My Golden Morning Rituals

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Stop. Pause. Inhale. Exhale.

How much of your life is on autopilot? How much of your time is spent living consciously? Are you snoozing your alarm until the last minute, grabbing a coffee and rushing out the door? No matter how your mornings looks like, take a moment to just see how it actually makes you feel. Tired? Sluggish? Stressed? Uninspired? No-energy in sight? Or maybe you're an earlybird who rejoice with dawn. In yoga, we talk about having a beginner's mind. Doing or looking at things like it was the first time create space for more mindfulness, more compassion and understanding. How do you feel when you wake up and how can you make small changes to have a brighter start of the day?

Mornings are golden for me. I love the early rays of sun- specially summertime, when I get to wake up with birds chirping and sunlight. I want my mornings to nourish my body & soul. I love rituals and thought I'd share a few of my golden hours moments.

Waking up

My morning ritual actually starts the night before when I take some quiet time before bed, a little restorative yoga or meditation to slow down and  get me in a mood to fall sleep. I like to keep my blinds open so I wake up with the morning light- in summer- a gentle way to open my eyes instead of the alarm buzzing and stressing me out before I even stepped out of bed.

Stillness

I'm a freedom seeker. I always try to create freedom and space in my day for wellness. Taking extra time in the morning is essential for my whole being. When I used to work in an office, my mornings were a special moment of quiet, of me time, to really enjoy my breakfast and self care before going to a work that was less than bringing me bright eyes. Now that I work for myself I get to enjoy them even more.

* Say a little gratitude prayer or mantra and how you'd like your day to go. It can be a word or just a few minutes or seconds of visualizing your day while stretching your body. I always try to spend 5-10 minutes meditating. Some days, I just sit on my bed and take a few deep long breaths and that already makes a difference.

* Stay  offline and away from computer & phone. That's actually one thing I struggle with and try to be more mindful of. Some days I managed to  meditate or do a few sun salutations before checking my phone, but that's a work in progress.

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Nourish your body

* Drink water. Start your day with one or two big glasses of water. It will hydrate you and wake up your organs.

* Listen and connect to your body. Maybe some stretching or sun salutations will energize you. Going for a quick walk to get some air. Movement is precious. It wakes your body and give you energy for the day- from yoga, to jumping on a trampoline or doing a mini workout with music. Everyday is different for me but I make sure to stretch no matter what. Nothing feels better than a downward dog to wake up from your dreams. Find what makes you feel good. Sometimes we need extra sleep time too. It's about listening to what your body needs.

* Breakfast. Take time to sit down and enjoy what you're eating. Is your breakfast nourishing you? Is it giving you energy and keeping you full until lunch? Is it delicious? If you're the proud owner of a garden, porch or balcony, go have breakfast outside.

Nourish your soul

* Give hugs, leave a sweet note,  journal, do a morning happy dance, send a message to a friend just to tell them you're thinking about them and wishing them a good day, do a random act of kindness, it will give you good vibes for the day!

* Get inspired by reading a few pages of a book, looking at your vision board, watching a TED talk, listen to podcasts on your way to work. Having a vision of where you want to go with your dreams and life will keep you motivated for the day.

* Enjoy the little things. Walk to your work. Breathe in the fresh morning air. Make eye contact with people instead of watching your phone, or just pay attention to life happening around you- sometimes I catch a glimpse of a warm hug between friends, little girls dancing while walking in the streets, people smiling at a text they just received…it makes me smile.

Honor your life. Be thankful.

Live in that sweet present moment.

 

How does your morning look like? Any wellness moment you can't start your day without? Curious to know what brings you joy, share in the comments!

Happy Mornings!

5 Ways To Add Some Bliss To Your Day!

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Do you have the sunday evening syndrome? Not feeling very excited to leave the weekend behind and say hi to monday? If there is no doubt that a weekend filled with fun activities brings more joy than a day spent inside an office, sometimes life happens and we have to take jobs we're not so passionate about while working on achieving our dreams. That's kind of where I am at the moment. My days are not my ideal days yet but I am working on it and I believe that I will be enjoying my own schedule and freedom soon. In the meantime, I have a job that helps me get there. I really believe in making the most of each day and try to add some happy vibes along the way.

Here are 5 ways to add some Bliss into your day:

 

  • Take time for yourself

Find a moment each day for yourself and do something that makes you happy. Even if it's only 5 minutes. You could wake up 30 minutes earlier to meditate, enjoy your breakfast, go for a run, do some sun salutations or just simply take time to get ready for your day instead of rushing out the door with a cup of coffee in your hand and being stressed out because you are late again. My wellness morning routine is an essential part of my day as I need that time for myself before a day spent sitting at a desk. It definitely brings some good vibes to have some "me" time.

  • Act like you are on vacation. 

Yes. You read right. It's all about finding some fun during the day and if you have to wait for your 2-3 weeks a year to unwind and enjoy yourself, than it would be pretty depressing. At least for me. So what I came up with, or I should say my mom, as she joked one day after a work day, "oh so you're on holiday now" and I said while laughing, yes until tomorrow morning, how great is that! ;) Since then we often keep joking about the vacation thing on week nights or weekends.  But I realized that it actually gives you another perspective of your day. The attitude changes and just thinking for a second that this time off after your office hours could be spent as a vacation time makes it more fun! It's all about changing your mindset.

  • Get moving, get some air

Go out on your lunch break, breathe some fresh air, meet some friends, go for a walk/run. It will disconnect you from your office and will give you more energy for the afternoon or after a busy day. Doing a sport you love will release endorphins- the feel good hormone, which will boost your mood and energy!

  • Have some fun & laugh!

Charlie Chaplin said "A day without laughter is a day wasted". Yep, couldn't agree more! Don't take yourself so seriously. Laugh at awkward situations, sing while listening to your favorite music on your way to work, enjoy the pouring rain, be a kid, connect with friends, talk to strangers, do something new, be creative.

  • Be grateful

Being grateful brings happiness. Studies have shown that being grateful and showing love  increases your level of happiness. List 5 things before going to bed that you are grateful for each day. You will start to pay more attention to the little things that put a smile on your face and think about what will be on your daily grateful list.

What brings happy vibes to your day?

Happy fun day!

xx

Health benefits of warm lemon water

Add some lemon to your daily mornings!

Are you up for a challenge? What about trading your morning cup of coffee with a cup of warm lemon water? I know this may sound less glamourous then your mug of coffee, but you should give it a try! This is a little ritual you can easily add to your daily morning routine. For the morning coffee fans, you can just add this warm lemon water before your coffee. My mojo is more about adding healthy food than focusing on reducing the "not so good" one, as I believe that adding healthy nutrients will get your body used to better food and it will soon ask for more healthy treats naturally. Starting your day with a mug of warm water with lemon juice is beneficial for your health. It is also a tradition followed in Ayurveda (traditional medicine originally from India) to stimulate the digestion. Drinking this before breakfast on an empty stomach will help cleansing your body and specially your liver and help you jumpstart your day.

What are the benefits?

  • Immune System

With the high level of vitamin C contained in lemon, it gives a boost to the immune system and purifies the blood. It has an antispetic effect which is very useful during the cold winter months as it helps fight colds, flu, sore throat and coughing and is also great to rejuvenate the skin from within and necessary for healthy gum. It contains limonene, an anti-cancer substance.  It is packed with minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus. The potassium helps lower the blood pressure and is beneficial for the nervous system as well, so it can reduce stress and help you start your day more calm and zen. It is also said that lemon can improve your mood and clear your mind thanks to the natural scent.

  • Cleansing

It's a great way to start your morning as it cleanses the toxins accumulated through the night. It specially cleanses your liver, as it is an efficient liver stimulant according to Jethro Kloss, author of "Back to Eden". The liver is an essential organ as it detoxifies the body. It has 500 different functions but the main ones are: helps with digestion, extracts nutrients and breaks down drugs and poison.

  • Weight Loss

As it eliminates the waste and toxins through the liver, the lemon water can help for weight loss control. Lemons contain pectin, which is a fiber that can help with food cravings and hunger. Also, starting your day with healthy habits can help you stay on the right track for the rest of the day.

  • PH Balance

Lemon is part of the alkalizing food group thanks to the citric acid which is an alkalizing agent, even though it is an acidic fruit. If you eat a lot of processed food, animal protein and sugar, your body might be more on the acidic side on the PH level (you can test it with PH strips available in pharmacies usually) and lemon water can help to balance it. An alkaline body can prevent disease and is much healthier, as illnesses and infections mainly occur in an acidic body.

  • Digestion

It helps your digestive and elimination system and relieves symptoms of heartburn, bloating, cramps and indigestion. Next time you'll have a big festive dinner, think of a warm lemon water.

You can also alternate with lime for a more exotic taste, as it is similar to lemon. Packed with vitamin C to support the immune system, the fibers prevent heart diseases and fight cholesterol.

Note: You should just be careful with your teeth and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing them after drinking lemon water as it is not good for the enamel and can do damages. To protect your teeth, you can also drink a glass of water or at least rinse your mouth with water afterwards or sip your drink with a straw to avoid the acidity on your teeth.

Don't drink it too hot, the water should be lukewarm, as if too hot, it isn't good for your digestive system. And half of a lemon in a mug is a good quantity. If you are not used to the acidic taste, you can start slowly with a few drops.

Happy lemon day!

Sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/111175-benefits-lemon-water/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/522483-warm-water-lemon-in-the-morning/

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4769/Why-You-Should-Drink-Warm-Water-Lemon.html

http://www.lifemojo.com/lifestyle/top-10-health-benefits-of-lemon-water-1422542#ixzz1Ly4F1tCS

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/liver/liver_facts_functions.shtml

"Les 100 aliments pour rester en forme", Charlotte Haigh, 2005

Drink your water!

Water is essential for your life and your health. We cannot live more than a couple of days without it. You are all aware of those basics. But do you know all the benefits you receive from drinking your daily H2O? There are so many! Sometimes we can forget and go on with our day without thinking about it, like camels. It happens to me once in a while, and I am directly reminded by my headaches and tiredness to go back on track!

First of all, your body is made of around 60-80% of water depending your body composition and age. Your brain contains 90% of water! I know, crazy! Muscles are made of 75% of water and blood 85%. Those numbers varies according to different studies, but the thing to remember is that your body is mainly composed of water. This is the first reason why you should be drinking it, so it keeps working as it should be.

How do you know when you haven't drink enough water?

Those are the usual symptoms of dehydration:

  • Headaches, migraines
  • Dry mouth, dry skin
  • Dizziness
  • Thirsty (of course!)
  • Hungry (often the hunger feeling you have is due to being dehydrated, so better drink a glass of water before eating anything - and specially before those cookies!;) - as it is also a good way to control your weight)
  • Tiredness
  • Muscles cramps
  • Constipation
  • Kidney problems
  • Urinary track infection
  • Dark urine - when you drink enough water, the urine looks clear and almost transparent

So what are all those great benefits?

  • It will relieve headaches and back pain caused by dehydration.
  • Helps with weight loss.
  • Your skin will glow as it replenishes the tissues, moisturizes and improves the skin elasticity.
  • Keeping your focus. Since your brain is made up of 90% of H2O, the more you drink and hydrate, the better your concentration level will be.
  • It flushes the toxins out. Your kidneys do a great job at getting rid of waste. It eliminates  through perspiration, urination and bowel movements. That's why it's good to have a glass first thing in the morning, to get rid of all the toxins that accumulated over the night and its a fresh start for the day ahead!
  • It improves your immune system; fights against the flu, kidney stones and Urinary Track Infection and even some type of cancer such as bladder cancer.
  • It also helps with cramps and sprains as the water lubricates the muscles and joints.
  • It is good for the digestion system. It breaks the food down into nutrients in the stomach.
  • You will feel more energetic thanks to the good level of water in the muscles. So next time you're feeling tired, drink some water.
  • Water helps to protect the spinal cord, which is also full of water.
  • You'll be in a good mood as you'll be full of energy and your body will be working as it should be!;)
How much should you drink?

The usual recommendation is 8 glasses per day which is around 2 liters. You know your body best so listen to it, but keep it around that guideline. If you are taller, stronger, exerising more, your temperature is going up, the weather is hot, you should drink more. Keep also in mind that by the time you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated.

Starting your day with a big glass of lukewarm water is one of the best health routine you can add to your day. It will wake you up, help activate the organs and flush the toxins out.

If you're not a big fan of water, try to add some lemon (full of goodness too!), cucumbers, oranges to make it a bit tastier & sweeter.

A good thing to know is caffeinated drinks such as coffee or soft drinks reverse the good effects of all the water you drink as it acts as a diuretic, so you will eliminate the water and you'll be dehydrated again.

So tomorrow and every morning, grab your bottle of water everywhere with you. Become best friend with it. Put it in front of your desk, in your bag, bring it to your yoga class or on your next shopping spree! If you have your bottle of water next to you, you will drink it. It is also better to drink smaller quantities throughout the day than big glasses only a few times daily. Drink it better in between meals. Don't forget your water when you travel and specially during long flights, when you need to drink a lot of water to keep hydrated with the dry air in the plane. It's getting more and more complicated with all the security controls to keep your water, so when I am without my own water, I always ask flight attendants if they can give me a big bottle so I don't disturb them every half hour. It usually works if you ask with a big smile.

Sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/benefits-of-drinking-water/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283

http://www.naturalnews.com/003202.html

http://www.mangosteen-natural-remedies.com/benefits-of-drinking-water.html

How to start your day, the happy way!

RISE & SHINE!

 

Isn't it great the days you wake up in a good mood, the sun is shining or rain is showing up but you're ready to face the day and feel good?! Well I know it doesn't always happen like that and if you keep pushing snooze and you need to drag yourself out of bed...then you mornings are usually more like this #ILOVEMYBEDTOOMUCHTOLEAVEIT, like the majority of us and lets not even talk about snowy winters.

Here are some of my little morning rituals that make me smile and give me good vibes for the day:

 

  • Take time to wake up, stretch in your bed and feel your body after a night in dreamland. Set your alarm clock a few minutes earlier so you have time to slowly come back to life. Our cats & dogs friends practice this stretching routine pretty well!

 

  • Your alarm clock might well be giving you a panic attack every time you hear it, so think of other options like those zen clock or the ones simulating the sun light. You can also leave your blinds/curtains with some light passing through so your body will slowly be waking up by itself for a less aggressive wake up.

 

  • Positive vibes. First thought of the day should put a smile on your face! :) It can be a photo, an inspirational quote, your love sleeping next to you, your dog, the thought of something good planned for the day.

 

  • Be grateful for one more day where you get to be happy & in good health!

 

  •  Start your day with a fresh glass of water. This is something I can't live without. It is good for you as it hydrates your body after a long or short night, it gets rid of toxins, it's good for your brain and all your organs. And you can already cross one of the 8 glasses of water you should be drinking everyday. You can add some lemon juice in your water, it has many wonderful benefits and you'll be sure to have your vitamins C.

 

  • Open your window and take a couple of breaths. The fresh air will help you open your sleepy eyes.

 

  • Exercise! Yes! From sun salutations to a jog, jumping on your trampoline or sitting still & meditating for  5-10min, walking/biking to work, dancing in your kitchen, there are plenty of options to jumpstart your day. Get off a few stops before your destination and walk instead! Enjoy the fresh air, since you'll mostly be inside for the rest of the day! It will boost your mood and energy!

 

  • Put on lotion on your body. It will keep your skin hydrated and has a relax feeling of caring and connecting with your body. You'll feel good in your skin!Always finish your shower with cold water (at least your legs). It will improve your blood circulation, boost your immunity and it is definitely an energizer.

 

  • Juice/Smoothie Time!! This will give you the little energy boost! As you know breakfast will give you the strength to start the day and maintain your concentration level.

 

 

And don't leave your house without hugging your family, your love or your dog! This is some crazy super energy coming your way! ;)

So take time for your special mornings. Treat your body well, it is precious. Hitting the snooze button and rushing to work on an empty stomach won't put you in a good mood and won't help your health in the long run.

Share your morning rituals! Do you have any special routine?

Happy Mornings!