How a Top Nutritionist, Entrepreneur, and Busy Mom Mastered Mornings

Forget the frenzied approach to getting out the door: The right morning routine can set you up for a day that's less stressful and more productive.

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Mornings are critical for me. If I just rolled out of bed and started my day without sticking to a healthy morning routine, I wouldn’t be nearly as productive or feel as energized and balanced throughout the day. In other words, I’d be one ole hot mess!

I need to feel organized, get in the right head space, and have some “me time” before diving into all of the whirlwind demands of the day. (Otherwise, I may just have email overload or some other kinda meltdown before noon…)

Sound familiar? Here’s what I do to start my day right, in case it’ll help you to follow my lead.

But First, Coffee

I’m up at 5:30 a.m. every day. Usually I don’t make it until the alarm. I am just up (even when I go to bed too late and want to sleep in!) I get up, light a candle, do a little meditation (I’ve been trying so hard to make this an absolute, but it does slip once in awhile), fit in a little bit of foam rolling about 50 percent of the time, and then have my coffee while I take a look at the day ahead.

I try to get the coffee machine ready the night before and just hit the switch as soon as I’m up, but if not, it’s the first thing I do. I definitely always drink organic, fair-trade coffee at home. I have a few different brands I’ll buy. Right now I’ve got Peak Performance High Altitude Organic Coffee, sometimes I’ll get Cafe Altura. I usually drink it with a little unsweetened almond milk, no sugar or sweetener, and a little cinnamon. (These are my favorite “healthy coffee boosters” to use instead of sugar!)

I could easily overdo it when it comes to coffee, so I’ve been trying to just have two cups in the morning and then have herbal tea or green tea, like matcha, in the afternoon.

While I sip, I take a look at my schedule for the day to see if I need to reconfirm or reschedule anything and simply make sure the day is set up to flow smoothly. Then I try to cross one “bigger” thing off my to-do list. This often feels like my most creative time—when the world is still quiet and my mind is at its best—so I try to take advantage of that by getting something productive done.

Breakfast With the Kids

I wake my son Rex up first, and I make him nearly the same smoothie every day. I throw in chocolate milk (either organic cow’s milk or unsweetened almond), spinach or whatever other green is in the fridge, a heaping tablespoon of natural peanut butter, half a scoop of chocolate Life’s Abundance Protein Powder, a banana, and sometimes a quarter or half of an avocado. And, then I chat with him (I definitely do most of the talking here, since he’s still half asleep) as he sucks it down. It’s a high-calorie, nutrient-dense breakfast that isn’t right for every kid, but I like to load him up with protein and healthy fat in the morning, and it works for him.

I might make myself a smoothie too, something like this simple Avocado Banana one, with almond milk, banana or berries, and greens. I keep it pretty simple with greens, nut milk, fat, and protein powder, and sometimes a few add-ins like collagen or maca. I would say about half the time I’ll have a smoothie. Otherwise I’ll make eggs and avocado, maybe with some Ezekiel sprouted grain toast.

I wake up my daughter Maizy up as soon as Rex walks out the door. She’s not into a set breakfast routine like Rex so her breakfast could be any of ten (or more!) different things. I might make her eggs with leftover veggies from the night before (use my guide to confusing labels like free-range and cage-free to buy your eggs!) or oatmeal with nuts, cinnamon and dried fruit or a hard boiled egg with rice crackers, cheese, and berries.

Making Lunches

I make lunches for the kids every morning, too. Sometimes the night before I might already have put some things in reusable bags to get started. Maizy always wants a real meal, not a typical kid’s lunch like a classic PB&J. I’ll give her leftovers, like if had veggie chili, I’ll put in a thermos for her or grilled salmon and veggies. For Rex, I’ll heat up an Amy’s burrito or give him a sandwich, like fresh mozzarella and tomato on whole wheat bread.

Work Out, and Off to Work

Rex leaves at 7:10 a.m. and then Maizy and I are out the door at 8:05 a.m. I drop her at school and usually go work out somewhere (like RIPPED or SLT) at 8:30 a.m., and then I’m changed and ready to get to work an hour or so later.

I try to schedule those workouts in advance, since I know there will always be a couple of days where I have early work commitments and won’t be able to make a class this late.

On those days, I either sneak in a shorter sweat session, like a quick run at 5:30 or 6:00 a.m., or I skip it…and I don’t freak out about it. There’s always the next day, especially when you’ve got a healthy morning routine to keep you on track.

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