Start Your Day Like A Nutritionist

Claudia Criswell is a registered nutritional therapist, Health Coach & Pilates Instructor

Claudia Criswell, Nutritional Therapist

A great morning routine can really set you up for the day, but it's easier said than done in the UK with such little light and often terrible weather!

With that in mind, we asked Claudia Criswell, Registered Nutritional Therapist, Health Coach and Pilates instructor her go-to morning routine! 

It's first thing in the morning - what do you do and why?

As soon as my alarm goes off at about 6am, I roll out of bed and onto my Pilates mat with a large glass of water and enjoy at least 20 minutes of movement in my PJsOne of my favourite things about Pilates is you can do it anytime, anywhere and instantly feel a boost of energy and so much better - it's incredible! I find this also helps you stay consistent, especially during the winter months when it is so dark and cold in Edinburgh. After this, I shower and enjoy a cup of coffee ( I love exhale for all the nutritional benefits) and take time to journal and plan my day and prep for any client calls or classes I might be teaching before eating breakfast.


Claudia Crisswell Pilates

It's not uncommon for us to wake up feeling dehydrated, groggy, sore etc - why is this and how can we combat it? 

I always recommend clients to drink 1 large glass of water ( or naturally caffeine free herbal tea) before having any caffeinated drinks to rehydrate after a long fast overnight. 

It can take take a while for the body to wake up and clients notice a HUGE difference when they move their body in some way soon after waking. This is so much better for you than rolling straight to your laptop for the next few hours. This movement might be a walk outside, some yoga / pilates at home or heading out to a class or the gym. The key is that it is something you enjoy!

It has also been shown that getting exposure to daylight soon after waking is incredibly helpful in regulating circadian rhythm and supporting better sleep. Whether this is whilst moving outside or enjoying a cuppa in front of the window with a few moments peace. It can set you up so well for the rest of the day.

When you start to get hungry, enjoying a protein rich breakfast will help you stay energised throughout the day and support blood glucose balance, reducing the risk of spikes and crashes throughout the day.

Nutrition is obviously hugely important - what do you advise to your clients in terms of food and drink and what are your go-to breakfast options?

We always recommend our clients listen to their bodies and see when they start to actually feel hungry. So often we fall into habits of feeling like we need to eat first thing but forget to actually think whether or not we are hungry and in need of fuel. Some people can't function without eating first thing and others don't get hungry until a couple of hours after waking up - everyone is different and we encourage clients to work with their bodies to figure out what is right for them. It's incredibly common for our appetite to change day to day and listening to your own innate hunger and satiety signals will guide you to what you need.

I personally don't tend to get hungry until about 10am ish and will make a tasty protein rich meal. If I fancy something savoury, I'll either make Spicy Beans on Toast or eggs and some veggies (often dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale) and some mushrooms and kimchi. I'm also a big fan of avocado on sourdough/rye bread with kimchi and either smoked tofu or eggs. I'm obsessed with this Eaten Alive hot sauce and honestly add it to everything, it's so good!

Spiced Beans on Sourdough

If I feel like something slightly sweeter, I'll either enjoy a homemade chia pudding with kefir, fresh fruits and a sprinkling of toasted nuts/seeds, or live whole yoghurt or kefir with berries, nut butter and some oats or homemade granola. As it starts to get warmer, I really enjoy a nutrient packed smoothie alongside some eggs on toast.

I find it super helpful to spend a bit of time on the weekend or at the start of the week to plan ahead, look at what meals I’ll be eating in and when I’m out with friends etc to ensure I have all the necessary ingredients in the house to make it as easy as possible to make healthy choices. 

Claudia Criswell is a registered nutritional therapist, health coach and pilates instructor based in Edinburgh.

Having suffered with crippling digestive symptoms, anxiety and disordered eating habits in the past, she understands first-hand how powerful and transformative nutrition and lifestyle interventions can be in supporting overall mental and physical health.

Since founding Claudia Criswell Nutrition, her and her team have supported hundreds of clients to feel happier and healthier everyday in a sustainable way.

Claudia  Crisswell sitting on bench