While I sell Beachbody’s products, there are a lot of other great products and books out there. I personally use and find the products on this page valuable, or read the book and found it outstanding. I am not being paid to endorse any of them, and am not affiliated with the makers/authors of any of them other than Beachbody. These are just my opinions as a satisfied user/reader of these products and services. I have used/read and/or own all these products/books and I think you should strongly consider them too, if they fill a need, interest, or curiosity you have.
This book was recommended to me by a double-marathon-running co-worker, who described the book as “running for engineers”. (Interestingly enough, he whipped out a copy from his cubicle. I’m not the only one with fitness information materials at my desk!) That description is apt. This $11 book is a one-stop information shop about running training, adaptations, responses, and an algorithm for putting together a training plan given a goal race length and a time to reach it in. The second edition also had pre-made running training plans for fitness runners – the book is originally intended for competitive runners and coaches – which was very valuable for me. I have recommended this book left and right and so something would be amiss if I didn’t include it here.
One of the pre-made plans for fitness runners is one for people wanting to start running – a run-walk plan. It is much better than the ad hoc run-walking I did initially in terms of fast results and comfort. If you are just getting started with fitness (or are picking back up after many years) and want to be a runner specifically, or want to be outdoors rather than use fitness DVDs, this is a great plan for you! This book is goal-oriented, however – it is all about how to reach specific running goals as fast as possible – so if you’re looking for easy-going, playful fitness, this is not the book for you.
If you are into P90X, P90X2, or anything else that needs dumbbells at home, you should strongly consider adjustable dumbbells. (Unless you are so lucky that you have a dedicated exercise room with room for a proper weight rack.) We started with the cheapest adjustable dumbbells we could find at Target (two 2.5-12.5 lb dumbbells and two 5-25 lb dumbbells) when we first started doing P90X. After two rounds, though, we got pretty frustrated with the adjustment mechanism on the 5-25-lb set. It would get stuck a lot and/or slide too fast once it got unstuck, so that adjusting the weights got aggravating. Since we knew at that point that we’d be doing P90X for a long time, we splurged on some premium adjustable dumbbells.
We looked into the BowFlex SelectTech dumbbells too, which I initially favored, but once we saw them in a store we immediately changed our minds because of the width. There’s a move in P90X called Crouching Cohen Curls (reported to have been invented by a crouching, curling kind of guy named Cohen) where your hands need to be knee-width. If your dumbbells are wide enough, that’s going to be a problem. We gave Crouching Cohen Curl a try with the SelectTech dumbbells; too wide for us. I understand there are people who are very happy with the SelectTechs for P90X. We just made a different choice that we’re very happy with.
PowerBlock makes a lot of variants of their dumbbells. We selected as follows:
The painted PowerBlocks are cheaper, but we figured floor damage is even more expensive than the more expensive PowerBlocks. We wanted the small increments to make sure we can move on up in weights without encountering a ‘jump’ that’s too big. 5 lbs can be quite a jump, especially at lower weights. I have never experienced a problem with going up 2.5 lbs.
Now, in practice, the PowerBlocks are 10 – 50 lbs for us, not 2.5 – 50 lbs. That’s because of the messing around with the adder weights for the handle, which we avoid if we can help it. We leave both adder weights in by default, meaning if the handle gets us 10 lbs. If we want less, we need to mess with the weights, and we still have the smaller cheap-o adjustable dumbbells plus 5-lb uretane coated bright blue stand-alone dumbbells, so we just grab something else instead. We only really need less for the “grab a small weight” exercises anyway. You also need to pull one of the adder weights out to go up by 2.5 lb-increments, but I’ll do it then because it’s the only way.
These are (other than the actual fitness programs themselves, of course) the best fitness equipment investment we’ve made. And while the sticker price may make you think twice, don’t let it if you’re serious about home fitness. I ran some math here recently to help a friend determine whether doing P90X or joining the cheapest gym she could find for a year was the most inexpensive, and it turned out that even if she bought the PowerBlocks instead of the cheap-o adjustable weights (at $379 plus $59 shipping and handling, mind you) P90X would have been cheaper. We bought the PowerBlocks about three years ago, so even though the initial cost really stung in the wallet, it was a smart financial move for our fitness.
Anusara yoga is philosophically based on the idea of basic goodness. As far as asana goes, it is a very alignment-focused practice. The Universal Principles of Alignment are not only helpful in asana, they are helpful in everyday life, and as the crop up again and again in Anusara yoga, they are basic principles you can connect with and learn from over time. This is my favorite yoga style out of all the ones I’ve tried.
Anusara also has a very rigorous certification program. It took my teacher 9 years to become fully certified! This does mean that it can be difficult to find a fully certified Anusara yoga teacher. You may be able to find someone who is in the process of being certified and who has reached some milestones in that process who is allowed to say that they are “Anusara-inspired” teachers, if you don’t have a fully certified teacher in your area. I am so lucky as to have two! There is a searchable list of all Anusara teachers on the Anusara website.
I have heard the advice from other runners as well as triathletes that foam rolling is basically sunshine and rainbows when it comes to, well, life as a runner or a triathlete. I never followed through on it because IT HURTS. So, you might be wondering what on Earth I’m doing recommending this spiky-looking foam roller to the left, which may or may not also double as a torture device. Well, it turns out that while a spiky foam roller does hurt more than a regular one, it also works better. And the increase in pain is smaller than the increase in myofascial release. So, I find myself much more positively dispositioned toward the Rumble Roller than a regular foam roller , and I’ve used it a lot more as well. The Rumble Roller is not made by Beachbody, but like Manduka’s Black Mat, is available through the Team Beachbody store.
This was the sports drink used in my first half marathon, and in order to know if I’d be able to use the sports drink provided at the race, I ordered some to train with. I really like this stuff. It’s cheap, it’s very lightly sweet, and it works. Nice and simple. For me, it provides all the electrolytes I need, even in summer heat. And even in summer heat, it’s not too sweet, unlike some other drinks I’ve tried. (A particular long run with another sports drink comes to mind. It was awful. I felt like I was out there in the direct sun for 2+ hours with saltwater.)
There are a lot of recovery drinks on the market. When I started doing P90X, I’d never heard of the concept. I thought it was the most ridiculous up-sell I’d ever heard of. Why would you need some special drink just because you’re doing P90X? Well, technically speaking, you don’t. What you need, if you are working out hard many days in a row (unlike what you would do in most running programs, say), is to consume enough sugar and a little protein in a 4:1 ratio very soon after your workout for your muscles and liver to re-build the glycogen it just used up during the workout. In principle, you could measure out x grams of sugar to y grams of protein powder and mix it in water, or figure out how much protein powder to put in fruit juice. In practice, I don’t want to. I’ll pay for a recovery drink powder mix so I won’t have to deal with all that.
I’ve tried several other recovery drinks and this is simply the one I like the taste of the best. It’s really tasty. I’ve had one that tasted downright awful, probably due to the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) it contained, and a few others that just tasted a little funny. Since I’m going to be drinking my recovery drink six days a week, it better taste good!
I’ve heard people talk about pre-workout boosters a lot in the weightlifting and powerlifting community. (Not so much in the running and tri communities, though.) There are many brands of NO boosters and several other types of workout enhancers. I see a lot of ads for them in Muscle & Fitness Hers. My husband did some research and ordered beta-alanine capsules that I was using. I did notice they helped me do more reps, but they also made my arms and legs tingle.
This energy and endurance drink is a cocktail of various workout performance boosters, including beta-alanine, and it actually works not just for the strength workouts but plyometrics as well! We ran out last week, and suddenly everything became much harder! Had we not just come off a rest week I’d have thought maybe it was time for one! Good stuff apparently!
This is consistently ranked as the top yoga mat on various yoga mat aggregator sites, because it’s thick, it’s durable, and it’s sticky. It’s unfortunately also pricey at %94.00. It’s also heavy, because it’s thick and dense. I really like mine a lot! I never have to fold my mat over to protect my knees, and it feels very stable under you in balance poses. It does take a little ‘breaking in’ when you first get it – yoga non-slip socks are recommended at first.
(If you’re wondering what would ever wear out a yoga mat, the answer is your hands and feet. My yoga teacher’s mat has holes in it. Yes, holes. She’s been talking about getting a new one.)
Beachbody re-sells these through the Team Beachbody web store, so if you want one you can throw one in with other things you’re ordering, or vice versa. If you are a Club member, your 10% discount is good on the Black Mat as well even though Beachbody doesn’t make it. I got mine for $67.46 because of my coach discount! It’s a little hard to find, though: it’s under P90X equipment (not yoga!) and it’s called a “Plyometrics Mat.” If you read the description, it’s identified as the Black Mat by Manduka.
When I started doing P90X, I couldn’t do an unassisted pull-up. As Tony instructs, I used a chair. Over the course of the next year, I discovered some problems with the chair strategy. For one, it’s very hard to judge whether you’re making any progress. I realized over time that without really noticing, I adjusted how much help I got from my foot on the chair and could meet pretty much any rep goal I set without necessarily pushing myself to get any stronger, or at least not enough to make clear progress toward an unassisted pull-up. Second, if you’ve never done an unassisted pull-up, you don’t know what good form feels like. This means it’s very, very, very easy to “cheat” without realizing it by doing chair-assisted pull-ups with lots of kip, or backwards and out motion.
I started making clear progress in the pull-up department only when I climbed up on a chair, held myself in place at the top of the bar, had my husband move the chair out of the way, and the lowered myself down as slowly as possible. This worked well, but had the downside of needing a second person to move the chair. The Chin-Up Max is kind of new, so it wasn’t available at the time. My husband surprised me with one when he saw the idea and I’ve loved it! My pull-ups have improved a lot more and I don’t need the second person. This is also a way to do pull-up ‘strip sets’ if you really want to squeeze everything you can out of your pull-ups, even when you can bang out 20 or so yourself.
We thought these Beachbody push-ups stands were just another upsell when we started doing P90X. We didn’t want to wait for shipping from Team Beachbody and were also hoping to save money, so we went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and picked up the only pair of push-up stands they had. The other push-up stands were okay, but they dug into our hands on pike presses and incline push-ups (not to mention on ALL push-ups with a weighted vest on!) and they always threatened to fall over on wide push-ups.
When we ordered the P90X2 Ultimate Kit, we got a pair of the PowerStands in it. Hindsight is 20/20, but we should have just gotten the PowerStands the first time. We saved about $5 and shipping time, but we were never quite happy with the other stands. The PowerStand handles are wider and sturdier, and thus don’t dig into your hands ever, and the round, very wide base means they’re much more stable in wide pushup positions than the other bars we had. It’s nice to not have to worry so much! Had I known I’d have paid the extra $5 and waited for them to arrive back two years ago. That’s why I’m recommending them here, so maybe save someone else the regret.
Before P90X2 was finalized and released, my husband and I were subscribed to the P90X One on One season 3, where Tony tested out moves for P90X2. As we were watching him use medicine balls as push-ups stands, we were wondering what brand of medicine balls he was using, because all the ones we’d used are, well, squishy. That sounded precarious to use for what Tony was doing, we though. We went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and looked for hard medicine balls. There were none. The ones in the Team Beachbody store are, so if you’re wanting medicine balls for P90X2, get these!
If you don’t have a pull-up bar and don’t want to buy one (or are traveling), get this cheap door attachment kit to create a place to anchor your bands to out of any door with hinges. (And what door doesn’t have hinges?) No hooks, no marks. We got one with one of the P90X One on Ones and it’s great!
A co-worker gave me the tip about The China Study and said he became a strict vegan after reading it. This is the best book on nutrition I’ve ever read. I’m always on the lookout for good health information and picked up the book, and like my co-worker, went to work on changing how I eat. My husband refused to go vegan, but we stopped eating dairy completely and cut down on our animal protein consumption from other sources. You should note that if you are not used to ploughing through fact-dense non-fiction, this is going to be a stiff read. It’s much easier to read than a paper, but it’s fact-packed all the same, and you’ll be asked to think.
More related information can be found in the online resources section.
Forks Over Knives isn’t far from being the movie version of The China Study. Less facts, but more anecdotes and interviews with people from the clinical studies who have saved themselves from heart disease. Campbell is interviewed heavily in the film, together with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, who wrote a book simply entitled How To Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease based on the clinical trials he conducted. Definitely worth a watch! This is a much more laid-back way to get the same message that The China Study and How To Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease is sending. The companion book has some of my favorite vegan recipes pictured on my blog, such as lemon-kale sandwiches and seared red lentil pâté.
A very interesting look at the United States food supply. Directed by Robert Kenner, who basically took Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Eric Schlosser’s book Fast Food Nation and made a film out of the mix. Like Forks Over Knives is to The China Study and How To Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, this is a quick, more easy-going way to get the same message as reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Fast Food Nation. Regardless of how you feel about a whole-foods, plant-based diet, you should inform yourself of the safety and ethical problems with the US food supply. (No, this is not an hour of sad, mis-treated animals, although poor animal conditions is one of the ethical problems mentioned.) For your own sake, knowing the sanitation and regulation limitations of the meat industry in particular is very important. To vote well with your dollar, you need to know what you’re voting for.
Don’t assume the FDA and the USDA has your back. They don’t have the money or the resources to inspect and enforce regulations. And the regulations won’t even let the USDA force a meat company to recall meat known for sure to be contaminated with deadly bacteria at levels above specification limits. Not even when people have died already. Because it’s simpler for everyone, the food industry largely polices itself. It’s cheaper and simpler, all right. It’s just that now you have to worry about the safety of your food in a way you don’t really expect you should have to in a Western country, and you should know that when you’re in the grocery store.
Bob’s Red Mill is just a reliable quality brand. I’m not going to type a whole paragraph on their oats. I’m just plain going to recommend them. Good brand, better and cheaper (at least at my local store) than Quaker.
Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food is what it sounds like – a defense of eating things like apples instead of apple-flavored things, fistfuls of raspberries instead of raspberry-flavored things, and real yoghurt instead of products that look like yoghurt, but are not in fact made by culturing milk with yoghurt bacteria. This appeals enormously to the European part of me (I was raised on three continents and the food we ate at home was a Swedish-Finnish combination), which has very strict definitions of what ‘cheese’ is (NOT “cheese product”!) and what various kinds of cultured dairy are. (Needless to say, “meat product” grosses me out. I can’t understand what it is, if it looks like meat but isn’t!) Perhaps this is unsophisticated of me, but I want food words to mean simple things: cheese means what you get after you treat milk with rennet, get rid of the whey, and shore the solids up into a wheel; what happens next determines the sub-type of cheese – butter means what you get after churning full-fat milk so much that solid chunks form – eggs are what come out of a chicken’s behind. I want food words to mean either the source of a food – fruit of the such-and-such plant, seed of the such-and-such plant, such-and-such piece of an animal – or what you do to a food source, like the cheese and butter examples above. And I do mean you as an average non-food-chemist person, working in a kitchen or on a farm. If you need a factory or a lab to do it, it’s not “real food”. I don’t want to get into complicated philosophical discussions of the meaning of the phrase “real food”, either. I just want it to be simple to talk about foods and cooking. I want to be able to be clear. And that certainly does need defending.
As Pollan points out, we eat foods, not nutrients. We don’t pile ourselves up some vitamin C, some vitamin K, some protein, and some carbs on our plates. We eat combinations of micro- and macronutrients as spinach, potatoes, kale, apples, and tofu. Nutrition advice in the form of nutrient intake always has to be translated into foods you can put on a plate, and frankly, most of the time that translating is your problem, not the experts’. As is figuring out how the nutrients work in combinations with each other. Really, what we need is nutrition advice in terms of foods. Talking about nutrients only gets really confusing really fast, something Pollan calls nutritionism.
Nutritionism is a variant of the can’t-see-the-forest-for-all-the-trees smokescreen that’s a standard fallback for scientists and engineers when their back is against the wall, or when they just truly lose the big picture. (Intention to confuse or deceive isn’t always there; when you spend your life sorting out details, sometimes you do simply miss the big picture.) You’re virtually guaranteed to always have some detail that doesn’t fit in with the other details or the bottom-line conclusion. That’s doesn’t automatically mean something’s wrong. A huge part of being good at what you do is knowing when it does and knowing when it doesn’t. (And reasonable people can and do disagree on that.) But the flip side is that you are virtually guaranteed to find a “but” if you go looking hard enough, even if it’s a little silly.
In scientific seminars, this is usually accomplished by hammering the speaker with all the “did you think about/measure/correct for THIS?” questions you can come up with. Some are probably good questions. But at some point, if you keep asking, you’ll get a little ridiculous, along the lines of “While growing films in your vacuum chamber, was the humidity level in your lab always the same?” or “What if there is a contaminant in the chamber?”. (The latter one can always be asked, and since you’re being asked to prove a negative, it’s incredibly hard to answer the questions without lots of qualifications, so it sounds very dodgy.) The difference between good and ridiculous questions, of course, is whether it matters in practice or not, which isn’t always clear during the Q&A after a seminar, and certainly not to people who aren’t in the field. Think about is as deviating from a recipe – have you truly made the recipe if you did? If someone really wants to, they can get pushy in saying no, even if it’s pretty clear you basically did, because that half teaspoon less of pepper really doesn’t make it a completely different recipe. Pollan argues that the way out of this for what he calls an eater – someone who isn’t in the nutrition field who just wants to eat right – is to focus on foods, not nutrients.
Pollan put the thesis of his book on the cover of the book already: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. But even if you agree with the premise, Pollan does a great job of delivering interesting facts and ideas in covering why that’s his thesis. He also offers a set of food-centric guidelines for what to put in your grocery cart at the supermarket, as well as for deciding what is food in the first place. It’s a short but sweet book. In Defense of Food made a huge impact on how I thought about food and eating, and I highly recommend it to anyone else interested in eating well.
If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know about Shakeology. Shakeology is Beachbody’s superfood premium nutrition shake. It’s not a protein shake or a meal replacement shake in the sense that while you can use Shakeology as either, the real point is all the micro- and phytonutrients from the plant ingredients. There would be no point in drinking a protein shake for the non-protein nutrients; that’s silly. There would similarly be no point in drinking a meal replacement shake as a snack – too many calories for a good snack size. (At least for me!) I personally drink Shakeology as a snack, no matter what I mix it up with. (Thus, I generally stay away from the more caloric recipes.) I love the energy boost it gives me (one of two I’ve clearly noticed when it comes to what I eat – the other is lots of dark, leafy vegetables), so even though I’m not really into either high-protein eating or drinking my meals (plate and utentils, please), I really want to keep Shakeology as a daily part of my diet.
There are three flavors of Shakeology: Greenberry, chocolate, and tropical strawberry. Greenberry and chocolate contain whey protein; tropical strawberry is vegan. I was listening to an interview with co-creators Isabelle Daikeler and Darin Olien recently in anticipation of the launch of the vegan Shakeology and apparently, the intention was originally to make the shake vegan. The problem was that they couldn’t find a mix of plant proteins that passed taste tests.
Beachbody is a company living off of “information arbitrage”: they take our best state of knowledge about health and translate it into something that people actually can and do buy off of late-night TV infomercials. They are not trying to sell primarily to people like me, who think spending their free time researching some health finding and then blogging about it is fun, the way I am part of many other health companies’ prime demographic. (Whole Foods and basically any product (including fresh produce) inside one are paying marketers good money to sell to people like me. I can also tell from the Safeway coupons I get that companies like 365 and Silk have me on their radar because of previous Safeway purchases.) Beachbody is not trying to sell just to people who are already interested in health and health products, they are trying to sell to everyone regardless of pre-existing interest and involvement with a healthy lifestyle – to be the rarity when a good idea does interrupt you, as Jim Rohn says. (“Rarely does a good idea interrupt you.”) That means that Shakeology has to be palatable not just to people who say “Yum!” about buckwheat-corn-flax-hemp protein powder pancakes that are green in the middle (Yum!), it has to be palatable to people who have more recently been drinking milkshakes, not just nutrition shakes.
The vegan protein blend they settled on comprises ultra-fine, bio-fermented, raw sprouted brown rice protein with sacha inchi. The brown rice protein is sprouted because sprouting seeds or grains (any of them, in fact) creates an explosion of nutrients we can benefit significantly from. (That’s why sprouts are considered so nutritious.) Sprouting increases vitamin, mineral, phytonutrient, essential fatty acid, and antioxidant content. It also synthesizes healthy enzymes and increases the quality of the proteins, and reduces the amount of phytic acid, an acid that interferes with a body’s ability to absorb minerals, in the grain. It is fermented because the fermentation process breaks down the rice grain further, beyond just sprouting, which releases enzymes that make it easier for your digestive system to absorb the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients in the rice. The blend as a whole has 9 essential amino acids.
The sacha inchi is one of the superfoods in Shakeology that is pretty rare but also very special. Sacha inchi is high in high-quality protein, which is easily absorbable, and adds to the protein content of Tropical Strawberry Shakeology as well as Greenberry and Chocolate Shakeology. Sacha inchi is one of those foods that seems to have a lot of several important nutrients – in addition to the protein, sacha inchi is naturally rich in good fats and fiber, it also helps promote the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response, and it has a very high concentration of omega fatty acids—providing a perfect balance of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids. The fats and fiber help you feel and stay full. The anti-inflammatory properties help your immune system keep you healthy. The fatty acids keep a number of complicated systems in your body running right.
Of course, the very best source of nutrients is from whole foods on your plate, not supplements, no matter what they contain. I’ll be the first – if I can be fast enough to beat everyone else shouting the same thing – to advocate eating whole, fresh foods as the basis of a healthy diet. The Shakeology bags point that out, the website says that, and the online FAQ says it. But I’m a little worried that not everyone is really hearing what that means, so I want to dwell on that through for a minute.
Plan A nutritionwise is always eating lots and lots and lots of home-cooked vegetables and fruits, legumes and whole grains, virtually no red meat or dairy, and a lot less fat and sugar than most Americans eat. (Yes, I’m naming food names, not just vague phrases like “well-balanced diet”.) Plan A is staying in the top two tiers of Michi’s Ladder. Plan A is always doing your own grocery shopping and your own cooking. And Plan B is pulling something you previously cooked and froze out of the freezer. Other convenience of any sort is Plan C. (Not because I want to make you work and suffer, but because no one can sell you true healthy, high-quality convenience at a price you can afford a lot. Places that can do that for you are four- and five-star restaurants – elsewhere, shortcuts are being taken and you know it. You can never buy home-cooked quality affordably.)
Do not delude yourself into thinking that you will be ok eating a diet you know isn’t so good if you just eat enough supplements! Do not use Shakeology as a crutch or patch-up for a poor diet! Eating supplements may or may not have the same effect as eating whole foods with the nutrients in the supplement in them. If you want the benefits of a healthy diet, you need to eat one, period. Even if the supplement helps, you are giving up your biggest opportunity to make your health better if you just rely on supplements.
That being said, provided that you have your nutrition priorities in order, my experience with Shakeology tells me supplements can still enrich an already healthy diet. The amount of nutrients in conventionally grown food today is lower than it was 50 years ago. The organic farming movement may one day start reversing that development. (In the meantime, sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture share!) Since I never noticed any difference if I forgot to take my multivitamins (when I was still trying to take them, thinking that it was good for me) but do notice if I don’t drink Shakeology for a few days, I conclude that Shakeology does something for me the vitamins didn’t. I have more energy when I drink Shakeology. More energy means fewer things feel like obstacles in a given day, and it means higher productivity. That’s enough for me. I drink Shakeology every day. What that means for whether a hypothetical hunter-gatherer would have the same experience I don’t know, but frankly, I don’t think anyone else knows either. Blogging about what we do know takes long enough; I don’t have time for discussions that are 75% guesses with a few facts or studies sprinkled in.
So, let me finally get to the point. The idea behind Shakeology is to try to stick as close as you can to whole foods in making a supplement in order to avoid the complications in deciding what to put in the supplement. Don’t try to figure out what dose of vitamin 1 with what dose of vitamin 2 together with fiber does for what disease, just try to pack as many nutrients from whole foods, processed as little as possible and gently, into the supplement. (Funny story: if you take vitamin A supplements, you can overdose and get sick. If you just eat lots of food with the precursors to vitamin A in them (usually also counted as being vitamin A, although that’s not technically true), your body makes more vitamin A if it needs it and doesn’t if you have enough, so that you can’t overdose on vitamin A from food sources.) Don’t look for why, look for how. If it works, don’t worry about why. Focus on action, leave the why to the academic researchers. Find plants people consider very healthy. Take them and dry, grind, whatever works, them into a powder. Use the powder to make a shake. Leave it at that. All the key ingredients in Tropical Strawberry Shakeology come from 100% whole foods. They are sourced locally from farmers by Darin Olien. (Yes, still!) He goes out there and negotiates the deals with the farmers and makes sure to pay a fair price to boot. I love this video about Darin’s travels and about the local sourcing – there’s also some ingredient fun facts thrown in!
Note: Shakeology is best consumed within 30 minutes. This stuff contains live enzymes, and they’ll get to work whether it’s in your belly or not! Also, on a related note… don’t let Shakeology cups or blenders sit around. Enough said.
Calories from fat: 10
Total fat: 1 g (2% of the RDA for a 2000-calorie diet)
Saturated fat: 0 g
Trans fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 g
Sodium: 70 mg (3% of the RDA for a 2000-calorie diet)
Total carbohydrate: 20 g (7% of the RDA for a 2000-calorie diet)
Dietary fiber: 4 g (16% of the RDA for a 2000-calorie diet)
Sugars: 10 g
Protein: 15 g (30% of the RDA for a 2000-calorie diet)
Raw sprouted whole grain brown rice protein and Sscha inchi seeds (Plukenetia volubilis).
Coconut flower nectar, sprouted chia seeds (Salvia hispanica), sprouted flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum), pea fiber (Pisum spp., seed), quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa, seed), amaranth (Amaranthus hypochondriacus, seed).
Maca root (Lepidium meyenii ), Astragalus root (Astragalus membranaceus), Ashwagandha root (Withania somnifera), Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa), Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis, fungi), Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum, leaf), Schisandra (Schisandra spp., fruit), Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba, leaf).
Pomegranate (Punica granatum, fruit), Acerola cherry (Malpighia glabra, fruit), bilberry (Vaccinium sp., fruit), Goji berry (Lycium barbarum), Camu-Camu (Myrciaria dubia, fruit), açai (Euterpe oleracea, fruit), blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium, fruit), citrus bioflavonoids, green tea (Camellia sinensis, leaf), rose hips (Rosa canina, fruit).
Strawberry (Fragania chiloensis, berry), apple pectin (Malus pumila, fruit), banana (Musa spp., fruit), pineapple (Ananas comosus, fruit), papaya (Carica papaya, fruit).
Yacon root (Smallanthus sonchifolius), Lactobacillus sporogenes (as Bacillus coagulans) naturally micro-encapsulated.
Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis, Arthrospira maxima, whole), chlorella (Chlorella sp., whole), spinach (Spinacia oleracea, leaf), barley grass (Hordeum vulgare), kamut grass (Triticum turanicum), oat grass (Avena sativa), wheat grass (Triticum aestivum).
Protease, amylase, cellulase, lipase, papain, lactase, bromelain.
Tapioca, natural flavors (strawberry, banana, pineapple), konjac gum, beet juice powder, citric acid, natural sweetener (proprietary blend of erythritol, oligosaccharides and natural flavors), cinnamon powder, Himalayan salt, stevia, and luóhàn fruit.
If you would like to buy a bag of Tropical Strawberry Shakeology and feel like my blogging and social media stream of my lifestyle is helpful and worthwhile, I would appreciate it if you bought it through me. Here’s the link to do so. If you do, I will receive a modest commission. The commissions off of Beachbody products is what makes it worth my while to use my free time to help and support people trying to create lifestyle change for themselves and to put good fitness and health information out there. If it weren’t for the commissions, I wouldn’t feel beholden to be consistent, thorough, or even share what I know at all other than with interested personal friends in real life. I probably wouldn’t even tell people I’d ever been borderline obese and they’d never know any better. I am here to help others, and that’s always been why I became a coach, but the commissions are what pays for this domain and website hosting, the fitness and nutrition books that I buy to learn more to share with others, and other associated costs of doing the work of helping others. (If you already are working with another Team Beachbody coach, or ever bought anything from Beachbody, don’t worry – the person who is your coach will get the commission, not me.)
Interestingly, Beachbody is selling just the P90X2 nutrition guide, independently of the P90X2 kits. For replacements, perhaps? Or for people who are still doing the old P90X but who want the new vegan and paleo options? I don’t know. I just think it’s really cool that they are doing that so that other aspiring vegan athletes can drop $40 on this thing and get their meal plan going! ABSOLUTELY worth the money – this is half recipe collection, half manu planner. The menu planner is the part that I’m personally so grateful for. Don’t get me wrong, the recipes are great too. But I think like most people, I already HAVE recipes. Even vegan recipes. What I needed help with is making sure I balanced my amino acids in the big picture (doesn’t have to be every meal) and knowing that my diet is not just vegan, but also intended for an athlete, is worth so much more than $40 in terms of peace of mind.
Invest in a good mattress. I don’t have any particular recommendations as I can’t remember where I got ours.
Keep your bedroom cool.
Stay away from LCD screens for an hour before bed.
This is a fantastic book for anyone trying to learn how to meditate. It’s clear, it’s comprehensive, and it’s focused on the how-to. This is not really a book on Buddhism, it is a book on how to learn how to meditate. Whether that is good, bad, or indifferent from your point of view only you can decide.
These rectangular cushions do a great job in making sure that your knees are lower than your hips as you sit. You may wonder why that matters. It’s an alignment thing I learned from Anusara yoga.
These cushions are the ones Shambhala Centers use, so if you’ve been to one, these are the cushions.