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Manic Monday ~ Shake, Shake, Shake!

My blender is my most favorite kitchen appliance. In fact, I have two on hand at all times. I have a large Ninja blender and an 8 cup blender. And truth be told, I have already burned out the motor in the smaller blender this year. I will be sure to pick another one up on my next shopping trip. I use my blenders everyday. The smaller one for a quick mid morning protein snack and the Ninja for an after dinner treat for the whole family. So, you may wonder what goes into these blenders as well as what comes out of them. Let me just say it's delicious AND highly nutritious! Shakes! I have perfected the art if shake making over the past 14 years. It all started at the gym in 2003. We housed a cafe that served healthy treats. But it was a certain "favorite" shake that lured people to the cafe bar. The shake even had an awesome catchy name: "Through the Lips, Off the Hips." Yep, you would hear that order come up several times in an hour. Everyone who became regular attendees of the gym also became regular "drinkers" of this shake. The ingredients included chocolate protein whey, peanut butter, banana, and almond milk and the finest crushed ice a good blender can make. I got a hold of this recipe and now make it in my own kitchen. And now I'm sharing it with you! "Through the Lips, Off the Hips" 2 cups of almond milk (chose the 40 calorie option, I also like the vanilla flavored) 1/2 frozen banana 1 scoop of Chocolate protein whey 1-2 tbs of peanut butter (or use PB2 for a lower calorie option) 1 cup of ice Blend until ultra smooth! Approximately 280-320 calories and 24g of protein Perfect mini meal for one or split into 2 servings for a snack. Another protein shake that is a favorite and serves 3, is one that reminds me of the beach. We call this "Tropical Bliss." 3 cups of low cal vanilla flavored almond milk 2 scoops of vanilla protein whey 1 frozen banana 1 can of frozen pineapple (freeze in a freezer bag) 1-2 cups if fresh spinach ( you won't taste it, but it brings a ton of nutrients) 2 tbs of unsweetened coconut flakes (optional) Blend until smooth. 3 servings at 160 calories and 15g of protein. "Tuti Fruiti" Follow the Tropical Bliss recipe and substitute the frozen pineapple for frozen berry blend and eliminate the coconut. The calories will be slightly less. These are just a few of many recipes you can try. The only thong to be aware of is added sugar in some recipes. With the above shakes, the fruit is enough to sweeten the drink. Even in the Through the Lips, Off the Hips recipe, you can add a couple of cups of raw spinach. It will turn the drink a little greenish but it really doesn't alter the taste. It's a great way to add in additional nutrients. There are other extras that can be tossed in. Chia seeds, ground flax seed, and raw honey are some extra options also. Give it a shot, or should I say: Give it a shake! Enjoy and have a GREAT week! Rachel Zimmerman, Certified Personal Trainer and Life Coach ACE/NSCA Wife, Mother, and Friend

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