Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What Should I Eat For Breakfast?

Getting up early in the morning to get ready for work is never easy.  Like many other people out there I've realized that if I skip breakfast I can sleep in an extra 15 minutes.  This is a good trade off, right?  WRONG.  Skipping breakfast is one of the worst things you can do, especially if you are an athlete and ESPECIALLY if you are an athlete doing multiple workouts per day. 

One solution that I have come up with and become quite fond of is going through the drive through at coffee shops and picking up a soy latte and an oatmeal.  So many places are starting to sell oatmeal, which is amazing because it's so much healthier than eating a meat/cheese/egg/biscuit or a donut!  I've tried a few different places so far and here are my conclusions:

Port City Java
PCJ sells Umpqua brand old-fashioned oatmeal in 4 different flavors:

1.  Kickstart - Blueberries, cranberries, sunflower seeds, & more.
     297 calories, 6 g fat, 54 g carbs, 8 g protein

2.  Jackpot - Raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, & pecans.
     270 calories, 5 g fat, 50 g carbs, 7 g protein

3.  RU Nuts - Walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, & flax.
     273 calories, 6 g fat, 48 g carbs, 8 g protein

4.  Not Guilty - Blueberries, apples, flax, & chia.  No added salt or sugar.
     224 calories, 6 g fat, 36 g carbs, 8 g protein

I've tried all of these oatmeals and I think they're all really good!  My favorite flavors are the Kickstart and the Jackpot; they are also the ones with the most carbs, which is good for me because I'm back to my high-carb, low-fat, whole-foods, plant-based diet :)  The baristas prepare the oatmeal for you by adding hot water and letting it steep for about 5 minutes.  All the fruit & nut goodies are already inside the container. 

Not to be outdone, Starbucks offers 2 different varieties of steel-cut oatmeal:

1.  Classic - brown sugar, fruit medley, walnuts
     400 calories, 12.5 g fat, 66 g carbs, 8 g protein

2.  Hearty Blueberry - agave syrup, fresh blueberries, fruit/nut medley
     280 calories, 8.5 g fat, 50 g carbs, 7 g protein

I've only tried the Classic flavor of this oatmeal and I will say it was delicious!  It has a thicker texture than the Port City oatmeal, which is more similar to a hot muesli.  For preparation, Starbucks adds water to the container & lets it steep for 5 minutes.  Then, it's up to you to add the toppings yourself, which, maybe I'm lazy but I'd rather not have to do that. 

Dunkin' Donuts
I was initially impressed that DD offered oatmeal and I tried it one day when I picked up 3 dozen donuts to take do a doctor's office.  There is only 1 flavor:

1.  Brown Sugar Flavored Oatmeal - dried fruit topping
oatmeal     300 calories, 4 g fat, 61 g carbs, 7 g protein

This oatmeal was a huge let-down!  As soon as I tasted it I could tell there was milk in it.  I immediately called DD and asked how they prepare their oatmeal and they said, "hot water with a splash of milk."  Needless to say this did not align with my tastebuds.  Not only that, it's potentially dangerous for anyone with a milk or dairy allergy.  However, if you find yourself at Dunkin,' the oatmeal is certainly a healthier option than their namesake.

I've never tried McDonald's oatmeal and I can't say that I plan to.  But, for the sake of comparison:

1.  Fruit & Maple Oatmeal - "We take two full servings of 100% natural whole-grain oats and add a touch of cream..."  Enough said.
     290 calories, 4 g fat, 58 g carbs, 5 g protein

Footnote:  For athletes who need to consume a lot of calories and carbohydrates per day to maintain energy levels for training, I'd also suggest adding any or all of the following to your breakfast:  100% OJ or other 100% fruit juice, banana or other whole fruit, Naked Smoothie, Cliff Bar, water.  These are all usually things that coffee shops tend to offer as a la carte items and are easy to grab and go when you've decided to sleep in that extra 15 minutes :)


  1. TARA, you're back! Hooray! Of course we disagree on the soy latte and oatmeal breakfast...BUT not by much. I'm a green smoothie made with coconut milk, greens and berries (sometimes some coconut oil for extra calories) -OR- a chia seed pudding with almond milk, cinnamon and berries.

    So glad to have you back in the blogging world!

  2. Yessss!!!!! The nutrition debates can continue to rage on :)