I am sure I sound like a broken record by saying “you should eat breakfast everyday no matter the circumstances”, but for some reason I still see athletes, who are not eating breakfast!

Why is breakfast Egg-SSENTIAL to an athlete’s performance?  


An athlete’s mental and physical health is essential for performance.

As soon as you wake up, start fueling your mind & body with a breakfast of champions. 


  1. Your brain uses 20% of your carbohydrate food supply to function normally. Breakfast is your mental kickstart to your day by making you more alert to function properly and think more at practice, as well as in the classroom.
  1. After a night’s sleep of being in a fasting state, an athlete’s gas tank is empty. Eating breakfast fills your gas tank with the proper fuel to physically endure long practices and games. Your breakfast fuel is as important as the boost of energy you should be eating within 30 minutes of exercise.
  1. Breakfast helps with weight management and weight loss by the tendency to not overeat throughout the day. Avoid starting your day in an energy deficit. We all know your stomach will continue to growl to let you know you skipped a meal, which is when you may consume more calories than you need throughout the day.
  1. Breakfast increases your metabolism by starting to move your gastrointestinal system earlier in the day. Regular bowel movements are an indicator of good health.

BREAKFAST GUIDELINES: To sustain energy and keep you full for 2-3 hours.

  • Include a CARBOHYDRATE, ideally complex carbohydrates with dietary fiber

(Ex: whole grain toast, oatmeal, fruit, whole wheat pancakes/waffles)

  • Include a PROTEIN, ideally 20 g of protein

(Ex: eggs, dairy, nuts/nut butters, or Sports Dietitian approved protein powder)

  • Include a HEALTHY FAT, ideally plant-based fats or omega 3 fatty acids

(Ex: avocado, olive oil, nuts/nut butters, salmon).

  • If you have an early morning practice and can’t have a substantial breakfast, focus on eating a grab and go carbohydrate before practice (Ex: toast with jam/honey/nut putter, granola bar, fruit, oatmeal) and then eating a more substantial breakfast after practice

Breakfast does not have to be complex, but it does require some meal planning and preparation. It can be as simple as buying granola bars, greek yogurt, and fruit to grab-n-go on your way to work, class, or practice & be ready to eat in the car, on your walk to work/class, or eat as soon as you sit down at your workplace. However, if you enjoy oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, smoothies, egg sandwiches, and pancakes, but you don’t have time in the morning to prepare these options, then prepare them in bulk Sunday night or prepare your breakfast every night before you start dinner’s dishes. I recommend packing your lunch at night to bring to work the next day, as well as preparing your breakfast at night to maximize your time in the morning, reduce stress and feeling rushed, and avoid not eating breakfast or packing lunch at all.

Athletes who have early morning workouts should still eat something before practice. It may take a few trials to figure out what your stomach can tolerate early in the morning before a workout, but even a granola bar or banana with PB or PB &J  would be sufficient for a pre-workout morning snack.

If you are having trouble coming up with at least 3 GO-TO breakfast options, I have provided you with over 21 different breakfast options to make your favorite breakfast meals fit into your lifestyle! You will notice I have given you my simple recipes, as well as links to other creative recipes I have used in the past.

Please stop skipping breakfast! Start tomorrow by fueling your day with a egg-celent breakfast! I am not yolking!

Do you owe your good heart health to a bowl of oatmeal?


1. Crockpot Steel Cut Oatmeal 

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 cup of steel-cut oats (OR 2 cups of traditional rolled oats)
  • 4 cups of liquid (skim milk, unsweetened almond milk, soy milk, or water)
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh or frozen fruit  (Ex: fresh or frozen blueberries, chopped apples, fresh sliced peaches, or sliced bananas OR 100% pumpkin puree for pumpkin lover)
  • 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • Optional oatmeal additions: 1/8 cup of ground flaxseed or chia seeds for healthy fats and anti-inflammation, 2 Tbsp of honey or pure maple syrup for a sweetener,  2 Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder for my chocolate lovers, and/or 1 cup pumpkin puree for all those fall pumpkin addicts.


  1. Place all ingredients into your crockpot and mix together.
  2. Set crockpot on LOW for 8 hrs. (Example: start at 10 pm before you go to bed, wake up to warm oatmeal at 6 am)!
  3. Eat a fresh hot cup of oatmeal the first morning. Divide the rest of your crockpot oatmeal in individual containers and reheat every morning.
  4. Optional topping on top of your hot oatmeal: nuts, more fresh fruit, unsweetened shredded  coconut, peanut butter/nuts or seed butters. Maybe you decide to change-up your toppings every day.

2. Overnight Oats

Yield: 1 Serving


  • 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of liquid (skim milk, unsweetened almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk)
  • 1/2 cup of traditional rolled oats
  • Optional Variations: add fruit  (berries, sliced banana, or chopped apple/peach/pineapple/mango), 1 Tbsp of ground flaxseed and/or chia seeds, 1-2 tsp of honey or pure maple syrup, 1 Tbsp of peanut butter (or other nut/seed butter), 1 Tbsp of chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, etc.) or dried fruit.


  1. Add and mix all ingredients together in an individual tupperware container or mason jar.
  2. Place container in the refrigerator. Let your overnight oats sit overnight.
  3. The next morning your breakfast will be ready to grab and eat! Eat your overnight oats as is OR add crunchy toppings (such as nuts or granola).

* I recommend making at least 3 containers of overnight oats at one time to have ready to go for breakfast multiple days! 

3. DIY Individual Oatmeal Packets

Yield: 1 serving


  • 1 snack baggie
  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2 Tbsp of cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp of raisins
  • 1 Tbsp of chopped walnuts (or another nut/seed of your choice)
  • 1 cup of liquid (water, skim milk, or dairy substitute)


  1. Place all ingredients, except for the liquid, into your snack baggie.
  2. Pour snack baggie ingredients into a cup or bowl.
  3. Add your liquid to bowl and stir.
  4. Microwave your oatmeal or 2 minutes.
  5. Optional topics after oatmeal is cooked: add fresh fruit, 1 Tbsp of PB, and/or more nuts.

*Create an assembly line and make 10+ snack baggies at one time. Leave baggies at home in a cabinet OR bring to work and leave in your breakfast/snack drawer.  

Do you get egg-cited for protein in the morning? 


4. Egg Muffin Cups

5. Baked Frittata

6. Baked Egg Sandwiches

*You can prepare all egg options for Sunday breakfast and heat up your leftovers for your weekday breakfast (s).

Do you YoLo for Yogurt?


7. Yogurt Parfaits

Yield: 4 servings


  • 32 oz of plain greek yogurt (or vanilla)
  • 2 cups of fruit (berries, banana, mango, pineapple, your pick of fruit)
  • 1 cup of granola (make a homemade granola OR use a crunchy cereal like Kashi Go Lean)
  • 4 mason jars or tupperware containers


  1. Add 1/2 cup of fruit at bottom of mason jar
  2.  Add 1 cup of greek yogurt on top of the fruit
  3. Add 1/4 cup of granola on top of the greek yogurt
  4. Your 4 yogurt parfaits are ready to grab and go!

8. Greek Yogurt Trail Mix Bars 

Do you get sassy for sunshine smoothies?

Fruit smoothie

9. Green Island Smoothie

Yield: 1 serving


  • 1-2 handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup of frozen mango and/or pineapple chunks (buy frozen or freeze fresh fruit)
  • Juice of 1 lime or 2 Tbsp of lime juice
  • 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any type of unsweetened dairy substitute or skim milk)
  • 1 cup of plain greek yogurt OR 1 scoop of dietitian approved plain/vanilla protein powder OR 4 oz of tofu
  • Optional ingredients (add all OR choose based on what you have on hand): 1-2 tsp of ground ginger, 1 Tbsp of chia seeds or ground flaxseed, 1 Tbsp of nut/seed butter, and/or 1/4 cup of rolled oats


  1. Add ingredients to a blender and blend for 15-30 seconds until a smooth consistency.
  2. Pour smoothie into a 24 fl oz cup and drink on the move!

10.Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

Yield: 1 serving


  • 1 cup of frozen cherries (buy frozen or freeze pitted cherries, substitute any berry in place of cherries)
  • 2 Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any type of unsweetened dairy substitute or skim milk)
  • 1 cup of plain greek yogurt or 1 scoop of plain/vanilla protein powder or 4 oz of tofu
  • Optional (add all OR choose based on what you have on hand) : 1 Tbsp of chia seeds or ground flaxseed or hemp seeds or nut/seed butter, 1/4 cup of rolled oats, 1-2 handfuls of spinach


  1. Add ingredients to a blender and blend for 15-30 seconds until a smooth consistency.
  2. Pour smoothie into a 24 fl oz cup and drink on the move!

*Make DIY smoothie sandwich baggies and place in the freezer for any smoothie! 

Do you go nuts for peanut butter?


11. Peanut Butter Oat Balls

12. Good ol’ Toast Peanut Butter & Jam with or without of fruit (sliced figs shown in above picture)

13. Greek yogurt with 1 Tbsp of PB & 1/2 cup of berries

14. Peanut Butter Pancakes

Yield: 1 serving, 6-7 small pancakes (3 large pancakes)


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp of peanut butter
  • Optional ingredient in pancake batter: 1/2 scoop of dietitian approved protein powder (10g of whey protein) 
  • Optional toppings: chocolate chips, sliced/chopped nuts, granola, dried fruit, fresh fruit, shredded coconut, and/or maple syrup.


  1. Add all ingredients in a blender and blend until the pancake batter is smooth.
  2. Spray skillet with cooking spray and heat skillet on medium heat.
  3. Pour batter on the hot skillet. Add optional topping (s).
  4. Once the edges of your pancake raise and bubbles form on the top of the pancake (approx. 2 minutes), flip pancake with a spatula. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until both sides are golden brown.
  5. Eat your snack of pancakes with optional toppings.

*Prepare pancakes in bulk by cooking at least 2 batches of pancakes at one time and putting remaining pancakes in the fridge to reheat or eat cold the next morning. These pancakes make great snacks too! 

15. Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Yield: 1 serving


  • 1 medium banana (Tip: use a peeled frozen banana to create a cold creamy smoothie)
  • 1 Tbsp of peanut butter (or other nut/seed butter)
  • 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any type of unsweetened dairy substitute or skim milk)
  • 1 cup of plain greek yogurt (or 1 scoop of dietitian approved plain/vanilla protein powder or 4 oz of tofu)
  • Optional (add all OR choose based on what you have on hand): 1 Tbsp of chia seeds or ground flaxseed, and/or 1/4 cup of rolled oats


  1. Add ingredients to a blender and blend for 15-30 seconds until a smooth consistency.
  2. Pour smoothie into a 24 fl oz cup and drink on the move!

Do you crave your simple, but mighty childhood favorites?


16. Cereal with fruit and almond slivers. 

17. Whole Wheat English Muffin with a variety of toppings.

  • Peanut butter with or without sliced fruit
  • Sliced hard-boiled egg, tomato & cucumber
  • Avocado, red pepper flakes & tomato slices
  • Avocado & honey.
  • Avocado & smoked salmon

18. Homemade Easy Granola Bar with a piece of fruit

19. Low-Fat Chocolate Milk paired with a bar or toast with PB

20. Pancakes or Waffles (make your batter in bulk and refrigerate for the week)

21. French Toast (make in bulk and reheat the next morning(s) )


For more variations of your favorite breakfast meals, do a quick search in pinterest. Also, feel free to check out my pinterest breakfast board for more options. If you still are not eating breakfast or can’t find anything you like to eat in the morning, please contact me and I can help you find a breakfast that works for your lifestyle and preferences. 

Since we take breakfast pretty seriously at Virginia Tech, we decided to whisked up a breakfast cooking demo for our Virginia Tech’s Athletes featuring veggie omelets, overnight oats, and protein pancakes. The athletes left full, satisfied, and egg-cited to make the recipes on their own at home! Mission accomplished √


Instagram  @Hokie_Fuel