The Morning Routines of Successful People
How Daily Harvest changed the way I start my day
There are two types of people in the world: the risers, who hit the ground running at the first whisper of their alarm clock, and the snoozers, who prefer to hit their favorite button a few times as they slowly wind themselves up for the day. I am a riser. I always have been. For me, mornings are delightful, the rising sun a source of boundless energy and optimism. My boyfriend on the other hand is a maximum snoozer. He has a tendency to delay the inevitable moment of awakening to the last possible moment, working his alarm to the point of exhaustion, when the whispers become shrieks so loud that I wonder if he is the only one in the neighborhood left to acknowledge them. I often give him a hard time for this lifestyle choice he seems so attached to but, if I’m being honest, mornings can actually be a struggle for me too, albeit in a different way.
The truth is that being a riser or a snoozer doesn’t determine the kind of day that lies ahead for you. We all wake up, eventually. I can be out of bed before my alarm even goes off, energized and ready to take on the day while others are still dreaming and yet still manage to leave the house late, ungroomed and hungry. How is this even possible? How did my morning somehow defy the laws of physics by swallowing those precious early hours I expected so much from? What I’ve finally come to learn is that the difference between a successful day and a mediocre one at best is the practice of an effective morning routine.
Rethink your routine
Ironically, I discovered that what I needed was to slow down, not speed up. I realized how damaging checking my phone first thing in the morning was for me. By starting my day with the chaos of the digital world, I was preventing myself from focusing on my real world and feelings, unknowingly setting a mood that would carry on throughout the day. Small lifestyle choices like starting my day with a few deep breaths (I’m not quite at the meditating level, but I am working on it), centering myself before getting out of bed and not checking my phone until after I have made my breakfast or had some quiet time to myself have made a world of difference.
The most important part of your morning
Developing a morning routine and sticking to it was the health hack I didn’t know I needed. It has helped improve nearly every aspect of my physical and emotional well being. My first step in developing a morning routine was improving my breakfast habits. For this, I’ve recently turned to Daily Harvest - a food plan that delivers chef-crafted recipes to my door every week or month, whenever I need them. Their food is built on organic fruits and vegetables crafted by their in house chefs and nutritionist. And everything is one-step and ready in five minutes or less. I have a weekly plan, so I fill my box with an assortment of smoothies, soups, and bowls I’d like whenever I want them delivered. It’s been life-changing for my busy mornings.
The benefits of getting some nutrition in at breakfast time are well understood at this point: improved energy and focus throughout the day, plus it helps kick start your metabolism and can lower blood sugar levels, just to name a few. But chaotic mornings would often leave me skipping breakfast only to regret that decision a few minutes later when the same adrenaline that pushed me out the door mutated into those annoyingly familiar stomach growls. I knew this had to change. And that’s why I love Daily Harvest. They have more than 65 different options like Smoothies, Oat Bowls, Soups, and more - full of fruits, veggies, and superfoods. The Mango + Greens smoothie, and Acai + Cherry smoothie made it easy to incorporate a nutritional breakfast into my morning routine. On those days when time gets the best of me, all I have to do is grab a smoothie from my freezer on my way out the door. When I get to my office I’ll throw it in a blender with some almond milk that I keep in the fridge, then pour it back into the cup it came in and I have a delicious and nutritious breakfast that will keep me going for hours. This is a major upgrade from the banana that I would once throw in my bag, only to find it mushy and borderline inedible by the time it made the voyage to work.
The ingredients Daily Harvest uses are also a major factor. Not only are the recipes made with organic fruits and vegetables, but they also incorporate a ton of other fancy ingredients that are difficult to source or find in your local grocery store, let alone know how to use them . They enhance their recipes with “functional foods” that have benefits that can boost your immune system and overall health—ingredients like turmeric, an “anti-inflammatory superstar,” or chlorella, which protects your body from harmful environmental toxins, make eating luxuriously accessible and affordable, and mean that I can get this added superfood boost first thing in the morning.
Use your morning to set the tone for your day
After realizing how much simpler Daily Harvest had made my mornings, this journey to better breakfast habits has ended up improving my eating habits for the whole day. I often find myself grabbing a Daily Harvest soup or Harvest Bowl to pack with me for my workday. I look forward to the Green ChickPea + Kale Curry Soup later in the afternoon when I’m starting to drag. All I have to do is add water (or broth, if I’m at home and have it on hand!) and heat the bowl up for a filling cup of soup, so it’s a great option to help me feel like I’ve had a hearty, satisfying snack even on the days where I just can’t seem to think ahead to plan for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If I’m feeling like doing a little extra, I’ll prepare some brown rice or quinoa to serve the soups over for a little extra substance. I also love the Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl at the end of a long day when I’m too exhausted to cook an entire dinner for myself—it’s as easy as heating it up on the stove or even in the microwave for 4 minutes. Sometimes I’ll top it off with fresh herbs or avocado if I have any on hand. I like to use the convenient cups as a starting point, and taking just a few extra steps to make them my own.
I was initially skeptical of what the convenience factor might mean for me nutrition-wise, but I was surprised to learn that the nutrient content of frozen fruits and vegetables is usually the same as fresh, and in some cases may even be higher! For some reason I had this idea in my mind that eating fresh foods was always the better option. But it turns out that’s not always the case since often times the produce you find in the grocery store is picked before its peak and ripens in transit to the store. Daily Harvest partners with farms to source the best fruits and vegetables, which are then frozen within hours of being harvested to lock in nutrients and flavor. This false narrative that frozen foods are a negative thing led to an enormous waste of food in my house, too—always being on the go meant that I never managed to get through all of the fresh produce I thought I would, meaning I’d find myself throwing away bins of limp produce I hadn’t gotten around to cooking by the end of each week. Having a constant selection of Daily Harvest available has meant that I am consuming more nutritious ingredients than ever before without the added guilt of wasting food.
Incorporating breakfast into my morning routine, and eventually a nutrition plan for the entirety of my busy day, has had an immensely positive impact on my well-being and was so much easier to do than I thought it would be. When you’re properly nourished and feeling ready to take on your day, you’ll be surprised at how much energy you have to focus on other aspects of your morning routine, and your daily life.
This reevaluation of how I kick start my day has shown me something vital: I’ve discovered that it’s not the quantity, but the quality of your hours that matter. Taking just a little time to take care of yourself will reap so many more benefits in return. With an effective morning routine, and the right nutrition to give you a head start, the possibilities for your day are limitless.