“Mise en place”. Evolving past tendencies and integrating this culinary phrase into my morning routine
“Mise en place” is a French phrase meaning putting in place. I used in the kitchen growing up as a line cook and later as the Chef leading a team through daily service. To have everything in place was a direct reflection of my state of readiness for service. After years of marinating in this, I now bring this phrase to my morning practice. When my morning is in place, in rhythm, in sync, my nervous system is relaxed and I enter my day prepped, with the readiness to serve my tribe.
I have to admit.. I haven’t always been a morning person. Well, unless the surf was up. I would drop anything to be at the ocean’s edge for the break of first light. My drive was definitely not to create consistency or honor my circadian rhythm. I would n’t have even called it a routine per se. I was simply chasing the highs from surfing and embracing the lows with napping and lounging when I had the chance to catch up. Was it fun? Absolutely. Is it sustainable? Not a chance.
Circadian what?? The old me didn’t connect my own body rhythms to the rising and setting sun. I had no idea what this concept was in practice. I was working late nights in the kitchen, drinking too much alcohol, numbing my mind with pot daily. Looking back, I was numbing all of the signs my body was telling me. Each morning when the surf was not up, I would sleep until I would be late for work. I was just getting by.
Things have definitely changed. Consistency is my morning motive which includes hydrating and moving in ways that make me feel good. Over time, I have architected a solid framework for what my morning will look like. And now it is pretty darn consistent.
I like to focus on the important biorhythms we all share which relate directly to your vitality. Starting my day right is about honoring my bodies need for hydration and elimination. What does starting the day right look like for you? If you are already a champ in this department. Bravo! How about meditation, gratitude practice, exercise and cold showers? These may be on the list of practices to put in place if you are craving a gratifying and grounded start to your day.
How does this relate to your morning biorhythms?
Your colon and brain are constantly communicating with each other, influencing your mood, emotions, your ability to focus, and even your ability to poop. We know inconsistent bowels stress the body.
This stress has the potential to cause many complications throughout your body. You don’t want that. You want the opposite. You want a smoothly operating system from entrance to exit. So then what does it take to have everything in place?
Fundamentally, starting the day right is about cleaning house (your bowels) and organizing your energy ( grounding yourself with intention). Each day is a new opportunity to create consistency. Just as the best chefs in the world have preplists, you can create a prep list for your morning. Of course yours will not include the fancy garnishes and sauces for plating creative delights, yet it will include the need to do things so you can create your day from a place of balance and stability.
First step is to be sure you are properly hydrating every morning.
If the food channel is not hydrated, your waste becomes stuck and the process of eliminating just takes more energy. The bowels have to work harder to get things moving. When the elimination organs become overworked you may become depleted on many layers. This happens when your precious energy is used insufficiently. So remember, hydrate your body.
Second step is to relax and give yourself the time to ground into the day. Your body is primed in the morning to eliminate yesterdays’ trash and you want to honor this. If you find yourself stressed or not having enough time to ground yourself before entering your day then it may be time to start. Stress will activate the sympathetic nervous system and make it challenging for your organs to function as they need to. Not only is this taxing on your energy levels, this will prevent the waste from exiting, allowing the ready-to-exit toxins to re-absorb through the intestine and colon. Think of this channel as the support for our more subtle channels. We need this food channel clean for a clear mind. You need to eliminate the garbage of yesterday so you can process your life today.
Here are some suggestions to set yourself up for a successful morning.
Have a plan. Write a list what you intend to do in the morning and have it somewhere you will see it. So what would this preplist include? Here are my non-negotiable morning prep list items.
- Visualize – While still in bed, I visualize myself on the planet and invite gratitude for the new day and opportunities ahead.
- Make the bed – or at least your half of the bed if you have a partner.
- Oral hygiene — scrape tongue, brush teeth.
- Wash – face, eyes and nose with water.
- Lubricate – I lube my nostrils with sesame oil. This keeps the protective layer in the nasal cavity hydrated and healthy.
- Hydrate – with warm water, about 48 oz while I gaze out at the trees.
- Movement and breath – dance, jump, yoga, free weights – do what moves you
- Dry brush, cold shower and sit in silence.
Stick to your plan. I know, it is easier to continue doing the same things you are comfortable with. But if your morning could use an upgrade, then you want to stick to the plan.
Remember to be kind to yourself when creating a new routine or refining old habits. I have noticed when I keep a structured morning not only my experience within each task deepens, the support deepens. This is helping me become resilient to outer influences and to stay on track.