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A couple of years ago, my husband offered me a protein shake after our workout. It was an awful experience. Not only did the shake taste terrible, it had an unrecognizable laundry list of ingredients. Although I knew that some form of post-workout protein was good for me, I still had a mental hang-up about consuming calories after I just worked so hard to burn them off.
There can be a stigma around eating or drinking protein post-workout. I used to worry about calories in versus calories out, not to mention the "bulk and biceps" that many assume come along with an imbalance. After receiving my health coaching certification, it became even more apparent to me how essential consuming protein is to an individual’s fitness routine. I quickly learned that my clients were just as confused about the benefits of post-workout protein as I had been!
This thinking sound familiar? The truth is that post-workout recovery isn't a game of math, and contrary to popular belief, protein won't bulk you up (it doesn’t help that most commercial protein shakes include elements we can barely pronounce). That’s why we created Après—clean, plant-based protein beverages with minimal ingredients. We are all about whole body replenishment. Here’s how Après can help you upgrade your current thinking about protein shakes and benefit your fitness routine:
Whether you just finished a hardcore HIIT class, hot yoga or a new Pilates sequence, working out breaks down your muscles. These muscles will either grow back stronger than they were before or break down even more. It all depends on how and when you feed them. Within the first 30 minutes of completing your workout, your muscles are best primed to absorb nutrients—especially protein.
When your muscles are properly fed, they grow back stronger than they did before. Stronger muscles improve your metabolic rate, which helps burn more calories throughout the day. Let's be clear though; strong muscles don't necessarily mean bigger, bulkier muscles. At Après, we are particularly obsessed with plant proteins (obviously) and combine the best of the best from organic pea, chia, cacao, and hemp. This means a robust BCAA profile plus added vitamins and minerals. Our drinks are good for your body and your palate.
You just burned 400 calories in your workout—so why put calories back into your body right away? It can seem counterintuitive, but when you eat the right post-workout snack, not only are you fueling your muscles, but you're substituting fewer current calories in place of more in the future. Protein helps control ghrelin, your hunger hormone, so try consuming around 13 grams of protein post-workout (exactly how many are in an Après!) to keep you full, energized and out of the office snack drawer.
As they say, you are what you eat. Your hair is made of proteins, so when you don't eat enough, your locks suffer. At Après, we love adding a plant protein like hemp into our drinks because it's rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3's contain GLA (or gamma-linolenic acid), which can help your hair grow faster. Plus, as you already know, your body is ready to absorb more protein and nutrition than usual after a workout, so drinking Après can benefit more than just your muscles.
Adding protein to your fitness routine can help your body in more ways than one. It's also great for skin and nails, keeps you energized and can even help you think more clearly. When you don't consume protein immediately post-workout, you're doing more harm than good. So, give back to your body and sip on that Après protein shake with style.
Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. It was established to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach us how to fight it, and create methods to overcome it. While this initiative has existed just shy of three decades, this year it seems particularly important.
With a year under our belts in pandemic mode—a lot of us had to get creative when it came to keeping our cool. On top of that, everyday stresses didn’t just magically disappear during this time either. Just think about it—have you ever been in a situation that was overwhelming? Maybe you’ve had a looming deadline or a to-do list that seems, well...totally un-doable? If you’ve ever felt you were in over your head, please know you’re not alone—you never are. At one time or another, we’ve all been affected by stress—although each person may manifest it differently. Me? I'm definitely a frequent rider on the "hot mess stress express."
There are many ways to help combat stress—some of us seek out support from friends and family, while others find solace in taking up meditation or unwinding with a relaxing yoga class. Whatever helps you find peace, just keep doing you. But also know we have some resources to help you overcome stress whenever the need arises.
Here are some blog posts that are always available to you when you feel a little stressed out:
When in doubt, breathwork expert and sound healer, Shanila Sattar, always has tips to help ground yourself—especially in times of need. In this blog post, she gives you the recipe for incorporating self-love into your daily routine by encouraging us to ask ourselves these questions: How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love? As we all know, self-love defines and redefines itself for everyone over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it aims to restore the mind, body, and soul through deep, guided meditation. The way it works is like the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. I describe it as a long-form of savasana—anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. (Real talk: savasana is one of the best parts of practicing yoga, am I right?)
TLDR: I learned that I could conquer stress in a matter of minutes with Yoga Nidra.
Are we safe in saying this last year brought up a ton of emotions the likes of which we did not plan for? The good, the bad, the “unprecedented”—our hearts and minds have been taken on a wild rollercoaster ride, and for many of us, our mental health is suffering. With our minds running in thousands of directions, it’s hard to notice our own needs. Yes, our attention to the goings-on of last year is vital but caring for ourselves is as important as ever. Here are some tips from our favorite yoga instructor, Dani Schenone.
Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last year is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.
If you've got those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety coursing through your body right now, you're definitely not alone. We get it. Times are uncertain, our mental health is taxed, we're doing what we can to reduce stress and anxiety in general, and relaxation has taken a back seat. It’s no secret that stress is proven to weaken our immunity, so now more than ever, it's important to relax, deal with what's happening, and find the coping mechanisms to help you reclaim your mental health and reduce your involvement in stressed moments. Let's deal with stress and anxiety together and see what we can do to reduce them.
Meditation will change your life if you let it. The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace. If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.
There’s always something to worry about. Whether it’s our career, relationships, dating, or trauma, we go through moments that bombard us with negative thoughts that can make us feel anxious and stressed. Our worries may often define our choices, our view of the world, or ourselves. This doesn’t mean they are faults, flaws, or downfalls—we just need to practice managing them in a healthy way, placing deserved value on self-care. Yoga is only one connection. Check out these seven yoga poses that can help your mind and body when you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or overall stress.
We’re all guilty of our routines and habits running our lives at one point or another. We’re all guilty of being attached to our schedules and our to-do list. We’re all guilty of running on a loop every now and then. As the energies of 2021 continue to shift, we get to ask ourselves the intentions of why and how we are participating in the places we are participating in, the thoughts we are thinking, the habits we are cultivating, and the communities that we are a part of. This intention and mindfulness process can not only shift our own experiences but of those around us as well.
If you have found meditation to be useful in trying times, right now is an incredible time to also try virtual sound baths to receive the deep sound healing benefits. As many of us are processing a variety of emotions as a collective—stress, worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty—we can start to cause long-term damage to our bodies, especially to our immune and nervous systems. Giving ourselves self-care in a way that is easy, non-intrusive, and simple, can be the perfect way to help your body restore.
These resources aren’t the only thing we have to help you deal with stress—they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are tons of classes available to you on the Mindbody app and through Mindbody Flex to help you reignite your calm whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. And always remember, at the end of the day, your best is always good enough.