Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
7 Jul

Primal Breakfast Suggestions for People on the Go

The all-American breakfast smorgasbord: cold cereal of every variety (from super colon blow to candy coated balls of sugar in the shape of the latest cartoon fad), toast, toaster strudel, bagels, croissants, donuts, coffee cake, pop-tarts, French toast, pancakes, blintzes, crepes, waffles, muffins, scones, hash browns, oatmeal, breakfast bars, breakfast squares, and now even breakfast “cookies.” (Do tell us what we’re leaving out. We know there has to be something!) We swear you could set the list to that Billy Joel tune. There’s a weekend challenge – anyone?

Whatever way you slice it, just reading the above list is enough to make your insulin rise. What is it about breakfast that is so darn carb-dependent? The most important meal of the day suddenly seems the most irksome, uninspiring, even ominous. You throw open the cabinets and fridge door on your way out, keys in hand. “What am I going to eat???” Too many of us end up just closing the cabinets with a frustrated, rushed muttering of expletives as we grab our bags and finally go. There’s a great way to start the day. (Just think: you get to sit through the morning meeting staring a hole through the gigantic box o’ donuts your supervisor brings every week.)

But what’s a desperate Primal person to do? They need something they can either prepare the night before, grab while running out the door, or prepare on-the-fly in a couple minutes or less. Consider this MDA’s Primal breakfast menu – for those on the go.

The Incredible, Edible Hardboiled Egg!

Hardboiled Egg

The hardboiled egg can be the basis for many a meal-on-the-go. Peel, pack and top with a dash of S&P the night before.

Here is a quick way to “Peel” Hardboiled Eggs without Peeling.

Mini Crustless Quiche


This is a great weekend recipe that will keep giving for much of the week ahead.

Cook ½ lb. meat of choice. Nitrate-free bacon or ground pork with some crushed fennel seed works well. Saute ½ cup veggies of choice such as mushrooms, white onion, red bell pepper, spinach or scallions. Mix together with ¼-1/3 cup cheese of choice. Set aside.

Whisk 5 eggs and ¾ cup heavy cream, and pour into muffin tins. (Use foil cups if desired.) Add meat and veggie blend to each cup of egg mixture.

Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

These can be stored in the fridge until they are ready to be eaten.

And definitely check out reader Joe Matasic’s recipe for what sounds like a delicious (and hearty) full size omelet.

Breakfast Salad

Breakfast Salad

Get a heaping serving of veggies along with some major protein. Add wedges of hardboiled egg and shredded bacon to fresh spinach leaves. Throw in some apple slices or nuts if you want. Store the night before in small sealed bowl. The next morning top it off with some olive oil and vinegar.



Throw a cup of Greek style yogurt, a handful of berries, a half a banana, ¼ cup coconut milk and some ice in a blender and mix! Add a tablespoon or two of flax seed for some healthy omega-3s.

Fruit and Nut Plate – Plus!


We suggest going mostly for low glycemic fruits like berries, cherries, grapefruit, figs etc.


Throw in some walnuts, almonds and slices of avocado for fat and protein. For more fat, protein and flavor, add a side of cottage cheese or some whipped cream cheese for dipping (perhaps naturally flavored with some pureed strawberries).

Lovely, Lovely Lox


Get a jump on the day’s omega-3s by enjoying a little lox in the a.m. Instead of the traditional bagel action, down it as is (background chanting included), spread it with the obligatory cream cheese on cucumber slices, or throw it in a quick egg scramble with some chopped chive.

Primal Fuel Shake

Another modest breakfast proposal. One we’d be remiss to not mention since Mark and all Worker Bees drink this stuff like it is going out of style. We promise it’s a winner and the ultimate grab and go option. Loaded with protein and flavor, we think it holds its own in the menu line up. Run 2-3 scoops with some ice through the blender. Add berries or nut butter to make it your own designer creation. Dark Chocolate is our best-seller, but Vanilla Creme works a bit better with fruit additions.

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

Simple as pie. All you have to do is make sure you have fresh basil, buffalo mozzarella, and some ripe tomatoes on hand. Slice, layer and top with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and some balsamic vinegar. To add some meat to the mix, a side of tuna salad is a great accompaniment.


Stir Fry

Don’t let last night’s dinner leftovers go to waste. Eating “dinner food” for breakfast can take some getting use to, but with a little practice “dinner food” and “breakfast food” just become Primal food.

Once you learn to appreciate all types of food for breakfast you may find yourself cooking a little extra the night before to make eating on-the-go that much easier. Grill an extra chicken breast or salmon fillet, steam or sautee a few more veggies and toss it all in a bowl to make breakfast a cinch.

One last note: We understand that people are busier than ever. With that said, many proper breakfast recipes (scramble some eggs, cook up some bacon etc.) don’t really take all that long to prep and cook. Getting out of bed 10 or 15 minutes earlier could be the difference between a handful of nuts for breakfast and something much more satisfying.

All these recipes are just the tip of the iceberg. We know there are many ways to breakfast Primal-style. Anyone? Additional suggestions for the menu? In the meantime, enjoy!

terriseesthings, Viewoftheworld, fille de photo, Such a Groke, Crimsonsilk, Baha’i Views / Flitzy Phoebie, Dan4th, hooverdust, jvnunag, jilldoughtie Flickr Photos (CC)

Further Reading:

The Whole Series of Eat This Today, Feel Better Tomorrow: 1, 2, 3, Intermittent Fasting, Special Occasions and Dessert Editions

Healthy Options for Seedlings (and Adults Too!)

7 Tips to Get out of Bed

Subscribe to Mark’s Daily Apple feeds

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Is it ironic that during yoga this morning I was wishing and hoping for some Primal breakfast suggestions? AWESOME!
    Apparently, I need to go get stocked up on some eggs today!

    Cortney wrote on July 7th, 2008
    • Great Blog,
      Wow, I like the convenience of the food.

      I had to give up chasing squirrels and gather berries in the morning.

      It’s part of my time management training.

      Anton wrote on June 10th, 2009
    • No, it’s not ironic. It’s merely a coincidence. Irony is often a misunderstood concept, and that song by Alanis Morissette’s didn’t help, as the events described weren’t at all ironic.

      Mike wrote on April 17th, 2011
      • But the very fact that the events described in Alanis Morissette’s song were NOT ironic, despite the song supposedly being about irony, makes the song ironic. Ahhh the irony!

        Cam wrote on September 19th, 2011
      • yeah Mike, that definitely wasn’t irony…

        Melanie wrote on October 11th, 2011
  2. Love this post.

    A suggestion:

    Baby spinach omlette, made with 3 eggs.

    Slice up a big red tomato on the side.

    Best breakfast ever.

    It takes me less than 10 minutes to make the stuff AND wash the dishes.

    Arthur wrote on July 7th, 2008
    • I like to add tomato to my omelets too, but I throw the cut up tomato into the pan right after I plate the omelet, then put the half-cooked tomato on top of the omelet. Very tasty!

      ElleHad wrote on May 6th, 2011
  3. Thanks for doing this Mark, I was waiting and like always you came through. :)

    Jerry wrote on July 7th, 2008
  4. Thank you, these are all fabulous breakfast ideas! I will have to try making some crustless quiches soon.

    Variation on the delicious lox:
    Take lox, thinly sliced red onion, cream cheese, capers. Place all onto large, pre-cut lettuce leaves (romaine or red leaf works), and roll into little burritos.
    These can be made the night before and taken with you to eat during the morning commute, if you take a train, bus, etc. If you’re having them with onions, I recommend taking along some sugarfree mints or gum :)

    And also–Deviled Eggs. I haven’t made these in some time, but have just realized they’d make a great breakfast to be made ahead of time.
    I like to go easy on the mayo, instead adding some other ingredients for bulk. For example, finely chop and saute (in butter) mushrooms, onions and spinach. Add to the egg yolk and mayo mixture prior to stuffing the whites.

    Maria wrote on July 7th, 2008
  5. My standard breakfast is 1/2 cup cottage cheese mixed with 1/2 cup blueberries. If I’m out of blueberries, I slice in a banana.

    dragonmamma wrote on July 7th, 2008
  6. I can’t really have dairy in the morning because it is too insulinogenic. Even if I go low-carb, dairy just gives me massive hypoglycaemia about 30-40 minutes after ingestion, especially first thing in the morning!

    Arthur wrote on July 7th, 2008
    • I suggest you try a Soy Smoothie : mix Soymilk or Soy jogurth with fresh berries or banana and you`ll have a proper lactose-free breakfast! Its even good as a “after runnig snack”.

      Birgit wrote on May 19th, 2009
      • Everything I see about soy these days is that it is a nonfood and something we should not be eating. It is promoted as a health food because it is good for the soy business community but not only is it not a health food, it isn’t a food at all. When the traditional Asians at soy it was always fermented and so if you are going to eat soy it should only be small amounts of fermented soy. Read the book, “The Whole Soy Story” for more details. Try using almond milk instead.

        Brenda wrote on April 6th, 2010
        • So true Brenda! Everyone has always looked at me like I have three heads when I say that ‘soy product’ is ‘junk food for the healthfoodies’. Often times soy cheese and other frankinfoods are honestly more processed than american cheese they put on hamburgers in those horrible burger joints. Blech!

          Val wrote on October 31st, 2011
    • Can you elaborate (or suggest a link) for me to read more about this? I have been surprised that eating greek yogurt makes impacts me the way it does. Am surprised given the protein content that it gets into BS this quickly – but I think you are on to something, because it makes me practically pass out/fall asleep

      deb b wrote on December 14th, 2010
  7. These are wonderful suggestions for my hardest meal of the day! The Mini Crustless Quiche is my favorite and I’ll be preparing it tomorrow or sure!

    Cynthia wrote on July 7th, 2008
  8. I have been making eggs and bacon with a fruit smoothy (just berries, nuts and water) for breakfast for the last six months. Its my fav meal everyday and it takes me an extra 15 minutes to cook and eat. I highly recommend taking the time to cook a good breakfast.

    Nick Hanson wrote on July 7th, 2008
  9. Crustless quiche is awesome. You can also make a full (pie) size one and slice it up, then just take a slice out cold for breakfast every day.

    Food Is Love

    Huckleberry wrote on July 7th, 2008
    • The quiche is in the oven and I can’t wait til it’s finished. It smells soooo good.

      jennifer wrote on February 16th, 2011
    • Hi – I’m new and I’m confused; I thought this was a no dairy way of eating and these recipes have yogurt, milk and cheese in them. What am I missing here? Thanks.

      Lana Harper wrote on August 1st, 2011
  10. I tried the Tim Ferriss way of peeling a hard boiled egg last night and it worked beautifully. Will definitely be doing that more in the future.

    Jason Peck wrote on July 7th, 2008
  11. 2 scoops vanilla whey, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 cup water, .5 banana, blueberrys, strawberrys, 3 tbsp fresh ground flax seeds and ice. Blend for 30 sec = good.

    nick wrote on July 7th, 2008
    • or just buy shakeology from beachbody. Add your own fruit, almond butter, and almond milk and its the healthiest, ,most satisfying meal of the day. Though its could be the sole item from breakfast, i also eat 4 eggs with salsa, and bacon.

      Demetrius Lopez wrote on March 18th, 2011
  12. Sounds good Nick.

    Jerry wrote on July 7th, 2008
  13. no additional suggestions as Im one who would TOTALLY eat that breakfast salad.

    the rest of America (or my family. who can say)? Im hoping you can convert one belly at a time.

    MizFit wrote on July 8th, 2008
  14. Breakfast is tough, so suggestions like this are a huge help. Smoothie and eggs and bacon this mornin it is!

    So far, one week in to the “as if” challenge and I have dropped 2.8 lbs. Was tough to stay strong with the 4th and the nations greatest holiday, my birthday (LOL) but I only faltered once (my wife’s homemade vanilla ice cream). Woo, on to week 2!

    BNicolucci wrote on July 8th, 2008
  15. I see that some experts out there recommend that you _not_ eat the yoke of a hard boiled egg. Thoughts on this Mark?

    Jim Jones wrote on July 8th, 2008
  16. Jim Jones –

    Check this out: “Dear Mark: Saturated Fat”

    It will probably answer your questions as to what Mark thinks about egg yolks (hint: eat ’em).

    Aaron wrote on July 8th, 2008
  17. Jim,

    I chuckle when people tell me they are “going primal” and eating more eggs…but then tell me they are only eating the egg-whites. Of course, I tell them they are missing the point entirely. The yolks are the best part (both from a health and a taste POV). In fact, I just finished a four-egg omelette with cheese, avocado, sour cream and a few veggies. How can anyone eating PB-style complain about a short list of breakfast items after this post?

    Mark Sisson wrote on July 8th, 2008
  18. Thanks for the suggestions, I got the stuff to make those quiches today!

    I usually skip breakfast (halfass IFing, I guess), but when I do need something quick I often grab one of those little packs of tuna. It takes five minutes to toss in some other stuff (celery, cucumber, capers, spinach, boiled eggs, whatever will work) and mix it together with olive oil & vinegar.

    Even as a kid I had no problem eating “dinner” food for breakfast (I LOVED leftover pot roast before school), so tuna for breakfast is fine for me.

    Heather wrote on July 8th, 2008
    • be careful of mercury in the tuna-grok didn’t have to worry about that but we DO

      Elene wrote on August 16th, 2011
  19. That greek yogurt “fage” is made up of mostly protien. I dont know if its “primal” acceptable, but its lower in carbs than your average yogurt. Very delicious with some berries, nuts, and a little vanilla extract (a pure vanilla extract with no sugar added).

    Hungry Waif wrote on July 8th, 2008
  20. Hey Heather, that sounds very good. Much better than a boring old bowl of oatmeal, and ultimately more filling and better for you.

    Jerry wrote on July 8th, 2008
  21. I would like to know what you recommend for people who excercise early in the morning. What should they eat right before exercise and right after?

    Hilary wrote on July 9th, 2008
  22. Hilary,

    There’s no requirement to eat anything before or after a workout. Exercising in a fasted state can prompt fat-burning, and waiting an hour or two to eat afterwards can promote growth hormone secretion. That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t eat before or right after a morning workout…just that there’s no reason to (as most of the world suspects there is).

    Mark Sisson wrote on July 9th, 2008
  23. Try a plate of feta cheese, olives, and cucumber slices drizzled with olive oil. Add a small piece of watermelon to compliment the feta.

    warren wrote on July 15th, 2008
    • Mmm that sounds great!

      Rebecca wrote on November 8th, 2011
  24. My mouth is watering, however, just found out I’m highly allergic to eggs, as well as milk, wheat, tomatoes, and soy. What a bummer. Wondered why I was having diarrhea after eating eggs every day for breakfast! Was told no yogurt or whey, so there goes the smoothie. Wonder if I’d have a reaction to buffalo mozz. I guess I’ll have to try the salad and a protein for breakfast. At least I’m a 2nd shifter, so eat later in the morning. Mark, would peanut butter be a viable choice or should I stick with almonds and walnuts and perhaps an apple?

    Julie White wrote on July 30th, 2008
    • Use Coconut milk or almond milk for your smoothie. I love using coconut milk, stevia, raw coco powder, some sort of protein powder that you are not allergic to, flax seeds that I grind in a coffee grinder, and crushed ice. You could add frozen fruit instead of the coco powder.

      Brenda wrote on April 6th, 2010
  25. Julie, that IS a bummer. Peanuts are legumes and not high on my list of the best choices…but in your case, it seems that the choices are limited. If you tire of almond butter, almonds, walnuts, etc., it won’t hurt to do the peanut-butter once in a while.

    Mark Sisson wrote on July 31st, 2008
    • I am new to this also. Why not legumes? Aboriginal Australians have been eating wattle seed for 40,000 years at least. Thankyou

      wallum wrote on May 9th, 2012
      • That explains alot

        satisfy wrote on September 4th, 2012
  26. I too have lots of problems with both eggs and cow dairy, and peanuts are something I do not eat. I make my own yogurt with purchased yogurt starter and goat milk. Using a longer fermentation process breaks down the lactose so it ends up being very easy to digest and pretty much lactose free.

    I usually don’t want breakfast, and I should switch to eating breakfast – but I can’t have eggs, and I can’t eat berries yet (too hard to digest). I’ve managed to make some concoctions with almond butter and unsweetened applesauce as a stand-in for eggs, and I can eat my goat yogurt, but it’s not terribly portable with the travel I do. I need to come up with something else, I think. 😛

    Susan wrote on August 2nd, 2008
  27. Thank you very much for the recipes, as always..!!

    ERIKA wrote on January 30th, 2009
  28. Crustless mini-quiche- what a great tasty bkfast!

    Is there a secret to getting it to not stick to the foil muffin cups? I ended up eating mine out of it with a fork like it was a tiny bowl but was hoping to unwrap and eat sans utensils.

    jennifer wrote on March 13th, 2009
  29. SOUP! I’m surprised there’s not more mention of soup around here. It’s easy to make, easy to store, easy to heat&eat, and there a zillions of varieties.

    Heck, just take some chicken broth and stir in an egg and a little vinegar for a quick egg drop soup.

    Ted wrote on March 18th, 2009
    • Totally agree! We love a good bone broth, meaty soup for breakfast – and best of all, you can make it up the night before in your slow-cooker, set it to ‘low’ and wake up to steaming hot delicious soup.

      It’s a taste (and budget) winner in our house.

      homehandymum wrote on September 19th, 2011
  30. Made mini crestless quiches this week. Very very good and easy. I just grab one on the go, good cold or re-heated (did grok have a microwave?)

    rob wrote on June 2nd, 2009

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