...I said to the sun, “Good mornin’ sun

Rise and shine today…

‘Cause it’s a good day for payin’ your bills

And it’s a good day for curin’ your ills

So take a deep breath and throw away your pills

‘Cause it’s a good day from mornin’ to night.”

David M. Barbour/Peggy Lee

Getting off to the right start can have a significant impact on the quality and effectiveness of your entire day. We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I say that’s true for a variety of reasons, and that is why breakfast is the third important element that needs to be included in your everyday morning routine:

“First thing” water, (1-2 bottles) and water throughout the day totaling at least 85 ounces.

5-10 minutes of “in bed” deep-breath stretching (gratitude list, praying, talking to God)

Metabolism enhancing breakfast (30g of protein; eggs, meat or shake)

If you are a person who has historically eaten doughnuts and coffee on the run, a quick bowl of cereal or skipped breakfast entirely, this recommended morning routine may seem complicated or a bit of a pain in the neck at first. However, I assure you it is well worth making it a habit. It will save you from two evils, hurry and indecision. Believe in the routine and stick to it. Think of food as fuel. Stoke the furnace and oil the pistons.

When you eat the correct amount of protein, your brain sends the signals to repair and regenerate your muscles. While the muscles are repairing, a happy side effect is that they’re also burning excess fat and becoming healthier. Muscle health is the single greatest indicator of vitality and longevity. Nourished muscles will help you feel and move better.

We all know a hundred ways to indulge and fall off the “diet” wagon, but it’s actually how we deal with it that is most important. Not reacting appropriately costs us precious time.

There is a mind game people play with themselves. Let’s say they slip. Maybe it’s a trip to the dessert bar at lunch. Instead of jumping right back into their “discipline shoes”, they say to themselves, “Oh well, I already blew it so I’m just going to go to town and have a sundae, half a pizza, three pieces of raisin toast with PB & J.” You know your personal favorites. Of course, this is followed by, “I’ll start fresh another day,”... all this instead of an immediate course correction.

Consistently putting off what we know we should be doing, making excuses and kicking the can down the road, is an overall energy drain and a dose of self-sabotage that none of us needs. “I’ll just start tomorrow or Monday or at the first of the month or after Valentine’s Day or after my birthday.” etc., does not serve anyone well. Action is too often deferred or delayed. People quilt together a pattern of poor choices that can lead to a weight gain every year which can be devastating to both physical and emotional health. So let’s not do that! Instead, I invite you to start anew with my three-step morning routine.

How would you like to have a delicious, guilt-free omelette for breakfast any morning you’d like to? My 82-year-old father does most mornings, and lost 44 pounds of fat in five months. Not only can you lose the fat, you can keep it off, as he has for over three years. He said, “Now that I understand how to choose food and do the protein requirement math, it makes it incredibly simple! I would never go back to my old way of eating which made me so fat and uncomfortable.”

Give it a go! You make my easy “Good-Day” omelette with ingredients from any grocery store. Throw two eggs in a greased pan, pour in carton egg whites to cover the bottom of the pan, stir, put in two slices of chopped boiled ham, and cover. Wait until it’s cooked through, place 1 slice of swiss cheese on one side and then fold eggs over to cover. Serve with 1 piece of toast with cottage cheese and salsa on top if desired. This recipe delivers 30 grams of protein to feed and repair your hungry, fat burning muscles. Enjoy!

Make it a great day. Be kind to one other, and to yourselves.

Marilyn McConnell is a wellness expert who, over three decades in Toronto and Chicago, has helped people with personal presentation, weight loss, longevity, organization, downsizing and related lifestyle design. She now lives in Arcadia, much closer to her immediate family. 312-659-2424

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