Natalia Daraie

Breakfast! They don’t call it the “most important meal of the day” for no reason. After a good night's sleep, it's important to energize your mind and body for the day to come with a balanced breakfast. It's fairly straightforward to create a nutritious and high-protein breakfast with popular savory foods like eggs, sausage, and bacon; but when you have a sweet tooth, it can be a little tricky. Especially if you’re trying to build muscle. 

It’s important to find a balance between eating foods that nourish your body and foods that bring you joy, so I set out to make some sweet breakfasts that are nutritious and packed with protein to support my gym goals. Here are 2 of my favorites and why I love them.

Papaya Yogurt Bowl

Papaya Bowls are the ultimate spring breakfast and one of my quick favorites for before class. 
25g protein
What goes in (and why)?


Papayas are rich in fiber, vitamins, antioxidants (helps protect your body against disease), and they’ve been shown to aid digestion.


Like papaya, berries also nourish your body with fiber and vitamins 

Greek yogurt (this is our protein source!)

One of my quick sources of protein, perfect for before an early morning class. Yogurt also has probiotics which are great for promoting gut health and it's full of calcium to support your bones. I like to use vanilla flavor but whatever you have would work, even plain!

Almond butter

Not only is almond butter a delicious topping, but healthy fats also help your body absorb certain vitamins and help keep you feeling full and satisfied. 


To make this bowl as delicious as possible, I also add a touch of cinnamon and honey. If you want to up the protein and add some crunch, it’s also great with some protein granola or cereal

To Assemble

This recipe is super customizable, so I’ll give you a basic blueprint to personalize with all your favorite foods! Cut your papaya in half and scrape out the seeds using a spoon (I like to add a little drizzle of honey before I fill the bowl!). Fill the papaya with your yogurt of choice. Add whatever fruit you want (my favorites are strawberries and raspberries), your favorite nut butter, and toppings. Enjoy! 

Mint Chip Smoothie Bowl

When its time to go grocery shopping and I’m out of fresh fruit, Mint Chip Smoothie Bowls are my go-to! They’re also a great option for anyone who is vegan or vegetarian.
39g protein
What goes in (and why)?


Frozen bananas are a great source of carbs to boost your energy for the day ahead, they’re convenient and full of vitamins and fiber. Contrary to popular belief, freezing fruits and veggies does not make them lose their nutritional benefit! 


Aside from giving the smoothie bowl a lovely green color that reminds me of mint chip ice cream, tossing in frozen spinach adds tons of vitamins and minerals!

Protein Powder

Immensely high in protein! Protein powder adds sweetness to this smoothie and feeds our gains 💪 I use vanilla protein powder because I always have some on hand, but this would be great with chocolate or mint chocolate flavor too! Protein powder is quick, shelf stable, and there’s tons of plant based options. What’s not to love?

Milk (dairy or plant based)

This smoothie bowl needs a little liquid to help it blend and milk adds a bit of extra protein and some calcium. If you don’t eat dairy, any type of plant milk, or even water would work just as well (I use water when I’m out of milk and need to go grocery shopping!)

Mint extract

The key ingredient to giving us that mint chip flavor (especially if you’re using vanilla protein powder). I use this one, but any brand would work. A little goes a LONG way with peppermint extract, so just add a drop or two and adjust as needed. The first time I made this I added around a ¼ teaspoon and it was WAY too much. Spearmint extract should be much more forgiving.

Catalina Crunch Mint Chocolate flavor

Catalina Crunch is my absolute FAVORITE cereal. A ½ cup serving has 11 grams of plant based protein! The Mint Chocolate or Dark Chocolate flavors both taste amazing on this bowl and add some texture. If you don’t have Catalina Crunch you could try any other type of chocolate cereal, granola, or even cocoa nibs!

To assemble

In a blender, combine ¾ cup frozen sliced banana, 1 scoop protein powder, ⅓ cup frozen spinach, around ¼ cup milk (add as needed), and 2 drops of mint extract. Top with cereal and enjoy!




Leave a comment

Welcome to the Girl Gains Publication 💌

We highlight inspiring, educational, and entertaining articles written by women for women. Happy reading!