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 you may throw in a piece of coconut Paleo bread, but it should accompany the animal protein, 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 as a treat now and the, but not daily.
So, you should get the picture now. Meat and vegetables, just like you have for lunch and dinner. Bit if you have SIBO, are high histamine or high glutamate be sure to avoid the vegetables that are in those catefories.
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 and retroviruses 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
14 thoughts on “Paleo Breakfast Ideas”
Thank you for these reminders of the correct (Paleo) foods to eat for breakfast! In addition to your ideas, we’ve been having cabbage, Brussels sprouts, garlic, and onions sauteed in coconut oil, plus eggs for breakfast. You mentioned ‘Paleo coconut bread’ as a once-in-a-while option. Do you have a recipe for that? Many thanks for all you do!
Hi Shell Lady,
Thanks for sharing, that is a great choice as well. I also love to steam my cabbage and and then fry it with my scrambled eggs.
You can find Paleo bread at the following link. They have almond and coconut. I prefer the coconut.
Thank you so much for your reply, Cynthia! I want to try Paleo bread but the shipping cost alone at the link would be over $20 to Hawaii, making it $36 for 2 loaves. Does anyone happen to have a recipe for Coconut Bread that I could try? Or do you know that this isn’t something I should try at home? Thank you for all you do!
Hi Shell Lady,
You’re welcome. I don’t have a recipe for coconut bread, but I’m sure you can find some with Google. Happy searching.
Thank you for such an informative article. I suffer with candida and breakfast is always an issue with me. Since I start off very early in the morning, I take my breakfast with me to work so I’m always stuck for ideas. I will try to follow your suggestions.
The hardest thing to remove from my diet is coffee. I have to have my coffee in the morning! I only have one cup but I know I shouldn’t be consuming even that. I recently read about organic Chicory and that it can be replaced with coffee so I went ahead an ordered some (100% roasted chicory root), but I wanted to ask you if this is safe for candida sufferers to consume.
Yes, indeed, the caffeine has to go. Be sure to read the following page on Caffeine
Chicory root is caffeine-free, is believed to kill parasites and bacteria like salmonella, and it is often touted as a prebiotic, meaning it feeds friendly bacteria. However, there are some reports that it may also feed unfriendly bacteria. On the other hand, it does contain some sucrose, which could feed Candida.
There are a wide variety of side-effects reported, which may include, allergic reactions resulting itching, rashes, hives and skin inflammation, decrease in appetite and weight loss. It has a mild diuretic and laxative effect and stimulates the gallbladder to release bile, so anyone with gall stones should be careful.
Inulin, which is a fiber that constitutes most of chicory’s make up, can cause gastrointestinal distress for many people including, gas, bloating, belching, cramping and abdominal pain.
Chicory may interact with some prescription medications used for cardiac conditions, particularly beta blockers and it can induce menstruation when it isn’t time and may also induce miscarriages. This indicates that chicory has a strong impact on our hormones and could potentially lead to hormone imbalance.
Long term use has been associated with blurred or impaired vision and breathing problems.
So, as I see it, it is less evil than caffeine and sugar, but it is not risk free. It is okay to use a little chicory now and then, but it should be done so in moderation. Certainly not every day.
Part of overcoming an addiction is giving up the little rituals that are attached to them. With caffeine addiction, the ritual is drinking that hot beverage in morning. Get in the habit of doing something else during that time frame, like meditating, exercise, deep breathing exercises and break the need to have that ritual. If you must absolutely have something hot to drink in the morning, then have a caffeine-free herbal tea. Not green tea – as it contains caffeine.
Thank you so much for replying to my message and for your detailed explanation. No more chicory for me then! My stomach was making very strange noises yesterday after I tried the chicory. Now I know why. I think I will switch to drinking hot coconut milk with some xylitol or herbal tea instead. Thank you for your link on caffeine.
I wonder if I could also please ask you what your view is on carob powder. I initially bought it for by 2 boys so they could replace their Nesquik or hot chocolate with carob powder, but to my disappointment they did not like the taste of it. However, carob is sweet by nature therefore has quite a high index of natural sugar. Would this also feed the Candida?
I read your blog on Colon Cleansing. Does the Oxy-Powder also get rid of parasites? And does it also cleanse the liver and kidney?
Thank you very much for your views and advice.
In regard to carob. Carob is a better choice than chocolate and there is no harm in having it as an occasional treat. It will take your children a little time to adjust to the taste difference, but if you do not allow chocolate and only permit carob, then eventually they will adjust and come to appreciate the flavor of carob. Be sure you have read my page on chocolate found here
However, carob is a legume, so that means it contains a variety of anti-nutrients that can damage the GI tract, cause inflammation, lead to autoimmune disorders, cause nutritional deficiencies, etc. If it is roasted or cooked, then this reduces the impact of anti-nutrients to some degree.
Furthermore, yes, carob is high in natural sugar and it will feed Candida. So, it should be consumed in moderation; reserved for special treats.
Well Oxy-powder can assist in removing parasites, but I don’t know that it could do the job in and of itself. Anytime you cleanse the colon, this typically helps the liver and kidneys to some degree.
Just wanted to thank you for your reply.
I am so glad I came across your website. You explain everything in such detail and, above all, with compassion.
You’re welcome Andry, and thank you.
I’m curious about something. I saw your post for dysautonomia and was looking at your suggestions for healing it, and came across this post. I’ve been vegetarian most of my life and have just started eating meat in the last year. I feel good having it a few times a week, but more than that I feel sluggish. I can’t imagine having it everyday let alone at every meal. I also have read many studies that say the healthiest peoples around the globe have a mostly vegetarian diet, with some meat added. And also, isn’t it true that our ancestors didn’t always have meat all of the time to consume? And that our ancestors had a pretty varied diet, depending on the region? So why would we have it at every meal? There is so much info out there, it’s confusing. I’m just curious if you have any insight to any of this. I’ve been struggling to figure out which food choices are best for me to heal, but the more i research, the more confused I am.
Feeling sluggish after eating meat is a common experience in people who have been vegetarians or not eating very much meat until their meat eating machinery gets up-regulated again. I have written about this topic on the following page.
The amount of meat that each person should eat varies from person to person depending on heritage, biochemical needs, health conditions etc. However, in general, we all need somewhere between 4 and 8 ounces per meal. If the person has dysautonomia, then it is even more important, as a minimum of 4 ounces per meal would be needed so the brain can make the neurotransmitters needed to restore balance to the autonomic nervous system and keep blood sugar stable. Cholesterol is also very important for brain function and for the adrenal glands to make cortisol and for all our other hormones.
Our ancestors had very little access to carbohydrates, therefore the human being evolved to function most optimally primarily on animal protein and fat and very little carb. Carbs are non-essential in the diet, because we can make glucose from protein and fat.
There is no evidence that points to the existence of a vegetarian or vegan culture, except in times of famine. Out of more than 150 native cultures that have been studied, not a single one of them were found to be vegetarian.
Yes, there are a lot of lies and misinformation out there, but the science is clear we are meat eaters and that a diet high in carbs causes disease.
I have written about all this on the following pages
Additionally, I would suggest you read some books like, The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson, Primal Body Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas, Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter, The Art & Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Dr. Phinney & Volek, Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis and the work of Dr. Al Sears and Dr. Michael Eades, to get the facts about meat and carbohydrates.
I apologize if this is not the best thread to ask this question, but is it common to experience an increase in anxiety / related symptoms a few days / weeks after going strictly Paleo? Thank you!
There can be a wide array of symptoms one may experience when the first go Paleo, especially if the diet was particularly high in carbs prior to the change. This can be due to die-off of microbes, detox from the carbs, or the body adjusting to running on animal protein and fat. Carbs are addictive mind-altering drugs, they alter the brain in a similar manner and there can be a great degree of withdrawal. Anxiety could be one of many symptoms that may experienced from all of this.