It might sound strange, but I wear the same clothes pretty much every day. A black long t-shirt and black Prana Brion shorts or black jeans. I do have a few grey t-shirts in reserve if I’m feeling really adventurous, but most days, it’s the same thing.
It’s not that I don’t care about what I’m wearing, it’s that I care too much. I tend to obsess over details. If I had to think through what I’m wearing every day, I would overthink things and waste too much energy. So instead, I took the time to find the one outfit that fits/works perfectly so that I can forget about it. That way, my brainpower is reserved for more productive and creative things.
For similar reasons, I eat the same thing for breakfast every morning. In fact, my entire morning ritual is pretty much set in stone: I wake up around 6:30, run 3-10 miles, get dressed, and eat this breakfast – the same thing I have been eating (almost) every day for the last two years. In that time, I have been continually tweaking and refining the ingredients to the point where it’s now just about perfect. This breakfast is the most delicious meal of the day, the most nutritious, and the fastest. So today, I thought I would pull back the curtains and show you what I eat for breakfast every day…
First a little background. If you’re a long-time reader, you might remember that my daily breakfast used to be chocolate peanut butter cup oatmeal. It’s delicious. And actually really healthy too, but it started reacting poorly with me. Eating a big bowl of rolled oats made my body feel inflamed, like I was having a mild sugar rush that lasted most of the morning and it wasn’t great.
So, about two years ago I started looking around for a new breakfast that would make me feel better after eating it, not worse. It needed these requirements:
- Low glycemic
- High in fiber
- Easy to make in minutes
- Delicious, of course
Flax, chia, and berries were the first things that came to mind. They’re some of the most anti-inflammatory, low-glycemic, and antioxidant-rich foods on the planet, so the breakfast is centered around those ingredients.
Fiber deserves special consideration here as well. I’m learning more and more that increasing your fiber consumption might be the #1 dietary recommendation for improved health across the board. I’m planning a whole article about this, but fiber has nearly infinite benefits. For context, our foraging ancestors probably ate 100g per day. The average American’s intake is about 15g per day. This breakfast has 25g on its own.
It also checks off those last two requirements (speed and taste), because I can make it in about 3 minutes of prep the night before, and 10 minutes in the morning. I’ve also refined the flavors so much that it has become my absolute favorite meal of the day. It’s delicious. So enough chatter, here’s what I make and how I make it:
Part 1: The Chia Pudding with Berries
The heart of this breakfast is the chia pudding. Here’s the ingredients:
- ~3 tablespoons rolled oats
- ~2 tablespoons shredded (reduced fat) coconut flakes
- 1.5 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
- ~1 cup unsweetened almond milk (+ more water if needed)
- 1/2 serving stevia
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons vanilla Vega Sport protein powder (optional)
- A mountain of berries, for serving
[The protein powder is totally optional but I think it makes the pudding so much creamier and more delicious, and adds a little boost of protein after running.]
Just throw those ingredients (minus berries) into a mason jar, fill with enough water or almond milk to make the right pudding consistency, shake, and refrigerate. I typically make this at night so it’s ready in the morning, but even just 1 hour in the fridge is enough to create the pudding.
When ready to serve, just dump it into a bowl and top with a mountain of berries. I typically use a combo of fresh berries (if in season) with frozen. My favorite are Trader Joe’s frozen wild blueberries – they are delicious pea-sized wild berries packed with antioxidants.
I feel like this is the most perfect recipe in the world. Balanced carbs, protein, and fat… an unbelievable amount of antioxidants, omega-3s, and fiber… and it’s so tasty that I feel a little depressed when it’s gone each morning.
[P.S. This is also the perfect breakfast for traveling/camping because all the ingredients are dry, so you can make each portion ahead of time and store it in jars or baggies, then just add water or almond milk in the morning and you’re good to go.]
Part 2: Sprouted Toast with Peanut Butter
Pretty much my favorite food on the planet. This is one slice of Ezekiel (sprouted multi-grain) bread toasted with about a tablespoon of peanut butter. If I’ve run enough miles that morning to need the extra calories, I sometimes have two slices…
Part 3: Espresso
I typically make one shot of espresso, with about 2/3 cup of steamed almond milk (unsweetened, of course) and Trader Joe’s soy cream (the best coffee creamer on the planet). Also, shoutout to Verve. They’re from Santa Cruz, where I was born. In addition to reminding me of their cafe on Pacific Ave and the redwoods in the hills, they also roast the most sublime coffee in the world. So, check ’em out.
Part 4: Greens
I usually stuff my face with a few handfuls of baby arugula or kale while the toast is toasting. I notice that I feel really good when greens are the first thing to hit my stomach in the morning, so I do this as often as I remember.
Part 5: Supplements?
This is definitely a question mark because I do not believe in the supplement industry, but there are three notable exceptions for me:
Turmeric. See my post on the 8 Healthiest Foods to Eat Every Day for more background, but turmeric “extract” is not as effective as the whole spice. This brand I found on Amazon is ideal because it’s 90% pure turmeric with 10% extract, and a dash of piperine. The details are beyond the scope here, but suffice it to say: it’s my favorite turmeric. And a 4-month supply is like $12 so you can’t go wrong. I take one of these with breakfast.
B-Complex Vitamins. Vegans need to supplement B12, but I actually take the Emerald Labs B-Healthy vitamins, which have the full complex of B vitamins in a really high-quality format. Why? They keep me super calm! There was a study that found B vitamins reduced workplace stress significantly, and that’s definitely the case in my experience. When I miss a few days, I tend to feel much more easily overwhelmed with everyday things, and this brand is by far the most effective for me.
Algae-Based Omega-3. I go back and forth on this one because this breakfast is so high in omega-3’s, but as you may know, it’s not in the form your body needs (ALA vs DHA). Fish Oil, for example, is mostly DHA but so is what the fish eat (algae) and it’s much more sustainable/safe to take DHA from algae oil. Again, it’s beyond the scope here, but there is some evidence that an algae-based DHA oil supplement can be helpful for heart and brain health so I do take this off and on. Ovega is a popular brand, but every time I buy them the pills are broken and leaking, so I’ve switched to this one and it’s great so far.
I like to think of my breakfast as the foundation of my day. If I’m able to get 25 grams of fiber, a week’s worth of antioxidants, greens, omega-3’s, and plenty of healthy calories in a super-tasty anti-inflammatory package all before even starting my day… everything else I do just gets better from there.
So, this is my breakfast. What do you eat? Is it typically the same thing or do you mix it up? Leave me a comment and let me know!