Is Everyone Drinking Protein Shakes Without Me?

Posted on Aug 15, 2017 in Adulthood Stole My Cool

Is Everyone Drinking Protein Shakes Without Me? 0

In two days I head into corrective jaw surgery. I’m not going to get into all the medical technicalities of the surgery, but post-surgery my jaw will be wired or rubber banded shut for about six weeks. This means a liquid diet for six weeks. I’m not super stoked about that, but here’s the thing – I had this surgery 13 years ago*, and I managed to survive then. So I’ll survive now.

Anyway, when you’re recovering from surgery you need a lot of protein and other nutrients to aid your body in healing. If I remember correctly, my former surgeon encouraged me to get 3000 calories/day during recovery. HAHAHA. Yeah, I don’t get 3000 calories/day when I’m actually eating solid food, so to try to consume that much on a liquid diet is nearly impossible. But hey, it’s good to have goals.

At the time my mother – on the advice of the surgeon – went to Costco and stocked up on Ensure. I took one sip and decided that would be my last. So I subsisted on Carnation Instant Breakfast drinks (remember those?), Jamba Juice, and milkshakes. Eventually my mom started putting ice cream into the breakfast drinks and the smoothies because – CALORIES! After about a month I was ready for a change and asked my mom to blend me up some clam chowder – a weird request I know, not least because I don’t particularly like seafood. Not eating solid food for that long will lead to some weird cravings. For example, I also desperately wanted some  Taco Bell creation that I kept seeing advertised on TV (it looked like a quesadilla but was a hexagon, maybe) – but I couldn’t blend that, so clam chowder it was. Like the Ensure, I had one sip of the chowder and almost retched. Back to ice cream smoothies. It wasn’t exactly the healthiest post-surgery diet.

 

 

This time around, I vowed to be more mindful about my recovery diet. I definitely need more protein, and probably less ice cream. (Apparently sugar is bad for you?) Luckily in the thirteen years that have passed, the smoothie and shake scene has radically changed. We have Vitamix now! But my knowledge of protein powders is woefully lacking. So like any good Millennial, I took to the interwebs to crowdsource.

 

 

I asked my Facebook friends what non-disgusting protein powders and other nutrients they put in their smoothies or shakes. The response was unexpected and intense. I never imagined that so many people would have opinions on protein shakes!

At first I was pleased – this was good info! But as my notifications kept increasing – ping, ping, ping – anxiety began creeping in. My palms got clammy. I broke into a cold sweat. So many notifications begged the question: Is everyone drinking protein shakes without me?

Vega! Orgain! Shakeology! The list kept growing. Sun Warrior! Herbalife! I was beginning to feel overwhelmed. Amazing Grass! Vital Proteins! Panic set in. WHAT IS ALL THIS!? And more importantly… Why does everyone know this stuff but me?

I knew protein shakes were commonplace for athletes of certain workout persuasions. Your typical hip mom might whip up a green smoothie to sneak some veggies into her kids’ diets. But this, this was a on a different level. I think in total I received no less than 18 recommendations of protein sources. Sweet Jesus, why are there so many? I was perplexed. Health and nutrition is important to me, but I’ve always stayed away from protein powders because 1) I think they taste like chalk and 2) I prefer to eat my nutrition rather than drink it. This Facebook post threw my entire nutritional philosophy into question – What have I been missing out on?

 

 

I always assumed I was constantly fatigued because my three-year old still doesn’t sleep through the night. (You can pity me, I don’t mind.) Now I think I just haven’t been drinking enough protein. I had guessed that the few pounds I’d put on since retiring as a fitness instructor was because I’d gotten a tad lazy – but maybe not! Maybe I just need a protein shake every morning and I’ll be back in tip-top shape! I bet my bum knee will be healed, too, once I start drinking the protein. Probably also the tendonitis in my arm. Especially if I add turmeric to the protein shakes. BECAUSE TURMERIC REDUCES INFLAMMATION! FACEBOOK TOLD ME! Throw in some collagen and I’m going to have shiny hair and strong nails and luminous skin because collagen is magic and the cure to all that ails you. What else can I add to revolutionize my diet AND MY LIFE? Chia! Hemp! Flax! All the seeds! Oh, and coconut everything. Must not forget the nut butters! And maca powder – I actually have no idea what maca powder is but it was in the health aisle at Target and I will not be denied. I also purchased some acai packets – even though nobody suggested it – because I thought acai was a magical superfood. Is acai out? Acai, out. Kefir, in?**

I’m a little bitter that no one told me protein supplements are a thing now. But I’ll forgive and move on. I’m not going to miss out any longer. I’ve stocked up. I bought the four most-recommended brands (according to my Facebook friends) and all the aforementioned health foods. You may call that overkill; I call it commitment. I’m all in, baby! My dining room table is basically a mini Whole Foods. And yes, this all cost a small fortune. I make no apologies. I’m reclaiming my health! Time to get blending.

 

Ignore the booze. The booze probably won’t go into the protein shakes.

 

*I relapsed, meaning my bite has gradually opened up over the past decade to the point of needing to be surgically closed again.

**I don’t get kefir. Isn’t it just milk? Milk with probiotics? Help me understand.

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Braces: The New Botox

Posted on Feb 28, 2017 in Adulthood Stole My Cool

Braces: The New Botox 0

  “Do you think red wine will stain my clear braces?” This is an actual question that I texted my mom last night. Because I am now living simultaneously as a 13-year-old and 31-year-old. I got braces last week. This is my third round.* I would like to think now that I’m in my thirties I can accept these braces with confidence and grace. (All the magazines say you have more confidence in your thirties, right?!)   But let’s be real: getting braces at any age older than 12 sucks. In an effort to be positive I’ll admit that braces now suck decidedly less than braces when you’re 18 and heading off to college, which also happened to me. See – Positivity!     I was not so positive at my orthodontic appointment last week. Adult braces come with a host of questions and concerns you don’t have as a pre-teen. The aforementioned red wine conundrum, for instance. The reality of repeatedly being head-butted in the mouth by a rambunctious two-year-old. (Seriously. I need a mouth guard.) The fact that in my mature age, all this stuff hurts more and takes longer to recover from.** As I was contemplating all these not-positive things, one of the assistants approached me and asked, “Are you excited?” I furrowed my brow and looked into her soulless eyes. “Yes. I am STOKED. I am SO EXCITED to be a grown-ass woman walking around with a mouth full of metal. I’m going to look completely ridiculous but EVERYTHING IS AWESOME.“ (I realize that as a woman who hasn’t washed her hair in four days, perhaps I don’t have much credibility when it comes to concerns about my appearance, but alas. Vanity is a funny thing.)     I didn’t say any of this, partly because I gathered this person might not understand sarcasm. Instead I un-furrowed my brow and silently chastised myself for the brow-furrowing in the first place. Those forehead wrinkles aren’t getting any smoother. Then it hit me. The upside to all this – I’M GOING TO LOOK SO YOUNG! 31-year-olds don’t have...

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Back to School: The Happiest Time of Year

Posted on Sep 13, 2016 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, My Kid Stole My Cool, Pinterest Stole My Cool

Back to School: The Happiest Time of Year 2

Most of you probably saw the title of this post and thought, “Why is she writing about Back to School now? My kids have been in school for weeks!” No need to rub it in. Yes, your kids have probably been in school for a week, or weeks, or since mid-August (I’m looking at you, Floridians), but my kids just started preschool this week. As in, the week after Labor Day. BUT IT’S FINALLY HERE. MY TIME HAS COME. For weeks I’ve watched (via social media, natch) my friends across the country ship their kids off to school in cute outfits after posing with a cute chalkboard sign while the moms (usually) lament their babies growing up. Now, the first day of school cute outfits? I can get behind cute outfits. The more my kids will hate them when they’re older, the better.       But once we get to the emotional outpourings surrounding the beginning of school, I start to disconnect. My heart must be made of stone because I was literally counting down the hours until I could drop my kids off at class. I only have love for those weepy parents – I promise you, I have my emotional mother moments, too. But back to school ain’t one of them. James, my two-year-old, is in “school” six hours a week. Six out of 168. If your child is like mine and spends not only most of his waking hours with you, but also most of his “sleeping” hours, those six hours of school are a godsend. Elisabeth, my five-year-old, is now in school five days a week, or 15 hours. My sweet girl is a lover. When she’s not at school, you can probably find her with her arms wrapped around me and her head buried in my chest. Her 15 hours at school are 15 glorious hours of me NOT BEING TOUCHED.   So unless my children are going to magically turn into teenagers during those few hours spent at preschool, I’m not going to get emotional about it.     But what I really...

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Battle of the Bad Guys: Hans vs. Gaston

Posted on Apr 3, 2016 in My Kid Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute

Battle of the Bad Guys: Hans vs. Gaston 0

If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you know that Elisabeth was home sick a few weeks ago. During her quarantine we watched Frozen approximately 1,359 times. Eventually I convinced her to try a new film – one of my childhood favorites – Beauty and the Beast. A few hours after the viewing Elisabeth announced, “I think Hans is badder than Gaston.” “No way!” I immediately replied. “Gaston is way badder.” Then I paused. Was Gaston truly “badder” than Hans? With Gaston’s violent attack on the heartbroken Beast still fresh on my mind, he had seemed the obvious answer. Perhaps too obvious. I had to probe further. “Why do you think Hans is badder than Gaston?” I asked Elisabeth, opening up a deeply philosophical discussion on the nature of evil with my four-year-old. “BECAUSE THE DUNGEONS!” Ah, yes. The dungeons. That explained everything. Yet, the question still nagged me. Who is the viler of villains? Why did I automatically assume Gaston was worse? Clearly, I needed to dig into this. At the beginning of Beauty and the Beast, Gaston is established as the antagonist. He’s a narcissistic brute; anyone who brags about his chest hair is a total bro, amiright? The arrogant clown assumes he will easily woo the bookwormish but beautiful Belle, whom he only wants because she’s the prettiest girl in town. He doesn’t even respect her! What a D-bag. So we get it. Gaston is a sleazy scumbag. Sleazy, but not evil. Giphy / GIPHY – via Iframely Meanwhile Hans enters Frozen as the clumsily charming Prince of the Southern Isles. Anna falls for him right away. He’s handsome, kind, funny… What’s not to like? (Also, she hasn’t had any other human contact besides the castle staff for most of her life, so it kind of makes sense she would fall for the first guy she meets.) That he proposed within hours of meeting Anna is kind of a red flag, but Hans just gets her, you know? Giphy / GIPHY – via Iframely Back to Gaston. Rejected by Belle, he plots to blackmail her...

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My Plea to End Valentine’s Day Parties

Posted on Feb 15, 2016 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, My Kid Stole My Cool

My Plea to End Valentine’s Day Parties 2

Hi Friends, Hope you all are enjoying your long weekend. Have you recovered from Valentine’s Day yet? Or how about your kid’s Valentine’s Day party last Friday? Do you have a hoarder, who makes his Valentines treats last until Easter? Or is your child the type to dump her bag of cards and gorge on the candy the moment she gets home? (We were actually out-of-town on Friday, so Elisabeth won’t receive her Valentines until Wednesday. It’s just TORTURE for her to wait.) I’ve gotta be straight with you – I am not a fan of these Valentine’s Day school parties. At least not at the preschool level. Have you made Valentines with a stubborn four-year-old girl? No? Lucky you. I remember sorting through Elisabeth’s V-day haul after her class party last year in a state of shock –what were these elaborate creations her fellow three-year-olds had gifted? How much time did they take to construct? Why did they all include candy and gifts? Was that a requirement? I was briefly overcome with shame and embarrassment at the boring, unadorned Valentines I had sent to school with Elisabeth. I must have looked like I didn’t even care! Oh wait, I didn’t even care. I know some parents who truly love the special time bonding with their children while fashioning festive cards with tasty treats. And that is great for them. But really, there is not enough heart-shaped chocolate candy in the world to make me want to craft homemade Valentine’s Day cards with Elisabeth. (Or anyone.) Even though I didn’t want to put much effort into cards this year, I also didn’t want Elisabeth to have the lamest cards in class again. So I trekked off to Target in search of stress-free (but fun), pre-made Valentines. I walked in and went straight to the stationary section. And found nothing. Surely Target wasn’t sold out of class packs of Valentines a week before the holiday? Surely I hadn’t procrastinated enough that even Target couldn’t provide for my holiday needs? I desperately scanned the stationary section for anything, ANYTHING, I could...

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#SickDay

Posted on Feb 3, 2016 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, My Kid Stole My Cool

#SickDay 1

You’ve probably heard by now, but the Washington, D.C. area got hit by a blizzard over a week ago. It was kind of a big deal. Schools shut down for over a week. Or for parents, an eternity. And then, this past Monday, the clouds parted, a chorus of angels sang down from the heavens, and schools reopened! Hallelujah! After a week mostly spent stuck at home with both kids pretending to have fun playing in the snow and baking and watching Frozen 15 times, I dropped Elisabeth off that Monday full of excitement and joy. But when I picked her up a few hours later, she appeared a bit… peaked.  No. Nope. Not happening. She’s not sick. Yes. Yup. Happening. She was sick. Full on fever, and later that night, puking. And James – who has had The Cough (you know, that nagging cough that kids get in October and doesn’t go away until March) – was particularly mucous-y and gross. So I called it: Tuesday was a sick day. Baton down the hatches, we were staying home. I get it. Kids get sick. It happens. It’s just that the timing of this sick day was a particular affront. Both kids sick days after a week of school closures. There is no justice in this world. #sickday — Diana Loveless (@DianaLoveless1) February 2, 2016 Really? REALLY? Elisabeth gets a fever and upset stomach THE FIRST DAY BACK TO SCHOOL IN OVER A WEEK. Could they not have gotten sick when we were snowed in? I love my kids. But being stuck inside with my 20-month-old boy and four-year-old girl ALL DAY because it would be morally wrong to expose their snotty, feverish, germ-y selves to the outside world is… trying. Sort of like being stuck inside all day with the Tasmanian Devil and Regina George. I started the day off as any good parent would – letting Elisabeth zone out in front of the TV. Unfortunately after that, severe sleep deprivation clouded my judgment and I took out the craft supplies in an effort to “do” something with...

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