If a Muscle Milk Falls in the Forest…
Why the price you’re really paying for the convenient “twist off top” protein shakes may be your life—at least your health.
You’ve likely heard the saying, “If a tree falls in the forest does anyone hear it?”
It’s a oft used, well travel thought experiment that questions the nature of reality.
One I like to leverage when pointing to the fundamental flaw of the ready-to-drink, twist off top, protein shakes / drinks. Yes, like the ever popular Muscle Milk which now comes in convenient plastic bottle in nearly every store.
The fundamental flaw pertains to the nature not of reality—well sort of—but of your awareness. For convenience, the ease with which you can easily—without thinking or even experiencing it—shove a shake down your throat, comes with a price.
The price? The very health, strength and vitality you are seeking to support.
The most popular and lasting practices for supporting dieters (and diets) most all point back to awareness—a way to alter or awaken your attention. For example, the popular smaller plate, smaller cup, approach which helps you “trick your mind” into thinking you are eating more and eating slower.
And a top nearly every list of “diet don’ts” is the mindless snacking—while you’re doing anything else, especially when watching TV. When you do eat, it’s universally agreed that you should take some time, sit down, and eat with focus and intention.
Mindless snacking and eating is one of the most destructive habits known to promote weight gain and obesity. And while most will nod their heads in vigilant agreement to this logic, they completely miss that eating a “health food” mindlessly is still eating mindlessly.
(I’ll spare my rant on Ready-to-Drinks and Muscle Milk for the moment.)
So, as you reach for the twist-off protein drink, know that while you may succeed in feeding your stomach, and quieting hunger for a short time, you’re leaving your mind and soul in the dark. And face it, eating is as much about feeding your mind and soul as your body. That’s the essence of nourishment.
And I don’t just mean that your missing some magic in some esoteric way. It’s an absolute fact that the necessary satisfaction (aka satiety) of eating requires vital elements of the experience of eating. Just getting calories down your throat is not enough.
Satiety is a complex event with a very tangible yet complex set of triggers, all which are effectively (and intentionally) triggered with Full Strength—making it an even more impressive one of a kind experience.
Same Failure For Bars
Yes, this same logic applies to bars. Even to reasonably good bars. If you’re stuffing them in your face, while running from office to soccer, or whatever—you’re feeding weakness. You’re teaching your body bad habits and reacting to the mind.
You deserve the time to feed yourself. You deserve to be present and your body deserves you too.
My advice is to make eating, be it a nutrition shake or a four course meal, a ritual—a mindful, present and attended to state. Be there—or be “here” to experience, to appreciate, to receive nourishment.
Treat yourself to a few moments of space, of calm, centered “me time.” You deserve it. Think before you eat. Consider the advanced practice of Intentional Eating. That is eating for purpose. To start this, you simply and relentlessly, without fail, ask yourself before every meal, “To what higher purpose do I intend this food?”
Of course, now you must answer. It needn’t be complex but it must be authentic. To what purpose are you intending this meal? “To my vital strength and energy.” That’s complex enough. It’s like saying, “I eat for the strength to carry out my purpose.”
You may also choose to dedicate your meal using a mantra like, “I eat for the Strength and Energy to bring my gifts to the world.”
One of my favorite and more enthusiastically recommended practices is The Shake Break.
The Shake Break is the standard, recommended way to enjoy your Full Strength Nutrition. It’s a daily nourishment ritual I’ve been sharing with people for over 6 years.
You can read more about it here. The Shake Break
It’s not complex, I promise.
It’s the simple act of taking the time to mindfully, and intentionally create your Full Strength Shake. (one of the other powerful benefits of the powder formula is this chance to engage with your creation.) Whether your blend it or shake it, make it how you want, your way.
Then take your shake and you to a place—preferably a quiet space—where you can take 5 minutes for yourself. Give yourself those few seemingly short minutes, which are much more than most people will daily. Know this is your time, your space.
Focus on the three points of light—bright spots of gratitude in your life at this moment. Feel the positive flow of the energy as you gradually and with great patience, enjoy your delicious shake.
As the minutes pass, your body and mind both invigorated by the nutrition and the flow of energy, rise back to full strength. And you are once again, on top.