1. Drink a glass of warm water first thing in the morning
As soon as I wake up in the morning and before doing anything else—yes, even before brushing teeth—I drink a full glass of warm water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of honey. This gently warms up the spleen and awakens the digestive and kidney system and helps cleanse all the wastes that the body processed overnight.
Why Honey? In Traditional Chinese Medicine, honey is a great nutritious food with essential micronutrients such as vitamins, iron, calcium and copper and key enzymes that help relieve heat, clear away toxins, relieve pain and combat dehydration. It also helps nourish the energy (Yin) and strengthens the body’s spleen, sharpens eyesight and brings out those healthy, rosy cheeks. By simply taking a tablespoon every morning, honey can help prevent constipation as well. Additional tip: if you are suffering from allergy, substitute commercially-available honey with local, unprocessed honey. It will work wonders in helping to address allergy symptoms.
Adding apple cider vinegar helps regulate the body’s PH to create a more balanced inner environment for energy to flow better. It is also proven to help maintain a healthy digestion.
2. Stretch. Move. Exercise
Maintaining the body’s flexibility as we age can be challenging, especially if we spend long hours at work mostly motionless like sitting on a chair in front of a computer. Doing daily simple stretches or short exercises that forces the body to move for 7-15 minutes in the morning helps us hurdle such flexibility challenges. I do Yoga stretches for 10 minutes. This is a part of my morning routine for years because stretching or exercising helps the energy (Chi) flow smoothly and charges the body for the work ahead—preventing possible stress or symptoms resulting to it, such as backache or muscle pain.
3. Eat a healthy power breakfast, ASAP:
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But eating food with empty calories—high on fats and low in nutrition— and doing so hours later after waking up defeats the importance and purpose of breakfast. Breakfast jump-starts the body’s metabolism in the morning, so eating soon after waking up can raise the body’s energy level right away and encourage the body to be more active throughout the morning and into the afternoon.
Stay away from sugar-laden pastries and cereals. Eat an egg, whole wheat bread, and fruits. For active individuals, think of quick and healthy alternatives that let you eat breakfast AND walk out the door on time. For me, Guacamole spread on a whole wheat toast (or sometimes indulging myself with a slice of Walnut Cranberry bread) is my usual breakfast. I like avocado, and a delicious and healthy Guacamole with just salt and freshly squeezed lime as ingredients make this an ideal and easy breakfast for me. Guacamole is very rich in high density cholesterol and high quality fat, which are all needed by our body to produce hormone. For women, hormone balance dictates not only how we feel but also how we perform. There is a lot of misconception about fat. Some newly published research already proves that low-fat diet does NOT work well with how the body functions. The body needs fat—good fat, that is—for healthy joints and for producing essential hormones. Apart from avocado, olive oil and even butter (Ghee or grass-fed natural butter) are also ideal sources of good fat.
Another easy, quick, healthy and power breakfast is a smoothie. I’ve been making this delicious homemade breakfast for years with a mix of freshly frozen fruit chunks. Buy organic fruits in season, rinse, take out the leaves and stems, and then store in bag inside the freezer.
Here’s my nutrient-packed and antioxidant-rich recipe, The Lola Way Smoothie:
- 1 Pineapple chunk
- 1 Cup of blueberry
- 2 Organic strawberries
- 1 Banana 1 Tablespoon of Greek yogurt
- 1 Cup of freshly squeezed pineapple juice
Directions: Put all ingredients in blender. Blend well for 1-2 minutes. Enjoy!