I read a while ago that one thing elite Kenyan and Ethiopian runners have in common is not only their high carb diet, but the presence of a staple carb in their diet. If you had to ask me to choose mine, it would be oats, hands down. I bloody love oats. There are only 2 days this year that I haven’t had oats for breakfast. I also use them to carb load before a race, and they’ve helped me to two PBs this season.
Now I’m pretty sure every runner worth their salt knows how to make oatmeal, but here are some tips I’ve picked up over the past oat-fueled year:
- Soak your oats the night before if possible. I’m not a fan of fancy overnight oats with yogurt etc since I like mine heated up in the morning. However I’ve found they cook a lot more quickly, and have a really creamy texture if you soak them first.
- Try adding a fat source. Peanut butter stirred into oats was a revelation to me- not only is melted peanut butter a thing of sheer beauty, but a good dose of healthy fat keeps me full just a little bit longer.
- Try adding protein. I did this for a while with protein powder; you just have to be careful not to add the protein when the oats are very hot, as this will cause the protein to cook and go all goopey. (Don’t get me wrong you can still eat it- I have- but the texture’s not the best).
- You can stick fruit in the oats whilst they’re cooking. This will stew the fruit and bring out its sweetness, meaning you don’t have to add extra sweetener.
- If you put frozen fruit (berries for instance) in the bottom of the bowl, and pour in hot oats, it is gorgeous. The oats cool and thicken quicker (great if you’re in a rush), plus you get a lovely contrast of hot and cold.
- Putting cinnamon sticks in the container where you store your oats will infuse them and make them delicious.
So there we have it, my oaty tips.
What are yours? And what would be your staple carb, if you had to choose one?
Lots of love,