Want the scoop on everything paleo and a handful of simple paleo breakfast ideas? Keep reading. Just want a pile of paleo breakfast recipes? Go check out all of our paleo recipes instead!
Before we get to the paleo breakfast ideas this is quite a big week!
Many people in the US enjoyed a long Labor Day weekend, but more importantly it was the opening day of the NFL season.
Now, the start of the NFL season may not mean much to you, but for me, it meant the launch of my first, and long awaited cookbook, Pigskin Paleo: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo Game Day Recipes to Bring the Sports Bar Home!
In this article I’ll share a bit about the difficulty when trying to eat healthy. Why Paleo is my lifestyle of choice. What exactly this “caveman diet” is. And how you may benefit from giving it a try. Finally I’ll top it off with some quick and easy Paleo breakfast ideas for you and your family.
So let’s get to it! :)
The Challenge of Staying Healthy
Eating healthy when gathering with friends can, at times, be challenging. And whether you’re watching the next big game at home or at a local watering hole, the football season is no exception to this rule.
Game Day fare doesn’t always consist of the highest quality food. As a result you may end up in a cycle of constantly serving what’s cheap and easy instead of what’s most nutritious. I’ve been there.
There is however a bright side. With a little planning you can ensure that everyone loves your appetizers, entrees and desserts. Whether they realize they’re eating healthy or not.
The key to this, in my opinion, lies in one word. Paleo. Or two words if you feel compelled to call it the Paleo Diet.
What is Paleo?
Paleo is a very satiating style of eating that’s also good for your body.
Quite simply a Paleo diet can be defined as:
1. Eat Plants, Animals, Nuts and Seeds
2. Move Frequently and Lift Heavy Things
Those are two simple steps, but let’s break them down a bit further.
First off, notice the order of the first rule. Plants should always come first in any Paleo diet. One common misconception is that Paleo consists of eating bacon and red meat all the time while veggies are an afterthought. Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some bacon, but plants are at the core of a proper Paleo diet.
Eating plants, animals, nuts and seeds is another way of saying to eat only whole, real foods. By defining our diet this way we remove grains and processed foods. This has the added benefit of ensuring that every paleo recipe is also gluten-free.
If you eat lots of fresh vegetables, a good quantity of properly sourced meat and fish plus a few nuts and seeds here and there, then you, my friend, are paleo.
Move frequently and lift heavy things is where things really become fun. As my friend Vic likes to say, treadmills are for gerbils.
In our definition, living a Paleo lifestyle also means living in a way that includes more natural movement for our bodies. You’ll simply want to do what works for you and makes you feel your best.
As long as your lifestyle somehow consists of moving (pretty simple when you’re not sitting) and lifting heavy things (picking up your children counts), then you’ve fulfilled this step.
Now you may be wondering where these “rules” came from. The Paleo diet is based on the research of Loren Cordain (among others). In his search for answers he began to find patterns that have remained true since the years of our Paleolithic ancestors. Eating Paleo is simply treating our bodies as we have for millions of years.
This Guide to Eating Paleo sums it up quite nicely in a beautiful way.
How Paleo Has Improved My Health and Well-Being
While Jeff and I have been constantly reading and experimenting with our paleo diet for almost 5 years, I can only speak from our personal experiences.
Of course your mileage will vary, but I’ve lost a total of 60 lbs since beginning the transition into a paleo lifestyle.
Over the years I’ve experimented with fasting, sugar restriction, small eating windows – windows of time, not actual windows ;) -, exercising at different times of day, exercising in a fasted state and so much more. But paleo was always at the heart of what I did.
Weight loss aside, the major reason that I love sharing the principles of Paleo with others is due to the way this lifestyle has made both me and Jeff feel.
I personally have more energy, sleep better, very rarely get sick and feel like I’m in the best shape of my life. I like to joke about it, but I’m currently at the lowest weight I’ve been since the first time around, meaning, in my adult life, I’ve never been the weight that I currently am now.
Once you transition away from processed foods and start focusing your attention on real foods you begin to really understand your body.
For example, I used to think that the afternoon crash was inevitable.
It used to appear we were hardwired to have an energy dip in the afternoon. Or that that cup of morning coffee was an absolute necessity.
I quickly learned that these inevitabilities were merely side effects of the SAD (Standard American Diet). It’s very easy to consider these ailments simple facts of life, but once we begin to understand and listen to our bodies we can begin to live without the dependencies or adverse side effects that we have taken for granted for years.
Let’s Make a Paleo Breakfast
Now let’s shift gears a bit so I can share some quick and easy ways to introduce your family to the paleo lifestyle. We’ll start bright and early with some paleo breakfast ideas.
Here are five quick and easy paleo breakfast options to help you jump right in.
5 Quick and Easy Paleo Breakfast Options
1. Banana-Nut Paleo Pancakes
Using just three ingredients, you can have these pancakes ready to feed four people in just 15 minutes.
Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the bananas with 2 heaping scoops of chunky almond butter (any nut butter or use peanut butter if you prefer, just know that peanuts are not paleo) and blend with eggs in the bowl.
Mix well and scoop a quarter of a cup of the mixture on to a hot griddle or flat pan over medium heat. Wait for bubbles to appear then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Top each pancake with a sprinkle of dark chocolate chips (the darker the better), if you prefer, and serve.
You’ll notice that these won’t need any maple syrup or added toppings but feel free to top with fresh fruit if you’re looking for a little extra sweetness. And if you have a little extra time and want that savory, protein and fat boost, fry up some of my favorite sugar-free bacon on the side.
This is my breakfast of choice when I need something in a pinch. Plus it’s a good source of protein and vegetables to start your day.
If you have your veggies already cleaned, chopped and stored in the refrigerator it can take less than 5 minutes to put this breakfast together.
- Melt some grass-fed butter or coconut oil in a small frying pan over medium high heat.
- Crack two eggs and cover, then prepare your salad on a plate.
- Combine fresh baby spinach, peppers, onion, carrots, tomato, celery, avocado, broccoli or any of your favorite vegetables.
- Cook the eggs to your preferred doneness; I like mine over easy (the juices from the egg run over the veggies and create a delicious dressing as you eat).
- Season your salad with some sea salt and pepper, maybe a touch of avocado or olive oil and any other seasonings. Top it off with your two eggs and enjoy.
3. Breakfast Smoothie
For a super quick liquid paleo breakfast throw some spinach or kale in a blender along with some fresh fruit, vegetables, ice,and blend. That’s all it takes for a quick and easy paleo breakfast smoothie.
Combine with 1-2 hard-boiled eggs (make these 1-2 days ahead and store them in the refrigerator) and this makes a great complete breakfast on the go.
You’ll find this recipe for my Banana-Pear Green Smoothie in Pigskin Paleo.
4. No Grain Granola Cereal
I regularly make Paleo Granola Bars and store them in the freezer for occasional snacks.
But if you’re missing that crunch that typical cereals provide, take some bars out of the freezer and break them apart in a bowl. Add some almond, coconut or whole milk and you’ve got yourself a paleo breakfast cereal.
Now, I’ve saved the best for last. What’s the quickest and easiest paleo breakfast idea? Well it’s sitting right there in your refrigerator.
I find that one of the most hearty, satiating breakfasts is made up of leftovers. For some reason we tend to get stuck in the routine of cereal, waffles, and eggs as the only options for breakfast. But fortunately a simple trip to your refrigerator can yield a gold mine of chicken, pork or beef. Throw some fresh vegetables on your plate or into a skillet for a few minutes and you have yourself a complete Paleo breakfast in no time.
So that’s about it! I hope I’ve whet your appetite to dig deeper into the world of paleo.
Have you tried paleo or are you thinking of trying it? I’d love to hear from you! Reach out on Twitter.