Pina Colada Protein Shake

Posted by on Jul 14, 2012 in food, life, Portland, recipe, travel | 23 comments


Last week I was on vacation in Portland (Oregon) and it made me realize how much I miss it.

Portland is a city that, in short, encourages individuality. So when someone branches out and starts doing their own thing – like riding a unicycle to work or shaving the sides of their head and rocking a full-on horse mane – instead of being ridiculed or mocked for it, they’re celebrated. Because who cares? It’s their life.

That’s the kind of culture you don’t find in many cities. Topeka, the city I used to I live in, for instance, is quite the opposite. I have two examples of this.

One: John and I went to Panera one morning for breakfast and he was wearing a green bandana over his longish hair when this old guy walked up to us at the coffee bar. He looked at me and said, “You gotta watch out for guys like that,” to which I replied, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” And then he looked to John and said, “You know what I’m talking about.”

What? You’ve gotta be kidding me – for a bandana and long hair?

Example #2: John and I rode our bikes to meet a friend for coffee one day and we’d stopped at a stop light to wait for a break in traffic to cross the street. Around this time a guy drove buy honking at us with his window down yelling, “BOOOOO, BOOOOO.” Thumbs down out the window and all.

For riding bikes? Really?

This, in short, is why I miss Portland.



During our one-week trip in Portland alone I saw four girls with the sides of their heads shaved and curly locks down the middle.
One van that was spray painted gold, and another that looked like 80s art-deco on wheels.
Too many full sleeve tattoos to count.
More cyclists than cars.
Farmers markets at nearly every corner.
Like a thousand people with face piercings.
Zero people going to Starbucks because it’s the worst coffee in town. And it’s corporate.
And the most hipster child ever wearing a fly-boy cap and spandex denim shorts overalls. Yes, overalls. And it looked good.

Getting the picture?



So do you know what happens when you’re in a city like that?

You do crazy things like get your nose pierced.
And eat ice cream cones twice in one day.
And jump off a dock into a lake with the rationale that life is short.



Because you know what? Life is short, and when you’re around people living life in such a way that realizes that, it makes you want to do the same. Because living life any other way just isn’t worth it. It’s black and white and I prefer color.

So what does this have to do with a pina colada protein shake? Nothing, but I got to share a story that’s way more important than you’re next breakfast or post-workout snack. I got to tell you that if you aren’t living life free from the fear of what others think of you; if you aren’t living like a Portlander, you’re seriously missing out. And I beg you to reconsider.


4.5 from 2 reviews

Pina Colada Protein Shake
Recipe type: Breakfast, Protein Shake
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 1

Pina Colada in protein shake form! Super healthy and perfect for breakfast or a post-workout snack. Can be made vegan by using non-dairy protein powder and yogurt.
  • ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese or yogurt (I used ¼ cup each)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used MRM Rich Vanilla)
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen pineapple
  • ¼ teaspoon coconut extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (I used SILK)
  • 2 packets stevia (or other sweetener)
  • 10-15 ice cubes (use more if using fresh pineapple)
  • pinch of xanthan gum (optional for more thickness)

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and combine until well mixed, adding more coconut milk or water if it’s too thick.
  2. Taste and adjust sweetness/flavoring if need.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Shake Calories: 250 Fat: 3 Carbohydrates: 15 Sugar: 9 Fiber: 1 Protein: 39




  1. Like

  2. So when you movin’?

    • haha, nice. Um, maybe? in the future? we shall see : )

  3. I have always wanted to visit there based off those reasons! Uptown Minneapolis if very much the same way. Love this post. I’m glad there’s someone else out there that feels that way.

  4. Portland was definitely cool. I LOVED that I saw more cyclists than cars, the coffee was great and the people just seemed very laid back and comfortable with themselves.

    I don’t think I’d ever move there (my husband and I were partial to Seattle and San Francisco); however, I definitely have plans to go back one day!

  5. Living in a land of judgement is not for the meek! At least you can easily summarize your true friends when you are just being you!

  6. How funny about your comparison of Topeka and Portland. I grew up in KS and know exactly what you mean! The shake looks fabulous….I dont like cottage cheese and cant eat yogurt so I will alter the recipe a little but cant wait to make it!

  7. I don’t get it: yogurt wouldn’t make it vegan, right? And, question 2: use MORE ice cubes if using frozen pineapple? Maybe I’m just not thinking straight today, but these two thing don’t quite make sense to me. Please set me straight.

    • Non-dairy yogurt – such as soy. I may not have specified that clearly enough.

  8. Portland misses you too! you crazy face-pierced woman!

  9. I loved this post. I’ve been dying to go to Portland. I feel like I’d “fit in” so much better here than the “materialistic Dallas scene… I’ve also been wanting to get my nose pierced. Several of my friends do and they’ve told me about good places to get it done. My birthday’s coming up in a few weeks. Birthday present for me?!

  10. ahh Portland is on our list of places to visit, and your description (plus all the Instagram pics!) really made me want to get there sooner than later!

  11. Great minds think alike! I just posted a recipe for my abortive smoothie and it is a piña colada smoothie! Yum! So delicious during a hot summer day

  12. I’m so happy you posted this! I am a native Portlander, and I take a lot of pride in being one. No other city even compares :)

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