This Is the Healthiest Way to Start Your Day, According to a Nutritionist
This Is the Healthiest Way to Start Your Day, According to a Nutritionist

Before 9

This Is the Healthiest Way to Start Your Day, According to a Nutritionist

3 min read

Essential Takeaways

Our series Before 9 explores the early morning routines of inspiring women, in their own words. Follow along for the hacks, habits, and tidbits that set them up for success during the rest of the day.

  • As a dietitian nutritionist, Jessica Diamond, MPH, RDN knows a thing or two about starting the day off on a healthy note.
  • Read on as she takes us into her own morning routine—complete with some solid good-for-you breakfast options. (Take notes!)

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Extolling the virtues of a nutritious breakfast? We know—groundbreaking. But even if you don't need to see yet another study that measures the influence of "the most important meal of the day" on our physical well-being, can we point out that starting things off on a healthy note can have a cool psychological impact, too?

A quick reminder: Research tells us that good habits tend to breed good habits, so there really is something to be said for setting the bar high as soon as you wake up and riding that wave of motivation. But the pressure doesn't have to be high—it can come down to simple decisions like waking up, drinking some water, taking your vitamins, and whipping up a nutritious breakfast recipe you actually enjoy (avocado toast, greek yogurt parfait, veggie frittata, or blueberry smoothie, anyone?).

In other words, it's not just about striking a solid balance of protein, energy-sustaining carbs, and healthy fats—the mindset of doing something nice for yourself can also really make a difference.

This is the kind of philosophy dietitian and maternal nutrition expert Jessica Diamond, MPH, RDN, likes to emphasize with her clients. "The initial hours of the day before heading to work are so crucial—I see them as the time to make conscious decisions that guide the rest of your day," she says. "It sets the tone for the rest of your day and can be integral for sound nutrition. It gets your mind and body going in a healthy way."

And you can bet that Diamond practices what she preaches. Keep reading for a look inside her own morning routine—as well as a few easy breakfast ideas. (Spoiler: she has vegan-friendly and gluten-free suggestions, too.)

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I have three main morning rituals I swear by.

"The first thing I do when I wake up is drink a glass of water that is waiting for me on my nightstand from the night before. Focusing on adequate hydration is something I need to always be conscious about, so knowing I have already consumed 8 ounces before 8am makes me feel accomplished—I've already contributed to my hydration goal for the day.

"I have a little boy, so the next thing I do is breastfeed him. I love the early morning snuggles, just the two of us. During his early morning feeding, I try to be completely present with him. I stay off my phone, keep the lights dimmed, and spend time talking to him about the day ahead. I love the feeling of being able to leave for work in the morning knowing I already had special one-on-one time with him.

"And finally, I enjoy a nourishing breakfast, of course. I love sitting down to have a yummy breakfast, no matter how long I have—5 minutes or 30 minutes. Sitting down and nourishing myself before I leave for work is something I look forward to daily. It helps give me the energy I need for the day as well as some time to focus on myself before I head out the door."

On that note, please—don't skip breakfast.

"A nourishing, sound breakfast is also key from a nutritional standpoint. You may have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it's true. Studies show that skipping breakfast can have a significant impact on our health (1)—and it's the perfect opportunity to fill up on whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies."

Need some vegan-friendly breakfast ideas? Look no further.

"I am really into overnight oats right now. I use One Degree Organic Foods sprouted rolled oats—their oats are free of glyphosate, a common herbicide—and add in a bunch of nuts (almond butter, peanut butter, walnuts), seeds (flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds), and fruit (whatever berries that are fresh from the farmers market). I also love a good smoothie in the morning. I am currently loving the New Mom Blend from Seedlyfe which I mix with almond milk, greens, and any fresh fruit I have on hand."

References: *Rong, S., Snetselaar, L. G., Xu, G., Sun, Y., Liu, B., Wallace, R. B., & Bao, W. (2019). Association of Skipping Breakfast With Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality. Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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