Gigi's Morning Routine
I am a morning person. I am admittedly the annoying type of morning person. The one who upon opening their eyes is ready to have a full on conversation with anyone who will listen. This is my personality, but it does not mean that it is always easy for me to get myself up. I’m a busy girl, as are many of you, and try as hard as I might I don’t always get myself in bed early enough to get the prescribed 7-8 hrs of sleep a night. It is often extremely hard to drag my ass out of bed in the morning, however I make it a priority to try and utilize the earlier AM hours as often as possible. There are soooooo many articles out there that talk about how all the most successful people get up at the crack of ass, so I’ll spare you another discourse on the subject. If you happen to want an inspiring article to motivate your booty out of bed check this one. I’ve gone and drunk that kool aid, so I try to be up and moving at the very latest by 6 AM, if I am not sacrificing too much sleep I aim for 5. I’m not implying in any way you should be like me, however what I do strongly believe is true for everyone is that your mornings play a critical role in how the rest of your day flows.
“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.” — Richard Whately
If you’re always sleeping til the last possible second only to have to run around your house like a crazy person in order to not be late to work for the 3rd time this week, then you’re setting your day up to have the same kind of crazy frantic energy. No, Bueno! I mean I get it, shit happens. We all sleep past our alarms from time to time, but avoid making a habit out of it.
So yea all I’m saying is utilize your mornings to help you have a killer f*cking day. Below are my 9 crucial steps for MY great mornings Aka. My Morning Routine!
1) I Resist The Temptation To Hit Snooze
The Alarm goes off and I try really really really hard not to hit snooze. I legit use to set, like 5 alarms until I listened to a podcast, which informed me I was in fact ruining my mornings with this habit. Here is why…..
When you wake up via an alarm clock, as most of us do, you are abruptly ending your sleep cycle. Assuming you have had quality night’s sleep this isn’t a bad thing, as you are likely nearing the end of your natural sleep cycle. However, if you hit snooze and pass back out you are actually signaling your body and your brain to restart a new sleep cycle. Thing is you’re only going back to sleep for another ten minutes, so the sleep cycle never actually hits, and if it has you are only at the very beginning of this cycle. So, when that alarm buzzes the second time your brain and body become totally confused. This confusion has a name, sleep inertia.
"sleep inertia refers to that period between waking and being fully awake when you feel groggy. The more abruptly you are awakened, the more severe the sleep inertia. “
"Sleep inertia slows down your decision-making abilities, impairs your memory and hurts your general performance once you do get out of bed. Even worse, coffee and a cold shower can't combat it: It can take up to an hour and a half to shake off sleep-inertia grogginess ” (1)
Main take away here is that your snooze button offers a very temporary moment of satisfaction. The price for that brief period of extra sleep is: you actually feel worse.
My Hack….. I keep my alarm clock, aka. my phone, in the bathroom attached to my room. This forces me up and out, so I don’t groggily hit the snooze button.
2) Refresh The Face and Mouth
Wash my face
I always always wash my face right before bed and right away in the AM. My AM cleanse is done using ice cold water. Why?!?! Well, because it wakes you the F*ck up! Like, you’re not tempted in the least to crawl back into bed after you’ve thrown ice cold water all over your face. I’m hoping to one day take this up a notch and join the am cold shower crew. There are so many benefits to shocking your system with ice cold water everyday. I’ve been dabbling with cold showers over the summer, but the idea of cold showers in the dead of winter literally gives me chills. So for now this is how I roll…..
I cleanse with lukewarm water
"lukewarm water can help ensure that your facial cleanser gets the right amount of foaming action, removes enough dirt from the surface of your skin, and balances your natural skin oils appropriately.(2)
I rinse with cold water
It wakes you up and and combats morning puffiness, enough said!
First with a good charcoal powder. I am working on getting a whiter, brighter smile, and unfortunately I am unable to use bleaching products even if I desired. So without any other options, I gave the whole charcoal brushing fad a go. Let me say I was not and am not displeased with the results. When this is a part of my daily routine (I say when because when mornings are crazy this often the first thing I throw out the window) it makes a noticeable difference in the appearance of my teeth.
Followed by a good old fashion brushing of the gums and teeth with a natural toothpaste for 2 minutes. My hack: invest in either a toothbrush with a timer or a cute little toothbrushing timer you can stick on your mirror. If you rock an iwatch use the timer. Why??? Because without that timer your likely to spend more like 30–45 seconds brushing, and that is a fraction of the recommended time.
A tale as old as time or more adequately a practice as old as time... an Ayurvedic oil pull.
1 Tbsp of coconut oil, hold in mouth and swish around for 10-20 minutes, last but not least spit (usually in the toilet as it can clog sinks)!
While it's not entirely clear how oil pulling works, it's claimed to "pull" bacteria from the mouth. It may also help by moisturizing your gums and increasing saliva production, which can reduce bacteria. (4)
Some types of oil also contain properties that can naturally reduce inflammation and bacteria to promote oral health. (4)
I know this all sounds like a lot of energy and time going into my mouth care, but I promise you it is worth it. Not only from the aesthetics standpoint of wanting beautiful teeth, but more importantly keeping up the over all health of your mouth and teeth. Fillings, crowns, root canals, gum repair all of these things are extremely expensive and are the cost of not taking proper care of your teeth. I speak from experience. I started this routine about 5 years ago and my mouth was a mess. Despite a healthy diet with barely any sugar, my bodies propensity to make excess plaque resulted in an endless amount of cavities. Fast forward to today and my bi- yearly trips to the dentist are no longer costing me hundreds of dollars.
3) Take Care Of My Fur Babies
My Animals Rule My World. As much as I would like this not to be the first thing I do in the morning, I basically wake up to a very vocal cat demanding her morning feed the moment she hears my alarm. There is no option, as no other part of my routine will go undisturbed if they are not attended to. I do love the hell out of them, so it is all good. Plus, this gives me the ten minuets I need for my oil pull.
4) Hot Water With Lemon
I turn on my electric tea pot and let the pot come to a boil while I tend to the animals.
There are a ton of health claims attributed to drinking lemon water first thing. If you do a quick google search you will find countless articles debating the topic. I can give you two benefits that cannot be debated and are reason enough for me to include this as an AM must.
It Aids In The Detoxification Of The Body
" Because lemon juice’s atomic structure is similar to the digestive juices found in the stomach, it tricks the liver into producing bile, which helps keep food moving through your body and gastrointestinal tract smoothly. In animal studies, the citric acid found in lemon water has also been shown to protect liver function and prevent oxidative damage, helping preserve the liver’s natural ability to detoxify.” (5)
2. It replenishes your hydration level.
After going 7-8 hours without a drink of water there is no doubt that our body is need of hydration. If you put a dehydrating beverage in your system, i.e anything with caffeine, first thing in the AM then you are only furthering to dehydrate yourself.
I could write like three post on this topic, but here our some quick facts about hydration from one of out favorite doctors, Dr Mercola
Your body contains about 11 gallons of water: Your blood is 85 percent water; your muscles 80 percent; your brain 75 percent and your bones are 25 percent water, which illustrates the importance water plays in your health
Drinking 16 ounces of water can raise your metabolic rate by as much as 30 percent; a 2 percent level of dehydration has been shown to cause a 10 percent decrease in athletic performance
When dehydrated, your brain shrinks in volume. This shrinking is what causes a dehydration headache. Even mild or temporary dehydration can alter your brain function and impact your mood
Dehydration-induced effects such as sleepiness, fatigue, moodiness and confusion are easily reversed within 20 minutes of drinking some water. Cold water absorbs 20 percent faster than tepid water, so to increase the speed of recuperation, drink chilled water. (6)
If you want to have the most optimal chance at feeling your best during the day, then hydration before dehydration is key. Don’t worry I’m not asking you to give up your morning latte. My hack: I require myself to drink at least 16 oz of water before I can have my AM pick me up. Also, I’ve invested in a few very special mugs and travel mugs that make me smile. Turn the essential into a cute accessory and your less likely to skip out on hydration. I promise you if you get yourself a cute mug and/or water bottle you’ll be waaaay more likely to keep yourself hydrated all day.
5) Make The Bed
I’m not ok with an unmade bed. Getting into bed after a long day is such a treat and I want my bed to look as inviting and snuggly as possible. Also, a big Amen to Anna and her last out of the bed is the one to make the bed rule! I am working on this one with my guy and to his credit he has come a very long way in the year that we have been together.
6) Spit oil
Self Explanatory -Oil pulling oil and all of the potential toxins it’s pulled gets spit, preferably in the toilet because the oil hardens when it’s cold and can clog your sink drain
After years and years of trying I have finally been able to sustain a regular morning meditation practice. I could go on and on and on about how life changing this one addition has made over the last year. Anna and I both have several post on here about our meditation journey’s as well as several how to posts. If you’re looking for them simply type meditation into the side bar and VOILA!
My specific routine right now is pretty damn similar to Anna’s and rather then be redundant by writing it all out again, I am just going to link you to her AM Post.
My Busy Morning Hack……. If I have to make an early train into the city, and I don’t have time to get my AM zen time in prior to leaving the house; I bring along my noise canceling headphones and use part of my train ride to get my meditation in. My train meditation does not look the same as my Kriya practice at home, but it still does the trick!
8) Morning Movement
I used to be an early morning workout queen. Like roll out of bed half asleep and promptly hit the ground running at 6 AM. Oh how times have changed. I still prefer AM workouts, however for the past year and a half I’ve been dealing with some major health issues. Many of these issues, I have come to discover come from hormonal imbalances. Correcting these imbalances has meant a complete examination and re-alignment of many of my daily routines. My exercise routine was one that needed a complete over- haul. High-Impact morning workouts are a thing of the past. I’ve swapped my long runs for long, brisk walks with the dog and moved my higher impact workouts til later in the day.
So why not just wait and workout only once later in the day?
Exercise has been proven to increase energy levels and focus throughout the day. By moving your body first thing in the morning, you are getting a head start on your day. My walks are not only key to getting my blood flowing, but they are a great way to get that daily dose of Vitamin D.
"UV light absorbed through your skin produces Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays many roles in your body, including promoting serotonin production.” (7)
If you battle the winter blues then there is no better natural remedy, than getting out and under the sun for at least 30 minutes a day.
My morning walks are a great multi-tasking routine
My dog gets exercise and I get exercise
I dose myself with Vitamin-D
I get some work in whilst I burn some calories. I often schedule my early morning conference calls during these walks. I did say this was a multi-tasking walk.
If I’m traveling and not working from home, I try to make sure I incorporate a walk at some other point in my day.
My Hack…… I use my lunch hour to take at least a thirty minute walk and/ or I skip the subway and walk my booty to the office.
9) Morning Nourishment
Here is an area where Anna and I don’t align. Anna is an adamant intermittent faster, I, on the other hand, awaken ravishingly hungry and need my breakfast. I have given intermittent fasting a go, I 100 percent stand behind, and would recommend it for certain people; however, it wasn’t and isn’t right for me. This chick needs to be fed in the AM. My go to used to be egg whites, but have spent the summer favoring a smoothie or smoothie bowl. Summer is a- fading and fun oatmeal combinations are starting to replace my smoothies on cooler mornings. Getting protein into my AM meal is a must if I don’t want to be snaking 30 minutes after I eat.
My Hack…. I add one scoop of protein powder to either my smoothie, coffee, or oatmeal bowl. Check out my latest creation on our IG!
Please comment of email us if you have any specific questions.