Ariel Warren
Ariel Warren
POST  a year ago - 5 min read
Exactly How to Drink Smoothies without the BS Spike.

Exactly How to Drink Smoothies without the BS Spike.

Tomorrow during a FB Live, learn all my secrets to my favorite Lower Carb Smoothie Recipe AND how to avoid postprandial spikes. Join the "Getting Fit with T1D" FB Group for the LIVE show, lots of free diabetic-friendly recipes, workout motivation, and support from wonderful T1Ds just like you. :D

Smoothie show LIVE tomorrow (Friday 2-16-18) at...

10:30PM PST

11:30PM MST

12:30PM CNT

1:30PM EST

I want to start off by saying, I'm not selling ANYTHING in my show, this is honestly just a free cooking demo to give you more diabetic-friendly ideas.

Okay. Smoothies. I LOVE them. It's taken about 4 years, but I have a recipe that I love and am making tomorrow in the T1D Group during the LIVE show. It's delicious, packed with protein, vitamins/minerals, and decreases junk cravings throughout the day. AND, I'm going to give you all the tips on how to give insulin so you don't get that annoying postprandial spike afterwards.

A couple days ago, I had a poll of 4 different recipes to make during the show for tomorrow and it was a close call, but you voted for my "Go-To" Morning Smoothie as the winner. We will do the Low Carb Berry Ice Cream next, then possibly a keto-friendly pizza crust for the extremely low carbers.

NEXT Recipe: Low Carb Berry Ice Cream (packed with filling protein)

Smoothies. They are a bit tricky if you have diabetes. I don't know about you, but the pros out weigh the cons when it comes to smoothies because there are so many wonderful superfood add-ins that I would never eat if I didn't drink a smoothie.

You just have to be smart.

8 Detailed Tips to Keep Beautiful Blood Sugars AND Drink Smoothies

1. Give yourself TIME before you drink up. Smoothies are liquidated, so the carbs in the smoothie will hit your blood stream faster rather than just eating those same carbs. How much time you need to wait between giving insulin and drinking the smoothie depends on you, but if you are within a normal range, I would say to start making the smoothie 15 min after giving insulin. It takes about 5 min to make the smoothie, so that would be a total of about 20 min before you drink.

2. As a diabetic, eat a small serving of protein (with an optional fat) as you give insulin to prime your body before drinking the smoothie. Eating a no/low carb protein (with an optional fat) will do 2 things for you:

I. Keeps postprandial blood sugar much more stabilized. Protein in the system before carbs can greatly decease the spike from eating/drinking carbohydrates.

II. Gives your body time to feel satisfied. It takes about 15 min for hunger hormones (Ghrelin) to decease and satisfied hormones (Leptin) to increase. Therefore, you will not be "dying" of hunger before your smoothie, especially if it is your first meal of the day and it's after a good workout.

Low Carb Protein Options (some with fat): hard boiled egg, 3 oz chicken, 1 tbsp nut butter, 1 handful of nuts/seeds.

3. Be smart with any fruit adds. Smoothies for diabetics should NOT be LOADED with high carb fruits such as: mangos, bananas, pineapple, watermelon, grapes, dried fruits, even apples, pears, oranges, etc, can be an issue. As a diabetic, BERRIES, are your fruit of choice. raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and some blueberries.

4. If your smoothie is your breakfast, try to have an absolute max of 45 grams carbs for the entire smoothie and any sides. This can be tricky, but completely do-able (and still delicious!).

5. How to calculate insulin needs for the smoothie?? Count 4 things

I. Carbs from Fruit (without subtracting fiber)

II. Carbs from Protein Powder (multiply X 3)

III. Carbs from protein/fat side (+ 5 grams)

IV. OPTIONAL Carbs from low carb add-ins (+ 10 grams)

WHY? In a delicious smoothie, there are going to be many carb additions that you think are negligible and not worth counting. For instance, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (1 net gram) + 1 cup leafy greens, etc. They count.

Also, from personal experience and talking to my well-respected Endo, triple the carbs coming from a Protein Powder. I know the nutrition label states it's only 3 gram for 1 scoop, but it's more like 9 grams. That one dumbfounds me a bit, but this method works. If you are JUST drinking protein powder + unsweetened almond milk, you may be able to get away with just a multiplier of 2 or 2.5.

Those carbs from the superfood add-ins, they may be FULL of wonderful antioxidants, but they do add up in carbs, a little bit. I add quite a full, so I add an additional 10 grams to account for them. If you do not have superfoods, it's okay (see point #8).

My smoothie + sides total carb count = 20 grams + 9 grams + 10 grams + 5 grams = 44 grams (TOTAL).

**NOTE: This method has worked well for me as long as I do not have any other additional higher carb adds.

6. Use a protein source in your smoothie. Again, protein is key for more stable postprandial Blood Sugar AND it can add flavor depending on what you use. Personally, I've tried many, many, MANY different protein sources for my smoothies including raw egg whites, tofu, sprouted lentils, edamame, peanut flour, etc. ETC. Seriously, the list is endless.

What I currently use (and love) is a protein powder that uses stevia as the sweetener. Raw and natural is best, but smoothies with all the great superfoods just don't become a part of my diet if I don't use a protein powder that tastes good to me. I wish I was a bit more hard core. :D I will say, I am very particular with my protein powders because certain kinds seem to really frustrate my numbers. I will show you my favorite powder (that is cheap too) in my smoothie show.

If you don't like protein powder, no big deal, I'll show you many other substitutions that are more natural. I am very creative.

7. Eat your fats on the side. You can eat your fat source when you eat your protein or just eat a protein/fat combo food. This tip is a unique one of mine. I believe in the power of fat. Fat is critical for absorption of key vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Fat is helpful for more regulated blood sugar, and is necessary for feeling satisfied which can help curb junk food cravings throughout the day. WIN! WIN!

Why I eat fat on the side?? Well, fat grams are 9 calories per gram while protein and carbs are only 4 calories per gram. Therefore, I don't want to liquidate my fat calories, I want to slowly eat and enjoy them. I usually eat my fat, by having a handful of nuts on the side with my morning smoothie.

8. Add Superfoods!! This one is HUGE. Yes, there are plenty of wonderful key vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and fiber in the berries and leafy greens, BUT why not add a couple superfoods to dramatically increase that cancer-fighting antioxidant power?? Please and thank you!

In a smoothie, you can't even taste them (unless you go way overboard). Building up your superfood collection takes time, so do not stress! Easy ones that you probably already have in your house are cinnamon, ginger powder, turmeric (with black pepper), and cacao (or cocoa).

The Takeaway:

  • Bolus for 44 grams of carbs (for the smoothie + snacks from my show). Making your own smoothie, try to make the total carb amount LESS than 45 grams.
  • Eat a low carb protein source (hard boiled egg, 3 oz chicken, a mozzarella cheese stick or 1 tbsp nut butter.
  • Work on a couple things around the house, then start making my green smoothie 15 min after the initial bolus (+ 5 min for the time it takes to make the smoothie).
  • Make sure to incorporate some sort of protein in the smoothie to lessen a BS spike.
  • EAT your fat source on the side to increase satiety (full feeling).
  • Add lots of superfoods! You're probably not going to add a tsp of spirulina to your bowl of soup later, might as well get it in where you will hardly taste it. :D :D

To watch me make my favorite smoothie LIVE, join the "Getting Fit with T1D" FB Group. See you then! (featured below)

Smoothie show tomorrow (Friday, 2-16-18) at...

10:30PM PST

11:30PM MST

12:30PM CNT

1:30PM EST

See you there!!! :D :D

As always, I'm here to help you if you are stuck at a plateau with your weight or nutrition-related goals, or just don't know how to get started. Know that I'm always available to answer general questions. If you'd like to more customized answers, meal plans, and/or workout routines, send me an email and we can set up a 30 min free consultation call. That way we can get to know each other, I can offer you free advice, and we figure out a game plan (and don't worry, zero obligations signing on as a client). I'm here for you and I sincerely care.

Your T1D Dietitian & friend,

Ariel Warren, RD, CD


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