Extreme Newsletter—Diet and fitness tips, recipes, and motivation

Issue #40 (08/03/10) Semi-Responsible-ish Party Down and Quick Recovery!

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How to Party Like a Rock Star (the Beachbody® Way)

By Omar Shamout

To some degree, everyone wants to be a rock star. Seriously, who hasn't had at least a passing temptation to throw a television out the hotel window because, you know, Led Zeppelin did it? Especially when you're young, being the wild and crazy party animal among your friends seems like an instant way to gain popularity and adoration. The problem is, not all rock stars have the luck and longevity of Keith Richards, and if you try to emulate his lifestyle, you'll probably end up dead like John Bonham instead. Or Jimi Hendrix. Or Janis Joplin. Or Kurt Cobain. That's not to say we all need to live like the Jonas Brothers and abstain completely, but it's worthwhile to realize that those special nights out are best remembered for the company and camaraderie you shared, rather than forgotten as the result of chemically-induced amnesia.

Rock Concert

The Opening Act

So you've nailed down the perfect outfit, got your new 'do, and smell like a million bucks. But don't head out on the town before your body is as finely tuned as Clapton's Fender® Stratocaster®.

  1. Rest! If you get less than 4 hours of sleep per night, or you've been up for 16 hours or more, you're probably already acting drunk, even before you've had a drop of alcohol. This is because not getting enough REM sleep negatively affects your body's motor functions, blood sugar absorption, and immune system. You'll be friendlier, wittier, and more sociable with all your friends when you're rested, and this might come in handy if you're looking for a new type of friend (or two, if you really want to love like a rock star...).
  2. Eat well! Van Halen ate M&Ms® (except the brown ones, according to their notorious concert contract rider), Busta Rhymes eats KFC®, and Meat Loaf, circa 1970s, ate pretty much everything under the sun, except his namesake. If you want to eat right, you probably want to follow another direction. Ideally, you should eat healthy meals that include a balance of carbohydrates (from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains), protein (from lean meats and fish, legumes, nuts, soy, and dairy products), and fats (avoiding saturated and trans fats). A solid meal will help stave off the urge for that 1 AM pilgrimage to the taco truck with your less-well-fed friends.

    Healthy MealAnd remember, eating right doesn't need to be a solo venture. If you really want to seem hip and in the know, bring your friends to the latest trendy "foodie" haven before hitting the bars and clubs. That way, you'll all spend a few hours focused on cuisine instead of cocktails. Know that thrill you get from discovering a new underground band? Well, most people feel the same way about finding a great new restaurant before the masses, so choose wisely and your friends will bestow upon you admiration comparable to what Justin Timberlake receives in a room full of Hollywood starlets.

The Headliner

This is it. The main event. The moment the crowd has been waiting for all night. It's time to shine, so here's how to ensure the lighters (or iPhones with lighter apps) come out, and you walk off stage a legend:

  1. Dance, dance, dance! We all know that half an hour of cardio per day is an essential component of staying healthy and fit, so combine it with your night out and kill two birds with one stone! Dancing is wonderful exercise, and is sure to work up a sweat. If you're worried your moves are less Michael Jackson and more Elaine from Seinfeld, why not try joining a group hip-hop class, or try out Hip Hop Abs® to learn some funky, fresh moves you can bust out for your friends? (But if you really want to impress them, you should probably never utter the words "funky" or "fresh" in the same sentence.)
  2. Moderation! If moderation isn't a scientific law, it really should be, because there's almost no situation where it doesn't work. Many rock stars may overdo it with the partying every night, but they have expensive publicists to explain away their stints in rehab as "exhaustion." To increase your shelf life as a party animal, stay properly hydrated. Every great rock song has a memorable chorus, so when you head out for a night on the town, keep this little ditty on repeat in your head: "Drink, water, drink, water, drink, water." If it helps, just hum that Chumbawamba "Tubthumping" song and substitute water every other line (i.e., alternate your cocktails with water).You might think that getting drunk early will make you seem cool and fun throughout the night, but in all honesty, you're only becoming that guy or girl.
  3. "I'll have a soda and soda, please." The great thing about spirits like vodka or gin is that they look like water. So the next time your friends are urging you to catch up or it's your turn to buy a round, slow things down by sipping on a soda water—just let everybody think it's liquor. You can even wince when you take a sip if you really want to crank up the illusion that you're hitting the hard stuff. No one will be the wiser, and you'll save a pretty penny too! Little-known fact: The original title of Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice" was just "Juice," but the record label urged him to change it for fear it would lower his "gangsta" cred.
  4. Soda WaterEnergy doesn't come in a can. If you're looking for "wings," don't go for a Red Bull®, just buy a Paul McCartney album. Avoid the temptation to use energy drinks as fuel, because "energy" is a complete misnomer here. The caffeine and sugar hit'll just leave you jittery and nervous, after which you'll risk pulling a Lindsay Lohan and crashing hard before the end of the night.

The After Party

It's the next day, and you're not sure how to follow up that awesome night you just had. Here are a few suggestions for how to get your groove back:

  1. Rest! Again! Whaddya know, we're right back where we started—your own cozy bed. Hopefully, you spent the night with the Captain to your Tennille. (A dated reference, I know, but who doesn't sing along to "Love Will Keep Us Together"? Admit it.) Anyway, if all went according to plan, you spent the night dancing, romancing, and, well, other things, so now it's time to rest up. Don't worry about your workout today, because trust me, you did enough of that last night. If you're feeling extra sluggish, some light stretching or a leisurely walk should do the trick.
  2. Recovery! Eminem's new album is called Recovery, and we don't think it's a coincidence. He's giving you a hint, so take it! Buy some of Beachbody's own Results and Recovery Formula™. Designed for use after workouts, it will get your body back in tour shape in no time.

There you have it, the official guide to living a Beachbody-certified rock 'n' roll lifestyle. If you heed our advice, both your body and your mind will remain solid as a rock for quite a while, and you won't get caught rolling onto the floor.

Related Articles
"What's Your Beef? The Red Meat Dilemma"
"Fun in the Sun without Getting 'Well Done'"
"The 4-1-1 on Fiber"

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with Steve Edwards, the overseer of Beachbody's fitness and diet development (who also serves as your Fitness Advisor on the Message Boards) in the Beachbody Chat Room on Monday, August 2, at 3:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM PT.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope.

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The 5 Best and 5 Worst Cocktails

By Steve Edwards

If you want a drink, you want a drink, and all the bad press you read isn't likely to quench your thirst. So the nutrition 911 on alcohol will be to skip the boring science and discuss what to do when you're going to drink. Besides, studies keep telling us that a bit of alcohol in your diet enhances your health and lengthens your life span. All you may know now is that the last time you hit the bar, you woke up feeling like someone was using a Rototiller® on your brain, leaving you to wonder, "How can this have been good for me?"

Various Drinks

The truth? It isn't. A hangover means you've done damage that needs to be reversed. Unfortunately, one common remedy is a greasy meal, which further damages your system and hinders your weight loss plans. But all cocktails are not created equal. Just like making smart choices with the foods you eat, imbibing with a plan can be the difference between extending your life and maintaining your P90X®, INSANITY®, or TurboFire® results and getting to know your Domino's delivery guy on a first-name basis. Let's get started, class, with this week's nutrition 911: the Best and Worst Cocktails.

The Best:

  1. Red wine. Much has been written about its high antioxidant content, the chemical resveratrol, and how wine drinkers are the healthiest sect of those who imbibe regularly. A handful of large-scale, long-term studies on wine have shown that those who drink heavily outlive teetotalers, and those who drink in moderation outlive everyone. This has led to a huge increase in wine production in the U.S.

    Keep in mind that while you hear a lot about the difference between red and white wines, in virtually every study, both have been shown to improve health. Red wine and its high antioxidant content gain most of the attention, but two recent studies gave white wine a higher rating for both free radical reduction and cardiovascular health. It seems you can't go wrong either way.

    Downside . . . The sulfates in red wine negatively affect many people, often leading to an inability to sleep. And if you can't sleep, you're offsetting all the positive effects. Consider checking the alcohol content listed on the bottle—the recent trend has been toward high-alcohol-content wines. By drinking high-alcohol wines, it might seem like you're getting more bang for the buck. While that may be true, do you really want the bang, or just a nice accoutrement to dinner?
  2. Microbrews. In recent years, on a percentage basis only microbrewed beer production has increased more than wine production in the U.S. The reason for this trend is generally credited to mass-produced American beer, which beer snobs think tastes worse than stagnant water. But another reason is that microbrewed beer is healthier—much healthier, in fact. Most mass-produced beers in the U.S. are cheaply made, relying on ingredients like corn, rice, additives, colorings, and flavorings (oddly enough, the same things that make up most of the junk you can buy at 7-Eleven®). Microbrews adhere to the European codes for beer production, which dictate that it's made from barley, hops, wheat, and water. A good microbrew contains protein (more than double, in fact), more electrolytes (quadruple), and many times more vitamins and assorted phytonutrients (like flavonoids) than cheap beer. In fact, microbrewed beer is better for you than most sports drinks, sometimes even for sports.

    Downside . . . It can be part of the recovery process, but don't try making it do all the work. Beer still contains alcohol, and if you down beer as if it were Gatorade®, you'll wind up with a hangover that'll impede your sports performance.
  3. Guinness stoutGuinness stout. In Ireland, the saying goes that Guinness is food. And sure enough, it tastes like it. Thick, rich, and syrupy, one Guinness can feel as satisfying as a case of Bud Light®. It's also low in calories and high in iron, making it one of the best choices if you're going for a mass-produced beer.

    Downside . . . It can be addicting. When one doesn't do the trick anymore, you can quickly pile on calories. And remember that most calories in beer come from alcohol.
  4. Top-shelf alcohol of any kind. Straight, on the rocks, or with water. The means of producing hard alcohol ensure that you're getting what you pay for. Cheap stuff isn't made with a high-quality distillation process, which leaves it with all sorts of impurities and a taste that virtually guarantees it'll wind up being mixed with nonalcoholic and usually highly caloric mixers. Top-shelf stuff, whether it's bourbon, vodka, or even rum, is made to be consumed alone, or with water. Slowly savoring your drink is a great way to make sure that you don't overdo it. Cost is another. It's much better to slowly relish a single glass of Blanton's than to power down a fifth of Old Grand-Dad® and Coke®.

    Downside . . . The cost of providing for your top-shelf-only habit could lead to enough extra stress down at the office to offset the stress-relief you're achieving with your drink.
  5. Vodka and soda. Vodka is the purest of the hard alcohols, and soda is mainly water. Add a couple of limes and you've got a clean, refreshing cocktail with very few calories.

    Downside . . . It's so clean and refreshing, it's hard to be restrained. If you have four of these, you might as well have just had that strawberry margarita you wanted in the first place.

The Worst:

  1. Scorpion. Or just about anything you'll find at the Kon Tiki, Trader Vic's®, or anyplace where a drink is referred to as "grog." If there's anything worse than mixing a lot of sugar-based alcohols together, it's mixing them with a bunch of sugary juices in a bowl that's big enough for six. Drink one of these and be prepared to skip the entire drunken process and head straight to the hangover.
  2. Long Island Iced TeaLong Island Iced Tea. Forget the word "tea." There are no antioxidants to be found in this concoction of five different alcohols, sweet and sour mix, and Coke. A few of these and you might as well put in a wake-up call with Domino's.
  3. Red Bull and vodka. If you want to be a supercharged drunk, here ya go. One of the main offenders of the hangover is your inability to sleep well after a night on the town. Nothing enhances the chance of seeing dawn's early light like a couple of these. The only positive is that maybe you'll dance all night and work off the calories. Hopefully you won't have to work the next day.
  4. Jack and Coke. You might as well just mainline your whiskey. Nothing's better than Coke at creating a sugar rush. Adding alcohol to this mix creates the perfect atmosphere for a bar fight. The only saving grace is that being drunk impairs your reflexes. Losing a couple of late-night melees could lead to some restraint.
  5. Pi�a colada. The only thing more densely caloric than alcohol is fat, and this baby combines the two, along with all the sugar you need to guarantee a hangover. The result is a virtually nutrition-free milkshake that contains half of your daily caloric requirement. The only possible bright side is that the only place you're likely to feel comfortable drinking one of these is on an island where you have ample opportunity to shed the pounds you gained the night before.

Related Articles
"8 Foods to Boost Your Metabolism"
"9 Foods Not to Give Your Kids"
"9 Nutrition Myths Exposed"

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with Steve Edwards, the overseer of Beachbody's fitness and diet development (who also serves as your Fitness Advisor on the Message Boards) in the Beachbody Chat Room on Monday, August 2, at 3:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM PT.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Submit A CommentTell A Friend Bookmark and Share

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Success In All Shapes and Sizes

ChosenNews was tipping the scales at 240 pounds. Out of shape and having never really been in shape, he decided to start P90X. Ninety days later, he's lost 30 pounds (and his beard!) and is through the first stage of his journey to a healthier life.

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Recipe: Chocolate Shakeology® No-Bake Cookies

Chocolate Shakeology® No-Bake Cookies

How did cookies become the Healthiest Meal of the Day? When an enterprising Team Beachbody® chef figured out how to have their Shakeology and eat it, too. Simple to make and delicious to eat—you'll never guess how healthy you're being.

  • 1 cup raw almond butter
  • 1 cup organic oatmeal (quick)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup organic honey (according to desired sweetness)
  • 1 cup Chocolate Shakeology
  • Medium bowl

Combine in medium bowl and mix well. Roll into balls (about a heaping teaspoon each). Makes 10 cookies.

Optional: Roll in crushed nuts or unsweetened coconut flakes before serving.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Nutritional Information (per cookie):

Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total Saturated Fat
249 10 g 2.5 g 22 g 15 g 1.5 g

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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