Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What To Do With 20 More Minutes

~I never used to be a morning person at all~ 

When I was doing my student teaching in Rhode Island, I used to have to literally wake up at 4:25 to get to work.  The High School that I was teaching at started school at 6:45 AM (don't even get me started on that), and it was a bit of a commute from where I lived in Providence.

Now that I am teaching in NYC, my commute is just as daunting, and my alarm goes off almost as early.  I usually try to sneak in some extra minutes and have been known to wake up as late as 5:20 or so (which, trust me...is a late start).  My mornings are already packed with a quick yoga routine, some lifting for my arms, tea drinking on the bench by the lake, and a walk with Malomar.  Whenever I have to bring Malomar back inside and head off to work, I wish I had just a few more minutes to enjoy my morning.  

So when I decided to wake up an extra 20 minutes early each day this week, I was totally distraught to realize that set me up for a wakeup time of 4:40 AM.  Maybe other people wake up this early on the regular, but sometimes I really feel like I am an anomaly.  

Each morning I am committed to seeing what I can accomplish in that extra 20 minutes. 

Yesterday morning it was making 2 sandwiches.  One for breakfast and one for lunch. Okay, so I cheated a little bit because I did marinate the tempeh overnight...but without those extra minutes I really would not have been able to assemble the sandwiches.

tempeh "bacon"
1 package of tempeh 
1/3 cup tamari
2 tbsp agave
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp paprika
a few dashes of freshly ground pepper
You can also add 1 tbsp liquid smoke to this recipe, but I didn't have any on hand so I skipped that step). 

Mix the marinade together and soak tempeh strips in marinade in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight.  You can either serve these raw, or heat them up on the skillet (no oil required). 

simple tempeh sandwiches:
sliced bread with pumpkin seeds and oats (made myself)
tempeh bacon
romaine lettuce

This morning I made another breakfast sandwich.  Yes, I guess I am on a kick.  Sandwiches are such a quick and easy fix to make and I find they fill me up and give me much more energy than granola or other breakfast staples.  I also have been battling some stomach issues, so whatever my digestive system likes, I am committed to giving it more of. 

simple avocado sandwich:
sliced bread with pumpkin seeds and oats (made myself)
1 ripe avocado, smashed, seasoned with fresh ground pepper
romaine lettuce

What can you do with 20 extra morning minutes?



  1. oh my! i really want to give you a consoling hug right now for having to wake up that early. i am not a morning person at all, but i've had times in life {jobs} when i had to wake up at 5a. it always amazed me how much i could get done when i got up that early though. i would have multiple things checked off my todo list and it would still only be 8a! that was awesome. if i were to add an extra 20 minutes for my morning, i would probably set the timer and sit back and relax with a cup of chai, either reading, writing, or just sitting. something that would be unrushed and just for me, for my sanity.

  2. Ooooh! That sounds like a lovely way to spend 20 minutes. I remember going to a talk about how to be a Teacher and also get your artwork done. I remember one lady saying that she wakes up at 4 in the morning and starts her day in the studio. I thought that was really interesting...although I am scared that i would get so sucked into my work that I would be late for my job!