Over the years of writing about fitness, I still have several Great Fitness Questions that I have never gotten a satisfactory answer for:
- Why does eating one pound of chocolates make me gain more than one pound of weight? How is that even mathematically possible – doesn’t this violate the law of conservation of mass or something??
- Which is the correct way to put on a bra: Do you put it on front-ways and then clasp it in the back or do you put it on backwards around your waist, clasp it in the front, spin it around and then pull it up? (Seriously, settle an on-going Gym Buddy dispute for me! We’re split 50/50 on this one!)
- Why does no one in the fitness industry seem to consider protein powder a “processed food” even though it is so far removed from its original source that it wouldn’t recognize a cow if it moo’ed? (Or a soy bean if it squeaked. Or a hemp seed if it … smoked?)
It’s this last one that’s got me scratching my head lately. Unless you just fell off a (locally sourced, organic) turnip truck then you know that every fitness guru these days is all about “whole foods” – the comestibles, not the store chain. And I love this! I think eating foods as close to the form they come in is great advice. And delish. But what always gets me is how many of these same experts will recommend protein shakes in the very same breath. Since when is protein powder a whole food?? The last fit pro I asked that to changed the topic by yelling “Ooh shiny!” and running the other direction.
So: What I’m about to tell you may make me the most reviled person in the fit-o-spere: I don’t love smoothies (if you’re a girl). Or protein shakes (if you’re a dude). Or recovery drinks (if you’re in AA). (Kidding!). Or even drinkable yogurt. The only exception to this rule are milkshakes but even then I only like the kind that are basically candy chunks with ice cream and milk poured in the cracks (helloooo Dairy Queen Girl Scout Blizzards! (Made with Girl Scout cookies, not Girl Scouts themselves. (Specifically the Samoa cookies, coconutty caramel devils they are.))) Triple parentheses! See, I get so worked up about smoothies that I must resort to bad grammar to get my point across.
Now that you are recoiling from your screens in horror – For the love of little green apples, what serious worker-outer doesn’t love a good protein shake?! – allow me to back pedal a bit. I don’t hate smoothies. And my kids adore them (Popeye is so passe, a “Shrek” smoothie is the only way I can get the 5-year-old to eat his spinach) so I do make them with some frequency. And I even kind of learned to see the point in having one after a weight workout when I did my fave Rachel Cosgrove Female Body Breakthrough Experiment.