I get it – with my limited diet (lots of food allergies and sensitivities), people always want to know what I eat, especially to fuel my training. Today, I’ll start with the “most important meal of the day,” breakfast.
If I’m going to morning practice, I need a little something in my tummy despite the early hour, so I toss back a quick drink: One cup of hemp milk with two tablespoons hemp powder. My current brands of choice are Pacific original hemp non-dairy beverage, unsweetened (the “vanilla” version has a TON of sugar) and Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 50 Powder.
During the car ride home after practice I have a few (very small handful) pumpkin seeds to start on at least some proteins per recovery process. I also finish my water/Ultima electrolyte mix if I have any leftover from practice.
Once home, I have one of the following:
Quinoa bowl: About 1/2 cup quinoa* (cooked before and stored in fridge to save prep time), two eggs fried in ghee, whatever veggies I have on hand steamed (e.g. broccoli, squashes, cabbage, cauliflower, carrot), topped with one tablespoon of ground flax seeds (to get the nutrients, you have to grind the seeds. You can buy pre-ground, but I like to freshly grind mind right before eating.) *Sometimes I swap 1/2 baked sweet potato instead of quinoa.
Breakfast burrito: Rice tortilla stuffed with two scrambled eggs, veggie assortment, topped with 1/8 avocado. Added perk on days when I need a few more calories: A few slices of salami.
Millet bowl: About 1/2 cup millet (cooked before and stored in fridge to save prep time) warmed in one-cup hemp milk, big ol’ dash of cinnamon, with about 1 1/2 cup mixed fresh berries, and two hard boiled eggs on the side for more protein (cooked millet has 11g of protein per half-cup, which is a good start, but I need a tad more per meal, especially to stay satiated until my next snack or meal).
Salad: Romaine, cabbage, assorted chopped veggies, two hard-boiled eggs, two slices bacon, two tablespoons olive oil with basil, one tablespoon freshly ground flax seed.
Omelet: This is my “special perk” breakfast, meaning I have it once a week or less, and it’s after a particularly long practice (and I have time for a bigger breakfast)…two-egg and assorted veggies omelet, two slices of either rice or teff toast, berry jam, hot chocolate (I highly recommend Silly Cow Farms hot cocoa mixes – worth the price/shipping – no chemicals, very chocolate-y), with hemp milk.
My new thing is to have a lighter breakfast on non-swim days, so that means a smoothie of some sort. My favorite is still pumpkin (one cup hemp milk, one cup pumpkin, cinnamon, two tablespoons chia seeds and two tablespoons hemp protein powder if I’m not having eggs), but lately I’ve been into this mix: one cup hemp milk, two tablespoons chia seeds, big ol’ dash of cinnamon, tons of spinach, about one cup mixed fresh berries.
One other key menu item: I always have at least two squares of dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher) with breakfast. I rotate brands, and may have something a little flair (e.g. cocoa nibs, lemon/poppy), but usually I prefer something plain and strong (e.g. Ghiradelli 72% or higher, Lindt 70% or higher), sort of like my version of starting my day with black coffee (which I don’t drink).
I follow the pattern above and rotate among the cited breakfast dishes because it’s what I’ve found to work best for me. This means keeping me satiated (but not over-full), providing me with an array of fresh produce (and their nutrients), some variety per flavor/appearance at meals, a more carb-based meal (millet bowl) option when needed, and most importantly, foods I digest well (reduce inflammation and I reduce illness rate and duration!). I’m always fascinated to learn what other people rely on per meals — readers, what are your go-to breakfasts, and why?