- Wellness Rewind
- The Unexpected Morning Rituals That Transformed My Health
The Unexpected Morning Rituals That Transformed My Health
Empowering Morning Habits: Steal My Holistic Morning Routine
The Wellness Rewind Newsletter
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Welcome to the mid-week edition of your go-to source for all things wellness of the Wellness Bum the Wellness Rewind newsletter, where we celebrate the art of self-care and well-being. I’m Valerie, an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), helping high achievers learn how to work and live at a pace optimal for their well-being.
It’s the last of the month and the perfect time to reflect on the past month and set our goals and intentions for the new month. For me, February will be a thrilling month. I’ll soon be launching Root & Renew, a wellness lifestyle company inspired by my very own wellness routines and products that fuel each day. Today, I'm excited to share with you the personal morning rituals that have not only transformed my health and energy but also laid the foundation for Root & Renew.
In the following article, I'll take you through the eight essential steps of my morning routine. From the importance of hydration and connection with nature to embracing cold therapy for mental clarity, each element plays a vital role in setting the tone for a productive and balanced day. These practices are more than routines; they are the bedrock upon which I've built my health philosophy and the upcoming Root & Renew products. I hope they offer some inspiration for you to create routines and rituals that work for you.
So, let's dive in and explore how these morning rituals can be a game changer for you, just as they have been for me.
Before we dive in, I wanted to take a moment to share a little about today’s sponsor, ARMRA.
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The Unexpected Morning Rituals That Transformed My Health
As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and the founder of Root & Renew, I am a firm believer in the transformative power of morning routines. My philosophy is centered around the idea that how we start our day profoundly influences every moment that follows. I embody this belief through a meticulously crafted routine that is both holistic and rejuvenating.
My day begins at the break of dawn at 5 am, embracing the early morning sun. This practice is not just a habit for me; it's a ritual that aligns me with the natural rhythms of the earth, fostering a deep connection with nature. The gentle warmth and light of the morning sun are not just physical sensations to me but are symbolic of new beginnings and the promise of a fresh start. This exposure to natural light plays a crucial role in regulating my circadian rhythms, thus enhancing my sleep quality and overall vitality.
The invigorating practice of cold plunging is another cornerstone of my morning routine. It is not just an act of physical endurance but a deliberate choice to invigorate my body and sharpen my mind. The shock of the cold water serves as a physical metaphor for the day's challenges, preparing me to face them with resilience and clarity. This cold plunge is a testament to my commitment to pushing boundaries and stepping out of my comfort zone, both literally and metaphorically.
My approach to my morning routine is deeply integrative, combining physical wellness with mental and emotional preparedness. Each element of my routine, from sun gazing to cold therapy, is a deliberate choice aimed at optimizing my health and setting a positive tone for the day. This comprehensive and mindful approach to the start of the day makes me not just a health coach but a true embodiment of the principles I teach at Root & Renew.
Rinse and Hydrate
My day starts in perfect alignment with the intentions I set for what's to come. As a member of the 5 am club, my mornings begin with the rising sun, and the first thing I do is hydrate. It's essential for me to start the day with 18oz of filtered water mixed with electrolytes, AG1 or most recently Root & Renew daily greens, and ARMRA. I call this my morning cocktail. This combination not only boosts my vitality but also supports my immune and digestive systems, while contributing to a healthy skin glow.
This simple yet crucial step rehydrates my body after a night's rest, kick-starts my metabolism, and prepares me for the day's tasks. I've discovered that I'm naturally a morning person. There's something about waking up early that I genuinely love, but this wouldn't be possible if I didn't also prioritize going to bed early.
While I advocate for a morning routine that resonates with you personally, it's important to remember that such routines don't necessarily have to begin at 5am. The goal of a morning routine should be to enhance your day, not to become a task you dread.
Connect to the Earth
Next, I take a step outside to immerse myself in nature. Embracing the grounding power of the earth, I cherish a few moments of walking barefoot on the grass, a practice I especially enjoy during my time in California. However, when residing in Madrid, this aspect of my routine shifts to basking in the morning sunshine, which provides a vital boost of Vitamin D.
Simply being outdoors, whether it's feeling the earth beneath my feet or soaking up the sun's rays, is incredibly invigorating. This practice, commonly known as 'earthing,' is renowned for its ability to lower stress levels and improve overall well-being.
Set Your Intention
I acknowledge that not every morning unfolds perfectly according to plan. However, the act of setting a positive intention each morning remains a constant. This mindset helps me stay aligned with my goals and maintain a positive outlook, regardless of the day's unexpected turns.
Movement is a cornerstone of my morning routine. I engage in either a walk outside or yoga under the morning sun, or sometimes opt for a guided session through my favorite mindfulness app, Open, focusing on a yoga flow that boosts nitric oxide production in the body. This molecule plays a crucial role in vascular health and energy levels. My choice of yoga not only enhances physical flexibility but also centers my mind, preparing me for the day's challenges.
Take a Plunge
Following my intentional movement session, I embrace the invigorating practice of cold therapy. I alternate between a cold plunge (when available) and a cold shower. This practice is known for boosting circulation, reducing muscle inflammation, and enhancing mental clarity. Post-plunge, I set positive intentions for the day, creating a mindset geared towards productivity and positivity.
Rest Your Digestive System
I am a proponent of intermittent fasting, a concept I have explored extensively through the teachings of Dr. Andrew Huberman and Dr. Peter Attia. By delaying my first meal until around 11 am, I give my digestive system time to rest, which is believed to have numerous health benefits, including improved metabolism and increased energy levels.
When I break my fast, I always prioritize nutrient-rich foods that set the tone for a healthy, energized day. My day begins with the morning cocktail I mentioned earlier, but it's my first solid meal that really anchors my nutritional approach. I focus on creating a balanced and protein-rich dish that not only satisfies my hunger but also supports my overall well-being.
For instance, one of my go-to meals is a hearty bowl filled with vibrant salad greens, topped with perfectly baked salmon. This combination not only offers a great balance of protein and healthy fats but also provides a variety of vitamins and minerals crucial for my body's daily needs. The flavors are refreshing, and the nutrients from the greens and salmon work in harmony to keep my blood sugar levels stable, which in turn helps me maintain a steady mood and consistent energy throughout the day.
On other days, I might opt for a green smoothie paired with a bowl of cottage cheese. This meal is a wonderful blend of leafy greens, fruits, and the creaminess of the cottage cheese, providing a well-rounded intake of fiber, protein, and essential micronutrients. It's a lighter option, yet incredibly fulfilling and perfect for days when I need something quick and nutritious.
Another favorite of mine is chia seed pudding. It's a simple yet versatile dish that I love to prepare. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, chia seeds are a powerhouse ingredient. I often customize the pudding with different toppings like fresh berries, nuts, or a drizzle of honey for added natural sweetness. This meal is not just delightful to the palate but also keeps me full and focused, which is essential for my busy mornings. (Here is one of my favorite recipes! You can also explore all of the Wellness Bum Chia Seed pudding Recipes here.)
Each of these meals plays a pivotal role in my dietary regimen. They are more than just food; they are fuel that nourishes my body, mind, and soul. By choosing meals that are both nutrient-rich and satisfying, I ensure that I'm on the right track to maintaining a balanced diet, which is integral to my overall health and wellness philosophy.
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it's easy to get swept up in a continuous stream of tasks and responsibilities. That's why, throughout my day, I'm committed to practicing what I preach about the vital importance of taking regular breaks. To ensure that I stay true to this principle, I set an hourly alarm as a reminder to pause and engage in a short but effective session of box breathing exercises. This practice isn't just a brief respite from work; it's a cornerstone of my productivity and well-being.
These microbreaks, as I like to call them, are more than just timeouts—they are moments of intentional reset for my mind and body. During these breaks, the simple yet powerful technique of box breathing helps me refocus and destress. By inhaling, holding, exhaling, and pausing for equal counts, I bring a sense of balance and calm to my otherwise busy day. This practice is crucial not only for maintaining my focus but also for significantly reducing stress levels, thereby enabling me to approach each of my tasks with renewed energy and efficiency. This rhythm of work and rest, of ebb and flow, is what keeps me grounded and effective in all my endeavors.
Incorporating these eight steps into your morning routine could not only improve your physical well-being but also enhance your mental clarity and emotional stability, setting a positive tone for the rest of your day.
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