Starting the morning off right sets the tone for the rest of the day. I savor the early hours of the morning and love waking up early in order to have enough time to wake up, clear my mind, exercise, and prepare for the day. We are creatures of habit and I am all about creating good, healthy habits that make it easier to maintain good health. I call this a morning ritual because it is something that I enjoy and cherish (as opposed to just a “routine” which often feels more like a chore). I strive to follow this morning ritual, whether I am home or on the road. My goal is to follow this 90% of the time, knowing there will be days (sometimes weeks) when life gets crazy and that it is ok if I cannot do all of it, but even if I can do parts of it, I feel better.
I am a total morning person and live by the mantra, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes you healthy, wealthy, and wise.” In fact, this mantra is on our vision board as a daily reminder. I strive to get 7.5 hours of sleep every night, but must admit I have nights that I only get 6 hours because I get caught up doing work, so this is something I am really trying to improve. My goal is to go to bed by 10pm and wake up at 5:30am. Sleep is critical for your health in every aspect. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, getting enough sleep will keep you in good health and allow you to perform and succeed during the day.
I also use a favorite song that is soothing to wake me up, as opposed to a loud, obnoxious alarm. Right now I am loving Panama by Casados.
The very first thing that I do after turning off my alarm is drink a full 16oz glass of water that I put by my bed every night. You’ve been asleep for (hopefully) 7.5 hours, so it is imperative to rehydrate your body. I literally chug 16oz of water before I even stand up. Then as soon as I get into the kitchen, I refill my glass and drink another 16oz glass of water. Drinking water first thing in the morning hydrates your body, fires up your metabolism, flushes toxins out of your body, and helps your brain function. This is something that I do everyday…no matter what. Drinking water right after waking up is one of the best things that you can do for your body.
Every morning Alex and I drink lemon-ginger-cayenne-honey water. I love mine hot, Alex drinks his cold. We make a big batch of this fresh lemon juice concentrate and pour it into ice-cube trays and freeze it. Every morning I pop out a lemon juice ice cube and add hot water. This detoxifying combination is packed with health benefits:
To make the concentrate, we take about 12 lemons and cut off the peals and throw them into the Vitamix with a large chunk of fresh, pealed ginger, some water, ground cayenne, and honey. We blend it until smooth (it should be thick) and then pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it. We drink this with a straw, because the acid in the lemons can be hard on the enamel of your teeth. Recently I have also been adding fresh turmeric root (pealed) as well, which is a great antioxidant and has so many amazing health benefits.
I love tea and every morning drink a large cup of green tea. I am a bit of a tea connoisseur and love buying loose leaf teas so that I can switch up what I drink every morning. There are so many amazing health benefits of green tea including improving your brain function, increasing fat burning, and potentially helping reduce the risk of cancer. I try to avoid consuming too much caffeine in general. I rarely drink coffee, and when I do I drink decaf.
I drink my lemon water and green tea while relaxing on the couch. I take time to prepare for the day. I always try to read the news. We get the Wall Street Journal and I also subscribe to The Morning Briefing by the New York Times with the top 10 stories of the day. If I absolutely have to to, I will respond to some emails, but I try not to do work in the morning until I get to the office.
I cannot stress the importance of having a daily bowl movement, but am going to spare the details of it and instead encourage you to read about why this is not only critical for good health, but also a huge indicator of your health. Check out Precision Nutrition for all of the information that you need to know. When we visit classrooms and educate kids on the importance of eating healthy, we stress the importance of eating enough fiber and have the kids repeat, “fiber is like the broom” explaining how it sweeps your intestines clean.
I get some sort of activity in everyday. I change up my routine daily so that each week it includes a combination of Pilates, Restorative Yoga, weight training, and cardio (I love the stair stepper, cycling, or the elliptical). Some days I will do 20 minutes of restorative yoga (in my PJs), others will be full-on gym sessions. I listen to my body and what it needs. I have put together some of my favorite exercise routines, so be sure to check out our Fit Friday series, which includes workouts that you can do at home without any equipment.
Often showers are seen almost as a chore and something to rush through. Here are some tips to incorporate into your shower:
I have a 20 minute drive into work, so I take advantage of this time by listening to podcasts. Here are my favorite ones that I listen to during my morning commute:
And of course I never skip breakfast. I typically do not eat breakfast until I get to the office. If I need something in the morning before I workout, I will eat a spoonful of nut butter. My go-to breakfast is Super Oats topped with walnuts, blueberries, hemp seeds, cinnamon and almond milk. But some days I have Oat Clusters and/or Power O’s with berries or a Hot Oats Muffin topped with Almond Butter. Yum!
I encourage you to incorporate one or all of these rituals into your morning. Slow down. Be present. Have intention.