I get asked questions about breakfast all the time – Why is it so important? What’s the BEST breakfast? how much should I have? What is the best time to eat it? I could go on and on. We are always trying to complicate our lives by figuring the best, the ideal way to eat all the time. The good news (or bad depending on what kind of person you are) is that there isn’t 1 perfect breakfast or meal or diet for everyone. You do have to figure out what works for you by being attentive to how your body reacts to certain foods. Keeping a food journal is an excellent way to do this. However, below I will help clear up some simple points regarding “the most important meal of the day” And a I share one of my fave breakfast recipes! Any further questions/concerns/comments? Contact me. I always love hearing from you!


Gotta refuel the tank, aka your body

You have been fasting for 8 hours or more. Your body needs to be refuelled asap. (*see note below re: nutrition around early morning workouts) Your primary nutrients should be slow digesting carbs and protein – to keep you full longer and get into your system slow and steady until your next snack/meal. A great example is whole grain toast topped with a couple of eggs. Another one – kefir or greek yogurt with 1/2 cup of fresh berries, and 1 Tbsp of ground flax. One of my favourite power breakfasts, perfect for starting the day off strong or for after a tough morning workout, is my PBC (Peanut Butter Chocolate) Protein Oatmeal (see recipe below)!

* if you workout first thing in the morning, I would suggest eating something small before-hand and keep your main breakfast for after your workout since that will be the most important time to get all those nutrients in your body. The more intense the workout, the more important this is. Your main focus before your workout is quick accessible fuel, in other words, something that will get right into your system to fuel your body for your workout yet not make you feel heavy, i.e. simple digesting carbs. A serving of fresh fruit is probably your best bet at this point.  In other words, keep your whole grain toast or oatmeal for post-workout as these are slower digesting grains and may make you feel heavy while you exercise . What you eat after your morning workout is even more important. – This is where protein, complex carbs and fibre, will play a huge role at refuelling, repairing, and keeping you feeling full until your next snack/meal.

What makes up a healthy breakfast ?

Macronutrients are our body’s sources of fuel. They are Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat.  At breakfast, emphasis should be on protein, complex carbs (eg. whole grains, steel cut oatmeal), along with fibre. Synergistically these will satisfy proper nutrient requirements as well as keep you energized and feeling full longer; compared to, for example, the nutritionally void chocolate croissant from Starbucks ;).  Yes fat can play a role in breakfast in moderation but must be of a good kind, such as nuts or nut butter (all natural), free-run eggs or slices of avocado. NOT processed cheese, egg mcmuffins, croissants etc.. Just as not all calories are created equal, same goes for all macronutrients – especially when it comes to fats.


Yes how many calories we consume does depend on body size, & activity level, however everyone should have an actual breakfast “meal”. My breakfast is usually my heaviest and heartiest meal consisting of healthy carbs, protein and some fat. I don’t count calories but I would say it will add up to 450-500 calories. This helps me stay full and energized longer, and helps cut my starchy carb cravings later in the day, where I will focus more on proteins and tons of veggies for lunch and dinner. If I do an early morning strength workout I will increase my protein content for muscle repair. But the main point here is the QUALITY of calories. As mentioned above, my 500 calorie nutrient packed breakfast will keep my energy up and hunger down, not only for the morning, but it will also carry over for the rest of the day. Remember what you eat first thing sets you up for success (or failure) right until the time you go to bed. So make that breakfast a priority.

Justine’s Power Breakfast Oatmeal recipe:

  • Cook up oats (not instant & steal cut if possible) according to package instructions
  • Mix in 1 scoop of top quality chocolate protein powder. (If choosing a whey protein,  look for organic, cold pressed whey if possible with no artificial sweeteners added.  like Tera’s Organic Whey protein. Vega or Sun Warrior are great plant based options.)
  • Mix in half a banana thinly sliced, a pinch of cinnamon (adds a lot of flavour and helps balance blood sugar) and a spoonful of Natural Peanut or Almond butter (optional)
  • Make sure to mix all ingredients in when oatmeal is hot. Banana and nut butter will melt in the oatmeal and flavours will all meld together for a yummy chocolate peanut butter banana dream

Feel free to be creative with this recipe depending on your preferred tastes. For example vanilla protein and berries work really well together as well.

Happy eating!
Written by Justine Keyserlingk CNP, CPT[/fusion_text]