It’s 5:08 a.m., my turmeric and ginger latté is made, my journal is open, my intentions for the day are set, and I’m ready for my morning hour of power. I absolutely love this time of day, perhaps that’s one of the reasons I was so drawn to rowing.
For years I would rise as most were still tucked into their nests, I’d make my way to the calm water, push off the dock, take the first few stokes in silence, hearing only the sounds of the clunking of the oars, the running of the water under the hull, the cooing of the Mourning Doves, and the humming of the coach boat in the distance. Perfect harmony.
Now life is much different with the morning rush and scramble to get two little people up, dressed, fed, and off to school. The daily challenge of beating the clock to make it to drop-off before the bell rings for the day to commence can sometimes feel like an epic feat. Recently I’ve felt more like I’m surviving versus thriving, something needed to change. As an athlete, I had years of experience listening to my body and answering its needs by shifting patterns (mindset, nutrition, exercise), but somehow in the chaos of parenting that inner voice that has been vying for my attention has been completely drowned out by the elephant troupe that lives in our house.
About a month ago I finally hit my breaking point; I quieted the noise and took time to stop and look in the mirror. I’d gained weight, a bi-product of poor nutrition choices and decreased exercise, and my joie de vivre spirit had flow away. Reality check hit, it was time to pivot, but how? I needed a plan and so the search began. I have to tell you that despite having seven years of post-secondary education and nine years of fueling myself as a high-performance athlete, navigating the waters of diet and exercise with the programs and philosophies that exist today are totally overwhelming.
In the end, after much research and deliberation, I hit the reset button with basic daily disciples that worked for me as an athlete and I am loving it. It all starts with my hour of power, quiet time to myself to read, think, write, or learn before anyone in the household stirs. The plan of the day is set and I simply follow the blueprint. I take the time to make a meal plan that includes simple, whole foods, basic clean eating. Also, 30 minutes of exercise is non-negotiable, it has become a must instead of a should. The final piece of the puzzle for me is an early bedtime, closing the day with quiet time to journal or read with lights out before 10 p.m., without question.
These are the disciplines that fuel me, but I know that everyone is different. How you feel in your body is the biggest indicator of how you are doing both mentally and physically. I encourage you to take the time to quiet the noise and look into the mirror to check in with your body. What do you need? What fuels you? How are you eating? Are you getting adequate sleep? Are you moving your body everyday? Are you fueling your mind with personal growth? The beauty is that you get to decide what your daily disciplines are, and you can hit the reset button anytime.
If you are a kindred spirit that also enjoys the early morning before anyone stirs, I raise my mug to you, enjoy the moment. If you are looking for a little latté inspiration here is my newest favourite, inspired by Farnoosh Brock in The Big Book of Healing Drinks.

Turmeric & Ginger Latté

Ingredients
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ teaspoon grated fresh or powered turmeric
¼ teaspoon grated fresh or powered ginger
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon almond butter
1 teaspoon hemp seeds
Optional: 1 teaspoon raw honey to taste

Instructions
Blend everything in a high speed blender for one minute. Pour into a saucepan. Heat until it just starts to simmer. Stop right before it comes to a boil. Pour into your favourite latté mug sprinkle with more cinnamon, and enjoy.

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Tracy Stuart
As the fall colours make their debut and the vegetable garden gives us our last offerings, Tracy looks to the garden for inspiration. She tells us that her beets are absolutely gorgeous this time of year and their remarkable ability to boost athletic performance is a secret that must be shared. It’s been ten years since Tracy stood on the podium at the summer Olympics in Beijing; in this issue Tracy shares some of the science behind winning that comes from an unassuming vegetable, the beet!