Ode to Oatmeal


Yes, I wrote an entire post about oatmeal. If you know me or have been reading this blog, you’re not surprised in the least. My preference is for steel cut oats, but any oatmeal will do. It’s such a safe, pre-run meal.  I’ve never had a bad run after eating oatmeal for breakfast.  Even my husband has been converted.

Here are a few of my recent oatmeal escapades…


Science proves that oatmeal is awesome!

1.  It’s full of soluble fiber which lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol.  This fiber also makes you feel full for longer.

2.  It has “slow-release” complex carbohydrates.  This keeps it from spiking your blood sugar like refined carbohydrates .  Refined carbohydrates lead to insulin spikes.  When your insulin spikes, your body stores fat.  So, the slow release carbs keep your body from storing fat!

3.  Keeping your blood sugar levels under control also keeps you from reaching for quick sugar fixes…like cookies.

4.  The slow release energy will keep you running strong for your entire run.  Oatmeal eaten 3 hours before a run is the perfect low glycemic meal.

5.  It’s a good source of whole grains.  It keeps you feeling full without the heavy feeling.

6.  A 2009 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that women with higher intakes of nutrient-packed whole grains have lower amounts of total body and abdominal fat.

7.  Beware of the sugar-packed, instant “oatmeal” packages.  It’s best to make plain jane oats and then doctor them up with your favorite toppings!

8.  Speaking of toppings, oatmeal is a great conduit for other healthy foods.  Cinnamon, berries, nuts, chia seeds, and my current favorite oatmeal topping…pomegranate seeds!!!


And lastly,  a little oatmeal humor.  Yes, if you google oatmeal jokes, they actually exist!



Do you share my love for oatmeal?  

What are your favorite toppings?

If not oatmeal, what’s your favorite pre-run breakfast?


Join the Conversation

  • had2run

    I love oatmeal!!! Have you tried BOBOS Oatmeal bars. They are awesome

    • jenchoosesjoy

      I love Bobo’s! I started eating them when i was training for my first trail ultra.

  • Samantha

    Do you use almond milk or water? Do you add sugar to it or just the toppings?

    • jenchoosesjoy

      I cook mine in water, and add some stevia to sweeten it. Sometimes I’ll add almond milk afterwards, but not always.

  • Kelli

    I have tried oatmeal several times and I just can’t love it! I wish I could though. Sounds so good on a cold morning. I need to try steel cut oats and all the other versions before I give it up.

    Usually before a run I can only stomach a banana or nothing. If I have a lot of time before the run I might eat a bagel!

    • jenchoosesjoy

      I like the steel cut oats because they arent mushy, and theyre healthier for you. I eat a banana too if im short on time:)

  • lmicklich

    My husband and I, both runners, have oatmeal every morning for breakfast. He eats 4 servings, though, so we buy oats by the 50 lb. bucket! He always puts on blueberries, honey, cinnamon and ground walnuts. I like to mix it up, but it’s always with a banana. We are creatures of habit, but don’t fix what’s not broken!

    • jenchoosesjoy

      Exactly! It works so well. Why mess with a good thing? I havent graduated to the 50lb bucket yet!

  • FLRunnerBoy

    Oatmeal … ummmmm YEAH!!! I have some at my desk right now Jen lol!!! I love the stuff and for toppings I like strawberries, bananas, peanut butter chips, honey, and chocolate chips to name some “go-to” toppings :)

    • jenchoosesjoy

      I cant believe i have never tried peanut butter chips! Thank you for sharing…you rock!!

      • FLRunnerBoy

        Back at cha’ Jen!!! Anytime, hope you like it, let know what you think :)

  • mary @ minutespermile

    loooove oatmeal! i eat it at least a few times a week for breakfast — always with peanut butter swirled in, too :)

  • Running ‘N’ Reading

    I love oatmeal, especially when it gets cold out! I definitely agree with you on the fact that it seems much more filling than most breakfast foods, and I like that. I love to swirl in some almond butter sometimes, but my favorite things to add are bananas and cinnamon! Love your Ode to Oatmeal!

    • jenchoosesjoy

      Thank you!!!

  • Bobbi

    Steal cut oats, almond butter, banana, and 1/4 cup of whatever trail mix I’ve got. This is my go-to prerace food. Without exception. I recently ran the Portland Marathon and didn’t bring my own oatmeal and couldn’t find any pre-race. I bonked badly at about mile 14. No oatmeal, no long run.

    • jenchoosesjoy

      Its awesome that you know exactly what works for you!

  • Christina @ the athletarian

    Love this! You know I have a strong love for oatmeal too. You just can’t go wrong. I usually mix my oats with chocolate protein powder, chia seeds, and almond milk. Then top with berries and maple syrup! YUM.

    • jenchoosesjoy

      Ive never added protein powder, but thats a great idea. Thanks!!!

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