Sunday, January 24, 2010

Don't Mess with Breakfast

this post was inspired by Meighan, who was wondering today what the heck to eat for breakfast
K-Ditty may or may not have this T-shirt.

What are the first things that come to mind when you hear "breakfast"? If it is cereal, pancakes, or waffles, you are not alone. This is how we grew up and this is what we know for breakfast. We're always told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day (those who IF - intermittent fasting - may have a different viewpoint), but if we are learning about Paleo/Primal/Zone, how are we supposed to implement these ideas into our breakfast? We're told we can't eat grains or sugar, so what are we supposed to do with that pancake mix, boxes of cereal, and frozen waffles?

throw them out.

Unless it is a closed box that you can give away to a soup kitchen, throw it out. Don't say "we'll keep this until we finish it" because you're going to just keep feeding that craving for sugar and grains. Just throw it out. You'll forget about it in no time. If you're looking to lean out (lose fat) you especially need to get sugars and grains out of your sight.

So now you're saying "I have nothing to eat for breakfast!" An important step is to flip the idea of breakfast upside down. Have you ever thought about having lunch or dinner for breakfast? In other words, what's stopping you from having a salad, or lox, or a nice steak for breakfast? Take that chili and have a bowl for breakfast. Who cares?! It will take some getting used to, but you're going to be much better off having a protein/fat/carbohydrate in paleo/primal/zone form than the traditional breakfast that might fill you up at first, but have your stomach growling for more by 10am.  Below are links to great sites for breakfast ideas and tips, and at the end, 2 favorite recipes. 

Not from pastured chickens or omega-3 enriched, but we use enough eggs in recipes and meals to warrant 90 eggs from Costco! 

Eggs - scrambled, over easy/hard, deviled, omelet, frittata, hard/soft boiled, quiche...eggs are your best friend when it comes to breakfast. Rich in protein and fat, eggs will get you through the day. Still worried about the egg myths of fat and cholesterol? This study shows that people who ate eggs vs. bagel for breakfast lost 16% bodyfat!
Meat - get that steak from last night and have steak and eggs. Or just steak. yum. Bacon, Ham, pork, chicken, turkey, sausauge, lox/'s all good!
Smoothie - this one is tricky. On one hand it's super convenient and tasty, on the other hand it's an easy way to gain weight from the facts that most smoothies are made with fruit (and fructose in fruit causes fat storage) and as liquid, will be absorbed quicker into your system.  If you're going to make one, make sure it has plenty of protein powder and stick with berries instead of fruit like bananas. 
Salad - whether it's fruit salad or a regular one, throwing together a salad is pretty easy and tasty. Get out that arugula and spinach and throw a cut up boiled egg and some bacon bits on top. 
Substitutes - Many of us just can't get completely away from the shape/form/look of breakfast, so what can we do to substitute relatively good stuff for terrible stuff? Coconut flour is an awesome substitute for regular flour (not a 1:1 ratio, so look up specific recipes) and almond flour or almond meal is a great substitute for flour or bread. For instance, instead of breaded chicken, I'll grind up some almonds and roll the chicken in egg and then the almond meal to make fake breaded chicken. At the bottom is a recipe for Coconut Pancakes, from our very own Coach Evan!

Over easy eggs on arugula and baby spinach with half an avocado and 1 cherry tomato (a la Aimee)

If you think about it, there are a ton of combinations you can make just with eggs and meat. In case you're out of breakfast ideas though, here are some links to recipes and pictures:
Crossfit Journal #21 - super important for Zone basics and has recipe ideas (just remember that Zone includes unfavorable carbohydrates, so some recipes may include things like tortillas) 
MDA - Breakfast pictures 
Zen to Fitness - 5 breakfast ideas 
Personally, I want to try THIS recipe 
if you're looking to GAIN mass, here's a 1000 calorie omelet! from CrossFit Football 

Coconut pancake with blueberries and 86% chocolate...thanks Evan!
4 eggs
1/4 cup coconut flour 
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey (or agave - you can also cut this amount in half)
1/4 cup coconut milk (full fat) (Tai Kitchen is the best - Oh yea, shake the shit out of the can b4 you open it)
1/4 cup of dried unsweetened coconut flakes

Mix these ingredients and let them sit for five minutes. Oil or grease up your pan (preferably with coconut oil!) and heat over medium heat. Pour about a 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake, allowing each side to brown before flipping it. We like to put blueberries in after we pour, then high percentage chocolate (80-90%) chips on top once they are done. (so they get nice and melty). For syrup, we use agave nectar.  

MARK'S DAILY APPLE  - Omelet Muffins
Egg muffins with sausage, peppers, and onions. 

Ingredients: (original recipe makes 6, but listed below is for a full 12 muffins)
12 eggs
1/2-1 cup cooked meat, cut or crumbled into small pieces. (bacon, sausage, ham, etc)
1/2 cup diced vegetables (peppers, onions, etc)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup water 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You can grease muffin tin but I HIGHLY recommend using cupcake liners...this will cut down on cleaning dramatically and it's easy to peel off once you eat them).In a bowl, beat the eggs. Add meat, vegetables, salt, ground pepper, and any other ingredients and stir to combine. Spoon into liners, about 1/8" away from the top. (They will rise during baking, but once you take them out, they will shrink back down to the liner size) 
Bake for 20-25 minutes until a knife inserted into the center of an muffin/omelet comes out almost clean. The omelets will continue to cook for a minute or two after removed from the oven. Remove the omelets from the muffin cups and serve, or cool completely and store for another day. (original recipe said 18-20 but I found this wasn't enough time, probably because I doubled the recipe) As someone who is up at 5:30am, these are great to pack in foil, keep in the fridge and take one or two to work to heat up.

Coconut pancake with chocolate chips and walnuts, bacon, over easy eggs 

Do you have any ideas for breakfast? Post to comments!


  1. Thanks Chris!!!! Two things:
    1 - When can you make these for Kristin and me?

    2 - My poor friend oatmeal....i feel sad for him....he tries to hard to compete with big sugary cereal and I was one of his few allies...

  2. wow, I'm definitely going to try making those...sorry to hear about your friend oatmeal...r.i.p.

  3. Thanks Chris nice writeup. My biggest challenge too when I changed my diet over the past 6 months was breakfast. Cereal was the hardest thing to kick out, but once gone and not in the house, I don't really miss it anymore and found plenty of other options. Can't wait to try the newest recipes to us also.

  4. Here is a good paleo recipe, Its my take on a Scotch Egg but more geared towards paleo. I have made them several times now and they are yummy.

    "Egg Hunt"

    2 dozen quail eggs (look in the oriental grocery!!)
    1 to 1.5 lbs. grass fed ground beef
    1 large egg (omega 3 enriched if possible!)

    Options for the ground meat: Its up to you!
    chopped up sun dried tomatoes
    any other spices you may like or combination

    Hard boil the quail eggs
    Place them in a pot a water with enough to cover them. Bring water to boil for 3 minutes. Cool eggs immediatley.
    Peel all the eggs and set aside.
    Mix the ground meet and the Omega 3 egg and any spices you like.
    Take a small amount of meat and 1 quail egg.
    Form a small patty with the meat and place the quail egg in the center.
    Wrap the meat around the egg until its completely encased.
    Should look like a nice size meat ball.
    Place the meat balls on a baking sheet (use a silicone sheet, parchment paper, ect..)
    Bake in the oven for 30 min at 350 deg F.

    You can eat these warm or cold, dip them in whatever. Serve with a big ass salad.

  5. The Omelette Muffin recipe from Mark's Daily Apple changed my life. Seriously! I make them weekly, if I can. I even have some of my family members making them -- I'm hoping to at least get them all low/no carb for breakfast.

  6. Thank you for including the Tomato! He won't feel left out now!
    Banana Carrot Nut Muffins...haven't tried them yet but look pretty good!

    2 cups Blanched Almond Flour (I order mine from
    2 tsp Baking Soda

    1/2 tsp Sea Salt

    1 tbsp Cinnamon

    1 cup Dates (pits removed)

    3-4 Ripe Bananas

    3 Eggs

    1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

    1/4 cup Coconut Oil (I found it at Henry's)

    1 1/2 cups Carrots (shredded)

    3/4 cup Walnuts (chopped)

    In a small bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Place all other ingredients (except walnuts and carrots) in the food processor, process until well combined. Pour mixture into mixing bowl and mix to combine with dry ingredients. When well mixed, fold in carrots and walnuts. Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Great for a quick breakfast, just add some protein, or as desert. (recipe adapted from

  7. I am lazy! So rather than making omelet muffins, or an egg casserole, I just make a big pan of scrambled eggs with green peppers and ham on sundays and split them up into 5 contains. Each day I take a container out of the fridge and warm it up for 1 minute in the microwave.

    Scrambled Western Omelet
    10 eggs
    1/2 green pepper
    5 slices of ham

    Scramble Eggs
    Cut up Green Pepper and Ham
    Chuck it all into a frying pan coated with pam and cook like scrambled eggs.

  8. I'm so glad the tomato made into one of the pics.LOL
    I am definitely going to try the omelet muffins!!

  9. GREAT post, Chris - and one thing I'm definitely passionate about! Will be posting to CFCC's blog! Keep writing!


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