4 Vitalizing Ways to Start Your Day Right
THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL
Everyone knows you shouldn’t skip breakfast, but what’s the best thing to eat?
If you’re the kind of person who thinks a granola bar will suffice for breakfast, you’re wrong. Many granola bars are packed with sugar, don’t have enough nutrients and leave you hungry well before lunch. Try these quick-and-easy options instead:
Mix the following in a blender:
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- 1 banana
- 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 handful of ice
Blend and pour into a to-go cup to drink on your way to work.
Add some flavor to your favorite sugar-free oatmeal by mixing in some sliced bananas, sliced strawberries and a handful of blueberries.
Toast a slice of wheat, multigrain or flaxseed bread and slather it with peanut or almond butter. Top it with some sliced bananas. If you’re in the mood for something more savory, cover your toast with avocado slices and a sunny-side-up egg.
Sunrise sweats can help you lose weight.
If you’re not an early bird, a morning workout probably sounds miserable. But if you’re looking to lose weight, an early workout could be just what you need. A 2010 study published by The Journal of Physiology found that “fasted training is more potent than fed training to facilitate adaptations in muscle and to improve whole-body glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity during a hyper-caloric, fat-rich diet.” What does that mean? It means working out before breakfast on an empty stomach can help you shed a few extra pounds. If you get enough sleep, a morning workout can also energize you throughout the day.
CHANNEL YOUR INNER LAMA
Start your day with a quick meditation.
The Mayo Clinic recommends meditation as a way to reduce anxiety, stress and tension. Just five or 10 minutes of meditation when you wake up can lower your stress, reduce your likelihood of pain associated with headaches, and decrease your negative emotions.
We suggest the following two forms of meditation for beginners:
• Guided meditation:
Picture a place you find peaceful and relaxing, such the beach in Hawaii or the mountains in Colorado, and try to put yourself there. What do you hear? What do you smell? How do you feel?
• Mantra meditation:
Choose a word you find peaceful and calming and repeat it in your head.
STACK IT UP
Do your most important work before lunch.
Although everyone’s productivity peak varies throughout the day, research from Harvard Business Review found that on average, employees’ peak levels of alertness steadily increase once they begin working, decline after lunch and hit a low at 3 p.m.
We recommend stacking the day’s most meaningful tasks—the big projects and important phone calls—early in the day, so you can leave more mindless tasks, such as responding to emails and having weekly staff update meetings, for the afternoon.
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This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Jamie Friedlander is a freelance writer based in Chicago and the former features editor of SUCCESS magazine. Her work has been published in The Cut, VICE, Inc., The Chicago Tribune and Business Insider, among other publications. When she's not writing, she can usually be found drinking matcha tea into excess, traveling somewhere new with her husband or surfing Etsy late into the night.
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