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What I Eat for Breakfast Every Day

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:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • 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!

8 Comments

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  1. Hi Andrew,
    It’s funny to realize that body needs for breakfast are different for everybody !
    For me, after a lot of tests, my perfect breakfast is seasonal fresh fruits and 0.5L of infusion (nettle, sage, rosemary most of time) : something light but not nothing, full of vitamin C and minerals 🙂
    Have a nice (sporty) day !

    • Hi Claire, I really wish I could eat a lighter breakfast like that, but I end up getting too hungry later in the day and its hard to make up the calorie deficit. But your infusion sounds great, I’ve got to try that 🙂

  2. I’ve been eating the same overnight oats every weekday morning for about 3 years: oats, soymilk, raisins, ground chia, pumpkin pie spice and I top it with walnuts, ground flax and wheat germ in the morning. I never seem to get tired of it, but I might try your breakfast just to mix things up a bit! I need to add more berries in my life 🙂

    • Nice! That breakfast sounds pretty great! I actually find that overnight oats make me feel better than cooked oats, and that’s why I have some in my chia pudding as well.

  3. Hi Andrew – I’m pleased to have found my way back to your site after some time away (you know, life…) it’s great to have some healthy inspiration and your food ideas are fantastic – all the recipes I’ve tried in the past have been amazing and I love these breakfast ideas – have made the chia pudding already for tomorrow! Generally, I feel best when I eat vegetables (especially green ones) for breakfast – I ate lentil and veg soup with lemon for most of my pregnancy this year, which was a great way of getting in a lot of the good stuff (including water) early in the day. I look forward to seeing more of your recipes!

    • Hi Amanda! Thanks so much for those nice comments, it really means a lot. I agree that veggies for breakfast are the way to go and I should probably be eating more. I bet lentil and veg soup would be awesome, actually. I want to try that! Hope you like the chia pudding 🙂

  4. This sounds nice and easy – One of my repeat breakfasts which is easy, filling and satisfying consists of sweet potatoes that I have typically cooked in the Instant Pot (or baked), which are then heated, mashed and topped with mixed berries and hemp seeds – simple and surprisingly good, even cold. For the berries, I usually just use frozen which I thaw overnight in the fridge.

    • Ooh, lately baked sweet potatoes have become one of my favorite foods and I bet they would be great for breakfast. I’ll have to try that! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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