We all have to wake up in the morning and begin our days. Why not use morning time as a sacred time where you can set yourself you for success, intentional positivity, health, wellness, and longevity? If you’re looking for the best way to get from point A to point B, point A being sound asleep and point B being thriving, being positive, empowered, and confident, use these steps every single day to help you achieve those goals. The importance is making this a routine and being consistent with it.
Step 1: Deep breathing exercises
The first thing you should be doing in the morning is deep breathing exercises. You may ask yourself, “Why am I engaging in quiet breathing right after I just slept quietly and breathed quietly for six, seven, eight, nine hours?” The reason behind this is intention and exercising the muscles of breath, the big diaphragm underneath the ribs, the intercostal muscles which pull the ribs apart and the scalene. Just sitting down for five minutes each and every morning exercising those breathing muscles can strengthen them, so unconsciously, when you’re not thinking about it, you’re taking deeper breaths throughout the day.
Also, this is an important time to set your intention for the day. Many people do it through positive self-affirmations or mantras. You can do this quietly in your head or you can say it out loud. For some individuals, writing down affirmations give them a visual feedback so that they are encouraged throughout the day. You can set your intentions by starting your sentence with “I will achieve…”, or use the positive affirmations below.
How to do it
Take the first five minutes of your breathing exercise to really focus on pushing your belly out, expanding the ribs, pulling the ribcage up, feeling the air go in and out of your nose. In the last five minutes of breathing exercises, set your daily intentions, and go through the mantras.
Positive affirmations you can use:
- Today, I will choose happiness. I am enough.
- Today I will positively impact someone else’s day.
- I am fulfilled, and I am fearless.
- May I be happy and healthy, creative, and may I have a sense of ease.
- Today, I will breathe deeply and go slowly. It is enough to do my best.
- Breathe in joy and strength. Breathe out wisdom and peace.
- I choose to believe in abundance and that I am powerful.
- Life is short, let’s do this.
Step 2: Drink lemon water or apple cider vinegar
The next thing is to have a glass of either lemon water or apple cider vinegar water. First of all, it’s very hydrating, and the lemon or apple cider vinegar can give some extra positive benefits. Having a big tall glass of water will help hydrate your system and get you going for the day.
Step 3: Move
The next thing to do is exercise, or rather, movement. Calling it “movement” instead of exercise removes the idea that you have to go to the gym and pound out weights or engage in cross-training, and that you have to work up a sweat. That’s not the point of morning movement. The point of morning movement is just to get blood flow going to the muscles, spine, joints, and up to the brain. You can do your exercise/morning movement outdoors surrounded by the elements. It really invigorates the system much more than staying indoors.
But if you must stay indoors, you can do something as simple as bouncing on the balls of your feet for three or five minutes, and then doing some stretches to get muscles relaxed and blood flow to the muscles. It can be that simple.
Step 4: Take probiotics and a glass of green tea
Green tea continues to hydrate you and it has powerful antioxidants, polyphenols like catechins and epicatechins as well as detoxifying the system. It has a little bit of caffeine so it perks up the brain a bit. Then, the probiotic just sets up the digestion for the day. At Zenith Labs, we’ve created a really high dose probiotic called T-50 which you should check out.
Step 5: Breakfast
Many people do something terrible with breakfast — they skip it and ignore it. That is a poor decision because science has shown that skipping breakfast can increase your risk factors for both the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, and it should be your largest meal of the day. Many people, if they’re not skipping breakfast, they’re eating a quick breakfast on the go that’s empty in calories and empty in the important macro and micronutrients that really need to get you going throughout the day and to keep you healthy and well.
Make sure that your breakfast is colourful, and have at least five different colors on your plate. Make sure it’s high in fiber and protein. This is an opportunity where you can use some of those culinary herbs and spices to not only make breakfast more delicious, but include antioxidants that help decrease inflammation and promotes health. Lastly, you should eat slowly and enjoy what you’re eating.
Step 6: Walking
If you have time after breakfast, just take a brief 5-10 minute walk. You could just walk your dog, or walk with your spouse or a friend. The walking actually improves the digestive process and, again, gets your system going for the day.
Step 7: Shower
Next is a shower. Most people take a piping hot shower in the morning. This is what I recommend. Before showering in the morning, do some skin brushing to remove dry skin cells. It can be done with a loofah all over the body and is detoxifying. Then, do a contrast shower. You can start with a hot or warm shower, but end it with about 30 seconds cold. It’s been done for hundreds and hundreds of years, and is very invigorating to the body and to the brain. If that’s intimidating for you, you can start with maybe just five seconds, turn that nob to cold, and gradually build yourself up to 10, 15, eventually 30 seconds.
Step 8: Drink a glass of water
Before you walk out the door, have another glass of water to hydrate the system. Morning is a great time to hydrate. You should remove all technology during this whole morning routine. No phone, no text, no computer, no TV, no technology of any kind.
Healthy Breakfast Recipes
1. Poached Eggs with Spinach, Yogurt and Berries, Flaxseed Slider
Ingredients for Poached Eggs with Spinach
- 1-2 eggs
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 fresh tomato
- 1 avocado
- Shredded cheese (optional)
- Bring a pot of water to a boil with about a tablespoon of white vinegar. Use a wooden spoon and spiral it so you’ve got a whirlpool in the middle.
- Crack your egg in a little bowl. Pour it in that whirlpool so the white of the egg stays intact.
- Turn off the heat, put on the lid, and depending on how hard you like your yolks, leave it to cook for about four to five minutes.
- While that egg is poaching, make a bed of spinach on your plate. Cut up some tomatoes and avocado and add it to your plate.
- Once your egg is ready, put it on top the bed of spinach.
- You can sprinkle it with shredded cheese of your choice.
That’s your main breakfast. As a side, have a cup of cottage cheese or plain yogurt with fresh berries, nuts, and/or seeds. Alternatively, make yourself a chia or flaxseed slider. Here’s how:
Instructions to make a chia or flaxseed slider
- Take about a teaspoon of either chia or flaxseeds and put it in a shot glass.
- Fill it up with water and soak it overnight.
- The next morning, it becomes kind of a slick soak of chia or flaxseeds. Take it down the hatch!
It may sound a bit gross, but you’re getting a tremendous amount of essential fatty acids and minerals.
2. Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
- Two large eggs
- ¾ cup plain yogurt
- ½ cup of canned pumpkin
- 2 tbsp of maple syrup OR blended berries
- ½ tsp of vanilla extract
- ½ cup of whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup of soaked rolled oaks
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ tsp of pumpkin pie spice
- A slice of ginger
- Tiny pinch of cloves
- 10-20 pecan halves chopped
- 1-2 tbsp of pumpkin seeds
- Take the eggs and beat them in a bowl.
- Slowly stir in the yogurt, pumpkin, and a tablespoon of either the maple syrup or the berry smash, and the vanilla extract.
- In another bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
- Coat a large, non-stick skillet with cooking spray and put over medium heat.
- Drop 1/3 cup of the batter in the pan for each pancake. Cook until the underside is brown and bubbles form on the top, about three minutes or so.
- Flip and cook about three minutes more.
- Top with the pecan halves and the remaining half of the maple syrup or the berry smash and the pumpkin seeds.
This is a colorful, protein-packed breakfast that will start your day off right! You can have the same side of cottage cheese or yogurt and berries with your main. Alternatively, try a smoothie to help boost the caloric intake of your breakfast as well as providing more colors, fiber, protein, herbs, and spices. You can use either kefir or coconut milk for the liquid, and throw in frozen berries, spinach or kale, and thicken with peanut butter or almond butter. You can also add a powder like cacao or greened powder for extra antioxidants, or a collagen powder that helps skin health and tightens fine lines and wrinkles. Simple!
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