How to eat breakfast like a fitness expert
You could choose to skip breakfast. There's enough science about intermittent fasting to justify that decision. Or, you could wake up in the morning and prepare yourself a decent meal, one to get you out the door and on with your day. The people who build careers around wellness and being in shape usually opt for the latter. Here, four trainers describe their healthy morning eating routines.
The Running Coach's Breakfast
Roberto Mandje is the manager of training and education for New York Road Runners. In his post-Olympic career, he runs anywhere from 30 to 60 miles a week while training others.
Homemade French toast with whipped cream and strawberries; pure juice
My go-to breakfast continues to be homemade whole grain French toast with homemade whipped cream and a handful of strawberries. I learned you can have it as a healthy breakfast treat vs. what you come across at your typical fast food diner.
As for beverages, I've never had a drop of coffee in my life, so while I acknowledge the studies and anecdotal benefits to coffee consumption, I can't personally speak to that. I'm a big advocate of pure juice drinks and mixes. Years ago, my wife introduced me to these. Since then, I've enjoyed making my own homemade mixes (bananas, apples, oranges, strawberries, and more) that I drink throughout the day. Aside from juice, I do drink a lot of water, as between my work and personal life, I'm quite active and always want to make sure I'm well hydrated.
Why it's his go-to: By using whole grain bread, I'm eating French toast that's a great source of fiber, minerals, and protein, while also low in fat and cholesterol. Additionally, by making the whipped cream at home, I can control the sugar content vs. its restaurant or store-bought counterparts. The strawberries are not only delicious, but also a great source of antioxidants, vitamins (like vitamin C), and minerals.
The Cyc Instructor's Breakfast
Marc Cohen is an instructor at Cyc Fitness in New York. He teaches multiple 45-minute classes of high-energy, indoor, beat-based cycling (i.e. stationary cycling synced to music) every week.
Scrambled eggs with meat and mushrooms; Earl Grey tea with honey
Every morning I make two large scrambled eggs with chicken sausage, mushrooms, and occasionally homemade guacamole when I have it available. I also like to have a cup of Earl Grey tea with honey—since I don't drink coffee, it's my one dose of caffeine for the day.
Why it's his go-to: I know a lot of people skip breakfast, but I always wake up hungry! It may have to do with teaching around 10 classes a week and my body needing the fuel, or my dog waking me up at 5:30 every morning to go for a walk, but I'm always ready for breakfast. However, I don't want to eat too much in the morning, especially if I'm teaching. I've found my scramble to be just enough to satiate me and give me energy to feel ready for my day without having something sugary like cereal or fruit. It isn't too many calories either, so I can continue to snack on other things through my day and not feel guilty (i.e. carrots with hummus, chips with guacamole, or a smoothie).
The Yogi's Breakfast
Kumara Sawyers is a yoga instructor at Sky Ting Yoga in New York. She teaches an alignment-based vinyasa class that focuses on establishing good form and coordinating breath and movement to create more space in the body, so everything can fit and function properly inside.
Gluten-free granola with yogurt and fruit; lemon water with Tocos
The first thing I do when I wake up is have a big glass of lemon water with 2 tablespoons of Sun Potion's Tocos stirred in. The lemon is good for keeping my internal body alkaline, and the Tocos is a rice bran that is high in Vitamins D & E. I drink that with a handful of vitamins and herbs. Then I prepare my breakfast, which usually is a gluten free granola (Black Roads is my go-to brand) and plain yogurt (Erivan Acidophilus yogurt is my go-to brand). I like to let the yogurt and granola soak for a few mins, which softens the granola and makes it easier to digest. Then I add fruit, which changes seasonally. Now that it is summer, I do a mixture of peaches and berries, and during the fall and winter months I generally just use apples.
Why it's her go-to: I chose this breakfast because it is what my body craves in the morning and because it is quick and nourishing. It sustains me well into the afternoon until I can eat again. My work is very physical and takes a lot of energy on many levels, so eating a good breakfast is really helpful for keeping my energy consistent.
The Fitness Club GM's Breakfast
Nick Mastropasqua is the general manager of The Club at Hearst Tower. He is also a NSCA-certified personal trainer.
Some sort of grain; dark roast coffee
I eat two eggs sunny side up with whole wheat toast, Kashi Go Lean cereal with almond milk, or an English muffin (lite/whole grain) with peanut butter. If I'm rushing (which is not often because I enjoy sitting down and waking up with my breakfast), I'll blend a whey protein shake. With each of these, a definite is a dark roast coffee out of my Keurig or French press.
Why it's his go-to: I actually hate eating the same thing every day, so I rotate these options.