a mother and daughter lifestyle blog

the journal

7 ways to start the day - H.A.P.P.Y. challenge with alpro and sisterMAG

last weekend we were lucky enough to be invited to berlin by alpro and sisterMAG to attend the kick-off event of the H.A.P.P.Y. challenge that we're a part of. it was a super fun day filled with lots of food, lovely people, cool workshops and of course we got to learn all about alpro and the H.A.P.P.Y. programme. our personal highlights were the calligraphy course with jeannette mokosch, being sketched by the lovely emma and the uhmazing, completely vegan cake by i am delicious. 

scroll down to read all about the two-week program and how you can be a part of it, too.

H.A.P.P.Y. stands for Healthy & Adventurous Program for a Promising Year and is all about being happy, finding ways to challenge yourself and trying new things. if you're anything like us, most of your new years resolutions probably revolve around things like eating less junk and working out more but we rather quickly lose sight of those ambitious goals (presumably) set in a state of champagne induced euphoria. and why? because resolutions are often associated with negativity - we try to give up things we love and force ourselves into things we don't. enter H.A.P.P.Y.! the program is designed to help you start into the new year and a balanced lifestyle with lots of fun and positivity along the way. there are three booklets that you can download for free - young & wild, parents, and 40+ - to fit your lifestyle. they contain delicious recipes for a balanced diet, exercises you can easily integrate into your daily routine as well as lots of tips and inspiration for a truly H.A.P.P.Y. new year!

you'll find the recipes for this blueberry chia pudding and golden milk in the booklets - we've tried them both and they definitely have our stamp of approval. you'll also find a meal planner with recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as fun snacks for throughout the day. munich based yoga instructor amiena zylla created a yoga program for each of the booklets - you can find the videos on youtube and try the exercises at home, so no more excuses! keep yourself motivated and change things up - start with half an hour of yoga first thing in the morning or wind down after work with a relaxing session.

to help you achieve a new you - or at least a better version of yourself - and to add our own little touch to the H.A.P.P.Y. challenge we've come up with 14 ways to start the day. a little task for every morning of the two-week program that will leave you feeling happy, free and with a positive mindset for the day. this week we're sharing the first 7 and we urge you to try it - it works for us and we're sure it'll work for you, too!

day 1: new years cleanse. we've found that what keeps us most from being productive and full of positive energy is an untidy space. it's hard to focus on the paperwork or a blog post when there's a messy pile of laundry sitting next to you or a layer of dust covering your floors. put on some music, clean the house and tidy up! clearing your space will clear your head and make space for positive thoughts.

day 2: body polish. now that you've treated your home to a polish yesterday, today is the day to give the same amount of attention and care to you and your body. take a bath or a long shower, use that intensive hair treatment that you're normally too lazy to use and give your body a good scrub. actually go through your complete skincare routine. treat your hands and feet to some extra care and maybe even a new coat of nail polish. ta da, you're already almost a new person!

day 3: set your goals. this morning, take some time to sit down and think about what you want to achieve this year. what are your goals? what do you want to change? do you have any travels to be planned? a mood board could help - collect snippets of things that inspire you and make a collage to keep you motivated. when formulating your goals be specific: what do you want, until when and how can you achieve it? try keeping things positive. for instance, instead of saying 'i will stop eating sweets' say 'i will have fun experimenting in the kitchen and make healthier versions of the things i love'. don't be afraid to set ambitious goals but stay realistic to avoid disappointment. defining small milestones is helpful to help you stay focused on the main goal.

day 4: expand your radius. today we urge you to explore a part of your town that you haven't gotten to know very well up until now. we're certainly guilty of hanging out and moving around the same spots all the time; we simply feel comfortable knowing our way around. but seeing the same surroundings day by day leaves little room for new thoughts and stimuli and it's easy to fall into a numbing routine. so, take a friend and drink your coffee on the other side of town for a change. wander the streets and see what other lovely sides your city has to offer. we're sure you'll come to see that the unfamiliar can add such a refreshing, unexpected twist to your day.

day 5: reconnect with someone. is there a person that you've been meaning to call for weeks or even months but somehow you never got around to actually following through? call them this morning! a thank-you note that just won't write itself and 'is too late for now anyway'? write it! better late than never and we're sure you'll make someone's day just by thinking of them. surely, just reading this, at least one person has come to your mind you'd like to reconnect with - now is the time.

day 6: a breakfast invitation. treat a special someone (or more) to a homemade breakfast at your place. set the table, get fresh bread and pastries from your favourite bakery or go the extra length and make them yourself (warm breakfast muffins straight from the oven anyone?). little chia pots are always a good idea or how about some fresh bircher? spend the morning chatting over freshly squeezed oj and hot chocolate and really indulge yourselves!

day 7: take time for yourself and practice yoga. this sunday, sleep in and have a long, lazy lie-in. read a book or the papers in bed over a cup of coffee and relax. or catch up on your instagram feed or roll around with your kids. it's up to you - it's you-time. stretch. then find a nice, quiet spot to roll out your yoga mat and do a couple of slow exercises (definitely watch amiena zylla's videos). focus on your breathing - take it all in, breath it all out.

we really hope you hop on board of the H.A.P.P.Y. program train with us - let us know in the comments what you think! and because everything is a lot more fun when done together, there is a facebook group that you can join, where everyone can share pictures, experiences, tips and tricks so definitely go check that out!

have a really happy day! kerstin & larissa