>> Thursday, May 6, 2010
Image by [phil h] via FlickrStarting a day off in a healthy way is important because it usually also sets up how you're going to feel throughout the day. If you wake up late, and skip breakfast - or eat an unhealthy one - for example, your motivation to reset back to healthy habits is often lost. On the other hand, mornings are also often seen as the stepping-off point of the day and it's important to get through them with a good, strong pace. You'll need to balance ease and speed with health, so here are some tips to get you going.
The morning ritual should actually be started the night before. Here is your chance to soak grains for a quick and healthy breakfast, for instance. Not only are there strong, positive benefits for soaking grains before eating them, but it's quick to do and makes your morning meal even quicker; there's no cooking or prepwork involved once you soak the grains. Just throw your grains plus some nuts and berries in a bowl, mix with plain yogurt, and store in the fridge overnight. Viola!
Also, as you settle down for the night, try placing a glass of water on the night stand so that it's easily within reach if or when you wake up during the night. You actually do lose a lot of water just by breathing as you sleep, so you'll want to replenish this whenever you get a chance. Waking up in the night and having a glass on hand makes this all the easier, and you can just finish it off in the morning as good start to the day.
Coconut oil can replace many of the daily-use items found in your home, and it can be a big part of your morning routine. Not only should it replace cooking oil and in most cases butter, but it's also versatile enough to be used as a toothpaste, deodorant, massage oil, and skin lotion.
Toothpaste: Mix coconut oil with water, baking soda, and a couple drops of your favorite essential oil. Naturally, mint is a good option here, but I would suggest oregano oil, too. Sure, it's not the most flowery for your breath, but it doesn't smell bad and is extremely beneficial against bacteria.
Deodorant: For this we keep a jar of coconut oil on the bathroom counter and just take enough to put a small dab in the middle of your palm, add to it three or four drops of an essential oil - lemongrass or Thieves are fantastic choices - mix well, and apply. Personally I like to use this time to apply it to my face before putting on the deodorant as well. It's not your usual deodorant, to be sure, and if you do the kind of work where you sweat a lot, it might not last the entire day - I've heard of natural deodorants needing to be applied a couple of times before. For the most part, someone working a desk job would have little difficulty adjusting to this kind of deodorant.
Skin lotion: Use very little at a time when putting coconut oil on your hands, arms, elbows, etc. This is because a little goes a long way, and a lot will just drip off once your skin is saturated.
One more tip for coconut oil: I use it daily for oil pulling. I'm not well-versed enough to give you a rundown on its benefits other than to say that it's supposed to be an Ayurvedic cleansing and detoxifying method. I CAN say that it's really cheap AND easy, and my teeth feel amazingly clean after doing it.
After getting yourself ready for the day, you then turn - if you have time - to getting your breakfast and lunch prepared. I shouldn't have to go into detail about how frugality goes a long way - there are other blogs for keeping track of your finances. Let's just say that you can, almost without fail, produce a healthier meal at home than at some restaurant. (Especially the restaurants that specialize in quick lunches.)
If you prepped your grains the previous night as mentioned before, you've got that quick, easy, and healthy breakfast already done. Beyond that, when thinking about your next meal, try just throwing some fruit, a slice of homemade bread, or leftovers in your lunchbag - you probably don't need to eat as much as you think you do and a simple meal will suffice.
Img by jeffgunnJuicing is a solid part of my morning - although it should be even more a part of my entire day, I'll admit. The great thing about juicing is that it's not too expensive while at the same time being easy and extremely healthy for you. I happen to have two centrifugal juicers; one at home, and one at work. While that constitutes a large initial expense of buying the juicers, this is what increases the ease of the process. I can juice wherever I feel like it. I toss together both a lunch and a breakfast to take with me to work, to keep myself from eating out all the time.
Hopefully you'll find some kind of useful advice or tips in this once person's general morning routine. If you have any other tips, please share them - I'm always learning, too!
This link is part of Fight Back Friday on The Food Renegade.