Lately, I’ve felt like I’ve been trying to change everything at once and it’s not working. I’m trying add Olympic weightlifting while also focusing on increasing my running mileage. I’m trying to eat better and stay hydrated, but also enjoy myself. I’m trying to get enough sleep, but not fall behind in my workouts, housecleaning, errands, time for myself, and also time with J. I’m trying to become better in every aspect of my life, but in reality, I think I’m spreading myself a little too thin. I can’t focus on making everything better because then nothing will actually get better.
As I mentioned in my recap of last week, the down weeks give me time to focus on things like nutrition and finding a better pattern for fitting everything into my life. Surprising to me, when I put a focus on structuring my diet and nutrition, everything else seems to fall into line, too. This past week, I focused heavily on nutrition – specifically breakfast, post-workout, and overall hydration.
[For the record, this is not a sponsored post. I purchased all the products because I wanted them. And that’s the same reason I’m writing about which products I’m using, because I want to share what I love.]
I have difficulty with breakfast but it isn’t because I’m not hungry – I’m often starving! After waking up, I leave for work within 30 minutes, complete with packed bags, coffee made, and a presentable appearance. I work a desk job, but it’s hard to utilize my computer and phone (which is all I do) while eating breakfast and drinking coffee. Typically, I won’t finish my breakfast, I finish my coffee cold, and then I don’t start hydrating until noon.
Last week, I decided to change that. I had a few packets I bought from my local cooperative market of Vega Protein Power, both performance protein and the nutritional protein. I love the taste, but I also love that it’s plant based, vegan, soy free, and wheat free, all of which is important to me. And even though I will never be in the position to be tested for banned substances, it’s nice to know the Vega Sport Performance Protein Powder is Informed Choice certified.
I have found that what works for me is using a shaker bottle with coconut milk, protein powder, vanilla k-cup, and ice. I don’t need to make a fancy shake in a Nutribullet! It’s satisfying in the morning; I get coffee, I get protein, and I finish it a lot sooner than if I drank coffee and ate breakfast separately.
Now, the performance protein is “supposed” to be used post-workout, but for me, I think in the morning for breakfast is better than not at all. Although, given that I’m using it as a meal replacement, I probably should have opted for the nutritional shake instead. I plan to track everything via My Fitness Pal for a couple of weeks to see what my nutrient intake looks like and adjust if necessary.
With this being my breakfast routine, I’m able to start on hydration a lot sooner. I stopped using a 24oz water bottle at work in favor of a 16 oz water bottle because it makes me get up more often, which my hip flexors thank me for, and the water doesn’t get warm since it’s not sitting as long waiting for me to finish. My goal is to drink four of these bottles before I go home for the day, mostly because I don’t drink water as often at home. Plus, I’ve recently begun to enjoy a beer some nights (thanks to some ladies who got me rehooked on trying new beers…) and I only want to do that if I’ve properly hydrated already. To be honest, enjoying a couple beers during the week while relaxing has taken away any desire I used to have to spend a Friday or Saturday at the bar until 1am. I think that’s a win-win on my wallet and body.
And finally, I’ve made a conscious effort to refuel immediately after a workout. This is where I struggle due to hunger because unlike breakfast, I’m not hungry. When I go to CrossFit, I bring an already mixed Vega Sport Recovery drink [which I reviewed previously]. I finish it on the drive home and usually by the time I shower, I’m ready to eat dinner. When I run from my house, I put the tub out so it reminds me, too. And I also try to incorporate about 8oz of tart cherry juice afterwards, too.
I often find it difficult to tell if different supplements “really” work, but I have noticed a few changes with this plan in place for a week. My average water intake has increased close to 50%! I also have more sustained energy during work and a much easier time focusing at length, which has been so necessary lately.
I can’t justify if I feel recovered faster because I started this during an off week for me, and honestly, I might never be able to tell. It’s not like I’m at peak training and now adding this into my diet, but rather doing it all from the beginning, along with adding other recovery activities. There’s one thing I do know however… I have to pee way too often, now!
If you’re interested in checking out Vega, but cringing at the price, check out a local store because they do sell individual packets! I used to pick up 4-5 different packets (for $10-$15 total) every so often to see what worked and what didn’t before committing to a large tub. Even when I bought the tub, I utilized my Amazon Prime membership for much cheaper than direct from Vega’s website ($65 vs. $35), plus I really like free 2-day shipping. Oh Amazon, you always know the key to my credit card.