What is your morning routine?
I wake up around 8:00am and before I open my eyes I try to recall my dreams. I have very vivid dreams and they always signal me messages on what I need to be working on or looking out for. Once I open my eyes, I set intentions for the day. I choose an emotion I want to feel for that day, like creativity, and will create an affirmation like “I am creative and ideas flow through me” and repeat it mentally ten times.
Then I go to the bathroom, brush my teeth with plant-based, fluoride-free toothpaste, scrape my tongue with a copper tongue scraper to remove toxins, and take my daily supplements with some room-temperature water. Then I put a spoon of coconut oil in my mouth for an Ayurvedic practice called oil pulling, which further draws toxins from the system.
After this I’ll walk into my kitchen and turn on the stove, which has a pot of spice-infused water (ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, and star-anise) that I set out overnight. These tonics are really warming for the digestive fire and actually enhance your digestion for the entire day. I’ve noticed a drastic change in my mind and body from drinking these warming, healing, homemade teas.
Next, I feed my dog, clean the kitchen, and get dressed for yoga all with the oil still in my mouth. Ayurveda recommends oil-pulling for twenty minutes a day but I usually make it to about ten. Then I spit out my oil, rinse out my mouth, drink my tea, and head to yoga. I eat breakfast afterwards when my digestive fire has really been warmed up and my body is ready for food.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
I began studying Ayurveda about four years ago and have kept up this morning routine since. It’s become intuitive to me! My entire day is more balanced with this simple practice.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
I used to be a raw vegan, so back then I would wake up and have a big green smoothie. Huge digestive no-no! Having a cold smoothie in the morning is like putting ice-water on an already weak fire. When we don’t eat overnight, our digestive fire becomes weak. We have to gently rekindle these flames with hot tea and movement to make it burn bright again.
I used to be bloated all the time and it made no sense because I was eating so “healthy.” As soon as I shifted to a more warming diet, my entire body and even personality changed.
What time do you go to sleep?
I’m currently writing my second book, The Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda, and my creative juices really start flowing once the sun has set, so I’ve been sleeping quite late recently but normally I try to sleep by midnight.
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
I love practicing Abhyanga (self-oil massage), another Ayurvedic practice. It drains the lymphatic system, stimulating cleansing of your cells. It’s also super relaxing.
As I am a health-food blogger and nutritionist, I love making delicious sugar-free, vegan, plant-based desserts like avocado chocolate pudding or coconut peanut-butter pie as a nightly treat. Life is too short to live without dessert - just make it healthy!
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
I try not to use an alarm unless absolutely necessary, and when I do I’m not a big snooze person. Once I’m up, I’m up. I do let myself lay for a while though so I don’t shock my body into the conscious world.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
I usually wait at least three hours and feel so much better that way. On days I eat breakfast, I end up feeling heavier and hungrier for the rest of the day. I’ve really been loving overnight oats and quinoa porridge recently.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
I am a big morning workout person. If I don’t work out first thing in the AM it won’t happen later on. I love power yoga and barre classes because they work the muscles but are still nourishing on the body.
Do you have a morning meditation routine, and if so what kind of meditation do you practice?
My meditations are my morning affirmations and intentions. I have a lot of Shakti feminine energy flow through me, so sitting down and forcing myself to think of nothing is basically torture. I love words, movement, creativity, and flow, and feel most meditative when I’m doing something that involves those things.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I’ll take a look just to see if there’s any big news I need to address but won’t answer until after I’m done with my morning routine.
Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
My mug of warm, spice-infused water.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
You’d be surprised by how easily you can keep up this practice on the road! I bring my tongue scraper and a little container of coconut oil with me wherever I go. I’ve done yoga anywhere you can believe imaginable; outside gas stations, airport terminals, back of cars, at historic landmarks. An open body is an open mind!
Anything else you would like to add?
Don’t feel like you totally have to change your morning routine all at once! I always set a goal a week for my clients. The first week it may be just switching from a cold to warm breakfast, the next week it could be making your own tea, the following week it could be stretching for ten minutes, the next it could be trying tongue scraping or oil pulling.
Before you know it, you’ll have a totally revamped morning routine without any extra effort! Sometimes the slower the changes, the more lasting the results!