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Reboot Your Morning Routine

05/18/2011 10:40 ● Published by Anonymous

Are you a morning robot, going through the same tired motions every single day? Or are your mornings rushed and chaotic, making you more of a morning monster? Morning routines don’t have to be boring or frustrating — and rebooting your routine can have a positive effect on your entire day.

Getting Started

Analyze your current routine — what’s really working and what’s not. Is your commute a source of tension? Is getting the kids out the door on time stressful and unpleasant for everyone? Look at what you need to get done and how much time it realistically takes to do those things.

Next, set a goal for the morning routine. Would you like more calm and less chaos? More energy? Would you like to get everyone out the door with everything they need? Be specific. Target one element at a time that needs changing, and then take small steps to make it happen.

Here are some tips for rebooting your routine and getting off to a great start.

Physical

Eat Breakfast. The key to jump-start your metabolism and kick off your day right is to eat breakfast. But according to a survey commissioned by Emerald Breakfast on the go!, less than 43 percent of Americans eat breakfast daily. In addition, 25 percent of Americans who eat breakfast can’t remember what they ate in the morning in the last three days, and nearly one in three (32 percent) people sometimes feel remorseful about what they eat for breakfast.

Food That Fuels. Whole grains, fiber and protein provide you with long-lasting energy. Try whole grain English muffins with a little peanut butter; Greek yogurt with fruit, nuts and granola; a fruit smoothie made with non-fat milk and a little protein powder, alongside a 100-calorie pack of almonds and walnuts.

Be Prepared. Keeping convenient breakfast and mid-morning snack foods handy, such as Emerald Breakfast on the go! Nut & Granola Mixes with dried fruit, granola clusters and Emerald nuts, can help with the morning rush and the midday slump.

Get Moving. The American Council on Exercise says that as little as 10 minutes of exercise gets oxygen-rich blood pumping throughout your system, boosting your energy and your mood. Stretching helps wake up tired muscles. Try some simple yoga poses or tai chi moves. You can also wake yourself up with a few full-body stretches by gently pointing your toes and reaching your arms above your head.

Get Some Rays. Sunshine stops the production of melatonin (which helps you sleep) and signals your brain that it’s time to wake up, so raise the shades to help you get your day going with more energy.

Mental

Me Time. Set the alarm for 15 minutes earlier than normal. Use that time to do something that energizes you — it could be reading, listening to music, meditating or a short walk. It shouldn’t be for work or chores — do something that feeds the inner you.

Re-route Your Commute. Freshen things up by taking a new route to work or school. Doing things the same way all the time puts the brain into automatic pilot. Changing things up a bit forces you to pay attention and stimulates the brain.

Emotional

Calm the Early Morning Chaos. Whether it’s because of missing shoes, unpacked backpacks or long commutes, mornings can be stressful.

— To help ease that stress, get everything ready the night before. Lay out all clothing. Sign school papers, pack up backpacks and have them right by the door. Load up your laptop bag with whatever you’ll need the next day. Put everything in the same spot near your exit door — don’t forget your keys — so your routine is smooth.

— Does your commute make you anxious? Ease the tension with music or audio books.

On the Go Eating Tips

The Emerald Breakfast on the go! survey found:

— 74 percent of Americans have eaten meals “on the go.” — 35 percent of breakfast eaters have consumed the first meal of the day while in a vehicle and 20 percent while getting dressed. — Close to three in five (56 percent) people spend more time thinking about their outfits than what they’re eating for breakfast. — 43 percent spend four minutes or fewer preparing their breakfast, while 27 percent spend less than a minute on their first meal of the day.

Break bad breakfast habits and get your day off to a good start, even when you’re in a hurry.

Plan for it. Create a weekly breakfast plan and grocery list that includes what you need for a healthy on-the-go breakfast. By planning ahead you can skip the drive-thru and the forgettable breakfast bars.

Pack your breakfast. Tuck your on-the-go breakfast right in your lunch bag next to your salad and sandwich. Granola, fruit, dry cereal or yogurt are easy-to-pack options, or try Emerald Breakfast on the go! in any of the three blends — Berry Nut Blend, Breakfast Nut Blend or S’mores Nut Blend.

Breakfast at your desk. Have some good snack options stashed at your desk. Whole-grain crackers or fruit are perfect with some peanut butter. Or, if your company has a refrigerator, store some yogurt or string cheese for the week.

Learn more about Emerald Breakfast on the go! at www.emeraldbreakfastonthego.com.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

In Print health and nutrition family matters families morning routine work
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