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Welcome to My Morning Routine, where Elaine Hendrix and other good-life gurus share their personal (frequently surprising, often healthy) morning rituals—to help you make your a.m.’s more awesome.

Elaine Hendrix
Actress who has appeared in everything from The Parent Trap to Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion—and currently is in the FX series Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll

A big part of my morning ritual is to make my bed. I do it every single morning no matter where I am—even in hotels—because it symbolizes the closing of yesterday and the start of a fresh new day for me.

I like to get up and drink water, then I’ll leash my dog Ellie and go for a good 40-minute to one-hour walk with her. I bring a snack with me for the walk—a piece of fruit like an apple, a banana, maybe a peach. 

I’m classically trained in dancing, so once in a while I’ll go to a dance class or throw on a video and do some type of aerobics, but mainly these days I’ve been walking and hiking with my dog. She needs a lot of stimulation—she’s highly intelligent, so if I’m going to exercise I feel guilty if I don’t include her in that. I just got a bike that I named Greased Lightning for my birthday, and I’ve trained Ellie to ride along with me! I love that so much.

When I was younger, I was really into hardcore workouts and dance, but now I have to be more gentle. I’ve given up the idea of no pain, no gain—I don’t believe in that anymore.

I’m also a practicing Nichiren Buddhist, so I like to chant in the mornings. It could be anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Chanting centers me and makes me happy. When I do it regularly, I notice in my life that I’m far less reactive to negative stimulation. And my happiness increases exponentially.

Usually when I come back from my walk and after I’ve chanted, I eat a bigger meal. I tend to be more of a grazer than a sit-down meal type person. But I love making what I call oatmeal supreme: I put crushed nuts and granola in it. I always boost my food. I’ll put chlorophyll in with my oatmeal or mix chia seeds and almond milk with crushed walnuts so I’m getting lots of good omegas and proteins. 

Sometimes I’ll have scrambled tofu or a smoothieI’m really big on making smoothies. I always put a banana in, and either almond milk or coconut yogurt, and then some type of protein powder. I’ll rotate fruits; sometimes I’ll add peaches, sometimes strawberries. Some people like to mix fruits and veggies, but I’ll only do that if I juice. Otherwise my smoothies are pretty fruit pure. 

As far as my beauty routine, I don’t wear any makeup unless I absolutely have to. When I do wear it, I stick to cruelty-free—Josie Maran and Obsessive Compulsive are two of my favorite lines. I’m also really into Paula’s Choice right now. I really like her skin care line, I find it really gentle and easy-to-use.

It’s funny—I’m on a show called Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll and I don’t smoke or do drugs, I only drink occasionally, and I eat really healthy. But I understand that’s the new thing for the rock stars these days, to be all healthy and socially minded!

Read how Sweaty Betty’s founder squeezes in some morning fitness, or how volleyball pro Kerri Walsh Jennings carves out “me time” every a.m. 

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