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Health conscious ways to fuel your body

We’ve all been there—it’s finals week, and you’re exhausted. “I’ll just wake up extra early to study before the test,” you say to yourself, knowing damn well that’s a lie. You eventually manage to drag yourself out of bed, fueled only by the thought of a piping hot cup of coffee. But coffee is not the cure! Here are some health-conscious alternatives to a quick caffeine fix.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day—eating a healthy snack will help kick-start your morning. An ice-cold fruit smoothie is a health-conscious alternative to an empty- calorie-condensed, sugary latte. Pack that smoothie full of fresh berries and Greek yogurt for an antioxidant rich, protein-powered drink to keep you feeling fine all day long (or at least until lunch).

Food is fuel, and the body needs a lot of it to function properly. Skipping meals deprives the brain of the fuel it needs. Not big on breakfast? At least start the morning with a tall glass of water. Dehydration is one of the number one causes of morning headaches, and studies show that coffee is a diuretic. Play it safe by drinking
water when you wake up.

Don’t forget to stretch! Starting the day doing yoga poses will send blood flowing to your brain. Downward-facing dog is a fan favorite pose, but there are plenty of simple stretches for the inflexible. The “Vrksasana” or Tree Pose helps with balance and concentration. Start by standing on your dominant foot and tuck your other foot into your thigh like a flamingo. Then reach as far as you comfortably can above your
head and place your hands together. Hold this position for about 30 seconds. Voila, you’re doing the Vrksasana! Instead of reaching for a caffeine fix, reach for the sky and fix your posture for the same energizing effect.
Health-conscious changes are cumulative. The more healthy habits you keep, the better
you’ll feel. Start your mornings off right with a nutrient-packed smoothie or by striking
a yoga pose.

Story by Alex Zivic
Photo by Jackie Grucela

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