“There’s the mommy time and then there’s the me time.”
We’ve all been there: A chaotic morning can make the rest of your daylight hours feel like you’re scrambling from one thing to the next (and dropping papers and spilling coffee along the way).
So how do you start your morning to promote a day that’s not only simplified, but also healthy? HealthiNation followed the morning routine of Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, nutritionist and cookbook author (and mom of three little kiddos) in Brooklyn, New York.
“My days are pretty packed because I’m wearing two or three different hats,” says Largeman-Roth. “There’s the mom hat, there’s the private business hat, and then there’s the taking-care-of-me hat.” Her morning has to shuffle among the three hats, so she knows a thing or two about staying sane under pressure.
What’s the secret? A finely tuned routine. “My morning is really in two parts,” says Largeman-Roth. “There’s the mommy time, when I’m getting the kids ready, and then there’s me time.” These essential pieces of her morning routine help her navigate those two parts.
She changes from PJs to workout clothes. By pulling on her workout clothes right away, Largeman-Roth says there’s about an 80 percent chance she’ll follow through with her morning exercise. It’s hard to find time to work out, so squeezing in a run before her kids wake up for school or right after she drops them off is one way to ensure it happens. (Learn more about how Largeman-Roth finds time to work out here.)
She prepares family breakfast every day. Kids like routine, too, and waking them up at the same time every day for a family breakfast might make their day go a little more smoothly as well. What does a nutritionist serve her kids for breakfast? It starts with *limiting* options. The more choices you offer your children, the more overwhelmed they can get. Largeman-Roth tries to give her kids no more than three breakfast choices. “We always have dry cereal,” says Largeman-Roth. “We always have fresh fruit. We need to have that color on the table.” Yogurt and hard-boiled eggs are also favorites in the Largeman-Roth home. Check out her tips for getting kids to eat a nutritious breakfast.
She makes a simple breakfast for herself. Once the kids are out for school, she prepares one of her go-to breakfasts: yogurt bowls or overnight oats. These come together quickly and are hearty enough to help her refuel from her workout. “I’m looking for a mix of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fat,” says Largeman-Roth.
Largeman-Roth makes it look easy, but don’t be fooled: She’s just like you. “Sometimes the mornings are really stressful, and there’s a lot of yelling going on, and a lot of ‘Hurry up! Get out the door!’” admits Largeman-Roth.
Building in “me time,” like the run or the solo breakfast, helps make those rushed, noisy moments more tolerable. “I do try to take a moment to just take a deep breath,” she says, “and try to appreciate the fact that I now have an hour to spend on me.”
Frances Largeman-Roth is a nutritionist and cookbook author in New York City.
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Mornings are really tough for
a lot of people, myself included, and
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they can be unpredictable.
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They can go in lots of
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It's a great time to
just kind of reevaluate,
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take a deep breath, and
kind of set your goals for the day.
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So my morning is really in two parts.
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There's the mommy time where
I'm getting the kids ready.
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And then there's me time.
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So what I try to do to maintain some kind
of consistency because working out is so
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important to me is I put my
exercise clothes on first thing.
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It makes it sort of 80% accurate that
I will actually get a workout in.
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It doesn't always happen,
but if the clothes are on,
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I'm pretty likely to get my run in,
or some kind of workout.
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I get the kids up at 7 AM.
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Sometimes it takes a couple of tries,
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But by 7:15 they are definitely upstairs.
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And the first thing that we
do is sit down for breakfast.
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No ifs, ands, or
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buts, they have to have a nutritious
breakfast before they head out to school.
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And I don't like to give more than three
choices because if you give kids more than
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that, then they can't make a choice.
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[LAUGH] They find it very, very difficult.
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We always have dry cereal.
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We always have fresh fruit.
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We need to have that color on the table,
and yogurt, and maybe hard boiled eggs.
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When it's nice out, we scoot to school,
so that's another way for
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me to have my exercise gear on so
I can actually keep up with them.
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We drop them off, and once the third
kid is dropped off, then it's my time.
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[LAUGH] Sometimes the mornings are great,
and everybody had a good time.
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Sometimes the mornings
are really stressful and
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there's a lot of yelling going on, and
a lot of hurry up, get out the door.
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So I do try to take a moment and
just take a deep breath and
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try to appreciate the fact that I
now have an hour to spend on me.
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So I enjoy that time.
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Once I get back from my workout,
I'm pretty darn hungry at that point.
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And so I want something hearty, but I also
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want something that looks really good
cuz I'm probably take a picture of it.
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So oftentimes that means a yogurt
bowl filled with fresh fruit and
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whole grains and
probably some seeds and nuts on top.
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I'm looking for a mix of protein,
carbohydrates and healthy fat.
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My days are pretty packed because
I am wearing, I guess, two or
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three different hats.
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There's the mom hat,
there is the private business hat, and
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then there is the taking care of me hat.
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So that time that I spend in
the morning after I drop off the kids,
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when I'm exercising and fueling my body,
that's really important.
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Because no matter what happens after that,
if I have to run into the city and
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work with a client or meet a deadline,
I know that I've had that time and
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it's really essential.
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It's really essential to feeling balanced
and to feeling like I'm not just a robot.
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[LAUGH] That I'm actually
taking care of myself.
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It also helps me think
better throughout the day.
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And when you have a really rough day, it's
always a nice thing to look forward to.
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You know the next morning
is going to be better.
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