My last two winters were spent at altitude in Boulder, CO – some 5,430′! Coming from Brooklyn, New York, I was surprised to find the Colorado winter milder than East Coast winters. The sun was always shining and everyone was always training! I vividly remember the first time I went for a run with Adam Goucher, a former track and field star. I was so nervous to run with an Olympian that I didn’t even factor in the altitude. Halfway through the run I started tasting copper in my mouth and when I mentioned this to Adam he laughed and told me I was going anaerobic (yikes!) and had to slow down. This was my first experience with altitude and, with some basic research on what that meant, I learned that my body was working harder at higher altitudes.
At this point I started taking an iron supplement for the first time. Having a healthy iron level is essential for runners and athletes. It’s important because it keeps your energy levels up and supplies your body with much-needed oxygen. So it’s even more important when you are training at altitude! I can now sense immediately when my levels are low. This summer I was in the midst of training for IRONMAN 70.3 Lake Placid and, although I took naps everyday and went to bed early, I was still waking up tired. Sure enough, I discovered that my iron levels were low. That’s when I discovered MegaFood. I wanted a gentle iron supplement made with real food and that’s exactly what MegaFood’s Blood Builder is. Blood Builder is actually made with whole foods so you don’t need to take it with a meal! (I have always had a hard time remembering to take my vitamins/supplements, and having to take them with a meal made it even more challenging!)
I recently took the MegaFood 8-week Blood Builder Challenge – I took Blood Builder for 8 weeks straight to see how I felt. During this time I was traveling from Santa Monica -Santa Barabara – Hawaii – Boulder – NYC – San Francisco. So I knew between the travel and altitude it would be essential to keep my energy levels up! Whenever traveling to altitude I can feel my iron levels drop. But having been taking an iron supplement for a few weeks before traveling, I felt great and was running and working more than ever!
Since I don’t eat meat, getting enough iron is always an ongoing effort. And getting vitamins through whole foods is always optimal so in addition to MegaFood Blood Builder I make sure to eat a diet rich in leafy greens. I decided I wanted to create an iron-rich breakfast that would complement my Blood Builder supplement. For this project I teamed up with Shalaya Kipp, a professional runner in Boulder, CO. She trains with a lot of my friends in Boulder and loves to cook, so it was only a matter of time before we got in the kitchen together. Shalaya also has a science background so I knew she would love to help put this recipe together. Each ingredient is there for the iron benefit – dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, and a cast iron skillet! This iron-rich breakfast will have you feeling energized and full of nutrients in no time!
Ultimate Energizing Breakfast Recipe:
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
- dash paprika
- dash sea salt
- dash cayenne
- Place small frying pan over medium heat, add coconut oil, pumpkin seeds and spices. Stir frequently for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Place the seeds in a small bowl.
- 3 cups shredded sweet potato
- 3 cups greens of your choice, such as spinach, collard greens, or kale
- 2 organic eggs
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
- salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 375. Place a medium size cast iron skillet or a medium size sauce pan that is oven safe over medium heat. Add coconut oil to a pan over medium heat and then add shredded sweet potato and salt. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Then add greens and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until greens are wilted.
- Crack eggs in the center of the pan and place in the oven. Cook for about 7-10 minutes or until eggs are cooked to the desired texture. Feel free to add more or less eggs!
- Top with chopped chives and pumpkin seeds.