Breakfast is even more important than the lunches I talked about yesterday. All the old sayings are true – it really is the most important meal of the day, and you really should eat “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.”

If you are someone who gets hungry mid-morning, craves sweet things throughout the day, or feels drowsy around 2:00 pm, you may not be getting enough protein at breakfast. I aim for 20 grams of protein with each breakfast, and that lasts me a full four hours easily. It was an adjustment at first, because I wasn’t used to eating large breakfasts, but now I depend on it. Breakfast can set the tone for the rest of your day – what you crave, what you choose to eat, your energy levels, motivation and mood.

Some ideas for high-protein breakfasts:

• Plain yogurt topped with nuts, berries, kiwi, banana, raw honey, cinnamon (1 cup of plain lowfat Greek yogurt has 19 grams of protein)

• 2-3 eggs, hard-boiled, fried, scrambled (1 egg has about 6 grams) and topped with veggies and/or a little cheese

• Any type of meat, added to eggs, on a piece of toast, or plain with some sautéed veggies

• Protein shakes work well when you’re in a hurry, but make sure you are using a high quality protein powder that is not too sugary

• Whole grain toast with a nut or seed butter (almonds, cashews and pumpkin seeds are very high in protein; walnuts and chestnuts are lower)

• Smoothie with fresh veggies, banana, nuts, flax powder, yogurt, milk, etc. – make sure you aren’t just doing a fruit or fruit & veggie smoothie, because the sugars in the fruit will be metabolized very quickly and you’ll feel hungry again sooner - add some fat and protein to keep you full

Gluten-free grain hot cereal – each of these grains contains protein, and this cereal keeps you extremely full all morning long

As I said with homemade lunches, homemade breakfasts take some effort. You can do some prep work the night before when you’re making your lunch – boil an extra couple of eggs to grab for breakfast, or pack your blender and put it in the fridge so in the morning you just have to turn it on. Try increasing the protein in your breakfast and see how you feel all morning. I really am amazed at how much more focused I am when I eat a nutritious breakfast, and I don’t even think about food again until lunchtime.

Some breakfast foods to avoid:

• Pastries and donuts (especially for children or if you are someone who craves sweets and/or reacts to sugar)

• Too much caffeine – a cup or two of coffee are sometimes necessary but try to choose tea some mornings

• Fruit juices – they are fine in smoothies and in moderation, but a huge glass of juice each morning is a big dose of sugar; for kids, I recommend skipping the juice altogether and giving them fresh fruit and water or milk

• Boxed cereals – some of the high-fiber and high-protein cereals are fine, but check the sugar content. You may be surprised.


  1. Hi Ann - I love your blog (I came here via The Social Secretary). This post is really helpful, I am 15 weeks pregnant and pretty nauseated. Not able to eat any meat, I am trying to increase my protein intake in other ways - so thank you for the useful information!

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