Morning Moves and an Awesome Fall Salad

Move every day. Six months from now you will thank yourself!

As the chill sets in and we snuggle on the couch in our baggy sweats and sweaters and begin to crave those calorie-high, but oh so good, comfort foods, it can be easy to forget to take care of ourselves.  Winter has a way of slowing us down, a hibernation of sorts can set in, and in many ways that is a good thing.   We all can use slow downtime. But to stay energized and engaged during these cold winter days and nights, and to feel mentally healthy and strong, moving our bodies every day and filling our bellies with greens is essential.

Morning Movement

Especially in the colder months, when I move from my warm and cozy bed and get my feet on the floor, I can feel the stiffness in my joints and muscles.  The cure – moving my body first thing in the morning.  I created this short yoga routine to work out kinks in the morning and set myself up for a “feel great” day.  So, take the challenge and let’s get our bodies moving first thing in the morning.

The Benefits

  • Get your metabolism moving and groovin’ to burn more calories more efficiently during the day
  • This morning yoga and stretch will improve your physical and mental energy throughout the day
  • Cultivating a morning routine sets you up with establishing a personal discipline and dedication to your self-care.  Note to self: “I MATTER!”
  • Studies are showing that a morning routine (7 am) is the best time to exercise and get better sleep that night.
  • Release that wake-up stiffness for a more easy and open day with your body.
  • Stretch the psoas and hamstrings, stabilize hip abductors, and engage the core to start your day and support releasing lower back tension and tightness
  • A positive beginning to your day sets the tone for an upbeat day

The Postures

This practice below will take you about 30-minutes with Savasana and 40-minutes if you add a 10-minute meditation at the end.

  • Cat/Cow – Hip isolation, 4 rounds
  • Cat/Cow – Full postures, 4 rounds
  • Cobra Flow – 4 rounds
  • Down Dog with foot pedal – 5 breaths
  • ½ Sun Salutation – 4 rounds
  • Low Lunge with a twist, rock back to hamstring stretch, low low lunge with psoas stretch – repeat 2 full round each side, hold each posture for 3 to 5 breaths
  • Wide Leg forward fold – hold for 5 breaths
  • ½ Boat – hold for 5 breaths
  • Bridge lifts – 4 rounds
  • Figure Four Bridges – 4 to 8 rounds, both sides
  • Bridge hold – 5 breaths
  • Supine Pigeon – both sides, hold for 3 to 5 breaths
  • Hug in knees
  • Feet wide knees together/optional supine twist
  • Savasana

Listen to the audio recording and see the photos below.

Enjoy and have an awesome day! I would love to hear your thoughts on the sequence.

Morning Movement Series

Don’t Forget Your Greens

Kale is a hearty and nutritious green – what many might refer to as a superfood. 

  • 1 cup = 36 Calories = 5 grams of fiber, 0 fat
  • Lower Cholesterol
  • Lots of iron
  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin C

And more – a fabulous feast for the colder months!

I love this salad – so easy to make and a delicious fall-winter salad.

FALL KALE-WALDORF SALAD

Fresh Kale – Chopped fairly small, about 2 cups

2 Apples – Core and chop in nice bite-sized chunks

Walnuts – chopped, not too fine, about 1 cup

Celery – chopped in small pieces, 4 stalks

Dried Cranberries – a big handful

I like to put a bit of olive oil in my hands and then massage the chopped kale, sprinkled with a little bit of apple cider vinegar, to soften it up a bit. Massage and then let sit while you chop everything else and make the dressing.

*For the dressing whisk together:

1/3 cup mayo
1 – 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons Dijon
Salt and pepper

*Note: I am not really a measurer – I like to mix to taste! So have fun and be creative.

Put it all in a big bowl, toss it together lightly, refrigerate for a couple of hours and voila!  A delicious, healthy fall salad perfect for a potluck dinner with friends.