Back in November I highlighted what my cousin (and pride and joy) Christiana Rutkowski eats in our Everything I Ate Today feature. In that profile, she talks about an oatmeal recipe which she has dubbed ZOATS (for zucchini oats) and has become her race day breakfast.

It's clearly working. She recently won her heat at the Great Dane Classic on January 13th in the 1600M with an impressive 5:02. (that's a mile, folks).  

image c/o instagram.com/christianarutkowski

image c/o instagram.com/christianarutkowski

"Such an integral part of running well is being fueled prior to the big race. [These are] nutrient-dense, perfect ratio of carbs/fat/protein [and] tasty.  I discovered this in steps. First I discovered putting a favorite protein powder in oatmeal gave it an instant boost, then I started to see recipes that included shredded zucchini in oatmeal - tried it and loved it, and combined the two things."

  • Preferred Brand: PEScience Select protein in Snickerdoodle
  • Pro Tip: The zucchini adds liquid to the oatmeal so add water sparingly before cooking to make sure it isn't too runny!
  • Recipe: Combine: 1/2 cup of quick oats, 1/2-1 scoop of your preferred protein powder, 1/2 of a medium zucchini (grated), cinnamon, vanilla extract, and cook all of that on the stove or microwave. When it's all cooked, add a tablespoon (or more) of your favorite peanut butter and any other desired toppings

This week I had an event so I knew I wouldn't be able to have my usual AM breakfast (eggs, avo, toast) so I pre-made a batch of this, adapted it slightly, and heated it up each morning and sprinkled sesame seeds on it with PB.

I'm currently eating a bowl as I write this, because Tae and I are off on our long run this afternoon (we're training for the NYC Half in March, followed by the St. Anthony's Triathlon and BK Half in April and May). Today I had more time to get creative, so here's how I adapted it:


Would love to know how anyone else adapts this? I think it would make a great savory oatmeal too which I am a HUGE fan of (shortcut: swap the cinnamon for pepper when cooking; top with diced scallions, chives, a poached egg, some avo and sriracha!. I'll post a full recipe for this soon). 

Ok, now we're off on our long run to take full advantage of today's weather high (20 degrees - ugh!). 

Thank you Christiana for sharing this recipe!