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Why this bicontinental food blogger starts her day with a cold shower


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Photo: Nick Onken

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

Rens Kroes
Food blogger and author

I typically wake up around 7 a.m. and, if I’m working out, which I do three times a week, this is when I get it in. I’m currently splitting my time between Amsterdam and New York City, and when I’m in Amsterdam, I work out with a trainer, but in New York, I typically go for a run, SoulCycle, or YogaWorks.

On the days I don’t work out, I meditate for about ten or 15 minutes. (Okay truth: Sometimes I can manage only five.) I find that even just a few minutes of meditation a day helps make me feel more present. Just to take a moment to relax and breathe is a good way to start the day.

After my workout or meditation, I drink a glass of warm lemon water. Then, I head to the bathroom and dry brush my entire body. It makes my skin feel soft and flexible—I love it. After dry brushing, I take a cold shower. I’ll admit, cold showers take some getting used to, but I started doing it a couple years ago and love it. It really improves circulation, and afterward, I feel so warm because the blood is really circulating and my heart is beating faster.

Just to take a moment to relax and breathe is a good way to start the day.

For my face, I put on a serum and then a moisturizer. I don’t wear a lot of makeup—I’m much more of a skin-care girl. I don’t really do my hair either. I honestly have no idea how to do it, so I just let it air dry. Next, I brush my teeth and follow that with tongue scrapping. When you see what comes off, it’s like, what?! Even when you do it every morning.

Then, I finally eat! Sometimes I’ll make a bowl of oatmeal. Other days, I’ll make a green smoothie with spinach, banana, lemon, oat milk, and adaptogens, AKA herbs that fight stress. (My go-tos are maca, reishi, and ashwagandha.) In the summer, I love coconut yogurt bowls with fresh or dried fruit and homemade granola on top. I always have coffee for breakfast, too. My favorite way to make it is with butter, Bulletproof-style, but I’ll just make regular coffee if I don’t have much time.

Once my breakfast and coffee are made, I sit down and get to work. Because I have so much going on in Amsterdam and my assistant lives there, I wake up to a lot of emails. Breakfast-time is the first moment I take to respond to them—and also post something to Instagram. And just like that, I’m ready to start off my day!

If you think Rens’ a.m. routine sounds pretty dreamy but you don’t think you can get up early enough to replicate it, here’s the secret to becoming a morning person. And if you need more ideas for what to make for breakfast, take a look at what these 14 wellness pros eat.

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