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in the raw

'In The Raw' Newsletter No.2 // Consistency vs. Change: My Morning Routine

In the Raw, Lifestyle, Mind + SoulErin StanczykComment
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | | In The Raw

Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | | IN THE RAW Newsletter No. 2


Just like the foods we ought to eat, the way we live our lives should be raw, whole, pure, authentic, and transparent! This aptly named monthly email series is chock full of insight and inspiration that will equip you with the tools to live a life more true to who are, so that you can harness your power and step into your purpose as a unique individual! So let's strip it down to the core and get In the Raw!

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What My Morning Routine Taught Me


Be Consistent. Accept Change | Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design |

The Early Bird Gets The Worm

This past year was a huge year of growth for me. I worked harder, took more risks, and conquered some of my biggest fears. I attribute a lot of my success and focus to my morning routine. Shortly after the start of the year, I became inspired to start getting up a little bit earlier to do some things for myself when nobody else needed my time—in the wee hours of the morning before the sun came up. By the time I got to work each day, I felt more alert and energized, and less anxious to get home at the end of the day to get things done. 


Setting my alarm to wake up a little bit earlier was a small price to pay to develop a deeper sense of what my purpose was, to gain more focus, and to leave the house for work already feeling like I'd accomplished something for the day.

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  • Oil Pulling - First thing in the morning, I take a big scoop of raw coconut oil and swish it around in my mouth for about 20 minutes. I know, it sounds crazy, but you get used to it! I haven't had a bad dentist report since I started, so I'm a firm believer! Check my blog post for the details! 


  • Read Scripture - I've always kept the Bible next to my bed at night but rarely opened it up because it seemed so intimidating. It finally dawned on me how silly it was to be a strong Christian and not be reading the Bible daily. Now I read and journal my thoughts first thing in the morning to help guide me through my day. If I'm away from my Bible I like to reference the YouVersion Bible app.


  • Meditation - After I read I like to quiet my mind by meditating for about 10-15 minutes. This is the part in my morning where I'm able to "defragment" all of the mental clutter in my mind, organize my thoughts, and find some white space. It really helps me to be more calm, focused, and present. I also use an app for meditation, called Headspace. *This app also works great for flying if you tend to get anxious like me!  


  • Tall Glass of Water - I typically do my oil-pulling while reading and meditating so that it goes faster. So by the time I'm done with those things, it's time to spit the oil, brush my teeth, and down a tall glass of water. I talk a little bit about the importance of hydration first thing in the morning in this recent blog post. I like to think of water as a wake-up call that preps the digestive tract, flushes the system after an overnight fast, and awakens and energizes the cells in the body.


  • 7-Minute Workout - After re-hydrating, I like to get my blood flowing. I'll typically workout in the afternoon after work, but I still like to move and breathe a little bit first thing in the morning. I use an app called 7-Minute Workout (there are several of them), which consists of 12 moves that rely solely on bodyweight with no equipment needed. Check out this quick NY Times article on the science behind these 12 perfect moves that whip you into shape!


  • Podcast - While I'm doing my hair and makeup, I like to listen to one of my favorite podcasts or a good book on Audible. I typically listen to something in the "Self-Improvement," "Entrepreneur," or "Health & Wellness" categories that will inspire, motivate, and educate me on the things I'm interested in. My current obsession is "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Tim Ferriss! It's like taking a free class while getting ready--talk about killing two birds with one stone!


  • Smoothie/Breakfast - Finally, before I take off for work, I make myself a tall fruit and veggie green smoothie. One of my favorite blends is my "Morning Buzz" smoothie. When I'm not on-the-go, I like to make something I can sit down and enjoy, like Banana Nice Cream. No matter what I eat, I try to make it all raw. Raw fruits and veggies are highly nutritious, with all living enzymes intact, and are easy for our bodies to digest. It can be helpful to begin your day with raw foods that aren't going to weigh you down and make you tired.


Well that's it! All-in-all, my morning routine typically takes about an hour and a half and then I'm usually out the door to work! You probably noticed that most of my morning routine is guided by my iPhone, making it super easy to bring with me no matter where I go. I've had a lot of fun being able to maintain the consistency while traveling. A lot of things can get thrown out of whack when you're out of your normal environment, so it feels good to have something familiar to  set you on the right trajectory each day.

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When trying to formulate your ideal morning routine, think about what matters most to you. Your passions shouldn't be put on the back-burner for the end of the day when you come home feeling wiped out. Whatever it is that gets you excited should take priority, first thing in the morning when you have the energy to give it your best. Not only that, but you're going to be a lot less distracted and bombarded by phone calls, texts, and emails popping up. Try these simple steps to formulate your own morning routine:


1. Make a List

My advice to you is to begin by brainstorming and making a list of what’s most important to you. What are the things you wish you would have “had time for” at the end of every day? What is going to give you that sense of accomplishment and fulfillment? What do you love to do? It could be working out, journaling, drawing, meditating, praying, or a combination of activities. Get creative.

2. Set Your Alarm

Nothing squashes creativity like being crunched for time. I found that my morning routine took getting up a bit earlier so that I didn't have to feel rushed. I turned the dial back about a half hour so that I could actually enjoy my mornings and make them less about rushing to get out the door to work. 

3. Focus

Routines can become monotonous and mundane if they begin to lose their purpose. Remember to be fully present in your morning instead of looking ahead to the events of the day. Focus on having a “beginner’s mind” and treating each morning and the activities that guide you through it as if they're brand new. We tend to be more engaged when something is new to us.

4. Relax

There may be nights where you’re up late and don’t get enough sleep and it impacts your typical morning routine—don’t sweat it! For me, it’s more important to set the alarm forward a bit so I can wake up feeling well-rested! I’ve actually found that the extra time I’ve allotted for my morning routine makes a great “buffer,” in case I need extra sleep or anything pressing needs to get done first thing the morning! It’s a win-win! 


While consistency and routine are fine and dandy, there is something to be said about spontaneity and change. I finally became a spinning instructor at a luxury boutique fitness studio here in Lincoln, called FLY—something I’ve wanted to do for years! It opened its doors in late November, and I have since then been leading 6:30AM FlyRide (spinning classes) twice a week. Needless to say, my morning routine became less routine and at first it threw me for a loop. I’ve been pleasantly surprised, though, at how great it has been! Visit my Fitness page to check out my current favorite songs from class, submit a song request, and sign-up for a FlyRide!

While I am definitely a creature of habit, it has helped me to learn the value in change. I still do my typical morning routine on the days when I don’t teach early classes, and my week is more exciting because of the alternating days. I have come to realize that consistency is key to success, but equally important is the ability to adapt to change.

Find Your Way

I challenge you to develop your own morning routine, and fill it with things that are going to set you on the right trajectory for the rest of your day. Do the things that you know you ought to do, because they’re good for you, but also do the things that make you feel happy and whole. Both the things that we ought to do and the things we are passionate about will yield the same results—instant gratification, sense of purpose, personal growth, and fulfillment. 



Exclusive Bonus Materials Are Coming!

I hope you all enjoyed my second newsletter! Share with friends and family who you think could also benefit from a new morning routine and leave a comment (button at the top) and let me know what's working for you!

If you're not already subscribed, use the sign-up form on the right side of my blog, or the Subscribe button at the footer of my website! This will bring my monthly In The Raw newsletters straight to your inbox, along with occasional updates, like my latest blog posts and exclusive bonus materials that you won't find anywhere else! 

Designed For Your Lifestyle,


Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design |

In The Raw Q+A Series, Issue No.2: Duston Stanczyk—A Modern-Day Craftsman With An Eye For Design

Lifestyle, Relationships, In the RawErin StanczykComment
Erin Stanczyk| Lifestyle Design | | In the Raw Q+A Series


Nothing is more nourishing for the body than raw, whole foods. In The Raw takes that same idea and applies it to people. Through telling stories, imparting wisdom, offering advice, and sharing experiences, we are able to inspire and be inspired—our souls are fed. Humanity is all about connection. We are all ONE! There's nothing processed or packaged about that! It's Raw!

For those of you who may not have seen my very first blog postIn the Raw is a Q+A series where I interview friends, family, coworkers, local business owners, and just plain interesting individuals—real people! Sometimes when you read a celebrity interview, you have to wonder how much of what they are saying is paid advertising (i.e. I use insert well-known product for my soft, supple skin! $Cha-Ching!). None of that here! Just real, raw people that you may know, pass by and wonder about, or just might be able to learn a thing or two from! 


For Issue No.2, I thought I would interview my main squeeze, my knight in shining armor, my partner in crime, my loving husband, Dusty Stanczyk. I truly wouldn't be where I am today without him by my side. 

After interviewing Dusty, (and having been married to him for nearly 2 years, and been together for nearly 7), I think it's safe to say I knew how it would go down! He likes to say things how they are. One. Word. Answers. But after some prying, I think we got to the core of things! 

Words that come to mind when I think of Dusty are, chivalrous—a classic gentleman, humble—he does not like to talk about himself or what he does, he just likes to get things done—which brings me to another quality—hard-working! He's always juggling a handful of different projects at work and at home, and somehow sees them all through to completion. There are never loose ends for long! At first glance, he may seem like a contradiction, from his broken-in boots with a button-down shirt that gives off that rugged, effortless look, while still managing to pull it all together in a "I think I've seen you on Pinterest" kind of way! (He'll hate that I said that)!

Dusty is a craftsman, he works with his hands, whether it's creating a new desk for his office space, landscaping a yard, or remodeling a home. He has an eye for design and style, and paints an incredible picture for where he sees himself going with his passions, hobbies, and career in the future.

So let's jump right in...


  • How I Like To Start My Day: The first thing I do is splash my face with water—usually cold! Something my grandpa taught me to do when I was a kid. It wakes me up and gives me energy. Then I do 20 minutes of oil-pulling with coconut oil while making the bed and doing some quick reading. (Watch for Erin's post on the benefits of oil-pulling, coming soon!)


  • Favorite Tech Gadget: iPhone, duh... But besides that probably the WiFi-controlled light switches we have in the house—I'm a total nerd about home automation.


  • Can’t Live Without My: iPhone, duh...but actually, yes, that. I rely on it for everything from lists for Home Depot (I'm there like 3 times a day) to my calendar keeping me on schedule and letting me know where I need to be. Also, a broken-in pair of Levis (I'm wearing them now)!—Not paid advertising! Classic and comfortable.


  • The Last Picture I Took On My Phone: Of the guy sucking the sewage out of the septic tank at our acreage (Avalon Event Paradise). We have a full summer of weddings and it was crucial that we get it drained. Glamorous, I know, lol. I was picturing Cousin Eddy...


  • Favorite Workout: 10-15 minutes on the treadmill, 10-15 minutes on the heavy/speed bag, 20 minutes pushups, dips, pull-ups, curls, PUMP! Then stretch for like a day.


  • The Movie Title That Describes My Life: "It's Complicated" or "It's Kind of a Funny Story." Haha, actually probably Michael Keaton in "Multiplicity." On any given day I have a thousand tasks to complete and often wish I could multiply myself, but, I love it!


  • Once A Week For My Health: A green juice (kale, celery, cucumber, ginger, lemon, green apple, etc). It's a good detoxifier and gives me a  boost of energy. Sometimes a salt bath for sore muscles and sweating out.


  • Favorite Recipe We Cook: Erin's protein-packed Quinoa Veggie Bowl with Indian Spices! (Erin be posting the recipe!)


  • Best Fast Food Option: Chipotle! I could eat there every day—even though our at-home lunches are almost the same, they're not the same…Sofritas, mmm.


  • When I Need To Reset, I: Sweat, stretch, sleep! No phone, no reading, just find quiet comfort at home. 


  • Must-Reads: The Bible—10-20 minutes every morning. Also, The Great Gatsby and Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter.


Words To Live By: Let Go and Let God.


  • Someone Who I Looked Up To As A Kid: My dad. And my grandpa Ernie (the face-washer). He was a big, hard-working Polish man with an even bigger heart. He taught me a lot. The older I get, the more I look up to my mom's dad, my grandpa Larry, too. He used to scare me growing up. We talked for an hour the other night about fishing, woodworking, and Faith, and it was great!


  • Health Hero: Rich Roll, right now—addict turned ultra-endurance athlete. I just finished his autobiography, ordered his cookbook, a t-shirt, and listen to his podcast daily. Wow, lol, I'm obsessed. My little brother is in the process of a pretty cool transformation, too. Proud & inspired by him! Check out


  • The Ideal Home I Want To Design/Build Would Be: I don't want to give away any secrets lol. But right now, I like the idea of a modern, open, somewhat sterile feel. Bringing in natural wood, mixed with concrete and other eco-friendly materials like our quartz countertops, raw metals with natural patina, and then decorate and landscape for a Tuscan, almost Bohemian vibe. Traveled rugs over the the floors, 19th century French Revolution style furniture, clay pots. Eco-friendly everything. Complete home automation, from lights, temperature, to even controlling the blinds from my iPhone. It sounds contradictory, but we do it in a way that the two styles meld into one unique blend of high-tech function and old-fashioned comfort.
  • Crazy Health Idea That Actually Works: Essential oils. Most recently, as recommended by my doc, I was using a hydrocortisone cream to clear up these weird bumps below my eyes. After a couple of weeks nothing changed. I went for the Melaleuca (tea tree oil), as per my wife's request, BOOM!, cleared right up. 


  • My Food Philosophy In One Sentence: No label, but mostly plant-based. Eat clean, whole, raw, organic foods as close to their natural state as possible!


  • Non-Negotiable: Dark chocolate. Specifically the sea salt dark chocolate almonds from Trader Joe's. Mmm mmm! On a serious note, highly pampered feet. Quality boots and shoes. Orthotics. The routine personal pedi and foot scrub, rub, and oil.


  • Simplest Way To Improve Health: Clean up your diet. Baby Steps…think "What About Bob." Replace one bad with one good. Upgrade gradually.


  • City That Inspires Me The Most: Rome. It's better than what you see in the movies. I can appreciate it all, from the religious implications to the architectural feats, wandering in and out of churches and eating gelato. A place that has me always looking up and outward.
Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design | | In the Raw Q+A Vol. #2 - Duston Stanczyk
  • Favorite Getaway: So far, Europe, obviously. But that's more of a trip than a getaway. Honestly, if we aren't planning like a trip, I like to be at home. The getaways have kind of stopped since buying a house and getting a dog... I would probably say Colorado, though. I love the mountains.

  • If I Could Travel Anywhere In The World It Would Be: All over Italy—the Mediterranean in general, but mostly Italy—there's something about it for me.

  • My Current Mantra: Hmmm…that's a tough one. I'm really focusing on building a business and a path right now that will serve us later. I'm always envisioning what I want, while asking God what He wants, and supposing that the sum of the two will lead to my purpose. My mantra is probably something like:
  • My Go-To Juice And/Or Smoothie: Moring smoothie: Whole banana, handful of spinach, half coconut water half coconut milk, dash of (prob tablespoon), ok get ready for this: a dash of ground flax, a dash of chia seed, a dash of hemp seed, a dash of maca, dash of pepitas, sometimes almonds, sometimes almond butter, a scoop of protein, and depending on what I think, either a dash of spirulina powder or wheatgrass powder but 9 times out of ten it's the spirulina. Chug.


  • Aha Moment(s): Today? When I found the underground septic tank haha. I have aha moments all the time with so many little things. In a podcast the other day, I heard a guy talk about how "inspiration" is cheap and easy. We claim to find it in the form of an Instagram picture with an "inspiring" quote superimposed on top. We are inspired and then move on to the next post. I find inspiration in real things like being outdoors, relationships, or in the form of art and actual creation. I say translate inspiration into action. I had an "Aha" the other day in the garage. While tirelessly searching for new bands on Pandora, I rediscovered my two favorite bands, Blink-182 and Red Hot Chili Peppers. I played through all of their albums all day while cleaning the attic. It was like I had forgotten who they were...

  • If Retirement Wasn't An Option: Erin and I are working towards a simplified and more sustainable lifestyle that will serve us well now, and on into "retirement." I want to continue doing what I do now, everyday until the end, I would be fine with that. It's all about sustainability and creating a heathy lifestyle now. Starting healthy habits, hobbies, and even exercises now that I can carry with me through life to old age. The idea of the deferred life sounds really crappy for this stage of my life. I'm supposed to save everything I have to someday travel the world when I'm 64 1/2? No offense, but that sounds lame! I want to live while I'm alive, be that 28 or 88. I think the key is to strive for consistency and longevity. I say travel now and later, treat your body good now and feel better later, take a day off every once and a while... It's all really good! The idea is to create a lifestyle and/or career that I never want to retire from.

For those of you who haven't already, check out my man's website and blog at and be sure to follow him on Instagram @dbstanczyk to keep up with all of his latest projects. You will find information on all-things Home + Land Design, as well as Lifestyle Design, or as he puts it—

Designed For Your Lifestyle,


Erin Stanczyk | Lifestyle Design |