Catrina McCrae, CHN, CPT, CHHC
Morning is a sacred time. The world around you is just starting to wake up; maybe you’ve had your first hug of the day from a loved one and there is a freshness in the air; and, ideally, the smell of coffee and the sound of clinking mugs being lined up, ready to receive it.
As a Holistic Coach who focuses on bridging the connection between mental, physical and spiritual health, my morning routine is vital for my well being. I know that making the time to be present in my body and connect with myself before giving my energy into my clients will allow me to feel grounded, organized and calm throughout the day—and will allow me to support those in my life that much better.
Although I am a nutritionist, I don’t just make recipes for meals. Here is my tried and true soul recipe for a conscious morning routine that you can do anywhere to feel more grounded.
Selfcare + hydration
As soon as my (gentle) alarm goes off, I will rise and turn on the kettle to make tea. As it’s boiling, I perform my morning skincare routine. A favourite in my routine, as cool water and self massage helps wake me up and connect me to my body. I also practice tongue scraping, which uses a small, U-shaped tool to remove any toxins collected on the tongue overnight. This traditional practice improves sense of taste, eliminates bacteria, reduces bad breath and improves your overall health.
I will then prepare my herbal tea. Some household favourites include Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat and/or Raspberry leaf tea (which is great for managing symptoms of PMS!) and Yogi Egyptian Licorice (enhances and supports digestion). I also sip on a large glass of water with lemon and himalayan salt—all to help rehydrate my body after a restful sleep. Lemon water is said to help prepare the body for digestion by encouraging the production of stomach acid as well as enzymes within the mouth while the Himalayan salt assists in the absorption of water within the body. I then also grind my beans for our morning coffee and place them into the french press for later.
Breathwork + movement
Once hydrated, and depending on the weather, I will opt to either spend 5-10 minutes stretching, meditating/breathing or will go outside for a brisk walk. Movement and exposure upon waking helps to increase our cortisol production; which is helpful to waking our bodies up. While doing either, I like to
listen to music that makes me feel connected to the earth. Generally, I listen to Japji Sahib, which is a Sikh prayer that reminds me that we are all one. But I recommend listening to whatever makes you feel happy and grounded; maybe even just listening to the world waking up with you.
Arguably the most important ingredient in my morning routine recipe. Connection for me appears in many forms, but namely I try to do something each morning that connects me to myself, my partner and the world around us. Often, this looks like taking a walk together to laugh and make plans for
the day, stretching and doing a few minutes of breathwork together or even going to the gym and sweating together!
Always, though, we eat together.
What we eat in the morning plays a huge role in the way the rest of our day unfolds. A rushed, unthoughtful meal leads to more rushing and mindlessness. The opposite is also true. Most mornings, we love to lay out a beautiful, nourishing helping of oatmeal in our handcrafted Lineage bowls. Paying attention to how the textured edges feel while plating our meal and the way bright coloured fruits look against the taupe ceramic leads us to be more conscious of the way we eat our food. We eat slowly, mindfully; pausing to share gratitude for each other and whoever crafted the meal that morning.
Here’s our favourite recipe:
In a pot bring to a boil with 1 ½ cups water:
Once boiled, turn down to low heat and cook until desired consistency and chia seeds expand, add in a bit of vanilla protein powder toward the end and mix around and top with nuts and seeds (we love almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, freshly ground flax) and fresh fruit.
Add some coconut yogurt on top like for a hit of probiotics for a healthy gut! Yoggu has the best consistency, flavour and fermentation.
Not only does mindful eating together inspire connection, it also supports and enhances our digestion, by ensuring we are in a state of “rest and digest” while our body is working to breakdown and absorb our food. We try to follow this mindfulness method during each meal of the day
, and create meals that are balanced with diverse, bright, colourful fruits and vegetables, mostly plant proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates to support our mental health as well as our active bodies.
Whatever your day looks like; no matter how busy or how quiet, choosing to take the time each morning to connect with yourself and that which is important to you is an act of self care often overlooked. We should all strive to remember that although nourishment includes what you plate and how you plate it; it also includes the way you nourish your mind and soul.