Not gonna lie … It’s glorious having those kids back in school. Granted, the early morning rush can be a killer, but I’ve got to get going myself and I can make it through the drop off line okay, clutching my coffee mug, knowing that I’ll soon have hours of time to myself — to work in peace.

However, no matter what I do, I remain unprepared for the afternoon slam. Just about the time I’m already feeling that mid-afternoon lull that fosters an understanding of why other countries close down for siesta, my entourage explodes back on the scene — grumpily bickering with each other, backpacks spewing forth projects and homework, along with loud, rumbling tummies. Soon begins the daily interrogation, worthy of Nancy Grace, and demands for answers about sports gear and practice times and papers signed and checks required and weekend plans and dinner menus and OMG, EVERYBODY STOP TALKING TO ME!!!

Recently, I’ve added this smoothie to my routine to help me feel more alert. It could definitely be used at breakfast time, but I save it for my afternoon treat. This could not be more simple — protein powder, chocolate sauce, milk, & coffee cubes. The protein sustains energy longer than just caffeine or sugar. Pour leftover coffee into ice cube trays, or small popsicle molds, and keep in the freezer to have on hand. If you’re reading this thinking, “Dear strange woman, what is this leftover coffee of which you speak?” then brew up a half-pot sometime or crank out a couple Keurig cups and use that to fill the trays.

Pour leftover coffee into ice cube trays or popsicle molds and freeze for coffee cubes to use in a tasty mocha smoothie.

Pour leftover coffee into ice cube trays or popsicle molds and freeze for coffee cubes to use in a tasty mocha smoothie.

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 cup milk (I use almond milk, but any kind will do or mix with water)
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (optional; try whatever flavor— plain, vanilla, honey nut, chocolate, cinnamon, coffee)
  • Chocolate sauce (to taste)
  • Coffee cubes (about 4, depending on size)
  • Dash cinnamon
Just a few protein-packed ingredients make turn a mocha smoothie into carpool fuel!

Just a few protein-packed ingredients turn this smoothie into carpool fuel!

Momma's fueled up and ready, folks... BRING IT!

Momma’s fueled up and ready, folks… BRING IT!

Here’s a handy graphic I found awhile ago showing the best way to layer any smoothie. Love this!

Suggestions for layering smoothie ingredients (Image: Washington Post)

Suggestions for layering smoothie ingredients (Image: Washington Post)

I won’t promise this beverage magically bestows peace and order, but at least it provides a little extra boost to power through until dinner is simmering and the clock reads wine-thirty.