Morning Routine 2016

reading time: 4 min





Rise and shine, my friends!
 
This is quite an unusual post for me, as i'm usually behind the camera, not in front - especially not while brushing my teeth and epilating (and i spent way too long in the bathroom taking pictures, whoops), but i thought it might be interesting to get a glimpse at my everyday life (which, surprisingly, does not only consist of eating vegan desserts).

Almost 2 years ago, I did a blog post on my Morning Routine, but quite a few things changed ever since then, especially since I incorporated Ayurveda into my life. While some parts of my routine are very common of course, like teeth brushing and eating breakfast, some of them, such as oil pulling, are quite uncommon.

Oil Pulling


Looking so graceful here, haha. But all yokes aside, this is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique and a new habit of mine. Before I do anything else, I roll out of bed, get a tablespoon full of organic, cold-pressed vegetable oil (sunflower, canola, sesame, nut, coconut oil... i wouldn't recommend using olive oil though because it tastes quite bitter and sharp after a while) and then I gently swish it in my mouth, pulling it through my teeth, on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes. If 20 minutes is too much for you at the beginning, start slow, say 2 or 3 minutes, and increase the swishing time each time until you're at 20 minutes.

This "pulls" out the bacteria that have build up in my mouth overnight and it draws out the overall toxins in your body. So this technique especially improves oral health, combats bad breath and will actually brighten your teeth! Also, your mouth will just feel much more cleaner. Read more infos on oil pulling here or here.

Note: When you discard the oil afterwards, make sure to spit it into the trash, compost or outside in the grass - but not into the drain, or else it might harden and clog your pipes!


TIP: If you do this first thing in the morning, you can spend the 20 minutes showering, putting make-up on, getting dressed, preparing breakfast, making tea, listening to an audio book, walking your dog, reading a text for your seminar or school last minute, packing your things, checking your mails, scrolling through instagram etc.


Exercise


I wish i would do this every single morning, but nah, i'm a lazy girl and realistically i will exercise maybe 3 or 4 times a week. And by exercising i mean: doing yoga. Depending on my mood, i will do a 25 - 50 minute yoga session, either abs & arms or hips & hammies or a full body yoga workout or just an energizing morning yoga flow. I've also started to go running, but unfortunately sickness and vacations have interrupted my new routine, and i'm having a hard time getting back into it, especially with an internship, studying and writing a master's thesis on my mind.

But i'm definitely a workout person - i love moving my body first thing in the morning, especially the satisfaction and rewarding exhaustion afterwards. I've also just listened to a radio broadcast on the philosophy of running and how it affects your body and mind, allowing creative impulses and ideas that you can't obtain by sitting (which is why talking and walking is much easier and comes more natural than sitting and talking). So hopefully i will pick up running soon because all my mental work needs a physical counterbalance. Until then, yoga it is! (pictured: camel pose)


Warm Lemon Water


Before eating breakfast - or any meal actually - it is important to hydrate your body since it requires fluid in order to digest properly. That's why i always make sure to drink at least 250 - 500ml of warm water before breakfast. One of my favourite ways to drink it is infused with lemon (or lime or orange lemon juice). 

I've recently read that adding a tbsp of blackstrap molasses to your lemon or lime water is great for flawless hair and skin as blackstrap molasses is rich in copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium and iron, but after trying that mix last week i don't think i can handle the disgusting taste. But if you're not as sensitive: go ahead and boost your system with a blackstrap lemon shot! Yikes ;)


Breakfast


For breakfast i usually have warm porridge like this spicy Ayurvedic oatmeal (with raisins, ginger powder, cinnamon and cardamom - additional 1-2 tsp of blackstrap molasses, you don't even taste it!) with fresh fruits, as seen at the top of this blog post, or a big bowl of cold granola such as this go-to 5 Minute Muesli with lots of fresh fruits and crunchy granola.
 

Bathroom Time

(1) Teeth brushing (duh!)

For brushing my teeth i use my organic B12 toothpaste once a day (usually in the evening) and apart from that some sort of natural cosmetics xylitol toothpaste, such as the myrrh and the fresh mint toothpastes pictured above; all three from our local health food store.

Oh, and i also brush my teeth from away from the gums, as you will otherwise push the bacteria into the gums. Instead, you want to brush them away!

This brings me to another part of my morning hygiene: tongue scraping.

As a matter of fact, dental research has concluded that a tongue scraper is even more effective at removing toxins and bacteria from the tongue than a toothbrush! Although brushing and flossing will loosen and move debris around, they do not actually remove the bacteria. Honestly, when i just brush my teeth without scraping my tongue afterwards, it doesn't feel as clean as it would with a scraped tongue.

(2) Tongue Scraping

Tongue scraping is another Ayurvedic oral hygiene practice that removes bacteria, food debris, fungi, toxins, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue. When we sleep, our digestive system remains awake, removing toxins from our body by depositing them onto the surface of our tongue. If we don't scrape away these toxins, they will a) multiply and b) get reabsorbed by the body and can lead to respiratory difficulties, digestive problems, and a compromised immune system. (source)

You know those built-in tongue cleaner on the back of a toothbrush? Yeah, don't use those. Instead, invest in a proper tongue scraper like the one you see in the picture - a long, thin, flat piece of stainless steel that is bent in a "U" shape. They are very inexpensive! 

Standing in front of a mirror, you scrape your tongue by simply holding the two ends of the scraper in both hands, sticking out your tongue, and placing the scraper as far back on you tongue as possible without gagging. With firm but gentle pressure (you don't want to activate your gagging reflex), scrape the surface of your tongue in one long stroke. Rinse the scraper and repeat until your tongue feels clean and is free of coating (usually 5 to 10 times). 

I promise you, you'll notice the difference immediately!

(3) Showering

Now i won't go into detail because there's really nothing special about this: i wash my body, wash my hair, and sometimes i use my exfoliating glove to prevent ingrown hairs on my legs. 

After that i slip into my bath robe, comb my hair and let it air-dry. Later on i usually straighten my hair.


(4) Skin care

Now, like i already mentioned, i'm a very lazy - let's call it efficient - person. I've never been that sort of girl that spends an hour or longer putting make-up on. In fact, i never wear ANY make-up except mascara every now and then. However, i do like to pamper myself from time to time, and in order to moisturise my skin and prevent wrinkles, i sometimes oil my face.

Just like the Ancient Egyptians kept their skin vibrant and flawless with Moringa Oil, i like to massage my face with organic St. John's wort oil which not only contains anti-inflammatory properties to relieve irritation and sunburns, but also boosts the skin's metabolism to promote regeneration. And the messaging helps to relax the tight and drawn muscles and stimulates blood flow.

The great thing is, facial oils don't just leave you with a glowy, soft and smooth complexion, but they can actually also pull out grime and blackheads from the pores  (higher-end oils such as macadamia and jojoba), and heal or prevent pimples (tea tree oil)!

When i don't feel like getting my face all oily, or if i have an appointment and don't want to look greasy, i like to spray my face with a refreshing fluid such as this organic orange blossom water instead. It's perfect for those light summer days that are coming soon!


Another thing i definitely don't do daily, but that i wanted to include in this post because it is part of my morning routine on some days, is epilating. (I actually met a girl last year that said she would epilate every day - but honestly, i'm way to lazy for that which is WHY i bought an epilator, so that i wouldn't have to shave my legs every day, but only every 3 or 4 weeks!)

So yeah. I bought this BRAUN epilator when i was 16 i think, and it's been one of the best investments! Even though it hurts like hell at the beginning, epilating is so handy if you are like me and want to get the "hair problem" out of the way and not have to worry about it for a couple of weeks. Btw, i kind of envy women who don't shave - i myself am not self-confident enough to do that, and i find smooth legs more aesthetic, to be honest, but i can't be bothered with shaving my arms for example. Legs, armpits, bikini zone - okay. But arms? No way. Luckily i have blond arm hair, lol.


B12 Supplement


Almost forgot! Of course, as a good vegan girl I take my B12 every morning. In my case, it's a lemon flavoured pink pill that I place under my tongue and allow to dissolve slowly. It contains active vitamin B12 as Methylcobalamin (be sure to take the Methyl one, not the Cyanocobalamin) and xylitol as a sweetener. And of course it's vegan as well as gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free. 

I really do notice an improvement in my mood, my energy levels and my sleeping patterns ever since I started taking it after a long period of fatigue, insomnia and lack of motivation.


Work



I love to take a day just to myself, lay around in yoga pants with a book, a movie or some good music, and take some "me time". However, in reality when it's not the weekend, i spend my days working. Either i read/write stuff for university (working on my master's thesis right now), or i have an internship like i do at the moment, or i simply work "voluntarily" on a novel project or on my blog.

My current morning routine goals are meditation, gratitude, deep breathing, healthy breakfast, workout sometimes and positive affirmation - I'm a very restless person, so the first three things don't come naturally to me. But especially for restless people like me, rest is extremely important! A moment of of calmness, a space for self-reflection, to provide me with the necessary energy for the usual hectic work day...

Oil pulling, morning yoga, tongue scraping... I fully accept the fact that I am slowly turning into a hippie child :) *loves it*






Maisy




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