Smoothies for Breakfast

I started drinking smoothies for breakfast, but I seem to be having trouble keeping my blood sugars regular during the mornings when I have the smoothies. My usual recipe is 8 oz coconut water, a giant fistful of kale or spinach, a banana, 1 cup of frozen fruit, 2 tbsp flax seeds, 2 tbsp psyllium seed husk powder. The average smoothie I make has around 40 grams of carbs. I take 4 units of humalog to cover for the smoothie. Usually an hour later, my blood sugar is over 200, then another hour after that, my blood sugar will be 50. I generally have trouble with high blood sugars in the morning, but it’s even worse when I have the smoothies. Does anyone have a similar problem when they drink smoothies for breakfast?

I would no doubt be just as high if I attempted 40 carbs at breakfast! I am at my most carb intolerant at that time of day.

I think coconut water is sort of like soda, lots of carbs. I've been eating/ drinking Shakeology+ protein powder for a while and it seems to be manageable but is like 14G of carbs and 40ish G of protein.

I'm very insulin resistant in the morning so I delay any eating until late morning. I could never bolus well for 40 grams CHO at breakfast. I limit my breakfast to the 12-21 grams CHO range. Liquid carbs especially would make BG control hard for me.

Have you experimented with pre-bolusing? With close monitoring I can go up to 60 minutes before the BG trace on my CGM starts to drop as it reacts to my breakfast insulin dose.

Have you tried exercising in the second hour after dosing the morning meal insulin? When insulin peaks exercise amplifies its effect.

Have you ever heard of super-bolusing? (This only works with a pump; not sure you have one.) If you haven't heard of it, it simply means borrowing from a few hours post meal basal and delivering that amount up front with the meal basal. I rarely use it but maybe it could help with your smoothie challenge.

I might have a shot at controlling an evening smoothie when I'm much more insulin sensitive, but I don't like to drink my carbs.

I'll be interested if you get this one figured out. Good luck!

I eat Essentially zero carbohydrates for breakfast, that’s the only way I stay flat in the morning

I have to honest, I'm not really a fan of smoothies. They can essentially convert a complex carb into a simple carb by juicing everything. And since they make every little bit of carb bioavailable you may find that it makes things have essentially "more" carbs. And finally, much of the fiber can be removed if you use a juicer, that is not a good thing. I think eating whole foods is inherently better and unfortunately like others I have real trouble with any carbs in morning. I like eggs and sausage.

ps. And Terry's suggestions really makes sense. If you must smoothie, treat it like it was a simple carb and pre-bolus.

I tend to add more seeds than that, as the fat slows the spike down and keeps BG more even. (I use hemp seed, as flax's taste is strong.) And you could easily get away with using more greens and less fruit. The smoothie will still taste sweet.

Have you tried pre-bolusing for the smoothie 15-30 minutes before eating? I have been experiencing similar issues with most of my breakfasts (even stuff that is low carb or low-GI will send me into the 250's at the one hour mark and into the 70's once I have no IOB), and I can typically keep myself under 180 by taking insulin 15-20 minutes before eating breakfast.

I'm with Zoe and others on this - there is no way I could have 40g of carbs in the morning and have any hope of stable BG. My usual breakfast involves eggs and meat. I'll sometimes have unsweetened Greek yoghurt or almond flour pancakes or waffles.

If you're set on having a smoothie and you want to mitigate the BG spikes, consider removing the coconut water, banana and frozen fruit. Those are the ingredients that are spiking you, and I suspect the worst offenders are the frozen fruit and coconut water. The banana might have the lowest impact of the three because of its fibre content. You can use liquid Stevia as a natural, no risk sweetener ( You might also want to consider unsweetened almond milk instead of the coconut water.

Hope this helps.

I also am insulin resistant in the morning and also, no matter what time of day I have a problem with bananas. Karen Graffeo just put up a post on smoothies and I'll get you the link to her blog. I'm sure she'd be happy to answer any questions.

Here's Karen's link

Wow! Had no idea breakfast posed such a problem for BG stabilization for lots of folks. My son has same issue. I then started using Herbalife and make him a meal replacement smoothie (2 scoops @13g CHO) and go heavy on poteins for breakfast. Less carbs in am has helped.