Sunday, March 13, 2016

My Healthy & Green Morning Routine

Mornings are my favorite part of my day.  The things I do in that narrow window of time from the time I get up until I I drive to work,  fuel me to help make it through my day as a teacher, mom, wife, blogger and Youtuber. I use this time to incorporate many of the healthy and green tips I've learned and shared with you in the past few years, and together they make...


Now if you're like me, you read healthy living tips and wonder, "Okay that's all well and good, but how do you make that work in your daily life? Or do you even do it daily?" So this post feels like a summary of many of my other blog posts and videos, and hopefully in a way that you can relate too since I'm a working mom like so many of you.

So let's get started with my morning routine...


During the week I always get up at 4:45 AM. I'm sure that seems early, but my husband gets up at that time as well to go to his heating and cooling job, and in order for me to get everything done before I go to work, that's time I need to wake up.

Each day (that we use an alarm clock) I wake up to my Wake Up Light alarm clock that gradually starts lighting the room at about 4:15 AM and gradually gets brighter by 4:45. At that time, the sounds of birds chirping wake up officially.


From there I get up, change into my workout clothes, and put my contacts in.


Next up I do tongue scraping to clean my tongue after a lovely night of sleep.


Followed by my "Stretch Routine." I've been doing this routine that lasts 2-3 minutes for several years now and I love it. I do it when I wake up, before I go to bed, and after my daily workout. It decreases tension in muscles, and keeps my back and neck happy.


Then I have a seat at my "Morning Desk" as I call it (the chair I sit in to get ready for the day), and I get out my journal. In my journal that I started using thanks to Jim Rohn and Darren Hardy I do several things. First up, I track my sleep.  My nightly goal is to get 7 hours of sleep, some days I'm higher, some days I'm lower, but I always feel my best if I get 7 or more. Something about charting it each day helps keep me accountable, knowing that if I stay up late I'll mess up my whole graph with a low point!


From there I check in with my "Rhythm Register" something I learned about from Darren Hardy in the book: The Compound Effect and I see how I'm doing on the little goals I've set for myself during the week. I usually fill in how I've done for the day at night before bed, but sometimes I have some insight I write on the second page (for reflecting) and I make any other needed notes. Some of the things I track on a daily basis in my Rhythm Register are: tidying each evening before bed (Thanks Mari Kondo!), spending quality time each day with both my girls and husband, whether or not I arrived on time to work, if I listening to something inspirational that day, and even if I jumped on my rebounder.


I'll be share more about my Rhythm Register and The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy in a future post.

During this time I also take a look at my schedule for the day/week and make note of my to-do list for the day. I also write down my dreams when I do remember them, and any other ideas I have.

Then I'm ready to head downstairs and make some lemon water. Drinking a glass of warm lemon water (water that has been warmed + the juice of one lemon) is my favorite way to start each day.




I usually drink this while I am preparing my food for the day. I usually pack the following: a fruit snack for the morning, morning snack #2: sweet potato biscuits or pancakes, my leftover lunch of dinner from the night before, a chia seed drink, and afternoon snack (roasted veggies or baked sweet potato).

Two days of the week I prepare a snack for Avery to take to her preschool where she goes half-day, two days a week.



I also get Avery's breakfast ready. She usually wakes up before I am up from working out so I get her a Larabar and a glass of Rice Milk. She is independent enough (thank goodness!) to get herself dressed for the day, eat her breakfast and then she gets to watch her Kindle until I come up.


Next I do the neti pot. While the saucepan was still hot from warming up my water for the lemon water, I pour in 1 cup of distilled water and bring it to a boil for 1 minute. Then I set it aside and let it cool. It takes 15-20 minutes to cool and when it's ready I take it to my little half-bathroom here and pour in some neti pot salt, and start to rinse my nasal passages.



I like to do this once a day in the morning, I feel like it cleans my nose out from the night before and gets it fresh and ready to start the day.

By this point I've finished my lemon water and I try to wait 5-10 minutes or so and then I have my pre-workout snack. This is usually either a slice of gluten-free toast and organic peanut butter or this Peace Quinoa Chia Crunch cereal with Rice Milk.




While eating this I finally turn my phone on and check social media. I like to have plenty of time to wake up, journal, talk to my husband, and prep my food for the day before I open myself to my technology and social media. From there I check my Facebook, Instagram, and emails, and my Google Calendar (which is the only way I survive these days!).  During this time I usually don't reply back to emails though, if it's school related, I wait until I get to school, and if it's blog related I wait until Wednesday or Sunday to reply, my set days for emails.


After that I go upstairs and brush my teeth to prepare for my workout.



Not to be TMI, but this is often the time that my "Squatty Potty" comes in handy. Something about the combination of warm lemon water and my pre-workout snack usually help to keep my system pretty regular. So if you struggle with that, you'll want to give some lemon water and the Squatty Potty a try!

I then head downstairs and start my workout. As you've seen in my previous post: "My Workout Routine" I rotate 3 types of workouts: Treadmill (running/walking), Pilates, and Yoga. I workout in my basement on my treadmill or to workout DVDs. I try to workout each day for 50 minutes at least. If for some reason my workout gets cut short in the morning, I finish it when I get home from work, which isn't my favorite time to workout because my girls are there and not always helpful, but if I need to get another 15 minutes in to get my goal of 50 minutes that's when I do it.

Here I am doing a 50 minute treadmill workout today. For this workout I do 2 minute running intervals, nothing fancy, just run 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes. I start with a lower speed and by the end of the 50 minutes I have a faster speed.


During my treadmill workouts I always catch up on my TV time. I've kind of cut TV from my evenings most nights so I can spend more time with Brandon or just sleeping, so this is when I catch up on my favorite shows like The Walking Dead or Downton Abbey, nice combo right?!

While on the treadmill, you can see I still have my journal handy. This is one of my favorite times to come up with ideas about future videos, budget ideas, or plans for my lessons at school.



After my workout, I come upstairs and get ready to take a shower. Before I do that I do some dry skin brushing to wake up my lymph system and help exfoliate my body.


Then I jump into the shower with my filtered shower water, a key aspect of helping me to maintain healthy, not dry, skin and hair.


Following that I get but some lotion on, get dressed, put on my make up and fix my hair with my flax seed hair gel. You can see some of my favorite "green" beauty products in this post.


During this time I also listen an audio book. Jim Rohn is one of my favorite motivational speakers and that's who I was listening to today. If you haven't read or listened to anything from him, I highly recommend it.


Next up, I fix my hair with my flax seed hair gel.

Then I'm off to go get Mila (it's about 7:20 by this point). I change her diaper, clothes, and get her ready for the day.  Then I head downstairs to make my morning smoothie (my breakfast) while they both get a few minutes on their Kindles.



As you can tell by this point in the post, I'm a creature of habit and the same is true for my morning smoothie. It's the same smoothie practically every day, here's what in it: Sunwarrior Chocolate Warrior Blend, Vitamineral Greens powder, Trader Joe's Rice Drink, 3 frozen banana halves, and 5 frozen strawberries, and a handful of spinach.



I blend it all up and pour it into my mega mug and leave a little in a bowl for Mila to have for her breakfast.

When I come back upstairs, I help them brush their teeth. 


And work on their "pouty face" for the day...
Then we do some songs together to connect before I head to work.  I use a curriculum/behavior management philosophy in my classroom and with my own girls called Conscious Discipline and one aspect of it is to make time to connect with your children daily through short little connecting songs called, "I Love You Rituals". Here's a youtube video where you can learn more about it.


Now we look all cute and happy here, but like most families not all mornings are like this. We have our fair share of fits and tantrums, but ending the morning with these little songs helps us come together in a happy way before I leave.


After this I leave for school and wave goodbye to my girls. Three days a week my aunt comes to our house to watch them (like she did today) and the other two days they go to my mother-in-law's house.

See ya Mom!

As I drive to school I usually do oil pulling and continue listening to my audio book.

So there you have it, my morning routine. It's funny, it never seems like much when I live it out, but when I type it up like this it seems long, complicated, and kind of OCD...but it works for me. I love knowing that I've fueled my body with some nutritious food, I've had time to write and reflect, and my muscles are a little sore from a workout, I'm usually flying pretty high by the time I walk in the door at work and I love it.

Tell me about your morning routine, what's the important parts that you have to do daily to feel your best? Do you do any of the same things that I do? Or do you have some different aspects to your morning routine, share them below, I'd love to learn about them. See you next week part two: "My Healthy & Green Bedtime Routine."

It's here!

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