This step in your habit is about how you start the day nutritionally.
Many of you start your day with sugar and/or carbohydrates at breakfast – both have the same effect of being really tasty and satisfying at the moment, but lead to cravings for more later – often accompanied by a dip in energy.
Eliminate carbohydrates and sugar (and its cousins lactose, fructose, glucose, dextrose and anything else -ose) from your breakfast. It is easy to stick to this habit because of the dramatically positive effects you will experience once you get used to it (after about 2 weeks). You might currently suffer from heavy waves of fatigue about mid-morning (and often mid-afternoon). This is due to your body producing insulin to metabolize the sugar/simple carbohydrates in your system from the sugar in your last meal. This is the famous “sugar crash” we have all heard of. One aspect many of us don’t consider is that eating sugar/carbohydrates creates a need for more sugar/carbohydrates. Once you have crashed, you often end up turning to caffeine or more sugar/carbohydrates (or both) just to feel normal again.
That means: No bread, toast, croissants, gipfeli, pancakes, muffins, muesli, yoghurt, fruit, milk, cottage cheese, cereal, and certainly not cake or cookies (if you live in Italy, you’ll know why I felt the need to list those). What?!
Don’t skip breakfast though!
Getting fuel in the morning is essential to have the energy you need to feel confident.
What does that leave you with?! Protein and good fats. Vegetables are OK, too. Eggs, meat from animals that have been raised in a pasture (not a factory!), prepared with coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil or butter (again from pasture-raised cows). You may enjoy a nice omelette with veggies. Or soft boiled eggs accompanied by cucumber slices with sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. Why not have organic pepper-crusted bacon with raw red bell pepper slices?
There is also a magical little drink that Lukas and I have grown to love for breakfast called Bulletproof Coffee. You will find it gives you a super-human amount of energy compared with the people around you. Here is the “branded” version of how to make bulletproof coffee. And here is a first-hand account from a Fast Company magazine writer about what it is really like to “go bulletproof” for two weeks. (He didn’t manage).
Give it a shot…
Eliminate carbohydrates and sugars from your breakfast for two weeks. See how you feel. If you are used to eating the sweet carb-y treats I mentioned above, this might seem difficult, but just know that you can get used to anything! And once you feel the energy benefits, you will realise how worthwhile it is. And if not, go back to your old breakfast – nothing lost…
What does a sugar-free breakfast have to do with confidence?
Having a sharp mind, full energy, and feeling at the top of your game will help you to be more confident in your decision making and more efficient at work. And by the way, this habit often leads to weight loss. Who doesn’t feel more confident after they’ve lost a few pounds?
And of course, the longer into the day you can avoid carbs and sugar, the more energy and fewer cravings for treats you will have…Why not keep it up over lunch, too?
To recap – here is our complete Morning Routine for Confidence:
- Setting Intentions
- 10 Minutes of Mindfulness Meditation
- Dress Your Best
- Cleaning Up
- “Good Morning”, Not “Sweet Morning”!
A few words about building habits and routines for those of you who find it difficult (I do, too!)…
It is not always easy to build new habits. As I promised when I launched this project at the start of this year, I would be integrating this routine into my life as well.
I wanted to let you know that it has been difficult for me, too. There were many days that I skipped some or all of the Habits – and yet many other days when I would have skipped them but knowing there are many of you out there doing this with me, I found the motivation to start again.
What about you?
Make a fresh start.
If you are finding it difficult or have given up entirely, make a fresh start this month – in a new way. Habit guru Leo Babauta recommends a helpful technique he calls “Slipping Into the Habit”. Leo talks about the idea of doing a little tiny bit every day until you work up to your goal. So, let’s say you are doing really well with all the parts of our morning routine except exercise (I won’t name names ;-)) You may want to “slip into it” by doing just ONE MINUTE of exercise per day until you work up to the full 10 minutes. EVERYONE can find one minute to do some stretching or squats! Then, once one minute is easy, you move on to two minutes, then three, and so on.
If there are parts of our morning routine that you find more difficult to integrate, I recommend this approach. Don’t throw the whole routine out the window just because you just can’t find the energy to exercise or the patience to meditate. Keep up the good work!
Let me know how it is going.
You may also be interested in exercises to bolster your confidence at any time of day. Check out my post The Best Exercises to Build Self-Confidence All Day Long.