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Image by Kate Ter Haar.

As back-to-school season approaches, many of us are scrambling to settle back into some semblance of an efficient, but easy morning routine. To some, this is simple, but to others who aren't morning people (like me) – this might be one of the greatest feats of the fall.

On what seems like a morning that has come far too early, I've often struggled to string two sentences together, let alone get myself prim and proper with a belly full of nutritious deliciousness. However, after almost two years on this real-food journey, I've learned that just because mornings aren't my slice of pie, I do not have to relegate myself to a haphazard, frizzy ponytail (though I'm not above these in a pinch) and processed, artificial color laden cereal for mere convenience.

Instead, by implementing a few simple techniques (shared below), my get-up-and-go has significantly improved (and my appearance and nutrition along with it).

Here are my top tips:

 -Wake up to something that will make you smile. If you have something to look forward to in the mornings, you are a lot more likely to get out of bed when your alarm comes calling. If you're a music lover, try setting your alarm tone to your favorite song; or, if your heart swoons at every cup of joe, program your coffee pot the night before so that the smell of freshly brewed java can act as inviting wake up call. Other options might be a built-in 10 minute cuddle session with your love or a few soul-stretching sun salutations on your yoga mat.

-Choose 2-3 “feel good” items that will take you from bed-head to beauty. This mini-beauty routine will vary by person and can include anything from your favorite natural lip color or a cute headband to a rub-down with your favorite homemade lotion. For me, my go-to's are a pair of earrings, a tallow mini facial, and some mascara.

-Make an easy breakfast meal plan that will make your taste buds sing. There are two things I've learned that help me hold to a nutritious, delicious breakfast routine. The first is to keep things simple; and the second is to create something each morning that makes my tummy rumble at just a simple thought. Great options here are soaked oatmeal with honey and cinnamon, classic egg n' toast with a side of fresh fruit, or individual breakfast casserole muffins with bacon and gruyere cheese. Delish!

What is your go-to morning routine?

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