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Rise and Shine!

Don’t you just love how early the sun rises in the summer? It sets my mood to “happy” right away. Sunrise is the most peaceful time of day.

Confession: I love getting up early in the morning, rain or shine.

Oh my, more proof I’m tuning into my mother! Growing up, I could never understand why she liked to get up so early in the morning. It still took me a number of years before I realized I actually loved being up early, before the kids and everyone else. Not just because of necessity, but because I wanted to.

My workout partner doesn’t need an alarm and pops out of bed ready to listen to the news and talk politics, etc. That’s not me! I don’t naturally spring up from my warm and cozy bed. Sometimes I have a little negotiation with myself to get my legs over the side and sit up. If I do that much, then I keep going. I “win” when I get up because I know all the compounding positive reasons I now love about getting up early.

Five Reasons To Get Up Early:

  1. It’s All About Me: When the kids were little, early morning was the only time I had to myself. At that point, I just enjoyed reading the paper with my coffee. (You parents of young children can understand this!) Now, I get up early with more purpose. I meet my friend to work out (and solve the world’s problems!). Doing this for myself sets my day in the right direction. If I didn’t get up early, I wouldn’t have time to meet up with her for exercise and bonding. Even on days, she can’t meet, I like to get in at least a 25-minute yoga tape. Some folks will use this time to meditate or get chores done, uninterrupted.
  2. Better Sleep: It’s weird to think that if I get up earlier I get better sleep. But it’s true, and the reason is that I push myself to go to bed earlier than I used to. No more channel surfing or reading into the wee hours. Going to sleep at a reasonable time is the first step to setting up my daily schedule.
  3. Routine Is Key: I find that the natural routine of going to sleep early and waking early makes me feel more in control. I like feeling organized and when my routine is in place, I tend to be more efficient throughout the rest of the day. We all know life is going to throw us some curveballs, so if I can control some aspects of my day, I feel more secure and positive.
  4. I Get More Done: Again, it seems counterintuitive to think if I go to sleep earlier I will get more done. But getting up early in the morning is like “found” time. I get a chance to work out and connect with my friend. By the time I get done, my energy level is super high, so I might water the plants or run some laundry and prep for dinner, all before anyone else has gotten up. The more productive I am early, the more motivated I am to accomplish my goals. By the time I get to work, I’ve already solved problems and checked off to-do chores. At work, I can focus on the tasks at hand instead of allowing my home to-do list to crowd my mind. Bonus: When I get in bed at night, I feel happier and more satisfied that I have led a positive and productive day.
  5. I Eat Better: I’m an emotional eater. When I’m tired, I tend to be grouchy, less productive, and negative. When I get like this, I crave foods that will give me quick energy … yup — carbs! I go for the sugary, high in saturated fats type of carbs like pastry and chips. They taste great in the moment, but then I become angry with myself that I have sabotaged my healthy weight goals. Ultimately, I crash and become grouchy. Not the cycle I want to perpetuate. Getting up early, and all the compounding positive effects set me up to make good food selections all day. Bonus: I have time in the morning to make sure I have all the healthy food choices I need, ready for the day.

“Sleep is our friend” is a favorite saying in our family. Getting good-quality sleep — and enough sleep — is key to being able to function well. Waking early has become the cornerstone of my daily personal success. Plus, when I get enough good sleep, I’m a much nicer person. (Just ask my kids!)

Wake up early! Choose to make healthy (and delicious) recipes like these:

Find more breakfast-inspired recipes in your DinnerTime Recipe Box.

Start your day with this tasty dish.

Perfect for breakfast or a late afternoon snack!

 Yummy, easy and nutritious with 17 grams of protein.