Loving the BITE: Power Pancakes for all Cyclists


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


  • 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


  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 oven, 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


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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8 Responses to “ Loving the BITE: Power Pancakes for all Cyclists ”

  1. Riaan Coetzee on February 28, 2013 at 8:58 am

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

    • Kelli Jennings on March 11, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      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!

  2. Chris Young on November 20, 2012 at 3:24 am

    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 on July 1, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      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!

  3. S Mathews on October 25, 2012 at 9:06 am

    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?

  4. Andrew Finbah Wynn on October 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

    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!!!

    • Kelli Jennings on October 25, 2012 at 11:31 am

      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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Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

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.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

Sports Drink Homebrew

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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