"Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition" - W.H.Auden
It is so important for me to have structure in my day, and I that’s why I place a lot of importance on my morning routine. The rituals of my morning routine, pave the way for more discipline to enter my life in all aspects of nutrition and mindset. I can’t stress enough that by starting your day off on the right foot, you can create such a positive energy flow for the rest of your day.
Check out my current morning routine and a few do & don'ts to give yourself the most awesome start to the day!
5am Rise & Shine - Get Up Early & Forget the Snooze Button!
As a personal trainer, many clients prefer to start early, so most mornings my sessions start at 7am. If I snooze, then I can forget about being on time. And being punctual is both personally and professionally important to me.
So It’s a 5am wake up call. Believe me when I say it’s taken A LOT of discipline to get me to wake up at this hour. I used to hit that snooze button endlessly! But now, waking up this early means I get things done and maximise my time without feeling stressed and rushed out the door, which sets a great foundation for the day ahead.
I’m certainly not saying it’s all roses getting up that early (especially in winter), but there’s something to be said about the feeling you get knowing you did it and achieved it, especially when the rest of the world is still fast asleep.
Wake Up Tip: Put you phone or alarm clock in a place just out of reach from where you’re sleeping, so when your alarm goes off, you’re physically forced to get up to turn it off. Sure you can get back into bed, but I’ve found that the standing up part is the hardest, and once you're up, you're way less likely for you to get back into bed.
5.10am Rehydrate - Get 500ml - 1 litre of your water intake out of the way & add this 1 superfood!
We’re all dehydrated when we wake up! We don’t drink when we sleep and we sweat as well, so replenishing what we’ve lost first thing is super beneficial for your body.
Now at this time of the morning, drinking anything is pretty difficult, let alone making a fancy Instagram worthy elixir with apple cider vinegar and multiple other ingredients. It’s unrealistic.
But I have introduced one superfood which has honestly been a game changer for my well being and that’s Psyllium Husk. This form of soluble dietary fibre (read more about just how important fibre is for us here) is also a prebiotic, promoting good gut health all whilst keeping you regular. Furthermore, soluble fibres help you feel full and so I use it to control my appetite first thing in the morning.
Now in its natural form, I’m not going to lie, it’s a challenging texture and bland taste. So I have some fruit infused water or herbal tea ready to go from the night before, to make it palatable. I drink it with two tall glasses of water, so I kill two birds with 1 stone, rehydrate and get my fibre fix all at once.
Fibre Tip: The night before, I infuse 1L of water with lemon juice and raspberries or my favourite herbal tea so its ready for the morning. When I wake up, I then mix 3-4 teaspoons of psyllium in a 600ml cup of this water, but I keep topping it up as I drink to try and get a litre out in one go. And remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day to maximise the benefits of the fibre you’re having.
Another great tip is if you don’t like fruit infused water, just try adding it to a smoothie you might like to have in the morning or a protein shake.
5.15 am Warm Up My Body
For me, I like to have a nice hot shower right after rehydrating. It not only awakens the senses but also the body and is especially essential in Winter to get me going. Some people like doing a quick yoga flow or gentle stretch, which accomplishes the same thing of getting your mind and body in check.
Before I head out the door, I’ll have a black coffee to get me buzzing for my morning ahead.
Prep Tip: Get your outfit out and ready the night before.That way you’re not fumbling and wasting time trying on the best outfit at a time when your mind might struggle to stay focused.
6am Get Active
A change I've recently made has been shifting my workouts from mid-morning to first thing. This has made a big difference in the flow of my day and has allowed me to further maximise my time for my schedule. It also works because I prefer to train on an empty stomach!
The feeling of getting that good sweat done and dusted before the work day begins makes me feel more focused to accomplish the day’s goals ahead.
Keep in mind, this routine is very specific to me and my lifestyle. I integrated this morning workout into my life, and it was beneficial. So what you need to do is work out a routine that you can integrate into your lifestyle, whatever challenges that may present.
When I want to integrate a change into my life, I look at 3 things. What, where and when!
What will I be doing and will i enjoy it? Where will i be doing it and is that convenient? When will i be doing it and will that be beneficial to me and my day?
In my case, I do a dance based group fitness class that's located on the way to my first client of the morning. So in your case, find something you enjoy in a location that’s convenient at a time that suits you.
10am - Feed Me
You’re probably thinking, has she gone without eating for 5 hours now and worked out too? And the answer is yes! I practice 16:8 intermittent fasting most days during the week. What this means is that I try to eat within a window of an 8 hour period and fast for the other 16 hours. For me that looks like eating from 10am-6pm and outside of these hours it’s just herbal tea, black coffee & lots of water. This is not a diet and I want to emphasise that, it’s simply a pattern of eating. I still eat everything I would normally eat, BUT I find eating this way has restricted the amount of food I consume without even being conscious of it. These days instead of 3 meals and snacking, I usually end up eating 2 larger meals where I actually feel full and usually 1 snack in between. Nothing is set in stone for me though, I’m flexible, so if I’m hungry at 9am, I’ll eat! It’s all about doing this for most of the week, and on weekends where I know I’ll go out in the evenings, I will eat whenever. I have finally developed a healthy relationship with my nutrition by being flexible!
So what’s on my plate? Usually my go to breakfast most days are either 2 options:
Handy Breakfast Tip: Always make sure to have some protein at breakfast. This will….. (something about satiated and blood sugar) If you have a sweet tooth like me, add some sweetness so you won’t feel you need a sweet treat afterwards. For me that’s having a handful of strawberries with my eggs, or having berries/banana with my oats.
10.30am Check in Community & Off I Go
Over another coffee, this is my favourite time, checking in with our socials and connecting with my community online. I usually have a quick glance at my “to do” list for the day so I know exactly what needs to be achieved for that day. Whatever doesn’t get done, I won’t stress over, the list of things is not going anywhere, I’ll just move it over to the next day. I don’t have a strict 9am-5pm lifestyle so this suits me.
Handy Productivity Hack: Don’t waste time in the morning making your list, do it the night before you go to bed. When you wake up you then have a clear direction of what needs to get done and you can dive right in