“My morning revolves around the kitchen. It is honestly the most calming part of my morning, and it gives me satisfaction when my creation comes out tasting great!” – Emma Milligen Share this quote on Twitter

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Emma Milligen

What is your morning routine?

I find my morning routine to be an ever-evolving process. I am not always able to do everything I’d like, but I am slowly trying to incorporate more in to my mornings. I feel the morning needs to be a slow process of awakening the mind as well as the body, and it’s really not something I would like to rush (or pack too much in to).

One key factor my mornings tend to revolve around is the creative process of preparing a healthful breakfast as well as allowing myself to take it slow and enjoy each moment as they pass.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

It’s been consistent for about four months.

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How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

I’ve tried to incorporate things like meditating, juicing, yoga, workout DVDs and the like… but sometimes they didn’t seem to fit naturally. I’ve come to realize I need to let the process evolve, and not force anything too abruptly. Eventually I’d like to add different things, but for the time being I haven’t found a way to make them stick consistently.

What time do you go to sleep?

I usually aim for 10:00pm on weekdays, but I am more likely to be in bed ready to hit the hay around 11:00pm.

I am so much more of a morning person than a night owl, it kind of sucks at times. My body thrives on about eight hours of sleep (which I am lucky to get), but will be fine with seven. Anything less, and I plummet before I even eat dinner!

Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?

Yes, I use Sleep Time, an app that wakes me up in my lowest level of sleep between 5:30am and 6:10am using gentle beeps. I never use the snooze button; I’m pretty much ready to get my morning on as soon as I wake up!

How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?

It’s about twenty minutes after I’ve gotten out of bed before I begin to prepare breakfast for me and my boyfriend. This is my favourite part of the morning, as I find it meditative and a time I can be creative with food.

I make myself a big green smoothie to bring to work (if it hasn’t been made already), usually including an abundant portion of spinach, kale, or other green leafy. It’s almost always different, but other favourite ingredients include avocado, almond milk, coconut water, cucumber, frozen berries, banana, spirulina, cacao powder, maca and hemp hearts.

I do on occasion make double smoothie amounts for my boyfriend, but on days when it’s already made I usually make a big bowl of oats with plenty of fruit, nuts, dried fruit, cinnamon, coconut flakes, etc for him. It’s whatever I’m feeling like, and thankfully, he’s just happy I’ve made him breakfast!

Do you have a morning workout routine?

My boyfriend and I enjoy a nice leisurely walk to work after breakfast (we work at the same place). I’m lucky enough to live in a woodsy area as well, so the walk is delightful and calming.

I then meet up with a coworker, and we head down to a nearby park to go for a run before work. It wakes me up, and gets those creative juices flowing!

How about morning meditation?

Y’know, I’ve tried to incorporate this into my routine, but I always feel like a newb. I’d love to get meditation (as well as yoga) in to my routine though, as my deck seems to be absolutely perfect for it in the summer months.

Previously when trying to incorporate it in to my mornings, I actually found it hard not to fall back asleep… so I think I’m doing something wrong there! But I do love meditation from what I’ve tried of it, and it is something I have always wanted to get back into my life on a regular basis.

Do you see to email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?

I don’t see to it first thing, it’s actually something I check after I’m finished my workout, cleaned myself up, and am all settled in to my work area. It just feels like something I need to do before my brain can focus on more tasks like bringing 3D models to life.

I usually go through my emails while checking up on myfitnesspal.com (the Facebook of the fitness world) and slurping down my green smoothie of deliciousness.

How soon do you check your phone in the morning, either for calls/messages or social media and news?

Well it is my alarm, so I suppose it’s the first thing I see. That… is sad. Other than that, I get ‘push notifications’ from apps like Facebook and Gmail, so I see that. I don’t bother checking too far in to it though until I’m at work.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

If you couldn’t tell, my morning revolves around the kitchen. It’s the one thing I need for myself in the morning - and that is to create something nutritious for myself (and others, if applicable) to hold me over until lunch. It is honestly the most calming part of my morning, and it gives me satisfaction when my creation comes out tasting great! Things get a little more grandiose on the weekends, but I keep things simple on week days so I don’t get too carried away.

The second thing, is watching an episode of whatever animated series my boyfriend and I are in to at the moment while we eat breakfast together. We are both cartoon animators, so it just feels natural starting our work day out with cartoons! It’s research, I tell you, RESEARCH! :)

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

Lately, I’m sad to say, it has been a cup of decaf coffee. It is followed by water, but I’d like for it to be something a little more nourishing than coffee!

I’ve previously had green juice and lemon water with cayenne first thing, and it was wonderful. I think I should start implementing that in again. (I cut out caffeine due to headaches, but I still adore the taste of hot coffee in the morning… it’s just so engrained).

On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?

I try to embrace those days. If something is the same every day, I become bored with it!

On days where I am away from home, I remind myself that this is not a reoccurring event. I can make do with what I have, and it usually does suffice. The only thing that bothers my routine, is if there is no food I am able to eat. If given enough of a warning ahead of time though, I will be prepared!

The morning feels sacred in a way to me, and it’s just something I feel needs to be done right. That being said though, on days that are out of my control, I find it is best to just go with the flow. Sometimes you need to accept that things aren’t always the way you like them to be, and that’s okay.

What do you do if you fail to follow your routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?

If it is my own fault for not following my routine on a consistent basis, I end up feeling rushed and stressed by the time lunch hits. My energy is usually lower as well, and my mind hasn’t had the proper time to anticipate work for the day. If my morning goes awry, there’s a pretty big chance other people around me will know it!

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