Why is a daily routine important? We are what we repeatedly do. Just as one piece of chocolate cake isn't going to add pounds, and neither will eating kale once take the pounds off.
Building a lifestyle routine is a commitment from you to your body,mind and soul. If you want changes to happen, regularity is key. The trick is to find actions that are enjoyable to you, or at least that you are willing to work through to get your desired result.
On this page I will lay out some daily routine options for you. You can pick and choose any that you want to implement into your lifestyle, you don't have to do all of them. But the more you do, the more you will be living in harmony with nature and will have more optimal health.
Building a lifestyle routine is fun, so don't feel overwhelmed by this list! Not everything will be a good fit for you, however, you should at least try each thing a few times to see if it is something you think you could do regularly.
1. Wake up as early as you can, ideally in time to watch the sunrise. We are creatures of nature, and nature revolves around the rhythm of the sun and moon.
Many people work nighttime hours or have sleep disorders that prevent them from rising with the sun, so I understand this one might not be possible for you.
2. Scrape your tongue first thing when you get up. Have you ever really looked at your tongue? Chances are, you have a coating on it. This coating varies in color depending on your constitution and the level of toxicity in your body.
What this coating is made of is a toxic substance that the body creates due to unhealthy food choices. It is a thick, sticky, smelly substance that you do not want in your body.
If you have a very thick green, yellow or brown coating, that means you have a high level of toxins in your body. The tongue scrapers that work best for this are made of copper or stainless steel.
Also by scraping your tongue, you will taste your food better. Taste is more than just for our enjoyment, taste is part of the digestive process. When the tongue recognizes different tastes (bitter, sweet, salty, pungent, sour, and astringent), it produces certain enzymes to digest them.
Here is a great video that explains all about tongue scraping;
3. Brush your teeth and then do a practice called oil pulling. This is swishing around in your mouth either sesame oil, coconut oil, or a mix of the two. What this does is pulls impurities out of the mouth naturally, and gets rid of bad bacteria.
This has been a practice in the Ayurvedic tradition for thousands of years. Fifteen minutes is ideal, but anything is better than nothing. Important; do not swallow the oil when you are done. It is full of bad stuff, you don't want that in your stomach. Also it is advised not to spit it in the sink because it can clog it. The garbage can is ideal.
Here is a great video that explains all about oil pulling;
4. Drink a hot liquid, either tea or lemon water. This gets the digestive system ready and stimulates the bowels. It is best to have a bowel movement in the morning before eating breakfast.
5. Meditate, do yoga, or both. I like to do these at night but it is often advised to do them in the morning, if you have time.
6. Dry brushing. Our lymph system has no pump, so the only way our lymph (which carries toxins out) can get moving is if we exercise or do something called dry brushing.
You may have heard of this, but for those who haven't, it's basically brushing your dry skin with a special brush that you can find in the health section of most stores. This stimulates the lymph system as well as removes dead skin cells. Do this before showering. In a few weeks you will be amazed at how soft your skin feels!
7. Eat mindfully. If you haven't already, read these pages about healthy eating and organic food. When eating breakfast (or any meal, really), be sure you are sitting down. Chew thoroughly, the whole purpose of saliva is to break down your food to prepare it for the stomach.
If you don't chew good enough, your stomach has to work harder to break down your food, and this can result in some of your food not getting fully digested. This leads to gas and constipation.
Also when you are eating, you shouldn't be doing anything else, so this might be a tough one to get used to. It is best to gaze off into the distance (outside, ideally), and take your time, really paying attention to how the food tastes and feels in your mouth. Mindful eating tells the body you are calm and this helps the body digest much easier.
8. Take a 10-15 minute walk after eating, if you can. This stimulates digestion and gets things moving. But don't do any strenuous exercise.
9. Lunch should be your biggest meal of the day. When the sun is at it's highest, this is when our bodies naturally have the most digestive power.
If you are going to eat meat, do it at lunch, when the body has ample time afterwards to digest it. Undigested meat is one of the worst things to have sitting in your intestines.
10. If you haven't already, read this page about exercise. If you can, get your exercise in between 10 am and dinnertime. The middle part of the day is when our bodies are burning the most calories.
You could even exercise before 10 am if you have the time and the motivation. For me personally I like to start my day off slowly and not do anything too strenuous until the middle of the day. But some people have more energy in the morning.
11. Eat a light dinner 3 hours before bedtime. Dinner should be lighter than lunch, and no closer to bedtime than about 3 hours. I think 2 hours is ok if you have a quick digestion and metabolism. But if you are overweight you really don't want to eat within 3 hours of bedtime at all, especially if your dinner was on the heavier side.
12. Watch the sunset, if possible. Actually seeing the sun go down is the best way to prepare your body for a good nights sleep.
13. After dark, start cutting back on blue light, from cellphones, computers, and the TV. If you must use these things, you can get blue light blocking apps. I use this on my computer, it is an app called Flux. You can personalize it to start blocking more blue light depending on when your bedtime is.
I also have amber light bulbs in my home, which give off a more calming pleasant light which is similar to candle light. This signals to the body that bedtime is nearing. Lighting candles or even having a camp fire in your backyard is also good to do in the evening after dinner.
14. Get your thoughts out. Write down your to-do list for tomorrow. Write in your journal everything that is on your mind, to get it onto the paper and out of your head so you can wind down for the night. It all starts with your mental clutter.
15. After clearing your mind, do any of the nighttime routine items, which include a warm bath, meditation, light yoga, reading, etc. If you haven't already, read this page about daily needs to learn more about getting quality sleep.
Now that you've made it through everything pertaining to the body, it's time to dive into the mind! Click here to learn about mental and emotional health.