20 Bright-Eyed and Bushy-Tailed Paleo Breakfast Ideas To Wake Up To

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Paleo Breakfasts: Banana Cream 'Oatmeal'
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‘What do I eat for breakfast?’ I get this question quite often.

The cry sometimes becomes even more plaintive, ‘What do I eat for breakfast if I/my spouse/children don’t like/can’t eat eggs?’ and I remember my early days when I would sit at the table, head in my hands, staring at the wood grain (the only kind of grain in our house, :-)) waiting for breakfast inspiration. But inspiration rarely hits us at such an early hour…

Don’t worry, be patient

If you are new to this paleo thing, my recommendation is don’t worry about eating a paleo breakfast at first. Going paleo cold-turkey can be hard on the brain – re-engineering three meals a day in one fell swoop is challenging and eventually those poor old synapses and neurotransmitters may blow up and collapse. Instead, prioritize eating paleo at dinner, then lunch. You may find breakfast sorts itself out on its own.

Breakfast for starters

My second piece of advice is usually to reassess what you’re willing to consider breakfast foods. In the beginning, we have all these preconceived ideas about what we should be eating for breakfast. We eliminate those because they’re usually white carbs and definitely not paleo and we’re left with…? A big hole with the exception of eggs. Oh, and bacon. And even bacon gets a bit old when that’s all you have for breakfast day after day.

Veggies for brekkie

But as you gradually experiment with paleo for a bit over dinner and lunch, those preconceived ideas start to melt away. Your mind starts opening to new possibilities, your taste buds change, your cravings disappear.

Suddenly, the idea of vegetables for breakfast doesn’t seem so gross, or you find your food is so delicious you eat the same thing day after day, or maybe you skip breakfast altogether and fast. Like I said, it might sort itself out.

But for those for whom it doesn’t, or you have egg restrictions, or you just want more variety, I thought I offer up some ideas to get you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in no time. A few of these contain eggs as an ingredient but none of them are primarily eggs.

1. Leftovers. After a while on paleo, this becomes quite normal with, I personally find, the exception of fish.
2. Soup. Also perfectly normal and often very soothing. Add an avocado if you are having chicken soup.
3. Big ass salad. This makes a great alternative to typical breakfasts and can be a paleo lifesaver if you’re having breakfast or brunch in a restaurant.
4. Raw fresh fruit. With cheese, if you’re primal, nuts if you’re paleo.
5. Banana and Cream ‘Oatmeal‘.
6. Primal Breakfast Casserole (eggs.)
7. Smoothies. Kefir, coconut milk or water for the base, fruit for flavor, maybe greek yogurt, raw eggs or protein powder for more substance.
8. Meat and veggies. Bacon, sausage, steak and sautéed cabbage and onions.
9. Coconut porridge.
10. BLT paleo-style. Wrap bacon, tomato, avocado and any other veggie or meat you like in a lettuce leaf.
11. Green smoothies. If you’re not so great at getting your greens in, one of these will set you up for the day.
12. Apple and celery with pecan or almond butter.
13. Coconut pancakes (eggs) or banana almond butter pancakes (egg) with berries.
14. Jerky with avocado.
15. Avocado mashed up with salt and pepper with bacon covered in hot sauce. (Franks and Tropical Pepper Co. XXXXtra Hot Habanero Pepper Sauce look the best.)
16. Smoked salmon (watch for sugar,) or sardines with spinach and onions. Chicken breast and just plain fresh cooked salmon also work well with this combo.
17. Strawberries and whipped (by your own hand!) cream if you’re primal.
18. Mixed nuts, berries, coconut shreds. Add a banana and  almond milk to make ‘cereal.’
19. Egg-free, grain free, pumpkin zucchini muffins. (I made these at the weekend and they were pretty good!)
20. Paleo ‘cereal.’Unsweetened applesauce, a dash of coconut milk, almond butter warmed and mixed up together with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.

What do you have for breakfast? Tell us in the comments!

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Written by

Alison Golden writes on the topic of paleo over at Paleo/NonPaleo. She aims to share ideas, inspire and motivate readers by teaching them how to live paleo in a non-paleo world. She is also the author of the bestselling book, The Modern, No-Nonsense Guide to Paleo, a unique tool that gives the reader hundreds of strategies to navigate the learning process to successful paleo living.

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzy September 18, 2012 at 7:41 am
Alison Golden September 18, 2012 at 7:43 am

Great job, Suzy. Thanks!
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NJ Paleo September 18, 2012 at 7:47 am

This is a great post. It is easy to get into rut with regard to breakfast. I remember a few years ago reading an article about a runner who said she ate a big salad for breakfast, and I thought, how weird (that was before I’d even heard of paleo or primal). Now sometimes I do that myself! You start off the day with a lot of nutrients and antioxidants that way! I also have leftovers from dinner — my favorite is Puerto Rican Beef from the Everyday Paleo cookbook, along with fruit or salad. Meat loaf and fruit (or salad) are a great start too. My kids and I also love coconut flour pancakes with honey and fruit and slivered almonds. Eggs are a typical go-to. I love them scrambled and topped with fresh salsa and sliced avocado. Thanks for all the new ideas! I can’t wait to try that Coconut Porridge.

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Alison Golden September 18, 2012 at 7:58 am

Isn’t it funny how expectations change like that. I was the same – salad for breakfast? W-e-i-r-d. :-)
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Rebecca September 18, 2012 at 10:17 am

My hubby and I have a big salad practically every morning for breakfast! What I love most about it is that it really satisfies and fills me up, and I’m not really hungry again until 2-3pm. (We eat around 8am) If we don’t have any meat left over from last night’s dinner, then we love smoked fish on our big salad. Mmmmmm. Weirdos. :)

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Paula September 18, 2012 at 7:52 am

So true – consider ALL your options, you are certainly not limited. I was eating vegetables and chicken for breakfast yesterday morning and a co-worker thought that was the weirdest thing ever. All this crazy limiting conventional wisdom: “breakfast only means this” or “breakfast only means that”. It doesn’t – choices are endless. Thanks, great blog!

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Alison Golden September 18, 2012 at 8:00 am

I don’t know what it is about breakfast that causes us to have the most fixed of ideas about what is the ‘right’ food. Something to do with the early mornings and lack of wakefulness probably. As we eat paleo, we wake up better however, perhaps our brains are firing cleaner causing us to open our minds some. Thanks for commenting, Paula!
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Nils September 18, 2012 at 7:59 am
Kelly September 18, 2012 at 8:30 am

Thanks so much the mention Alison! Breakfast is easy for me but lunch, oy vey. That’s where I have problems.
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Shell September 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I’m the same Kelly. Breakfast is easy but lunch is what I struggle with. I feel a sense of dread with lunch time approaching.

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Tania September 18, 2012 at 9:19 am

Thanks for the great post! I eat leftovers – I cook 4 portions at dinner time; for me & hubby for dinner that night, and for breakfast & lunch for myself the next day (hubby isn’t primal so he takes care of himself). For example, last night was roast chicken & broccoli, so I cooked 4 portions, enough for dinner & for my breakfast & lunch today. Sure I get bored now & then eating the same meal 3 times in a row but then I’ll turn the chicken & broccoli into a salad for instance, or add different spices etc. Most of the time I’m just happy that I have a primal meal already prepared. And being dairy & egg intolerant this seems to be easiest for me. I also get odd looks at work when I pull out my bird for breaky though LOL!

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Charlayna September 18, 2012 at 9:34 am

This morning I had yogurt with some leftover sweet potato/apple hash:

Sweet potato, skin on
Apple, skin on
Butter, and lots of it (although coconut oil would work too)
Cinnamon
Walnuts

Chop up potato and apple, saute in butter until soft. Add cinnamon and walnuts near the end of cooking. You can also season with salt and pepper (I did this) to add a little depth. After cooking, I added some prosciutto and aged cheddar! YUM!

It’s amazing what you can come up with when you have very few fruits/veggies in the house…

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Alison Golden September 18, 2012 at 9:53 am

That sounds delicious, Charlayna. Thanks for sharing!
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Jen Sturm September 18, 2012 at 9:50 am

Hey Alison!

Great breakfast ideas! We get the breakfast question a lot because people can only do eggs and bacon for so long. I am definately go to recommend some of these options to others! Thanks!

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william September 18, 2012 at 9:53 am

just plain ol’ fruit on an empty stomach…nothing else. go hunting. paleo man woke up at the crack o dawn, having nothing left from yesterday’s hunt he needed to hunt for today’s fuel. hunting is work and paleo man needed quick easy fuel…FRUIT. this I beleive is the evolved eating habits of our ancestors. get up eat some fruit go burn it… “move frequently at a slow pace”

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Dan September 18, 2012 at 11:28 am

I find Paleo just makes it super easy to skip breakfast. Not only do i save a ton of money and time, but it’s also just better for you!
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Alison Golden September 19, 2012 at 10:11 am

Yes, I agree. If I’m not going somewhere where I can’t eat for hours, I often wait until 11am or noon.
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marilyn May 26, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Hi
Is it ok to have a fruit shake with almond milk and no protien or healthy fats for breakfast if I want to loose weight on Paleo? Or should I be eating a better breakfast?
Thanks

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martann July 7, 2013 at 7:28 am

It’s fine. Just fruit is fine. If you are looking to LOSE (not loose, geez with the mix up on this word CONSTANTLY) No breakfast is fine. Intuitive eating.

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Dave September 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I love to have sauteed liver with onions, bacon, mushrooms and lots of butter! Add to that some creamed spinach and I’m set for the day.

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Alison Golden September 19, 2012 at 10:10 am

I’m going to have this as a goal to work up to, Dave. Great job!
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Lynn Clark September 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I pass on breakfast until after my four mile walk (with intervals) Then…. coffee or tea with my hot shower and then… sardines or smoked salmon with picked (fermented actually) sweet cucumber & onion slices. However, I live in Texas where cold food is always a pleasant meal after a work out in the heat! Lunch… leftover cold meats on dehydrator zucchini bread and a huge salad.

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Boo September 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Recently I’ve been finding that one meal a day (in the evening) keeps me energetic and alive during the workweek. Sometimes on weekends I succumb and have a couple of hard-boiled eggs in the morning.

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Gift September 18, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Wow.. this is quite hard..most of my breakfast is with eggs. Gotta go with green+ fruit smoothies! My favorite is coconut milk, kale, banana, some berries, flax seeds, hemp seeds, some honey.
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Alison Golden September 19, 2012 at 10:09 am

Sounds, yummy, Gift. Thanks for sharing. :-)
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Linda Esposito September 18, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I’ve been juicing: Green apple, celery, lime, banana, lots of ice and a cup or so of H2o.

I probably need to add protein, as this traditionally carb-less breakfast has me craving for something more substantive (<–is that a word).

#19 looks divine–is this a pancake or the pumpkin muffins?

Since my allergies/sinus infection/exercise-induced asthma (late onset, btw) has been flaring of late, I'm convinced I need to consume a mostly plant-based diet :(. :).
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Nancy September 18, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Do you eat dairy? I haven’t had a sinus infection or bronchitis in several years since giving up dairy. I do fine on mosly meats, fats and veggies.

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Alison Golden September 19, 2012 at 10:07 am

They’re pancakes, Linda. If you hover over each photo, a label will show what each item is.

I would also echo what Nancy says re. dairy but also grains and, of course, sugar. Many, many people have got relief from your problems by dropping those items.
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Meghan September 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I love a breakfast salad! My go-to includes 2 eggs over-easy (runny yolk=best dressing ever) with some bacon/sausage over mixed baby greens and berries.

Also use some sliced meat(good quality deli like Applegate farms, or home cooked) to wrap some mixed greens and avocado

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Naomi Most November 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Nothing! Except maybe some coffee with coconut oil in it.

Lunch and dinner are where it’s at.

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Vicky December 2, 2012 at 5:11 am

Thank you for this!!! When you have paleo kids, too, what to make for breakfast becomes a challenge. My four-year-old won’t do eggs of any kind and she is probably the most stubborn when it comes to what qualifies as a “breakfast food.” Your paleoatmeal is the best idea I’ve seen!!!!

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John M December 10, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Hi Alison and fellow paleoites. I just stumbled onto your site and i love it. Great work!!!
A breakfast option that i used to convert my mum, sis, niece and nephew….
1 – banana pancakes. in a bowl mash one banana, mix and add one or two eggs. Heat pan with coconut oil, add mixture and cook till golden. serve and its friggin delicious. add nuts or other fruit to your taste.

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Catherine December 16, 2012 at 8:26 pm

I stumbled on a pretty good combination at Trader Joe’s- already cubed butternut squash cooked with chicken apple sausage. It’s just the right amount of sweet…

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Greg December 23, 2012 at 11:57 am

I am new to this and wonder is bacon Ok? what about yogurt? Pancakes Isnt there processed white flour in the pancake Mix??

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Alison Golden January 13, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Bacon definitely okay, yogurt – depends if you want to keep in moderate dairy (primal more than paleo) and it agrees with you, the pancakes use almond flour so paleo-OK.
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Greg December 23, 2012 at 11:58 am

I am new to Paleo, Is yogurt ok ? Or is there a type that I should look for?

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Martin December 27, 2012 at 6:49 am

Since gone paleo and egg free I was struggling with my breakfasts mainly with the sweet ones. The list is great, I will definitely give banana oatmeal and coconut porridge a try. Thank you!
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Amy January 3, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I have 2 different breakfasts I eat and they are both Paleo-safe. I have celiac and a terrible problem with migraines and can’t have nuts of any kind, so I have to stick to seeds. My first breakfast is apple slices with SunButter (which is DELISH if no one has ever tried it) and the other breakfast is frozen blueberries with coconut milk poured over them and cinnamon sprinkled on top. Both simple, both good.

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Heather @Cube2Farm January 8, 2013 at 4:36 am

I am SO sick of EGGS!! =)
Thank you so much for these other recommendations. Just began Paleo 1/1 and am having a hard time adjusting. Breakfast truly is my most important meal of the day and sets my “tone” especially with regards to maintaining my willpower and enthusiasm with regards to this diet. When I dread eating yet another egg it certainly doesn’t set me off on the right foot.
Can’t wait to try your suggestions.
Thank you!!!
=)
PS – Totally “following” you now. You rock! (So does DuckDuckGo – the *other* Google, which is how I found you.) :)
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Alissa January 18, 2013 at 9:49 am

Thank you so much for this! My husband is getting crazy about the eggs and we need new ideas!
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Rosalind January 24, 2013 at 11:49 am

Very new to paleo. Love cooking again, just simple. For breakfast today I had veggie soup with one chicken leg and a mix of blackberries, a banana sliced and some walnuts in a bowl. Want to know if this is an okay bkfst or too much, for lunch I had 4 nut thins, some seaweed and a salad with bacon, Gorgonzola and walnuts-leftover from lat night”s dinner

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Tara February 20, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Im new to this paleo thing, because I have a milk intolerance and find I’m not enjoying being…me. I want more energy more..other options? I guess.

I already drink hemp milk, almond milk, and not soy, but it’s hard to find yogurt that isn’t made with skim milk. Most Greek yogurts still have milk in them so I had to find a coconut yogurt.

It’s nice to have more options for breakfast too. Eggs gets old fast!!

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Mollie February 25, 2013 at 3:31 am

Thank you!! I’ve been trying to learn more about the paleo diet and yearning to make the switch for my whole family, …but I really struggle with breakfasts (for myself, let alone…) for my daughter, who doesn’t eat eggs (by choice/personal aversion, more than due to any [known] health reason)! Some of these recipes seem easy enough to try even on school mornings. You might just be a lifesaver.

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Megan March 1, 2013 at 6:18 pm

I’m obsessed with the pumpkin “breakfast porridge” from the Practical Paleo cookbook. I add a ton more unsweetened shredded coconut than the recipe calls for, a tad less sweetener, and a bit more spice, but it’s so good however you do it. I always loved my oatmeal and (gross I know) my Malt-O-Meal, so being able to have something warm and cereal-like in the morning that is actually healthy really helps me stay on track.

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Maria June 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Thanks for the article, I’ve been trying to cut on eggs in my diet, because of an allergic reaction. Even when I have to bake, I try to use egg replacers instead of eggs. Thanks for the breakfast suggestions! :)
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Hannah June 24, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Our family’s staple is sunny side up eggs with fried sweet potato chips to dip in the yolk (fried in coconut oil…awesomely good!), fried tomatoes with basil, leftover cooked veggies (asparagus, green beans), and some sliced ham. Fresh fruit or applesauce with flaxseed at the end of breakfast. Black tea, too. Delicious!

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Jennifer July 15, 2013 at 1:25 pm

OMG #15 is my go to breakfast when I eat breakfast at home these days, except I do avocado mashed up with pepper, lime juice, and Franks redhot on it and a side of bacon! Eating avocados like this really helps me be full and made kicking wheat SO much easier. When breakfast has bacon and Frank’s, who needs toast?!?

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Andrea September 22, 2013 at 9:45 pm

I remember reading that Churchill had cold chicken with his breakfast. Mmm, cold chicken. I don’t remember what else was on his breakfast menu but I would guess it included whiskey and a cigar.

My favorite breakfasts–
*Over-easy eggs on top of greens cooked in bacon grease. Some kind hot sauce usually goes with this. Asian chili-garlic paste is good.
*Scrambled eggs with sauerkraut or some other fermented food on the side.
*Chicken liver pate stuffed into celery. I cut that into bite-sized pieces so I don’t get pate all over my nose from trying to gnaw off a bite of celery.
*Greek Shepard salad or tomatillo, tomato and avocado salad with chicken chunks.
*if I’m feeling puny, rice cooked into a porridge in good chicken bone broth with a healthy spoonful of chili-garlic paste. It’s not primal but it’s a fairly inoffensive grain and very soothing to my tummy. Even with the hot sauce.

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Alison Golden September 23, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Cold chicken isn’t my favorite and my guess is that it didn’t work out too well for Churchill given his size. That is a great idea for pate, I’m going to try that. :-)
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Brenda September 30, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I like to mix fresh berries ( strawberries, raspberries, blue berries and sometimes melon) with 1/4 raw sunflower seeds, 1tsp of chia seeds and 1 cup of unsweetened So Delicious Coconut milk. This is my Paleo Cereal!

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Sue Cottle September 30, 2013 at 3:44 pm

I (and daughter as we head out the door) usually have either bacon or shrimps for breakfast. My leaky gut can’t handle raw veges yet, I’m pretty much following Sarah B’s AIP. Can’t eat eggs, am FODMAPS intolerant, so no apples, avocado’s etc. I’ll have a look at some of those other recipes tho. I need to get to the butcher and buy some more chicken livers for pate – nom nom.
Sue:)

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Marilyn October 1, 2013 at 8:01 am

If primal – quinoa! Mark Sissons has ruled it eligible… and with some coconut milk and blueberries or strawberries it’s excellent. Very filling, lasting and delicious!

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Alicia January 26, 2014 at 7:20 am

Wow! I know this is an old thread but I’m so glad I discovered it! So many great ideas!
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