Photo by flickr.com/photos/boboroshi/
Breakfast is the first meal of the day, and often the meal that makes or breaks the successful transition to a Paleo lifestyle. Why? We've been trained. Having a salad with shredded chicken for lunch or steak and broccoli for dinner is easy to picture, but what do you do without grains or dairy in the morning? Oh my!
The short answer is, of course: eggs. Bacon and eggs. But as much as I love bacon (and I do love bacon!) even that meal can get boring after a while.
So now what?
Recipes! Ah, yes. You head to your favorite internet search engine and research "Paleo breakfast ideas" or "Paleo breakfast recipes". The ideas are endless. Sweet Potato Egg Cups. Frittatas. No oatmeal oatmeal. At first your mouth waters and you get excited, but then reality creeps in. These recipes require 10-30 minutes of prep time plus baking time plus eating time plus cleaning up the mess in the kitchen time.
Mornings are precious. You want to sleep. You have to get ready for the day. An hour or more in the kitchen is not on the list. Not when cereal or a bagel and cream cheese is so fast and easy….and....there goes the Paleo diet out the fast food window.
If you are struggling with making and eating your Paleo breakfast, here are some tips:
1. Rethink What Breakfast Is Supposed To Be
Who says breakfast is supposed to be toast and cereal? When I went to Japan on a business trip it blew my mind to see people eating rice and fish for breakfast. I thought, "Eeew!" But really, why is that icky? Only because I'd been programmed on what a "proper" breakfast was supposed to be: grains, sugar and dairy. Right? Challenge those assumptions. Someone made them up. Un-make them up! I challenged them so much I went on a 30 day juice fast to stop assuming I was even supposed to chew. Talk about mental freedom.
2. Remember The Parts
Once you wrap your head around breakfast as just another time in the day to put food in your head, use the basic building blocks of the Paleo diet to make it up. In the Paleo diet you eat protein, good fat and living things with each meal. However you feel like it. You could you have almond butter as a protein source, with apples and spinach salad with olive oil. Leftover steak. Soup from yesterday. Even bacon and eggs. It all works.
3. Just Don't Eat That Other Stuff
In the ideal Paleo world you are eating a ton of vegetables and then adding in good fat, fruits, meat, fish, nuts, seeds. But let's not try to be perfect. The most important thing is that you do not eat the other stuff. No grains. No sugar. No legumes. No dairy. So make sure you are fed. Don't just grab one apple, head out the door and then find yourself, two hours later, staring at the vending machine. If it's Paleo, even if it's not perfect, it's way better than what you'll find foraging in the world outside your door. Like me this morning.
The youngest kid slept in late so I did, too. Yay! Oh my, the fridge is almost empty of produce and we are late for an appointment. Boo! What to do? I quickly looked around and found some stuff. I chopped up a sausage, cooked it in bacon grease and added a can of water chestnuts since I love those things, whatever they are. Was that the most balanced Paleo breakfast, chock full of minerals? No. But did it work? Heck, yes. And I spent all day at a homeschooling conference with plenty of energy to spare.
4. Try Intermittant Fasting
Maybe breakfast isn't such a big deal. Intermittant Fasting (IF) is a big topic in the Paleo world. They say a digestive break is awesome. After all, Grok didn't always catch a buffalo. 16 hours is a length of time that is mentioned as a nice rest so some Paleo people do not eat from 8:00pm until Noon the next day. This might not work if you exercise in the morning or before lunch, or if you feel better eating breakfast, but I'm mention it to get your mind thinking. Maybe you would do better without eating breakfast every single morning, especially after a big dinner. Experiement and see.
Quick or Easy Breakfasts I Have Used
So there you have it. If you want to cook in the morning or prep things for the fridge or freezer the day before there are amazing Paleo breakfast recipes out there. But if you are in a pinch, overwhelmed by the culinary hurdle of the Paleo lifestyle, and you just need to eat, remember the basics (protein, good fat and living things) and ditch the assumption that breakfast has to look or taste a certain way.
Now let's take a moment to drool over this Paleo breakfast idea someone just gave me: sliced pears & walnuts sauteed in bacon fat & cinnamon (over medium heat), topped with quail eggs and bacon.
You can sautee pears?! In bacon fat and cinnamon?! See? The choices really are endless and Paleo ROCKS.
Happy breakfast time!
I like the easy Paleo stuff.