By Arnold Schwarzenegger
Welcome to the positive corner of wellness. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.
Today’s Health Upgrade
- Do you lose it when you don’t use it?
- Plant milk vs. dairy milk
- The 15-minute recipe of the week
Do You Lose It When You Don’t Use It?
Lifting weights and eating protein get all the attention when it comes to building muscle, but there might be a missing piece to the equation that you probably didn’t expect.
Researchers found that walking can help your body maximize the benefits of the protein.
The researchers were interested in a concept known as “anabolic resistance,” which is the idea that your body gives your muscles the middle finger if you’re too inactive. When you exercise, your body wants to use protein to help with recovery. The protein you eat is broken down into amino acids (the building blocks of your cells), and they are used to help repair, grow, and strengthen your muscles.
In the study, people who sat for 7.5 hours during the day — compared to those who got up to take a 2-minute walk or did 15 bodyweight squats every 30 minutes — absorbed fewer amino acids and had lower levels of protein synthesis (the process of turning protein into muscle). Proving that when you don’t move, your body might fight against you.
If you want your body to work for you, movement is medicine. The benefits of low-intensity movement, like walking, go far beyond building muscle. It can improve heart health, support a healthy immune system, and boost longevity. This isn’t even about making time for the gym. It’s about sneaking in little wins. Set a reminder on your phone to get up and move every 1 to 2 hours. And remember, it doesn’t have to be long. In the study, all it took was 2 minutes to make a difference.
The Battle of the Milks
Plant milk might win popularity contests, but there’s still something to be said about the nutritional benefits of dairy. A recent study found that most plant-based milk does not meet proposed nutrition standards.
Before you misinterpret the research, this does not mean plant-based milk like oat, soy, almond, or pea is bad or presents any danger to your health. They are good options, especially for anyone with dietary restrictions or preferences. However, the non-dairy options don’t pack the same nutritional punch as cow’s milk.
The research (which examined seemingly every plant-based option on the planet) found that only 20 percent of the plant-based milk meet the goal for protein, and only 7 percent hit the “best in class” guidelines for protein and sugar.
Here’s a simple fix to turn your plant-based version into a more nutrient-dense beverage that’s superior to cow’s milk. If you’re drinking plant-based milk for nutrition (and not just to flavor your coffee), look for lower-sugar options (think less than 10 grams) and throw in a scoop of plant-based protein powder.
Quick and Easy Meal
Note from Adam: I’m not a chef. But, as the founder of three businesses (including a wellness brand), the editor of this email, and the primary (read: only) cook in my house for my wife and two kids, I have a lot of experience balancing healthy and quick. Here’s a recipe that’s good for you, doesn’t take too much time, and everyone enjoys.
Enter quesadillas. Kid-friendly, adult-approved. Here’s how you whip up something delicious for the family in 15 minutes or less.
The secret ingredient: pre-cooked/store-bought rotisserie chicken.
In another email, I’ll share the secret to cooking the best chicken of your life. But that can take 20 minutes. This way, your chicken is ready to go.
- Rotisserie chicken (vegan alternative: beans)
- 2 cups buffalo sauce/marinade
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 avocado, sliced thin
- 1 cup of any fruit or vegetable (can be sliced apples, carrots, broccoli…whatever you enjoy)
- Optional: 1 tbsp. cheese of your choice
1. Using two forks, shred the chicken and pile it on a plate.
2. In a large saucepan or pot, add buffalo sauce and seasoning over medium-low heat.
3. Add chicken and buffalo sauce and frequently stir for 5 minutes. While it cooks, slice your avocado.
4. Grab tortillas and heat them in a skillet. (Or don’t if you’re impatient.)
5. Add the chicken. Top with avocado and cheese (if you want the cheese). Fold the tortilla and flip.
6. Remove from the skillet and add your side cup of fruit or vegetable.
7. Eat and enjoy! (Chef’s kiss)
Are there foods you want to enjoy or problems you have trying to eat healthily at home? We want to provide simple solutions to your eating needs. Reply to this email and let us know how we can help.
Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein & Daniel Ketchell