Okay… so you’re awake at the crack of dawn and have a demanding day ahead of you. What do you do next?
- Dash into the shower, pull on the cleanest outfit within reach, grab some coffee, and rush, half-awake, to work?
- Attend to the details of getting the kids ready so that you all can get out of the door at a godly hour?
- Hit the snooze button and pray for another few minutes of semi-awake sleep?
Let’s be honest: in these situations, healthy choices get thrown out the window mighty quickly.
If I don’t intentionally make healthy practices an integral part of my morning, it simply won’t happen. When I worked outside of my home, there were days when I left the house as hassled and stressed as if I had just tended to 10 children under the age of 10. Why? My morning routine was out of whack.
Caveat: what I’m about to suggest is not carved in stone. Trust me, I don’t do all of these things every day, even though nowadays I don’t have the pressure of getting to a job on time. As a health coach, I can set my own hours. Woot woot!
So what should be some of the core morning practices of a Healthy Woman, Happy Woman? Here the first six of my Delightful Dozen morning practices; we’ll cover the other six in another blog post.
8-12 ounces of water:
If nothing else, if you can drink at least 1-2 cups of water first thing when you’re awake, you’ll be off to a well hydrated start. It pushes out toxins and gets the colon working.
Early morning BM:
The increased water intake will inevitably lead to some (ahem!) activity in the bathroom. Your goal is to produce an arm’s length movement with no smell. For those who deal with constipation, that seems like a far-off dream, but it can be done. You’ll be proud to show folks where you sit (pun intended) on the Bristol Chart.
Lemon in warm water:
It’s super-beneficial for myriad reasons, the most significant being its effects on digestion and on the liver, and–of great consequence for all women–its role in helping to maintain a healthy weight.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) with water and baking soda:
This practice isn’t necessary daily, but it’s good to incorporate it frequently. A teaspoon of ACV in 8 ounces of water, along with 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda is great to fight allergies and upper respiratory tract problems. It also helps diminish an appetite when it’s taken about a half-hour before meals. The mixture contains nutrients and enzymes that help you digest your food better, and it is said to help people suffering from arthritis and gout.
I’ve seen the difference when I do this regularly. You’re simply swishing oil (coconut, safflower, sesame) in your mouth for 20 minutes on an empty stomach and then spitting it out. The benefits of oil pulling include whiter teeth, healthier gums, relief from upper respiratory problems, and release of toxins from the body via the mouth.
Carve out time first thing in the morning for your spiritual life. It doesn’t have to be a long process. Connecting with God in the early hours gives Him first place in your day and gives you time with Him to share what’s on your heart and hear what’s on His. It’s also a great time for deep breathing and setting your intentions for the day.
Which of these are healthy morning practices that you already enjoy? Which ones would you like to try?