Starting your morning right can look different for many people, but for me it is pretty much fueling my body, getting a workout in, and getting into the zone for my work so I’m not tempted to snack before my meal. Regardless of any dietary preferences you may have, a solid morning routine can set you off on the right foot for a productive morning and a great day. For me personally, in addition to a ketogenic lifestyle, I also do intermittent and extended fasting. Some days, well, most days really, it’s easy to avoid snacking but there are times when it’s tempting. Snacking usually leads to me not eating real full meals when it’s time, and a couple of well balanced meals per day is what I do best with. So a morning routine that supports my best health is what I’ve got for ya today. Make sure to consult with your healthcare professional before you start anything like a ketogenic or fasting lifestyle, and as always do not consider our personal experiences to be medical advice or treatment.
Step 1: Wake up and have lemon water with ACV & cayenne powder
It’s pretty simple, a glass of water with 1-2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar, juice of 1/2 a lemon, and 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper. It’s supposed to have quite the lineup of benefits, but you can look into that, I’m not touting them here. This drink was popularized by a Youtuber in the fasting and keto space that I follow named Thomas DeLauer. It’s pretty rough to drink, but really wakes you up! The cayenne literally warms you up. I’m not a fan of vinegar but I get through it and tell myself, if I can get through this step, I can do anything really. Adding a little stevia helps but in all honesty, the feeling of successfully consuming such a …different type of drink wakes you up and motivates you to conquer any obstacle. You can add other things like turmeric, ginger, or honey, but for me it’s usually just lemon, cayenne and ACV.
Step 2: Walk around and open all the windows, pickup any messes, etc.
Setting the tone and stage for my day as a work-from-home mom is one of the secrets to feeling accomplished and ready to take on the day with success. I love to enjoy a slow quiet morning as early as possible, and reflect in peace. Affirmations and meditation tracks are involved via headphones, but I just turn on my AM playlist and set my phone down. This is a fairly short one, so I usually turn on the audiobook I’m listening to or a podcast after it is over. Yes, technically this is “getting on my phone” but I can turn it on without getting sucked in. Admittedly, when I first started doing this, it did take a conscious effort to not peek at the notifications. I am sure there’s a way to automate the start of a playlist with the voice assistant, but choosing to refrain from getting into notifications is also a form of self-discipline, so this is working fine. I also do visualizations of my day during this time, and listen to affirmations and motivational content as I get prepared and “wake up” my body.
Step 3: Have some caffeine and workout.
I’ve been using the “Burn” powder from Motiv8 and I love the taste and the fact that it has no sugar. That works really well for me and is easier than making a coffee, and doesn’t give the jittery and tingly feeling of a preworkout. The flavor is awesome and feels like a treat without it being out of alignment with my health goals. I usually drink this while on the treadmill or stationary bike, then once it’s done and settled I begin my actual workout. I like to slowly drink my preworkout instead of drinking it fast. This helps to incorporate a warm-up, it just is a nice way to get going. I do try to make sure my workouts are fasted most days since that is what works for me, but not everyone does so well with fasted workouts. Listen to your body for sure! I follow up my workouts with stretching and yoga, and that is something I recommend no matter what your routine is as far as the workout type. There are many reasons why this is helpful, just try to stretch every muscle from neck to ankles. If you don’t want to think about it, look up a stretching video on Youtube.
Step 4: Prepare for the day’s plans
After my workout, half the time I will do a smoothie, the other half the time I wait an hour or so. I usually have some Motiv8 greens and aminos in my smoothie, along with protein powder of choice, an avocado and almond or coconut milk. While enjoying my smoothie I start planning my day on paper by brain dumping everything I can think of onto a notebook. Any tasks, ideas, etc, it’s a brain dump because it’s just allowing anything and everything to flow out with no intent to organize it in that moment. This helps immensely for step 5. Part of the benefits I get from keto and fasting relate to my cognition. I can easily get in the zone and do more work in less time when I’m in a fasted state and after a workout. I realise so far I’ve had a lot of caffeine, but I drink all of my caffeine in the first half of the day, so chances are at this point, I’m going to prepare a coffee for my husband and myself. I use my Healthy Human Life tumbler so that it stays warm til I drink it a few hours later.
Step 5: Organize my day and get to work!
This is the time I crack open my laptop, usually still on the couch enjoying the open window view, and plan out the day in Asana. I take any action items from step 4, and turn them into tasks with actual due dates, and clear instructions to myself on what it will take to accomplish it. This helps soooo much when I later open up the calendar view of Asana and start taking care of “action items” once I’m at my desk and big screen. My little planner notebook stays with me too, and along the way, especially as I think of new ideas, I can jot them down in there. A little later in the morning, after using my peak morning focus energy to knock out the hardest “critical thinking required” tasks, I put my physical notes into Asana and add as much detail as possible, filing them under the appropriate project. As I’m working on the critical thinking tasks, I don’t usually listen to anything with words, I save that for later on when I’m doing busy work or little things around the house, etc. For work, I usually pick one of the tracks from my Focus Playlist.
These are my first 5 steps to a successful morning while I am on the ketogenic fasting lifestyle, and whether or not diet comes into it, you can implement any or all of these to get more done in less time. I was always one to let my work expand to the time given, but after realizing how much I can do if I fully zone in, distraction-free, I have made a conscious effort to work in the “deep work” state instead of working with distractions/with partial or broken attention. I literally lock myself in my office once the household is awake, and use my noise-canceling headphones to make sure I can truly get into what I am doing and not be pulled away. This prevents my most crucial creative work from being less than optimal or taking me all day.