Last month Fast Company published a great short piece entitled The Hidden Link Between Breakfast and Productivity. But it's not about filling your stomach or nutrition, though those factors are also important. Rather, it was about how having at least one thing completely figured out in the morning leaves you more mental energy for the rest of your day.
Or, as writer Drake Baer put it, "if you don't decide on how to make decisions, you'll be exhausted by the time you finish that bowl of cereal."
I'm one of those people for whom decision-making is usually pretty exhaustive. (A maximizer, according to The Paradox of Choice.) I research every purchase carefully, from important ones like jobs and apartments to minor ones like brands of environmentally-friendly dish soap. And as a food writer, well, friends often leave it up to me to decide where to go for dinner, for occasions big and small. Let's just say I (needlessly) feel the pressure and can spend way too much time cross-referencing 80 restaurant reviews before coming up with some place for a quick bite on a Tuesday night.
So the need to just have breakfast figured out was a very good reminder of the importance of prioritizing. After that, other decisions can come more easily.
So lately, I've developed a routine that involves cold-brew coffee (made the night before) and overnight oats (also prepared right before bed.) If I'm tired, I'll just soak old-fashioned oats or this wonderful muesli overnight with almond milk. If I have a bit of extra energy, I'll make a breakfast parfait.
It sounds fancy, but you simply layer muesli with Greek yogurt, fruit, honey or agave nectar, and extras like flax seeds. Right now I can't resist the in-season bright raspberries, but you can also use blueberries, bananas, peaches, etc. I put everything in a Mason jar, seal it, and in the morning, dig in with a spoon while still in my groggy state. And wake up slowly, with further aid from a cup of already-prepared joe.
Morning routines can be so energizing. And it's not just limited to food. Just ask President Obama.
Raspberry Breakfast Parfait
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup muesli
- 1/2 pint raspberries
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon flax seeds
- In a Mason jar or similar-sized jar, layer the ingredients in whichever order you'd like, topping off with muesli or raspberries. Eat right away or store overnight in the fridge.