Mission Nutrition: Wake up with a morning ritual | Characteristics

Some say the vernal equinox is the real New Year, when we rise with more light than yesterday to start fresh. So why not start each day with a new morning ritual? Many books and personal guides teach the importance of a morning routine that can literally change the pulse of our lives with a few subtle changes.

How about finding a balance. To release the past and project into the future, a morning ritual can help the body find a balance between sleep-wake, dark light, past-future. And it works in tandem with your nutritional routine. A series of actions to stimulate biochemical reactions support deep sleep rejuvenation: hydration, movement, breathing, mindfulness, nutrition and creativity. Balance follows at all levels.

First, drink a large glass of water to replenish the cells that worked hard during the night shift and the energizing systems that rested overnight. Then, encourage blood circulation with any type of physical movement that floats your boat. I prefer an asana practice in the comfort of my home, while others jog in the freezing cold and darkness. Either way, maintaining a regular inhale-exhale will move oxygen through your body.

Mental health affects your nutritional health, so finding a ritual to align your mindset for the day can see you through mundane chores, busy jobs, parenthood. Find a daily mantra, set an intention for the day, create a non-negotiable action towards a goal, or even sit in stillness or meditation. The energy we create with our mind profoundly affects our digestive, nervous and immune systems.

Next, my favorite part, the drinking ritual! Water hydrates, yes, but I’m talking about a morning drink that really gets you going. Not in the “I need a pick-me-up” sense, but something that brings you joy from the first sip to the last sip.

For me, the very act of preparing my matcha latte is like a pause between inhaling and exhaling. Measuring green powder and raw honey before sunrise sets the hot, soothing, barely bitter, and slightly sweet drink ritual as the true wake-up call of my day.

I’ve learned that a caffeine fix isn’t my ideal transition from night to morning. However, I would never tell anyone to give up coffee. I’ve studied it enough to know its many benefits to the body and mind, but it all depends on the person. For me, coffee is the number two sacred drink. My fair-trade, half-caffeine French press with crushed cardamom pods always puts a smile on my face as I settle into my daily work routine.

But first, the matcha! For years, it’s been my go-to drink (along with coconut cream and raw honey) as I engage in creative activity, the final event of my morning transition. My creative activity lately has been writing a memoir about food, but it could be reading a good book, writing a letter to a friend, knitting while listening to a podcast – you choose what makes you happy!

Then my empty green cup is my alarm to wake the kids up for school or get ready for my workday.

Whether matcha, green, black or herbal tea, lukewarm water with lemon, golden milk, chicory coffee alternative, cocoa, functional mushroom filter coffee, coffee pare -balls or single espresso, notice how your drinking ritual awakens your spirit and brings balance to your life every day.

Jamie Truppi, MSN, is an integrative nutritionist specializing in functional foods and family wellness.

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