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    News — #healthy

    Supercharge your goals and productivity with a morning ritual

    Are you a morning person? Did you know that every single morning that you are here on this earth you have a choice to make today a better day? So get ready (and get up), I'm going to talk you through how to design your own Morning Ritual that will supercharge your day.

    Simply put, a morning ritual is a set of actions you do immediately upon waking up to prepare and optimise yourself for a more productive and laser-focused day. As a person who wants to reach goals, this is really important, so listen up.

    Most people get into habits, and the morning habits seem to be the hardest to break. Take breakfast for example, do you have the same style of meal every day? Most people do and it's the reason hotel buffets cater for a broad variety of tastes - we don't like to change much - even on holidays.

    Then of course there's the habit of waking up late. It leads to rushing out the door, grabbing coffee and breakfast on the run and feeling frazzled. Over time this habit leads to a routine that sets a 'tone' for the rest of your day. It's not enjoyable to be rushing around, it makes you swear at red lights and causes your sympathetic nervous system to kick in leading to high blood pressure and digestive issues.

    It's all common sense.

    What if I told you there is a better way? No, I'm not about to quote a bunch of human psychological studies - although the scientific evidence is out there - I'm going to talk common sense. Scientific evidence shouldn't be the only motivational factor here.

    Let's look at two scenarios to starting your day:

    Option #1

    You wake, immediately grab your smart phone, and scowl because you are blinding yourself by the bright blue light hitting your still sleepy eyes. You notice 12 notifications between various apps, social networks, emails and text messages (likely some urgent and some not so urgent things to deal with). You turn on the TV while you’re getting ready and watch the morning news (it's all crime, heavy traffic, maybe some rain). You’re running late for a meeting so you head out the door without breakfast and rush to your first meeting to start your day.

    Option #2

    You wake up 30 minutes earlier than normal and immediately spend several minutes in silence, appreciating the stillness before you start your day. You sit up in bed, close your eyes again and spend the next few minutes meditating, just focusing on your belly breathing and practice controlling your thoughts. In your own time, fix yourself a fresh fruit smoothie. While you’re taking the time to enjoy breakfast (allowing digestive system to do its job), you write down your goals for the day. The most important one first, followed by the rest, less important goals. Finally you pick up your smartphone to check notifications from the night and adjust your goals and priorities accordingly. With some time to spare before your first meeting, you take the walk that crosses through the park.

    It's not rocket science to make an estimate as to which scenario leads to a better day. But which is closer to your real life situation?

    These two morning options might sound like they are worlds apart, but really it is only a few small choices that make all the difference. Even if you are closer to #2, I'm sure there is room for improvement.

    Why starting the day right is so important

    You wake up and morning happens every. single. day. So why not spend time to make it work for you? Make it work to create an even better, more productive day - everyday. Because you can't borrow tomorrow, today is all you have to work with.

    Ask yourself, is it possible that you can feel better each day? Is it possible you can work harder? Is it possible you can be more alert, focused on your goals and relaxed if you changed a few fundamental things on starting your day? Is it possible?

    A logical person would likely say yes.

    Four examples of what a morning ritual looks like

    1. Wake up 10 minutes early
      Meditate for 10 minutes.
      I use an App called Smiling Mind - it's free - so no excuses. There are also loads of meditation workshops available to learn to do it yourself without an audio guide. See Soho Yoga who often run workshops and also The Nourished Soul.

    2. Wake 30 minutes early
      Hop out of bed (the hopping is optional) and stretch for 10 minutes
      Write down your goals for the day - it's important to write, oldschool, not type. Make sure you write them in order of importance!

    3. Wake up 1 hour early
      Read for 20 minutes.
      Write down some ideas you have - a new business idea, poetry, plan a dinner party - it doesn't matter - its all about getting the creative juices flowing.
      Make a green smoothie - Blend: avocado, kale, cucumber, lemon juice and two dates
      Drink it while you write your list of golas for the day
      Start work on the most important task of the day

    4. Wake at 6am everyday. This isn't hard in Queensland, it's the best time of the day.
      Meditate for 10 minutes.
      Drink two tall glasses of water
      Exercise for 10 minutes - I prefer yoga (and I have an App for that too - Yoga Studio) - but you can do body weight exercises such as push-ups, squats or jogging
      Define your tasks and goals for the day
      Begin your day

    5. Extra bonus round...
      If you have children - wake up an hour before they do (OK if your toddler is still waking at 4am you have my blessing to sit this one out and just take him back to bed with you for doona cuddles until a more appropriate hour)
      Do any of the above morning rituals, shower and get dressed before they wake.
      They will think the world of you and the awesome example you set, you scrumptious Mummy!

    Put your stamp on it! It doesn't have to be yet another set of rules you're gonna hate. It can be as simple as you like. The idea is to focus on the things you want that will give the greatest benefit to your day. Do you want to feel more relaxed, happier, more in control of cravings? Ask yourself what really matters. 

    It can take 30 days for a habit to form, so be patient with this. Test different elements and over time what feels right will feel really wrong if you miss it for a day - like not brushing your teeth.

    The elements to create a morning ritual

    We are all individuals. It may be 15 minutes of drawing that creates space in your day to manifest greatness, or perhaps it's talking to the plants (or the chickens), you might like to do a full hour of yoga...play with the dog...whatever it is the idea is that it will put you in a good state of mind for the rest of the day.

    Here are a few popular elements to get you started:

    Water - hydrotherapy is key to many ancient healing philosophies. It's a simple way to start your brain and digestion.

    Breakfast - all bodies are different. So whether it's a heavy breakfast of eggs, salmon, potato hash and spinach or a lighter one of yoghurt topped with nutty granola and fresh fruit take your time with the eating part! Try experimenting with what makes you feel best. You might be surprised at how different a different food can give you more clarity and more energy throughout the day.

    Just be wary of sugar at breakfast. What goes up must come down, this goes for caffeine too. Also, avoid caffeine with a meal - it can deplete nutrient uptake - particularly in pregnancy.

    Exercise - no need to go too nuts here - save that for the gym or your 5km run. In a morning ritual the goal is simply to get moving. Stretching out your muscles and doing a few gentle twists or back bends will keep your spine more youthful, it will warm you up and with a few empowering yoga poses you will be ready to face whatever the day has to throw at you.

    Family - whether you are a work from home entrepreneur or a commuter, we spend too much time at work. It's no longer 9am to 5pm more like 7am to 11pm! Create the space for family in the morning and you have already started your day with the most important people in the world. This one isn't only for you - it's for them too.

    Reading - it expands your mind, challenges your thoughts and opinions. What's not to love about reading? Make it a book, as in paper and ink. Remember, the goal is to set the tone for the day so you should stick to positive books.

    Writing - There are so many benefits to writing. It helps you better form thoughts and flush out ideas that are stuck in your head. This doesn’t mean you need to write a book, a blog post or even a journal. Just a few ideas can be extremely beneficial and help spark your day.

    Silence - I sleep with Airplane mode on my phone, so there are no constant beeps and pings (I own an online business) and it doesn't switch back on until 7am. A few moments of pure unadulterated silence, except for the birds and distant traffic noises, can be an excellent way to make your day pure gold.

    Meditation - the brain is amazing and giving it a little treat is a brilliant way to start the day. My three and five year olds tells me "that was soooooo good" each time we meditate together (which is every day). 

    Meditation, can be really as simple as silence+focus. Do you think that some silence and focus can help you? It’s pretty hard to argue against a bit of silence and focus in your life.

    Set your goals for the day - If you are like me, you likely have hundreds of tasks on your list. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and lose focus on your goals for the day.

    Try writing down the three most important things you want to achieve and do them before 11am. The trick is not to write down unachievable goals like write that novel, but something like 1) write that new product description, 2) prepare a powerpoint presentation and 3) pick up stationery order, are all achievable with a start and a finish that can be ticked off as you complete them.

    Recipe for success

    1. Pick your anchor item - what will give the most impact to your day? Can be as simple as waking up earlier

    2. Add elements as desired - don't make it too hard on yourself - don't overburden your morning or overcommit. This is supposed to be adding benefits.

    3. Switch things up and change it around. I like to think of this optimising my productivity - so if an element isn't serving you, toss it out.

    4. Stick to it - it takes 30 days to create a habit - and that is basically what we're going for here. Great habits to replace bad ones, like sleeping too late and being a grouch because the lights were red all the way to work.

    You got this.

     

    The take home

    Your morning without doubt will set the tone of your entire day. So make it work for you! Do this by making sure that every morning YOU are in charge of the decisions that start your day. Appreciate the little things like a good whole body stretch and a few moments of meditation.

    A morning ritual will take time to establish, but it will be worth it. With a whole lot of mornings ahead of you there is no reason not to make these small changes to upgrade your life and take yourself to the next level.

    What is your morning ritual?

    What morning rituals have you developed? What have you found, that above all else, supercharges your day and helps you take your focus, clarity and productivity to the next level? Let me know in the comments.

    .............................................................................................................................................

    If you’re struggling with changing your diet and lifestyle, you may want to consider hiring a health coach, the idea is pretty simple – you want to make the changes necessary to be your best – but ‘stuff’ keeps getting in the way. A coach can help you listen to your body first and use the information that best works for you. Because bio-individuality is the key to nutrition.

    Georgia, our in-house Nutrition Consultant and Certified Health Coach is available on Friday’s to talk to you about a free introduction to Health Coaching. To make a one-on-one appointment contact us today.

    Good eating for good health


    Turn on your TV, open a newspaper, or boot up your computer and you're bound to get some confusing news about diet and health. Healthier. Happier. a Queensland Government initiative states:

     

    "Queensland is a great state but unfortunately we have the highest rate of obesity in Australia. Our research shows 65% of Queenslanders are overweight or obese, and 33% don’t even realise it. Not only that, 23% are at risk of being overweight in the future." (Queensland Health, 2016)

     

    But don't let this drive you to distraction — or to the donut shop. Instead, remember four key facts:

    1. What you eat affects your appearance, your energy and comfort, and — above all — your long term health.

    2. Australia is on the wrong track. Diabetes and high blood pressure are on the rise. Heart attacks, strokes, and cancer are distressingly common. Many factors contribute to these complex problems, but the basic reasons are simple: we eat too much, we choose the wrong foods, and we don't get enough exercise.

    3. Scientists now know what diet is best for health (see below). The fine print has changed and is likely to change some more, but the key facts are in.

    4. Good eating is not a punishment, but an opportunity. If you know why it's important and what to do, you'll find it enjoyable and satisfying. And if you establish an overall pattern of healthful nutrition, you'll have plenty of wiggle room to savour the treats that matter most to you.

      Your goals

      For most people, TLC stands for tender loving care. For doctors, it stands for the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet. The TLC diet provides sound goals for most Australians.

       

      The TLC Diet

      Total kilojoules adjusted in conjunction with exercise to attain or maintain a healthy body weight. (Your doctor or a nutritionist can help you figure out how many calories you, personally, should be taking in.) Talk to us - make an appointment with our Nutritional staff, and we will be able to calculate the exact figures for your body.

       

      Total fat
      25% - 35% of total kilojoules
      Saturated fat
      Less than 7% of total kilojoules
      Polyunsaturated fat
      Up to 10% of total kilojoules
      Monounsaturated fat
      Up to 20% of total kilojoules
      Cholesterol
      Less than 200 mg a day
      Protein
      About 15% of total kilojoules
      Fibre
      The Institute of Medicine
      at Harvard recommends:
      • men 50 years and younger get 38 grams per day
      • women 50 and younger get 25 grams per day
      • men over 50 get 30 grams per day
      • women over 50 get 21 grams per day

       

      The take home 

      A whole foods business like Wholesomeness can be really useful. Not only for our Health Coaching and Cooking Class services, but our online meal delivery service provides perfectly balanced and portioned meals for when you are too busy to cook (or simply prefer not to) - check out the current menu here. We love to use vegies in interesting ways to ensure you get enough fibre and its never boring. Baked apple, beetroot and quinoa anyone? See the above pic of our Roast Pork Belly for a beautiful combination of flavours.

      Here's a typical nutritional information panel found on all our meal descriptions on the website. This one is for Braised Lamb with Cavolo Nero, Roast Pumpkin and Red Onion.



      NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:
      Servings per portion: 1 Serving size: 300g
      TOTAL Energy: 1350 Kj
      Protein: 33.6g
      Fat: 13.4g
      Carb: 13.2g

      What's interesting to most from the table above, is that daily intake of fats is much higher than most people would think. But the important point to note is that what you want to be eating is monounsaturated fat. Liquid at room temperature, you can find these fats in olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds and don't forget about fish (mostly polyunsaturated but also high in mono), eggs, some cheeses (think Roquefort and Parmesan) and butter.

      When cooking oils are heated they can oxidise forming free-radicals and harmful compounds that you definitely don't want to be consuming. Which is why we don't use cooking oils typical of the food industry - you will notice our meals are mainly braises, tagines and curries - so we don't actually fry anything in oil. That leaves room for you to add good fats in the form of extra virgin olive oil, nuts and avocado to your salads and snacks throughout the day.

      Like any advice, listen to your body first and choose to use the information that works for you. Bio-individuality is the key to nutrition, and what works for your friend or someone in the media may not work for you.

      For some inspiration on delicious healthy recipes, sign up for a Wholesomeness cooking class. Or talk to Georgia our in-house Nutrition Consultant and Certified Health Coach about a free introduction to Health Coaching today via peeps@wholesomeness.com.au.