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.
Aaronica Cole is a lifestyle blogger and mother who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and three kids. You might be familiar with her site, The Crunchy Mommy, where she writes a lot about life as a mom, but she also touches on beauty, relationship advice, and recipes on occasion. What makes Cole's site stand out from the sea of mommy blogs on the web is how personable and relatable she is. While she's a self-described hippie mom (yes, she makes her own body butters), that's just one facet of her personality. She's also a wife, entrepreneur, and friend. Her position on what makes something healthy or not mirrors this sentiment of balance.
We recently visited Aaronica and her family at their home near Atlanta, and talked with her about how she defines healthy and what her morning routine usually looks like now that she's homeschooling her kids.
What Does Healthy Mean to You?
Healthy is such a relative term that's constantly evolving for everyone, including myself. Some days wine is healthy for me and some days it's meditation, but ultimately it's doing what's best for me emotionally, physically, financially, mentally, and spiritually.
I think most of us attempt to be healthy and, honestly, sometimes that in and of itself is unhealthy — a little oxymoronic, I know. But when we stress and obsess about things, that's not healthy.
Health definitely includes balance, which is super important. One of the things that I'm slowly learning and accepting is that returning to my healthiest self after having a baby (and already having other kids) takes time. In my head, I'm ready to eat strict and run half-marathons again. In reality, I still have cravings, require lots of calories because I'm breastfeeding, and need time to get my body back in shape.
I feel healthiest when I'm making decisions that will keep me around long enough to see my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I've joined the YMCA and have started going consistently. I'm super sore most days, but it feels so good to be making these investments in my body.
My Healthy Morning Routine
My day naturally would start around 9 a.m., as I have a household of late sleepers — a benefit of homeschooling. But in order for me to not go insane, I have to wake up before the kids and have some time for myself.
I like to start my days with at least 16 ounces of water before I leave my bed. I have this beautiful carafe I "borrowed" from my mom. Then I meditate for 10 minutes and pray before I leave the room. Next stop: coffee. I've turned into my mother! Last year when I was at Shiftcon I tasted Organic Valley creamer and since then I've been so spoiled — I refuse to drink anything else in my coffee.
I do a 15-minute cleanup of the house to catch any of the items that were left out from the previous night's quick pickup. I love starting my day in a clean home. Then I review my day in my bullet journal. I live and breathe my planner and it really makes me feel like I'm more in control of the craziness that is my life.
I try to get my client work done over the weekends but sometimes I don't, so I use this time to catch up on any work, check emails, and see if my husband has sent me any sweet morning messages before I snuggle back up with my son who's normally waking up to nurse by this time.
My oldest daughter sleeps the latest and we usually wait for her to wake up and cook breakfast — yes, you read that right. My oldest loves to cook and relishes in the fact that she can fry the perfect egg. After breakfast, the girls have free play until 10 to 11 a.m. and then we get started with lessons.
Thanks for sharing your morning routine with us, Aaronica!