Many of you have asked me to give a day-to-night account of what a typical day in the life of 3 Sources looks like. So, I thought I’d give you a little behind the scenes view of what that looks like for me right now. Of course, each season looks different, depending on my work commitments, how my energy levels are, what I’m spiritually wanting to usher in, and from an eating perspective, what produce is available at the local markets.
Right now, France is in the midst of a second lockdown, so the rhythm of my days are shaped by the constraints of that. However, this lockdown is giving me the gift of time I need to write the content for my upcoming online program, The Healing Template, due to be released in January next year. This means my focus is very geared around my writing time, and everything else needs to slot around that.
How I’m starting the day
I generally get up at 7 am and start the day with a shot of fresh ginger and turmeric juice followed by a jug of warm water and fresh lemon, which I aim to finish within the first hour. I will then light some Palo Santo incense and a candle and take my seat to meditate or practice some breath work for fifteen minutes. I’ll end this time by visualising some intentions for the day, before a quick cleanse or splash of water on my face (depending what my skin needs). At the moment, I am scheduling my daily movement practice at around 12 noon, so I usually pin up my hair and pull on my yoga pants. I then grab a jug of filtered water and head upstairs for a couple of hours writing.
As many of you know, I practice intermittent fasting, taking my first meal at lunch. However, with the recent change of seasons, I’m listening to what my body needs and I’m finding that some mornings I need a little extra. I’ve never been a breakfast person and I’m still unable to eat first thing in the morning (my body just isn’t ready to receive food at that time), but by mid-morning, I am sometimes ready to eat something small. Right now, this might be a warm mug of Miracle Broth with a little pink Himalayan salt, some dried chilli, and a squeeze of lime. I might add in a couple of spoonfuls of leftover brown rice from the night before, or some quinoa. If I’m really hungry, I’ll make more of a meal of it with some other add-ins. My current favourites are: some sliced tempeh, a few shiitake mushrooms, some shredded greens or micro greens, a spoonful of kimchi or a few pickled radish, maybe some crumbled nori or sea salad, and some black sesame seeds. If I’m not that hungry, I’ll make an adaptogenic elixir such as a Tulsi Chai, which is nutritive as well as energising.
At around 12 noon, I’ll take an hour out for a movement practice. Depending on how I’m feeling, this will either be a combination of Pilates, rebounding, and some foam rolling, or a Ballet Barre routine. For me, it’s always a question of tuning in to how my body feels, first and foremost, and then I’ll choose (and adapt) accordingly. During the hour I will take in another jug of filtered water to make sure I’m well hydrated. Then I’ll have a warm shower, preceded by a few minutes dry skin brushing, to help support my lymphatic system – really important during these days of confinement when I’m typically moving less and stagnation can start to build up.
If I didn’t have a full broth based meal mid-morning, then I’ll typically warm through some homemade soup, which I’ll eat with plenty of warm, sauteéd greens spooned in. I am gravitating towards warmer foods over cold salads right now, but I still want to get in plenty of greens. My other go-to lunch at the moment is some garlic rubbed hot gluten free sourdough toast (only if I’ve made bread that week, so it always feels like a treat when I do), topped with some hummus (the one I’m loving right now is in my Autumn menu) and a generous serving of either sauteéd kale or courgettes, good and oily, with a little flaky sea salt. I usually finish with a little fresh fruit, such as some chopped pear or apple, and I’ll make a pot of fresh herb tisane, such as peppermint or thyme, to take with me upstairs and a square or two of good quality dark chocolate for a boost of polyphenols to help me through the next writing session.
I’ll always agree with myself (and my husband) what time I will shut off from work. At the moment, this usually means around 4.30-5 pm when I’ll close my laptop and get outside for a walk (limited to one hour during lockdown) to decompress from the day. Being outside in nature always provides me with a nice mental, emotional and physical separation from the business of the day and helps me to reconnect to myself and the present moment. If time allows, I will go to the nearby cedar forest, which is very grounding and restorative.
Before dinner, I like to follow up with a short stretch or foam rolling session to ease into the evening. I might put on some relaxing music or listen to a podcast about health or spirituality to give back to my mind as much as I’ve invested in other things during the day.
I prefer to eat dinner early – around 6pm is my goal time – giving enough time to digest properly before bed. Some of my go-to recipes are broth-based ramens, stir-fries, wholegrain rice bowls, or a good filling soup with some sautéed greens (if I haven’t already had that for lunch). The key to me eating healthily through the week is to spend a little time at the weekend, or during the evenings, to prep a few staples, such as a nutrient rich sauce, a batch of Miracle Broth, a tray of roasted roots and a couple of meal elevators, like toasted seeds and nuts, a quick pickle, or some kimchi. So I’ll usually spend an hour or so prepping a couple of nights a week. There’s a great resource here and here on meal prepping.
After dinner I like to keep the lighting low to prepare my body for rest, switching to candlelight at the later part of the evening. I try my best to avoiding blue light from computer screens or mobile phones, as this inhibits the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our natural sleep cycle. Instead, I’ll lean more towards reading or anything creative that doesn’t involve intense concentration – typically the lower key activities – since most of what’s happened during the day has taken a lot of my energy.
Before bed is typically when I’ll take some time, between 10 and 20 minutes, to do a little self-care with my night time skin care routine. This usually means a proper cleanse and some facial massage, using my favourite oils to help me unwind before going to bed. Then I’ll change into some cozy clothes, drink some hot tisane or an adaptogenic elixir, such as Moon Milk, and settle down for a short meditation or breath work practice to bookend the day. When I’m waking up at 7 am, my goal is to be in bed around 10 pm, which ensures I get a full 8 hours sleep. Sometimes in the Autumn or Winter I’ll go to bed even earlier since it gets dark early and allows me to squeeze in another hour.
How I end the day
Right before I go to bed, I’ll journal for 5 minutes, clearing my mind and letting go of anything that’s left over from the day, or I’ll write out a couple of simple positive affirmations, such as “I give myself permission to let thoughts go and rest,” and “I will sleep,” or mentally go through a nightly gratitude list to help reinforce a good night’s sleep. The last important thing I’ll do is to ensure all technology is set to “sleep” at bedtime, especially switching off the Wi-Fi.
Of course, there is always a degree of flexibility required, as there are times when I stay up later, or I don’t manage to get out for a walk, or whatever. Life happens. For me, it’s all about balance and finding what works for my life in that particular season. Right now, it’s about making time for my writing, my relationships, myself, and the things that matter most to me in this moment, in particular, getting enough restorative and regenerative sleep.