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Four years ago, Bree Wee was a schoolteacher, surfer and new mom who often competed in local triathlons in a bikini. But after catching the eye of a coach, Wee got serious about her training -- and her race-day outfit-- and went on to set an amateur record in her first Ironman, the world championship in Kona, Hawaii. Since going pro in 2008, she's raced around the world as a member of Team Mauna Lani, chronicling her training on her blog. When espnW sat down with the 31-year-old near her home on the Big Island's Kohala Coast, she was fresh off a first-place finish at the Olympic-distance Lavaman Triathlon. Wee shared the breakfast (pictured right) that helps fuel her to victory.
The dish: An oatmeal "salad."
What's in it: Slow-cooked oats topped with fruit, nuts, shredded coconut, cinnamon and coconut or almond milk. "I use whatever's fresh at the farmers' market," Wee said. "In Hawaii, that means a lot of pineapple, papaya, mango and macadamia nuts." She piles it all into a heaping bowl and drizzles it with a little honey. "Sometimes you can't even tell there's oatmeal underneath!"
When it's on the table: For her morning meal regularly -- and in a supersized version for the day before every race. "I follow the 'Eat like a king at breakfast, queen at lunch and pauper at dinner' philosophy," Wee said. "This hearty bowl tides me over, so the rest of my meals can be a little lighter."
What it delivers: The oats and fruit serve up filling fiber, while the nuts add healthy fats and protein to fuel Wee through her five-hour training sessions. And the dusting of cinnamon adds a hint of sweetness and helps control blood-sugar levels. "It's my secret weapon," she said. "It prevents me from craving snacks all morning."
Why she loves it: "Oatmeal is one of the most popular foods for athletes, but it doesn't have to be boring," Wee said. "I like to mix it up with a lot of fun and delicious add-ins, but it's still nutritious." Even her 4-year-old son, Kainoa, has a favorite oatmeal salad mix: oats with currants, walnuts and cinnamon.