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Archives for August 2016

Lose 7 lbs in 7 days banner

Everyone struggles at one point or another when trying to lose weight, especially once we hit that fat loss plateau, the inevitable time where what we are doing seems to quit working and progress is at a standstill. Luckily, we don’t have to stand for this and there is something we can do about it. Let’s talk about carb cycling with sweet potatoes, the ultimate carb cycling hack that will get you over that fat loss plateau. Plus, this seven-day diet has produced amazing results for people who have followed it.

In this post, you’ll discover…

  • Ways you can lose 7 lbs in a week!
  • A full 7-day carb cycle to help you drop the pounds

HOW TO LOSE 7 LBS IN 7 DAYS

The reason sweet potatoes are so great for fat loss is that of the numerous benefits they give us that help us lose fat. Sweet potatoes have a relatively low glycemic index, so it will help to keep your blood sugar from spiking after you eat [1]. Plus, they digest slowly and are full of fiber, so they will help you control your hunger by making you feel full. Sweet potatoes also contain manganese, which helps to boost your metabolism [2].

Sweet potatoes don’t just help you feel full longer, but they also are very healthy for you as they are full of Vitamin A, C and B6, as well as minerals like potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium. These vitamins and minerals support healthy bones, blood pressure and blood cells [3].

By simplifying your diet and cycling your carbs around sweet potatoes, you take the guesswork out of your meals. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated and shouldn’t be stressful. Your meals should be easy to make and plan out.

If you find yourself struggling to get over your fat loss plateau, you can break through it by changing all of your carbohydrates to sweet potatoes for 7-10 days. Not only is this simple, but it gets you back on track to achieving your fat loss goals.

THE 7 DAY WEIGHT LOSS CYCLE 

Here is an example of what your 7 days of carb cycling with sweet potatoes would look like.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday

For every meal be sure to have:

  • A portion of sweet potatoes about the size of your fist.
  • Palm-sized amount of protein
  • Thumb size of healthy fats
  • Two fistfuls of green veggies.

Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday

For every meal be sure to have:

  • A portion of sweet potatoes about half the size of your fist.
  • Palm-sized amount of protein
  • Two thumbs-sized portions of healthy fats
  • Two fistfuls of green veggies.

Do this for 7 days and you will begin to see yourself dropping fat. While doing this, be sure to use the hashtag #sweetpotatodiet so you can connect with others who are doing the same thing. You can even see all the other people having huge success on the #sweetpotatodiet. Simplifying your diet and utilizing the best carbohydrate for fat loss will help you get over any fat loss plateau you might be experiencing.

This is a small glimpse at the type of carb cycling we provide for you throughout Custom Meal Plans. If a week of this works for you, imagine what we could do over time. You’ll be hitting your goals quicker than you ever thought imaginable!

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Today we are often told that to be successful, we must give up sleeping. We are convinced that we must constantly be on the go and we can ‘sleep when we’re dead’. We are also led to believe that we can train our body to require less sleep and still be able to function.

The truth is, none of this is accurate. You cannot train your body to require less sleep and sleep can be the difference between success and failure. It plays a significant role on how our bodies function, as well as its ability to lose fat effectively.

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • How our body controls our sleep cycle
  • Ways we disrupt our sleep cycles
  • The relationship between sleep and your metabolic system
  • Top 3 sleep hacks

It is pretty well understood that getting adequate sleep is important to our overall health, yet many of us push ourselves to the limit, too preoccupied with our hectic lives, to get enough of it. Many of us also tend to fail to recognize the importance of combining adequate sleep with a regular sleeping routine. Having a sleeping schedule that is all over the place can be detrimental to our overall physical and mental health. More specifically, though, erratic sleep cycles can slow your metabolic system, which in turn can have a huge impact on your weight loss. Learning how to control your circadian rhythms could be the key to using sleep in your favor.

What Controls Our Sleep Cycle?

Our lives and our sleep habits are naturally governed by circadian rhythms, which is the natural biological rhythm our bodies follow a 24-hour cycle, letting our bodies know when it is time to sleep and when it is time to be awake. One thing that controls our circadian system is the SCN, or suprachiasmatic nucleus, a tiny region of the brain located directly above our optic chiasma. We get environmental cues through our optic nerves that trigger our SCN. When our eyes begin to take in less light, the SCN triggers the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Our ancient ancestors would get this same trigger with the setting and rise of the sun, signaling to their bodies when to sleep and when to wake. The presence of the sun naturally helped to keep our ancestors on a natural circadian rhythm [1].

Light, Disruptions, and Electronics 

With the invention of artificial light and its increasing use, especially with the increasing use of artificial light from electronic devices, such as smartphones, our circadian rhythm is constantly being affected. This can have damaging effects on our mental and physical health [2].

The study shows that the disruption of our circadian rhythm, which is often disrupted by late-night activities, shift work or frequent jet lag, has been linked to health issues such as metabolic disturbances, obesity, metabolic syndrome, under chronic conditions, diabetes and mental disorders [3].

Research suggests that disruption or alteration of the circadian rhythm, brought on by the lifestyles and lighting conditions of the modern world, can lead to a wide range of mood disorders, such as impulsivity, mania, and depression, as well as the loss of internal temporal order and neurobiological and behavioral dysfunctions. This happens as a result of the altering of hormones, such as serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine [4].

Sleep and Metabolic Regulations

Disruptions and alterations of our sleep cycles, especially when related to an internal biological clock, also alters our feeding times and the way our metabolism works. It has been noted that people who regularly get too little sleep or too much sleep are more at risk for type 2 diabetes, as well as developing a higher risk for a night eating disorder. One reason was that an altered sleep/wake times increase the range of circulating leptin, the satiety hormone, with the lowest leptin levels occurring upon wakefulness [5]. When we are low on leptin, it tells our body that we need to eat to replenish our fat storage, as if we were going into starvation mode. This causes us to overeat.

People often think that lean muscle gain and fat loss just happens at the gym. But the truth is that muscle building and fat loss happen during the recovery. Your body does the most important recovery when you sleep, there for skimping out on good sleep will hurt you and be a roadblock in your goals in the long run. So how do you use sleep to your advantage?

If you’ve been following us on social media, then you know we just finished reading the book, Sleep Smarter, by Shawn Stevenson. This book provided many tips on how to get better sleep, so we wanted to share our favorite ones with you.

Here are our top tips to hacking your sleep cycle: 

  1. Creating a schedule is one of the best ways to get the most benefits from your sleep. Going to sleep at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every day will help you regulate your sleep, making it easier to fall asleep every night and easier to wake up every morning. When your body gets used to sleeping on a schedule, you wake up more refreshed. To help you get into a schedule, try creating a routine around bedtime, something you only do when you are about to sleep. Little things like routine, and the simple act of getting into bed, helps to tell your mind that it is bedtime as you learn to associate specific triggers with sleep.
  2. We are hardwired to be awake during the daytime and modern lighting can tell our bodies that it isn’t time to sleep. This is especially true of the light emitted by screens, such as television screens and smartphones, due to the blue light that they emit. Turn off any screen and electronic device at least an hour and a half before you get into bed. Instead, reach for a book and include this in your nighttime routine.
  3. Turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary. Get some houseplants to improve air quality and make your room as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Keep your bedroom activities limited, as it should be associated with bedtime. Make an agreement to keep your workspace out of the bedroom. This will teach you subconsciously that when you enter into the bedroom, that it is time for sleep.

Understanding why sleep is important to our overall health is the first step in understanding how to live healthier. It’s also the first step in regulating your metabolism and understanding how to use it to your advantage. Sleep controls so many of our essential functions, including metabolic rates, that ignoring it, not only can make your health journey difficult, can put your long-term health at risk.

The second step is committing to enough sleep each night. That means, realizing that choosing a workout over enough sleep hurts you more in the end than just rescheduling your workout. The same goes for overcommitting your day, and sacrificing sleep to “get a little extra done.” Remember it’s all connected: from the foods you eat, and the workouts you do, to how you let your body recuperate. Putting sleep first puts your health first.

If you are interested in seeing what other books we are reading, make sure to check out Morellifit on Snapchat!

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If you are looking for that caffeinated buzz in the morning, but want a healthier alternative to Starbucks, here is a great Chocolate Espresso Protein Shake. It’s quick and easy. This protein shake will not only wake you up in the morning, but it will fit nicely into your Custom Meal Plan.

Chocolate Espresso Protein Shake

Then blend all together and enjoy!

Macros: 28p/31c/4f

We’re sure you are going to love this smoothie. It is a tastier, healthier alternative to the over-sweetened latte’s you’ll find at Starbucks. Add it to your morning routine to stay on track to your goals and get your day started!

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The harder you work in the gym, the more supplementation becomes a necessity. Imagine being able to take a triple threat supplement that allows for faster recovery, longer more intense training bouts without fatigue, as well as increased nutrient uptake?

Michael has a knack for finding the absolute best of the best, and that’s what he’s done again here.

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • What nucleotides are and how X-Cell affects them
  • How nucleotides can improve your gut health
  • How you can consume more nucleotides
  • Top benefits of using X-Cell

nnnSPORT®X-Cell is a Swiss-Made supplement that is responsible for a laundry list of benefits beginning at the cellular level supporting cellular regeneration through a unique blend of vitamins — a blend that also consists of a specific set of nucleotides, a formula and the only product of its kind on the market that contains all five of the nucleotides that are found in DNA and RNA.

What Are Nucleotides?

Nucleotides are organic molecules that are the building blocks of DNA and RNA, including adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), thymine (T), and uracil (U). It also includes amino acids and key vitamins, such as folate, known for contributing to cell division.

How Does nnnSPORT®X-Cell Work?

nnnSPORT®X-Cell also helps to boost the production of white blood cells, which are needed for an effective immune system. It also helps in the creation of the cells that line our gut and promotes the creation of ‘good’ gut microflora. These are key for maintaining overall good health.

nnnSPORT®X-Cell also helps to boost red blood cell production, which is responsible for the delivery of oxygen, helping with muscle recovery. This, mixed with the right combination of nucleotides and vitamins, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Biotin, Pantothenic, and Folate contribute to a normal energy-yielding metabolism and reduces fatigue, boosting your energy levels.

The developers of nnnSPORT®X-Cell have made it their life’s work, spending the past 25-30 years studying nucleotides and how they work within the body.

Improves Gut Health

Not only does nnnSPORT®X-Cell promote good gut health, it lines the intestinal track putting up a protective barrier so it’s much harder to get sick.

That’s just one of the numerous benefits, it’s also responsible for increasing energy levels, improving recovery and performance, and better nutrient uptake — this just means better absorption of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from the foods and supplements you put into your body on a daily basis.

This all-new breakthrough supplement has been researched and tested over and over on serious athletes both male and female and has been found to be incredibly effective in independent, high intensity and endurance trials.

How Should I Consume It?

It is very easy to take, and the fact that it’s flavorless powder makes it easy to add to any liquid.

Michael has been taking it for almost 8 weeks, he adds it to his coffee in the morning as well as his BCAAs intra-workout. Timing isn’t critical, however, if you train, we highly suggest taking one of your servings during your workout.

Michael only puts the very best in his body, and nnnSPORT®X-Cell has made it into his top 5 supplements at an astounding #2 for the simple fact that it is a catalyst for all of his other supplementation.

Top 5 benefits of using nnnSPORT®X-Cell.

1. Better recovery from workouts. nnnSPORT®X-Cell will improve red blood cell regeneration, thereby improving oxygen uptake and reducing lactic acid build up. Bottom line, it provides better recovery, reduced fatigue and potentially better adaptation to training programs. (Bigger, faster, slimmer!)

2. Facilitates super efficient protein synthesis, therefore, helping the development of muscle instead of fat. (This one is enough on its own!)

3. Mucosal (gut lining) repair, which enables better absorption of nutrients from food and other supplements. More uptake means more nutrients, and this means more health. If someone is spending $60 on a tub of protein, they better be sure they are absorbing it properly.

4. Enables white blood cell (for immune system) regeneration to reduce foreign bugs and viruses in order prevent infections. Better immunity means fewer days off due to sickness. It has also shown to have huge benefits in clients with autoimmune issues, which had drastically changed their activity levels and recovery from bouts of illness.

5. Suppresses the build-up of stress hormones, such as cortisol, and repairs the DNA of cells under ‘stress’ (e.g. from training/cardio). This is very important for body composition goals, as high levels of cortisol will encourage more abdominal fat.

We’ve all seen articles highlighting the benefits of drinking wine. It is something that we have been told for years, and to give these articles some credit, there have been plenty of studies showing that red wine can actually help you live longer by fighting back against some of the leading causes of death and aging. In fact, light to moderate consumption of wine is associated with a 20% drop in overall mortality, 14% decrease in cancer, and 22% decrease of death from coronary heart disease [1].

In this blog, you’ll learn:

  • The difference between modern-day wine making and traditional
  • Why DryFarm Wines are better for you than your typical wines
  • The Top Natural Winemaking Rituals that DryFarm uses

Studies have shown that wine is good for your heart and can help with cognitive function as you age. The journal Acta Neurologica Scandinavia published a study where they followed subjects for 7 years and found that over the period people who consumed a light to moderate amount of wine were associated with better cognitive performance. This was not found among those who drank spirits or beer [2]. Although cognitive performance can begin to slow down as we age, the consumption of wine helps to retain and improve cognitive performance.

There are many health benefits of drinking wine, but what if I told you that not all wine is created equal?

Although there is a lot of research to back up the health benefits of wine, especially red wine, there are also many things found in conventional wines that may not be so healthy for you. In fact, some of the things you will want to avoid altogether.

Let me explain. 

The process of modern-day winemaking has changed so significantly that the consumption of wine can start to have negative side effects, such as trouble sleeping and an overall uneasy feeling. How can something so healthy, make you feel so unhealthy?

Well, that could be because it is. As mentioned, modern day winemaking has changed dramatically from traditional, organic wine. Many of today’s wines that you find at the grocery stores or wine shops have a higher alcohol content and higher amounts of sugar, which is added. These wines also have chemicals that are added to try and make them more enjoyable, as these chemicals are used to improve texture, color, and flavor.

Did you know that there are 76 chemicals that are approved by the FDA to be added to our wines? Also, because farming has changed, chemicals such as fungicides, mycotoxins, and phthalates can end up in our wine, all of which can negatively contaminate the drink [3, 4, 5]

To reap all of the benefits of wine, without consuming the negative chemicals, which lead to unhealthy, negative side effects, you need to make sure that you are drinking quality wines sourced from organic farms.

This is where Dry Farm Wines come in, a company that I have found has a passion for nature and public health, and to them, the enjoyment of wine is an important part of living well. They are also committed to supporting family farmers and artisans that share their passion.

Because the company is so picky about the farmers they source their wine from, they make sure that the wines all share common natural farming and winemaking rituals.

Top Natural Winemaking Rituals

  • Natural, organic or bio-dynamic viticulture/farming
  • Dry farming, no use of irrigation
  • Old growth vines, generally 35-100 years
  • Hand harvested fruit from low yields
  • Minimal intervention in the vinification and aging
  • Wild native yeast in fermentation
  • No commercial yeast for flavor alteration
  • No or minimal filtering/fining
  • No or minimal use of new oak
  • No or minimal addition of SO2 (sulfites)
  • No chaptalization (adding sugar to the grape must in fermentation)
  • No chemical additives for aroma, color, flavor or texture enhancement

We believe that what this company is doing is unique and we believe that they offer a healthy alternative to the conventional wine that people turn to.

In fact, I’ve been drinking one or two glasses of this a night and getting more shredded. That’s right, I’m drinking wine nightly, and my BMI is going down.

You know how picky I am about the products I use, so this should tell you just how high this company’s quality standards are. I want the best for myself, and I also want the best for you.

We have done the research and understand the significant benefits of drinking wine, as well as the personal and social enjoyment that people get from it.

Dry Farm Wines has created a wine that is diet friendly, and statistically sugar and carb free. This company knows that sugar is public health enemy #1 and they believe that sugar has no place in health optimization. They understand how damaging it can be. This company lab tests their wines for the sugars that are often found in today’s wines and ensure that theirs contain less than 1g/L sugar, statistically making the wine sugar free. They also ensure that this is naturally occurring, not adding or taking away anything from the wine to achieve this.

These wines are absolutely perfect for our lifestyle and work flawlessly with our meal plans. This is why soon if you want to be able to enjoy a glass or two of wine on your Custom Meal Plan, we will be able to work this in for you easily. You won’t have to change anything or guess when or how much you can have, as we will do it for you.

Meet Rosanne Rocca, winner of the 2016 100K Challenge. Because of her success and her dedication, she has become such an inspiration to everyone here at Morellifit. This is why we wanted her to be featured here on our blog, so she can share her story and continue to inspire those around the world. Follow her on Instagram @rorocfit …

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“How do you stay so motivated?”

“How do you stay so disciplined?”

“I could never stick to a diet like you do. I wish I had your willpower and strength. How do you do it?”

“I don’t know how you workout every day. Where do you find the time?”

I get these questions and much more like them on a daily basis. Every time my response is pretty much the same…. “I will do whatever it takes to make sure I never feel the way I used to feel.” For me, that is all the motivation I need.

Growing up was very difficult for me. Not only did I lack confidence, but I was dealing with an internal battle of understanding who I was and why I was different from everyone else. When you’re gay, there’s no handbook or role model assigned to you who will assure you that what you’re feeling is “normal”. You think something is wrong with you, and to make matters worse, you feel that you have to hide it. Keeping something like that hidden for as many years, as I did, absolutely tore me up inside. In addition to that, I grew up in a household with a father who was a perfectionist; nothing was ever good enough and image was everything. He was verbally abusive without a care of its short and long-term repercussions.

Putting this all together basically led me to a childhood of constantly looking for acceptance. Always needing attention and recognition, but never satisfied and constantly putting myself down because I knew I should do better. By the time I reached high school, I finally found my confidence. It was hiding in drugs and alcohol. I barely graduated high school because of my addictions and more importantly, my need to be “cool”. By the time I got to the end of my freshman year of college, I became heavily addicted to cocaine. The next few years were the darkest. It’s where I made the worst decisions of my life; choices that I still can’t even speak about today.

A few years later I met someone who I thought was my forever. I completely cleaned up my act, got an awesome job, and started living up to my potential. Unfortunately, after 7 ½ years, it ended and I found myself falling back into some bad habits. I began drinking heavily again and slowly found my way back to my destructive friend cocaine. My life was starting to fall apart again and I couldn’t stop it; I didn’t even know where to start. This time the difference was I lived almost 3 hours away from all my friends and family so I had no one to answer to and no one to stop me. This led me down a road of deep depression, a depression that I hid very well because I learned how to do that earlier in life. By this point, I felt that there was nothing else for me. All the dreams I had when I was growing up about who I was going to be were destroyed. This was it.

August 25th, 2015. The day started out like every other day before it. I battled with the snooze button four or five times before finally surrendering to its painful reminder that my day had to start. Unwillingly, I dragged myself out of bed and into the shower agonizing over every thought that popped into my head.

I was miserable. There wasn’t one good thing going for me. I hated the way I looked, the way I felt, my job, where I lived, my family situation, the lack of personal relationships; so on and so on…

As I continued the exhausting effort of getting ready for work, I couldn’t stop the tears from rolling down my face. I felt alone and useless. What was I doing with my life? Did I even have a life? Do I even have a purpose? What’s my reason for living? At that moment, the words just came out…”Why am I here?”

I plopped myself down on the couch seriously contemplating whether I was going to go to work or just give up altogether. As I sat there, with my phone in hand, tears streaming down my face, I thought to myself, “This is it. What else can I do?”

At that moment, I caught a glimpse of my phone. For a reason I’m still unclear about today, I effortlessly went right to Instagram and started scrolling through. After a few seconds, I came across a post about a challenge. I’ve seen these posts before but never paid attention to them, but for some reason, this one stopped me. My mind was racing but when it finally stopped, the only thought left was signing up for this challenge. Something inside told me I had to do this. So with little hesitation, I signed up and paid the entry costs. Not knowing this until a few months after, but the moment I hit submit was the moment I gained my life back.

Throughout the challenge, the support I received from Michael Morelli, his team, and the community he brought together, helped me through the initial challenges of starting any change to your desired lifestyle. It offered me a tremendous amount of information and I was like a sponge soaking it up. I immediately saw and felt a tremendous shift come over me. I completed the first challenge but knew something wasn’t quite right. In January, I had the opportunity to meet Michael and the Morellifit team. On that trip is when I realized my mindset was still a work in progress.

I committed to myself that for the next challenge, no one was going to work harder than I worked; in and out of the gym. I took advantage of the coaching calls being offered during the second challenge. Best decision. No matter where you are in life, having someone to push you and help hold you accountable is priceless. I also started to read everything and anything I could get my hands on. I was giving advice and tips to friends and coworkers who asked for it. After a couple of weeks, I started to look in the mirror and smile at the person staring back at me.

In fact, I woke up every day with a smile on my face. I was looking great and feeling great. The best part was that everything else in my life started to improve. I loved my job again, relationships in my life were improving, and everything else was moving in a positive direction.

After being selected as the female winner of the 2nd 100K Challenge, helping my boss get to a weight he hadn’t been most of his adult life, and seeing all the positive results from everyone who reached out to me for help, I realized that what made me most happy and fulfilled in life was being able to help people find happiness within themselves. This led me to sign up for MFitU so I could learn as much as I could from Michael on how to reach and help as many people as I could. After going through everything I went through in my life and being able to accomplish what I’ve accomplished, I know everyone has the potential to earn and achieve whatever they desire; they just need a little push and a little direction. That’s where I come in. I want to inspire confidence in people so they can reach their true potential. If I can do it, so can you.

-Rosanne Rocca

 


Rosanne was able to achieve the results she did and improve her life through the support she received by being a part of one of our life changing challenges, just like our last Summer Shred FAST Challenge. Rosanne is proof that hard work, dedication, and the right support system can not only completely transform your body, but your life for the better.

Unfortunately, our Summer Shred FAST Challenge has closed, but you can still participate in upcoming challenges.

If you want to have results and change your life, just like Rosanne, be sure to join our list so you can know when our next challenge is taking place. Not only will you change your life and look and feel better, but you have the chance at winning real cash and prizes! 

You can follow Rosanne on IG @rorocfit

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There is an ever-growing trend among teenagers today when it comes to supplements. I get so questions from thousands of teenagers all the time, asking what supplements they should be taking and how they can either bulk up or gain an edge. Teenagers are wanting to change their bodies or get an advantage on the field.

Because I do have so many teenagers that follow me, I want to try and give some advice to make sure that they stay healthy.

One example would be a young kid, only 15 years old, who reached out to me for advice. This kid was on 7 different things, such as a mass gainer, BCAAs, fat burner, glutamine, L-carnitine, and casein. It is teens like this that make me feel like I need to reach out and give my opinion on teenagers and supplements, kids who are 14, 15, and 16 years old, who are trying to take anything and everything there is out there.

The great thing about these teens is they are heading towards the right path, meaning they are concerned with exercise and nutrition, but perhaps have been misguided and could actually be doing more harm to themselves than good.

SHOULD TEENS TAKE SUPPLEMENTS?

If you are a teenager and you are taking supplements, my advice is to stop taking everything under the sun. At this point, you are just too young.

I am in the supplement business and I make a living off of selling supplements, but I will be the first one to tell you not to buy them if it could be harmful or unnecessary. If you are a teen who is 15, you are too young to be concerned with taking protein, BCAAs, and other supplements. You simply do not need them. I would rather not sell my product than to sell it to someone who doesn’t need it or will end up doing more harm than good.

I do not believe that at 15 years old, you need to be taking supplements, and certainly not a mass gainer.

Instead, what you should be doing is spending your parent’s money on whole foods. This means food that you can get as close to nature as possible.

If you want to put on mass and start to bulk up, then eat. Eat meat, potatoes, and vegetables. Have your parents go out and buy groceries, and eat as much as you can. The go to the gym and train.

I understand what it is like to be young. Society is pulling you in so many different directions, telling you to need to be a specific way and do specific things to get there. I understand the type of lifestyle you see on social media, but you are doing more harm than good. Don’t try and go too fast.

Until you are 18, you should be taking minimal supplements and by that. Too often, and one of the reasons trying to supplement can be so dangerous as a teen, is so many try to do meal replacements. You should never try to replace a meal with supplement. There is no such thing as a meal replacement. If this is what you are doing, then your diet isn’t dialed in, to begin with.

If your diet isn’t dialed in, you have absolutely no business trying to take a supplement. It defeats the entire purpose.

My advice to any teenager out there trying to use all these supplements is to slow down and just enjoy your journey. Be present. Be excited to get to the gym and train hard. Eat your parent’s food for as long as you can.

As someone in their 30’s, I wish I had mom and dad’s money to eat as much as I wanted. Start there and bust your butt until you are about 17 or 18 years old, then you can begin to look for various supplements. Then use these supplements in conjunction with your whole food diet.

Don’t reach for everything out there just because you saw it in a magazine or your favorite bodybuilder told you to take it. These people have been doing this for a lot longer and are in an entirely different place in their journey than you are.

The reason I created my supplements was to fill a gap because I know what kind of garbage is out there. For me, it is about getting the young guys, and I am not talking about the teens who are 14 and 15 years old, but those who are 18, 19, and 20-year-olds, who take protein with a laundry list of ingredients in them, including artificial flavors and sweeteners.

If you are in the age group where you can start considering supplements, such as a Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate and BCAAs, then that is what I am here for. I am here to make sure you are on the cleanest supplements you can be so you can stay healthy.

It is my job to help educate and bring awareness to others. That means telling you when you shouldn’t supplement and how to supplement once you are ready. I hope this advice serves you. If you found this useful, as a teenager or adult, please let us know.

Also, if you are of age and are considering taking a supplement like a BCAA, check out our blog on our Top 6 Benefits of BCAAs and the Optimal Time to Drink Them. 

I recently got back together with Jane Barlow, the expert herbalist and formation specialist who has been in the herb business for the past 40 years, to talk about our new brain supplement, THRIVE.

In case you don’t remember, Jane is the one who helped to develop the formula for this new supplement. As Jane explained, the eight ingredients found in THRIVE are the same herbs she has been taking for about ten years.

The formula for THRIVE is something that Jane worked on for a very long time until it was perfected. If you don’t already know, I am a big fan of Jane’s LDM-100, a detox derived from the lomatium plant, and because of her extensive knowledge on herbs and because I know how great her products can be, I knew I wanted to work with her to create a brain supplement…and THRIVE was born.

With your brain being the most vital organ you have, it is the one you don’t want to mess with. After all, your brain controls everything, and so you should do everything you can to keep it as healthy as possible. Each ingredient in THRIVE has so many benefits that help to support brain health and function, something we could all use.

Here is a list of the ingredients and why Jane has included them in her formula:

Ginkgo Biloba

The first ingredient in THRIVE is Ginkgo Biloba, and it is important because it helps to improve circulation, especially from the neck up, which can help to improve memory, hearing, and eyesightStudies show that taking Ginkgo Biloba can reduce age-related decline in brain function, and improve memory and thinking skills (1, 2, 3).

This herb naturally thins your blood. Even though it is in a healthy way, it is important to note that you should not take it if you are already on a blood thinner.

Periwinkle

The periwinkle used in THRIVE is derived from both the seed and the leaves of the plant and can help improve memory, even in those with dementia and Alzheimer’s (4, 5). Sometimes people are given prescription medication that causes short-term memory loss and to counteract this, people are also sometimes given periwinkle. It can also be used to help with hearing loss that is caused by aging, which is why Jane swears by it and claims that she will be taking it for the rest of her life.

Water Hyssop

Jane included this herb in her formula for THRIVE because it improves mental clarity and enhances learning and academic performance. It also improves your memory, intellect, mental longevity and consciousness (6, 7, 8). If you have ever gone into a room for a specific reason and then can’t remember why you are there…that is a problem. This is something that water hyssop helps with.

Ashwagandha

This is something that I had already been taking because I knew how amazing the benefits were. Jane, being the expert that she is, was already aware of these benefits, such as memory enhancement and brain function (9, 10). Plus, it is one of the most powerful antioxidants out there.

It has also been shown to lower blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol, and decrease depression and anxiety (11, 12, 13, 14)

Gotu Kola

For thousands of years, yogis, or those proficient in yoga, have used this herb because it helps to improve meditation. They take it before meditating because of how well it improves your mental clarity (15). And, if you have ever tried to meditate, you know that it is easier said than done.

Ginseng Root

This particular form of ginseng comes from the species Panax, and it is used to improve concentration, memory, physical endurance, and cognitive activities in Alzheimer’s patients, as it stimulates brain cells (16, 17, 18,). It has also been known to help with depression and anxiety (21).

Schizandra

This herb comes from a berry in Asia and helps with physical endurance, physical stamina, mental clarity, and mood-boosting (22, 23). In fact, it is something that has become important in some Asian cultures for the elderly to be on every day.

Skullcap

Known for its ability to calm you and can help if you are depressed (24). The reason it helps is that to be able to function with total mental clarity is that it helps you to be calm. And, the reason this is the last ingredient is that it is used to help the other components perform better, due to its ability to calm you.

This supplement takes everything to the next level and has been formulated to give you an edge in your everyday life. It will enhance your memory, clear your mind, allow you to focus, and achieve more, and even give you the energy needed to make it through your day.

I have had so many people come to me and tell me how much this has improved their lives. I’ve heard of people with ADHD who can finally focus without relying on medication. I’ve had others tell me how it has helped them perform better at work, all while having the energy and clarity to give more time to their families.

This unique formula is unlike anything, and you won’t believe it until you try it for yourself.

It is time…to THRIVE.

We get a lot of questions asking whether or not it is ok to have dairy, and if you’ve been following us for awhile, you know we are very fond of our milk alternatives.

But are dairy alternatives really better for you, and what makes conventional dairy so different?

We probably all know someone who has a hard time handling dairy products, and some are affected more than others. Does this mean that dairy is bad for some and good for others?

Continue reading after the video to learn:

  • Why conventional dairy is so unhealthy for you
  • Better ways you can consume dairy
  • Healthy non-dairy alternatives

What makes conventional dairy so unhealthy?

First, it is important to understand what is in dairy, where it comes from, and how the cattle that produce it are raised. Plus, what types of things that are in milk that you may want to avoid and what it is doing to your body.

Conventional dairy usually comes from large farms where there are very unhealthy practices going on, including what the cattle themselves are being fed.

Cows that are raised and maintained to produce milk, are normally fed grains, rather than grass. Cows have evolved to eat and digest grass better than anything else and this is where their nutrition comes from. To keep costs down, they are fed grains as an alternative, a food source that does not provide them with the nutrition they need to stay at optimum health levels.

When cows are fed grains, something they are not meant to eat, you have a whole host of issues that occur.

On top of being fed grains, the cows are packed into close quarters and pumped full of antibiotics, things that we do not need or want in our bodies.

The reason we often need to add antibiotics to dairy cows is that of what gets into the air as it is produced. It has been found that conventional dairy often times contains blood and puss in it, which is also why we need to process and pasteurize it.

Years ago, dairy farms used to give added hormones to dairy cows, such as rBST or rBGH, synthetic chemicals used to increase milk production. As consumers began to figure out that these hormones were being added, many farms stopped using them and would add to their milk label that the milk being sold is hormone (rBST and rBGH) free. However, to keep up milk production, cows are constantly impregnated so that the cow is constantly producing milk in order to make a profit.

All of this treatment makes the cattle at these dairy farms extremely unhealthy. It causes the increase in production of puss, due to inflammation, and it increases sickness. This leads to the cows needing more antibiotics.

Because the cattle live such unhealthy lives, it leads them to also live much shorter lives, only 3-5 years instead of its natural lifespan of 25 years. Once they can no longer produce milk, they are sent to slaughter.

What are some alternatives to conventional dairy?

If you simply can’t give up dairy, there are some dairy choices that you can consume that are a little bit better. If you must consume dairy, look for an organic brand that is non-homogenized. Homogenization means that the milk is placed under high pressure and pushed through a small nozzle in order rip the milk apart on a molecular level. In raw milk, the cream rises to the top, separating from the milk. However, when you homogenize the milk, the two are permanently blended together, meaning it alters a lot of the natural compounds in milk.

In raw milk, you have a lot of the natural bacteria and enzymes that help your body process and absorb the components of milk.

If you are lucky enough to live in one of the few states where it is legal to purchase raw, organic milk, you should do this as an alternative to just buying it at the grocery store. Click here to find out if your state allows the sale of raw milk. 

Non-Dairy Alternatives

The best alternative is to give up dairy completely and if you are willing to do this, there are some milk alternatives that you can still consume.

Unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk are some great options when dong with a non-dairy alternative. You can also go with cashew milk, rice milk, or hemp milk.

One of the biggest selling points to dairy is that it is high in calcium when, in fact, these milk alternatives often contain way more calcium than any dairy product. For years we have been told that we need to consume milk because of the amazing calcium benefits that you get from it. In fact, dairy if subsidized by the government, pushing money into selling more and more dairy, telling you how healthy it is and how you need to be drinking it. In fact, you don’t.

The truth is, you don’t need milk to get calcium. Calcium is in so many things these days that we don’t need to be trying to supplement with dairy. For instance, vegetables are loaded with calcium!! The calcium found in something like collard greens is up to 65% absorbable through our body, compared to only 33% in milk.

Milk may not be life-threatening to you, but it certainly isn’t the healthiest thing you could be putting into your body. In fact, it can be downright disgusting. You are much better off consuming one of these dairy alternatives mentioned above than going with conventional dairy.

If you are worried about getting enough calcium or need help fitting these alternatives into your lifestyle, then getting on a meal plan is the best option. This takes out all of the worry and the stress of trying to figure your nutrition out, leaving it to an expert nutritionist who will design a custom meal plan based on your weight, height, lifestyle, activity level, your goals and the food that you love.

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