The Art of Mastering the Morning [Week 3 - Breakfast]

Hello my little lemons, how's everyone doing on this beautiful day?

So my first week, I outlined why I'm doing what I'm doing. Week 2, I finalized what I'm going to be doing. Moving on, I will be tweaking and experimenting with details.  

That's why this week, I'm Mastering the Art of Breakfast!

I'm asking the big questions. Like what do YOU eat for breakfast and WHY? Do you even eat breakfast? What can't you stand in the morning? Do you eat the same thing every day? Will the Starks arise and win the GAME OF THRONES? *side note: I finished GoT over the weekend ohhhhmyyyyyyywoooowwwwww #KINGOFTHENORTH** 

If you've been following me on Snapchat, you'd know this has been my go-to breakfast this summer. If you haven't been following me and want to, feel free to add me! (just @erinmcgoff, I'm a simple person). Follow me live as I live out everything I'm writing about. PLUS you get to see my grimy face first thing in the morning whilst working out in the humidity so I'm verrrrry purty!

  • My go-to breakfast: greek yogurt with honey, granola with dried fruits and some fresh chopped strawberries or blueberries (depending on my mood).
  • I'm usually not super hungry in the morning, but when I am, I'll have two Eggo waffles with peanut butter and honey (maybe a throw little flaxeed in there too if I'm feeling frisky).
  • My guilty pleasure breakfast is going to a diner and getting chocolate chip pancakes with OJ and a biscuit (also: chickfila breakfast.....ah!). 

After reading my blog last week, I had a few people ask me what I eat for breakfast and that's why I chose to feature that this week. But then I got the idea to start a conversation about breakfast. So I reached out on twitter and asked people what they ate for breakfast. 

I am so passionate about an NY everything bagel toasted with Chives cream cheese and a large coffee with milk and two packets of sugar with a side of fresh strawberries
— Gabi Gaujean

Some international breakfasts: My friends Rebecca Walcott (Trinidad and Tobago native) with a tropical breakfast and Amanda Farnan who's currently in Bolivia, so her breakfast is fresh coffee!

Is my morning routine of a small double shot latte in a real mug from the dav acceptable?
— Claire Russell
1 hard boiled egg w half a tomato w a lil olive oil and salt drizzled on it!!!
and iced coffee w almond milk
— @realsemple (the one, the only)
Whole grain toast, peanut butter, drizzle of honey, sliced strawberry, and chia seeds OH BABY
— Jasmine Nadim
Guilty pleasure: 100p chocolate chip pancakes with a Starbucks mocha and syrup those babies up
— Amanda Farnan

My friend Rosie always makes beautiful breakfasts, so if you need some inspiration... 

Another question that I got asked a lot after my last post was "why the lemon water?"

Here's why:

As I said in the beginning, everyone's body is different and everyone's taste preferences vary. I grew up in an OJ house; we didn't mess around with any of that "milk" or "water" crap--the 6 of us kids could shot gun a carton of Simply Orange OJ on command. So it's always been habit for me to have something citrusy in the morning.

However, there are wonderful benefits to drinking lemon water in the morning as opposed to another drink like OJ, chocolate/normal milk/juice/plain-BORING-water:

1. Low-calorie way to get vitamin C

2. Aids digestion and detoxes 

3. Lemons are a wonderful fruit

But do be careful to not swoosh the lemon juice in your mouth all day, because your teeth will break apart and you will be ugly and all your friends won't hang out with you anymore (#science)


So this week, I'm going to try 5 different breakfasts along with my routine:

Monday: the control breakfast, my typical greek yogurt with berries/granola (green tea and lemon water)

Tuesday: Egg with salt and pepper on toast w/ green tea [minimal, complex and high protein]

Wednesday: either going to try "no breakfast" - aka just tea [just to see how I feel]

                      OR guilty pleasure breakfast [high in fat and carbs - chocolate chip pancakes]

Thursday: protein shake - recipe tbd [what's it like to not eat solid food?]

Friday: smoked salmon and cream cheese on whole grain toasted bagel [big high carb breakfast]

I'll report back with my findings. 

Until next time, beautiful people. I wish you all a healthy and happy week full of many laughs and successes! Spend some time outside, buy a plant, get dinner with a friend you haven't seen in a while. You are in 100% control of your life and what you do with it.


You are already complete, already whole. You need nothing else.
— -Joey Koester (it was on the back of my kombucha bottle)

The Art of Mastering the Morning [Week 2 - Order]

Ok guys I have bad news: I was really bad this past week. And not the good kind of bad, the bad kind of bad. 

Between having off work on the 4th of July Monday and not having work Friday because I went to the beach, I had a very short week to experiment. 

I forgot to meditate one day (sry buddha), I only thought about 5 things I was grateful for 1 day (and to be honest all 5 things were my dog Gatsby) and I only tracked my sleep for 2 days. I also didn't eat the healthiest food for lunch and dinner AND I had a (very very fun) but fairly unstructured weekend of ocean city-ing (shout out to my boyfriend's mom, Mrs. Ponton, for getting me lemons for the weekend because she read my blog! LEMONS 5 EVER)

So I could very easily let this whole concept go and start sleeping in again and eating what I WANT and not sweating first thing in the morning. But you know what? I'm going to keep pressing forward because I believe every single day of your life should be seized and the morning is a great place to begin. 

So here's what worked for me last week:

1. 40 mins of yoga in the morning will make you happier and healthier - it's a fact.

  • I've been doing 25 minutes of stretching/balance/breathing-focused fauxga, 5 minutes of practicing new moves (crow for >10 seconds, one-minute long backbend, forearm stand, etc.) and 10 minutes of strength exercises (20 push-ups, 30 squats, 30 Russian twists, 30 mountain climbers, 30 bridges)
  • I also have a rad 40-minute yoga Spotify playlist that I play so I'm not always checking the time.  
  • PS  - I know what I said "yoga's not a flexibility contest" but my wonderful sisterfriend Nurit joined me for my Friday fauxga session and WOW just needed to document. ALSO: I'm snapchatting this whole series, so if you want to follow along/need some ~*morning*~ inspo, add me on snapchat (@erinmcgoff)

2. 10 mins of guided meditation is perfect and will leave an lasting impact on your day:

  • I thought meditation was going to be a lot more frustrating to grasp, but once you realize that there is NOTHING to achieve during meditation, it's very liberating. (it's the only thing you'll do all day where there is no goal attached!)
  • I usually wake up stressed out, so I thought I wasn't going to see the benefit in meditating. But now after 10 mornings of meditation, I can feel a difference when I miss a day. 
  • Even though I haven't been able to reach enlightenment yet (it's been like 2 weeks I'm getting SO impatient when do I learn how to levitate??) I've noticed I've been much more compassionate towards others (I mean, I only kicked my dog twice last week! ...just kidding...don't call PETA plz)

Some things that didn't work:

1. Drinking 1600+ mL of lemon water

  • WHat!?!? Erin, but lemons are ALWAYS good always you said so yourself!?!
  • I know, and I still swear by lemons. And drinking a lot of water everyday is good for some people, but not good for me. I mean, I was like a walking sack of lemonade last week. 
  • I sit at a desk from 10am-5/6pm. Because I'm waking up at 7am and going to bed at midnight, I'm living longer days and that means more hours for me to consume food. 
  • Because I'm consuming about 4 meals a day and drinking 14,888,32482934,999234,399 gallons of lemon water, I was getting really full and constantly going to the bathroom. People were starting to talk. Yes, there was a small intervention about the lemon water, I don't wanna talk about it. 
  • My takeaway: being healthy isn't always the most convenient and fun thing, but know your body and know your limits. Know when too much lemon water is too much. Know when to ask for help. 

2. Reading the Skimm first thing in the morning

  • I LOVE THE SKIMM - don't think I don't love you Skimm plz I didn't mean it like that!!
  • Ok so I said last week that instead of checking social media first thing in the morning, I was going to read the news (aka The Skimm - a news source that skims the news for you and emails you a run down every morning). 
  • Maybe it was just the nature of the news last week, but reading about bombings and politics and people dying first thing in the morning was really really bumming me out. So I'm tweaking that.
  • Positive vibes first thing in the morning, waffles and THEN I'll educate myself. 

SO for next week:

I'm really happy with how things are going so far, so now I'm ready to move onto the next step: the order of routine

Here's a breakdown of every morning I'm going to have this week:

7-7:30am - have SleepCycle wake me up according to my REM cycle

7:30am - grunt at alarm

7:35am - ask my dogs if they had any cool dreams

7:40am - drink hot lemon water/wash face/brush teeth/eat yogurt w granola if I feel LIKE IT #norulez

8:00am - yoga/meditation

8:50am - make waffles/feed dogs/read news/drink green tea

9:10am - shove remaining food in face and paint face/put on real pants/shower

9:40am - leave for work

10:00am - kick butt at internship and make people's day better


My goals are going to be basically the same as last week:

  • hot lemon water first thing in the morning
  • 40 minutes of yoga
  • 10 minutes of meditation
  • no coffee, soda or candy (except 80% or more dark chocolate because the Bachelorette is on and it's tradition)
  • 5 things I'm grateful for every morning
  • SleepCycle every night
  • Skimm every morning
  • sweat every day - 15 laps in the pool if I get home early enough***
  • piano scales every day/make something creative 

*** = this one is new. Last week I got home from work early enough to fit in some laps in my pool and it was amamamazing. I believe a good sweat leads to a better night's sleep which leads to a better MORNING!

With that commitment to you, I leave you with some inspiration:

Focus on being productive instead of busy.
— Tim Ferris
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 4:6-7

What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create." - Buddha

Have a great week everyone! When life gives you lemons, squeeze them into hot water and drink it!

xo, Erin