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5 habits for the optimal day

Most people leave the first 60 minutes of their morning to chance. Sometimes they're running late, sometimes they manage to grab a quick breakfast before leaving the house, and sometimes they just go through their face-washing-brush-teeth-drinking-coffee sequence like a robot. That sucks, because decades of behavioral research have taught us that how you start and end your day affects everything in between.

Adjusting your morning and evening habits just a little bit can have a huge impact on your productivity, your performance, and the happiness that comes with it. So what are you waiting for? Take control of your morning and evening routine and choose to optimize your day.

It's probably not even much that you have to change for it, maybe you are already subconsciously integrating some of these habits into your day. When you know why these small actions have such a positive impact on you and your body, you may find it easier to make the right decisions.

Here are 5 habits for you that make up an optimal morning routine - both scientifically proven and optimized by our own experience and we are sure that you are already doing #1 every morning because it is nothing more than:

1. Drink water

Think about it, you've probably been in bed for 7 to 8 hours without hydrating your body! We are made up of 70% water and our brains swim in liquid. So the first thing you should do in the morning is go to the tap, fill your glass to the brim with still water and then empty it.

If you want to upgrade it a bit, you can add some lemon or lime juice. For those who want to get it right, you can also add a dash of apple cider vinegar and a pinch of salt. The salt provides you with valuable electrolytes, the apple cider vinegar lowers the pH value and the lemon gives you vitamin C.

But if it just stays with the water, that's okay too. All those influencers who put a squeeze of lemon in their alkaline water sell it as "extra stomach-friendly and digestive," but scientifically, you can't put so much lemon and vinegar in your water that it becomes anywhere near as acidic as yours gastric fluid. So it's a small, nice help, but not decisive for the war either. Just water will do, too, and we think that's really doable for everyone in the morning. So let's move on to habit #2

2. Let some sunlight in your eyes (on a short walk)

At least as important as #1 is setting your daily and nighttime rhythms, and there's nothing easier to do than a blast of real daylight right into your eyes. When daylight falls on the cones and rods of the back of our eyes, it signals what is known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus which wavelength is incident here. As the supreme timer of our biorhythm, the N. suprachiasmaticus then in turn sends the appropriate commands for the daily hormone production. With the rather bluish daylight in the morning, the orexin system is boosted, which makes you alert and awake. In the evening, when the light contains more red wavelengths, signals are sent to release melatonin (the sleep hormone) and the digestive organs to shut down.

Daylight (or even better, direct sunlight) is one of the most important things you should integrate into your routine. You can also do this at the end of your morning routine on your way to work by walking or cycling there and pointing your face towards the sun for a moment. It is also enough if you can only begin to suspect the sun is under a cloud cover, because then as much daylight as possible falls into your iris and your body gets the signals that it is "morning" and the day can begin. Even if you drive to work, pause before you open the car door and try to find the sun in the sky and align your face with it.

In latitudes where in winter the sun is in the sky for no more than an hour or only rises late, a daylight lamp can also serve this purpose. We therefore think point 2 is also feasible. Because everyone who reads this should have access to water and sun. Let's go to point 3 of 5.

3. Break your fast (or breakfast) with protein

Your first meal of the day should consist of protein or at least contain it. Various studies have shown that protein intake with the first meal lowers cortisol levels, stimulates digestion and leads to fewer ravenous hunger attacks during the day and in the evening. I specifically write the first meal and not breakfast because not everyone manages to get a bite down in the morning. But that's not a bad thing, I personally never had a problem with breakfast, but we are all different and nobody has to force themselves to eat something in the morning, it's more about the first meal after the overnight fast (even if it's only takes place at 2 p.m.) contains protein. This becomes clearer in English: breakfast is not a piece in the morning but simply breaking the fast (breakfast).

But no matter when you eat breakfast - the question is "what is the best way to get some protein into the first meal of the day?". That's why during my competitive phase I Protein Goatmeal developed with a protein content of 30% per serving! The protein here comes from well-tolerated A2 casein and is easy to metabolize (because we want to stimulate our digestion in the morning and not overload it).

From the Indian healing theory "Ayurveda" it is also known that starting the day with a warm meal is beneficial for the mind and body. In Ayurveda, between 6 and 10 a.m. is the so-called kapha time, when we feel particularly sluggish and tired. We don't want to burden our gastrointestinal tract with something that is difficult to digest. Whether you believe in Ayurveda or not, at least most of us can attest that we take a little longer to get going in the morning.

With the Protein Goatmeal I have therefore created the optimal and quick solution. The Maca cinnamon roll variety also contains maca root extract and Ceylon cinnamon, which also stimulates the metabolism - but only marginally, as an explanation of why I developed this product the way it is now available today. Of course, you can cover your protein intake in your first meal of the day in other ways. For example, with a plant-based protein powder, eggs or some lean chicken or wild salmon.

4. Writing and making decisions

Or as it is spread on social media: "Journaling" when the girls are sitting at the breakfast table with their ornately decorated notebooks and their alkaline lemon water (that's a contradiction in terms, by the way). But there really is something to the "journing". Backed up by both behavioral research and my own experience, I have to say it helps me immensely to sit down in the morning and organize my thoughts in writing. I do it - roughly 5 out of 7 days a week and on those days when I take the time to do it, I'm actually more structured in the rest of my day. I think it's mainly because I took the 3 minutes in the morning to make written decisions in advance that would otherwise cost me time and energy later in the day.

Sometimes a question like: "If it's only allowed to be one thing - what would it have to be for me to say at the end of the day that it was still a successful day?" - you lower the expectations of yourself if you don't know where to start

But I often just write down my tasks for the day, sorted according to priorities. Then I don't waste time later thinking about what to do first. On other days I don't get too busy with my tasks, but write down my long-term goals as if I had already achieved them. For example: "In April 2022 I'm going on a trip to Scandinavia". Our brains don't distinguish very well between real and fictional events. It is only important that they are hammered into the subconscious, because then we also subconsciously make the decisions that get us there and align our daily actions with our goals.

Give it a try: 3 to 5 minutes to write something. Start with questions like: "What do you want to do today?" (in order) or "What does it look like when you have reached your goal(s)?". Always write as if you have already done it and never in the negated form - An example: "Today I will do yoga at 14 p.m." and not "Today I will not miss the yoga class". The former is easier to memorize and leads to positive motivation rather than avoidance behavior.

5. Let's get started - Getting things done with functional mushrooms

If everything has gone well up to this point (and even if it hasn't), I'll start with the tasks for the day, maybe set a Pomodoro timer and work through the most important things first. For that I make myself a green tea with Lion's Mane or one Forest Coffee with Chaga extract. Chaga is a tree fungus that grows on birches, especially in northern regions. It has been valued in Russian and Scandinavian medicine for more than 1000 years and is used there as a natural tonic for the body and especially the immune system.

Lion's Mane is also a fungus that grows on trees. With its peculiar structure, it looks like a lion's mane and is known to support the growth and regeneration of nerve cells in the brain, making it the ideal accompaniment for cognitive tasks and learning tasks. I therefore insist on adding these mushroom extracts to my morning hot drink to increase my concentration and prepare my immune system for the day.

And what helps in the evening?

In the evening I don't overdo it with the routine, so there is no list of points to work through here. I usually end the evening with something that brings me back to myself. It can be meditation or stretching, or if I've had a tough workout I just roll out on the foam roller. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time either, 5 to 10 minutes is enough and in the end I saved it again because I’m more relaxed and fall asleep 10 to 20 minutes faster (so the bottom line is that it’s worth it – for me at least).

After or before I drink one Forest Cocoa - why? Not because I want to promote the product, but because Robin and I developed it with common sense and science. The forest cocoa contains Reishi mushroom and Ashwagandha root extract. These are both adaptogens that help rebalance your body. Everything can now be "balanced" again, because everyone wants to be in balance - but to be more specific: Ashwagandha actually helps - proven! - to lower the cortisol level if it is still too high in the evening.
While we need cortisol to even get going, cortisol is preferably highest in the morning and falls towards the evening. This only works so semi well for one or the other - depending on how much stress you put on yourself. Ashwagandha can help. As does Reishi. Reishi has been used in China for thousands of years to relieve stress and calm. It acts like a herbal sedative. You could say like valerian only stronger.

In addition, forest cocoa also contains the amino acid L-glycine, which has also been proven to contribute to nerve relaxation and regeneration. Because nobody (really nobody!) ever wants to drink Ashwagandha and Reishi pure, we designed the whole thing in the form of a cocoa that gets its sweetness from natural coconut blossom sugar and L-glycine. A small amount of easily digestible carbohydrates in the evening also has a relaxing effect on the body. He then does not have to worry about the energy supply and can simply fall asleep relaxed. Of course you should not overdo it with the amount of carbohydrates and also not shovel a mountain of potatoes too late, because this in turn puts a strain on the digestion. A small cup of cocoa is therefore the ideal solution for us to reconcile all this.

In the best possible way, we also make sure to switch on the blue light blockers in our devices in the evening or, even better: to completely avoid using screens 2 hours before going to bed. The blue light, which helps you start the day in the morning and set your circadian rhythm, confuses the body in the evening. He then wonders whether a new day is about to begin, because blue light in the evening is not natural for us. When the sun goes down in the evening, we get a lot of red light in our faces, which calms the body and mind and prepares it for the night. Red light in the evening or at least avoiding blue light can help immensely when it comes to establishing a good day and night rhythm.

That's it. A lot of text has become again, but if we put all the information here in a video, we would probably be through with the explanations in 5 minutes. The habits themselves (drinking water, sunlight, protein...) are really not difficult to implement in our opinion. Try it out for a week, you now have the knowledge and you have an advantage over all the people who don't know. We are sure you will notice a change, you will be less tired in the morning and you will get more done, or everyday things will become easier for you because you will adopt a beneficial routine for your body.

Here is a summary for your ideal day:

In the morning:

1. After getting up, drink a large glass of still water (opt. lemon apple cider vinegar, salt)
2. Consciously let sunlight or daylight fall on your face.
3. Breakfast with protein or breaking a fast with protein in general.
4. Write for 5 minutes and make decisions for the day if necessary.
5. Add functional mushrooms to tea or coffee for maximum focus.

In the evening:

Stretching, mobility or meditation, drinking forest cocoa and avoiding blue light

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