The Way I Live is an ethos for living. Each month we will interview people within our community about their passions and what guides them to keep fit and healthy in mind + body.
This week we have the founder of anatomē, Brendan Murdock, share his philosophy on finding inspiration and his daily rituals for having a healthy work/life balance.
What is your morning routine?
My morning routine is getting up at 6.30am, switching on BBC Radio 4 and then make myself a filtered Monmouth coffee. I like to take 15-20 minutes in our living room, which has a nice glass wall view of our courtyard garden, to gather my thoughts; I enjoy that daily solitude. Breakfast is probably my favourite meal of the day. Most of the time I have muesli with lots of fresh fruit, yoghurt and Greek honey. I usually try to make a gym glass which is round the corner from my home in Shoreditch. I dash out around 7.15am, as I find if I do exercise or an activity, my day is much more productive and focused.
When are you most energised in the day?
As long as I work out in some way early in the morning, then I know my mornings will be productive. Indoor cycling is a really good way to energise me and it leaves me with good feelings and thoughts! I guess it’s the release of endorphins and blood circulation that gives me a happy high. I know the days I do that I’ll be pretty focused. Also with summer months I’ve replaced some spin classes for tennis.
What do you snack on during the day?
I try to keep my energy levels up with a some boiled egg or an anatomē protein shake after I’ve been to the gym. Having had my own nutritionist educate me on snacking, I've been adding flavoursome organic spices to the drinks, so it really seems get me to lunch time.
How do you relax?
My dog Dodger brings a lot of happiness to my life, my partner and I enjoy our walks with him. I’m lucky enough that I can take him to work and most of my meetings - he’s a very faithful friend. In fact, I think he’s a little like a therapy dog, any trouble in the day he’s there to be stroked.
What place did you last visit that inspired you.
We went to Naples early summer which was rather inspiring. You often forget the skill of the Italian craftsmen, many Naples buildings are remarkable and blend other architectural styles. It's rather special that you can take a boat to Capri too. Once you get past the busy crowds it’s pretty tranquil with beautiful waters to swim in.
“Focus on the end goal, no matter how challenging the journey is to get there”
Last book you read.
My partner is an academic and is always encouraging me to read more. ‘My Brilliant Friend’ by Elena Ferrante was fantastic, as we were in Naples he encourages me to read a book native to where we are visiting. That book really brought the architecture and city to life for me.
What physical space or room do you feel most at ease in.
I like the kitchen in my country cottage. You can sit there for hours, with the doors wide open, taking in the garden which seems to be quite the nesting sanctuary for birds. I’m guessing that’s typical of most country gardens, but I like to think we are doing something special to draw them in.
City break or rural retreat?
I’m lucky enough that I can escape most weekends to rural Suffolk, so a few weekends a month being able to walk the bridle paths and get down to the beach with my dog and partner is rejuvenating. If I go abroad I’ll usually pick a coastal city. For instance, Naples was a city of chaos but a real beauty. I’m keen to make Copenhagen and Vienna my next trips after I get to New York later this summer.
Personal motto, what is it?
Focus on the end goal, no matter how challenging the journey is to get there. You have to visualise the outcome you’re seeking to achieve and hopefully you can reach it.
“I am inspired by friends that are creating things or finding ways to realise their talents”
Weekend food indulgence?
Bread and wine. For the most part I try not to eat bread during the week… but nothing is better than the taste of fresh bread on a Saturday. With wine, I’ve been cutting back during the week, so there’s less of opening a bottle when I get home. This makes me appreciate it more when I indulge at the weekend.
What do you enjoy most about food or to eat?
I enjoy rustic relaxed food, where the ingredients shine for themselves. Obviously, late summer we have abundant ingredients. I am particularly looking forward to figs and tomatoes from our garden. Figs with delicious Parma ham or baked with ricotta cheese… mmm delicious…
Role models, do you have any and how do they inspire you?
I think a variety of people, but really surrounding yourself with good people that have ambitions that isn’t just built on material success. I am inspired by friends that are creating things or finding ways to realise their talents.
Coffee or tea?
Trying hard to ration my coffee drinking to max 3 cups a day. I think the 3rd is one too many. I’ve been delving into the anatomē teas and finding the rooibos tea a great booster in the afternoon.
What music makes you feel inspired?
Music is super important to me. I am developing a greater love for opera and renewed interest in classical music. That aside I find Philip Glass or pieces like Summerland by William Grant Still are brilliant composers to relax to. I do like to mix this with some of my pop classic catalogue that seems to stop somewhere around 2008.
What’s your favourite piece of music?
I really enjoy a piece at the moment by William Grant Still, it’s a new discovery for me. Not only was he one of the finest afro-American composers of the early 20th century, but his music is quite spiritual, visionary and something to be still and meditate to.
“The more culture you stock up in its various forms, you can always delve deeper within your soul for inspiration”
How often do you digitally detox?
Not enough, that is the shame of it. I’m trying to be much better at night. Since I created the anatomē oils, the routine of applying rest and recover incense oils to my skin each night, thirty minutes before lights out, really benefits me. Reading, even if it's just a few pages, rests my mind from the rush of thoughts.
Silence or noise?
Living London we forget how much noise fills our day, so those quiet times first thing in the morning or at the weekends are crucial - I truly value silence.
I like to think that a spoonful of really great honey every day somewhat supports my immune system. I take a Greek thyme honey (that’s probably alongside New Zealand Manuka) is the best in the world due to the density of species unique to the Greek islands. I didn’t realise until opening anatomē, the variants in quality of honey and just how expensive the very best can be.
What inspires you?
Getting out and absorbing as much possible. It’s enriching for the soul and an important life resource. I feel the more you engage with the outside world, in all its various forms, you can always delve deeper within your soul for inspiration or ways of challenging yourself. Living in London makes this easy of course, as I go to the theatre or opera most weeks as well as concerts, gallery visits etc.