The way you start your day often sets the stage for how your day will turn out.
How productive you will be and how much energy you will have can often be traced back to how you treated your body when you woke up and equally as important to how good your sleep was the night before- which is a consequence of how you treated yourself during the day. Do you see how the cycle is a never-ending loop? But for now, let’s focus on the morning and breakfast.
Most people think you can get by on an English muffin, bowl of cereal, or a granola bar and a glass of orange juice. However, if we consider our bodies to be elite race cars then these kinds of foods are equivalent to low-octane gasoline. This short burst of sugary energy only lasts for a short time until our body hits the wall and crashes mid-morning when we need to be operating on all cylinders at school or work. The best premium octane fuel for your body is not from processed carbohydrates and sugary foods and drinks, but rather from whole foods and plenty of water.
What even constitutes a “whole food”? The easiest way to know if you are eating a whole food is to ask yourself if what you are about to eat came from a garden, a tree, or from the land or sea. While a Rice Krispies treat does have rice in it, you would not be able to pick one from a tree branch! Rather, examples of whole foods are pieces of fruit like berries, olives, and avocados, and vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and carrots that you can easily identify on your plate. Healthy protein sources include lean cuts of meat like grilled chicken breast, a salmon filet, and ground lean beef. Nuts and seeds are also great options for protein and healthy fats.
Starting your day with proper hydration is also vital to your body being able to function at full capacity. As with our solid foods, our liquid intake choices have a significant impact on our energy levels. Lemonade, soda, and iced tea are loaded with sugar which floods our bodies with large amounts of sugar, causing our insulin levels to rise and then drop drastically causing fatigue, brain fog, and less ability to concentrate. Plain water/water with lemon, seltzer, or caffeine-free herbal tea are far better options to nourish your cells, help with digestion, and keep the toxins flowing out of your body.
So, now it is easier to understand why the right kind of breakfast is so important to young people while their bodies are still growing and developing. Be careful of the early morning temptations that you will likely encounter. Usually, these quick fix options are not ideal if you want to perform at your best for the rest of the day. If you can stick to lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates then you will fuel yourself with boundless energy and be able to focus on the important parts of your day like learning and succeeding.
If you really want to step up your game, combine the right breakfast choices with intentional movement and positive thinking and you can bypass any mid-morning pit stops and do a victory lap at the end of your day!
Dr. Jill 🙂