Hi everybody... first posting, apologies for the tl;dr crowd
I am 34 and have been overweight since 7th grade and my highest weight was approx 310. I have also suffered from debilitating migraines since I was 13 and had strep-induced psoriasis 'pop' up 5 years ago while living in Brooklyn (and it seems to enjoy being around, since I can't get rid of it).
When I was 23, I got a job as a stock supervisor at the GAP and lost 130 lbs by carrying boxes full of clothes up and down stairs daily, cutting fast food out of my diet, and stopped stressing out about losing weight constantly (and cannabis seemed to help w/ this and my insane migraines - but stopped smoking after about a year).
Moved to NYC and was running around constantly - also walking everywhere and working a server job at a huge restaurant. Unfortunately, when I left waitressing at Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square for a higher paying management job, the weight piled back on. I biked to work every day, but consisted on bread-heavy foods and little exercise.
I was unhappy with my career so I took a huge leap and bought a house in Syracuse, NY, and am finishing my graduate degree in Social Work @ Syracuse University. My main focus now is to get my migraines, health issues, and weight under control and make lifestyle changes to enjoy my life more!
I am currently 240 lbs., have moderate exercise levels, and hike/walk my dog daily. I tried paleo 3 months ago -- I loved the increase of energy after the 2nd week but got so weak in the mornings that I felt like passing out. I started eating "a little" grains (gluten-free) here and there, but it is now back in my diet, unfortunately.
I have a gym membership at Gold's, primarily for the pool access. Bought Wheat Belly and the The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation. I saw that one of the biggest things to do first is rid your house of 'bad' items and stock up with the 'good'. I am on my way to the grocery store today and am a little confused.
Right now I usually eat a cup of Udi's gluten free granola and skim milk and banana for breakfast. I hate eggs (scrambled, hard boiled, omelet) and don't really know what to eat for breakfast to give me energy for the day. I love bacon, but am not sure if it's ok to eat it every morning for breakfast. I also eat fruit/berries, but think I read that they are not great for losing weight.
Any ideas about: breakfast w/out eggs, what type of coconut oil to use, paleo salad dressings, tips on getting past that terrible "weak" feeling?
I'm super excited and motivated for this big change and any suggestions are helpful and appreciated!! thanks
First a quick rant: I've always found it odd that there have to be "breakfast" foods versus "lunch" or "dinner" foods. Food is food. If you like something for lunch or dinner, why can't you eat it in the morning?
Okay to your question. If you really need common breakfast foods. It sounds like you eat dairy, so you could have yogurt. I'd go with plain full fat yogurt and just add fruit if you need it for taste. Also, you could of course eat any whole fruits. Handful of nuts. Cottage cheese (full fat).
Also though, once you've become more adjusted to paleo, you may find you don't need breakfast to give you energy. Once I was off of SAD for a while, that starving stomach ache feeling I often had in the morning seemed to go away. Good way to IF is just skip breakfast anyway.
Other's have answered what I wanted to say, but here are some quick notes I had.
Paleo or primal style, phase out the granola ASAP. It's nice that it's gluten free, but it shouldn't be your long term breakfast food choice.
It's unfortunate that you "hate" eggs. What's the deal there?
Bacon -- real, actual "Ingredients: Pork"-type bacon is healthy. But pork is not an optimal everyday food, for fatty acid (FA) ratio reasons. When you eat bacon, get the good stuff -- uncured, "all natural", and ideally from a farmer you trust.
You can eat anything you want for breakfast! It's not terribly surprising that granola and berries doesn't hold you very long. Any source of protein (other than your dreaded eggs), will do the trick.
If you eat breakfast (and it's not required), it's a good idea to have a decent amount of protein. Eggs are the easy answer, but scratch those. Pick a meat, any meat, and use that. Leftovers from last night's dinner is an obvious choice. Just be sure to make extra the night before!
Bacon is okay, but not ideal. (Same for sausage - boo to me!)
I think Robb Wolf has a grocery list, which may help. Oh here it is on this page:
Or try this one:
You could try this for breakfast:
Take baby steps- don't swallow the whole journey at once. Cut out carbs, do a two- three week intro to somwething like Atkins, then construct a Paleo diet but it is not an overnight change to fix a problemm that developed over the years.
Low Carb to fix carb cravings, then add more Fats- cut out wheat add more veggies
LEARN to COOK for yourself and all that goes into shopping
Breakfast should not be the first thing you do after waking up- I really beleive that it should be about three hours or so later in the day. Do a google and see what the rest of the world eats for breakfast- it will amaze you.
http://www.easypaleo.com/2012/05/03/no-egg-breakfast-ideas/ here is a good link:
I eat grass fed burger patties almost everyday for breakfast. It is my favorite. I just add cumin and sea salt. You can add sage and rosemary for a more sausage taste. you really need a protein heavy breakfast with a lot of fat to reset your leptin. I used to be 240lbs too. You can do it!
As far as breakfast, there is no rule that says you must eat breakfast foods. Eat dinner food for breakfast (say the leftovers from your previous day's meal).
I tried paleo 3 months ago -- I loved the increase of energy after the 2nd week but got so weak in the mornings that I felt like passing out. I started eating "a little" grains...
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)? Someone else will have to address if this is your problem, and what to do about it. But, it seems to me that this morning light-headed feeling is the root of your problem, as it is what is causing you to add non-paleo carbs back into your diet.
I sure hope bacon is okay for daily consumption; I've been having it for breakfast nearly daily for about 2 years. I concur with Dave's recommendation of Richard Nikoley's fat-bomb smoothies, and if you opt to eat dairy, you could eat cheese - I've done that for convenience in the mornings.
Re the terrible "weak" feeling - if you're going low-carb, you may find your blood pressure dropping, and that would make you feel a bit wobbly on rising. Make sure you eat enough salt (more counter-intuitive nutrition advice!)
As for Paleo salad dressings - consider making your own! Olive oil and vinegar and dijon mustard is very easy to do, as are thousand island (make your own mayo, add low-sugar catsup, vinegar, relish, onion), and blue cheese (mayo, sour cream, celery seed, blue cheese, vinegar, salt & pepper). I don't think there's much commercially prepared dressing out there that comes without an ingredient list longer than your arm. There's a great DIY mayo recipe on the Eades' site (or Google "paleo mayo") - it works best with a food processor. Lots of dressing recipes on the internet are very easy to adapt to fit a lacto-Paleo approach.
I'm a bit of a paleo newbie, too, Kristin, so I've been thinking about the same thing lately. Eggs are great, but I certainly don't want them every morning, either!
Some of my favorite non-egg breakfasts include:
-Nuts and fruit in various forms. When I'm in a rush for the bus I'll grab a Kind Bar, which consists of whole nuts and pieces of dried fruit held together with honey. Some Kind Bars include a small amount of puffed rice, but it doesn't seem to cause me any problem. Another nut/fruit breakfast I enjoy is a banana or apple sliced and spread with almond butter. Very satisfying.
-Smoothies: Homemade, with minimal sweetener and no protein powders, though plenty of people do use those. In my smoothies I usually include a banana, half an avocado, light coconut milk, flax oil and ground flax seeds, and frozen walnuts. Use what you have on hand and you'll probably come up with something great! I do tropical ones sometimes, or make a classic strawberry banana flavor. The world is your oyster!
-Smoked Turkey Kielbasa with grilled peppers, onions, and mushrooms. This is a joy to pull out of the fridge for breakfast. When chopped small, it also makes a great filling for an omelet.
-Steak tacos with savoy cabbage "tortillas": Seasoned, grilled flank steak sliced thin and cut into bite-sized pieces topped with guacamole, salsa, cilantro and crunchy radish slices. Delicious, and it comes together really fast if you've got the ingredients hanging around in the fridge.
-Egg Salad "wraps": I know, I know, it has eggs, but not scrambled or fried like you're probably eating for breakfast. Plus, there are infinite variations on egg salad out there: try curried egg salad with apples, or bacon ranch egg salad, for starters. Take the egg salad and put it in bibb or romaine lettuce cups. Done!
On top of this, there are plenty of great variations on the scrambled eggs you're probably sick of. Try French country eggs scrambled with parsley, basil, chives, and shallots. Perhaps Middle Eastern eggs are more your style: scramble the eggs with some chopped kalamata olives and sprinkle the finished product with za'atar and/or aleppo pepper.
The possibilities are endless, Kristin. Be sure to let us know what you come up with.
For energy, and a full feeling that lasts a few hours - strong dark black coffee :) If you want to add some fat calories, add cream.
I too am not a big fan of eggs. When I do eat breakfast (2-3 times a week) it's usually leftovers from the night before, but if I'm cooking I like a nice rare seared patty of 70% lean ground beef. People have different ideas about sweets and carbs, but I bike an hour to work and find that a banana with almond butter is helpful.
Fat and protein and salt. Leftovers are a great suggestion, but if you don't have any handy, hamburger patties are a great convenience.
You sound very similar to me. I used to barely be able to pull myself out of bed in the mornings. I know people say you don't "need" to eat breakfast, and once your metabolism normalizes then you can think about cutting back. But trust me, protein and fat in the mornings will do more to stabilize your blood sugar through the whole day than anything.
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