No matter your season of life, or the season of the year, it seems we are all VERY busy. We are so busy that one of the first things we sacrifice from our crammed schedule is self-care. We all know it’s important to take care of ourselves, but there is a lot of noise out there about what is really necessary to optimize our health. While there is certainly no cookie-cutter solution for everyone, below are six healthy habits that will set you up for success on your healthy living journey. Try incorporating them into your morning routine to make the rest of the day feel less chaotic.
THEY EAT VEGGIES AT BREAKFAST
If you take time to eat breakfast (and you should), are you eating what you need to really feed your machine? I promise you can do better than toast or bowl of cereal. Aim for a balanced breakfast that includes protein, fiber, fat and a variety of colors from real food to keep you satisfied and prevent mid-morning cravings. I love knowing that my breakfast is jam packed with super healthy real food ingredients to jump start my day. Try these simple Spinach Egg Cups for a grab-and-go option.
Since your body gets dehydrated overnight, drinking water when you first wake up is a great idea. And proper hydration is crucial for glowing skin and maintaining healthy muscles and joints. I like to add lemon to my first big glass of water to wake up my digestive system. Fill up your water bottle for the day and plan to refill it a few times during the day. There are too many benefits to being well hydrated to list here, but suffice it to say that you need to drink lots of water.
THEY SWEAT IN THE MORNING
If you are like me, there are way too many easy excuses to skip exercising after work. Many people find they’re most successful with exercising if it happens before heading to the office. I love getting my workout done at home in the morning with the help of the greatest library of workout videos available streamed to any enabled device. Most take only 30 minutes to do and require little or no equipment. If home workouts, the local gym, or going for a run in the morning isn’t for you, find another way to get moving in the early hours of the day. That could mean parking farther away, taking the stairs or exercising at your desk. Just 15 minutes of moderate-to-intense activity daily can help you reach your healthy living goals.
THEY MAKE A GAME PLAN FOR DINNER
Not only is meal prepping a huge time saver but it also ensures you always have a healthy option on hand. Before leaving the house in the morning, make a game plan for dinner by defrosting proteins or using a slow cooker to do the work for you. It’s also helpful to find a recipe and write down your shopping list so you can pre-order your groceries (we love the Kroger ClickList) or swing by to pick them up on your way home. My go-to healthy eating resource, 90/10 Nutrition, offers a meal planning service and integrated shopping list app that makes it easy to plan your trip to the grocery store.
THEY TIME BLOCK THEIR DAY
Whether it’s emails or social media, there are plenty of distractions that can be obstacles to getting everything done. That’s why time blocking is a great tool. Review your top to-dos, and set aside a specific amount of time for completing them. Make sure your health priorities (such as a midday workout or meal-prepping) are in the plan, too. Schedule your morning routine like you do any other important appointment.
It’s important to ensure you’re getting enough sleep, but remember to account for the time required for your morning routine. Include a few minutes to relax — I love to take some quite time to journal my prayers. Don’t feel guilty for taking a few minutes to enjoy your coffee, read the news, mediate or take a walk. Set yourself up for success by allowing for some rest time every morning.