7 Morning Routines from Nutritionists to Ensure a Healthier Day
Some days just getting out of bed feels like a win. But if you adopt a morning ritual or daily habits that set your day up for success, mentally and physically, you'll look forward to the early moments after waking up and feel better for the rest of the day. So instead of struggling to part with your pillow here are 7 a.m. routines that will make you look forward to the alarm!
So hit reset with these morning habits from Registered Dieticians who believe that whenn you ace the start of your day, you set yourself for a day of positivity, success, and crushing your healthy living goals.
1. Jump right into a virtual workout.
Despite your best intentions to tune into that Yoga with Adriene video as a mid-day break, you know that once the day gets moving it can be harder to motivate yourself to do so or find the time to step away from work or school commitments. That’s why Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, a nutrition and wellness expert with a virtual private practice based in New York City, starts most days by doing 20-60 minutes of pilates (on the Pilates Anytime platform) or a Peloton spin class.
“When I’m not in the mood to work out, I give myself permission to start with a 20-minute class, which feels more manageable,” says Cassetty. “Once I get moving, I tend to feel better and want to continue past 20 minutes, but I listen to my body and wrap it up if it feels like enough for the day,” she continues, adding that she typically follows her sweat sessions with five to ten minutes of meditation on the free app, Insight Timer.
2. Try this nutritionist’s 5-5-5 rule for quick fitness when you're pressed for time.
“Since I do not have much time in the morning, I do five minutes of stretching, five minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and five minutes of breathing,” says Tejal Pathak, MS RD, LD, CDCES, a clinical dietitian and diabetes educator based in Houston, Texas, and founder of TejRD. “This gives me a boost to my mornings. Cardio gets my circulation going, stretching helps with muscle flexibility, and breathing helps to get focused and balanced for the day.”
Looking for a great five-minute HIIT workout? Try this one from vegan fitness guru Caroline Deisler.
3. Jot down a list of things you’re grateful for first thing in the morning.
We love this simple strategy to kick off the day on the right side of the bed from Danielle Levy-Wolins, in-house Registered Dietitian at Thistle, a plant-forward meal delivery service. “Before I do anything else, I like to give thanks for being gifted another day,” she explains. “This quick redirection of my thoughts helps me start the day with gratitude.”
After her gratitude practice, it’s time to get to weight-lifting for Levy-Wolins, who has been doing CrossFit for over a decade. This leads us to her next genius morning move…
4. Go for a reflective stroll, and allow your mind to wander to clear your head.
After her 90-to-120-minute workout (!) which combines heavy-weight training with cardiovascular activity, Levy-Wolins goes on a cool-down walk. “These walks give me time to focus on what I want to accomplish that day and how to set myself up for success. Once I'm back home, I make a post-workout snack or meal (and coffee!) and get to work,” she shares.
5. Enjoy a cup of tea, and drink it slowly and savor the calm before the storm.
“My mornings start with turmeric tea made with honey, lemon, black pepper, and mint or ginger tea made with lemongrass and basil perfect for mornings in this weather,” says Pathak. (If you keep things totally vegan, opt for maple syrup in lieu of honey in Pathak’s concoction).
“It not only helps with immunity but helps with metabolism and gut health. While tea is brewed I keep the day’s fruit out on the countertop, so it is visible and easy to grab for a snack during the day,” she adds.
If you’re not a tea person, just try hot water with ginger for a similar good-for-you boost.
6. Include plenty of vegetables in your breakfast to keep blood sugar steady all day
“This may be cliché, but as a dietitian, I believe strongly in the power of vegetables! I make it a goal of mine to include vegetables in all of my meals (and most of my snacks),” comments Levy-Wolins.
That can mean adding fresh produce like peppers, onions, spinach, and mushrooms to your tofu scramble, or a handful of frozen kale or spinach to a smoothie. But whatever you eat, just be sure veggies are in the equation. Fiber-rich fruit is a great thing to include at breakfast, too
7. And don’t forget to add healthy plant-based protein to your first meal.
Protein is also key when you sit down for this first meal of the day. “Breakfast is a non-negotiable so my morning eating routine involves prepping a protein-packed breakfast. When you sleep, your body naturally goes into maintenance mode, and breaking down muscle tissue is part of this normal process,” explains Cassetty.
“A protein-rich breakfast kicks off the repair process, which helps you maintain muscle mass. If you miss this opportunity, your muscle mass will decline over time. I make a breakfast that has about 20 grams of protein, plus at least one serving of produce (fruit or veggie, or a little of each), some carbohydrate (from fruit or whole grains), and a serving of healthy, plant-based fat,” she continues.
Cassetty recommends the following plant-based eats as good sources of protein: Peanut butter (eight grams per two tablespoons); powdered almond butter (such as Barney Butter with six grams per two tablespoons), and hemp seeds (10 grams per three tablespoons).