly. Season the eggs with salt and pepper (you can also mix in other ingredients like the diced garlic, red onions or spinach for omelette-style eggs). Place the eggs in to oven and bake at 350°F (that is 175°C) for about 20 minutes. To check if the eggs have cooked all the way through, I used a knife to cut slits into the middle of each ramekin to see if there was a still any liquid/uncooked egg remaining.

(c) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(c) 2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

While the eggs are baking, you can prepare the other ingredients. I like my English muffins crispy, so I placed them in another baking sheet to toast for a few minutes. I also diced my vegetables and fried the turkey bacon while the eggs were in the oven. When the eggs are completely cooked, remove the eggs from the oven and let the ramekins cool. Once the ramekins are cool enough, run a fork along the edge and under the eggs to remove the eggs from the ramekins.

(C)  2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

(C)  2015 JuleChu Lifestyle

With everything now set, you can simply assemble the sandwiches. I wrapped each sandwich in parchment paper before placing the sandwiches in a large freezer bag. But you can freeze them in whatever you feel works best for you.

In the morning, you can take a sandwich out of the freezer and reheat using the microwave or bake in the oven. I was able to reheat my sandwich in the microwave, 1 ½ minutes per side, for a total of 3 minutes. That time may vary for you slightly depending on your microwave settings. Once the sandwich is warmed you can add the tomato slices or what other garnish you would like. I hope you enjoy this quick recipe and find it useful! Let me know what you think on Twitter or Instagram.

 

 

 

The Morning Routine

jo malone IMG_3696.JPG

Even though I’m not a full-time student anymore, September still feels like an unofficial new year. I use it as a time to reset, reorganize and re-evaluate my goals for the rest of year. This usually means changing my routine and stepping up my productivity. This week I came across a very useful article by A Pair and a Spare called “5 Steps for Creating the Perfect Morning Routine.” I find having a routine like this can save a lot of time and energy in the morning. Doing a few basic things like taking the time to have breakfast can also boost your focus for the day ahead. A few of A Pair and a Spare’s tips are definitely things I need to start incorporating into my mornings. I’ve summarized the tips below and I have a few suggestions of my own.

  1. Make Time: Simply put, make sure you get enough sleep. Go to bed earlier. Wake up earlier. Easy to say, so hard to do sometimes.

  2. Ban Work: This is one I really need to work on. A Pair and a Spare suggests an 8 pm to 8 am screen ban. So for me, that means cutting my habitual 5 a.m. Twitter crawl and email check.

  3. Get Moving: As in incorporating some form of physical activity in the morning, even if it’s just stretching. The most I get in is a walk to the Go Station (or run depending on how many times I hit the snooze button), so this is on the “needs improvement” list for me.

  4. Feed Your Body: A travel mug full of tea and Eggos with jam is usually the most breakfast I get when I’m on the run in the mornings. Definitely not a fulfilling, grown-up breakfast. But with a bit of overnight prep, like A Pair and a Spare suggests, a hearty breakfast can be within reach each morning. With that being said, I’ll be mining Pinterest for a few quick and easy breakfast recipes.

  5. Just Add Water:  Drinking a glass of cool water in the morning has a few benefits. This healthy habit hydrates your body and helps flush out toxins while giving your brain and metabolism a boost.

  6. Feed Your Soul: Many find the morning to be the best time for mediation. Plus, taking the time to cultivate a sense of inner peace and stillness has been shown to help eliminate stress and anxiety throughout the day. I used to be better at doing this daily, but I try to say a quick prayer asking for wisdom and protection before stepping out the door. Once I’m on the bus/train, I would also read a scripture on my Biblegateway app like this one, “let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life.”

To add to these tips, I suggest also:

7. Prepare Overnight: For me, that’s packing my lunch, bag and setting out my clothes for the next day. Sometimes, I’ll also write a to-do list so I’m not thinking about all the things I need to remember when I should be sleeping.

8. Have a 5 Minute Every-day, Make-Up Look: This is something new I started a few months ago. In my field of work, I can’t have my face look too made-up but I still want to look presentable (read: awake). I keep all the makeup I need for my 5 minute look in one case that sits on my vanity. That way everything I need is in one place and I can also “grab and go” if I’m running late. I’ll write another post about the specific products I use, but my routine is simply using a tinted moisturizer, mascara, brow pencil and a lip colour.

Hopefully these suggestions will help you build a morning routine of your own as well. I recommend a read of the full A Pair and A Spare article. One of my other favourite blogs, The Coveteur, has a related article called "5 Ways to Start Your Day Like a Supermodel" that's a great read as well. Enjoy and let me know what you think on Twitter or Instagram.

J