1.    TSA Pre-Check / Global Entry (International)

I have fond memories of actually enjoying the process of flying. Security was relaxed, a (nice) flight attendant handed me a pair of wings, and another (nice) flight attendant served me an entire meal…in coach!

Fast-forward 15 years, flying sucks. Once again, the few ruin it for the many. The only saving grace I can find in today’s travel landscape is TSA Pre-Check (and a few great pilots I know). Just far enough removed from the sheeple that still can’t figure out how to remove their liquids, or place their computer in a separate bin, TSA Pre-Check is a life saver. You’ll save countless hours of idle time spent in security lines, and keep your sanity when the person in front of you doesn’t have to worry about forgetting to take off their shoes.

If you’re an international traveler, opt for Global Entry. This wonderful addition to the customs process has also saved me from missing a few connections when headed back into the US. 

Ever connected through the Houston airport returning home from an international flight? You know what I’m talking about. Haven’t had the pleasure of doing that yet? You’ll thank me when you have Global Entry.

2.    Bulletproof Coffee

Bulletproof coffee has been the single biggest upgrade to my morning routine. Bulletproof coffee beans are sans mold toxins, helping you to avoid feeling jittery. The combination of grass-fed butter and MCT oil helps to give the coffee a creamy, rich texture while also adding healthy fats to your nutrition. Your brain and cognitive function are moving at 100mph, but without the subsequent crash. Think of a long, sustained source of fuel.

Tell me if this timeline sounds familiar. You press the button on your first cup of Flavia in the morning. Maybe “Sumatra” if you’re feeling moody, or French Vanilla for something light? 20 minutes later your fingers are shaking at the keyboard but your brain feels like it’s already returning to “normal.” Two hours later you’re right back in line at the machine. Wouldn’t it be nice to skip all of that?

I was first introduced to Bulletproof coffee from the wonderful people at Hi-Vibe Superfood Juicery. Other things I’ve added to my Bulletproof coffee are their pumpkin spice (awesome for fall), maca, maple syrup, vanilla, collagen protein, and cinnamon.

If you want to try making it yourself, I’d suggest purchasing the coffee grounds, grass-fed ghee, and the Brain Octane Oil. Pick whichever method of making coffee you prefer (I use the pour-over method) to create your liquid base. Combine the coffee, butter and MCT oil to a blender (I use a Nutribullet) and blend for roughly 15-20 seconds.

Enjoy having the best, most productive morning of all time, ever.

3.    Tempur-Pedic Pillow
The ergonomic design follows the natural curve of your body, properly supporting your head, neck, and shoulders...and if nothing else it is just so damn comfortable. 

I started with a Tempur-Pedic mattress topper, and now own five of these pillows. So much more functional than owning 14 throw pillows that cover your couch and bed for no reason. 

I’ve never been a good sleeper but this upgrade has helped that tremendously. It’s been said the two things you should splurge on are your bed and your shoes – if you’re not in one, you’re in the other.

I’m waiting for them to create flooring so that I can walk on this stuff throughout my entire apartment. Go Tempur-Pedic, and never look back.

4.    Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
Apple has now moved to making all of their standard headphones Bluetooth. However, if you’re like everyone else on the planet, those headphones don’t fit in your ear. Thankfully, Apple was smart enough to purchase Beats by Dre.

The third biggest upgrade to my everyday happiness was wireless headphones. Simply said, no more cords = the best thing ever. I can now talk on the phone (or listen to music) while riding my bike (hands free), do the dishes while listening to my podcast, and perform hang cleans in the gym without my headphones being ripped from my ears.

Pair #1 – Powerbeats 3 Wireless
Pair #2 – Beats Studio Wireless

I use the Powerbeats for time spent commuting and in the gym, and I use the Studio headphones for listening to music and working in the office.

The next place you should try listening to music or a podcast is while grocery shopping. That is life upgrade 4(b) – some peace and quiet amongst cart traffic.

5.    Headspace
Meditation made simple. Try the free “Take 10” program. It’s 10 minutes a day of simple, guided meditation, for 10 days (use those new Bluetooth headphones…).

Headspace now has over 5 million users, many of whom had previously struggled to find a meditation practice. If you feel like you’re trapped by an overactive brain, and you’ll never be able to “empty your mind” enough to do something like meditate, give it a try.

Lessen stress, kick start creativity, focus on self-control, and enhance awareness with a mindfulness practice. I use Headspace each day, in the morning, for anywhere from 10-60 minutes. Instead of actively trying to relax, let Headspace do the work for you.