Breaking Up with Breakfast: Gluten, Dairy, & Caffeine Free


I have a love affair with pastries.

My morning indulgence of choice is a very fresh, homemade almond croissant. I can leave the Pop-Tarts, the Krispy Creme, and the gigantic muffins…. but I sure have a weakness for the French patisserie.

But over the last year of GI woes, I have explored eliminating certain temptations from my diet. Now don’t get me wrong, unless you have a true diagnosed allergy, I’m not actually advocating cutting out anything hardline 100%. I actually believe in moderation, and I still allow (and thoroughly enjoy) the occasional almond croissant for myself. But a number of people have recommended decreasing gluten and dairy. Between stomach woes and chronic shoulder pain, the GI and anti-inflammatory benefits are worth exploring to me. (I actually already consumed little caffeine, so I guiltily admit that was not a habit I really had to break. Maybe don’t attempt a clean sweep of everything tasty that you love at once. Baby steps, right?)

But what to do about breakfast the other days? Few of us can spend 30 minutes preparing elaborate concoctions from scratch in the morning. Breakfast needs to be easy, otherwise we just revert to the pastry or Pop-Tart.

Here are six super-quick breakfast ideas that are totally doable alternatives to coffee and carbs, or a bowl of cereal.

1. Raja’s Cup or matcha “lattes”:

These are my new favorite hot bevies instead of coffee. I find having something hot in the morning absolutely essential, and nourishing. Raja’s Cup is an Ayurvedic coffee alternative — it’s not exactly like coffee, but it is kind of like a nutty tea, that when steeped and topped off with almond milk and a splash of maple syrup, is very tasty. My other love if I want to venture into the land of some caffeine, is a matcha almond milk latte. My order of choice at coffee shops (if early enough in the day!).

2. Gluten-free, dairy-free lemon almond tea cake recipe:

This recipe is a winner. Here’s the strategy: if you like to bake, you make this on the weekend, and then you have a little slice during the week for breakfast. Made solely with almond flour, you can also substitute vegan butter in this, almond milk, reduce/replace sugar, and instead of white chocolate, I melt coconut butter. Divine and satisfies my sweet carb craving while still being reasonably on the program.

3. Forager Project Drinkable Cashewgurt:

When I first tried this, my friend said, “Maybe the marketing department should keep working on the name?” But it’s good. This is like dairy-free kefir, made from cashew milk, with probiotic cultures. Good for some protein in the a.m.

4. Trader Joe’s individual oatmeal packets, with fruit and coconut milk:

These have become a go-to when traveling. Individually sized instant gluten-free oatmeal packets are perfect to throw in your suitcase. Then you just outfit your hotel room with a box of berries and container of almond or coconut milk. Optional topping: Trader Joe’s individual nut and dried fruit packs on top.

5. Gluten-free toast with ghee and jam:

Toast is like the holy grail “I don’t know what to eat” food in my family. It’s just so simple and satisfying. But… I know, white carbs. Whole Foods makes a seed-y gluten free bread that, while kind of heavy untoasted, is pretty good browned and topped with ghee (the milk solids removed from butter, a totally wonderful Ayurvedic staple) and jam (personal preference is Bonne Maman seed-y red raspberry).

6. Soaked almonds:

Soak almonds in a little dish of water the night before, and then pop the skins off and have the easiest morning protein. In Ayurveda, soaking and removing the skins makes nuts even easier to digest. I add these to the toast routine.

Because if you’re going to make diet changes, you have to have a plan, right? And it can’t feel like total depravation. Do you have a favorite yummy, healthy, easy breakfast option? Let me know here.

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