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.”