You'll Never Believe What These Two Elite Athletes Eat For Breakfast

Photo by Sara Hall

Sara and Ryan Hall met in college, when they were both competitive runners at Stanford University. Since then, they've had quite a bit of success as professional runners. Ryan has posted the best American times both in half marathons and marathons, while Sara won the 2012 National U.S. Cross Country competition—and those are just a few of their accomplishments!

When I got a chance to run a 5K with the Halls, I was understandably intimidated, but also had a few (winded) minutes to chat with Sara about what she and Ryan eat for breakfast.

When it comes to breakfast, the Halls are all about chocolate pancakes.

"Right now I'm addicted to this teff organic chocolate protein pancake that Ryan makes me," Sara, who just ran the New York City Marathon, tells mbg. "Teff is a gluten-free grain that's high in fiber, high in iron—it's an Ethiopian superfood, and I have four adopted daughters from Ethiopia."

Sara with her daughter Jasmine

Photo by Heather Armstrong

"It also pairs really well with chocolate—we use a ton of unsweetened cocoa and organic chocolate protein powder" she continues. "And it is glorious. It's like brownies first thing in the morning. For most people, their coffee is what gets them out of bed in the morning, but for me, it's that. It has a caffeine punch from the cocoa powder."

"Ryan will throw down pancakes too, but mixes it up with oatmeal or eggs—he's not always running in the morning like me," she explains. "It's a perfect food to sit in your stomach for a run. That's how he invented the recipe."

Photo by Sara Hall

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Here's the recipe:



  1. Mix all above dry ingredients.
  2. Slowly stir in enough water until pancake batter consistency is achieved.
  3. Pour all of the batter in a 10-inch heated skillet over medium heat.
  4. Flip pancake when air bubbles appear all over pancake. I like to flip it and take it off the heat after about 20 seconds and begin eating it directly out of the pan. It is still gooey in the middle, which makes it strikingly similar to a molten lava cake. I like to top the pancake with 1 tablespoon of Kerry gold grass fed butter.

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