Here is something that you often times do not hear: I am a morning person
I look forward to getting up, fixing my coffee, eating breakfast, checking my e-mails, and then hitting the outdoors to take my dog on our daily 30 minute walk. To answer a few questions and to dig a little deeper into my enjoyable (and healthy) morning routine, continue reading!
1. Coffee, coffee, coffee. I do not skip it, mainly because I just love the taste of it and how it gets me motivated in the morning. I set my Keurig to pour one 10 ounce cup. If you like your coffee black, then kudos to you! That is the certainly healthiest way to drink it — no sugar, no cream. However, I am not that fortunate of a person. I almost need my cream and sugar just as much as I need my caffeine. The plus side? There are healthy swaps! I put one packet of stevia along with a small splash of sugar-free vanilla creamer, and then I am good to go.
If you are not much of a coffee fanatic, that is quite all right! Try a morning tea, sugar-free iced coffee, or just a cold glass of water. Be sure to adjust your morning hydration to what feels good to your own body . . . and taste buds!
2. Breakfast, breakfast, breakfast. I am that morning person that eats as soon as I wake up. The benefits? Read them here. Research shows that eating breakfast replenishes your supply of glucose as soon as you wake up, which helps to keep your energy level up and prepare you for the day. Breakfast is certainly my favorite meal of the day, and it is solely because I like to switch it up!
This morning, I enjoyed classic toast — 2 pieces of wheat bread smeared with Smucker’s sugar-free strawberry fruit spread. The benefits of this jelly are that it does contain real fruit, there are no artificial sweeteners, and there are only 5g of sugar! The whole wheat bread gives you those complex carbs that are essential for providing your body with energy and the fruit spread gives you a small sugar boost, and ultimately adds a sweeter and more enjoyable taste to your breakfast.
3. Relax, relax, relax. Once my coffee and breakfast is ready to go, I always take this time to sit down and relax. I either get caught up on my e-mails, watch an episode of Friends, read an online newspaper, or read a page from my Jesus Calling book. Whatever makes you happy and relaxed, do that.
Sometimes mornings can be crunched for time, especially when you have to be at work at 7:30 or 8 a.m. Here is my solution for this: wake up even earlier, even if that means 10 minutes earlier. I cannot stress the importance of taking time for yourself in the mornings to sip on your morning coffee and eat your hearty breakfast and get ready to face the beautiful day ahead of you.
4. A healthy dog (and owner) is a happy dog (and owner). I love to start my mornings off with spoiling my dog. She eats breakfast at the same time I do, takes her Good Morning Joint Vitamin, and then we head off for our daily 30 minute walk. We try to go on a different route each morning to switch it up a bit. Today, we came across a small pond filled with lily pads. Walking not only has physical and mental benefits, but it also gives you the satisfaction of enjoying nature and taking in the small moments around you.
If you have time in the mornings, I highly suggest walking for 30 minutes, either with your dog or alone, as soon as you let your breakfast digest a bit (this would be approximately 30 minutes after a light breakfast). Kelsie McKenzie has discussed the benefits of walking your dog for 30 minutes a day — it strengthens the bond between you and your dog, it helps control that extra weight, it improves socialization, it increases physical and mental health, and it decreases loneliness. What I have found is that not only are all of these statements true, but dog walking also increases the health of your dog, helps to calm him or her down for the day, and it gets you up and moving first thing in the morning.
I understand that sometimes mornings can be crunched for time. For specific questions regarding your own personalized schedule and how you can squeeze in a healthy and enjoyable morning routine before setting out to conquer the day, feel free to contact me directly!