Are you an early riser or a night owl?

A study published in The American Psychological Association’s journal, Emotion, reports early risers are happier, healthier, and more productive than night owls.

After I became a mom, I quickly realized that becoming an early riser would help me function healthily and happily in the many hats that I was going to be wearing on a daily basis. I created a new morning routine, and from the start, it was a game changer.


Start your day with a BIG GLASS OF LEMON WATER. Most of us are dehydrated first thing in the morning. Lemon water helps rehydrate, flush toxins, and improve digestion.

Take the time to PRACTICE GRATITUDE, PRAYER, OR MEDITATION. My faith has always been my steadfast guide, so I start each day expressing my feelings of gratitude. Get in the habit of writing down, or mindfully acknowledging, the three things you want to give thanks for each day.

Take time to read the news or something informational. It is important to FEEL CONNECTED TO WORLD EVENTS AND YOUR COMMUNITY. I still have the newspaper delivered to my front doorstep and I love being able to hold it or spread it out in front of me as I drink my morning coffee. Sometimes I only spend 10 minutes paging through, but at least I feel caught up with what is happening around me.

EXERCISE. I carve out two or three morning exercise periods each week. Research shows that working out in the morning is more beneficial to the mind and body than after-work or evening workouts. Morning exercise increases focus, enhances positivity, decreases stress, and improves weight-loss potential.

“Ideally, you should eat within 30 minutes to one hour of waking up…”

EAT BREAKFAST, always. It literally “breaks the fast” of the night before, providing necessary nutrition for starting your day. Ideally, you should eat within 30 minutes to one hour of waking up, always including 20–25 g of protein as it nourishes the adrenal glands (helps reduce blood sugar cravings, hunger pangs and stress during the day), while boosting your metabolism.

So skip the cereal box and try eggs, Greek yogurt, nut butters, nuts and seeds, or steel-cut oats.

Protein smoothies are also very quick and convenient options, easily portable while commuting to work or bringing kids to school. The combinations are endless when it comes to smoothie ingredients, as you’ll see below. Just be sure to lay in your supplies, so you’re always ready to start the day right!