After graduating from UC Santa Barbara last spring, I started my work as a Teach For America Corps member. It’s an organization that takes bright, college grads and trains them as educators for work in inner-city schools. More than that, it’s a movement fighting for equal access to education for ALL students in the USA. Sound daunting? Perhaps a little overwhelming? That’s because it truly is! Particularly for a naive, privileged, 23 year old who didn’t have the slightest idea what real work was.
Well, gratifying though it may be, I can assure you that life as a first-year, middle school educator does not come without its difficulties, blunders, and student body odors. Yes, life at UC Santa Barbara–studying literature, shot-gunning Keystone Light, and pretending to be an adult–was certainly more entertaining. However, my true education began the moment I moved to San Diego and started teaching 12 year olds. Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned is the true importance of TIME.
I know you’re wondering what Teach For America and TIME have to do with food. Don’t worry. Here comes the point! It’s no secret that, for many of us, preparing and enjoying food becomes a burden when caught in the tangle of our professional lives. As stated above, this is a relatively new (and terrifying) concept for me. I’ve had to balance a full-time, scary-as-hell teaching job, graduate classes, and power lifting. Still, I couldn’t expect to survive on ramen and Jack in the Box like I did while living in Isla Vista. Convenient. Yes. Healthy and sustainable. No.
The question became: how can I enjoy food and still have time for work, school, and fitness? The answer: be willing to experiment.
Enter, Dustin Glass’ “Power Shake.”
I never really liked the idea of smoothies, or protein shakes, growing up. But, trust me. As a recent convert, I can tell you that in a rush, shakes are a nutrition-filled, blessing.
When the opportunity next presents itself, go to year nearest grocer (my personal favorite being Costco), grab some Whey protein, banana, and whole milk. If you’re not a fitness buff, or have heard negative conjecture, know that Whey Protein powder (in my experience) is an efficient, healthy, and tasty way to supplement your daily protein intake. Most folks suggest at least 1 gram per pound of body weight to maintain one’s muscle composition and health–especially consequential for those of us lifting heavy things for exercise. I would also add, that the powder is NON-ADDICTIVE. Of course, I’m positive I will hear dissenting arguments. To them, I say: Get thee gone, blasphemers! Just kidding, you’re entitled to your opinion (albeit wrong). Similarly, new research is also dispelling the myths surrounding the adverse health effects of whole milk, and instead, reminding us that good Fats are necessary for a healthy body. Of course, taking it to excess is never good.
So, I take my vanilla protein powder, my rich whole milk, my necessary, Carb-filled banana, and a couple tablespoons of creamy peanut butter, and drop them into my Magic Bullet. Voila! I get to enjoy my breakfast as a high-calorie, time-efficient shakes, filled to the brim with nutritional staples the body and mind crave and need. I’m powered-up for a busy morning of grammar lessons, teenage hormones, and adulthood demands, without sacrificing that extra shut-eye I get to enjoy as a result of the “Power Shake”!
Considering your valuable time, and the amount you’ve already spent reading my somewhat narcissistic prologue, let’s just stick with this one discovery for now. More to come later!
As always, keep calm and eat on, friends!