Morning Power Bowl

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It's time to rise and shine and get to the grind. 

I love getting a good workout in first thing in the morning.

For me, it sets my day on a good foot. But, sometimes I find it hard to power through, especially if I'm going sprint interval drills.  This has changed. Back in November, I started eating as much Dolce-approved foods whenever possible. The Dolce Diet, which focuses on proper sports nutrition. Mike Dolce's book The Dolce Diet Living Lean Cookbook is packed with great recipes.

I'm excited to share with you one of my favorite morning recipes. This easy breakfast adapted from the Dolce Diet's Breakfast Bowl. It's the perfect combination of all things needed for fueling the morning before a workout.

So why are carbs important?

You see, carbohydrates are the "key players" of all the nutrients for your sports nutrition power plate. Whether you are a serious athlete or are just ramping up your activity level, carbs are essential as the most immediate and efficient fuel to the muscles. They spare the body having to use protein as a fuel source. In its circulating form in the blood, carbs are called glucose, and its storage form in muscles and the liver is called glycogen.

When you first begin to exercise, your body uses the circulating glucose as its first source of energy. And, if you haven't eaten in a long time, your glucose levels are likely to be low (low blood sugar.) This will have great effect on your overall performance. For example, if you are an early morning runner and go out for a long run before eating, you might have difficulty completing the run at full speed. Or if you take a cardio class, you might have trouble focusing well in classes, even if you do eat after exercising. A lot of morning athletes find that taking in some fruit juice or water and a plain piece of bread with a banana before exercising can help solve this problem.

Breakfast Power Bowl 1

This Morning Power Bowl contains complex carbs that take a little longer for the body to break down and use as fuel.

Without the adequate right type of carbs in the diet, you will "hit the wall" very quickly when you work out, and find that overall, you just aren't feeling up to par. This bowl is perfect for that…

Breakfast Power Bowel 2-5

What You'll Need

¼ cup high fiber oat bran (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oat Bran)
1 tbs flaxseeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp hemp seeds
¼ cup goji berries (you can also use raisins)
½ cup blueberries
1 tbsp almond flakes (you can also use almond butter)
1 monk fruit packet (you can also use stevia packet or nothing at all)

What You'll Need To Know

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Reduce flame and mix the oat bran and sweetener if desired, stirring often until desired consistency is reached.

Mix in flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds.

Pour into bowl and add peanut butter or almond butter or sprinkle on almond flakes. Top with blueberries.

Add in a splash of water or unsweetened almond milk to thin out oat bran, if desired.

How do you fuel your morning?

Southwest Shrimp Quinoa Power Bowl

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Let’s get down to it, I love anything that is self-sustaining and no fuss. The whole concept of a “bowl” is genius if you ask me. You add a bunch of ingredients into a specifically shaped dish, and you have a deliciously cohesive meal. A hearty base, like quinoa, vegetables, toppings, and protein—what's not to love?

The other night, I was craving a burrito bowl from Chipotle, the rice-based bowl filled with different fixings. In a way, it in inspired this recipe.

I am always looking for ways to hack recipes and make them into a much more nutritious meal. This Southwest Shrimp Quinoa Power Bowl is the perfect creation and combination of good-for-you ingredients coming together to create a flavorful, simple no fuss meal.

Southwest Shrimp Quinoa Power Bowl 5
Southwest Shrimp Quinoa Power Bowl 4
Southwest Shrimp Quinoa Power Bowl 2
Southwest Shrimp Quinoa Power Bowl 1

What You'll Need

28 shrimps
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 Roma tomatoes
1 shallot, chopped
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 green bell pepper sliced into thin strips
15 cilantro springs, roughly chopped
1 small Haas avocado
1/2 tablespoon Sriracha (optional)
sea salt, to taste
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

What You'll Need To Know

Cook up a big batch of quinoa in advance (it takes only 15 minutes!)

Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the coconut oil, and add the onion and shallots and cook until they're fragrant and translucent.

Add the tomato, garlic, corn, salt, sriracha, cumin and paprika and cook for about 10-15 minutes.

Add the bell pepper, and cook for about 2 minutes, and then mix in the shrimp and cook for about 5 minutes, until the shrimp is pink all the way through.

In a mixing bowl, add the cooked quinoa and mix in the cilantro, saving a few leaves for garnish.

Using deep bowls, add 1/2 cup quinoa to each bowl, top with the shrimps and veggies. Garnish with cilantro leaves and 1/4 avocado for each.

Side Note

If you want to add a slightly different twist, I recommend using fresh sweet corn and grilling or roasting it. It adds a different flavor and dimension to the dish.

Why coconut oil? Coconut oil is very different from most other cooking oils and contains a unique composition of fatty acids. The fatty acids in coconut oil are about 90% saturated, making it highly resistant to oxidation at high heats, perfect oil for cooking.

Recipe makes 4 servings.