I’m about 6 months into the Autoimmune Protocol diet now, and feeling so much better. It’s hard to believe just the food could make so much difference.
In the last six months, I’ve learned a lot about how to save time prepping on the paleo diet and specifically for the Autoimmune Protocol and especially in the morning.
A friend of mine started Whole 30 right around the same time I started AIP, and we’ve basically been commiserating through the experiences. She’s tried Low FODMAP, regular Paleo, some things in between, and now is back to Whole 30 after some failures. She asked what I had done to help with prep time.
At first, I was like, nothing. My life is only cooking now. But then, I realized that I’ve totally gotten into a routine. First, with understanding what I need in the morning and what is easy to make. Second, with having the things I need on hand. Third, my trial and error hacks I’ve stumbled on – either through Instagram and Pinterest ideas or through mistakes that have really turned into happy accidents.
So – to the breakfasts.
AIP Breakfast Hacks & Recipe Ideas
AIP breakfasts are probably the hardest thing to get used to – but I assume it’s not just AIP. Whole 30, Paleo, or any big diet change that requires a grain-free, veggie-heavy breakfast is a big change from typical American breakfasts. Cereal and milk? Toast and peanut butter? Nope. Life shattered.
And, AIP is EGG FREE and all my reintroductions of eggs have failed so far. So, this has been a challenge. Especially because all your normal egg substitutions for AIP (substitution post coming soon) like gelatin eggs, avocado, banana, and others if you’re not AIP (like chia eggs, tofu, or egg replacer powders) just don’t work for a scramble, omelette or anything. Creativity is key, or maybe just a complete rework of your standard breakfast.
So here’s how to make your breakfasts faster. And, breakfast ideas down below.
- Prep, prep, prep.
The night before. The breakfast before. Freezer. Anything you can do to save yourself time in the future or in a crunch is helpful on AIP, especially for breakfast. Sweet potatoes or yams are part of most of my meals. So, I’m usually peeling and cutting one daily or nearly daily. If I have an extra minute or two, I’ll just grab a bigger cutting board and dice a few of them up and toss them into my glass tupperware-like containers. Into the fridge for the morning.
For years my husband and I didn’t even have a microwave (our 1st apartment was small so it was an easy way to save space). Ever since going AIP, I’ve used my microwave more than I’d ever thought. Back to the sweet potatoes – take your pre-chopped sweet potatoes and pop them into the microwave for 2-4 minutes. Stirring half way through. They steam and cook through so you don’t have to wait for them to pan-fry 45 minutes every single morning.This works great for other veggies too – like broccoli. Another great addition to your breakfast hash.
Then, take the mostly cooked sweet potato pieces, pop them into the frying pan and hash is almost done!
Yeah, yeah. Typical recommendation for making all your meals then freezing them to cut back on time. But, I’m not a fan of that.I like to only freeze what I have to or freeze stuff before it goes bad. Like, leftover shredded chicken. Excellent for mornings!
At first, I was like, never ever am I eating leftovers from dinner for breakfast. All these ideas for eating soup or salads in the morning or whatever, not happening. But, I’ve learned that it doesn’t necessarily mean eat your same meal you had for dinner for breakfast. One example – we made sweet potato fries the night before for dinner. Had a bunch leftover, so instead of all that shopping and everything, just popped them into a pan with bacon and a bunch of other veggies. One of the more delicious hashes I’ve had. So, think about ways you can repurpose your leftovers and turn them into something scrumptious for breakfast instead of just eating the same meal over and over again, as my mom likes to say, like a dog. (She’s not a fan of leftovers.)
- Eat enough!
This was the biggest learning curve for my AIP breakfasts. I wasn’t eating enough or the right things to feel full. Now after breakfast, I can go until say 1 or 2 pm before I really get too hungry. You have to have enough veggies, carbs, and fats to stay full. And for me, I really need the protein/iron in the morning so having a vegan breakfast hasn’t worked out for me. I just get tired, grumpy or really hungry. Hangry. Maybe a little of everything. It’s not pretty. So eat up for breakfast! And on to the recipe ideas…
AIP bREAKFAST ideas
These are the three major sources I rely on every morning. Pick one from here, and one from the next list.
- AIP homemade pork patties
Mix ground pork with salt & pepper (omit pepper for strict AIP), thyme and oregano. Form into little patties and pan fry until golden brown.
Sometimes, in the morning, I’ll make extra of these and have them for lunch with a side of leftover veggies and/or cauliflower rice. Delicious!
It’s really not healthy how much bacon I eat. But, it’s pretty delicious.
- Leftover pre-cooked meats
Other lean meats are great for adding to a hash or veggie “eggless scramble” I really like leftover whole chicken for breakfast. Just shred some off the bone and add it to your pan! I am not a big fan of a cooked chicken breast for breakfast. Too much meat, not enough breakfast feel.
Veggies & carbs:
- Sweet potato hash veggie & carb
With a sweet potato hash, I like to throw in a little ground pork or fry up bacon in the hash or on the side. As I said above, prep sweet potatoes before. Toss in microwave. Heat through in pan with other veggies and greens. Sometimes a half apple is good to throw into the mix too, with pork especially.
- “Baked” sweet potato veggie & carb
Just kidding I’m not going to bake a sweet potato in the morning. Stab with fork, microwave on potato setting. While cooking, fry up veggies to go inside – kale & broccoli. Top with coconut butter. Enough veggie, fat and carbs to keep you going, so meat is kinda optional on this one. It’s a nice AIP vegan breakfast, even though that contradicts what I just said… As an ex vegetarian, sometimes it’s nice to just not have meat first thing in the morning.
- Stir fried veggies aka “eggless scramble” veggie
If I’m not in the mood for sweet potatoes, I’ll go for a veggie scramble without the eggs. Add greens (spinach, kale, cabbage or a mix of something like that), mushrooms, and whatever else you have lying around. I like broccoli, onions, carrots sometimes. Or, leftover veggies from your dinner the night before – pre cooked makes for faster AM cooking! Be sure to pair with a meat and/or a carb with a side of avocado. Delicious.
- Coconut banana pancakes – carb
These are surprisingly delicious! Mash a banana, a few tablespoons of coconut shreds, a dash of cinnamon and vanilla extract (vanilla optional, careful to find AIP compliant too if you’re strict AIP). You can add berries to these too, but I haven’t been lately. Pair with veggies and a meat maybe some avocado. You can see mine are more burned than they are in her picture, but I like them crispy rather than mushy.
- Plantain & apple fritters carb
These are another easy morning pancake or toast-like substitute. If your plantains are ripe enough, you can mash them without a food processor, shred a half an apple into the mix and fry up. While they’re cooking, I package the rest of the apple with my lunch and take it to work for a snack later. Again, pair with meat and veggies/avocado. You can skip the apple and use frozen berries as a sweetener instead, as I did below.
- Waffles carb
There are a lots of recipes for AIP waffles. I was on a mission to find the most waffle-like, and this was the one. They take some time though, so this is where the leftovers come in again. Make extras on the weekend. Freeze and toast when you’re ready! These sweet plantain waffles are a good option if you don’t keep expensive cassava flour on hand. But I haven’t tried freezing them. They’re a bit more flimsy and pancake like. The trick to them is letting them cook much longer than your waffle maker says to cook. Takes a while to crisp up!