Redefining Breakfast

Guest Post by Emily from Paleo Canberra

When my husband and I started planning our family almost seven years ago, we knew we would do whatever we could to help them avoid the autoimmune and other health issues that run in my family—there’s eczema, asthma, migraines and sinus issues, as well as some more severe autoimmune conditions like lupus. So we did a lot of research and, coupled with my personal experience of healing my eczema, sinus issues and migraines by ditching the gluten, dairy and sugar, we embarked on our real food journey.

We now have two littlies—Master 5 and Miss 2—and we eat organic, real food, free from gluten, grain, dairy and refined sugar. So far, the kiddies don’t have any allergies, but Miss 2 has quite bad eczema so we’ve been on an elimination diet to see if there are any triggers. We’ve also been including more veggies and less ‘fillers’ in our diets, and keeping the sweets for special occasions. We’ve added bone broth, fermented vege, kefir and kombucha to our diets, to help heal Miss 2’s gut and fortify ours. We choose organic or homegrown produce, and while we do eat out every now again, we generally stick to our real food goals.

I started Paleo Canberra about nine months ago, to share our real food journey and hopefully inspire others.

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When we made the decision to go gluten, dairy, sugar and grain free, my biggest challenge was breakfast. And then, just to make things really complicated, Miss 2 developed eczema and we had to go on a strict elimination diet to try to determine the triggers.

So, what can you eat for breakfast when you can’t have bread, cereal, nuts or eggs? The answer, as I’ve discovered, is veggies – and a little protein. It takes a little more preparation (although with a bit of forethought you can save heaps of time), but it means you can start the day knowing you’ve fuelled your body the best you can, and you’ve had a few serves of veggies without even trying. And let’s be honest, we could all benefit from eating more veggies.

My go to brekky is shredded veggies like carrot, zucchini, beetroot, sweet potato and pumpkin (not usually all at once, I generally try to include three different veggies each day), sautéed with minced garlic and a little onion, and served with some chopped, fresh english spinach mixed through. For a little more protein I add a sardine or a little left over meat from dinner, or some chopped almonds or pepitas (now that we can eat them again). If you can tolerate eggs, a fried egg is also a great addition.

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If I have a little more time, sweet potato toast topped with spinach, garlic mushrooms and sautéed veggies is really tasty and a little special; and I love garlic and thyme roasted field mushrooms, served with fresh spinach or sautéed vege.

If I’m pressed for time, a veggie smoothie bowl is always a good option, I just try not to overdo the fruit. I always keep frozen spinach in the freezer for smoothie bowls, and add veggies like cucumber, kale, fresh spinach and zucchini, along with a little banana or frozen berries and coconut water for sweetness. To make it creamier, I just add some coconut milk or coconut cream. I’ve also added leftover cooked beetroot and raw carrot before, as well as raw cacao powder and cinnamon to mix up the flavours. Serving it in a bowl with toppings (like coconut flakes, nuts or seeds) is actually better for your digestion and nutrient absorption as you have to chew it. I’ve also been known to serve steamed broccoli on the side if I don’t think our smoothie bowl is ‘green’ enough.

PC smoothie

Left over dinner is another great brekky option, especially if you’re pressed for time. But if you can have eggs, a quick brekky frittata is another great option. Just sauté whatever veggies you have in the fridge with garlic and onion, pour in some whisked eggs and cook under the grill. I often add turmeric and a crack of black pepper to the eggs before I pour them in, and I often sprinkle some pepitas on top right before I pop it under the grill. You can also add a little leftover cooked meat.

I also try to add some fermented vege to whatever we’re having, but sometimes I just forget.

Since changing the way we eat, I’ve seen huge health benefits for us all, but I’ve had to reset my definition of breakfast. There are now no rules in our house about what is or isn’t a breakfast food. It’s just food, mainly veggies. And we eat it when we’re hungry.

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