We all know starting the morning off right sets us up for success throughout the day. Knowing just what to do with the limited time we have can be daunting, so we turned to our Aveda Ambassador Vanessa Packer, who is a wellness expert and founder of modelFIT, for some inspiration. Here she shares her go-to breakfast options, gym bag essentials and a recipe for her detoxifyng Ayurvedic Chakra Tonic that’s so energising, it may even replace your current cup of joe.


Living Aveda: You’re a busy wellness entrepreneur in NYC, how do you ensure your mornings get off to the right start?


Vanessa Packer: In the morning it’s essential to hydrate. I drink a lot of water–lemon water or alkaline water–and my Ayurvedic Chakra Tonic. I like to keep breakfast light with a green juice or if I need a little more, I’ll make a smoothie. Heartier options include a big fruit salad with fresh mint or herbed avocado toast on multigrain seeded bread. I try to listen to my body to see what it needs. I don’t eat if I’m not hungry, but I also don’t wait to eat if I am hungry.



LA: Ginger and turmeric are key ingredients in your Ayurvedic Chakra Tonic and you note that they are particularly great for the body this time of year, why?


VP: Ginger is known to be a natural immune booster, which helps to ward against cold and flu season. In addition, it helps to naturally boost digestive enzymes in the gut, for proper digestion.


Turmeric is known as a very powerful anti-inflammatory, so incorporating this whenever possible is can make a difference in the way you look and feel. I also like to add cinnamon for its warming qualities.


LA: Does consuming ginger and turmeric promote skin balance? If so how?


VP: I believe that both herbs help enhance the natural glow in your skin. Also, they are warming herbs, which also leads to glowing skin. I notice improvement to my own complexion when I drink it regularly. However, applying Aveda’s Tulasāra™ collection to your skin, which includes these two ingredients, will give you glowing skin instantly.


LA: Any other morning rituals?


VP: I try to do a 20-minute meditation before heading out for my day. Sometimes it’s 10 minutes, but no matter the time, as long as I’m taking a few minutes a day to find some stillness, I’m able to feel more balance.


A workout in the morning is essential. I begin every morning at modelFIT. After a class, my day can really begin. The Aveda Shampure™ Dry Shampoo is naturally my go-to, especially after a sweaty sculpt class. I wash my face after working out with the Aveda Botanical Kinetics™ Purifying Gel Cleanser. The Aveda Tulasāra™ Firm Concentrate is always in my bag and goes on before my moisturiser.


Here’s the recipe for Vanessa’s Ayurvedic Chakra Tonic:

1 Tablespoon sliced fresh turmeric

1 Tablespoon sliced fresh ginger

Grated fresh cinnamon

Let it steep…

Optional: Steamed almond milk or raw honey to taste