Rewind to July 2015.

I had given birth to my son a month earlier, and my type A personality knew we were going to breastfeed for a year. Even though all the lactation consultants I took classes with during pregnancy thought it would be difficult with me going back to work at 6 weeks, I knew that my child and I were somehow magical and special and would make it work.

My adorable newborn had other plans though and had trouble latching. The home visit lactation consultant thought with time, my son could get it together, but we didn’t have time. I was back to work in the blink of an eye! Instead, I decided to exclusively pump.

At the same time, I had it made it through my entire pregnancy as a vegetarian, but now that I was making milk for my mysteriously giant baby, I couldn’t get enough protein. Day in and day out, I was eating like Brad Pitt in Ocean’s Eleven, and it still wasn’t enough. I knew I needed a solution because zombie Cristin was not going to fly at work.

Then I remembered a podcast of Chris Ducker’s I had listened to with Jadah Sellner of I felt like a smoothie was something that I could handle making with the amount of brain power I had from lack of sleep combined with Zombie Pumper.

Simple Green Smoothies is super popular because of their excellent free challenges to add a green smoothie into your day, every day, for 30 days. I didn’t need the challenge though; I was already challenged. Their site is really excellently organized based on your smoothie needs, and I went with meal replacement. I knew I needed a good amount of calories after my morning pumping session so I could make it to work, and I needed something tasty to deliver the protein powder that was going to solve my energy issue.

This is recipe for the smoothie I went with, and I can’t even begin to describe how much it helped me. It’s easy to make, delivers a ton of nutrients, and keeps me full longer. I had a 16 ounce shake daily during my exclusive pumping extravaganza.

1 cup kale
1 cup almond milk
1 scoop of your preferred protein powder
1 banana
1 tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil
½ cup of frozen blueberries

First, blend the kale and almond milk. This allows you to blend the kale thoroughly, which is a big deal for me. Add the protein powder, banana, and coconut oil and blend. The coconut oil will freeze oddly if you add the frozen blueberries at the same time so it’s best to wait. Then I add the blueberries, and enjoy!

SmoothieNow that I am no longer pumping, did I abandon my smoothie routine? No, not at all! I cut my portion down to 8 ounces instead, but I still make one for my husband and myself every morning. We both love this easy way to get kale into our daily diets, as well as protein through protein powder and brain power through superfood unrefined coconut oil. Read more about the super powers of coconut oil in this great post from Simple Green Smoothies.

A small note about protein powder – Don’t give up if you can’t find one you like! I have a number of friends who sell Shakeology, and I tried every flavor and hated every one. I also tried Muscle Milk and hated it. In both cases, I would rather eat chalk than have another one of those shakes. But I found my perfect fit through our local health store in Astoria, New York, which recommended Plant Fusion, a vegan, plant based protein powder. I get it in Vanilla Bean, and it’s my best friend.

After years of working in the theatre, mornings are almost my mortal enemy. And with a young son, mornings are his favorite time! By having a smoothie in the morning, I get to be a better version of my night owl self for him. The smoothie also helps give me the energy I need to take on the day. If you’re having a similar morning struggle, I highly recommend a green smoothie, and I think you’ll find something that works for you on

Good luck! Let me know if you try a smoothie and which one you try!

P.S. None of these are affiliate links or anything like that. I just like my smoothie in a slightly inappropriate way.

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