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From Dawn Till Dusk with Nida Degutienė

From Dawn Till Dusk with Nida Degutienė

Culinary specialist, blogger, cookbook author, passionate traveler Nida Degutienė shares her morning and evening habits. To put it in her own words, jobs find her, instead of the other way around, but in between neverending projects, Nida found some time to sit down and tell us about the routine of her busy week.


My morning almost always starts at the same time – around 7:00-7:15.

I’m not sure how the body itself understands when to wake up, but I don’t need an alarm clock – my eyes open at this time naturally. I usually sleep for 7-8 hours unless I happen to stay up late working.

After waking up, the first thing I do is drink a glass of water with lemon juice – my husband, who always wakes up earlier, makes the drink for us. Then I get dressed and go straight to the forest. Whatever the weather, I have my 5 km track which I either run or walk quickly. This is followed by a morning shower and breakfast.

Weekdays always begin with a cup of green tea…

...and porridge: steel-cut oats, oatmeal, or buckwheat. I never get bored of these porridges; they don’t make me feel heavy, instead – they charge me with the energy I need until lunch. On weekends, however, I love treating myself: pancakes, curd pancakes, omelet. In summer, on hot days, I often choose greek yogurt with fruits and granola for breakfast.

My favorite quick and easy breakfast…

...I think that the healthiest breakfast to me is simple oatmeal. I choose coarser oats; I don’t like the ones that are ready as soon as the water has boiled. I always add 5 tablespoons of oats and boil them in water with a little salt. Sometimes, I like to flavor the oatmeal with some butter, other mornings – some jam that’s not too sweet, some fruit, or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Try one of Nida’s easy, healthy and very Instagrammable breakfast recipes:

Mango and coconut smoothie bowl

For two servings you will need:
1 cup of frozen mango
1 frozen banana
0.25 cup of coconut cream
0.5 cup of coconut water
1 tablespoon of honey
0.5 tablespoon of nut butter
0.5 cup of ice cubes
For topping:
fresh berries or fruits (strawberries, mangoes, pineapples, etc.)
coconut chips
1 teaspoon of chia seeds

Put all the ingredients in a blender and whisk until thick. Sprinkle with toppings and serve immediately.

More Nida's smoothie bowl recipes here.

My feel-good ritual is...

...a morning walk in the fresh air and a cold shower. The latter is not exactly a pleasure, I really hate the cold, but I push through it and stand for as many seconds as I’ve planned. :) And afterward, I enjoy the fresh feeling.

When I lack energy…

...I drink a cup of espresso or go for a walk in the forest.

I work out 4-5 days a week… addition to my daily walks. On some days, I run, on others, I perform exercises for certain muscle groups with weights or other equipment. My husband, who is really knowledgeable in this field, prepares my workout schedule and programs. On Saturday mornings, I always go for a 10 km jog. On Sundays, we rest, however, we still go for a longer 10-15 km walk in the morning.

What would I like to change in my morning routine?

I can’t get rid of my habit of listening to the news, BBC radio shows, or podcasts during my morning walks and runs. I think it would be healthier to spend some time in silence, enjoy nature. And yet, I always want to use every minute for some meaningful activity.

The most delicious breakfast in a foreign country I’ve ever had... me, the tastiest breakfast is the one I make myself, the one I’m used to. I don’t enjoy loading my stomach with exotic and unusual flavors in the mornings. When traveling (even for work), I often try to stay in apartments instead of hotels, as apartments have at least a tiny kitchen where I can make my own breakfast and enjoy a cup of quality green tea (which I often pack to avoid poor-quality tea packets :)). Only after breakfast do I love going to a local cafe for a cup of coffee and diving into the buzz of a new-to-me city.

Dream location where I’d love to have breakfast…

...any place where it’s warm and sunny, and, preferably, there are no cars around. I’m a summer, sun, and warmth person.


What does my evening look like?

While I can call myself a person with an exemplary morning routine, my evenings are far from it. I often stay up late at my computer finishing work, editing pictures, writing my blog – that’s when I do everything I can’t find time for during the day. If I get a chance, I try to watch the Panorama (the main news program in Lithuania), but, more often than not, I go back to my office afterward and continue working. I know it’s awfully unhealthy, but I go to bed straight from my screen.

When the time comes to get away from work, relax and recharge…

...I can’t remember the last time I had such a luxury. :) It seems like in my life, there is no end to working. I work in several positions, and once I’m done with one thing, others begin; after finishing a project, there is already a queue of others. The jobs tend to find me. I guess not without my own effort, though. :)

When I get too tired and full of work or cannot relax in any other way, I go into the kitchen and cook. Preferably it’s something requiring lots of focus and attention for a long time.

If I can’t fall asleep...

...I try everything – read a book until I get so tired my eyes shut themselves, count in my minds, try to relax, chase the annoying thoughts away. However, there still are days when none of these methods work. If I don’t get a proper shut-eye at any night, I get angry and am only half as productive the following day. However, the next night the dreams are twice as sweet. :)

The essential difference between Israel and Lithuania... the amount of sun. In Israel, there are only 20-30 days without sun per year. So you can imagine the energy you get up with each morning while living there. The sun really charges you up, gives energy, and sets a good mood; perhaps that’s why the Israelis are so lively, always in the middle of something, always busy and outgoing. They also enjoy the nightlife - there’s never a rush to get home after the sun sets, there’s always a buzz in the restaurants and bars. I have this impression that people who live in Israel need much less sleep than us, Northerners, in Lithuania.

Traveling is my life elixir...

...there is no better way to chase away negative thoughts or depression than having a flight ticket in your pocket! When traveling, I switch to a completely different regime, make myself leave all the work at home, do my best to distance myself completely, and enjoy the ever-changing views, flavors, and smells.

And even though I hardly ever feel it while traveling, once I get home, I understand how much I’ve missed my bed, my bedding, my forest that I can see through the window, and my kitchen. :)

My dream location for a sunset picnic…

...probably it’s a place with a warm sea nearby, no wind, I can enjoy the company of my closest people, a glass of good wine and a delicious snack. What would I dream about? Perhaps about the sun rising again tomorrow. :)

I cannot imagine my bedroom with a TV!

In the bedroom, the most important things are a proper bed, quality, clean, crisp bedding, space (there should be as few things, furniture, and decorations as possible), curtains, and, most importantly, fresh air. I cannot imagine my bedroom without a balcony or at least a window, and there is absolutely no way I could imagine a bedroom with windows going out to a busy street or in an otherwise noisy location. I live in the pure serenity of the forest, which is only “disturbed” by chirping birds in the morning or rustling leaves. I think this is an ideal setting for sleep and rest, and I wouldn’t change it for anything else.

On my bedside table…

...there are books I only read before sleep – usually 2 or 3.