How to Start Your Day with a Healthy Bank Account Deposit
Before I get too far into this, I want to give you a frame of reference about the type of food that I grew up eating. For breakfast I had store bought cookies that were individually packaged and that I microwaved for extra texture. For lunch was a peanut butter sandwich on white bread with an apple and some store bought rice krispie squares. Dinner was some sort of ground meat with french fries and ketchup. Every now and then I’d have a banana or eat a carrot.
I didn’t realize that every time I ate some fast food instameal I was robbing my own bank.
Your Body as a Bank Account
Every action, every morsel, every breath you take is either a deposit or a withdrawal from your body’s health bank account. If you’re rushed and you hold your breath, this increases your fight or flight reaction, speeds up your heart rate, and takes a chunk out of your bank account.
If on the other hand you have some lightly steamed broccoli, maybe a big salad, or drink a tall glass of water, you’re putting funds into your bank account. At the end of the day you can tell whether you were thrifty or spendy. Worse, at the end of many weeks, months, and years you can see the cumulative effect that you get from the “interest” adding up over time.
How Getting a Good Start to the Day Has Snowball Effects
You know how as a kid you learn the effects of compound interest and marvel at how much money you’d have by now if only you had started investing when you were two years old? Well I believe with our health that there’s no time like the present. You might not be able to go back in time, but you have a fresh start every day – starting with your first meal.
One of the biggest shifts in my productivity happened when I started having a healthy breakfast. It may sound trite, but really breakfast is what will set you up for a successful day. I started drinking a green smoothie every morning when I was in college (recipe at the end). I knew making a smoothie from fresh fruits and vegetables was healthier than eating cookies or granola bars… but I never expected that my grades would improve. They did.
One little shift can change the way your whole day progresses.
The Connection Between Energy and Productivity
Let’s look at what happens when you consume sugar. Let’s take my example of cookies for breakfast, which contain lots of sugar, and simple carbs that then convert into more sugar in the bloodstream. Once the body gets that sugar hit, it releases insulin. This is actually a drastic measure, since you’re flooding your body with sugar, so you experience a crash from your body’s pendulum swinging the other way.
Over time, you can become insulin resistant, which means that your body can’t handle the sugar anymore and this can lead to diabetes. This isn’t meant to scare you, but rather to help you understand why you feel that afternoon slump of energy after lunch… and why you wake up feeling cranky and tired. If you’re riding the sugar roller coaster to get stuff done (we’ve all been there, no need to feel guilty!) then you’re going to have a hard time falling asleep.
Each crash must be chased with another influx of sugar, otherwise we just feel like crap. That’s when we usually go in for that second (or third!) donut, that soda, or the next carb-rich meal.
You might also relying on coffee and alcohol to manage your energy and states. The beauty of seeing your body as a bank account is that you can keep adding deposits (green drinks, low glycemic fruit, water, salads) and stop withdrawing (sleep 8 hours, de-stress, exercise, remove toxins & hard to digest food)… and you’ll soon find yourself full of naturally occurring energy. None of that fabricated stuff!
Parting Words & Green Smoothie Recipe
One of the biggest challenges with any of the new habits we take on is remembering what we’re getting out of it when the pain goes away. For example, whenever I skip my morning green smoothie I tend to have an “off day”. I don’t usually make the connection and just assume that it was my fault that I wasn’t as productive. But when it’s been awhile that I’ve been “off”, I remember why I started drinking green smoothies in the first place and it becomes so much easier to get back to the healthy habit.
As promised, here’s a super simple green smoothie recipe for you:
In a high speed blender, blend:
- 1 banana
- 1 peach
- 4-5 strawberries, or 15 blueberries
- 1/4 head romaine lettuce
- 1/2 cup water (or more to help blend)
Enjoy! Oh, and don’t be afraid to tweak the recipe and tone down the greens until you get used to the taste.
Nathalie Lussier writes about the intersection of health, technology, and business. She uses her Software Engineering skills to help people eat more fruits and vegetables through her Magick Menu program. She’s a bookworm, Martial Artist, and world traveler.
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