I used to not be a fan of breakfast … at all. Over the years this has slowly morphed from adding a piece of fruit to get going, to a small bowl of cereal, to a larger and more nutritious meal. When you take into account the unpredictability of a flight crew’s schedule (been to SFO lately?), I think it is unquestionably the most important meal of the day. I have worked with countless flight crews that have skipped breakfast, usually because it was too early and only to regret the decision later. Throw in some morning fog, a divert, then some maintenance issues, and now that break you were planning on getting that breakfast burrito has gone by by! Now you find yourself playing catch up on the schedule, at airports without any food options, let alone healthy ones and you are starving, tired, and well, over it!
I have tried bringing cereal with me and have run into several problems with that option. First, for a 4 day trip, you usually need breakfast for 3 mornings, assuming you live in domicile and are having breakfast at home on day 1. Or you need to bring with you 4 breakfasts if you find yourself commuting in the night before. So, that means packing a lot of cereal, which had to go in the roller bag, which took up too much room and basically would be reduced to cereal dust by day 4. Also, most cereal is nutritionally mediocre at best. Most are still based on refined grains with the second ingredient being some form of cane juice, brown rice syrup, etc. Add to that the additional preservatives, fortified vitamins which could be unnecessary in some cases, and it’s not the best foot forward in the morning. So I found myself bringing the most stripped down cereal, and then I also had to pack additional items like my own raisins, flax, chia, etc. to increase the nutritional value in a healthy way. There had to be a better way!
So here is the evolution of the Roadie Muesli! The oats make a much more healthy option than processed, sugar coated, preserved bran flakes. And they also take up less room in the suitcase and aren’t subject to being smashed to a fine dust within a few days. You can find them in the bulk bins much cheaper than cereal and you can find them gluten free from Bob’s Red Mill. Mix these up before you start your trip and it saves you time too! When you get in to the hotel for your overnight, just dump the bag into a bowl and add the almond milk and mix a little water. Feel free to add different freeze dried fruit mixes. (And a work of caution about raisins. If they are purchased from the bulk bins or packaged, check to make sure they are not already covered in oil indicated on the ingredients list). Place it in the fridge if one is available. No need to worry if there is no fridge, it will come out fine anyways. That’s it! When you wake up in the morning, breakfast is already waiting for you!
The beauty about this recipe is the sugars from the raisins and the freeze dried fruit will soak into the oats overnight and naturally sweeten things up. Also, the flax and chia seeds will thicken the mixture overnight to make for a satisfying meal to get the day going on the right foot while adding a balanced, plant based source of omega 3 fatty acids. It’s ok to toss those fish oil pills in the trash!
Mix the following into individual zip-lock bags, so they are pre-mixed and ready on the road.
- 1 cup Thick Rolled Oats
- 2 tbsp Raisins
- 1 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 tbsp Sunflower Seeds
- 1 tbsp Chia Seeds
- 2 tbsp Flax Meal
- 1 tsp Maca Root Powder
- 1/3 Package of Freeze Dried Blueberries (if dividing between 3 bags)
- 1 cup Vanilla Almond Milk (1 almond milk juice pack)
- 1/2 cup Water
- Sprinkle of Cinnamon
When you get to the hotel, empty the contents of the bag in a bowl before you go to bed. Add the almond milk juice box and top off with water and mix everything together. It will look oddly soupy at this point and this is normal. The flax meal and chia seeds hold an incredible amount of water and will absorb this moisture and thicken the mixture overnight. Place in the fridge and let sit overnight. In the morning, give the mixture a stir and enjoy!