WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

WAKE UP WELL

Q . WHAT ARE YOUR MORNING ROUTINES?

Essentials, Rituals, Natural Living, Lifestyle, Inspirationdanielle coppermanComment

A . MY MORNING ROUTINES

My morning routine changes depending on my whereabouts, my current schedule, the seasons and the moon phases (and thus my energy levels) and just generally how I'm feeling from one day to the next. I'm constantly developing and changing and so my rituals and routines are ever evolving too. At the moment, I've found my flow in the following waking morning routine.

1st . Lie in bed for a couple of minutes with my boyfriend, check my phone, think about the day ahead and / or positive aspects and gratitude attention practice (I don't journal or write these things down in the mornings, I just spend a few minutes thinking about the positive aspects of my life, and focussing on all I have each morning and all I am grateful for.

2nd . Head to the bathroom (via the kettle - to fill and activate it), spend about a 30 seconds tongue scraping with an ayurvedic tongue scraper and doing whatever else needs doing in there.

3rd . Glass of cold water.

4th . Hot drink - either an adaptogen in hot water or plant based m*lk, or a simple lemon, ginger and turmeric juice cocktail with hot water.

5th . 20 minutes mantra meditation, with said drink at hand. (Sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes 10 minutes, I aim for 20 though).

6th . Nauli Kriya.

7th . Morning stretch sequences or full 1 hour yoga sequence at home. I usually replace this with   a local yoga, boxing, or hiit class, depending on my mood and level of meditation.

8th . Home or my studio to begin work and whatever else the day holds.

7 WAYS TO EMBRACE THE HOLIDAYS FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN NEVER SWITCH OFF

Essentials, Wellbeing, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment

The holiday season – a joyous time, but one that has become potentially more stressful than I’m sure it was ever intended to be. If you’re not stressing about presents, sending cards, food shopping, prepping, cooking or where everyone is going to sit and oh god they need somewhere to sleep too, the chances are you’ll be one uncontrollable step ahead of yourself stressing about the aftermath. The tiredness, the mess, how many ways you can disguise the leftovers and how long its acceptable to keep eating them for, and on top of all that, the way you’re going to feel after days and days and days of eating. 

Christmastime should be centred around spending time with friends and family, spending time laughing and letting go, and spending whatever time you have left after that recuperating, resetting and reflecting. This time of year shouldn't stress you out or make you feel anxious, it's here for you to enjoy and it's an excuse to have as much fun as possible before the New Year begins and things start to get serious again. If you could remove yourself from the world and look down on everyone running around in an uncontrollable muddle, you’d find it uncomfortable to watch and highly unnecessary, when what people should actually be doing is having the time of their lives. Below, a few ways to embrace the holiday season, a few ways to switch off and a few ways to stay healthy:

Masticate Mindfully
If you stick to quite specific dietary requirements / choices and are worried about keeping in practice during the holidays, do your best to create a nourishing balance that isn't too structured and that you can enjoy, rather than completely depriving yourself of the foods on the table that you wouldn't usually eat. As soon as you make any rules and decide that you're not under any circumstances allowed even a taste of something you know you want, you turn into a maniac. And when everyone else around you is enjoying the things you want, you tend to become a hot mess of hostility and frustration, unable to focus on anything other than the smell, taste and texture of the very thing you're trying to avoid. So you have that little taste you disallowed yourself and since you tasted it you now have to finish it, and since you've finished one then the damage is done and you may as well have a few more, right? When you make rules, you end up eating a lot more of what you don't really want than if you'd focussed your attention elsewhere. Think about it this way: if you drop your phone and it smashes a little, you don't continue to smash it more and more just because the damage is already done. During the holidays, if you do indulge in something you'd usually steer clear of, enjoy it but don't let it turn into some kind of binge. One way to create a balance is to ensure healthier options are in sight too. Although it is hard to interfere with traditional recipes during the holidays, be bold with offering a healthier take on some conventional dishes and get involved. You'll be able to control a few contributions, meaning, if you want to, you can bulk your plate up with these, or you can simply enjoy a bit of everything. This, my friends, is balance. When we indulge, many of us treat it as a 'now or never' kind of opportunity. But instead of eating to the point of discomfort, enjoy what you want, when you want it, and rest assured that the opportunity to indulge isn't 'now or never', but is actually 'now, or tomorrow, or the next day'. There will always be leftovers, so focus on enjoying the meal, and more importantly the company, without getting hung up on how to construct your plate.
Try to make one meal a day - preferably breakfast or an evening snack - centred completely around fresh, natural ingredients. This way you can ensure your nutrient levels are high and there are plenty of healthy enzymes present to detoxify your body, meaning you can still enjoy the standard holiday fare knowing you won't feel too terrible afterwards. Having something light like a salad or a juice between indulging should help to counter any discomfort you may experience from eating foods you're body is no longer familiar with.

Humans not handsets
During the holidays, your phone stops being a vital part of your existence, and starts being some kind of technological Grinch. Unless you’re spreading Christmas cheer via whats app, looking up recipes or digitally capturing the best moments of the celebrations, use the time you’d usually spend ‘online’ having real conversations with real people and doing things you don’t always have the chance to see or do. 

Get Moving
Growing up, although constantly active, I dreaded Boxing Day walks as soon as Christmas Eve arrived. Now, perhaps since relocating to a bigger city, I cannot wait to get out into the fresh air and wonder aimlessly across the vast and chilly fields. During the holidays I don’t go to the gym but instead make time to do some gentle body weight workouts or yoga routines in my bedroom, if I feel restless. To aid digestion, circulation and to keep your body feeling fit, take a little time each day to stretch, walk or run – for meditative purposes as much as for fitness. It also helps to get family or friends involved so you don't miss out on the real fun. Try suggesting a new tradition like a pre christmas dinner walk or a gentle evening stretch down in front of a favourite christmas movie. This way you'll work up a healthy appetite and keep your body from shutting down completely as you begin to relax. Exercise also release endorphins and helps calm and settle the mind, so if there's a stressed host/ess in the family, it will do them (and everyone around them) the world of good.

But also slow down
It’s okay to take it easy. 

Fill your cupboards
If your main concern is not having enough healthy options at Christmas, my best advice is to stock your kitchen so that there will always be something nourishing for you to snack on. Whether you want raw chocolate on hand so you don’t end up eating the more processed alternatives, or whether you want superfoods on hand to ensure you have an easy, instant route to vital vitamins and minerals, making room for your favourite pantry staples in the kitchen, or in your luggage if you are travelling, is a simple step for a balanced holiday.

Discover
The holidays tend to free up a lot of time if and when you’re not working so much. Take up a new or temporary hobby that requires you to utilize a different part of your brain or exercise a different skill. Spending time on something new can open you up to things you may never have known you enjoyed had you stuck to your usual routine. It doesn’t have to be educational or especially enriching. Maybe learn a language, lose yourself in some terrible television, read a new book, do some art or discover some new music. 

Evaluate, congratulate, appreciate and formulate
As we near the end of another year, take time to reflect on all of the days you had in 2015, and learn to acknowledge and appreciate your achievements. I personally find it hard to naturally praise myself if and when I achieve something, as there is always something else on my to-do list and I never schedule in time to celebrate. I often end up realizing what an achievement something is when one of my friends or family bring it up and I’m like, “oh yeah, that, yeah I guess that is a pretty big deal”. Once you’ve concentrated on what you’ve accomplished in days gone by, you’ll find it easier to formulate new ideas and set intentions for the days to come. General winter wellness tips.
 

BECOME A MORNING PERSON

Wellbeing, Lifestyle, Breakfastdanielle coppermanComment

Its not always easy to find time for a good breakfast, despite the pressures of making it the most important meal of the day. I find preparing things the night - or a few days - before to store in the fridge, always, always helps. Even something as simple as finishing off saving that leftover quinoa or chopping your smoothie or juice ingredients before you go to sleep so you can just throw everything together in the morning. Step one - and the most important step - to achieve morning meal success is to have the right ingredients to work with. Step two is to plan and organise in advance. It's hard enough for some people to turn their alarm clocks to 'snooze', let alone cook some eggs or prepare a bowl of porridge. 

P R E P A R A T I O N   T I P S

.  Save your leftovers. Even things like chicken or fish, as, although it may seem weird at first to swap your cereal for some meat, these are plain, additive-free protein options which will energise you without spiking your blood sugar levels or making you feel bloated. And if you really can't stomach a rerun of your dinner at 7am, pack it into a tuppaware and take it with you for lunch. Either way, you'll be ahead.

. Chop your fruits and vegetables. If you are planning to make a smoothie for your breakfast or as an out-the-door snack, work with whatever ingredients you have in the house, and decide your combination the night before. Chop your fresh ingredients and store them together in the fridge in a tuppaware, overnight. The next morning all you will have to do is fill your blender, measure out your liquids and hit the power switch.

. Juice. Again, prepare your ingredients the night before, or better yet, juice them the night before, and store the juice in the fridge overnight. You can then grab a glass or your bottle and enjoy an instant nutrient hit of concentrated goodness. You will hardly even need to think about digesting it. Your sleepy body will thank you for waking it up gently, and brilliantly.

. Freeze your fruits and veggies. If a juice doesn't quite fulfil your fast-breaking desires in the morning, something a little more filling like a smoothie or a smoothie bowl will work it's magic on you. I personally prefer freezing my ingredients in order to get a thicker result, a smoother result and a more refreshing result. Berries, banana, avocado and mango are easy to freeze and make an ideal consistency when blended with liquid. Once you've tried using frozen fruits, a fresh fruit smoothie will never satisfy you enough. Added bonus: you can always rely on your freezer to have good smoothie ingredients in the house, and you don't have to worry about anything going off either.

. Boiled eggs. Although scrambled eggs and poached eggs are so much more delicious, boiled eggs are far easier, and you can have them cooking themselves whilst you finish some work, evening chores or better, your favourite movie. Let them cool and peel away the shells later in the evening or leave them to cool in the fridge overnight. You can then enjoy them for breakfast or chop them and add the to a salad.

. Soak. Soak ingredients like quinoa, chia seeds, linseeds or nuts overnight. You can then either add these to smoothies, make a chia seed pudding, or a nut cream or pudding - high in protein and high in flavour. If you have more time, you can cook your quinoa or oats in the morning and their nutrients will be far more attainable. This process also removes the level of phytic acid in the nuts too.

. Make a trail mix. If you don't have time to sit down and concentrate on a proper meal in the morning, make your own trail mixes. This is a great way to clear your pantry or cupboards. Mix together any combination of dried nuts, seeds, toasted coconut flakes, dried fruit (keep this as low gi as possible and ensure there is no added sugar), cacao nibs and superfood powders. Mix together and store in a sandwich bag, a jar or a tuppaware container and enjoy in the morning, during your commute to work or as a snack later on.

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The main priorities for a genuinely helpful morning meal are protein, fibre, nutrients and as little sugar as possible. I try to keep away from fruit entirely in the mornings, but you can use banana or mango to sweeten your smoothies, nut milks or chia seed puddings if you need something a little sweeter. Nuts, quinoa, vegetables, meat, fish, seeds and superfood powders are good sources of all of these things.

M E A L S   T O   R O T  A T E

. Improvised cupboard-cleaning trail mixes
. Scrambled or Poached Eggs with Smoked Salmon/Avocado/Raw or Sautéed Spinach/Tomatoes/Sweet Potato/Nuts/Seeds
. Smoothies
. Juices
. Chia Seed Puddings (Chia seeds soaked in nut milk or nut cream and flavoured with things like cinnamon, vanilla, coconut nectar, banana, mango, passionfruit, maca and other superfoods)
. Porridge (oats, buckwheat flakes or quinoa flakes)
. Warm Quinoa Porridge / Pudding
. Avocado on Gluten Free Toast or Crackers
. Qnola
. Smoothie Bowls
. Nut Yoghurts / Puddings
. Salmon Fillet or Cold Chicken
. Fresh Berries with Nut Milk, Nut Cream or Coconut Yoghurt

I N G R E D I E N T S   T O   S T O R E

. Avocado
. Nut Milks or Nuts to soak, to make your own milk
. Filtered water
. Coconut Water
. Frozen Berries
. Eggs
. Smoked salmon
. Nut butter
. Greens like spinach, kale, cucumber and celery
. Superfood powders (Maca, Cacao, Lucuma, Moringa, Wheatgrass, Spirulina ...)
. Gluten free or homemade nut and seed bread
. Chia seeds
. Dried Nuts or Fruits like dates and goji berries
. Quinoa
. Buckwheat Flakes
. Qnola
. Sugar free / Homemade granola

Keeping your cupboards stocked with these useful ingredients will make it so, so easy for you to throw something together and create something new and exciting. It may also help to cleanse your cupboards too - by this I mean getting rid of any bad products/ingredients that you might be tempted by. 

Stay involved and share your creations on twitter or instagram, using the hashtag #WAKEUPWELL. Keep track of your own successful inventions, inspire others and make waking up well, well easy.