What a 'Power' Breakfast Really Looks Like

The only sure thing is that there's no one breakfast route to success.

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Nestle does believe that a lot of people are very hungry in the morning (she attributes her own lack of appetite to very efficient glycogen storage). And exercise can certainly rev up hunger. Every morning Rep. Bob Latta, an Ohio Republican, runs 4 miles before being one of the first into the cafeteria in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill. He scoops up oatmeal with brown sugar and a carton of milk and heads back to his office to eat while he reads the morning news.

Cereal seems to play a highly habitual part in some lives. Guy Kawasaki, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist and entrepreneur, eats Cheerios with a banana and 2 percent milk in the mornings. "If not this, then oatmeal with a banana," he says. "At 8 a.m., I'm not exactly breaking new ground in cuisine!"

Tyler Cowen, an economist and foodie who runs a blog focused on ethnic dining in the D.C. area, also eats breakfast cereal, but his requirements are a bit more precise. Every morning, Cowen eats spelt flakes from Whole Foods with whole milk. He also has Ocean Spray White Grapefruit Juice. This breakfast "is quick, nutritious, energizing, and, at least supposedly, the whole grain of spelt is good for you," Cowen says. But its appeal is more than nutrition and speed. "It has just the right textures plus a cold temperature for the juice and milk," he says. And Cowen is not unspecific about his utensils. He selects a spoon that is just the "right size" to carry the correctly sized bite.

Indeed, the ideal breakfast is no one thing, and the topic itself is often emotional. When touring for What to Eat, "I was astounded by the number of people who came up to me with tears in their eyes," Nestle says. All this because she had made a simple defense of a single action: not eating breakfast.