Updated Dec 2015: This is quite a popular post on ZOMT, but I felt the need to update it a bit … since I eat a mostly vegan diet now. NEVER thought it would happen, and I feel like it’s the right thing for me still after switching to it in September 2014. However, if you’re happy eating meat and feel good on it, then I would still actually recommend giving the meat and nut breakfast a try as it totally was awesome for me at the time when I originally wrote this post, plus I know a heap of our clients get amazing results from our DCN program that includes this breakfast option.

I felt it was about time to write a blog on my breakfast of choice as it seems to strike up interest quite a lot. Yep I’m talking about the meat and nut breakfast. The only thing my colleagues think is weirder than me eating broccoli at 9am in the morning is me eating steak and almonds for breakfast!

Why haven’t I heard of this ‘meat and nut’ thing yet?

I would think you have if you like my facebook page or instagram considering how much I rant on about it! Well it may be considered weird by some, but it’s fast becoming more ‘mainstream’ especially within the fitness industry and with those who follow clean diets. It’s even had articles on mainstream news websites. Cereal and carb loading in the morning is no longer considered the key to optimal body composition, health and fat loss (although consuming your carbohydrates in the early part of the day can be a good time) and we are moving forwards (or backwards) to a more primal, caveman style of breakfast.

The meat and nut breakfast did not exactly originate from the Paleo diet movement (that I know of), although it does fit within it perfectly. It is most strongly linked to Charles Poliquin who first wrote about it a few years ago.

When/why did you start eating it?

I have been eating the meat and nut breakfast (on and off) for well over a year now. I can’t quite remember why I started, I think I just read about it somewhere. I was probably lucky that I was already eating clean and had in fact already had chicken and salad first thing in the morning before; so the concept didn’t seem that odd to me. In fact, I was happy about the idea of having nuts! Not to mention I love a good piece of organic grass fed steak. Occasionally I have gone back to having things like eggs and oats or quinoa in the morning, but I always end up back on the meat and nuts breakfast and feel so much better for it every time!

The saying goes that breakfast is the ‘most important meal of the day’ to help you make the right food choices for the rest of the day and to stop to cravings and binge eating late at night. But it’s WHAT you eat first thing that sets up your entire neurotransmitter production for the day. It affects both your physical and mental energy and well being, so doing it right is really important if you want to optimise your health and body composition.

Why should I try it?

Here’s why you can feel so good when you start the day with the Breakfast of Champions:

  • The protein in the meat means you have a slow and steady rise in your blood sugar; compared to the sharp rise from carbohydrates.
  • The nuts provide a very good source of healthy fats which allows your blood sugar to stay stable over a longer period of time as well because fat slows the absorption of nutrients. Controlling your insulin levels is key to obtaining and maintaining a lean physique so again very important for fat loss and getting your body set up for fat burning (check out my ebook for nutrition info on insulin management).
  • It gets your metabolism going for the day as red meat contains high amounts of tyrosine which is a precursor for TSH (thyroid hormone).
  • Starting the day with a good dose of Tyrosine and Phenylalanine provides your body with the amino acids it needs for the production of dopamine which controls your energy levels and wakes you up. Carbs on the other hand stimulate the production of serotonin, the hormone responsible for calming you and getting your body ready for sleep – not what you want first thing in the morning!
  • Meat is the perfect source of protein and when protein is broken down into amino acids in your body, it gives your liver something to work with activating your detoxification system for the day.

Sounds pretty good right?!

herb kangaroo, frozen blueberries, coconut oil and cinnamon

But I’m allergic to nuts…

For those people who have allergies to nuts or find they can’t tolerate them often, you can still try this! If you can’t eat nuts, then the next best option is to have some low glycemic and low fructose fruits i.e. the best one being berries, but also fruits like avocado, grapefruit, nectarine, papaya, peach etc. You can also use eggs as your source of fat, or even try coconut oil or flaxseed oil.

I often have a small serve of berries and nuts or coconut oil with my meat when my carbohydrates are low (only veggies) throughout the rest of the day.

But I’m vegetarian/don’t like meat…

You can have still have eggs as they are a great source of protein and fat. Or fish. Try a tuna omelette.

But I’m vegan/allergic to/don’t like eggs…

Trickier…I don’t recommend a vegan diet, but each to their own.  Update Dec 2015: As I mentioned above, I actually eat a mostly vegan diet now, (and will happily eat my words on saying I didn’t recommend it previously!). You can still make this work on a vegan diet…you can can could have some full fat organic coconut yoghurt and nuts/seeds. Or organic fermented tofu or tempeh made into a scramble. Or a plant based protein powder smoothie is a great option too. Basically just make sure you get in some healthy fats and a source of plant protein – simples 🙂

How do I give up my beloved oats?!

Ah well grasshopper, sometimes you just have to step outside the box! For most people, I think the two hardest things about trying the meat and nut breakfast are:

  1. Giving up their beloved oats/muesli/porridge/yoghurt/fruit/god-forbid-sugary-cereal
  2. The idea of eating meat first thing in the morning when it is ‘not a breakfast food’.

I guess the only thing I can say to that is you just have to try it!

Honestly, I love my bowl of gluten free oats just as much as anyone, but once I am about three days into the meat and nut brekkie I don’t even THINK about carbs or oats. It just seems to totally knock carb cravings on the head, which for me having PCOS is so very very good. This is definitely something I recommend everyone at least try, but especially women with PCOS or other hormonal imbalances.

Focus on what you CAN eat not what you have to “give up” – glass is half full! Are you eating to fuel your body and nourish your soul? Or are you eating out of habit for temporary emotional and taste satisfaction?

bbq kangaroo, berries, almonds, fish oil cap and Juice Plus+ fruit and berry blend

Ok ok I’ll try it, is that all there is to it?

Well, if you know me, you know I never do things half-assed. Here is how I make the meat and nut breakfast even more beneficial and perfect for fat loss:

  • Soak raw nuts overnight to reduce the phytic acid and make them easier to digest. Read this for more info.
  • Only eat organic, grass fed red meat and organic chicken. BGH (bovine growth hormone), hormones and chemical crap are NOT good for fat loss or hormonal balance! Grass fed red meat is also higher in omega 3’s and taste darn good.
  • Finish your breakfast with a fish oil supplement to further reduce insulin response.
  • Drink organic green tea in the morning because of it’s benefits in reducing inflammation and for fat burning. Caffeine is also good for fat burning. Black coffee is good too. NO milk, if you must, then organic only.
  • Add cinnamon to my meat or berries as again it is beneficial for blood sugar control and inflammation.
  • Take Juice Plus+ Fruit blend and Berry blend (post workout); this whole food supplement promotes optimal cellular health (that’s the role of fruits and vegetables) allowing the cells of your body to carry out their functions at 100% efficiency. BIG factor for fat loss as the healthier and more efficient your cells are operating, the more value you get from your nutrition, the more value you get from your training, the faster your body can eliminate the toxins and waste products of metabolism, and the faster and better will be the quality of your results! You can get it here.

Anything else should I know?

Well yeh, another important point about the meat and nut breakfast is that you should rotate it. Not only is variety more interesting but its not really natural to eat the same thing every day. Pick different Some of my favourites at the moment are organic grass fed steak with cashews; turkey burger with almonds; kangaroo with blueberries, cinnamon and coconut oil; kangaroo with macadamias; cinnamon organic chicken thigh with pistachios; organic grass fed lamb with brazil nuts. There are heaps of choices, so get creative!

So there you go, the meat and nut breakfast (of champions) – perfect for fat loss, insulin management, energy levels and optimal health.

Do yourself a favour and try it for two weeks. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Take a photo and tweet it to me too!

bush plum marinated kangaroo, walnuts and raspberries