Most of us grew up eating bowls of sugary cereal, slices of toast, and stacks of pancakes for breakfast. Unfortunately, those bad habits may have followed us into adulthood and make it hard to imagine enjoying a morning meal without a grain or bread of some sort. Now you might be looking for a morning makeover and trying to figure out how to get all the way to lunch feeling full and energetic. Creating a healthy breakfast can be easy once you stop thinking about certain foods as only for breakfast, and just as, well, food.
What’s So Bad About Bread?
When you gorge on refined carbohydrates in the morning, particularly gluten-filled ones, your brain receives a surge of serotonin and your blood sugar skyrockets (which feels especially great after fasting all night). But an hour later, your energy levels crash and you’re ravenous. Your body screams for more bread—and you board the blood sugar roller coaster once again.
And if you have discovered that you dont feel well after you eat wheat and gluten, replacing all your old breakfast foods with the gluten-free version isnt really helping you create a healthier way of eating. Those gf breads and muffins are still pretty processed and may create blood sugar crashes.
A Better Way to Break Your Fast
Rather than loading up on carbs in the morning, switch your focus to getting a sizeable portion of quality fat and protein into that meal. You can even include vegetables into your morning plate, which will keep you fuller longer. The most common thing I eat for breakfast is a combination of foods leftover from dinner, with a fried egg or bacon added. This is what I call a breakfast skillet or “hash”.
Check out this recipe for a Breakfast Hash that was inspired by a client I was cooking for using the Wahls Protocol Diet. It combines a bunch of sauteed veggies, roasted potatoes and some bacon, so it “feels” like breakfast! On most mornings, it doesn’t take me more than half an hour to prepare and enjoy a breakfast skillet. And the best part is that I don’t get hungry again until several hours later.
Healthy Breakfast Hacks
Here’s how I make sure to get a hearty, nourishing start to my day—every day.
- Keep the fridge stocked. You won’t have time to run to the grocery store in the morning, so make sure you always have plenty of eggs and veggies on hand. Chop up a few veggies, saute them in a cast iron skillet with a little bacon fat or olive oil, and then add eggs.
- Prep the night before. Make extra vegetables for dinner and save the leftovers for the morning. You can cut down on chopping and cook time this way and simply throw in an egg or two for protein. Or, skip the eggs and add leftover chicken, meat or salmon as your protein source.
- Add starchy veggies. If you’re missing toast, try including white potatoes, sweet potatoes or squash in your veggie mix. These are more nutrient-dense sources of carbohydrates that won’t make you tired or grumpy—provided you enjoy them in moderate amounts and pair them with other vegetables like asparagus or spinach.
- Make bacon once. Rather than spending 20 minutes making a few slices of bacon every morning, cook the entire package. That means you’ll only have to clean up the grease mess once, and then you’ll have leftovers to crumble into your breakfast skillets or over salads for the rest of the week.
Here are some Healthy Breakfast Recipes to Try
Premake some protein for your breakfast with a ground Chicken and Zucchini Fritter. Easy to heat up or eat cold in the morning. Make a big batch and have it all week.
These ground Chicken and Sweet Potato Fritters feel and taste like starchy hashbrowns, but the added protein helps make you feel full and more satisfied.
Make a Gluten and Dairy Free Frittata over the weekend and then have it as a quick and easy breakfast during the week.
Get More Ways to Hack Your Morning Routine
Getting used to a grain-free breakfast may take a little while, but you’ll quickly notice how much better you feel by enjoying a skillet instead of a bagel. For more fast breakfast hacks, schedule a nutrition consultation with me and break the bread habit!