My Healthy Morning: Marissa Ross

updated May 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

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.

I first heard of Marissa Ross through social media, as is now custom. Bon Appétit, where Ross has a wine column, probably featured her on their Instagram account and I went down a rabbit hole. (Side note: Is it bad to admit you’re a creep? Probably!).

Ross is funny. Like, really funny. She makes talking about wine interesting, which is a very hard thing to do. Most wine writing is boring and esoteric; it alienates people. But Ross is different. Maybe it’s the many photos of her drinking wine straight from the bottle, or the cover of her recently published book where she’s lounging in a chair with wine bottles strewn across the floor. Whatever it is, I’m buying it.

And even though she is a self-proclaimed hedonist, she values taking care of her mental and physical health, which sometimes means less wine and more vegetables. We visited Ross at her home in Los Angeles and got a glimpse into her healthy morning routine.

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

What Does Healthy Mean to You?

It’s all about balance. I’m kind of a hedonist — I love wine, food, anything and everything delicious or pleasurable in this life, traveling nonstop, and being extremely lazy and staying in bed smoking weed and watching Law & Order: SVU all day. But I couldn’t ever be as indulgent as I am if I wasn’t equally committed to my health. I am very dedicated to eating healthfully, exercising regularly, and taking care of my mental and emotional well-being.

I don’t diet or have rules for myself — I used to and it made me miserable. Now I just listen to my body and my mind, and the balance happens naturally. Like if I’m in France for work for a week, drinking all the wine, eating more meat than I usually do in a month, not doing a single plank, I come home and I feel pretty shitty [laughs]. I want to eat only vegetables. I want to drink a ton of water. I want to exercise. My body craves the balance, and those things feel just as good as all the indulging. Just kidding — they definitely don’t [laughs], but they make it possible for me to truly enjoy everything else. And isn’t that the point of being healthy? To be happy and enjoy life?

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

My Healthy Morning Routine

I generally wake up around 7:30 a.m.. My phone is my alarm clock; I know it’s not healthy, but I immediately read the news on it. I try to only read the news in the morning because otherwise it will consume me all day and I won’t get anything done. I also read my emails and check Instagram, because I am only human. I can’t get out of bed until I have at least one cup of coffee, which my saint of a husband, Ben, brings me.

I usually get dressed, have another cup of coffee, a glass of water, and then go to Pop Physique for barre class at 8:30 a.m. I’m not a big breakfast person — I know, I’m the least healthy with all this coffee and now hating the “most important meal of the day” [laughs] — so I usually eat fruit and yogurt or have a smoothie when I get home from Pop. Not going to lie, I’m also known to eat whatever leftovers are hanging around.

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

I then tidy up my house. I live with four fuzzy men (two dogs, one cat, and my husband) so there’s always at least some sweeping to do. I’m a cool mix of ADHD and OCD and I work from home, so a single dust bunny can take me from the middle of a paragraph to finding myself cleaning my bathroom sink.

After that, I shower, dance around in my underwear a bit to get hyped on conquering the day, and then settle into my living room to get writing, sometimes at the dining table but usually on my couch crosslegged. I have an office, but I always write in my living room because I need a lot of natural light and to be able to look outside. And then I write, or attempt to [laughs], all day. And you know, mess around on Instagram because, again, only human!

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

As for the wine, I never drink it in the morning. Although, I’d be lying if I said I waited until 5 p.m. I only drink natural wine (i.e., it has no chemicals used in the vineyard or in the winemaking). There are dozens and dozens of chemicals, additives, and fining agents that can be in a wine that they don’t have to tell you about. It makes a huge difference in how wine makes you feel. I find that natural wine is so much cleaner, with way fewer hangovers.

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

I think people assume I drink all day and all night, but it goes back to that sense of balance again. Like I may be tasting wine from 2 to 5 p.m., but often then I don’t really want to drink with dinner. Or sometimes I do, and that’s fine too.

If I’m hungover from the night before, my cure is water, weed, Mexican Coca-Cola, burrito, sleep, repeat. If you have to go to work, just do the water, Coca-Cola, and the burrito. And I’m sorry — that really sucks.

Thank you for sharing your healthy morning with us, Marissa!