Loving the BITE: Power Pancakes for all Cyclists

25
Oct
2012

If you’re dragging throughout the morning, clinging to your coffee, starving by 10 am, or craving sugar or carbs all day, your breakfast could be to blame.  A bowl of flakes high in carbohydrates and low in fiber, healthy fats and proteins just won’t sustain most athletes until lunch.  Certainly wouldn’t sustain me.  If you’re in the sub-optimal breakfast club, you’re missing an opportunity to fuel up right from the get-go and have long-lasting energy for any ride later in the day.

So, what’s your greatest obstacle to a top-notch, healthy breakfast?  Lack of time?  Lack of recipes and ideas?  Lack of a morning appetite?

Typically, clients point to hectic morning schedules that demand a quick meal.  Early morning training often compounds the rush.  This week, we’ll add variety and make  whole-food, high fiber, healthy fat, high protein Power Pancakes, that can be frozen and reheated for a top-notch easy, grab-n-go breakfast.  And what’s more, at over 20 grams protein per serving, these make an excellent grab-n-go recovery as well.

Recipe of the Week:  Whole-Food Grab-n-Go Power Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup oats (old-fashioned) OR 1/3 cup nuts for a gluten-free, grain-free option
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds or ground flaxseeds
  • 1 large egg (organic, cage-free)
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup berries
  • 1 tsp organic honey, agave, or real maple
  • 1 tsp organic coconut oil

Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients except coconut oil in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth.  Mixture will thicken if allowed to set (the chia seeds absorb liquid and thicken).
  2. Preheat a griddle or large pan on medium heat. Add organic coconut oil and allow to melt.  Turn pan to cover with oil.  Pour or scoop 1/2 of batter onto pan in an even circle. Cook for about 3 minutes or until golden brown and cooked in the middle, then flip and cook the other side for about 2 minutes until it is golden brown and cooked through.
  3. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve plain (perfect for Grab-n-Go) or add a dollop of Greek yogurt, additional berries, and a small amount of honey, agave, or real maple.
  4. If you’re looking for even more protein, you can add 1/2 – 1 scoop protein powder to the batter (mix well).
  5. To freeze, line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place cooled pancakes on lined sheet (not allowing pancakes to touch).  Layer with foil/parchment paper and additional pancakes.  To reheat, use toaster, microwave, or oven at 325 deg F.

Nutrition Info (entire recipe): ~375 calories, 19 gm fat, 256 mg sodium, 35 gm carb, 10 gm fiber, 9 gm sugar, 21 gm protein

Comments:

Although I could list many studies that show a high protein breakfast promotes more satiety, less cravings, and less snacking than a refined carbohydrate one (or than skipping breakfast), I think this one’s a bit of a no brainer.  Quick, refined carbs simply move through your digestive system, and are metabolized much quicker than fiber, protein, and healthy fats.  The more time it’s in your stomach, and the slower it’s digested, the fuller you’ll feel for longer.  The trick is feeling satisfied without feeling bogged down.  The remedy? Healthy, nutrient-filled whole foods.

I think you’ve heard it before.  But, just how far-reaching is a good, nutritious start to your day?  In my experience working with endurance athletes, I’ve found a good breakfast promotes:

  1. Less calorie intake throughout the day from snacks.  Although it does vary from person to person, most clients are better able to omit “grazing” on snack foods throughout the day when their meals are nutrient dense, and especially when high in protein and fiber.
  2. Better results with fat-loss with more calories early and a light evening intake.  I’m a fan of eating the majority of calories during the day, when you’re most active, and significantly less in the evening, when you’re relaxing and going to bed.  Instead of starving all day, and overeating in the evening, give your body fuel proactively, and then lighten up and the day goes on.  A light evening intake just might  improve sleep and leave you with a good appetite for breakfast.
  3. Continued healthy eating throughout the day.  Just like exercise often promotes healthier eating (you don’t want to mess up your progress), starting your day with healthy foods can promote a continued pursuit of healthful meals and snacks.  Starting with Pop-Tarts on the other hand, quickly causes a drag in energy, followed by a need for more “quick” energy, followed by a drag.  And, if you’ve already messed it up, why not have some fast-food for lunch, right?
  4. Better recovery for those early morning cyclists and bike commuters.  Many cyclists train first thing in the morning – breakfast is a great opportunity for recovery.  If you commute to work, you can easily pack these pancakes and eat ‘em when you get there (no need for extra toppings).

Roll these delicious pancakes up (crepe-style) and take them with you on the go.  You’ll get the nutrients you need to start your day right, to recover from your ride, and to keep it going all day.  This week, let’s begin each day as if it is on purpose.

Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.

Enjoy Your Ride

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riaan-Coetzee/1205638496 Riaan Coetzee

    I’m gonna steal this one and tweak it a little to make it lchf … I think.

    • http://twitter.com/fuelright Kelli Jennings

      Hi Riaan, Sounds great. Using the nut option will def make them high fat and relatively low carb. Let us know how they turn out for you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Young/100002135784278 Chris Young

    I was using agave nectar for ages until I came across this article by someone who I respect a lot who says it is as bad as corn syrup! Be interested to know your take on it too. http://sock-doc.com/2011/05/high-fructose-corn-syrup-athlete/

    • Kelli, RD

      Hi Chris,
      Sorry I missed this one! Like honey, agave nectar should be raw. This means minimal processing. The non-raw versions, also like processed honey, are as bad as any refined syrup. Raw honey and agave retain natural vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes (in honey, at least). I hope this helps!

  • S Mathews

    I’ll be making this on the weekend. I’ve heard lots about chia seed but not sure of all the benefits. What do they help with?

    • http://twitter.com/fuelright Kelli Jennings

      Thanks for your question. Chia seeds are packed with fiber, antioxidants, protein, and healthful minerals. In the sports nutrition world, they are known for providing long lasting energy without the digestion issues you’d normally expect from a higher fiber food. You can find a full write up from a previous overnight oat recipe @ http://lovingthebike.com/cycling-nurition/loving-the-bite-chia-for-a-long-lasting-energy-source . Hope you enjoy ‘em!

  • http://twitter.com/SteamyWynndows Andrew Finbah Wynn

    It’s just gone lunch time in the UK and I’m starving already reading this! I am trying this one when I get home!!!

    • http://twitter.com/fuelright Kelli Jennings

      Thanks Andrew! I’ve been happily eating these all week. You can also try different fruits such as bananas, pears, or apple in place of berries. I went grain free yesterday with walnuts instead of oats. Lots of opportunity for variety. Let us know what you think!

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Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

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Answer:

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Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.

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