Whether you bound straight out of bed to the running track or have a slower, relaxed early rise, the simple things we do in the morning set the foundation for the rest of the day. In our Morning Rituals series we ask some of our favourite morning warriors to share the little secrets that help them kick start their day.
Before most of us have even opened our eyes, Louise Nichol has already kicked her day off to a flying start. As Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, mum to two-year-old daughter Leo and newest addition to the Nichol clan, six-month-old son Fox, early starts are essential. Putting most of us to shame with her fitness routine (Louise can weight lift most men out of town) this British beauty reveals how she finds time to fit it all in and still remain impeccably stylish while doing so…
On weekdays my alarm goes off at 5.15am, so I am very disciplined about going to bed early the night before and try to avoid evening engagements where possible. Learning to say no (and not harbour guilt about it) is essential.
My son Fox is six months old and breastfed, so my first job is to pump milk for him to have later in the day. I then have a standing date with my personal trainer Marlene Bunston in the gym at 6am. Before working out I take a shot of Nespresso – the purple one – and take liquid L-Carnitine. We do a mixture of strength training and metabolic conditioning, incorporating CrossFit moves such as thrusters, burpees, doubleunders, handstands and Olympic lifting. My weakness is gymnastics, but we’re working on it!
I finish in the gym at 7am and jump in the shower, before feeding Fox while simultaneously drinking a Poliquin protein shake – multi-tasking is the name of the game. I need to be out of the door by 8am to drop my two-year-old daughter Leo off at nursery on my way into work in Media City, so make-up and hair are pretty low down the agenda but I try and throw on Giorgio Armani Maestro Eraser, Guerlain Joli Teint, Nars’ Orgasm blusher and some mascara.
Eating well, and regularly, is hugely important to me and as there is no time for breakfast at home I have recently signed up to Love Food’s ‘Lifestyle’ package, which delivers three meals, two snacks and three infused waters to my villa every day. This way my nutrition is locked down and I am not tempted to eat processed nasties. At Dhs4,300 for four weeks it’s definitely an investment, but worth every dirham.
I am a bit of a supplement nut, and I bring my daily quota to work in a zip-lock bag to take throughout the day. Currently that includes a pre-natal (for lactation), fenugreek (to keep my milk supply up) and Omega 3. At night I also take magnesium and during my workout I take BCAAs. Once in the office I am pretty much nailed to my desk working on pages for the magazine, although I take a 20 minute break twice a day to express milk using my trusty Medela Freestyle double pump.
I used to start the day with a strong mug of builder’s tea – the first of about six – but I’ve recently weaned myself off it in a bid to cut back on dairy and I’ve quickly become addicted to Tea Pigs Yerba Mate from Ripe Market instead.
Pictures. Main picture courtesy of www.sassymama.com. Photography by Studio Dubai. Clothes at Harvey Nichols Dubai. Stroller by Mountain Buggy. Family Souk Adventures. Instagram @mrslouisenichol and Andrew Nichol