It’s taken oh, almost 32 years or so but I have finally found morning rituals that have stuck! I have learned so much about health and wellness over the years and for me, it’s all about setting myself up for the day so I can be nourished, have energy to be a mother/work/care for the home etc. and feel good! I’ve seen all of these glamourized morning routines that focus a lot on a makeup/skincare regime, these elaborate breakfasts, all of this quiet time etc. and that’s all wonderful – but they’re not always attainable (maybe on some days). I stopped looking at these “aesthetic routines” and started diving into what would help me thrive as a human and as a mom of a 1 year old. I found what I did in the morning impacted the rest of my day, so if I skipped a meal back in the day (huge NO NO) or didn’t make good breakfast choices, move my body etc. then it trickled into the rest of my day’s productivity, energy level and mood. Overtime those things lead to issues and having functioned low for too many years (like all of my 20’s depleted in nutrients, sleep, hydration), I was determined to make a change and get down to the bottom of it! Getting pregnant made me never forget breakfast again (because I’d puke if i didn’t eat multiple times, lol) and becoming a mom made me focus even more on nourishment for her and I. It’s something I want to be able to model for my daughter as well. If I am operating very anxiously, chaotic, low energy or at a “low vibration,” how can I expect her not to pick that up as well? If I’m being totally honest, I was operating at the level for a really long time but I knew that needed to change when Grace entered the picture. I’m human, I can still feel my feelings and have my days, some things are out of my control, but nutritionally, I can be in control and usually my low vibration (even my anxiety) was due to poor gut health and adequate nutrients being absorbed in my body. I take this as my motivation, not pressure or guilt, to do better for myself and in turn she will benefit also! It’s all positive vibes. I shared a reel on my Instagram of what my morning routine kind of looks like but here’s the full scope at this stage of life below…
It’s worth mentioning, my husband Neal works from home with me and my mom has been coming to help us twice a week in the summer so we can actually get work done as well! Taking care of a baby, while still working and managing the house that you live, work, mess up all day long (lol, real talk) is A LOT! I ask for help! No shame in the game. If you are able to receive help, take it. No one gets an award for doing the most. It’s done wonders for my mental and physical health. So that’s my “routine” as of late, but what about rituals? These are the things that no matter what season I am in or how old my child is, I can rely on as a sustainable way to start my days. Here are a few of my life changing rituals I live by now for mornings…
Ritual 1: Eat within 30 min to 1 hour of waking
Oh how I wish I could go back in time and give 20-year-old Stephanie a glass of water and some good protein for breakfast! I used to wake up and go right into my e-mails/work and not even take a sip of water or eat by noon *cue spiral eye emoji face*. Not the way to live! Did you know not waking up with an appetite means your body is in a stressed state? In turn it suppresses hunger cues, which means it has to rely on stress hormones so adrenaline and cortisol go up to bring back your blood sugar. Wild discoveries!! Even in busy seasons of life, you must prioritize sleep and eating. Please promise your girl Steph you will do this?? I always make sure to eat my breakfast within an hour of waking. This can sometimes be difficult with a baby because by the time I’ve got her together, fed, changed etc. it can be over an hour! I sometimes prepare things the night before that way breakfast prep doesn’t have to take long. Honestly, eggs don’t take long to make and they’re packed with amazing nutrients so those are my go-to! It’s always helpful when Neal takes care of breakfast or the baby so that I can cook us all a good breaky too, but if I am solo-parenting for the day, I just try to set myself up good (that’s when I’ll do a full-fat grass fed yogurt bowl that’s quick).
Ritual 2: Movement
Some do a stretch, or yoga or a fitness class, for me a simple, long walk outside with my dog and my baby does my body good! The key is just to move in whatever way feels good to you. If I have time (and I’m really trying to make more time for this) I go down to our gym and do weights or a pilates video during Gracie’s first nap. We just need to get the body moving over here! Get the blood circulating, get oxygen, walk off any stress/anxiety, start the day right! I love to do this as a family, but if Neal stays behind to get started on work, I go with my girls and we have a wonderful time. Get some headphones (preferably wired ones, don’t do the AirPods…the radiation is wild) and catch up with a friend on your walk! I find when I do that, I walk even longer and get more steps in!
Ritual 3: Pray, Set Intentions, Journal Gratitude
At the beginning or at the end of my morning (depends on if Grace is awake) I always take some time to do the churchome app meditation (it’s about 5 mins) and I log how I’m feeling, goals for the day, intentions in my wellness journal. I pray throughout the day, morning to night, so that comes as second nature to me, but I have been doing this thing where I verbally out loud say my plans to God for the day and invite Him in to them. At the end of the day, God knows what will happen already, I just find inviting Him in makes me know it’s His will, He is with me and I can have peace no matter what day/task I am facing. This has given me real peace. Gratitude, surrender and trust interrupts anxiety for me.
Ritual 4: Drink/eat warming foods upon waking
Something I learned from my friend and later confirmed by my Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner while struggling to get conceive was that I had a “cold womb” and I did everything I could to try to fix that so that I could get pregnant and stay pregnant. I love Traditional Chinese medicine and I have received acupuncture for years. I’ve been fascinated by the wealth of knowledge from the practitioners I’ve been grateful to have. This is the oldest civilization and they know so much about healing, taking care of the body etc. So one of the things I was told I had to cut out was cold drinks (as well as cereals, smoothies etc.) and consuming cold/raw foods. Now I’m not trying to get pregnant anytime soon, but I do follow this practice still as much as possible for the many benefits it has had on my health. Instead, I now drink room temperature water (took me a while, I’m such an ice girl), ginger tea or red Chinese date tea with goji berries throughout my day, morning to night. It is so much better on your organs and digestion! You want to begin your day with warming your meridians so that your body can absorb nutrients properly. In the summer this can be really hard because I would sometimes start my day with a super cold smoothie but I didn’t thrive and I don’t miss that feeling. In fact I’d crash, have digestive upset and it just wasn’t it friends!! I do enjoy cold drinks here and there but I really stick to this for my overall gut health and keeping harmony in my stomach. Bone broth, congee, tea or warm water with a simple slice of lemon are what I stick to now.
Ritual 5: Desiccated liver as my multi-vitamin
Speaking as someone who was iron-deficient all my life – not anemic thankfully (which I learned is really a copper deficiency, but that’s a whole other post) beef liver CHANGED. THE. GAME. I am someone who has been off and on iron pills, consumed all the supplements under the sun (but not enough nutrients from actual food). I now take desiccated beef liver as the only supplement in my day and source all of my other minerals, nutrients and vitamins from, you guessed it, REAL healthy food. Beef liver is something our grandparents consumed weekly (no wonder they were so healthy and full of energy) and it’s not really found in our diets now (at least in the western world). It’s packed with Vitamin A, Iron, B12 and Copper (just to name a few) and it gives me SO much energy! You can take up to 4 a day from this brand I use, so I take 2 with breakfast and then 2 around lunch time to give me another boost. I don’t take it past 3pm as I want to start to wind down for the evening, but it helps tremendously during the day for energy. You don’t even need coffee with this stuff!! My favourite place to buy my liver (since I cant stand the taste of it) is Perfect Supplements. Then I’m sure to consume a natural whole food source of Vitamin C to optimize my absorption. Seriously, a game changer. So thankful my girlfriend and trusty holistic nutritionist Kristin recommended this to me, be sure to give her a follow for more!
Ritual 6: Protein & Fat for Breakfast
When you know better you do better and let’s just say the things I was reaching to eat for breakfast were low hanging fruit that did nothing for my body or energy levels! *Cough* oatmeal, cereal, juice, protein bar. Now I stick to protein and fats which is what my body, hormones and energy levels need to thrive! Eggs, avocados, leftover grass-fed steak, bone broth, grass-fed yogurt/kefir, coconut yogurt with chocolate collagen and then all the fruit (either papaya, berries, banana etc) – these are a few of my go-tos!
If you want to sleep better at night, it’s important to get sunlight/vitamin D during the morning! Same goes for babies 🙂 I personally keep the sunglasses/sunscreen off my body especially if it’s just less than an hour of a walk in the morning. If I was on a beach vacation for hours outside then I’d find a clean sunscreen and wear sunglasses but in the morning I absorb my vitamin D through my skin and eyes and let it do its wonderful, healing, natural magic! The sun is GOOD for you! 🙂
*Note: none of this is intended to be medical advice, consult your own practitioner if you have questions.