Survival Guide to Breakfast

Tara Donne, Food Styling: Karen Evans, Prop Styling: Shana Faust

Ok people, put down the doughnut (or bacon-egg-and-cheese biscuit, toaster pastry, sugary cereal, or giant cinnamon bun, dripping with icing). Starting off your day with a meal consisting of mostly fat, sugar, or both will make you feel sluggish and hungry before homeroom is out. But what should you eat instead? When the fuel you choose can affect everything from your grades to your sports performance, you don’t want to blow it. That’s why planning in advance is key, and we’ve got three easy strategies to help. Start thinking outside the cereal box!

Burrito-ize it!

If you have leftover chicken in your fridge, or bananas on your counter, breakfast is practically already made. All you need to do is assemble some choice ingredients and wrap them up in a whole-wheat tortilla for a great breakfast-to-go.

Make it Savory. Did you have rotisserie chicken last night? Stew from the slow cooker? Sneak in some veggies and a sprinkle of low-fat cheese, then wrap it up. Zap it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until the cheese melts.

Make it sweet. Smear some peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese on a tortilla and fill it with any fruit you have on hand—a banana, blueberries, apple slices, you name it. Drizzle with a bit of honey and a few slivered almonds and wrap it up.

Contain it!

These grab-and-go breakfasts are tailor-made to eat on the run. Layer your ingredients in a plastic to-go cup at night, store the cup in the fridge, then grab it—along with a plastic spoon—on your way out the door in the morning. Some of our favorite combos:

  • Yogurt + blueberries + slivered almonds + honey

  • Cottage cheese + canned peaches + toasted pumpkin seeds

  • Oatmeal + banana + pecans + maple syrup

  • Leftover pasta + avocado + cheddar cheese + turkey bacon

Learn to crack it!

Eggs are packed with high-quality protein to keep you energized and satisfied. Hit up your fridge for ingredients and turn your eggs into a hearty scramble. Follow this rubric to create countless quick morning meals—just pick one or two items from each list.


Raid the fridge for leftovers:

  • Chicken (shred it)

  • Steak (cut it up into bite-size pieces)

  • Pork (cut it up into bite-size pieces)

  • Sauteed veggies (chop ’em)

  • Salad greens (chop ’em)


Crack two or three eggs into a bowl and lightly beat with a whisk or a fork. Add some more flavor with:

  • A pinch of salt

  • A few grinds of pepper

  • A dash of hot sauce


Heat a small amount of olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add your leftovers and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Pour in your eggs and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan until the eggs are just set, about 1 minute. (They should look slightly wet but not runny.) Transfer your scramble to a plate.


Top off those eggs with:

  • A sprinkle of shredded low-fat cheese

  • A dollop of low-fat sour cream

  • A spoonful of salsa

  • Chopped avocado or prepared guacamole

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