Welcome to Kitchn's 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.
Here at Kitchn we believe that wellness is more than just eating certain foods or looking a certain way. It's about feeling great and finding the tools that get you there. And that's why I'm so excited to be spotlighting Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts on the site today, because she exemplifies this sentiment in a very refreshing way.
Roberts is a yoga educator and founder of Yoga, Literature, and Art Camp for Teen Girls at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. She's also the co-founder of Red Clay Yoga and has her own blog, Chelsea Loves Yoga. Today we're getting a look into her morning routine and how she defines health for herself.
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts. I am a yoga teacher and educator. I am the founder and director of Yoga, Literature, and Art Camp for Teen Girls at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art and the co-founder of Red Clay Yoga.
Although I was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, I now live in Atlanta with my husband, Shane, who is a Los Angeles native. Together we direct our non-profit, Red Clay Yoga, and travel the U.S. and abroad teaching yoga to communities, yoga teachers, community activists, and educators within schools.
2. What does healthy mean to you?
Healthy must be defined by the individual and is never one-size-fits-all. Healthy means working towards alignment between the mind, body, and action in the world. Healthy is not a static state of being because definitions of health and what it means to be healthy are always evolving. What might not be revered as "healthy" to one person could be a huge step for someone else in their life. For me, healthy is not an ideal size or weight — it is a way of being that makes us feel alive.
3. What does your healthy morning look like?
My healthy morning looks like me waking up and practicing a breathing exercise or two in order to awaken my mind. I usually rise before my husband, so I use this time to myself to meditate and breathe. After this, I must get something in my stomach because if I don't I won't. It is super easy and tempting to dive right into work and forget to eat. If I am not incredibly hungry, I will simply consume fresh juice or a smoothie.
If I choose to attend a class or even workout with my husband, I try and do this before noon because my chances of "finding the time" decrease. I actually love working out or attending a yoga class in the morning because it is a great way to jumpstart the day!
4. What does your unhealthy morning look like?
A morning where I am not as focused and deliberate about my routine looks like me jumping on the computer, not moving, and not eating. Believe me — it takes a tremendous amount of effort to not fall into this pattern. Usually, if my morning begins like this I encounter back pain, my appetite is off, and I may or may not be one of the most difficult people to work around.
5. What are the recipes and rituals that help you feel your best?
My morning ritual is to drink golden milk for my joints (with turmeric, almond or hemp milk, and ghee or coconut oil) and a morning juice (with ginger, pineapple, and turmeric).
- Either a yoga class or home practice.
- Not enough time for a yoga class? I do breathing exercises outside or near a window with fresh air.
- Walking, even for 30 minutes to reset during the workday.
- Writing/journaling either at the start or end of the day. (Morning is for intention setting, and evening is for reflection reflection.)
- Talking with friends and family. Human connection and conversation may be one of the quickest ways for me to feel healthy.
Thank you for sharing your healthy morning with us, Chelsea!