With the summer heat here in the Northeast hitting the boiling point these last several weeks, I’ve been getting up earlier and earlier to try and get my runs or workouts in. This is something I struggled with last summer, but since the RWRunStreak got me in the habit of getting up and in my running clothes before 6am, it’s much more of a habit this time around.
My problem is fuel for the mornings. I am trying to find a balance between what to eat before a workout, and after. Normally, I need some fuel to keep me going for anything over 20 minutes or half an hour. I had thought toast might be a good fit, and sometimes before a long run it is, but not if I eat it too close to the start of my run. If I’m starting my run at 545, I can’t really get up at 445 just to drop a piece of toast in my stomach.
I talked with my bootcamp instructor about it last week after a particularly intense early morning class. I honestly nearly vomited during class, and all I’d had was toast with a smear of peanut butter. She told me she would suggest a bit of coffee (not a lot) just to give my stomach something; the milk and sweetener would be enough to fuel the workout. Then, I could eat a proper breakfast after I got home and cooled down.
But what to do then? I need something more than toast then, and making egg whites after I’ve sweated it out outside just has no appeal. Then I saw this yesterday online: Refrigerator Oatmeal.
I was intrigued. The idea is that all the liquid, combined with the bacteria from the yogurt and acid from the fruit, softens and “cooks” the oatmeal and whatever seeds you put in it. Any combination would do: chia seeds, flax seeds, mangoes, berries, apples, whatever you had on hand. You put it all in a container (they use these adorable small mason jars) and put it in your fridge overnight. In the morning, you have a protein packed, whole grain and fruit breakfast waiting for you.
I had everything pretty much on hand for the recipe, so last night I threw it all in the fridge to try it.
This is what I found after my early morning walk:
It was delicious! Probably a little too sweet because I used dates and some agave syrup (all of her recipes had some sort of natural sweetener, either honey or maple syrup) but it was absolutely delicious. It made enough that I only ate half this morning and saved half for tomorrow. The original recipe recommends that the recipe lasts several days, but not terribly long.
Here’s the recipe I used, modeled after Monica’s at The Yummy Life:
1/4 c old fashioned oats
1/3 c skim milk
1/4 c plain greek yogurt (nonfat)
1 1/2 tsp flax seeds
2 Medjool dates
1/2 a mango
1 tsp agave syrup
Mix together all ingredients in container or mason jar and leave in fridge overnight.
You could use any combination of fruit, different seeds or nuts, any sweetener (or none).
Makes 2 yummy servings.