Healthy Breakfast Ideas from Fitness Pros
Make your morning meal a breakfast of champions! Fitness gurus share their all-time favorite morning meals
You don't need us to remind you that eating a healthy breakfast is a good idea. But since the same bowl of oatmeal every day can get boring, you might need a few new ideas for what to eat in the morning.
"Whether you are headed to the gym or on your way out the door to work, make sure your breakfast is going to keep you going for the next few hours," says Ed Olko, personal trainer at Equinox in Palos Verdes, CA. "Your breakfast is the beginning of your day, so make it count."
Olko's top picks: A fruit smoothie and a Bagel Thin with a light smear of peanut butter; an English muffin with egg white, a slice of turkey bacon, and half a piece of cheese; an egg white omelet with mushrooms, spinach, and cheese on a bagel; or plain Greek yogurt with whole grain cereal and/or fresh fruit mixed in.
Read on for more great breakfast ideas from health and fitness fanatics.
Jennifer Purdie: Ironman Athlete and Marathon Runner
My favorite thing to eat for breakfast is an egg white scrambled with chopped veggies, kale, and avocados. I live in California so can get everything fresh at the farmer's market.
-Jennifer Purdie, 34-year-old Ironman athlete and marathon runner
Venus Williams: Pro Tennis Player
Venus Williams starts each day with two wheatgrass shots. When she's on the road, she gets her fix at Jamba Juice. The chain's Triple Revitalizer Juice Blend has fresh carrot juice, orange juice, and bananas.
Elizabeth Robinson: Athlete and Personal Trainer
Breakfast is without question my absolute favorite part of the day. I love the meal, I love the opportunity to make my first nutritional choice of the day a good one, and I love the promise of the day ahead.
My chilly-weather breakfast is a formula that can be mixed and matched according to taste. The basic components include a grain, a fruit, and a nut. Most often, I choose oatmeal as my grain, banana as my fruit, and walnuts as my nut. However, this basic structure can be adjusted by substituting farina (ground wheat) or grits (ground cornmeal) in place of the oatmeal, apples or pears in place of bananas, and almonds or pecans for the nut. Any combination works well and does the trick.
My favorite warm-weather breakfast is plain yogurt, sliced fruit, a splash of agave or maple syrup, and a slice of whole grain bread. Again, the combination of yogurt, fruit, and bread provides the protein, complex carbohydrates, and fat needed to jumpstart the day and stay fueled through the morning.
-Elizabeth Robinson, athlete, personal trainer, and creator of online fitness program VitFit
Erin Aquino: Fitness Fiend
My go-to breakfast is a packet of plain instant oatmeal, 24 grams of protein powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of natural peanut butter or almond butter. It's a perfect combo of carbs, protein, and necessary fats!
-Erin Aquino, fitness fiend
JL Fields: Health and Fitness Blogger
I love savory breakfasts and lean towards the macrobiotic. I either enjoy a bowl of miso soup packed with vegetables or a hearty porridge with steel cut oats, millet, walnuts, and raisins!
Stephen Cooper: Founder of Boot Camp Pasadena
My favorite breakfast option is a high-energy protein shake. I wake up so early that I don't really feel like a heavy meal, so this shake packs a lot of nutrition into my morning. It includes: 1 cup water, 1 cup green tea, 1 frozen Samabazon Acai packet (anti-oxidants, plus, I like the berry taste), 1/4 cup whole fat coconut milk (adds fat and makes the shake more filling), 1 to 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder (25 to 40 grams), and 1/3 cup whole oats.
The balance of fruit, fat, and oats makes it filling and energy-packed.
-Stephen Cooper, personal trainer and founder of Boot Camp Pasadena
Jason Fitzgerald: Founder of StrengthRunning.com
My favorite breakfast is called "egg in a basket." You cut a whole in a piece of wheat toast and fry an egg inside. Put some strawberry jam on the final product and couple it with a whey protein shake-you have the simple and complex carbs and protein you need to recover from a hard workout. It's easy to make and it really helps with post-workout recovery.
-Jason Fitzgerald is a 2:39 marathoner and founder of StrengthRunning.com
Rachel Dubin: Fitness Fiend
I am a fitness fiend. I work out every morning, and the delicious PJ's Organics' Breakfast Burrito is the perfect breakfast after exercising since it offers sustenance and fills you up for hours. As the perfect healthy authentic Mexican breakfast at home, this item contains no pesticides, preservatives, or GMO's, and is one of the only nourishing organic frozen burritos on the market.
-Rachel Dubin, fitness fiend
Gillian Barrett: Runner and Weight-Loss Success Story
I've been a runner and regular exerciser for more than 2 years now. I started working out and eating properly in order to lose 80 pounds. My breakfast consists of lemon juice (half a lemon) with hot water (this is when I take my vitamins), Kashi Go Lean cereal (1 serving), 1-percent milk (1/2 cup), plain Greek yogurt (3/4 cup), blueberries (1/4 cup), and honey (1 tablespoon). It's 350 calories, 59 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fat, 27 grams of protein, and 6 grams of fiber.
-Gillian Barrett, runner and exerciser who lost 80 pounds the right way
Len Saunders: Author of Keeping Kids Fit
I keep my breakfast quite simple but make sure not to miss it. Usually I include grapefruit chunks, which are rich in vitamins and minerals and also help suppress the appetite. Also, including whole grain oatmeal is an excellent choice, as it is full of complex carbs (long-lasting energy), antioxidants, and dietary fiber, as well as rich in many nutrients.
-Len Saunders, author of Keeping Kids Fit
Gillian Casten: Fitness Blogger
I personally attend one to three classes per day. I love nori avocado wraps (little wrapped chunks of avocado in sushi seaweed). It's a non-traditional, zero-carb breakfast that tastes like avocado sushi.
I also like banana smoothies. I freeze banana chunks and pop them in my Vitamix with almond milk, a little Sun Warrior protein powder, and a small spoon of peanut butter. Banana is high in sugar so I only do this when I'm off to a high-intensity workout. It tastes like a milkshake!
-Gillian Casten of RateYourBurn.com