By Cate Ritter__
__It might be tempting to grab a donut and coffee on the way to the course, but a breakfast lacking in protein sets you up for a rough day. Typical high-carb breakfast foods, such as a pastries, bagels or cereal, give you a quick boost of sugary energy but will quickly have you dragging by the third hole.
Take the first step to eating like a pro by including more protein at your morning meal. Protein-packed meals power your performance by increasing muscle mass, promoting fat burning, providing consistent energy, reducing sugar cravings, supporting the immune system, and decreasing your chances of making poor food choices on the back nine.
Aim for about 25 grams of complete protein at breakfast. Twenty-five grams of protein is about four eggs, 3 to 4 ounces of meat, poultry, fish or seafood, or a scoop of protein powder. Look for organic, hormone-free, antibiotic-free proteins. For extra nutritional benefits, particularly more anti-inflammatory omega-3s, select pastured, free-range or wild proteins. Great sources include: eggs, nitrate-free sausage or bacon, salmon, beef, shrimp, pork, chicken, turkey, cottage cheese and protein powder.
Avoid non-organic, processed proteins such as conventional bacon or sausage, imitation animal products (tofurkey), "breakfast" bars, cereals and low-fat dairy products such as milk or yogurt.
To form a perfect plate, balance protein with vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and gluten-free grains.
Fried eggs with bacon, sweet potato and kaleOmelet with goat cheese, tomatoes and spinachWild salmon with asparagus and red potatoesOatmeal with cottage cheese, peaches and pecansCorn tortilla with scrambled eggs, beans and avocado
Cate Ritter runs The LEAN 18 Nutrition program at MTT Performance. The program operates out of Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif.