Recovery Day

Sometimes, there aren’t enough hours in the day to sit down and and enjoy a meal.

Protein smoothies are easy to make, often incredibly tasty, and require minimal clean-up. They’re a staple in most diets, and for good reason.

They can give you a good balance of macronutrients, an easy way to add in vegetables, and allows you to funnel your limited time elsewear.

I have two key protein shakes that I alternate between. Because one of them is a light, fast-absorbing protein shake I love to drink after a hard workout, I use whey protein. Try this post-workout vanilla smoothie on for size:

Easy Vanilla Protein Shake
1 Scoop Whey Protein Powder
1 raw egg (Do it . . . you won’t get salmonella)
½ banana
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup Almond Milk
2 cups spinach
Ice cubes (makes it frothy)
*310 calories | 25g Carbs| 8g Fat| 35g Protein|

However, if I would rather have a protein shake as a meal replacement, I add casein protein instead of whey powder. Casein protein sits in the stomach longer and takes the body longer to absorb, making you feel more full longer. This protein shake currently sits at the top of my “Protein-Shake Tool-Kit.”

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
1 scoop casein protein
1 banana
½ cup ground up oatmeal (mix in dry blender before adding to smoothie)
1 serving peanut butter
1 cup milk
2 cups spinach
Ice cubes
*570 calories | 60g Carbs| 22g Fat| 39g Protein|

There are a million ways to mix and match your protein shake and tailor it to your needs or preferences. Naturally, the most important thing is to be able to use food to fuel your body so that you’re aiding yourself in recovery.

So, relax. Give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy your liquid gains!

*Credit Nikita Tiffany. Follow @niki.eats for more cool food action!

Recovery Day

There’s a huge difference between “living” and “dieting.” Living is eating a full breakfast every morning that leaves you happy and satisfied. Dieting is eating something like a quest bar for breakfast because it fits your macros.

Both are two very different lifestyles. One has slow but deliberate progress, and one has fast but temporary results — but the biggest difference between the two is the emotions that come with each one.

One of the reasons why nutrition companies like Renaissance Periodization/ RP Strength and Hybrid Nutrition are so successful is that they require their clients to eat around 3 cups of vegetables every meal. This makes their clients have more volume to eat, meaning that they feel satisfied.

For example, this is a full meal. I am (very) full after eating this. People tell me all the time that my meals are “too big” and ask if I get worried about being bloated for most of the day. The answer is no — because after I eat this, I FEEL content.

Let’s highlight this type of mentality and transition it towards performance.

If you can’t get a 300 pound squat, do you just stop working out entirely because you can’t post a video of Instagram on it? Absolutely not. Not everything should be about what people can and cannot see. If you hit a squat at 290 pounds, and it feels easy, do you stop and say “okay, that’s near my goal so I’m tapping out.”? No. You don’t. So why do people focus only on how they look and write off how they feel and their energy levels when they are eating healthy?

James Clear, blogger and weightlifter, recently wrote about continuous improvement. He said that if you get 1% better every day, you’ll be 37x more improved than what you were at the start of the year.

The catch is consistency. If you try to get 2-3% better every day (like dieting), you’re likely to rebound and make negative progress. But if you take everything one day at a time and listen to your body, you will exhibit a permanent lifestyle change.

Progress isn’t a completely positive relationship. You have good days and you have bad days. Sometimes, you might even take a few steps backward. That’s okay.

The importance is to maintain your happiness and your desire to do better every day.

So eat healthily and enjoy the life you’re living. That 6 pack is on its way.

*Credit Nikita Tiffany. Follow @niki.eats for more cool food action!