Create and Curate

Tips To Create A Powerful Morning Routine

March 5, 2020

Hint: Don't get sucked into checking email or social media until AFTER you set your intentions for the day!

 

One of the best-kept secrets for success is learning how to make the first hour of each day a launching point for productivity. The first hour should be fiercely guarded, used intentionally, and considered sacred. NEVER let your day get hijacked by somebody else's to-do list. Because that's what happens when you check your computer or phone, BEFORE setting your own priorities. 


Stop being busy and start being more productive by creating a powerful morning routine.


1. Get our of bed when your alarm goes off. Letting yourself fall back asleep undermines your body's readiness to start the day. Don't let your mind talk you out of getting up, just DO IT!


2. Stay off your phone and computer until after you complete your morning routine. This is really hard for most of us. Technology companies have designed their products to be addictive and suck us in. Trust me, and don't take the bait!


3. Take a moment for gratitude and set your intentions for the day. Each day is a gift, so take a minute to recognize the miracle of it. This is also when you should do a mental run-through of the day and set your intentions.


4. Rehydrate. During sleep our bodies are fasting. The first thing we should consume is water to end the fast and help our bodies rehydrate. 8-10 oz of room temperature or warm water will help rehydrate, flush toxins, and jump-start digestion. Get in the habit of drinking water BEFORE you drink caffeinated beverages.


5. Move. Ideally, you would get your fanny to the gym and knock out your exercise for the day. But at a minimum, do some stretching, get your blood circulating and warm your body up. Take at least 15 minutes of intentional movement and get the mind/body connection revved up for the day..


6. Take a cold shower. Ok, maybe not the whole shower, but a cold rinse. The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve in the body and controls the parasympathetic nervous system. It is connected to all the important stuff from our gut and heart to our sex organs. A cold rinse stimulates the vagus nerve and does beautiful things for our bodies and brains. At a minimum, 30 seconds of face splashing with cold water is beneficial.


7. Schedule time in each day for checking email and responding to text messages. I take 20 minutes 3 times a day to respond to emails, texts, and send my own. I build it into my schedule, and it saves me hours of wasted time. That's an hour each day, and even that seems like a lot. But most of us actually spend almost 3 hours a day on our cell phones or gadgets. Do the math, because you can never get back the time you spend checking email. We can use technology as a tool for communication and efficiency if we control it instead of letting it control us.

 

Maximizing the first hour of each day is its own form of magic. It helps us take back control in a world that can feel out of control, calm our busy brains, and focus on the things that really matter. 

 

Stop being busy and start being productive by cultivating a morning routine that aligns your habits with your big picture goals.

 

Download The Culinary Cure Rx: Healthy Habits 101, a free in-depth guide for creating healthy habits.


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Are You Drinking Enough Water? Probably Not.

February 20, 2020

You may be surprised to learn that the low hanging fruit of wellness is proper hydration. If we are even a little bit dehydrated, it can affect our ability to make good decisions; especially, but not limited to, what we eat and drink. Note to self — proper hydration should be mandatory before signing legally binding documents or accepting invitations to meet people you matched with on Bumble. 

 

Every wellness journey begins with hydration. Chronic dehydration is a wide spread problem; and most people have absolutely no idea they are walking around in a state of dehydration. Sure, the body sends signals like thirst and hunger; but by the time we register thirst, we are partially dehydrated. We can even get confused by the signals our bodies send, mistaking thirst for hunger, causing us to overeat and make poor food choices.

 

If we want to optimize our health, maintain a healthy body weight, and make good decisions, it is essential to understand the important role of hydration and create habits that support it. 

 

Many of the beverages we consume each day are actually dehydrating. Coffee, tea, soda, and alcohol can all be dehydrating.  If they contain added sugar or artificial ingredients, they are even worse for us. More complicating, for each dehydrating beverage we consume, we need to compensate by drinking 12-15 ounces of water. You can see how this could lead to living in a state of dehydration. If we start each day with a dehydrating beverage, we are in a deficit from the get-go. If we don’t replenish with water, the condition is compounded.

 

What is dehydration?

Water is used by our bodies to carry out normal metabolic functions. Things like removing waste from cells, regulating body temperature, and digesting food. An adult body is comprised of about 60% water, and our individual water needs will vary depending on how active we are and our lifestyle. Dehydration occurs when we use more water than we replace; and it is a serious condition. More sneaky however, is chronic low-level dehydration that easily flies under the radar and can seem normal.

 

Dehydration symptoms can include:

Dry cough, chapped lips and dry mouth, indigestion, muscle cramping, elevated heart rate, dark urine, constipation, irritability, brain fog, dry skin, headaches, nose bleeds, chronic fatigue, being thirsty, dry eyes, cravings and overeating.

 

It is not complicated, hard or expensive to harness the benefits of water — but, it is a practice. Most of us are partially dehydrated and missing the “feel good, look good” benefits that come with full hydration. We can reestablish how it feels like to be properly hydrated, and develop habits and accountability to stay that way. Here is a simple hydrating habit you can use to begin your hydration journey.

 

Wake up and sip the water

When we are asleep, our body is in a state of fast. The best way to end the fast is by rehydrating with 8-10oz of warm or room temperature water. Every morning the first beverage should be water. Because coffee is dehydrating, it is best enjoyed after a big hydrating glass of water.

 

I like to boost my water with the juice of half a fresh squeezed lemon. The lemon adds vitamin C, flavor and acidity, which actually turns alkaline in the body. More alkalinity and less acidity, helps to lower inflammation in the body. This is an easy habit to cultivate that starts each day by putting the hydration odds in our favor.

 

*Be sure to protect your tooth enamel from citric acid by sipping your lemon water with a straw.

 

Start each day with warm lemon water and make that your first hydration habit. Practicing hydration is a commitment. Good health starts by fueling your body with the things it needs to function optimally. I will be sharing more ways you can use your little daily actions to improve hydration in upcoming articles. 

 

Inspired to Learn Even More?

 

Download The Culinary Cure Rx: Healthy Habits 101, an in-depth guide for starting a successful wellness journey.


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Host Like a Pro

December 8, 2019

How To Host The Best Parties

 

My life has always been about hospitality. Decades of experience as a caterer, event planner, lifestyle consultant, and undaunted hostess taught me how to create epic events and still enjoy myself. I love to entertain, but what I really love is creating the magic my guests remember long after the last bite of flourless chocolate cake.

 

Entertaining does not have to be expensive or take a zillion hours in the kitchen. The best hosts know a little planning goes a long way, and a shock and awe feature will amplify any event from fun to memorable. I have a friend who throws crazy fun parties and never cooks, but she always does something unexpected, and her guests arrive ready for fun. Take your party game up with these simple tips for hosting fabulous events.

Kristen Coffield (Photo by: Kristen Coffield) Kristen Coffield

 

Pick a theme: A theme sets the tone for your party from the minute your guests receive their invite. Theme parties get everyone on the same sheet of music and provide a framework for food, drinks, music, attire, and decorations. I just got an invitation for an Apres Ski party (minus the skis). I can tell the event will be casual, there might be some chili and charcuterie, possible hot drinks and maybe some sort of outside games. This makes me happy because I can start thinking about my outfit and arrive prepared.

Tell your guests what to expect:  Anticipation is a great appetizer. Along with the necessary details of the event, who, what, where, when, and RSVP. Be sure to specify essential information, so your guests arrive prepared. Come Hungry if there will be a lot of food, or Dress Warmly for marshmallow toasting by the bonfire, or Prizes for Best Holiday Sweaters. 

 

Plan ahead: You never want to be scrambling at the last minute. Everything always takes longer than we think. Leave nothing to last-minute chance. The time to get ready and provisioned is the week before. Purchase your booze, order your food, get set up. Outline a schedule, so you forget nothing. I always build in a little me-time before my guests arrive. This helps me be relaxed and present as a host, and I enjoy myself more.

 

Create a fun vibe: I am a huge fan of moving furniture and creating a party space. Setting up the bar ahead of time is simple, and getting the lighting right is key for setting the mood. No one wants to be in an overly lit room. Get a bunch of votive candles, use twinkle lights on branches, get ideas on Pinterest, but make sure you have flattering lighting for your guests. Create a playlist to go with the theme, make sure the sound system is in good working order. Offering a special drink? Try it ahead of time to work out any imperfections. Get fun glasses. I often hit the thrift store and pick up inexpensive fun glasses for my event. Use an ink stamp to brand your party cocktail napkins and paper goods. Party games never fail to deliver when tailored to the event. Decorations can be as simple as lighting and flowers or as fantastic as a budget and imagination allow. Pick up fresh flowers and greens the day of for freshness.

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)

 

Serve the good stuff: No cooking needed to be a great host, but strong assembling skills are a must. Purchase the best goodies your neighborhood has to offer and set up food stations. Have your local wine and cheese shop make charcuterie and cheese boards. Pick up sushi from the corner place, cookies at that great bakery, and hummus from the local middle eastern restaurant. The hosts' job is to create a delightful environment for people to enjoy themselves while being feted.


Nothing kills the mood faster than cheap booze and party platters from Costco. You can take advantage of food and beverage values, just put in a little effort so your guests can't tell.


Shock & Awe: Surprise your guests with a wow! There are all sorts of ways to impress. When your guests arrive request, they put their phones on silent. Unless you are hosting a bunch of doctors, this is reasonable. People are more present when they are not distracted by their phones.

*Hire an oyster bar and serve champagne.

*Create a special backdrop, take photos of each guest as they arrive. 

*Hire a Karaoke machine, have a team singing competition. People  

  get really into this!

*Make a flaming punch or cocktail ice luge.

*One year we had a huge tree trunk delivered to our driveway and played the ax game (it's a long story).

  
Goody bags: I always have a little something for my guests to take home and enjoy. It can be as simple as a bag of spicy holiday Chex Mix or elaborate like a 1/4 pound of specialty coffee and a couple of scones. I prowl thrift stores for my favorite books and cookbooks to give as little gifts. 


Pro tip: Buy an inexpensive coat rack to avoid the "where's my coat" scramble. Have plenty of ice. Hire help if you can afford it…it is totally worth it.

ENJOY YOURSELF: The real secret to fantastic events is a relaxed host having a great time.

Daily inspiration and motivation on Instagram @kristencoffield.

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