Welcome to Kitchn's new series My Healthy Morning, where we show you how one person greets the day in a way that makes them feel their best. Each post will chronicle how that person defines healthy for themselves, and the habits and recipes that make their morning a little bit better.
Holistic living entrepreneur Lauren Ash lives in Chicago. She's the founder of Black Girl in Om, a space dedicated to helping women of color "breathe easy," which includes events, essays, and a podcast. She's also the cofounder of Lifestyle with Ivory + Ash, a brand dedicated to "affirmations and illustrations for contemporary black women." (Seriously, check out these cute tote bags!) Today we're getting a sneak peek into her morning routine, which is centered around mindfulness and taking things slowly.
What Does Healthy Mean for You?
Being healthy means making choices that allow me to live at my best. It currently means saying yes as much as possible to my daily morning rituals, including a 20-minute meditation, smoothie, and morning pages, which allow me to cultivate mindfulness and set a crucial tone for my day. Being healthy also means cultivating a spirit of discernment and listening to my body: One day it means assessing my energy and resting, the next day it means working out for 30 more minutes than I planned.
I am not the same person from day to day; I'm a spiritual and emotional being who is always growing, expanding, and shifting and I try my best to remember and honor that.
My Healthy Morning Routine
When I feel and strive for my best, I wake up at 8:00 a.m. I stay in bed and reach for my beautiful journal where I freewrite for 30 minutes, until I have three pages of stream-of-consciousness thoughts completed. Sometimes this is an inventory of what I did the day before, sometimes this is a gratitude list. It's always a beautiful exercise where I get to explore what is top of mind as I wake up. I rarely use an alarm clock, as I am a natural, early morning riser.
At around 8:30 a.m. after journaling, I ease into my 20-minute morning meditation practice. I recently completed my first audio meditation EP (coming out this fall) so I choose to listen to the music that my boyfriend and producer, Calid B., created for my project, which is the perfect ambient, rhythmic tone for me to still my mind, get grounded in my body, and create space between one thought and the next.
After meditation, I create one of my go-to smoothies: avocado, banana, cacao powder, cayenne, peanut butter, and almond milk. It's full of healthy fat and fills me up perfectly! I might work out or practice yoga after, or leave that for a nice, afternoon pick-me-up after a few hours of working from home or meetings.
Thank you for sharing your healthy morning with us, Lauren!