How did you get talked into this?

Every year on January 1 your husband decides that he’s going to try P90X (again). This time I’m going to make it through the whole program, he says. This time he also managed to convince you to join him.

So there you are at 6 a.m., in a pair of shorts and the t-shirt you wore to bed, only half aware of where you are. You look at the workout schedule and see the words Chest, Back and AB RIPPER, thinking thank goodness there is no one around see the hot mess you are about to become. Your husband, looking much too happy for this hour, hands you a pair of 10 lbs dumbbells and presses play. You’re pretty sure you won’t be able to lift your arms to wash your hair when you’re done.

Since this is your first try at the P90X, you’re not surprised to be moving at half the speed he is. What you don’t anticipate is nearly passing out after getting up from the push ups. You can’t be anymore out of shape than he is, but he barely pauses to notice you in a lump on the floor. You feel shaky and weak, definitely in no condition to move on.

You know it’s been a few weeks since you worked out but you’ve never felt like this before.

Zumba, BodyPump and all those other classes you went to after work never made you feel like this. Don’t worry. You’re not a weakling. You’re just running on empty. The small cup of Café Verona you had as you lumbered from the kitchen to the makeshift gym in your basement isn’t enough to fuel your brain, much less your body, for an intense workout. You need to break the fast before you start asking your body and brain to work properly.

Before you tell me you aren’t hungry in the morning let me explain why you have to eat breakfast before a morning workout. You have been fasting overnight so your body has very little circulating glucose. When you exercise your body runs on a combination of glucose and fat (your brain is almost working exclusively on glucose). Without half of the fuel formula needed you won’t have enough energy to DO THE WORK. Your workout will be less intense, less powerful and less effective. You won’t reap the benefits and no one has time for wasted effort.

You need to eat before AND after a morning workout.

The good news is a pre-workout breakfast can be very simple.You may not want a  full stomach when you know you’re going to be hot, sweaty and moving around very quickly.  You probably don’t have the time to make a traditional breakfast. Eating what you might eat for a mid-morning snack should be enough to get you moving without causing you to feel overly full for a morning of jump squats (Plyometrics on Day 2!?). You want some smart carbs for quick energy and protein or fat to sustain you. Here are some ideas:

  • One hard-boiled egg with a banana
  • One Vanilla Coconut Protein Pancake (leftover from the weekend, of course)
  • A small apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter
  • A bar like NugoSlim or Luna Protein
  • Dry roasted edamame and a mini-box of raisins.

Then, after your workout, you can refuel smartly with a more complete breakfast. You want quick protein to help start muscle repair and smart carbs to help keep glucose levels where they need to be so you can think clearly. (After all you still have to go to work.) Since breakfast is trading places with your morning snack you’ll want something that will properly replenish your body AND keep you satisfied till lunch. This is where a protein shake can be extremely useful after a workout. A protein shake is a quick delivery vehicle for the nutrients your body needs and is very easy to make before you rush out the door.

Take a quick shower and then make this shake to drink on the way to the office with a banana or to enjoy at your desk with a small bowl of berries and granola or a bowl of oats with a sprinkle of chia seeds.

Mocha Chai Protein Smoothie
Vega Mocha Chai Recovery Shake
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  • 1 scoop Vega Sport Performance Protein Mocha flavor
  • ½ tsp chai spice powder (not chai TEA – look for it in the spice section if you don’t make your own)
  • 2 tsp raw cocao nibs
  • 1 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Ice as desired

Put all the ingredients in your Ninja or Magic Bullet till fully blended. Makes 1 serving.

The Vega Sport Performance Protein has 30 grams of GMO-project certified, complete-plant based protein per serving and 6 grams each BCAAs and glutamine to fuel muscle recovery (and recovery is when we really get stronger and leaner.) It also has the added benefit of anti-inflammatory ingredients turmeric and tart cherry, which will help reduce soreness and make tomorrow’s workout a little less painful. The cacao nibs also have powerful anti-oxidants and the sea salt helps replenish the electrolytes you lost in all the sweat flying everywhere.

Did I mention it also just tastes delicious? Give it a try and tell me what you think. Enjoy it and the Yoga X.

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