If you’re transitioning to a real food diet, due to food allergies, other health reasons or to lose weight, breakfast is a great place to start. It really is the most important meal of the day. Most of us are used to cereals or toast for breakfast, whatever is quick and doesn’t require any thought. However this doesn’t really set you up for the day, nutritionally speaking, and if you’re anything like me you’ll be reaching for the biscuit tin by 10 o’clock. I believe that breakfast cereals and toast are not a great start to the day because they are full of sugar and/or heavily processed. Why do you think they last so long on the shelf? Their nutritional value is low. They are fortified with artificial vitamins and minerals which are not as easy for your body to absorb as vitamins and minerals from real food sources. Free-from cereals and bread are even worse, in my opinion, because they have to go through so much processing, plus they don’t even have the vitamins and minerals added back in.
You need a good balance of fat and protein at breakfast to fill you up and prevent the mid-morning munchies. If you have a big appetite (for example, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a very active lifestyle) you may want to add some vegetables as well. Getting breakfast sorted is a really good starting point for changing your diet because you will see the benefits straight away. The quick results will motivate you to make further changes and to stick to it for good.
My first switch when I started eating this way was to have eggs for breakfast. Scrambled eggs can be whipped up in 5 minutes, boiled eggs can be cooked in advance and eaten on the run, and omelettes can have all sorts of yummy fillings for variety. I immediately noticed I had more energy in the mornings and was able to get through to lunch without needing a snack, and I started to lose a little bit of weight at the same time. However I’ve had to stop eating eggs as my youngest is intolerant to them, so I’ve had to come up with some egg-free ideas too.
Here are some more of my favourite real-food, allergy-friendly, gluten-free and dairy-free breakfast ideas:
- Eggs in any form: scrambled, boiled, poached, fried, omelette…
- Paleo Banana Pancakes
- Sausages (gluten-free)
- Sweet potato, pork and apple hash from the e-book 3 Phase Paleo by Paleo Parents
- Salmon fillet
- Smoked salmon
- Smoked mackerel
- Homemade turkey sausage
- Fruit salad and coconut yogurt topped with chopped nuts and seeds
- Quinoa porridge made with dairy free milk, with honey and raisins, or homemade chocolate-hazelnut spread
- On the side: baby leaf spinach, tomatoes, portobello or any kind of mushrooms, avocado, leftover veggies, fruit or a microwaved sweet potato mashed with coconut oil.