The rotating meat and nuts breakfast for optimal body composition.
Charles Poliquin sterngthsensei.com
One of my favorite teaching axiom on nutrition is: “The first thing you put in your mouth in the morning…provided it is food…dictates all neurotransmitters for the whole day”
When people ask me for the best single dietary tip for optimal leanness, energy and sustained mental focus, I invariably tell them to try the rotating meat and nuts breakfast. Clients ranging from NHL & NFL stars to corporate executives rave about the increased mental acuity and focused energy they derive from adopting this food combination. When I work with clients, it is the first meal I get them to change. I get them to start on a Saturday, so that they come up with more excuses than a pregnant Catholic nun for why they could not do it.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What you eat for breakfast sets up your entire neurotransmitter production for the day. This is particularly important if attention span, and concentration are crucial for your performance like in combat sports such as wrestling and judo. The meat and nuts breakfast raises both dopamine and acetyl-choline, the two most important neurotransmitters for focus and drive.
The meat allows for a slow and steady rise in blood sugar. The nuts provide a great source of healthy smart fats that allows the blood sugar to remain stable for an extended period of time.
My seminar hosts are well made aware of crucial my first meal of the day is. It is a non-negotiable item. I am very grateful to have hosts all over the World that cater to my breakfast needs. My Dominican host Juan Carlos Simo always comes by the hotel with a kick ass breakfast. The best salmon I have ever had, along with unbeatable avocadoes.
Mats and Helen in Stockholm bring me elk for breakfast. One of the reason why I like to teach in Sweden so much, is that I know for sure that I can easily organize an energy boosting breakfast.
If for some reason there is no host, lets say I am giving a seminar at a location I am not familiar, I always pre-scout where the best breakfast is served and simply choose steak and eggs, or a salmon omelet, or lox and poached eggs.
Just in case, I always bring a cooler on the road with an extra ice pack. If the restaurant is inadequate, I stock up the cooler with caviar and nuts, so I can start the day with optimal energy and brain function. Caviar being a favorite with Russian lifters as it provides the foundation nutrients for the synthesis of acetyl-choline.
It is quite funny sometimes to see the reaction of the hotel staff when I ask for meat in the morning. For example in Tuscany, when I asked the chef for meat for breakfast, he had a look on his face like if I asked him to point in the right direction for the tunnel that links Rome to Oslo…
Multiple studies on employee productivity or on children’s attention patterns have demonstrated that a high protein breakfast does not only impact on the energy and productivity levels of morning till noon, but extended its positive way in the late afternoon.
Here is a sample rotation:
Here is a sample 6 day rotation of the meat/nuts breakfast. It goes without saying that you DO NOT ADD ANYTHING TO IT in terms of food or beverage. Tea, coffee or herbal infusions are permissible, Milk and juice or other liquids are not allowed.
• 1-2 Buffalo meat patties
• 1 handful of macadamia nuts
• 1 large venison steak
• 1 handful of cashew nuts
• 1-2 Lean turkey burgers
• 1 handful of almonds
• 1-2 lean ground beef patties
• 1 handful of brazil nuts
• 1-2 chicken breasts
• 1 handful of hazelnuts
• 8-10 gluten free chicken sausages
• 1 handful of pistachios
One of the other advantages of this system is that is reduces the development of food sensitivities which are known to increase cortisol in people. More than often enough, when we test first time clients for food sensitivities we find that they have antibodies to the food they have consumed on a daily for years. That is even more true in bodybuilders, as it not uncommon to see them have allergies to beef, eggs, whey, casein, tuna and oatmeal, the basic bodybuilding staples. What about eggs? That is the most often asked question when people read this article. Eggs is one the most common food intolerances, also they are digested too rapidly to sustain blood sugar for the first meal of the day. If tolerant to them, I like them for the solid meal workout that follows the post-workout shake.
What about if you are allergic to nuts? I then recommend you a portion of the following low glycemic/low fructose fruits with your breakfast:
Make sure that the fruits are organic, especially the strawberries, as they are one of the most sprayed crops in the World.
After breakfast, I recommend to use a teaspoon to a tablespoon of quality fish oil to mitigate even more the insulin response. That will insure top level concentration till your next meal.
Coach Charles R. Poliquin
P.S. Want to know more about eggs? Read this article: My Answer: What’s My Favorite Source of Dietary Fat?
P.P.S. On the go and can’t have a meat and nuts breakfast? Here is a solution: Eating on the Go: Solving the food convenience problem