As we enterred into a new year, many of us lookeded forward to the opportunity to begin things with a fresh, clean slate. Starting over allows us to be energized with the hope of finally tackling our hardest challenges. In the way that a new year sets the tone for the weeks and months to follow, a morning routine also stages the foundation of a person’s day.
When we were children, we lived on sugary cereals, breads, pastries and jams before a school day. As adults, our tastes and cravings for these things don’t change, but our metabolism and nutritional needs do. It becomes much more difficult for adults to consume high levels of sugar and baked goods made with processed enriched flour.
Whole grain options have become popular in recent years because health experts tout that true whole grain products are more time-consuming to digest. Because the grain hasn’t been broken down in manufacturing, it is not as readily absorbed into your bloodstream. Instead of machines processing the parts of the grain to make it smoother and more refined, your body has to put in a bit more effort with a whole grain product. That extra time and effort results in decreased sugar spikes, fewer cravings throughout the day, and diminished hunger until the next meal. Avoiding sugar will benefit the body in the same way.
And remember to eat a real breakfast! Breakfast means breaking a fast. When you start your day with breakfast, your body’s natural metabolism kicks into gear and starts to burn fuel. If sitting down to eat is a challenge, a fruit/veggie smoothie can be a good option.
All smoothies are not created equally. Making them yourself will ensure that you’re not getting a lot of extra sugar and processed foods. A basic recipe can include berries, bananas, yogurt, water, ice. It is best to skip the fruit juice. The sugar content in juices is often very high and — just like the processing of grains — you’re consuming something that is already broken down. If you like orange juice, try substituting eating an orange instead.
Coffee and teas can be added to your breakfast list, but don’t substitute them for water. Just because they are a liquid, doesn’t mean they count in your daily goal of drinking eight full glasses.
Being prepared is the key to making good choices, so be sure to have whole grains, oatmeal, fruit, yogurt on hand the night before. A few other good tips to start your day on the right foot:
- Prepare clothes for work/school the night before
- Make a short list of things to do the night before
- Prepare a lunch or healthy snacks to bring (cut up veggies, nuts, fruit)
- Give yourself enough time to avoid rushing
And the most important part – if you start your day with sugar and starch, you will have an extremely difficult time avoiding it the rest of the day. Trust me, I took my daughter to a Chinese buffet today. I didn’t overeat and mostly ate the veggies and noodles with a small bit of dessert. Nevertheless, I’ve been eating carbs and sugar all day long.
Follow along Dee’s journey at http://www.gettingthebestoffood