and was part of my morning practice!
It takes about 30 days to form and solidify a habit. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. One habit I believe every highly function human being should have is a consistent morning ritual or routine. Having a morning ritual will set you up for success and will help to bring you closer to your goals; and it doesn’t have to be anything crazy! It can be as simple as making sure that you are brushing your teeth and washing your face every morning…
Ideally, morning rituals are supposed to be short and efficient – no more than an hour and a half. It may take a while in the beginning, but once you’ve gone through the ritual for about 30 days, it will become a part of your life that comes naturally, without even thinking about it.
A great way to make sure you don’t skip steps or forget anything when you start, is to print out a piece of paper with a checklist of everything in your routine. For example:
- 1. Water
- 2. Bathroom
- 3. Breakfast
- 4. Yoga
- 5. Goals
- 6. Twitter and Email
You can then carry this around with you, or stick it on your wall to remind yourself every morning to do these items IN this order.
Here is what I have as part of my Morning Ritual…
Water: Water is probably the most crucial part of my morning. On rising I drink 500ml of room temperature lemon water. This gets my digestive systems started for the day and makes for a lovely morning BM. I carry on with the other items on the list, but by the time I am finished I have consumed 1.5 liters of water before I have even left the house
Bathroom: I don’t think that going into detail is necessary here. Keep good hygiene. No one likes a smelly sailor.
Yoga: Having some sort of physical movement firs thing in the morning tells your body that the day has started. I do a few sun salutations, work on my headstand and do a few pushups. I feel energized and ready to go!
Breakfast: Whatever you do, don’t skip breakfast – the productivity consequences of that are extremely punishing. I make a high protein, carb and healthy fat based smoothie that usually takes me the entirety of the rest of my ritual to finish.
Blog: Since I blog daily, and have very VERY long days I have to make sure that I set aside an allotted time to get this done, and get it done efficiently. I am often known to doddle and get lost in internet world.
Goals: I like to set my goals, and schedule my day as part of my morning ritual. I use my iphone to schedule everything I need to do, with timers and reminders. I also take 15 minutes to look at my vision board and check in with myself regarding each goals progress.
Social Check: This I try to delay as long as possible. I usually do this on my commute. I send some Tweets, answer Emails and check Facebook all before 9 am. Then it is out of the way (for the most part) and you are free to concentrate on work. But let’s be serious, I tweet all day long….
All of this can be done in 90 minutes or less… yeeeehaw!
What does your morning ritual look like? I post pictures of me doing mine on Instagram! Check it out!
Cheese… this guilty pleasure is the number one reason why many individuals have such a hard time converting to veganism 100%. This creamy, savory, amazing brick of deliciousness was the hardest thing to give up 2 years ago, when I made the switch. I used to find myself hiding in my bedroom with a whole pizza; or would go two weeks without having it and then crash and eating an entire wheel of brie… it was sickening really. But nonetheless terribly, terribly hard to give up… Keep these tips in mind if you are a new vegan, finding yourself with cravings for cheese or other non vegan products. Having a great inner dialogue will help you to exercise willpower.
Why are you Vegan? It’s important to be clear on your reasons for giving up animal products. Spirituality or religion? Have you taken ethical position because of animal rights, or the environment? Or have you done this for health reasons- experimenting with the diet to reap the many benefits associated with eating a plant based diet? If it is the later, than I suggest beginning your venture into veganism with being predominantly vegan while enjoying without guilt, though perhaps only on special occasions, your favorite dishes. Pizza was my special treat two –three times a month when I was making the conversion.
For the first two reasons try this easy but effective strategy–it works well for cravings in general, especially those more unconscious ones (smoking, for instance). When a craving arises, look directly at it with your mind’s eye. Try to see what it looks like; its color, its shape, its texture. In shining the light of awareness on your craving, you’ll find that it has seemingly vanished. The more you practice this, the more effective it becomes in reducing cravings. Of course drinking a huge glass of water or nibbling on a vegan treat will help as well.
Learn how to substitute. With a little to no effort, you can make your own vegan cheeses from nuts, or purchase whole food alternatives like Daiya. Then use these in your favorite recipes. Voila, easy vegan nachos, pizza, grilled cheeses and poutine!!! The list really is endless. If you need creative inspiration just visit my Bitchin’ Recipes page. I am a firm believer in the fact that you do NOT have to give up your favorite dishes just because you go vegan. You will not have to say goodbye to these items forever, no quite the opposite, indulge and feel fantastic, the vegan way.