Chew on this

At breakfast, think outside the (cereal) box

Lance Tucker

My husband looked horrified as I spooned out a steaming cup of white bean and vegetable soup for breakfast. In his world view, soup is not breakfast food.

I, meanwhile, was thrilled. I had been up late the previous night preparing the soup, and had been dreaming of my morning meal. I had used Rebecca Katz’s Magic Mineral Broth (find the recipe at, so I knew this soup would be delicious and healing.

Certain items have been categorized as “breakfast foods,” but they contain no magic morning properties. Some of them, such as highly sugared cereals, should be avoided. A great start to the day is a meal you have time for and enjoy that contains a mix of protein, carbohydrates and a splash of good fat.

My soup had the protein equivalent of two eggs, lots of beans for morning fiber and the vitamin-mineral equivalent of half a vitamin pill. And since it was already prepared, it was a quick breakfast. Other quickies that might not fit the traditional breakfast mold are dinner leftovers or a sandwich on whole wheat bread. It’s about the taste and nutrition, not the name of the dish.

Most of my clients tell me that the most important factor in the morning is time. With a bit of planning and a well-stocked pantry, a delicious morning meal is moments away. Nuts and dried fruits can quickly turn high-protein Greek yogurt into a nutritious breakfast. A smoothie of frozen fruits, a handful of greens, a calcium-rich beverage and a scoop of protein powder takes only a few minutes to make.

If you don’t have time to eat at home, take breakfast to work. For safety, digestion and mindfulness, I counsel against eating in the car.

If you want to to try my soup for breakfast, you’ll find that recipe at, too. Search for Tuscan Bean Soup With Kale.

Sheah Rarback is a registered dietitian on the faculty of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. Follow her on Twitter @sheahrarback.

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