I’ve said it before and I will say it again, setting a morning routine is an extremely important part of achieving optimal health! By starting your day on the right foot you are setting yourself up for success. For me, this means making sure that I start my day in a stress-free, calm, and happy mindset.
This helps keep me in a relaxed state throughout the day, which has so many health benefits that are going on beneath the surface. Sure, your sanity is super important and we all know that being stressed is NO FUN, but there’s a lot going on biologically as well.
The stress response truly wreaks havoc on our bodies. It takes a toll on your adrenal glands leading to adrenal fatigue, disrupts your hormone balance, leads to weight gain, causes reduced digestive capacity (leading to a whole host of issues such as leaky gut, less nutrient absorption, decreased metabolic capacity, food sensitivities, and more), causes high blood sugar, and truly ‘puts a stress’ on every mechanism in your body.
That’s why it is so important to start your morning relaxed and with a blood sugar balancing breakfast; as opposed to constantly hitting snooze on the alarm and then having to rush out the door with a processed breakfast in hand. When you are rushed, you are setting yourself up for this type of stress response throughout the day. Plus, you are less likely to have a nourishing breakfast, if you are able to consume breakfast at all. Not eating breakfast sets you up for a blood sugar roller coaster, and, as I stated above, when/if you eat in a stressed state, your digestive capacity is so depleted that you aren’t even able to absorb all of the nutrients from you breakfast.
So, that’s why setting up a morning routine is imperative to get you on the right track to a balanced and healthy lifestyle! I am laying out my morning routine here to give you an idea and layout for designing your own morning routine. My routine isn’t just about relaxation…I also throw in some detox habits that can turn your morning routine up a notch!
Getting Optimal Sleep
First things first, I make sure that I go to bed early enough so that I am getting around 8 hours of sleep. This gives me the peace of mind that I have given my body the ample amount of time that it needed to restore. Sure, there are days that I still wake up and want to hit the snooze, but knowing I gave my body ample sleep pushes me to know I can go ahead and get up!
Setting the Alarm
Make sure you switch your alarm up so that you don’t wake up cringing at the noise being blared at you! This is huge for me. If I hear the same sound over and over, it starts to make me crazy and does not give me a peaceful wakening. Luckily, I usually wake up before my alarm because my body is attuned to its circadian rhythm, yay!
Give Yourself Enough Time
Wake up at least one hour before you need to leave your house. Depending on the time it takes you to get ready this may be long. However, if you’re like me, this is plenty of time (I shower the night before).
Oral Hygiene and Detox Tips
Right when I wake up, I throw some coconut oil in my mouth and begin to oil pull as I go through some stretches. Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic tradition promoted for improving oral health, supporting detoxification, improving any type of skin issues (acne, rosacea, eczema, etc.), headaches, asthma, tooth whitening and more. While there aren’t many scientific studies to prove this, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence. For instance, I notice an immediate sinus flush from doing it!
I love stretching first thing in the morning because you are immediately getting some blood flow through your body. Adequate blood flow increases energy, concentration, and sharpens your senses. Not to mention stretching reduces pain and inflammation in joints, muscles, and tendons while also improving posture! I have outlined the awakening morning stretches that I do here.
Tongue Scraping and Brushing!
After Oil pulling, I tongue scrape and brush my teeth with an all natural toothpaste. I am currently obsessed with The Dirt: MCT oil toothpaste, but I also love Earthpaste. Plus, a few times a week I use a mineral rich whitening toothpaste such as this tooth brightener by tooth soap. It not only whitens your teeth, but helps them remineralize and keep them strong! Tongue scraping is also part of this routine because our tongue, part of our digestive tract, is a source of toxin removal from the body. Our digestive tract’s function is to collect and remove waste from the body…and the tongue is part of that, collecting food debris, bacteria, toxins, and byproducts of metabolism. Normally, we would swallow this and hope that our gut and liver would remove it. Tongue scraping is a resource that helps your body function optimally, giving it a break from these toxins that it would need to get rid of.
P.S. I’m also obsessed with my black Sonicare toothbrush…it kinda makes me feel like a badass.
Warm Lemon Water
This is where I have my warm lemon water! This is so important to me and never changes in my routine! I also take my probiotic at this time (or a bit after) because it is more absorbable on an empty stomach. Recently, I have also been adding glutamine to my warm lemon water to help heal my gut! Read more about this lemon water tip here. **I also love adding 1 tbsp of raw ACV at this time for even more detoxification and probiotics!
Blood Sugar Balancing Breakfast!
This is super super important! Make sure you are getting ample amounts of protein and fats at breakfast! Many people consume sugary cereals, pancakes, or even fruit smoothies that are mostly carbohydrates…and high in sugar. It is SO important to make sure that you are getting plenty of proteins and fats to keep you full, give you energy, and start your day off right!
After breakfast, I like to get a workout in…but not everyone has time for this in the morning, so do what works for you!
Dry Skin Brushing
Our skin is our largest organ and is responsible for excreting 1/3 of our toxins. The lymphatic system functions to cleanse toxins and protect against harmful invaders and dry skin brushing is a way to stimulate this system and aid it in removing toxins. This article from Mind Body Green explains in more detail!
Okay, so maybe you just want to shower here, but the contrast shower is another detox tip! You’ve probably heard of hot and cold tubs being used as a recovery tool for athletes. Well, a contrast shower is similar. It is a normal shower that ends with alternating between hot and cold. Ideally, do 30 seconds cold and then 30 seconds hot for a few rounds, but just do what you can. This stimulates blood flow by alternately vasoconstricting and vasodilating. This helps the nervous system communicate more effectively and is said to even increase metabolism. Remember to end on cold!
Then put your clothes on, do your hair, or whatever else makes you feel good and confident for the day!
And there you have it! These are my tips to start your morning right and feel super accomplished before you have even “start” your day. Try this out for 2 weeks and see how you feel! Remember, it takes time to make a habit, so stick to it and you’ll be addicted to this you time…in no time!