Recently waxing nostalgic upon my days of rowing  on the crew team, I recalled seeing a  bumper sticker at a regatta my freshman year of college.  It went something like this:   

“We get more done before 6am than most people do all day.”

If you don’t know anything about rowers, they wake up really early to work out!

There was a great article I once read on the Fast Company website entitled What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast .  Personally, I feel on top of the world when I wake up with a one track mind to be productive and goal oriented.  All of the points in the article can definitely be used to encourage health and nutrition achievement, and, just as importantly, maintenance.  

Let’s look at a couple of points from the article:

“Monitor your energy: Building a new habit takes effort, so take care of yourself while you’re trying. Eat right, eat enough, and surround yourself with supportive people who want to see you succeed.”

Often when we’re trying to build success, whether in our careers or personal lives, we sacrifice self care. We limit sleep, swap energy boosting foods for fat and sugar laden convenience foods, and even dehydrate ourselves by forgetting to drink water.

  • Use your smart phone to find the healthy options on restaurant menus. Apps like Clean Plates or HealthyOut.  With info like this, there’s no excuse not to eat well on the run!
  • Tired and sluggish? Don’t drink much water?  You may be dehydrated. Make a goal to keep a water bottle with you throughout the day and decide on a specific amount to drink.  Don’t like plain water? Get a bottle that allows you to infuse fruit and herbs into the water for a more flavorful beverage. Define Bottle has a variety of containers and donates a portion of profits to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
  • Choose foods with a combination of protein + carbohydrate + a little fat to keep you satiated and DON’T skip meals.

“Choose one new habit at a time to introduce: If you want to run, pray, and write in a journal, choose one of these and make it a habit before adding another.”

It’s so easy to be gung-ho right out of the gate, but is that sustainable for most people?

Chances are, if you add too much of anything at once, you may be setting yourself up for failure. The same goes for eating habits. When you make that executive life decision to become healthier and make a list of the many foods you’re going to avoid or add, it’s often too much to handle.

Start slowly.  Think of ONE change you can make and stick with it. Once it becomes a habit, add something else.   

For example:

  • Make it a goal to add 1 new vegetable to your culinary repertoire each week.
  • To support your productive morning activities, give your body a hydrating jolt by drinking a glass of water immediately after waking up.
  • If you drink 3 sodas per day, make it a goal to only drink 1 soda. From there, you may find it easier to wean yourself off completely.
  • Next time you’ve got the munchies at Starbucks, make it a goal to purchase their roasted almonds instead of a sugary, empty calorie treat, like a scone or muffin.  The pastries may look tasty, but you will be hungry shortly after!  The almonds, with a combination of protein and fat will tide you over until your next meal.

After you realize how much better you feel, you’ll want to add new goals one step at a time!

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