The big, bad protein…but not

by: Molly Hanten

When I first started high-intensity workouts, similar to what we do at Alchemy but before Alchemy was a thing, I was 1: very nervous to start in general, and 2: didn’t think my training was “as serious” as people like, oh let’s say, Brock Severson (NOLO GM and big muscle man).

I had just started lifting (real) weights, doing box jumps, and was doing all of my push-ups and pull-ups with quite a few bands. I remember thinking to myself, “I mean, I am definitely working harder than I used to, but still have such a long way to go. I am nothing compared to those athletes doing pull-ups and 50+ real push-ups.”

First of all, that’s a sad and lame mindset. I can always get better, faster, and stronger – but I’ve learned how to be proud of where I’m at, and I know that comparing someone else’s fitness journey to mine isn’t what matters; we are all about not comparing yourself to other people at Alchemy, and I love that. Secondly, I’ve learned that each individual athlete IS training to their own level of high intensity. There is no measuring it against someone else at the gym. Your intensity is your intensity. If you’re pushing yourself as hard as you can, that is all we ask of you. That is also something to be very proud of.

How does this tie into protein, you ask? Good question.

Back when I thought I wasn’t “serious” or “fit” enough, I was afraid to even ask my coach about the SFH protein I looked at every time I left the gym. I remember watching other athletes purchase it on the regular, shake it up right after a workout, and talk about the smoothie recipes they made at home with it. But that wasn’t for me – they’d laugh if they saw me shake it up after a workout because you know, I used bands for my pull-ups. Boy was I wrong.

I tell Alchemy athletes who are frustrated with pull-ups all the time: it took me three years to get mine. I’d struggle through bands, snap myself in the face, and kipping was a whole other thing I feared. Want to know another reason it took me so long? I was afraid of protein and recovery methods and did not believe I worked hard enough as an athlete to get them.

One day I finally asked Coach Tyler himself (very embarrassed mind you), “Um well…do you like…think I should ever take that SFH stuff…?” He looked at me confused and said, “What?! You don’t? Of course, everyone should.” I bought a bag right there and started adding Recovery to my post- workout routine and had a bag of Pure at home for smoothies. I began to play around with it in smoothie recipes as well as BAKING with it to ‘healthify’ some treats at home. Okay, the treats obviously were fun, but what was better? Seeing my progress in the gym. There is no denying that adding these to my diet helped my training go to the next level. And yes, I got my pull-ups! Disclaimer: I worked very hard on them too, I am not telling you that you’ll drink SFH and whip out 50 pull-ups. 😉

Here at Alchemy, we all work to OUR own level of intensity, which is specific to our own fitness levels and bodies. I promise you, you’re working very hard for you if you take classes here – that is a fact. That being said, you all need protein and post-workout nutrition. Adding SFH or our plant-based option, Sunwarrior, is important for every person who works out at Alchemy. I make my mother take it and she didn’t think she should either. It goes straight to your muscles you’ve taxed to the max and will make your body recover faster, get you stronger, fitter and back to your next workout quicker.

Feeling sore for days? This will help. Feeling lethargic after a big AStrong workout? This will help. I promise that you don’t have to have Brock-sized biceps or do pull-ups band-free to need it. SFH and Sunwarrior will help you reach your goals. I love it so much and hope you do too!

Highland Park Members: SFH is the protein we use in our smoothies at Passionflower! Plus, below is my at home go-to. Need a post workout pick-me-up and don’t have your own protein? We offer Protein-Press, which is cold press and protein, or just almond milk and protein at all locations!

Molly’s PB&J Smoothie:
¾ cup of frozen strawberries
1 ccoop of vanilla or chocolate protein
1-2 tbsp of almond or peanut butter
½ cup almond milk – add more or less depending on how thick you like yours
6-8 ice cubes
Handful of spinach if you’re trying to get more greens


Molly Hanten is a Founder and Coach at Alchemy, a big time foodie and State Fair kid for life. In her spare time, you can find her walking her dog Summit throughout Minneapolis.