It’s no secret that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you eat a nutrient-packed, filling breakfast, you’ll be energized all day long. If you grab a sugar-packed pastry, well … hello, exhaustion.
If you’re looking for nutritious, balanced (and filling!) meals, many nutritionists recommend the paleo diet . It’s a diet focused on unprocessed, high fiber and whole foods. “Between the protein , good fat, and fiber, this is a winning combination to help you feel full and satisfied,” says Lisa Young , PhD, RDN. So when it comes to a healthy diet, paleo covers all the bases.
“When breakfast time rolls around, my rule of thumb is to eat a combination of protein and carbohydrates from whole food sources,” says Mackenzie Burgess , registered dietitian nutritionist and recipe developer at Cheerful Choices. “ This balance helps supply a greater variety of important nutrients and provides long-lasting energy.”
The Paleo diet is packed with protein: lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds. While it’s important to prioritize protein in the morning, aim to pair it with a complex carbohydrate like fresh or dried fruits and colorful vegetables, Burgess says. Some examples are scrambled eggs with diced vegetables, chia seed pudding with fruit, or a sausage sweet potato scramble.
To help you get started, here are a few Paleo breakfast ideas and recipes backed by experts. Paleo breakfast ideas
Chia seed jam
Most store-bought jams are not paleo-friendly due to the added sugars included. Instead, you can make your own homemade two-ingredient jam , Burgess says. Simply combine mashed berries and chia seeds, then let sit overnight. This jam is perfect to spoon over paleo-approved bread, banana egg pancakes, or dairy-free yogurt. Oatmeal
Filled with soluble fiber, oatmeal can help lower your cholesterol, Dr. Young explains. The type of fiber in oatmeal, beta glucans, may be particularly beneficial for heart health and for weight control. Oatmeal also contains the minerals magnesium and potassium also good for the heart.
Pro tip: Dr. Young recommends adding sliced apples or blueberries to your oatmeal instead of sugar. Fruit makes the oatmeal so sweet you don’t need any added sugar.
Related: Magnesium Is One of the Most Underrated Treatment Options for Anxiety—Here’s What to Know Stuffed dates
Classified as a fruit, dates contain fructose which provides a natural sweetness. Burgess says you can enjoy dates stuffed with a spoonful of nut butter and toppings of your choice. She also suggests sprinkling over pomegranate seeds, chopped nuts, or coconut flakes. Chia pudding
Chia seeds are full of healthy fats that help keep you full for longer, Dr. Young explains. Chia pudding is a great breakfast option because you can prepare it the night before, keep it in the refrigerator and it’ll be ready to eat in the morning. It also makes a great afternoon snack and dessert. Top it with your favorite fresh fruit and you’re ready to enjoy. She recommends this simple recipe:
Ingredients: 1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any milk)
1 cup of mixed berries
Cinnamon and vanilla
Instructions: Add ingredients to a mason jar or container with a lid, mix and chill for 1 hour.
Enjoy! Green Goddess Almond Protein Power Smoothie
Meeting protein needs is essential for anyone following a Paleo diet, Katherine Brooking MS, RD, explains. She recommends a protein power smoothie, like this Green Goddess Almond Protein Powder Smoothie , as part of your breakfast.
This recipe calls for almond protein powder that has 20 grams of protein per serving and is made from finely ground almonds. It also has 1 cup of fresh spinach to help you meet your veggie needs. This smoothie also is high in calcium and fiber. Breakfast sausage
Breakfast sausage is rich in protein which can help us feel fuller and more satisfied longer. One of Burgess’ favorite brands is Teton Waters Ranch’s breakfast sausage . These sausages have real ingredients and are 100% grass-fed, allowing it to have two to four times more heart-healthy omega-3 fats. She suggests pairing it with fresh fruit or scrambled eggs for long-lasting energy. Sweet potato toast
This dish provides provitamin A, slow carbs, and fiber from the sweet potatoes. Mashed avocado adds heart-healthy fat, and fried eggs add more protein.
“It’s delicious, satisfying, and makes a colorful meal,” says Summer Yule , MS, RDN. “Most people aren’t meeting the recommendations for vegetable intake and this breakfast is a great start to your morning!” Frittata
As a crustless quiche, frittatas are paleo-approved. This egg white frittata calls for any vegetables of your choice so you can use up ingredients on hand, Burgess explains. You can omit the cheese or substitute dairy-free cheese over top. Protein shake popsicles
Gabrielle Tafur , MS, RD recommends these tasty treats. “Though it isn’t your standard breakfast smoothie, if you have children and want to make sure they’re getting their protein in, these make for a fun breakfast or snack throughout the day.”
These popsicles are the perfect grab-and-go breakfast whether you’re commuting or heading to your home office. Mug muffin Mug muffins are at the top of Burgess’ Paleo breakfast list. Not only are they easy to make, but they also require minimal cleanup! Flaxseed, which is high in protein and fiber, makes the basis for this flax mug muffin .This recipe is naturally sweetened from mashed bananas, stevia, and dark chocolate, making it paleo-friendly, Burgess says. Plus, it can be made ahead of time and is ready in just one minute. Paleo cereal Don’t swear this childhood favorite off just yet! You can enjoy this paleo cereal without the guilt of all of the added sugar and artificial food coloring dye, Tafur explains. It’s a wonderful way to clear out the pantry and takes minutes to prepare. Squash hash This healthy take on corned beef and hash switches fattier meat for lean ground turkey and substitutes summer squash for potatoes. Packed with protein, this Squash Hash breakfast recommended […]