As I prepped for last month’s Philadelphia Triathlon, my first triathlon in over a year, I fretted about what to put in my transition bag, whether my wetsuit would still fit, and what to eat for breakfast in the hotel room. The free hotel breakfast is never an option, since most races start well before the waffle irons get fired up. And if you are like me, an energy bar for breakfast is never satisfying.
For my first big race post-baby, I mixed up a new version of my go-to road breakfast: DIY instant oat mixes. I like to pack a mix of oats and toppings that I’ve been eating regularly before my big workouts. Lately, this has been hemp seeds for extra protein and dried blueberries for extra antioxidants.
For the oats, I prefer instant steel-cut oats (you can find them at Trader Joe’s) over regular instant oats that can easily turn to mush.
The quantity and proportion of the mix-ins is a personal preference. If you like your oats sweeter, add more brown sugar. If you’re fueling up to cheer someone on instead of racing, you might want to double the portion. I eat a moderate amount before races. The pinch of sea salt enhances the flavor.
Call ahead to make sure your hotel room has a microwave to heat up the water and pack a bowl and spoon so you don’t have to wander down to the hotel kitchen before dawn.
DIY Instant Oat Mix: Hemp Seed and Blueberry
-3/4 cup instant steel cut oats
-1 teaspoon brown sugar
-pinch of sea salt
-1 tablespoon hemp seeds
-1 tablespoon dried blueberries
-1 handful of roasted almonds
Combine all ingredients in a ziploc bag or plastic container. If you are packing this in a place where it could get jostled, double bag it. I put a few rubberbands around the ziploc bag or container and then put it in an additional bag.