I'm A Stanford-Trained MD: This Is My Go-To Breakfast For Blood Sugar Balance
A filling, satisfying breakfast sets you up for the rest of the day—for many, it's quite literally the fuel for energy and productivity. And when it comes to stabilizing blood sugar, it becomes even more important to kick your morning off with a hearty, balanced meal—as you likely know, it can be quite difficult to hop off the blood sugar roller coaster once that first glucose spike hits.
That's why Stanford-trained physician and co-founder of Levels Casey Means, M.D., truly believes breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and she always starts her morning with a yummy, blood-sugar-balancing recipe. Below, we've captured one of her favorite go-to's.
A Stanford-trained M.D.'s favorite breakfast for blood sugar.
"I love to do a tofu scramble with some nutritional yeast and a bunch of veggies and maybe even some beans," says Means on the mindbodygreen podcast. The dish includes all the building blocks of a blood-sugar-balancing meal: protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
Nutritional yeast is especially a superstar for blood sugar: Not only is it low-glycemic-index food but it's also considered a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. It also contains the essential vitamin B12, which is primarily found in meat, poultry, fish, and eggs (which makes it a challenge for vegetarians and vegans to get enough).
While Means didn't specify any sort of measurements or recipe, here's a very basic tofu scramble you can customize to your liking:
- 1 block tofu (You might want to use extra-firm tofu so it will crumble easier.)
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 cup veggies of choice (spinach, broccoli, onion, bell pepper—whatever you fancy)
- ½ cup black beans (optional, but great for extra fiber and protein)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat some cooking oil on a skillet and crumble the tofu, bit by bit. Sauté to break up the chunks further until it appears "scrambled."
- Add the nutritional yeast and stir until well combined.
- Add the veggies and sauté until softened.
- Add the beans until heated through.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, then plate and serve.
"It's really about leaning into that savory, lower-carbohydrate, less-sweet [option]," Means continues. As we mentioned, the best blood-sugar-balancing meals include more protein, fiber, and fats and fewer refined carbs and sugar—sweet breakfasts (think pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, etc.) can easily fall into the latter territory. That's not to say all sweet breakfast foods are inherently "bad" for blood sugar (she offers a few sweet ideas here), but savory recipes have a better chance of including healthy fats, fiber, and protein.
Means loves a savory breakfast to kick off her morning (find all her favorite recipes here), but this tofu scramble is an especially beautiful option for the plant-based eaters among us. Filled with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, it's a blood-sugar-balancing staple.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.