Good Morning! or is it?
After your morning routine, do you feel energized and ready to take on the day? Or do you have that barely-moving-wanna-crawl-back-in-bed feeling?
You may have your routine to blame.
Imbibing gallons of coffee, skipping breakfast, or worse–grabbing a honeybun, downing your favorite diet cola or “doing the Dew” are all ingredients for the recipe of a morning crash. And if crashing your day is your preferred activity then you should stop reading.
But if you want to THRIVE each day, then read on!
I want to challenge you to think of morning in a completely different light. Morning is not just the start of your day, but rather the end of a long period of rest but no food and no water. In other words, you actually wake up with an empty stomach and a dehydrated body.
Step 1. Drink Water First
Make hydration a quick priority each morning
Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Andrew Weil shared this advice on the Dr. Oz Show: Drink at least 8 ounces of water within 30 minutes of waking. This does two things: 1) Hydrates your body after sleep. 2) Jumpstarts your metabolism, “igniting your your engine” so to speak. This critical step helps you start burning calories more quickly by activating ”the gastrocolic reflex, which encourages elimination and provides an instant pick-me-up.”
The most common cause of minor headaches is dehydration; it can even trigger migraines. So be sure to drink water throughout your day to stay hydrated and energized. Filtered water is best; the less chemicals and additives you can drink, the better. Steer clear of some bottled waters–they contain salt for flavor and extra calories from additives like electrolytes. And don’t let marketing terms like “Vitamin Water” fool you… Get your vitamins from food, not clever marketing.
Step 2. Eat Breakfast
But SKIP the processed foods
We’ve all heard “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But do we know why?
Our bodies are designed to “Fuel with Food First” each morning. Your body has been resting for hours–and fasting for hours. After a night’s sleep, fueling your body with a formula of protein, a complex carb and a fat is the best way to wake up your body and get it revved up for the day. Ideally, eating breakfast should happen within one hour of waking.
One of our favorite breakfasts consists of 1 egg (boiled or scrambled), 1 cup of low-fat plain yogurt with 1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds, blueberries/strawberries or any kind of real fruit and 1 tablespoon of nuts like walnuts or pecans. The egg and yogurt contain protein and some fat. Chia seeds provide an array of benefits including Omega 3 fatty acids and suppressing appetite. Fruit is an ideal complex carbohydrate as well as being a source of critical antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. (Warning: If a diet tells you that you can’t have fruit, it is a BAD diet. Don’t believe it! Sorry, had to get that out.) The nuts provide excellent protein and fat.
Step 3. Drink Coffee or Tea.
Just one cup–too much caffeine can have a countereffect
While experts suggest that a 4-6 oz. cup of coffee is actually good for you and can jumpstart your brain and body, too much coffee can actually make you more tired throughout the morning. According to Dr. Oz, drinking too much coffee causes a surge in your metabolism that can lead to a crash (similar to what a “sugar high” will do) making you feel more tired and he says that caffeine has a “dehydrating effect,” which adds to the dehydration you already experience upon waking.
Here’s an EXCELLENT article on the benefits of drinking coffee from Mercola.com.
If you get your caffeine from tea, apply this one cup rule as well.
Step 4. Take Your Vitamins
Use the energy vitamins give to your advantage
Years ago, my family physician recommended I take my vitamins and supplements in the morning. Why? Vitamins give you energy and can often interfere with sleep if taken at night! It makes sense if you think about it. And ramp up the Vitamin C, especially during cold and flu season. Take at least 1000 mg per day, more if your immune system is compromised or you’ve been around others who are sick. This is a recommendation by my doctor, but you can read more about Vitamin C here.
Step 5. Ditch the Sodas
Let’s face it, there is NO redeeming quality to sodas, regular or diet. Filled with preservatives, artificial colors and sweeteners, and high-fructose corn syrup, sodas are our body’s enemies. Research published in 2007 for the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) linked the preservative sodium benzoate to hyperactivity in children. When used in moderation, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a major cause of heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, tooth decay and more according to Dr. Mark Hyman. Don’t miss this article by Dr. Hyman explaining the adverse effects of HFCS. Since the introduction of HFCS into mainstream usage in sodas, ketchup and numerous other products in 1979, food allergies have risen 283%! Robyn O’Brien does an amazing job breaking down all this information in her book “The Unhealthy Truth.” It is best to eliminate HFCS from your diet
Before you think that your diet soda is a better option to sugar and HFCS, another article by Dr. Hyman might help you better understand the effects of diet colas. Read this shocking excerpt about diet drinks:
Those who consume diet drinks regularly have a 200 percent increased risk of weight gain, a 36 percent increased risk of pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome, and a 67 percent increased risk of diabetes. A study of 400 people found that those who drank two diet sodas a day or more increased their waist size by five times.
Artificial sweeteners fool the mind into believing you’re enjoying sugar while increasing your body’s craving for sugar and food. Some artificial sweeteners have been linked to cancer, depression and other disorders and diseases.
Step 6. Awake with Positivity
Speak a word of thanks, a prayer or a positive thought
Even if you’re typically a pessimist, try to start each day with positive thoughts. A great way to do this is to utter aloud at least one thing you are thankful for each morning. It could be your family, your job, or just that you awoke and have breath to breathe. Quietly meditate on this thought for a few minutes and even speak a prayer if you’d like. These quite moments are a perfect way for you to gain focus, clarity and the right frame of mind before you embark on the journey of this day.
Step 7. MOVE Your Body
Carve out time at least 3 days a week
We all know the benefits of exercise. But did you know it is proven to give you energy, brighten your mood by triggering “feel good” endorphins, and give you an overall better health feeling. You’re more likely to exercise regularly in the morning. Consistent exercise– 30 minutes or more three to five days per week — strengthens your heart, body and mind. And it doesn’t have to be spectacular or costly. Walking is a fabulous way to exercise. Bottom line to better health and better days? MOVE!
My hope is that you can benefit from this post. Share it with friends and let’s all do our part to make each day better, beginning at the start of the day. I’d love to hear other ideas you have for making the start of your day great!
Let’s Thrive, Y’all!