The Hungry Swimmer: Balanced Breakfast Ideas

by Zoe Gregorace 4

February 10th, 2020 Hungry Swimmer, Lifestyle

Ah, the most important meal of the day! Call me old-fashioned, but I definitely prioritize breakfast. In today’s society, fad diets like intermittent fasting encourage you to skip the first meal of the day. Although this tenet certainly challenges my own morals, I’m not here to give diet advice but to merely share some of my meal ideas with fellow breakfast enthusiasts. I personally like to start my day off with enough fuel to power me through my hectic morning. When I fill my belly with a balanced meal and wash it down with a generous mug of coffee, my concentration and productivity improve immensely. If you’re in a breakfast rut and are in dire need of some recipe inspiration, I welcome you to check out some of my favorite ways to fuel up in the mornings!

Fresh Breakfast Tacos


  • 2 corn tortillas
  • ½ avocado
  • 3 egg whites
  • Handful of kale
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Paprika
  • Hot sauce (optional)

As much as I love crisp toast in the morning, sometimes it just won’t cut it. Try mixing it up with some warm tortillas instead! These breakfast tacos are a great alternative to your classic eggs and toast. I prefer corn tortillas, but you can use whatever kind you want for this recipe. First, I warm up the tortillas for a few minutes on each side in a pan. Once warm, remove the tortillas and start to saute your kale in the pan with some cooking spray or olive oil. As the kale begins to wilt, separate your egg whites in a cup or glass and pour into the pan. Combine the egg whites with the kale. As the egg whites fully cook, slice an avocado and mash onto the warm tortillas. Top the tortillas with the egg white and kale saute and season to taste. Slice up your fresh cherry tomatoes as a garnish and dress with hot sauce for an added kick!

Ginger Spice French Toast


  • 2 Slices of bread (I used Food For Life Ezekiel Bread)
  • 2 eggs⠀
  • Splash of unsweetened almond milk⠀
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon⠀
  • 1 tsp vanilla ⠀
  • 1 tsp almond extract⠀
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder⠀


  • 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter⠀
  • Handful of blueberries

French toast is the ultimate, “treat yourself” breakfast. While you may not have time to whip this up during the week, I love making this recipe on the weekends. To start, get a bowl or rectangular Tupperware container. Crack in the eggs, add the almond milk, vanilla, almond extract, cinnamon and ginger powder. Whisk together with a fork and place a slice of bread in the bowl. Heat up a pan and let the bread soak up the liquid mixture for about 2 minutes on each side. Once the bread is soggy and has soaked up some of the liquid, place it in the pan. While one piece of bread is cooking, repeat the same steps with your second slice of bread. This multi-tasking will speed up the cooking process. If you want your French toast to be “stuffed”, you can create a layer of peanut butter and blueberries on top of the first cooked piece of bread. The warm bread will melt the peanut butter and once the second piece has cooked, you can sandwich the two slices together for extra melty PB goodness!

Berry Protein Smoothie Bowl


  • 1 ½ cups frozen mixed berries
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Handful of ice cubes
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I used Vegan Protein Chocolate flavor)


  • Handful of black berries
  • Handful of walnuts

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, smoothie bowls are an awesome, light breakfast option. With an infinite amount of flavor combinations, you can always switch it up and experiment with different fruits to discover your favorite concoction. For this recipe, you will start by filling your blender with a handful of ice, frozen mixed berries and almond milk. Blend until smooth. Then, add in your protein powder of choice. Blend again, making sure the powder fully incorporates. If the powder isn’t blending as smoothly, take a spoon and scrape the sides of the blender and add more ice to thicken. Pour the smoothie into a bowl and decorate with some toppings! I love adding berries and nuts for a crunch! Don’t be afraid to get creative with your toppings! You can also top your smoothie bowls with granola, chia seeds, hemp seeds, shaved coconut, cacao nibs or a drizzle of your favorite nut butter.

Check out my page for more recipe inspiration and be sure to share your balanced breakfasts with me @whatzoeeeats (

About Zoe Gregorace

Zoe Gregorace is currently studying Nutrition Policy at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and recently graduated from Tufts University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and was a proud member of the Tufts Swimming and Diving team (Go Jumbos!). During her 16 year career as a competitive swimmer, she developed a passion for sports nutrition. She enjoys writing on the topic of nutrition, health and wellness and posts her meal creations on her Instagram page @whatzoeeeats. As a former college swimmer, she strives to share recipes and nutrition tips to promote balanced eating and optimize sports performance.

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M d e
2 years ago

I think people overthink diet so much. Especially with young developing swimmers.

At the end of the day unless they are eating straight up trash junk food every day, and provided they get enough energy from the food I really don’t think it matters that much, especially in terms of value for time/money.

Any mostly balanced, generally healthy diet will be more than fine.

Once you are talking world class, elite athlete types it’s a different conversation obviously.

That’s not to say that this article isn’t fine, and the food looks good, although as a lazy swammer I’ll continue replacing breakfast with coffee though. Its succeeded in keeping my weight down somewhat to this point.

GA Boy
2 years ago

My morning practice is early enough where most mornings I can go get a good ol double cheeseburger from Steak’n’Shake, as they don’t flip their kitchen to breakfast till 6, and a coffee. No better way to start your morning before a 2-hour practice!

Reply to  GA Boy
2 years ago

There are definitely better ways lol

Reply to  GA Boy
2 years ago

The double cheeseburger is meat-free and dairy-free (with paprika kale anchovy whole grain whatever bun), right?