Abigail Joy Dougherty: Registered Dietitian, Nutrition Expert & Lover of Life
2015, Eggs, Healthy Breakfast, Lifestyle Changes, Nutrition, Nutrition Tips, Registered Dietitian

How to Become a Morning Person! Part 2

Guest Blog- By Kelly Puryear

Hello, fabulous readers! My name is Kelly Puryear and I have been given the honor of writing a few “guest blogs” for Abigail as her intern dietetic student. I am a registered dietitian-in-training and I am finishing up my last semester as a distance dietetic student at the University of Alabama (“Roll Tide”)! I moved to Tampa in 2009 to complete my masters program in Exercise Science and now I work at a private personal training studio in South Tampa (Vitality Fitness) as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). I have always been passionate about fitness and nutrition and I hope to spread some of this passion to you! I hope that you are able to learn some more about nutrition from me and that you enjoy reading my blogs!

Thank you for reading 🙂

How to Become a Morning Person: Part 2

Waking-Up-Great

(Photo compliments of uratex.com.ph)

So now that you have read “How to become a morning person: part 1” and know the facts from fiction, read on for a list of healthy breakfast foods that will “jump-start” your day and set you up for success!

1) Eggs:

Eggs ensure your body is getting the right amount of protein, omega 3 fats, healthy B vitamins, and essential amino acids. Eggs also have iron, which the metabolism needs to function at its best. Make a colorful veggie omelet with 1 whole egg + 2-3 egg whites and sauteed vegetables,  topped with avocado slices and salsa! (Compliments of yummly.com)

egg white omelette

2) Plain rolled oats:

Oats have a little protein, a little bit of fat, and plenty of heart healthy carbohydrates and fiber to keep you full, satisfied and nourished throughout the day. Add your favorite berries and seeds to your plain oats for extra antioxidants, protein, and healthy fats. Looking for a quick “grab and go” oatmeal option for breakfast, then try any of these delicious and nutritious overnight oats from Daily Burn for a power-packed breakfast that is ready in minutes!

Peanut-Butter-Banana-Overnight-Oats

3) Green smoothie:

First, greens help keep your blood sugar stable due to the high level of chromium and fiber found in greens, and secondly, they promote lean body mass. Greens are also alkaline, which keeps your metabolism healthy. To bulk up your green smoothie and keep you feeling full and satisfied longer, add some healthy fats (chia seeds, flax seed, natural nut butter…), healthy complex carbohydrates (plain oats or Qunioa flakes), and protein (plain Greek yogurt or kefir)!

almond-mocha-smoothie-tall_0

(Photo and recipe compliments of www.100daysofrealfood.com)

4) Protein shake:

While whole foods are better than shakes, protein shakes are actually great for your metabolism if you have busy mornings. Choose plant-based protein powders, which are less processed than whey or soy protein powder, or use real protein-based foods (like Greek yogurt) as your base and bulk up your protein shakes with good quality carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, oats, or Quinoa) and healthy fats (seeds, nut butters, coconut milk…) Try this delicious and nutritious Fruit and Oatmeal Flax Smoothie from Sweet Remedy!

fruit and oats protein shake 

5) Berries

Berries are rich in the antioxidants the metabolism needs to do its job the best way possible and are pact with fiber to help fill you up and keep you full until lunch time. As previously mentioned, you can add berries to your whole grain cereal, plain rolled oats, plain Greek yogurt, or smoothies to add some powerful antioxidants and help boost your metabolism and energy level!

6) Whole grains

Similar to oats, whole grains contain some protein and plenty of heart-healthy carbohydrates to keep you full, satisfied and nourished throughout the day. They are also filled with fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar and prevent insulin surges that wreck your metabolism too. Choose whole grains that are naturally gluten-free (like amaranth, millet, oats, and buckwheat) and have undergone the least amount of processing for optimal nutritional benefits.

gluten-free-grains_seeds

(Photo compliments of HealthNowMedical.com)

7) Avocado

Avocados are rich in mono-unsaturated fats, B vitamins, protein, fiber and chromium. Since they contain healthy fats, they help keep you fuller longer and promote satiety. Add some avocado slices to your morning omelette, top your salad with avocado chunks, or make your own guacamole from scratch (compliments of www.goodhousekeeping.com) to get these awesome health benefits of avocados!

Guiltless Guacamole

8) Spinach

Spinach, like other dark leafy greens, are alkaline, which keeps your metabolism healthy. When the body is acidic, not only does inflammation occur, but metabolism slows down. Spinach is also filled with chlorophyll which helps cleanse your body and keeps your cells nourished to ensure a healthy metabolism. Get your spinach-fix by adding the leafy greens to your smoothie or overnight oats or by eating a big spinach salad for lunch or dinner, topped with grilled vegetables, grilled chicken, and sliced almonds!

9) Coffee / Green Tea

The caffeine found in coffee and tea alone can increase energy level and alertness, but there are also many other health benefits of a morning cup of Jo or tea (decreased risk for developing chronic diseases and increased metabolism, to name a few) which are due to their high antioxidant content. So go ahead, start your morning off with a mug of coffee or tea (just be careful with what you add … easy on the cream and sugar)!

And here is a list of foods that will help calm and relax you before bed and help improve your sleep!

1) Bananas

Bananas are loaded with potassium and magnesium, which both help to relax your muscles to give you a peaceful night’s sleep. Bananas also have the added benefit of helping to lower your blood pressure while you sleep. Try a light evening snack of 1 small banana and 1 tbsp natural nut butter to relax your muscles and have you counting sheep in no time!

2) Chia seeds & sunflower seeds

These seeds contain the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan. The tryptophan in seeds, like in turkey, raises melatonin and serotonin levels, which promotes stable sleep. Try this simple, yet delicious Chia Seed pudding (compliments of Whole Foods) as an after-dinner treat that will lull you into a peaceful sleep in no time!

chia seed pudding

3) Wheat Germ, whole grains

These grains provide you with a boost of vitamin B6, used in sleep aids for its ability to alleviate stress and anxiety. You can add wheat germ and other whole grains to an evening protein shake (with Greek yogurt and frozen banana) or into your plain rolled oats, topped with sliced almonds and cinnamon spice.

4) Decaffeinated Valerian Tea –

The natural compounds in valerian tea have been used as a sedative and may help reduce the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep. But make sure you choose decaffeinated version!

5) Cherry juice

Tart cherry juice is rich in melatonin, the sleep hormone that regulates and resets your internal clock. Be sure that you choose “no-sugar added” varieties of cherry juice and stick with an 8-ounce serving or less.

tartcherryjuicebenefits

(Photo compliments of www.traversebayfarms.com)

6) Turkey

Turkey is loaded with Tryptophan, which not only affects melatonin, but it also creates serotonin, both of which help to stabilize sleep. Make a light evening snack of 2 ounces turkey breast and 2 tbsp hummus, wrapped in a lettuce wrap to get the benefits of tryptophan and have you sleeping like a baby in no time!

7) Cheese and whole grain crackers

The whole grains in the crackers help produce serotonin. Cheese, like other dairy products, contains tryptophan. Together, they make for a winning combination for a restful sleep! Spread 1-2 ounces soft cheese (like Brie) on 5 whole grain crackers for an evening snack that won’t break the calorie bank and will help lull you to sleep.

Crackers-and-cheese

(Photo compliments of www.britishlarder.co.uk)

Well, there you have it! Now you have the tools you need for a restful sleep and to wake up ready to take on the world bright and early with a hearty breakfast!

 

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