Live Like a Yogi

Meet Jenny Fant. Yoga teacher and open-water swimmer, Sun Basket’s marketing copywriter starts her day with a rush out the door, a ferry ride, and a gratitude list. 

You get A LOT of exercise. Tell us about your fitness routine. 

I work out every day; sometimes that looks like a seven-mile hike followed by a sweaty yoga class, and sometimes it’s just a quick swim at lunch. My workouts work around my life, not the other way around. I’m on a kick right now of trying things totally new to me, like indoor rock climbing and tumbling. My weekends are full of hiking, trail running, ocean swimming, and surfing. My lunch-break swims serve as a nice cushion in case life comes up after work (as it often does). That way, if my friends are grabbing dinner, I don’t think twice about canceling my evening workout. 

Ocean swimming sounds intense. What’s that like? 

I swim at the Dolphin Club in Aquatic Park, a cove in San Francisco Bay. No, I don’t wear a wetsuit (and yes, it is cold), but I believe that cold-water swimming is the most invigorating thing you can do. There is absolutely nothing like the feeling of getting out of 50°F water after a long swim. When I can’t make it to the Dolphin Club, I swim on my lunch break at a pool near the Sun Basket office. 

What’s your morning routine? 

I am not exactly a morning person (I’m working on it!), so I focus on efficiency and minimizing the time spent between getting out of bed and walking out the door. That means about 20 minutes to chug a Mason jar of water, brush my teeth, and wash my face, and sometimes plugging in a curling iron and brushing on some mascara—all to the sound of The Daily podcast. 

I live a ferry ride and a short walk from the office, and my day really begins as soon as I’m settled on the boat with my coffee. I commute with one of my best friends, so after catching up on the past 24 hours and laughing a lot (the most important thing I do to start my day), I open my notebook, write the date at the top of a fresh page, and make a list of at least 10 things I’m grateful for. Sometimes they’re small things like “so many cute seals out on the water this morning!” and sometimes they’re bigger things—whatever’s on my mind at the moment. Then I write out my day: meetings, appointments, deadlines, exercise, dinner with friends, and a to-do list. If there’s time, I’ll try to do some personal writing—sometimes a poem or a journal entry, sometimes hashing out an idea I have. By the time I get to work, I feel like I’ve had sufficient time to prepare for my day and reflect on what I need to do, which is important to me.

How has your morning routine changed over the years? 

I’ve gone through phases where the only time I could work out was early in the morning. That has probably been my biggest shift in the last couple of years, realizing that sleeping later and starting off a little slower some days just feels better. Even if I don’t end up getting a long run in, there is always a way to work in a short swim or quick walk during the day.

My breakfast routine has changed a lot, too. I’m not a huge breakfast person by nature, but the importance of breakfast is stressed in the health world, so I feel like it’s something I need to do. I’ve tried overnight oats, smoothies, and protein shakes, but now I just wait until I’m hungry to eat. Sometimes that’s right when I get to work, but if that isn’t until 11:30 a.m., so be it. I’m learning to listen to my body. 

All the exercise means you burn a lot of calories. Do you follow any particular diet? 

I aim for a plant-focused diet, but I’m not above adding half-and-half to my coffee most mornings, opting for a burger at family BBQs, or ordering octopus tacos just because they look interesting. I also incorporate many tenets of Ayurvedic nutrition in my diet, which involves a lot of specific choices based on my constitution, and guides me in eating mostly simple, nourishing dishes that promote healthy digestion.

What about sleep? 

Sometimes I’m exhausted and I crawl into bed at 10 p.m. Other times I like catching up on projects, going to a late yoga class, messing around on the guitar, or just getting a late dinner to catch up with friends, and I won’t get to sleep until one or two in the morning. Sleep is an area I could improve, but my minimal mornings help keep things more balanced.

Do you do anything before going to bed to make mornings easier? 

I have a couple of rules to make sure mornings go smoothly. First, I’m particular about keeping my space neat and tidy. I am so prone to misplacing things that the only way to stay sane is to be very methodical about where everything lives. Tidying up before bed helps me get out of the house faster in the morning.