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The Perfect Morning Routine

A ha! We got you. There is no such thing as the perfect morning routine as everyone is different, and yet, Instagram begs to differ…

There is so much good to come out of social media, so much inspiration, clever ideas and a real sense of community. But there is also a lot that’s wrong with spending so much time watching how other people live their lives, and one area in which this gets really concentrated is the much hashtagged morning routine.

It’s so important with all of this useful info out there to do what works for you and to not feel pressured into drinking apple cider vinegar if you really just don’t like the taste, you know? Or if a jog around the park is as good as meditation for you then just go with that.

With meditation, yoga, fasted cardio, setting intentions, writing your to do list, drinking your apple cider vinegar, doing your workout, taking your probiotics and so much more it’s getting to the point where we’re having to wake up at 4am just to get it all done. Who can relate?

So this week we wanted to give you a couple of nuggets of info relating to the latest three ‘trends’ flying around our social media spaces that may or may not make their way into your morning routine. Give them a try and see what works for you – and then decide for yourself whether they are a just a trend or not.

Intermittent Fasting

This is such a big question at the moment. It seems like everyone is intermittent fasting (IF) and, thanks to a few big personalities on the gram, everyone is trying it. So what exactly is it and why might you do it?

It’s exactly as it sounds – spending intermittent periods in a fasted state with no food. The research that’s been done so far recommends a 14-16 hour break in between meals for the most effective results and some say the easiest way of achieving this is by missing breakfast and having your first meal at lunch time. But what are the results?

Well, it’s important to remember that most of the studies so far have been done on animals and not humans and there is a lot of anecdotal advice out there that may or may not be relevant to you. For example, certain types of people may well thrive on IF but others – potentially those with cortisol or other hormonal regulation problems, may find that skipping breakfast only increases the effects of high cortisol on their bodies or for women it can also throw their menstrual cycle out of whack.[1] It’s great to give your digestive system a rest from now and again, just make sure that the way you do it suits you. IF has also been shown to be a useful tool for weight loss, and there are interesting studies detailing a phenomena call autophagy which reduces oxidative damage and inflammation in the body.[2] It’s certainly something that shouldn’t be entered into lightly; if you’re only going to eat 2 meals a day then those 2 meals need to be nutrient dense and contain all the calories, essential fats, protein and carbohydrates that your body may need. The temptation may be with intermittent fasting that you end up bingeing on ‘cheat day’ food because you’ve only eaten one other meal that day, but it’s even more important to eat well and smartly if you’re restricting meals. A good way of getting into it or testing if it’s something you think might work is just to start by restricting the hours in which you eat your 3 meals, for example 7am-3pm or 10am-6pm.

Celery Juice

Have you seen your favourite Instagrammer drinking celery juice in the morning? This is actually one of our favourite ‘trends’ that we think shouldn’t just be a trend. Celery juice is a natural diuretic, helps reduce bloating and has positive effects on liver detoxification.[3] Our marketing director swears by her glass of celery juice in the morning to promote the flow of digestive juices and energise her for the day. There’s also research showing that it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, plus the ability to balance blood sugar.[4] Juice about 5-6 stalks of celery for optimum results. If you do decide to give this one a go, we’d love to hear how you get on.

Fasted Cardio

Most of what you read on fasted cardio revolves around using it as a tool for weight loss, and in fact studies[5] have shown that exercising fasted can burn up to 20% more fat than if you’ve eaten beforehand. So if weight loss is your goal, then this one could be for you. However, there is also something super interesting to consider with fasted cardio. It makes you more insulin sensitive and helps you to stay insulin sensitive throughout the day, which is a very positive outcome in a world where we seem to all be battling insulin resistance.[6] For more info on insulin resistance have a read of our blog post on sugar here.

Comment and tell us about your morning routine!

 

[1] William Cole, D.C., IFMCP, https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/is-intermittent-fasting-bad-for-your-hormones-these-are-the-pros-cons

[2] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-44005092

[3] http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2156587217717415

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28423952

[5] https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/breakfast-and-exercise-contingently-affect-postprandial-metabolism-and-energy-balance-in-physically-active-males/9DAC8DE59DEEF7926E81FF2BB2C5B7EB

[6] https://s3-eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/2mealday.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/30122626/10.1016%40j.cmet_.2018.04.010.pdf


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