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Set Yourself Up for Success: Mornings

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Set Yourself Up for Success: Mornings

Are you a “morning person” or a “night owl”? Often, I hear these terms used to describe whether someone has more energy in the morning or at night. Regardless of whatever you prefer, most of us have responsibilities in the morning we need to wake up for. 

What are your mornings usually like? When your alarm goes off, do you hit snooze several times or do you get up right away? Do you allow extra time in the morning or do you sleep until the last possible minute and feel anxious and rushed as you head out the door? 

One of the most effective ways to set yourself up for success is to begin your day with a morning routine that will help you be focused, clear, and calm.

For me, I used to start my day by unloading the dishwasher while the kettle boiled for my tea.  Ugh! Why did I do that?  I realized that just made me stressed and distracted right away. Nowadays the dishwasher can wait, for sure.

Last September, I decided to overhaul my morning routine and have been intentional about waking up earlier, usually around 5:30 am.  After my alarm goes off, I drink a big glass of water even before I get out of bed.  Obviously, this requires a bit of planning in my nighttime routine to fill up the glass and leave it on my bedside table.  Then I head downstairs to get a mug of tea. I take it to my rocking chair, put my fuzzy blanket on my lap and pull out my Bible and journal. Lately I’ve been reading in Psalms.  I read some, maybe write a bit, and pray. Then I wake up my body by stretching and doing some core strength exercises.  My whole routine takes less than 30 minutes and it feels good to wake up my body, mind, and spirit this way before moving on to the rest of my day.

The way you begin your day can have a big impact on your attitude, your stress level, and your body. So, I encourage you to think through how you would like to set yourself up for success in the morning. How would you like to feel? What things would you like to do? It’s your choice!

A few tips to Set Yourself Up for Success in the morning

  • Get up right away when your alarm goes off. No snooze! If this is a challenge for you, try Mel Robbins’ #5SecondRule - count down aloud 5-4-3-2-1 and physically get up. Just do it.

  • Drink a big glass of water. No need to chug it like I do, but definitely drink some water. Your body just went all night without any water and it needs to be hydrated!

  • Take 5+ minutes for deep breathing, meditation, contemplation, gratitude, listening to uplifting music, reading something inspirational.

  • Move your body. Even 5 minutes is fantastic. If you are a current physical therapy patient, plan specific time in the morning to do your first set of PT exercises.

  • Eat a nourishing breakfast with some protein and healthy fats to keep your blood sugar stable until lunch.

  • Wait to check your phone until after you’ve done these other things.

  • Smile – it’s a new day and you are an important part of this world!

For more info on this topic, I recommend reading The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.

Step by Step,

Jennifer Kamper, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

Schedule a free 30-minute Discovery Session with Jennifer here

 

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What is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach?

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What is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach?

The term “integrative” means “serving or intending to unify separate things.” What we eat is important, but it’s not the only factor in health. Physical activity, relationships, career, and spirituality are all vitally important aspects of our overall well-being.  As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach I am a supportive mentor and wellness authority who works with clients to help them feel their best through both food and lifestyle changes.  Instead of dictating one way of eating or exercising, I tailor individualized wellness programs to meet my clients’ unique needs.

Part of my journey to becoming an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach started with my own health crisis.

“Really? You don’t have a headache all the time?” I remember asking my husband this and realizing that not everyone had a terrible headache every day. Frequent headaches had been a part of my life since I was a child, but the consistent headache pain I had been living with for years as an adult was gradual enough that it took me awhile to realize that feeling that way was not normal. I was in my early 30’s, married with 2 young daughters, living my dream of being a wife and Mom. But, I had a headache every single day and the pain was increasing in intensity.  

My journey to really seeking answers began in the summer of 2008. After a visit to the doctor and 5 days on a strong medication and feeling even worse, I got off the medication and spent the next year and a half trying to figure out what was going on in my body. I had an MRI (all clear), tried chiropractic care, massage therapy, biofeedback, acupuncture, and physical therapy. While these are all wonderful services that benefited me in other ways and may help some people with chronic headaches and other health issues, I wasn’t experiencing consistent headache pain relief.  My prayer during this time was, “God, you know exactly what is going on in my body. Please give me wisdom to know if there is something I can do to stop this headache.”

Reading and researching topics of interest are one of my hobbies, so I started learning all I could about headaches, which also led me to learning more about nutrition. It wasn’t until the spring of 2010 after an experiment of not eating white flour and sugar for a time, that I made the connection between what I was eating and how I was feeling. I realized gluten was the culprit behind these severe headaches. 

Looking back on this time, it’s frustrating that nobody asked me about what I was eating. Frustrating, but not surprising. The practitioners I saw knew their particular area of expertise and were not nutritional experts. However, if they had asked, I would have proudly told them that I ate really healthy. I made most of our meals at home, enjoyed a variety of fruits and vegetables, used whole wheat flour in baking, and made my own granola and sprinkled wheat germ all over it. Little did I know how I was contributing to my own pain!

I started tuning in to my body and recognizing how the food I ate affected how I felt.  A term that is common among Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches is “bio-individuality” which means that we are all unique in how things like food, environmental factors, exercise, therapies, medications, and stress affect our bodies. I know people who have benefited greatly from chiropractic care and massage therapy to manage headaches. But for me, the underlying issue was a sensitivity to gluten.

When I gave up eating gluten, I actually had to go through a process of mourning. It sounds silly to say I was mourning the loss of a food, but I loved baking (and eating) muffins, cookies and bread! Gluten was in many of the foods I was eating and the selection of gluten free options at the grocery store was limited at this time. What was I going to eat? Reading labels and experimenting with gluten free cooking and baking became necessary. And it also became fun! I liked trying new recipes and I especially liked not having a headache.

There have been many mistakes along the way, like forgetting to read a label or ask for an ingredient list, especially when dining out or eating food I didn’t prepare.  But now, I am an expert at reading labels and preparing gluten free food! If a food containing gluten looks really delicious to me, I remind myself, “Nothing tastes good enough to be worth not feeling well.”

Food has the power to make us sick and it has the power to heal. We are all unique in how foods nourish or negatively affect our bodies.  The concept of bio-individuality has been powerful in my life and in those I support and coach.  If you are not feeling your best, have you considered how you are or are not nourishing your body through the food you are eating?

I know that the information available for health is abundant and can be overwhelming. Let me come alongside you and coach you through your wellness journey so you can feel your best!

Jennifer Kamper, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

Schedule a free 30-minute Discovery Session

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