Here are the breakfasts of champions
What does the breakfast of champions really look like? We asked five incredible athletes (from an ultrarunner to a yogi) how they fuel up in the morning to stay so fit. Then our expert—Kim Larson, RDN, a sports dietitian at Total Health in Seattle, and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics—weighed in to explain how each tastybreakfast nourishes an active body.
Yogi Rachel Brathen: Upside-down granola in a jar
Known to her fans simply as “Yoga Girl,” Brathen is a star on Instagram, where she shares stunning photos of herself doing crazy-hard poses (think headstand on a paddleboard floating in tropical blue water) with her 1.4 million followers. The yoga instructor, who lives in Aruba, published a memoir this spring that became a New York Times bestseller (Yoga Girl,$20, amazon.com). She hopes her work inspires people to live a healthier lifestyle. Her fave breakfast—homemade granola, yogurt, and berries (or as she calls it, “heaven in a jar”)—is a yummy way to start.
Nutrition perks: Brathen’s parfait is literally layered with energizing ingredients. “Fruit provides fiber and readily available glucose to the muscles, along with antioxidants to reduce inflammation,” Larsen points out, “while almonds contribute protein, more fiber, and healthy fats.” Yogurt delivers extra protein, and vitamins and minerals that are key for nerve contractions and bone and muscle health.
Kitchen prep: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp. coconut oil and 1 tbsp. maple syrup and set aside. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup oats, ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut, ½ cup chopped hazelnuts, ½ cup slivered almonds, ½ cup chopped dried figs, ½ cup chopped dried apricots, ½ tsp. chia seeds, a pinch of Himalayan salt, and a pinch of cinnamon. Add the coconut/maple syrup blend. Mix well—use your hands if you like! Spread on a baking sheet and bake until golden, stirring occasionally. Let cool. To serve, put 3/4 cup granola at the bottom of a half-pint mason jar, and fill with yogurt and mixed fresh berries. Drizzle honey on top.
Recipe adapted from Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen. Copyright © 2014 by Rachel Brathen. Originally published in 2014 in Sweden by Bonnier Fakta. Reprinted by permission of Touchstone/Simon & Schuster.