Everyone’s looking for a magic bullet. The ONE thing you can do to improve your health or make you a better mom or shift your business into high gear. What if I told you I found one thing that has changed all three?
That’s right. One meal changed my attitude towards life and has had positive repercussions everywhere. Let me tell you how.
About a year ago, it became quite clear to me that I needed a bit of a reboot: I was starving for lunch by 10am, craving cookies at 3pm, and ready for bed before my 8-yr-old. What’s more, I couldn’t get any ideas off the ground for my holistic health business and felt like a failure all around. Definitely a case of the shoemaker needing a dose of her own medicine! (See, even my metaphors were mixed.)
Enter an online breakfast challenge: 5 days of a solid morning meal and some life wisdom to get me back on track. Seemed like a good a place as any to start.
I’ll admit, it took a few days of resistance to get me through the initial commitment, but the difference it made to my day was INSTANTLY remarkable.
• Being so satiated, you can put your head down and focus on your work all morning.
• Your blood sugar stable enough to prevent a meltdown when your project hits a major roadblock.
• No mid-afternoon slump
• No sugar cravings
• AND you’re still awake enough after the kids are in bed to hang out with your sweetie.
In the last 6 months, my productivity has improved (aka my income increasing), I have time and energy for more exercise, and I’m more present for the whole family.
This wasn’t about creating some strict regimen that I’ve I had to stick to religiously. It was about taking the time to make myself a wonderfully nourishing meal. And through the experience, a whole spectrum of life lessons opened before me.
First, was the reality of taking 15 minutes every morning to prepare the meal. To introduce a new habit into your day, you need to take the time, make the time for it. (Yes, you may have to get up 15 minutes earlier.)
When you’ve made that effort to cook a beautiful breakfast, you’ll want to sit down and enjoy it fully. I’m always getting on my clients to sit down and enjoy their meals. This includes breakfast. We’re all so stressed and rushed and needing to get places that the very basic concept of filling the fuel tank before hitting the road becomes an afterthought.
I also saw the effect my breakfast had on the family. My youngest has never been one to eat much before school. I always chalked it up to his not being hungry so early or school day nerves. Last year, as I continued the habits I’d instilled in the summer, I would sit and eat with him, rather than flit around packing lunches and throwing the laundry into the dryer. Wouldn’t you know, he sat and ate a proper breakfast too. How could I have expected him to sit and eat when I wasn’t?
Another long-term effect has been better food choices throughout the day. Having started the day with a good dose of protein, minerals, vitamins and complex carbohydrates, I’m more inspired to continue with more of the same through the day, be it lunch, snack, or supper.
But the biggest shift for me has been the attitude of commitment and forgiveness that now permeates all aspects of my life.
There are days when I go back to a bowl of cereal or a piece of toast, when I dip into the bag of cookies, when I graze my way from teatime to bedtime. There are days when I want the fries with that.
By starting the day with a nourishing breakfast, I’m wiping the slate clean.
>>It sends a message of being worth the time and energy to every cell in my body.
>>It reminds me that if I fall off the focus wagon in my work – a day lost to Facebook or “just one more episode” of The Mindy Project – I can start fresh in the morning.
>>It’s removed my need for perfection and reignited by belief in commitment.
It all starts with breakfast.
1. At least 25% of your daily caloric intake
After 12 hours (in theory!) of not eating, your stores of brain-food (glucose) are depleted + you need enough energy to get you fully functional for the day.
Even if you’re trying to cut down on animal protein, this is the meal to eat it! The nutrients you eat in the morning need to be easily accessible. Ready to use. The BEST source in terms of assimilation? Eggs.
Bonus: Eggs also contain some of the good fats your brain needs and the lecithin to ensure they flow easily through your arteries.
3. Complex (whole) carbohydrates
I’m not talking flour-based products. I mean whole grains and starchy vegetables. Carbohydrates are your main energy source; that’s where the starch in things like sweet potato or brown rice are a good thing.
You’re also looking for sustainable energy. The high fiber in these choices means that energy will be released slowly through the morning.
4. Green vegetables
Leafy greens nourish you with the vitamins and minerals your body needs to effectively use the protein, fats & glucose.
5. Lacto-fermented food
This is a condiment: a spoonful of sauerkraut or a dollop of miso. Other than add zing to your meal, it feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut and stimulates digestion…and elimination.
Play around with it to see which foods work best for YOU.
Click here to grab a free, colorful PDF to pin to your fridge.
What healthy habits help you kick start your day?
Latest posts by Cathy Cochrane (see all)
- Getting Unstuck: How To Move Your Vision Forward - July 25, 2017
- Better Health Without Adding a Thing to your To-Do List - October 28, 2015
- The Meal that Changed my Business - July 24, 2015