Drink a little Chocolate Milk?

This post is about my thoughts on the subject. I am not a doctor, nutrionist or any authority on the matter of food or fitness. So, please if you are reading this for expert advice I am not the person to get it from. I will have links to places to get better information on the subject I am posting on. Please make sure to do your research before trying anything new or check with your doctor before hand.

I was reading another fitness magazine last night: Oxygen when I came across this little tidbit about how to keep up your energy and one of the things in there mentioned drinking chocolate milk after a workout. Thats right chocolate milk. I did a double, triple, quadrulpe take on that. Now, it may not be new for many but as a milk fanactic I am always worried about whether or not I should keep drinking milk and ways of getting it into my diet without my midnight cereal cravings. And low and behold – here is a new way. So, this morning I did a little digging since I don’t always take things at face value and wanted to know why – out of all the drinks why chocolate milk is recommended over other sports drinks and over regular milk.

Here are some reasons: calcium, carbs and protein. All things you would get in say a smoothie from Robeks or Keva Juice or any other smoothie place but chocolate milk is about 10 times cheaper since you can make it at home or pick up a personal size drink at the grocery store for like $1.29. But back to the health benefits of chocolate milk. From fitnessmagazine.com article:

For a high-endurance athlete, Stager’s team sees it as a catch-all workout recovery drink. Compared to plain milk, water, or most sports drinks, it has double the carbohydrate and protein content, perfect for replenishing tired muscles. Its high water content replaces fluids lost as sweat, preventing dehydration. Plus it packs a nutritional bonus of calcium, and includes just a little sodium and sugar — additives that help recovering athletes retain water and regain energy. 

Sounds good to me. But I was curious on the calories and sugar content. So, I did a comparison of a single serving of three different drinks: Robeks Cardio Cooler, Dairyland 1% Chocolate Partially Skimmed Milk and Propel Sports Water.

Robek’s Cardio Cooler – 2 Servings/24 Ounces, single serving is 12 ounces but you can only buy this in a 24 ounce drink but I will post the 24 ounce then 12 ounce. This drink also includes several additonal items to increase protein and nutrients.
Calories: 430/215
Fat: 4g/2g
Cholestral: 6g/3g
Sodium: 48g/24g
Carbs: 88g/44g (Fiber: 6g/3g, Sugars: 76g/38g)
Protein: 18g/9g
Vitamn A: 104%/52% of DSV
Vitman C: 438%/219% DSV
Calcium: 12%/6% DSV
Iron: 6%/3% DSV

Dairyland 1% Chocolate Partially Skimmed Milk – 1 Serving/250g:
Calories: 168
Fat: 2.8grams
Cholestral: 10grams
Sodium: 183mg
Carbs: 29.0g (mostly sugar but there is dietary fiber in milk)
Protein: 8.4g
Calcium: 30% of DSV

Propel Sports Water – 2 Servings/16 oz once again because this is sold normally as a 16 ounce bottle and not a 8 ounce bottle, I will but the bottle amount then the true serving amount since that is normally what people drink.
Calories: 20/10
Sodium: 70mg/35mg
Carbs: 6g/3g (Sugars 4g/2g)

So what does this tell us? Well, each drink has its plus and minuses.

You get an after workout smoothie from a store and you get a ton of sugar and calories. This is more of a meal then a cool down drink. I am aware that most of the sugars are coming from fresh fruits and juice. So the sugar carbs aren’t completely empty. The calcuim is lower then the milk drink but that is to be expected. While the smoothie does have frozen yogurt in it – its benefits seem to be lowered due to the fruit sugar content. But this is definatly not something you drink after a long run or swim to just cool down and get a quick replensihment of proteins and carbs. And be aware of what you are getting. Check out their nutrional info on their drinks before ordering. There are lower carbs/calorie smoothies then this. Just watch yourself.

The Propel Fitness Water tells you basically what it is: sugar water. While the carbs/sugars are low as well as the sodium and there is no fat. There is nothing else to it. It would be better to just drink water. I am no doctor but there aren’t enough carbs I think to make a difference. And the carbs aren’t coming from fruits but a refined sugar. It would be good if you are just wanting to drink water but have flavor.

The chocolate milk – its got fat of course but it seems the portion of protein seems like a good amount. It may be worth a try but not something for everyone to do every day. It may be a better treat. And I know there may be better ways of making it healthier. I know that GNC sells a protein mix called Dessert that may make a good alternative and give you a higher precentage of proteins. But its up to you.

It seems from what I have been reading that its better for high endurance athletes such as runners, swimmers and bikers then someone who is just doing Sweatin’ to the Oldies. But maybe for those days when you push beyond your limits and go the extra distance where you feel like your body is going to drop this would be a nice treat for yourself. Especially since there is the added bonus of the chocolate being good for you in controlled portions.

Why? Antioxidents and its good for women to keep the seritonin balance going during your diet, stress and hard workouts. Which have a habit of dropping dangerously low in women due to the mass reduction of healthy carbs. Men can normally go without carbs better then women. If you are craving lots of chocolate at night or during your diet there is a reason and not just because you want chocolate. Chocolate is a good quick boost to your serotonin levels which are vital to what make us women, women. It helps balance our emotions. A little bit of chocolate isn’t bad for you. In fact it can be beneficial to loosing weight and staying healthy. As well as the other benefits including help stave off binge eating while dieting. But eat the dark chocolate since it actual is healthier for you then milk chocolate (and white chocolate isn’t really chocolate at all).

But, in conclusion – I can definatly see the benefits of drink chocolate milk after a workout even if it has fat in it. Now, if only they made a dark chocolate drink instead of always the milk chocolate milk.


X-Men Origins: Wolverine Trailer

So, they debuted the trailer for X-Men Origins: Wolverine this weekend at San Diego Comic Con and I thought it would be interesting to share it here:

(The video has been taken down but you may still be able to find it: here.)

It looks like it will be interested. I probably most interested in seeing how they do Gambit since he is my number 2 X-Men (Storm is #1).

Movie is due out May 1, 2009.


Blue-Dew Protein Shake

So, messing around in the kitchen tonight and craving some ice cream. Unfortunatly, eating ice cream is not the best thing for a diet. Instead I decided to see what would happen if I did a shake with a melon and milk. Hey, it was worth a try and I was the only one who was going to drink it. Luckily, I really liked how it turned out. Now I am lactose intolerant but I can take some dairy in my diet each day – lucky me since I love dairy.

Blue-Dew Shake – put the following in a blender or large cup since its about 16 – 24 ounces

  • 8 oz/1 glass of milk – I prefer fat free, but use whatever you want. If you are lactose intolerant try it with your milk alternative.
  • About 1/2 – 1 cup of Honeydew Melon
  • 2 hand fulls of blueberries – washed
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of crushed ice (I find crushed blends slightly better then a cube of ice)
  • 1 scoop of your preferred protein powder (still using a vanilla flavored Pro Her 5)
  • 1 spoon of fat free yogurt

If you are doing this in a blender – low setting to mix for 30 seconds, then cream for another 30 then whip. Pour into a large cup. If you are using a hand held, just blend it and drink.

What I really liked about this drink was that it had the texture of a milkshake due to the honeydew melon and the crushed ice but was a slight bit less calorie wise. The entire drink was between 335 – 367 calories, depending on how much honeydew you use and it could be more or less depending on the protein powder you use. Mine has 130 calories per scoop. But it turned out really yummy and defiantly staved off the craving for ice cream and was a nice dessert. It does have a fun blue tint to it due to the blueberries, which makes it fun. Doesn’t it?

Nutritional fun facts – I got this from the free online calorie calculator site I use: Calorie Count:

Fat – 1.1% (0 grams)
Protein – 23.5% (20 grams)
Carbohydrates – 49.2% (41 grams)
Alcohol – 0.0%
Other – 26.2%

Daily Sodium Intake – 174 mg
Daily Sugar Intake – 25 grams
Daily Cholesterol Intake – 11 mg
Daily Fiber Intake – 4 grams

Now, health wise I would say this is pretty good. According to Calorie Count this is an A grade of an item. So, yummy and healthy?! Sounds great to me. But there are some other nutritional facts.

Blueberries – from blueberry.org
Antioxidants are thought to help protect the body against the damaging effects of free radicals and the chronic diseases associated with the aging process. Fresh fruits, including blueberries, and vegetables contain many of these naturally occurring antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E. Blueberries contain 14 mg of Vitamin C and 0.8 mg Vitamin E per 1 cup of blueberries. In addition, blueberries contain anthocyanins and phenolics that can also act as antioxidants. Based on data from the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (Boston, MA), blueberries are among the fruits with the highest antioxidant activity. Using a test called ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), researchers have shown that a serving of fresh blueberries provides more antioxidant activity than many other fresh fruits and vegetables.

And berries are great at helping getting rid of belly fat – another plus.

As for the honeydew melon – extremely high in Vitamin C and a good amount of potassium which will help counter act a high salt diet or if you had too much due to frozen meals during the day.

If you get a chance to try it, please do and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Dang it! I want this shirt!!!

I was wasting time today and buying a cute little Jawa shirt at 80stees.com when I came across this shirt: Jaws Chalk Shirt – I seriously should NOT have been drinking water when I saw it because I sprayed the computer. I desperately want one but can only hope that by next month it will still be there. I have to have that for when I go on the cruise in February. 😀

Who Watches the Watchmen?

If any of you went to see The Dark Knight this past weekend, which according to the numbers was most of you, you probably saw the trailer for the movie “Watchmen” which is based on the acclaimed best selling graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and David Gibbon. Like many of the others out there I was instantly awed and inspired by the trailer. How can you not be? Its beautiful and the music is spot on. It makes your heart race. Which means that once again Director Zack Snyder will most likely have another box office win. His vision on the screen has been masterful so far (Dawn of the Dead remake and the bloody wonderful 300) and it is possible that it will be once again. I especially love his use of music in a movie. He always seems to know exactly which music to use.

As many others, I too went home and picked up my copy of Watchmen off that shelf and started to reread it. I haven’t read it in probably 5 – 6 years now, ever since I was first introduced to Alan Moore through the graphic novels “Top Ten”. I am half way thru it. Taking my time of taking it all in once more and I can’t help but wonder. Will it translate as well onto the screen as the trailer makes you think it does? The trailer is only certain aspects of the movie and it is hard to say. Watchmen seems like it will be difficult to do. With the different story lines, a huge amount of main characters to pull from. How will it come to together? I have many theories, all I know is that if it is to turn out well, Snyder is the one to make it not just well but spectacular. And I can not wait to see it. Especially with the cast that he has assembled together including Bill Crudup as Dr. Manhattan. I guess we have until March 6, 2009 to speculate about it…

And then I have to wonder, can I can get my best friend to dress up as Rorschach.

501st Charity Patch Quilt Auction

There is an auction going on over on eBay for a beautiful, handcrafted quilt made by Terri Hodges, wife of 501st Honarary Member Tom Hodges.

Here is the statement from the MySpace page on the making of the quilt:

The 501st Quilt is a project that I am working with the Golden Gate Garrison with all proceeds going to The Make a Wish Foundation.Troopers and Friends of the Legion, from all over the world, have already donated hundreds of patches. The First of the Quilts will be auctioned off at San Diego Comic-Con 2008, with others following at other conventions and on eBay

San Diego ComiCon starts this coming weekend but the auction is taking place on eBay, so that even those who can not make it to the convention will have a chance to bid on the quilt. Please remember that 100% of the final sale price goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Auction ends on July 29, 2007 at 9:08 PDT. And you can see a picture of the quilt on the Quilts MySpace Page.

The Dark Knight… a Bright Light?

I went last night to see “The Dark Knight” the latest installment in the new Batman series and what can I say? It blew me out of the water for the most part. I was aware of this when I went into the theaters of course. How could it not be?

The following is my review of The Dark Knight, there will be some spoilers – if you do not wish to be spoiled, do not keep reading.

You have Christian Bale – one of the industries secret gems until a few years ago. Who while he may pick some questionable roles to play on the screen, always gives a stellar performance. In truth, I think Steven Speilberg was genius and psychic when he picked this young actor to be the main character in Empire of the Sun. Alone, mysterious and intense from the beginning. Then you add in Heath Ledger, another gem of the industry but not so secret. He rampaged onto the US movie scene with his teen romance flick – 10 Things I Hate About You (one of my fav mind candy movies) and into the hearts of teenage girls in America.

Both of these actors have a precesnce of the screen that is undenable when they are seperated. Bring them together and its a rocky roller coaster you can’t look away from. Especially when they are playing against each other.

“You Complete Me”
While I watched the movie I could not help but realize, the best scenes in the movie were when these two were on the screen together. Fighting one another. Being the two sides of a coin (oh! Maybe there was another reason to bring that 2nd villian into the movie… hum, smart Mr. Nolan very smart). The director was smart that most of the time when they were on the screen together – no one else was present. It was smart because anyone else who happened to be there seemed to lack where the other two shined. I think they brought out the best in each other as much as the Joker and the Batman bring the worst out of each other.

“Question First, Agree Later”
I was kind of doubtful when Ledger was first cast. Could he handle the Joker? The character, as my mom so kindly put it is the opitime of evil and insanity. So, when he was announced I sat down and re watched every Ledger movie I could think of. And they were right. Last night confirmed it. Heath Ledger was the Joker in this movie. Where he was solemn and stoic in Brokeback Mountain – he was the complete opposite as the Joker. You could see the joy in his eyes when the Joker set Gotham on their toes during the film. Not because he was Heath during this time but he was truly the Joker. Or at least he made me believe it and I could not help but shed a few tears that he is gone.

And for me, it was one of the best performances by Ledger to date and if the Oscars will finally recognize the honesty in comic book movies and the acting that is in them… Ledger will once again be nominated for an Oscar for his performance in a film.

“The Toss of a Coin”
I mentioned earlier about Nolan using a second villain to be tied into the epic story of the Joker and Batman. For those versed in the comic book world, its widely known that without the Batman, there is no Joker. And without the Joker, there is no Batman. They are equals on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Just as Lex Luther is as smart as Superman is strong to balance the hero with his nemesis. Thus you have the Joker to the Batman… One wants order and justice, the other the complete opposite. Both seemingly the opposite sides of one coin. And they both consider Gotham their city.

I found it interesting that the extra villan that Nolan thru into the mix is the one Batman villain who stands in the middle of the Joker and Batman. Two Face.. now, I love the character of Two Face, he is one of my favourite villains and I always wondered why and now I understand a little bit more then why. Here is a man who starts out in the Batman saga as the shining beacon of hope for Gotham City. The unmasked man who can bring true justice for its citizens without fear. Only to be turned into what he hates. Constantly at odds with himself. Making his own destiny or chance with a flip of a coin. And with that same coin choosing the fate of those he hates and his enemies. There is something balanced with his character. And he is a wonderful tool in this film.

But what about the actor who portrays him in The Dark Knight? Aaron Eckhart? Does he pull it off? Yes, yes he does. Brilliantly. He plays the dashing, charming DA who has no fear when he faces evil very well. And you can slowly see him breaking down and starting to show his other side as the movie progresses. His trust in those that are on his side but his inability to trust their choices. In short – forget the horrible Tommy Lee Jones portrayal of Two Face. He was a facade of what Two Face truly is… where as Nolan brought out a true insanity to the role that wasn’t cheesy and goofy. But dark and full of rage.

“The Bad?”
Everyone else that is cast in The Dark Knight that plays an important role in Batman’s life were the same as always. Amazing actors whose lifetime and body of work can only show how amazing they really are. Except for Maggie Gyllenhaal. I usually like her work, she is a very talented actress but she has the unfortunate job of working on a film surrounded by some of the top actors in the industry. In ways she shines, in others she doesn’t so much. Remember earlier when I mentioned that having Bale and Ledger on the screen together at the same time diminishes everyone else. This is what I am talking about. Amazing actress but diminished by the abilities of the men on screen with her at times. She was still wonderful in the role of Rachel Dawes. Making you happy they recast it from Katie Holmes.

“The End of the Beginning”
In conclusion this is the movie of the summer. And that is saying something. With all the amazingly well done movies coming out these past few months and more coming up. This is the shining star of the summer. Rising higher then all the other stars and not just because of people’s morbid curiosity on Ledger’s last full movie role. But because this movie has surpassed the first one. You are prepared for the next movie the moment this one ends and you want it to be out as soon as possible to continue on with the saga of one the comic industries greatest heroes and one its greatest villains. But I do not know who they will get to replace the irreplaceable Ledger. All I know is he has HUGE shoes to fill and even then they may not make the grade.

So, get off the computer and go see it again. I’ll see you there just as soon as I can get the kink out of my next from sitting in the front row of the theater (which didn’t ruin the movie in anyway).