There’s no better time than a brand new year to refresh your morning routine.
Time is precious, and I have found that by using my morning time strategically, not only do I ground and prepare myself for the day – I’m also able to increase my productivity, stimulate creativity, lower my stress levels and increase my sense of contentment.
Some of the principles are based on what I learnt from Robin Sharma’s ‘The 5am Club’, a book which was one my first guides to understanding the value and benefit of waking early and having a plan. The other principles form part of my own personal nutritional protocol to support my physical and mental wellbeing.
I’ve shared my morning routine below – sometimes it changes as priorities shift, but it’s generally a foundation for a morning that works for me. Use it as a guide, find what works for you and if it feels right, then stick to it.
I usually wake up around 5.30am, be it summer or winter. I sit up in bed, put my hand on my heart and say my self-affirmation mantra, ‘I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU’.
I then sit quietly and say to the universe:
What would you have me say and to whom?
What would you have me do, and how can I be of service today?
This helps me set my intention for the day. Sometimes I set my intention the night before – if I have done that, then I use this time to meditate instead.
I find that this mindfulness practise helps me to slow down and be in the moment, clearing the clutter of day-to-day stresses and ‘analysis paralysis’ which can be overwhelming if not kept in check. It helps me to stay calm and grounded, and increases my focus.
I also practice gratitude by writing down 3 – 5 things that I’m grateful for in my journal. It helps me to notice and acknowledge the more positive things that are happening, instead of focusing on the negatives.
I also practice gratitude with my daughter, when she wakes. We start with giving thanks to anything family, friends… even her books and toys.
Choose a mindfulness practise that works for you – it could be anything from meditation to gratitude journaling to yoga – whatever forces you to become present and mindful.
Lemon & hot water
Looking after your liver is a key cornerstone of wellness – and drinking hot water and lemon is the best thing for your liver in the morning! Lemon juice helps stimulate the liver’s bile production, which pushes toxins out.
Lemon and hot water is also great for boosting immunity, digestion and hydration, plus studies show that it may support weight loss.
I aim to do some sort of exercise every morning. It sets me up for a more energised, focused, healthier and happy day. It’s either Pilates or a power walk with a friend, or my chocolate Labrador, Bentley.
If I am alone I like to listen to podcasts, or I let my thoughts flow.
When time allows I try to do 10-15 minutes of jumping on my Rebounder, otherwise I save that for the evening.
Dry body brushing
Dry body brushing stimulates healthy lymph flow, exfoliates the skin and is a natural energy boost which is such a great way to start the day.
First I apply a body lotion blend of doTerra’s Smart & Sassy essential oil mixed with fractionated coconut oil mixed all over my body
And then I use my dry body brush to brush my skin – always up. My skin feels awakened and ‘alive’ afterwards.
This can be tough sometimes but so rewarding! After body brushing, I jump in a freezing 3-5 minute shower.
Called cryotherapy (cold therapy), the benefits are widely acknowledged and include immune support, increased cell longevity and reduced inflammation.
I then turn to a warm shower to wash. In fact, by alternating the water temperature, it further stimulates circulation.
As the saying goes – it’s not just what you eat – it’s when you eat!
Supplements first thing
On waking, I’ll have the following supplements, along with my lemon water:
- Sulforaphane Needs to be taken on an empty stomach. An incredible antioxidant that supports phase 2 detoxification, promoting good gut health and is great for your skin. I use Bio-Sulforaphane Advanced.
- Milk thistle Great for the liver, looking after your organs of detoxification is key to optimal health and hormone balance.
- Vitamin D Best taken in the morning – there are some experts who believe that taking vitamin D at night can interfere with melatonin production, negatively impacting your sleep. Better You Dlux Vitamin D Spray is my go-to.
- AHCC Needs to be taken on an empty stomach. I take this when my immune system needs boosting.
Berberine – before my meal Great for controlling blood sugar. I take berberine when I know I’m going to go off track a bit, or in times of stress to assist with blood sugar regulation. I don’t take berberine for longer than 6-8 weeks, then I take a 2 week break in between. For improved efficacy, combine it with milk thistle.
I don’t eat breakfast – my first meal of the day is around 11am or noon which is usually 14 to 16 hours after my last meal. It gives my body the opportunity to stimulate autophagy, a cell renewal process that slows down the ageing process that can cause ill health. My go-to meals for breaking my fast are:
- Papaya and activated almonds with collagen powder, cinnamon, chia, pumpkin and flax seeds. I add cinnamon to everything. Cinnamon helps your body metabolise sugar and reduce insulin levels. Sometimes I add blueberries or grated apple.
- A large green salad (yes, greens for breakfast!) with organic rocket, basil, coriander, parsley and baby leaves. I add avocado, lemon juice, cooked asparagus, broccoli, sweet potato, cooked spinach & organic mushrooms. 1 or 2 times a week I will include an organic egg or wild fish (not farmed). I add two sheets of Nori (seaweed) – wrap, chopped or just eat the sheets.
Supplements after brunch
- PQQ Stimulates growth in healthy bacteria, which in turn enhances your body’s ability to fight off chronic disease because your mitochondria are more robust. My go-to is Biomax PQQ.
- Vitamin Bs Vital for good health and wellbeing, including supporting immunity and stress – and my bloodwork often shows that I need vitamin B support. A good B-Complex such as Biomax Vitamin B.Co Liposomal, or Better You Boost B12 Spray.
- Ashwagandha Helps reduce stress and promote healthy hormones. I use KSM-66 Ashwagandha.
Early on in my morning routine, I make sure that I get outside to get a shot of natural sunlight. Whether you’re out walking, or sitting in your outside space at home – a dose of full spectrum sunlight resets your melatonin and helps establish your circadian rhythm – 16 hours later you should be tired. The optic nerve is connected to your suprachiasmatic nucleus – the master clock within your body.
Experts say that it takes 21 days to break a habit, and 3 months for the new habits to stick. It’ll require a bit of commitment up front, but a great morning routine has the potential to make an enormous difference to your health and wellbeing.