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Just Like Carnation Instant Breakfast

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Only better.

In middle and high school, it was always difficult for me to fathom when one of my friends would say, “Oh I never eat breakfast.”

Wha?? How on earth did they find the energy to churn out essays, listen to interminable lectures, and just function in general? I ate breakfast every day, yet was still always excited for lunch. (Perhaps part of that excitement was because it afforded us a break from the aforementioned interminable lectures!) I guess my friends, who complained they didn’t have enough time for breakfast, weren’t alone; that’s why products such as Carnation Instant Breakfast exist.

.Today’s post is related to Carnation Instant Breakfast in that it’s also about a chocolate powder you mix up and drink to get some quick nutrition into your body: Vega’s “Choc-a-Lot shake and go” powder.

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The powder also comes in tropical peach, vanilla almond, and berry. But let’s face it: nothing ever beats chocolate :). (Kudos to coconut for putting up a good fight.)

Each serving of Vega Shake & Go Smoothie includes:

  • Two servings of veggies
  • 2500 mg Omega-3-6-9
  • 11 g complete protein
  • Only 100 calories
  • 1 billion probiotics cultures

1 billion probiotic cultures?  Yikes bikes! Sounds impressive to me.  But then again, I have no idea what number one is supposed to consume in the average day. The smoothie powder is also high in protein, with 12 grams.

In any case, I tried the smoothie according to the directions: Put the powder in a glass with water, shake, and go.

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How did it work?

Hopefully by now y’all know that I will never lie about my true thoughts on a product even if it was given to me for free. On that note, I did not like this powder when made with water. It tasted like watered-down chocolate milk. And as for the “shake” part, it didn’t do a very good job of dissolving, when simply stirred with a spoon.

But, I decided to give the Choc-a-Lot a second chance. Ignoring the package directions this time, I added the powder to almond milk and used a Magic Bullet short cup to blend. The verdict? Much, much better!

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. Katharina says:

    I love your nail art. KATIE :( I wish we lived closer and we could hang out and paint our nails–gosh that sounds soo girly lol. Ooof mixing powders with water is usually a bad idea. Milk/milk alternatives are a much much better idea. And banana would be awesome I bet 😀

    Oh! And coconut does put up a good fight 😉 Coconut-Covered Katharina here, over and out!


  2. Danielle says:

    I went to that post and I’ve already commented! lol I’m all over your website…

    Dear VEGA,
    Send me some smoothies please!!!

    After reading THRIVE, I really want to try them :)

  3. Sarah L. says:

    Great giveaway, I just entered! I try not to jump on the whole ‘instant’ bandwagon but there are days when it’s necessary and something that guarantees a good source of nutrients to start off your day is always good by me.

  4. Stefanie says:

    I saw that powder and thought it would be perfect in a banana soft serve sundae or your chocolate pancake recipe.

  5. Jennifer - jcd says:

    I have a similar vegan instant shake powder at home. It turns to pudding if you make it with nondairy milk and put it in the fridge overnight. I wonder if the Vega one does too? I’m not really a protein/nutrition shake kinda person either… but nutrition-packed chocolate pudding, now we’re talking.

    I won’t enter the contest because I won the last Vega giveaway and want others to try their stuff. Good luck, all. I’ll buy a sample of Vega shake powder this weekend and try it. (Vega is Canadian!)

  6. Katie says:

    Hi love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Your nail art is always awesome! Love your nails! I have not painted my nails in forever, I need to!! Some pink color would be nice!!!

    THis powder looks amazing! I really want to try it, I am doing vegan powders now, I got my sunwarrior yesterday and it was yum in my oats! I have to try it in a smoothie to really get the full taste effect!!!!!!! WIll keep ya posted!!!

    My fave instant breakfast would be a bowl of cereal with almond milk, its easy and I always love abowl of cereal! I wish I could make a smoothie in the morning on wekdays but my lover is sleeping and cant wake him!!! My blender is LOUD as ever! I need a vitamix!!!

    Love u!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. I’m not big on protein/probiotic/supplement powders but I’d maybe give it a try with almond milk and banana…although I’m still skeptical, lol. I still remember the nasty Slim Fast “shakes” I used to drink back in HS!! eek!

  8. Mo says:

    Ooh, this sounds great! I’ve actually never had a carnation breakfast because they never appealed to me but the powders would be a great addition to morning smoothies. :)

    Now going to answer the question. 😉

  9. Demelza says:

    Yay, I already answered the question on the other page. :]

    As for this one, though, I did try the Carnation Instant Breakfast packets in the past,
    but they were certainly not for me either. :/ Seemed like they never dissolved, and were just gritty and unpleasant tasting. :s Glad to hear the VEGA powder got a second shot and redeemed itself, though.

  10. jcd,
    Aww, you’re so sweet :).
    And I’m intrigued: What’s the brand of powder you have? Mention the word “pudding” and I’m hooked!

  11. Christin L. says:

    I answered the question! :)

  12. I LOVE YOUR NAILS! I do the same with mine except with red/pink. I always feel like I look a little sick with blue nails, but they look pretty fly on you! :)

    And yum! for the smoothie. Usually, with just water, things like that don’t really cut it. I’m always apprehensive on trying them out so I love you review!

    1. Jessica,
      LOL you should see me with yellow nails. AWFUL!!
      (Actually, yellow in general looks awful on me.)

  13. Agnes says:

    mmmh that smoothie sounds delish, I’ve been wanting to try it!

    If I’m rushed in the morning and don’t have time for my usual vegan overnight oats, I go for a banana and almond butter – fast and filling!!

  14. Meg says:

    YOUR NAILS! Can I have them? Ok, maybe that’s a no, but can you paint mine for me? 😀

    That smoothie looks + sounds amazing, I’m sure the taste is quite comparable too 😉 Aaaand I’m about to run over and check out that giveaway and get involved, woohoo!

    p.s. thanks for the shoutout – I’m headed to Abercrombie later on to see what kind of fruit jewelry they’ve got on sale 😉


  15. mapledreams says:

    Amazing nails!!
    I was never a morning breakfast person up until about a year ago!! xx

  16. jqlee says:

    my fav instant breakfast as a kid used to be cereal for sure. cereal is so good!! and im pretty sure i always ate breakfast too either at home or at school. you’re right, i NEED the brain power to get through class. otherwise i’d be dosing off to sleep :)

    my fav instant breakfast now though is nuked egg whites w/ketchup. it takes like 3 minutes!! or sometimes i’ll just put some instant oats w/hot water (we have a boiler) in a container and get in the car, in a few minutes, it’s ready to eat!

  17. Jo says:

    I could never miss breakfast – I love it! I always make sure I’ve got time for a decent breakfast.

    I am not keen on “Substitute” foods – it was funny because i was reading your post and just thinking, wouldn’t it be better to have some actual food that contains protein than some chemicals in a packet when you wrote: “(Not that this was a selling point for me, as I get enough protein from real foods without powders.)”

    I just think we are asking for trouble eating ‘unnatural’ foods – my philosophy is a little bit of something does you no harm but that its best to try to stick to real, unadulterated food. Who knows what is safe anymore! When I was little I was allergic to all artificial additives and although I have grown out of it and am ok now I still try to avoid them where I can. I mean, just because my body has got used to them doesn’t mean they are any good for me.

    1. Jo,
      I love your comment! And I was allergic to sweet-n-low as a kid too! (I’m sure I still am.) I would put it in my iced tea, because my mom said it dissolved better than sugar. But I kept getting horrible stomachaches, and my doctor told me to try cutting out the sweet-n-low. Worked! :)

  18. Krystina says:

    I’ve been wanting to try this product for SO long. Definitely entered the giveaway :)

  19. Jennifer - jcd says:

    Katie –

    The nutritional shake powder that turns into pudding is made by Arbonne. You have to order it through an agent, of which there are plenty in America. If you want more information let me know. Otherwise, do the pudding test with the Vega mix. I’m interested to see what happens.

    1. jcd,
      Thanks! I’ll definitely try it with the Vega, and maybe look into the agent thing (although I am lazy about buying things online). Experiments are always fun… especially when chocolate is involved :).

  20. looks like I already answered the 1st question on that post, but just answered the 2nd question! I’ve been wanting to try vega products but haven’t gotten to them yet. Thanks for the tip on milk vs water!

  21. MaryZ says:

    I am dying to try this out. I just got an email saying there is 15% off until June 21st. Might have to order some!

  22. MaryZ says:

    OH…and I answered the question!

  23. Kelsey says:

    my dad used to drink those carnations. ive never tried one., they totally freaked me out!! the look, the smell, the idea- i dunno lol.

    but a vega carnation- now that is a fabulous creation! im pretty sure the vega is one of the most loved products out there for bloggers recently.. i wonder if ppl are gonna try baking with them.. like a vega muffin or vega pancakes 😉

    oOoo vega-cakes..


  24. Laura E says:

    Thanks so much for the opportunity! I’m with you all the way on picking the chocolate flavor! I answered the second question on the post you linked too!

  25. Devyn says:

    My favorite instant breakfast is a banana with almond butter on a piece of WW toast!

  26. I’ve never understood the breakfast haters either. I went through a starve-myself-to-stay-skinny phase in college and skipped breakfast for awhile, and I’d always be so weak and unfocused. Needless to say, that phase didn’t last long. That was before I knew that skipping meals can make you fat! I’m not really a fan of on-the-go breakfast drink powders since I’m never too rushed to sit down to breakfast. But this would be a nice pre-workout drink.

  27. Kassi says:

    Hmm. Does a smoothie count as instant? It only takes a couple minutes to make. In that case, I like my old stand by of spinach + banana + strawberry and/or blueberry. Mmm mmm good. Sometimes a little nut butter, too.

    I definitely used to eat those carnation ones. I loved them. I couldn’t stomach them now, but it was like a treat — chocolate for breakfast? Yes, please :)

    1. Kassi,
      They definitely count to me! Especially with the Magic Bullet… then you don’t even need to clean the blender :) :). Yay laziness!

  28. mmm I definitely want to try that!

  29. I love how honest you are in your review!

  30. lisa says:

    I have been dying to try this product and would LOVE to win! TO answer your question re pancake roll ups, I have a ton o food allergies, so mine might pale in comparison to others. I would try apples with cinnamon, cloves, and maybe a little stevia.
    I love your gingerbread recipe by the way- it is my fave treat!
    Thanks- Lisa

  31. glambaa says:

    i just saw that powder in my co-worker’s cubby hole and i may have snooped and checked it out.. but i didn’t snoop so far as to try it. although i have to admit i was really tempted to 😀 i love vega products.
    my favourite instant breakfast? that would have to be my pumpkin pie in a bowl, based off of your banana bread in a bowl recipe :) it is soo good. im making myself crave it right now… oh dear. anyways, i blend pure pumpkin, cereal flakes, my vegan protein powder, almond milk, stevia, and a ton of cinnamon all together in my magic bullet. oooh. so. good. :)

  32. I had Carnation Instant Breakfast in my cupboard for the longest time until I started drinking it when I was rushed for work. BTW your nails are wicked cool :)

    1. Mary,
      LOL I love the phrase “wicked cool.” It always reminds me of Boston, for some reason, ’cause that’s where I hear people say it a lot :)

      Can I come over for breakfast tomorrow???!

  33. glambaa says:

    oh.. i just realized i was supposed to answer the question on the other page me thinks? ok well, heads up, you’re getting my answer twice haha.
    p.s. i wanted to add that i’ve always been a breakfast person. even at the worst point of my ed i’d always make sure i had a breakfast of some sort. i think it was a pretty good rule to follow :)

  34. shesarunner says:

    I entered the contest because I love Vega products, but I haven’t tried these new smoothies yet…I think I would like to mix it with almond milk as well, and maybe some fruit. And I would definitely use a blender because I hate when things don’t dissolve well. So much for “shake and go”, but as long as it tastes good and doesn’t upset my stomach, I’m fine with the extra few minutes it takes to use a blender.
    As for the carnation instant breakfast, I’ve tried it before, years ago…and I didn’t like it. It’s too sweet and very artificial tasting. I like how Vega products have very subtle flavours and the sweetness is usually spot on- not too overpowering.

  35. Dianne says:

    Blech, I’m sorry, but I hate the idea of a liquid breakfast. It would probably make a great snack, though! My most-rushed breakfasts are usually a couple of fruits thrown into my bag, but I’ve also been known to grab a bagel with tofu cream cheese from the deli under my apartment!

  36. Love the post! I’ll have to try that out sometime

  37. maxinthegym says:

    Lovin’ your nails!
    And kudos to you for picking the chocolate flavor! I’ve only seen the vanilla almond one around the blogging world :)
    Thanks for the review!

    1. maxinthegym,
      I saw that too LOL. I have no idea why they all picked vanilla!! Silly bloggies! :)

  38. Akanksha says:


    I think my favourite go to breakfast is pretty boring: Instant Oatmeal. Can’t blame me–I LOVE oats!

    1. Akanksha,
      Haha I definitely don’t blame you!! 😉

  39. Melissa says:

    Love all of Vega’s products so hope I looking forward to trying this one…
    My fav instant breakfast is a banana split in half and slathered with cashew butter/almond butter or sunflower butter and then rolled in cocoa powder. If I have an extra 5 min I throw it in the freezer…so easy and decadent!

  40. Lindsey says:

    Oh man, I have been wanting to try this stuff, but I haven’t wanted to order it online, because it’s expensive enough without shipping.

    I never did eat breakfast in highschool. I would just have tumblers of hot chocolate or tea or coffee 😡

    Carnation instant breakfast never appealed to me.

    I answered the question in the other post to enter :)

    1. Lindsey,
      I hear you on the shipping! When I see a great deal online, I often forget that shipping could end up being more than the actual item, itself :(.

  41. BroccoliHut says:

    Instant Breakfast was a staple in our house for a while: first for my sisters who loathed breakfast, then later for me when I needed to gain weight–I drank several a day during that period!

  42. definitely either overnight oats or a yummy protein shake! My chocolate-covered cherry shake is my favorite. 😛

  43. Kiersten says:

    I can’t understand how people skip breakfast either. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! I don’t think I’d make it through the morning if I didn’t eat something right away.

  44. ughh i never did instant breakkie shakes. i always did lots of cereal and toast, which were refined and full of sugar and full fat milk. probably worse for me than an instant shake would have been now that i think about it!! good thing i don’t eat that junk anymore :)
    my favorite rushed breakfast is a GIANT green smoothie to go or a banana with peanut butter :)

  45. emilie says:

    kashi golean + greek yogurt with banana slices! so reliable yet delicious!

  46. Britt says:

    I LOVE Carnation Instant Breakfast. I probably have it 3-4 times a week because my mornings are so rushed! I would LOVE to try this new kind!

  47. ah I’m dying to try vega
    Brendan will you please talk to me?

  48. Love Vega’s other protein powders, and would love to try the latest, and from what I hear, greatest! My favorite instant breakfast is actually quite related.. it’s a Cafe Protein Shake (just a protein shake made with coffee and a splash of Almond Milk)!

  49. Marianne says:

    You don’t even need the blender – just shake it with the almond milk. That’s what I do, and it’s amazing :) But if you are gonna pull out the blender – add a banana and some ice for a real treat 😀

  50. Mandy says:

    My favorite instant breakfast… Well, I cheat! It’s breakfast cookies that I prepare the night before! I make them with 1/3rd cup oats, 1tbsp white chocolate wonderful, 1tsp cocoa powder, 1/2 banana and 1/8th cup almond milk.

    Other than that, grabbing a plain or vanilla greek yogurt and stirring a tbsp of dark chocolate dreams in keeps me full for hours too. 😀

    & I would love to try the protein powder!

  51. brooke says:

    ooh, I have heard great things about vega and I would love to try their products! I would LOVE to try the chocolate!

    Cute nails btw!

  52. Erica says:

    My “instant breakfast” in the morning is either green juice, a green smoothie, or a bowl of fruit!

  53. Becca says:

    I answered the question on the other page!

  54. Stef says:

    mmh interesting stuff you talk about. Livng in Germany we don’t have stuff like those toaster pastrys or Shakes to make on the Go.
    In Germany you basically hit up one of the small bakeries along your way if you want a breakfast on the go and then either get a roll, or a roll with something on it or a pastry thing.
    I love getting a Donut for breakfast or something like a Donut that had fruit preserves in the inside. yum! But unfortunately lots of calories!

  55. Stacy says:

    What are the exact ingredients?…looking for an alternative to carnation instant breakfast because of carageenan, a known inflammation catalyst, and sugar.