If you’ve already read Part 1 of this post, you’re good to go. If you haven’t, it might be a good idea to read over it, as I’m not going to bore you by going over it again. You’ve done your shopping, you’ve got all sorts of delicious, healthy foods in your refrigerator, freezer and pantry, and you’re excited to nourish your body. But now what? What do you do with all this healthy stuff you just bought?
For Part 2, we’re going to discuss breakfast. Remember the rule: protein, healthy fat and veggies in every meal. It really doesn’t get much simpler than that.
For breakfast, 13 out of 14 mornings I’m eating eggs in one form or another. My magic number is 3 – that’s how many eggs I need to feel full until lunchtime. For some people it could be more or less. The Whole30 people say it’s as many eggs as you can hold in your hand. Personally I can hold four, but I can only eat three. Experiment a little and figure out what works best for you. And experiment with how you prepare your eggs to keep things fresh and interesting. Sometimes I’ll make them over-poached (my term for sunny-side up that’s steamed with the lid on to cook the tops, comes out similar to an over-easy egg). Scrambled is a quick way to make them, but the 9 minute egg is my favorite, drizzled with Balsamic vinegar and sprinkled lightly with salt.
Some foods do double duty. Eggs have fat in them, so you may find there’s enough fat in the eggs to keep you satisfied. I usually sautee my veggies in coconut or olive oil. Occasionally, though, I’ll add some diced avocado or sliced olives – just to mix things up. Remember, one of the concepts of Paleo is that we’re training our bodies to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs, so make sure you’re getting enough healthy fats in your diet.
If you’re used to a latte and blubeberry muffin or a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, the idea of eating vegetables in the morning may seem a little foreign. It was kind of tough for me at first, but now I crave them. I almost always have some diced sweet potato, and the rest of the veggies I’ll mix up. Bell peppers, mushrooms, squash, zucchini, spinach, kale – the sky is the limit. I chop the veggies small (so they cook faster). Heat the oil in your skillet and start with the longer-cooking veggies like sweet potato, then add the quicker cooking veggies toward the end (spinach and mushrooms).
Don’t forget to season! I always use sea salt and ground black pepper. The others I’ll switch up: paprika, chili powder, onion powder and coriander and my go-to seasonings (but not all together).
This is the Breakfast Hash. Put the veggies on the plate first, top with the eggs and serve. The 9 minute eggs get some Balsamic vinegar. If I have gravy leftover in the refrigerator, I’ll use that for a different taste and texture.
I mentioned 13 out of 14 days I can eat eggs. What about those two days per month when I just can’t handle the idea of eggs? One morning I did cooked chicken in place of eggs (remember how we batch cooked some chicken earlier in the week?). Just cut up some chicken and put it on top of vegetables. Or I’ll make a green smoothie with a scoop of protein powder (mine is natural, but not Paleo – so I don’t do this often). Note: the smoothie is discouraged if doing a Whole30.
What about on those mornings when you can’t stomach the idea of vegetables? That happens to me from time to time. In that case I’ll have a Squirrel Salad (recipe coming soon) or some other fruit with eggs. On these mornings I don’t feel satisfied for as long, so the veggies are definitely the way to go. But if you just can’t bring yourself to eat any combination of veggies, fresh fruit is going to beat a pastry. Be sure to pair the fruit with the protein and fat (I usually do nuts or seeds and coconut flakes on these days).
Don’t forget about leftovers. The last time I made bone broth there was quite a bit of meat on the bones, so I saved it, thinking I’d use it on something. This worked out perfectly on one of my I’ll-gag-if-I-have-to-eat-an-egg mornings. Leftover pot roast with veggies is great, too – and if there’s pot roast in the refrigerator there’s probably some gravy, too. And who says you can’t have leftover dinner for breakfast? Cereal companies, that’s who.
You should be able to make any and all of these things from batch prep and from your weekly shopping. If this just isn’t doing it for you, it’s okay to occasionally indulge in a Paleo pancake, waffle or muffin. A quicheor mini quiche is a great weekend breakfast (primarily because of the time commitment) and makes for a healthy breakfast. Note the word occasionally.
Up next: lunch and dinner. Stay tuned!