by Dr. Will Cole
As a functional medicine doctor, I see blood sugar imbalance often in my patients, and it is one significant primary cause of hormonal imbalances, fatigue, irritability, and that general feeling of ill health. Fortunately, there is an easy fix for that hangry state, and for keeping blood sugar balanced all morning – even all day. All you have to do is eat a good breakfast every morning and you will lay the foundation for balanced blood sugar throughout your day.
But when I say “good breakfast,” I don’t mean a doughnut, or some processed microwave meal, or even a packaged “energy bar.” What I do mean is something high in healthy fat and protein and low in quick-burning sugar. Fat is like a log on a fire – it burns slow and lasts longer. Focusing on fat more than simple carbs will teach your body to burn more fat and keep you energetic all day long. Protein is another key nutrient when it comes to blood sugar balance, helping to slow the absorption of sugars into your bloodstream.
The good news is that this doesn’t have to take more than a few minutes, and can often be made in advance, for a “grab and go” experience that is nutritionally far superior to anything you could get at the gas station or the drive-through. Here are just a few of my favorite breakfasts that leave me feeling full and energized for the day:
Avocado Egg Bowls
Fat is the building block of a healthy and happy blood sugar level. Your brain is made up of 60 percent fat so you want to feed it exactly what it is made of rather than depriving it. Get your healthy fats in through everybody’s favorite fruit – avocado!
- 1 medium avocado
- 2 pasture-raised eggs
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Shredded grass-fed cheese (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Cut open avocado, remove the pit, and scoop out just enough to make room for the egg.
- Place the avocado in a jumbo muffin tin or oven-proof ramekin to keep it from tipping over. Crack open eggs and place one in each half of the avocado. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and cheese if desired. Bake 15 minutes and enjoy hot.
Nutty Chia Pudding
Creaming, pleasantly-textured chia pudding is the perfect make-ahead option and great for those who would rather stick with plant-based choices in the morning. The abundant healthy fats in this pudding come from the coconut milk, chia seeds, and nuts. This recipe is also rich in sugar-balancing protein. I like to mix this up the night before so it is ready to go in the morning with zero effort (other than finding a spoon). This makes a large single serving or can be split up for two mornings.
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup desired sweetener (honey, maple syrup), optional
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter or other favorite nut butter
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or almonds
- Place coconut milk, vanilla, sweetener (if using), and peanut or nut butter together in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Stir in chia seeds and chopped nuts. (Or reserve the nuts for right before eating, if you want them to remain crunchier.)
- Pour into desired container and place in refrigerator for between 4 and 24 hours.
This simple frittata celebrates clean protein and even more great fats – perfect for a Sunday morning, with leftovers for the week. The mushrooms and green promote methylation detox pathway function to help your body fight off the toxins you come across throughout the rest of your day.
- 8 large pasture-raised eggs
- 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
- 1/3 cup onion, diced
- 2 cups kale or spinach
- 3 slices organic turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1 cup ground organic grass-fed sausage or ground beef, cooked
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Whisk eggs together with milk, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat coconut oil in skillet over medium heat. Add in mushrooms and onions, and cook for about 3 minutes, then add in greens.
- Add the eggs, bacon, and sausage to the vegetable mixture. Tilt the pan to spread the eggs evenly, and cook until the edges and bottom start to set.
- Place in oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the eggs are fully set.
Adaptogenic Green Smoothie
Smoothies are a quick, easy, super-nutritious breakfast option for those who like a lighter breakfast. I usually prefer to drink my breakfast, and this smoothie is packed with all of the fats you need without the load of sugar you will find in most other fruit-based beverages. Reishi is a powerful adaptogenic mushroom that will support healthy blood sugar balance with its ability to down-regulate alpha-glucosidase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down starches into sugars.
- 2 cups full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup spinach, kale, or other greens of choice
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 green apple
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon reishi powder
- Combine all ingredients in blender, blend, and enjoy!
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