Blend It with GNC

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I'm back from a long hiatus to review something great I got as a swap gift. I've always wanted a blender and now I finally do - a GNC On-the-Go model, which is not like the blenders I've seen before. Instead of the normal upright ones, you have to put all of your ingredients into one of the on-the-go containers provided, screw on the blade configuration like a cap, and turn it upside-down to attach it to the machine. Each on-the-go container also comes with a lid that screws onto it after you've removed the blade configuration from the machine, turned the container upright again, and unscrewed the blade configuration. Basically, you're to drink out of the same container in which you blended the ingredients -- or you could do what I do and pour it into glasses with or without screwing the lid on first.

The blender also comes with a recipe booklet for suggestions on how to make shakes, smoothies, and slush drinks. However, most of the ingredient lists include other GNC products, namely varieties of low-fat flavoring. If you're as unfamiliar with that concept as I am, you can substitute your own flavoring as necessary. For instance, I made what the booklet calls a Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie (delicious, by the way), except for the fact that I made it a shake and used two regular-size Reese's Peanut Butter Cups instead of the GNC flavoring. I did that because those are what I had in the house and I wasn't about to go to the store and search for special ingredients I wasn't sure I could even find. To be fair, though, the recipes are thorough in their measurements of recommended ingredients as well as the nutrient content of listed ingredients, but no recommendations are given for blending speed or time. For safety's sake, they do tell you in the manual that the pulse setting is for quick bursts rather than the continuous use of the high or low setting and that you shouldn't operate the blender for more than a minute and to let the motor cool off for the same amount of time as you've had it in use.

I would also like to advise some people that while you can blend just about anything in any given blender, please just stick to food items. Also, not everything goes well together. For example, I learned that some ingredients remain chunky no matter how many times you try to blend them. Ergo, trying to combine carrots and strawberries to make your own imitation V8 smoothie at home is probably not the best idea. There is a big difference between a blender and a juicer. However, if you do want some more liquid component to your drink, I would suggest using a mix or an already bottled drink such as SoBe. During my first year at college, we made smoothies using combinations of their flavored drinks, which are delicious alternative to alcohol (I don't drink, but it's important to point that out to the college crowd). Final verdict: It's as good a product as any and definitely worth having.

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