Who doesn't love a great eggs bene, a fluffy omelet or a short-stack of pancakes?
Going out to breakfast is a fun + laid back activity that so many of us indulge in. That being said, there are certainly some unhealthy options creeping up on the menus.
Here are my top breakfast favorites to enjoy + substitutions to make when you are visiting your favorite cafe for brunch or healthy options for when you have a pit stop at your favorite diner!
Best Breakfast Options:
· We all know they are a powerhouse filled with protein + healthy fats. The best option here would be to get eggs either poached or sunny side up.
· Ask to have your eggs cooked in butter, not oil. Most restaurants use a canola or vegetable oil blend that we want to stay away from.
· Make an Egg Scramble: 2-3 scrambled eggs, add in all of your favorite veggies + some bacon if you would like. Serve with a side of fruit.
· Omelets are fun because you can totally customize them. However, some restaurants add pancake batter or flour to their omelet mix to make them fluffier! We do NOT want this. Make sure to ask what’s in the omelet mix and to have it cooked in butter versus oil.
· Add in all the veggies the restaurant has to offer.
· Protein: If you want to increase your protein (most omelets are made with 3 eggs), you can add in some breakfast meat. Most of these will have nitrates but if you’re really craving for some crispy bacon, this would be the best of your options (or ham) over breakfast sausage since most sausages have a lot of fillers.
· Cheese: Personally, I would recommend staying away from adding cheese to your omelet because typically the cheeses are extremely processed. Some places that offer more “Farm to Table” options may have a local cheese option that would work best. The last thing you want to do to your veggie + protein filled omelet is altering it with processed, neon-orange cheese. No Bueno.
3. Eggs Benedict
· Who doesn’t love this decadent dish?!? You must be thinking, is she really suggesting I order that? If the eggs bene is done right then oh yes, yes I am.
· Traditionally, homemade hollandaise sauce is made with butter, lemon juice + heavy cream. The quality of these ingredients may not be the highest when you are eating out but they are still whole-foods. So if this is one of your favorite breakfasts + you don’t have the time to whisk your arm off making homemade hollandaise sauce at home, enjoy the bene! Just check to see if there is flour in the sauce if gluten is a concern for you.
· Tips: Order the eggs bene WITHOUT the English Muffin! Just ask for the Canadian bacon or whatever the base is, the poached egg + the hollandaise sauce. I love asking for this to go right on top of my home fries + the potatoes will act as your English muffin without all of the processed wheat.
· Bonus for Your Bene: Add sautéed spinach or tomato slices instead of the English muffin.
· Get Your Veggies: If the restaurant you are at offers lunch, it’s a pretty safe bet to say they offer salads. Ask for some sautéed veggies on the side of your eggs or a small salad of mixed greens.
· Fruit instead of bread/toast.
· The Potato Dilemma: To eat the potatoes or not to eat the potatoes- make sure they are not coated in flour if you are gluten-free. Also, if oils affect you, ask if they are deep fried or if they are made on the grill. This is the whole home fries vs. hash browns debate. Most hash browns are made on the grill while home fries are typically deep fried. (Just remember homeFRIE= fried).
· Fruit + Potatoes are both CARBS. Just because you are passing on the toast, you don’t want to carbo-load on fruit + potatoes. Try to pick ONE of these two options depending on what you are in the mood for.
5. What to SUBSTITUTE?
· Fruit for Potatoes
· Potatoes for Toast
· Pancake Syrup: loaded with corn syrup + hydrogenated oils, food coloring + chemicals, this insanely sweet syrup should be substituted for 100% pure maple syrup if it is offered.
· Love French Toast? If your restaurant offers gluten-free bread or sourdough, see if you can use this bread as your French Toast Base + just have 1, 2 slices tops! Make sure to order a side of protein (eggs, bacon). Or split 1 order of French toast with your breakfast buddy + order an egg scramble with veggies.
6. What to AVOID?
· EGG BEATERS- this is a big no no. Full of artificial coloring + lacking the yolk, stay away from this option like it’s the plague.
· EGG WHITES- eat the darn yolks!
· SUGARY CARBS- waffles, pancakes, stuffed French toast. The last thing you want to start your day with is a blood sugar crash. You are sweet enough!
My Go-To Breakfast When Eating Out Looks Something Like This:
Eggs Benedict on Gluten-Free Crab Cakes with a Mixed Greens Side Salad! Delish!
Remember, you don't go out to breakfast every, single day. So do the best you can with the options you have at the restaurant you are dining out at + then keep moving forward with eating healthy!