Here’s What 9 Insanely Healthy Women Do Every Single Morning
DECEMBER 30, 2016 9:00 AM
For most of us, healthy living includes semi-regular workouts and attempts to eat as healthy as possible. But work, family, and the occasional happy hour have a weird way of intercepting even the most stringent wellness plan. As does the snooze button, because—as you’ve been told time and time again—the list of benefits that come with starting your day with exercise and clean eating are legnthy.
With that in mind, we reached out a group of wildly accomplished women—including doctors, chefs, authors, creatives—to find out the types of wellness-boosting routines they rely on every morning.
“A big part of my day is how I can best [achieve] balance. To start my day, I try to take 10 minutes to stretch, do yoga poses, and get my body loosened and awake. I also make sure to have some coffee and probiotics. If I can get to the gym in the morning, I try to fit in a yoga class or some weight lifting for 30 to 45 minutes. My goal is to try to center my mood and mind before speaking to so many women about their health because without balance, we cannot learn or evolve.” — Jessica Shepherd, M.D., an assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology and Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecology at The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago
“I lay out my clothes for the day the night before to decrease extra stress associated with decision-making. I eat oatmeal with fruit and drink coffee pretty much every morning. Having a set menu can seem boring, but can make for a better start to your day by again reducing stress.”—Caitlin Bailey, professional dancer with The Moving Architects
“Almost every day, I get up earlier than I need to and work out (play tennis, work out with a trainer, or go on my elliptical). While I can probably come up with a thousand reasons why I need to start my work day earlier, the truth is that I am much more productive, positive, and focused afterwards, so I am quite clear on the value it brings. When my partner is in town, I set my alarm for even earlier to spend some time connecting with him. That always puts a lasting smile on my face and has a number of health benefits in itself.” —Rachel Needle, Psy.D., a sex therapist and licensed psychologist at the Center for Marital and Sexual Health of South Florida
“For breakfast, I make sure I eat something with protein and green veggies. As a pastry chef, it’s easy to eat too many carbs and too much sugar, so if I start my day with scrambled or soft-boiled eggs with sautéed leafy greens. I’m also obsessed with eating seeds and nuts, so I make Swiss-style muesli (raw oats, seeds, nuts and dried nuts soaked overnight) with Greek yogurt for breakfast a lot. I also love good coffee with whole milk. I love the ritual of taking time to grind my coffee and slowly pouring the water to brew my cup. I never let anything break this habit, or else I’m a monster all day.” —Jenny McCoy, pastry chef instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, and author of Desserts for Every Season
“There’s nothing that starts my morning off right more than a great workout. I love alternating my weekly routine between hot yoga, pilates on the mega reformer, boxing, and running, since I’m training for a half marathon. Although, at times, I start with a cup of coffee, I enjoy incorporating matcha tea with steamed unsweetened vanilla almond milk and vanilla-flavored matcha.” — Beth Warren, R.D.N., founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Living a Real Life with Real Food
“My job and life are split into so many directions, so having a predictable series of steps in the morning, no matter where I am in the world, I can let the rest of the day unfold. Before my feet hit the ground, I close my eyes and go through a mental checklist of blessings. It’s sort of an odd little thing, but I am so busy that it is my pre-dawn touch base with what matters. I was raised in a pretty traditional Indian family, and the belief is that the rising sun is the source of health and a time when one makes intentions known about their own health and the health of those they love. I typically awaken before sunrise so when the sun finally breaks, I do take that mindful moment to reflect on the health of those I love, and the health of my own clients.” — Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., author of Should I Stay or Should I Go?, and an associate professor of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles
“I start [my] morning at 6 a.m. with a grapefruit, and now that pomegranate is in season, I add that in too. I also have my morning coffee with almond milk and no sugar, I go back to bed with this and do morning emails while I watch the news with my husband. Before going to work, I make a shake with protein powder, hydrolyzed collagen frozen berries, two tablespoons of almond butter, and water to make it blendable. My meditation is during my walk to and from work. I don’t listen to music during this time, I simply let my mind wander, I take in the sights and sounds of the city and I find that by the time I get to or from work, I have so many of my concerns resolved without effort. I come up with some of my best ideas for tweets, blogs and articles while I walk and I feel ready for the day or evening ahead.”—New York City dermatologist Doris Day, M.D., author of the upcoming book, Skinfluence
“Every morning I have a fresh fruit smoothie with protein. I prep it the night before in the blender—I wash and cut all my fruit—and it’s a really simple go-to breakfast that helps to keep me full for the start of my busy day.” —Tori Harrington, account executive, 5W PR
“Planning ahead is key to my success. Breakfast is always a must for me. Since I’m at home early in the morning (I’m up at 4 a.m. and get to work by 5 or 5:30 a.m.), I make it a priority to make sure I cook whole foods. I start every day with two shots of espresso and steamed 2 percent milk, one cup of organic egg whites with frozen organic spinach, one or two pieces of Spelt toast, and a cup of fresh seasonal organic mixed berries. I make sure that I take 30 grams of grass-fed whey protein with me—I mix it with about 16 ounces of water—that I consume two to three hours after breakfast.” —Sandy Sklar, B.A., NASM, AFPA pre- and post-natal certified personal trainer and co-owner of Prescriptive Fitness