Morning Routines

Woke Up, Got Out of Bed…

If you are anything like me, mornings are not your best time.  For whatever reason, I can never seem to get it together to get out of my house on time. However, I have recently begun doing two things that while not necessarily making it easier to pull it together to get out of the house, they have been instrumental in getting my body and my insides ready to deal with whatever the day brings. So even though I’m late, my body is happy because of the good things I’m doing for it. I’m referring to oil pulling and drinking warm lemon water.

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Pulling oil is a method used in Ayurvedic medicine. It helps to detoxify, cleanse and amp up your system. Best when done on an empty stomach, which is why I do it right after waking up and washing my face. (Although a more together person would say to keep it in the bathroom so that you can swish the oil whilst washing your face.  Hmmm, food for thought.) Anyway, you want to take a high quality unrefined oil, about a table spoon and swish it around in your mouth. Don’t gargle. Because that’s just gross. I use sesame oil but a lot of folks recommend coconut oil because of it’s taste and known positive attributes. If the idea of a tablespoon makes you gag (literally and figuratively) start with a teaspoon. You can always go bigger later.  Simply swish the oil around in your mouth, let it run through your teeth and all around. Eventually you aim to do it for 20 minutes. I still can’t do that long but I try to get around 5. Small steps people, small steps.

So what’s happening whilst all this swishing is going on?  The oil activates your salivary glands and enables it to pick up all the toxins, and other nastiness in our systems.  The nastiness in our systems usually comes from our standard American diet (SAD). The oil, gunk and spit all bind together and is disposed of once you spit out the oil. Oh, did I mention that part? Don’t swallow the oil because if you do, all the gunk and junk will just go right back in. So spit it out (do not spit it in the sink; spit in the trash to avoid clogged pipes) and then rinse your mouth out with water. Rinse very well though because the oil that was just in your mouth is now loaded with toxins so make sure your mouth feels very clean. And then drink some warm lemon water. But more on that later.

How will I know it’s working I hear you ask.  First and foremost, your sinuses will start to unclog. You will have a lot of drainage but that’s a good thing. Who wants that stuff stuck up there? In fact, this is why I started pulling oil in the first place, to deal with chronic congestion. Additionally, your gums and teeth get healthier.  Some believe it even works as a teeth whitener. Your body will look and feel better as a result of getting the toxins out of your body. It’s a win win for all.

The other awesome thing that I’ve started doing in the morning after the oil but before food is drinking warm lemon water. It’s a very difficult thing to do so read carefully. Warm up water. Squeeze in half a lemon. Drink it. Repeat daily.

Drinking warm lemon water also comes from Ayurveda. The idea behind it is that we can build up our bodies or we can beat them down. Drinking warm lemon water builds it up. It helps fortify your immune system as it is high in Vitamin C and potassium. It is high in pectin so aids in weight loss. The pectin makes you feel fuller, longer. For those of you who have difficulty with getting the poop out (See Everyone’s Doing It, Do You? for more on this topic) the warm water stimulates your gastrointestinal tract to move things along while the vitamins and minerals of the lemon also work to clean out toxins. The detoxification also shows up on your skin as it usually begins to look clearer. And perhaps the simplest benefit of all, after going 8 hours with no liquids, drinking 8 oz of warm lemon water is an immediate solution to the dehydration we all experience upon waking.

So that is my current morning routine in between wrangling the children, feeding the dogs and packing lunch. While it isn’t solving my problem of chronic lateness, it is having a major effect on my sinuses, skin and overall well being.  If you believe we are what we eat, and if we eat food that is laden with toxins and preservatives, our outsides are going to pay the price. Try doing one, or both of these things for 30 days and see how you feel. I’d love to hear about it.

To continue the conversation, I offer a free Health Consultation.  Please visit me at or email me at [email protected]  You can also follow on Facebook at or on Twitter @courtneyabrams



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About the Author: Courtney Abrams is a Health Coach and Founder of Roslyn Wellness. Trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she helps clients work within the realities of their day to day lives to find ways to make small and manageable changes to their health that can maintained over time. Her clients include people trying to lose weight, beat sugar, increase their energy, cook simple healthful food and reduce stress to name a few. She also shares a passion for food policy and educating people about the foods they are eating and the governmental role behind much of it. You can learn more about Courtney and Roslyn Wellness at


  1. Why Try Oil Pulling | says:

    […] of my daily routine was our health coach, Roslyn Wellness founder, and blogger Courtney Abrams. Courtney wrote about oil pulling in November. And I guess something clicked in my brain because I was ready to try it. This is my favorite […]

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