I DRANK A MUSCLE MILK TODAY!
What did those artificially flavored synthetic chemicals in the watery-soup of a proteinaceous muscle-building drink do to my body?
Years ago, specifically, say, 5 years ago, when I was super into whole-foods-only diets and did not eat out, drink alcohol, consume artificial things, the idea of consuming Muscle Milk never crossed my mind.
But after burning out my adrenals from lifting too heavy too often, and after being so rigid in my diets that I was not a normal person and achieved no health benefit from doing so, I’ve learned something really simple about food: it’s not that simple and it’s not THAT important. Yea you feel good when you eat healthy foods, but we don’t know what’s healthy.
Most people’s ideas about a healthy diet is something that is catabolic: it breaks down tissues in the body because of the low calorie content. A healthy diet should actually have a good balance between anabolic and catabolic substances. You don’t need to eat salads and granola: that’s something you should eat if you’re 100 lbs overweight (and that’s still debatable as to whether or not it can lead to permanent weight loss).
That being said, I chose between the lesser of two evils today. It was either drink some Muscle Milk because that’s what’s available at the gym, or eat nothing because I don’t have time to get an actual meal. The restrictive dieter in me urged me to eat nothing. “There are chemicals in there that aren’t good for you Avi…don’t drink it!”
The intuitive part of me said “I need nourishment. Feed me. Now.”
Today, I drank Muscle Milk. The younger me would have punched this older me in the face for it. Because he thought he knew a lot more than he did, was judgmental, and not open-minded to ideas that contradicted his own. I had NO time between cramming my workout in this morning and making it to class on time to have an actual meal. So I already had decided beforehand I would drink this because it is sold at my gym. Although this product is not "natural" and nutrition junkies who follow a rigid "whole food" dietary philosophy would think this product is not healthy, they're wrong. It IS HEALTHY. Because after I drank it, the ingredients in there promoted muscle recovery and reduced stress. That's a fact. Either I drank this or had nothing with quick protein in it before class. Maybe an apple would work, but this is more effective. Have you ever had to choose between the lesser of two evils? Daily self-cultivation practice, being open-minded, flexible, and positive, helps you with making an open-minded decision in those cases.
I decided to listen to my intuition. I walked into my next class feeling energized. Before drinking it, I was not energized. My body was stressed, and it needed calories to reduce that stress. It would have been even better if it was a whey protein shake with dates and bananas, as the glucose in there would have lowered my stress even more. Muscle milk doesn’t provide many carbohydrates.
Saying bye to restrictive eating
Learning how to eat without the perfectionist in me dictate what foods I should or should not put in my body has been a learning process. Each time I eat something I’m a little afraid of, I see that after eating it, I feel good. That teaches me to let go of absurd rules and beliefs.
In this case, sure there are “chemicals” in muscle milk. But in the long run, most of them are completely harmless. Some chemicals should be avoided, and you have to do your own research to figure that out. I would rather avoid as many as possible. But in this case, it was my only option has I had to rush to class after the gym and was ill-prepared.
If I hadn’t drank the muscle mulk, I would have been less healthy. My metabolism would have become further damaged. It’s damaged enough from all the restrictive eating I’ve been through. So I’d rather choose calories no matter the source.
If you understand this you’re golden. If it disturbs you, perhaps you’re too rigid with your food habits. Perhaps you wonder if having something artificial will take a year off your lifespan. It won’t. It won’t because food is not that powerful. But eating bad foods day after day and living OUT OF BALANCE will take quality years away from your life.
By drinking the Muscle Milk, part of me achieved a healthful balance, and I felt great.
If you’re interested in healing your relationship with food and intuitive eating, just contact me!