On August 6th, I’m starting my 3rd Whole30*. A couple friends and family members have decided to brave this one too, which is extremely awesome.
I figured since I’ve been down this road before, I’d use the days leading up to Day 1 to share some tips on how to get through it without being hangry all the time. So I’m starting with the most important meal of the day, which for a lot of people is pretty grain-, sugar-, and dairy-heavy.
For the record, I am NOT a morning person. I love sleep and I hate waking up. For this reason I used to always skip breakfast, or grab a bagel or breakfast sandwich on the way to work, or something along those lines. These days I make the effort to pull myself out of bed 15 minutes earlier to make something healthy that doesn’t give me a tummy-ache. These days, I’m much ore consistently paleo at breakfast than any other meal. Here are some of my go-tos (and some good ideas I’m planning to try this time around):
1. Bacon and eggs. This radical new breakfast idea has probably occurred to you already. Just seek out bacon that has no sugar added (this is somewhat rare – I buy mine from Sunshine Organics at the City Centre Farmer’s Market in Edmonton, and I’m sure someone in your hometown does it too). And serve some vegetables with it. I like slicing tomatoes and frying them up in the bacon fat.
2. Scrambled eggs. After reading The 4 Hour Chef, Allan and I had fun doing as Tim Ferriss recommends and trying out different international flavour profiles in scrambled eggs. They’re a great vessel for all kinds of fun flavours. Try frying them in clarified butter/ghee, or bacon fat, or duck fat. Or mix it up by using duck eggs. Stir in some spinach or other greens and maybe some onion to make a one-bowl meal, or just serve with some raw veggies to munch on.
3. Salad. Salad for breakfast is surprisingly awesome. Make it gigantic; this is a meal, not a dainty side dish. Consider washing and drying your greens the night before so you don’t have to deal with the salad spinner in the morning (some things are just too tedious for early mornings). If you have hardboiled eggs on hand (which is definitely a good idea), you can top with those. Other yummy toppings: nuts, chopped apple, berries, cucumber, tomato, sunflower seeds, avocado. If you’ve pre-made some salad dressings, you can use that, but I’m lazy and I just drizzle with oil and vinegar separately. I like EVOO, walnut oil, macadamia oil, or avocado oil, and balsamic vinegar. Sometimes I slice up an apple and saute it in clarified butter and cinnamon, then throw that on top of some spinach, because dang.
4. Last night’s dinner. Breakfast does not have to be “breakfast food”. Much like lunch, the easiest meal is the one that you made last night when you had more time and motivation. Always, ALWAYS make extra dinner. Leftovers are your friend. I cannot emphasize this enough.
5. Fancy pre-prepped breakfast scrambles. Follow Fresh 4 Five’s lead and prep all your delicious breakfast scrambles at once, then store in cute mason jars. I haven’t tried this yet, but it looks absolutely genius, and I think I’ll do it for my first W30 week: http://www.fresh4five.com/2013/03/breakfast-in-a-jar-saute-add-eggs/
6. Broccoli fritters. I make these a lot, whether I’m on a Whole30 or not. The warm curry, fluffy texture, and major hit of delicious veg makes these a more or less perfect breakfast. If you only use the florets (no stem), you can make these with raw broccoli, removing the steaming step entirely. I love using this as a dumping-ground for broccoli stems though (I don’t like eating them normally, because I’m a weirdo) so I try to steam up a bunch the night before so I just have to blitz everything in the food processor in the morning. http://empoweredsustenance.com/gaps-broccoli-fritters/
7. Frittata. Frittata is a perfect breakfast food. Just dump whatever meat and veg you have on hand into some eggs and cook that bad boy up. This recipe from Paleo Parents for brussels sprout and bacon frittata is really, REALLY good. http://paleoparents.com/featured/bacon-brussels-sprouts-frittata/
8. Breakfast casserole. This recipe for sweet potato breakfast casserole is probably my favourite breakfast. It’s very filling and nutrient-dense, so it’s awesome for when I’m training particularly hard (I’ve got a marathon coming up, so this has been one of my staples lately). The recipe calls for breaking up pre-made sausages for the topping. Most sausages have sugar and wheat in them. Make this cheaper and more Whole30 compliant by topping it with a pound of ground pork with your own seasonings mixed in. My favourite is the Country Breakfast Sausage recipe from Primal Cravings, but this one is pretty good too (although it has a much more dominant licorice-y flavour from the fennel). Prep this the night before, cover, and put in the fridge, then bake it in the morning. Or if you’re truly morning-challenged (like me), bake it the night before too, slice it up and divvy among some containers, then just toss a piece in the microwave in the morning.
9. Breakfast chili. When I came across this recipe for a paleo breakfast chili on Health-Bent, it was a revelation. Of course! Chili for breakfast! It’s brilliant! Really, any bean-free chili made ahead of time (in the slow cooker or on the stove) works perfectly reheated for breakfast. Follow Health-Bent’s example and top it off with bacon, egg, and avocado, and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
10. Frittata muffins. Frittatas are delicious. Miniature frittatas are adorable AND delicious. Nom Nom Paleo has a recipe for prosciutto-wrapped frittata muffins that looks amazing. I’m going to try whipping up a batch to keep on hand for rushed mornings and emergency snacks.
That’s my list – how about you? What’s your favourite go-to breakfast? Does it need any alteration to fit into a Whole30 plan?
*for more information on what the Whole30 program is, read this summary at Whole9 Life.