I’m not really a resolutions kind of girl. I’d like to say I’m a goals person, but sometimes things take a long time for me, and sometimes I get scared. What I really think I am is a wakeup call person. I like to act on wakeup calls. At the end of 2016, I felt less healthy than I should. I felt older and less fit. I felt like I could and should be doing more to be all-around healthier.
When I was a teenager, I went on a life-changing trip through Canada and upstate New York. It was my first time away from home for nearly two weeks, and it was also my first time discovering so many cities and towns, nestled in another country. I was battling some demons during those days, as one sometimes does during those tumultuous teen years, and I wound up better and stronger for doing so while on the road. The world never looked the same for me. Colors got brighter, music got louder and more meaningful, and relationships got stronger. I got happier. That doesn’t mean I’ve honored everything I learned along the way as much as I should have as an adult, but I loved the experience of growing and exploring the world.
Around the same time, I saw a trailer for one of M. Night Shyamalan’s first movies – Wide Awake. I know too well that feeling of suddenly feeling “wide awake”, as if you’ve been sleeping or not paying attention for a long time. For me, 2017 is a time of wakeup calls to be answered. I’m not a resolutions girl, but I’m a wakeup call girl and I want 2017 to reflect change.
One thing I’m doing is re-focusing on myself and feeling inspired in the new year. That requires me to carve out some “me time” and to also focus on new ideas with cooking, cleaning, parenting, health, fitness, relaxation, and overall goals.
I’m jumping into the new year with hope and love. I had SO much fun creating this video – which shows you the five ways I jumpstart my day, and my year – and feel my absolute best. I hope you have as much fun watching it as I did making it!
To summarize, that’s drinking plenty of water, having a wholesome breakfast, taking time to rest and relax, finding time to snuggle up with loved ones – even pets – and being active. For #4, I love this recipe using my favorite Grape Nuts:
- 1 medium loaf of brioche or other soft, thick bread. I used maple oatmeal
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 8 ounces cream cheese, ricotta cheese, or marscapone
- Butter and maple syrup
- 1 cup fresh berries and bananas (optional)
- 1 cup or so of Post Grape Nuts
- Slice the bread
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until foamy and then add milk, cream, salt, vanilla, and sugar, and whisk to blend
- Pour into a sheet pan with sides - I used 13x9 baking pan
- Let the bread soak in a single layer in the mixture
- Heat butter until foamy in a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat
- Working in 2-3 batches, cook the soaked bread until lightly brown (3 minutes)
- Lay slices of cream cheese/ricotta/marscapone on top of the bread
- Place berries and Grape Nuts on top of the cheese
- Place another slice of bread on top of the soaked one - to make "sandwiches"
- Press firmly with back of spatula
- Rotate the "sandwiches" and brown the other side for another three minutes
- Serve with butter and syrup of choice
I’m a big fan of texture, so when you get the sweet and eggy French Toast, then pair it with fresh and tart berries, use some form of spreadable cheese for flavor and stick factor, and then add in the crunch of Post Grape Nuts? Awesomeness.
In the great theme of trying for and being what we want, isn’t it amazing that cereal can be eaten at all times of the day, and for various occasions? Whether it’s on or with French Toast for breakfast or brunch, whether it’s snack time, or whether you want a good bowl of cereal at any time of the day or night, it’s always welcoming, comforting and delicious.