Optimize Your Breakfast for More Energy All Day

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The report is due in two hours. Or perhaps you’re in the middle of a mid-term exam. Or you’re making sales calls. Suddenly, bam! Around 10:30 a.m. you hit a wall. All you want to do is look out the window.

Hmmm...what did you eat for breakfast?

I hate to say, “I told you so,” so I’ll turn to Mom, who has said it countless times: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s the meal that’s designed to supply a third of the macro and micro nutrients your body needs to run without a hitch.

So what are you eating each morning to do all these things? A cup of coffee gulped down on the go? A cup of sugary yogurt and a muffin eaten at your desk? Nothing at all?

Your body deserves so much better than that. And so do you!

When you eat a good breakfast, your day goes smoothly. No growling stomachs, low blood sugar shakiness, or wandering attention to keep you from nailing those big goals you’ve made for yourself.

What Breakfast is Right for You?

One of the best—and most fun—ways to find out which foods serve YOU most powerfully is something called the Breakfast Experiment. For one week, eat a different breakfast each day. Record in a notebook what you ate, how you felt immediately after the meal, and how you felt again two hours later.

  • Day one: Scrambled eggs or tofu

  • Day two: Bean soup or a bean salad

  • Day three: Oatmeal

  • Day four: Boxed breakfast cereal

  • Day five: Muffin and coffee

  • Day six: Fresh fruit

  • Day seven: Fresh vegetables

    Feel free to repeat the experiment for another seven days with different foods each morning. Which breakfasts made you feel energized? Which ones didn’t? After the experiment, try adding in more of the foods that made you feel great!

Are you looking for more help implementing healthy food and lifestyle changes? It's hard to do on your own. The accountability and expertise you receive with a health coach can help you reach your goals much faster, and help good habits stick. Set up a free 1:1 sample session with me to learn more!

Take the Self Care Holiday Challenge

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The holidays are in full swing! You might be traveling, going to more social events, and faced with many chances for overindulgence. All of these interruptions can make it easy to lose sight of your goals. Personally, I’m going to be doing a little challenge over the next two weeks to help stay on track, and I hope you’ll join me!

The Self Care Holiday Challenge: Take at least an hour, a few days per week for the rest of the year, to do some act of self care. 

Sounds easy enough, right? Taking a few moments for yourself out of the next couple of weeks can help you stay on track, reduce stress, and set you up for a healthy start to 2018. Some things to consider for those “self care” hours include getting a massage, taking a walk with your favorite people, meditating, reading a book, taking a tea break with family, or getting some sleep. 

I plan to try a few of those self care options, but the one I’m most looking forward to is sleep! I have a hard time sleeping too late into the morning, so my goal will be to start my bedtime ritual earlier in the evening a few days over the next couple of weeks so that I can get a bit more sleep. High quality sleep (7-8 hours for most adults), can make all the difference in your mood, your ability to solve problems, and your ability to make healthy eating choices. 

In my opinion, you never need an excuse to take time for yourself. But, if you need some encouragement, I’m here! What self care activities will you add in over the next two weeks? Send me an email at sara@gosimplewellness.com.

 

 

Using Morning Rituals to Better Harness Your Energy

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I wouldn’t call myself a morning person or a night owl. However, I feel that my best creative and mental work happens in the morning. Long ago, I wanted to find a way to better harness this energy, and developed a morning ritual that would get me from bed to productivity as quickly as possible. Caveat alert! Everyone is different, but I figured I would share what my current morning ritual looks like, and maybe you’ll find something that you can apply to your own morning. 

1) A quick walk. My dog needs one, and it is a good way to get the body moving and get some fresh air first thing in the morning. I often don’t feel quite ready for a more intense workout in the morning, so a walk is perfect. I used to try to do my workouts early in the morning, but it would drain me. Lately, my regular workout happens around lunch time. I have found that exercising at that time of day also helps me stave off the afternoon slump! But everyone’s different!

2) Breakfast. I know some people are not very hungry in the morning, but that is not me! I wake up ready to eat, and if I wait too long to eat my energy drains pretty quickly. My usual breakfast these days is some steel cut oats dressed up with frozen organic blueberries, shaved coconut, pecans, flax and chia seeds, and a heavy dose of cinnamon. I have been lowering my added sugars in the morning for months, and the blueberries give a nice sweetness that isn’t overpowering. And I try to pack in a lot of antioxidants and nutrition in this first meal of the day.

While my oatmeal is cooking, I steep some organic green tea. My favorite brand is Numi Organic Gunpowder Green Tea. I also have a small glass of almond milk, because I am usually feeling a little thirsty when I first wake up. Between the two beverages, I’m feeling well hydrated!

3) Brain Games. While I’m drinking my tea, I devote 10-15 minutes each morning to some sort of brain activity. Lately, I am using Duolingo to brush up on my Spanish skills. Otherwise, I try to do a quick meditation.

4) Game plan. I list the “must do” activities for the day. These are things that absolutely cannot be put off another day, or tasks that need to be worked on to keep a project’s momentum. This list also includes appointments or places I need to go. I try not to put a lot of things on the day’s to-do list. I have another list of weekly tasks that I can pull from if I have time for more projects, and I also pull from this list when creating my daily list so that everything gets done over the course of the week. Of course things come up, so limiting the “must do” list leaves the door open for those last minute activities.

Then, it’s time to get started! Start to finish, this morning routine is usually about 30-45 minutes. It may seem like a lot, but just taking that time to set up my morning makes a huge difference in my day.

What is your morning ritual? Is there something you want to tweak or add in your own routine?