For people with diabetes, meal planning takes a bit more thought and diligence, especially when you have to fit your meals in between work, errands, kids and household chores. Diabetic Gourmet suggests that if everyone ate according to diabetic guidelines–less sugar, fat and sodium–we would all be much healthier. In that vein, thinking about your diet as “healthy” rather than “diabetic” may make it easier to plan meals. These healthy, easy, drink-them-as-you-go breakfast drinks can help you get started.


Fruit Smoothies

Fruit smoothies are a healthy, antioxidant-packed way to jump-start your morning. They’re filling, too, so you won’t feel deprived or get hungry too quickly. Fruit smoothies are incredibly versatile. You can use any kind of fruit you like, so keep a variety of fresh and frozen fruits in your house. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and experiment–it’s nearly impossible to botch a fruit smoothie.

Begin by adding the base ingredients to your blender. Combine 2 cups vanilla fat-free yogurt, 1 chopped banana, 1/4 cup all-natural honey, 1/2 cup crushed ice and blend well. The banana is optional, but it does add body to your smoothie. Now comes the fun part. Add 2 cups of the fresh or frozen fruit of your choice and blend well. Fresh or frozen strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, pitted cherries or peaches make wonderfully tasty smoothies, but the options are wide open.

If you want to add a little extra punch of “healthy” to your smoothie, blend 1/4 cup of steel cut oatmeal, 1/8 cup of wheat germ or crushed flax seed, or 1/4 cup acai or goji berry juice into your beverage.


Tea Smoothies

If you enjoy your tea in the morning but need a little more to fill you up, a tea smoothie is a delightful option. If you choose a black, green, white or oolong tea, your smoothie will be packed with antioxidant polyphenols, which studies have suggested are powerful foes against cancer and heart disease.

Begin by brewing a cup of your favorite tea. Let it steep for at least 5 minutes so you have brewed a rich, nutrient-packed cup. Pour it into your blender, add 1 cup kefir milk (yogurt will also work if kefir milk is unavailable), 1 chopped banana, 1/4 cup all-natural honey and blend well. To up the “tasty” factor, you can also add fresh fruit to your smoothie. Add 1 1/2 cups of chopped mangoes, apples, peaches or honeydew melon. Blend well and you’re good to go.


Vegetable-Yogurt Breakfast Drink

If a sweet breakfast beverage isn’t your cup of tea, then this spicy, savory drink may be just the mellow start you need. Although fresh, home-squeezed vegetable juice is healthiest, it isn’t always practical, especially on busy mornings. Purchase products that are all-natural, 100 percent real vegetable juice, with no added salt or sugar.

In your blender, combine 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt, 1 cup vegetable juice, 2 tsp. lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. grated ginger and a dash of hot sauce.

Try experimenting with different herbs and spices. According to Revolution Health, studies suggest that certain herbs and spices have been shown to inhibit glycation, a process that doctors believe increases the risk of inflammation and tissue damage in diabetics. Top honors went to cloves, allspice, cinnamon, thyme, sage and marjoram.