Who doesn’t love waking up slowly and having time to sit down and savor a favorite meal before going out into the world? Even if you “aren’t a breakfast person”, the way you wake up sets the tone for the rest of your day–and it can be hard to set a positive tone for your day when it begins with a feeling of stress and rushing out the door. Starting the day with a better breakfast sets the tone for a day of feeling calm, relaxed, and in charge of the pace of your activities. Read on for ideas to create your own better breakfast ritual.
1. Wake up feeling great
We all know what it feels like to wake up on the wrong side of the bed—you’re tired, grumpy, and really have no desire to crawl out from under the comforter and face the day. No one likes feeling this way, but many people accept feeling like crud in the morning because they think it is normal. Let’s aim for a new normal: prioritizing 8-9 hours of quality sleep. Alison Golden explains what this looks like in the post “Get your sleep!!!” at Everyday Paleo. Create a sleep routine you can stick to that involves time unwinding with no electronics before bed (dare I suggest a book?), a completely dark room, and thinking ahead to the next morning—during which you will be calm, refreshed, and able to enjoy your better breakfast.
2. Cook something awesome ahead of time
There are weeks when I know in advance that I will be choosing an extra 15 minutes of sleep over a special breakfast Monday through Friday. These weeks are rough! The best solution I’ve found is to bake a special breakfast dish on Sunday that I can reheat every morning throughout the week. Try quiche (aka the breakfast of champions) or a cheesy hash-brown casserole with sun-dried tomatoes.
3. Make breakfast preparation part of dinner
After you finish your evening meal, take a second to survey the kitchen. Choose a breakfast that is quick and easy to make, with minimal cooking time the next morning: eggs and sautéed vegetables, coconut porridge, root vegetable hash and chorizo, or whatever floats your culinary boat. If you are a leftovers-lover like me, you can even make an extra portion of dinner and set it aside for a quick reheating at breakfast time.
Make sure your quick breakfast ingredients are easily accessible and as well prepared as possible. Fill up the coffee maker the night before, make sure your frying pan is clean, measure out the dry ingredients for a coconut breakfast porridge—make things easy on yourself so you can eat well and still get out the door stress-free.
4. Treat yourself!
Tom and Donna’s motto from Parks and Recreation never goes out of style. Identify what makes your morning feel special, and treat yourself! I make pour-over coffee, which takes more time than drip coffee, because I enjoy the taste and the brewing process. This practice is simple and can be accomplished while I’m cooking whatever I’d like. Do you enjoy reading the paper? Listening to a podcast? Meditating? These are all great additions to a morning ritual that can be adjusted for the time your schedule allows. Start your day with whatever makes you feel good, and carry that feeling with you for a day of positive interaction with the world.