Having a good breakfast is already difficult for most people. Now, when you start on the Paleo diet, breakfast can become quite a challenge. From the beginning it seems that this lifestyle is too restrictive. Paleo breakfast will limit the consumption of foods that we were very used to eating in the morning (granola, oatmeal, toast).
But there are very good reasons for this: Most of the signature breakfast foods don't get you ready enough for the day. Read on to find out why, and learn how you can get used to Paleo breakfast.
The anatomy of the typical western breakfast
If you stop to observe the typical Western diet, you will notice that most weekday breakfasts fall into two categories: coffee and carbohydrates. Many people save foods like hot dogs, bacon, and eggs for the weekend when they "have time to cook." When they leave the house on Tuesdays, they simply have a cup of coffee and take a sandwich or bread to eat in the car.
And that's the way it is most of the time: first you drink your coffee and then you eat your carbohydrates. Almost all of the foods you typically eat for breakfast on a workday are basically refined carbohydrates and nothing else, or maybe a little fat on top if you're eating cream cheese or peanut butter bread.
Donuts, croissants, granola (yes, even "high protein" granola - read the nutrition facts label and find out for yourself how little protein it really is), oatmeal, breakfast cereals ... all of this is a big carbohydrate feast.
This combination of coffee and carbohydrates is no accident. Here's why it's so popular:
· Coffee wakes you up after having a poor night's sleep.
· Refined carbohydrates raise your blood sugar levels quickly to give you an energy boost and improve your mood. Of course, you'll get hungry again two hours later when this energy spike subsides, but that's what 10:00 am snacks are for, right?
This is like an energy drink in food form. And just like an energy drink, it will put your blood sugar levels on a roller coaster ride for the rest of the day. This could show up as mood swings, sugar cravings, increased and decreased energy, etc.
The solution: The Paleo breakfast
On the Paleo diet, the approach to breakfast is basically the opposite. Rather than making you susceptible to fluctuations in blood sugar, a Paleo breakfast is designed to give you stable, long-lasting energy through protein and fat intake to keep you energized until lunch. You can still drink coffee if you need to, but you may no longer do so once you begin to sleep properly.
So, what would this breakfast look like? This is the anatomy of a Paleo breakfast.
· Protein: eggs, meat, fish or yogurt (if you tolerate dairy, not all will)
· Healthy Fat: Healthy Paleo oils, avocado, olives, or fatty meats like bacon.
· Vegetables: Yes, it is good to eat vegetables for breakfast. You can also eat some fruits, but they will not replace vegetables.
You can eat the foods you want, as long as they contain protein, fat and vegetables. You don't necessarily have to eat "breakfast foods" for breakfast. This is the most important lesson a beginner can learn about Paleo breakfasts.
Yes, you are used to eating specific foods to start your day, but that doesn't mean you have to. You are adaptable: if you do it differently, this new way will quickly become "normal".
There is absolutely no reason why breakfast should look any different from any other meal. But of course, food companies invest a lot to be able to sell you bags of sugary flakes called "breakfast cereal" and thus convince you that breakfast requires a specific type of food or image.
This is quite a drastic change; It's totally understandable if you want to start with omelettes and other traditional breakfast foods for the first few weeks. But then diversify - you could discover something you love that you would never have tried had it not been for the Paleo diet!
Breakfast is one of the biggest difficulties for beginners to Paleo, but it is also one of the most important meals, as it can set you up for a great day. If you are on a Paleo diet, you can have a healthy breakfast (protein, fat, and vegetables, just like any other meal) or fast if you prefer.
Limit Paleo knockoffs from pancakes, granola, muffins, and other junk foods - they're good as treats, but nutritionally not the best.
It's a big change, but if you dive right into it, you'll get used to it pretty quickly and Paleo breakfast will become your new "normal."
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