As a nutritionist and a yoga teacher, people often ask me about my morning routine. What time do I wake up? What do I eat? Drink? Do I work out? Etc. There are things I like to do in the morning and I try to do them regularly, but honestly, I don’t really follow a routine and I must admit that I tend to prioritize sleep. I know it’s boring information but sleeping 7-8 hours a night is what makes the biggest difference in my morning mood and energy level (and face!).
Ok, I’ll still quickly tell you what my ideal morning looks like if you must know:
-Wake up at 6:30 (or with the sun, but that happens only in some parallel reality)
-Meditate/do Pranayama exercises for 5-15min (depending on my attention span)
-Scrape my tongue (it’s an ayurvedic thing, kind of gross but important: read more here)
-Drink my magic tonic
-Practice yoga for 30min to an hour
-Dry brush my whole body (letting go starts with shedding dead skin cells, trust me)
-Have a healthy breakfast (I'm a big fan of overnight oat or this delicious smoothie)
-Hop on my bike and rush to work
-Do my makeup at the office (or not at all...)
As I said, I tend to prioritize sleep, so I rarely manage to do all the above. If I went to bed extra late, I might wake up at 8 and go straight to the essential (aka shower). There is however one thing I always do: drink my morning tonic. By now you are probably wondering what this freaking magic tonic is all about. One thing is for sure, it’s not a Gin tonic, quite the opposite actually! You know how some health guru, models, actresses and what not tell you they drink warm water with lemon or apple cider vinegar every morning to “detox” ? …Well I do that too (I know I know…I’m one of them, it’s almost embarrassing) but I pimp it up…big time.
Guys, this drink is not going to transform you, give you perfect skin, melt your fat, grow your hair, clear all negative thoughts, give you a 6 pack, a new boyfriend/girlfriend and a better job (for that you need to attend my class every week!) but it will do you good and leave you refreshed, with a sense of having your shit together (on top of making you feel superior to all those who frantically reach for coffee first…but don’t worry, you can still have you latte later!).
Here it is:
-A big glass of water (I sometimes even take a 0.5L smoothie container)
-1-2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar (meaning unpasteurized)
-30-50 drops (1 pipet) milk thistle extract
-30-50 drops (1 pipet) nettle extract
-1-3 drops organic grapefruit essential oil (100% pure, food grade!)
Mix it all and drink up!
Now, let me break it down for you and explain why you need to incorporate this crazy mixture in your life.
Ok, I don’t think I need to reiterate the benefits of H2O here. We all know we should be drinking 1.5-3L of it every day. So even if you don’t want to do the whole fancy vinegary mix, drink a big glass of water first thing in the morning. You’ll instantly feel rehydrated, less tired and a bit healthier.
Raw apple cider vinegar
Raw ACV has been around for almost 2,000 years, so it's safe to say that it’s been tested and approved! Note that this form of vinegar is the only one which is alkalizing (PH-balancing) to the body (more on that here). On top of that, ACV is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal, it also strengthens your immune system, eases digestion, speeds up your metabolism, fights inflammation, reduces cholesterol, lowers blood sugar, can help stimulate cardiovascular circulation and detoxify the liver. Finally, research suggests that ACV can help with allergies because of its ability to reduce mucus and sinus congestion. So yeah, it seems like this stuff is just one step away from doing your laundry…but please don’t go overboard drinking half a bottle, you don’t want to irritate your stomach! 1-2 tablespoons per day should be enough to get all the benefits.
Milk thistle and nettle
I started taking these 2 plant extracts following the advice of a 90+ year old acupuncturist. If there is one person who truly knows her shit when it comes to health, it’s her! Seriously, that woman has so much energy and knowledge, I’d take anything she recommends if it helps me be half as fit when I’m her age!
Milk thistle extract contains a high amount of a compound called silymarin, known to have antioxidant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. It has traditionally been used to treat liver and gallbladder disorders, prevent and treat cancer and even protect the liver from snake bites, alcohol and other environmental poisons. Research also shows that its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may be neuroprotective and could help prevent the decline in brain function you experience as you age (sign me up!).
Nettle is rich in vitamins C and K, B, as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. It contains amino acids and antioxidants, making it a good free radical fighter. Being a diuretic, nettle is also used as a detox plant to help flush out harmful chemicals and excess liquids from the body. Further benefits include: improving blood circulation and cardiovascular health, alleviating allergic reactions such as hay fever (it really works!) and relieving joint pain thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Grapefruit essential oil
This has got to be my favorite essential oil! Not only does it smell and taste amazing, but also has a myriad of health benefits: detoxifies the body by helping the liver get rid of toxins and by activating the lymphatic system, is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, stimulates the immune system, aids digestion, curbs sugar craving, boosts the metabolism, decreases fluid retention and even reduces depression by working as a natural energizer, stress-fighter and mood up-lifter. Most of these benefits are due to its main constituent, limonene, which has been shown to be a tumor-fighting, cancer-preventative phytochemical that protects DNA and cells from damage.
That’s it for the tonic. Try it, see what it does for you and let me know what you think!