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Our New Morning Routine

March 16, 2014


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Whoa! We always feel bizarre whenever we shoot a video at home. We used to do it so often, but then we moved over to the studio when we realized that our film life/personal life balance became overrun. But shooting back in our home now gave us a bit of a nostalgic feel. And without makeup! And without showering! Without proper mics, also! Not even with good lighting! I feel like a newbie again!

Anyhow, we wanted to share what our morning routine was like. I don’t like using the phrase “New Year’s Resolution” often, because those are always destined for failure, from my experience, but our resolve to be more active definitely started in 2014. When we were in Canada and didn’t have much to do, we went to the gym all the time. And we loved it! We wanted to bring that back with us to Korea and to exercise more regularly than before. We’re doing that here as well, even though the gyms here are a lot less equipped than what we’re used to, but – still – we’re using it more than before.

Also, our morning routine has changed a lot since our Day in a Life video. Our breakfasts now have changed quite a bit. I know people say that you should eat a big breakfast because it’s better for you, and you eat less throughout the day as a result, such and such, but we don’t really do that. Since we work out in the morning, we find that eating a lot for breakfast really makes us more sluggish in the gym. So we just eat powerballs and protein shakes and coffee and juice, really. Once we’re in the studio is when we eat a bigger meal.

One of the things we cut out in the video is my ramble about the importance of water. That’s really the first thing I do in the morning. Wake up, go right to the fridge and down a big glass of water. I’ve read so often lately about the importance of hydration, and about how drinking more water makes you sharper during the day and less piggy-ish when you’re eating. Having water right away in the morning gets your brain juices flowing and your metabolism firing, so…I do it.

Afterwards is when the preparations for Martina’s awakening take place. Another thing you didn’t see in the video is that I’ll make the coffee, and then pour a mug for Martina, and I’ll wake her up by going over to her sleeping in bed and blowing the coffee aromas at her and trying to wake her up that way. Go ahead and puke rainbows! I’m a caring husband! Mornings are really difficult for Martina, not because she’s a lazy fartsucker, but because sleeping is really painful if you have EDS like she does. She wakes up a lot more when she sleeps than most people because she has to relocate her joints, so she’s never really had a full-night’s sleep. I’ll do what I can to make her mornings as easy as possible. Coffee helps transition into her awakening :D

The Powerballs we make are lovely and we highly recommend you give them a shot. Here’s our recipe for them


First put the coconut in the oven to toast, then do all the other mixing.  But don’t forget about it and burn it like I always do.

– 2 cups old fashioned Gluten Free Oats
– 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
– 1/2 cup chia seeds
– 1 cup slivered almonds
(or Instead of a full cup of almonds, add half almonds, half protein powder)
– 2 Tbs goji berries
– 1/4 cup Cacao Nibs
– 1 1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes

In a giant bowl, mix all that dry good stuff together. Once it’s all evenly distributed:

Blend In:
– 1/2 cup honey
– 1 1/2 cup peanut butter
You can use other butters instead, like almond butter, peanut/pecan butter, etc

Mix the dry stuff with the honey and butter until the whole thing is solid enough to make a ball that won’t fall apart. You might find that the mixture’s too dry, in which case we just add some more honey until it becomes more solid.

– Handful of raw sunflower seeds
– Handful of green pumpkin seeds
– Handful of chocolate chips

We usually put these three into one of those Magic Bullet thingies and grind them up into a powder. We use this to coat the balls.

That’s it! The chocolate chips are on the outside rather than mixed in, so that the first thing you taste is a bit of sweetness.

The powerballs are very dense and require a lot of chewing. They’re delicious, but they don’t dissolve in your mouth like junk food. We wash down each bite with some coffee. We also take these to the studio with us so we can have a quick snack from time to time.

Yeah! So that’s our Powerball recipe. They’re great. Hope you like them as well!

Anyhow, we also make different juices in the morning, as you can see. They’re mostly mixtures of Spinach and lemon with different additions, most of the time apple and ginger, though we oftentimes use oranges and carrots as well. We use a Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer and we really love it. We wanted a juicer that could juice green stuff, like spinach, and we didn’t realize that not all juicers can do that. So if you’re interested in juicing greens, this is the juicer for you.

A while ago, Martina went to this health food class in Toronto in which she learned about the Spinach/Lemon/Apple combo, but – back then – it was done in a blender. Meaning, you ate as much as you drank. We did that for a while, and if you don’t have a juicer putting that all into a blender with a bunch of ice water makes for a healthy drink as well, it just wasn’t…great. We just prefer something easier to drink that doesn’t fill us up as much as the bodies of lemon, apple and spinach do, you know? Though, we sometimes take some of the spinach pulp from our juicer and mix it in with our juices if we feel we aren’t getting enough fibre. Not all the time. We’re torn. Let us know what you think!

EDIT: Martina here! I wanted to add that I found a recipe online for taking the veggie pulp and making flaxseed veggie crackers! I’ll let you know how it is once I do it! I already used our juicer to make homemade tofu and soy milk!!! Amazing right?!!

Another thing I know some people might get confused by: our coffee is a French Press, but we call it a Bodum. That’s like calling a tissue a Kleenex. You can use any French Press you want, of course, but we like using the Bodum. We’ve used other ones before and we find that the metal warps over time, and then you get coffee grains floating in your coffee after a while. We haven’t had that issue with the Bodum. We still hate cleaning it, though. Getting rid of the grinds you can only do with water, but I don’t want to dump all the grinds down the sink, so we have to go to the bathroom, fill the bodum with water, and then toss the water with the grinds down the toilet. It’s the only dish we have that can’t be washed in the kitchen. Blarrrggg!

Lastly, we didn’t share our workout routine because that wouldn’t really make for a good video. We see on the front page of Instagram all the time these videos of superbuff people with giant boobs doing these insane workouts with smiles on their faces. We’re not that fit. Working out for us is gruelling with lots of sweat and not enough air to breathe in to form sentences. We don’t do Crossfit; if we did, you’d hear us talk about it all the time ;) But I started getting into running, and run 3-6 miles per run, 4-5 times a week. I’m not by any means fast. I’m sweaty and sore most of the time, but I’m doing my best to get good at running.

So that’s it for our morning routines! Hope you weren’t too bored with this little slice of our lives. You see us most of the time going out and playing around in Korea, but you never really see what we do for the first couple of hours of our days. Hope you found it somewhat interesting, and you can see a bit more of what makes us tick :D

If you liked this video and more of our personal vids, make sure you subscribe to our Open the Happy channel, which doesn’t really fit any schedule. We just put videos up there from time to time. Don’t miss out on any of them by clicking on this button here!



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Our New Morning Routine


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  1. Simon is a good husband :D

    5 years ago
  2. I’m a bit late on this but I’m a new fan and so in love with you both (specially because I move to Korea in 3 weeks! gah!). How many power balls do you each eat?

    6 years ago
    • Also what items are super hard to come by in korea? So i know what to bring with me and what to buy there. TY!

      6 years ago
  3. Omg, where can I get a honey senpai mug?!

    6 years ago
  4. Hey, just thought you guys should know that the juicer you use is a masticating, instead of a centrifugal (which has that spinning basket of death) Just you thought I would share since masticating is so close to another word…

    Also just thought you might want to know that you are DRINKING CYANIDE! SInce you juice the whole apple you are juicing the seeds, which contain trace amounts of cyanide. In fact, apple juice you buy in stores juice the seeds, and contain higher amounts of cyanide than what is considered safe for bottled water. But the good news is that it isn’t much… I mean, you haven’t died yet.

    6 years ago
    • I was half joking about the actual toxicity of the amount of cyanide in seeds. It’s in there to make the seeds poisonous but mostly unpleasant tasting, so animals don’t chew the seeds up, and pass it through their system. I still think it is worth noting, if it takes 5 seconds, why not just chop around the seeds before juicing? Especially if you are going on a detox cleanse (which Simon and Martina are doing in the video)

      6 years ago
  5. I’m amazed you guys can get up so early to do these routines when you guys sometimes stay up late to finish editing the videos and posting them up. True dedication there.

    I really like these slice of life videos that you guys put up. It helps me see that we can implement these things in our lifestyle easier when we get to see it done so smoothly. XD

    The powerball recipe is awesome and I hope you get to make a video on making those flaxseed veggie crackers!

    P.S. I was wondering: do you guys flush all of the coffee grains down the toilet or the ones you can’t get out of the French press?

    6 years ago
    • Yeah! We flush them down the toilet, but a commenter here said it’s safe to dump down the drain. I’m not sure, though…

      6 years ago
      • You could also use the coffee grains as a homemade body scrub or mixed with something for a face treatment and then just wash it off in the shower.

        4 years ago
  6. I think that you can safely throw the coffee in the sink. In my house we do this to “keep the pipes clean”. I don’t know if the pipes are the same in Korea though.

    6 years ago
    • ooo! If the plumbing in Korea is anything like plumbing in Taiwan, I wouldn’t pour coffee grinds down the sink …and maybe not down the toilet either. In Taiwan there is always a receptacle in the toilet room for disposing of used toilet paper. No one ever puts used toilet paper into the toilet bowl, as we commonly do in the U.S. The drainage pipes are typically narrower in Asia from what I know.
      I’m fortunate to have a backyard and I just toss the coffee grounds out over the fallen leaves where it all composts slowly. :D
      Loved the video and your routine. Good to see the personal, at-home, side again.

      6 years ago
    • Oh oh…..
      Anyways, there are a lot of things you can do with used coffee


      6 years ago
    • Ah I wouldn’t risk it. I know for a fact that I cannot do it at home (Montreal), nor at work (Starbucks). Though buildings here tend to be old so that doesn’t help. I clean my Bodum by filling it with water and then dumping it all through a sieve. Give it a shake then place over a bowl to dry a bit before putting it in the trash. You could also keep the grinds for gardening if you’re into that at all.

      6 years ago
  7. True that. In Asia, a lot of pesticides are used, especially on apples (high demand) and berry like products.

    6 years ago
    • Wash you fruits with water, mixed with 1 or 2 tbs or white vinegar, and a pinch of baking soda. It’ll clean better!

      6 years ago
    • I was wondering about pesticides over there. thanks :)

      6 years ago
  8. Sooo I was going to go to sleep… then I saw this video and sleep went out the Window! Those powerballs make me think that they are a smarter healthier version of Haystacks. Which are like toasted coconut covered in chocolate. While I am far from south korea I got a little taste of it recently. I got to see and meet No brain and Glen Check at sxsw on thursday. Thought of yall, Got me thinking, would you guys ever be interested in doing a fan meet for this kind of festival?

    6 years ago
  9. You guys have a huge apartment! Or at least a really large kitchen! My family’s kitchen in Hong Kong seems so much smaller than your kitchen, I’m a little jealous haha.

    6 years ago
  10. …….I also think that your a SUPER SWEET HUBBY Simon……..just thought to add that. :)

    6 years ago
  11. The powerballs recipe sound pretty good, actually. On the weekdays I get a granola bar (Costco’s choco chip ones are DELISH) and coffee with milk&carnation instant breakfast…and then running to class [because I slept in] is my exercise. :D If I have time I like to make brown rice onigiri with half a boiled egg inside or some other protein like tofu/leftover chicken/tinned salmon.

    6 years ago
  12. I know yogurt is always great for a healthy diet. But I also understand (after living years in China) that Korea has their own variation of yogurt which is more for drinking and far sweeter. Does Korea also provide Greek Yogurts and stuff (it is horridly expensive in Shanghai).

    Though working out is great. My trainer once said going out doing a sport is also very helpful. Like play basketball or go swimming. Muscles adapt to new routines fairly quickly, but in sports you have the opportunity using other muscles and putting your work out into practice ;)

    Have you try switch spinach into kale in your juices? I quite like kale….

    6 years ago
  13. I’ve been looking at different ways I can improve my health and energy, so reading what you guys are doing is a big help and inspiration!
    Your juices sound interesting! We don’t have a juicer, but maybe some time I will try that in the blender for a smoothie-like thing. ^^

    6 years ago
  14. Morning routines are so important!
    I’m between routines right now cuz moving and wedding and stuff, so we’ll see what new routine takes shape.
    Until then I’m sluggish and waste most of the day.

    6 years ago
  15. Dude that sink pedal is so cool. I need one of those.

    6 years ago
  16. alright, at last i have evidence that martina likes [or at least has watched] Austin Powers!! OMG how many times have i watched those movies!? they’re pure GOOOOOOLLLLLLD member…. >.>

    6 years ago
  17. The world needs more thoughtful people like Simon. Good job!

    6 years ago
  18. Mori Senpai is DA BEST.

    We juice in the morning too at our house! We still use the blender (we just juice the wheatgrass cause we can’t throw it in the blender) because we like the FIBARRRRR

    Our juice usually consists of
    spinach/wheatgrass juice/some korean herb that grows out back
    green apple
    boiled veggie juice/water


    6 years ago
  19. How far into Archer are you? (I want to be able to talk about it with you guise but I don’t want to ruin anything.)

    6 years ago
  20. I love Archer and John Stewart, too! While recovering from wrist surgery (I broke my wrist when I slipped on some ice) I’ve been watching my Archer DVDs during the day and John Stewart (and the Colbert Report) at night.

    6 years ago
  21. Simon, you might want to be careful about too much running because it is bad on your heart, like it jiggles the cage and wears it down and can be very stressful on your heart… Also it is bad for your joints, and will tear easier the more impact you put on your knees. They suggest walking long distance, or hiking, as much better for you healthwise as well as burning more calories.

    Just make sure you have really good running shoes if you are not worried about your heart bouncing around but worried about your joints. As for the heart cage… There is no fixing that!

    And Martina I am very sorry to hear you have EDS and that it impacts your sleeping D: I have PTSD and traumatic nightmares each night, with the side effect of shivering/cold sweat plus my body gets all tense and then my limbs fall asleep and I wake up in the morning having to use one arm to move the other dead one… LOL! It is a lot more funny then painful, unless my neck twists in the night and I wake up all sore. They also say that for sleep pains you should not sleep on your belly (which is like my favorite way to do it sadly), because your back doesn’t get proper support… They say the best way is on your back or side!

    IDK I feel like you guys are my long distance pen pals and thus my friends so I wanted to let you know a few things <.< *crawls away embarrassed*

    6 years ago
    • Do you have a bicycle? They say that bicycles can be really good for workouts and better then running. Oh I really hope your knee turns out to be okay, but if I was you I’d stop running after the eight weeks and find a new work out routine.

      6 years ago
  22. I want that too… cause, you know, what is life without coffee?

    6 years ago
  23. I read martina’s edit in the nerdy voice she does. Hehhehe and please show us more health recipies!!!! If you can, can you pblish a recipe montly? Make it like a new wegment or something

    6 years ago
  24. Just thought I’d mention, I made the powerballs today! Well, they weren’t quite power ‘balls’, as I couldn’t get the consistency quite right (didn’t wanna add too much honey as I don’t want to be able to taste it… not a massive fan of honey, though I do use it a lot in baking). Anyways, I made mine kinda into a giant flapjack type thing, threw it in the fridge and will hopefully be able to cut it up into bite-size pieces in the morning ^_^
    Taste test wise, I actually think it’s really yummy, I don’t really like many of the ingredients in it, but somehow they all work together! Yum!
    Much love x
    p.s. My consistency issue might be due to the fact I subbed cacao butter (can’t have peanuts and didn’t have anything else to hand), plus I popped it all in a food processor!

    6 years ago
  25. you guys rock :)

    6 years ago
  26. please can you send me? i would really like to enter the nutrition info and make some! :D

    6 years ago
  27. I noticed Simon wears a fitness tracker (Jawbone UP?). Will Simon ever review it/talk about how it fits into ya’lls healthy lifestyle? Does Martina have one as well?

    6 years ago
  28. Haahaha, I just had the same reaction. Looking at Breville juicers on Amazon instead. $100-$150 seems much more reasonable to me!

    6 years ago
  29. Holy Smokes! the power balls are indeed delicious! I told my mom about them and we decided to make them together. and she totally love them aswell! thank you!

    6 years ago
  30. I have to try that recipe! It would be a perfect snack before heading out to the gym. Our current snack is an apple, which I find is a great boost for energy, but at the end of our workout we are starving. We actually have a Breville juicer, and they’re great! It’s a centrifugal (nifty scientific explanation word!) juicer, which means it sorta spins around and juices things that way. It’s great for juicing greens too! Definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to get into juicing. Great vid/post!

    6 years ago
  31. Great way to start the day. The key is to keep going, don’t stop because it gets boring, mix it up either with different juices and changing your workout routine, mix in some weight lifting with cardio for some balance. Keep it up, your vids are amazing!

    6 years ago
  32. what’s a powerball?..

    5 years ago
  33. I’m allergic to almonds. Are they just there for the protein? Are there any other substitutions you’d suggest?

    5 years ago
  34. How many servings does the Power Ball recipe make? With the portion sizes it looks like it should make about a serving of 24. How many balls are in a serving?

    5 years ago
  35. this is super interesting > < me and my sister made the power balls for breakfast, soooooooooooo YUMMY :D thanks for the recipe please keep posting more in Open the happy!!! <3

    5 years ago
  36. Martina – would you consider showing us some of your fun new recipes (especially the cauliflower pizza crust!) in your cooking segments? I know it’s not really Korean culture related…but I’m curious :3

    6 years ago
  37. HURRY CLEAN THE KITCHEN DON’T LET THEM SEE HOW SLOPPY WE ARE OH GOD! <– That is so my Mom whenever we're having company come over haha! Also, Martina, my friend brought to my attention that we're very close in age and I must say it's awesome to see someone else my age still sleep with plushies. I'm not alone! YAY! :D Yay for being big kids! :D

    I don't really have a 'morning routine' as much as an 'afternoon routine'; Yay for working the night shift with hours well into midnight! XD I usually get up literally an hour before I have to be out the door, shower and all that good bathroom stuff, dress and get ready for the day and grab a protein bar, vitamins and bottle of water to eat before work, grab a Slim Fast shake for lunch and leave for work. On weekends, I usually get up and get online right away haha!

    I have more of a 'routine' when I get home though; I usually grab some super late dinner, check stuff online, workout, wash up and then sleep. XD

    I totally agree with your views on working out! I started working out a week ago and I've noticed I've been so much more energized! Even at work, when I'm usually really tired and not wanting to work, I feel so energized and ready to go. Eating healthier helps a lot too! That's why I've taken to protein bars and vitamins before work, slim fast shakes at lunch and a healthy dinner when I get home. And tons of water. It gets so hot at work, so I down 8 bottles easily. XD I also usually wait an hour or two after dinner before I work out and it feels good! I'm already full on adrenaline from work, so coming home, I'm ready to go! Eating fruit when you get hungry between meals really helps too. Strawberries and green apples always kill my desire for something sweet. :)

    I really want to get a juicer now! I'll have to look into the one you guys have and give it a go. :)

    6 years ago
  38. I am really confused with the power balls…how do you put coconut into a toaster? And how do you get it out? I am missing something here…

    6 years ago
    • Oh no!! It is okay!! It is my bad!! I ended up getting a history lesson over the toaster oven from my friend…T,T

      6 years ago
    • toaster oven, I am thinking?

      6 years ago
      • I have no idea what a toaster oven is… (embarrassing) But I am going to say okie dokie!

        6 years ago
  39. Shock! No espresso machine?

    Last time we were in Japan we brought back a boiler. Most people we know there seem to have ditched kettles in favour of boilers as they hold the water temperature (saves energy) and always available. Ours cost nearly nothing but can be set to a specific coffee orientated temperature. Aren’t these things popular in Korea too? I’d have thought EYK studios must have one.

    Our kettle is now retired as it was competing for space with the IH Rice Maker.

    6 years ago
    • Yeah but your office is awesome. I’d expect no less or they’d be a mutiny (pirate ninja style of course).

      6 years ago
  40. Yay! I’m so happy that you use the Iron Man and Honey-sempai mugs that I sent last year!!!

    6 years ago