Tracy Anderson on Protein, Meal Replacement Bars, and Snack Time
Two new developments in Tracy Anderson’s world have us feeling pretty thrilled. Our go-to fitness guru has launched her own line of “CLEAR” bars and shakes at Target, which come in multiple flavors, and are all gluten- and GMO-free. Equally great news: Tracy is bringing back her food delivery program, which is expected to launch Summer 2016. Below, she fills us in, and offers more quick and easy eating tips.
A Q&A with Tracy Anderson
What was the genesis for the line? What were you hoping to achieve?
World peace, a disease-free human population, a world of all-organic farming, every person on the globe having the freedom to dance in fields of flowers…
Do I think CLEAR bars and shakes are going to single-handedly bring world peace? Of course not. But I do believe that in giving people honest control over their bodies and health, we are taking a step in the right direction. Basically, I have been at this healing game for the past 17 years. When you have worked with as many people as I have—and you understand the barriers between their current condition and their potential to achieve their most connected self—you begin to understand the polarizing feeling that can be brought about by having the lives of “beautiful people” thrust into our faces. It can feel like an insurmountable hurdle, or that it’s not worth the effort because it will never be “enough.”
America is headed towards total obesity. It is both my mission and my responsibility to have every conversation that I need to have in order to pull everyone toward health. You can’t pretend that the big problems and roadblocks don’t exist. We have literally programmed our brains to think of Twinkies, Doritos, Oscar Mayer, and Coke as real food. Our brains are wired to crave everything that makes us obese—even if our metabolisms sometimes help us hide it on the scale, that junk is in us somewhere.
As a nation in general, we eat too much, we waste too much, and we escape into the lives of “celebrity culture” too much. When you ask what I am hoping to achieve…well, that’s a big question! I am hoping to catch every person who decides they want to kick toxic practices out of their lives and let them know that I have tools to connect them to their most important celebrity: themselves. We can’t all gather organic eggs from our beautiful chickens, pick herbs that have been brought up in a pesticide-free garden grown from pure love, source the wildest fish in the sea, and have it all sautéed to perfection in olive oil that costs more than our mortgage for each meal. We need on-the-go options to shut up our Nabisco-raised brains and our emotions that tell us at the end of a stressful work day: “You deserve the comfort of a Hamburger Helper and a cold beer.” Our comfort should be able to be made with healthier options. We shouldn’t have to rely on bars and shakes that are actually filled with cheap soy protein isolate and sugar alcohols. In a very crowded and clouded market for people who want to lose weight and inch themselves towards better health, I am throwing people a rope. I want them to start with the CLEAR bars and shakes and other gradual changes that work for them—and then join the #TAmily and start moving with me through streaming.
Is the idea that these are meal supplements, or replacements, or either/or? When is the best time for a CLEAR bar or shake?
They are meal replacements. We eat way too much. I was raised in Indiana, and my mom worked three jobs to put me through school. One of my best friend’s dad’s owned grocery stores and the other had a mom so cool she had a freaking Ding Dongs drawer. When Gwyneth first met me, I was so good at staying thin by the design of my workouts that my joy in London was finding a little market that was brave—or dumb—enough to sell American-made Pillsbury milk chocolate frosting and Oreos. I would dunk the Oreos IN the frosting in between training sessions with Gwyneth and Madonna. Yep, it’s safe to say I get it.
The best time for a CLEAR bar, in my opinion, is as your meal replacement at lunch. If you have an unhealthy amount of weight to lose, there is no such thing as a “snack”—you broke that bank a while ago.
If you have some weight to lose, my recommended routine goes like this:
Use the CLEAR shake in the morning with some organic produce, even if it’s just one or two things. Example: Vanilla protein powder with organic blueberries and spinach, and organic rice milk, water, and ice.
CLEAR protein bar.
Organic hard-boiled egg—I like to take out the yolk and mix it with a little mustard, Vegenaise, and dill relish and plop it back in the center.
Fish and veggies with a glass of wine. I use lemon and capers to add flavor.
You can maybe add half of an Alter Eco dark velvet chocolate bar in the afternoon. That’s a day on-the-go to successfully fight the fat you need to lose.
Any foolproof meals when you don’t have time to cook?
Grab Whole Foods tuna and mix it up in water, yellow mustard, and capers, then pile it on slices of a cucumber, skin and all. Eggs are easy, they take two seconds—and don’t be afraid of the yolks. I’m also a huge fan of my Philips Air Fryer. I will throw Applegate Farms gluten-free organic chicken nuggets and Cascadian Farms tater tots in the air fryer, along with some sliced zucchini and onions, and a have a meal I love in 12 minutes flat.
What are the best things to eat both before and after exercise?
If you exercise early in the morning, then you’re set with just water with a Nuun tablet or Sambucus syrup; or down an organic coffee with organic steamed whole milk (my style), and get on with it. After a workout: a smoothie.
The CLEAR bars and shakes pack a lot of protein. How much protein should we be eating, and what are the healthiest sources?
Don’t shoot the messenger, but we are “over-protein-ed” as a society at large. You are going to come to find that out. We are going to need our land and the nutrients it provides. That being said, we do need protein. I do one scoop of the protein powder in my shakes, and I’ll do a bar for a lunch/meal replacement on-the-go. One of our biggest challenges as a planet is the protection and health of our protein sources. Our nuts are moldy, and toxins, hormones, and poorly treated animals make our flesh-filled proteins much more damaging than a carefully crafted protein bar.
The CLEAR Dutch Chocolate Shake is made with collagen and designed to be a skin booster. How does eating collagen (as opposed to applying it topically via beauty products) affect skin?
Collagen is a structural protein—like with anything in the body, we aren’t good at mimicking that protein to be highly effective yet. We are lacking research in this area. I chose to put collagen in the bars based on some of the stronger studies to date, where subjects are actually feeling joint relief from collagen supplements. If the benefits were shown and felt there, then it was worth it to me to add it. We lose collagen as we age, so it was a better-safe-than-sorry choice.
We’re very excited for your food delivery program to come back. What kinds of meals are you planning on reintroducing?
All organic! That was why I pulled the original program. I feel that a home-delivery food program should be to us what a personal chef is to the “lifestyles of the rich and famous”—it’s about having well-conceived, highly nutritious, all-organic food prepared for you in a whole and healthful way. It is still a luxury item, but I care a lot about supporting all organic farmers. We need to stop denaturing what fuels us because we aren’t nourished on rocket fuel, we are nourished by nature. If those who can afford all-organic diets source it, then the prices will go down for everyone—and everyone deserves it.
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