The mornings are fast and furious for me. Often times, I am waking up early to get to the gym to help people just like you strengthen their bodies for a healthy tomorrow. I love being a personal trainer. As you know, I am also a dad. I consider my job of being a dad only second to my job of being a husband. My dad job requires long hours, stress management, and many other skills that demand a lot of a person. We all have lots to do and many of us wear our “busy” like a badge of honor, but how many times to we let that “I’m so busy” excuse get in the way of our eating habits.

Back to the mornings. Mornings are often the fastest time of day for my family. If I don’t wake up early before the kids and get mentally prepped and ready, I could be woken up by one of the following:

  • a sweet, angelic baby voice saying “daddy” from the crib
  • a cute six-year-old boy with a second-floor room with wood flooring jumping up and down off his bed
  • a small eight-year-old lady gently tapping me on the shoulder asking me what she can wear to school today

Start Your Morning Off Right By Being Awake And Eating A Plant-Based Meal

While all of these options are cute, wonderful, and warm, I prefer to be ready for them. I want to meet my kids ready to go. Ready to attack the day. That’s why the first thing I would recommend is to start your day off with two things, waking up early and a solid meal. If you are up before the kids and you know what you are going to make them for breakfast, you are set. Try to keep your breakfast, strictly whole food, plant-based. What do I mean by that? Whole fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Forget about that Egg McMuffin…it will not get you the good stuff you need to start your day off right. The easiest thing to do to stick to a whole food, plant-based diet in the morning is to think about oatmeal with fresh fruit. You can get the oatmeal in packets, but make sure there is no added sugar. I really like the Nature’s Path oatmeal packets when I am in a rush. They are low in sugar and are really wonderful. The better option would be some good old fashioned organic oats. They contain no sugar at all and just 1/2 cup serving delivers up to 5g of protein, 27g of necessary carbs and 4g of fiber! Need some sweetener? Try adding a tablespoon of pure maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon and you will be on your way. Even better, top it off with as much fruit as you want! I have diced bananas, strawberries, and blueberries on mine almost every single morning!

In trying to stay whole food, plant-based throughout most of your day, keep going strong through lunch. Making salads to take with you to work is a breeze! Remember that wake up early part from the beginning? Make sure you spend all that extra “you time” making a lunch that will super power your day and keep you going strong through the 3pm sleepy desk job slumps. There will be no slump with your power salad! Use fresh, crisp romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, black beans, diced carrots and any other vegetable you can find to make your salad. And when you’re done, top it off with some oil-free balsamic vinegar from my friends over at Bema and Pa’s! They have the best oil-free dressing in the world in my opinion! My favorite is the garlic-infused flavor! If you are lucky enough to work from home or have time to stop by your house and are looking for a different option than the salad, try Engine 2 Diet’s Fiesta Blend grain medley. In just a few minutes, you can have a completely plant-based meal that will provide amazing levels of fiber, vitamin c and enough protein to keep you on your toes for an incredible mid-day surge!

Now that you have made it through breakfast and lunch (with a few healthy snacks in-between), now it’s time for dinner. If you are working towards eating a completely plant-based diet, but just aren’t there yet, IT’S OK! If you can eat whole food, plant-based for most of your day, you will be doing wonderfully and I will be really proud of you! If you are a meat eater, still transitioning to a plant-based diet, try incorporating some meat substitutes like Gardein or Beyond Meat (both in the frozen section) into your dinner routine. Remember to keep your fruits, veggies, and whole grains on your plate too! If you can keep focused on your goals and plan for the majority of your day to be whole food, plant-based, you will have an awesomely nutritious, plant-powered week!

Cory Warren
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