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There are a few variations to the Paleo diet, depending on which nutritionist or food enthusiast you speak to. Also known as the "caveman" diet, its concepts basically boil down to eating meats, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, while skipping dairy, legumes, grains, salt, sugar and processed foods -- much as cavemen would have done. Adherents to this back-to-basics eating style must put forth a bit more effort when it comes to planning breakfast menus that offer variety and flavor.
Toss the Toast
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Your morning omelette and eggs-and-bacon breakfasts pass the Paleo test, as long as you skip the toast and cheese. Paleo purists chose nitrite-free, minimally processed bacon and sausages without fillers and added sugar. To add a new twist to your basic cooked egg, try cracking it into half an avocado; bake it until the egg reaches your desired firmness. If you're feeding a family on the go, muffin pans filled with egg, meat and vegetables allow you to bake several portable "omelette cupcakes" all at once.
Most commercial breakfast cereals contain processed grains and added sugars -- no-nos on the Paleo diet. If you miss that breakfast cereal crunch, you can make your own Paleo version by tossing together crunchy nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, with seeds and dried fruit. Get over the dairy hurdle by adding almond or coconut milk instead of cow's milk.
Start the Day with Puree
Paleo devotees usually learn to love their fruits and vegetables, but getting to that level might take an adjustment period. In the meantime, sweet smoothies can disguise the flavor of greens and other vegetables and provide a portable nutritional powerhouse. There's no hard and fast rule to making smoothies, and the best way to learn is to experiment. Start with a handful -- about 1/2 to 1 cup -- of chopped greens, such as kale or spinach. Add roughly the same amount of sweet fruits, such as berries, apples or pineapple. Blend with liquids, such as coconut milk, almond milk or water. Toss in a few ice cubes to get that frozen smoothie effect or leave them out for a more juice-like drink. Bits of avocado or coconut oil can increase the fat content of your smoothies and make them more satisfying.
Dinner for Breakfast
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"Brinner," or breakfast for dinner, is a popular trend, but you can do the reverse as well. Dinner items, especially leftovers, make satisfying breakfasts. Leftover meats and vegetables tossed together in a skillet with some garlic make a quick, healthy meal. Cold leftover or fresh vegetables and sliced meats tossed into a plastic bag offer a quick, portable solution. Simply set aside some of tonight's dinner to enjoy as a breakfast later on in the week.
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The Paleo lifestyle has spurred the market to meet the growing demands of Paleo customers. You can now purchase foods such as breads, cakes, cookies, pasta, hot cereal mixes, cereal bars and pancake mixes which are made from grain-free flours and contain only Paleo ingredients. Many of these foods are at least minimally processed, and some contain additives and preservatives, so whether you eat them or not depends on how the foods make you feel and how strictly you adhere to the Paleo plan.
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