Starting a fire from a bed of cold coals is an arduous task first thing in the morning. Sometimes you luck out and the fire catches light damn near first try, on the more frustrating occasions, the little lumps in the ash smoke and smolder for ages before finally providing some dancing yellow and orange streaks.
This is how I feel in the morning.
A life-long-not-a-morning-person, the struggle to get up to speed in the morning has always been a herculean task. Imbibing coffee helped the process around the age of 18 once I was in college, but that still never solved the more significant problem at hand: feeding a half-awake, ravenous, and grumpy young dude who was now jittery from caffeine. This theme carries on to this day, at the age of 30. I wake up hungry but can’t always force myself to eat. Keeping with the theme of combustion, my appetite is like that of a diesel engine, in that it needs to warm up for a bit before stomping on the throttle. My solution for this has typically been to have a protein shake first thing in the morning, and then eating on the way to work when I was farming and working construction or at work when I was working on the World Cup of MTB circuit and at a bike shop.
This system stopped working this year, as I got a job as a mountain bike trail builder, an intensely physical job, and in my free time I was both riding and going to the gym 2-3 times a week each. Hunger became a close companion, and I couldn’t eat enough in the day to stay up and energized. One morning, while making some uninspired eggos for the drive to work, I realized I needed a new remedy to my eating routine. My tired brain somehow connected some mental dots, which lead to a quick internet browse and landed me on Good Mix. A few years ago, I had access to a bag or two of the wholistic everything-but-the-kitchen-sink mix and recalled it being effective at both getting the gears turning and keeping them turning. In an effort to set myself up for success, I ordered one of each bag, counted how many eggos I had left in the freezer, and concluded that the following week of work would hopefully be more inspired as the Good Mix would be arriving ahead of the following work week.
A longer story short, this little experiment was the different between burning out and lasting another month on the job – plus still being able to ride and hit the gym as hard as I could after big weeks moving dirt and rocks. Good Mix has been a revelation in my ability to carry on pushing myself week in, week out. Each morning is a 1/3 of a cup of GM, a little dash of cold oats on top to add a smidge more fortification, a dollop of maple syrup, and a splash of oat milk; I alternate between Original and Paleo, just to keep things interesting. And that is a literal recipe for success!
I wish I’d had access to Good Mix when I was racing back in the day as well as when I was traveling. Without a doubt, I’d have been less chronically exhausted and needed to “dig deep” less often if I’d had a proper nutritional start to my day which my body could handle. For anyone looking to start their day with lighter-but-still-hearty calories, Good Mix should be a serious consideration. It also makes for a great mid-day add-in for those who perhaps don’t work as physical a job but push themselves after work and need some reserves to call upon for the afterwork fun!