Ask a Health Coach: How Lily Harris Eats for Balanced Blood Sugar

Last Update: February 16, 2024

This article is part of our Ask a Health Coach series, which focuses on answering common health and nutrition questions from our community. Because we know that meeting one-on-one with a health coach may not be accessible to all people, we tapped Lily Harris, certified Holistic Health Coach and friend of Thrive Market, to learn about the best advice that she gives her clients. 

While most people know that consuming sugar in large quantities isn’t great for your health, you may not know exactly why (or how) you should keep your blood sugar in check. 

According to Holistic Nutrition Practitioner Lily Harris of Lily Feeds You, balancing your blood sugar doesn’t just mean cutting out sugary sodas — it also means eating a well-balanced diet and not skipping meals. While your blood sugar can  “spike” from consuming too many sweets or carbohydrates, it can also sink to too-low levels when you don’t eat enough throughout the day. 

We visited Harris and asked her our most hard-hitting questions about blood sugar, and she even shared her favorite balanced smoothie recipe for avoiding that all-too-familiar crash. 

What is blood sugar? 

Your blood sugar is the level of glucose (or sugar) in your blood. Glucose is an important energy source for humans, and your glucose levels are affected by the foods you eat. 

When your blood sugar is too high, it’s known as hyperglycemia. When your blood sugar is too low, it’s known as hypoglycemia. While people with diabetes and other medical conditions must be extra cognizant of their blood sugar levels, maintaining balanced blood sugar is beneficial for all people and their health. 

What types of foods might spike my blood sugar? 

“When you eat any amount of carbohydrates, during the digestion process, they get absorbed into your bloodstream and become blood sugar,” Lily explains. Foods that can cause a blood sugar spike include: 

  • Sugary drinks and sodas
  • Processed foods containing trans fats
  • High-sugar baked goods
  • White rice
  • Pastas
  • Breads
  • Sugary cereals 
  • Artificial sweeteners 
  • Certain fruits (such as mango, watermelon, and ripe bananas)

How does eating too much sugar affect the body? 

For most healthy adults, eating sugar in moderation won’t negatively affect your health, but eating a diet that’s loaded with processed foods and sugary sweets can start to make you feel pretty rough — both physically and mentally. “In life, we would love to find balance, but it’s really hard with all the stress and other things going on,” Lily says. “If you can balance your blood sugar, you can find more balance throughout the day.”

Aside from increasing your risk of chronic disease, diabetes, and obesity, eating too much sugar may present some more immediate symptoms. When you eat too much sugar, you may notice these short term symptoms: 

  • Energy spike and crash
  • Dull skin and/or breakouts
  • Dehydration
  • Low mood or mood swings
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Weight gain 
  • Headaches

Lily Harris’s Balanced Smoothie Recipe

“In terms of balancing blood sugar when making smoothies, try to reduce the amount of fruit and round things out with vegetables and healthy fats. Some of my favorite healthy fats from Thrive Market are unsweetened cashew butter, organic coconut butter, and organic almond butter.” 

Yield: 1 serving
Active time: 5 minutes 
Total time: 10 minutes


1 cup unsweetened milk (cashew or almond both work well) 
1 cup frozen berries 
1 tablespoon protein powder
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 large handful frozen spinach (or other dark, leafy greens) 
1 teaspoon unsweetened cashew butter (coconut butter or almond butter also work)


Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. 

Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately. 

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before changing your diet or healthcare regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

This article is related to:


Share this article

Amy Roberts

Amy Roberts is Thrive Market's Senior Editorial Writer. She is based in Los Angeles via Pittsburgh, PA.

Download the app for easy shopping on the go

By providing your mobile number, you agree to receive marketing text messages from Thrive Market. Consent not a condition to purchase. Msg & data rates apply. Msg frequency varies. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel.

If you are visually-impaired and having difficulty with our website, call us at 1‑855‑997‑2315

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

© Thrive Market 2024 All rights reserved.