What is your morning routine like?
Are you the rushed and stressed-out type who spends 10 minutes searching for keys every morning? Or, the (somewhat annoying) type who can leisurely wake-up without an alarm, do some yoga, and spend an hour slowly getting ready, including a nice relaxing breakfast?
I aim for the latter, but somehow (AKA I spend too long on Twitter or watching the morning news) find my way closer to the former.
Did you know that you should try and wake-up at the same time every morning even on weekends? Going to bed late and sleeping in on the weekend really messes with your circadian rhythm. There is actually a term for this: social jet leg. Our social calendars and our internal clock don’t mix well. It’s like you’re flying to a different time zone and back every weekend, which is not so great for your health.
While I am a morning person, I still sleep in later on the weekend. So, I won’t try and convince you to wake up at 7am on Saturday, but it is something to think about…maybe.
Back to the point.
No matter how rushed I am in the morning, there are four things that I always do — that you should too!
1. Drink a large (>16 oz) glass of water. I leave it on my night stand so it’s right there in the morning for me to drink. I feel so foggy if I don’t do this. Plus, most people are dehydrated in the morning … unless your wake-up strategy involves guzzling water before bed to force you to get up to run to the bathroom when the alarm goes off!
Drinking lots of water every morning gets my day off on the right foot and helps me reach my water quota for the day.
A word of caution: I have started using a cup with a lid. Apparently, I thrash around a little in my sleep, which has resulted in a rude awakening more than once. Need more convincing? Here are some more reasons to drink water in the morning.
2. Take some vitamin D. I take 1000 IU every morning (talk to your doctor about what amount is right for you). With Canada being a more northern country, it is hard to get adequate vitamin D from the sun, especially in the winter. It is also hard to get enough vitamin D from your diet. I just moved back to Vancouver (from Toronto) and it has been cloudy and rainy almost every day — so that is not helping either! My sister, who still lives in Toronto, has not made my move any easier by sending me daily snap-chats of all the sun she is getting.
3. Eat breakfast! You knew that was going to be on the list. I won’t go into all the reasons breakfast is so important, because I am sure you have heard them. But if you take anything from this post, make eating breakfast a priority. Try making it the night before if that helps with the morning rush. My grab-and-go oatmeal breakfast cookies would do nicely!
I need a good breakfast with some staying power, because I don’t usually snack between breakfast and lunch. One of my favourite breakfasts is my chocolate yogurt breakfast bowl (recipe below). It is packed with protein (28 g) and fiber (19 g) to keep me productive and full until lunch. I can’t work when I am hungry (… I become hangry). So a filling breakfast is key for me.
Make sure you choose a yogurt with active bacterial cultures to get the beneficial effects of probiotics. I actually make my own yogurt with a starter culture that I got from my grandmother, who got it from her neighbour, who got it from her family. I am so curious to find out what bacteria are growing in my yogurt …
4. Lastly, listen to some upbeet music! This puts me in a great mood (I might even get a little dancing in) and it helps me feel good all day. Try it!
Chocolate Yogurt Breakfast Bowl
- I cup yogurt, plain 0-2% M.F. (if you use Greek, use ¾ cup and thin it a bit with milk)
- ¼ cup oatmeal, large flake
- 1.5-2 tbsp cocoa powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon + ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1-2 tbsp skim milk powder (optional, but this adds some nice sweetness and a little protein)
- 1 cup mixed berries
- 0.5 small banana, sliced
- 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
- Optional: hemp seeds, oat bran, sweetener (such as maple syrup or honey), vanilla
- Mix yogurt, cocoa, oats, spices, skim milk powder and sweetener (if using)
- Let sit for 10-15 min while you get ready or make it the night before
- Before eating, top yogurt mixture with sliced banana, peanut butter, and berries
This recipe was analyzed using EATracker.ca, which is a great site by Dietitians of Canada that can help you keep track of your eating and activity habits. (Values below are approximate depending on the type of yogurt used and without sweetener or hemp seeds.)
Calories: 515 kcal
Carbohydrate: 85 g
Fibre: 19 g
Protein: 28 g
Calcium: 575 mg
Sodium: 215 mg
Potassium: 1525 mg