A wellness expert shares how she makes time for good food, fitness, quality sleep, and her family.
I’d love to tell you that I have a typical day, but, alas, I do not have typical days. What I do have is a routine that incorporates everything I believe helps me live my best life.
It might sound crazy (and actually, it is), but my day begins around 4 a.m. (sometimes earlier), and because of the early rise, it also ends before 9 p.m. (sometimes earlier).
I believe in the power of waking up with passion, and then resting (seven to eight hours each night, minimum), so that I am able to enjoy and execute on those passions again each morning.
My days revolve around both the life I was given, and the life I choose, and the main components of these days are composed of: high-quality food, fitness, sleep, my husband and three children, and work.
Here is what a daily routine for me usually looks like:
Wake up, drink water with lemon, brew a pot of coffee, and fire up the computer. I use the early morning to work on one thing, in peace and quiet. That one thing is either a blog post or other piece of content for sarahkayhoffman.com or a client project. I drink my organic coffee with a lot of full-fat coconut milk and a little monk-fruit sugar. If I’m really hungry and/or have a hard workout at 6 a.m.., I will have a banana.
Take supplements, grab more water, and get a workout in. We have spent the last year+ building a home gym in our garage, so it’s easy, stress-free, and convenient to hop outside for a workout. Each workout begins with a 15-minute walk, and then, depending on the day, either a workout of the day, cardio (running), or a strength-training-focused session.
The workout is over. I read my daily Proverbs 31 verse, then I shower and get dressed for the day. I get my youngest (1½ years old) up from her crib, and we head downstairs for breakfast.
I get the kids ready for the day, depending on what the day ahead is like. Somedays I do my 4-year-old’s hair; other days I make them breakfast (my husband usually does this). For breakfast, the kids typically eat any or all of the following: eggs, fruit, tortilla with or without nut butter, and a meat of some sort (chicken apple sausage, turkey, and/or an Organic Valley hot dog). Sometimes I make them grain-free muffins made with almond flour and coconut flour or a smoothie boosted with grassfed collagen or coconut oil and a lot of greens. I also prepare my own breakfast so that when the nanny arrives at 8 a.m. I can head to work with my food. I choose to not eat breakfast with the kids because I find it too stressful to shovel the food in with kids screaming. Breakfast is typically a ton of seasonal vegetables (currently, various squashes) with eggs and/or a meat and coconut oil and/or avocado.
Nanny arrives. I go to work. (Side note: I work at home, so this means I just head to my office area.)
8 A.M. – 12 P.M.
Work. While I work, I typically sip on water — plain or with lemon — and also kombucha or sometimes tea.
Lunch. I’m a creature of habit, so lunch is typically the same each day. It’s always leftovers from the previous night’s dinner or a huge salad with other vegetables, meat, and a fat. Oftentimes I’ll add things to the salad, depending on cravings and mood. These include things like: nori, nuts, rice, and coconut aminos. Sometimes I’ll also sprinkle L-glutamine over it all. I take various supplements with each meal, depending on the meal, like hydrochloric acid (HCl) and digestive enzymes. I never drink a ton with meals anymore, but instead drink liquids in between meals. Drinking too much liquid with meals interferes with digestion. As soon as the brain signals mealtime, the gastric juices begin production. We want as much of this as possible in order to break food down. I need all the extra help I can get, so I refrain from adding too many liquids into the mix.
NOON – 4 P.M.
Continue working, but throughout the day, I get up to stretch and move, and take big, deep breaths.
My nanny leaves, and I shut my computer. Most days I take the kids for a walk for anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour. I use that time to decompress from the day, talk to the kids (they are 1½ , 2½ , and 4 years old), and laugh at all the things their little minds think to tell me.
Dinner prep. Sometimes this is done around 3 to 4 p.m., if I’m making something in the oven. For example, many nights I’ll roast a whole chicken with root vegetables. On those days, it all goes in the oven around 3:30 p.m. so that we can eat around 5. Otherwise, if I’m making something simple, I’ll start a little before 5 p.m. so that we can eat by 5:15 or 5:30 p.m. (My kids won’t wait any longer.)
Just prior to dinner, we all take our “fishies.” This is what I call cod liver oil so the kids are excited and know what to expect. They love it, and look forward to it each night.
Eat dinner. Dinner is, again, fairly basic but always consistent. We do a ton of vegetables, various fish and meats, and then almost always a rice or rice-based noodle in addition for the kids and my husband mainly. Some nights I have the grain, and some nights not. It just depends how active I’ve been (or will be the following morning) and how I’m feeling overall.
6 P.M. – 7 P.M.
The kids play while my husband and I clean up the kitchen and talk about our days.
The littlest goes to bed, and then many nights I do my 4-year-old’s hair while we talk and sometimes have dessert (the kids have a handful of nuts, a banana, nut butter and/or dairy-free chocolate chips). I almost always have nut butter — always has been and always will be one of my favorite “desserts.” Sometimes I have a high-quality chocolate. Rarely, but occasionally, I make a special dessert like nice cream, Paleo Cake, or my AIP Dessert Bread. The nice cream consists of frozen bananas (I buy bananas in huge bulk, wait for them to brown, then freeze for these occasions), and then extra dessert boosts like full-fat coconut milk, Nutiva’s Coconut Manna, 100 percent cacao powder, fresh mint, and sometimes another fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc. To thicken it and make it feel even more like ice cream, I’ll add in grassfed gelatin, which is also a gut-healing/thriving boost. The Paleo Cake is always a version of my Rainbow Paleo Cake With Rainbow Frosting. We eat the whole thing in one dessert sitting!
7:30 – 8 P.M.
We get the two oldest ready for bed. The routine is bathroom/change of diaper, pajamas on, and then one to two books.
I finish up any to-do lists for the next day or complete final tasks from the day. I finish my Bullet Journal notes from the day, and do my daily gratitude one-liner. I brush and floss, then take my one medication, LDN (low-dose naltrexone). I work with a doctor at the California Center for Functional Medicine, and this medication was carefully given as an alternative to the conventional approach for managing slow gut motility. It’s a medication that those with autoimmune conditions have found a ton of success with, and it has been wonderful for me. Then I jump into bed. From bed, I watch a show (right now, I’m watching “Will & Grace” and “This Is Us” — best show ever! — but I usually fall asleep in five minutes or less) or read from my daily devotional book.
I fall asleep, thankful, and excited to wake up and do it all over again at 4 a.m.