April 18, 2017

Low Carb Breakfast Ideas for People Who Don't Like (or are Tired of) Eggs





Here’s something I see often on Facebook:

I don’t like eggs. (Or, I’m tired of eggs.)
What can I have for breakfast on low carb?

My knee jerk answer (which I say to myself, but do not write until I calm down a little): Eat something else.

Anything else.

Anything else at all.

Literally any other low carb food.

I’m not sure why breakfast is such an obstacle when there is one food people don’t like. Have you ever heard anyone say, “I don’t like salmon. What can I have for dinner?” Or, “I’m tired of bologna sandwiches. What can I have for lunch?”

There are, like, a zillion other possibilities there. And the same goes for breakfast. 

You see why I’m a bit dumbfounded, right? 


Breakfast is just a meal – an opportunity to nourish and fuel yourself. Special “breakfast foods” are not required. Many cultures around the world make no distinction between breakfast, lunch, and dinner foods. There are only foods. (See here for Diane Sanfilippo’s take on this issue.) In South Korea, a traditional breakfast might be a small bit of rice, some kimchi, a fried egg, and maybe some other pickled or grilled vegetables.  It is a completely fictional notion that there are unique foods that are appropriate for breakfast, while others must be avoided early in the morning. (Assuming early morning is even when you eat breakfast…some people only eat once or twice a day and their “break-fast” happens at 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Please know that you do not have to eat first thing in the morning. Do not eat by the clock. If you wake up and you're not hungry, don't force yourself to eat because it's "breakfast time," or because you think you "should." Breakfast is, as I just said, when you break your fast, whether it happens at 7 a.m. or 7 p.m., or any other time of day or night.) 

I don’t know how this made-up idea came to be canonized in the American dietary lexicon, but contrary to what is ingrained (no pun intended) in so many of us, breakfast does not require eggs, nor bacon, sausages, cereal, bagels, orange juice, or English muffins.  

Have you ever gone to IHOP or Denny’s and had pancakes or a ham & cheese omelet at midnight? Then guess what: you’ve had breakfast for dinner.

And have you ever had cold leftover pizza or Chinese food for breakfast? (Admit it, you have. We all have. Maybe it was back in your college days, but you totally did it, and so did I.) Guess what: you’ve had dinner for breakfast.

So this is not weird at all. It just feels weird because it’s different from what you’re probably used to doing. It requires only a small shift in mindset, and pretty soon, having canned salmon or sardines for breakfast will seem totally normal. Or leftover meatloaf, or cold chicken breast or sliced steak dipped in guacamole or blue cheese dressing. Or cold cut rollups: turkey, ham, roast beef, cheese. These are all perfectly fine for breakfast. Why? Because they’re food, and that’s all that’s required for a meal. If you don’t want to eat cold steak or chicken first thing in the morning, there’s an endless amount of other options. If you prefer to stick with “breakfast foods” for your first meal of the day, no sweat. There are approximately eight zillion things that are not eggs. I already mentioned bacon and sausages. There’s also ham steaks, low carb pancakes or waffles (typically made with coconut and/or almond flour [and also an egg or two]), omelet ingredients cooked without the eggs (ex: onions, spinach, cheese, loose sausage), cottage cheese or full fat yogurt – add cinnamon and chopped toasted pecans, almonds, walnuts, or toasted unsweetened coconut flakes for additional flavor and texture. If you’re feelin’ really frisky and are okay with sucralose, the fruit flavored sugar-free syrups from DaVinci work really well mixed into plain yogurt. The peach, raspberry, and banana flavors are especially yummy for this purpose. [I get mine from Netrition. Disclosure: if you use my affiliate link here, they will send me a few cents.)

Here are some other tips for breakfast:

For people who just plain don’t like eggs, well, that’s fine. There are plenty of other options. For those who say they’re “tired” of eggs, I find it’s not that they’re tired of eggs and don’t want to eat them anymore; it’s more that eggs can be a pain in the butt to prepare when your eyes are still half closed and you have to be out the door in ten minutes. (The same can be said of any food that requires cooking, such as the beloved bacon and sausage. This is why cereal, muffins, and bagels are so popular among non-low carbers: they are quick. Many non-low carbers might prefer to have “real food” for breakfast [that is, food that requires cooking] – after all, yummy meat and vegetable omelets are not the exclusive purview of low carbers – but granola bars and cereal are just so much more convenient.)

The solution to this is making low carb foods equally convenient, and the solution to this is cooking in advance.

Take a Sunday afternoon or evening and cook two or three packages of sausage links. They’ll be ready to go all week. You can heat them up in minutes, or simply eat them cold. Same with eggs: boil a dozen (or more) on a Sunday so all you have to do is grab a few on your way out the door. Cold bacon is also delicious. Pretty much all foods can be eaten cold. You might not like them cold, but if you’re willing to be a grownup and just get sh*t done, not having access to a stove or microwave at your place of work is not in the slightest an obstacle to eating low carb food.

Depending on your occupation, you might have access to a microwave. If you prefer to eat your food hot but don’t have time to eat at home in the morning, take your prepared-in-advance food with you and heat it up once you’re settled at work. You might even choose to store your weeks’ worth of breakfast in the office fridge so you only have to pack and transport it once. (But if your office fridge is anything like the ones that have graced the offices I’ve worked in in the past, you really don’t want to even approach that thing without a hazmat suit, so it’s up to you whether you want to put your food in there for a week. Just sayin’!)   o_O


So yeah: if you don’t like eggs, congratulations: there is absolutely nothing standing in the way of you having a perfectly suitable low carb breakfast. Remember my motto regarding this way of eating: it's not difficult, just different.


Personally, I’m totally okay with sausages, eggs, bacon, and just about any other low carb food for breakfast. But for those of you who want something a bit more creative and out of the ordinary, I’ll leave you with 20 breakfast recipes from Ditch the Carbs. And in case some of you want more breakfast ideas that do call for eggs, here are some more breakfast recipe inspirations:









Disclaimer: Amy Berger, MS, CNS, NTP, is not a physician and Tuit Nutrition, LLC, is not a medical practice. The information contained on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition and is not to be used as a substitute for the care and guidance of a physician. Links in this post and all others may direct you to amazon.com, where I will receive a small amount of the purchase price of any items you buy through my affiliate links.

15 comments:

  1. Because of my weird diabetes (or not-diabetes depending which doctor you believe) I eat just enough for breakfast to convince my liver and pancreas that my throat hasn't been cut and I don't require a massive dump of glucose thankyouverymuch.

    My go-to is a thickly buttered oatcake (5 - 6g carbs) with smoked salmon. After that I'm good to go for routinely 5 - 8 hours and often 11 hours or more before I get hungry again. Most of the day irrespective of what I am doing I am fuelled by stored energy which I replace any time between late afternoon and late evening. Usually I only have one meal a day, sometimes two, apart from the minuscule breakfast.

    It's a huge contrast from the days when I'd have my bowl of dietician-approved high carb low fat cereal and then be starving again a couple of hours later. I probably don't actually *need* breakfast but it seems to work better than waiting until later in the day to eat.

    I have been known on occasions to have anything from lamb chops to leftovers, and of course BACON! but my glucometer basically agrees with your It's The Insulin, Stupid mega-series, and my body agrees with the meter, that going long periods without food is totally cool as long as I stay away from the carbs, and is best achieved with a small breakfast, a large meal later and a nocturnal snack. YMMV of course.

    A Type 1 diabetic friend has a couple of units of insulin for breakfast and then goes most of the day before eating. This regularly gives his doctor and nurses a hissy fit until they notice that he routinely has an A1c below 6% and has maintained this for decades now. Recently I found a paper dating back to the early seventies which showed that ketosis removed the possibility of hypos even in Type 1s, yet another thing that was once understood and since ignored.

    chris c

    ReplyDelete
  2. The tone of this post is rude, sarcastic and patronising. If this is the usual I shall be unsubscribing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

      Delete
    2. Lucky he didn't ask for his money back

      chris c

      Delete
  3. I love eggs, so it's hard for me to believe that people don't want to eat them! Maybe there are nutrients in them that I crave, because I can't seem to get enough of them. Still, there are other things to eat, and when I have to "break my fast" at work, I need to eat something cold. So my favorite "work breakfast" is some deli turkey slices, rolled up and filled with cream cheese, fresh basil leaves, and lots of ground black pepper. Smoked salmon (or actually, any type of smoked fish) is another good breakfast idea, and very common here in Europe, where I live. And of course, cream yogurt with roasted pecans or walnuts, sprinkled with cinnamon.....Well, when it comes to food, I guess I never have problems finding things to eat, since I love food so much.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I gag on eggs. I have been eating whatever is handy for breakfast including leftovers. I felt a bit guilty or worried I might be somehow doing something unhealthy but you know what? You just made so much sense. Thanks! Guilt bye bye.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good post. Thankfully I like eggs enough to eat every day. I solved the time issue by forcing myself to get my lazy ass out of bed 30 minutes earlier than I used to. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't even name my meals anymore. I have meal 1 and meal 2. They consist of protien aND fat necessary to hit my goals. Good post!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have an intolerance to eggs and a huge nausea inducing reaction to eating non-traditional breakfast items for breakfast. I can't do bacon and sausage very often because the grease is also hard on me. Breakfast has been hard for awhile because I'm hypoglycemic so I avoid carb triggers. This meal frustrates me endlessly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe some full-fat yogurt? According to Volek & Phinney, a half cup of yogurt has only 5g of carbs. (Even if the label says otherwise. The fermentation process consumes some of the lactose.) Maybe ham steaks -- those are usually pretty lean, so no grease to turn you off.

      Delete
  8. My favorite breakfast is no breakfast. Intermittant fasting. Your hunger levels are normally lower in the Morning. You can plan on an earlier lunch. I find lunch at 11:30 after not eating breakfast or just a small snack for breakfast like nuts and cheese works fine.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Old saying "smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast"

    A whole kipper is altogether too much food for me but might suit someone who needs a bigger breakfast. Mainly I eat them later in the day, with toasted almonds, spinach and a thickly buttered oatcake.

    More breakfast ideas here

    http://lowcarbdiabetic.forumotion.co.uk/t308-breakfast-ideas

    including a back link to your post

    Probably best if you do not even LOOK at the recipe for kedgeree from Diabetes UK as apoplexy may induce a heart attack.

    The low carb version may be worth a try though, plus a bunch of links to other suggestions

    chris c

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was bad enough: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317067.php
      Gaaah!! I'll have a funny/ranty post about this soon. ;-)

      Delete
  10. Thanks for this great post. I really needed to read this today, and your egg-free ideas are most helpful!

    ReplyDelete