Sacred Morning Rituals of My Favourite Health Influencers
by Kiki Athanas
August 27, 2017
Throughout my journey exploring mindfulness alongside food and nutrition, I've come to the realization that morning routines can truly be one of the most powerful and influential aspects of your overall health and wellness.
How you start your morning has a profound effect on the rest of your day, and your days add up to, well, your life - so might as well set it up to be the best ever!
I've noticed that making a few subtle changes in my own morning regime has provided me with a new sense of appreciation and enjoyment of my life at large - from less stress and anxiety to more sustained energy and a feeling of positivity that I can honestly say helps to fuel my entire day (cliche or not).
Here are some of the small but mighty changes I've implemented with the most "success" for me:
- Starting my day with movement --> whether it's a 30 minute run or more relaxing yoga session - even just an at-home stretch on my yoga mat, I feel SO much better after waking my body up with a bit of physical activity.
- Putting away the computer and eating breakfast at the kitchen table --> this was by far the hardest but most crucial element in me learning to properly "mindfully" eat. Now I eat slower, enjoy my meal/smoothie a whole lot more, and end up feeling much more satisfied and satiated - often from less!
- Watering my plants first thing --> sounds silly, but plant therapy has become my newfound soul nourishment this summer, and taking the time to silently (okay, sometimes I talk to them aloud too!) water and tend to my plants each morning literally puts me into this blissful state of calm that I cannot quite articulate. Trust me, it's beautiful.
Needless to say, this past year I've come to terms with the idea that mornings are indeed SACRED.
So what do the morning routines of my favourite holistic health foodies look like?
I had the pleasure of asking them to share, and I'm hoping their sunrise journeys further inspire you to treat yourself to some love and kindness each and every morning...
On her first moments upon rising...
As I write this I have a newborn baby, so my morning routine has been shaken up a little. Back in the day, I would wake up around 7am, brush my teeth and meditate for 20 minutes. Now, with the little one, he usually wakes me around 6:30am, I nurse him for 20 minutes and that in and of itself is its own meditation (with a side of kegel exercises). So it’s actually not that different.
I aim to keep to the same schedule of going to sleep and waking up. Our body works best when it has a rhythm- this includes eating, drinking and sleep/wake cycles. My optimal sleep would be 11pm – 7am.
On sacred rituals...
I’m not sure that I have any rituals aside from giving myself permission to do what feels right. My husband and I have made a long standing commitment to work on our level of happiness, gratitude and fulfillment from when we get up in the morning and throughout the day. We don’t always nail it but it’s always our intention. Now having a child in the mix, we’ve brought him into that intention. Most mornings (once fed) he’s all smiles and so we have started asking him if he feels joyful. Obviously he can’t answer yet, but we hope to instill a connection to how he feels (both the positive and the challenging emotions).
On the best part of her morning...
I usually sleep later than my husband so when he comes back from his workout, or comes back from taking our baby for a walk (he takes him out after the 6:30 feed and lets me sleep another hour), he will open the blinds in our room and say “time to let the day in”. It’s sort of the signal that it’s time to get started on the day and all the unknowns it will bring.
Meghan's go-to morning breakfast:
Smoothies are my go-to for sure. In the summer it’s usually a chilled smoothie with fresh fruit, greens, some nuts and seeds, collagen and flax oil. In the winter, it’s most often a hot elixir with cacao, some herbs, ghee (clarified butter), and raw honey.
I go for the blender drinks for breakfast as they are the easiest way to front-load my day with nutrition power, they’re delicious and when needed, portable! Right now, my husband often makes my morning smoothie for me and I drink it while nursing our baby.
Meghan’s Morning Elixir
A fat-rich morning elixir to keep blood sugar stable, your immune system humming and your skin glowing.
1-2 Tbsp Ghee
1 Tbsp Collagen from Great Lakes
1 Tbsp Dandy Blend
1 Tbsp Elixir or Cacao Powder
2 tsp coconut oil (if you want a little more fat love!)
Honey or sweetener of choice, to taste
2 cups hot water
Make It Like So
Place all ingredients in your venting blender and blend until smooth.
Note: If you don't have a venting blender, you can blend this with regular water and heat over the stove or blend with a small amount of regular water until mixed, transfer to your mug and add the hot water.
All real-world obstacles aside, Meghan's "dream" meal is her Chickpea Banana pancakes, served hot with ground flax seeds, ground chia, shredded coconut, fresh sliced strawberries, ghee and maple syrup with a cup of jasmine tea.
On what her morning looks like...
I love mornings because it’s the best time to cuddle with my little one and my hubs. The first 10 minutes are almost always spent nursing Vienna (after I’ve chugged water from my bedside table). I go and grab her from her crib and bring her into bed with us. After that, depending what my day looks like I will either do a 30 minute yoga class online or I will get up and make a family smoothie! We always have either music on or a morning news program in the background.
On routines and rituals...
I hate rushing, especially in the morning. So I ALWAYS make sure I have enough time for a relaxing morning. Even if I have a TV segment which means I have to leave the house by 7am, then I will get up extra early just so I don’t have to rush around. My smoothie is the most consistent part of my morning routine and it’s definitely a ritual. I have positive affirmations on a bulletin board that is right above my night table so I read it every morning and that helps to set the stage for the day! I would really love to have time for meditation or to do yoga 7 days a week in the morning, but with a little one, I have to be more flexible. More often than not my yoga session involves Vienna crawling all over me, but it’s too cute!
What can throw Joy's morning off?
Full disclosure, this might be TMI for some, but I’m just telling you like it is….Not having enough time for a proper poop in the morning. However, this very rarely happens because it’s pretty important.
When there's time for more than just smoothies...
I make my “dream” meal quite often actually and that is pancakes! It’s comfort food for me, so on those really hectic days I will get up a bit earlier and make these pancakes...they are my fave at the moment and it’s a recipe from Joyous Detox.
On her wake-up regime...
First things first I go to the bathroom, and then have to make sure I let my puppy, Goji, out of the crate! As I get Goji fed, I usually fuel up on a hydrating elixir made up of some combination of a superfood greens blend with some sort of energizer powder in coconut water. Then I head down to the basement where I practice some silent journaling and reflection while enjoying infrared rays as I lay on my BioMat.
On morning movement...
It's important to me to get some sort of exercise in during the morning, and that can be a 20-30 minute jog, or a quick HIIT workout at home or at the gym - even a walk will do some mornings, I just need to get moving!
On breaking her fast...
Smoothie bowls (the thicker and creamier the better!) with alllllll of the toppings! Generally I keep it quite "keto" so stick with a base of greens, and add things like coconut, bee pollen, berries, and some tigernuts. Something like this usually does the trick.
In the colder months, I'll usually opt for a grain-free muffin with some nut butter.
While not a grain-free muffin exactly...one of my all-time favourite recipes from Marni is her raw carob tella.
spread that on anything and BOOM it's a dream breakfast meal in my eyes.
On waking up...