Kick start the day with protein packed smoothie


With school starting back up for the fall, mornings have become a little more hectic for many people. In our family, school won’t start for a couple of more weeks, but for my daughter it will start on Monday.

She has decided to take a community college class during her senior year of high school to get dual credit: the class will fulfill both high school requirements and give her college credit. It is a great opportunity for students that can work with the schedule.

As a high school student, she is on the underside of the bottom rung when it comes to registration priority. So, like many other high school students hoping to take a community college class, she is on a waitlist. And waiting is the hardest part. Actually, scratch that. Parking is the hardest part. At least it is for me. There is something challenging about me and college campus parking.

When I was at the University of Texas, eons ago, I was a commuter student. Naturally, I bought a parking permit. But I soon discovered more permits were issued than there were parking spaces available.

After many failed attempts at parking on campus, I found a place just off site to park, then I would catch one of the campus buses to get to class. It worked, until I got a job on campus.

My job was at The Daily Texan, one of the largest college daily newspapers in the nation. I loved working in the Advertising department, met one of my best friends and travel partners, and enjoyed being around hilarious soon-to-be-famous columnists and cartoonists.

One of the other perks of the job was premium campus parking while I was at the newspaper offices. The ease. The convenience. The shade/ Some of the staffers, (yes, including me), would keep cars parked in those coveted spots, even when not at the newspaper.

As you might have guessed, the campus parking peeps soon caught on, and parking tickets were issued. Since this was pre-electronic ticketing, tickets were handwritten. And sometimes “lost.”

But my deceit eventually caught up with me. When graduation rolled around, the university wouldn’t grant me my diploma until I had paid my outstanding parking tickets. All $200 of them. Of course, I did. My diploma now sits in a storage box in my garage.

Well, I hadn’t gotten a parking ticket in 27 years, until last week when I went to the local community college campus. Oblivious to the permit signs, thinking unmarked stalls were okay for visitors, and rushing to get my daughter to the assessment center, I was parked for 10 minutes in front of the Administrative building.

Upon return to my van, my heart sank. There on my windshield was a rectangular piece of paper. The parking ticket read, “No valid permit. $35.” Sigh. Me and college campus parking.

The good news is I have all the ingredients to give my daughter a healthy, protein-filled breakfast before she goes off to her class next Monday morning. This week’s recipe is another alternative protein recipe that delivers a whopping 28 grams.

The protein deets: Greek yogurt 18 grams plus milk 6 grams plus peanut butter 4 grams equals a power packed smoothie with 28 grams of non-meat protein.

This recipe is from the website Sally’s Baking Addiction. It comes together quickly in a blender, leaving you more time to find a parking space on campus.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie


  • Makes 1 large smoothie, 28 grams of protein
  • 1 large banana, peeled, sliced, and frozen
  • 6 oz. plain Greek Yogurt (such as Fage or Chobani)
  • 3/4 cup milk (nondairy or dairy milk)
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon honey, maple syrup, or agave
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter


Place frozen banana, yogurt, milk, cocoa, sweetener and peanut butter in a blender and blend on high. Scrape down sides of blender and blend again until thick and very smooth.

You can add more milk if you like a thinner consistency, more sweetener if you like a sweeter smoothie, or 1 cup of spinach if you want a green boost. Serve with a straw and enjoy.



About Author