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. I am a freelancer and usually not on the go. I’d love breakfast suggestions for those of who have time to make it every day but unsure of what to eat. Heck, maybe I’ll just do it myself on Primal Eats. Will keep you posted!

    Camille wrote on June 22nd, 2009
  2. I’m surprised no one has mentioned green smoothies. Blend a generous helping of something green and leafy (kale, spinach, etc.), a couple bananas and some water/ice and you get a super nutritious, delicious primal meal.

    There are MANY other variations on the green smoothie, of course. Google will show you tons of recipes.

    crunchysue wrote on July 30th, 2009
  3. I personally dig the leftover option. I almost always cook too much meat/veggies the night before (on purpose) so that way I can heat them up in a skillet, add some eggs and voila! a delicious breakfast scramble!

    Melissa wrote on August 17th, 2009
  4. Love quiche – just not crustless. Having a crust makes it easier to move around, anyway, even though it is a bit crumbly. Here’s an easy, primal crust that I make for all my quiches:

    1½ cups almond meal
    4-5 T melted butter/coconut oil

    That’ll give you a crust that’ll fit a normal pie plate, but I don’t know how many mini-cups it’ll cover. You’ll just have to play with it.

    Adam Kayce wrote on September 10th, 2009
  5. Question. Why does your protein/meal replacement supplement have Soy Isolate Protein? Aren’t you against the legumes and soy? And isn’t there a better protein supplement that could perhaps be manufactured, instead of whey which is from dairy, no?

    Josh wrote on November 11th, 2009
    • Josh, while I would hope most people would look to real food whenever possible, it’s not always practical. I designed the Responsibly Slim meal replacement product for people who need a quick easy source of protein that tastes great. There are very few on the market. Taste is a huge factor in making such a product. It could be the most natural, ideal product in the world, but if it tasted like crap, no one would buy or use it. So minor compromises are necessary.

      Whey is the proven best source of protein for most meal replacement products, so I use mostly whey. (it has long since lost most of its “dairy” properties- ie no lactose or casein). Yes, I am also generally against legumes and soy, but the use of a small amount of soy protein isolate adds a slightly different amino acid profile (improvement)and alters flavor favorably without adding the components of the soy bean that I have problems with (like lectins, phytoestrogens, etc). It’s a perfect example of taking parts of 21st century technology and adapting them to a Primal problem. It ain’t a hunk of grass-fed beef, but it’s better than a McDs :-)

      Mark Sisson wrote on November 12th, 2009
  6. I have another concern about the protein shake. I was interested in it but then noticed it contains sucralose, an artificial sweetener?

    Natalie wrote on January 7th, 2010
  7. Perhaps something like stevia would be healthier? I noticed jillian michaels’ new shakes only use stevia.

    Natalie wrote on January 7th, 2010
  8. I’ve been eating Luna bars every morning since I wake up at 6 and am out the door by 6:20, and i can just grab it an go. What’s your opinion on Luna bars?

    Jordan wrote on April 5th, 2010
  9. There is no recipe for the berries and cream. Did I miss it? It looks so good, but I don’t know how to make it correctly.

    James wrote on April 28th, 2010
  10. now then, is “lox” what would be known as smoked salmon? just so i get the right thing!

    I always had breakfast traumas doing the atkins diet as really did prefer cereal – but like the cottage cheese idea as our supermarket does a Jersey cream one, not the nasty low fat ones. it is like cream!

    i think the “omlette muffins” elsewhere on the site are very cool too – also, try putting a whole egg, spinach and a bit of cream in a ramekin and bake in the oven with a little cheese on top. Gorgeous!

    Sarah wrote on August 17th, 2010
  11. Crustless Quiche sounds great, except for the fact that I’m not only allergic to gluten, but also milk. I have almond milk, but something tells me that won’t be a good substitute in these recipes.
    Any suggestions?

    pandy wrote on August 26th, 2010
  12. Why can’t I find the “Responsibly Slim” shake mix in your on-line store? Am I missing something?

    Michele wrote on September 12th, 2010
  13. My current favorite breakfast is a grassfed burger patty (beef or lamb) with a dollop of drained yogurt (aka yogurt cheese or greek yogurt) and topped with home made lacto fermented salsa. I like to have some fresh veggies sauteed in coconut oil when I have time, but it’s absolutely not necessary for fuel.

    WordVixen wrote on September 30th, 2010
  14. Another quick use of last night’s leftovers is to heat them up in a frying pan. After heated, scoot to one side and scramble an egg. After scrambled, incorporate with the leftovers. This works well with taco meat, chili and Chinese food! Very quick and delicious!

    Mary Ann wrote on November 4th, 2010
  15. Another idea would be a Scotch egg…Coat a hard-boiled egg with sausage or grassfed ground beef mixed with Italian seasoning or sage, sea salt and pepper. Then sauté in olive oil until the meat is done. These are a great grab-n-go breakfast! Another on-the-go breakfast suggestion would be blueberry muffins made with almond or coconut flour (try looking for recipes at one of the sites). Bon apetito!

    Jenna wrote on November 23rd, 2010
  16. I’m very confused…I thought milk cheese and yogurt we not allowed, but several of the breakfast items contain milk, cheese and yogurt. Am i missing something?

    Toni wrote on December 21st, 2010
  17. I am an anthropologists as well mark and was wondering if shakes can be part of the primal diet. I mean Grok didn’t have a blender at his disposal. On the contrary, I am guilty of using juicers and blenders. I blend lots of raw shakes with greens, fruits and such, but i have some concerns. i know as you cut and blend raw veggies, they become oxidized and you loose viable nutrition. Do you suggest drinking and blending veggies or should i be eating them whole and untouched throughout the day. (oh and by the way, this is my fourth yea studying anthropology and was just thinking of formulating a diet plan and lifestyle that coexists how our ancestors once lived. Thus I typed in Primal and found your amazing website! incredible!)

    Danielle wrote on January 14th, 2011
    • @Danielle, I use neolithic tools whenever I can! The only issue with “smoothies” is the concentration of sugar that invariably happens when you blend fruits. I’d always rather eat fruits and or veggies whole. Not so concerned about oxidation or viable nutrition. When I do smoothies, they’re generally fat- and protein-based and it’s usually because I’m in a hurry to throw something together.

      Mark Sisson wrote on January 14th, 2011
  18. Broiled steak and scrambled eggs 10 mins flat!

    Kevin Cowart wrote on January 30th, 2011
  19. Mark, I agree with Toni. I thought things such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are prohibited?

    Goodz wrote on February 3rd, 2011
  20. For years I’ve been experimenting to find the breakfast which gives me the energy to get me through the morning. I’ve found that a banana and mixed berrie shake works well and keeps me going from 0615 to 1100. Ingredience: rice milk or soy milk, banana, mixed berries, blended almonds and an egg. I’ll now try flax seeds and the greek style yoghurt. Thanks Mark.

    Jonathan wrote on March 9th, 2011
  21. soft poached eggs on arugula! with pesto dressing. this has always been one of my favorite breakfasts. light taste, easy on the tummy, refreshing and filling.

    erica wrote on March 10th, 2011

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