This Is What Barack Obama Eats

It's probably not an exaggeration to suggest that Barack Obama might have been the most physically fit President the United States of America has ever had. That comes down to a few things, as it does with anybody — a decent workout routine doesn't hurt, for example, and we can't rule out good genes. But a crucial part of his health is his diet; a topic which was approached with some curiosity by the media during his presidency.

Now, we've looked at the current President's food habits before, and let's just say that, well, they aren't great. And while we'd never want to foster such divisions as to compare the two, it'll certainly be interesting to see how Obama stacks up. All we'll say is this: expect more salads, more fruit and far, far fewer calories. From the early breakfasts to the chili recipes to the Dijon mustard scandal that rocked the world, these are the eating habits of Barack Obama.

Coffee is out of the question

Today, upwards of 83 percent of adults in the United States drink coffee, most of them during the morning. Obama is not one of them. Yes, despite a grueling daily routine (which, to be fair, is probably a little bit less grueling these days), according to personal aide Reggie Love, Obama rarely drinks coffee in the morning. Instead, he opts for healthier fare, which might include orange juice, green tea or simply water. This is combined with a daily, 45-minute strength or cardio workout. Put them together and cut out the caffeine dependency and you've got yourself an ex-President who, at the age of 56, is healthier than most people are when they're 30.

The few times he has drunk coffee, however, Obama has courted disaster. In 2014, the world watched in horror as the then-President saluted two marine guards while holding a coffee cup — just the sort of devastating faux pas that will probably make Obama regret his decision to break his no-coffee rule until the end of time.

Breakfast is a big deal, though

Breakfast is as big a deal to Obama as it is to the majority of wholesome Americans. His most common choice of breakfast food tends to be eggs — four to six — potatoes and wheat toast. Considering a good breakfast can reduce your chances of becoming obese, boosts your metabolism, lowers your cholesterol levels and has a positive effect on the brain, Obama's rigorous keeping to a healthy breakfast as part of his morning routine is probably a good idea.

When he was President, Obama would usually include breakfast with that workout and be in the Oval Office, ready to work, by the mid-morning. Now, however, things are a bit easier, and Obama has opened up about how he's enjoyed the freedom of being able to control his mornings himself. With this in mind, it's probably not a stretch to imagine that, nowadays, he probably indulges in a lie-in and a late breakfast every now and then. Wouldn't you?

Everything's healthy — mostly

The rule of thumb with Obama's diet is that, with a few notable exceptions (which we'll talk about later), he generally eats healthily. Australia's ex-Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, suggested that Obama avoids sugar, carbs and fat, a regime which has allowed him entry into the auspicious elite of the flat-stomached. Indeed, Obama is rarely spotted drinking fizzy soft drinks, chowing down on crazy unhealthy fast food or imbibing sugar like it's the end of days.

Early in his first term at the White House, the Obamas made a splash by planting the first vegetable garden on the property since Eleanor Roosevelt's during the Second World War. The garden, which was cared for and run by Michelle Obama, provided food for family meals and organic dinners alike, and served to raise awareness about healthy eating. It included over 55 varieties of vegetables, mostly suggested by kitchen staff, and counted tomatillos, peppers, lettuces, spinach, kale, berries and more in its line-up.

Chili is his number one recipe

Obama has a whole list of favorite foods that have been made public, but one of the recipes that stands at the very top is chili. Barack Obama's very own homemade chili recipe, which is available online thanks to Michelle, stems from their time in Chicago, where they'd invite friends and family over to enjoy it. Wouldn't you love to be one of those lucky Chicago natives who can say they've been served dinner by the former President? It's a turkey or beef-based recipe and utilizes red wine vinegar, turmeric and basil among the staple ingredients, like kidney beans, onions, peppers and so on. Serve over rice or with a healthy topping of crushed crackers, and you're good to go.

If you're planning on hosting a partisan political Tex-Mex theme night (and why wouldn't you?) we'd suggest combining Obama's chili recipe with the Trump Grill taco bowl to really see who's got it best.

He won't say no to a burger

While health may be at the forefront of Obama's eating habits, that's not to say that he doesn't indulge in a treat every now and again. Just like his successor (well, okay, not just like his successor), Obama has a fondness for burgers and isn't averse to stopping at a take-out every now and again. Unlike Trump, however, he always tended to prefer smaller, local burger joints rather than the larger chain restaurants — in 2009, for example, he and V.P. Joe Biden took their motorcade to Ray's Hell Burger, an Arlington-based eatery known for its unusual burger toppings.

Only a year later, Obama returned to Ray's Hell Burger with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. They sat amongst a crowd of onlookers as Obama opted for a standard cheeseburger, while Medvedev had one with jalapenos, mushrooms and onions. They shared an order of fries.

Dijon disaster

Oh boy. We hope you're ready for this one, because we're about to delve into the most shocking scandal to have ever rocked the Obama Administration. If you're just here to read fun things about food, skip to the next item (it's about chocolate!), because things are going to get pretty heavy in here.

The year was 2011. The scene was the previously mentioned Ray's Hell Burger. The witnesses were Joe Biden, a press pack, a crowd of burgers fans and Sean Hannity's ego. The crime, of course, was Obama ordering Dijon mustard on his burger. Yes, Obama eschewed the traditional condimental topping of ketchup in favor of its spicier, yellower and Frencher cousin. America's right-wing press immediately went on the attack, with Fox News' Hannity — presumably bored of waiting more a more delicious scandal to come along (only five more years, Sean!) — running a segment which dubbed him "President Poupon."

He adores one chocolatier more than any other

Phew. That was a lot, right? After such an intense dive into the depths of political and ethical depravity, you might want to kick back and enjoy something lighter. Well, here's something — Obama's favorite chocolatier. Fran's Chocolates is a Seattle-based chocolatier set up by Fran Bigelow, which Obama revealed in May 2008 as a personal love of his.

It began with Seattle businesswoman Cynthia Stroum, who introduced the Obamas to Fran's at a campaign stop by way of a welcome basket, and subsequently got them hooked. The love of the chocolates spread to the Secret Service, who began asking after them, and then, somehow, to the cast of ABC's The View after Michelle sent them a sample. Michelle's preference is for dark chocolate, while Barack himself allegedly goes for smoked salt caramels in milk chocolate. And when you've got a President, a First Lady, the Secret Service, and a daytime talk show clamoring for more, it's fair to say you can make good chocolate.

He brews his own beer

The Obamas aren't exactly binge-drinkers, but when they do indulge in a beer or two, at least they do it right. In 2014, Obama was granted lifetime membership to the American Homebrewers Association in recognition of his position as the first President to home brew at the White House. In 2011, he had teamed up with his chef Sam Kass to begin crafting their own beer and, with the help of local home brewers, concocted two recipes: one for White House Honey Ale and the other for White House Honey Porter.

The honey porter includes black malt, chocolate malt, and honey, while the ale utilizes biscuit malt, gypsum and honey in its recipe. The honey that's used is particularly special, drawn from the apiary on the White House's South Lawn and offering a paler and lighter honey than most. Considering the current President claims to never touch alcohol, it's unlikely that the hives are producing honey for home brews anymore — if they're still there at all.

His favorite foods

At the end of the day, it's easiest to get a feeling for someone's eating habits simply by taking a gander at their favorite and least favorite foods. According to Reggie Love, Obama's picks include chocolates from Fran's Chocolates (but you knew that), trail mix (nuts, berries, seeds, raisins and so on), roasted almonds, pistachio nuts, water, Dentyne Ice chewing gum, MET-Rx chocolate roasted peanut protein bars and vegetables — with broccoli and spinach being particular favs.

You can see an image forming already, can't you? "Healthy with a tendency towards a guilty pleasure or two" is the bottom line, here, and the Obama diet seems to consist mostly of vegetables, health foods and simplicities (water, Barack? Really?), with little room for anything ostentatious, beyond a chocolate or two. Love explains that Obama also uses Nicorette gum, though that may be because of another guilty pleasure of his rather than any particular appreciation for it.

His least favorite foods

The other end of the spectrum, as Love tells it, is a little more peculiar. Obama's food-related bugbears would appear to include mayonnaise (though, if Dijongate is anything to go by, he's not a massive fan of ketchup, either), salt and vinegar potato chips, asparagus — though he'll eat it if he has to, apparently — and soft drinks. The man prefers water, you see.

In the past, Obama has also voiced a particular distaste for British cuisine, making clear his dislike of traditional British food on the campaign trail in 2007 with a (probably half-joking, in fairness) sneer and a cringe, before suggesting to a voter that her notion of England having better food than America was down to "all those good Indian restaurants they have there now." So there you have it: Gum, nuts and water are in, asparagus, mayo and fish and chips are out. President Barack Obama, everybody.