7 Steps to Starting My Morning Right
This post is sponsored by Organic Stevia In The Raw® and SheKnows Media.
I’m sharing the 7 steps I employ to start my morning right.
Let’s take a moment to talk about morning routines. Morning routines are, in essence, that time of the day that’s akin to starting up the car for an errand. To start a car, you have to grab the keys, put them in the ignition, give it a turn, sit back for the infinitesimal amount of time it takes for the mechanical miracle of modern transportation to fire (managed explosion in special compartments), buckle up, adjust the mirrors, press play on your favorite podcast, put the car in reverse, back out of your spot, and then drive forward to wherever you’re headed. The point of your errand is NOT to start your car. The point of your errand is not to grab the keys, to adjust the mirrors, or to buckle up… but these small steps help you get TO where you’re going. Starting up the car is a crucial step necessitated by a crucial sequence of small events.
…this is my round-about, extravagant analogy to describe my morning routine.
The point of my day is NOT to have a morning routine. Rather, my morning routine allows my day to unfold how I like it. It allows my day to start off on the right foot, making everything else I face seem a little bit easier and a little more manageable.
If you’re familiar with my work, you’ve likely heard me talk about the 4 Pillars of Health. I introduced the 4 Pillars in my Fed & Fit book (hit shelves in late 2016), but the gist is this: a healthy lifestyle approach can be summed up by 4 strategic priorities:
…and in that order.
The 4 Pillars are important because they’re the backbone of my morning routine. While I don’t obsessively (or consciously) think on each pillar each morning, my now-habit routine nods to the list with intention.
SO, let’s get to it! Let’s talk about exactly how I start my morning right:
Step 1: Get up when the alarm goes off. Though there are going to be some exceptions to the rule (if I physically need more sleep, for example), respecting my alarm and the intention I’d set for myself the previous night is the first vote of confidence I get to give myself that day. It’s a great big sign of respect and honor for MYSELF. This step clearly plays into the mindset pillar.
Step 2: Drink a big glass of water. The body needs (approximately) half your body weight in ounces of water each day. This number increases if you’re pregnant, working out a lot, at altitude or in warm climates (more info on this also in my book). The best way to set a good intention on your water intake for the day is to get a jumpstart with a big gulp first thing.
Step 3: Review my goals and priorities for the day. On my BEST days, I’ll have this set before I fall asleep the night before. Waking up to a list of already outlined priorities helps me streamline my efforts day-of. Whatever is listed as my first priority gets my first attention (vs. the tempting email inbox). These days, my top priorities are content related for you here on the blog or for the Fed & Fit Project Online.
Step 4: Grab a coffee and a small snack. I wake up EARLY (usually too early to make the house breakfast), so I’ll get started with a Hobbit-style “first breakfast.” First breakfast is usually an iced cold brew coffee that I’ve sweetened with a sprinkle (about ½ a packet) of Organic Stevia In The Raw®, thinned with a little water (I don’t want anything too strong), and made milky with a splash of grass-fed heavy cream. For a snack, I’ll usually grab a sheep’s milk yogurt, piece of fruit, or small handful of gluten-free granola.
Note about the stevia: I’ve gotten a lot of questions in the past about my take on stevia, so let’s talk about it! Stevia is a natural herb (looks like long, skinny mint) that you can easily grow in your own backyard. What makes stevia unique as a sweetener is that is that it tastes sweet, but has very low calories. You can easily find granulated or liquid forms of stevia in the grocery store. For sweetening my coffee, I really like these convenient Organic Stevia In The Raw packets! Here’s why:
- I like that they’re pre-portioned out so I don’t have to worry about accidentally using too much in my coffee when I’m sleepy. I addition, the handy packets also help me to keep the general over-use of sweeteners at bay.
- The Nutrition Consultant in me REALLY likes that they actually also have a tiny bit of cane sugar in them so that, if you do choose to enjoy stevia on an empty stomach without any other food or calories, your body has some kind of glucose to handle your natural metabolic response.
- I like that this is an organic source (not all stevia available is organic).
- I like that they’re travel friendly so that I can easily keep a few in my purse for use while I’m out.
Step 5: Get the most important work done first. Powered by my coffee and small breakfast snack (“first breakfast”), I’ll tackle the first ugliest frog of my day (usually involves some kind of research or intensive writing).
Step 6: Go for a walk. These walks anchor my whole day. I usually still have plenty of coffee in my cup at this time, so I’ll grab it, Gus’s leash, and my husband for a leisurely 1ish mile walk around our neighborhood trail.
Step 7: Eat something delicious and nutritious for real breakfast. This usually (hopefully, I should say) involves lemony kale for breakfast greens, some kind of starch (like potatoes), a piece of fruit, and a protein (usually eggs). This is the last stage of my fuel for the day!
After this simple, repeatable, comforting morning routine, I’m ready to tackle the day.
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