My Favorite Fast Food


Good ol’ oatmeal, a popular go-to for breakfast since way back in the early 1850s, is a true nutritional powerhouse. And it’s not just for breakfast anymore—Oh no!

Chris and I are huge oatmeal fans, and nothing keeps us feeling fuller longer! We often depend on this mealtime lifesaver when we’re on the road or out running errands and need a quick and healthy meal—even on low-carb days. Yes, that’s right. If you’re carb cycling and find yourself totally stuck with no healthy low-carb options available, go for some oatmeal! It’s loaded with complex carbs and fiber, which help you feel fuller longer and keep those blood sugar levels steady. And that fiber has so many other really important health benefits too! It’s a total win-win!

We love Starbucks’ oatmeal, and with a Starbucks on pretty much every corner, in every airport, and in lots of hotels, it can be a great way to start the day—or save the day! My favorite way to enjoy my Starbucks’ oatmeal is to add two Stevia packets (which I keep in my purse or diaper bag), and half a package each of the dried fruit and nuts that come with each cup of oatmeal. It is 250 calories of awesomeness 😉

So the next time you’re out and about and your stomach starts growling, try some oatmeal instead of all those other fatty, fast food options. Your tummy—and your scale—will thank you!


  1. Olivia - August 14, 2015

    Hi. Where can I get more info on Carb cycling? ?

  2. Rhonda Conway - December 15, 2014

    Bob’s Red Mill certified gluten free, only thing I use. They make great products.

  3. Emma - November 13, 2014

    Do you and Chris Carb Cycle or just for your clients? My husband and I have just started Carb Cycling, and we are so excited! I was just wondering as to whether we can do it as a long term thing, or if it is more directed for just weight loss?

    Thank you!

    • Team Powell - November 13, 2014

      Yes, Chris and Heidi follow their carb cycling program, and it’s designed for you to be able to use it for life, even after you reach your goal weight. You both can do this!

  4. Lindsey Fulham - October 22, 2014

    Team Powell! I could use some help. I’m not battling weight gain, but I’m 35 with a history of recurring c.diff, severe asthma and horrible nut allergies! My blood sugar often peaks and then hits the floor. My blood pressure is low. I’m not usually very hungry either. What are some stable snack ideas for the office with no nuts or nut products? I need to stop skipping “day meals.” Your help is very appreciated!!

    • Team Powell - October 22, 2014

      Heidi and Chris’ approved foods list is full of snack/meal ideas. You can get it for free on Chris’ site ( Enter your email address into the “Join the Transformation” section, hit “Join,” and the next page will have the link to download the list. Hope it helps!

  5. Ken - October 22, 2014

    Nice. Behind the wheel of a car, eating oatmeal, taking a selfie.

    • Team Powell - October 22, 2014

      Heidi was actually sitting in the parking lot at Starbucks, not driving.

  6. Brian - October 21, 2014

    Actually oatmeal elevates my blood sugar to very high levels. That shows that foods recomended by experts do not affect everyone the same. An egg mcmuffin is high in protein and keeps my blood sugar in check. It is also low in calories. Even lower if you get the egg whith delight variety. Not all fast food is bad for you. Do your OWN research and decide what works best for YOU.

  7. Laura - October 21, 2014

    I just tried this tonight, thanks for the tip! Instead of the fruit, I mixed in a scoop of my vanilla protein powder, some cinnamon, and a tsp of natural peanut butter. Delicious, and covered all my macro nutrients!

  8. Ellie - October 21, 2014

    Quick q: in the UK we have quaker oats in small packages. Are they ok?

    • Team Powell - October 21, 2014

      Yes, you’ll want to choose packages that are only oats (with no extra flavorings, etc.).

  9. Laci Guidry - October 21, 2014

    I wish I liked oatmeal! Love the flavor but can’t get passed the look of it lol

  10. Patricia - October 21, 2014

    i love that Starbucks provides a healthier option!! It’s my choice too!! Thank you, Heidi!! I also keep packets of Almond Butter with me to add to my oatmeal just to give a bit of protein to mine!! <3

  11. Melissa - October 21, 2014

    I love oatmeal but I don’t eat it very often because it leaves me hungry and shaky feeling an hour later. And I always have a protein shake with it. Why is that?

    • Team Powell - October 21, 2014

      I’m not really sure why that happens to you. Oatmeal has a good amount of fiber, so it takes longer to digest and should keep you feeling fuller longer, unlike other more refined carbs.

    • Rina - October 21, 2014

      I used to have the same problem. When I saw a nutritionist awhile ago she told me to always eat oatmeal with a protein. Like a small handful of nuts, string cheese, a piece of bacon… anything you want. I usually do almonds or walnuts. It really helps keep me full longer and I don’t get that shaky feeling anymore.

  12. Claudia - October 21, 2014

    Oi… Gostaria de saber se você teria a publicação em português do Brasil, pois sou seguidora do programa de TV quilo por quilo e estou tentando seguir as orientações, e mudar o meu conceito sobre a alimentação….e mudar a minha vida para uma vida saudável obrigada

    • Team Powell - October 21, 2014

      (Traduzido usando o Google Translate) Eu sinto muito, mas o livro é apenas em Inglês neste momento.

  13. Heather - October 20, 2014

    you say that this is good even on low-carb days. But it also says its full of complex carbs. This is where I’m so confused with carb cycling. On a low-carb day, would this ONLY be good for the first meal of the day? If it’s okay any time of the day on a low-carb day, could you please explain why? I’ve been carb cycling for a month now and I’ve lost 12 pounds, I just desperately want to make sure I’m getting this right. Please help. ☺️

    • Team Powell - October 21, 2014

      Great question. Yes, oatmeal would only be eaten at breakfast on a low carb day. However, if you’re out and about, and your low carb meal options are limited, oatmeal is a way better choice than many other things you could choose.

    • Shannon Wilson - October 21, 2014

      Thank you Heather for asking the question I was wanting to ask. I’m also doing the carb cycling and the low carb days are so hard to come up with meals through out the day. It seems as though I’m eating a lot of fruit and unsalted dry roasted peanuts for a meal on my low carb days. lol
      Thank you Heidi for helping to clear this up for us newbies!
      Keeping it up! lost 6+ lbs the first 10 days! YES!

  14. Linda - October 20, 2014

    Is there a big difference between steel cut oats and regular old fashioned oats?

    • Team Powell - October 21, 2014

      There is a bit of difference. Steel cut oats are not as processed as regular oats, so they do take longer to digest. But both are a great choice!

  15. Leslie Tabarez - October 20, 2014

    I love oatmeal, but have NEVER put anything sweet in it. I like it with salt. I try to cut back on the salt, but need some salt. I don’t eat any sugar or artificial sweetener, including stevia.

  16. Linda - October 20, 2014

    I’m curious about the oatmeal – on low carb days I thought you were only allowed 1 serving of carbs at breakfast

    • Team Powell - October 21, 2014

      That is true. However, if it’s a low carb day and you’re out and about and there aren’t any good low carb options available, oatmeal is a great alternative and much better than many other options.

  17. Pablo Minafra - October 20, 2014

    Hello Powell pack!!! I am a huge fan of you guys!! I am wondering; when I am on the run; I get Mc.Donald’ss Oatmeal with NO SUGAR ; how different is it from Starbuck’s? I really dislike Starbucks because they charge you an arm and a leg; please respond; thank you guys and keep rocking!!!!

  18. JP - September 10, 2014

    Doing the carb cycling turbo program.. What protein would you add with oatmeal? I just make it plain w/water. I saw someone mention nuts, but my understanding is that nuts are a fat.. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

    • Team Powell - September 10, 2014

      Yes, nuts are a fat. You could have your protein on the side, or you could even blend your oatmeal and protein powder together into a shake. Happy Turbo Cycling! 🙂

    • Charity - October 20, 2014

      Sounds bizarre but….I love egg whites mixed in with my oatmeal.

    • Tammi - October 20, 2014

      I have egg whites in my oatmeal twice a day 1/2 cup of oats and 6 whites half cup of water cinnamon and a packet or 2 of stevia … 2-3 minutes in the microwave … So filling so yummy

  19. Jeanette - August 21, 2014

    My favorite summer food is fruit smoothies sometimes I eat too much fruit which is why I’m not losing much weight working in it though

    • bryan h - October 21, 2014

      Okay, let’s be honest here; we do not, as a society, have a weight problem because we eat too many fruits and vegetables. Sounds like you’re doing things right because you are losing weight, correct? Make sure your macronutrients (proteins, carbs, fats) are properly balanced for your lifestyle and activity level, and you should continue to see results. If you want FASTER results, dial in your nutrition and do more work.

  20. Laina - August 5, 2014

    I cannot use dairy, would unsweetened almond work?

    • Team Powell - August 5, 2014

      Yes, unsweetened almond milk will work. 🙂

    • Jeanette - August 21, 2014

      I can’t have dairy either I’m allergic so I use coconut milk and almond milk instead

  21. Rach - July 14, 2014

    What about whole grain museli which includes oats and barley flakes etc.? pretty much the same? and i tend to choose ones with less % of dried fruits and nuts.

  22. Aurelie - July 12, 2014

    Est-il possible d’avoir le tableau des aliments en français?

    google traduction :”Hello there,
    Is it possible to have the food table in french?
    best regards,”

    • Team Powell - July 14, 2014

      I’m so sorry, but it’s not available in French at this time.

  23. Lynette - July 12, 2014

    I love the tip. I have been cooking a batch of steel cut oats with cinnamon, orange zest and stevia. I place in single seving bowls. I also boil a bunch of eggs. Walla breakfast all week long…. 4 hard boiled eggs and oatmeal. I toss the yolks… but great grab and go when you are on the run..

  24. Andrea Brown - July 12, 2014

    I need some ideas that are gluten, rice, oat and dairy free. I had labs run and I am allergic to these things. Any ideas for quick while out and about?

  25. Calvin Hill - July 11, 2014

    That is exactly what I do, especially in a hurry!

  26. Deb - July 11, 2014

    Is it OK to use Splenda in protein shakes?I drink Isogenix shakes after my workout with half a banana and I add a packet of Splenda because I don’t care for the taste of the shakes.

    • Team Powell - July 12, 2014

      Heidi and Chris recommend using Stevia and Xylitol, which are all natural sweeteners. 🙂

  27. Dave - July 11, 2014

    I’m surprised you use and recommend Stevia ! It.’s not much different than aspartame , Love you guys !

    • Team Powell - July 12, 2014

      Heidi and Chris recommend Stevia because it’s an all natural sweetener.

    • laura - October 20, 2014

      Aspartame and stevia are bounds different.

  28. linds - July 11, 2014

    I have the opposite problem with oatmeal… even when I do steel cut and add almonds for extra protein, I am STARVING within two hours. What is that about?

    • Julie Arellanes - October 20, 2014

      Me too!!! But if you’re carb cycling you’re eating every 3-4 hours.

  29. Leah - July 11, 2014

    One of my go to breakfasts is this oatmeal recipe:

    3/4 cup original unsweetened almond milk and 30 grams of old fashioned oats (both in the pan cold and then) bring to a boil reduce heat and when oats are tender add in 9 grams of brown sugar, 5 grams of dark chocolate cocoa powder and 6 grams of powdered peanut butter with a splash of vanilla extract. Pour into a bowl, let cool for a couple minutes.

    It has a thick, pudding like texture and curbs chocolate cravings without having to bust open a candy bar or the ice cream.

  30. AmyG - July 11, 2014

    I follow Chris’ carb cycling program and love it! Do you eat oatmeal outside of breakfast on low carb days?

    • Team Powell - July 11, 2014

      Heidi sure does in a pinch! It’s a great option when you’re out and about and don’t have any healthy low carb meal options available.

  31. Karen - July 11, 2014

    I have a question, isn’t real sugar better than the “aspartame” subs??? I use to use it also, and even drank diet pop, BUT I started getting leg cramps really bad, now that I went back to the real stuff, I don’t have the cramps anymore. Or does the stevia not contain the aspartame?

    • Team Powell - July 11, 2014

      Stevia doesn’t contain aspartame – it’s a natural sweetener.

    • Mikki - July 12, 2014

      If she is using 2 packets of stevia it is not truly stevia. Look for natural, REAL stevia in the health food store. The real stuu you need only a pinch to make a whole glass of tea sweet. If it were real stevia plant powder it doesn’t come in packets and if it did 2 would ruin anything you were eating or drinking.

  32. Angie @ FridayCakeNight - July 11, 2014

    Couldn’t agree more. So budget friendly too!

  33. Wendy - July 11, 2014

    We don’t have a starbucks in my town 🙁

    • Julie Arellanes - October 20, 2014

      Do you have a Jamba Juice? They have wonderful steel cut oatmeal. Isn’t Mc Donald serving oatmeal now?

  34. Becky - July 11, 2014

    Panera Bread has awesome oatmeal for breakfast

  35. JT - July 11, 2014

    Since you’re doing a Starbucks plug, maybe you could get them to start carrying Stevia? There’s another coffee shop that I go to that has it along with Monk Fruit in the raw.

    • Beverly - October 21, 2014

      i asked the same question today at Starbucks. The server said that many request Stevia & her reply was…Corporate won’t allow it. Ugh. I carry my own Stevia in the Raw in my purse.

  36. naima - March 8, 2014

    merci beaucoup Heidi

  37. Judy - March 7, 2014

    I am a total fan of Starbucks or Peets morning oatmeal.

  38. michele - March 7, 2014

    Thats great news. Would never normally have porrige (thats oatmeal here in uk) on a low carb day. I like a subway salad, chicken breast, olives lovely & tasty & i feel so proud ive had something to eat out & i’ve made a fantastic choice

    • admin - March 7, 2014

      When carb cycling, breakfast is always a high carb meal. Use it for emergency purposes for the rest of the low carb day.

  39. Jennifer O'Leary - March 7, 2014

    I wish I could eat oatmeal. I follow the Autoimmune Protocol…I have MS. Grains are out for me!

  40. Doug - March 7, 2014

    I love steel cut oats. 3 cups of water to 1 cup oats, pinch of pink himalayan sea salt, a few cinnamon sticks. Cook overnight on low in the crock pot. YUM!

  41. Joy M - March 7, 2014

    Thanks for the tip

  42. Sandra van Luijk - March 7, 2014

    Thank you for this message! I’ve heard just yesterday that i have to quit eating ( i don’t know how to say it in English but in Holland it’s named Tarwe) It’s in a lot of products. Now i have to eat Speltbread of Oatmeal.

    big hug!! Sandra

  43. Tina - March 7, 2014

    i have a severe gluten intolerance so i can’t have oatmeal, what else can u suggest?? i’ve actually been eating gerber’s rice cereal (yes, for babies!) w vanilla almond milk first thing when i’m up. it’s really hard for me to have breakfast, can’t handle all that food. blech! btw- LOVE u guys! =) be blessed.

  44. terrie cottrell - March 7, 2014

    Oatmeal always sends my sugar hight am I eating it wrong???

    • Rick Harris - July 11, 2014

      Depends. What are you putting in it? What are cooking it with water or milk? Should be water. The milk thing is a splurge not an everyday thing. Also don’t use dried fruits if possible they have more sodium than fresh. Stop using brown sugar or maple syrup and try small amounts of honey supplemented with Stevia. Use fruits like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries. Don’t use oranges. As with anything. Sprinkle the fruit don’t kill it with fruit and honey. All of this of course should be consulted with your doctor. I don’t think it is the oatmeal that is making it spike. It is probably something else and it is only a coincidence. Just my.opinion though. I’m not a doc. Good luck and keep trucking.

  45. Lanny Erdman - March 7, 2014

    I am carb cycling and find sometimes when on the go, it’s hard to find something healthy. I usually leave the house prepared, however we all have those days that don’t go as smooth as you’d like. I work at Starbucks and am glad to know that the oatmeal is Powell approved!!!

  46. Lindsay crawford - March 7, 2014

    When I travel (fly or drive long distances) I bring along my own homemade oatmeal packets. That way all you need is a cup of hot water, which you can find almost anywhere, especially in airports! I got stuck in the Denver airport for 14 hours last Christmas and this trick saved my hungry tummy, my blood sugar and my wallet! Great tip!!

  47. Francine Rodgers - March 7, 2014

    Great post, Heidi!

  48. karola - March 7, 2014

    alwaysss get that too, I like the Blueberry one with Agave.

    good to know that I am on the right track


  49. Melissa - March 7, 2014

    I didn’t think oatmeal has protein in it. Does it?

  50. Angel Wade - March 7, 2014

    What do think about Starbucks bistro proteome box? Is that a healthy option?

  51. Amanda Spahr - March 7, 2014

    I just had it this morning 🙂 LOL!!! Glad I’m not the only one that loves oatmeal. I know some people that vege it up. I haven’t gotten that far, but will eat fruit and dairy in mine.

  52. Shari - March 7, 2014

    Thank you so much Heidi for this. It came at the perfect time. My husband and I are on the road a lot – with work and pleasure – and I always question myself about what is “good” for me. I love oatmeal and this will now be my go-to meal/snack.

  53. Robbie - March 7, 2014

    I love their oatmeal

  54. Peter Mahigian - March 7, 2014

    My favorite lunch places when on the run are Greek fast food spots in a mall like the one at Arrowhead Mall in Glendale. The salad with feta is fantastic, large, filling, and full of good old ruffage.

  55. Brandon - March 7, 2014

    Starbucks oatmeal is my favorite too! You can even get it with fresh blueberries!

  56. Lynn - March 7, 2014

    What do you think of Quest Bars used for meals or a pick me up while dieting?

  57. Jennifer Angel - March 7, 2014

    Thanks for the tip! As a mom on the go this is awesome knowledge! 😉

  58. Tia Crawford - March 7, 2014

    I would have to say Jamba Juices Steel Cut Oatmeal is sooo much better then Starbucks mushy rolled oat “Microwaved” oatmeal. If you have never tired it you should 🙂

    • Shannon Wilson - October 21, 2014

      Tia, I agree! I love Jamba Juices oatmeal! the best out there for sure.

  59. Renee - March 7, 2014

    Any suggestions for someone who has celiac disease for the best breakfast on the go?

    • Leah - July 11, 2014

      If you have celiac, you should still be fine with oatmeal but you may need to stick with Quaker brand. I believe that it isn’t processed on the same equipment as anything wheat where other brands may be. Just be sure the packaging says GF. This of course is harder when you are on the go.

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