How to eat breakfast like a Pennington nutrition expert

Tiffany Stewart has spent decades introducing pioneering research on the role nutrition plays in human performance. But it only takes a peek at her morning routine to know she’s a believer.

“Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day,” says Stewart, director of Pennington Biomedical Research Center’s Behavior Technology Lab. “I make sure I eat a good breakfast every day.”

Stewart is known nationwide for creating a program that tracks nutrition and performance for the United States Army, as well as programs that address eating disorders in female college athletes.

And she takes care of herself, too.

She is at the gym by 6 a.m., followed by regular physical therapy to address chronic pain in her hips and back resulting from injuries sustained as a high school competitive gymnast.

Back home, she refuels to not only replace spent calories, but to restore protein, moderate blood sugar and fight inflammation, she says.

“I have a balance of protein and complex carbs every single morning,” Stewart says. “Protein is key for balancing blood sugar, and berries are an anti-inflammatory.”   

Go-to meals include avocado toast with an egg on top; high-protein blueberry pancakes with a cup of berries and a side of eggs; or peanut butter toast, also accompanied by fresh fruit and eggs.

“I’m a pescatarian, so eggs are really important since I’m not eating many types of protein,” Stewart says. “In fact, they’re the most complete protein you can find and are great for torn tissue repair.”

Tiffany Stewart, here in her home kitchen, enjoys a breakfast of protein and complex carbs every morning.

Stewart travels a lot for work, delivering papers at academic conferences on sports psychology and nutrition and other research topics.

But she still makes time for breakfast on the go—and no, that doesn’t mean a power bar from an airport kiosk.

“Usually, those bars have a lot of fillers, and they don’t leave you satisfied,” she says.

Instead, Stewart packs things like edamame, boiled eggs and berries.

“I think it’s really important to eat whole foods,” she says. “I’m very diligent about good fuel.”

This article was originally published in the April 2023 issue of 225 magazine.