The week is pushing on, and we all need a breather. Take 5. I know, cliché, right? What if I told you that there are about a zillion things you can do in just five minutes? Would you believe me? Would you try? Sometimes, just accomplishing a small, teeny five-minute task makes you feel like a Rockstar.
Just what kinds of things can you do in 5 minutes? Believe it or not, more than you think. So let’s get right to it and Morning Beans Blog will take you on a journey of five. Five things, five minutes, five days – let’s make it a super week!
Let’s begin with the easy stuff. You get hungry, but it takes too long to prepare – BALONEY! (well, that’s an option, but these might be better. Five kitchen tips each takes 5 minutes. Promise.
- Smoothies for breakfast. I know, the kids are always late and you don’t have time to chop those fruits and veggies and measure out the protein powder, chia seed, etc. You can pre-make little smoothie kits when you find 5 minutes free in your day. Here’s the pitch: First, you need the bulk of the smoothie – fruits and veg – about 1-2 cups per smoothie. Then grab a protein – think nut butter ( I like almond butter in my smoothies). Next, grab your liquid. To recap – fruit and veg pre-cut and frozen in little baggies. Nut butter measured out. Liquids ready to go at the front of the fridge. Now you just need to grab and blend – YOU CAN DO IT! My fave go-to a.m. smoothie is:
Bananarama Bang (yes, I made that up) -Blend 1 frozen banana that was sliced into chunks, a heaping teaspoon of almond butter, a tablespoon of flaxseed (ground of course), 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (I like Califia Farms) and a pinch of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. YUM.
- Coherent thoughts begin with caffeine, and if you have 5 minutes and a Primula cold brew pitcher (or you can improvise, see my post The True Morning Beans). This ensures that you have some instant pick me up as soon as you wander to the kitchen. It does take 14-24 hours to brew, so beware the un-brewed.
- Brown Bag it. Yes, you can make and take a healthy lunch if you have 5 minutes. A few of my go-tos – Beans. I open a can of white beans and rinse. I toss in some kale, tinned tuna, and little chipotle mayo. Another idea, spruce up your leftovers. Made tacos on Tuesday? Wednesday is taco salad day in your lunch box.
- Dinner – you’re wiped -why not some Greek fried eggs? Warm about a tablespoon or two of olive oil in your fave frying pan. Crack the eggs into the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. DO NOT MIX THEM. Sprinkle a few drops of water into the pan and cover it (I use a dinner plate since I don’t have a lid large enough) Cook the eggs like sunny side up- whites are done and yolks just a wee bit wobbly. Slide the eggs onto a plate and drizzle some of the oil from the pan over the top. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt (plain) and a squeeze of lemon. Sprinkle some fresh parsley or cilantro over the top. Bonus for carb freaks if you have some good crusty bread.
- Dessert. Yup, we all need this, so up at bat is the 5-minute mug cake (thanks, SparkPeople, but I’ve doctored it up a bit). You need a ¼ cup of flour, ¼ cup of sugar (make it all beige for health folks), 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (try the Hershey Special Dark), two egg whites, 3 Tbsp applesauce, 3 Tbsp almond milk (unsweet) and a splash of vanilla or almond extract. Put dry ingredients in a mug, and mix well. Add the egg white and mix thoroughly. Pour in the applesauce and almond milk, mix well. Add the vanilla, and mix again. Now’s the time to add nuts or chocolate chips, but don’t overdo it. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high. The cake will rise over the top – don’t be alarmed! Enjoy!
Let’s move on to self-care. We always neglect ourselves when we are busy, but if you can spare five minutes, you too can enjoy some R&R.
- You are working in overdrive. The key is you need downtime. Get outside for 5 minutes. No phone, no iPad, no people. Walk around, breathe deeply, clear your head. Maybe it’s the five minutes you are taking to get a loaf of bread or walk the dog; make it count.
- How about a DIY face mask? This one makes me want a snack, but it’s excellent for controlling some of the oils. You need one Banana which is an anti-aging agent and is also helpful in making your skin glow. 2TBSP Honey, which has antioxidants to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun. The juice of 1 lemon or orange (I prefer the orange). Citrus is a fabulous cleanser that helps clear blemishes & improves skin texture. (Watch out Olay). Mash the banana, mix in the honey and add the citrus juice. Apply to your face. Let it sit for 10 minutes and wash off. I know, I said 5 minutes- you CAN make it in 5!
- Send an old school, snail mail letter. My friends (mostly overseas) always tell me they enjoy seeing something in their post box. I have started collecting odd cards and stationery – something that will get their attention and make them laugh, smile or even say “Awww.” Five minutes let you share some news and catch up without having the whole world see it on social media.
- Scent your drawers. (Stop sniggering!) My neighbor growing up was exceptionally crafty, and she taught me how to make simple lavender sachets. Cathy used old socks and leftover fabric pieces (I loved the eyelet ones because she would thread them with pretty ribbons). All you need is some rice and dried lavender. Make sure you can smell or it, or Cathy’s trick – add a few drops of lavender essential oil. Put the rice and dried lavender into a sock, tie a knot. Embellish with a thick gingham ribbon and stick it in your drawers – I promise they’ll smell sweet.
- Make a portable art kit. You don’t have to be overly creative, and what you put inside will vary. Mine has some charcoal, a litho crayon and a sharpie, and a small stack of index cards. If I’m at home, I sometimes opt for a vellum pad. Just five minutes drawing, sketching, painting, cutting, collaging or doodling can free your mind. So relax and channel your inner Van Gogh. Leave the ears, please.
Since this post is getting a bit long, let’s save the rest for another day. Make time for YOU. Burnout is no fun, and these simple 5-minute hacks can make your life a little brighter.
Stay motivated and caffeinated!