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What 50+ Entrepreneurs Eat for Breakfast

entrepreneur breakfast

A heated discussion about the merits of the eggocado led me to wonder: what are entrepreneurs eating for breakfast? Is the stereotype of having no time to eat true – are the hustlers who need it most skipping “the most important meal of the day”? Or are they eating the breakfasts of champions?

Turns out, lots of people were willing to share their morning munchies with me. You can find their 50+ responses below – divided into the bizarre; smoothies; foreign-inspired; caffeine; vitamins; eggs, bacon, and toast; and oatmeal, granola, and yogurt.

Bizarre

“A breakfast ritual: cottage cheese and hot sauce with a hot coffee and almond milk. Make sure that it is Sriracha on the table every morning!”

- Brian Neman, CEO of Sanguine

Breakfast - Brian Neman

“Breakfast = leftovers and salad . . . well, mostly leftovers.”

- Kate McKeon, CEO of Prepwise Games

Breakfast - NEW Kate McKeon

“Every day for about 10 years I’ve eaten a Chunky KitKat. It’s not the US version. I get my chocolate stash shipped in from my parents in the UK each month and have a chocolate cupboard that no one else is allowed to go near. I’m very protective over my British candy and have to eat at least one bar for breakfast daily.”

- Heddi Cundle, big cheese at MyTab

Breakfast - Heddi Cundle

“I’m known for eating chips dipped in sour cream for breakfast. I don’t believe that breakfast foods are for breakfast and dinner foods are for dinner. Food is food and you just eat what you want when you want it. And in the morning time I want something that takes little to no effort. So whether that be a cookie, cold pizza, or just a cup of coffee with some Carolans in it, it all fuels me for my day!”

- Jim Belosic, overlord/CEO at ShortStack

Breakfast - Jim Belosic

Smoothies

“The blender is my breakfast tool! Once a week I buy a bunch of vegetables and fruit. Every morning, I choose a couple, wack them in the blender, add some water, and drink it on my way to the tube. Nutritious, fast, fiber-rich breakfast for on the go…although I have made some terrible tasting shakes.”

- Lennard Maronde, marketing lead at DataShaka

Breakfast - Lennard Maronde

“Big Sur Breakfast burrito by Sweet Earth Natural Foods (microwavable) OR a vegan chocolate protein smoothie blended by my wife”

- Gary Patalsky, cofounder of TrekSavvy

Breakfast - Gary Patalsky

“My wife and I start out every work day with a smoothie made with 1 banana, 1/2 cup of blueberries, 1/2 cup of (blackberries, grapes, raspberries – depends on what’s fresh in the fridge), 1/2 cup of orange or apple juice, tablespoon of wheat germ, some local honey, and a dash of cinnamon. Margaret buys fruits from the downtown Dallas Farmers Market on the weekends and we freeze what we don’t use quickly. Yay breakfast!”

- David Burrows, VP of marketing & PR at Cinsay Inc.

Breakfast - David Burrows

“I drink 64 oz. of kale shake for morning and brunch to get my day started. In addition to kale, I usually throw in pineapples, apples, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, ginger, garlic, and basically whatever fruits look like they are about to go bad in the blender.”

- Seibo Shen, cofounder and CEO of VapeXhale

Breakfast - Seibo Shen

“I usually drink milk with vegan protein mix along with a croissant. I may also have Greek yogurt with granola/little bit of raspberry preserves.”

- Arjun Rai, founder and CEO of Canvs

Breakfast - Arjun Rai

“A typical breakfast has eggs and a fruit smoothie that’s light on juice and heavy on coconut and almond milk as well as bananas, apples, berries, and protein powder.”

- Jeff Kear, owner of Planning Pod

Breakfast - Jeff Kear

“Every morning I consume a nutrient-dense cocktail of my own design, comprised of 14 ingredients. This amalgamation is the product of my scouring countless pages of primary research on the subject of diet and health (for a book I am in the process of coauthoring). The ingredients are as follows: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, a banana, matcha green tea (powder), raw organic green superfood, spirulina, cinnamon, ground organic flaxseed, extra-thick organic rolled oats, refined omega oil from plant sources, refined omega oil from marine sources, nonfat probiotic greek yogurt, ice.”

- Brandon Esposito, CEO of Urban Darling

Breakfast - Brandon Esposito

“Kale / beet / frozen berry smoothie with coconut water, one fried egg”

- Russell Benaroya, cofounder and CEO of EveryMove

Breakfast - Russell Benaroya

“I usually consume a smoothie consisting of almond milk, frozen fruit (bananas, strawberries, blueberries), kale, oatmeal, and protein power. Followed by a healthy dose of coffee, then more coffee…”

- Michael Ivey, cofounder of Modern Message

Breakfast - Michael Ivey

“My usual breakfast consists of a glass of aloe vera juice that I make myself from aloe vera leaves. Then, I make myself a smoothie from raw lemons, ginger, turmeric, chia seeds, cinnamon, carrot, greens such as spinach, kale, broccoli, or whatever else I might have available at the time, and a fruit such as pineapple, kiwi, or pear depending on what is available.”

- Vladimir Gendelman, founder and CEO of Company Folders

Breakfast - Vladimir

We buy a bunch of fruits and vegetables every weekend and we take turns chopping them up on Sundays. Then during the week we take turns making a green smoothie (kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, green apple, mango, banana, almond milk, coconut oil) every morning for breakfast. It really energizes everyone and keeps us feeling healthy!”

- Hayley Brooks, cofounder and CEO of Learn2Earn

Breakfast - Hayley Brooks

“I have a Labrada Lean Body Carb Watchers Chocolate protein shake with frozen blueberries instead of ice cubes every morning. It tastes great and is super convenient. Only 280 calories, apparently. I don’t know why I still don’t look like the lean muscular dude on the box, though.”

- Mark Organ, CEO and founder of Influitive

Breakfast - Mark Organ

Foreign-inspired

“Toast and Marmite, a yeast extract spread native to my hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand”

- Simon Slade, cofounder and CEO of Affilorama and SaleHoo

“First I have a cup of coffee. After that I go for a walk with the dog. Once done with the walk, I eat two pieces of toast bread, each of them with a layer of Dutch Gouda cheese, another one containing British mustard, and a final one on top with slices of Hungarian Salami (special sausage).”

- Gabor Sved, cofounder and CEO of Ask a Stranger

I usually eat shakshuka – a dish of eggs poached in tomato and pepper sauce. It’s a great and healthy breakfast dish which helps me start off the day and is very common in the Mediterranean. The best way to eat it is with freshly baked bread and dipped in tahini.”

- Jonathan Saragossi, founder and CEO of IM Creator

Breakfast - Jonathan Saragossi

“I often eat idlis or dosas (South Indian food) for breakfast. These are made from fermented rice and lentil batter, and are high in nutritional value.  Keeps me energized and going for the whole day!”

- Vinay Iyer, founder and CEO of Goombal

Breakfast - Vinay Iyer

Caffeine

“Breakfast of champions: fresh ground black coffee and a ridiculous helping of sugar or a can of Lemonade Rockstar. They say love is all you need; I’d add caffeine to that list.”

- Ashley Huffman, marketing manager at Nano Magnetics

Breakfast - Ashley Huffman

“Every morning I start out my day with two large cups of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee with a couple of tablespoons of heavy whipping cream in each. I plan out my day while I’m drinking coffee and then finish off the morning with 2 slices of bacon and two scrambled eggs. My body seems to enjoy caffeine and fat for breakfast.”

- Jason Cannon, founder of Linux Training Academy

breakfast - jason cannon

“I always have a grande Pike Place or Americano from Starbucks, extra hot…no matter where you travel in the world, Starbucks is everywhere. They make the coffee the same way, every time.”

- Steve Papermaster, chairman and CEO of Powershift Group

Breakfast - Steve Papermaster

“I eat caffeine in the form of a bold coffee. Typically with someone I am networking with. Occasionally I add a croissant chaser!”

- Peter Lynch, founder and CEO of Digital Fridge

Breakfast - Peter Lynch

“Two glasses of water and a cup of K-Cup coffee with one thing of sugar”

- Gregg Weisstein, cofounder and COO of BloomNation.com

Breakfast - Gregg Weisstein

Coffee, water, apple, and a rice cake with peanut butter. If I have a meeting, it’s usually at a local family-owned place (in downtown San Diego) for a breakfast burrito, so I don’t need to eat until the next day.”

- Randy Apuzzo, CEO of Zesty.io

Breakfast - Randy Apuzzo

“Recently I moved completely to having Bulletproof Coffee every morning. So that is 1 tablespoon of grass-fed butter, with 1 tablespoon of high-quality MCT oil, blended into some freshly brewed coffee. My wife and I have this every day. On days where we workout, which we do in the mornings, we’ll have this, then workout, and have a protein shake afterwards. I find it keeps me incredibly focused for long periods of time and makes it easier to stay lean.”

- Jesse Miller, director of mobile at Yesware

“I’m usually in a hurry and not very hungry at breakfast, but I make myself something to go with my coffee (a breakfast staple). That something is oftentimes a piece of whole wheat toast with a light coating of peanut butter.”

- Terri J. Caldwell, CTO of SafelyFiled

Breakfast - Terri Caldwell

“Breakfast = black coffee! Simple, pure, and rich with caffeinated goodness. I make it the night before and set the timer…the smell wakes me up, like a Pavlovian reflex. Coffee = founder fuel!” 

- Nathan Beckord, CEO of Foundersuite.com

Breakfast - Nathan Beckord

“Shots of espresso and 5-hour ENERGY”

- Jeff Pieta, cofounder and president of Shiftgig

Breakfast - Jeff Pieta

“I don’t typically eat breakfast. I drink water or Rockstar Recovery lemonades. Food, on the rare occasion I have any, consists of a bagel with cream cheese (or egg and sausage) or a protein bar.”

- Chuck Reynolds, CMO of Levers

Breakfast - Chuck Reynolds

“Breakfast consists of an iced coffee with a chocolate croissant. Nothing quite like a sugar-fest to get you through your inbox!”

- Sam Bruce, founder of Much Better Adventures

Breakfast - Sam Bruce

Coffee and one liter of water.”

- Adi Bittan, cofounder and CEO of OwnerListens

Breakfast - Adi Bittan

“I like variety. They say variety is the spice of life, and I apply that to the foods I eat. For breakfast during the week, I usually have an iced coffee with crème and Splenda to drink every morning. Some days I will have a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich from Dunkin’ Donuts or McDonalds; or I’ll splurge and get a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich from Helen’s Sausage House in Smyrna, DE. Other days, I skip breakfast as I am so busy I literally just forget to eat.”

- Rich Kahn, CEO of eZanga.com

Breakfast - Rich Kahn

Vitamins

“I eat a breakfast that keeps me energized. I eat either oatmeal or eggs and bacon and I take vitamins like: vitamin D, fish oil, and rhodiola rosea (an adaptogen to combat stress and keep my energy level and mood high). That breakfast keeps me going all day long while I code and grow my company.”

- Adam Braus, CEO at Coride.co

Breakfast - Adam Coride

“Vitamin Water Zero XXX, Cliff Z Bar (chocolate brownie), apple, and vitamins: 2 krill oil, 1 vitamin C, 2 proteolytic enzymes, 1 CoQ10 with Ubiquinol, 1 Alive multivitamin”

- Darren Guccione, cofounder and CEO of Keeper Security

Breakfast - Darren Guccione

“Every morning I eat: protein shake (Solgar All-Natural Protein) in whole milk and B vitamin complex, antioxidants, multivitamin, fish oil. It takes about one minute to shake up and drink, and another 30 seconds to wash out the bottle.”

- John Peebles, CEO of Administrate

“7 Almonds (for luck) + 1 tbs of Brewer’s Yeast (stabilizes blood sugar) + 1 tsp of granulated lecithin (excellent for brain chemicals, and lowers cholesterol), plus (more recently) a soluble fiber chaser (because I’m 64)”

- Mark Talaba, executive VP of The Gabriel Institute, creators of Teamability

Breakfast - Mark Talaba

Eggs, bacon, and toast

“Normally scrambled eggs or an omlette with spinach and feta. Don’t like coffee and bagel and cream cheese – I’ll have as a treat maybe once or twice a month.”

- Sam Tarantino, CEO of Grooveshark

Breakfast - Sam Tarantino

“Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches made by my beautiful wife”

- Craig Walker, cofounder and CEO of UberConference

Breakfast - Craig Walker

“I usually have a comparatively light breakfast…iced coffee, yogurt with berries or granola; sometimes I bring a homemade spinach/berry/OJ smoothie from home. The rare Friday when I was out a bit too late the night before, I’ve picked up egg whites and turkey sausage from the diner downstairs. Some of the other breakfasts in the office include the typical egg and cheese sandwich, breakfast pies (like a quiche and pot pie baby), cereal, leftovers from the day before (hot wings, pickles, cheese, and baguette). These boys have strange taste buds…but it’s always an amusing morning activity to look around and see what everyone is munching on to start their days.”

- Alex Marshall, marketing manager at TheSquareFoot

Breakfast - Alex Marshall

“I try to follow a high-protein, low-carb diet and usually eat eggs and fruit for breakfast, and sometimes I also have raw coconut water as well.”

- Audrey Melnik, CEO of ZootRock

Breakfast - Audrey Melnik

“Breakfast is by far the most important meal of the day for me. I try to keep my early-morning diet consistent with a mix of high-protein foods and a healthy amount of carbohydrates. Some of my early-morning meals include eggs, peanut butter, grapefruit, and whole wheat toast.”

- Andrew Torba, cofounder and CEO of Kuhcoon.com

Breakfast - Andrew Torba

“I like to start every day off full with a paleo-style breakfast. I used to just do the whole cereal-and-milk every day but I hit a point where I realized I needed to take care of myself before I take care of my company, and I consistently hammer out the time each morning to make myself a good, tasty meal before starting the day.”

- Cody McLain, CEO of WireFuse

Breakfast - Cody McLain

“Pirate Eye. A piece of toast with a circle cut out from the center with an egg cooked inside. Put the cut out circle on top and ‘ARRG!’ you have a Pirate Eye breakfast.”

- Michelle Gannon, founder of The Language Playground

Breakfast - Pirate Eye

“I usually grab a bagel, toast it, add some jalapeno cream cheese, and eat it on the drive into the office while listening to podcasts. If I’m on the tired side, I’ll grab a Monster Energy Zero (white or red) for the drive in. If I’m more awake, I’ll wait until I hit the office to brew up some coffee (fresh-ground, black).”

- Rob Kischuk, founder and CEO of PerfectPost

Breakfast - Rob Kischuk

“2 eggs, enough cheese to taste it, and one leaf of something dark green”

- Dr. Amy Baxter, CEO of Buzzy4shots.com

Breakfast - Amy Baxter

“I sometimes like to have toast and jelly with organic coconut oil or flax seed oil drizzled on in place of butter. Research suggests these oils may be good for the brain.”

- Werner g Krebs, founder and CEO of Acculation

Breakfast - Werner Krebs

“I follow a modified version of Tim Ferris’s Slow Carb diet. For breakfast, I typically eat two eggs fried in grass-fed butter with sweet potato home fries, sauerkraut, wilted spinach and either dal makhani or refried beans.”

- Trevor Lohrbeer, cofounder and CEO of Lab Escape

Breakfast - Trevor Lohrbeer

Fried bananas, eggs scrambled, wheat toast, bacon and fresh fruit (of course coffee and grapefruit juice)”

- Michael Lazar, growth hacker at TrueShip

Breakfast - Michael Lazar

Bars and cereal 

“I don’t have much time for breakfast. Typically I’ll grab a Quest bar and drink a glass of milk. If I have time to spare, I enjoy scrambled eggs and toast.”

- Joe Mecca, cofounder and president of Kwikboost

When I’m in the middle of an intense project, I usually wake up thinking about it and want to get straight to work – on those days, I’m reaching for the breakfast of least resistance: cereal or a breakfast bar, and a swig of OJ, if I remember to eat breakfast at all! Coffee’s the only requirement. Now that our company is up and running, I’ll have some slower mornings where I’ll make myself a delicious breakfast burrito – but I had to earn that luxury!”

- Yarin Kessler, founder and CEO of  PDF Buddy

Breakfast - Yarin Kessler

“Whenever I have time to use the toaster oven in the morning, I’ll typically have an Eggo waffle with some cheese or cream cheese. If I’m in a rush and on the go, then I’ll grab one or two Kind bars before I run out of the house. They’re nutritious and also quite filling and I can eat them in the car.”

- Ian Aronovich, cofounder and president of GovernmentAuctions.org

Oatmeal, granola, and yogurt

“I prepare my breakfast the night before with clockwork regularity. It is a special recipe called ‘Orient Express Oatmeal’ that consists of 3/4 of a cup of steel-cut oats, 1 cup of milk, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1 tablespoon of sliced almonds. I mix the ingredients the night before and set my slow cooker for 4 hours at the lowest heat. I awake to a healthy gourmet quality meal that not only lowers cholesterol but is delicious and filling.”

- David Reischer, COO at Legal Marketing Pages Corp.

Breakfast - David Reischer

“Granola with blueberries and soy milk”

- Sandi Lin, CEO of Skilljar

Breakfast - Sandi Lin

“I start every morning with Super Oatmeal. Starting the day with a mix of oatmeal, ground flax, raisins, cocoa powder, and protein powder is the only way to go. Seriously, it’s fast to make, cheap, and great for you. More about it here.”

- John Turner, founder and CEO of UsersThink

Breakfast - John Turner

“Oatmeal (to cut cholesterol), cinnamon (to cut blood sugar), walnuts (because of the amazing benefits which I can’t remember right now), blueberries and strawberries (because of the antioxidants), nonfat milk (vitamin D and zero fat), and fresh-squeezed orange juice (vitamin C)” 

- Dan Nainan, comedian and angel investor 

Breakfast - Dan Nainan

“Before I catch the BART to SF, I stop by my favorite Berkeley cafe and grab a bowl of granola with fresh fruit and yogurt or a waffle and a huge cup of hot coco.”

- Jessica Greenwalt, founder of Pixelkeet

Breakfast - Jessica Greenwalt

“I typically kick off every morning with a cup of coffee so that I can start communicating with the world. It’s also my role to take care of the children in the morning, so at the same time that I fix their breakfast, I also prepare for myself a nice bowl of granola with yogurt, fruit (which would be either bananas, blueberries or strawberries), topped off with a bit of honey. I’ve got it down to a science, so that it takes me about two minutes max to prepare. After that I’m fully energized and ready to start my day.”

- Itai Sadan, CEO and cofounder of Duda

Breakfast - Itai Sadan

“I am lucky to live in Portland, OR, where I have access to fresh fruit almost year-round. That, granola or oatmeal, and black coffee has been my staple for as long as I’ve been an entrepreneur. I want energy, clarity, and nothing heavy. When I splash out, it is usually on international travel – I love trying vegan versions of country staples. The Hoxton in Shoreditch serves a vegan classic English breakfast – sausage, potatoes, grilled tomatoes. Best food in the world if you’ve been ‘working late’ with clients.”

- Antony Falco, CEO of Orchestrate

Breakfast - Antony Falco

“When I’m being ‘supervised’ by my kids, I eat the same thing they do, greek yogurt, and jam. When we eat separately, I get a scone or muffin at http://talulasdaily.com. It is fuel for whatever project I need to tackle, plus the flavors rotate daily.”

- Helen Horstmann-Allen, president of Pobox

DSC_0023

“Vanilla soy yogurt, hemp granola with flax seed, sliced almonds, blueberries, and cinnamon. This breakfast has lots of vegan protein to keep going throughout the morning, antioxidants via the blueberries, and cinnamon (which is good for the brain).”

- Adriana Herrera, founder and CEO of ShopParity

Breakfast - Adriana Herrera

“My delectable and healthy breakfast indulgence consists of granola (without sugar), vanilla yogurt, two handfuls of blueberries, and sliced strawberries.”

- Bob Herman, cofounder and president of ShipTropolis

Breakfast - Bob Herman

“Since becoming a mom, I’ve learned a lot about what’s in the foods we eat and we now do our best to stick to the basics. My son also has severe food allergies, so we’ve been pretty egg- and nut-free around here. Typically I start my morning off with an avocado, Chobani yogurt, wholegrain toast, fresh orange juice, and a Yogi tea.”

- Meg Gerritson, cofounder of Mom Meet Mom

Breakfast - Meg Gerrittson

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About the Author

Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and positive psychology. Since 2011, she has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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