My Morning Dance + Antioxidant Packed Vegetable and Wild Rice Soup

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Everyone has their own little dance they do each morning.

My morning dance USED to consist of nursing hangovers and mustering enough spark to get through the morning. That was a shit dance. I hated that dance. I hated it because I LOVE mornings. I love getting up early. I love the quiet light and the possibilities that so peacefully wrap themselves on the soft breath of morning.

But when you have a throbbing fucking headache, a mouth like the Sahara, a stomach that feels like it’s being catapulted out of your body by a rocket launcher, and tired, heavy, bloodshot eyes, the joy of morning gets sucked right out by the vacuum of death.

Next Wednesday will mark two years since I’ve had a drink. One of the things I love most about being sober, is waking up early, bouncing out of bed and thoroughly enjoying every second of my morning. I will never take not being hungover for granted. Ever.

Today I want to share my morning dance with you and celebrate the early hours of the day.

Like the justifiably over-quoted poet, Rumi so beautifully stated:

There is a morning inside you waiting
to burst open into light.

Here’s how I burst open my mornings:

I wake up naturally (without an alarm) when the birds outside my windows start their morning song, usually between 5:00 and 6:00am. I wake up feeling rested, refreshed and energized after 7 – 8 solid hours of sleep. Not a morning goes by that I don’t feel excited to get out of bed and start my day. But, before I do, I take a couple minutes to give focused gratitude for my life and for the people in it.

After I get out of bed, I go pee, let the cats outside and then go back to the bathroom and take out my retainer. I rinse out my mouth with water and then I place a tablespoon of coconut oil in my mouth, set my timer for 20 minutes and swish. When 20 minutes is up, I spit the coconut oil out in the jungle behind my house.

This is called Oil Pulling. If you Google it, you’ll see all kinds of miraculous claims about this ancient Ayurvedic tradition. People oil pull because it’s said to draw toxins out of the mouth that would otherwise accumulate in the mouth and body.

I can’t speak to all the claims, and I’m pretty sure oil pulling isn’t going to induce miracles and save people from all the bad shit in the world, but I can tell you that I’ve been oil pulling for three years now and I can’t imagine going a day without.

The freshness of my mouth after I pull makes me want to make out with myself on a daily basis. I was hooked from the first time I did it. And since I’ve been doing it, I’ve had no cavities and no mouth / gum / teeth problems. And as a bonus, my teeth are more pearly white to boot.

If putting a spoonful of oil directly in your mouth seems unnatural, I get it – it was weird for me at first too. But trust me, once you do it 6 or 7 times you will probably get used to it, and you will feel weird when you skip it. Sex was weird in the beginning too. Just give it a chance and you’ll find your groove.

When you give it a try, don’t swallow the oil at any point because your mouth will be full of bacteria. It’s also a good idea to spit the oil outside or in the trash and not in your sink, because it could clog your drain. If you want to start with 10 minutes, that’s perfectly fine.

I always pull with coconut oil, so depending on the time of year, my oil ranges from solid to liquid. If the weather is cool, my oil is hard, if the weather is warm, my oil is liquid. If the oil is hard, just chew it a bit until the warmth of your mouth turns it to liquid (that sounds super naughty). If it’s already liquid, then it’s good to go and you don’t have to chomp. #bonus

I usually do something productive while I’m pulling, like clean my cat’s litter boxes, check my email to see if there’s anything urgent, and do #twatwafflepatrol in our private Facebook page to make sure no assholes snuck in while we were sleeping. After I oil pull, I rinse out my mouth out with warm water, I brush my teeth, and I wash my face. Before I get dressed I take a few smells of spearmint essential oil and then I mix one drop with a tiny bit of coconut oil and rub it into my temples. This is super invigorating and puts a pep in my step more than coffee ever did. And bonus, no crash.

After I brush my teeth, I take my B12 spray and then I prepare a 16 ounce glass of warm water and put my DHA / EPA drops in the water. Sometimes I add lemon to my water, but not often. Lemon is great for detoxification, but because of my diet and lifestyle, my detoxification game is already TIGHT, so lemon water isn’t as necessary.

After I drink my warm water, I make tea. I either have peppermint tea, green tea, decaf black tea or brewing cacao. Brewing cacao is basically ground up bits of cacao beans. It tastes more like tea than hot chocolate because it’s not sweet. If I have peppermint tea I drink it plain, if I have green tea, black tea or brewing cacao I add a bit of coconut sugar and a splash of soy milk. I like that little bit of sweet in my tea. Plus, my indulgence used to be a third bottle of wine and 7 more cigarettes, so I happily give myself zero shit for a little coconut sugar in my morning dance.

After I make my tea I bring it downstairs to my office, along with my full 40 oz water bottle, and I start work. This is usually between 7:00am – 7:15am. Not long after that I take my first shit of the day. It’s glorious, large and super fast (yes I called my shit glorious – you should too!). After that, I continue working until I start getting hungry – usually around 8:30am – and then I take a break and make a 16 ounce green smoothie.

My smoothie usually consists of water and a bit of soy milk, a shit load of leafy greens, some banana, some seeds (chia, hemp or flax), some berries and some turmeric and / or ginger. Sometimes I add in beet or carrot. Oftentimes I add cooked sweet potato. Sometimes I add some cacao powder or cinnamon powder. I usually throw in whatever I have in my fridge. Sometimes my smoothies are delicious, other times they aren’t as delicious, but I drink them anyway. This is my morning antioxidant boost and I never skip it.

After my smoothie, I go back to work and I wait until I get truly hungry before I have my first meal. This usually happens around 11:00am. At this point I’ll have whatever I have in my fridge that sounds good. Sometimes it’s Steel Cut Oats with hella fruit, nuts and nondairy milk. Sometimes it’s a big bowl of soup and a bowl of steamed greens. Sometimes it’s a gigantic salad. Sometimes it’s a burrito. Sometimes it’s tacos.

The beauty of batch cooking and my meal plans is you ALWAYS have food in your fridge, ready to go when you are. No stress. No worry. Just grab something, heat it up (or not) and fuel!

That’s it. A snapshot of my current morning dance. If I had to choose three bits of morning dance advice to give you, here’s what they would be:

1: Make your morning dance work with your schedule and life

If you have to be in your car by 6am to get to work on time, maybe it makes sense to pack your food the night before. Then in the morning, do 10 minutes of oil pulling and make a green smoothie for the road.

If you have to get your kiddos dressed and ready for school by 7am, maybe you can do 10 minutes of oil pulling while you pack their lunch. And then drink a warm glass of water in the car when you drop them at school and come home and make your smoothie.

If you think putting oil directly in your mouth and swishing around is the most disgusting thing in the world, give it a shot anyway. If you still hate it after three tries, fuck it. You tried – maybe it’s just not your thing.

Bottom line – your morning dance is YOURS. And everyone’s dance looks different.

2: Don’t eat simply because it’s “breakfast time”

The clock is not the best gauge for your hunger, YOU are. There is no sense eating if you’re not hungry. Wait until that first wave of hunger hits and then make your smoothie. After that, wait until you’re hungry again, and then eat some food. Easy as that. This one tweak will help you get in tune with your body’s natural hunger pattern.

3: Don’t add shit to your morning routine just because everyone else is doing it and you feel you “should”

Did you notice that my morning routine doesn’t consist of meditating for an hour and a half, followed by 20 rounds of sun salutations, topping it off with aligning and cleansing my heart chakras with fresh stream water that I gathered?

Yeah – that’s because it’s not realistic, for me. I’m all for yoga and meditation, and I’m definitely down with chakras (right after I google “chakra”), but if I had to fit all that into my morning, it would no longer be morning.

Your morning dance should be happy and yummy, not make you overwhelmed before most people are even out of bed. So make it realistic and do what’s doable. You can always try out new morning dance moves on the weekend or a morning when you have extra time.

Cheers to clear headed mornings that feel damn good. I’m off to celebrate almost two years of awesome mornings.

I would love to hear about your morning dance. Talk to me in to comments below then join us over here in the best private Facebook group on earth and tell us what your morning dance looks like.

Today’s recipe is one of my fave things to eat in the morning. It’s packed with nutrients and will fuel you all through the AM.

Antioxidant Packed Vegetable and Wild Rice Soup

(Instant Pot and Stove Top Directions)
Author: Molly Patrick of Clean Food Dirty Girl

Ingredients

Instant Pot Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup red onion diced (70g)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup chopped carrot 140g
  • 2 cups green beans strings removed and cut into thirds (240g)
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 jalapeno diced (take the seeds out if you don’t like spicy)
  • 3 cups mushrooms sliced and then cut in half (190g)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups water 945ml
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked Wild Rice 235g
  • 2 cups chopped kale 85g

Stove Top Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup red onion diced (70g)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup chopped carrot 140g
  • 2 cups green beans strings removed and cut into thirds (240g)
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 jalapeño diced (take the seeds out if you don’t like spicy)
  • 3 cups mushrooms sliced and then cut in half (190g)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 cups water 1.4 liters
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked Wild Rice 235g
  • 2 cups chopped kale 85g

Instructions

Instant Pot Directions

  • Prep and measure out all of the ingredients first. This will make it super easy to throw it together.
  • Press saute on your Instant Pot (IP) and let the inner pot heat up for 2 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, green beans, red bell pepper, jalapeno, mushrooms, dried basil, dried thyme and salt and saute for 5 minutes, stirring regularly so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
  • Turn off the IP, add the water and stir. Lock the lid into place, making sure the nozzle is in the sealing position. Use the manual setting and set the timer for 5 minutes.
  • When time is up, use the quick release method. When all of the pressure is out of the IP, take off the lid and add the Wild Rice and the kale.

Stove Top Directions

  • Prep and measure out all of the ingredients first. This will make it super easy to throw it together.
  • Heat a large pot over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, green beans, red bell pepper, jalapeno, mushrooms, dried basil, dried thyme and salt and saute for 5 minutes, stirring regularly so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the water, stir, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes, with a lid on the pot at an angle.
  • When the veggies are soft, turn off the heat, add the Wild Rice and the kale and stir.

Notes

  • Here's a link to my delicious Wild Rice recipe.
  • The soup may thicken as it sets, feel free to add more water if you want a less stew-like soup.

Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with happy mornings.

Xo
Molly

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Written by ex-boozer, ex-smoker, Co-founder, and CEO, Molly Patrick. They will help you eat more plants while throwing perfection down the garbage disposal.

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13 Comments

  1. Hännah on June 13, 2017 at 11:49 am

    This post made me laugh. I love your fun and lighthearted approach to your morning routine (and thank you for telling me I don’t have to meditate!!!). I am definitely planning on trying oil pulling and to give myself a little more time in the morning to do things that sound fun and useful to me.
    Also, congrats on 2 years sober!! I still occasionally overindulge and can identify with that terrible feeling of wasting a morning with a hangover. It’s all a journey, isn’t it? 🙂

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on June 15, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Hannah – it is a journey! We are so glad you are here and enjoying our posts. Keep up your good work. Keep us posted in our Facebook group how you like oil pulling and any changes you see/feel.

  2. Andrea on June 16, 2017 at 2:07 am

    Wow so awesome!! Thanks for sharing! I love your recipe! Everything looked so yummy!!

  3. Carolyn on August 1, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Thank you for always being honest with your posts. It’s funny that I randomly chose this article to read (based on the vegetable soup) as I too have been struggle with overindulging on alcohol WAY too often. I hate the fact that I lose so many mornings to feeling guilty and disappointed in myself. That quote really rang home with me and trust me, I needed this today.

  4. Laura Gyalog on January 19, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    What kind of oil do you use for this oil pulling? I love your funny truthful no sugar coating shit blog. You are an inspiration!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on January 22, 2018 at 8:29 am

      Hi Laura,

      After watching the 4-part series of videos on oil pulling from Dr. Greger over Nutritionfacts.org – here’s a link to the final video in the series (the other three are linked in the Doctor’s Notes area of that video) – Molly is now pulling with regular water.

      Karen
      Team Dirty Girl

  5. Mary Woodbury on September 6, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    I’m here because I made your biryani rice recipe and it was perfect with clear instructions. I’m using your technique for all my Indian rice dishes.
    The vegetable wild rice recipe is not clear: do you cook the wild rice before you add it to the soup ? Raw doesn’t make sense, but you say nothing about cooking it that I can find.

    Please advise – Thanks!

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on September 6, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      Hi Mary! Thanks for writing in about this. Indeed, the Wild Rice should be cooked already. The Instant Pot ingredients called for cooked wild rice but “cooked” as a descriptor was left off of the Stove Top Ingredient list. That’s been fixed and I’ve added the link to the Wild Rice recipe on the blog in the Recipe Notes area. Enjoy! ~Karen

  6. Angela Lowery on September 20, 2019 at 12:30 am

    My morning dance looks like this: 5am I wake up, pee, start my daughters bath, wake her up, fix her breakfast and pack her lunch. Feed our 3 cats, ( Persia, Little One & Piglet). Go back to sleep til 8a. Get up, get dressed and drop her off at school, drive back home and sleep til 12 or 1p…Now that I have a chance to take a step back look at my dance, I have to say I’m not dancing at all…that’s ok cause, come 5am I WILL be dancing with love!!!

  7. Lynette A. on January 7, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    I want to make this soup, sounds perfect for a chilly January week. Can I use frozen green beans?

    I’ve been a CFDG meal plan subscriber for months now, and just love it! Occasionally pull from the free recipes as well. 🙂

    • Molly Patrick on January 7, 2020 at 8:48 pm

      Hi Lynette,
      I would go ahead and try using frozen green beans. Add them towards the end of cooking since they are already cooked.
      I’m so glad you love our meal plans! We love having you as a subscriber.
      Let me know how this soup turns out – it’s one of my faves.
      xo
      Molly

      • Lynette on January 8, 2020 at 3:57 pm

        4 stars
        Even better the next day, and adding some plant-based “sausage” made it a nice hearty lunch. Much of my spices landed up on the lid of my Instant Pot, perhaps since I have an Instant Pot “mini”.
        Very good, but hasn’t surpassed the Creamy Lemon Vegetable soup from the Mother’s Day 2019 meal plan as my favorite. 😉

        • Molly Patrick on January 8, 2020 at 7:15 pm

          Thanks for taking the time to follow up!
          So many good soups!
          xo
          Molly

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