Hello everyone! This week has been crazy hectic, I was on vacation last weekend and this weekend I’m starting a new job and getting into a new routine, and catching up on school, which means not as much time to blog and play around in the kitchen as I’d like. So today I’m coming to you with a very easy smoothie recipe that my boyfriend has for breakfast almost every morning. He is one of my first unofficial “practice clients” and I’m excited to say he’s been seeing great results, like weight loss and more energy, and his diet is much better overall! Before asking me for my nutrition advice he tended to opt for a sugar free Red Bull for breakfast.
For many years, I was not a big breakfast person. In fact I used to skip a ton of meals and only eat dinner because I didn’t feel well, and I felt my worst in the mornings. Then, when I started taking classes I learned how important breakfast really was. I started making smoothies every morning and pretty much fell in love with them. As I kept learning more though, I learned that it was best to eat a high protein, low carb breakfast, and as my nutritionist moved me toward a Ketogenic diet I had no idea how I was going to get to keep having my morning smoothie. What is a smoothie without fruit after all?
Luckily, I figured out some alternatives, and this coffee smoothie is one of my favorites.
Why eat a Low Carb, High Protein Breakfast
We are often advised to eat the most carbs at breakfast and the least at dinner, because we are more insulin sensitive in the morning and our cortisol levels are at their highest.
I will be doing a longer post on blood sugar regulation but on a high level you can either be a fat burner or a sugar burner.
The body’s first source of energy that it burns is glucose, which comes from eating carbohydrates and sugar. Once the body has burned through glucose it will start to burn through glycogen, which is stored glucose. Only after the body has used up the glucose and glycogen stores will it start burning fat.
During the long overnight fast, your body typically moves into fat burning mode. So, when you wake up and eat a bowl of oatmeal, your body goes back into sugar burning mode. However, if you make a high fat, high protein breakfast, you are giving your body the energy it needs and allowing it to continue in fat burning mode.
Why Be a Fat Burner vs. A Sugar Burner?
- Weight loss! One of the reasons lower carb diets work so well for weight loss is because your body can skip burning through glucose and glycogen and go straight to burning fat for energy.
- Better, longer-lasting energy. If you think about your energy as a fire, sugar and refined carbohydrates would be the kindling in the fire and fats would be the large log in the fire. Refined carbs cause large spikes and dips in your blood sugar (and your energy). By relying on fat as your main source of energy you have energy that is going to last throughout the day.
- Get off the blood sugar roller coaster. As mentioned above, refined carbohydrates spike your blood sugar and send the body into a state of emergency, eventually dropping the blood sugar too low. This cycle can eventually lead to hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, and Type II Diabetes.
My Take on Smoothies
Personally, I’m a huge fan of smoothies for breakfast. I love eggs but get tired of them quickly and I don’t have a lot of time to make and eat breakfast in the morning. So I like that smoothies are quick, easy to take with you, and they keep me full until lunch.
Protein Powder Options
If you do fine with dairy, I would recommend using a high quality grass fed whey protein isolate powder. We use this one.
I don’t recommend plant based protein powders because they are not a complete source of protein. I don’t do well with dairy so I add 2 raw eggs to my smoothies every morning. They pack a great nutritional punch, are great for gut health, and don’t taste like anything, I promise! Also, the risks of getting salmonella are very, very low, especially if you are using pastured eggs. I have also seen beef and egg protein powders on the market but haven’t tried them myself.
I also add collagen peptides to my smoothies. These have protein but aren’t a complete protein. They are a great source of amino acids and are great for gut and joint health.
Recipe: Low Carb Coffee Protein Shake
4 oz Cold Brew Coffee
1/4-1/3 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk (canned)
1 TBS nut butter of your choice (my favorites are pecan and walnut)
6-7 drops of liquid vanilla stevia or sweetener of your choice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 scoop protein powder or 2 raw eggs
1 scoop Collagen Peptides
1/3-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2-3/4 cup of ice (depending on how icy you want it)
Blend ingredients until smooth. Enjoy!