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Health & Nutrition Self-care

My 6 AM Morning Routine For Energy & Productivity

I am not someone who naturally wakes up in a good mood. Quite the opposite. A lot of mornings I actually wake up with a lot of anxiety, and sometimes depression. I swear I could sleep most days until noon if I let myself. To combat this, I’ve developed a morning routine for optimal energy and productivity.

A quick disclaimer

Let me make something clear: My morning routine is not rigid. My morning routine may change based on my hormonal cycle or sleep patterns. It usually changes based on the season as well.

I am certainly not trying to tell you how to live or what you should do for your morning routine. Everybody is different, and this is just what works for me right now.

6 AM wake-up call

As someone who loves to sleep, waking up is always the hardest part of my day. However, there are a few tricks I’ve come up with to make sure I get out of bed on time.

It starts with the night before when I put my phone on airplane mode and set my alarm clock. When the alarm goes off at 5:45 AM, I hit snooze and give myself until 6 AM to sleep. Those extra 15 minutes give me the satisfaction of the snooze button, but to ensure that I actually wake up, I have a little trick that I want to share with you.

My early bird life hack

To make sure I actually get out of bed at 6 AM, I came up with a strategy that guarantees I wake up on time: I pay for an early workout class that I put on my calendar, which forces me to make that commitment and get myself up. This holds me accountable, because if I’ve already paid for a workout then I know I’ll be eating money if I don’t show up.

My 6:30 AM HIIT workout at DMN8 in Santa Monica

HIIT or hot yoga comes first

Moving my body first thing in the morning is essential for me. I switch every other day between hot yoga and HIIT training. This is the perfect balance between strength & cardio and mobility & recovery.

On this particular day, I am going to a HIIT workout. After brushing my teeth and getting dressed, I head out the door by 6:15 AM and drive to Santa Monica Beach to make my 6:30 AM DMN8 workout. No matter how hard I try, I usually end up being just one or two minutes late. There’s always a water bottle to fill or that one red light that slows me down. If I didn’t love hitting that snooze button so much, I think I would definitely make it on time!

Exercising for my mental health

Kick-starting my day with a challenge and a good sweat is always worth it. As someone who sometimes wakes up not feeling my best, choosing to start my day with a workout or hot yoga, helps me shift my mood immediately.

It may be a challenge, but there’s something about getting out of the mind and into the body that builds my confidence. I always leave my workout feeling like I can take on anything!

morning routine workout
I alternate every other day between hot yoga and HIIT training. This helps me have a balance between strength & cardio and mobility & recovery.

The ice bath

When I get home from my workout at 8 AM, I gear up for one of the most extreme parts of my morning routine: the ice bath.

I usually start with some movement exercises to get myself ready, which may include some very weird shaking movements, but I swear it helps get that adrenaline pumping to take on the ice. 

morning routine ice bath
Before getting in the 40-degree (Fahrenheit) ice bath, I do some shaking and movement exercises.

I choose to incorporate cold therapy in my daily routine for many reasons. First of all, doing ice baths has done absolute wonders for my mental health. The ice bath teaches me how to find contentment and presence, even in a challenging and uncomfortable situation, which is such incredible training for life! 

Learn more about why I still do ice baths and the Wim Hof Method!

In addition, the ice bath is fantastic for strengthening the immune system. Research has shown that cold therapy increases white blood cells, which help fight disease, and significantly reduces inflammation in the body.

morning routine ice bath
I spend 2-3 minutes in the ice bath while staying focused on my breath and gratitude

Time to slow down

From 8:15 – 8:30 AM, I treat myself to a warm shower. Shifting from the ice bath to one of the more relaxing parts of my morning routine always feels like stepping into a new reality.

morning routine bed making
I cannot start my workday without making my bed and cleaning my room.

I also love using this calming time after my shower to clean my room and make my bed. Honestly, I cannot start my workday until my bed is made and my space is clutter-free.

Red light therapy, journlaing, and meditation

By 8:40 AM, I dive into some infrared light therapy. This incredible practice has so many benefits including regulating circadian rhythms, promoting anti-aging, improving our skin and cellular health.

morning routine red light therapy
Journaling and meditation in infrared light therapy

I use this time bathing in the red light to get clear on my intentions and to do some journaling. I use a lot of journaling techniques I learned from my mindset coach.

Then, I call in the energy I want to attract for the day and do my Dr. Joe Dispenza meditations until around 9 AM.

I love Dr. Joe Dispenza’s meditations in the morning!

Morning nutrients

At 9:15 AM, I head on over to my juice bar to make some cucumber juice. This has been my go-to summertime drink because it’s super cooling and refreshing. 

morning routine cucumber juice
Cucumber juice has been my go-to summertime drink! after drinking this, I wait at least 15 minutes before having anything else.

Then, at 9:20 AM, I slow down with a warm drink I invented. I call it “The Blue Zone Drink” because I make it from this special Maya nut powder I found in Nicoya, Costa Rica, which is a “blue zone.” The Blue Zones are areas of the world where residents live the longest, healthiest lives.

The Maya nut has been shown to improve longevity and includes tons of nutrients and minerals including fiber, zinc, potassium, magnesium, protein, iron, and copper. 

morning routine Blue Zone drink
The Blue Zone drink is made with Maya nut powder!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need if you’d like to blend your own Blue Zone Drink at home:

Although the Blue Zone drink can be a little chalky, it’s still pretty tasty and knowing that it’s packed with nutrition, makes it a little easier to drink. Since I quit caffeine, this has been a great coffee alternative.

Wrapping up my morning routine

morning routine work schedule
I usually start working by 9:30 or 10.

From 9:30 – 10:00 AM, I head into my home office and get to work. I usually give myself a good two hours of productivity before treating myself to the final part of my morning routine…

Breakfast!

Is it really a morning routine until you’ve had your avocado toast? I know this is basic AF, but there’s a reason why we all love avocado toast so much! 

morning routine breakfast
I do fine with gluten, as long as I get high-quality sourdough bread, which I pick up on Sundays from the local farmer’s market.
My morning routine is not rigid

I want to make it clear that I am not in any way “rigid” or “strict” about this routine. This happens to be working well for me right now, but my morning routine often shifts and changes based on the season. My morning routine may also change based on my hormonal cycle or sleep patterns.

Especially during my luteal and menstruation phase, I am a lot more gentle with myself. During this time I usually do a lot more yoga than HIIT workouts and I give myself plenty of rest and sleep. This is really important to consider being a woman with a shifting hormonal system called the infradian rhythm.

I also want to mention that this is my typical morning routine during weekdays. On weekends I definitely give myself more time to sleep and move slower. I have found it super helpful to take plenty of time to rest and slow down during the weekends so that I have plenty of energy to tackle the workweek.

Reflecting on my morning routine

Although my morning routine may shift and flow based on the time of the month or the season, I have found it highly beneficial to commit to some type of morning routine on most days. From getting myself to a 6:30 AM workout, to diving into that ice bath and taking time to set intentions and meditate, my morning routine sets me up for how I want to feel for the rest of the day.

My morning routine has massively improved my energy, productivity, and how I feel.

Watch the full YouTube video here!
Categories
Spirituality

I Tried Trippy Breathwork Online

Throughout the past four years of living in Los Angeles, I have tried all kinds of crazy alternative modalities, from cosmetic acupuncture to crystal healing, the Wim Hof Method and neurofeedback.

Breathwork is one modality that has been a real game-changer for me.

Now, there are all different forms of breathwork. Pranayama, the Skanrit term for breathing practice, has been practiced by the yogis and monks for thousands of years. Breathwork’s popularity in western culture really started around the 1970s when Dr. Stan Grof, a Czech psychiatrist, developed something called holotropic breathwork as a way to induce a psychedelic state for psychotherapeutic benefits, without the use of drugs. 

At this point, I’ve tried all different kinds of breathwork. I’ll never forget my first breathwork during my yoga teacher training in 2016, and how powerful this was for me. I couldn’t believe what I was feeling in my body through breathing alone.

How breathwork actually works:

As I mentioned before, there are all different types of breathwork, but generally what’s happening in most forms of breathwork, is a decrease in the levels of carbon dioxide in the body and an increase in oxygen. This causes the pH of your blood to increase and become more alkaline, and scientists have actually measured these levels studying Wim Hof breathing in the lab. 

With this change in alkalinity, the body and brain start to react in all sorts of ways physically and emotionally. There are documented accounts of people having all sorts of psychedelic-like experiences during breathwork, but the research on why this actually happens is just not something we have yet. 

Since I’ve started making more content about breathwork and other holistic modalities, a comment that I often see is that people wish they lived somewhere in the world that offers breathwork classes. 

So when I discovered a type of breathwork being taught completely online, I knew I needed to try it out to see if this is something that might be a way for people around the world to gain access to a modality that’s been a big part of my spiritual path, and is helping so many people around the world. 

So I went to meet with Michael Stone, a certified breathwork facilitator who has been guiding breathwork experiences for more than a decade in-person and online. Michael developed something called neurodynamic breathwork online in order to give people around the world access to breathwork, in an easy and affordable way.

My Experience

There are a lot of breathwork tutorials online, but what made this experience different is that it was a live class held via Zoom with Michael leading the session as a certified facilitator

Breathwork can be really intense, so it’s important to feel safe and supported. It was definitely reassuring to know that Michael was right there in case anyone needed him during the session.

Something that I really enjoyed was how people from all over the world were able to share their personal experiences after the class. Although it wasn’t the same as being in-person with people, I still felt such a strong sense of community. It reminded me that there are people all over the world who are hungry for this stuff and want to expand their consciousness. It’s not just happening in Los Angeles.

Although I would still recommend going to an in-person class over an online session if you get the chance, I know that’s necessarily a possibility for everyone. I feel that neurodynamic breathwork online is the next best thing and would highly recommend it. You can do this from the comfort of your own home while still feeling the support of a global community. 

Because Michael wants to share this with as many people as possible around the world, he’s offering the Sky Life vibe tribe a free neurodynamic breathwork session! So you can try it out and see if it’s something that resonates with you. 

Categories
Health & Nutrition Popular

5 Health Trends That Actually Work

With so many new health and wellness trends popping up everyday, it’s hard to know what actually works and what is complete BS! Luckily, I’ve made it my job (literally) to try all of these trends and report back to you what I learn along the way.

I’ve been at this now for more than two years! So don’t worry, I got you covered.

In this post, I am going to share my top five health trends I’ve tried, that I believe are actually worth it! 

But before I reveal my top five wellness picks, I need to make something clear:

If we truly want to be healthy, it is super important to be prioritizing the fundamentals and basics of wellbeing first and foremost. It’s the simple stuff we hear all the time: eating real, whole foods, exercising, stretching, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, meditating, and spending time with the people you love. Basic stuff, but super important for overall health. 

Now on the flip side, sometimes it can be really overwhelming to feel like you need to get all of these things right all the time. It’s nearly impossible! So in no way am I suggesting that we all need to be perfect in every single part of our health. But, if we can try to make better choices every day in all of these different areas, we are on the right track.

A lot of people hate on health “trends” or “fads,” and I would agree there is a danger in just hopping on the bandwagon of the latest diet or health trend and always searching for a “magic pill.” Because it does not exist. We even know through plenty of research now, that most diets fail and are not sustainable. However, from my experience trying out a lot of these different “trends,” some are actually quite useful and are a trend for a reason.

If something is “trending,” usually that means it’s working for a lot of people and gaining hype because of it. So if something is working for so many people, then maybe it could be of use to us. If anything, getting people to think more about their wellbeing and get excited about it, is a major win for the world! 

So here ya go! These are my top five favorite wellness trends I’ve tried so far: 

  1. Intermittent Fasting

When I first tried this out, I had a hard time adjusting to it, but I noticed so many benefits from doing it consistently and it’s become way easier over time.

Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating where you fast for a prolonged period of time each day and shorten the window of time you are actually eating. Intermittent fasting is a great way to manage blood sugar levels, increase energy, and overall it’s a huge benefit for your body to take a break from digesting food so your cells can focus on clearing out toxic waste and rebuild themselves.

I generally fast every day for about 12-14 hours, and as an active female with a delicate hormonal system, this is perfect for me. I am not strict or rigid about it and the times that I start and stop eating generally fluctuate, but now it’s sort of just part of my lifestyle and works really well for me. It’s actually allowed me to feel a lot of freedom with food, which is something I struggled with for a while. 

All of our bodies are so different and respond differently to various ways of eating, but I truly think intermittent fasting is universally beneficial for most humans, and it’s not that hard to implement. 

  1. Celery Juice

People have all sorts of opinions about this trend, but from my experience I absolutely love it! I noticed a lot of benefits from drinking it consistently, especially for my skin and digestion. Celery juice also seems to be helping people with all sorts of issues, everything from eczema to gut problems, and autoimmune disorders.

I don’t drink celery juice every single day anymore because it’s a bit expensive to do that and it’s a little tedious juicing it, but I have it about 3-4 times per week. One really cool thing it does is help me curb cravings. I notice when I drink it that I tend to reduce my cravings for sugar.

  1.  The Wim Hof Method

Ever since I trained with Wim Hof this past winter, people ask me all the time if I still practice the Wim Hof Method… and the answer is overwhelming YES! This method has truly changed my life in so many ways and completely changed my relationship with both the cold and my own inner power and mental strength. Before this experience, I honestly hated the cold so much.

But after overcoming it, I actually sort of crave it now. I still take cold showers every day and get in an ice bath whenever I can. Luckily I have some friends in LA who have ice bath setups in their backyard and we will have little breathwork and ice bath parties with friends and this is one of my favorite things to do. Both the breathing and the ice baths allow me to release a lot of stress and anxiety and it brings me right back to my own strength and inner power. It’s a total endorphin rush and I love it. 

  1. Digital Detoxes 

I’ve made a lot of videos about digital wellness and how we can develop a healthier relationship with our phones and social media. One way that I do this, is by taking a digital detox at least every 3-6 months. During this time, I turn my phone off, put it away, and usually I go without any technology at all, not even my camera.

I’ll go somewhere in nature and spend anywhere from 24 to 72 hours or more disconnecting with the digital world to reconnect with my inner world. The amount of presence that I feel when doing this is so beautiful and taking these digital detoxes has become a game-changer for my mental and spiritual well being. 

  1.  Cacao

In its purest form, ceremonial grade cacao is one of the most powerful superfoods on the planet. Cacao is extremely high in hundreds of nutrients including iron, magnesium, and calcium. It’s been amazing for my gut health and has helped me eliminate pretty much all stomach issues and sensitivities I was having. It’s also fantastic for the brain, so it allows me to feel calm but energized while I’m working. 

Preparing and drinking cacao involves a very meditative, mindful practice that comes from thousands of years of Mayan tradition, so implementing this ritual in my life every morning changes my entire day. Cacao is also considered a “heart-opening” plant medicine, which sounds a bit spiritual, but actually it contains a chemical called anandamide, which is the “bliss molecule,” named after the Sanskrit word “Ananda”, which means “bliss.” This molecule binds to the same receptors in the brain as THC and creates a blissful, joyful feeling. 

The one thing to be aware of when it comes to cacao is making sure you are getting a really high quality one. Many on the market are non pure-grade or ceremonial. My absolute favorite is Legacy Cacao, which comes from an indigienocus tribe in Guatemala who use an ancient Mayan recipe. The cacao is sustainably farmed, stone ground, and blessed by the priestess of the tribe. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s so worth it! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak7MtYVFHKQ&t=80s

So there you have it! Those are my five favorite wellness trends so far. Again, always remember to prioritize the basics of wellbeing before going overboard with all the trendy stuff, but if you feel called to try any of these trends, I urge you to go for it! You never know what might have a huge impact on your life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_QjJ6ZfFEY&t=135s