6 Simple Rituals To Reach Your Potential Everyday!

6 Simple Rituals To Reach Your   Potential Every Day

|By Amber Rae
December 4, 2012

Becoming and staying productive isn’t about hard-to-follow programs or logging your every move in an app. It’s about self-care. Here are daily to-dos to get you started.

It’s Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. Two San Francisco entrepreneurs are pitching their ventures to potential investors today. They’d both agree that this is one of the most important days of their lives. This is the story of Jane and Joe…

Jane was up until 4 a.m. putting the final touches on her deck. In fact, she spent the entire weekend fixed in her apartment, preparing the presentation. This morning, she woke up late and rushed putting together her most “investor-worthy” attire. She slammed a shot of espresso, grabbed her computer, and ran out the door feeling hungry and tired. She arrived right on time but felt anxious and flustered about the events of the morning.

Joe, on the other hand, went to sleep last night at 11 p.m., as he does most nights of the week. His presentation was ready Friday afternoon, after seven revisions thanks to feedback from advisors. He spent the weekend in nature connecting with friends. This morning, he woke up at 7 a.m., had a glass of water, ran two miles, meditated for 15 minutes, and drank a smoothie. He put on the outfit he picked out the evening before, grabbed his bag, and walked out the door. He arrived 10 minutes early, feeling confident, calm, and eager to share his vision with potential investors.

Which entrepreneur would you bet on?

And, which entrepreneur most closely resembles you?

Jane and Joe are fictional characters but having been immersed in the world of startups in both New York and San Francisco, I see a lot of Janes. They work 16-hour days, seven days per week, and wonder why they aren’t getting the results they’re looking for. The truth is, results don’t come through hours spent. Great results often come by doing less and working smarter.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to speak with my friend Mike Del Ponte, who resembles the character of Joe. Today he launches a Kickstarter campaign for his company Soma, which aims to revolutionize the water industry using sustainable design. Surprised by how cool, calm, and collected Mike was so close to launch, I asked him what his secret is.

“Every day I need physical energy, mental clarity, and emotional balance to tackle everything that comes my way,” Mike said. “Self-care is the secret to performing at the highest level.”

Here are the six simple rituals he uses to perform at his highest, which you too can begin implementing right away:

1. Drink a glass of water when you wake up. Your body loses water while you sleep, so you’re naturally dehydrated in the morning. A glass of water when you wake helps start your day fresh. When do you drink your first glass of water each day?

2. Define your top 3. Every morning Mike asks himself, “What are the top three most important tasks that I will complete today?” He prioritizes his day accordingly and doesn’t sleep until the Top 3 are complete. What’s your “Top 3” today?

3. The 50/10 Rule. Solo-task and do more faster by working in 50/10 increments. Use a timer to work for 50 minutes on only one important task with 10 minute breaks in between. Mike spends his 10 minutes getting away from his desk, going outside, calling friends, meditating, or grabbing a glass of water. What’s your most important task for the next 50 minutes?

4. Move and sweat daily. Regular movement keeps us healthy and alert. It boosts energy and mood, and relieves stress. Most mornings you’ll find Mike in a CrossFit or a yoga class. How will you sweat today?

5. Express gratitude. Gratitude fosters happiness, which is why Mike keeps a gratitude journal. Every morning, he writes out at least five things he’s thankful for. In times of stress, he’ll pause and reflect on 10 things he’s grateful for. What are you grateful for today?

6. Reflect daily. Bring closure to your day through 10 minutes of reflection. Mike asks himself, “What went well?” and “What needs improvement?” So… what went well today? How can you do more of it?

Whether you more strongly resemble Jane or Joe, these six rituals will help you up your game, taking your performance to the next level.


Holiday Food Survival Tips!



I want to share a really helpful article with you in this week’s Your Resident Gourmet Newsletter. A very talented personal trainer and great friend of mine, Shari Fitness, has managed to stay in phenomenal shape (over 40) without gimmicks, gadgets, or starving herself. I know for a fact that she believes in hard work, a healthy diet, and enjoying life to the fullest. Take a look at her Holiday Food Survival Tips and use them to get you through this holiday season without the fear of picking up the average 7-10 pounds!


Happy Holidays!

Chef Jennifer


Holiday Food Survival Tips

~By ShariFitness  




The holiday season is upon us once again.  Do you find yourself committing Holiday Food gluttony every year? Will you find yourself in a Holiday food coma?


No doubt, this is the time of year to eat, drink and be merry. Is it possible to enjoy the holidays and not go into food gluttony?


With that, I bring you my ShariFitness Holiday Food Survival Tips.




Holiday Food Survival Tip #1

Exercise to burn excess calories. The reason why most of us gain weight this time of year is that we are consuming more calories than we are burning. Overindulging will not only increase your weight, but will also zap your energy levels leaving you lethargic and sluggish. Exercise will not only help you feel better physically and mentally, but it will also make you feel more energetic.  Visit my You Tube channel for exercise demos and diet tips http://YouTube.com/ShariFitness


Holiday Food Survival Tip #2

Drinking lots of water throughout the day is something you should be doing year round, however, it’s actually during the fall and winter months we tend to not drink enough water and are more prone to dehydration.  Make sure you drink lots of water throughout the day every day to help flush excess sodium in holiday foods. Many of the foods you eat either in restaurants or parties are going to be loaded with sodium. Excess sodium makes your body retain water like a sponge, which makes you feel bloated. Try to avoid high sodium foods and drink water throughout the day and night.  One way to be more aware of your water intake is to carry around a 1.5 liter bottle of water so you can get a visual of exactly how much water you are drinking.


Holiday Food Survival Tip #3

Do not skip breakfast. People skip breakfast and other meals to help “make room” for the upcoming feast or with the thought process that if they cut back the calories in skipped meals, that they won’t be consuming as many calories at their holiday event. Wrong. The opposite ends up happening. You end up consuming more calories during the 1 big meal. By the time you get to your holiday event, you are so hungry and the aroma of food becomes so overwhelming that you end up eating more.


Holiday Food Survival Tip #4

Have a healthy snack such as protein shake, yogurt or salad 1 hour prior to your holiday party or dinner. You won’t be as hungry and won’t over indulge.


Holiday Food Survival Tip #5

Use a smaller plate and pile on the veggies and protein and less of the bread and starchy carbohydrates. If you use a smaller plate and fill 1/2 your plate with vegetables and lean protein, you will have less room on your plate for the “bad stuff” and will be consuming fewer calories.

Holiday Food Survival Tip #6

Don’t deprive yourself, however, limit your intake of sweets.  For example, have one cookie or a sliver of cake/pie. One thing I do is I will have a “taste” of some of the desserts. I will choose 3 desserts and take a tablespoon size portion of my 3 choices allowing me to “taste” without actually eating 3 desserts.




Holiday Food Survival Tip #7

Walk away from the dinner and buffet table once you have finished eating to avoid unnecessary, excessive snacking. Even though you’ve eaten a full meal, by hanging around the dinner table or buffet table, we tend to keep on eating, simply because the food is there. If you are having a conversation with someone, suggest to that person that you continue the conversation in another room.


I hope these tips help you survive the holiday season with minimal waist line damage.

Wishing you good health this holiday season,



Stocking The Perfect Holiday Bar!



The holiday season is in full swing, and if you’re like me, you’re doing a lot of entertaining. I love to entertain, and I usually have a signature cocktail and punch prepared for guests. This saves time, introduces people to new flavor profiles, and to honest, helps stretch my ‘spirits’ budget. But I also like to have a bar for those guests interested in something different.


With so many different types of alcohol available, it may be difficult to know just what your bar should have. So this week’s Your Resident Gourmet Newsletter is giving you a very easy to follow guide on what you should have on hand for a well-stocked Holiday Bar.


Happy Holidays!

Chef Jennifer


Stocking The Perfect Holiday Bar





Vodka is the workhorse of the most bars and is used in basic drinks such as vodka tonics, screwdrivers, and the vodka martini. Like tequila, it is excellent liquor for doing shots or for mixing into popular cocktails. Vodka doesn’t have a strong color, taste, or aroma, so it makes for a perfect liquor for mixers. The differences between vodka brands comes down to what they’re distilled from (potatoes, grains, sugar cane) and their texture in the mouth. Some (like Absolut) have an oily, silky texture while others (like Stolichnaya) have a watery, medicinal finish.



Gin is the perfect clear spirit and is flavored with juniper berries. It is relatively dry when compared with other spirits and is often mixed with sweeter ingredients, such as tonic water or vermouth, which helps to balance the dryness. The traditional martini is made with gin. It’s one of the base spirits for many popular cocktails, so definitely have plenty on hand. Gin comes in four varieties: London Dry, Plymouth, Old Tom, and Genever. Infused gins are becoming very popular and easier to find, so you may want to stock a cucumber or basil infused gin as well.


Bourbon Whiskey

Bourbon is basically the American version of whiskey, but the big difference is that it is made with 51 percent corn, which gives it a distinctive flavor. Great for sipping and classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned. Two bourbons that I recommend for your holiday bar are Woodford Reserve and Maker’s Mark. They have two distinctly different tastes, are stocked at most liquor stores, and tend to be very easy on the wallet.


Scotch Whiskey

I suggest having a blended and single malt scotch in your home bar. If you really enjoy Scotch or Irish whiskey, then invest in good single malt like Glenlivet. Single malt scotch is reserved for those who truly enjoy sipping their drink while trying to solve the problems of the world. For those who consider single malt Scotch to harsh, blended Scotches like J&B and Johnnie Walker Green may go down a bit smoother.



A must-have liquor for your bar. Tequila is a spirit made from the blue agave plant, a succulent similar to the aloe plant. What type of tequila you stock depends on what you plan on using it for. Gold tequila is usually the cheaper type of tequila and is perfect for mixed drinks. If you’d like to take your tequila straight up, you’ll want to go with this agave-based drink in its purest form-silver tequila. Tequila is has grown exceedingly popular so be sure to have both gold and silver on hand. Like infused gins, infused tequilas are very popular. Try a jalapeno infused tequila as a shot for a spicy finish.



This tasty liquor is from the Caribbean, is made from distilled sugarcane, and is perfect for summer cocktails such as daiquiris and mojitos. It can also be served straight or on the rocks. Dark rums are best for punches, light rums are for mixing cocktails, and are good served hot-in spiced cider. I say start off with both a good quality light and dark rum. What part of the Caribbean you get your rum really depends on how sweet you like it. Mount Gay and Banahcourt have distinctly different tastes and both are great for sipping and mixing into cocktails.





Specialty liquors…

Once your home bar is stocked with those essentials, add these specialty liquors:

  • A drop of white vermouth, along with gin or vodka, is what makes the martini. To make a Manhattan, add red vermouth.
  • Cointreau is distinctive orange-flavored liquor used in margaritas and Cosmopolitans.
  • Angostura bitters are concentrated bitters that help blend the flavors of many cocktails, including the old-fashioned and the Manhattan.


Beer, Wine & Bubbly

Domestic Beer

Imported Beer

Local MicroBrewed Beer

Red Wine

White Wine

Sparkling Wine (both sweet and dry)




Club soda

Tonic water


Lemon-lime soda

Ginger ale

Orange juice

Cranberry juice

Grapefruit juice

Tomato juice

Pineapple juice



Garnishes add the finishing touch to your drink. The type of garnish you add to a drink depends on the drink.  Tequila-based cocktails often use citrus garnishes like a lime or lemon. Gin-based tonics use olives and onions. Never add garnishes to a Scotch.


Cocktail olives

Cocktail onions






Mint leaves

Tabasco sauce



Rimming sugars


Glassware & Bar Equipment

Martini glasses

Rocks glasses

Highball glasses or tall glasses

Red and white wine glasses

Beer mugs and pint glasses

Martini shaker and strainer

Ice bucket with scoop

Paring knife and cutting board

Wine Key

Beer Key

Toothpicks for the olives and onions

Cocktail napkins

A good Mixologist recipe book

Your favorite cocktail recipe!