This is one of the questions I am asked most often. “What should I eat for breakfast on the Paleo diet?”
The first obstacle one must overcome when designing a Paleo breakfast is the definition or image of what constitutes a healthy morning meal. If you are new to primal eating, then you have been conditioned to believe that breakfast should consist of cereal, toast, muffins, pop-tarts, granola, waffles, pancakes, etc. None of these are healthy choices; they promote addiction, depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer and more.
Your Paleo diet breakfast should look very similar to your lunch and dinner menu. It should consist of meat and low-starch vegetables. It is animal protein and fat that will balance your blood sugar, provide your brain with neurotransmitters it needs for good mental health and cognitive functioning, give you energy throughout your morning, provide your body with the cholesterol it needs to form life-sustaining hormones, help keep off extra pounds, and prevent mid-morning hunger and/or cravings.
Eating a high-carb breakfast will drain your energy, cause depression and anxiety, produce brain fog, increase your appetite and cravings, increase blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides, and make your body hold onto fat regardless of how much you exercise or restrict calories because it throws your metabolism out of balance. Eating a high-fat breakfast activates your fat burning metabolism, so it is one of the best ways to lose weight.
Prior to the Agriculture revolution, breakfast consisted of things like meat, fish, and eggs. Even your grandparents ate things like steak and eggs or bacon and eggs. In the caveman days, breakfast consisted of a leg or a side of whatever was left over from the kill the night before.
Thus, this is what your breakfast should look like as well. Here are some Paleo breakfast ideas to get you started:
- Salmon, Eggs, and Spinach (You could substitute spinach every now and then with red and green peppers, garlic, and onions or throw them in with the spinach)
- Baked Chicken Breast, Steamed Cauliflower and Broccoli (Covered with ghee, walnut oil, or olive oil)
- Steak and Eggs with Steamed Cabbage
- Lamb Chops and Steamed Kale
You can even get less traditional and go with something like:
- Roast Beef and Cabbage or Sliced Avocado
- Green Beans and Ground Buffalo (Sprinkled with your favorite spices and oil)
- A salad with cubes of baked chicken or slices of steak.
- Leftover chicken thighs, Paleo meatloaf, or stew. Anything you had for supper the night before can make a great Paleo breakfast. This also makes a very quick and easy meal.
- If you’re into the wild game, then venison and steamed vegetables will work just as well.
- Every now and then I may throw in a piece of coconut Paleo bread with almond butter, but it always accompanies my steak and eggs, it doesn’t take the place of.
- You can also add a small serving of berries or sliced peaches on the side if you want a little something sweet with your Paleo breakfast.
So, you should get the picture now. Meat and vegetables, just like you have for lunch and dinner.
If you have an issue with eggs due to a food sensitivity or an autoimmune disorder, then you can remove those.
Feel free to get wild and crazy and use your favorite spices in abundance and be liberal with your salt (the real kind).
If you permit dairy in your diet, then you can shred some cheese over any of these.
If you permit pork in your diet, then you can replace steak with bacon. But be sure you are buying bacon without nitrates or sugar. Nitrates cause cancer and alter your DNA. However, I don’t recommend pork, because pork harbors parasites that are not destroyed with cooking.
Be sure your beef is grass-fed so it has the proper omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio and is free of hormones, your eggs and poultry should be cage-free and organic, and your salmon should be Wild Alaskan so it will be lower in toxins and have the right ratio of omega fatty acids as well.
Now, I know in many of the Paleo cookbooks and blogs you may see some beautiful Paleo diet breakfasts that consist of fruit and nuts, and yogurt and fruit, or other beautiful meals that are moderately high in carbs. The point to be aware of is this: healthy folks might get away with eating these things, however, for the conditions we are dealing with on this blog, which include things like depression, anxiety, candida overgrowth, SIBO, insomnia, adrenal fatigue, fibromyalgia, sugar and carb addiction, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, chemical sensitivities, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel, chronic fatigue, hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, and gut dysbiosis, a breakfast that consists of fruit and nuts is too high in carbs, and will likely trigger a carbohydrate binge and a variety of negative symptoms like fatigue, depression, anxiety, headaches, cravings for sugar etc. These types of breakfasts are best avoided. Fruit is best when eaten in moderation and should never be the main course of your meal.
You may even see many Paleo people including coffee in their morning meal and making statements that it’s okay. Again, some healthy folks may get away with this, but if you have any of the aforementioned conditions above, coffee should be avoided completely. Coffee is an addictive, mind-altering drug that has many negative effects on the body and mind, including but not limited to, increasing your blood sugar, heart rate and blood pressure, depleting neurotransmitters in the brain, overstimulating the autonomic nervous system and triggering your stress response system, encouraging Candida overgrowth, perpetuating cravings for sugar, carbs and other addictive substances, contributing to hypoglycemia and draining the adrenal glands. Even if you’re healthy, I don’t recommend drinking coffee, as it can catch up with you at some point. Drink a big glass of water instead, and if you really need to have a cup of something warm, then have a cup of herbal tea. No green tea, as it contains caffeine.
It takes a little time to adjust your mindset about what should be included in your morning menu, but the changes you see in your physical and emotional health will help you stick with the plan. Your ancestors thrived on meat, fish, and eggs for breakfast. Bring some of these Paleo breakfast ideas into your menu and you’ll do the same.
Professor Loren Cordain, The Paleo Diet, Wiley, 2001
Dr. Al Sears – Drop Weight by Eating This at Breakfast
It’s Not Organic, but so What