Do you ever have a bad experience at home or on your way to work in the morning and that sour feeling sticks with you the entire day – poisoning meetings, your focus, and interactions with loved ones? I’m sure you have, because this happens to everyone.
What happens to you in the morning is such a powerful flint to ignite the rest of your day. That is why when it comes to your health and nutrition you need to set the tone right away, letting your mind and body know what kind of day it is going to be.
Let me share with you a perfect example. Not too long ago I was at a fitness conference and began talking nutrition with a colleague, Kyle Fields. He started telling me about his diet and he even showed me a picture of what a days worth of food for him looked like (he did this to show his clients what healthy eating looked like). Kyle is in incredible shape, he’s a fitness model and he looks like he could walk on the stage of a photo shoot at just a moments notice. So when he started telling me about his diet, I was all ears. Kyle’s diet was pretty much what I expected but what I didn’t expect was the drink he has first thing every morning, a drink I’ve come to call ‘morning grit.’ Here is what Morning Grit consists of:
- 1 cup of pasteurized egg whites
- 1 scoop Trader Joe’s greens powder (high antioxidant freeze
- dried green fruits and vegetables)
- 1 scoop Trader Joe’s reds powder (high antioxidant freeze-dried
- red fruits and vegetables)
- 1 Tbsp flaxseed oil with vitamin D
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 cup filtered water
Put all that in a shaker, mix it up, and chug it down. My first response was, ‘You drink WHAT every morning?’
Kyle repeated the ingredients of morning grit and assured me that he had this every morning.
My next question was ‘Why?’.
Kyle’s answer is really the key to him maintaining rock bottom body fat levels – all year round.
He told me that he drank morning grit because it is fast, easy, and gives him everything he needs nutritionally to start his day off right, and nothing that he doesn’t need. Kyle also says that having this uber nutritious, less than gourmet tasting shake first thing in the morning sets the tone for his day. If he is going to drink that to fuel his body then he is making the statement that he is going to do what it takes to maintain his lean and healthy body. It puts him in the mindset that he is going to fuel his body for high performance.
I’m not telling you that you need to start slugging down Kyle’s morning grit (although I have) but I recommend that you find your own morning grit. Do something first thing in the morning, every morning, that gets you energized and focused for your day. A small action or habit that tells your mind and body that you are committed to living a strong, fit, & healthy life.
I personally expanded the concept – setting the best tone for my day beyond nutrition and to several important areas of my life. This translates into me doing four things every morning to set the tone that I want. I can tell you that on days that I miss these things, my diet is more likely to falter, I’m more likely to miss a workout, and I’m more likely to be less focused and task oriented at work.
If you want to change your body and your health then you need to change your habits. Developing a routine for setting a strong, fit, and healthy tone for your day is the simplest and fastest way do to this.
Here are my morning habits that set the tone for my day.
- One glass of morning grit – This fuels me up, gets me energized, and committed nutritionally for the day to come.
- 7-10 minutes of meditation and prayer – This clears my mind, removes the clutter, and gets me focused.
- Measure my heart rate variability – I’ll write more about this in the future. This allows me to know how my nervous system is doing, from a coping with stress standpoint, so I know if I’m ready to train hard in the gym or if I need to focus more on renewal and recovery during the day.
- Re-read my list of Energy Gains – I’ll write more about this in the future as well. It is an idea I got from Dr. Frank Liptman. Re-reading this list keeps me focused on the bigger picture and what I really want to get out of life.
As I said, I’ve expanded the concept of setting the tone for my day beyond nutrition, but each of these four habits helps improve my global health (which is the most important thing). But for now, I want you to commit to setting the proper nutrition tone for your day. Morning Grit may not be your thing, but my classic Power Shake is a great way to start your day with the best possible fuel. Here is the 450 calorie version:
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
- 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 scoop green supplement or 1 tsp powdered green tea
- 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond or coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp flax seed meal
- 1/3 cup cottage cheese with live cultures
Put this all in a blender, add some ice and maybe a little additional water to achieved your desired thickness. You’re good to go. This shake contains more good nutrition than most Americans will get all day!
Don’t wait! When tomorrow comes, have my Power Shake. Set your stake in the day – letting your body and mind know that today will be different and that you are ready to get to it with the best fuel possible.