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Upgrade Your Oatmeal Like a Pro Athlete

A new spin on a classic, courtesy of ultrarunner Stephanie Howe Violett

This savory breakfast helps keep 36-year-old coach and nutritionist Stephanie Howe Violett fueled up for all her mountain pursuits. (Photo: Hannah McCaughey)
This savory breakfast helps keep 36-year-old coach and nutritionist Stephanie Howe Violett fueled up for all her mountain pursuits.

When it comes to performance fuel, it’s hard to go wrong with oatmeal. And one major perk of the old standby is that it’s a blank canvas. Stephanie Howe Violett, 2014 Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run champion, prefers her oats savory, loaded with avocado, eggs, and butter. The combo sits well in her stomach and provides ample slow-burning calories for adventures in the mountains. A 36-year-old coach and nutritionist, Violett logs up to 20 hours a week on the trails near her home in Bend, Oregon, and she rounds out her winter training with long days skiing. After nearly two decades of high-level competition, Violett’s fueling philosophy is simple: “Eat real food. Don’t deprive yourself of any nutrients. I eat everything. Food should be enjoyed.”


(Serves one)

  • 1 cup whole milk, water, or milk alternative 
  • ½ cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Turmeric powder to taste
  • 1 egg
  • Half an avocado, sliced


In a small pot, bring the milk to a boil over medium heat. Add the oats and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oats are close to your desired consistency. (If you’re short on time, make the oats in advance or soak them overnight before cooking.) Add salt, pepper, turmeric, and butter in the final few minutes of cooking. While oats finish, fry the egg and slice the avocado. Spoon the oats into a bowl, top with the fried egg and avocado, and eat immediately. Add flavor with extra toppings like fresh pesto, cilantro, feta cheese, sesame seeds, or hot sauce.

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From Outside Magazine, December 2019
Filed To: Food and DrinkRecipesDietNutrition
Lead Photo: Hannah McCaughey