7 Breakfasts Of Highly Effective People

Ever wonder what the elite eat?

From Oprah to Bill Clinton, these people are typically driven, motivated, high energy, high impact individuals and generally, they know a little something; diet matters. How could we possibly expect to fuel our days without fueling our diets? If we don’t give our bodies the basic nutrients, the building blocks to thrive, we simply cannot perform at peak performance. With whole food comes energy, creativity, vibrancy, clear mindedness, and motivation. What goes in, must come out and if there’s one thing we can be sure of; food is power.


Smoothie on the go

Banana | Coconut water | Chaga (medicinal mushrooms) | Carob | Cinnamon | Spirulina (sea algae superfood) | Acai Berry | Cacao (the raw, unprocessed form of cocoa)

Over the past few days I’ve been listening to podcasts of these effective people while cleaning the house, or doing a morning yoga practise of all things! But breakfast came up quite often and it got me intrigued, how are these people fueling their days with their diets? This is exactly how they do it:

Tony Robbins

  • Who: Motivational speaker, personal finance instructor, life coach and self-help author
  • Breakfast: Salad and fish (“I’m boring as hell”)
  • Breakfast breakdown:
    • Fish is renowned as brain food as it is the best source of animal based omega-3 fatty acids; EPA and DHA. However, as with all animal products, the source matters immensely. In fact, levels of omega 3’s may be reduced by up to 50% in farmed salmon as opposed to wild and have much higher concentration of contaminants. The main point here is that it is all about the source and my favourites include sardines and wild Pacific or Alaskan (NOT Atlantic) caught salmon.
    • Making it work for you: Generally I recommend a plant-based breakfast as it is easily digestible and a rich source of compact, alkalinizing nutrition but with a clean source of fish and lots of greens to balance the meal, this can be a well-balanced lunch or dinner and for the right individual, perhaps even breakfast too!

Rich Roll

  • Who: Plantpowered Wellness Advocate, Author, Ultra-Athlete
  • Breakfast: Carrot, beet, kale (or spinach) and orange juice with flax seed oil
    Gluten free toast with peanut or almond butter
    Gluten free cereal (corn flakes or corn or rice based cereals)
    Almond milk
    Vega meal replacement powder
    Hemp protein powder
  • Breakfast breakdown:
    • When drinking juice in the morning, greens must be the predominant ingredient as fruit juice will spike blood sugar without the stabilizing effect of fibre (the component extracted  in the juicing process). I generally prefer green smoothies that keep the whole food intact for its wide spectrum of benefits and the fibre for blood sugar stabilization, healthy bowels and the ability to keep you full and fueled!
    • Beware that gluten-free does not equate to healthy. Toast and cereals are often heavily processed and devoid of nutrients. We need nutrients in order to metabolize our food and are not replacing these nutrients when we eat food that doesn’t contain them. This creates a nutrient depletion.
    • Hemp can be an excellent protein source. I often use whole hemp seeds with clients over powders as using whole foods will give you the whole benefit of its nutritional spectrum. My favourite protein powders are hemp, brown rice and pea protein but I prefer whole food protein sources when possible.
    • Making it work for you; for the right person and with the right education, a vegan lifestyle can be a healthy life choice. Whether vegan or a meat eater, the big thing to aim for is a plant-based, whole foods diet. One that focusses on nutrient dense, live fruits and veggies and has very little room for anything processed or refined.
 John Mackey
  • Who: Founder of Wholefoods Market
  • Breakfast: According to Business Insider, John makes a protein smoothie every day with almond, oat, rice or soy milk, fresh fruit and kale or spinach leaves.
  • Breakfast Breakdown:
    • Green smoothies are one of my favourite breakfasts as they provide a rich source of nutrients and energizing zap of energy in an easily digestible form. Stay away from the soy milk as the processing of soy negatively alters its chemical composition. I prefer coconut water for hydration and to help balance electrolytes.
    • Making it work for you: I drink one every morning with a variety of greens, cucumbers, a protein source (rice protein or chia seeds), lemon, coconut water etc. If still hungry, wait 20 minutes before eating something like an avocado with satiating fats or add some healthy fats (flax/coconut oil etc.) to your smoothie. You can see my top tips on mastering the green here: https://lifeofeden.com/2013/10/19/master-the-green-smoothie-that-is/

beach scene

Richard Branson

  • Who: Businessman and investor, founder of Virgin Group
  • Breakfast: fruit salad and muesli, a granola-like dish most popular in Germany and Switzerland.
  • Breakfast breakdown:
    • provided you aren’t sensitive to gluten (though there are now gluten-free brands), muesli is a great, granola-like option, usually low in sugar and loaded with fibre. Fruit has a high nutrient density and water content making it very hydrating.
    • Making it work for you: For proper food combining, eat fruit first and wait 20 minutes before consuming the muesli if you feel digestive distress. Here’s why: https://lifeofeden.com/2013/10/06/when-fruit-becomes-toxic-the-one-time-to-never-eat-fruit/

Bill Clinton

  • Who: American politician, previous US president
  • Breakfast: Almond milk smoothie with fresh berries and non dairy protein powder
  • Breakfast breakdown:
    • Throw in some greens, swap at least some of the milk for coconut water and you have a highly effective breakfast in your mug!

Oprah Winfrey

  • Who: you know who!
  • Breakfast: Oprah’s breakfasts always vary but this is from one day of her food diary: 1/4 cup (dry, about a cup cooked) steel-cut oatmeal topped with: 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, about 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
    1 cup nonfat milk with a splash of hazelnut coffee creamer
  • Breakfast breakdown:
    • Steel cut oats are by far my favourite winter breakfast! She has a good serving, but this meal may be very heavy for some. See the blueberries and remember the food combining rule for fruit? Especially because this breakfast is cooked, I would stay away from adding fast digesting fruit to the mix unless also cooked. Why? Though destroying many of the nutrients, cooking slows the rate at which fruit is digested.
    • Pairing a concentrated protein such as walnuts with starch like oats, may also be very heavy for some. Chopping them finely may help and if you feel light and energized after eating this, you should be just fine. If not, save the protein for your next meal (steel cut oats offer protein on their own)
    • Milk and creamer is highly acidifying and easily swapped out for almond milk or another non-dairy option.
    • Making it work for you; Soak your steel-cut oats overnight for increased digestibility and pair with warming spices such as cinnamon or even curry, and a non-dairy milk such as almond, coconut or rice milk.


Brendon Burchard

  • Who: author, public speaker, and online trainer of motivation, high performance, and online marketing
  • Breakfast: This is what Brendon recommends for high performance nutrition: Smoothie with a handful of spinach, handful of blueberries, 1 whole fruit of your choice (pears, peaches, apples, banana), 1/2-3/4 scoop Vega One, ½ -scoop Vega Sport Performance Protein,. 1 scoop if you are working out heavily or need additional protein, 1 tablespoon of Amazing Grass Super Food
  • Breakfast breakdown:
    •  Smoothies are incredible! With the protein powders, it would be easy to add more whole food greens and vegetables such as celery or cucumber into this to amp up the nutrient value.
    • Protein, though blood sugar stabilizing, can be acidifying in high amounts. I would use just one of the protein powders and use a whole food source such as hemp seeds if needing a further boost.
    • Making this work for you: Greens powders are great if you are concerned about getting enough greens into your diet while transitioning to a holistic lifestyle. Whole food sources are best and should comprise at least half of every meal but I currently recommend North Coast Naturals greens powders if you feel you need the added boost.


If there’s one thing that I’ve appreciated with these podcasts, it’s the amount of focus that these highly efficient individuals place on their diets and how much they understand the value of their personal health and wellness. Put the right fuel in the tank and you can drive just about anywhere! My favourite fuel: a hearty bowl of warming oatmeal and spices in the winter, and a nutrient packed, light and easily digestible green smoothie in the summer.


To our efficiently wholesome mornings,

Suzanne Eden

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