Dolly Parton shared her favorite morning meals, plus what kind of coffee she drinks in her "cup of ambition."

Karla Walsh
June 02, 2021
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Dolly Parton on a designed background
Getty Images / Taylor Hill
| Credit: Getty Images / Taylor Hill

You're probably familiar with Dolly Parton singing about "working 9 to 5," but this year proved to us that her hustle extends far beyond those 8 hours.

In the past 12 months or so, Parton has funded research to support Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, grown her Imagination Library charity, unveiled a signature flavor with Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams (strawberry pretzel pie!), launched a baking line with Williams Sonoma, developed a soon-to-be-sold perfume, released a Christmas album and more (whew!), the 75-year-old singer/actor/entrepreneur/philanthropist is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, when does she sleep?

Not long, she recently revealed to the Wall Street Journal Magazine.

"I'm usually up around 3 in the morning. I just love the wee hours. I actually go to bed early. I go by the old saying, 'Early to bed, early to rise.' But even when I'm working late on shows and concerts, I can wake up early. I just don't require a lot of sleep! Five or six hours, and I can motivate if I need to on three hours," Parton says in the interview. "I pray every day that God will put all the right things, all the right people in my life, and take all the wrong things, all the wrong people out, and guide me. Then I figure out what I want to wear and what I want to accomplish…and I have my cup of ambition."

That cup of ambition? Folgers coffee (buy it: $6.99 for 30 ½ ounces, Target).

"I use Folgers for my cup of ambition. I like quite a bit of cream, so it's just a little more than tan. A cup and a half will do me all day," she says.

And to pair with it, "I usually try to keep some homemade egg salad around because I like to have something quick and easy. Through the week I'll eat things like egg salad on toast with tomato, and sometimes I'll have a bagel with cream cheese, cucumbers and tomatoes," Parton adds. (We think she'd love our Sweet Southern Egg Salad and Egg Salad and Avocado Toasts with Capers!) "If I'm working I'll stay on a low-carb diet during the week and then eat anything I want on the weekends. I just watch moderation for the most part."

The 80/20 rule coming in clutch, once again! Wise words from the peppy Parton, who leaves us with these sage reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic at the end of the piece: "I think we've been held up to the light. I know I've learned a lot about myself, and by doing things to help other people, it's helped me, too. Because you know the old saying, 'By teaching I am taught.'...Concentrating on what I can do to help someone makes me realize who I am as a human being. I've also learned a lot about patience, tolerance, understanding. I think a lot of people have. We've shown our true colors during this time."

Want to follow Parton's lead for breakfast this week? Try our Cauliflower Everything Bagels and any of our 29 best egg breakfast recipes that take 15 minutes or less. Because, as Parton says, "'It's hustlin' time!"