Start your Day Right

Dr. Rivene’s and Jim’s Eating/Lifestyle Plan


Start your Day Right

The early morning has magic

Start your day right – the night before.

Start your day right on the previous night when you wind down and prepare for a good night’s rejuvenating sleep. If you wake up irritable, exhausted, cloudy that may influence your whole day negatively, it might be time to schedule a self-care day to catch up on your sleep.  A well-rested body and mind is a key ingredient to a great day.

Sleep is critical for health and brain function, determining how well we think, react, work, learn and get along. In 2017 the Nobel prize in medicine was given for understanding the age-old circadian rhythms from a medical perspective. They found we need at least 7.5 hours and not more than 9 hours of sleep each night for good health and mental power. So, if you want to capture the power of the circadian rhythm go to bed by 9-10pm and wake with the sun for well-being, mental clarity, and quality of life.

An ancient Ayurveda practice is for pitta body constitutions to sleep on their right side and vata and kapha constitutions to sleep on their left side. Give it a try and see how it feels to you.

Set the Spirit of your day to start your day right.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

What we do each morning sets the spirit for the rest of the day. Ayurveda for over 5,000 years has advised a Dinacharya (daily routine).

Suggestions for a basic morning routine, for a creative, healthful life is:

  • Awaken at sunrise without an alarm clock.
  • Evacuate bowels and bladder after awakening.
  • Perform 12 pranayamas (breaths) to freshen and connect mind and body.
  • Meditate in the morning.
  • Exercise for 20 minutes.
  • Bathe to create bodily freshness.
  • Perform a simple abhyanga, self-massage, to wake and energize the body.
  • Eat breakfast before 8 am, keep it light and high-water content.
  • Eat all meals in silence with awareness of food.
  • Make lunch the main meal of the day (when digestive power is highest)
  • Take a short walk after eating.
  • Meditate in the late afternoon.
  • Eat a light dinner.
  • Perform light activity in the evening.
  • Be in bed with the lights out by 9-10:00 p.m.

By practicing the routine regularly, you will harmonize your rhythms with nature. This will help you to increase your overall sense of well-being, immunity, and vitality. Ayurveda uses the self-care tools of meditation, yoga, pranayama (breathwork), abhyanga (self-massage), and dinacharya to optimize life.

Specific Recommended Practices – Start your day right.

If you have done an Ayurvedic exam with Jim, you have been given our recommended eating plan and lifestyle plan. This is a slightly expanded version of the plan adopted for the public, any specific recommendations you received during your exam should be continued. (Schedule an Ayurvedic exam with Jim by calling the office now at 083 290 1283.)

Find Inner Peace

Cultivate a proactive mindset by starting the day from a place of inner peace and control. Remain detached from technology for the first hour of your day so you can begin your day with present-moment awareness and a positive focus. [Turn screens off the last hour of the day to prepare for a good sleep and avoid the sleep disrupting effects of blue light.]

Hydrate and Evacuate

Drink a glass of warm water with lemon in the morning to hydrate your body, remove toxins, freshen breath, support weight loss, and stimulate digestion and metabolism. This can help you have your first bowel movement of the day and evacuate the bladder which is helpful for optimum health.

Inner Smile, Gratitude

Before you even get out of bed, smile or do the inner smile meditation,  it signals your brain to release the feel-good neurotransmitters (dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin), which lift your mood, relax your body, and lower your heart rate. Reflect on what you’re grateful for (alive, wonderful morning, opportunity, or persons in your life) for one minute to reduce stress hormones and improve mood.

Start the day right – Winning from the start

Start your day right with a win. You might make your bed to feel accomplished, Tim Ferris found this was a common denominator for 100’s of successful people who set a spirit of accomplishment early in the day.

Move, Breathe, Meditate and Renew.

Consider giving yourself a magic hour first thing in the morning to breathe, energize, move, meditate, and plan your day for better health, mood, energy, and intention with renewed focus.

Start your day in your body and present, do a set of twelve complete yogic breaths with ujjiyae to connect body and mind and supercharge your lifeforce energy.

Move with Yoga, Chi Gong, an Intense Walk/Run followed by Rest Walk (high intensity interval training), or something else you like. Moving the body first thing in the morning, to just below a sweat for 20 minutes, helps you wake up, get started, increases metabolism, focuses and clears the mind, lowers cortisol (stress hormones) and releases feel good hormones like dopamine and serotonin (joy).

Meditate for 10-20 minutes to ground yourself and train your mind and emotions. This will help you react to challenges that come up during the day. Include your intention for the day as part of your meditation. When you get clear on how you want your day to go or what you want to feel or accomplish, you can make clear decisions that create the life you truly want to live. Try the simple meditation below:

  • Get into a comfortable seated position, on floor or in a chair with spine straight.
  • Set a timer for five, 10, or 15 minutes as you desire.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
  • Inhale through your nose for four counts, retain for four counts, and exhale through your nose for eight counts.
  • Every time you notice your mind wandering, gently guide it back to focus on your breath. This is the practice, noticing and directing the mind back to the breath.
  • When the timer goes off, stop counting, but stay seated with your eyes closed for a moment.
  • Set an intention for your day and visualize yourself meeting this intention. Visualize with as much detail and sensory elements (touch, feeling, sights, sounds, smell, etc.) as possible.
  • Open your eyes, draw your arms up to the heavens for a stretch, and carry the calm energy and intention with you.

Take a further 10-20 minutes to plan your day to prepare yourself for your day. I like to set my one most important business priority and one personal priority and start with one fun thing as my first task. I start the day ready and renewed to give my best.

Start with Self-Care

Ayurveda recommends bathing, wash your face, brush your teeth, scrape your tongue, do a simple abhyanga (self-massage) to help yourself feel  better while releasing toxins from the lymphatics. Dressing well and grooming will help boost self-confidence. A proper morning ritual prepares you to be your best, feeling healthy, smart and presentable and confident.

Eat a high-water content Breakfast to complete detox and feel healthier and better
The body is completing a night of detox and wants water and high-water content foods to complete the detox and start the day right. A high water content breakfast (high water content fruits and vegetables, oats or whole grains), can give you energy throughout the day without slowing you down with heavy ingredients and lots of protein. This will give a stronger ability to focus and concentrate.

Lunch, make it your biggest meal.

Lunchtime is an important time of the day; it is a pitta time when your digestion is at its highest. This is when you want to eat your biggest meal of the day. Add healthy real plant-based foods to what you are used to eating. Make a big salad (fresh cool lettuces or a warm veggie salad in cool weather), put the food you are used to eating on the salad, have a juice, try more vegetable or plant-based ideas. Take the time to slow down, eat in a relaxed environment, eat in silence, and pay attention to the food.

Meditate and/or do a second workout at the end of your day.

Transitioning from work to home and winding down is an important time of the day, a short meditation or a workout can help you leave the pressures of the day to renew and transition.

Dinner, make it light.

Dinner is at a kapha time when are digestion is slow, make it a light dinner to get a better sleep, avoid gaining weight and better health.

Get Enough Sleep

During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In fact, sleep plays such a vital role in your physical well-being, mental clarity, and quality of life that ongoing sleep deficiency (the amount varies by individual, but typically this means less than 7.5 hours or more than 9 hours of restful sleep each night is needed) can have adverse effects on your health—and how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others. Modern medicine affirms this result see the 2017 Noble prize in medicine for this circadian rhythm practice that is ages old.

So start your day right and have a wonderful life,

Jim Montrose

Red Roan Ranch

Living Wholeness Ayurveda

Imagine it, Be it, and very importantly take inspired Action now,” Jim Montrose.

Living Wholeness Ayurveda

Copyright March 2024

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© Copyright - Dr Zaida Rivene

From the N2 (Cape Town towards George) Take the first Swellendam exit (left). This is the R60. Proceed (1km+) through the 4 way stop and continue approximately 2-3 km and look for a sign for the Hermitage. Make a hard right (270 degrees). After the turn continue about 200 meters and turn left at first road (dirt). Proceed 300 meters and turn left into Red Roan Ranch and go to bottom of hill (the main house).

(Coming from George to Cape Town) Take the third exit (R60) right. Proceed (1km+) through the 4 way stop and continue approximately 2-3 km and look for a sign for the Hermitage. Make a hard right (270 degrees). After the turn continue about 200 meters and turn left at first road (dirt).  Proceed 300 meters and turn left into Red Roan Ranch and go to bottom of hill (the main house).

GPS:  S34 degrees 01.367 minutes, E020 degrees 25.193 minutes. Note most GPS units (Garmin, etc.) have the wrong coordinates for Red Roan Ranch.

Call if you have trouble 071 959 0786 or 083 290 1283