Habits for Health: My Morning Routine
I have a truth bomb for you: There is no secret to living a healthy life. It's easy to get caught up in the magic bullet mindset, constantly searching for the next best thing to boost your energy, improve your health and change your life. But here's the thing: there is no next best thing. There ARE, however- next best steps. Because as John C. Maxwell so wisely said, "You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine." It's the little things, that, compounded, create the great changes in our lives. It's the habits we form, the routines we design that transform our health.
I didn't wake up one day with lavish energy, a balanced mindset around food and able to run a marathon. On the contrary, if you know any part of my story, you'll know I have been on a decade-long journey to health; from fighting an eating disorder to battling debilitating digestive distress and a hormonal imbalance that almost didn't allow me to have kids. There wasn't one change that transformed everything; it was all step by step, change by change. There were significant steps; but there was no one that was the magic factor. There is no such thing as magic: but there IS habit-building, creating routines out of the things we deem important in our lives to create better health and a more abundant life.
One such routine I have spent multiple years honing is my morning routine. I truly believe the things we do to start our day aim the trajectory of our day. If we start our morning in chaos, our day will be, in part, chaotic. If we start our day with intention, focused on being our best selves, our best selves will shine through.
Over the next six weeks, I am going to share some of my daily habits that have truly compounded to create better health, energy and an abundant life. This will all culminate, following a weeklong Christmas break, with what I am calling Habits for Health, a free weeklong seminar series, starting on January 1st, with simple habits to create big change in your life, in the upcoming year. You can sign up to be first on the list when enrollment opens.
So now, my morning routine.
4:00am: My alarm goes off. I know- it's early. The only reason I wake up so early is that I work, early in the morning, rather than wake up at night. I know for sure this isn't for everyone. However, I DO recommend waking up before your kids: by at least a half an hour, so in creating your own morning routine, you can start your day off with intention, rather than reaction.
I like to start my day with a prayer that the Lord will lead me to do His will in all that I do and glorify Him in the way I lead my life.
I begin my day by washing my face and brushing my teeth. Safe skin and body care is an important commitment of mine; I don't believe we can be our best, healthiest selves when we are bogged down by toxic products on a daily basis. Right now I have been using and loving the Cleansing Milk by Beautycounter. I alternate this with the Charcoal Bar a few days a week (which you should ALL have, my friends!). This is actually the product that 'sold' me on Beautycounter products. I have skin that is both prone to acne and dryness; and this was a game-changer for me (no breakouts and non-drying!).
I follow it with Cocokind Rosewater spray with reusable cotton pads from Tulips Grow Faster on Etsy. We're working on leaning towards reducing our waste; this is one small step. I then use the Adaptive Moisture Lotion from the same line. My favorite toothpaste is Doterra's On Guard- it tastes great, but really it's just another way I can boost my health, one simple change at a time. I know every time I brush my teeth not only am I cleaning my teeth, I'm also supporting my immune system.
4:15am: As I walk from my bathroom to the kitchen, I turn on a podcast or e-book to start my day with knowledge. Lately I've been re-listening to Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner.
I come into the kitchen, put some oils in my diffuser (my favorite morning combo is 2 drops each rosemary, peppermint and lemon for focus, clarity and energy. This is the diffuser I use (Amazon). It's not fancy, but it works well! And I start my day with fresh squeezed lemon in a tall glass of water. Starting your day with lemon water has huge benefits: 🍋 re-hydrates after 8+ hours without water 🍋 kick-starts digestion (stimulates bile production and gets things, ahem, moving 💩) 🍋 liver-protective (aiding in natural detoxification- no detox needed) 🍋 rich in vitamin C for immune (even more important during cold and flu season!) + skin health (aids in collagen production) 🍋 releases aromatic essential oils, which boost mood and naturally energize
This is one of the simplest, most significant changes I have made for my digestive and immune system-- and I've kept it up for 5 years, now!
I take my morning supplements here, too. My top priorities for supplementation is to simply supplement my healthy lifestyle for energy and optimal health. Currently, I take a B-Complex (genetic testing revealed I am more likely to be low, in this area), Vitamin D/K2 (essential for all of us in the Northern hemisphere) and probiotics. Simple. Then, I empty the dishwasher. My husband and I tag-team dishes. He cleans up after dinner, loads and turns on the dishwasher and I empty it first thing in the morning while I sip my lemon water so it is empty and ready to re-load throughout the day, to keep the sink and counter clean (less cluttered life = less cluttered mind).
4:30am: I make my boosted coffee. The actual brands here change- the one in the photos was just what was on sale at Whole Foods, and I will switch up add-ins (sometimes I'll do ashwaganda when I'm feeling stressed, maca when I need a hormone boost) But the basis of my coffee recipe does not change: one and a half cups of quality brewed dark roast coffee, a glug of MCT oil (benefits) and collagen peptide, which is essential for my digestion, as well as recovering after any exercise I have done. I then add whatever add-in my body needs for the day; Lion's Mane by Four Sigmatic is one of my alltime favorites because it helps my focus and clarity (see a trend, here?) first thing in the morning. I will also add a few drops of stevia for sweetness and blend it all in the Vita before sitting down and sipping.
4:40am: I start my day with the Hello Mornings ritual: God, Plan, Move. This means after my kitchen routine, I sit down and either work on a page or two of whatever Bible study I am working on (I am going through this one now and loving it) or meditate on scripture. Then, I go through my plan for the day- what things I need to accomplish first thing (I always start with my three most important tasks rather than just getting lost in email or creating), what Sage and I have planned for the day with homeschool, go over any clients I have scheduled for the day.
5:30am When it is warmer out, this is when I will go for a run, 3-4 days per week. Otherwise, I work for an hour and a half to two hours and then do my workout- yoga, treadmill run, weights- whatever I am feeling for the day.
Like I said before, this is my time to do my top priorities, whether it be checking in on clients or responding to client emails if I knew they popped up yesterday (or preparing for our next session); writing work or any scheduled project work I have to do.
7:00am The girls wake up. I greet them, and Nick gets them breakfast while I do my workout (20-30 minutes) and shower; and then I make my breakfast before we start our day. I almost always start my day with a healthy mama super smoothie. This isn't anything fancy, it's just our formula for a nourishing, filling, balanced smoothie. You can read the whole formula here. My usual combination is: 1 cup of almond milk, one big handful spinach, wild blueberries, a scoop of vanilla protein powder, a couple tablespoons of almond milk and a dash of cinnamon. Sometimes I'll switch it up and have some eggs and kale sauteed in coconut oil or yoga and granola, instead.
And then, we begin our day, together.
This is a routine that has worked out that works really well for our family. I get my time to fill my cup, first- which does require me waking up early, but it is worth it for the freedom we have within our days: I have both girls at home, and knowing I have finished my top three work priorities for the day means I no longer feel like I'm toggling between tasks, I can focus on them, and then when they have rest time in the afternoon, I can sneak in another hour or two of work- but not until then. I know essentially spending three hours to myself every morning might seem selfish, but it truly has transformed my health and my motherhood, for the better. I believe in order to pour out to others, your cup has to be filled to the brim. This is how I do this, to show up best for my family, and the people I help.
I hope this was helpful for you, to learn a little more about how I do what I do- and reveal that there is no secret to a healthy life. It IS those habits, for me- the lemon water, boosted coffee, filling my soul, daily movement, green smoothie; these are the things that create a better, healthier life. Sign up to be first on the list for Habits for Health, coming this January.
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