Breakfast – The Meal of Champions

Before we discuss Breakfast and it’s importance to you I want to announce the winner of the Tempeh Challenge.

Matt from The Athlete’s Plate and his Tempeh Bacon won by 5 votes out of a total of 61 cast. Congratulations to Matt and the winning ingredient for the next Athlete’s Plate Challenge is

 Recipes for this ingredient will be debuted one week from today on February 24th and you will then get to vote on the second winner of the Athlete’s Plate Challenge.

Now onto breakfast…..

Since I started to train and exercise on a regular basis I have become a breakfast eater.  My breakfast used to consist of coffee and a bagel on the way to work in Manhattan.  I never paid attention to what was going in and sure enough my weight showed.  I was up to 175 pounds at one time and when I started training and racing is when I realized the importance of garbage in, garbage out and calories in, calories out.  What I needed to come to grips with was eating breakfast.  I asked the same questions a lot of people face in terms of:  What about time?  When am I supposed to make breakfast and eat?

I had to re-think how important breakfast was to weight loss and control.  What was it that breakfast would do for me in terms of those two points and how would that parlay into my performance during training and racing.

Breakfast is important because it gives you energy for the day and is also important to weight control and performance.  I found that there are some studies that link eating a healthy breakfast to the following:

  • A more nutritionally complete diet, higher in nutrients, vitamins and minerals
  • Improved concentration and performance in the classroom or the boardroom
  • More strength and endurance to engage in physical activity
  • Lower cholesterol levels

Recently I have taken to eating a snack breakfast before my training and then a meal breakfast after my training.  My snack breakfast consists of 1 tsp of sunflower butter (any nut butter will do), 1 side of a whole wheat thin, ½ a medium banana sliced on top and 16 – 20 oz of water.  The nutritional breakdown of this breakfast is 129 calories, 3g of fat, 25g of carbs, 4.5g of fiber, 3.8g of protein.  This tops off my levels and prepares me for my sessions.  I will say that if I have a training session longer than two hours I will eat a bigger breakfast than this snack breakfast but not much more.

Once I am done with my training session I cannot wait to have my meal breakfast with my one cup of decaf coffee.  The coffee is my treat for a hard day’s workout.

This past week I have had the following breakfasts and they have re-fueled me and prepared me for the day ahead.

French Toast with Orange, Banana, and Cherimoya

Ingredients: 3 slices of Ener-G Brown Rice Bread, 1/4c egg substitute (1 egg), 1/4c of non-dairy milk, 1tsp of cinnamon, 1tbs olive oil, 1tbs agave syrup, 1 medium banana, 1 medium orange, 1 cherimoya

Servings: 1

Nutritional Information: 626 calories, 9g of fat, 125.5g of carbs, 16g of fiber, 8g of protein

If you remove the Cherimoya then you are looking at: 395 calories, 7.5g of fat, 70g of carbs, 8g of fiber, 3g of protein.  You can also cut some calories by using only 2 slices of rice bread.  I like the rice bread because it is stiffer than normal whole wheat bread and is able to hold up to the heat of the pan better.

Without the Cherimoya

  1. Cut the 3 slices in bed to create 6 pieces.
  2. Mix egg substitute, non-dairy milk and cinnamon in plate.
  3. Heat oil in pan
  4. Dip bread into egg/milk mixture and then into pan.
  5. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side.
  6. Serve with fruit and enjoy.




I also made a vegan french toast that used Almond Milk and a Flax Egg as a substitute for the egg substitute.  I also went with only 2 slices of the rice bread instead of 3.  Nutritional information for that recipe is 422 calories, 10g of fat, 81g of carbs, 12g of fiber, 6g of protein

Vegan Pancakes

Ingredients: 1/4c of whole wheat pancake mix, 1 flax egg (2tbs of flax meal, 4 tbs of warm water mixed), 2tbs wheat germ, 1tbs oil, 1 medium banana, 2 sliced strawberries, 1/2c of blueberries

Servings: 1

Nutritional Information: 596 calories, 20g of fat, 101g of carbs, 17g of fiber, 12g of protein

To cut the calories back use ½ a banana instead of a whole banana or less pancake mix and only make 2 pancakes.


  1. Smash the banana in a bowl.
  2. In a seperate bowl combine the pancake mix, flax egg, oil and banana.
  3. Once well combined add in sliced strawberries and blueberries
  4. Spray non-stick pan with cooking spray
  5. Once pan is hot add mixture to make 3 pancakes and cook thoroughly thru (about 3-4 minutes per side.)
  6. Serve with side of fruit, agave syrup and coffee


For me, eating these 2ndbreakfasts helps stave of hunger until close to lunchtime where I am capable of eating something smaller than normal and then have my mid-afternoon snack of fruits and still maintain my caloric intake in range as well as hitting all my macronutrient goals.

Please note that my daily intake and tastes are going to be different than yours.  Pay attention to what is going into your system and how you feel after you eat it.  This will help you in monitoring weight, energy, performance and allow you to make decisions that will benefit your diet.

What do you eat for breakfast?

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  1. Scott says:

    I has a muscle milk (ONLY because I dont have the pleasure of having Honey Milk avaiable in my region, or else I would never have anything but Homey Milk) protien shake with fresh spinach and fresh strawberries

  2. Michael says:

    I have to admit I had to look up cherimoya online. I had no idea what that was. It looks really good. Unfortunately in the midwest we don’t always have access to alot of organic or local produce, especially more exotic things like that. Thanks for the post. I always eat breakfast everyday, but it’s not always the best choice to refuel my body after a workout. I need to be more mindful of this!

  3. sun runner says:

    Immediately after I run or work out I down 8 oz of milk with a scoop of protein powder mixed in (and a handful of vitamins).

    For years I had the same thing for breakfast every day: plain yogurt mixed with flax seed and blueberries.

    Lately I have been branching out. For the past two weeks I have been bringing oatmeal from home. Rolled oats, brown sugar, flax seed, cinnamon, nutmeg, a pinch of salt, and the ubiquitous blueberries. I heat the oatmeal in the microwave and then mix in the other stuff. It’s very flavorful and filling and I know that it’s better for me than something in a package. And on that note…time for oatmeal.
    sun runner recently posted..Youre Not Pinning This One On MeMy Profile

  4. misszippy says:

    Breakfast is the best! I could eat it 3x/day, but guess that wouldn’t work out with my family! ; )

  5. Nora says:

    hmm depends. Right now I”m eating sprouted grain bread with butter and coffee. I know not enough.
    Nora recently posted..Letting It GoMy Profile

  6. Emily says:

    my daily breakfasts: before workout=either toast with honey or jam, a banana or part of a granola bar, immediately after workout=protein smoothie and then third breakfast=whole wheat english muffin with laughing cow cheese and hardboiled egg whites. I love breakfast so much i need three daily!
    Emily recently posted..Friday FavoritesMy Profile

  7. JenniferLeah says:

    gotta google cherimoya….be right back.

    alright, that looks really cool. I have NEVER had one and now I don’t think my life will be complete until I do try a cherimoya :P

    BF was one of the major changes I made when I started getting healthy. It used to be only coffee and lots of it until lunch but now I try to make that the best meal of the day. Like you, I have BF #1 and BF #2 based on my tx schedule.

    Gotta say my fav BF staple is 2 eggs w/4 added whites, spinach and salsa. Not much of a sweet tooth here which I guess is good! Will try those vegan pancakes though. I just learned about flax eggs this year and they are super cool huh??
    JenniferLeah recently posted..Dailymile TeamMy Profile

  8. Jen says:

    I agree with the importance of breakfast 100% – I usually will do one egg, a little LF cheese and 1 slice of whole grain toast pre workout and post workout, I’ll have a string cheese and apple.

    On days I don’t have time to cook – I’ll have 1 tablespoon of low sugar/reduced fat peanut butter on 1 slice of whole grain bread with fruit.

    I also love oatmeal with fruit and an occasional bowl of shredded wheat with Almond milk.
    Jen recently posted..Not running really sucksMy Profile

  9. Terri says:

    You know, I’ve been going to the gym at 5 am (or so) almost every weekday now for about a year, and suddenly I’m starving in the morning before my workout. No idea why – just starving! Maybe I’ll adopt your idea of a mini-breakfast – thanks for the tip!

  10. Jason says:

    @Terri – I would def top off your fuel storage with just a little something before you go workout. I get up EARLY (330a) to get some food in my belly and lay on the couch until around 445a-500a and leave to get my workout in and I feel great from doing that. I know it’s early but you should allow whatever you take in to be ready to give you energy when you start working out. The result is you might go to bed earlier as well but you will sleep soundly.

  11. Raegun says:

    Breakfast is my favourite meal. Usually steel cut oats with a bit of peanut butter, almonds and blueberries. Sometimes some maple syrup. Yum.
    Raegun recently posted..feelin the luvMy Profile

  12. Marlene says:

    During the week I usually stick to oatmeal (often steel cut oats), cereal on Saturday (a “treat”) and a bagel with peanut butter and jam before long runs.
    Marlene recently posted..Foto FridayMy Profile

  13. Megan says:

    Great post. I LOVE BREAKFAST. Sometimes I get excited about it the night before. After eating a bagillion different bfast foods, I have noticed that I need a substantial amount of calories and protein in the AM to keep me going. I have either 1/2 oatmeal with an egg cracked in while cooking with chia seeds or 3 scrambled eggs. If for some reason I deviate and have cereal or a bagel, I usually get hungry an hour later…

  14. Rae says:

    Breakfast! Yes, as an athlete it’s so important for you to fuel up prior to training. I’d say your choices of breakfasts (both first and second) are excellent. You have a nice balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Excellent!
    Rae recently posted..On a missionMy Profile

  15. lindsay says:

    you healthy bloggers are always throwing some random food out that i have no idea how to pronounce. cherimoya? gotta google that one…
    lindsay recently posted..breaking newsMy Profile


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