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Let's be real – I don't always have time to prep ahead. And I found that when I don't, I am 98.2% more likely to go off-plan. I absolutely made up that 98.2% statistic, but it definitely feels like nearly every time I go off-plan it's because I failed to either prepare or plan something ahead. Enter THM breakfast hacks to make it easier! (P.S. – this post was updated in 2023 with new tips 😊)
I've started hacking my day to make it more conducive to staying on-plan. And I don't mean just staying on plan in the half-hearted, kind-of-eating-well way – I mean feeling like a THM Ninja. By “ninja” I mean using all of the super slimming eating habits I've learned as a THM Coach and from the THM podcasts.
Quick pop quiz – which meal is more slimming? Cheese, salami and nuts, a Quest bar, or a big salad with a lean protein?
The answer is the salad, of course!
So let's mix it up a little! Sure, have your cheese and nuts and Quest bars for the occasional convenient snack (Drive Thru Sue's, I'm talking to you!).
I'm starting a new blog series of my tips to make each meal easier. I'll be sharing breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert hacks to make THM more doable. This post is all about THM breakfast hacks!
My #1 Breakfast Hack
My number one hack is to start the night before! If you can start a batch of crockpot oatmeal, set some frozen fruit in the refrigerator to thaw, get the coffee machine ready, or even make some bacon to refrigerate for the next day, you'll be in great shape!
I do as much as I can while I'm making dinner the day before – that way I'm already in the kitchen. Putting a baking sheet with bacon in the oven while dinner's cooking only takes a few minutes!
Store-Bought Breakfast Hacks
This may not be the most amazing, ninja-like option, but pre-cooked bacon and sausage are available at most grocery stores. I always check the ingredients for hidden carbs and sugars, but these pre-cooked choices are definitely valid options.
I often buy pre-cooked hard-boiled eggs and pre-chopped veggies in preparation for really busy weeks (like the first week of school, or when we are coming back from a vacation).
My go-to store-bought quick breakfast is not really a breakfast food – it's deli meat! Grabbing some deli meat and string cheese on your way out the door can be a huge time-saver. Thinking outside the box for breakfast can be a huge help when you don't have time to cook.
Two more recent favorites include NuTrail's Keto Granola with Oikos Triple Zero yogurt, or in a pinch I'll use one of these protein shakes from Orgain (please be careful – this is the only variety I'm aware of that can work for THM's!
When nothing is prepared
When I don't have anything prepped ahead, I'll start breakfast right when I wake up in the morning – I mean before I exercise, make coffee, do my devotions, or anything – I start a quick and easy task to make sure I'm getting a yummy breakfast.
The key here is to make sure you aren't spending a ton of time on whatever you decide to do. I get up, go straight to the kitchen to start something, and get on with my day. That means the something I start needs to be just a few steps – or even ONE step. If it's too complicated, like a breakfast casserole, I just won't have time to do it.
Honestly, a breakfast casserole or pancakes are best made on the weekends when I have time to make them – both recipes make excellent leftovers throughout the week! But this post is about quick and easy things I do when nothing is ready – starting my mornings this way makes me feel productive and empowered to get through the rest of the day.
When I'm starting something and walking away (or, you know, staying nearby but not necessarily spending a lot of hands-on time), I need the finishing step to be easy, too. So with the ideas below, you'll want to start them, watch them as needed when you go about your next tasks, then come back and have them ready to go.
Once I've started whatever I've decided on, I make my coffee and do my devotions and start load of dishes or make my bed while it's cooking. Of course you'll want to keep an eye on most things so you don't start a fire or anything, but I'm assuming you have enough common sense that I don't need to mention that.
By spending just a few minutes before I jump into my morning, I get a great start to my day by getting things accomplished. And I still get to eat a delicious, filling breakfast!
I do just one of the following tasks almost every morning before I move on to other things. Then I come back to the most time-consuming part of my breakfast already completed!
- Put bacon in the oven to cook. When I come back to pull the bacon out of the oven, I'll usually let it cool for a few minutes while I put my shoes on or something like that, then we'll just eat it and go.
- Start steaming cauliflower rice for THM's Unlikely Heroes Breakfast (on the membership site), either in the microwave or on the stovetop. The cauli rice is the most time-consuming part of that recipe, so once the cauliflower is cooked it's super easy to throw the rest of it together.
- Throw eggs in the oven (Please don't actually throw them. That sounds messy. Preheat your oven to 350, spray each cup of a muffin tin with coconut oil spray, then crack an egg into each cup. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then bake for 15 minutes). After 15 minutes, I'll (carefully) just scoop them out with a spoon and they're pretty much ready to go.
- Start some mushrooms sautéing in a pan with garlic. To make this even faster, I buy pre-sliced mushrooms and frozen pre-chopped garlic (HUGE time-saver!). I just put them in the pan with some butter, season them with salt and pepper, and set the heat on low. Getting these non-starchy veggies in with my breakfast is a win! When they're soft and cooked through I'll serve them with hard-boiled eggs if I have them already cooked. If not, I'll have some collagen in my coffee and call it good.
- Mix up a muffin in a mug and put it in the microwave. I usually let mine sit in the microwave until I'm ready to eat it.
- If I mix up a quick batch of granola, I'll double or triple it – that way I have breakfast throughout the week! Once I get it mixed up I can eat it right away or store it for later.
- Set out some frozen fruit to thaw for an E breakfast, or put an airtight ziploc bag of frozen fruit into a bowl of cold water to thaw for about 15 minutes while you get your day started.
Frozen fruit is a must-have
I buy big bags of frozen fruit at Costco – mangoes and cherries are my favorite, and I love that many of their frozen fruit options are organic.
As soon as I get home, I portion them out into snack-sized ziploc bags and put them in the freezer. That portion control is not just for me. It's also for my kiddos who descend on frozen fruit like a horde of 5 starving locusts and would polish off an entire Costco-sized bag in just a few minutes. That's actually happened before, but I learned my lesson!
That frozen fruit is great with collagen tea, or in oatmeal. After it's been out for 15 – 20 minutes, it's just thawed enough for me to enjoy.
Bonus – this isn't just one of my THM breakfast hacks – these pre-portioned bags of frozen fruit make WONDERFUL snacks later in the day. I usually have one baggie with collagen tea or a few pieces of lean deli meat for an E snack.
If you have a few minutes of prep time…
When I can grab just a few minutes to prep ahead, I'll pre-measure dry shake ingredients into small containers. Another time-saver is to pre-measure dry latte ingredients (I make my steamed milk for lattes with cocoa powder and THM Super Sweet).
If I have fifteen minutes, I'll use one of the prep-ahead instruction packets in my book, Easy Low-Carb Meal Prep in Minutes.
I'll have lots of hacks for other meals coming your way soon!