Winter Morning Routine
Updated: Oct 24, 2022
December has slipped into January, the coldest month in NY, I find myself tucking into bed earlier and waking up later than usual, honoring my body's request for rest. I like a solid 9 hours of sleep in the winter. January and February tend to be low energy months for me, partially dictated by the suns' later entrance to start the day, partially by my own desire to mirror the dormancy of nature, so when spring arrives, I feel rejuvenated and bursting with inspiration and plans. If you're looking for a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie of excellent quality to hibernate in for the remaining winter, I highly recommend these pants and this hoodie. I've been searching for a 100% cotton, garment dyed set and am so pleased with this one- it feels like it will last for ages thanks to the heavy weight cotton. I'm wearing a small in both below, for reference!
I begin my mornings by waking up to Alice, Margaret, and Amelia requesting breakfast, my three demandingly affectionate cats who slept in my bed all night (greatly reducing quality of sleep, but I don't have the willpower to lock them out, I am powerless against their purrs.) So the cats get fed, I drink 12 oz. warm water -1 out of 9 glasses I aim to drink daily- and then it's coffee time. I get my organic coffee beans from the farm store, and grind them fresh every morning using this grinder. My husband is more particular when it comes to weighing out the beans, temping the water and chanting over the beans, blessing each one individually I think, so I leave that ritual to him while I tell the cats how good and cute and clever they are. Raw milk gets warmed in my favorite little enameled pot, and a little cinnamon goes into my mug for a sort of cafe au lait.
Over coffee, I flip through a section from the Sunday New York Times. The Sunday paper provides just enough news for me to read through the week- "At Home" being my favorite section. I also flip through whatever cookbook I'm drawn to from my shelf- currently reading "Dessert Person" by Claire Saffitz and "Roast Figs Sugar Snow" by Diana Henry- both excellent books for cozy winter cooking. I like to read during most meals, an unapproachable habit I developed in childhood I'll never give up.
I also love a good "to do" list, and usually make mine after reading the paper, with my favorite notebook and pens from Muji. The best advice I have for a daily list is to keep it realistic and short- looking at an impossibly long list at the end of the day with only a few items crossed off can feel demoralizing. I include simple tasks on my lists, like "make the bed", "drink 9 glasses of water", "clean kitchen before bed" and other practical tasks I do daily to make myself feel good.
After coffee, I take my supplements and potions- Elderberry Syrup or Fire Cider, depending on my mood. I like the elderberry syrup straight from a tablespoon, and the fire cider diluted with a little warm water. Whichever one I don't take in the morning, I take in the afternoon.
I also am currently taking Uqora's "Control" which contains D-Mannose, a cranberry pill, and a probiotic as I recover from a recent UTI and course of antibiotics. I already eat plenty of fermented, probiotic rich foods (daily homemade yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and sometimes kombucha) but a few billion extra cultures sounds nice after taking antibiotics. UTI's are my achilles heel- I seem to get one every few years in spite of taking all the normal preventative measures. Feel free to email me if they plague you as well, I have an absurd amount of knowledge around them and more preventative tips that I won't go into here!
The last thing I've been taking this winter is a packet of Lipo-spheric vitamin C. From what I've read, this seems to be the most bio-available vitamin C supplement, and I actually enjoy the ritual of squeezing a packet into water and gulping it down. It's like.. a flavorless, tiny oyster in supplement form lol. If this horrifies you, I would suggest taking it with a little orange juice, which should mask the consistency better than water.
My enormous mug full of raw, cream top milk with just a splash of coffee sometimes fills me up until lunch, but if I'm hungry for breakfast, I take the time to prepare what my body wants. I frequently have toasted homemade sourdough (recipe coming soon!) with lots of cultured butter, kimchi, a couple fried eggs, and some greens fried in leftover chicken fat that I save from roasted chickens and store in the fridge.
My goal every day is to eat 10+ different fruits and vegetables, so I usually add an orange or grapefruit and some fresh berries to my breakfast. I'm obsessed with passionfruit, which are in season in Florida currently. I order my passionfruit from Miami Fruit- I like the extra large box, which is a huge amount of fruit to freeze and enjoy all year. The frozen cubes are SO good mixed into freshly squeezed orange juice, made into a curd to top pancakes or toast with, and on top of fresh tropical fruit like mangos, guavas, and papaya.
If I have a batch of homemade tortilla dough on hand, I'll roll and cook a couple, filling them warm with either greek yogurt and berries, or a scrambled egg with black beans, sour cream, pickled onions, lots of cilantro and hot sauce. I also love to make a large batch of shakshuka and have it with homemade tortillas. If pancakes are calling my name, I frequently make my lemon poppyseed pancakes or a dutch baby.
I don't usually have the wherewithal to work out in the morning, but I do still like to shower to bring my body temperature above freezing. I'm somewhat minimal when it comes to products, mostly favoring my own. I use my Rosemary Plantain and Cottage Garden soaps for washing and shaving since they lather so well, and immediately apply my chamomile, lavender, yarrow infused Body Oil as soon as I get out of the shower, while my skin is still damp- applying oil to damp skin allows the oil to seal in the moisture. The scent of the body oil helps me feel refreshed and calm, and massaging it on my entire body helps my lymph system to function well.
While my face and neck are still damp, I apply a dime sized amount of my Calendula Serum which replenishes moisture lost in the scalding hot showers I insist on, and leaves my skin feeling so velvety and soft. Next, I massage a little pea sized drop of Soothe Salve onto my heels, hands, and anywhere else my skin is particularly dry, to soften and protect- if your skin is struggling with all the hand washing and lack of humidity in the winter, I recommend soothe salve!
If I'm going to be outside in the sun, the sun being a rarity in NY winters, I apply this sunscreen, which is non-nano zinc based with ingredients I feel good about. I finish with a pea sized amount of my Deodorant Creme under each armpit, Rosemary Mint Lip Balm for my lips, and maybe some Ilia mascara if I'm feeling it.
I love red lipstick, and often apply it even if I'm working from home all day. This is my favorite shade, and I love that this lipstick is colored with fruit and vegetable extracts. The pigments are beautiful, and the lipstick is moisturizing.
That's it! That's the routine. I'd love to tell you I spend time meditating every morning, or that I stay off my phone upon waking up, but I'm not there yet. My morning routines fluctuate frequently, depending on the season, but the goal is always to take my time and be present while I enjoy my morning. It's good to be alive.
Take care of yourselves :)