Six Months In: Purposeful Mornings

It’s been six months since I started a new health regimen, led by a complete overhaul of what and how I eat. Gone are Coke Zero, things with refined sugar, all cheap carbs (white flour, white rice, white potatoes, pasta, etc.), and anything dairy. All had been staples of my diet for decades. I thought it was going to be more difficult than it was. I’m not someone who can make small, incremental changes to my lifestyle – it’s an all-or-nothing deal for me. I don’t do moderation well.

The foundation of these changes has been the mornings. For a long time, my weekday morning routine consisted of eating a bowl full of Honey Nut Cheerios or Honey Bunches of Oats while sitting on the sofa and watching SportsCenter. On weekends, I would usually make breakfast burritos for everyone, myself included, with bacon and cheese on a white flour tortilla. Once in a while I’d mix things up and make pancakes.

That changed six months ago. Now most mornings I spend an hour and a half or so making breakfast for myself, my wife Marie, and our grandson Ka‘ehu. On weekends, I still make a breakfast burrito for our daughter Mālia, but she’s usually in a bit of a rush to get out on workdays. Marie and I have two-egg, vegetable-stuffed (green, red, orange, and yellow pepper, spinach, onion, and tomato) omelets, sometimes with a blueberry muffin whose big ingredient is pumpkin puree or a small mason jar of overnight oats with almond milk, low-fat yoghurt, chia seeds, a dash of maple syrup, cinnamon, and some caramelized apple. I then make smoothies for us, with a base of papaya, apple banana, and some kind of berry for my mid-morning snack. They also include protein power (not for Ka‘ehu), almond milk, and a heft portion of kale.

Next, I make a sandwich for lunch using thin-sliced Dave’s Awesome Bread, usually with turkey breast, tomato, onion, and sprouts, another sandwich with sunflower seed or almond butter for lunch, and a generous container filled with baby carrots. The smoothie and carrots are for my mid-morning and mid-afternoon mini-meals. So yes, it takes a good hour and a half to make all of this each morning. But there are no more trips to the cafeteria on campus or to some fast food place to find something for lunch anymore. That alone makes it worth while.

And you know what else – I love it. Mornings now have a purpose: to regain my health with the side benefit of losing weight accumulated over decades. It’s almost a zen-like experience when focusing on those things you know are contributing to a better (and hopefully) and longer life. There have been other noticeable changes that have come about to this lifestyle change besides getting off most of my medications, losing 60 pounds (so far), having more energy that I have had in ages, and fitting into clothes I haven’t been able to wear for a long time. More on those things later.

Photo Below: Yes, I really do put that many veggies in my omelet, with some Salad Supreme and crushed red peppers, cooked in olive oil. And, yes, this omelet is just for me. Marie gets her own.

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