If we had a nickel for every time someone told us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, well, we’d be rich enough to afford a top-of-the-line juicer. But even though most of us know breakfast is important, knowing what to actually make for our morning meal can be confusing, especially on busy days when we have zero time to whip up an elaborate meal before leaving the house. Realistically, we wanted to know: what do people who make health and fitness a priority (i.e. the 8 fitness experts below) actually eat as their first—and most important—meal of the day? The answers may surprise you.
Chris Freytag is the founder of Get Healthy U and Get Healthy U TV, and a fitness expert, personal trainer, and health coach with over 25 years of experience.
“Before I eat or drink anything, I drink 12-16 ounces of water with either lemon or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Then, a protein shake is my normal breakfast—with whey protein—typically a half cup of frozen fruit, a quarter of an avocado, one scoop of BiPro, a tablespoon of chia seeds, and a little almond milk. Most days of the week I teach classes really early, so I’ll usually have a banana and a cup of coffee first and then after the workout is when I have my protein shake. On the weekends I’ll make my muffin in a minute recipe or I’ll do eggs.”
Lindsey Bomgren is a veggie-loving group fitness and barre instructor, personal trainer, blogger, and founder of Nourish Move Love—where she shares all her tips and tricks on how to stay healthy and fit.
“My morning routine has changed quite a bit these last couple weeks [Bomgren just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy!] but here’s my typical routine. I love starting my morning off with a big warm mug of lemon, ginger and turmeric detox tea and a couple egg muffins (either blueberry egg and oat muffins or sweet potato and turkey sausage egg muffins); this is usually my pre-workout fuel. Post-workout I love a good green smoothie (this blueberry and hemp green smoothie is my favorite) loaded with greens, fruits and protein. And I can’t forget my post-workout cup of joe with heavy cream and collagen!”
Jodi is a fitness expert with a Masters Degree in Human Performance and over 20 years of experience teaching group fitness, creating fitness videos, and working with clients and athletes on pilates, strength training and conditioning. Learn more at jodisussner.com.
“I typically have either a private client or a group fitness class at 5am each day, but that doesn’t mean I neglect the most important meal of the day! In fact, some would say that I enjoy two breakfasts! I wake at 4am and always start with either: 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in water or half of a squeezed lemon in water. While my coffee is brewing I’ll have a banana and one tablespoon of cashew butter. In my coffee, I have one tablespoon of brain octane by bulletproof coffee and one dropper full of liquid vanilla-flavored stevia.
At around 7am, I’ll have a more substantial breakfast of either two eggs sautéed with spinach and veggies, or a protein shake if I’m in a rush. This is typically what keeps me going until about 11am.”
Malia Frey is a fitness expert, trainer, coach, and freelance journalist with over 25 years of experience. Malia is the weight loss expert at Verywell and is the founder of The Daily Diet Tip, an online resource for weight loss support.
“I like to get moving right away in the morning, so I’m actually not a big breakfast eater. I usually grab a quick cup of coffee and head to the gym or out for a run. But after my workout, I indulge. I usually eat eggs with spinach, tomatoes or zucchini along with some kind of grain (either a little bit of oatmeal or a piece of rye toast with avocado) and a big bowl of fruit (usually berries and banana).”
Jessica Matthews is a yoga educator, kinesiology professor, health coach, and senior advisor for health and fitness education for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Learn more at jessica-matthews.com and follow her on instagram @fitexpertjess
“When it comes to breakfast, I personally love an option like overnight oats, as it can be easily prepped the night before, and it can be changed up in so many different ways. This is a big plus for someone like me who is not only busy but who also follows a fully plant-based diet, because overnight oats allow for constant variety and can pack an extra nutritional punch depending on what I choose to incorporate each day. One of my favorite combinations includes oats, almond milk, hemp seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, unsweetened shredded coconut and sliced strawberries.
Before I head out the door to teach classes at the university, I usually whip up a green smoothie that I can easily take with me (a great way to get even more veggies in my day), as I will often workout or practice yoga immediately after teaching. One of my go-to smoothie recipes is the Perfect Post-Workout Smoothie which I personally crafted based on the science of nutrient timing to optimize recovery (*GHU readers can download the recipe for free at www.jessica-matthews.com)”
Kate Laing is a certified fitness and Pilates instructor and owner of Lake Minnetonka Pilates. She has been a team member and guest contributor at Get Healthy U for the last 5 years. She loves Yoga, running, biking, and participating in outdoor events. Follow her on Instagram @LakeMinnetonkaPilates.
“Every morning I have 3 eggs usually scrambled in butter with a handful of cherry tomatoes and spinach, then sprinkled with feta cheese and red pepper flakes. Sometimes if I am running or doing a lot that day I will add a piece of spelt or whole grain toast with butter for extra energy.”
Frannie Foltz is a fitness instructor and empowerment coach for women and girls. You can follow her journey at Shine With Frannie.
“Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! Typically, I get hooked on one particular breakfast and will eat it for nearly a month straight. I have a few go-to breakfasts that I rotate (yogurt parfaits, oatmeal, veggie omelettes) but this month it happens to be overnight oats.
In a mason jar, I take a half cup of oatmeal, about 3/4 scoop of chocolate protein powder (can use any flavor), a sprinkle of flax seeds and a dash of chia seeds and fill the mixture with about a half cup of unsweetened almond milk and a bit of water and shake until well-mixed. I then let it sit in the refrigerator overnight and the oats absorb all of the chocolatey goodness! It is a great combo of necessary macros and the fiber keeps me full all morning long.”
Kim Pieper is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor with over 20 years of experience, as well as a long-time Get Healthy U Team member and contributor.
“I’m always on the go in the morning so a nice, solid breakfast at home isn’t always possible. Since I teach early morning classes I find that I can’t eat before I teach, but in between classes my choice is a protein bar or a couple of hard boiled eggs. When I have a little more time, though, I’ll prep a protein smoothie the night before and freeze it, then take it with me wherever I’m going. If I time it just right it’s ready to eat and in a perfect, slushy texture. Sometimes I have to pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften it depending on where it sits to thaw.
My favorite combination: 1 cup almond milk, 1 cup thawed frozen strawberries (with the juice), 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, and lots of ice. Blend and then throw in a half cup of blueberries and lightly stir before freezing.”