why you should eat whatever the F you want for breakfast
There are so many "rules" around breakfast: Make it your largest meal of the day! Don't eat sugar! Don't eat carbs! Eat carbs! Make sure it's full of protein!
While there's evidence backing each of these claims, what works best for some people may not work best for others (aka you).
There are also expectations as to what is considered breakfast.
Eating fish for breakfast? Weird to most people. Cereal? Not weird to most people. Smoothie bowls? Some people would never dream of eating something cold first thing in the morning, while others live by them.
This post is a roundup of my typical breakfasts — you'll see that they vary widely from high protein/high fat/low carb combos like eggs + salmon + avocado; to bulletproof coffee; to smoothie bowls; to chia puddings.
Honestly, the biggest thing about breakfast is that it depends on you, your routine, and your situation.
Always on-the-go? High levels of exercise? Intermittent fasting? Training for an endurance event? Whatever it is, your body's needs constantly shift depending on the environment your body's placed in.
Bonus at the bottom: My favorite Instagrammers' breakfasts. Even though some of them aren't really things that I personally eat for breakfast regularly, there's no denying that 1) they're beautiful and 2) they work for whoever posted them, because every body is different. Happy scrolling! PSA: food porn alert.
A balance of everything good (but not your typical breakfast):
Nnot going to lie, I've eaten some form of seafood for breakfast a lot and tend to add an egg to it because that makes it a little more breakfast-y.
This was an Oceanbox-delivered Arctic char filet, which made it a little fancier, but my family and I have used anything from leftover baked salmon, to smoked salmon, to little baby shrimp in Chinese steamed egg.
The reason why this meal works for me is that it has: 1) vegetables, 2) fat, 3) carbs, 4) protein. I usually don't eat this many carbs (I tend to follow a HFLC diet) but I'm carb-ing up for my first marathon on Saturday, so hello plantains!
A more typical HFLC breakfast:
If I know I have a long day in front of me and won't be able to eat lunch until much later, I make sure to get a lot of protein and fat in.
This is more typical of my breakfast because it doesn't include carbs other than those from starchier vegetables. I find that I do better with salty foods in the morning rather than sweet, as I feel that my blood sugar is raised already first thing in the morning.
The ideal "on-the-go" breakfast if I'm being very active:
If I didn't bring a smoothie with me, I tended to stop by the Juicery in the North End or Mother Juice on Newbury for a smoothie or green juice that I could sip before and after class. Yes, it would take me legit 4-ish hours to finish one of these, usually double (actually, triple)-fisting it with an iced coffee and a giant bottle of water.
Chia pudding, for when I want something filling but vegan:
Sometimes I do want something sweet in the morning, or something warm.
I love chia puddings post yoga, when I tend to crave vegan food, when I'm on-the-go, since they're easily portable, or when I want something sweet without a sugar headache (I don't make it with any added sugar).
It's super versatile — just make a basic chia pudding base and add toppings to customize to fit what you're feeling.
Paleo bagels, for when you just want a goddamn bagel:
Fun fact: before trying Barely Bread bagels, I hadn't had a bagel in years.
They're something that I loved as a child, but after going Paleo, I found that I didn't really miss them. But as I started carbo-loading for my marathon, I was craving ALL the carbs.
Plus, sometimes you just need some comfort food and these bagels hit the spot every time. What's better than spreading things on a bagel or making it into a sandwich?
Answer: nothing (...except the next item on this list).
Breakfast tacos, for when you want something fun:
If you're ever bored with your breakfast or looking to get a little creative, just stick things into a tortilla.
Yup, basically anything. This particular breakfast taco was almond butter, a banana, and an egg, but you can definitely do it with more normal things like scrambled eggs tofu, smoked salmon, avocado, etc...
Smoothie bowls, for those post-long run breakfasts:
I have no idea why I feel this way (but apparently some of you are with me on this!), but after every single long run, I have this intense craving for a smoothie bowl. Probably because it's a quick way to rehydrate while getting nutrients into my body as well.
I've recently stopped eating them unless I do a long run or a super sweaty workout class, just because the high levels of sugar and raw fruits and veggies tend to make me bloat (TMI, sorry). But still, nothing feels as good as cold, thick, smoothie bowl post-run.
Bulletproof coffee, for if you don't quite feel up to eating or have a workout coming up soon:
I had my first bulletproof coffee at Hi Vibe Superfood Juicery in Chicago while I was there for a conference. I'd heard of it in the Paleo community but disregarded it as I was a huge black coffee aficionado.
Obviously, it changed my life. I had one before one of the days of the conference and found that I wasn't hungry until 3-4 pm. For days when I'm crazy busy, I was sold.
I tried a couple of different ways of making it, but the key is to add collagen and add enough fat to make it filling. If I'm extra active on days, I'll drink it as a supplement to a light breakfast. If I'm not too active, I'll just drink it on its own as breakfast.
Single-serve yogurt, for when you're eating a desk breakfast:
I'd bring in a week's worth of Siggi's plain yogurt (back when I ate dairy), have a container of nuts handy, and make myself a mini yogurt parfait at my desk. By bringing all of this in on Monday, I didn't have to worry about breakfast the rest of the week.
It was filling, easy, and I was totally fine eating it every day.
Paleo protein bar, for when there's absolutely 0 time and you need to get out the door ASAP:
Sometimes, breakfast just doesn't happen.
Whether you woke up late, you completely just have to be somewhere ridiculously early and want something you can eat later... whatever it is, it's nice to have an emergency stock of quality protein bars so you don't get hangry.
some other breakfasts that have got me drooling:
Holly (eating_peanut_better)'s cereal bowls
Holly is a cereal QUEEN. I've never been a huge cereal person (especially now I eat mostly Paleo, because it's hard to find good Paleo cereals), but she manages to make me crave cereal every single time I see a post.
She adds protein, nut butter, and a ton of toppings to make it a bowl party — much better than your sad Frosted Flakes and nonfat milk.
Jasmine (livelymeals)'s simple avo toast and eggs
Sometimes simple is best, and one of my favorite simple combos is avocado (especially on toast) and eggs. Jasmine does it right every single time.
Shannon (fitstrongshann)'s mini pancake parties (& waffle parties)
If Holly is the cereal queen, then Shannon is the pancake queen. I never knew pancakes could be so amazing until I saw her feed. (P.S. She's also the resident waffle queen.) Her combinations are amazing and almost all gluten free and grain free.
Taylor (taylors_table_)'s dreamy smoothie bowls
Taylor's smoothie bowls are GOALS. They're all gorgeous pastel colors and topped perfectly.
JJ (beazysbites)'s power porridge bowls (aka upgraded oatmeal)
Kaitlyn has some crazy good looking fried eggs, but what made me go WOW (yes, in all caps) was her yogi bowls.
If you haven't heard of or seen a yogi bowl before, it's a glorious bowl of yogurt and toppings. She puts interesting things like zucchini in hers, along with the more traditional fruit, nut butter, and granola.
Rachael (rachaelsgoodeats)'s Insta-famous omelettatas
Rachael's omelettatas make me want to run out and buy a cast iron skillet right away. Eggs honestly have never looked as good as this — I'd 10/10 eat it for every. single. meal. of the day.
And there you have it! A pretty full, comprehensive roundup of the breakfasts I personally eat, and the ones some of my fav people eat. What does your breakfast look like? Which one of these would you try?