As I get older and more health-conscious, I find myself looking for ways to try and gain an edge more and more. I have been a proponent for a solid morning routine and the benefits that come with it for years now. I advocate for mornings filled with exercise, meditation, and priming that will pave the way for a successful day. These things are all great to get the most out of my body, but what I put in my body is just as important. These are the five staples of my morning routine that keep me in optimal health and allow me to stay on top of my game.
Himalayan Pink Salt Lemon Water
Hydration is a problem the majority of Americans seem to struggle with, myself included. Growing up, I treated Mountain Dew like water. In the Marine Corps, it was Monsters. After the military, I treated coffee and whiskey like water. We, as a society, simply don’t drink enough water. An easy way to kickstart your day with 12 to 16 ounces of water is by making it a part of your morning routine. For me, I couldn’t make “just water” a priority until I made it more than “just water.” Insert Himalayan-Pink-Salt- Lemon-Water. This was more than mere water; this was athlete juice. This was something I could do. Not only are you priming yourself for making drinking water a priority, but you’re going to start your day with some great health benefits as well.
I train hard and sweat a lot, especially in the Las Vegas heat. Starting the day with an electrolyte drink helps me stay replenished throughout the day. Himalayan pink salt is far better than a Gatorade full of artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners. Unlike table salt, Himalayan pink salt has 84 essential minerals that do more for you than any overpriced sports drink. The added lemon gives you a hit of vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and tastes great. Lemon-salt-water can boost metabolism, reduce headaches, and increase your energy levels. You can cut the salt and keep pounding the lemon water throughout the day.
Local Raw Honey
During allergy season, trying to keep my sinuses under control so I can continue training can be difficult. Watery, itchy eyes or a runny nose can make running and swimming a nightmare. One of the most significant contributors to our allergies is the local pollen in our areas. It’s a belief that local raw honey will contain a small number of pollens that exist in your area. By taking a daily dose of that local honey, you are ingesting those pollens and slowly but surely building a tolerance to them. Each morning I take down a small teaspoon of raw organic honey from my local farmers market. The honey needs to be consumed raw for the most benefit. Heating it by adding it to coffee or tea can eliminate the pollen you’re trying to ingest. Now, does it work? I think so… even if it’s a placebo, the benefits are real, and I also get a teaspoon of honey out of the deal.
Gut Shot and Master Tonic
I have suffered from digestion issues and inflammation for years. So, anytime I can find something that improves my gut health and reduces the time I spend in the bathroom, I’m all for it. I do have a wheat allergy, tested and confirmed more than once (I didn’t want to believe it, or deal with it). I have also seen multiple doctors on how stress, anxiety, and even PTSD can play a significant role in digestive health and inflammation. With that said, if a simple shot every morning can keep “things” running as close to normal as possible, sign me up.
I have been taking Gut Shots (probiotic drink) for a couple of years but have recently added a local farmers market find called Desert Poppy Master Tonic. It’s a combination of common household ingredients with known health benefits like organic apple cider vinegar, ginger, turmeric, and echinacea, to name a few. If you can’t find something similar to this, good ol’ organic apple cider vinegar can do a body good. The acidity alone can help with digestion and is an antimicrobial as well. In other words, it can be a great way to keep your tract on track (my dad jokes are getting good).
Elderberry and Aronia
When it comes to trying to stay healthy, I do everything in my power to ensure I never get sick. That doesn’t mean avoiding people and sanitizing everything I come in contact with. I do the exact opposite for the most part. I try to expose myself to elements that will improve my resiliency and boost my immune system. That is the primary reason for cold water immersion next to recovery from strenuous training. All these things improve my abilities to fight off infection, and a key element to that is my wife’s juicy berries. I’m talking about elderberry and Aronia berries.
We use Elderberry Plus Elixir from a local source right here in Las Vegas (5% Off & US shipping available). A simple shot in the morning, especially during cold and flu season. If you’re skeptical or unfamiliar with either of these berries and their medicinal properties, let me fill you in. The studies on both elderberry and Aronia are pretty mind-blowing. Studies show that elderberry helps fight influenza and reduce the duration of the common cold. Aronia medicinal benefits are just too many to list, but we’re talking gastrointestinal, diabetes, and even cancer. To put these berries into perspective, both have nearly four times more antioxidants than raspberries and blueberries, which we usually consider a high-antioxidant fruit.
Coffee and Almond Milk
I assume most people start their day with a cup of coffee, but I like to finish mine with one. Well, my morning routine, I mean relatively speaking, it’s still very early in the actual morning. After water, morning exercise, an ice bath, meditation, elderberry, tonic, and honey, it’s time for coffee. A solid cup of joe with a shot of homemade almond milk (see how to make your own here) is the perfect blend of caffeine and fat or energy and taste. Coffee has many benefits, and in the past few years has made its way onto the healthy list. An 8oz cup is all it takes, and when you add in some almonds or cashews, you have yourself a little cup of health that destroys anything made by a barista for $5.75. Hit it with some stevia if you must, or go all out with the healthy options like my wife does with MCT oil, collagen protein, turmeric, and more.
Anyway, this is where my “morning” ends, and my day begins. As I sit here with my cup of coffee, a small drunken tiny human will be up shortly, and in a matter of moments, my somewhat clean house will be no more.