What should I eat for breakfast?

We nutrition educators go on and on about moderation, nutrients, and calories when all you want is an answer to the simple, What should I eat for breakfast?

Let’s do this in the easiest way possible.

What should I eat for breakfast? It’s 5 O’clock somewhere. Well, it’s lunch and dinner somewhere too.

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So eat what you like when you like. I am not a fan of traditional, easily accessible, breakfast foods because of the high sugar content, added calories, and how they make me feel (like I ate dessert). Don’t limit yourself to “breakfast foods” like pancakes, juice, cereal and/or a bagel. I wrote about hidden sugar here and how to find it and calculate it.

Recap: So in a meal of 2 pieces of bread and a cup of yogurt you are consuming 150 calories of sugar (NOT 150 total calories). Sugar that you don’t get to enjoy like candy. Sugar you are eating when you think you are being virtuous. Sugar that isn’t as fun as candy.

So, what should I eat for breakfast? I’ll tell you but you can’t get all judge-y on me

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Pick 2 complex carbohydrates and 1 protein from the following lists

Pick 1 from here:  Complex Carbohydrates

  • whole wheat bread shape of choice (toast, waffle, pita, bagel) oatmeal, wild or brown rice, quinoa, what if i don’t eat wheat, barley, go nuts with the grains

Pick 1 from here: Protein

  • Veggie, burger, plain Greek yogurt, cheese stick, coffee with milk, hummus, eggs, tofu, cottage cheese, ricotta, almonds, almond butter, Peanut butter powder

Pick 1 from here:  Complex Carbohydrates

  • Any fruit, vegetable, legume, salsa, kale, spinach, cabbage, tiny peppers, tomatoes, sweet potato, everything is okay.


I try everything together. I put veggie burgers on waffles, I put Peanut butter powder in Greek yogurt, I put peanuts in cottage cheese with salsa (and that sounds weird but it was good I’m just saying).

Breakfast Bummers:

Most breakfast bars, granola bars, granola, cereals, juices, pop-tarts, Nutri grain bars are filled with lots of promises and pseudo-nutrition. They want you to think they are a kind of super food, but in fact they are a kind of super lie.

Here’s what I want from breakfast. I want to make it to lunch. I want energy. I want my body to burn calories, save muscle and not assist my weight from creeping up on the scale. No one every has ever eaten a Nutri grain bar and patted their stomach in satisfaction saying, “Wow, I feel satisfied and ready to take on the world.” But, I kind of feel that way after a little hummus on a waffle or some greek yogurt mixed with almonds and a banana.

Here’s something I LOVE.

Fat free cottage cheese pureed. A sweet potato baked and peeled and added to the pureed cottage cheese. Add Splenda to taste and pumpkin pie spice. This is high protein, low fat, high fiber and wonderful.

Gross you say? No it’s not.

I thought we talked about you being so judge-y.



  1. Julie Clarkson on September 6, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Good Morning! Just read the “What should I Eat for Breakfast?” blogpost. I wanted to ask your thoughts on artificial sweeteners-the pink, blue and yellow packets versus Stevia and it’s blends like Truvia. I read so much about how artificial sweeteners are so bad for you-but the alternative-sugar is no better. And real people are not going to stop consuming sugar altogether.
    Thanks so much-
    Julie Clarkson

    • Ann Garvin on September 10, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      The case for or against artificial sweeteners is always a dosage issue. A packet or two, a sprinkle here and there. Maybe a muffin, all is just fine. It’s when people consume jugs of it in diet sodas that it may become a problem. I think an occasional diet soda is just fine.
      I have read that Stevia is better than Splenda and have also read it the other way around. My thoughts. Keeping the amounts low, keep whatever impact low as well–that is until we have strong data otherwise. Good to see you recently!

  2. Kathleen Bylsma on September 10, 2015 at 2:05 am

    I love peanut butter on my whole multigrain bread with either or chicken!
    Also enjoy a banana whacked up in my cottage cheese.
    Veggie burgers frequently…Morningstar Farms quinoa and water chestnut variety. Must have tons of mixed greens on it!
    I agree with you…sugar lurks everywhere. That’s the first ingredient I look for on anything I buy, other than chocolate.

    • Ann Garvin on September 10, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      It sound like if we went out to eat together or lived in the same house, we’d get along just fine.

  3. Barbara Tobey on September 10, 2015 at 2:33 am

    Leftovers, yogurt with a few Cheerios, or hard-boiled egg are my favorites for breakfast.

    • Ann Garvin on September 10, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      See that’s how to do it. Forget breakfast foods, go for the leftovers.

  4. Diane L Urbanec on September 10, 2015 at 10:21 am

    I like to add a teaspoon of Trader Joe’s peanut butter with chia and quinoa seeds to my oatmeal. Makes it all creamy.

    • Ann Garvin on September 10, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      I like peanut butter in my oatmeal too but I haven’t tried chia. Make sure to grind the flax or you don’t get the benefits of the omega threes.

  5. Diane L Urbanec on September 10, 2015 at 10:33 am

    My bad, it’s flax not quinoa and a little salt. No added sugar or oil in it.

  6. Linda on September 11, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Love it! You always make me laugh when I read your stuff and I learn a lot! Thanks for all the suggestions Ann. Gonna try not to be too judge-y in many ways this week! Got a hankering for your pumpkin pie tasting concoction!

  7. Food Gossip on November 17, 2015 at 2:40 am

    […] what you eat that counts. So, Ann smarty pants, what should I eat then? Try this for breakfast and this post directs you to my free ebook on eating How to […]

  8. Susan Hartman on August 30, 2019 at 3:18 am

    It was such a great surprise to see your name in my news feed! I am so excited to look at your entire website, which by the way is FABulous!!! I’m also wanting to write the book I’ve been thinking about for a while and don’t know where to start. LOVE you and your way you bring fun and humor into everything you do!

    • Ann Garvin on August 31, 2019 at 3:29 pm

      I’m so glad I was a welcome surprise!!
      You should write that book! So many ways to get started.

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