Breakfast of Champions, Times Two

Most days, I eat two breakfasts. This bit of news should come as no shock to family, friends and anyone who has ever heard me shout “PANCAKES!” during a long run. Breakfast food is my favorite food. I can’t keep cereal in the house, because I’ll eat it all day long. Pancakes and waffles, well they have a special place in my heart. Scrambled eggs with veggies are a go-to lunch time favorite. And well, the list could continue for quite some time.

Back to my two breakfasts. Most days, I workout in the morning, often not long after waking up. I do not like to train on an empty stomach. It makes me sick and my workouts suffer. So I have what amounts to a snack that’s between 150 and 200 calories — toast with a bit of jam, a Honey Stinger Waffle, a mini bagel, half a granola or energy bar — along with some water and a bit of coffee about 20 minutes before heading out the door for my run, bike or swim. It took some trial and error to figure out this plan, but I do better with a little bit of real food in my tummy rather than just a gel or sports drink.

(For a great read on why eating something small before exercise is scientifically important, check out the post “Should You Eat Before You Workout” by performance expert Jenny Evans at Powerhouse Performance Coaching.)

Strawberry Oatmeal with yogurt, walnuts and honey

After my workout, it’s time for my real breakfast. Most days, that means oatmeal. And now that the farmer’s markets are picking up steam in Western New York, there’s the opportunity to get creative with my second breakfast. So after today’s 4-mile trail run, I cooked up my old-fashioned oats and mixed it with sliced local strawberries and walnuts. I added a few heaping tablespoons of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt and topped it all with local honey. My body gets whole grains and local fruit. The handful of walnuts boosts the nutritional punch by adding Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, Vitamin E and “good” fats while the Greek yogurt adds calcium and a hefty amount of protein. The added bonus? It all comes together quickly so I can feed my hungry, post-workout belly and feel good about the start to my day.

Strawberry Oatmeal


  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries (fresh, local preferred)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 teaspoons local honey


Prepare oats according to package directions. When oatmeal is finished cooking, add strawberries and walnuts. Top with yogurt and drizzle with honey.

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