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Fuel Yourself, Fuel Your Company Just a reminder of the basics -- eat right and exercise every morning, and you'll be amazed at the short and long-term effects.

By Bridget Coates Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Do you find yourself checking your computer or phone when you first wake up or right before you fall asleep? Are you always working and thinking about your business? Constantly flying? The entrepreneurial lifestyle can be so crazy and volatile that it's critical to fuel yourself with high quality nutrition and thoughtfully plan your daily routines to make sure your health is never compromised.

Related: 6 Things I Learned After Switching to a Standing Desk

There's an inextricable link between nutrition and performance, how you care for your body and how well you can care for your work. Establishing healthy habits and ensuring you are well nourished is not simply a nice thing to do, it's actually a necessity for your work and life. If you don't feel well or are so exhausted that you aren't thinking clearly, you'll likely wind up spending more time than ever working, becoming less productive as the day goes on.

1. Start your day off right -- with protein.

Breakfast with protein kick starts your metabolism and sets the tone for an energized morning, creating a ripple effect of higher energy throughout the day. By eating protein first thing in the morning, you can feel fuller longer and feel empowered to eat better throughout the day. Consuming a protein-filled breakfast can help you wake up and feel more alert and more energized, without depending on caffeine.

Energy -- real, clean burning energy, not the kind of shaky energy or false fire that comes from a shot of espresso -- is essential for meeting the challenges that you face all day long. If eating breakfast isn't a current routine for you, slowly start creating one. Smoothies are an easy option and great for those on-the-go in the morning. Search for a grass-fed protein powder to include for a complete source of protein, nine amino acids and hefty dose of omega-3s.

Once you've established a routine, start introducing other breakfast foods into your diet such as eggs, whole wheat toast, smashed avocado, smoothie bowls and whole-grain waffles with fruit.

Related: Gut Bacteria May Be the Key to Weight Loss

2. Don't forget to move.

Waking up and stretching or practicing yoga is a great way to get your day started and blood flowing. Excessive sitting can slow down your body's natural processes such as breaking down fats and sugars and is linked to increased health risks. On the flip side, moving increases circulation and helps prevent aches and pains from repeated poor posture and straining.

There are simple ways to fit in exercise and stretching when working. Walk around while talking on the phone, take standing breaks at your desk and stretch often -- even while sitting. Also, sitting with proper posture is important when you spend most of the day at a desk. Raise your computer as high as needed, so you are looking directly at it to keep your shoulders open and your spine in an upright position to protect your back.

3. Yes, there is enough time…

Taking care of yourself improves your efficiency. Create a routine and stick with it. Set timers if necessary. Hold yourself accountable by sharing your plans with colleagues and / or friends and family. By setting up your structure and routine, you can reduce inefficiencies by working smarter and find you actually have more time in the day than you realized.

Invest heavily your own health and well-being. When you do, you also invest in your business and your relationships with the people who matter most.

Related: Your Food Choices Ultimately Influence Your Workplace Success

Bridget Coates

Founder of Kura

Bridget Coates is the founder of Kura, a company that produces a protein powder that utilizes high-quality New Zealand dairy. Aside from her previous success as a venture capitalist investing in food and beverage businesses in the U.S. and New Zealand, Coates also serves as a mentor for women-owned businesses.

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