It’s been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And that is probably true, though possibly not for the reason you think. Maybe it’s not so much about kick starting your metabolism, as it is about setting the tone for the day.
Think about what the word means – it means to break your overnight fast. If you’re intermittent fasting for any reason, you might be going anywhere from 12 to 18 hours between dinner and breakfast. But whether it happens at 6am or 10am or 2pm, it’s still breakfast – the first meal of the day.
So if the reason it’s important isn’t about getting your metabolism going, why is it? It’s because the balance of your breakfast can determine how the rest of your day goes. If you start with a high carb breakfast, you’re likely to then have a blood sugar crash, and need to eat again very soon, Then you can be having blood sugar highs and lows all day.
Many commonly eaten breakfasts – cereal with fruit and low fat milk, toast and vegemite, all fruit, banana on toast or baked beans on toast – are made up almost totally of carbohydrate, neglecting the fats and proteins that we need. As well as that, most cereals are highly processed and full of sugar.
Having said that, we are all different in our needs, and are suited by different breakfast times, and different meals.
We’re going to try out a variety of different breakfast recipes, and how you feel on each one. If you really find you can’t stomach anything before work, take something with you that you can eat mid morning.
One important thing to remember, especially at breakfast time, is that chewing our food well releases digestive enzymes, which are needed to properly digest our food. When we’re hurrying out the door, it’s easy to forget and grab something we can swallow as quickly as possible. Resist the temptation. Even with smoothies, eat slowly and chew each mouthful well to infuse it with saliva before swallowing.
Grains – Many people start the day with a grain based food of some kind. This can be fine as long as they are prepared properly. But grains contain large amounts of phytic acid, which inhibits mineral absorption. To neutralise this, they must be soaked, sprouted or fermented. Clearly, most modern cereals and breads haven’t had this treatment, and in fact have been processed in such a way as to make them even more indigestible. So the “porridge” recipes include overnight preparation by soaking whole grains. Note that they also include nuts, seeds and good fats, to avoid the problem of being excessively high carb.
Dairy – Modern processing has also made most dairy foods indigestible. Pasteurising kills the enzymes that help digestion. Taking out the fat strips most of the fat soluble nutrients. Homogenisation damages the remaining fat, making it toxic. If you can obtain raw dairy products, these are far superior, full of nutrients and can often be tolerated by people with dairy allergies. If you can only get pasteurised milk, choose full cream, unhomogenised versions, preferably fermented. You can ferment your own milk or cream at home, with kefir grains or Caspian sea yoghurt, but many people find it easier to buy yoghurt or cultured creams such as crème fraiche.
Click here for information about dairy intolerances and how to make butter and ghee.
Full-fat unsweetened yoghurt is great to add to morning porridge, or for a snack with some fruit. But it has another use. You can use it to prepare whey, which is good for soaking grains or preparing lacto fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut (lesson 9)
A lot of smoothie recipes (or bought high protein drinks) include protein powders. These are not a whole food, and most of them are poor quality because of the way they’re processed. The only ones recommended are unsweetened, cold processed whey protein powders. Look for ones that are micro-filtered, non-denatured and produced without heat. They’re not recommended for every day but for some people, in some circumstances, (eg vegetarians who are unable to get enough other protein) are an occasional compromise for breakfasts.
For recommended brands, read: This article on protein powders
Intro: Nourishing Traditions P1-3, P63
Fats: Nourishing Traditions P4-20 and/or My article on fats
Dairy products: Nourishing Traditions P33-35
Eggs: Nourishing Traditions P436 and/or Chris Masterjohn’s article on eggs
Grains: Nourishing Traditions P452-454
If you’re not working through the lessons, click here to jump straight to the recipe lists
If you are tolerant of grains and dairy, make some whey and yoghurt cheese (then use the whey for soaking grains)
3 days this week, have your usual breakfast. Then for 4 days make a whole foods breakfast. Make one from each of the groups below (unless there is a group you already know you don’t do well on).
Each of the 7 days, keep a record of
- What you had for breakfast
- How easy it was to prepare
- How you felt before eating it
- How you felt after eating it
- How long before you felt hungry again
- How your energy levels were during the morning
If you are preparing food for other family members, ask them to keep the same records. If they are too young, observe their behaviour. If they are at school, you may be able to tell the teacher you are trying out different breakfasts and would like their feedback on which gave the best results.
Ongoing: Try a few different breakfast recipes, and find some you like and feel good on. Rotate these recipes. If possible, find recipes that can be made for the whole family at once. Or find recipes that the kids can make themselves.
Plus see more ideas on my Pinterest Breakfast board
Drinks & Smoothies – Quick, easy and portable
- Fresh juice – made from GAPS friendly fruit and veges, mostly veges ~ GAPS P213
- Make the juice into a GAPS smoothie with avocado, kefir or GAPS yoghurt
- Kefir – drink plain, add some vanilla or cinnamon, or turn into a smoothie
- “Mix’n’Match” basic Smoothie
- Egg nog
- Savoury Egg nog
- Creamy egg nog
Cereal based (or gluten / grain free alternatives)
- How to make whey (to soak grains) and Cream Cheese
- Blueberry oat porridge (gluten free variations are shown)
- Sandra Cabot’s LSA (to sprinkle on porridge)
- Homemade nut milk
- Bircher Muesli (soaked oats)
- Berry (coconut flour) sponge pudding
- Brown Rice and veggies – If you like grains, but don’t like them sweet. All you need is some leftover brown rice and some leftover vegetables from dinner. Or chop up some fresh onion, tomato or mushroom. Toss all together in a hot pan with some butter or olive oil, till heated through.
- Grain free “Nut muesli”, which can be made low carb
- Pancakes – Whole Grain or Grain Free
- Toast made from suitable bread, with butter and nut butter will be a quick alternative
- “French toast” – since the breads are very eggy anyway, often just need to fry up in butter or ghee
Toppings for toast or pancakes:
- Nut butter – preferably Purebread (in NZ), or homemade from soaked nuts
- “Jam” – soak some dates till soft, then zizz up with some berries. Or gently defrost frozen berries in a pan on the stove. Lift them out of the resulting juice and smush them on some bread.
- Chocolate spread (in later stages)
- Avocado OR Avocado mashed up with soft boiled egg, sea salt & (optional) ghee or butter
- Salmon, sardines or mackerel (tinned in water)
- Salmon dip (tinned wild Alaskan salmon mixed with navy bean hummus, mayonnaise or sour cream)
- Sour cream recipe ~ GAPS P218
- Chicken liver pate or GAPS P175
Side dishes – to go with eggs or meat
- Cooked vegetables eg: onions, mushrooms, greens, tomatoes sautéed in butter, ghee or animal fat
- Homemade baked beans, with tomato
- Pumpkin souffle
- Fresh fruit OR Fruit salad
- Eggs (boiled, poached, fried in butter or olive oil, or scrambled) with 1 slice buttered toast OR cooked veges OR a small serving of fruit.
- Frittata – Eggs baked with veges
- Toad in the Hole (use GAPS bread)
- Spinach feta puffs
- Portable version – 2 hard boiled eggs PLUS a slice of bread and butter OR carrot sticks OR fruit (use GAPS bread)
Meat or fish
If you already know you are a Protein metabolic type, remember it’s important for you to have meat, poultry or fish with every meal. As well as these suggestions, any “meat and veg” meal that’s suitable for lunch or dinner can also be eaten for breakfast. If you can’t eat at all in the morning, a meat based breakfast is probably not for you.
- Fast salmon “dip” with vege sticks
- Grain free sausages (eg Harmony or some Stoneycreek Farm)
- Bacon or all meat sausages, with mushrooms & fried tomato
- Homemade turkey or chicken “sausage” eg Spicy Sausage
- Leftover meatloaf, sliced and fried in butter, ghee, duck or chicken fat, or coconut oil
- Savoury mince on toast (use GAPS bread)
- Homemade baked beans, with duck ~ GAPS P191
- Chicken liver pate with vege sticks
- Lambs fry (Liver) panfried in butter with fried tomato and toast (use GAPS bread)
- Liver and onions, with pumpkin
- Kidneys on toast (use GAPS bread)
Some of the info and recipes from this page have been shared on Steemit at https://steemit.com/recipes/@kiwideb/real-food-breakfast-ideas-having-a-change-from-toast-and-cereal – come and visit me on Steemit!