Mornings can be tough. Baby bee is teething (again) right now, so it’s not unusual for me to sleepwalk my way through the first half of the day. To be honest, I’d be quite happy to autopilot my way through meals or skip them all together if it weren’t for a pesky thing called hypoglycemia. Essentially, my body is a little too good at sucking the sugar out of my bloodstream so, if I’m not careful, I’m prone to extreme drops in blood sugar levels and some pretty trippy episodes complete with anxiety, dizziness, major irritability, and sweating from places you didn’t know you could sweat from. Not exactly ideal when you’re caring for and exclusively breastfeeding an infant.
The magical solution? … I wish! There isn’t one. I have to be really diligent about watching what I eat and being sure to eat more often. As all new moms and dads know, I don’t usually have time to do anything “more often” – let alone prep and eat a meal every 2 hours – so I opt for eating smarter when I do have time to eat. One of the ways that I do that is by making sure that I have a fully-loaded smoothie first thing every morning. The key to managing hypoglycemia is to make sure that you load up on fat and protein to give you long-term fuel, and fiber to help slow the absorption of sugars in the short term. So, I make sure to include lots of plant-based healthy fats and protein, as well as fruits relatively low in sugar and high in fiber.
While I change it up a bit everyday, the main ingredients stay the same. I always make sure to include some berries (low in sugar and packed with antioxidants to help my poor mom brain out), coconut oil (healthy fat to keep me going), protein (this week, it’s in the form of natural peanut butter and greek yogurt, but I also love chocolate Vega protein powder), and milk or a milk alternative. Depending on what ingredients I choose for the day, I may also add a sweetener (like stevia or a bit of raw honey), something creamy (like avocado or a banana), and greens (spinach is my favourite because it blends up really well).
This week’s recipe (in the image below) is fully-loaded with 500 calories, 18g of protein, 24g of (healthy) fats, 7g of dietary fiber, and loads of vitamins and minerals.
Since adding these jam-packed smoothies to my morning routine, I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in my energy levels throughout the day: I don’t need to rely on coffee to kick off my day (okay, sometimes it’s still required!), I no longer have a mid-morning crash, and I’m more likely to keep my eating on-track for the rest of the day, with no more binge-eating to compensate for a mid-afternoon crash.
The amazing thing about smoothies is that – for all the benefits they deliver – they only take 5 minutes to make and clean up, you can toss in whatever you have lying around, they’re great for on the go, and they guarantee that – no matter what the day throws at you – at least you had a good breakfast! Here’s to making it through the morning in one piece!