What's Good?

The week in food and fitness technology news, with an extra serving of protein

Happy Friday! What's good?

Phew, it has been a week — the first week of The New Routine here in NYC. We're still all struggling to figure things out, particularly Poppy who has started protesting quite loudly when left at home — a new and unfortunate behavior. She would also like to report that the horse-drawn carriages around Central Park are a goddamn menace.

As for me, I visited a gym on Monday and joined immediately; and by Wednesday, I was back lifting weights for the first time in six weeks. I swam too, and the cross-training is nice, particularly as with this east coast heat and humidity, my running has been utter trash. I ran on a treadmill yesterday, which sucked, but at least I was inside. (Poppy yowls; I kvetch.)

After Wednesday's workout, I tried a Soylent for the first time. I am working on an essay on the history of the protein drink — something that many of you said, during our first Second Breakfast Chat this week, that you have for breakfast. Me, I'm pretty big on easy ways to hit my protein goals, something I have neglected to do during the move. So yeah. I tried Soylent. I'll have more to say, I promise.

It did not actually “taste like people,” which I feared. Then again, mint-chocolate flavoring might just cover that up...

On the bus home from the gym, Instagram served me an ad for a protein boba tea, which feels like a fake product — one of those AI-generated things that's an amalgamation of things that The Advertising Algorithm thinks I might like. Granted, I have tested a lot of Internet-promoted protein snacks lately — including Kodiak's protein instant oatmeal, which I actually purchased at a Walmart somewhere in Nebraska and is, for the record, absolutely terrible. I will not be trying the boba tea, because while I was willing to risk gagging on a weird texture of Soylent, I know full well that boba is a no-go for me.

Who are the 50,000 people that follow a protein boba tea company?!...

Speaking of chat, a quick reminder that the paywall will drop on Second Breakfast in mid-August. Free subscribers will still get newsletters, just not every newsletter every week. Nor will they be invited to the chats or the comments. Mean, I know. But I gotta pay for that gym membership somehow. And it's not going to be thru the fitness-influencer hustle of telling you how much I like certain brands of protein drinks. Won't do it. Can't do it.

Speaking of influencers, you should read AHP on Threads. I am not joining. It's not even that I hate Facebook or that I want Mark Zuckerberg AND Elon Musk to fail, which I do; it's more that I just don't care to create or consume any more Content™ than I already do.

Anyway, onward with this week's News Content™:

This week in just a fraction of the sports news as I'm still trying to catch up on the last few weeks' worth of events, let alone keep track of all the summer sports: Wimbledon. Tour de France. Track and Field. Women's World Cup. Etc. Speaking of which, Megan Rapinoe announced her retirement — sad face. "How Tom Brady’s Crypto Ambitions Collided With Reality" — smirk face. "The Man who Broke Bowling." "A Big-Ass Canoe Goes the Distance." I wrote about the Zuck versus Musk cage fight. I also reviewed a book about the "father of modern bodybuilding," Eugen Sandow.  And while I've been complaining about how the NYC summer heat might kill me during my runs, it could be worse: "Russian commander killed while jogging may have been tracked on Strava app."

This week in food news: The history of sliced bread. From Burnt Toast: "The Problem Isn't Flaming Hot Cheetos, Part 1."  Related: "USDA scientists create healthy menu with 91% of calories coming from ultra-processed foods." "A decade after its brief disappearance, the Twinkies brand is thriving." "Fundamentals: Helping Kids build a Good Relationship with Sugar - Part 3." Bad Internet vibes from this trend (and from folks, me included, who keep talking about it): "Is It a Meal? A Snack? No, It’s ‘Girl Dinner.’” "The Cereal Influencers of SoHo." "Sen. Schumer calls on FDA to investigate PRIME energy drinks for caffeine content." "Sriracha sauce is selling for as much as $120 amid prolonged shortage." "Why Does Day Drinking Feel Different?" asks The New York Times. The newspaper also reports that cottage cheese is making a comeback, and my god I was in my neighborhood store and even had to take a photo because there were so many cottage cheese options!

I still associate cottage cheese with Seventies diets and privation, but like I said, I’m keen on easy protein ideas...

"The Restaurant of the Summer Is Wherever You Can Find Strong Creamsicle Energy. Maybe." I mean, it is or it isn’t. Elsewhere in restaurants, "We Ate at Netflix’s New Restaurant—So You Don’t Have To." The Bear. I haven’t watched Season 1 yet, let alone Season 2. You? I'm very sad we didn't eat at Cafe Ohlone before leaving the East Bay — Fast Company has a review. This IHOP story is a saga, man.

The week in "wellness": "How AI Spreads Health Misinformation (and What You Can Do About It)." "Meet the Psychedelic Boom’s First Responders” — via Wired, of course. "Being Alive Is Bad for Your Health." Amen.

Yours in struggle,