My 5 Morning Musts

What we know today about heart disease, diabetes, cancer, dementia and many autoimmune diseases is that one of the causes is chronic inflammation. Unfortunately, our typical American lifestyle and diet can be the root cause of chronic inflammation in our body. Things like

  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Pollution
  • Smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Diet heavy in processed foods and sugar

The good news is that you can control a number of the factors that cause inflammation. Getting plenty of sleep, eating fresh nutrient-dense food, stopping smoking and engaging in regular exercise will all make a big difference in your health. My mother suffered from fibromyalgia, a very painful inflammatory condition. I saw how it affected her ability to fully enjoy life. I did not want to go down that path so I put together a simple daily routine that would ensure that I start my day with the foods and activities that would dampen inflammation — I call it my Five Morning Musts. So set your alarm 25 minutes earlier and follow my daily morning routine. You will be energized, happy and ready to greet the day!

1.  Meditate/Pray/Set your Intention
Before your feet hit the floor, take 5 minutes to breath deep, pray, set your intention. Think of what you are grateful for or what blessings you wish to come your way. A simple thing like committing to smile more often can put a feeling of happiness in your soul and others too! Never underestimate the power of a smile 🙂

2.  Mug of Lemon Water
Drinking lemon water, apart from alkalizing the body, also gives the following health benefits:

  • Lemon water has excellent digestive properties and can ease heartburn and bloating
  • Lemon water cleanses and stimulates the liver and kidneys
  • Lemon juice contains calcium, magnesium and potassium and vitamin C

3.  Move the Body
Exercise is the most essential non-food ingredient in your day. Just taking a 20-minute walk, run or yoga class in the morning gets the blood flowing and increases fat burning. It’s my cup of coffee!

4.  Music
Such a mood changer! It makes being in the kitchen or exercising so enjoyable – my faves are tapping into The Funk Station on Pandora, playlists for any mood on Spotify or cleaning dishes to the comedy channel on I Heart Radio Station. You can create your own portable stereo system by plugging an iHOME mini speaker into your phone and away you go!

5.  Mucho Greens
Spinach, kale, romaine, Moringa and other leafy greens are all terrific inflammation fighters. They are rich in antioxidants and other natural anti-inflammatory agents. Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to get your greens and other anti-inflammatory foods like blueberries, flax seeds and Chia seeds in the morning!

Here are two tasty ways to start your morning:

Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins-2Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 6 eggs
  • 2/3 cup pure cane organic sugar
  • 1/3 cup grape seed oil
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen


  1. In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, salt and baking soda.
  2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, grape seed oil and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Mix dry ingredients into wet, until completely combined. Gently fold in blueberries.
  4. Place batter into a paper-lined muffin pan.
  5. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Cool and serve.

Denise’s Green Lemonade
This is tart, just the way I like it!


  • Blueberry Muffins-61 cup coconut water or water
  • 1 cup kale leaves or spinach
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce leaves
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 English cucumber or one small baby cucumber
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 1-inch ginger, peeled
  • 2-3 sprigs of parsley
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper


Process your vegetables with liquids in a blender. Add fruit to taste, depending on how sweet you like your smoothies.

Notes from Denise

I like my green smoothie to be tart but if you like it a little sweeter, just add 1 pear or apple (cored), frozen mango, blueberries, pineapple, or banana, to taste.

Download Recipes Now!

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