Like many creative types, I was a died-in-the-wool night owl for much of my life. It's not that I didn't have a reverence for the quiet hours before sunrise, it's just that I preferred to reach them from the tail end of the previous night. The only time I recall awakening early on purpose in my youth was on family trips to our cabin up north, when my Dad liked to (jokingly) greet us at sunrise with pots and pans, yelling "Daylight in the Swamps!" I'm sure that it will shock you to find that this antic didn't exactly increase my enthusiasm for morning alarm clocks. Then, motherhood happened! It has taken a lot of effort to wrench my Circadian rhythm from the vice grips of late night novels and chai lattes, but I can honestly say that I now consider myself a morning person. This is what is looks like in the hours before I commence lawyering for the day, as well as a couple of the little niceties that make this whole endeavor possible.
Alarm: 6:00 AM
I keep my phone next to my bed on a windowsill because (thankfully) I'm not (yet) one of those people plagued by an addiction to my snooze button. On the days that I press "snooze," I am likely running an appreciable sleep deficit and do so with absolutely no apology. Since that happens rarely, I simply turn the alarm off on my phone and tiptoe into the living room for a glass of lemon water, often with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and another of apple juice. This little potion seems to provide enough fuel for a workout.
I workout in the dark, barefoot, in the clothes in which I slept. If you are looking for stylish post workout selfies, you won't find them on my Instagram or anywhere else. I feed my cat, get a little hydration, and then do one of the following workouts for ten to thirty minutes: (a) stationary bike; (b) barre; (c) yoga; (d) Tracy Anderson. None of these require so much exertion or movement that I need to turn the lights on to avoid collapsing into a tower of Legos from the night before. I've tried other kinds of workouts in the morning, and many of them are simply too much for my system.
Packing lunches: 6:30 AM
I'm a huge fan of meal prepping, but I'm not so dedicated that I manage both my own meals and that of my family. I like to take this little window of time in the morning to prepare my son's lunch. When I have adequate time and resources to do so, this task seems less of a chore and more of a relaxing little morning project. We tend to pack Bento Style lunches in a Planet Box. I love this style of lunchbox because it visually reminds me to be a bit well rounded. I try to pack a protein rich main course of some kind, with one fruit, one vegetable, one grain, one dairy, and one sugary treat. A common example would be a turkey sandwich with avocado and cheese on Ezekial bread, sliced baby carrots, an applesauce pouch, and a few pitted Medjool dates or raisins. He rarely eats all of the vegetables, but I defiantly pack them all the time, because I believe that the mere sight of vegetables will somehow adhere to the synapses in his subconscious brain, leading him to be a healthier diner when he grows up. Please feel free to check back in twenty years to see how this hypothesis worked out.
Making breakfast: 6:45 AM
I only rarely drink coffee. I'm partial to cappuccino but also to being kept awake for eighteen hours straight off of even a nominal amount of espresso. The only beverage I actually enjoy this early in the morning is almond milk. I'm a creature of absolute habit, so breakfast is always one of the following: (a) smoothie with 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 c. frozen berries, 1 bunch of kale or spinach, 1/2 scoop of vegan protein powder, 2 dates, and 1 c. almond milk; (b) rolled oats with 2 tbsp. natural peanut butter, 1 tbsp. honey or maple syrup, 1/2 c. vegan protein powder and 1 c. almond milk, with sunflower seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, diced pecans, or berries on top; or (c) avocado toast with chili flakes on Ezekiel bread. This is usually enough to get me through school drop off, my hour long commute to the office, and a few work related items before it's time for my routine 10 AM snack.
Grooming: 7:00 AM
I shower at night so that I can spend time in the morning on things other than panicking because I only have five minutes to dry my hair (like extra snuggles). In the morning, I don't wash my face with soap or water. Instead, I just sweep CaraVe micellar water across my skin and follow up with my favorite miracle antioxidant laden primer - Farsali's Unicorn Essence. Once that dries, I follow up with SunBum SPF 50 sunscreen every day. If I'm looking a little bit tired, I also like to use a nice eye cream during the day. I keep my make up light and my hair simple - you can read more about that here. I'm no beauty guru, but I'm the queen of getting "corporate office ready" in ten minutes or less!