Mornings are a contentious topic. Some people love them while others loathe them. But regardless of what side of the bed you wake up on, there’s no denying that your AM routine sets you up for the day ahead.
Someone who knows this all too well is nutritionist and lady of zen, Jessica Sepel. Prior to her “health journey”, Jess started her day like any too-busy city dweller.
“I’d wake up tired and immediately check my inbox and social media accounts. I stayed in bed while I scrolled through my feeds, feeling the anxiety build up in my stomach. Exercise was the last thing I felt like doing, but I would still push my body and attempt a hardcore workout like running for an hour or doing a spin class that I hated. I’d then make myself a low-calorie breakfast—usually egg whites and black coffee with sweetener. Or maybe some ‘non-fat’ yet artificially sweetened yoghurt. How boring and sad! As I picked at my food, I’d think, “life is so hard,” or “I’m not good enough.” The day had barely started, and already I’d feel stressed and down,” she told us, reflecting on her old habits.
These days, things have changed. Jess admits, mornings are now her favourite time of day but she starts them off a little different to most. Along with a nutritious breakfast and a strict tech ban in the bedroom, she has a few rituals that may surprise you. Scroll down to find out more.
“I truly believe establishing a healthy morning routine can help set the tone for your day ahead. If you have a healthy morning routine, you are more inclined and motivated to make healthy choices throughout the day.”
6.30am: Upon waking, I make a conscious effort NOT to look at my phone or computer. I’m very strict about this—ask my husband! I take a few deep belly breaths and centre myself by saying a few positive affirmations, such as:
“I am healthy.”
“I am loved.”
“I love my life.”
“Thank you for my healthy, healing body.”
“I attract abundance in all forms.”
6.35am: I meditate for 10 minutes. This usually involves me giving thanks or doing the JSHealth Body Love Meditation found in my 8-week online program.
6.45am: I scrape my tongue. This ancient Ayurvedic practice removes built-up bacteria and toxins in the mouth, and is believed to boost mental, physical and spiritual health. It’s thought that removing the coating on the tongue every day makes food taste better too! You can find tongue scrapers at most health food stores.
6.50am: I prepare and drink a cup of warm lemon water with a pinch of cayenne or ginger OR a turmeric latte with 1 tsp coconut oil and cinnamon.
7.00am: Time to move my body! I love clearing my mind and getting an endorphin hit first thing. Depending on what I feel like, I’ll go for a walk, do a yoga class, or enjoy a bit of weight training.
If I don’t exercise, I do a morning meditation of some sort. It’s all about calming the mind, slowing down that endless mental chatter and finding peace within. It doesn’t need to be fancy, or follow specific rules. Just sit in a quiet spot, close your eyes, and focus on breathing. You can do this for as little as 5 minutes a day to feel the difference.
7.45am: My favourite ritual of all: coffee. I have one a day before 10am, and I savour it. I normally have a piccolo with full cream milk, or almond milk if I’m taking a break from dairy. I talk more about how to have your coffee and how to cut back (without the nasty headaches!) in my 8-week online program.
8am: I set about making a healthy protein-rich breakfast. Eggs with sautéed greens and avocado, the JSHealth protein smoothie, or chia oats with a protein. If I’m feeling creative, I’ll work on a new recipe for my online Program—I’m constantly adding new, easy recipes to accompany the meal plans each week!
8.30am: I have a shower, switching between hot and cold water to get my blood flowing. My grandmother taught me this practice—it really helps to wake me up so I feel alert, but not frantic.
9am: With my morning routine complete, I turn on technology and begin working with the JSHealth team. This is the time for me to attend to my texts and emails. I’ll hop on to the Program Forum where I answer questions and provide personalised nutritional advice for those doing the program. I find taking that time for myself in the morning is such a gift, and it makes me feel focused, calm and ready to tackle the day’s tasks.