As the month of August looms overhead, it means one thing – my Half Ironman is quickly approaching. Now is the time to focus on my training, play around with fuel, and really just take care of myself. I want to get to the start line without any regrets and knowing that I did everything in my power get there.The bike will be the most important part of the race; it is the longest section of the race and it can make or break me. If I work too hard my legs will be shot for the run and if I don’t fuel/hydrate enough then I won’t make it to the finish line at all. I have to strike that difficult balance between pushing myself and protecting myself. That is why I am loving training with my new bike “toys” from Garmin. Along with the Edge 520 I got the vector pedals. The pedals are great because they measure how much power you are putting out. For example, if I hit wind and it feels super slow but my power outage is through the roof, I know I am working too hard. And I also know that the tail wind will get me on the way back so there’s no need to push too hard.It keeps me in check so that I know exactly how hard I am working at all times. Because sometimes during a race (or during training) you just need to tune out for a while and you don’t want to lose track of your output while you do that. Especially during a long course race where you can be out there for 6+ hours.
Now to the fuel part….I know you all have been itching for this recipe! It’s called “overnight oats” and been my go-to pre race/pre workout meal forever. I get asked all the time, “what should I eat before a workout/race?” and I while I always say that it depends on your body/taste/regimen etc., I found overnight oats to work for almost everyone under any circumstances. It’s a simple recipe, digestion friendly, and covers all the nutrition aspects that you will need. Another reason I love it is because when you’re headed out in the wee hours of the morning and just want to have your coffee and get out the door, this meal can be waiting for you in the refrigerator. Race morning can be hectic and the last thing you want to be doing is cooking your breakfast. And, of course, it’s crucial to practice your race-day fuel while you are in training. If you follow my Instagram and Facebook you will know that I was featured on Fox 5’s Good Day NY! Yes – live TV!! To say I was nervous would be an understatement. My throat literally started to close up right before the show started – that’s how nervous I was. But once I started chatting with Rosanna and Greg I felt right at home, as if I was in my own kitchen. Of course I was still nervous about them liking everything I had made. I started out with my beet smoothie, which they both liked, and then offered them quinoa brownies. Greg wasn’t a fan of those but we decided that it was because he was weirded out by the quinoa. (I shouldn’t have told him what was in them!!) We finished up with my strawberry cream pie, which was a total hit! But what really surprised me was how much everyone loved my overnight oats. Little did they know that it was a recipe I had just developed and didn’t even have on my blog yet. So I knew I needed to get it on here ASAP.
Here is a link to the segment. I have to say that it is totally surreal to see myself on a show that I watch daily! http://www.fox5ny.com/good-day/177364083-video
The simplicity of this recipe makes it easy to travel with. I also like it because oatmeal has a low glycemic index so if it is the first thing you have in the morning it won’t spike your blood sugar. Instead it will give you a slow release of energy and keep you going for a long time. I like to pair the oats with low glycemic fruit (like berries) so that you get a little bit of natural sweetness that isn’t overpowering. Ideally this is something you should have 60 minutes before heading out the door. But if you are up SUPER early I recommend having just a few bites and running out the door. Then you can always save the rest for the next day or for after your workout. Everyone likes to start their day on the right note and with this oatmeal you will feel like you can take on the world.If I am having it pre-workout I like to add a tablespoon of Natural Citizen Energy. This mix is great because it has natural caffeine along with Maca powder, which has been shown to help endurance athletes. Instead of adding plain old maca powder to my oats, this mix has everything you will need for that extra boost. It has a mild nutty taste that is a perfect compliment to the oats. Unlike other pre-workout mixes, there is no added sugar in this one, making it my top choice for that extra little boost.I like to make my next batch of oats as soon as I finish my previous one so I don’t forget and end up empty handed the next morning! You can soak them anywhere from 6-24 hours. I have soaked them for up to 3 days and they are still great – just a little mushier. I would say they can last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Get creative and add your favorite toppings!
- 1 cup nut milk or water
- 1/2 cup old fashion oats
- 1 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
- dash cinnamon
- dash vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon Natural Citizen Energy (if you are having pre-workout)
Toppings: berries, coconut, bananas, peaches, apple, pumpkin seeds, raisins, almonds….
- In a mason jar, container or bowl combine nut milk, oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla extract and Natural Citizen Energy, if you are using. Mix very well, cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours/overnight.
- When the oats are soaked add your favorite toppings and enjoy!