My Healthy Morning: Mirna Valerio
Welcome to Kitchn's series My Healthy Morning, where we show you how one person greets the day in a way that makes them feel their best. Each post will chronicle how that person defines healthy for themselves, and the habits and recipes that make their morning a little bit better.
The blogger behind Fat Girl Running, Mirna Valeria, lives with her husband and basketball-loving teenage son in northern Georgia. The New York native is an educator, a diversity practitioner, cross-country coach, ultrarunner, OCR enthusiast, and writer. Today she's sharing her healthy morning routine with us, which includes waking up at 5 a.m. and running.
What Does Healthy Mean for You?
The notion of being healthy is a complicated thing, as it changes from person to person based on their lived experiences, environment, family history, and lifestyle. For me personally, I am at my most healthy when my metabolic profile is normal (blood sugar, blood pressure, resting heart rate, cholesterol, etc.) and when I can move freely and with intensity for long periods of time without becoming winded. My skin is vibrant, my asthma is held at bay, and I am free of crushing fatigue. That's what healthy looks like for me!
My Healthy Morning Routine
I typically wake up super early at around 5 a.m. (not during the summer — or this past summer, anyway!). I make up my bed immediately (for the last year I've been doing this). I do a set of squats to warm up my back and get the blood flowing. Then I do lunges, wall pushups, and kicks or knee lifts to keep waking the body.
At around 5:15 a.m. I inhale two mugs of coffee! Black coffee, with either turbinado sugar or maple, along with butter, coconut oil, and cinnamon (if I'm working out that morning, which is most mornings). If not, I'll just have plain black coffee with sugar. I also have a glass or two of grapefruit juice. I am always getting sick so any barrier against cold and flu I will take!
Then at around 5:45 a.m. I run, either outside (mostly) or on my treadmill. If it's a non-running day, I may go to the weight room on campus or use my own home gym to work out for about an hour. When I come back, I finish my second mug of coffee and eat breakfast (7 a.m.), and make sure my son is up and getting ready for school.
I've been eating yogurt parfait for breakfast. I try to frontload the day with quality protein — full-fat Greek yogurt, preferably, with granola, nuts, and fruit. On weekends before a run, I will drizzle the whole bowl or cup with maple for the extra fast-acting energy. I also do frittatas and lots of egg dishes.
Thank you for sharing your healthy morning with us, Mirna!