What Healthy Vancouverites Eat for Breakfast

Start your day off on the right note with a healthy morning meal

Credit: Paul Joseph

Ashleigh (McIvor) DeMerit

2010 Olympic gold medallist and ski cross world champion, keynote speaker, co-founder of the Rise & Shine Retreat with husband Jay DeMerit, fitness ambassador for Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness and She’s Fit, sports analyst/commentator for Yahoo! Sports and CBC, and spokesperson/ambassador for Whistler Blackcomb, Oakley & Stöckli Skis.

Breakfast: “Jules Fuel! It’s an incredibly healthy blend of quinoa and a bunch of other superfoods like goji berries, chia, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds, rolled oats and raisins. Whenever possible I add fresh blueberries and banana, with a tiny bit of brown sugar. Apples are really yummy on top of it too.”

Jules Fuel was developed by Julia Murray, a Whistler-based registered holistic nutritionist, and former Olympic ski cross racer and ex-teammate of McIvors’.

Jay DeMerit

Former professional soccer player and Whitecaps FC captain, current Whitecaps FC ambassador, designer and owner of Portmanteau Stereo Co., keynote speaker and entrepreneur.

Breakfast: “If I need a quick breakfast when I’m rushing out the door for training in the morning, I don’t want to feel too full while I’m working out, so I usually just go with a piece of fruit like a banana or apple (or both) teamed with a couple of granola bars of choice. If I have the time, I like to cook a quick and healthy breakfast of multi-grain toast, one fried egg, tomatoes, avocados, spinach and aged cheddar cheese, with baked beans and bacon on the side. I like my coffee in the morning as well, so teamed with a latte or something like that and I ‘m ready to take on the day!”

Tommy Europe

Former pro football player, TV host of The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp and Bulging Brides, author of The 10-Pound Shred, creator of SHRED Bootcamp and SHRED Wellness Makeover, and celebrity fitness coach specializing in corporate wellness.

Breakfast: “For breakfast I’ll have Greek yogurt with chia, hemp seeds, strawberries and pomegranate, or my SHRED Smoothie with PVL ISO-gold protein powder, banana, strawberries/blueberries, hemp seeds and one stalk of kale.”

Erin Ireland

Food reporter for The Peak Radio, CTV Morning Live, BCLiving, former NCAA Div 1 volleyball player, food stylist, owner of To Die For Fine Foods (carried at 50 locations in Vancouver), SPUD ambassador and recipe developer for Vega.

Breakfast: “My favourite healthy breakfast is definitely a loaded oatmeal bowl with banana, blueberries, raw local honey, hemp hearts, chia seeds, flax seeds, cacao nibs, almond milk and a sprinkle of Himalayan salt. Maybe a spoonful of almond butter if I’m feeling naughty!”

Dai Manuel

Dad, husband, entrepreneur (Fitness Town COO), motivational speaker, professional blogger, social media strategist, CrossFit athlete and coach (get his free E-guide with 99 amazing workouts).

Breakfast: “To me breakfast can make or break my day. If I skip it, my choices throughout the rest of the day – especially those involving food – are lackluster. My blood sugar is like a roller coaster at that point and the day is filled with dips, peaks and turns. The foods I then gravitate to are not my normal healthy choices, but rather something to give me a quick fix and get my energy spiking. My goal is to keep HANGRYNESS at bay for my family’s sake (you won’t like me when I’m hangry!). 

That’s where planning comes into play – just don’t skip breakfast. My two favourite go-to breakfasts are steak and egg scramble (when I have leftovers) and on most other mornings, my bulletproof coffee. The scramble is so good and takes me less than 10 minutes to make. I chop up leftover steak and yams from the night before, mix in some spinach, three eggs, green onions, some rosemary and pepper and scramble up in a frying pan – and to get my fat content up, I add in a couple tables spoons of virgin coconut oil. (And yes, I tend to have a little BIG cup of coffee on the side). Remember, the only thing worse than over eating is not eating. Fuel your body for success and watch what happens.”

Johanna Ward

Founder of “theITfactor” Johanna has been in the feel-good fitness industry for almost 20 years, as a yoga and dance instructor, NASM certified personal trainer, fitness presenter, media personality and lifestyle TV host.

Breakfast: “For breakfast, I love free-range scrambled eggs with cheddar, spinach and diced peppers in a corn tortilla, paired with a smoothie of almond milk, blueberries and Vega protein powder. The best part is that I make it the night before and can eat it on the go!”

Ron Zalko

Fitness pioneer, celebrity trainer, founder and CEO of Ron Zalko Fitness and Yoga, the first Canadian to complete in the Hawaiian Ironman World Championships in Kona in 1981, and founder, visionary and architect of Ironman Canada.

Breakfast: “My favourite healthy breakfast is an egg white omelette with spinach (no cheese, please!), a side of berries with plain yogurt and a green tea.”

Ella Jotie

Former dancer, choreographer and fitness professional, and co-founder and creator of Barre Fitness (with locations in Yaletown and North Vancouver).

Breakfast: “I’ve got a few morning faves when it comes to starting my day. When I’m in a hurry and need an easy grab ‘n’ go on the way to the studio I’ll make overnight oats the night before. I prefer steel cut oats, but I recently discovered Qi’a Superfood Pure Oats Oatmeal pack that are pre-mixed with good-for-you bits like chia, hemp seeds and buckwheat. I put the pack in a mason jar, add one cup of almond milk and some frozen berries, pop it in the fridge and it’s good to go the next morning. Easy! If I have time I also like making a fresh Go-Go Green Juice to start my day – here’s a video of me and Alyssa Bauman of Nourished.ca making one. I’m also a sucker for a simple avocado toast. A slice of squirrelly bread toasted, then half an avocado with lemon juice and sprinkle of red chili flakes and black pepper. Yummy!”

JJ Wilson

Co-founder of Kit and Ace, co-founder of Yaletown’s new Ride Cycle Club.

Breakfast: “If I’m not at The Farmer’s Apprentice enjoying brunch then I’m probably on the go, which means something healthy and quick. In the mornings after my workout I make a greens+ smoothie with kale, apple, banana, Vega whey protein and cayenne pepper. If time permits, I make a breakfast bowl with one cup of quinoa, two poached eggs, kale or spinach, hot sauce and salsa (lots and lots of salsa). I’ve also recently started drinking Bulletproof Coffee: it’s a blended mix of an antioxidant coffee bean, butter and MCL oil (an extract of palm and coconut) that increases brain function.”

Eoin Finn

A yogi, surfer and blissologist, Eoin has taught yoga to tens of thousands of people across the globe, and is passionate about sharing his strategies for health and well-being. In April he is leading a Radical Reset Retreat in Bali with his wife Insiya Rasiwala, showing that detoxing with healthy food does not mean deprivation. Eoin is currently working on a book about Blissology and his writings have appeared alongside Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle and Prince Charles. 

Breakfast: “I love breakfast so, so much that I eat two every day, Hobbit-style! I wake up early every day around 4:45 a.m. and need to eat something light before my yoga practice – I almost always go for Granola King’s granola and green tea matcha lattes. Then around 8:00 a.m. I eat with the family. My wife Insiya is so creative in the kitchen. Over the last few years we have been incorporating way more steamed greens into our morning meals. We blanch broccolini and/or kale and then sauté with olive oil and a little garlic, salt and fresh lemon. Sometimes we will have it with eggs or sautéed mushrooms. I know juice and smoothies are all the rage, but sautéed greens are my preference. I love juice but warm veggies are the best energy source for me in the a.m. by far!”