Sunday is the best day.
But it can also be the worst. Depending on how you choose to spend it.
Anxiety creeps in, hours slip away, and suddenly you’re struggling to fall asleep because the laundry list of things you need to accomplish over the next five days is overwhelming.
‘Cause we’ve got 11 ways you can spend the rest of you Sunday making your next week as successful as possible.
1. Prep Your Food for the Week
One of the best ways to make sure you’re productive all week long is to eat right. Prepping meals means you’ll make smart decisions without having to spend time cooking to do so.
2. Prioritize Your Calendar
Pick the top three things you need to accomplish each day through the week. Focus on getting those done and everything you achieve after will seem like gravy.
3. Don’t Drink…After Brunch
We would never tell you to avoid the hair of the dog. But drinking after brunch is never a productive way to head into your workweek. It’ll only make falling asleep more difficult, and won’t allow you to be as productive.
4. Leave the Last Week Behind
Remember how stressed out you were last Thursday afternoon? Well, you shouldn’t. That week is over and you’re starting a new one. Go in with as much of a blank slate as you can.
5. Take a Nap
It might seem counter intuitive – ‘cause you’re also going to want to go to bed early – but catching a few afternoon zzzs will help you catch up on a lot of sleep you’ve been depriving yourself of all week long. Banking 40 winks could be just what you need to bring you back up to speed.
It sounds easy, but when was the last time you actually shut down for a while? Whether that’s lying on your couch for a House of Cards mini-marathon or going for a stroll in the park, letting your mind completely zone out and recharge before a full week of work is vital to success.
7. Clean Up
A clear house is a clear mind. Clutter will only weigh on you throughout the week when you come home to a dirty house. Spend 20 minutes tidying on Sunday and it could save you some unnecessary stress over the next five days.
8. Connect with Loved Ones
It’s hard to connect with the people you love during the week. You’re busy, you’re stressed, you’ve got things to do. Make an effort to call or get together with your parents, siblings, or anyone else you love having in your life, when you have the time to actually enjoy the conversation.
9. Get Your Heart Rate Up
Go for a walk, hit the gym, or have sex. Whatever it is that gets your ticker moving faster than normal, it’ll thank you later by helping you fall asleep and by giving you an overall sense of being productive without having to go as hard as your weekday routine might.
10. Find Three Things You’re Looking Forward to This Week
Having clear events spread throughout the workweek that excite you and make you happy will only make the week go by faster and seem more enjoyable. If you can’t find at least three things, make sure to schedule some – coffee with a friend, a night at the movies, a yoga class – so you’ll have things to look forward to.
11. Go to Bed Early
And when you’re there, try reading an actual book instead of staring at your screen. Not only does that screen keep your brain awake, every once in a while it’s good to connect with something that isn’t connected to the Internet.
On average, high quality milk is 27 percent protein, 37 percent lactose (milk sugar), and 30 percent fat. The remaining 6 percent is calcium, other minerals, and ash.
Thus, what is called “4 percent milk” or “whole milk” is a high fat food, because the percentage determination includes the water, and milk is mainly water. Its label is largely a commercial fiction. It is not a prime food, especially when trying to increase muscle or to reduce body fat.
What is called “2 percent milk” still contains more fat and more lactose than protein. It is not a prime food either.
Skim milk has near zero fat but still contains a high amount of lactose. Skim milk powder, which some people use in cooking and as a low-fat protein source, is the worst of milk, because more than half of it is lactose.
Up to 30 percent of adults have varying degrees of allergic responses to lactose, because lactase, its digesting enzyme in the gut, declines rapidly during childhood. Humans and their pets are the only adult animals that drink milk.
There at least 14 different proteins in milk split into two groups, caseins and wheys.
Casein represents about 80 percent of milk protein. Casein has poor results in producing lean mass in athletes, and in hospital studies of muscle loss.*
Whey represents about 20 percent of milk protein. Whey has superior results to any other protein, including eggs, meats, fish, soy, nut, pea, rice, and other plant proteins, in producing lean mass in athletes, and muscle in hospital studies. Recent genomic research attributes much of the benefit of whey protein concentrate to two unique proteins, beta-lactoglobulin (60percent of whey protein), and alpha-lactalbumin (25 percent), that together regulate the activity of more than 200 human genes.
To legally call a product whey protein concentrate it can have anywhere from 29 percent to 89 percent whey protein. At the bottom end of that scale (29 to 49 percent protein), you can work out that the other 50 to 70 percent is almost all fat and lactose. You will see a lot of this cheap whey for sale in bulk stores and discount markets. Leave it on the shelf. The new shirt you buy with the money saved will not look good on a pumpkin.
Near the top end of the whey scale (70 to 89 percent protein), only 10 to 25 percent of the mix is fat and lactose. That’s where you want your whey to be.**
Whey protein concentrate is further extracted to become whey protein isolate (90 to 95 percent protein). The higher price of whey isolate, however, is money wasted. Both high-end concentrate and isolate are fast proteins, that is, they are very rapidly absorbed compared to casein or meat or fish proteins. But, until the advent of recent molecular genetics, we could not understand why whey isolate (90 to 95 percent protein) and high end whey concentrate (70 to 89 percent protein) produced identical results in increased free amino acid pools in the body, increased muscle protein formation, and reduction of fat deposition. Now we know that, after most of the fat and lactose is removed, the structure of the proteins is more important than the last few percent of extraction in expressing the genes that build muscle and inhibit adiposity. The structure of the proteins depends on the quality of the milk.
Quality, Quality, Quality!
Half the dry weight of your body is protein, over one hundred thousand different proteins, each of which is precisely determined by gene expression. The quality of your proteins determines both the quality and the quantity of their effects on the genome. Quality of the proteins in milk depends on the nutrition of the cows and the method of protein extraction.
Nutrition of the Cows
Cows are ruminants, continuous grazers. They have a rumen, a miraculous fermentation tank in their gut designed by tens of millions of years of evolution to digest grass and humus (grass that has died and broken down to become a stable mat for the growing grass). The rumen is designed precisely to ferment grass. In order to work properly it has to stay at a good level of fermentation continuously. Unlike the human gut, which operates intermittently by acid, the rumen is acid neutral, and requires constant grazing and a constant level of fermentation to remain healthy and support high quality protein production.
Over the last 50 years, the economics of commercial farming in the US has progressively eliminated most pasture feeding. To make a living, most farmers have to keep their cows in feedlots most of the time, and feed them on cheap hay, corn, barley, soybeans and fat. These feeds are much cheaper than pasture, but require an acidic gut to digest them. The feedlot cows are also fed only intermittently. So most dairy farming places a large intermittent and acid load on a rumen and liver that were not designed for it. Some places, notably New Zealand, still pasture feed most of their cows.***
The diet and confinement of US cows has produced most of the problems that now beset American milk production. Feedlot cows rarely go four months without infection, requiring constant dosing with antibiotics. Feedlot cows produce milk so poorly that production has to be stimulated with hormones. Feedlot cows last an average of only four years before liver and other problems from acidic food get them switched out and turned into beef. No surprise that feedlot cows produce inferior milk.
To give you a quick perspective on how bad it has become, in March 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published new access to pasture rules for the best-of-the-best, organic cows producing high-quality organic milk. The new rules state that organic cows have to be out on pasture for not less than 120 days per year, and have to receive at least 30 percent of their feed by pasturing during the grazing season. At least they recognize the right way to raise cows. But what a minimal standard! And that’s for the-best-of-the-best, so you can imagine what’s happening to the rest of the cows (85 percent). I hope I have convinced you to buy whey protein extracted from the milk of grazed animals for your health’s sake.
Extraction of the Whey
Whey is extracted from milk by numerous methods. Most common use acids or salts, and heat. All these strategies denature the whey. Denaturing involves numerous breakdowns in the protein, but here I will mention only two of the main faults.
First, we now know from gene expression studies that undenatured whey contains many bioactive compounds including antibodies and enzymes that have multiple beneficial effects in humans. When the whey is denatured, these bioactive compounds are destroyed.
Second, undenatured whey contains numerous di-peptides (amino acid pairs) and tri-peptides (amino acid triples). These are keys that fit specific genetic locks in the body to turn on protein functions. If the whey is denatured, the keys are broken down into single amino acids and no longer work.
It’s true that the milk industry didn’t know of these problems until recent science uncovered them. But it is expensive to change your technology, and its not happening in this economy. Undenatured whey protein is extracted by cold-membrane filtration. It costs more, but it’s the only whey to go.