Yes, the dark recomendation is from Lights Out...really incredible book.
Get your protein in by hook or by crook. I am not a fan of shakes but I do not personally tolerate dairy (long story...not lactose related). If you choose a shake CHEW it! This will stimulate the vagal nerve and release near normal levels of digestive enzymes. You get the goodies, not yoour intestinal flora.
This is such an integrated thing: th e intense workouts produce a neuroendocrine response which leads to body comp changes particularly when supproted by nutrition which allows for growth, repair, and an optimized hormonal environment. Sleep and lifestyle are the final peices to all of this.
Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.