What’s In Shakeology? Maca Root

Maca is a root from Peru; it’s a tuber, like a potato, and offers an amazing energy boost for those with low energy. Maca however, unlike coffee, offers energy in a non-caffeinated way that supports the body.

Maca is a nutritionally dense super-food that contains high amounts of minerals, vitamins, enzymes and all of the essential amino acids. Maca root is rich in B-vitamins, which are the energy vitamins, and maca is a vegetarian source of B-12. To boot, maca has high levels of bioavailable calcium and magnesium and is great for remineralization.

Maca root helps balance our hormones and due to an over abundance of environmental estrogens, most people’s hormones are a bit out of whack. Maca stimulates and nourishes the hypothalamus and pituitary glands which are the “master glands” of the body. These glands actually regulate the other glands, so when in balance they can bring balance to the adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, ovarian and testicular glands.

Instead of providing hormones to the body, maca works as an adaptogen which means that it responds to different bodies’ needs individually. If you’re producing too much of a particular hormone, maca will regulate the production downward. However, if you’re producing too little, it’ll regulate the production upward.

Hormones regulate many things including mood, growth, sexual development, and tissue function. Hormones also play a role in many diseases, like cancer and depression.

Maca root has been shown to be beneficial for all sorts of hormonal problems including PMS, menopause, and hot flashes. Maca’s also a fertility enhancer and is best known for improving libido and sexual function, especially in men. For this reason, it’s earned the nickname “nature’s Viagra.”

My Pre-Workout Supplement Review

I’m a big believer in pre workout supplements!  When I started my workout program in 2014, I found that I would run out of gas at about the 12 minute mark, and then I felt as though I would struggle to finish from that point on.  Also, to meet my busy schedule I found that timing wise, getting my workout in in the morning was the best time to workout, but my energy level just wasn’t there.

That’s when I began experimenting with pre-workout supplements.  Honestly, I didn’t now what I was doing or what to try. I was sort of lost.

Pre Workout Explosion

I knew that post workout nutrition was absolutely necessary, and soPreworkoutExplosion one day I was picking up a tub of Whey Protein from Meijer when I spotted that beauty up above Pre Workout Explosion from Six Star Pro Nutrition.  One of the ingredients is Beta Alanine.

PreworkoutWow, was I not expecting my face to start tingling 10 minutes after drinking it.  I should have done more research into what exactly I was consuming, but unfortunately I didn’t.  Recently I have done more research into the ingredients in the and learned a lot more about Beta Alanine.  In short, it’s growing in popularity as it’s a natural non-essential amino-acid that is not found to have any long lasting negative affects.

Performance: Once I started taking this, I noticed that I could add almost 5 whole minutes to my Insanity workouts without slowing down.  That took me to the 17 minute mark.

Taste: The taste isn’t bad.  It’s  fruit punch flavoring that is strong at first, but after a few days the taste wasn’t overwhelming to me any longer.

Cons: The supplement didn’t mix very well.  There was always sediment in the bottom of the glass which required a refill of water to consume.  And by then, the flavoring had been washed away, leaving me with a gritty bitter leftover to consume.

Body Fortress NOS

Since I was having issues with the consistency and price of Explosion, I spotted and decided to try the Body Fortress Super NOS.  To be honest, with this one the effects of Beta Alanine, were much less, the taste was horrible, and I found myself avoiding taking it at all costs.  I still have the bottle at home and really I’m just saving it for emergencies.

Beachbody E & E

E & E was developed before the mainstream use of beta alanine.  Its main ingredients are naturally occurring sources of caffeine.  With E & E, I saw more of a slow rise and fall of energy.  The taste was OK, but nothing to get excited over.  I also found myself having the same problems with mixing E & E as I did workout Explosion.  There was always sediment in the bottom that just wouldn’t mix.  Since I didn’t get the instance punch like I did with workout explosion, and since I had to order E & E, I fell back to workout explosion.

Beachbody Performance Energize

Beachbody just recently released their performance line, and as partEnergize of that, we have a new preworkout supplement called Energize.  Since I wasn’t totally happy with my current supplement, I decided to give this one a try.  Wow, this one knocks it out of the ballpark.  It hit all the points I expected from a preworkout supplement.

Taste: The lemon flavor isn’t too strong or overwhelming.  It actually reminds me a lot of a lemon flavored sports drink.  The consistency is very powdery.  It mixes very well and there is no sediment at the bottom of the glass.

Time: I can begin feeling the effects of the beta alanine within 10 minutes of consuming.  In the words of Carl Daikeler, “It’s go time”.

Performance: I feel the effects and the boost throughout my entire 30 minute workout.  I’m able to go longer and bust through that 17 minute plateau.

After Effects: I always workout in the morning.  I continue to feel a boost of energy that stays with me for the rest of the morning.  I don’t feel any negative after effects, and don’t have any trouble getting to sleep at night.

* Caveat:  As you can see in the featured image, I also added another product to my routine.  As part of the performance line, I also added the Hydrate formula to taking during the workout.  Part of the source of fatigue during workouts is that your muscles start to dehydrate from sweat.  The Hydrate formula helps fight that by enhancing your body’s ability to recover that water you’re losing in sweat.  Watch for a review on Hydrate soon!

How do you get ENERGIZE? Click Here!

Fajita Steak Salad

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(Makes 4 Servings)

Ingredients

  • 8 cups mixed salad greens 
  • 3 cups leftover fajitas
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half 
  • 2 cups sliced (or shredded) carrots 
  • 2 cups sliced red onion 
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced 
  • 8 Tbsp. Raspberry Vinaigrette

Preparation

  1. Evenly divide salad greens, tomatoes, carrots and onion between four serving plates.
  2. Top evenly with steak and avocado.
  3. Drizzle each salad with 2 Tbsp. Raspberry Vinaigrette.

Steak Fajitas

(Makes 4 Services, 2 fajitas each)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 medium green (or red or yellow) bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 gloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. raw extra-lean beef sirloin, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1 tsp. ground chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 c. all-natural salsa
  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas, warm
  • 4 Tbsp. reduced fate plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • lime juice

Preparation

  1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat
  2. Add bell peppers and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent and peppers are tender.
  3. Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
  4. Add beef, chili powder, cumin, pepper flakes, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink.
  5. Add salsa; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through.
  6. Evenly top each tortilla with beef mixture, yogurt, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.