If you want to perform like an athlete (and really, who doesn’t?), know this: It’s not just about training. Many of the top modern-day adventure athletes make a healthy diet a priority, swapping out bacon and French toast for an array of superfoods that power them through long days on the mountain or in the waves.
A smart combination of unprocessed carbohydrates, protein, iron, sodium and healthy fats -- often divvyed up into two separate meals -- makes for some tasty and interesting morning meal ideas. Here, we got some of our favorite athletes to dish on theirs.
The Runner: Morgan Gonzalez“This is my 20th year running,” says Mammoth Lakes, California, local Morgan Gonzalez. “I started on my own free will at age 9.”
After years spent pounding pavement with her pro-runner husband (the duo competes for Puma), Gonzalez has her morning diet down to a science. “I usually eat yogurt, cereal and coffee before I run to fuel me with carbs, protein and caffeine to sustain my workouts,” she says. After her run, she’ll snack on a banana or sip chocolate milk during her drive home, then hit the kitchen to prep breakfast number two: pineapple fried rice.
“My bowl includes leftover rice, two eggs, pineapple, red bell peppers, red and green onions, spinach, olive oil, teriyaki sauce and Sriracha,” she shares.
The Climber: Jonathan Siegrist
When you attack walls like this all day, proper fuel is key. Rock climber Jonathan Siegrist has tackled some of the most difficult routes in the world, including the first ascent of the 5.14c Spectrum just outside of Las Vegas.
While climbing is a brutal workout on its own, Siegrist says he logs countless hours in the weight room and on the treadmill keeping his body in top shape for challenging days on the wall.
“I eat eggs a lot,” he says. “I don’t eat meat, so this is a major source of protein for me. I usually eat a pile of greens, like arugula or baby kale, and then put a couple fried eggs on top with salsa or hot sauce.”
To mix up his egg-based meals, Siegrist says he’ll often cook an omelet with chopped vegetables and carrots. “I love this breakfast!” he adds.
The Surfer: Frankie HarrerWhile most teenage girls were tackling homework and shopping for prom dresses, 17-year-old Frankie Harrer was charging Teahupoo, one of the craziest waves in the world. She is a two-time national champion and set the National Scholastic Surfing Association record for the most wins in a single season.
As you might have guessed, she’s not throwing back Pop-Tarts and pumpkin-spice lattes. Instead, she’s a fan of smoothie bowls packed with superfoods like a plant-based protein powder, banana, spinach, coconut water, maca, spirulina, flaxseed oil, mixed raw nuts and seeds, bee pollen, goji berries and fresh fruit.
“I usually eat them an hour or so before training so I have good energy that lasts through my workouts,” she says.
The Skier: Sierra Quitiquit
Big-mountain skier and model Sierra Quitiquit is a busy woman. When she’s not pursuing technical lines in the backcountry of New Zealand, Patagonia and Alaska, she’s been seen in front of the camera shooting campaigns for major brands such as Nike and American Eagle.
It’s easy to see how one meal just doesn’t cut it. “I like to have two breakfasts,” she says. “I’ll eat the first one around 8 a.m., typically a smoothie with blueberries, raspberries, plain kefir, almond milk, spirulina and pine pollen with nuts.”
After her morning workout, Quitiquit is back in the kitchen to prepare meal number two: sautéed greens (usually broccoli or kale), onions, garlic, a cup of brown rice and an organic fried egg.
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