They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I personally find that a good PCOS breakfast sets me up for a good day. Before my diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, my standard breakfast was oats, muesli or some other cereal. The problem was that I was always starving 2 hours later. Since going gluten and dairy free, my breakfasts have changed drastically and the best thing about them is that they see me through to lunch. So, I’m going to give you some breakfast ideas for your PCOS diet. But before I do, let’s look at the problem with some standard breakfasts.
The Problem with Cereals and Some Porridges
Okay, so apart from the gluten and dairy that is inherent in most cereals, they also tend to have a high glycemic load and are very carb heavy.
So, what is the alternative? Here are some ideas:
Eggs are highly nutritious and are a good source of protein as they have all of the essential amino acids. They are also low GI and are considered to have “high biological value” (1)
There are so many ways you could have your eggs in the morning: scrambled, pached, fired, in an omelette or frittata or hard boiled. If you’re in a rush and you want to bump up the nutrient content by adding some veggies, here is a great recipe idea:
Microwave Egg and Veggie Breakfast
- 2 x eggs
- 1 x tbsp. water
- 2 x tbsp. thinly sliced baby spinach
- 2 x tbsp. chopped mushrooms
- Sliced grape or cherry tomatoes
- ½ x cup strawberries, to serve
- Coat 8-oz. ramekin or custard cup with cooking spray. ADD egg, water, spinach and mushrooms; beat until blended.
- Microwave on HIGH 30 seconds; stir. Microwave until egg is almost set, 30 to 45 seconds longer.
- Top with tomatoes.
- Serve with a ½ cup of strawberries on the side.
This food is a good source of Niacin, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin and Selenium. It is also MILDLY anti-inflammatory.
Total carbs: 12g
Glycemic load: 5
For a more relaxed weekend breakfast, try this delicious one pan breakfast:
One Pan Summer Eggs
- 1 x tbsp. olive oil
- 2 x large zucchini (courgette), chopped into small chunks
- 7oz (200g) pack cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 x garlic clove, crushed
- 4 x eggs
- few basil leaves , to serve
- Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, then add the zucchini (courgettes).
- Fry for 5 mins, stirring every so often until they start to soften, add the tomatoes and garlic, then cook for a few mins more.
- Stir in a little seasoning, then make two gaps in the mix and crack in the eggs.
- Cover the pan with a lid or a sheet of foil, then cook for 2-3 mins until the eggs are done to your liking.
- Scatter over a few basil leaves and serve.
This food is a good source of Protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Phosphorus, Manganese and Selenium, and a very good source of Vitamin A. It is also MILDLY anti-inflammatory.
Total carbs: 13g
Glycemic load: 4
Smoothies are a quick and easy breakfast and are an easy way to get loads of nutrients. The only thing with smoothies is that they can have a very high glycemic load and can cause your blood sugars to rise quickly. So, to combat that quick spike in sugars, make sure that you balance the carbs with some almond butter, an egg or even an avocado (you hardly notice the taste but it does make your smoothie so much creamier!)
Here are some smoothie suggestions:
Chocolate Cherry Cinnamon Smoothie
- 1 ½ x cups fresh or frozen cherries (if frozen, watch for added sugar)
- 1 x banana
- ½ x cup coconut milk
- 2 x tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 x tsp. cinnamon
- ¾ x cup water
- 4 x ice cubes
- Blend all ingredients until smooth and enjoy!
This food is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber and Copper, and a very good source of Manganese.
Total carbs: 33g
Glycemic load: 10
Pineapple Citrus Smoothie
- 1 x banana
- 1 ½ x cups fresh or frozen pineapple chunks
- 1 x orange, peeled and quartered
- Juice of one lime
- 4 x ice cubes
- 1 x tbsp. ginger
- ½ x tsp. nutmeg
- 2 x tsp. turmeric
- ½ x cup coconut milk
- ¾ x cup water
- Add all ingredients to blender.
- Blend until smooth. If needed, add additional water until desired consistency is reached.
- Divide evenly between two large glasses and enjoy!
This food is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a very good source of Vitamin C and Manganese. It is also STRONGLY anti-inflammatory.
Total carbs: 43g
Glycemic load: 13
Granolas and Porridges
Last but not least, we need some “cereals” and porridges”. My mom used to call me the Corn Flakes kid when I was growing up as cereal always used to be my comfort food. So, is a porridge and cereal for when you need a bit of warmth and comfort.
Instant Flax Meal Almond Butter Hot Cereal
- ¼ x cup flax seed meal (ground flax seeds)
- ½ x cup boiling water
- 1 x tbsp. almond butter
- ¼ x tsp. cinnamon
- ½ grapefruit
- Pour boiling water over flax seed meal and stir well.
- Stir in almond butter and cinnamon.
- Let thicken for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Serve with ½ grapefruit.
This food is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Thiamin and Magnesium, and a very good source of Vitamin C and Manganese.
Total carbs: 22g
Glycemic load: 3
This granola may take a little longer to prepare but it will last for up to a week so is a great breakfast on the run or something quick and easy to take to the office if you need to.
Grain Free Granola
Serves 14, 2 oz / 58g per serving
- 2 x cups mixed almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia and brazil nuts
- 1 x cup dried plums or dried cherries, cranberries or apricots
- ½ x cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds, activated if possible)
- ½ x cup hazelnut or almond meal
- 1 x cup desiccated coconut, unsweetened
- ½ x cup coconut flakes (if you have them)
- 1-2 x tbsp. chia seeds
- ½ x cup melted coconut oil
- 5-6 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
- 1 x tsp vanilla extract
- Optional but very nice: zest of 1 orange
You will need a food processor or some other way to break the nuts into smaller crumbs
- Preheat oven to 165C (330F).
- Add whole nuts and dried fruit to a food processor. Process the mixture into medium size crumbs, some of it will turn into finer flour/meal like consistency but that’s what we want – a variety of shapes and sizes.
- Mix processed nuts and all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use a wooden spoon or a spatula to break down the clumps, which will form when coconut oil and honey come into contact with dry ingredients. It’s ok if some of them remain unbroken.
- Line a deepish roasting tray with baking paper, making sure the sides are covered. Spoon the mix into a tray and flatten with a spatula.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes in total or until golden brown on top. Make sure to mix through at a 10 minute point to expose more of the granola to the heat.
- Remove and let it cool completely. You can even refrigerate it for 10 minutes, this solidifies coconut oil and honey in it.
- Break into crumbs and pieces using your hands or a spoon. Transfer to an air-tight container. I transfer mine still in the baking paper and keep it, unrefrigerated, in a large plastic container for up to a week.
- Serve with almond milk and some fruit if desired.
This food is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Manganese.
Total carbs: 21g
So, there are some breakfast ideas that are PCOS friendly and will stand you in good stead for your busy day. If you need some more ideas on other recipes, I have well over a hundred recipes that I use for the weekly meal plans so there’s loads more where these came from!
What is your favourite PCOS friendly breakfast? I’d love to hear from you!