Say 'Good Morning' and Mean It

Well, first thing's first.
It's been a coon's age since the last time I posted. So hopefully ya'll haven't forgotten about me as I know I've been MIA...
sorry, there was (shitty) skiing to be had

But after some much needed time spent on the mountain and checkin' shit off my to-do list, I'm back in the blogging game with even more knowledge bombs that are ready to be dropped. And what better way to get back into the swing of things than to give you my own personal morning ritual that not only helped me lose weight, but ultimately changed the way I viewed my body from the TLC I started to show it.....something that takes a lot of time to achieve with body image when no one's there to help you.

So here it is......the 5 habits that I do (almost) every morning that will help you shed some extra weight, gain confidence, and have more energy throughout the day than you'll know what to do with.

1. Mindful Meditation
Headspace and Stop, Breathe & Think are my go-to apps that I get going the minute I wake up. They vary from 2-10 minutes of guided meditation sessions that can be done literally anywhere....and don't worry, there will be no chanting or Sanskrit involved for all you NRA members out there ;)
I cannot give mindful meditation enough praise. It's so great for creating the mind and body awareness that most people often lack. It allows you to check in with your senses, thoughts and emotions and simply become more aware of how you're feeling throughout the day. This in turn allows you to make conscious decisions about everything you do, from the food choices you make to even how your feet align when you walk (trust me, I've thought of this before). When I do this first thing in the morning, it allows me to set my day up the way I want it to go and not leave it up to chance....or, in some godawful cases, hormones.

2. Brush. Floss. Pull...
in that order
Ever heard of oil pulling? It's an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for oral health and detoxification. It is done by putting a tablespoon of organic, unrefined oil in your mouth and swirling it around for a good 10-20 minutes. The best kind of oil to use is Sesame Oil, but for beginners I recommend using Coconut Oil instead as the flavor of Sesame will be a little overwhelming and you might just throw up....hey, just being honest here.
The oil pulls out harmful bacteria and fungus out of the gums, teeth and sometimes even your throat. Other possible benefits that people have sworn by are hormonal balance, promoting sleep patterns, getting rid of a hangover (hallelujah), whitening your teeth, and detoxifying the body. Every morning, after I brush my teeth (w/ non-flouride toothpaste....but I'll discuss that in a later post) and floss, I'll take a tablespoon of Coconut Oil and swoosh it around my mouth. Having the oil in your mouth is extremely weird at first, so don't be turned off after only a couple of times. After becoming accustomed to the texture and taste, the motion of swishing the oil around is almost therapeutic <3

3. When life gives you lemons, drink
To make the time go by faster while I oil pull, I'll start to prepare my lemon water. My lemon water isn't just plain ol' lemons and water though.....I add some serious kick to this cocktail in order to make it a surefire weight-loss powerhouse. In my cup of hot water I like to add half a lemon squeezed, one tablespoon raw honey (keyword raw), one teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar, & a dash of cinnamon. You may be wondering why such simple ingredients pack such a punch so let's sort through each and every one...
kick-starts metabolism by raising body temperature, soothes abdominal muscles which
help a bowel movement to happen, enhances blood circulation, & eases digestion
high in Vitamin-C, they have an alkaline effect on the body which means less inflammation,
help a bowel movement happen, neutralize free radicals, & have powerful antibacterial properties
boosts your immune system with 27 minerals, 22 amino acids and over 5,000 live enzymes,
boosts your digestive health, metabolizes cholesterol, readily available energy source
rich in potassium (a mineral often lacked by adults), contains acetic acid which helps lowers
the rise in glucose after eating, helps break down fat for energy use, improve bowel movements
regulates blood sugar, great source of magnesium, iron, fiber and calcium, manages insulin levels,
speeds up metabolism, helps you feel satisfied (fiber content)

Side Note: I'll drink this concoction about a half hour before I eat anything as it's best processed on an empty stomach so there is nothing that gets in the way of the magic.

4. Stretch It Out
Now, while I wait for my cleansing cocktail to cool, I always sneak in a 10 minute yoga stretching series to wake up my organs and limbs. If I could attribute one thing to my weight-loss success, it would be stretching. Moving my body first thing in the morning and pairing those movements with my breath allows me to relax the rest of the day and not feel the least bit confined to restricted movements. Even if you are the most un-flexible person in the world, establishing a consistent stretching routine will help change your body. It reduces inflammation and tightness and by leaning out your muscles. Ever look at a Yogi's yeah! BELOW is my favorite morning sequence for all levels. Hold each pose for 5 full deep breaths.

5. The Good Fats
The low-fat diet America is all about these days does nothing beneficial for our health nor our waistlines. Fats, the right kind that is, go hand in hand with weight-loss....especially Omega-3's. No one gives Omega-3's enough credit. Today's society gets more than enough Omega-6's with all the animal products we consume on a daily basis, but very little to no Omega-3's, which are found in plants, oils and fish like salmon. The perfect ratio of Omega-3's to Omega-6's is 3:1...the average American consumes 1:6 ....woah, NELLY!
Omega-3's are essential fatty acids that our body needs to thrive. I mean, ever notice the "essential" part to that phrase? They lower your body's insulin levels, block fat storage in your body, lower your cortisol levels (the stress-related hormone), improve blood flow during exercise, and improve your liver's ability to burn fat. Talk about a Superfood. One thing you have to be careful about is the source of your Omega-3's. Fresh, wild, sustainable-sourced Salmon is a great option. CAUTION! Be very weary of fish oil supplements as they are not regulated so most often you're not getting what you paid for. They often come from from farmed fish too....(YUCK).
My go-to supplement for Omega-3's when I'm not eating my salmon sashimi is a tablespoon of Organic Hemp Oil.

I'll take my fats right after my "meditation session followed by my teeth cleaning then after my stretching series while drinking my weight-loss cocktail."

....Get it? Got it. Good. Now, get to it!

Cassidy WendellComment