My friend and I were strolling through Bloomsbury the other day when I saw my first Crussh. I saw that they sold ‘Fit Food’ and rather than being all ‘sure’ and carrying on, we stopped. We were just after a coffee anyway, so I could’ve just gone for a black coffee if all else failed.
We walked in and my decisive friend ordered her coffee, while I gawped at the ‘Smart Coffee’ options on the board and exclaimed that ‘they do bulletproof coffee!’ My excitement grew, and my friend nonchalantly concluded her order – getting me a BPC. I was still gawping at the menu and picking up the snacks by the till to scan the Nutritional Value lists on the back when my friend said she was gonna take a seat and leave me to do my thing. I often look on the back of food packets – but after 3.5 years of living with type 1, I know better than to expect, or even hope, to find anything truly Low Carb or Keto friendly. But I’m always curious about what’s out there.
And then I saw the Adonis Low Sugar Nut Bar. Right… Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo and NO Added Sugar made from 100% Natural Ingredients. My initial reaction was ‘Yeah, right, sure’, so I picked it up and flipped it over. 5.2g carbs per bar. Okay..that’s good..very good.. And then I saw that 2.8g of that are due to erythritol – making the whole bar a total of 2.4g net carbs. I flipped back to the front which is when I noticed the ‘2g Net Carbs’ claim and the ‘2g Natural Sugar’ label and took a photo..obviously. Being a complete nerd, I also really appreciated the texture and look of the packets themselves (Matte > Gloss any day of the week)! To top it off, crucially, the flavours were also right up my street and both get a big approval from me (Red > Blue).
Even though the information was right there, I was skeptical. I mean… if things seem too good be be true, the rule of thumb is that they usually are… especially when it comes to the nutritional content of food and their effects on blood sugar. So I let my Dexcom graph be the judge – this was the result with no insulin on board and no injection for the bar itself:
Diabetics, you’ll appreciate the rarity of not having to inject for something you consume. Non-diabetics, imagine having to inject for every food item (and possibly drinks) you consume. Every single thing. No matter where you are, who you’re with or how cold it is and how many layers of clothes you’re wearing. Then imagine walking into a shop and being able to buy a snack bar that you can eat like a normal human being with a functioning pancreas. You don’t have to think about the content, injecting, or how it’s going to make you feel, because it’s effect is negligible. That’s the Adonis Nut Bar for you. Another thing I tested on my fourth visit was how well the bars would hold up in my bag. This may sound odd, but I appreciate that getting products like this to stick together and hold their form is more difficult without the sugar and high carb ingredients.. so I bought another one, chucked it in my backpack and strolled the 2.5 mile walk from Westminster to The Shard. When I arrived at my lecture, I pulled the bar out and it had only broken into 2 clean pieces, rather than a crummy or mangled mess. I consider this a victory.
Moving on from the Miracle Bar… I saw that they also sold Broths with Zero Noodles, which is when I took my Smart Coffee to the corner, pulled out my laptop and clicked through the nutritional information of every item in store that had the potential to be low carb (made easier by the fact that they have nutritional information per serve rather than per 100g!). However there was no large downloadable spreadsheet/table of all items, which would’ve been even more straightforward, and despite there being a whole range of filterable specifics to narrow down the search, none of them filtered by carbohydrate count or low sugar. Enough rambling now, here’s a detailed list of what you can buy from Crussh without having to worry about spikes in blood sugar…
Every single coffee on their menu is keto friendly.
Those of you with a keen eye might shout ‘what about the Agave in the Turmeric Latte?’ But you can request this to be omitted, and the staff will happily oblige (Though with the sweetness coming from fructose rather than glucose, those of you who aren’t keto/diabetic might find your metabolism and BG can handle it better than mine). The ginger they use is fresh, not a syrup (I checked) and the Almond Mylk is Unsweetened Alpro (I also checked) which makes this a decent caffeine free hot drink alternative! (In my opinion, they could go a little stronger on the turmeric, but perhaps that’s because mine lacked the little sweetness and I prefer my turmeric lattes to pack a little punch. However, a staff member in the 4th Crussh I visited (yes, 4th, I’d like to say this was purely for research purposes..but that would be a lie) shared my view, though, and said he adds extra to his)
The fact that they even offer bulletproof coffee (BPC) is amazing in itself – and there’s the option between having MCT oil or Brain Octane MCT oil. Both are good, and while there’s no difference in taste (that I noted), there are a whole post of reasons (more to follow..) on why the Brain Octane MCT is worth the extra dollar. From a financial and non-keto point of view though, I appreciate that they’ve kept BPC accessible by having the regular MCT option – and I’d recommend it.
Ginger Shot Latte
Like the Turmeric Latte, the Ginger Shot uses fresh ginger – so having it with Soya or Almond will keep it low in both carbs and sugar, but steer clear of the Coconut Milk option (which is sweetened). I love ginger…and I love coffee. The two together are an interesting match…and one worth trying. I’m not converted, though, and the BPC will remain my absolute go to!
All other coffees can be made with almond, soya or coconut milk for NO EXTRA CHARGE. This is the first time I’ve seen this and as a non-dairy mylk drinker as a type 1 diabetic also conscious of the environmental impact of dairy milk, I appreciate this so much.
Tofu, miso & greens Zero Noodle broth pot
Here we have a low Carb, Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, High Protein broth pot. I mean… I’m not sure there are any boxes left to tick?! The tofu pieces are big and have decent texture, the beans have a crunch and the noodle are Zero Carb (there could be a few more of them and it needs a good stir to separate them out before you tuck in). And they get filled at the counter so you have the option of purchasing on in the morning, carrying around a lighter, safe load and topping it up with hot water at lunch time. This one has 11.9g carbs/serve – of which 2.6g are sugars (leave the edamame beans for a reduction of both).
They serve two more broths… the Prawn Tom Yum and Chicken Laksa. However, they both contain almost 14g carbs/serve.. of which 8g are sugars. I know…it hurts.
I think it’s also worth mentioning that they offer a Super Green Side Soup (which I think should just be called the The Souper Green..) which contains peas, leaks, broccoli, edamame, broccoli and spinach – racking in at 8.6g carbs/serve of which 4.2g are sugars. I’d just like them to omit the peas from this one, and maybe even the edamame, to drastically (ratio wise) reduce that carb count.
Pictured is the Protein Boost Box which contains only 3g carbs/serve and are delicious! They each containing smoked salmon, 1.5 hard boiled eggs, chicken, half an avocado and spinach (with a wedge of lemon). Nutrient dense, flavour dense, high in protein and low in carbs.
(I was having lunch and coffee with a fellow ketogenic type 1 diabetic – hence the matching Protein Boxes, BPCs, Freestyle Libre and Diabetic Kit! Both our BGs remained completely stable throughout and after our two BPCs (each) and Protein Boxes)
They have a bunch of these which all look amazing but just one is Keto friendly and it’s the Chicken Healthpot which contains chilli marinated chicken with spinach, toasted nuts & seeds. I failed at getting a photo of this one, but I did buy one to take away and it was really tasty.
They sell bone broth! However, when I went to buy some it was unavailable… It’s 2.4g carbs/serve of which all of them are sugars which isn’t ideal but it’s made with slowly simmered beef bones, chicken bones, onions, carrots, salt, cider vinegar, cracked black pepper & bay leaves. It’s next on my list to try.
Unfortunately these almost all appear to be a little high on the carb/sugar scale for me, but the lowest one – Red Pepper & Smoked Paprika Energy Balls sounds interesting with cannellini beans, almonds, mango chutney, gluten free oats, pumpkin seeds, coriander & turmeric rolled in golden linseeds and a serve contains 11.1g carbs (of which 2.2g sugars) so I would like to try them. There’s another ‘however’ – I tried getting my hands on them in the last Crush I visited and they were unavailable… apparently not very popular and not great in taste so I was told it was looking like they won’t be returning.
So there you have it.
More places now have more low and lower carb options (and vegan if you go with the turmeric/ginger/normal latte and the miso broth!) – you just have to look for them. I’m definitely gonna keep my eyes peeled for other places and options around, and I will be racking up a list of go-tos on here.