Morning Rituals

I've just discovered that I have a genetic condition called Thrombophilia. I had a sad health incident in February which put me out of action for a month but was not life threatening. As a result, blood tests. Lots of them. And this is what they found:

I have two separate kinds of gene mutation that make my blood more likely to clot than a normal person's.

It's likely they caused my troubles last month. And while it sucked to be unwell, I now realise it could have been so much worse

I seem to have been inadvertently protecting myself from ill effects by living a healthy life. 

In particular, moderate daily exercise and good nutrition plus lots of incidental movement because of the physical nature of teaching yoga classes (and walking to and from, sometimes).

I'm the first to admit that I don't always do these things out of noble intentions.

I exercise, practice yoga breathing, and meditate because I need to in order to maintain my mental health (which often needs a lot of work). I am Not A Nice Person if I've not had a walk or done yoga. 

And I eat well because I get cranky if my blood sugar is all over the place.

See the trend?

Mostly, I'm just trying to be comfortable in the moment, and lucky me, it seems to have protected me from a longer term threat, for now at least. Win! 

I thought I'd share my morning rituals, now that they seem so much more useful than they did before I knew about my dodgy genes...

6.30 - 7.00 am

Wake up, stay in bed for a few minutes to enjoy cuddle time with my partner and cat. I love this time with our little family. Usually I also regret that I am not as good at sleeping in as they are.

7.00 am

Get up, boil the kettle for tea (I have a very extensive collection of herbal teas and chais. Choice depends on the day but this is my favourite right now. Delicious and very low in caffeine. Also, it contains ginger, a natural anticoagulant. I didn't care about that till I knew about my sticky blood.) 

Brush the cat, feed her. 

Drink my tea and eat breakfast. I find I need to do this first thing because I am always so hungry when I wake up.

I often have something like chia pudding or avocado on toast. (Great chia pudding recipe here.)

It's nice to get in some fresh fruit/veggies as early as possible in the day. I particularly love this recipe for garlic avocado salsa because it amps up the effects of the good fats in avocados with the blood-thinning (great for me!) and delicious properties of garlic. No, I'm not sorry I smell of garlic.

Hmmm. This has made me hungry & I'm gonna have avocado toast for lunch today. Yum! 


7.30 am

Breathe and meditate.

I'm not a morning exerciser. It's taken me years to figure out that my brain works fine in the morning but my body needs longer to wake up. So I take care of my brain in the morning and my body in the afternoon! I usually do some alternate nostril breathing followed by just sitting quietly watching my breath. Some days, this goes well. Some days, my mind is all over the shop. But I always feel better after.

8.00 am

Email! I spend a few hours doing tasks related to running the business. Some days are full office days for me, and on those days I try to move as much as I can - I am lucky because I work from home and can stand at my standing desk, or sit on the floor, or even lie on the bed in my office/yoga room! This is great because keeping still for long periods of time ups my risk of blood clots. 

9.00 am

If I'm teaching that day, I head to the train station around 9am - and grab a coffee - to go into the city for my lunchtime corporate classes. I usually walk, although right now I'm not well enough. But I'll get back there. I've  got good habits to fall back on.

What are your morning rituals? I know that households with kids are somewhat more chaotic than ones that just have cats...

Food image credits: aloha magazine