Daily Morning Routine

Something to know about me; I love reading (or watching, thanks YouTube!) about people’s routines. I have always been an avid magazine reader and would just devour the little blurbs about how people tackled their day to day, what products they used, what they ate… everything! When I was figure skating, I had a definite morning routine that began at 6am so I could be on the ice by 7 and at school by 8:45 (full disclosure, I was often late). But when I became injured and then high school and university happened, that healthy morning routine fell by the wayside.

Around late-July last year, I decided to start my days with a little yoga. I had been regularly practicing at home in the afternoons, but felt that my mornings needed something that didn’t involve immediately turning on something (whether that be the tv, my phone or the computer). With that small daily yoga change, began a full morning routine that makes me start my day on a positive, excited and happy note!

Since beginning this daily routine I have noticed many changes in my life. I strongly feel that starting the day with enough time to spend time in silence, be introspective and un-rushed changes the state-of-mind. I believe in routines, I think they are important to bookend your day with a sense of groundedness and stability. Don’t get me wrong, spontaneity is important too, but being able to really rely on certain aspects of the day makes everything a bit easier. I also think its so important to try and live without constantly focusing on screens! I know that’s a little unreasonable since we live in 2015 and we literally have them strapped to our wrists now, but I always try to turn my phone on silent and keep my iPad and tv off and away from me at least until I am making breakfast. So without further ado, here’s my daily morning routine!

I enjoy waking up with at least two hours before I have to go anywhere or do anything. I don’t have children so I know this is a bit easier for me to do interrupted, but those two plus hours really help me spend quality time with myself. First thing, I wake up and give my partner a kiss, throw on some leggings and a comfy shirt and drink some water. I sleep with a 500mL glass jar beside my bed and down it before my eyes have even rid themselves of sleep. Next, I cut a lemon, put on the kettle for some delicious and beneficial lemon water and while that is boiling I practice some yoga.

Relaxing Morning Child's Pose

Relaxing Morning Child’s Pose

 My morning yoga routine varies but tends to be under 15 mins and extremely relaxing with a focus on flexibility. I enjoy taking my time, breathing into tight spaces and letting my body slowly and patiently wake up. I’ll either create my own practice or follow a quick morning YouTube video if I don’t feel like thinking (hey, we all have those days!). Once I have finished practicing, I grab a couple pillows from my couch and create a little meditation seat. I open my Insight Timer App and sit quietly for 5 mins. I practice mindfulness meditation because it’s just what is suiting me at the moment, but I love constantly being reminded to come back to my breath. I’m hoping that I can slowly work up to 20 mins a morning of meditation but I’m not quiet there yet, but a little goes a long way!

Once I’ve finished on my mat and the kettle has boiled, I run into the bathroom and wash my face. This is another new (but important) daily habit! I finally began washing my face religiously in the summer of last year and it has done wonders for my skin! Especially after I move from chemical-laden products to more natural choices.

Morning Skincare Routine (Lush Eau Roma Water, Lush Fresh Farmacy, Rose Petal Witch Hazel, Sukin Moisturizer)

Morning Skincare Routine (Lush Eau Roma Water, Lush Fresh Farmacy, Rose Petal Witch Hazel, Sukin Moisturizer)

I have already posted a Natural Morning Skincare Routine and my routine now hasn’t differed much since then. I first wash my face with Lush’s Fresh Farmacy cleanser (It. Is. Incredible. Especially for extra-sensitive skin), then follow up with some sort of toner (99% of the time I use witch hazel but I ran out so have been going back to Lush’s Eau Roma Water which I also really love, it’s just not as inexpensive and does contain methylparaben which I don’t love) and finally use the best facial moisturizer from Sukin.

By the time I’ve done all this the boiling water from the kettle has cooled a bit, but I’ll still pop some ice cubes into my mug with lemon before pouring in the hot water. If you don’t already drink warm lemon water in the morning you are seriously missing out! It is so beneficial for your health, your skin and general well-being!

Lemon Water

Lemon Water

I like to enjoy my lemon water in one of two special places; out on the balcony (if it’s nice outside and I can sit in the shade) or in my favourite comfy chair that smells like my cottage. I will sip and savour my warm water while reading my morning meditation. I have talked about Journey to the Heart before (and likely will again) but I just enjoy following her daily thoughts and stories because they help me focus on the positive and change any negative thinking. My bookmark is just a cue card that I have listed my favourite meditations of hers that just resonate so completely with me so that I can go back to them as much as possible.

Journey to the Heart

Journey to the Heart

Once I’ve finished reading and contemplating my meditation, I’ll pick up another book or magazine and just sit and read for a while. I enjoy reading about nutrition or yoga in the mornings for inspiration, or if I’m feeling like something light, I’ll choose a magazine or the book I’m currently reading!

Some Favourite Yoga & Nutrition Books

Some Favourite Yoga & Nutrition Books

Now my lemon water is all gone and I’m likely starting to feel hungry so I’ll prepare a smoothie. I drink a smoothie every single morning! If I know that I have the time and want to eat a real breakfast I’ll make a really simple spinach and berry smoothie to drink beforehand, however, if I’m running late or just don’t feel like cooking, I’ll prepare a real smoothie with avocado, peanut butter and lots of fruits to keep me charged through the day. Usually I opt for the quick smoothie (like today)! It’s seriously super simple, throw some spinach and frozen berries into a blender, add water and go!

Simple Morning Smoothie

Simple Morning Smoothie

The reason for the super simple smoothie is to be able to start the day on a healthy note, to be able to have my fruits before eating solid food (proper food combining) and because it just stars me off on a healthy foot. I find myself making healthier choices throughout the day when the first one I make is a good one or if I do go out for dinner or have something special to eat, there is literally no guilt.

So while I’m drinking my smoothie, I’ll go back to my spot and keep reading! Once I finish my smoothie, I allow for half an hour before preparing more food (on days that I want to actually eat breakfast) so that the fruit can digest so that I’m not creating a problem for my digestion (if you would like to know more about food combining, leave a comment below, I’d love to talk about it!)

Light Morning Reading

Light Morning Reading

Now that my smoothie is done and my stomach is really wanting more food, I’ll make breakfast. Here’s also the time that I put on sunscreen if I know that I’ll be leaving the house shortly after breakfast (it takes about 30 minutes for sunscreen to do it’s job and begin protecting you!) Lately my favourite go-to breakfast has been mashed avocado, red pepper flakes and a fried egg on ezekiel toast but today we didn’t have eggs (sad) so I tried something new!

“French” Toast

Behold my delicious “French” Toast breakfast. This recipe is totally kudos to Tara Stiles and her book “Make Your Own Rules Diet”. It is 2 slices of ezekiel bread, 1 banana smashed with 1/2 unsweetened almond milk, “fried” in coconut oil with a little bit of cinnamon and maple syrup on top. This was incredible and tasted just like real French Toast!

I paired my breakfast with some yummy tea (as always) and today’s was just plain ol’ organic green tea!

Green Tea

Green Tea

 Now’s the time that I’ll probably turn something on to watch (I know you’re not supposed to watch tv while eating, but it’s my weakness!) I’ll usually choose YouTube videos or some trashy reality tv show (another weakness, but they make me happy!)

Lastly, after washing the dishes, I’ll put on some happy music and some makeup! I don’t wear a lot day-to-day but if I’m feeling a pick-me-up or have somewhere (other than the yoga studio) to go, I like makeup! I always wear a BB cream, concealer under my eyes, brow gel, mascara and a lip something and will add blush, bronzer, setting powder and eyeliner if I have somewhere special to be! I finish up with a spritz of Saje Namaste Aromatherapy mist as a setting spray and to give me a little aromatherapy jolt.

Now that I’m done eating, reading, yoga-ing and meditating, my morning routine is over and it’s time to start the day!

The View from My Reading Chair (featuring Princess Peach)

The View from My Reading Chair (featuring Princess Peach)

Now that you know my morning routine, I would absolutely love to hear about yours! Is there something that you swear by in the mornings? Also, if you have any recommendations of all natural makeup and sunscreen brands please let me know! Finally, if there is anything that I mentioned that you would like more information about (ie food combining, etc) please let me know! I would love to make a post for you!

Namaste.

(Note: Nothing in this post was sponsored or asked to be mentioned. All thoughts and opinions are my own! Enjoy!)

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Quick Healthy Tip: Morning Meditation

I’ve already talked about one of my favourite Quick Healthy Tips; Morning Yoga! If you have started a morning yoga practice, perhaps it is time to add a regular morning meditation to your daily routine!

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You may know that meditation is incredible for the body; physical, mental and spiritual. Regularly meditating encourages a healthy lifestyle, increases self-awareness, improves sense of self and confidence, lowers high blood pressure, reduces anxiety and increases overall happiness, among countless other benefits. One might think that because of all these incredible health benefits, a regular meditation practice would be difficult to start but it isn’t! I began my meditation practice by carving out the time in my mornings, before the activity of the day could sweep me off my feet and distract me! 5 minutes is all you need! You may think that it will be difficult to meditate and simply do nothing but focus on your breath for 5 minutes will be boring or challenging and that’s why I suggest starting for such a short period of time. Eventually you will be able to work up to 10, 20 maybe even 30 minutes of uninterrupted meditation, but that’s certainly a daunting place to begin! You will find that once you’ve begun practicing daily, you’re 5 minutes of meditation will fly by! You will begin craving that time just for yourself and will find yourself adding a couple more minutes to your meditative practice here and there.

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I added meditation to my morning routine in an effort to make every day start on a positive note. That is why I complete my meditation after at least 10 minutes of morning yoga, and bookend my meditation with a warm mug of lemon water and Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie. I stumbled upon this book after a yoga class, when the instructor read one of Beattie’s daily meditations to close the class. The words were so inspiring and relevant that I immediately ordered the book to include in my morning routine. I include this book in my Quick Healthy Tip because you can use these daily meditations or mantras as something to focus on while you are meditating if you prefer to chant than to focus on your breath. I also strongly believe that starting your day with inspiring words, introspection and physical movement will help you wake up every day on the right side of the bed feeling beautiful, creative and radiant. Your light will shine outwards and warm everyone around you!

Do you take the time to meditate in the morning? Do you have a favourite morning routine that gets you energized and excited for the day ahead?

Namaste.

(Note: I purchased Journey to the Heart with my own money. All thoughts and opinions are my own, I was not asked to or paid to mention this wonderful book!)

Quick Healthy Tip: Morning Yoga

Today I thought I would share with you one of my favourite Quick Healthy Tips; Morning Yoga.

We spend much of our lives hunched over screens, whether at work or at play, we can become reliant on constant distraction and can easily become stagnant. One of the best ways to combat this is to start a morning routine that doesn’t involve immediately turning on the tv, scrolling through Instagram or checking email. My favourite way to do this is with a quick morning yoga routine.

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Starting your day with a little light yoga can really benefit you in ways you will not realize. Starting off with stretching, using your muscles and focusing on your breath can shift your focus and mindset into something positive. There is no such thing as the “waking up on the wrong side of the bed” if you wake up and take the time to yourself. Morning yoga isn’t the time to work on your hardest arm balances or deepest stretches, it is the time to move with your breath and be mindful.

When practicing morning yoga, you can choose to create your own routines or you can search “Morning Yoga” on YouTube and sift through the videos until you find a favourite. The videos range from 5 minutes to over an hour, meaning that you can find something no matter how much time you have! I love using Yoga with Adriene‘s channel to find morning videos and especially love her Travel Morning Routine for an under 10 minute routine to start my day!

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Do you have a regular morning yoga practice? How does it help you start your day? Start today and let me know how it goes!

Namaste.

When Life Gives You Lemons…

We are still in the beginning of the New Year, therefore people are still working on their resolutions. Today, I have the perfect simple addition that you can make to your daily morning routine that will bring you loads of health benefits!

When life gives you lemons make… lemon water!

You may drink lemon water already just to jazz up the taste of plain old tap water, but here is why you should heat that water up a bit, drink it in the am (before you eat or drink anything else) and revel in it’s numerous health benefits (psst! there are more than just good hydration!)

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I start my day with a warm cup of lemon water, and you should too! First thing in the morning, I put on my kettle and wait for it to boil while doing my morning yoga routine (just 10-15 minutes) and morning meditation. By the time I’ve completed my other tasks, the water has boiled and I can pour it into a mug with the juice of half (or full – depending on the size) of a fresh lemon! You want your water to be warm – not hot – so I often pop in a few ice cubes to cool it down before taking my first juicy sips!

You may be thinking to yourself, “Great Kait, lemon water but there no chance that I will give up my morning coffee!” Before you dismiss it, take a look at all the ways warm lemon water first thing in the morning will help out your body and your mind!

Warm lemon water first thing in the morning will help cleanse your system. You’ve been in bed for 7-9 hours, and have not been eating or drinking, lemon water will keep your urinary tract healthy by increasing your rate of urination, preventing UTIs and allowing you to eliminate whatever has been building up overnight, keeping you regular. Not only will the lemon water hydrate you, but it will also hydrate your lymph system by replacing lymph fluid lost by the body throughout the day. Lemon water will also stimulate liver function, encouraging it to produce bile which will aid in your digestion once you start eating breakfast. The citric acid found in lemons maximizes enzyme function which aids in cleansing your post-sleeping system. Lemon water effectively flushes toxins from the body, improving any indigestion.

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Your daily morning mug of lemon water will boost your immune system! Lemons (an anti-inflammatory) are high in vitamin C, a vitamin well known to fight pesky colds (especially important in winter!) Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) also promotes healing, drinking your lemon water can even help heal any cuts or wounds you may have! Cool, isn’t it? Also high in potassium, your daily lemon water will also stimulate your brain and nerve function and help you regulate your blood sugar levels. Lemon water will work to strengthen not only your bones, cartilage and connective tissue, but also keep the eyes and brain healthy! Lemon water will remove any build up of uric acid in the joints, relieving any pain or inflammation from the sensitive areas. Had a tough workout the day before? Your warm water will help replenish all the salts lost during your workout and will ease the muscular aches and pains that follow from all your hard work!

Troubled skin? Lemon water can help with that too! No matter what your skincare issue, lemon water is a skin saver! Because lemon water is an antioxidant, it will work hard to combat any free radical damage that might show on your face or other areas. This means, any fine lines or wrinkles will be decreased, along with blemishes or dry spots! Lemon water is also antibacterial and will kill bacteria known to cause acne, leaving your skin fresh and glowing!

Though one may think they are acidic, once they are metabolized, lemons are super alkalizing! What does that mean? Diseases are known to thrive under an acidic environment. Your body’s pH becomes out of whack (and very acidic) after eating lots of unhealthy foods, drinking alcohol, etc. Because lemon water is so alkalizing, it brings your body back into a healthy pH. You can receive these benefits after a night of drinking (I definitely go back for more lemon water after a long night) or you can regularly drink your lemon water and it will constantly work remove that acidity from your body!

Finally, why do you want to start your day with warm lemon water? While lemon water is great to sip throughout the day (especially if you find the taste of plain water bland), drinking it warm first thing in the morning can replace coffee and caffeine from your morning routine! Think about it, if you are exercising regularly and sleeping enough hours that your body is well rested, you really do not need caffeine in the morning, it may just be an addiction! Drinking a warm mug of lemon water will give the body the same cozy feeling as wrapping your hands around a large mug of coffee! Lemon’s scent is known to energize the body, wake up the mind and lift one’s mood! Once digested, lemon water can actually provide energy to the body! It’s true! Not only that, but lemon can reduce feelings of anxiety, depression and dread which will help start your day on the right path! If you are so looking forward to your day that you forget to brush your teeth before running out the door, don’t worry! That lemon water will not only freshen your breath, but also lessen any tooth pain and prevent gingivitis! However, do not brush your teeth immediately after drinking lemon water, the acidity can hurt tooth enamel. Instead, wait until after eating breakfast, or drink and swish a large glass of water around your mouth before brushing!

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It’s obvious now that you should be starting your day with a big warm glass of lemon water! Make it a habit! Starting your day on a healthy note will help you make smart choices throughout the day! Cut out the coffee and enjoy your fresh skin, quick mind and uplifted mood!

Do you start your day with a warm glass of lemon water? Have I inspired you to kick the caffeine?

Namaste.

(Note: I’m not sponsored by lemons… they’re just awesome 😉 )