After being disappointed by lackluster backcountry breakfasts on one too many occasions, Phil Barker decided to take matters into his own hands and create DeliciOats [dee-lish-oats] — delicious, nutritious and satiating overnight oats that would help him 'DO his day.'
Phil enlisted the help of his wife Jihye [jee-hay] and together they came up with the ultimate morning adventure meal, one that ticked all the boxes of their dream breakfast.
Quick and easy to make, simply pour 8 oz of unheated water into DeliciOats’ resealable, stand up pouch. Give it a quick shake or stir. Then go to bed and let the cold soak magic happen while you sleep.
“Having breakfast ready to eat the second I wake up instead of taking 30 minutes to cook and clean up — but not having to settle for a dry protein bar in order to have that — it's exactly what I wanted as a backpacker," Phil said.
The idea for DeliciOats came on a camping trip to Capitol Reef National Park in the summer of 2021. When Phil began raving about his love for overnight oats, a good friend gave him the nudge he needed to notice that the opportunity for a new business venture was right under his nose.
Phil returned to his home near the Wasatch Mountains in Utah, and became what he calls 'a bit obsessed' with attempting to create the best overnight oats recipe that he could concoct.
"Although there are some other overnight oats products on the market, we couldn't find any that were great for backpacking, because they all called for milk," says Phil. "That obviously won't work on the trail, so we created DeliciOats to be delicious and creamy even though it only calls for water."
In the summer of 2022, DeliciOats launched with five different flavors, each one a finely balanced mix of rolled oats, chia and hemp seeds, freeze dried fruit, a pinch of Pink Himalayan salt, and a special medley of spices, topped off with a blend of monk fruit and erythritol for added sweetness.
It had taken countless hours of mixing and taste testing — and more than 120 recipe renditions — to figure out the ratios of wholesome and tasty ingredients in DeliciOats.
Positive feedback began flooding in from fellow foodies and overnight oats aficionados, who also enjoyed the quick and convenient, on-the-go backcountry breakfasts.
Phil understands the role that nutrition plays in our day to day lives. He is a firm believer that putting the proper nutrients in our vessel is important for personal growth, mental resilience and physical aptitude.
"The better the fuel we feed our body, the better our body performs," Phil said, "and I think we often fail to realize that what we eat fuels our brains as much as our bodies."
"It's a lot easier to have a clear mind and positive, resilient mindset when we're feeding our brains the right stuff," Phil added.
Finding that proper fuel, and having it be tasty, easy and cost effective was a driving force for Phil, and he's pleased that the end result has had a valuable impact on others.
"I absolutely love being able to enhance people's experiences in nature and solve the problem for them that I had myself," Phil said. "It's one of the most gratifying parts about starting up DeliciOats."
Along with adding value to other people's lives, DeliciOats has had a tremendously positive impact on the Barker family as well. Phil and Jihye have been able to prioritize time together as a family — they have three kids — because they set their own schedules. The personal growth that has occurred as a result of their startup journey has been instrumental for them as well.
For Phil, DeliciOats is as much about a way of approaching life as it is about having a hearty, healthy breakfast meal.
"Our slogan, "DO your day!" has a double-meaning," he explains, "The DO stands for DeliciOats, so it's just a simple marketing slogan to start your day right with DeliciOats. But it has a lot more meaning than that for me."
There's a quote by William George Jordan from one of Phil's favorite books, The Majesty of Calmness, that he has adopted as his personal motto, and can serve as an inspiration to us all:
I will do each day, in every moment, the best I can by the light I have; I will ever seek more light, more perfect illumination of truth, and ever live the best I can in harmony with the truth as I see it.
"That's what DO your day means to me," Phil said. "It's a challenging ideal to aspire to, but the reason to have ideals is so we can pursue and achieve continual improvement."
Self awareness, self improvement and self care are important pillars for Phil and the Barker family, who enjoy going out in the wilderness together not only to play and explore, but also to push themselves physically and mentally.
"I believe that the challenges we choose to take on help us overcome the challenges in life that we wouldn't choose," Phil said. "And that's a big part of growing our light."
Ali Becker is a freelance adventure writer and narrative storyteller who shares compelling conversations about personal transformations, overcoming limitations, wellness education and adventurous situations. You can follow her rambling adventures on social at @thisisalibecker.