I used to train this guy, Tim, who had a schedule that kind of alternated. One week he’d be an 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning guy and the next he’d be a 5:00 or 6:00pm guy. When he came in for the afternoon sessions, he was a lion. He’d handle the big weights, throw in an extra set of conditioning, and leave sweaty with a big smile on his face.
In the mornings, though, it was a bit of a different story. Tim was still a good dude who worked hard, but you could tell he was a little bit less than at full peak. His language would be more of a “let’s see what’s in the tank today” vs “Time to kill it, man!” like it was in the evening. His training followed suit. I noticed this after a while and we got into a conversation about what the difference was in his day and workout prep.
He’d been doing this schedule for quite a while, so he was used to it as far as sleeping patterns, etc went. Next we turned the conversation to his nutrition, and that’s where we started to get into a bit of a discussion. He had a couple of kids and a busy wife so his mornings consisted of running around, getting the kids ready, and so on before heading into either the gym or work.
On the mornings he went to work he grabbed a cup of coffee, ate a mid-morning snack, had lunch, then his pre-workout meal before coming to the gym. By the time the weights hit the bar he’d have had several meals and was loaded up with energy. On the mornings he went to the gym, the story was a little different. He was too busy (so he said) with the kids’ morning routine to eat breakfast so he was basically running on a big ass cup of coffee and nothing else.
Given that Tim wasn’t a big eater in general (he was trying to get leaner, so he was on a small calorie deficit) by not having any nutrition going after a night’s fast he really felt bogged down his energy and motivation. As a side note, this is a time where an Intermittent Fasting diet might work, but in general it wasn’t something that Tim wanted to do.
So the answer was that he needed some kind of breakfast before he hit the gym.
The issue? He had a super-busy morning and didn’t think he had time to cook a breakfast and get the kids ready. I’ve had hundreds of clients over the years tell me this, and if you’re a busy, high-performer reading this then I bet you have had the same issue.
The truth? It’s a bullshit excuse. The other truth? The clients who’ve had the most success with me over the years have been breakfast eaters.
I’ve got three five-minute breakfasts (I call them “Perfect Breakfasts” for my clients) for you that you can throw together on the quick and will give you both the macro (protein, carbs, and fats) that you need as well as giving you a big charge of real micronutrient nutrition (vitamins, minerals, fiber,) that you won’t get from a shitty breakfast bar or a drive-through sandwich.
Perfect Breakfast #1 – The Shake Option
This is the fastest of the bunch. Throw a bunch of shit into a shaker and you’re out the door.
Here’s one of my favorite mixes:
-A quality Whey, Blended, or Vegan protein powder. I love 1stPhorm’s Level-1 Proteins.
-Some fiber to help slow digestion and to add to my daily intake.
-A greens supplement to get in some of those vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
-My creatine dose for the day for muscle hydration, better lean mass, and neurological support.
I have scoops or cheap measuring spoons in each tub so all I need to do is grab and pop a scoop into the cup and I know exactly how much of everything I have in there. Add some water or almond milk, give it a shake, and I’m out the door.
If you were looking to do this pre-workout, as Tim did, then I would cut the fiber in half and add a bit of a carb powder or eat a piece of fruit with it.
Perfect Breakfast #2 – The Breakfast Bowl
If you have closer to the five minutes and you want a combination of carbs, protein, healthy fats, and fiber that will stick to your ribs a bit, this is the one for you. This is how I frequently start my day and like the shake, I keep measuring tools in all of my containers.
Here’s a video on me putting the bowl together, but basically you’re going to mix in oat bran, chia seeds, hemp seeds, a handful of nuts, and some shredded coconut. Add in some hot water and your favorite protein and you’re good to go.
Perfect Breakfast #3 – Eggs and Veggies
This is a bit more of the traditional breakfast, but I’ve got a quick trick for you.
Grab a bag of your frozen mixed veggies. Get a pan nice and hot and then pour half of the bag in. It’ll start to melt and heat up. While the veggies are getting warmed-up, crack your eggs, tear up your Canadian Bacon, or whatever else you’re going to put in your breakfast mix.
Once most of the water has steamed off the veggies and they’re warmed up then pour your eggs and the other stuff right into the pan, put some salt and pepper on there and mix it up into a big, fluffy scramble.
Once the eggs are cooked (probably under a minute) then plate it, pour some siracha on it (if you’re like me) and now you’ve got a hot, healthy, and fast breakfast.
After arming Tim with these simple ideas he was able to get a handle on breakfast on the run, which helped us dial in the rest of his nutrition and get him to his fat loss and fitness goals.
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