10 Healthy Breakfast Ideas From Doctors & Nutrition Experts
It's one thing to share nutrition information—but it's another to actually apply it in your own life. We were curious: What did the healthiest people on the planet actually eat for breakfast? We asked them to report on the good, the bad, and the ugly of their first meal of the day.
Whether you need inspiration or just want to peek into the real lives of nutritionists and doctors, here's to starting your day out right.
I had a bowl of oatmeal topped with a dollop of peanut butter, strawberry slices, and hemp seeds. I needed convenience this morning, and oatmeal is my go-to quick and easy breakfast. Truth be told, I didn't really enjoy it. I gobbled it down while watching a course module on my laptop, and it was gone before I knew it. *sigh* Shame on me. I'll be more present tomorrow.
—Tori Eaton, R.D., founder of Honestly Tori
Lately, breakfast has been something like greens, hard-boiled eggs, and avocado or guacamole or dinner leftovers. This morning, I had leftover ground grass-fed beef, spinach, and sweet potato, then added extra greens and a hard-boiled egg. Splitting prepared entrees into two and doctoring up each portion with extra greens helps me save money and keeps portions in check.
—Jess Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN, mbg Collective member and author of The Little Book of Game Changers: 50 Healthy Habits for Managing Stress & Anxiety
For breakfast, I had CCF tea, which stands for cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds. This ayurvedic tonic prevents bloat, which often begins in the morning due to starting your day with too cooling of foods/beverages for your digestive fire. After my CCF tea, I fasted for three hours to allow my digestive juices to begin flowing, so I'm ready for digestion by my noon lunch, when pitta (the fire dosha) is highest. My digestion works so much better on days I begin my day with CCF, leaving me so much more energized.
—Sahara Rose, ayurvedic expert and author of Eat Feel Fresh
Yogurt and kale salad
This morning I had a small Siggi's pumpkin and spice yogurt followed by a super early kale salad with dates, apple, and goat cheese for lunch. We just got home from Denmark, so our internal clocks are still a little "off." Salad felt right at 10 a.m.!
—Carlene Thomas, R.D. and founder of Oh Carlene
I usually don't eat breakfast, but it isn't due to a lack of time as I wake up early enough in the morning to get in a workout and take my time before leaving for work. I am very intentional with my intermittent fasting practice to not eat until noon or later if I am doing an OMAD, one-meal-a-day plan, where I will only eat dinner. Intermittent fasting has so many health benefits, particularly lowering inflammation and increasing autophagy—your cell's self-cleaning process. I do, however, drink Earl Grey tea with bergamot, which also increases autophagy.
—Will Cole, D.C., mbg Collective member and author of The Inflammation Spectrum
Toast & a smoothie
Today's breakfast was a quick-and-dirty run-out-the-door-in-15-minutes deal. I had a slice of gluten-free peasant bread, toasted with coconut oil and pear butter. The pear butter is not the lowest in sugar, but it is so delicious. I use it occasionally on my toast when I need a little sweetness. I accompanied it with a smoothie using Nutiva Vanilla Plant Protein, lion's mane mushroom powder, an adaptogen formula, pomegranate powder, 1 small organic banana, half a cup of organic frozen blueberries, 1 tablespoon of MCT oil, and 1 cup of almond/cashew milk.
—Vincent Pedre, M.D., mbg Collective member and author of Happy Gut
Fresh veggie omelet
I had local farm eggs with fresh oregano cooked in a skillet omelet cooked in olive oil, topped with oven-roasted zucchini and squash from my garden, and red onion, cooked with olive oil, fresh oregano, and fresh rosemary also from my garden, black pepper, and sea salt. I worked from home today and ate around 10, so it's really a brunch meal. I'm big on a healthy breakfast to start a brain-powered, energy-filled day. I also had one cup of decaf with organic local half-and-half.
Yogurt, fruit, and cereal (on the go!)
You will never see me (or my clients!) skipping breakfast, but today I had my annual checkup at 11 a.m., which meant I had to fast till then. By 10 a.m. I was starving, and because I scheduled a meeting right after my appointment, I knew I had to plan ahead. So, I packed a Stasher Bag with my Smart Bran cereal and another one with a quarter of a banana, blackberries, a fig, and a handful of sprouted walnuts. After the doctor, I ran to a bodega and bought a plain 0% Greek yogurt. I combined all the ingredients in a paper cup, found a stoop to sit on, and ate the balanced breakfast my body was waiting for. Was it my most glamorous moment? Definitely not! But by planning ahead, I was able to eat a healthy meal and make it back in time for my meeting.
—Allison (Aaron) Gross, M.S., RDN, CDN, founder of Nutrition Curator
Eggs with sweet potatoes and something green
Most of my house overslept this morning. I made breakfast for my kids first—oatmeal with blueberries, granola, and a drizzle of honey. Oatmeal is a great go-to option when pressed for time because it's ready in minutes in the microwave. I prefer to go with plain oats instead of flavored packets so I can add natural sweetness with honey and adjust the flavors to my liking.
Then came my breakfast—I was in a huge rush, but I had just worked out and knew I needed something substantial for recovery. My go-to favorite breakfast is leftover cooked sweet potatoes (which I try to always have on hand), two eggs, and something green—today was green bell pepper.
Bulletproof coffee, a smoothie & a bar
I usually start my day with Bulletproof coffee followed by exercise of some kind, so breakfast tends to come later in the morning. Today, for example, I attended an hourlong power yoga class, after which I was ready to refuel! I made a nutrient-dense green smoothie: full-fat coconut milk, frozen zucchini, fresh blueberries, and kale, with a Gratisfied Empower Bar on the side. Not only is this a very blood-sugar-balancing option (hello, healthy fats and protein!) but also a good combination of homemade and having something already on-hand (perfect for busy workweeks). Also, I like to have something to chew alongside sipping a smoothie.
—Sara McGlothlin, holistic nutritionist, founder of SaraMcGlothlin.com
Grass-fed Greek yogurt
This morning I had Maple Hill grass-fed organic plain Greek yogurt with blueberries for breakfast. I love Greek yogurt, but I'm really specific about the brands I eat. I only opt for yogurt from cows that have been grass-fed and raised on pastures versus grain-fed, as cows naturally graze on grass! The quality of the milk produced is much better than conventional grain-fed cows. Furthermore, cows that have space to roam on pastures versus those that reside in small confined spaces likely produce less inflammatory stress hormones.
—Leah Silberman, R.D., founder of Tovita Nutrition
Liz Moody is an author, blogger and recipe developer living in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated with a creative writing and psychology degree from The University of California, Berkeley. Moody has written two cookbooks: Healthier Together: Recipes for Two—Nourish Your Body, Nourish Your Relationships and Glow Pops: Super-Easy Superfood Recipes to Help You Look and Feel Your Best. She also hosts the Healthier Together Podcast, where she chats with notable chefs, nutritionists, and best-selling authors about their paths to success. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Glamour, Food & Wine & Women’s Health.