I love my breakfast.
Yes, breakfast, in the singular.
I eat the same simple combination almost every day and I prepare it through the same steps almost the same every day. Yet it has more flavor, texture, and nutrition than any other breakfast I know. Compared to the flashy, colorful boxes taking up most of the cereal supermarket aisle I haven’t entered in years—at least not since I wrote about “Variety, choice, the manufactured illusion of it, and creating more yourself” and “Nature versus Corporate.”
My breakfast creates a solid foundation for my day, every day.
- Oats, about 1/3 of a bowl
- Chia seeds, one heaping teaspoon
- Water, enough for the oats and chia seeds to absorb
- Fresh fruit, usually half an apple, diced. Sometimes a different fruit
- Nuts, a handful, usually the mix from the bulk food store: Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, hazel nuts, and almonds
In the winter I sometimes heat the oats, chia seeds, and water in the microwave before adding the fruit. I used to use soy milk until I realized water with soy added wasn’t much different than water with oats added, which I already had, so I simplified. I also used to heat the oats all the time since almost everyone I know eats cooked oatmeal but not uncooked, but then I realized cooking it didn’t change much flavor and took a lot more work, so I simplified.
The fresh fruit and nuts add more flavor and texture than all those manufactured cereals try to fake with artificial flavors. It tastes better, is healthier, takes no more time to prepare, costs less, produces almost no trash, and more. I don’t imagine ever getting tired of eating apples with nuts, though in the summer and fall I mix up other fruits, especially berries and pears. I can’t bear to put peaches in since they taste too good on their own.
Actually, the pecans taste so good, I separate them from the rest of the nuts to eat by themselves.
If I’m in a hurry, I can prepare and eat it in a few minutes. If I have to skip lunch, I can make through the afternoon without too much trouble. But I prefer to eat it slowly and savor the contrasts in textures and flavors between the ingredients.
For you bacon-and-eggs types, well, I don’t consider that food, but that’s your business. I’ve sampled many fancy granolas. I used to like their crunchiness, but sugar is usually the second or third ingredient. After getting used to the complexity of fruits and nuts, granolas’ overly-intense sweetness turns me off.
I’ve meant to try steel cut oats for a while but haven’t gotten to it yet.
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book