A Top Morning Routine to Boost your Day

My mate Gabriel recently posted about things that he does in order to be more productive every day. His post “My Ideal Morning Daily Routine” was inspiring, so here I am, brainstorming.

While I was reading his list I did a mental exercise regarding the things I also do to get my day started. It wasn’t simple, but this morning, everything got clearer.

First things first, I stretch. Indeed, I put my yoga mat on the floor and I do a good 15 mins of old fashioned stretching. It clears my mind, brings plenty of oxygen to my lungs and it counts as exercise, right?

stretching

Then I make my bed, it serves as my first “let’s solve something” task of the day. Recently there was a “scientific” post being shared around the web that tidying up your bed was actually not recommended and leaving your blankets and sheets all scrambled was  good for you. Well, screw that, I love coming back from work and finding a clean tidy bed waiting for me.

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Perfection

Then, the most important thing of the day, the one and only drink that indeed puts my day in motion: COFFEE. Enough said.

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If it’s a work day I check my email, personal and from work. For me it’s a must to glance at my Twitter TL to see how the day is coming. This is mostly done while I´m having coffee, looking through the window at the people walking down the street, rushing to get in time to their jobs.

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I shower (but of course I do)

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Not actual shower

Then, after all this happens, I go for a good walk.

Since I recently got hired at a new company, my workplace is about a 40 minutes walk from my place. This is my daily exercise and it boosts my day up. Walking intensely for 40 minutes somehow cheers me up, and while I do this I think about all the things I have to do, about my life, my goals, my family and friends, my fears and accomplishments, I talk to myself, and I get self-motivated to become a better person than I was the day before.

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Not my actual way to work…

So, by the time I get to the office and sit down in order to start “formally” answering emails and doing my best, I’m already keen to make the best out of this day.

This is so far how my morning looks every day. If you have your own way to boost your mornings, a certain routine that makes you more productive, please share it with the world, it should include at least two cups of coffee, black, 1 sugar.

Ps. It’s a shame what happened in Belgium and Turkey, it’s a shame, but that’s how this world struggles every day. If you feel like it makes a difference, go ahead and put a filter to your profile picture, c’mon, be my guest.

Ps2. Also breakfast, I mean, it’s important, but that’s part of a different list, I reckon.

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Happy Mexican Festivus

Can I talk to you guys about happy things? I just feel like talking about great things today, as far as I know, regardless of how cloudy the day gets, well, there´s always a bright side, right? Besides, only two more days until Christmas, so, let´s be nice to each other (especially you, the quasi-hipster about to complain to the clerk at that organic coffee place because of the temperature of your soy-slim-latte-machiatto-doubleshot).

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Even if you aren´t feeling particularly optimist today, that doesn´t mean you aren´t thankful for the life you are living and the people walking alongside with you every day (except those vegetarians… but until we find a cure…).

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Mi casa es tu casa

So, let´s talk about something awesome, my country: Mexico. This is a great place where to be, regardless of the political turmoil, the poverty, the corrupted political system, having the U.S.A. as neighbour, still, Mexico is amazing. I´m thankful I was born here; I love travelling around the world and being able to say proudly “I´m Mexican”. There´s nothing greater than to listen to people´s reaction when I say where I´m from.

  • “So, you like to party hard?”
  • “Do you guys ride donkeys as a primitive form of transportation?”
  • “Why do you speak English, aren´t you supposed to speak only Mexican?”
  • “You guys are great at dancing”
  • “What is it with the chilli lollies?”
  • “Are you a Luchadore?”
  • “Eat this Jalapeno!”
  • “Ay caramba!”
  • “Do you sell weed?”

Besides, being Mexican is clearly a competitive advantage, specifically in how we find our way into happiness every single time. I know, after the war on drugs (“after”, it is still happening no matter what the current administration´s efforts to hide it), people decided that life must go on, and that they couldn´t be living in the shadows.

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The Zocalo, the cathedral, the flag… this is Mexico

Today, Mexicans know these are hard times, the political arena is confusing and the government isn´t really focusing on the people but in the private sector to reactivate the local economy. However, Mexicans have something more important, the strength of this country is its people´s faith, passion, patience, and hope, intangible values that motivate my countrymen into believing they can do it, and trust me, most of the time they do and achieve amazing things.

So, this existential post is dedicated to my country, its people, culture and values. Whenever you get the chance, come to Mexico, you won´t regret it.

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Happy holidays to all of you, I´ll be hanging out with these amazing girls: my sisters.

Just the Uncle

More than a year ago I left not only a beautiful country but my other family and friends. I´ve missed them so much all this time, but yesterday, I received one of the most amazing gifts in a long time, I got to see my step niece and nephew. My good friend Ana is visiting her family in Monterrey, Mexico, so it was a good opportunity to meet up. Yesterday we had a wee reunion, so Ana was taken to my sister´s place, when she got off the car she said “look who is inside the car”, these two were inside and the first thing that crossed my mind was “They were so young when I left they might not even remember who I am”… but they did

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Today we went for some coffee, not great kiwi coffee as back in New Zealand, but average Starbucks instead.  While I watched them playing around, laughing, running, making jokes, smiling, I couldn´t but remember those amazing days in New Zealand, since the moment I arrived to the day I left they were an important part of my life.

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These two kids taught me many things, the most important thing I discovered about myself through them was that I´m good with children and that I´m a caring loving adult. Honestly, that´s one of the things sometimes I worry about, you know, that question that from time to time wanders in your head: “Am I a good person?” (sometimes followed by “Did I lock the front door this morning before going to work?”)

As I mentioned before on one of my post about the “Impostor Syndrome”, there are some things that trigger our self-esteem , and these kids certainly helped me out with that. They are caring loving children, innocent and bright and, in general, freaking awesome.

So these two little fellows represent happiness not only to me, but to their family; they bright up my day, and no matter where they are they put a smile on my face, reminding me that life is simple, and that some good ice cream could solve any problem you might have. 1506565_10152065337236893_1171385022_n

“Self-esteem is made up primarily of two things: feeling lovable and feeling capable.” – Jack Canfield

I know, no recipes nor anything about traveling around the world, neither tacos nor politics, just these two kids who make my heart melt every time I hear them say “Uncle Luis”.

Coffee? Yes, Please!

I mean, who doesn’t drink coffee?… well, apart from Mormons, kids, people with bad heart conditions, and those who just don’t like it? Coffee is one of the greatest things mother nature has given us (apart from Mexicans, obviously)

There’s no better way to start your day than with a good cup of  coffee. I started drinking coffee when I was around 17 years old. Why did my parents allow this? Well, first, my dad makes the worst coffee in the world. How is this possible? He just doesn’t put enough coffee in the coffee machine (yes, it is filtered coffee), so, my sisters and I called it “tainted water that smells, somehow, like coffee”. Very tame and not strong at all.

Then, during university, coffee was just a mean we used to stay awake during the long nights of study for the exams. I didn’t really care for the flavour or texture or fragrance, it was just another energy drink.

When I went corporate, the coffee there was hideous, strong, tasted like caffeine sand, awful, but hey, it did the job. My productivity was high and I felt I could conquer the world!… so to speak.

Finally, I met NZ Baristas … No need to say that New Zealand coffee is the best, I mean, the way they prepare coffee there. My friend Ana took me for the first time to get New Zealand coffee, everything was amazing: the flat whites, cappuccinos, lattes, mochas, espressos, etc. I was delighted, and finally after years of considering coffee just another energy drink, I found my muse. The way kiwis treat coffee and prepare it into these amazing beverages is outstanding, the texture, the flavour, the fragrances, etc, are just magnificent.

And Newzealanders are very …. picky about coffee, they are very knowledgeable about their coffee and the way it should be prepared. Could be said that they are this way because most of them were baristas during highschool and university? Just kidding!

I leave you with something that was written on a billboard on my way to work, I used to see this statement every morning while I lived in New Zealand: “A day without coffee is like something without something”.

Green Freaking Tea Bro!

Since 2013 started I’ve changed many personal habits. I stopped drinking soda, I used to drink plenty of diet coke just for the caffeine, but I decided to stop that. I’m walking a lot more and using more the public transportation. Finally, I introduced Green Tea to my every day diet.

At first I was hesitant, as the flavour isn’t great, but after a week I did notice certain changes. First, I felt more awake, focused and alert. Second, my digestive system started working better and getting rid of toxins. Third, the flavour grew in me and now I like it.

There are several benefits that green tea gives you. It is made from the leaves of Camelia Sinensis, which comes from China. Green tea is always associated with South-east Asian cuisine and its millenarian cultures, I mean, there’s a reason they keep drinking this and living long lives, right? The benefits of green tea are claimed by many, however, the scientific studies to prove these claims have been inconclusive.

I do feel much better and, glad I took this path instead of drinking soda.  Go for it, I used to be a BIG soda drinker, now that’s in the past, sorry Coca Cola company. I also used to drink a LOT of Coffee, I still love my coffee, don’t get me wrong, but having green tea as “The” healthy option feels great.

Ps. A great friend of mine, Gabriel Saldana, is a tea enthusiast, I bet that you could find more information about tea in his blog.

Ps2. I’ve found a job, a great job, I’ve moved to Mexico City (city I love!) and started a new life here. I reckon I need to start crossing off some of my 2013 new years resolutions, right? 🙂

Lord of the Breakfasts – Taranaki

What’s the best breakfast you ever had? The best breakfast I ever had was at Inglewood in Taranaki, (ehem, New Zealand), almost three years ago. I´d decided to travel around the North Island on my own and Inglewood happened to be in my way.

I was leaving New Plymouth, the day was beautiful and I was hungry as, suddenly, as soon as I was driving by this wee town I saw this sign: “Farmers breakfast” at Macfarlanes Cafe, I pulled over, entered the place and ordered my first real kiwi breakfast.

I asked for the special, it took no time, literally 3 minutes to get a beautiful flat white (with freaking cookies on the side man!) which I stared drinking, it was heaven, never had a coffee like this before.

Coffee in NZ is gorgeous, great baristas, great coffee, good price. Pretty much anywhere in New Zealand you can get a gourmet coffee (some coffee enthusiasts will disagree, however, for the amateur coffee lovers this is true) for a very good price. Then, just five minutes after I sat down, the co-owner of Macfarlanes arrives with my breakfast.

Aye, that´s the place – Just awesome

Two poached eggs mounted on NZ bacon (close to Canadian bacon) on top of two, perfectly toasted and buttered, thick slices of rustic bread. These slices rested on a white plate divided by two sauces; a parsley vinaigrette and a white sauce with plenty of black pepper.

The mounted poached eggs were crowned by a gorgeous hollandaise sauce and a pinch of paprika. It tasted right, the way every breakfast for the rest of your life should taste.

The service was great and the price? Well, at the time it was NZ$8, coffee included. Next time you happen to be driving close to Inglewood go to Macfarlanes Cafe, you, certainly, won´t regret it.

Check out the following link  for more information, just drive by, get of your car, and freaking get in and order whatever from the menu, it will change your definition of breakfast  http://www.inglewood.co.nz/information/cafe-restaurant/

As simple as this,

Ps. Norway and Australia just had some important democratic activity among their population, it seems that democracy, when it devolves in very conservative projects serves no one. Let´s see how this works out for two amazingly well diverse and modern States.

Ps 2. What´s the view from Inglewood? Pretty much something like this: