Big-wave surf legend Laird Hamilton has a pretty simple approach to food: If it wasn’t here 10,000 years ago, don’t eat it. Along with his wife, volleyball player Gabrielle Reece, the 54-year-old Kauai, Hawaii, and Malibu, Calif., resident fuels up on fatty fare such as avocados and fish , and avoids what he calls the three white devils: white sugar, white flour and milk. Between pummeling down 35-foot-plus waves and rescuing dozens of families from catastrophic floods in Kauai, the father of three published a cookbook, “Fuel Up With Laird Hamilton” (Assouline). Here, he reveals his daily diet to The Post’s Lauren Steussy.
I usually wake up around 5:30 in the morning. For me, there’s never a typical day, but I do like my caffeine, so I’ll have a really high-quality espresso, normally with my [Laird Superfood] Turmeric Creamer and a bunch of raw butter and coconut oil, red palm oil, and so on.
Most of the time I don’t really have an appetite in the morning, but if I do have breakfast, I’ll have it at around 9. I’ll maybe have eggs because they’re a great source of fat and protein, which gives you good energy for your day. Fertile eggs [eggs inseminated by a rooster, found in organic-food stores] are particularly good because they’re pH balanced and they’re just better for you. I usually eat a couple of them raw — just poke a hole in them and suck them out of the shell. That way you don’t have to deal with chugging down a big yolk.
I usually spend my whole morning doing some kind of physical activity, whether it’s breath work, circuit training or thermoregulation training, where you’re training in ice tubs and saunas, which has all types of metabolic and psychological benefits. Depending on what the ocean’s doing, I’ll surf, too.
By lunch, I’m pretty hungry. I usually gravitate toward fish, sometimes exotic meats like moose and elk. You can’t beat the energy packed into certain animal proteins when they’re in their optimal state.
I’m not a huge snacker, but macadamia nuts are pretty great when I do. I like to say, “I don’t have a sweet tooth; I have a fat tooth,” so nuts hit the spot.
Dinner will be similar to lunch: a protein with lots of steamed greens. I eat a ton of vegetables but I don’t eat a lot of fruit, given the amount of sugar it has. I like octopus, I like organ meat — if I can get a good liver from the most wild [animal] you can get your hands on, that’s great. I love any kind of game that’s been caught in the wild. I’ve got friends catching giant tuna all summer long, and there’s nothing like good seafood right from the source. It’s harder to get land protein [in Hawaii]. Maybe I would be eating moose and elk more if I lived out in Montana.
I usually get to bed around 8:30 p.m. I’m not a huge dessert guy. Desserts were created because people didn’t eat enough for dinner. [Not eating dessert regularly] ties into my philosophical approach to eating — when you eat for fuel, instead of just eating things because they taste good to you, it becomes a different experience. I think of it like training for life, to be a healthier organism.
Halibut With Macadamia Nut Crust and Turmeric Coconut Sauce
Ingredients for the turmeric-coconut sauce:
1 tbsp. coconut oil
½ yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 thumb ginger, peeled and minced
½ cup vegetable broth
2 tbsps. Laird Superfood Turmeric Creamer (or 1 tsp. ground turmeric)
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
¾ cup coconut milk
Juice of ½ lemon
Ingredients for the fish:
2 slices gluten-free bread
½ cup roasted macadamia nuts
Salt and pepper
4 (6-oz.) Pacific halibut steaks
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the sauce. Heat the coconut oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the broth, turmeric, cinnamon and salt. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool.
When it’s reached room temperature, place the turmeric mixture in a blender. Add the coconut milk and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Place the sauce in a clean pan and keep it warm.
To make the nut crust, first toast the bread. Then blitz it in a food processor until you have coarse breadcrumbs. Add the macadamia nuts and pulse again until the texture is consistent. Tip the mixture onto a plate.
Now crust the fish. Beat the egg in a shallow bowl. Season the fish steaks with salt and pepper on both sides. Dredge them in the egg wash, then coat them in the nut mixture.
To cook the fish, heat the coconut oil in a nonstick, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is boiling, add the fish and fry about 2 minutes per side, or until golden. Transfer to the oven and bake 5 minutes, or until cooked through.
Plate the fish, and drizzle the sauce on top.
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