THE TIMEOUT. MORNING RITUALS THAT MATTER

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Morning Rituals seem to be having a moment of late, and with good reason – the simple little things we do in the morning can set the tone for the day ahead. Whether its physical or spiritual or something you eat or drink these seemingly simple actions can be truly instrumental to how your day evolves. While there are certainly no right or wrong answers when it comes to morning habits, there are some simple tips and tricks that can help you get a head start on an amazing day. To give us a better insight on the morning rituals that really matter, Sand & Smoke spoke with one of the regions leading nutritionists, creator of Chloe’s Countertop, and our newest contributor, Chloe Elgar. As a holistic nutritionist, Chloe advocates a mind, body and spirit approach to health and wellness. Below Chloe shares how to get these three pillars aligned to get the most out of every day, plus little insight into the things that get her moving every morning.

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“When it comes to mornings, it’s pretty simple: surround yourself with a peaceful practice, mindful breathing, balanced nourishment and loving thoughts.”

My recommendation is always to find what suits you and what feels best for you. There is no wrong or right thing to do. In fact, what is wrong is if you ignore your feelings and your body’s signals and do something because you have been told to, or because you ‘think’ it’s good for you. Listen to your body’s messages, and always let nature be your ultimate teacher.

SOUL.

I can appreciate that not everyone feels like a morning person. However, I do believe that it is in our nature to wake up with the sunrise and to end our days with the sunset. When you begin to adopt this understanding into your lifestyle, and realize that you are much more connected to the earth than you may think, I truly believe that things like balance and grounding become much more second nature.

BODY.

I start each morning with 1 liter of alkaline water. There are several justifications behind this: to hydrate my body after 8+ hours of sleeping; to feel clarity in my thoughts, to stabilize hunger; and lastly to ground myself, connecting my body with one of the most fundamental elements of planet earth.

MIND.

I tend to have a bit of a perfectionist attitude, which lends itself to be both rewarding and difficult, depending on if I let it be or fight and resist it. So, to support this side of me, being organized and implementing lists into my day really help to keep me on track, stay productive and feel good.

I highly recommend lists. When you’re starting out, keep it simple. The more things you check off the list, the more successful you feel. Things like “make your bed”, “brush your teeth”, “stretch”, and “drink water” are wonderful ways to start your day. Within 15 minutes of waking up, you can feel quite on top of things.

Again, you are a complex being, and the key is to find what connects your mind, body and soul as one. That is where you will find your balance, which is true to only you.

THE RITUALS.

Start each day with 1 large glass (I drink from a 1 liter glass) of room temperature water

Add fresh ginger + lime or lemon juice for good measure and good digestion!
This will hydrate your body after your sleeping fast and help to get things moving- you are literally waking your body’s systems up.

Move your body in whatever way feels good

This can be as simple as stretching or planting yourself on a dharma yoga wheel, or as much as going to a yoga class, going for a run or getting yourself to the gym. The key is do what feels good- rather than what you don’t want to do. Starting your day in a state of stress is never a great idea.

Have a green juice

My favourite is a blend of (celery, cucumber, cilantro, parsley, ginger, lime, lemon, kale, spinach, apple)
Keep the fruit sugars to a minimum and include things like coriander, parsley, ginger and turmeric for added detox and support!

Eat a plant-powered breakfast

I love whipping up a simple green smoothie OR a vegan breakfast such as
Chia Pudding
Porridge
Overnight Oats
Avocado on gluten-free toast or sweet potato
Vegan Nice Cream with Greens powder
Green Smoothie Bowl

(find recipes at chloescountertop.com)

Include some type of “slowing-down” practice

If you haven’t come across it yet, I highly recommend checking out adult colouring books. Simply typing it into google- you will find that it is most definitely the new thing. All trends aside, I find it very relaxing and it is a form of creative therapy- stimulating certain areas of your brain that silence certain stressors.

Crank up the beats

I am all about music therapy. Music is the best remedy for any mood or any time of day. Just choose your genre and go for it!

Morning pages (writing)

Starting each day with a ‘mind dump’ is one of the best things you can do for your mindset. This concept was introduced to be by the wonderful book, The Artist’s Way. The idea is to put aside around 30 minutes, everyday, as soon as you wake up, where you just write without any editing, judgment or criticism. Get it all out there on the page- and then get on with your day. Fill three pages with what is called a stream of consciousness as soon as you wake up.

Spend moments with your loved ones before social media comes streaming in.

This is a practice I am still working on, and it is one I feel is very important, especially now. So many of us (including myself) quite literally sleep with our phones and laptops, and they are even our first point of contact upon waking. Keep your electronics outside of your room (out of reach) and begin each day with time dedicated to true human connection. Whether that is with yourself in a state of gratitude, or with a loved one- keep the phones, laptops, ipads and distractions out of it (texting, Instagram, Facebook, emails, Snapchat, Periscope, etc).

For more of Chloe’s words of wisdom and recipes visit her newly launched website www.chloescountertop.com

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