When I was growing up I never wanted to be on a Wheaties box. I can imagine there are kids out there who see Michael Phelps, Hank Aaron, or Stone Cold Steve Austin adorning their breakfast flakes and think: WOW! I wish that could be me someday!!!
Some people may be thinking “Yeah, well, you probably never had a chance to be on a Wheaties box anyway buddy.” And they may be right. Let me first say that to be entombed for the ages on the cover of sporting glory is a perfectly fine goal and I’d encourage any up-and-coming swimer/baseball player/professional wrestler to set that goal and make it happen. Personally, I just can’t stand Wheaties.
The is the kind of box you get on
after you lose your General Mills sponsorship
for monkeying around.
Terrible cereal. Tastes like bark and pine sol (all natural ingredients). And “Breakfast of Champions”?? Come on, it’s 110 calories per serving and 3 grams of celulose (yes, paper pulp), vitamin and mineral enhanced. Can you even imagine Michael Phelps, getting up at 5 am before his 400 IM in London, and sitting down in front of 110 calories and 3 measly grams of fiber? I mean, the man eats whole pizzas for breakfast. Wheaties. Pshhhhtttt.
There is a common vein to the Wheaties message though. What Michael, Hank and Stone (or is it Cold?) all have in common is this: Those dudes can EAT. And you bet your bottom when they wake up to compete they can put away the pancakes.
As an endurance athlete, breakfast is a huge part of my day. Any of you who’ve seen one of my recent ride profiles on Facebook will know, I’m known to burn at least 6000 calories a ride (this is a major computing error on Garmin’s part – can ANYONE even burn 6000 calories in a day?). At least 1000 of that has to come from breakfast. Minimum. When I race, I put down 4 Powerbars before 5 am (try that sometime Mikey P). When I train, I eat at least a dozen eggs and 3 baked potatoes. Or 12 pancakes. Or 14 strips of bacon. Whatever it takes to get 1000 calories into my system before I hit the road/pool/lake/trail.
There’s a catch though. You can’t eat this disgusting volume of food without making it taste great. That’s where breakfast pizza comes in. Or, if you’re an uber-health conscious triathlete like me, the Fritatta.
The Fritatta comes to us from Greek to Latin, then Spanish, then the Jersey Diner. For those of us who don’t speak spanish, it’s essentially a lazy man’s omelet with the home fries and bacon mixed right in. Here’s my secret recipe. Try it out this weekend and see how you feel 3 hrs into your long bike ride. If you dont feel GREAT then I’ll eat a whole box of Wheaties.
The bigger the pan, the more eggs you can fit. Gaston.
1. Microwave your potatoes for a few minutes, then chop them up and fry them in some olive oil. When they’ve started to crisp up, add your bacon, sausage, and anything else you have a fancy for. Go wild. It’s your breakfast for champions.
2. Whip up at least 1/2 dozen eggs with 1/4 cup of milk. When your ingredients look cooked, add the eggs and spread around your frying pan. Sprinkle some cheese on top. Cook 4-5 minutes, then plop the whole pan (cast iron of course) into your oven under the broiler. Cook until nice and brown and fluffy on top.
3. Let cool, then eat up. You’re gonna need it.
The wonderful thing here is that not only are you getting a great breakfast, you have leftovers too. Apply those post ride, or for breakfast throughout the week. I’d recommend at least 2 eggs per day you want to eat your fritatta.
People are always looking for training tips that will give them a competitive edge. Help them get onto that figurative Wheaties box in their own mind. Well, this ain’t gonna do it people. But it is the perfect way to get started on the right foot. Really nail that hilly ride. Kill those track intervals. Hold your breath for a whole 75 yards underwater (I assume this is what real swimmers do when they want to flex for the ladies, or men, so to speak).
People. What I’m saying is, this is great advice, something you can really put in the bank. So stop me on the street and thank me next time you PR your big race because you ate a real breakfast.