Expert Advice, Healthy Living

How To Build A Morning Routine

January 23, 2019

Did you know that a consistent morning routine can not only help set you up for an awesome day, but also help you reinforce your healthy habits? Our Lead RD, Sam, is on the blog today talking about all things morning routines.

what is a morning routine?

A morning routine is as simple as the things you do consistently in the morning. For me, that’s tidying my space, meditation, lemon water and walking. For you, that might be coffee and dropping your kids off at school, or rushing out the door 10 minutes after you wake up (don’t worry, we’ve all been there).

The key here is to make your routine as intentional as possible, where you run your morning, rather than the other way around. This means defining what you’d really like to do in the morning, and planning how you can make that happen. Do you need to wake up a little earlier? Do you need to enlist an accountability buddy?

what should I include in my morning routine? 

This really depends on what you want to include, but I’ve certainly got some suggestions! Keep in mind, you don’t have to incorporate every single one of these! They’re just ideas to get you started.

  • limiting screen time until after you’ve finished the other things on your morning checklist (yes, this also means no checking your email or Instagram 😉)
  • meditation
  • tidying your space. As Gretchen Rubin says, ‘outer order, inner calm’
  • drink a glass of water
  • go for a walk
  • make a gratitude list
  • plan out your day
  • exercise
  • read x number of pages in a book
  • stretch or do yoga
  • repeat positive affirmations
  • eat a nourishing meal (bonus points for sitting down to do it!)

what should I drink in the morning?

I always recommend drinking water upon waking to rehydrate, but you can also take it up a notch by drinking an ACV tonic, which includes:

Filtered water

Juice of 1-2 lemons (I love the tart flavor of lemons, so I do two)

1-2 Tbsp raw Apple Cider Vinegar (aka ACV)

a pinch of himalayan pink sea salt

Not only does this combination help to rehydrate you and offer natural electrolytes, but it also helps to prime your body for digestion (thanks to ACV!). This is a great (and easy) way to start your morning off on the right foot. If you are a coffee drinker, drink some water or this ACV tonic before you touch your coffee cup.

what should I eat in the morning?

Those who eat a low carb or ketogenic diet may choose to forego their morning meal and practice intermittent fasting instead. For the average person, however, I usually recommend a morning meal. I do encourage most people to fast for 12 hours overnight to improve insulin sensitivity and allow your digestion a rest, though. This is a way to gently intermittent fast. Here’s an example: if you finish eating dinner at 7pm, aim to eat breakfast around 7am.

There’s so much information out there about when, what, and how much to eat in the morning. Here’s the real deal: unless you’re fat adapted (aka eating a low carb or ketogenic diet), it’s important to eat within about an hour of waking to avoid stressing your body. As far as what to eat, I always recommend a lower carb morning meal with a focus on protein, healthy fats and fiber (hey veggies!). Keep in mind that your breakfast is really just Meal 1, and that you can totally eat non-breakfast foods. While egg and sausage are awesome in the morning, so is something like chicken and veggies.

how do I stay consistent in my morning routine?

The first step is to map out what you’d like to include, making sure that you’re being realistic. If you are not a morning person, it’s probably not realistic to say that you’ll wake up an hour early to meditate, go for a walk, etc. Once you’ve mapped out what you’d like your morning routine to be, just get started! Repetition and consistency will help you make it a habit. If you miss a day, don’t sweat it. Just like with healthy eating and exercise, if you want to make something a lifestyle it’s more about consistency than a non-stop streak.

If planning out an entire morning routine sounds daunting, focus on just one thing you’d like to add to your routine each month. This way, you can slowly build these healthy habits without overwhelming yourself (which will just mean you end up quitting on your routine entirely).

I would love to hear about your morning routine! What are your non-negotiables?

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