Focus on just one word for 2016. 
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Just like the foods we ought to eat, the way we live our lives should be raw, whole, pure, authentic, and transparent! This aptly named monthly email series will be chock full of insight and inspiration that will equip you with the tools to live a life more true to who are, so that you can harness your power and step into your purpose as a unique individual! So let's strip it down to the core and get... 
In the Raw!


What My Morning Routine Taught Me


The Early Bird Gets The Worm

This past year was a huge year of growth for me. I worked harder, took more risks, and conquered some of my biggest fears. I attribute a lot of my success and focus to my morning routine. Shortly after the start of the year, I became inspired to start getting up a little bit earlier to do some things for myself when nobody else needed my time—in the wee hours of the morning before the sun came up. By the time I got to work each day, I felt more alert and energized, and less anxious to get home at the end of the day to get things done. 

Setting my alarm to wake up a little bit earlier was a small price to pay to develop a deeper sense of what my purpose was, to gain more focus, and to leave the house for work already feeling like I'd accomplished something for the day.


  • Oil Pulling - First thing in the morning, I take a big scoop of raw coconut oil and swish it around in my mouth for about 20 minutes. I know, it sounds crazy, but you get used to it! I haven't had a bad dentist report since I started, so I'm a firm believer! Check my blog post for the details! 
  • Read Scripture - I've always kept the Bible next to my bed at night but rarely opened it up because it seemed so intimidating. It finally dawned on me how silly it was to be a strong Christian and not be reading the Bible daily. Now I read and journal my thoughts first thing in the morning to help guide me through my day. If I'm away from my Bible I like to reference the YouVersion Bible app.
  • Meditation - After I read I like to quiet my mind by meditating for about 10-15 minutes. This is the part in my morning where I'm able to "defragment" all of the mental clutter in my mind, organize my thoughts, and find some white space. It really helps me to be more calm, focused, and present. I also use an app for meditation, called Headspace. *This app also works great for flying if you tend to get anxious like me!  
  • Tall Glass of Water - I typically do my oil-pulling while reading and meditating so that it goes faster. So by the time I'm done with those things, it's time to spit the oil, brush my teeth, and down a tall glass of water. I talk a little bit about the importance of hydration first thing in the morning in this recent blog post. I like to think of water as a wake-up call that preps the digestive tract, flushes the system after an overnight fast, and awakens and energizes the cells in the body.
  • 7-Minute Workout - After re-hydrating, I like to get my blood flowing. I'll typically workout in the afternoon after work, but I still like to move and breathe a little bit first thing in the morning. I use an app called 7-Minute Workout (there are several of them), which consists of 12 moves that rely solely on bodyweight with no equipment needed. Check out this quick NY TImes article on the science behind these 12 perfect moves that whip you into shape!
  • Podcast - While I'm doing my hair and makeup, I like to listen to one of my favorite podcasts or a good book on Audible. I typically listen to something in the "Self-Improvement," "Entrepreneur," or "Health & Wellness" categories that will inspire, motivate, and educate me on the things I'm interested in. My current obsession is "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Tim Ferriss! It's like taking a free class while getting ready--talk about killing two birds with one stone!
  • Smoothie/Breakfast - Finally, before I take off for work, I make myself a tall fruit and veggie green smoothie. One of my favorite blends is my "Morning Buzz" smoothie. When I'm not on-the-go, I like to make something I can sit down and enjoy, like Banana Nice Cream. No matter what I eat, I try to make it all raw. Raw fruits and veggies are highly nutritious, with all living enzymes intact, and are easy for our bodies to digest. It can be helpful to begin your day with raw foods that aren't going to weigh you down and make you tired.
Well that's it! All-in-all, my morning routine typically takes about an hour and a half and then I'm usually out the door to work! You probably noticed that most of my morning routine is guided by my iPhone, making it super easy to bring with me no matter where I go. I've had a lot of fun being able to maintain the consistency while traveling. A lot of things can get thrown out of whack when you're out of your normal environment, so it feels good to have something familiar to  set you on the right trajectory each day.



When trying to formulate your ideal morning routine, think about what matters most to you. Your passions shouldn't be put on the back-burner for the end of the day when you come home feeling wiped out. Whatever it is that gets you excited should take priority, first thing in the morning when you have the energy to give it your best. Not only that, but you're going to be a lot less distracted and bombarded by phone calls, texts, and emails popping up. Try these simple steps to formulate your own morning routine:

1. Make a List

My advice to you is to begin by brainstorming and making a list of what’s most important to you. What are the things you wish you would have “had time for” at the end of every day? What is going to give you that sense of accomplishment and fulfillment? What do you love to do? It could be working out, journaling, drawing, meditating, praying, or a combination of activities. Get creative.

2. Set Your Alarm

Nothing squashes creativity like being crunched for time. I found that my morning routine took getting up a bit earlier so that I didn't have to feel rushed. I turned the dial back about a half hour so that I could actually enjoy my mornings and make them less about rushing to get out the door to work. 

3. Focus

Routines can become monotonous and mundane if they begin to lose their purpose. Remember to be fully present in your morning instead of looking ahead to the events of the day. Focus on having a “beginner’s mind” and treating each morning and the activities that guide you through it as if they're brand new. We tend to be more engaged when something is new to us.

4. Relax

There may be nights where you’re up late and don’t get enough sleep and it impacts your typical morning routine—don’t sweat it! For me, it’s more important to set the alarm forward a bit so I can wake up feeling well-rested! I’ve actually found that the extra time I’ve allotted for my morning routine makes a great “buffer,” in case I need extra sleep or anything pressing needs to get done first thing the morning! It’s a win-win! 


While consistency and routine are fine and dandy, there is something to be said about spontaneity and change. I finally became a spinning instructor at a luxury boutique fitness studio here in Lincoln, called FLY—something I’ve wanted to do for years! It opened its doors in late November, and I have since then been leading 6:30AM FlyRide (spinning classes) twice a week. Needless to say, my morning routine became less routine and at first it threw me for a loop. I’ve been pleasantly surprised, though, at how great it has been! Visit my Fitness page to check out my current favorite songs from class, submit a song request, and sign-up for a FlyRide!

While I am definitely a creature of habit, it has helped me to learn the value in change. I still do my typical morning routine on the days when I don’t teach early classes, and my week is more exciting because of the alternating days. I have come to realize that consistency is key to success, but equally important is the ability to adapt to change.

Find Your Way

I challenge you to develop your own morning routine, and fill it with things that are going to set you on the right trajectory for the rest of your day. Do the things that you know you ought to do, because they’re good for you, but also do the things that make you feel happy and whole. Both the things that we ought to do and the things we are passionate about will yield the same results—instant gratification, sense of purpose, personal growth, and fulfillment. 


Strive For Consistency + Be Accepting of Change

Try to eat one plant-based meal a day. Emphasize whole fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and grains!
Get outside and get some fresh air. Go for a walk with your dog, play catch with your kids, ride your bike!
Take time to relax, unwind, and slow down. Take a bath, get a massage, meditate, inhale and exhale!
Don't forget to find me on Instagram @ErinStanczyk and use hashtag #EatMoveRest
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