Breakfast to Suit a Night Owl

Protein powder doesn’t have to taste like chalk or grass, or feel like punishment. I’ve been devouring a scrumptious protein shake nearly every morning for years, and I have no plans of stopping!

Breakfast to Suit a Night Owl

I'm so not a morning person. Right now I am in the front seat of the struggle bus.

I actually was an early bird at college, preferring to have my classes done by noon at Penn State (that way I could relax once class was over for the day, and I was back in my room). Besides, if you don't burn the candle at both ends while at college, are you even there? However, I've been a night owl ever since PSU and in all the years before it.

How I drove two hours to and from work between Fauquier County, Va., and Montgomery County, Md., in my early 20s, I don't know. Well, I do know, I've always hustled, and I was young. Caffeine was my friend, my best friend.

Since having kids, I've pushed my pillow time even later. I'm one of those people who needs downtime at the end of the day before hitting the hay. Unlike my hubby, who can fall asleep anywhere at any time, my brain takes some unwinding. And, well, sometimes chores, Netflix, nagging concerns or a Colleen Hoover page-turner keep me up even later than I had planned, especially in the dreamy summer.

It's not that I can't get up early when I have to, but it doesn't agree with me no matter how hard I try. My body clock just runs a bit later. Needless to say, my older daughter's middle school AM bus time, 6:45ish, is killing me not-so softly.

At any rate, I love my family immensely, so I try to do everything I can to make the morning more manageable and myself less of a grumpy bear. Washing my face with my beloved Beautycounter Counter + Lotus Glow Cleansing Balm helps a ton. But when it comes to breakfast, the meal needs to be an overachiever. I'm talking fast, easy, healthy, energy-giving and YUMMY. A little magic would be nice.

I found that dreamy breakfast several years ago in the form of a delicious protein shake that makes me feel human again (before coffee!) and keeps me full until lunch. It all starts with Orgain Organic Vegan Protein + 50 Superfoods Protein Powder, vanilla bean ($28.49 for a 2.02 lbs. tub). Currently, we mix it with half a frozen banana,  1 tablespoon of hemp or flaxseeds, coconut milk and, lately, for more fiber, 1 tablespoon of Heather's Tummy Fiber, Organic Acacia Senegal Tummy Fiber ($16.97 for a 16 oz. pouch).

Just the Orgain protein powder (with 21 g. of protein and only 1 g. of sugar) with coconut milk and half a frozen banana is so delicious on its own, if you like to keep things really simple or don't want too much fuss when traveling. It seriously tastes just like a vanilla milkshake.

Photo: This protein powder checks all the boxes.

The chocolate version is also incredible. I just prefer to have the chocolate later in the day. As much of a chocoholic as I am, I don't want chocolate first thing in the morning. It's my hubby's breakfast go-to, though.

I have ordered the vanilla protein powder 16 times on Amazon, and have bought it oodles of times at Costco when it's on a big sale. And I don't plan to switch things up any time soon.

As far as coconut milk goes, we've been making it at home for the past few months, to avoid all the stabilizers that are added to pre-mixed varieties.

I've noticed a lot less bloating since making coconut milk at home.

I put 1.5 cups of unsweetened coconut in the Vitamix with a dash of vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of honey or 1 date, and 8 cups of water and blend. Then I drain the pulp and pour the liquid into this handy pitcher. Some coconut settles to the bottom of the pitcher in the fridge, but a little shake of the pitcher takes care of that, and the lid doesn't leak.

Let me know what you think if you give it a try! Time for my capuccino! (I'll improve on my milk foam art.)

Natalie Kaar

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