Here's What Health Experts Eat (And Do) Every Morning

Hint: they never skip breakfast.

16/06/2016 6:27 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:54 PM AEST
Doug Berry
Having a morning routine can help you start the day right.

How you spend your morning can really set you up for the day ahead. If you're stressed, frantically getting ready for work and forget to eat breakfast, chances are you may feel frazzled and hangry for the rest of the day.

On the other hand, starting your day with a good breakfast (and perhaps some exercise) can help you establish a good frame of mind, as well as good eating habits, for the whole day.

To help us all get the best start to the day, we spoke to three accredited practising dietitians and spokespeople for the Dietitians Association of Australia to see what their morning routines are.

Why breakfast is important

"The main reason to eat breakfast is to break the fast and to provide your body, particularly your brain, with glucose so that you can concentrate better throughout the morning," Melanie McGrice told The Huffington Post Australia.

Each meal has a flow on effect for whatever else you're doing in between. A good breakfast that fills you enough will help prevent you from making poor food choices.

Fuelling our bodies with breakfast not only helps our cognitive function -- it even boosts our metabolism, according to Joel Feren.

"Eating breakfast is fantastic for mental performance and improving memory, and can help reduce fatigue and boost metabolism," he said.

"Research shows that people who don't start the day with breakfast are more likely to be tempted by high kilojoule foods throughout the day -- for example, cakes at morning tea or a muffin while waiting for the train," McGrice said.

Getty Images/Tetra images RF
Mornings are a good time to mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead.

According to Simone Austin, by fuelling properly we are more likely to be selective about what we're eating for the rest of the day -- as well as making sure we're getting enough important nutrients.

"Breakfast is so important for fibre intake. Whole grain cereal or grainy bread provides good dietary fibre for your bowels and to feed your bacterial colony," Austin told HuffPost Australia. "If you skip breakfast it makes it harder to get enough fibre for the day.

"Each meal has a flow on effect for whatever else you're doing in between. A good breakfast that fills you enough will help prevent you from making poor food choices.

"Then when you get to say 10 o'clock, you're not starving and not reaching for less nutritious foods like biscuits, doughnuts or anything you can get your hands on from the vending machine."

Getting up even 20 minutes earlier means you can enjoy a slower morning and ease into the day.

Even if you aren't hungry for breakfast in the morning, Feren still recommends eating to prevent overeating later in the day.

"Just have something," Feren told HuffPost Australia. "Skipping breakfast is really a missed opportunity."

If you are someone who struggles to eat breakfast, to help make it more appealing find a breakfast which you find delicious and is easy to make -- whether that be using a fresh loaf of bread or your favourite fruits on top of muesli.

"It's important for people to choose nourishing foods, but also foods they enjoy," Austin said.

If you can start the day in a healthy way you feel so much more in control for the rest of the day.

To make sure you're having a balanced breakfast that will give you sustained energy, all three dietitians recommend including complex carbohydrates and protein.

"Try to have a carbohydrate that's got some fibre in it, such as a good cereal or whole grain bread, and then some sort of protein, which is usually milk or yoghurt. This will help fill you up for longer and, if you have been exercising, you've got the protein to help restore and maintain your muscles," Austin said.

"The more satisfying your breakfast is, the less likely you are going to be tempted by other foods. If you can start the day in a healthy way you feel so much more in control for the rest of the day," McGrice said.

Here's what these three dietitians eat and do each morning.


1. Simone Austin's morning routine


"Breakfast is probably my favourite meal of the day. I just really love breakfast foods," Austin told HuffPost Australia.

"As well as it fuelling me in terms of giving me energy and nutrients for the day, psychologically I also really enjoy the ritual of breakfast. It's a nice, positive way to get me going for the day."

Austin's breakfast of choice usually involves whole grain cereal and muesli for complex carbohydrates, along with milk and yoghurt for protein and calcium.

"I do really like oats, so I'll have Bircher muesli or plain muesli," she said. "I also like Weet-Bix and I sometimes have a combination of Weet-Bix and muesli. Then I add some milk, a couple of dollops of natural or vanilla yoghurt and either a few strawberries, half a banana or a little bit of another fruit.

"I could eat that every day. Occasionally, though, I will have whole grain sourdough toast with ricotta and Vegemite on one of them and ricotta and apricot jam on the other with a glass of milk.

Muesli with yoghurt and fruit is a delicious, filling way to start your day.


After getting up early, Austin either starts on breakfast or, if she has decided to exercise, goes straight for a run.

"I don't exercise every morning. When I do, like this morning, I definitely feel more energised afterwards," Austin said.

Austin doesn't have a pre-workout snack, but instead makes sure she eats her post-workout nutrition straight after.

"I tend to only exercise for 30-35 minutes, so I get out of bed, have a glass of water, do a couple of stretches and off I go. Then breakfast is my recovery meal when I get back, which I have as soon as I finish. I'll also have some extra water."

A work out doesn't have to be an hour long. Just 10 minutes of exercise (with the bub) can help put you in a positive frame of mind.

2. Melanie McGrice's morning routine

McGrice wakes up at around 6 a.m., leaving enough time to lie in bed for a little while and slowly ease into the day.

"For me, I make sure I have time in the morning to be able to start my day without chaos or rush. It's always good to have some time to get yourself organised," she said. "Then I get up and do my morning routine -- get ready and have some breakkie.


"I really like to start the day with something I enjoy. My go-to breakfast is muesli with milk and yoghurt and fruit on top. I vary the fruit depending on what's available -- it might be banana, strawberries, kiwi fruit or tinned fruit.

"I also like changing it up. I love getting a beautiful bread loaf, particularly the fruit toast, and have that with farmer's market jam, avocado and tomato, or pear and feta."

Rick Poon
Think of breakfast as the time to fill up on your favourite cafe options.


Like many city dwellers, McGrice opts to use her daily commute to work as a way of exercising.

"I usually ride my bike for 20 minutes into work. Since I've made that change it's been a really great way to not have to schedule exercise into my day and get to work without having to pay for parking or wait in traffic.

"It kills two birds with one stone. It really gets me moving and is a great way to get some exercise in."

3. Joel Feren's morning routine

"I'm a bit of a stickler for routine. I start the day with a coffee and the newspaper," Feren said. "I set aside quite a large period of time to enjoy my mornings."


Instead of morning exercise, Feren opts for an afternoon work out, including running and strength training. As long as you get up and moving, it doesn't matter what time of day it is, Feren said.

"My motto regarding exercise is: just do something. If you can do it earlier in the day, great. If it's later in the day, fine."


"I tend to eat about an hour after waking," Feren said.

"My typical Monday to Friday breakfast is a couple of Weet-Bix with a dollop of Greek yoghurt, some chia seeds, a handful of berries, a banana and milk. You're getting the low GI carbohydrates, protein and calcium and key nutrients from banana. This breakfast is also a great source of fibre."

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