Rider Nutrition: Eat dessert first!
I don’t know much about human nutrition, but I have been feeding myself successfully for many years … even longer than I have been riding and studying horses. And I continue to learn about human nutrition, almost everyday.
For the last few months of extreme heat, and drought, during which I have been rising at 4:30 am to be astride by 6am, I have been packing breakfast to eat while commuting, and between rides.
The sandwiches are built on the foundation of the recently “out-dated” Nutrition Pyramid.
I like like the Pyramid better than the new model plate, a dumbed down circle. I think of the Nutrition Pyramid much as I think of the Dressage Training Scale: The foundation of the Nutrition Pyramid is grain, upon which is added vegetables, on top of which is layered fruit…and well, if I don’t get any farther than that so be it. At least I have the fuel, fiber, nutrients, micronutrients, vitamins and minerals to preserve and promote body and mind functions. Compared to the Dressage Training Scale? Rhythm is THE foundation, from which is developed Looseness, which permits achievement of Contact. And once again, if I don’t proceed any farther than that up the Training Scale, I will have at least preserved and promoted the horse’s innate abilities. Amplification can come later.
So whats for breakfast?
I make sandwiches. Start with the best bread I can buy…containing only real food and NO ‘food-like’ additives. The best bread I can buy is a store brand “12 grain” bread which contains whole wheat, rice, barley, oats, millet, flaxmeal, rye, corn, buckwheat, sesame seeds, sunflower nut meats, and triticale. Also water, raisin juice, vinegar, salt, canola oil, and brown sugar. And NO garbage. The bag enunciates NON-HYDROGENATED canola oil.
On one slice of this bread, I slather about two tablespoons of peanut butter. Peanuts are actually not nuts, but a legume, more akin to a fruit. The brand of peanut butter I had been buying for years recently added some non-food ingredients, so I switched brands, and to my amazement the one I am using now costs less.
On the other piece of bread, I spread Nutella. Ingredients of Nutella are sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, skim milk, cocoa, whey, soy, vanillin, and an artificial flavor. If this artificial flavor is something that is bad for me, I am taking the risk. I actually did not discover Nutella until a few years ago. Not only is it tasty, but nutritionally powerful.
The fillings for the sandwiches vary: usually a banana, sliced or quartered length-wise, and then sliced apples, or sliced peaches, or sliced strawberries, or blueberries, raspberries…whatever is available. Banana and another fruit, or just the banana.
I keep the cinnamon shaker next to the cutting board, and use it before closing, halving, and wrapping. Before Nutella found me, I put peanut butter on both pieces of bread to hold the fruit fillings in place, and was sprinkling cocoa powder on the peanut butter. Or dark chocolate drops. Or raisins. All good! and good for you.
Depending on the combination of fruits, these sandwiches are reminiscent of some of the world’s most refined gourmet pastries and cakes you have ever tasted, ranging from S’Mores to Chocolate-hazelnut-raspberry torte.
I would not have bored you with this post but for the fact that one of my rider’s daughter asked me for this ‘recipe’ as she packed to go back to University for her second year. I could not have been more flattered.