What is your morning routine?
I’d like to take this opportunity to preface all of my morning routine answers with this simple fact: I am the mother of a breastfeeding, co-sleeping toddler who apparently finds great pleasure in witnessing the demise of most every routine I try to abide by.
That said, on a glorious day after a successful night, I (we) wake up around 7:30am. Because my son likes to start his morning off with milk and cuddles, we usually lie in bed for a while, which allows me to wake up slowly. Suddenly, my adorable miniature dictator realizes this is boring and he wants to play. He usually calls for our dog, Annie, to join us and then wants to go outside.
Often by then, my life-saver of a husband has already started making my Swiss-water-method decaf latte with homemade almond milk and MCT oil. I recently kicked my caffeine habit in pursuit of a more alkaline diet, but thanks to Pavlov’s conditioning theory, if it looks like/tastes like coffee, it still works for me.
On a perfect day, husband and toddler willing, they will play outside and I will sneak upstairs for a brief (twenty-five minutes or so) meditation and yoga session.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
Becoming a parent has forced me to embrace flexibility and make the best of whatever card is dealt to me on any given day. I used to always sleep 8-9 hours and start each day with yoga, meditation, and journaling. I’d clear my head and set my intentions, and I even had the audacity to be creative with my appearance. I would actually spend time fixing my hair and selecting my clothes. Ha!
I know all babies are different, but the one that we got is far from passive and easygoing. I’ve adapted just about every part of my life to support and foster his strong and fiery personality. I know the day will come when he needs me less, and I’ll be able to go back to my ideal, more-structured ways.
In the meantime, it’s a good thing beauty comes from within because these days, we play it by ear and turn a whole lot of lemons into delicious lemonade.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
I became a big fan of intermittent fasting after learning about its impact on gut health, so I try to maximize the length of time between when I eat dinner at night and when I have my first bite in the morning. I usually succeed at a full twelve-hour stretch and sometimes make it as long as fifteen hours.
We’re currently experimenting with a low-sugar version of the “primal diet” to boost our digestive and immune health. We’re combining Mark Sisson’s philosophy with the research by Weston Price, and I highly suggest giving it a go. It’s intense to say the least, and our poor toddler keeps wandering into the pantry, hoping to find a banana or something sweet to gnaw on. The good news for him (and all of us) is that this diet is particularly great for oral health, so he’ll thank us at some point. You see, my son was born nearly three months premature. The enamel on some of his teeth didn’t develop properly, so we’re taking extreme measures to try to protect his teeth.
Here’s a peek at what our breakfast is looking like these days:
- Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a half teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water
- Juice made from carrot, beet, lemon, celery, cucumber, and parsley blended with avocado, acerola vitamin C powder, bee pollen, and acai powder
- Homemade kefir yogurt from raw goat’s milk mixed with prebiotic powder, hemp seeds, Bulletproof Collagen Protein, and apples, blueberries, strawberries, or pumpkin baked with coconut oil, cinnamon, and vanilla.
And then, because my metabolism is in full gear in the morning, I usually have a second breakfast around an hour and half later that consists of poached eggs, veggies, and avocado with olive oil and pickled onions. I mean, who wouldn’t want two breakfasts each day?
I usually take my daily supplements with my “second” breakfast. These include fermented cod liver oil, vitamin D, food-based calcium, a food-based multivitamin, curcumin phytosome, and my probiotic cocktail of PRO-Moms, Hyperbiotics Immune, and PRO-15 Advanced Strength.
All in all, we know that sleep, exercise, and diet are critical for optimal gut and overall health, and since I don’t always have control over the first one, I like to compensate by overdoing numbers two and three.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
I prefer to exercise later in the day, but I will often go for a stroll or a bike ride with my son after breakfast. He’s usually itching to leave the confines of our property, and the fresh air and sunshine do us both some good.
Do you have a morning meditation routine, and if so what kind of meditation do you practice?
I practice Vedic meditation, and I find it invigorating! I attended a course several years ago that helped me develop a practice, and it has changed me from the inside out. I believe being able to enter such a complete sense of calm, stillness, and clarity is a superpower that we all have access to.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I currently live in Europe and most of my team is in North America, so I often wake up antsy to see what has happened while I was sleeping. That said, my sanity depends on my ability to unplug, so unless there is a special project going on, I typically refrain from checking email until after breakfast.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Wake up (sometimes harder than others). Change diaper. Get dressed. Feed everyone, including the dog. Plan with my husband how we are going to divide and conquer (usually based on who is feeling the most tired). Take probiotics.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
On the days that we’re traveling with toddler in tow, there is no such thing as a routine. We wing it. And if jetlag is in the mix, God help us.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
I used to be really thrown when I wasn’t able to start my day like I wanted. Now, I am doing my best to see it as a gift. Days when I feel off-kilter and still manage to find my alignment usually end up full of wonderful surprises.
When I reframe my perspective to one of eager anticipation for the unexpected, I experience even more magic and joy than if everything had unfolded perfectly.
So, rather than being frustrated at my little one for being awake at 4:00am, I try to focus on the beauty of mamahood and what an honor it is to have the precious little being fully dependent on me for a few years.