Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Vegetarian Goes on the Road Part II: Getting Creative with Breakfast

A filling, veg friendly breakfast is just minutes away!
It's a cliche that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it's a cliche for a reason.  You've (hopefully) been asleep for at least seven hours, you probably haven't eaten in nine.  What you eat in the morning sets the stage for your energy level the whole day.

When you're on the road for work, breakfast is extra crucial.  You will likely have little control of your schedule or your meals, and you've got to be "on" for meetings, alert for navigating unfamiliar cities and maintain energy while you're away from home.  I know when I have a good breakfast, my day tends to go a whole lot better.

But, what do you do when you're a vegetarian and away from a well stocked home kitchen?  If you're lucky, you'll be at a first or second tier hotel where you'll have access to a breakfast buffet where you can get a variety of fresh fruit, and, if you're lacto-ovo, a veggie omelet.  At some of the nicer short stay hotels - Hampton Inn, Spring Hill Suites, Fairfield Inn, Hyatt Place, you'll get a free breakfast - cereal, bagels, apples, bananas, etc.  Since most of the short stay places have free wi-fi, you can catch up on work while you nosh.

But, what to do if your breakfast options aren't appealing, or if there aren't any at all?  I recommend the following back-up plan that I recently mentioned on Twitter: coffee maker oatmeal

This is a quick and easy breakfast you can make in any hotel room that has an in room coffee maker.  Before you leave for your trip, pack the following:

  • Small bowl.  You may consider a few disposable ones if you don't want to deal with washing your bowl out in a bathtub.  The coffee cup that comes in your room will also do in a pinch.
  • Spoon(s).  See above if you want to go disposable.  You can also likely grab one from a convenience store or restaurant if you forget to pack one.
  • Instant oatmeal packets. I recently used Whole Foods Instant Oatmeal - Multigrain & Flax
  • 'Fixins." Dried fruit, nuts, etc. - whatever you need to punch up the oatmeal.  I use dried cranberries and almonds.  Pack extra - you can eat a mix of fixins as a snack!
In the morning, pour your water in the coffee maker as if you were about to brew a cup of coffee, but don't add in the little individual coffee thingee the hotel provides.  You'll get hot water almost instantly.  Stir it into the oatmeal, add your fixins, and eat.  You can even sweeten it a bit with the sweetener that comes with the coffee if you desire.

If you are lucky enough to have a dual cup coffee maker like the one above, you can even make your oatmeal and your coffee or tea at the same time.


  1. I usually don't even bring bowls - I just use the paper cups provided. Unfortunately, that also means I forget spoons a lot. The last time I used the wooden stirrer as a spoon - HAHAHA. The only negative to the coffee maker (especially if you aren't a coffee person) is sometimes it gives off a slight coffee taste in the water - so I also try to run the water through a couple times to minimize that. Just some thoughts for your other followers :)

  2. Thanks, Lynda! I am always forgetting spoons, but fortunately they are easy to snag from fast food places if need be. Good suggestion on the coffee maker - I am a big coffee person so I don't even notice it. If anything, it helps me eat the oatmeal . . .