Good Morning! Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day, but what if you could take your lil’ morning ritual a step further and really set yourself up to WIN?
For many, rolling out of bed with our cellphone in hand, a coffee in the other seems like an optimal way to get things going, but let me share a couple ways I wake myself up in the morning and start off on an energizing foot!
First things first, get a good nights sleep. I can’t say enough how important this is. You’ve heard the “sleep when you die” quote many wannabe performance people love to spew around. Well if you don’t sleep now, you will surely die sooner. So I guess you’ll be ….sleeping sooner too? All jokes aside if you want to feel great, reach your health goals, and start your day strong (superhuman), then optimizing your sleep is crucial.
Track your sleep with an app like this (free or $2.99 version both work great) and measure what works best for you!
Once I’m awake from a nights rest, I make my way to the kitchen.
Oil pulling is the first part of my routine, an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing between a teaspoon all the way up to a tablespoon of oil ( I use coconut oil) in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes. This draws out toxins in your body, primarily to improve oral health but also to improve your overall health. I find my teeth and gums healthier and my “morning breathe” has improved dramatically since including this as part of my morning. Recent studies show that oil pulling helps against gingivitis, plaque, and microorganisms that cause bad breath. How? Most microorganisms inhabiting the mouth consist of a single cell, cells are covered with a lipid, or fatty, membrane, which is the cell’s skin. When these cells come into contact with oil, a fat, they naturally adhere to each other allowing them to be drawn from the body. It’s said that if you skip this step in the morning and just start pounding back water first thing out of bed that you are flushing the bacteria down your throat and into your body… hmm yeah, ill just oil pull thanks.
Instructions : If you’ve never done this before, start with a small teaspoon of Organic Virgin Coconut Oil in your mouth and gently swish or just sit with it in your mouth for about 15 minutes sometimes longer (if you can). In the beginning you might find this rather awkward having straight oil in your mouth so its especially useful to distract yourself by focusing that time on reading, writing, or planning your day. The oil will expand in your mouth as saliva mixes with it so don’t worry if you feel your mouth feeling more full.
I’ve been enjoying reading The Gratitude Diaries lately, or putting on an Audible book on and sitting by the fire during this 15 minutes in the morning. The simple act of planning your day intentionally or taking account of all you have to be grateful for can set the tone for an absolutely amazing day.
Do not swallow the oil. Once the Oil pulling is done, being sure to spit it out into a garbage not a sink, I like to brush my teeth and then rinse my mouth with water.
Next is Hydration!
I highly recommend getting a 1 litre jar or glass bottle you can drink out of regularly so you always know the exact amount you’re drinking. I personally enjoy 1 litre mason jars, oh so hippie of me.
Prepare 1 Litre of Lemon and/or Lime Water – you can opt for warm or room temperature water but try to stay away from drinking cold water first thing in the morning. Slice the peel off of 1 lemon and/or 1 lime, and cut it in chunks adding it to the water. You can opt for other flavours like mint, cucumber, grapefruit, or orange. Sip on this water until its done.
For added minerals, try including a pinch of celtic sea salt or himalayan crystal salt. This is especially great for people recovering from depleted adrenals or if you find yourself dizzy in the mornings. I’ve been adding in the salts and loving the way it makes me feel more hydrated throughout the day. Your blood has a very particular water to sodium ratio, so if you’re chugging back water all day and not intaking salts, you can throw off that balance! By adding in a pinch of salt you support healthy hydration and remineralization of your body. Only use real unrefined celtic sea salt or himalayan crystal salt for this.
You can opt to just take on these two things and gain some wonderful benefits and continue on your day with a nourishing breakfast and some serious pep in your step!
Buuuuuut, I want to dive into the rabbit hole a bit more with you here, and share my next favourite steps in the morning routine!
While I’m finishing my water, I start to prepare a morning elixir.
Similar to Bulletproof Coffee in that its a high fat warm drink, I opt for no coffee (personal preference), and use medicinal teas or mushrooms as the base!
Including this high fat, easy to absorb form of nutrition to set up my metabolism for a solid day, curbs my hunger and boosts mental clarity!
Elixir (shown) is my Cinnamon Rose Elixir
Its a cup of hot water steeped in Cinnamon Rose Tulsi Tea, blended with Coconut oil, Brain Octane Oil, Cacao Butter, Non GMO Lecithin, Lakanto Sweetener (or your preferred sweetener), Vanilla extract or powder, Maca Root, Collagen, and well you guessed it… cinnamon 😉 #heavenly
When you are making an elixir, there is a lot of flexibility with ingredients but the 4 main constituents are :
The Base : This will make the bulk of the liquid for your elixir. Your favourite tea (yerba mate, tulsi tea, or your own herbal decoction of boiled herbs or mushrooms, or of course some delicious, organic and ethically traded coffee) or if you’re in a rush these quick packets by Four Sigmatic are super convenient —>Reishi Extract, Lions Mane Extract, Chaga Extract, Cordyceps Extract just mix with hot water and you’re ready to make – they also sell instance coffee or hot cocoa with medicinal mushrooms infused already in. Hello! 👊🏾🍄
The Fat : I like to use a combination for a good spectrum of fats and also for flavour. I use whatever I have on hand, and choose 1-3 of these to add in – Coconut oil, Cacao butter, Coconut milk, Brain Octane, XCT Oil, or Grass Fed Butter. Measurements vary depending on your needs (I encourage you to test this on a few mornings and see what makes you perform at your best).
The Sweetener : A little sweetener makes it come together. I prefer honey, swerve sweetener (erythritol), lakanto sweetener (monk fruit & erythritol), coconut sugar, xylitol, or maple syrup!
The Upgrades : This is where your elixir comes to life. Superfoods, tonic herbs, extracts, or proteins to amp up your nutritional intake, and compliment your health goals. As you learn about your needs and the options for herbs and extracts, you can really customize this for your ideal elixir! Here are a few of my go-to basic favourites.
Non GMO Lecithin : #obsessed – I eat this stuff a little too much. I enjoy that it emulsifies fats and water, so with this highly fatty drink, it helps to make it a creamy delight without separation. It has a ton of health benefits including support for the nervous system and metabolism and an available source of choline for your mental function throughout the day. I always buy the HealthForce Nutritionals one.
Maca Root : an adaptogenic superfood, maca is known for its energy and libido enhancing properties particularly in women. Providing hormone support, this superfood is a great anti-aging and energy enhancing addition. I prefer the gelatinized version for the lack of starch and easy digestibility.
There are literally a TON more upgrades to list, and I will dive into more in an upgrade post coming soon!
Sprinkle with Cinnamon or Cacao and Enjoy!
I go on with my day for many hours after my elixir, allowing my body to enjoy the nourishment and run off these high quality fats. I can easily go for hours feeling totally satisfied! See this post on intermittent fasting to understand why this works so well and how to integrate this powerful method into your day.
But even if I’m fasting, you’ll almost always find me with a cup of tea in my hand.
I literally have dozens of favourite teas, and find it fun choosing from organic and medicinal varieties. Whether I have a pot of some tonic herbs or mushrooms simmering on the stove, or just a steeping tea bag in my favoured mug, I find the options are endless and no matter how you’re feeling, there’s a tea for that. #teatimewithstacey <– 👈🏻could that be a thing?
When I’m ready to eat, I prepare myself another meal, usually something breakfast-y, I enjoyed a Chia Protein Bowl this morning! You can prepare this overnight so it’s ready when you are. Recipe will be posted.
Or my preferred (and higher performance meal if its a brainy day) is 3 soft poached eggs (runny yolk and always opt for pastured or at least free range) with a large portion of satay greens (kale, spinach, jalapeños, and herbs or sea salt). I like to include raw carrot in the morning, which is great for the obvious added nutrition however I use it for aiding in the removal of excess estrogens in the GI tract (bonus). I put the eggs on top of the plate of lightly satay greens, top with my grated carrots, sprinkle with cilantro, add more salt if I want, and a dab of hot sauce or lemon juice and/or nutritional yeast. It’s far more delicious than it sounds! 😉
ANNNNNND.. if its a weekend, or dammit you’re feeling the delicious, sweet, indulgent breakfast, try out these AMAZING Belgium Waffles (they are still free of the usual wheat, dairy, gluten) #Igotchu 👌🏻
This may all seem like a pretty rigorous routine or even unnecessary, but I will say this….
Most people’s complaints stem from a lack of wellbeing or inability to show up with full energy and creativity in their day. If you’re getting tired of the same ol’ dragging your ass through the day, try out a couple of these morning items and see what makes a difference for you!
If you felt even just 25% more energized, clear, happy, healthy, and light on your feet, would it be worth an extra 20 minutes in the morning?
That’s what I thought.
When there is a big payoff, its easy to learn to create a few extra minutes in the morning to set yourself up. And as you get going and learn these different routines, you will find it becomes second nature!
PS – This is about practice, not perfection. Routines are just that, routines. Remember to listen to your body, trust the rhythms of your needs, and have FUN!