The Perfect Mate + Giveaway!



Good news – I’ve found coffee’s perfect mate!

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Nope, not Coffeemate, good ol’ Half & Half with a sprinkling of Sun Crystals.


Sun Crystals is a stevia/sugar blend and lately I’ve been adding about a teaspoon of it with 2 Tablespoons Half & Half into my coffee.

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I’ve always been a French Vanilla Coffeemate kind of gal, but the sweet Sun Crystals combined with the creamy Half & Half, seriously makes for the best cup of coffee I’ve ever made at home.


Dreamy and satisfying – and about $3 less than a Starby’s latte. I can get into that! What do you add to your coffee?

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Now, if Half & Half + Sun Crystals is coffee’s perfect mate, vanilla whey protein powder is a Green Monster Smoothie’s perfect mate! (omg my hair is so long in that link!!)

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The always friendly Ben at Swanson Vitamin’s sent me some of their Vanilla Whey Protein Powder to test out in my smoothies.


I’m a HUGE fan of vanilla whey protein powder.


It’s silky, not grainy, slightly sweet, and adds such a lasting feeling of fullness to my smoothies.


The Swanson brand was no exception. It gave the Green Monster I made for breakfast a nice, thick texture, a sweet hint, and staying powah!


In the mix:

  • 1 scoop Swanson Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 cup skim milk (out of almond!)
  • 2 big handfuls spinach

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Blended to the moon and back,  

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and presto! A nutritious and refreshing smoothie. I love drinking spinach for breakfast. It sets such a good tone for the rest of the day, no? :mrgreen:

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Even better news, I’ve found lunch’s perfect mate – Mayo Free Tuna Salad!  


I HEART this recipe.


It combines crunchy carrots, zesty pickles and protein-packed tuna, with creamy Greek yogurt and Dijon mustard.


SO FLAVORFUL!!!!!! And perfect to plop onto a Thin Bun with some spinach and call it a day lunch.


Well we better add a Tropical Fruit Tart Larabar,


and a sweet Pink Lady Apple, THEN call it lunch. ;)


In other news, Bachelorette?! I can honestly say that for once, I was surprised! I truly thought she wasn’t going to pick either guy! Do you think it will last?! I…don’t… :( I know! I think they’re both great people, but I just don’t see it. I hope they prove me wrong!!!!


Since I liked the Vanilla Whey Protein Powder so much, Swanson Vitamins decided to let me give away a cannister to a reader – wheee! You have until 5pm tonight to enter by leaving me a comment describing your favorite smoothie combo. 

Have a great day guys!

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  1. Mellissa 08.03.2010

    Last night I made a Green Monster with pineapple juice, chocolate protein powder, strawberries, ice and a few huge handfuls of spinach. It was pretty darn tasty!

  2. susan 08.03.2010

    my fiance thinks i’m crazy but my smoothies always has to have a banana and spinach. then i add whatever other fruit i have in the house. yummmmmm.

  3. Danielle 08.03.2010

    I love my green monsters with spinach, blueberries, bananas and a dab of almond butter. Yum!

  4. Tully Jackson 08.03.2010

    I’ve always liked a smoothie with strawberries, yogurt, bananas, pretty boring, but I’m looking for new ideas, so pick me! :)

  5. Lindsay 08.03.2010

    I love my smoothies with a tropical twist. Mango, papaya, and pineapple with vanilla yougurt makes me feel like i’m on a hawaiian vacation!

  6. Rachel Wilkerson 08.03.2010

    My favorite smoothie combo: chocolate protein powder, frozen sliced banana, coconut oil, and macadamia nut butter! Delish and so filling!!

  7. Sarah T 08.03.2010

    My new favorite is the chocolate cherry bomb recipe I found from fitnessista. Chocolate protein powder, frozen cherries, frozen banana, water, and 100% cocoa powder is a great combination. I also sprinkle ground flax seed or chia seeds in as well.

  8. Tina Z 08.03.2010

    I like berries and yogurt, boring, and need to branch out a bit more! Haven’t tried a green monster yet…

  9. cassie 08.03.2010

    I usually put in almond milk, banana, protein powder, and whatever fruit floats my boat that day! Simple but oh so tasty.

  10. Stefanie 08.03.2010

    I love berries in my smoothie! I usually throw in some Vanilla Almond milk too!

  11. oooooh delish looking lunch!!! i made a smoothie this morning with frozen acai concentrate (from TJs), blueberries, a little cranberry juice, and ice. DELISH and full of antioxidants! so refreshing, too :)

  12. Daisy 08.03.2010

    I love Vanilla Whey protien powder. I add it to all my smoothies. I love throwing in fruit (even in my GM’s) like blueberries or blackberries. weird, I know!

  13. I love vanilla protein powder + spinach + frozen bananas + peanut butter + cocoa + cinnamon. Delicious!

  14. BP 08.03.2010

    I am a big fan of peanut butter or almond butter in my smoothies, yum! then whatever type of fruit, yogurt, and/or milk I have on hand.

  15. lauramich 08.03.2010

    Re: Coffee—I’m with you on the straight half-and-half in my coffee. I’m not a purist about avoiding icky chemicals (Exhibit A: my Crack Zero habit), but nondairy creamers are loaded with corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. Ewww. I’d rather have my saturated fat straight up.

    However, I don’t take any sugar or artificial sweetener in my coffee. If I want to sweeten it up a bit, I’ll add a dash of cinnamon. Lately I’ve been adding straight cocoa. I’ve found that black cocoa (a super-dark Dutch cocoa—the stuff used in Oreos!) is almost enough to get me to not miss using half-and-half at all. But I may have to accept that I like my coffee best with half-and-half, and allocate my calories and fat grams accordingly. Because I *heart* my coffee! I’ve had a few medical procedures lately that have forced me to have to fast in the morning, and I’ve missed my coffee even more than food and water!

    Re: Smoothies—I’ve just started getting into them, so I’m very boring. For dessert, I’ll blend frozen banana puree (one-ingredient “ice cream”) with light vanilla yogurt and plain cocoa for a chocolate-banana smoothie. Yum.

  16. Ashley 08.03.2010

    Any smoothie with nut butter does it for me!

  17. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kristin, Kristin. Kristin said: The Perfect Mate + Giveaway! […]

  18. Christina Schave 08.03.2010

    My favorite smoothie includes low-fat milk, yougurt, honey, strawberries, blueberries and whey or flax (depending on my mood!)

    Re: Bachelorette: I was glad she picked someone … I was afraid I might have wasted many Monday nights on this season for nothing. I don’t think they’ll last either … I wanted her to pick Chris.

  19. Sarah 08.03.2010

    I love berry smoothies… any kind of berry. Usually it’s a mix of strawberries, blueberries, and rasberries, with a little OJ or vanilla yogurt added to the mix. Sometimes I will throw in a little spinach… and always the vanilla whey protein powder.

    P.S. There is a Larabar coupon on right now!

  20. Jenna 08.03.2010

    I’ve been putting raw sugar with half & half in my coffee for about a year now. I was the type who always had to have the coffee mate creamer but its got refined sugar so I switched to raw. It’s great!!

    My favorite smoothie is spinach, blackberries, whey powder, flax seeds, soy milk & a banana. Delish! I’m almost out of whey…. that free canister would really come in handy! ;)

  21. Tara 08.03.2010

    Berries, bananas and yog. is the blissful combo that does it for me. :)

  22. Erin 08.03.2010

    What a great giveaway! My favorite smoothie combo is unsweetened chocolate almond milk, a handful of spinach, 1/2 a banana, 3 strawberries, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, 1 tablespoon of almond butter, and some stevia and cinnamon. Yummy (although gross looking)!

  23. Amy 08.03.2010

    I have been having this smoothie for breakfast almost every morning this summer:
    1 c Frozen triple berry mix included raspberries, blackberries and blueberries (from Sams)
    1 c Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze
    1 scoop Vanilla Creme Protein Powder.
    Blend away, so purple, creamy and delicious!

  24. Katie 08.03.2010

    spinach, blueberries, a frozen bannana, a handful of dry rolled oats, tons of cinnamon & almond breeze. soo good!

  25. Kathryn 08.03.2010

    Currently, I love mixing a frozen banana, cherries, and plain greek yogurt together.

  26. Kim 08.03.2010

    I love spinach with banana and peanut butter – so creamy and delicious! I actually have never used protein powder – I’m too cheap to buy it and afraid I won’t like it! I would love to try some!

  27. Laura 08.03.2010

    My new fav smoothie uses choc protein powder (but you can use vanilla!!), a frozen banana, frozen cherries, USVAB, some spinach, and some peanut butter (i’ve been using powdered PB2 because i can’t keep normal PB around or i will eat the entire jar in one sitting). Sometimes I layer it with some overnight oats or homemade granola for a delicious breakfast treat!

  28. Linda 08.03.2010

    I like milk + frozen banana + cinnamon and ice. Yum!

  29. lindsay 08.03.2010

    All kinds of fruits plus OJ – the OJ makes it reeealllly good.

  30. Amber O. 08.03.2010

    I like the original GM smoothie but I’ll mix up the fruit depending on what I have at home… blueberries, mangoes, peaches, oranges, etc. I’ve been wanting to test out this VWPP since you started blogging about it but never know which brand to buy! Hopefully Swanson it is… ;) Thanks for the giveaway!

  31. Marissa 08.03.2010

    I love peaches and almond milk with vanilla yogurt…simple but delicious!

  32. Clare 08.03.2010

    I absolutely LOVE pumpkin (and everything pumpkin flavored and associated with fall), so I really like smoothies that have canned pumpkin, cinnamon and greek yogurt in them. Tastes like autumn in a cup! Sometimes I’ll add in spinach, too, which still tastes great, but turns them the nastiest color ever ;)

  33. emily 08.03.2010

    I do 1cup of frozen spinach, 1 frozen banana, and 1cup of (vitamin d and calcium) oj. I’d love to get some protein powder into that mix though!

  34. My favorite smoothie combo is 1/2 cup Almond Breeze Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk + 1/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt + 1 packet Truvia + 1/4 cup each fresh frozen strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries + 1 cup fresh SPINACH + 3 ice cubes YUM :)

  35. Matt 08.03.2010

    I finally mustered up the courage to make my first green monster smoothie the other day. I’d just gotten back from a long hot run and it was PERFECT! I added a little ‘simply OJ’, a frozen banana, some almond butter and LOTS of baby spiniach! It was AWESOME! I’ve never had such a filling smoothie… but I bet it would be even better with some protein powder! I haven’t ever bought any because I wasn’t sure of a brand or if I would like it and I didn’t want to spend $$ on it if I wasn’t sure. Swanson could totally make a loyal customer out of me!!

  36. mere... 08.03.2010

    my blender has been on the fritz for awhile, but i’ve been wanting to try the vanilla whey protein powder you talk about! i typically don’t believe smoothies can be bad, so i’ll throw in whatever i have around. but i love getting to add in fresh pineapple when it’s around, just a little – it always makes things taste more refreshing to me!

  37. Kristin 08.03.2010

    OBSESSSSSSSSSSSSSED with AE half and half. One of my staples! Lots of times it’s cheaper than the Hy-Vee brand, too!!!

  38. Elyse 08.03.2010

    Half and Half is a MUST for me in my coffee :-) I usually make mine the exact same way except I use sugar in the raw. I’ve never tried sun crystals before, but I always am tempted to put it in my cart at the store. I just might now that I know it’s worth it!

    I used to work at the Smoothie Factory back in my high school summer days, so I have had a ton of fun trying new combinations in my smoothies. I like to mix it up, but I think my favorite would have to be: vanilla whey protein powder-frozen bananas-honey-almond(or peanut) butter-UVAB-and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Tastes like a peanut butter banana milkshake! YUM!

  39. Rachel 08.03.2010

    I’ve been on a big blueberry kick recently, so I’ve been tossing frozen blueberries, non-fat plain yogurt, milk, and vanilla protein powder into the blender. Delicious!

  40. Michelle 08.03.2010

    My favorite smoothie combo is cherries, frozen watermelon and a splash of cherry juice. So refreshing!

  41. Mimi 08.03.2010

    I am in love with green monsters, but my heart is really with a simple banana, PB and cinnamon smoothie… with a possible sprinkle of cocoa every now and then.

  42. sara 08.03.2010

    My fave is simple…banana, protein powder, skim milk, oats, spinach and ice – must have lots of ice blended in to make it extra cold!!

  43. Jessica 08.03.2010

    Vanilla or Chocolate Whey Protien powder, banana, peanut butter & spinich of course : )

  44. SarahE 08.03.2010

    My smoothies always include bananas! Either strawberries and banana or nut butter and banana! Can’t live without them!

  45. Jennifer 08.03.2010

    I’m proud to say that after dragging my feet, grossed out by the thought of the Green Monster, I finally tried it and it’s great! Even got my husband to like it! I’m going back to work after a few years home with my kids and think that a GM would be a fantastic “on-the-go” breakfast in the mornings. I’ve never tried it with protein powder but think it would help to keep my “teacher tummy” full until lunch! Thanks!

  46. Sheena 08.03.2010

    spinach + frozen blueberries + frozen banana + chia seeds + milk + ice (if needed)

    I made your bruschetta turkey burgers for my family on Saturday and they were a hit! Everyone loved them. Thanks so much for sharing your delicious recipes.

  47. Vanessa 08.03.2010

    I have YET to find a protein powder that I like!! I LOVE making smoothies with USVAB and pineapple banana combo. I’m not huge on using the nut butters because they take away from the fruity taste a bit too much for me but occasionally I will add a tablespoon of PB or AB to my smoothie for a banana-y nutty flavor :)

  48. Kristie 08.03.2010

    One of my favorites contains: 1 scoop protein pwdr, 1/2 frz banana, frz sweet cherries, cocoa pwdr, milk/water, and handfuls of spinach. It is smooth, filling, and the chocolate and cherry flavor goes great together. The bonus is that you get lot of nutrients w/o having to eat your fruits and veggies.

    PS: I also use half and half in my coffee. Read those labels, I found that some half and half products contain corn syrup and other ingredients other than milk and cream.

  49. favorite smoothie is a green monster+pumpkin. so deliciously fall, and filling at the same time! :)

  50. Mac 08.03.2010

    I am a fan of any smoothie with mango or kiwi in it… mango, vanilla yogurt, berries and a little ice… perfection!

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