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Bored with Breakfast? Try Grain-Free Hot Cereal.

Posted May 03 2014 6:29am

One of the biggest complaints I hear when switching to a paleo nutrient-dense whole foods approach to eating is that breakfast becomes difficult & boring due to the overconsumption of eggs in the beginning. Boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, crust-less Quiche, egg muffins, frittatas, etc. How many different ways can we eat eggs for breakfast? Once I expanded my palate and began eating leftovers for breakfast, my breakfast boredom subsided. Chicken salad casserole for breakfast, why not? Leftover meat lover’s chili or paleo chicken tenders for breakfast, you got it. The weirder the better as far as I was concerned because I teach my students to “think outside the breakfast box” when deciding what to eat for breakfast meal 1.

I use the term meal 1 in class to illustrate a point. I ask my students to give me examples of typical breakfast foods. I write down what they tell me on the board in groups and wait to see if anyone can guess my rational. Here are some of the foods my students come up with:

Group 1                                       Group 2                                       Group 3

cereal                                             yogurt                                          bacon

waffles                                          smoothie                                      eggs

pancakes                                      granola                                         sausage

bagels                                           oatmeal                                        Quiche

Can you figure out my rational? If you guessed that group 1 is standard American “carbage” foods you would be correct. Group 3 consists of whole foods that actually contain protein & fat. Group 2 is somewhere in the middle and it’s the place where none of my students guess the right answer. Depending on what it is and how it’s prepared, group 2 foods could be a healthy choice or they could be just as bad as group 1. Take yogurt for example, are we talking full-fat Greek-strained yogurt made with grass-fed milk or a Go-Gurt? Are we talking about Irish steel-cut oats that takes 45 minutes to cook or instant oatmeal from the pouch that cooks in 1 minute in the microwave? Are we talking a ready-to-drink smoothie you get in the supermarket filled with processed low-fat dairy, added sugars & colors, or a smoothie made from home with real food ingredients? There is obviously no comparison between the examples I just listed. The first is unprocessed real food, and the second is a highly processed food-like substance.

I eat my breakfast in home room every day. I go to the 5:30 WOD at my CrossFit box and then drive straight to school to shower. One of the benefits to having my office in the girl’s locker room is that I have my own bathroom with a shower. Each morning I hurry to home room with wet hair & breakfast in hand to greet my 7th graders. I use my breakfast as a teachable moment; I demonstrate what a non-traditional breakfast looks like. I can’t lie and say that I don’t absolutely love when my students ask what I’m eating. I love that they are interested or just plain curious. When some get grossed out it’s even better! (Ew… how do you eat that for breakfast?!) As much as they may make a fuss and pretend to be grossed out by my leftover Brussels sprouts & bacon, I know in the back of their minds they are taking it all in. The best part of my job is when they come up to me all excited and tell me what they had to eat. The look of pride in their eyes as they tell me whatever healthy choice they made is priceless. It literally makes my whole day! I get just as excited when you guys do it too by the way. Whether it’s in the comments here or on Facebook or Twitter, it just really makes my day to think that I am having some positive impact on people. grain free cereal

What I love about this grain-free hot cereal is that for something that is technically vegan, it’s actually really filling. The dense carbohydrate (squash) paired up with the healthy fat (coconut milk & nut butter) and small amount of protein (nut butter) really is satiating. I can have this for breakfast at 7:30 and just start to get hungry when it’s time for lunch at noon. But don’t be afraid to pair this with an additional source of protein like sausage, bacon, deli rolls, or…well…eggs :-) Also; you can use any squash you like. I try to switch it up each time I make it. I have used pretty much every type of squash there is except spaghetti. I like to reserve spaghetti squash for dinners where I used to serve pasta. Bolognese sauce on top of spaghetti squash is amazing! I don’t even miss pasta, I swear. (Oh and I just had the spaghetti squash with Bolognese sauce for lunch yesterday and a lot of the kids said it smelled awesome. Then we had a quick talk about why I don’t eat pasta! Always the teacher.)



Grain-Free Hot Cereal
A healthy spin on oatmeal. This recipe is easy to make and is really filling!
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  1. 1 cup cooked squash or pumpkin
  2. 2 tbsp. nut butter (I use almond)
  3. ¾ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  4. ¼ tsp. sea salt
  5. ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  6. 2 tsp. Pure Maple Syrup
  7. ¼-½ cup full fat coconut milk
  1. Add squash through maple syrup into a bowl and mix completely.
  2. Add coconut milk until desired consistency.
  3. Using a food processor or high speed blender would give this a very smooth texture. I prefer it thick so I just mix it by hand. Also one less thing to wash!
  1. Can use any type of squash or pumpkin you like. I've used them all except for spaghetti. This recipe is also freezer-friendly. Make a large batch and freeze some for later.
Fit Moms & Full Plates

This recipe is really easy to make in bulk and freeze in single-serve portions. That way when you are short on time and need a healthy breakfast, you can just grab a container from the freezer and take it to work with you. I make this if we have squash for dinner and there are leftovers. No need to waste food when you can whip up some grain-free hot cereal.  What are your favorite egg-free breakfasts? Share them in the comments below. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Yours in Health,



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