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You’ve heard it before: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” This is true, sure, but also: what are you eating for breakfast? Let’s imagine you are beyond eating pastries and coffee for breakfast and are making an effort to eat better. You can eat a great, organic, nutrient-dense meal for breakfast, but if you’re not eating according to your nutritional type, you may not be feeling your best.

I do a lot of nutritional (also known as metabolic) typing with clients. We are all biochemically and metabolically different, and we have different nutritional requirements. This is why one diet does not always fit everyone! The basic premise of nutritional typing is that there are three “types:” protein, carb, and mixed types, and each require different amounts of carbs & protein. (Read more about how to determine your type here.) Obviously, protein types need more protein and would crash on a vegetarian diet (if you are a vegetarian who has gained weight or is feeling crappy since making the switch, you are eating wrong for your type), and carb types are fine with more carbs (veggies, grains, fruits) and less protein. Mixed types are a good balance between the two.

So if you are a protein type and you’re eating oatmeal first thing in the AM, which is a high carb breakfast, you’re going to feel lethargic and foggy all day. Here are three ideal breakfasts for each of the three types.

Protein type: Smoked Salmon (Lox), which you ideally finish completely before moving on to a salad made with organic baby spinach leaves & shiitake mushrooms mixed with an Olive Oil or flax oil-based dressing. OR have some leftover seared flank steak, with a wilted spinach salad with avocado, olives, and pumpkin seeds. Use olive or flax oil-based dressing. As you can see, protein types often need to think outside the breakfast box. These are folks who crash and burn on the typical American sugar cereal or bread-based breakfast.

Mixed type: Fruit smoothie with whey or rice protein powder (preferably whey, but if you do not tolerate dairy, use rice powder). Blend together a banana, handful strawberries, spirulina/chlorella or superfood green powder, flaxseeds, coconut milk, and protein powder. OR try an egg scramble with pastured eggs, goat cheese, spinach, and a chicken sausage.

Carb type: Fresh vegetable juice of your choice (I like parsley-carrot-beet-ginger or green juice with any combo you like: spinach, green apple, parsley, cucumber, celery, etc) with oatmeal topped with raw cream (if you tolerate dairy) and cinnamon. OR a veggie egg scramble with goat cheese and a small seasonal fruit salad.