My Morning Routine & The Unexpected Reason I Meditate

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Over the past five or six years I’ve developed a morning routine that I take pretty seriously. There have been tweaks and drastic changes to the routine, but they’ve all served the same thing: to feel good.

When I was living in Sydney I was mostly concerned with getting in some sweaty cardio and tons of green powders and potions before my work day began. Since I moved back to New York, I’ve been more interested in spitting my morning between (less intense) movement and quiet time. I’ve also become less concerned with “miracle” supplements and powders and try to focus on getting good-quality colorful foods into my day.

After trial and error, I’ve realized how crucial meditation is for my whole system — especially in such a hectic city. When I meditate, I feel calmer not just in my anxiety-prone brain, but my actual body works better when it’s not stressed out. One big piece of evidence I have of this is my digestion. For years I struggled with constipation despite drinking lots of water, taking a steady stream of probiotics, and eating lots of whole foods and different types of fiber.

The only thing that works consistently for me is meditation. Yup, meditation helps me poop. It works like clockwork if I stick to my basic routine. If that’s not evidence of the mind-body connection, I don’t know what is.

Right now I’m thinking about changing a few aspects of my routine (like no scrolling through anything on my phone until after breakfast and meditation). But for today, I’ll share what I’m doing right now that’s working for me.

6:30 am: Wake up

As a big fan of the snooze button, my wake time varies a little, but I’m trying to kick the habit. I’m doing this thing where I get out of bed immediately and open the bedroom curtain to get get some sunlight, which instantly wakes me up.

6:40 am: Hydration time

Lots of water with lemon first thing. I fill my 40-ounce Hydro Flask and sip as I’m getting myself dressed for exercise. I’ll take a probiotic now too, which I used to take before bed, but now I take Chinese herbs that my acupuncturist mixed for me and magnesium, so a probiotic on top of that seems like overkill.

I’ll splash water on my face and spot treat any blemishes with S.W. Basics cleanser. If I put it on before I sweat, I’ve found it can really help to prevent breakouts.

6:50 am: Stretch

Quick downward dog and hip flexor stretch before putting on my sneaks.

7:00 am: Walk or Run

I love getting outside first thing if I can. Having access to Prospect Park is amazing — I like being able to see trees and grass and forget about garbage-strewn sidewalks and honking horns for a little while. Depending on how I’m feeling I’ll run or walk. If it’s crappy out, I’ll stay inside and do a 7 minute HIIT routine with an app followed by a 15-minute yoga flow.

7:45 am: Back home

When I come home, I do 5 minutes of light yoga/stretching, then hop in the shower.

8:00 am: Breakfast

I go through phases with my breakfast, but in summer I love a smoothie bowl. Smoothie bowls tick all the boxes for me — they’re filling from lots of fruit, vegetables, and protein, and satisfying because of all the crunchy toppings you can add. My current favorite has spinach, zucchini, mango, banana, nut butter, flax seeds, and maca root (which is an adaptogen that’s good for energy and hormone balance). I top that with some homemade granola or coconut flakes, and hemp seeds.

I like to read from a book or magazine — something tangible — while I eat. I’ve been reading Salt Fat Acid Heat and loving it. I’m only 70 pages in and I’ve learned so many good cooking tricks and nuggets of info.

8:20 am: Coffee + meditation

I fix myself a French press coffee with half and half and honey, then I’ll sit down on my couch and turn on my meditation timer for 10 minutes. I like to sip my coffee and meditate at the same time, I feel like it makes me more present when I’m smelling the coffee and sipping with my eyes closed. And yes, I realize that this is probably against some sort of meditation rule, but I love it.

I’ll follow that up with a 2 to 5-minute journal sesh — either a quick gratitude list or something I feel like I need to ask myself. Then I’ll make a short list of things I’d like to accomplish today.

After that, I dive into some writing, recipe development, pitching, or whatever else is my most challenging task of the day.

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