Hemp Granola, Sweet Potatoes, and Half a Watermelon: Trell the Trainer’s Vegan Food Diary

Photo courtesy of Dontrell Britton.

Despite the cornucopia of fruits and veggies you see here, Dontrell “Trell the Trainer” Britton’s diet used to look quite different. Just a few years ago, the twenty-six-year-old personal trainer and Adams Morgan native was serving a sentence in federal prison for drug charges. A typical breakfast consisted of pancakes and waffles. When he could, he’d buy more nutritious food such as peanuts or canned fish from the commissary.

After being released in 2015, Britton found work at Pearl Dive Oyster Place, but after eating too much late-night junk (chicken wings and pizza), sought a healthier diet to match the exercise regimen he’d picked up in prison. He started studying nutrition and educating himself on the benefits of a plant-based diet, which research shows can decrease the risk of heart disease and may be especially beneficial for those with high blood pressure and diabetes.

Today, Britton, who counts rappers Pusha-T and Shy Glizzy as clients and runs a “prison-style” bootcamp called Twenty3n1, has committed to a purely vegan approach to eating. “My idea of nutrition is based upon the idea that whole, natural foods should be used to heal and nurture the body,” he says. “I look at food as medicine.”

Here’s what a typical day’s food diary looks like.

First “Meal”

“This is what my first meal looks like every morning: a bottle of alkaline water and herbal pills that I make at home. These herbs are a combination of sea moss, bladderwrack, and dandelion root. This gives my body a boost of energy and prepares it to begin its natural cleansing process.”


“Breakfast consists of nothing but a combination of fresh fruit. This is a high-energy and cleansing meal that is important to the detoxification process.”


“Because I’m a pretty active vegan, I eat a lot of nuts to help maintain muscle mass. Here I mixed Brazilian nuts, walnuts, and hemp seed granola in a bowl with a cup of almond milk. This meal is loaded with protein and antioxidants.”


“Lunch is a busy time of day. For me, I keep it super-simple: half a seeded watermelon with my alkaline water.”


“Usually by dinner time, I’m done with work and have time to sit, prepare, and cook a nutritious meal. I aim to make this meal the most fulfilling, because it’ll likely be the last meal of the day. Mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions are rich in vitamins and nutrients. Same goes for the Brussels sprouts. The sweet potato is high in fiber, which helps me feel full longer; that way I’m not hungry later in the night.”

Kim Olsen

Kim Olsen ([email protected]) is a freelance writer in Alexandria.