What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
According to a poll conducted by ABC several years ago, 2 out of 10 of you ate eggs.
3 out of 10 ate cold cereal.
1 out of 10 of you ate a pastry—a muffin, bagel or sweet treat.
And 4 out of 10 of you did not eat breakfast at all.
While the numbers of breakfast eaters may seem low, there’s no denying that eggs (and bacon, of course) are part of hearty, ‘classic American breakfast’—dating back to the ‘good ol’ fam days’ of grandma and grandpa’s past.
And, if you affiliate with the latest ‘eat real food’ or ‘paleo’ camps of eating, more than likely, eggs (and bacon) have become a staple of yours several mornings each week.
Scrambled, over-easy, fried, hardboiled—you name it, eggs are one of the easiest, quickest ways to get in your protein for the morning (and they taste delicious cooked in ghee, butter, tossed with veggies, or alongside, yes, bacon).
As much as I love eggs though…
Eggs don’t always love me.
Often times, typically a few hours of consuming them, a feeling of nausea, indigestion, bloating or gas comes on—and remains throughout most of the day…making me regret my decision to whip up a scramble that morning.
Eggs are one of the top 8 ‘most allergenic’ foods—alongside milk, nuts, peanuts, shellfish, and soy (all of which account for 90% of all food reactions).
Even if you don’t have a diagnosed allergy by an allergist, there is a reason eggs don’t always sit well with folks (particularly if you are already susceptible to a leaky gut):
Upon digestion, the Albumin protein in the egg white can often slip past the intestinal wall and get in your body… and if it gets in your body it can cause a reaction.
The bottom line? If you’re dealing with stomach problems, eating eggs (or at least the whites of the eggs) every day may be the one thing making your life miserable.
In addition, another factor to consider is the quality of your eggs.
Just like eating a McDonald’s Big Mac is different than eating a homemade, grass-fed bison burger (and your body may react differently)…if you buy poorer quality eggs, your body (and gut) may take a hit.
What is “good quality”?!
Reach for pasture-raised, organic eggs--and notice the distinct difference in not only the color and richness of the egg yolk and texture, but also the taste.
Other common reactions or signs of egg intolerance include: runny sinuses, brain fog, cramping, bloating and/or diarrhea.
Be on the look out, and through experimenting (both with removal of egg whites, or buying various eggs), perhaps you will be able to see if you really are intolerant to eggs–or just these aspects.
Folks that are sensitive to eggs, are also often sensitive to several other ‘inflammatory’ foods, like nuts, grains, dairy, and gluten.
In order to help support (and restore) the gut, an autoimmune-food protocol, coupled with a good probiotic (or fermented foods) and digestive enzymes can be highly effective.
Never heard of the autoimmune-protocol?
Essentially, this gut-healing Auto-immune Protocol diet includes the following foods:
- Vegetables (except nightshades: tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, paprika, mustard seeds, all chili’s including spices)
- Fruits (limit to 15-20 grams fructose/day)
- Coconut products including coconut oil, manna, coconut butter, creamed coconut, coconut aminos, coconut milk, shredded coconut
- Fats: olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, lard, bacon fat, cultured ghee (free of casein and lactose)
- Fermented Foods (coconut yogurt, kombucha, water and coconut kefir, fermented vegetables)
- Bone Broth
- Grass Fed Meats, Poultry and Seafood
- Non-Seed Herbal Teas
- Green Tea
- Vinegars: Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic (that has no added sugar)
- Sweeteners: occasional and sparse use of honey and maple syrup
- Herbs: all fresh and non-seed herbs are allowed (basil tarragon, thyme, mint, oregano, rosemary, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, savory, edible flowers)
- Binders: Grass Fed Gelatin and Arrowroot Starch
And it eliminates:
- Nuts (including nut oils like walnut and sesame seed oils)
- Seeds (including flax, chia, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and culinary herb seeds like cumin and coriander)
- Beans/Legumes (this includes all beans like kidney, pinto, black as well as Soy in all its forms)
- Grains (Corn, Wheat, Millet, Buckwheat, Rice, Sorghum, Amaranth, Rye, Spelt, Teff, Kamut, Oats etc)
- Alternative sweeteners like xylitol, stevia, mannitol
- Dried fruits and/or over-consumption of fructose (I recommend up to 2 pieces of fruit a day)
- Dairy Products
- All Processed Foods
- Gums (guar gum, Tara gum, Gellan gum, Gum Arabic)
- Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, paprika, mustard seeds, all chili’s including spices)
- No vegetable oils (Note: olive oil, lard, palm oil, cultured grass fed ghee and coconut oils are permitted)
- Culinary herbs from seeds (mustard, cumin, coriander, fennel, cardamom, fenugreek, caraway, nutmeg, dill seed)
The benefits of this protocol?
Give your gut some time to heal and breathe.
Often times, with consistency following this protocol, people find, as the gut is restored, the occasional egg or almond butter with their apple doesn’t impact them in quite the same way. Or, as is in my case, I’ve found the way I cook my eggs makes all the difference: I typically do just fine handling eggs in scrambled or hardboiled form, but when I leave my eggs a little under-cooked (over easy), my body backfires.
Ultimately, it comes down to listening to your body.
If you experience bloating, nausea, and constipation on the regular—do some digging…what are you eating that could be impacting how you feel?
You don’t have to ‘just deal’ with egg-belly.
Here are 12 (non-egg) breakfast ideas for you:
Meatloaf Muffins with Prosciutto and Jam from the lovely and talented ladies at Autoimmune Paleo
Coconut Flour Wraps with leftover shredded meat, veggies and guacamole
Breakfast stir-fry with ground meat, spinach, bacon, mushrooms and any other veggies you like—cooked in ghee or coconut oil, seasoned with sea salt and pepper
Smoothie: Made with coconut milk or water + clean protein powder (PaleoPro, hemp or Mt. Capara) + spinach + frozen berries or ½ banana + healthy fat (avocado, coconut butter or oil)
Chicken or Turkey Sausage Links or Patties (try Applegate Farms or Wellshire Farms if not making your own) + sautéed power greens in ghee + avocado on top
Mixed greens + wild salmon (canned or fresh) or pulled chicken on top + orange slices or berries + cucumber, asparagus, mushrooms—or any other veggie of choice + oil and coconut-vinegar
Chicken thighs (baked at 400-degrees for 40-minutes with mustard + balsamic + sea salt + pepper + garlic) + steamed broccoli or asparagus in ghee
Coconut-milk yogurt (no added sugar) + berries
No-Oats Oatmeal from Cupcakes OMG (I prefer to make with butternut squash or pumpkin)
Sweet potato + chorizo sausage + kale, sautéed in coconut oil or ghee on stove
These awesome Banana Muffins (from Empowered Sustenence)
“Spaghetti” (who doesn’t love leftover spaghetti!): Spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles + grassfed ground beef, seasoned with oregano, basil, sea salt, pepper + sautéed veggies of choice (mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, olives, etc.)—sans tomato sauce (check out The Paleo Mom’s recipe here for inspiration)