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807: Shrink Your Fat Cells & Fix Your Metabolism – With Dr. Benjamin Bikman

TMHS 650: Use This Morning Routine to Support Fat Loss & Mental Performance

Implementing a consistent and healthy morning routine is a powerful way to improve your physical health and psychology. A solid morning routine can set the tone for your entire day, boost your energy, enhance productivity, and help you feel more in control.

On today’s show, you’re going to learn five habits you can incorporate into your morning routine in order to improve your metabolic health, mental health, and cognitive performance. We’re going to cover everything from hydration and movement to enhancing social media habits, and even how to optimize your morning cup of joe. These scientifically proven tips are based on the principles of circadian medicine and will promote a healthy and productive day.

Best of all, implementing these tips into your routine does not require an entire lifestyle overhaul. You’re going to hear basic and realistic habits that will yield big results. No matter what your mornings currently look like, I think you’ll find something in this episode that can have a positive impact on your life. Enjoy!

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How your circadian timing system works.
  • Three main reasons why a healthy morning routine is helpful for your brain & biology.
  • How to create new habits, & what makes them stick.
  • What a habit loop is.
  • The importance of proper hydration, especially in the morning.
  • How drinking adequate water can aid in fat loss.
  • The power of having small wins.
  • How to improve your perception of your day.
  • The importance of taking time to empower and improve yourself.
  • What it means to proactively create your day.
  • How to use journaling and visualization to your advantage.
  • The various benefits of physical activity.
  • How moving your body impacts your cortisol levels.
  • The connection between exercise and mental health.
  • What impacts UV light has on our biology.
  • Simple ways to add morning sunlight to your day.
  • How to optimize your coffee routine.
  • Three things to avoid in the morning.


Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!


Shawn Stevenson: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. On this episode, we're going to be going through a morning routine for better metabolic health, mental health, and cognitive performance based on the latest science. Now, in a world full of bio hacks and unnecessarily complex health and performance information, we're really getting dialed in on the basics, because that's what we really need. We need to implement simple things that lead to better health outcomes and start to stack conditions in our favor. And so, doing that to start our day is going to add so much value to your life this year and moving forward. Now, this is going to be based on principles, psychological and biological principles in alignment with something called circadian wellness or circadian medicine. And so, this is really the fastest growing field of science, because it encompasses so much of what's happening underneath it.


Our circadian wellness is tied into something called our circadian timing system. Now, this is defined as the network of interconnected cellular structures that regulate the timing of physiological processes and behaviors. Alright? So, these circadian clocks within all of our cells are determining our biological processes and behavior outcomes as well. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have uncovered that our biological clocks are themselves functional genes and proteins that are controlling our other genes and proteins, right? Our bodies are a protein machine, our out-picturing, what you see when you look in the mirror, you're seeing proteins predominantly. And also, our genes are determining how different things are getting expressed, right? So various programs, and we know that with epigenetics, there are thousands of potential outcomes for the majority of ourselves. And how all that is coming together is determining the out-picturing of us, our bodies, our mental health, our performance, and so much more.


But again, these circadian clocks within all of our cells are really the driving force for when things are happening in our bodies. So, our cardiovascular system is going to be functioning differently based on what time of day it is and/or what our cells perceive as what time of day it is. Because we can, in essence, today more than ever, we can cut ourselves off from the diurnal and nocturnal patterns of life itself, right outside of our doors, the moon rotation around us, us rotating around in the solar system, around the sun. Our bodies evolved, our genes evolved, being linked up with these diurnal and nocturnal patterns every second of every day. Today, we can hide out and we can generate a false or a pseudo daytime within our rooms, within our homes, and cut ourselves off from those natural inputs, those natural light inputs, right?


And the same thing holds true, not just for not getting natural dark patterns, you know, patterns of darkness, but also, getting natural light inputs as well. And we're going to talk about some of this today and really deconstruct our bodies' out-picturing of health and also our performance in alignment, again, with circadian wellness, circadian medicine in this fast-growing field. And what are some of the processes that we can do to start our days so that everything is synced up and inflow and feeling good, and we're putting more healthy outcomes on automatic. Now, why does having a healthy morning routine matter so much in today's world? Well, as you know, we are living in a time when things can be chaotic. There can be a lot coming at us, a lot vying for our attention. Things can be outright crazy; things can be very random and sporadic.


And we do have a psychological need for variety, right? For surprises. But at the same time, we have a deep psychological need for a sense of certainty. And when the day gets going, as you know, when you go into your day, especially when you leave your front door, that's when so much more possibility of randomness, right, of uncertainty can take place. So, starting our days when we have much more control, it really helps to anchor in our psychology and feel like we have more control in the world, right? So, the number one reason here, and these aren't in any particular order, but the number one reason why these matters so much is that it gives us a sense of control in an often-chaotic world. Number two, having a morning routine. A healthy morning routine creates psychological and biological momentum. Now, momentum, there are principles here in psychology, but also, this is a principle in physics, right?


So, the most important thing to understand, however, is that we have positive momentum, but we can also have negative momentum, all right? So, our choices are going to determine what snowball we're pushing down the hill, right? And so, if we're not aware of this, so often we think that we're just experiencing all of these negative things again and again and again, but we don't understand that we're participating and co-creating that momentum. So, we want to consciously, intentionally create a positive momentum to start our days. And number three, success is not about what we do occasionally or randomly. So, starting our days, constructing our days so that we're doing certain things on a consistent basis, that's what really creates resilient health and true success with both health and success. It's not what you do every now and then. It's not what you do occasionally or randomly. It's the things that you do consistently that really tell the tale of the results that you're going to see, again, with our bodies and with our success in life overall.


So, if we're just looking at what's happening in the brain when we're constructing new habits or creating a morning routine, we're changing what's happening with our brain. We have these neuro connections, these neuro associations. We have dendrites and axon terminals, and we have nerve signaling taking place. Now, this process with our brain cells communicating with each other as we're repeating a behavior, it's laying down more myelin to insulate that nerve pathway firing again and again and again, so that becomes automated. All right? So certain things you don't have to think about because it's automated behavior, those cells, those brain cells are just firing. Your nervous system is all synced up. It's a beautiful symphony taking place, because you've been there before, you've done the thing again, and again, and again. We want to use this to our advantage, because again, we can create nerve pathways and myelination and insulate those for negative behaviors or things that we would deem to be negative behaviors.


I'm just using that word for popular context, alright? Because we get to choose what we do. We get to choose how we are showing up. We get to choose our thoughts; we get to choose our actions. Another reason this matters so much today, more than ever, is that it gives us a sense of agency in the world today, and a sense of authority within ourselves to make choices and to feel how we want to feel and to create what we want to create, right? In a world, again, that can be sending messages to us that we have anything other than that, right? We are at the mercy of our environment. We are at the mercy of the things going on in the world. When the real power for your life resides within you, within your own heart, within your own mind, that's where it really starts.


And now, with that said, this myelination, right? So, myelin getting laid down when we're repeating a thing over and over again, right? And then it gets into this tenet of practice makes perfect, but that's not really accurate, because you can have sh*tty practice and create an imperfect outcome, right? So, it's not practice makes perfect, perfect practice makes perfect, but more importantly, practice makes permanent. Alright? Practice makes permanent. The things that we're doing on a consistent basis, we're creating more permanence in how our brains are literally firing and expecting certain behaviors driving us towards certain behaviors. And so, what we're talking about here is a habit construction, right? And so, leaning into this morning routine that we're going to go through in just a moment, we need to understand what's happening psychologically and what's happening with our nervous system. Because every habit actually begins with a psychological pattern. It's called a habit loop.


And Charles Duhigg really articulates this very well. But it's a three-step process. Number one, there's a cue or a trigger. This is what tells your brain to go into this kind of automatic mode and let the behavior unfold itself. So, there's a trigger, something happens, and then we do the thing, right? So, there's a cue. So, for example, today, something that all of us experience when the phone rings. So, the phone rings and you pick it up, you have a certain... That's the trigger, that's a cue, that's an environmental cue. Then we have the habit, the actual behavior that we do, which is to pick up the phone and to say hello or bueno or what’s up? Or whatever it is that we say when we answer the phone. Or today it could be, phone rings and you pick it up and you look at it, and then you determine, you start to debate whether or not I'm going to answer this call, right? This is very different than what it used to be. Before we had Caller ID and all this stuff going on in the world and texting. When the phone used to ring, it was an event.


Everybody's racing to the phone. Who is it? Who is it? Hello? Who is it? Right? Oh, look who it is, you know? Such and such is calling, right? And this was also a time, oh man, when you had the one phone line and you pick up the phone, maybe you're on the phone with your girlfriend or boyfriend and your parent got to use the phone, and they get on the phone. It's so embarrassing, "I got to use the phone." Alright, so my parents... "I got to use the phone." You're trying to have the silky-smooth voice, even though you haven't even gone through puberty really. And so, again, things have changed so much, obviously, where we can see, but again, this is an environmental trigger that's happening when the phone rings or we get a ding or some kind of a ping or a DM, and we have an automatic response that we're doing in association with that thing. Or maybe you're getting your child ready, there's a certain process you go through.


So maybe after you finish having your coffee, then you know it's immediately time to go and make your kids lunch or whatever the case might be. There's an event, there's a trigger, there's something that happens that then leads to the behavior itself. Now, a great example of this is somebody who's intentionally using a trigger, installing a trigger, and creating a behavior association with that. And it's a friend of the show, he's been on before. His name is Michael Hyatt. And he knows that he has a tendency towards being a workaholic. And his highest priority, his highest value is his family. And so, being that he knows he can keep working and working and working and extending his days, he's created a timer, an environmental cue that when his clock hits, whatever it is, 4:00 PM or 5:00 PM in the evening, boom, power shuts off in his office.


All right? So, he has to disconnect and leave, and that's when the day is ending, right? So, there's a cue, there's a trigger, that's an environmental cure or trigger. The behavior is, he stops working, right? So, we can use these things to our advantage, but we're always getting these cues and triggers throughout our days. We might not realize that this is happening, but this is the first part of what a habit construct is. There's a cue, there's a trigger. Our habits, be it positive or not so positive, they're always preceded by a trigger. So that's number one. Number two in this process, again, this habit loop. So, number one is the trigger or cue. Number two is the action or the routine itself. This is what people tend to think about, when they think about a habit, they think about the action itself, right? They think about the lighting up of the cigarette, they think about going to the gym.


They think about that thing, right? And in actuality, it's in association with having a cue. Then we have the action itself. And then the third part of the step, and this is often the most overlooked, is the reward. Alright? This is the other part of creating this habit loop, is having a reward tied in, something that your brain links up, your brain likes, or it could... Here's the thing, we might like things that don't necessarily feel good. We might like things in some strange way that hurt us or that we don't... Consciously, if we could choose it, like, I don't enjoy this, but we can get addicted to it. Our brains can start to create chemistry around a certain thing. So, we have the trigger, we have the action, and then we have the psychological linking to a reward or desire, right?


For that thing or reward or anchoring in that behavior. This is often, again, the most overlooked aspect of creating a habit, because your brain linking up that behavior and it helps it to remember the habit loop in the future. Alright? And we can use that to our advantage, because if we can cognitively link up what we're about to go through right now in this morning routine, link up rewards or pay attention to the rewards, or purposely create and add in rewards to these habits, that's when we're going to see a long-lasting habit loop created. All right? So, again, this is based on circadian wellness. This is based on psychological profiling of what actually is creating our habits. And so, now we're going to move into creating our optimal morning routine moving forward. And these are essential. I'm not adding in a bunch of stuff here, because we can get overwhelmed trying to do a morning routine.


There's so many things to do, and this expert says this. This expert says that. We're getting down to the basics. This is basic training, the most essential. And we're going to start with number one here. So, the first step in our morning routine, when we get up in the morning, the first thing that we need to do to really set the tone for our cognitive health and our metabolic health is to get our system hydrated. When we are asleep, our glymphatic system in our brains is approximately 10 times more active, really helping to clean and clear out metabolic waste in our brain and helping to repair cells. There's going to be inherently metabolic waste that need to get cleared from our system. You've probably noticed when you wake up in the morning, your urine is pretty dark. It's more concentrated with waste products. Our bodies is just kind of cleaning house, getting things out of our system. All right?


Now, with that said, oftentimes, this is an indication that we might be a little bit dehydrated. For most of us, this is when we're going the longest stint without having any kind of nutrition and/or hydration specifically. And so, why do we want to do this? Let's actually get to the psychological reward. So, the trigger is, we get up in the morning, we go tinkle, okay, we go tinkle. Okay, that's all good. Tinkle, or if you got to do a poopy, alright? Why am I talking to you like you're the two-year-old? If you got to do either of those, all good. Now the trigger is, after I get up, use the bathroom, drink water. So those are the cues. Why do we want to do this? What do we anchor in the reward? How do we anchor this in?


Listen to this. A peer-reviewed study published in the journal Obesity, found that simply drinking adequate amounts of water can literally trigger the release of stored body fat. This is a process called lipolysis. And if that isn't strong enough to signal a reward, let's stack it here. Another study, and this was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, found that drinking water can literally increase your metabolic rate through a process called water-induced thermogenesis. The researchers discovered that drinking about 17 ounces of water within a couple of minutes, you can temporarily boost your metabolic rate by 30%. The increase was found to occur within 10 minutes and reach a maximum after 30 to 40 minutes. The total thermogenic calorie burn is around 25 calories. So, doing this a couple of times a day, we'll say three to four times a day, folks can burn an additional 75 or 100 calories simply by drinking water and hydrating their tissues.


Now, starting the day, by giving your metabolism this gift, what a way to get the ball rolling in your favor, right? So, the number here, specifically that they found was around 17 ounces of water. I've been advocating this for years, all right? Now, several of my friends and colleagues have gotten onboard. There are TikToks out there talking about inner bath, inner bath. This term, if you heard it, I pushed it into the culture. Alright? I pushed it in, taking an inner bath or inner shower, right? And so, this is something that I learned from a colleague many, many years ago, probably, I'm going to say 17 years ago, David Wolfe, shout out to David Wolfe and this paradigm. And I just started doing it from that moment on, and I've done it every single day since. It's the first thing I do after, you know, use the bathroom, drink water. All right? So, 17 ounces, my preference here, because this is a time to get in a nice chunk of your hydration. Because again, once the day starts happening and uncertainty starts to unfold, we start to have more obstacles oftentimes to getting in the water intake that we intend to do.


Again, we have more control here, because first thing getting up if we implement this thing, we're going to be able to get in a nice chunk of our hydration. So, we can drink anywhere... My recommendation is from the 17 ounces noted here in the study, but at least 12 ounces, at least get in 12 ounces. Alright? 20 ounces is gold star, alright, 20 to 30 ounces is just exceptional. All right? So that's the target range. So that's what I generally do myself. Personally, I'm drinking around 25 to 30 ounces to start the day. Like for example, this morning I probably had about 26 ounces of water to start my day. Alright? Now, why does this lead to this metabolic benefit? Well, it's not because of something superficial, right? Like, you're drinking water and your body is like, trying to heat the water up. Right? This might have a small aspect of benefit as far as the metabolic outcome, right? What it really is, is that water makes everything work better. Every single process in your body is happening in a water medium.


All of your hormones, your neurotransmitters, they're all communicating and operating on a water superhighway. Your mitochondria, all of your organelles, all of your brain cells, every single aspect of your health is really operating in a water medium, that's how important it is. Right now, if we look at, specifically this cognitive benefit, many people don't realize that insufficient hydration is the number one nutritive trigger of daytime fatigue. A recent study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health revealed that mild dehydration had a significant negative impact on fatigue, mood, reading speed, and mental work capacity and collegiate test subjects. And here's the benefit, within a short amount of time getting them properly hydrated, alleviated fatigue, improved total mood, boosted short-term memory, that's pretty cool and enhance their focus and reaction times.


The best supplements in the world cannot outmatch the power of getting your body hydrated. It is a primary tenet of human health. And so, again, just stacking conditions, all these processes, even just being able to maintain the proper water balance in our brain. Our brains probably heard the statement, our brains are 70% to upwards of 80% water. Now with that said, in this morning routine, hydration is part of it, but in nature you will never find water by itself just out there in nature. There is no distilled water in nature. Alright? Water is known as the universal solvent, it's water with other things dissolved into it, namely minerals, namely electrolytes, these are minerals that carry an electric charge. And so, having a great source of water is one thing, but also, ensuring that we're getting electrolytes.


This is going to be, you know, if we want to do the basic version, some high-quality salt integrated with that water, because sodium in particular is required to maintain proper water balance in our brain. The water in our brain cannot sustain itself. Sodium helps us to retain water, this is why it's superficially associated with problems with blood pressure, right? When we have too much sodium. But the problem is, it becomes this very black or white sentiment. Sodium might just be, or it definitely is one of the most important minerals, but it might be one of the most important nutrients for human survival, like, top tier. And so, just to have this belief that you know, sodium is bad, that's a serious problem. Researchers at McGill University found that sodium functions as an "on-off" switch in our brains, controlling specific neurotransmitters that support optimal brain function and protect the brain from numerous diseases.


Again, sodium is critical, right? So, having that in the mix and also a lot of times even right before the show, I'll do an electrolyte blend, sodium and magnesium and potassium. And a reason why, if we just look at magnesium, for example, a study published in pharmacological reports states that magnesium is able to interact with inhibitory GABA receptors and induce anti-anxiety effects helping to calm the brain, calm the nervous system helping to support more of an alpha brain frequency where we're more in a flow state. We're more calm and we feel again more in control. Right? So, these are all very strong foundational things to start our days. So, I get this combination, huge fan of the electrolytes from LMNT. Go to and every electrolyte purchase that you make; they're going to send you a free sample pack as well. I've got a ton of sample packs that are in my office here at the studio that I give to people that come in and visit.


I just love it so much, it's such a great electrolyte blend, because number one they've got all these data points, they've got hundreds of thousands of data points and they're working with a lot of the pro teams NHL, MLB, soccer, the NFL. The list goes on and on, top tier, but also, prior to even working with them they've been accumulating data points to find, what is the right ratio for sodium, magnesium, potassium to really fuel cognitive performance, recovery, all the things. So that's a huge win, but in addition to that, it's the electrolytes that we need to thrive without sugar. So many electrolyte products have sugar, we're talking about the antithesis of performance of cognitive function of metabolic health. We get in plenty of sugar if we're eating real food, we don't need sugar added to our electrolytes, right? So, no artificial colors, no sugar, just viable, high quality, high efficacy in the sourcing of the electrolytes.


So again, check them out, that's Free bonus gift with every single purchase. So again, starting our day, getting our bodies, getting our tissues adequately hydrated, helping to flush out metabolic waste, helping to get this water-induced thermogenesis, helping to fuel better cognitive performance, why would you not do this? So, we're not talking about, again, things that are accessories to an optimal healthy morning routine, we're talking about essentials. So that's number one, is to get hydrated, take your inner bath. Number two, in our optimal morning routine for supporting metabolic health, mental health and cognitive performance, number two is personal growth.


In a paper published in the Harvard Business Review titled The Power of Small Wins, the researchers examine the links between perceived progress and the outcomes of having a good overall day. Now, our perception is our reality, our personal perception, no one else can see through our eyes and experience life through our lens, through our experience, and we all kind of share a collective reality that we agree upon. But the most real, the most real of realities is the one that you perceive, right? And so, your perception is your reality. So, having the perception that you've grown, that you've progressed has this massive tendency as the researchers articulate in this study, leading towards us having the experience of having a good day, right? And at the end of the day, that's what we really want. All the superficial stuff is cool, but it's just the feeling that we had a good day, that we felt good, that we grew as a person. And if we understand the psychological ingredients for that, what they looked at was a couple of categories.


One was progress versus setbacks, alright? So, when people were perceiving that they made more progress, but setbacks are still there in the data. It's okay to have some setbacks, but it's just having more progress more often that's when, again, having that perception of having a good overall day, better meant to wellness, all the things. They also looked at catalysts versus inhibitors, things that support your day, that drive you towards more success, drive you towards more progress. They're catalysts for doing even better versus inhibitors, things that come along and block your progress. Alright? It could be vibe killers coming in with the, you know, the randomness, whatever the case might be, things that we perceive to be inhibitors. Alright, now, true story. When I was preparing for today's episode, I'm in my bag, I've already constructed my morning routine and so, I'm in a place where I'm feeling more certainty, more control, but life is going to happen, randomness is going to happen. My wife texted me asking me for a title for something for our designer, for some artwork, for them to do a certain job.


And I was like, babe, I'm getting ready for the show, can I give this to you later? And that's that. My phone was on silent, I put it down. My wife doesn't come upstairs to come to the... She came upstairs, came upstairs, came into the office. She knows I'm getting ready for the show, and we've been doing this so many years, we've created this cocoon, well, she's helped to create this cocoon of, this is what's happening today, all systems go, model health show vibes. Alright? But for whatever reasons, maybe it's just because it's a New Year and things can be in a little bit of flux as you're getting things in alignment, that tenet of the cocoon time was just like, oh, forget that, let me come in, you know? And so, there was an inhibitor in that moment, because, you know, I thought that I was being clear on, hey, I'll get to this later, this is the focus right now. But for her, it's just a small thing, right? She just wants a small thing so that she could have this other thing done. And so, I'm perceiving the small thing as a problem and she's perceiving the small thing as a problem.


The bottom line is it's a small thing, right? But when we're lacking in a sense of control and progress, that small thing can become a big thing. And so, not only was I preparing for the show, but I was on a timeline, because I had to... It's time to get my train in there. Alright? And I get a train in there, alright? So, I was trying to get to that as well. And so, this inhibitor in the form of this beautiful, my best friend is showing up. So, now with that said, catalyst versus inhibitors, we have a choice, because like I started this off with, our perception is our reality, right? So, I could switch it mentally and see this being a catalyst for, okay, I got this too. I can grow, I can do that thing. And or I can remember who she really is, like, she is an ultimate catalyst in my life, with all the love and the conversations and the support and the having my back and the pushing and the motivation that she gives me from time to time, you know? All of these things, so I get to tune into what I want, essentially. Not to negate the reality that's happening in that moment.


So, catalyst versus inhibitors, when we have more catalyst or perception of catalyst, it's going to lead to our perception of having a good day, right? So, now here's the thing, the point that I'm trying to make right now is that we can have bad moments, we can have tough moments and I'm using the word bad, because, again, it's based on perception, though. We can have negative things happen, what we perceive to be negative in our days, we can have tough moments, but this doesn't mean that we have to have a bad day. This doesn't mean that we have to have a bad week, right? We can allow that to be as is and stack conditions to what does the overall day look like? Am I having more progress than setbacks? Am I having more experience of things catalyzing me than inhibiting me? And also, being able to change my perception of the things going on. And so, in this... And again, this was published in Harvard Business Review papers titled The Power of Small Wins. When we stack conditions, when we get those small winds under our belts, the outcome of having an overall good day is high. Alright?


So, this can be in the context, as the researchers indicated, in a workday. But we want to go beyond that, because it's so much more than that. They also pointed to the factor of intrinsic motivation being one of the most important drivers of success in our lives. Not the motivation coming externally, but the motivation that we're developing within ourselves. Here's the key, though, because that motivation we develop within ourselves is oftentimes an association with the things that we're learning through things that are external, right? This doesn't mean that we're just out on a life raft by ourselves, you know, in the ocean and we've got the whole Titanic vibes going on, we're just by ourselves out here freezing our respective fannies off. This is saying it's a both and world. Being able to pour into ourselves and build up the capacity to maintain intrinsic motivation.


How do we do that? How do we fill our cup up? How do we develop that capacity? It's adding in every single day something specific, a small win in our personal growth. Now, at its core, it's not about work progress or school progress. Those things are great, those are great outcomes, but what it is at its core, it's about growth and progress as a person. Growth and progress as a person. Grow yourself every day, implement something in your morning routine, so that you are growing yourself to start your day. Small win, take a small win. This can be put into a small-time chunk, right? Something that's five minutes or 10 minutes or longer, but at least, get in five to 10 minutes of something to grow yourself. And this can be in the form of an empowering book. This can be in the form of listening to a motivational message or video or a podcast or an audio book, right?


So, do something to add to your personal development, to help to improve your sense of empowerment, maybe shift your perspective in an empowering way, but just ultimately what I'm really trying to say and what this is really about is reminding yourself of how powerful you are. Of reminding yourself of how capable you are every single day. Pour into that, add that into your morning routine, so that you get that daily reminder that you are capable, that you are powerful, that you have the capacity to do whatever it is that you intend to do for that day. And we can give ourselves this gift. Now, again, I said this is beyond progress at school or at work, because this goes back to a quote that rings true in my mind. I think about this quote at least once a week, it's attributed to Mark Twain and it's the quote stating that "we should never let school get in the way of our education." Alright?


"Never let school get in the way of our education." So I'll put this in there as well. "Never let work get in the way of our education." Because we can tend to think that school is all there is or that work is all there is. When in reality, if we're looking at the root of the word education, educo, right, to draw out, to really learn from within and to draw out. That takes us beyond conventional education, that takes us beyond conventional work-life and what we deem to be societal as what's important and who we should be. This is drawing from within, drawing the gifts that we have within us, the capacities, the uniqueness from within us out. And so, to do that, oftentimes we have to water, we have to feed, we have to take care of that environment so that those gifts can be manifest. So, never let school get in the way of your education. Grow yourself each day, read something empowering. Listen to something empowering.


We live at this time now where you've got access to this stuff. This is something that our ancestors largely didn't have, right? To be able to read something empowering, to be able to listen to an incredible podcast or an audio message or an audio book, to watch a motivational video, again. But we have to build this in, get yourself hydrated. You could do this at the same time, while you're drinking your water you can have the podcast play or whatever the case might be. You can start to stack things, because even with what I'm sharing today, we don't need to do 20 things for the morning routine and stress ourselves out. As a matter of fact, we can actually stack stuff together to where we have this dialed in at minimum, if we just take 10 minutes for ourselves. But, you know, there's a reality where most people are waking up, like, life is an accident and just trying to stumble through the day, essentially.


Whereas, we're going to take control of our lives by taking control of how we're starting our days. Alright now to recap, what's going to be mapped out is really five. Alright, our fantastic five steps to having an optimal morning routine. Number one was, hydrate, take your inner bath. Number two is to invest in personal growth. Alright? So fantastic five, this is pretty close to Fantastic Four, hashtag, no trademarks here, okay? Fantastic five. By the way, are they going to get it right with the Fantastic Four? They've done it, they've done it again and now they're doing it again. I think they're going to get it right this time. Shout out to the Fantastic Four Marvel Universe, superhero vibes, all good. Fantastic five for you is how you're starting your day. Number one, start by getting yourself hydrated. Number two, invest in personal growth. Number three is to create your day, to create your day itself. You've got to stop waking up like it's an accident, like, life is an accident, like, we're an accident and proactively create our day.


So, what do I mean by this? This is an opportunity. We can use a couple of modalities here. We want to take some responsibility for our days, and we want to map out how things are going to go. With that said, put in parentheses, we're going to talk about, stuff's going to happen. But if we don't get clear and set aspects of our brain, our reticular activating system, for example, to attune itself to... It's basically like an internal GPS on where we want to go and map out the destination we want to end at. Oftentimes, we're going to be going down some slick back roads. We're going to have all kinds of obstructions in our pathway trying to get to the end of the day. So now we're getting clarity. We're allowing our brain to have an idea or a very strong perspective on where we're headed. So, what are a couple of ways that we can do this to create our day?


Number one is to journal, right? Now with journaling, you can literally... You can journal, you can talk about how you're feeling, what's going on, what you're thinking about that day, all these things, you can do gratitude, there's so many different ways you can use a journal. But I'm talking specifically about, these are the three things that I'm going to accomplish today, right? Or we can take it a step further and actually map out what we're doing hour by hour. Now, it depends on your psychology. You might not want to be constrained to hour by hour what you're doing. At minimum, give yourself the gift of what are the three things that you're going to accomplish today? And if possible, which is definitely possible, script out the order in which these things are going to happen. Now, you can run through your day, journal it out, script it out, or you can run through it via a meditation and/or visualization and run through your day.


This is something that's recommended by a friend of the show, Dr. Joe Dispenza, I'll put his episode for you in the show notes. But he's been a huge advocate of visualizing your day based on neuroscience and outcomes, whether it's in the field of business, performance, like in the Olympics, in professional sports, visualization is a remarkable tool that we don't really understand how valuable it is. And so, running through things in our minds, this is just practice for the actual performance, right? So, sitting and maybe taking a few moments to kind of relax into a meditative state, doing some breathwork, and then you can offer up this, drive into it. I'm taking this time to create my day and I'm affecting the quantum field or I'm affecting all of existence. Show me a sign. If you're talking to that higher power that you paid attention to these things that I've created and bring them in a way that I am truly overjoyed and surprised.


And make it so that I have no doubt that it came from you. And then go through your day. You rise from your meditation, you head out for your exercise, or you get dressed and head to the office or you go and check your inbox, whatever the case is, whatever you're doing in your day. I'm going to have this person that I've been really looking forward to getting in touch with me, message me, I'm going to get this project, whatever portion complete, whatever it might be for you. I'm going to see my loved one. I'm going to hug them. We're going to hang out. Go through, visualize your day. And here's the most important part of this, is to leave mental room. So, take some authority of your day, script it out via journal, script it out via visualization. And now, this is very, very important, leave some mental wiggle room for bonus blessings and barriers. All right?


Leave some mental wiggle room for bonus blessings and barriers, because if you get into this practice of actually visualizing your day, it's going to put you in a state of awe of how things unfold. But so often these can show up in a way that we don't expect. We have a destination in mind or a thing that we want to happen, but it'll come in a very surprising way. And it might not come that day, for example, but as we practice this, because practice makes permanent, as we practice this, we start to see more and more things manifest. And not because we're just like, David Blaine in this stuff or like, Aladdin-ing the circumstances, because our mind is getting attuned to that thing and our nervous system and that thing in our environment, we're connected to it as well. That occurrence, that process, that event. We are inherently connected to everything in our reality.


Now, this isn't superficial thought. This isn't wishful thinking. This is reality. This is real, hardcore science, physics, and looking at how we're connected to the world around us and how things are constructed, right? But we have this very limited perspective here in our little lives, in our little Earth suit. We can get just inundated with the environment. When we're a child, when we're a baby, everything is possible. Oh, my goodness. The imagination is vast. It's beautiful. We have an inherent desire to play, and to live. And nothing is impossible, right? In society, the way it's constructed just starts to slowly beat that out of us over time. And we become fixed in our thinking and fixed in what we believe to be possible. The truth is, we are living in one galaxy, one galaxy of today. Now, if you take a look at what's happening with the "observable universe," we know that we have... Listen to what I'm saying. We live in one galaxy. We've got all of these planets, our solar system. This is one.


Now we know that there's over a trillion other galaxies in the, "observable universe." Not a thousand other galaxies, not a million, not a hundred million, not a billion, a trillion, more than a trillion. Everything is so much more grand than we can possibly imagine. And yet... And here's the most beautiful part of this and why I'm bringing this up is, you're still connected to all of it, all of life itself, so expansive. You're connected to it all because you are a part of life. Every cell in your body is from this environment. And also, that thing, that eternal thing about you. Wow! Like. This is some powerful stuff. But are you attuned to that? Or are you attuned to the inherent fear and manipulation going on in the world that's telling you you're other than, that you're cut adrift, that you're not enough? You got some... The person that you are, the unique individual that you are, that spirit and that body has never existed before in human history. That unique combination, it's special.


You're here right now at this time for something special. You have unique talents, capacities, gifts, insights, experience, strength. The list goes on. It's never... And that combination that is you, has never existed before. And in the words of my friend Michael Beckwith, who I'm going to be seeing in just a couple of hours, "If you don't do you, you're not going to be done." If you don't do you, you're not going to get done. It's your duty to be fully and authentically yourself. Give you a gift. Remember who you are. That goes back to obviously the personal development, to grow into this mindset, that reality. But also, let's be more intentional in creating our days. Let's stop waking up like it's an accident. Grab the driver's wheel in this scenario, but also, leave wiggle room for bonus blessings and barriers. Stuff's going to happen, and oftentimes these barriers, these barriers are qualifying us for the thing that we want. The barriers are qualifying us for that vision that we're holding, for our goals, for our intention. It is helping to put us in place. If we keep moving forward, we learn from the thing that comes up. We see the gift in it and the challenge. We grow, we adapt, and we keep moving forward.


That's what it's really about. So again, our perception is our reality. Both blessings and barriers are going to be based on our perception, because someone else, a certain blessing for us, might show up in somebody else's life and they could see it as a terrible thing or a barrier in their life. And the reverse can happen for a potential barrier. It's based on our perception. But most importantly, in our lives, what we perceive to be a blessing, rejoice, affirm those things. What we appreciate appreciates, right? But also, those barriers, start to see it as gifts in disguise. It's hard to do when the thing is happening, especially when it's like, inflamed, when the thing, the obstacle first presents itself. But just ask, what is this trying to teach me? What is the gift in this? What is the opportunity in this problem? Alright, so create your day. So, going back for our fantastic five, no TM. Alright?


Number one, get yourself hydrated. Number two, personal growth. Number three, create your day. And number four... Now again, so we just addressed a couple of psychological tenets for really having a healthy, empowering, powerful morning routine. So, we did a biological tenet to start, two psychological tenets. Now we're going back to the biology and the circadian wellness. Number four is to enliven your body/mobilize your tissues, by engaging in some type of physical activity to start your day. You're helping to regulate your hunger and satiety hormones. You're enhancing your immune function. You're improving your overall metabolic health, your cognitive performance and so much more. For example, just on the cognitive performance side, a randomized controlled trial published in Archives of Internal Medicine found that, resistance training promotes cognitive and functional brain plasticity.


This is what you want your brain to be able to adapt and evolve. Simply by engaging in some resistance training, you're giving yourself more potential, more fuel to be able to do this. Researchers at the University of Bristol found that exercise actually changes the expression of genes in our brains, specifically genes that appear to have a heavy influence on coping with stress. How you start your day is going to determine your outcomes for the rest of the day. What if you're building up your stress resilience for the things that are going to happen later? You get to do this. You have full permission to do this. But here's the thing. With this exercise component, we have to stop looking at exercise through the restricted lens of just being something to benefit our body appearance. We have to stop that sh*t. Your cells, every cell in your body is screaming for us to live, to move, to be in this body and to actually use it.


Exercise is not just looking a certain way. Moving our bodies is determining what's happening with our cognitive function. It's determining what's happening with our immune system. It's determining what's happening with our functionality and being able to live this life. To be able to play with our kids, to be able to play with other adults, to get out and play and experience. I'm not talking about, like, anything freaky, per se. Never mind. But just, yeah, that too, but not with other, like, a lot of other... Like, never mind. But you know what I mean. All right? This is a gift that keeps on giving. This is something that we can give ourselves. And number one, again, we have to do this to start the day. We evolved, our genes throughout human history, when the sun rises, we're active. Only recently in our society have we just... We get up, rush to get to a place on a sense of emergency and then we sit all day. And we just... That's it. We become great at sitting in chairs, for most folks in our society today.


And so, give your body this gift, first thing in the morning, as part of your morning routine. And listen, I'm not exaggerating in the slightest. It can just be five minutes. It can be three minutes. It can be two, two minutes. Alright, do something to get your blood flowing, to make a shift in what's happening with your hormones. Now, of course, we get into the two minutes. I mean, you know what I'm saying? It ain't going to be a two-minute, you know, a two-minute... You know? I'm thinking about this song by Missy right now. She's doesn't want no one-minute man. It depends on the context, I guess. But in this case, with exercise if it's two minutes, get the two minutes. But ideally, we want to hit a minimum of five minutes in the morning to enliven our bodies, right? So, every day, no matter what, I get out and I walk for five to 10 minutes. That's what I do to start my day.


And I live in Missouri, when the conditions might be a little bit more questionable, during the winter, for example, but a lot of times, I still get outside. But I might jump on a mini rebounder or do some sun salutations or something where I can just, again, mobilize my tissues, get everything circulating. But here's another reason why these matters. When we're moving in the morning, we're helping to fortify and really set our bodies' cortisol rhythms, alright? This is what's going to help us to actually get up and to feel motivated long term. Sometimes it's not that day, right, when we're getting that benefit. The exercise, we might get the juices flowing and the whole thing, that might help you a week from now, a month from now, if you're doing that consistently so that your cortisol is rising and helping you to feel more motivated to get up out of bed and to do the exercise. But temporarily, it can help to reset things. And so, what do I mean by this? Well, researchers at Appalachian State University did a study to look at how the timing of our exercise impacts our sleep quality, right?


And they had the study participants to exercise exclusively at these different times throughout the study. They exercised exclusively for a while at 7:00 AM. In another phase of the study, exclusively at 1:00 PM in the afternoon, exclusively at 7:00 PM in the evening. After compiling all the data, they found that when people exercise in the morning, they had more efficient sleep cycles. So they're transitioning through sleep more efficiently. They slept longer. They tended to sleep longer. They spent more time in the deepest, most anabolic, rejuvenative stages of sleep. They also had improvements in their blood pressure in the evening. So, their blood pressure was dropping to a place of normalcy that's more in alignment with a deactivation of their fight or flight sympathetic nervous system, alright? So, exercise in the morning was helping to optimize sleep in the evening. And that melatonin rise in the evening, that's going to be coming from getting that exercise in the morning. Melatonin rising is paired with cortisol going down.


And cortisol coming up in the morning is going to be paired with melatonin going down. So, they kind of had this inverse relationship. So, again, this isn't just some kind of superficial thing. This isn't about just looking good. This is about giving your tissues what they need to actually optimize your hormones, to sync up your nervous system, your endocrine system with life itself. This isn't getting marketed when people are talking about exercise. We put in this pithy little box of, this is what you need to do to have a flat stomach or the yams, right? You know what I'm talking about the yams, I hope. But exercise is so much more than that. Really, that is a minimal side effect of all the other biochemistry and psychological benefits that come along with exercise. Because at the end of the day, if only for your mental health alone, this is where you find so much value in moving your body.


There are a myriad of studies, and we've covered many of them here on the show looking at how exercise is often equivalent to the use of antidepressants in clinical trials. It's often free, it's accessible, and the safety profile is extremely high as compared to standard antidepressant medications. By the way, coupled with this, we'll put the episode with you, the psychiatrist who's heading up the top psychiatric hospital in the world, Dr. Christopher Palmer. We just had him on The Model Health Show. We'll put that episode for you in the show notes. So again, I'm not just saying this just because. This is truly one of these valuable gifts that we can give ourselves. So, the movement practice. So, I said specifically, enliven your body. So again, this could be going for a power walk. This could be doing some yoga, some power yoga. This could be jumping on a mini rebounder. This could be doing some Tabata. This could be jumping on a stationary bike for a few minutes. This could be doing a full workout. I don't care about the full workout part. We just need to get our tissues and our endocrine system, and our nervous system synced up, alright?


Now, with that said, what I also do personally, this is for bonus. This is a little bonus, you know, a little extra credit. So, 5-to-10-minute power walk, then I do some mobility exercises, mobilizing my tissues. So, just doing a couple of mobility drills. That's really how I do my day. And/or I'll go and grab a pull-up bar and just hang around for a little while. Like, I'll add in a little bit of bonus for mobilizing my tissues to start the day. So again, we're going beyond the superficial of just body changes. Looking at the psychological benefits. We're looking at the mental health benefits. We're looking at obviously the metabolic benefits. So, we're going to have this tendency, when we exercise in the morning, it's going to optimize our hunger satiety hormones, but also, it's going to put us in a position to where our expenditure of caloric intake is going to be at a higher level.


We're going to be able to manipulate in a positive way our metabolic rate. So, that's number four of our fantastic five in this morning routine. So, moving on. Now, this one is incredibly important. So, we've got getting yourself hydrated. We've got investing in your personal growth. We've got proactively creating your day, scripting out your day. We've got enlivening your body. Number five, synchronize your cells. This couples with number four a little bit, but we're going to take this a step further. We're going to look at, again, circadian wellness and what your genes are expecting of you. We're doing this through sunlight. A study published in the journal Cell Reports points to UV light from sun exposure having the capacity to increase our drive, our motivation, and even our sexual health. Now, some of these things might seem a little bit obvious on the surface, but do we really understand it? We know that sunny days, we have this tendency to have a happier disposition, right?


But at the same time, on days that are not so sunny, for most folks, this is a day that we might turn away from getting outside, from getting any sun exposure at all. Because even on cloudy days, UV light is still making its way through the clouds, even the cloudiest of days, because it's so powerful. Now, why does this matter in our morning routine specifically? It's because getting that light exposure, natural UV light helps to sync up that cortisol rhythm, again, helping our cortisol levels to increase in the morning and decrease in the evening. In fact, a study published in Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience found that getting adequate sun exposure in the daytime does, in fact, lead to lower cortisol levels at night. Alright? It's something... It's an input that helps to sync us up and sync our bodies up with all of life itself. And again, having that inverse relationship with melatonin, we want to get that cortisol up, get that sun exposure, which also helps with the kind of feel good neurotransmitters and endorphins, and it sets the tone, it sets the pace, that biological timer for melatonin release in the evening.


Now, sunlight is absorbed via our skin and also through melanopsin ganglion cells in our eyes, for example, and it's sending this data to our brain to kind of sync things up. Now, this can be an easy implement for a lot of us, but sometimes a lot of what ifs or what abouts can start to come up, which is like, what about if I get up before the sun or, you know, what about if it's an environment to where, again, it's cloudy or it's really cold outside, whatever the case might be. Let's look at what we can do. Alright, number one. So, regardless of where you are on this planet, the times that you can easily get access to sun exposure to start the day, do it. No excuses, because that's what we tend to do is like, look at all the things that we can't do instead of what you can do. Are there times when you can get access to some sun exposure to start your day? All right? Number one.


Number two, now we find ways to pivot and to adjust when that's not as easy to do. So, again, I mentioned even on cloudy days, there are still far more synchronizing photons that are coming from the sun, coming through the clouds in standard artificial light. It doesn't even compare, right? And it's something that our genes and the receptors in our eyes and our skin have a deep association with versus the artificial light, as fancy pants as they might be. Alright? So even on cloudy days, even when it's cold, you know, even when the weather might not be that friendly. You know, we had a rare day... I'm from Missouri. I'm from the Midwest. We get extremes of everything. Winter, spring, summer, fall, extremes, extreme beauty, and extreme problems as well. So, it can dip. You know, we got the negative temperatures sometimes, and then we got the 110 sometimes. Right? We got that whole spectrum. But also, again, the adaptation that takes place in these different things, and this is just kind of what I grew up with.


Now living in a place like California, specifically in Los Angeles, it's rare to see a consistently rainy time period. But the other day, it was raining, and it was coming down pretty nicely. It was my morning time. I still got my ass out there and I went for my five-to-10-minute walk. The rain is not going to kill me. Milli Vanilli said blame it on the rain. No. Rain didn't do sh*t to you. All right? The rain is actually something vital to life here on this planet. It's just a part of the process. And we always get into this place... Again, our culture just makes us fear these things. And I'll put a video in the show notes of my youngest son, Braden. And I didn't ask him to do this. I didn't tell him to do this. We were leaving out. We went to see the new Avatar, which if you haven't seen it... Oh, my... James Cameron doesn't miss. You got to see it. You got to see it. Fantastic. We left theater. It's coming down nicely. And my boy was like, I'm going to go dance in the rain. Man, he was getting at it, he was going for it, you know, dancing and twirling around and slapping the water and having a good time.


So, we can dance in the rain. We can live in the rain. We could go and do the thing we said we're going to do. Or we can just be like, ah, I can't do it, you know, it's raining outside or whatever. Like, let's put on a big boy pants, big girl pants. And no matter what, get our exercise in. Now, this is not to say you got to go out in those conditions. Okay? We can pivot, but the majority of the time as best as we can, get natural light, get outside for five to 10 minutes to start your day at minimum. All right. Now we can stack things here. You can sit outside and do your journaling or your meditation, your visualization. You can sit outside and have your morning water or your morning coffee. You can stack it to where it's just like, I don't have time to do this, this, this, and this. So, stack conditions in our favor. Keys here. Again, five to 10 minutes outside. Ideally, when the sun is rising and/or when the sun is up in the earlier part of the day. Okay?


Now the question is, what if I get up before the sun comes up? All good. Turn some lights on. All right? Get that light cue in. And as soon as the sun comes up, get outside for five to 10 minutes. Simple as that. Because that environmental signal from the real light, from those photons coming from the sun, that UV light, that UV radiation is going to start to sync things up. Also, don't go outside if you're going to do this... The whole point is to let the light get inside of our tissues. Don't go outside with sunglasses. At least, not for this. Okay, if you're going to do the sunglasses vibes, just get these five to 10 minutes in and let the light just dance and get into your body in the way that it's designed to. And this brings into question, like, where do we actually look? The bottom line is, most importantly, just get outside. Just get outside in that ambient light from the sun. If you can, if at all possible, even on a cloudy day, know where the sun is going to be. Generally, just let the sun get access to you, alright?


You don't got to stare at the sun. That's not recommended anyways. Don't look at any kind of like, really harsh light source very long anyways. There is some data indicating, like, when the sun is rising, like, looking off in the horizon where the sun is rising, not staring directly at the sun. There are people who advocate this paradigm of sun gazing, but it's when the sun has the kind of lightest, most un-intrusive hues, when it's literally just first rising for those first few minutes and when it's going down for those last few minutes. All right? I'm not advocating that, but I think it is viable to like, look off into the horizon where the sun is rising, or where it's setting. Take advantage of this process. Your genes expect you to get that access to sun exposure, no matter what time of year it is, no matter what the conditions are. Again, there's going to be extreme circumstances, but those generally happen very rarely, right?


We might get a few feet of snow randomly and if you can, just open the windows. I mean, open the blinds. You know, if the snow is going to come in the windows, you don't got to. But just like, let the sun come in and be ambient sunlight in your house or in your office. Do the best that you can. Best bonus gold star way, get outside five to 10 minutes every morning when the sun comes up or most days. Again, like strive for 80 to 90% of the time. It's not always going to be perfect and that's okay. This is not about perfection. It's about progress. All right? So, these are the fantastic five. Just to recap. Number one, start your day with hydration. Number two, access and invest in personal growth. Number three, proactively create your day. Number four, enliven your tissues and enliven your cells. Number five, synchronize your cells via sun exposure.


Now, you might be asking, where do I fit in my coffee in my morning routine? Now, here's the thing for all of us. I just gave us some really foundational tenets based on circadian wellness or circadian medicine and psychology. But anything that makes you feel good, there's even sound data on that, just doing something in the morning that you enjoy is so beneficial in creating a positive momentum. So, having your morning tea or your morning coffee or maybe talking with your best friend, whatever the thing is that makes you feel good to start your day, you can put into the morning routine. I'm giving you some real viable tenets based on some of the best science that we have available today. Now, with caffeine, if you're going to do the coffee, all good, but just don't do it first thing. Alright? Allow for your body to naturally push up that cortisol rhythm without any kind of nutritive interventions. So, we can do this through movement. We can do this through sun exposure. But the caffeine from something, like, coffee can kind of superficially or create a potential here where we need that thing to keep pushing the ball down the field.


Now, this might sound a little bit not so good, but I'm telling you, it actually is good. There is so much great evidence on caffeine being able to support our metabolic health and optimize the circadian rhythm. But you can use it, especially even if you're changing time zones to get in some caffeine in the early part of the day, maybe just after again. Here's a spot, just in a general day to day after an hour, give yourself, give your body an hour, ideally before you go put in the cup of Joe. That's the optimal. Sometimes it might not work out like that. But just again, allow your body... Go through your morning routine. If your day is not constructed like that right now, give yourself a little bit more time, because we're about to go through a little bonus here in a moment. But bottom line is, caffeine if you like. But just give yourself a little bit of cushion, at least 30 minutes, after getting up before you go putting the caffeine into your body. All right?


So, the research indicates that after an hour or so, it can actually help to support optimizing that cortisol rhythm. And researchers at Stanford University recently deduced that caffeine and coffee is able to defend our bodies against age related inflammation. And partially they found that light to moderate coffee drinkers live longer and more healthfully thanks to the protection caffeine provides by suppressing genes related to inflammation. So, it's a genetics and epigenetic influence. Another study published in the journal Practical Neurology details how regularly drinking coffee has been found to prevent cognitive decline and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. This is just one form of dementia that's been increasing, really skyrocketing in recent years. So, there's something really remarkable about coffee. But get the good stuff. If you're going to do it, do it right. We don't want coffee with pesticides and herbicides and rodenticides. We don't want coffee that's littered with heavy metals and toxic molds and all this stuff.


This trash coffee out here on the streets. You know, when you go into QT or Mickey Day's to pick up your coffee, you might as well just go ahead and punch yourself in the liver. You might as well just go ahead and just do it yourself, because your liver is about to be put through some drama, because it's responsible for heavy metal metabolism, drug metabolism. Like, all the intrusive things, like your liver is front and center there to try to save you. All right? So just cut right to the chase. Just go ahead and punch yourself in the liver. Don't do that. Don't do that. But truly getting organic coffee, number one, and also, coffee that's imbued with other nourishing factors like Lion's Mane medicinal mushroom. Researchers at the University of Malaya found that Lion's Mane is one of the few things ever discovered to help to prevent neurodegeneration and also to... They were looking at it for people who've experienced traumatic brain injuries and helping to stimulate neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells and neuroplasticity and all this other cool stuff.


Lion's mane has been utilized for thousands of years. That's what I had today. That's what I made for my wife, my mothers-in-law is in town. They were so happy. Everybody's vibey this morning before the little intrusion thing later on. But anyways, everybody's so vibey, you know, and this is something we do together. I make them... I've got this really incredible coffee blend and I've got the slow drip vibes going sexy. Alright? From Four Sigmatic, head over there, check them out. It's That's You get 10% off their entire collection of coffees, medicinal mushroom elixirs, hot cocos. I also this morning I made my son their hot cacao and Reishi. And I do that every day when everybody is all hanging out as well. And so again, Chaga infused, Lion's Mane infused, organic coffee. If you're going to do it, do it right. All right? Check them out


Now, the last thing that I wanted to address is, what makes it so difficult to implement a healthy morning routine. And oftentimes how we're starting our day and the energy that we're bringing to the day is determined by what we're doing at night. Right? Our sleep quality has a huge influence on how we're getting up and starting our days. So having an optimal evening routine is going to be helpful as well. You know, just again, psychologically, biochemically. We'll put an episode for you in the show notes where I focused on optimizing your evening routine. We'll probably do an update on that coming up here for you soon as well. But the bottom line is, we want to stack conditions in our favor, because what makes it hard to get up in the morning, the vast majority of the time, it has to do with hormones and/or it has to do with our psychology. So, it can be both biological and psychological.


So, on the hormone tip, if we see this clinically where people have cortisol that is too high at night and too low in the evening, we call them tired and wired, right? Where they find themselves just having a difficult time mustering up the energy to get out of bed in the morning. And this is where we might start to blame ourselves and get into the state of learned helplessness and not understanding... Also, testosterone, our testosterone starts to rise. It's kind of like, plugging into a charging station with our testosterone levels rising through our sleep. And so, having optimal kind of hormones that motivate and drive behavior. So, cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine, testosterone. So, if these hormones are a little bit wonky, it can be showing up where we don't feel that just biologically inspired to get out of bed. All right. So that's once we've got to get our hormone health dialed in.


And also, another part of this can be the psychological aspect, which is a purpose. Having a reason to get out of bed and get going. Right? And we can all go through phases where that purpose might be a little bit difficult or sketchy to dial in, but it's always there. Because that purpose is, whatever you say it is and taking the time to really honor that. Because if there was a purpose... If it was an emergency, you know, if we got a situation where something's going down, you'll get that ass up. All right? You know, again, just heaven forbid, you know, a situation where there is an emergency, a fire or something bad is going on, where you got to get up, got to get moving, you'll do it. But oftentimes, we don't have that sense of urgency, because we choose not to have it. And so, finding something, honoring something in our lives that can be the reason why we're getting up and living and taking advantage of this day, which is a precious, precious gift.


You know, there are billions of people that have come before us that no longer have the opportunity to see a day, and to live and to absorb all the potential from it. So it's a great gift. And, you know, dialing in on what that purpose is can really help us psychologically. But again, we want to stack conditions. And so, in closing, I want to share with you. We just went through the fantastic five. All right? I'm going to share with you the treacherous three. These are the things to avoid with our morning routine. Number one is, of this treacherous three, avoid getting on your phone to start the day. If you want a surefire way to start your day off with a sense of being behind the ball or a sense of distraction, go ahead and pick up your phone and start messing around on social media or going into your inbox, or you know, reading messages and just give yourself a little bit of a cushion.


You can use your phone for an alarm or just check the time, that kind of thing. Do not get on that bad boy. Now, this is one of those things where you might have to feel that, like, rip the Band-Aid off, experience and that craving that comes up for us to go and get on our phone, because of that very powerful psychological connection, right. The addiction. We talked about this with Adam Alter, on a powerful episode of The Model Health Show. I'll put that for you in the show notes. But just understand that these platforms have deeply influenced our psychology to make them so addictive and manipulative. And when we pull away from them, we have a craving. Right? When we pull away from them, we might have some symptoms of withdrawal. All right? So, we've got to fill that space with something. So, don't just do it and sit there and twiddle your thumbs. Start your morning, you know, go for the tinkle, drink your water, put on something empowering. Right? And if you're going to use your phone to do it, you've got to have that preset, so you don't get to scrolling on YouTube.


It's so scrollable as well. So, have something preset so that you don't have to start looking, 'cause once you start scrolling, it's a momentum for that as well. So, give yourself a little bit of a screen free time to start the day. I highly recommend it, at least 30 minutes. All right? If you make a mistake here or there or, you know, you partake, just check yourself. Right? But don't beat yourself up, because again, they're so addictive. Just say, oh, man, just... I'm going to do better next time. Let me just... I forgive myself. I understand how this thing is. So, what I've done the vast majority of the time, what I'll do is, because we plug our phones in, into our bathroom that's connected to my wife and I's bedroom. And in the morning, when I get up, I check the time and then I'll just leave the phone there upstairs. I'll just leave it and then I'll come back and get it later on. So, I'll go, I'll drink my water, I'll read or journal or meditate, whatever it is that I'm doing that day. I'll handle those things first and then I can grab my phone. Alright? So, find a way that it works out for you.


That's number one of the treacherous three. Avoid your phone first thing in the morning. Number two, avoid hitting the snooze button. What you're doing when you're hitting the snooze button is, you're allowing your brain and your biology to go back. It's going to attempt to go through a sleep cycle again. And you might have the illusion that I'm getting a little bit more sleep, but you're just creating the inevitability of feeling more and more groggy. That's going to have a long-lasting effect, and/or unless we get to that moment of emergency, if you keep hitting snooze to where I have to get up and you got to... Now you're going into full on stress mode, an emergency to start the day. And I know this intimately, 'cause this was my life. This is a life for many people. When my health was struggling, you know, when I was in college, single dad, I got two kids, full time job, going to college. Every day started with how long can I sleep and still make it to class on time, right?


So, the school drive, 15 minutes, brush my teeth, maybe jump in the shower or something, maybe five, 10 minutes. So, if my class is at 7:30, I might get up at 7:00, or 7:05, 7:10, and just speed through the day. But of course, like, if you look at my results during that time with my health, with my psychological well-being and my performance, man, I was setting myself up for struggle. So, the snooze button is one of the treacherous three for sure. And then long term, even after we hit that emergency state, we're going to have a tendency to having a drop in optimal hormone function later and be more groggy during the day. And also, hitting the snooze button, that's another side effect of simply not getting optimal sleep in the evening. Number three of the treacherous three. So, number one is getting on the phone first thing, number two is, hitting the snooze button. Number three is, frequently changing your wake-up time. A study published in the journal Scientific Reports titled Irregular Sleep/Wake Patterns are associated with poorer academic performance and delayed circadian and sleep wake timing.


Analyzed the sleep and wake time behavior of college students at Harvard. After observing 61 students for the one-month study period, the researchers found that people with the most consistent wake up hours performed better academically than those who chose to mix it up. Even though they were getting essentially the same amount of sleep, the sleep hours wasn't it. It was having the consistent wake up time. Because again, you're synced up with all of life and we're bouncing around on our sleep and wake cycle. We're getting ourselves inherently, our biology is getting out of sync and it's trying to sort itself out and get back in flow. So, even on the weekends, if at all possible, again, here and there, it's all good. But in general, we want to be able to go to bed and wake up at the same time to the best of our ability and be more consistent in that. So, those are the treacherous three. But leaning back on the fantastic five here for optimal morning routine to take this into this year. Adding these pieces, you can put them, by the way, in the order that you want. Create an order and a sequence that works for you.


But these are some essential ingredients. Getting yourself hydrated to start the day. Investing in your personal growth, proactively creating your day, and taking authority, taking responsibility of constructing how your day is going to go. Number four was enlivening your cells, enlivening your tissues. And number five was synchronizing your cells via sunlight. I hope that you got a lot of value out of this episode. If you did, please share this out with your friends and family. You can take a screenshot of the episode and tag me. I'm @shawnmodel on Instagram and I'm @shawnmodel on Twitter as well. I'm starting to get it popping on Twitter, by the way. So, take a screenshot, share it up. I really do appreciate every time that I see that. And of course, you can send this directly from the podcast app that you are listening on. And if you're listening to the audio version of this episode, pop over to YouTube, subscribe to The Model Health Show on YouTube. You're going to be able to see all the visuals, you're going to be able to see the studies that we mentioned during the episode on screen and just hang out here with us in the studio.


And I think you're going to really, really enjoy it. We've got some epic masterclasses and incredible world class guests coming very, very soon. So, make sure to stay tuned. Take care. Have an amazing day. I'll talk with you soon. And for more after the show, make sure to head over to That's where you can find all of the show notes. You can find transcriptions, videos for each episode. And if you got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that this show is awesome. And I appreciate that so much. And take care. I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.

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