Nimai Delgado - Jan 13, 2021

Need a Morning Routine for 2021? Try This One!

Over the course of my career as a vegan bodybuilder and an influencer, I've worked to share the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle with anyone who will listen.

I’ve spoken directly with thousands of people and indirectly with hundreds of thousands of others and, as you can imagine, many of the same questions come up. Aspiring vegans frequently ask about my diet and how to get the most out of a plant-based lifestyle.

Those who want to strengthen their body and mind often ask about my workout regimen or perhaps my perspective on meditation.

But one question that seemingly has a universal appeal is about my morning routine. I get asked how I start my day, what I eat, what I do, and why I do these things.

Morning routines can and should be personal, but your mornings should set the tone for the rest of your day.

If you struggle to get the most out of your mornings, I hope you can find inspiration in the way I prepare myself for a full day. 

Step 1: Wake Before The Sun Rises

I've always felt that waking up early is vital to getting the most out of my days. Mornings often have fewer distractions, so I can get more done. Not to mention, giving myself time to wake up and start my day before I have to go anywhere or do anything helps me relax.

Having to wake up, rush to get ready, and then head out the door is very stress-inducing for me, so I avoid it as much as possible.

There's evidence that waking up early is the key to success because it stimulates proactiveness. I'd rather be proactive instead of reactive, and waking up before the sun rises gives me the best chance of making that happen. 

Step 2: Watch the Sunrise

Watching the sunrise has always helped me stay grounded and centered. It’s a literal sign of a new day, which helps me put yesterday behind me as I prepare to look forward to what is to come.

Every sunrise is different, just like every day is different. Watching the sun peek over the horizon is not only a beautiful sight, but also a great way to further connect myself with nature and the world around me.

There’s no better way to start the day, in my opinion.

Step 3: Meditate for 10-15 Minutes

Meditation is my favorite thing to do immediately after watching the sunrise. I generally use meditation to build focus, increase my awareness of my surroundings, and to melt away any stress that has recently built up. I find it very relaxing and it only helps to further the positive mood I want to build throughout my morning.

Some people like to meditate for longer, so feel free to experiment with what works best for you. I find that 10-15 minutes is my sweet spot.

And if you’re not aware, meditation has some proven health benefits. It has a reputation for reducing stress, and it lives up to that reputation. It's also great for alleviating anxiety and building a longer attention span. 

Step 4: Do Breathwork for 10 Minutes

I also like to practice some breathwork right after finishing up with meditation. If you're not familiar, breathwork is a series of breathing exercises in which you intentionally alter your breathing pattern.

I rely on breathwork because it benefits me physically, mentally, and spiritually. It also helps further relax me and actually helps me feel energized afterward!

There are many different breathwork exercises to try, but an easy one I like is called box breathing. This technique uses slow, deep breaths. Here's the process:

- Slow exhale
- Slow inhale
- Hold your breath (for four seconds)
- Slow exhale
- Hold your breath (for for seconds)

Give it a try, and I’m sure you’ll have a positive, calming experience. 

Step 5: Drink a Protein Shake

Next, I like to fuel up with a quick and easy plant-based protein shake. Though I might make myself breakfast on occasion, I find that I often prefer the convenience of a protein shake. It takes only a minute to make and it fuels me for the rest of my morning.

But be careful when selecting a protein powder for your morning routine. The two biggest issues most protein powders have are with their ingredients and with their taste. So many protein powders on the market rely on cheap ingredients, fillers, and marketing BS to get you to ignore those cheap ingredients and fillers.

Not to mention, many of these crappy protein powders still taste terrible even after all of that.

I have one choice when it comes to my protein powder: Vedge Plant Protein. This protein powder offers high-quality plant-based ingredients that help me achieve better results. Plus, it comes in two flavors - Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup and Vanilla Ice Cream - that actually taste like they're supposed to. 

Step 6: Take Vitamins 

Next, I make sure to take my vitamins. I love being a vegan and I make sure my diet is plenty nutritious, but there's no questioning that vegans are more likely to experience nutrient deficiencies.

The three that are most important to me are vitamin B12, vitamin D3,  vitamin K2, and omega-3 fatty acids. You can get these vitamins from supplements but, just like with protein powders, you have to be wary of cheap, subpar ingredients.

I get everything I need from the Essential Vitamin. It gives me the B12, D3, K2, and Omega-3s my body needs at the highest quality you can find.  

Step 7: Journal Your Thoughts, Set Your Intentions

Though I find that meditation and breathwork help set the tone for my day, committing my thoughts and intentions to paper helps me follow through with everything I have planned.

Plus, journaling helps to further clear my mind. Whenever I feel like I have too many thoughts in my head, writing them down is sure to give me clarity.

I also believe it is extremely important to have defined intentions for your day. Detailing my intentions and having a set plan always helps me get more accomplished.

Step 8: Do Yoga or Stretch for 15 Minutes

Much like meditation and breathwork, yoga is great for relieving stress and anxiety. But yoga - and stretching in general - is also very beneficial physically.

Stretching, in particular, helps me with my flexibility which is an underrated aspect of fitness. It also helps with my posture and any body aches I may have.

If you look back at the rest of my morning, you’ll see that I haven’t done much moving around until this point. My days are usually quite active, which is why I make sure to squeeze in some time for yoga and stretching. 

Step 9: Do Some Reading

In this age of information, we all do plenty of reading each day. However, I find that most of it is done on our phones or some other screen - and too much of it is just not engaging, educational, or informative.

I like to take time to read a book or perhaps study a subject I’d like to be more informed on. It helps ensure I enter my day ready to learn and think, and I think it makes a world of difference.

Step 10: Begin Your Day

And that’s it! At this point, I’m ready for whatever my day has to throw at me. Now, please keep in mind that this is a morning routine I have sculpted over a period of time. Maybe try taking a few items for inspiration and slowly sculpt your own personal morning routine.

Love & Light,
Nimai Delgado