Alkaline water
September 4, 2023

Good Breakfast Choices for Acid Reflux

Alkaline water


  • “I don’t want to lose any more weight” and “There’s nothing but oatmeal to have for breakfast on your diet,” are two common concerns that people express. This post addresses breakfast variations from my personal experience.
  • While there may be many more, the five types of breakfasts that I recommend for the refluxer are: (1) cereals including oatmeal, (2) smoothies, (3) rice dishes, (4) egg dishes, and (5) left-overs. All can be healthy, reflux-friendly, low-acid, and low fat, and it’s nice to rotate threw different choices.

Note: Respiratory Reflux (RR) and Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR) are synonyms and the terms can be used interchangeably. Going forward, I prefer the term RR and so should you; it is easier to pronounce, more intuitive, more comprehensive, and implies that RR can affect any and all parts of the respiratory system, which it does.

A former patient who “graduated” my reflux program four years prior came in complaining of heartburn each morning at about 11:00am. I asked what she had for breakfast, and she told me that she had oatmeal with raisins and banana every day. I suggested that she stop the banana … and indeed her heartburn went away.

Comment: Banana is generally one of the best fruits for the refluxer; however, it is a trigger food for about 5% of people. This case shows why having the same food(s) every day, all the time, may be problematic if one thing in there happens to be a reflux trigger for you.

My breakfasts are usually in one of five groups: (1) Cereals & oatmeal, (2) Smoothies, (3) Left-Overs, like last night’s dinner, (4) Rice dishes, and (5) Egg dishes. Sometimes I stay with one group for weeks, and at other times I change it up often. It just depends on how I feel and the season. There’s nothing magical here; these are just variations in my diet that work for me.

Cereals & Oatmeal

I stay as simple and clean as possible with both and I am gluten-free. (Gluten makes my psoriasis explode.) I eat Rice Crispies and instant oatmeal (Simply Truth Organic Original Instant Oatmeal); both choices are alkaline. For milk, I use unsweetened almond milk with vanilla, and for oatmeal I use my alkaline water pH 9.5.,

I usually have double servings, two bowls of cereal and two packets of oatmeal. To my cereal, I may add sugar, a banana sliced thinly, and sometimes, instead of banana, I’ll add blueberries or mango. It’s pretty much the same for oatmeal: raisins, banana, or blueberries. Because of pH-balancing, it is okay to add somewhat acidic fruits since almond milk and oatmeal are both quite alkaline. pH-balancing means the the alkaline part overcomes or at least decreases the acidic part.

You may choose other cereals, being not be as limited as me; however, read the box nutritional label. For many “popular” brands, sugar is the first ingredient listed.  Try to stay organic and again I highly recommend the unsweetened almond milk with vanilla instead of cow’s milk.


Smoothies are a quick, easy, and healthy breakfast for a lot of people. I personally own a Magic Bullet that has served me well for many years. In general, I keep any “just-reached its expiration date” fruit in the freezer; and I put bananas, melons, and “others” each in their own one-gallon bags.

If my freezer smoothie stock looks low, I’ll buy items I like just so I can freeze them. For example, I love pears, so when they’re in season and ready to eat, each week, I might buy four, two of which will get eaten, and two of which will get cut up and frozen. (I don’t peel pears.) I do the same with Fuji apples, my favorite red apple with a good pH, but I do peel them before cutting them up and freezing those. Also, I use a lot of melon, because I like it and because it usually comes in large portions.

How to make a pH-balanced smoothie. Start with ½ cup of crushed ice, ½ cup almond milk, and a banana. (If you don’t have crushed rice available, you can buy a mini-ice cube tray.) These three ingredients blended produce about one-and-a-half cups, about 60% of an average-size smoothie by volume, and the pH of this blend is 6.6.

Since the pH is well-above pH 5, this allows addition of other fruits. Prohibited are green apples, pineapple, and all other citrus. Personally, I keep a bag of sweetened frozen red cherries in the freezer, and put a small handful in most smoothies because the cherries have a high sugar content to sweeten any smoothie and they add nice color. I’ve never really measured the pH of frozen cherries but I suspect they’re acidic. The point is that pH balancing works, and smoothies are a wonderful breakfast option. And lest I forget, all greens have good pH values; they’re non acidic and great in smoothies.

Yogurt? People ask me this a lot. Most are around pH 4.5, and you can get some pH paper and measure yours. If you have daily reflux symptoms, yogurt is probably not the best breakfast choice, especially if you add fruit like blue berries or something like that. If you are doing well refluxwise, give it a try.


One of my favorite evening meals is grilled wild-caught, west-coast salmon with sautéed string beans with dill, and jasmine rice with cumin and turmeric. I always make extra for breakfast or lunch the next day.

The message here is that left-overs, especially yummy left-over dinners are fair game for breakfast, too. I have on occasion had a reheated baked potato for breakfast (450o for 30 minutes). I suggest that you stop thinking that you have to have traditional breakfast foods for breakfast … anything goes.

When you cook at home especially, you might try thinking ahead about what kind of dinners and what food items would be good in the morning. In addition to salmon and vegetables and vegetable dishes, I am generally a left-overs-breakfast eater … and I recommend it to you. 

Rice Dishes

During my rice run, usually at least a week, I make a big pot for the week, usually on Sunday. This consists of a cup of organic, California, long grain, organic brown rice, and a cup of organic wild rice. I cook them together because the wild rice makes the brown rice a more desirable texture. And that makes more than 6 cups of rice. When it cools, it goes in Tupperware. BTW, I tend to buy my rice at Whole Foods because they are sold in bulk and have a huge turnover. That means it’s probably fresher than rice in plastic bags.

This particular rice combination, obviously quite different than white rice, is excellent for breakfast, and particularly when there are leftover dinner items. My favorite is salmon, and at least every week or so I’ll cook West Coast Salmon steaks and throw them in the refrigerator.

The breakfast recipe is one cup of rice in a bowl with olive oil, a half a piece of salmon, chopped up… and while that’s microwaving … after a minute stir … and then another 30 seconds … done. While the rice is being microwaved, I cook two or three egg whites, no yolks needed. When the eggs are done, I put them on top of the rice and slice them up and then mix them in with the rice and fish. I always use enough olive oil so it is never dry. This is a high-calorie breakfast and one of my favorites. If you were no longer in the detox phase, you can have three egg whites with one egg yolk. It’s not my thing but the yolk makes the rice a little more cohesive.

If I’m going to use white rice, I use my rice cooker and Aborio rice. I’ll make one cup of rice, which is good for two meals, one immediately eaten and the other saved. I tend to use unconventional additions, such as beans, eggplant, sautéed onion, but surely, slices of Lebanese cucumber … and a host of other possible vegetables. Before anything like fish is put in the rice, I chop it up so it easily eaten. BTW, I use extra fine a premium select virgin olive oil in my rice breakfast concoctions.

Egg Dishes

For the most part, there are only three things that I make with eggs, omelets, hard-boiled eggs, and Takahashi (Japanese rolled omelet). I won’t talk about hard boiled eggs here except to say they can be a quick snack , but when you cut them in half, throw away most of the yolk.

When making an omelet for myself, I use three eggs and one yolk, that is, I toss two of the yolks out. If I’m serving more people, it will be six and two or nine and three. This is a good tip because one yolk per three eggs cuts down on cholesterol, etc., and in my opinion, still tastes as eggy as it should. For filling, I am a fan of sautéed red bell pepper and shrimp with fresh grated parmesan; but you can use what you like. Cheese for omelets? Great, and you’ll be amazed by how little of it you need to make a nice omelet. I am a fan of Edam and Gruyere cheeses.

One of my favorite Netflix movies was Midnight Diner (2014); it influenced my cooking … more Asian … and that’s where I learned to make the rolled omelet. I even bough the cute little rectangular pan. One egg makes one rolled omelet and I serve two per person. They can also be made sweet or savory.

In summary, I have shared some of my breakfasts and I hope you find this post useful. Remember, it is a bad idea to have the same thing for breakfast every day, as there may be a hidden trigger food in that regular.

The complete detox diet, how to get rid of pepsin, is in the vegetarian post on this blog, as well as in Dropping Acid and Dr. Koufman’s Acid Reflux Diet with gluten-free recipes.

For more information about diagnosis and treatment, see my books on Amazon: Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure and Dr. Koufman’s Acid Reflux Diet. And if you would like to schedule a virtual consultation with me, you can book online.

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