Some say spring equinox is the real New Year, when we rise with more light than yesterday to start fresh. So why not begin each day with a new morning ritual? Many books and personal guides teach about the importance of a morning routine that can literally change the pulse of our lives with a few subtle shifts.
How about finding balance. To release the past and flow into the future, a morning ritual can help the body achieve balance between sleep-wake, dark-light, past-future And, it works in tandem with your nutrition routine. A series of actions to stimulate the biochemical reactions supports the rejuvenation from deep sleep: hydration, movement, breath work, mindfulness, nutrition and creativity. Balance ensues on every level.
First, drink a full glass of water to replenish the cells working hard on the night shift and the energizing systems that have reposed during the night. Then, encourage blood flow with any kind 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 steady inhale-exhale of some kind will move the oxygen through your body.
Mental health affects your nutritional health, so finding a ritual to align your mindset for the day can carry you through mundane tasks, busywork, parenting. Find a daily mantra, set an intention for the day, create one nonnegotiable action toward a goal, or even sit in stillness or meditation. The energy we create with our minds profoundly affects our digestive, nervous and immune systems.
Then—my favorite part—the beverage 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 with the first sip until the final swallow.
For me, the very act of preparing my matcha latte is like a pause between inhale and exhale. Measuring out the green powder and raw honey before sunrise delineates the warm, soothing, barely-bitter and slightly-sweet beverage ritual as the true awakening of my day.
I’ve learned that a jolt of caffeine is not my ideal transition from night-to-morning. However, I would never tell anyone to give up coffee. I’ve researched it enough to know its many benefits on the body and mind, but it all depends on the person. For me, coffee is sacred beverage number two. My fair trade, half-caffeine French press with crushed cardamom pods still brings a smile to my face as I settle into my daily work routine.
But, first, matcha! For years it’s been my drink of choice (with coconut cream and raw honey) as I engage in a creative activity, the last event of my transitional morning. Lately, my creative activity has been writing a food memoir, but it could be reading an good book, writing a letter to a friend, knitting while listening to a podcast—you choose what makes you happy!
Then, my empty, green-hued cup is my alarm to wake kids for school or prepare for my workday.
Be it matcha, green, black, or herbal tea, warm water with lemon, golden milk, chicory coffee-alternative, cocoa, drip coffee with functional mushrooms, bulletproof coffee or straight-up espresso, notice how your beverage ritual awakens your spirit and brings balance into your life each day.
Jamie Truppi, MSN, is an integrative nutritionist focusing on functional foods and family wellness.
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