When converting to a Paleo lifestyle, many people find breakfast to be the most challenging meal to keep Paleo. No doubt, this is probably due to the conditioning we’ve likely all received that a healthy way to start the day is with a grain-based product (cereal, bagel, toast and so on). Many of us view certain foods as being for breakfast, others for lunch and dinner, and others for snacks.
The first step is to throw that thinking out the window! Food is food no matter what time of day, and the morning is a great time to eat vegetables! I personally, eat veggies and red meat, chicken or fish for breakfast on a typical day.
But, what should you eat if you’re an athlete preparing for a workout? I change my usual breakfast if I’ve got a big workout to do right away. Rather than the protein and veg-heavy foods I mentioned above, I’ll opt for a starchier (via yam, sweet potato or banana) and easier to digest (like egg whites) combination so that I’m not only well fueled, but I don’t have to wait too long to digest.
The amount you should consume will be determined by body weight and the intensity and duration of the workout. Experiment a bit and see how much you need to eat based on how you feel during the workout, and change the subsequent meal accordingly.
Here are some great ideas for athletes looking for a great way to start the day, pre-workout, while remaining Paleo.
Baked yam, hard-boiled egg whites, olive oil, banana, and raw almond butter
Homemade smoothie: chilled green tea, egg white protein powder, banana, raw almond butter, and flax seed
Baked sweet potato, natural (unsweetened) applesauce, sliced lean turkey breast, and olive oil
Stick with higher glycemic fruits right before and after a workout.
Also, remember to add some table salt because athletes need to replace lost electrolytes. We athletes may need to supplement with electrolyte tabs, depending on the intensity and duration of our workouts, as well as ambient conditions and individual sweat rates.
Experiment with the above suggestions and make changes to keep it varied. Try pineapple in a smoothie instead of banana, or use baby food banana instead of applesauce.
Whatever you do, DON’T make the mistake of thinking that you have to resort to non-Paleo foods to support athletic performance. If I can stay Paleo while racing Ironman, and my husband can stick to it while racing 100-mile endurance runs, I think it’s safe to say that Paleo provides 100% of the support needed for endurance racing, or any other athletic endeavor!