Eat Like Champion Novak Djokovic

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Novak Djokovic believes that food is information, and treats each meal as a communication with his body. Here’s what he’s telling it morning, noon, and night. He won 11 Grand Slam tournaments with career prize money earnings of 98.2 million U.S. dollars. With such consistent dominance on the court, it is interesting to know ‘what is this guy eating’? Here is average daily menu of the great champion:

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BREAKFAST

Djokovic starts the day with honey, fruit, and an oat-based cereal mix. Your body needs sugar, in particular, fructose, the sugar found in fruits, some vegetables, and especially honey.

Power Bowl Muesli

1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
½ cup sliced almonds

1) Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl or, if traveling, a resealable plastic bag.
2) Serve with rice or almond milk; bananas, berries, or sliced apples; and your favorite natural sweetener, if desired.

LUNCH

Djokovic focuses on carbs and maximizing his vegetable-based nutrient intake at lunch. “During the day, I want my body to be as energized as possible, when I eat carbs with very little protein, I’m telling my body – I need energy”’ said the champion.

Gluten-Free Pasta Primavera

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced into half-moons
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced into half-moons
½ pound asparagus, trimmed and sliced on the bias
4 cups rice pasta
¼ cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes, plus more for garnish, if desired
¼ tsp sea salt
2 tbsp grated vegan cheese, to top
Chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley or basil

In a large pan combine the olive oil and garlic and cook on medium heat, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced squash, zucchini, and asparagus and cook until tender, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot, strain it and return to the pot. When the vegetables are tender, add them to the pasta and toss well to combine. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and sea salt. If desired, top with vegan cheese to taste and serve with fresh herbs.

Mixed Greens Salad with Avocado

4 cups wild arugula
2 cups  mixed greens
1 cup  canned beans
1 medium cucumber, peeled, thinly sliced into half-moons
1 large, ripe avocado, halved and thinly sliced
¼ cup sunflower seeds

Dressing:
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
12 slices smoked salmon

In a large salad bowl, combine the arugula, mixed greens, beans, and cucumber slices. Toss the salad with half of the vinaigrette. If desired, top the salad with sunflower seeds, avocado slices, and salmon.

DINNER

For Djokovic, dinner is a protein-rich, low-carb meal of fish, chicken, or lean, grass-fed beef. “ At night, I don’t need energy,” says Djokovic. “So at dinner, I will tell my body,‘I need you to repair this mess I made. Please take this protein and do what needs to be done.’”

Sea Bass with Mango and Papaya Salsa

To marinate the fish:

¼ cup fresh lime juice
4 tbsp plus 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp sea salt
1½ pounds sea bass, red snapper, or rock fish fillets
2 limes, cut into wedges

For the mango salsa:

1 large, semi-ripe mango, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 large, ripe papaya, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
½ red onion, finely diced
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup peeled and finely diced roasted red peppers
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
Sea salt, to taste

Marinate the fish: Whisk the lime juice, 3 tbsp plus 2 tsp of the olive oil, the oregano, cumin, chili powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the fish fillets and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours. To make the salsa: Toss the mango, papaya, and red onion in a bowl with, cilantro, roasted red peppers, and lime juice. Season with salt and refrigerate. Heat a grill pan to high heat. Carefully grease the pan with the remaining 2 tsp of olive oil. Remove the fish from the marinade and place on the grill. Cook for 4–5 minutes, until firm and no longer opaque. Top the sea bass with the salsa and a fresh lime wedge

Carrot Ginger Soup

1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 lbs organic carrots
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
7 to 8 cups vegetable stock
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp sea salt, to taste

In a large stockpot, cook the onions just until soft and fragrant, approximately 8 minutes on medium heat.  Add the chopped carrots, minced garlic, bay leaf, fresh grated ginger and cook  for another 20 minutes. Add in the vegetable stock and turn the stove heat up to medium. Cook carrots and onion through until soft, approximately 20 more minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Carefully add the soup to a food processor. Set it to pulse setting and blend until well combined. Season the mixture with nutmeg and sea salt.

SNACK

Blueberry Almond Butter Smoothie

2 cups frozen blueberries
1 frozen banana
2 tbsp almond butter
1 cup fresh spinach
2 cups unsweetened almond milk

In a large blender, purée the blueberries, banana, almond butter, spinach, and almond milk until fully combined. Pour into four glasses and serve immediately.

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