What is your morning routine?
I wake up with the crow of my cockerel Mr. Big. I’m not kidding. He is a big warren cockerel and can be annoyingly loud.
I hardly ever use an alarm, instead I just get up when I wake up which is normally between 5:30am during the summer and up to 8:00am in the winter. Unfortunately I have a habit of checking my iPhone before I even get out of bed (together with a glass of water and lemon).
I work out in the mornings, so depending on the day of the week I’ll get into my running clothes, onto the yoga mat, or into gym gear for resistance training in my workout room. Then I shower, have breakfast, and start my working day by clearing down my inbox back to zero after the night’s emails have come in. Only THEN I am ready to focus on my coaching clients, my writing work, or anything else I want to do that day.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
It’s been roughly like this for a good two years, ever since I started P90X and working out every day of the week. Doing my sport in the morning sets me up for a good day; making me feel I’ve done my good deed for my body and it’s out of the way.
What time do you go to sleep?
I am quite precious with my sleep and don’t enjoy late nights very often. Most days I’ll be in bed by 10-11:00pm.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
Unless I have to be somewhere or I’m taking an early morning flight I don’t use alarms at all, but even when I do, I get up straight away and never hit snooze (unlike my husband who is a nocturnal person and finds it hard to get out of bed in the mornings).
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
I have breakfast straight after working out.
It’s usually super delicious ultra organic eggs produced by our own chickens and ducks (who roam entirely freely around the farm), which I make on the Aga in our old farmhouse, often with some local butcher’s bacon on the side.
I try to have high protein breakfasts in line with my nutritional plans, but I also like a healthy porridge or Greek yoghurt with berries, almond milk, chia seeds, maca, goji berries, flaxseeds, and protein powder.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
Whilst I’m still in bed I’ll have a glass of water, then my first drink in the kitchen is hot water and lemon to set my day up with a bit of zest and to help clean out my liver and prepare my body for food.
I read the other day that starting your day with a caffeinated drink raises your cortisol levels to fight or flight mode first thing in the morning, with them staying unusually high thereafter; so best start with something like hot water and lemon, then breakfast, THEN a coffee.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
Not if I can avoid it :-)
Ideally I will still get up, work out, eat breakfast, shower, and then go about my day no matter where I am. Sometimes I adapt it to my family’s plans when I’m visiting them in Germany to make sure I get the quality time I want with them.
What do you do if you fail to follow your routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
It’s not a problem. I will catch up with sports later in the day, or take a rest day. I tried other things over the years, such as incantations, walks, morning pages, meditations, visualisations, etc, but they didn’t persist.
Unless I am consciously fasting intermittently I would feel very uncomfortable not having breakfast. I think it’s fair to say that that is indeed my favourite meal of the day.