When it comes to food, the French know what they’re doing. No surprise there. La gastronomie of France, in all its seasonal, locally-sourced, fresh-from-the-market brilliance, was one of the main reasons I wanted to move back here for an extended period of time after college. And since arriving, I’ve been doing my best to absorb everything about French culture (minus their horrendous smoking habits) from the food to the literature to the undeniable and permeating joie de vivre. It’s a spirit that invites elegance into the mundane of daily life, a language whose romanticism is crushingly beautiful, and a gastronomic culture whose vibrancy will make you wonder why it took you so long to decide to move to France in the first place.
Despite all of this, there is one thing I haven’t come to terms with, and I’m not sure I ever will. Because however much I love France, its utter disregard for the amazing meal that is breakfast burns a SERIOUS hole in our relationship.
Breakfast is my absolute, hands-down, favorite meal of the day. Sometimes I can’t fall asleep at night because I’m so excited for what’s awaiting me the next morning. You think I’m joking? I’m not.
And for some reason which I will never understand, the French don’t share this same awe for the morning meal that holds the possibility of turning into the equally-amazing meal of “brunch” if you should decide to sleep in. In fact, when I tell my French friends what I usually eat for breakfast, the look on their face conveys a combination of horror at the fact that I can consume such a large quantity of food so early in the day and confusion as to how on earth said consumption does not cause me to gain obscene amounts of weight.
Look at me however you want, but a slice of baguette with some jam or a measly bowl of sugary cereal just won’t cut it. I mean absolutely no cultural disrespect, but when facing a full day of teaching that requires sustained energy and focus, I need a breakfast loaded with protein and complex carbohydrates.
If you find yourself lacking early-morning inspiration, you’re in luck: I’ve rounded up my five go-to morning meals guaranteed to keep you satisfied until lunchtime rolls around.
Rise and shine, friends!
Say hello to oats and goodbye to your mid-morning snack cravings. From warm stovetop oats, to refreshing overnight oats, to baked oats, the possibilities are endless. I normally throw in a combination of fresh and frozen fruit with some superfoods (my favorites are flax seeds, raw cacao, goji berries, and shredded coconut).
Eggs for breakfast is something that will never get old in my kitchen. No bells and whistles here – just a deliciously simple way to get the day started.
Gone are the days of store-bought pancake mix with questionable and unpronounceable ingredients to make you wonder if what you’re eating can actually be classified as “food.” No, thank you. I’d rather whip up these almond flour protein pancakes.
- 1 Cup Almond Flour
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. When your griddle is hot and lightly oiled, start pouring.
- Throw on some raw cacao and coconut-oil friend banana coins and they’ll be OFF THE CHARTS.
Step aside, bread and butter. I’ve re-vamped an old classic by loading on nut-butters, creamy avocado, banana coins, tomatoes, and yogurt. There’s no right or wrong way to build a hearty breakfast toast. Just see what’s left in your refrigerator or pantry and get creative.
BONUS: If you’re a fan of coconut, whip up this 5-ingredient coconut-flour flatbread.
Why drink smoothies out of a cup when you can pour it in a bowl and load-on the toppings? Just be wary of the sugar content and use unsweetened almond milk (or coconut water) and lots of leafy and cruciferous greens.