Sardines for Breakfast: Mind & Body Impact


I’ve never committed to something that I dislike more than eating sardines for breakfast every morning.

Yep, sardines for breakfast. WTF was I thinking? I drank the Tim Ferris kool-aid, that’s for sure. I can guarantee you are going to be pleasantly surprised how life changing this breakfast has been for me. I’m going to tell you:

1. How it’s impacted my overall body shape
2. How my mornings have become productive money makers
3. How my focus and mental clarity has dramatically changed
4. How I get myself to swallow each bite when I hate the taste
5. Why this could be a simple life changing habit for you

Picture this. I’m sitting at my kitchen table, crying into my totally-Instagramable smoothie bowl wondering how my life got to where it is. Not what I pictured for myself as I round out my last year in my 20s. Single mom of two kids, overworked, sleepless, exhausted, feeling a little chubby. Straight-up defeated with life.

Through the tears, a book on my shelf caught my eye that I ordered but hadn’t opened yet. Tools of Titans. I want to be a Titan. The book is massive. Not something I could read front to back in a sitting – or two. I randomly just opened the book which is nicely broken down into small interviews Tim Ferris conducts with “Titans” in health, wealth, and life. I decide to read the book while I ate my smoothie bowl in hopes of turning my life around.

The first page I flip to is an interview with Dr. Dominic “Dom” D’Agostino, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, and a senior research scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. BeastMode Dom deadlifted 500 pounds for ten reps after a seven-day fast. Seven-days. No eating. Okay, he has my attention. Tim even credits this interview to be one that could save your life as it is one that dramatically helped Tim turn his life around after Lyme disease.

Dom goes into great detail discussing a Ketogenic diet (which he studies in his lab). I’ve heard of a veto diet but knew very little about what it is and how it works. A ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet that imitates fasting physiology. Instead of your brain and body using blood sugar for energy, it uses ketones for energy. I’m not going to go into great depths here discussing what a kept diet is but some of the benefits include:

INTRODUCING, SARDINES. Both Dom and Tim eat a can of sardines for breakfast. Sardines are both high in fat and protein with no carbs. Not to mention, sardines are a large source of Omega-3 fatty acids which can improve neurological function.

Here’s what Tim eats for breakfast each day:

Here’s what Dom eats for breakfast each day:
4 eggs
1 can of sardines
1/2 can of oysters

Here’s what Ashley (that’s me) eats for breakfast each day:
1 can of sardines
1 Swell bottle full of my own “bulletproof” coffee recipe (Bulletproof Coffee, Bulletproof Brain Octane, Vital Proteins, 4th & Heart Ghee, OM Nutrition)
1 glass of BeetElite
1 shot of Farmhouse Culture’s Gut Shot

My breakfast follows most closely to Tim’s because it’s easy and works for me. I also try to avoid eggs in my diet (according to blood tests, I have an intolerance). These two men also likely outweigh me by at least 100+ pounds too, so I just cannot consume as much as they can in one sitting.

As of July 1st, 2017, I am 45 days into my sardines diet. Here’s what I’ve noticed:

  • We’ve all heard the saying “eat the frog first” implying that you do your most difficult task of the day first. While eating sardines isn’t my “frog” of the day, starting my day off with something I DO NOT enjoy at all – but I know it’s good for me leaves me with a high. High, like, dancing in my kitchen to myself to Drake while I drink my bulletproof coffee each morning. This simple task sets the tone for my day.
  • I’m a thin person in general. Weight loss has never been a goal of mine. However, after having two kids, I was left with what I assumed was a kangaroo pouch for life. Proud to say, my little pot belly is almost gone. Before and after pictures to come soon.
  • If you are trying to lose weight – after eating my breakfast (heavy in good fats), I am not hungry again until at least 1 pm or 2 pm. I usually eat this breakfast between 5am-7am. For lunch, I find myself making better choices to maintain my energy and mental clarity. I’ve been opting for more greens and more good fats, like an avocado.
  • The mental clarity I feel has by far been the most noticeable for me because it was something I’ve been struggling with for months. Before starting this diet, I wouldn’t find my “work groove” until maybe 10:30 am. Now, by the time 10:30 am has rolled around, I have more accomplished in my day than I would typically complete in an average work day. I’m able to focus. I’m able to tune out distractions without the need of having to check my phone and email constantly.
  • Okay, so how do I even bring myself to swallow each bite? I hate the taste. HATE IT. Somedays I don’t think I am even capable of eating them – but I do it anyways. I once learned from Tony Robbins that “food is fuel” and you need to keep that in mind when you are eating healthy foods that you just don’t want to eat. Tony eats to fuel his body each day for the energy he needs; he does not eat depending what sounds tasty that day. So with every bite, I repeat to myself “food is fuel, food is fuel” and before I know it, the sardines are gone. Sounds silly. Sounds simple. But it helps. I’m rewiring my brain to know that I eat for body performance, not enjoyment. Don’t get me wrong though, I do still allow myself to enjoy certain foods.

I’ve tried every type of diet and supplement to increase my energy. Including, but not limited to Paleo, Whole30, Clean Eating, the Zone Diet, and more. All have made me feel great, but I am constantly looking for ways to improve my diet to get my natural energy levels high and my mental clarity at peak performance. Never have I experienced such drastic results as I have with sardines for breakfast (and my bulletproof coffee).

Sardines seem extreme, I know. I challenge you though to try it out. Give it at least 30 days. I was able to notice results within days (energy-wise), and those results continue to fuel my addiction which has gotten me to 45 days! I’ll continue to update this post with more learnings and photos as more time passes.

To set myself up for a win, I do Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program for Wild Planet sardines. I’ve found Amazon to have the lowest price compared to grocery stores and even Thrive Market which usually has the lowest price on foods I eat often.

Eating sardines has created somewhat of a snowball effect in my life. By starting my day with something powerful, encourages me to what to make one smart choice after another all day in every aspect of my life.

One more note from Tim’s interview with Dom that I found highly fascinating had to do with fasting: Dom states, “If you don’t have cancer and you do a therapeutic fast 1 to 3 times per year, you could purge any precancerous cells that may be living in your body.” Fasting is next on my list of crazy diet hacks to try. 😀


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