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Archives for June 2017

We know that sleep is important, but the fact of the matter is that too many of us don’t get the sleep we need.

There is a constant urge and expectation for us to get as much accomplished in a single day as possible and sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours to get everything done. Our society is so competitive that we often trade the time we should be sleeping to trying to accomplish more.

This doesn’t exactly work and can often be counterproductive as it slows down your production time. Yes, you may get a little more done that day, but the next day you are much less likely to be as efficient and will become less productive as a result.

And there is a difference between staying up too late for a night or two and it becoming a normal routine. For so many people, late nights and early morning is the norm, but what exactly are we doing to our body?

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • The impact little sleep can have on your body
  • Why diet and exercise is not enough to stay healthy

We’ve talked about how sleep directly correlates with your ability to fight fat, but this isn’t the only thing that it does, as it can trigger health issues that affect your everyday life. 

If you are constantly getting less than 7-8 hours a night, the recommended amount of sleep to stay healthy, then you are putting your health at serious risk. Not only this, but you may be impacting your ability to properly function throughout the day.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T SLEEP? 

  • Lowers Your Immune Response – When you don’t get enough sleep your immune system can be impacted, reducing your body’s ability to fight off illness, not to mention that illness can alter your sleep patterns [1].

  • Increase Risk for Coronary Heart Disease – The European Heart Journal found that getting too little sleep, and even too much sleep, can be a predictor of Coronary Heart Disease and stroke [2].

  • Impaired Memory – A growing body of research is pointing to a lack of sleep as a cause for forgetfulness and the decreased ability to learn new information. Research shows that sleep impacts the consolidation of memory, which directly affects your brain’s ability to process information and recall information. This is essential for learning new information [3].

  • Increases Risk for Diabetes – An article published by the American Diabetes Association shows that lack of sleep may increase a person’s danger of developing adult-onset diabetes. The article explains that studies show a correlation between a lower risk of type-2 diabetes with those getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night. More sleep can lead to a delay or prevention of developing diabetes [4].

  • Increased Weight Gain – As mentioned above, your sleep cycle can directly correlate with your body’s ability to fight fat and messes with your ability to decipher hunger signals. A study published in Sleeping and Breathing looked at 21,469 adults and how much sleep impacted their weight gain. Over the course of three years, those who got less than 5 hours of sleep were significantly more likely to gain weight and become obese [5].

⚡ Related: How to hack your sleep to fight fat and avoid weight gain!

  • You May Lose Your Looks – Ok, so beauty isn’t everything and looks are only skin deep, but that doesn’t mean that most people don’t want to look their best. In fact, lack of sleep directly impacts your skin. A 2013 study shows that people who sleep less tend to age more quickly, have more wrinkles, have more uneven pigmentation, and looser skin. The amount of sleep also reflected how a person perceived their looks. People who got less sleep felt less favorably about their appearance than those who got more sleep. There really is truth in the practice of getting your “beauty rest” [6].

  • Higher Rates of Cancer – Study shows that lack of sleep over time can lead to higher risk of developing prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. It is suggested that the melatonin suppression due to the lack of sleep may promote cancer cell development or growth [7].

I EAT WELL AND EXERCISE… ISN’T THAT ENOUGH?

When we talk about health, our main focus is normally on exercise and nutrition, but a poor sleep schedule can sabotage and undo your hard work. Like most of us, you probably try to avoid unhealthy foods so that you don’t get sick and develop a disease and the same practice should be taken when you approach your sleep cycle.

Would you knowingly consume food that could lead to higher risks of cancer and heart disease on a daily basis and just hope you don’t get sick? Of course not, so why would you trade hours of sleep on a regular basis when it can do just that?

When it comes to maintaining your health and reaching your goals, nutrition, exercise, and sleep are the three key factors that can work together or sabotage one another. If you are eating right, on a Custom Meal Plan and exercise every day, but you are not sleeping at night, you may be destroying your efforts.

If you are exercising and sleeping, but eating a crappy diet, you may again be destroying your efforts because you can’t out train a bad diet. If you are eating right and sleeping right, but not exercising, you may be missing out on a key element to staying healthy, with the average adult needing 7-9 hours each and every night.

In fact, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help you get a better night’s sleep so you can be at your best.

If you have kids then you know how much they love their snacks and gummies, or fruit snacks, are some of the most popular kid snacks around. But often they can include harmful ingredients we don’t really want to be giving our kids, such as artificial dyes and additives.

Discover below:

🎈 How to make healthy gummy bears your kids will love!

🍬  Benefits of taking a vitamin C gummy

🤒  Top signs of being vitamin C deficient

💊 Other ways to maintain a healthy level of vitamin C

That is why we wanted to bring you a homemade, all natural gummies that your kids will absolutely love! Plus it has a nice shot of vitamin C so you can give them to your kids, knowing they are good for them and can help to keep them healthy.

This is the perfect snack that your kids will absolutely adore! They’re so good and so healthy that you may want to grab a few for yourself as well!

We know you want your kids to be able to enjoy fun snacks

ALL NATURAL VITAMIN C GUMMY BEARS

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup hot (not boiling) water
  • 1 cup cold 100% fruit juice of your choice
  • ¼ cup raw unfiltered honey (warmed to dissolve the graininess)
  • ¼ cup organic unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tbsp pure vitamin c powder (optional)

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the fruit juice and the raw honey until combined well.
  2. Put half of the juice and honey mixture into a separate bowl and quickly combine the mixture with the gelatin.
  3. Immediately add all of the hot water and the rest of the juice. Whisk together until everything until it is fully dissolved.
  4. Using a silicone mold, fill the molds until they are full. Place in the refrigerator for 40 minutes and gently remove the gummies from the gold and serve.

BENEFITS OF VITAMIN C FOR YOU AND YOUR KIDS

  • Boost Immunity – We all hate being sick and even more, we had when our kids are sick. Luckily, vitamin C may help. The intake of vitamin C may boost you and your kid’s immune systems. There has been much debate and speculation about its ability to prevent the common cold. Although this is not supported by research, studies do show that consuming an adequate amount of vitamin C can help reduce the severity and length of the common cold in adults and children who were active [1].
  • Oral Health – Vitamin C is essential to oral health and a deficiency in it can lead to bleeding gums and gum disease such as gingivitis [2]. 
  • Asthma – Study shows that when administered vitamin C before exercising, those with asthma saw up to a 52% improvement in their breathing [3]. This can help reduce the effects of asthma in kids who are active.
  • Blood Pressure – While blood pressure may not be the number one concern of your child, as it is something we associate with adults, but high blood pressure can happen at any age. Some research suggests that it can have a positive influence in maintaining healthy blood pressure [4, 5].

SIGNS OF LOW VITAMIN C

Although it is rare to be deficient in vitamin C these days, as it is also found in plenty of foods, it does happen and exists in about 10-14% of the population, including adults and children. This deficiency is usually attributed to the lack of a nutrient-rich diet [6]. There are several signs of vitamin C deficiency, including dry hair, dry skin, gingivitis, nosebleeds, easy bruising, and the inability to ward off infection. An extreme deficiency in vitamin C can lead to the development of scurvy [7].

See the chart below to see how much vitamin C you and your children need every day.

Overconsumption of vitamin C is not dangerous and effect of overconsumption are mild, resulting in a headache, nausea, or diarrhea. Megadoses of vitamin C can also result in kidney stones, insomnia, and vomiting. For these symptoms, you would have to consume around 2,900 mg a day. Overall, vitamin C has a low toxicity and so most of the excess is flushed out of the body [8].

HOW TO DO YOU MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LEVEL OF VITAMIN C

Getting enough vitamin C into your diet is pretty easy if you are consuming a diet full of whole foods, such as seen on your Custom Meal Plan. Your diet should include a healthy level of fruits and vegetables, otherwise, further supplementation can be taken in the form of pills or chewables, such as the gummies provided here.

These gummies are a great way to also make sure your kids are getting enough vitamin C into their diet and gaining all the health benefits.

Do you remember the talk about the new nutrition label that was supposed to be rolled out on July 26th of next year? Well, it was just indefinitely delayed.

In this blog, you’ll discover…

  • The difference between the proposed nutrition label and the one we have now
  • How the nutrition label impacts how we eat our food
  • Whether the new label would be enough to change our eating habits
  • Why the new label has been delayed and for how long
  • How to be sure you are eating right, despite the confusing nutrition label

In May of 2016, the FDA finalized new requirements for nutrition labels which were to go into effect within two years, three years for manufacturers with sales totaling less than $10 million. This new nutrition label was supposed to help consumers become more aware of the foods they were eating. Among these changes, the new labels had to not only include the sugars within the product but also separately include how much of those sugars are added to the product. It was also supposed to require the calorie count of the product to be largely displayed on the label so that it was easier to see.

Currently, over three-quarters of packaged food sold in the US and the average American is consuming 4X the amount of recommended sugar allowance every day [1]. All of these added sugars are beginning to affect the health of the entire country. This new addition to the label would allow consumers to differentiate between sugars that naturally occur in the food and sugars that have been added. Before this, it all fell under one label.

The new label is also supposed to update the serving size, which has not been updated in over 20 years. Traditionally there is no rule for serving size and is determined by the company and what they deem reasonable. This means the serving size can be adjusted and manipulated so that the nutritional content of the food seems reasonable. The new label, however, is supposed to update the serving size to reflect the amount someone would likely eat. This causes the nutrition to be determined by the serving size, rather than the other way around.

Over the years the average amount that people consume during each meal had changed drastically as companies have tried to find ways to sell us more food and while these portions have increased, the serving size on the labels have remained the same. This has resulted in people over consuming the recommended serving size that is put onto the packages, causing us to eat larger portions than we realize. Plus, how it may be affecting your body and your health.

The way servings sizes are shown would also be changed on the packages, and those that contain multiple servings would have to include a second column that reflects the nutritional information per package. This means on these food packages consumers will be given a column with nutritional information pertaining to a single serving and another column showing the nutritional information pertaining to the entire package.

IS A NEW LABEL THE ANSWER?

When it comes to nutrition we all know that there are many issues facing our health, whether it be the culture of how we consume food, the lack of education behind what a healthy diet is, and the production of unhealthy food in the means of food that is processed and meat coming out of factory farms.

By no means is the nutrition label and these changes intended to solve every problem that we have when it comes to nutrition and how we consume food, and some would argue that it doesn’t go far enough.

Yes, the new label would provide more information regarding actual calories you may be consuming and how much sugar has been added to the food, but it doesn’t address ingredient decks. Some argue that the ingredient decks should also be broken down and be more clear. For example, a packaging that says it contains natural flavors… what are these flavors? What does this mean to the average person?

When the first ingredient on a package is fruit, we know that this means there is more fruit percentage-wise than any other ingredient, but how much is that? Were pesticides used on the ingredients in this food and if so, what kind?

One way to know what is going into the food you are consuming on a daily basis is to stay informed of policies that are put into place and the effect each may have on your food.

WHY IS THE NUTRITION LABEL BEING DELAYED? FOR HOW LONG?

Unfortunately, there is no time frame telling us how long the new nutrition label will be delayed nor has a date been given for when companies will need to comply, or even if it will ever be reinstated. Rather, the FDA states that details will be given “at a later time” [2].

The delay came about as lobbyists from major food corporations pressured the FDA to delay the deadline, citing that they needed more time to comply with the changes. Their reasoning is that it would cost more to comply within the given time frame. You can read the letter from the major food industries here.

With this sudden halting of the nutrition label requirements, some corporations such as PepsiCo, Kind, Wheat Thins, Mars, and Lays Chips have already completed the work and are ready for the original compliance deadline, with new labels already in place. Some are now arguing that this puts companies such as these at a disadvantage as their nutrition labels may seem less appealing than products with the old label.

Because of the response of the companies who have already made the change, the question becomes whether or not the industries in the letter truly need more time, or don’t want to also be at a “disadvantage”.

My response to this is simply to ask these critics whose side they are on, the consumer and their health, or the corporations? That is, consumer health or profit? For companies who have nothing to hide, why is more information bad? And if a product fails, due to the company’s inability to trick and hide information from their consumers, perhaps the product wasn’t good to begin with. 

⚡ Related: Learn how else the FDA is messing with your food

We know how this goes because here at Morellifit we try to be as transparent as possible because our products speak for themselves and would not consider providing our consumers with more information as being a disadvantage. Our supplements, including our BCAAs and Protein, are the cleanest supplements on the market and use all natural ingredients with no added sugars. All ingredients in our products, including our sugars, occur naturally.

DESPITE NUTRITION LABELS HOW CAN I BE SURE I AM EATING RIGHT?

We don’t know when the new nutrition labels will take effect or even the impact that they will have. Right now, the best way you can make sure you are eating food that is healthy, and in the right amounts, is to let someone who is trained and has detailed knowledge of food help you.

Getting on a Custom Meal Plan will ensure that you are going after the right foods, in the right amounts. This will ensure that you are receiving the correct nutrition according to what you need.

One thing the new nutrition label, or the old one, can do is break down how much someone should be consuming. Both the new and old label state that diets are based on a 2,000 calorie a day allowance. This calorie amount doesn’t apply to everyone. For some people, consuming 2,000 calories a day would cause them to gain an unhealthy amount of fat, while others, it would leave them calorically deficient.

When you have a nutritionist preparing a meal plan for you, you don’t have to worry if you are eating too much or eating too little. With a Custom Meal Plan, every calorie, every gram of fat and carb is based on a person’s individual nutritional needs, making it the best way to ensure you are eating healthy and not endangering your health or any goals you may have.

I am sure you’ve seen the latest reports that coconut oil is unhealthy and full of saturated fats, and that too much of it can be bad for you.

And yes, this is true. It does contain saturated fats and too much can be bad for you, but what about when you consume it as part of a balanced diet in moderate amounts?

In this blog post, you’ll see…

  • The latest advice for coconut oil by the American Heart Association
  • 4 benefits of coconut oil you don’t want to miss out on
  • Life hacks everyone needs for coconut oil
  • How to not eat too much coconut oil

This latest report from the American Heart Association (AHA) has everyone questioning whether what we’ve thought about coconut oil is wrong and whether we should stay away from it.

But if you take a look at the study it shows a correlation between the overconsumption of coconut oil, higher levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol) and cardiovascular disease, rather than it being a direct cause.

This report also recommends using soy or canola oil as a replacement, both of which we know are not healthy alternatives [1].

In fact, a 2013 cohort study found that when you replace your saturated fats, such as coconut oil, with vegetable oils, as recommended by the AHA, the death from cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease actually increased [2].

The biggest problem that I have with this report that was conducted by the AHA is that it is largely funded by AG Canada and Canola Oil Council. This could be why the report is trying to get you to replace your coconut oil with vegetable oil, even though studies have shown it leads to higher death rates… You know what they say, “Follow the money.” You can see this for yourself on page 18 of the American Heart Association’s publication.

Whatever you may think of coconut oil, there are definitely some beneficial benefits that shouldn’t be ignored and this is why we can still include it in your Custom Meal Plan.

TOP 4 BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL 

However, you may feel about the recent claims on coconut oil, the fact of the matter is that it still has some major health benefits that can’t be ignored, especially if you are trying to lose weight, which will greatly contribute to your overall health.

  • Helps Burn More Fat – Compared to other oils, coconut oil affects our bodies more positively. This is because of the medium chain triglycerides that are found in this oil, which can actually help burn more calories and thus burn more fat when consumed in moderation. Remember, coconut oil, no matter how healthy it is, still has about 130 calories per tablespoon [3, 4, 5].

  • Reduces Hunger – Another way that coconut oil helps to fight fat is by reducing hunger, thus reducing calorie intake. Research suggests that this could be due to the way the fatty acids are metabolized within the body [6].

  • Anti-Inflammatory – In animal studies, coconut oil in comparison to other oils may be the best to improve inflammation. One study on rats given virgin coconut oil showed an improvement in antioxidant status and prevented oxidative stress [8].

  • Protects Your Liver – Coconut oil can help to protect and support the function of your liver by helping to protect the liver from incoming toxins [9].

HOW MUCH COCONUT OIL SHOULD YOU EAT EVERY DAY?

When determining how much coconut oil you are consuming every day, it is important to remember how many other fats (even healthy ones) you are consuming every day. Just because coconut oil is still considered to be a healthy fat, doesn’t mean that you can eat all you want and it should be strictly limited. Just as with most things, especially fats, moderation is key.

Depending on your needs, and whether you are including other healthy fats in your diet, you can eat about 1-2 tablespoons per day. However, this differs for everyone so if you are on a Custom Meal Plan your nutritionist should be able to add the appropriate amount of coconut oil to your meal plan. If you aren’t on a custom meal plan, be sure you sign up for one to make sure you are getting enough coconut oil to reap the benefits, yet you aren’t overdoing it.

How does coconut oil compare to other fats? There are so many different types of fat and not all of them affect us the same way. This is why we have bad fats and good fats, and good fats are essential for keeping our body healthy.

3 Coconut Oil Life Hacks

The great thing about coconut oil is that it is good for your whole body and not just when you consume it. There are so many different uses for coconut oil, it is no wonder that it is quickly becoming a staple in everyone’s kitchen and bathroom!

Here are some great hacks that you can use coconut oil for:

Hair – Did you know coconut oil is great for your hair? All you have to do is simply apply coconut oil to your hair before washing, letting sit for about 20 minutes. You can even add a bit of oil to your hair after washing. If you choose to do it after washing, keep in mind that too much can make your hair look greasy and oily.

We put our hair through a lot, as many of us wash it daily, blow dry it, style it, and even dye it with harmful chemicals. All of this can cause a lot of damage to our hair, dry it out, and even lose some of its protein. Fortunately, coconut oil can help to repair and reverse some of this damage as it is absorbed into the hair and can protect it from protein loss [10].

While this can be a great treatment for your hair it is important to not overdo it as it can cause a buildup of oil to form on your hair.

Skin – Coconut oil is a great, natural alternative to lotion. It hydrates your skin and gives it a really nice glow while also providing nutrients. It is able to not only hydrate your skin, but it also helps to kill bacteria that may be present and promote the production of collagen [11, 12]. It may even help reduce the appearance of acne scars [13].

If you already have oily skin, I would recommend that you avoid using coconut oil as this can make your skin more oily.

Because coconut oil is so good for your skin, another great use for it is as a makeup remover. This hydrating oil will take everything off, even long-lasting makeup. Just rub a little bit onto your face and wipe it off with a clean cloth.

Teeth – Have you heard of oil pulling? This is where you swish a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes and is considered to be very healthy for your teeth. When you use coconut oil on your teeth it can help reduce plaque, fight gum disease, and  [14, 15, 16].

It is because of these benefits that many people use coconut oil to make their own, all natural toothpaste consisting of coconut oil, baking soda, and peppermint essential oil.

HOW TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE NOT EATING TOO MUCH COCONUT OIL

If you are using coconut oil for the hacks provided here, then you don’t have to worry about using too much. If you are consuming it for one of the many benefits, and are after a specific goal, this is completely different as a small amount can end up making a huge impact.

The best way to make sure you are you are getting the right amount of coconut oil without sabotaging any goals that you have is to sign up for a Custom Meal Plan and let a nutritionist figure it out for you. Everyone is different and so everyone would need a different amount of coconut oil, or healthy fats in general, in order to reach any specific goal that you have.

One of the best things about doing a HIIT workout is that it really doesn’t take a whole lot of time, yet it is still extremely effective. You can burn so many calories during and after the workout is complete.

Join me and my friend, Julie, as we take you through a 12 minute HIIT workout that is sure to get you sweating and burning calories. HIIT is hands down, the best type of cardio you can be doing because it is so beneficial, no matter what your goals may be.

Grab your towel, your mat, and, of course, your BCAAs and follow along with the video below. And be sure to grab our free trial of Elite, where you can get new workouts every month!

And be sure to grab our free 30 day trial of Elite, where you can get new workouts every month!

Warm Up

  • Split Squats – 30 seconds
  • Dynamic Lunges – 3 on each side (6 total)

Workout

  • Split Squats – 30 seconds
  • Sumo Get Up – 30 seconds
  • Rest – 15 seconds
  • Morefit Climber – 30 seconds
  • Inchworm – 60 seconds
  • Rest – 15 seconds

Repeat 4X

Bonus

  • Add 10 seconds of burpees. The goal is to do as many as you can in a 10 second period.

This workout was done in Scottsdale, Arizona at the Cerulean Gym. This gym is unique as it uses the technique of altitude training. This is where athletes take advantage of higher altitudes to gain a competitive edge due to the decreased pressure in oxygen. This induces hypoxia, a physiological response that causes the body to increase the production of erythropoietin, a hormone that produces red blood cells. When you increase your red blood cell production, the result can be improved endurance, increased caloric expenditure, and a quicker recovery time.

When you with this altitude technique with HIIT workouts, you get even better results as you burn more calories (1.7X) and more fat.

This is a great workout that you can take with you to the gym, or even do at home as it only uses your own body weight. But as great as this workout is, you want to make sure you are mixing it up rather than continuously doing the same routine.  For more great workouts be sure to check out HIIT MAX™, one of the most effective workout programs and is responsible for hundreds of thousands of people finally reaching their goals.

You can also get free follow along workouts every Saturday by following up on our Facebook page!

We all need protein, whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or recover from a workout and as much as well all love the Morellifit Protein, we may not always have it on hand to mix up into a healthy snack. Sometimes we need just to be able to reach for a quick snack that is easy and healthy, something we can grab while we are out running around.

Chances are you’ve eaten a protein bar or two, and as you have probably noticed, you have a lot of choices to pick from. Walking down any grocery store aisle, convenience store, or your local health store, you’ll find an endless supply of protein bars.

And some of them look absolutely delicious!

Don’t let yourself be fooled by the clever marketing techniques and colorful packaging, because only a few of these protein bars may be worth reaching for.

In this blog, I’ll show you…

  • My list of top 10 protein bars
  • Why I think these protein bars are the best on the market

MY TOP 10 BEST PROTEIN BARS:

#1  Morellifit Protein Bars

Ok, so these aren’t out yet, but you know they are going to be great because you’ve had our supplements and you know I won’t put out anything other than the best. It is our reputation for having the cleanest and best-tasting supplements around that I know they will blow all other bars out of the water!

Be sure to join our email list and follow us on social media so that you can be the first see a sneak peek on September 4th. We’ve spent months upon months testing formulas to get them just right, and I am so excited to show you what is coming!

You’ve seen our products, you’ve seen our services, so you know that I expect the very best. Whether you’re consuming Protein or BCAAs, nothing beats our supplement line when it comes to quality as we have the cleanest ingredient decks on the market! You’ve come to expect the highest quality in our supplements and my protein bars with be no different. You know you’ll only be getting the best.

This means the best ingredient deck and the best nutritional profile around. You may not be able to get these yet, but I am including them on the list because you will be able to get them soon and I already know that they are the absolute best.

#2 Jane Health Bars

Jane is known for being a genius at natural herbs and ingredients, and her bars are no different. They are clean and delicious. Every bar contains 15 grams of protein and uses 100% grass fed whey. You won’t find these on the shelf, but you can order a box by clicking here.

This bar has the #1 macro profile and ingredient deck at the moment. It is loaded with flax seeds and pumpkin seeds. The nutrient density of this bar is second to none!

#3 Epic Bar

This is one of the cleanest bars out there on the market with one of the smallest ingredients decks as it is mostly beef (or whatever meat you choose to get). The only issue I have with this bar is that it has too little protein in it. Depending on the flavor you get, it only has about 8-9 grams of protein per bar so if you are going to have this one, it is best to eat two.

These are my top 3 bars and the ones that I will turn to anytime. They are some of the best bars on the market today. When picking a protein bar you want to check the ingredient deck to make sure you’re not consuming harmful ingredients. Make sure to go for an all-natural bar that is free of any artificial flavors, sweeteners, or colorings.

Did you know that the use of artificial colorings are banned in many countries all over the world, yet the FDA allows so many products here in the US to use them? With all consequences that they can have on your health and especially how they impact your kids, it’s crazy they all this! Click here to see what other ingredients you may be consuming that other countries ban due to health risk.

Now that I’ve talked about my top 3 bars, here are 7 more of the BEST protein bars for you to choose from. Most of these are easy to find and can be found at your local grocery store or supplement shop.

#4 Tanka Bar

The Tanka bar is pretty close to the Epic Bar and in my opinion, they are a tie and should both come in at #3. It does have a gram or two of less protein in it, depending on the flavor you get, so just like with the Epic Bar, if you are going to choose this one, eat two. Or better yet, have one of each!

#5 Bulletproof Lemon Cookie Collagen Protein Bar

Out of all the healthy protein bars on the market that I have tried this is the absolute best tasting. And the ingredients are fantastic! It is made with collagen protein, which is amazing and one of the best proteins you can get. The attention to detail in the ingredient deck is extraordinary! And, you just can’t beat the flavor, Overall, the nutritional profile could definitely be better and it best used on low carb day because it is a bit higher in fat. And while it does have 12 grams of protein, I would still like to see some more in it.

#6 EXO Bar

This is definitely one of the most interesting bars on the market as it is made with cricket protein. Now, before you turn your nose up at it, give it a try. The idea behind using cricket protein instead of traditional sources of protein is an attempt at producing a sustainable protein source. Plus, it tastes pretty good and has an excellent ingredient deck.

There are, however, a few downsides of this bar when you begin to look at the nutritional profile. It is rather high in sugar with 13 grams, high in fat with 20 grams, and low in protein with only 10 grams. This bar is one of the most calorically dense bars on this list as it is packed with 300 calories. This is almost a meal.

#7 RXBAR

There are so many things I love about this bar. I like that it is made with egg whites, giving people who are sensitive to whey a great option. I also absolutely love the packaging. The ingredients are right on the front and it is very transparent. You know exactly what is in it when you pick it up. The downside to this bar is that it is pretty high in sugar with 15 grams per bar and only contains moderate protein with 12 grams per bar.

#8 PaleoKrunch Bar (Steve’s PaleoGoods)

This bar contains a good combination of seeds and contains few ingredients, which I really like. The seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds, provide extra nutritional value. The downside to this bar is that it is low in protein with only 7 grams and it is high in fat with 13 grams per bar.

#9 Perfect Bar

I love that this bar is all organic and non-GMO, however, this bar is high in sugar with 18 grams, high in fat with 18 grams and low in protein with 13 grams. It is also just as calorically dense as the EXO Bar with 300 calories. This bar also contains nonfat dry milk in is and is something you need to watch for, especially if you are lactose intolerant. Unlike whey powder, where the lactose is removed, dry milk still contains lactose.

#10 LäraBar

The LäraBar is all natural and uses natural sources such as dates and raisins to sweeten it, which I really like as an alternative to artificial sweeteners that you see in so many bars on the market. I also like that there are only 6 ingredients in this bar. Plus it is vegan, providing a healthier option to those who do not consume animal products. However, this bar does contain more sugar (18 grams) and less protein (only 4 grams) than I like to see a bar. This low protein and high sugar are what lands this bar at the bottom of my list of BEST protein bars.

Protein bars can be a great option if you are on the go and in need of a healthy snack, but you should know which ones are the better option. There are some low-quality protein bars out there, and you may as well just be eating a candy bar.

Find out our Top 10 WORST Protein Bars, so you know which ones to stay away from and what they may be doing to your health. Chances are they one of these is your go-to protein bar!

Of course, protein bars don’t meet all of your nutritional needs, so be sure you are eating a nutritious diet and supplementing with a high-quality protein powder. Just like protein bars, there are only a few protein powders even worth trying and you know we have the very best.

Over the counter painkillers have become part of our everyday lives and chances are you have some sitting right in your medicine cabinet. These NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen, Aspirin, Naproxen, Aleve, and Motrin, among others, are generally marketed as being safe ways to deal with general pain.

In this post, discover:

  • If your pain-relieving medicine is actually safe for you
  • Harmful side effects of painkillers
  • Alternative solutions to pain

Although we have been warned about taking too much, as it could cause damage to your liver, the majority of people pop these over the counter pills without a second thought, with many of us taking over the recommended amount every day. Whether you have a headache, arthritis pain, or inflammation, we are told to take a dose of a NSAID and move on with your life pain-free.

HOW SAFE ARE PAINKILLERS?

A new study published in the March 2017 issue of the European Heart Journal – Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy (EHJ-CVP) is making some waves recently. In this study, they found that taking these over the counter medications can increase your chances of having a heart attack by 30%. This number only goes up if you are already unhealthy or older of age [1].

One of the scariest parts to this is that this increased risk of a heart attack doesn’t come after long-term use or by abusing the drugs, but rather this concern comes after under a week’s worth of use, and the risk only increases the longer you take it.

While most people may be unaware of the side effects of these little, seemingly harmless, pills, they can actually cause major problems and should be taken with caution.

RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS OF NSAIDS

When you take NSAIDs, you are risking more than just your heart, and it could result in other negative side effects.

These side effects include stomach ulcers, bleeding, and upset stomach, kidney problems, high blood pressure, swelling, rashes, or allergic reactions [2].

Some of the side effects have been reported to land people in the hospital and even cause death due to gastrointestinal bleeding. The FDA reported that there are over 103,000 hospitalizations and an estimated 9,400 – 16,500 deaths every year occur in relation to NSAID-related gastrointestinal bleeding [3].

While we all want to get rid of pain, the side effects and the risk of cardiac arrest may not be worth the risk. Instead look for an alternative, more natural way of dealing with the pain. Depending on what is causing the pain in the first place, there may be other solutions that will not only get rid of the pain you feel but also not kill you or make you sick in the process.

In this case, the possible side effects are, for the most part, worse than the pain it may be relieving.

NATURAL NSAID ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS

When it comes to pain, the first thing you need to do when treating it is to understand why you are having the pain in the first place.

One of the biggest reasons we take painkillers is to get rid of joint pain and this can be caused for many different reasons, such as being overweight, inactivity, or injury.

Oftentimes losing weight and regularly exercising can help alleviate pain that is occurring within your joints, much like physical therapy. If you don’t already have your own workout routine you can join a program like Elite, where you will be given workout routines and instructional videos on a rotating calendar to make sure you are doing them correctly and safely. Doing an exercise incorrectly, or pushing ourselves past our physical limitations, can result in unnecessary pain for which we may turn to NSAIDs for. 

Physical therapy can be another great option for a pain that is re-occurring, especially if it is a result of an injury.

Making sure to eat a healthy nutritious diet can also help to alleviate some pains that we may be turning to NSAIDs for, including headaches. Often times headaches can be caused by lack of nutrition or by eating something that can trigger pain. To make sure you are eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet, you can easily have a nutritionist put together a Custom Meal Plan for you so that you know your body is getting the nutrition it needs to stay healthy. This will not only make sure you are getting the right nutrition, but it will also help you to cut down on body fat, which in turn, will help to lower joint pain that you may be experiencing.

Overall, living a healthy lifestyle by making sure that you are eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and not storing excess body fat can help to alleviate many of the pains that we turn to, effectively eliminating the need for taking, or even overusing, these over the counter NSAIDs.

If you do decide to turn to NSAIDs don’t take more than the recommended amount and if you find yourself needing to take them for days at a time, consult your physician.

We are all looking for ways to improve our health and when it comes to our brain, that is no different, nor should it be. As we get older there are several changes that begin to occur within our brains and it begins to shrink in size. We begin to lose cognitive function and our memory can become impaired with time. We also begin to become more at risk for dementia, white matter lesions, and stroke.

We can’t really slow down time or keep ourselves from aging, but we can do our best to keep our brains healthy and lower the impact, or even prevent, some of these conditions.

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • Why HIIT is the best exercise to keep your brain sharp!
  • The impact it can have on your risk for neurodegenerative disorders
  • How HIIT can promote your mental health
  • The correlation between sleep, exercise, and your brain
  • When you should start protecting your brain function
  • How you can incorporate a HIIT workout into your routine

Just like we work hard to keep our bodies healthy through nutrition, supplementation, and exercise, we need to do the same with our brain. After all, our brain is the most important organ in our body. 

Similarly to how we exercise to keep our bodies strong, exercise can also keep our brains strong. You may not grow a muscle on it but exercise can help to protect your brain against cognitive decline, improve memory, and lift your mood.

But not all exercise is created equal. Recent studies show the best type of exercises for your brain are the ones that raise your heart rate [1, 2]. The key is consistency. It is something you need to incorporate into your life. You can’t just do it once and expect to see immediate results, but rather it is a lifestyle change where you commit to an overall healthier you.

HOW HIIT CAN HELP BRAIN FUNCTION

Over the past few years, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) has become very popular and it continues to grow in popularity due to the results it gives in such a short amount of time.

This type of training can help to improve your brain by increasing Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) levels within the brain, which supports brain health. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology shows that exercise helps to activate BDNF in the brain and high-intensity exercise proved to be the most beneficial. [3]. BDNF is a protein that is found in the parts of the brain that are vital to learning, memory (especially long-term memory), and higher thinking.

DECREASES RISK FOR NEURODEGENERATIVE DISORDERS

HIIT has been proven to lower the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and stroke [4]. Chances are you have known someone who has been affected by one of these and you know they can be frightening disorders and so you know you want to do everything you can to keep your brain sharp and healthy.

For some, these neurodegenerative disorders are among our biggest fears, but regular exercise, especially using HIIT can help protect our brains and research shows that regular HIIT exercise can even improve the life of someone already suffering from neurodegenerative disorders. A 2015 study published in PLoS One found that dementia patients that performed high-intensity functional exercise developed better balance and muscle strength, as well as reduced apathy [5].

PROMOTES MENTAL HEALTH

Studies also show that exercise can help with more than just cognitive function, it can also be extremely beneficial for those suffering from mental health issues, such as depression. It has been well noted and is widely accepted that routine exercise can help alleviate many of the symptoms in patients who are clinically depressed [6]. It can help those with depression feel less stressed by reducing the body’s natural stress hormones [7].

WHY YOU NEED TO GET MORE SLEEP AND HOW EXERCISE HELPS

Routine exercise, such as with HIIT, can also improve brain health by helping to promote a better night’s sleep. A study published in Mental Health and Physical Activity showed that when people exercised for 150 minutes or more a week, they saw a 65% increase in sleep quality [8].

Getting better sleep can help in numerous ways, whether you are trying to control stress, lose weight, or improve your brain health. When we sleep we clear waste from the brain and re-energizes cells. Plus it supports learning and memory, while also improving mood, appetite, and libido.

WHEN SHOULD I START WORRYING ABOUT BRAIN HEALTH

It is never too early the start worrying about the health of your brain and how it is going to change throughout your life. In fact, the better you start to pay attention to it, the better. We all want better memory and better focus, and we all want to stay sharp as we get older, but like your body, you can’t wait until you are sick to start taking care of yourself.

Start taking care of your body and your brain today, and not just for sharper functions, but for the long-term health of your brain. Whether you are 20, 40, or 60 years old, now is the time to make sure you keep your brain as healthy as possible.

No matter what your age you should be staying active and consuming a nutritious diet. While exercise helps to keep the brain healthy and sharp, nutrition also plays a major role. Eating a diet full of whole foods and supplementing with the right supplements will help to support a healthier brain.

Taking a supplement like Thrive can also help promote brain function, improve memory, and guard against neurodegenerative illnesses. This supplement has 8 all natural herbs in it, each one contributing differently to the health of your brain.

HOW TO START A SOLID WORKOUT ROUTINE

This is a great exercise that you can add into your routine to start protecting your brain health.

These are the same types of workouts you get in HIIT MAX™ or when you subscribe to a workout platform like Elite. By purchasing a program or getting into a membership platform, you know just what to do when you get to the gym. Plus, you have the option of working out at home with structured workouts that will not only increase your brain health but your overall health.

These programs will ensure that you are doing the right exercises and doing them correctly, so you can get all of the benefits. Both HIIT MAX™ and Elite will help you improve your memory, feel better mentally, and keep you focused and sharp. And it will help you stay healthy and avoid illness as you get older, such as dementia and stroke.

Aside from exercise, be sure you are maintaining a nutritional diet made from whole foods and providing your body with all natural supplementation, especially a brain supplement, like Thrive, that helps to support cognitive.

There are a lot of good protein bars out there, but there are also a lot of bad protein bars. With so many bars our there that are consumed by millions of people I wanted to find the top worst popular protein bars. There are hundreds of other bars that didn’t make this list, but I wanted to focus on easy to find bars that everyone seems to be turning to. 

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • Why we are drawn to protein bars, even though they may be bad for us
  • My top 10 WORST protein bars that people are eating
  • Why I think these bars are full of crap
  • How you can easily consume healthy protein

Companies are great at marketing these bars, but that doesn’t mean they are good and we don’t want you to be fooled by their clever packaging.

There are so many protein bars out there that are full of processed ingredients that it can be a wonder how they can even be marketed as healthy. With some, you may as well just grab a Snickers bar and throw your goals down the drain.

We don’t all have a Morellifit Protein on hand all the time, and sometimes you may need to reach for a quick and easy snack while you are on the go. In these times, there is a handful… or two… of protein bars that you should avoid.

In fact, if you are eating protein bars, there is a good chance you are eating one of these unhealthy protein bars.

They even recommended most of these at the local supplement shop!

HERE ARE MY TOP 10 WORST PROTEIN BARS:

#10 FitJoy (mint chocolate crisp)

Although this bar has a few good things going for it. For instance, it is GMO-free, no artificial flavorings, and it is sweetened with monk fruit and stevia. These are the types of things you want to see in a bar. However, there are ingredients that ruin what it has going for it. Along with these good these, FitJoy also includes canola oil and soy lecithin. These are two ingredients you want to avoid as canola oil is known to contribute to kidney and liver problems due to the genetic modification, as well as heart disease [1, 2].

#9 Clif Bar (white chocolate macadamia nut)

Yes, the Clif Bar is all organic, and that is a good thing, but that doesn’t make this a good bar. This bar still has a lot of sugar and a lot of carbs in every serving. In fact, it has 21 grams of sugar and 41 grams of carbs per bar! And only 9 grams of protein. That is crazy! Not to mention that it contains a lot of soy ingredients, such as soy lecithin, soy flour, and soybean oil, to name a few.

If you remember our blog discussing the dangers of soy, then you know why we want to avoid soy ingredients and the foods that contain them. Soy can inhibit protein digestion, impair pancreatic function, and disrupts the endocrine system. It has also been linked to increased risk of breast cancer in women [3, 4, 5, 6].

#8 Power Crunch (original)

Power Crunch has some decent protein in it, as it contains hydrolyzed whey with micro peptides. Although this is not as good as grass-fed whey, it is not a bad protein to go with. The downside about this protein is there are only 13 grams in this bar, and if it is protein you are after, there are bars with more protein in them. The other downside of this bar is that it contains soy, which, again, you want to avoid.

⚡ Related: Learn why GRASS-FED is so much better than conventionally raised cows!

#7 Mission1 (cookies & cream)

The Mission1 bars are sweetened with stevia, and the macros are pretty decent with a good ratio of carbs and protein. However, this bar does contain cornstarch, corn fiber, and sucralose. Cornstarch is essentially a highly processed carbohydrate that adds no nutritional value to your food. It has no fat, no protein, no minerals, and no vitamins.

We no don’t use sucralose to sweeten any of our products, including our protein, because sucralose can have disastrous affects on your health

#6 Quest Bar (chocolate chip cookie dough)

I know you’ve had one of these because we have all had one of these. This is one of the go-to bars for many people and is perhaps of the most popular. But that doesn’t make it a good bar.

The Quest Bar contains a decent macro set, but this bar still contains ingredients like palm oil and sucralose.

Palm oil is 100% fat and is known to increase LDL, which is the bad cholesterol that you want to decrease [7, 8]. Bad LDL can have adverse effects on the health of your heart, leading to disease and stroke.

#5 Combat (chocolate coconut)

Ok, this Combat Bar is delicious, but it is not clean or innovative as it claims on the package. It may have a decent protein to carb ratio, but it contains soy, sucralose, palm kernel oil, and vegetable glycerin, which is known to have side effects of nausea, headaches, and diarrhea if over consumed.

#4 Lenny & Larry’s (double chocolate)

This is an alternative option if you are vegan and I like that the product is non-GMO. There is no soy, no day, no artificial sweeteners, and that is great! But when you look at the protein, it is less bioavailable than most other proteins and contains wheat flour.

Wheat flour can have adverse effects if you have a gluten intolerance or sensitivity. Plus, it can impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients [9].

Plus, it is high in sugar (30 grams per cookie!) and has a bad protein to carb ratio with 16 grams of protein and 55 grams of carbs.

#3 Power Bar (chocolate peanut butter)

While this isn’t the worst bar on the list, there is absolutely nothing in this bar that I like. This bar is high in sugar, high in carbohydrates, and low in protein. This bar also contains soy ingredients, maltodextrin, and fructose.

Maltodextrin is a food additive with no nutritional value made from starch and is found in 60% of all packaged foods. It is used as a filler and preservative to extend the shelf life of food. It has many adverse effects, such as a higher risk of disease, a disruption in your gut health, and it has a high glycemic index, meaning it can quickly spike your blood sugar [10, 11]. It can also contribute to obesity and heart disease [12].

Fructose, on the other hand, is not naturally produced by our bodies and we cannot break it down in large amounts. In fact, the only organ that can metabolize it, in small quantities, is the liver. More often than not, fructose is stored by our livers until the liver is overloaded and then it is turned into fat (13). Overconsumption of fructose can even lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (14).

#2 Kroger Protein Chewy Bar (peanuts, dark chocolate, and almonds)

I included the Kroger bar because this is the traditional granola bar that you find at your local grocery store. Another popular brand is Nature Valley. I tried to be fair and went after the protein bar, rather than just another granola bar that people often grab for snacks. When I looked at the ingredient deck I found nothing but one bad ingredient after another. These bars contain palm kernel oil, soy lecithin, wheat, corn syrup, and canola oil.

You’ve seen why I don’t like any of these ingredients and why I think this is bad news. This is a junk bar.

#1 Oh Yea! One (chocolate birthday cake)

This is a popular bar, and it has decent macros with 22 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of sugar. The thing that brings this bar all the way down to the worst bar of them all are the artificial flavors and dyes. This bar contains corn starch, palm kernel oil, sucralose, soy lecithin, yellow 6 lake, red 40, blue 1 lake, red 3, and red 40 lake.

Not only does this bar contain harmful ingredients like corn starch, palm kernel oil, sucralose, and soy, but it also contains a whole host of artificial dyes. These dyes are so bad that many countries actually ban them!

⚡ Related: Learn why all over the world countries are banning these dyes!

 

These protein bars are filled with junk. While some may contain good ingredients, the sub-par and harmful ingredients that litter these bars just don’t make the cut.

Why waste your money on something that could be doing you more harm than good.

If you find yourself looking for a quick snack while you are out, be sure you are grabbing the best protein bar, rather than a candy bar… or candy bar-like protein bar…

Now that you know the WORST protein bars that you are probably eating, it is time to check out the BEST protein bars that you should be eating. Learn which bars you should make the switch to before you grab another one like those on the list above. Trust me, you’ll thank me later!

The best way to make sure you are getting enough protein is to supplement with the best quality whey protein, like Morellifit Protein.

That is until we get our own bars in…

Stay tuned 😉

 

Having a great pre-workout snack is a key factor in how successful your training is and can directly impact the result that you achieve.

And of course, the best pre-workout snack is one that not only works for you during your workout but one that also creates a thermogenic effect and keeps working for you long after you stopped working out.

In this post…

  • You’ll get to check out one of my favorite recipes!
  • Plus, I’ll tell how you can use this shake to improve your workouts

PRE-WORKOUT SHAKE RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz Cold Brew Coffee
  • 10 Almonds
  • ½ Banana
  • 1 tbsp Cacao Nibs
  • 1tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp Green Coffee Bean
  • ½ Vanilla Bean Extract
  • Pinch of Himalayan Salt
  • 2 Scoops of Morellifit Protein

Directions:

Combine your ingredients together in a blender and blend until smooth.

HOW DOES THIS SHAKE IMPROVE YOUR WORKOUT?

This is a great pre-workout shake that will help you burn fat for hours after your workout. This is a thermogenic, metabolic shake that helps to increase your heart rate and get you ready for your workout.

One of the most important ingredients in this shake is the cold brew coffee and if you know me, then you know coffee is my go to pre-workout. Caffeine is one of the most underutilized products on the market in terms of getting ready for a workout. Caffeine has so many benefits. We all know that it helps to provide energy, but it also helps to burn fat. Studies have shown that it increases fat burning in the body and last up to 6 hours after ingestion. This means that you will continue to burn fat for hours after your workout. Plus caffeine has been shown to decrease post-workout pain by up to 46% [1, 2, 3].

Other important ingredients in this shake include the cacao nibs and raw almonds, both of which are superfoods. The cacao nibs give the shake a nice chocolate flavor and a bit of added texture, but it also provides an added boost of antioxidants, fat loss, and helps to maintain muscle [4, 5].

The almonds, along with the coconut oil, are healthy fats that are used for sustainable energy so you can push through your entire workout to the end. These healthy fats also help to burn fat, promoting the thermogenic effect. Studies have shown that including coconut oil into your diet can help you burn more fat, leading to more effective weight loss [6, 7].

The banana in the shake helps to give you an extra boost of energy with carbs and natural sugars. Bananas don’t just provide excellent nutrition and added energy for exercising, but studies show that they may also help to prevent muscle cramps from developing [8, 9].

Plus, with the addition of our grass-fed protein, you can enhance performance in the gym, support muscle development, and boost your recovery time.

Want to know why we insist on using grass-fed whey? What you put in your body matters and if the cows are eating sub-par ingredients, then you are too.

This is a great shake that is both delicious and perfect for an all natural pre-workout snack. It will get you ready to make the most of your gym time, provide you with energy to make it through your entire workout, and help you lose weight.

Use this shake to boost your fat loss by continuing to burn fat long after you have finished your workout. I know you are working hard every day to get to your goals and when you get to the gym, you give it your all, so use a pre-workout snack that will continue to work for you even after you’ve stopped. 

We talk a lot about health. We talk about how to keep your heart healthy, your gut healthy, your liver, and even your skin healthy. How to stay healthy is a big topic that is widely discussed and you can hardly go anywhere without having some product being promoted to improve your health.

With all this talk about health, there is one subject that is hardly touched upon and that is mental health. Whether it is because of the stigma associated with it or because it is something that we aren’t “supposed to talk about,” it is often left out of the discussion. When people think of mental health, they don’t equate it as being the same as a physical illness. It is seen as something that you can just “turn off” or something that only people with low willpower experience. The fact is, none of these things are true.

In this blog, you’ll discover:

  • How common mental illness really is
  • What foods you can use to combat some of the most prominent mental illnesses
  • Foods that make mental illness worse
  • How supplements can help with mental illness

While most mental illnesses are not completely understood and the exact causes are hard to pin down, we do know that there are a variety of factors that come into play. Mental illness is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, psychological, and environmental factors, rather than a defective characteristic within an individual. Many disorders can be attributed to an imbalance in chemicals, or neurotransmitters, in the brain that help nerve cells communicate with one another. In short, illness can be caused by a lack of communication within the brain, beyond the control of the sufferer.

 

MENTAL ILLNESS IS RARE, RIGHT?

One of the misconceptions about mental disorders and illnesses is that they are rare when in truth, they are very common. This misconception comes from the lack of discussion and the lack of understanding.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 43 million Americans are affected by mental illness every year [1]. That is 1 in 5 people. That is more than cancer, diabetes, and heart disease [2]. This means, chances are either you or someone close to you suffers from a mental disorder, whether you know it or not.

When it comes to mental illness, depression and anxiety are two of the most common disorders. When we talk about other forms of illness, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, one of the first things we turn to is our nutrition and the impact that it can have on our health.

“How can we improve it so that we are at a lower risk of developing one of these diseases?”

“What foods can help me manage an illness that I already have?”

“How can I more naturally battle my illness?”

These are some of the questions we ask ourselves, so why should mental health be any different? There are ways we can use our nutrition to better ourselves mentally. Through nutrition and proper supplementation, you can better improve your overall mental health and improve the symptoms of depression and anxiety. These foods can help relieve symptoms of certain mental illnesses and improve overall mental health. 

 

5 FOODS THAT IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH

  • Sweet Potato  

The sweet potato, when eaten the right way, can help boost your mood because it is loaded with vitamin B6, promoting the enzymes that are responsible for producing the mood-regulating neurotransmitter, dopamine [3].

Research has found a correlation between low levels of B6 and symptoms of depression and by adding B6 to your diet, you can help alleviate these symptoms [4, 5].

When eating sweet potatoes you want to avoid making them into the popular candied versions we eat during Thanksgiving. Instead, try baking them and adding a little bit of grass-fed butter. Or, you can try one of the many natural recipes found in the Sweet Potato Diet.

⚡ Related: Learn the Top Health Benefits of the Sweet Potato

  • Salmon

The reason salmon is so great for someone suffering from a mental illness like depression is that it is full of omega-3 fatty acids. Just 3 oz of salmon more than fulfills our daily recommended amount.

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce the symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder. Research shows that a daily dose of omega-3 cause a decrease in depression over time, with some patients seeing up to a 50% decrease [4, 6].

Salmon is also high in tryptophan, an amino acid that is responsible for the creation of serotonin. A lack of serotonin, as well as dopamine, have been associated with low mood and aggression [4].

  • Spinach

Spinach, along with other dark leafy greens, contains high amounts of folate acid, which can be beneficial if you are suffering from depression. Studies have found that people with depression generally have lower blood folate levels than those who are healthy. On average, the difference is about 25% less [4].

  • Berries

Eating berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are all great at fighting depression due to their high levels of antioxidants. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine found that patients treated with antioxidants found a dramatic drop in their depression [7].

  • Oysters

Oysters have among the highest levels of zinc and this can help those who suffer from depression. Low zinc levels have been long associated with depression. The consumption of zinc has been proven to increase the effectiveness of therapy, while also protecting brain cells against damage from free radicals [8, 9].

 

FOODS TO AVOID

Providing your brain with good nutrition is a great way to manage your mental health, but it is also just as important what you don’t eat.

The first thing you want to avoid is processed food. Many ingredients found in processed foods, including sugar and artificial additives, promote depression, anxiety, and other forms of mental illnesses.

Keeping your mental health in check starts with eating whole foods that are all-natural and free of artificial ingredients. If you are having trouble knowing what to eat, sign up for a Custom Meal Plan, where you can be sure you are eating a diet of whole foods and you can even specifically ask for the 5 foods above to be included in your plan.

SUPPLEMENTATION

Taking a supplement that supports brain health, such as Thrive, can help to promote mental health, as some of the natural ingredients can have a positive, mood-boosting effect. Thrive has three ingredients, specifically, that have been found to improve symptoms of depression and anxiety, including, Skullcap, Ginseng Root, and Ashwagandha [10, 11, 12].

Another way to supplement for your mental health is by taking Krill Oil. Salmon is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, but not everyone likes the taste of fish, or you want to be sure to get enough Omega-3’s every day, without being on a diet full of fish. Simply take a Krill Oil every day and get all the benefits you would get from eating salmon.

 

Here in America, we rely on the FDA to approve ingredients and chemicals used in our foods and determine whether or not it is safe for our consumption, but just how trusting should we be? After all, they wouldn’t knowingly approve something that could potentially hurt you right?

Unfortunately, there are many ingredients that are approved here in the U.S. and found in common food items that are otherwise banned throughout the rest of the world.

These ingredients are often used by companies in order to make their product more appealing, last longer, or to make it cheaper to keep the animals that will be used for food. Most of this is an effort to produce food more cheaply and increase profit.

In this post, you will learn:

What food additives are banned throughout the world, but in the US

  • Why specific countries have banned these ingredients
  • How consuming these products affects us
  • Ways you can avoid consuming these toxic ingredients

There are many questionable things that the FDA has allowed to be included in the foods we buy and consume while at the same time many other countries around the world ban them, leading you to question just how dangerous some of these ingredients are. Are other countries just being overly cautious or are they things we really should be avoiding?

WHAT FOODS ARE OK IN THE U.S.? AND WHERE ARE THEY BANNED?

Artificial Food Colorings

These dyes are found in most processed and non-organic foods that are sold to us, yet at the same time, they are banned in most European countries, including France, Finland, Norway, UK, and Austria. In fact, many American companies remove the dyes and replace them with natural ingredients when selling to these countries. Two of the most well-known companies to do this are Mars and McDonalds.

M&M’s, owned by the parent company Mars, sells Americans candies full of artificial dyes such as Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40, while the European candies are made from natural food colorings.

Another big company that is guilty of this is McDonald’s. This famous fast food chain uses artificial dyes in foods like their strawberry shake, while in Europe the company uses real strawberries to color and flavor their strawberry shake.

Artificial dyes have been banned throughout Europe for the negative side effects it can have. Not only has it raised concerns in relation to allergies and cancer, but it is also known to contribute to hyperactivity and ADHD in children [1].

Growth Hormones rBGH and rBST

These growth hormones are mostly used on cattle raised on factory farms in order to produce more milk, but questions have been raised whether or not these added hormones affect the people who consume beef or dairy products that come from animals treated with growth hormones. This is a highly controversial debate with inconclusive research that has been going on for decades. Some early research pointed to links between rBST and the development of many cancers, including breast cancer and prostate cancer [2].

This is one of the reasons many countries, including New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Japan, Israel, Argentina, and Europe have banned the use of these growth hormones in cows. The only concern isn’t just whether people are consuming these hormones, but also the effect it can have on the cows themselves. In 1999 the European Union effectively banned the use of rBST in cows, citing concerns for animal welfare. Cows treated with these hormones tend to have a higher rate of mastitis, an infection of the udders, and foot problems, both of which are debilitating to the animal [3].

When so many countries are banning a hormone deemed unsafe for the animal and questionable for human consumption. It is because of reasons like this that Morellifit sources its whey protein from cows in New Zealand, who has some of the strictest regulations on dairy cows. This is how you know there are no added hormones in your protein.

Antibiotics in Meat

When you think of antibiotics, you don’t think of something that is harmful, but rather medicine that is used to make someone better. But antibiotics are being pumped into the animals that are raised to become food. The reasons for giving animals antibiotics is normally due to the poor conditions the animals are raised in that cause them to be sick. These antibiotics are found in factory farmed beef, salmon, and poultry. The debate on whether antibiotics are safe to use, and why some places like Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union, is not just about the deeper mistreatment of the animals, which can lead to the need for antibiotics, the but affects it can have overall on the human population. When antibiotics are overused, bacteria can evolve to resist the medication, making it ineffective and treatment more difficult [4]. This is another reason Morellifit sources the whey used in its protein from New Zealand, in order to ensure there is no use of antibiotics in the cows.

Drinks with Brominated Vegetable Oil, BVO

So many drinks in the U.S. are made with brominated vegetable oil and it is added to sports drinks and citrus-flavored sodas in order to ensure that the fruity flavor remains mixed in the drink. Too many big brand named drinks use BVO, such as Mountain Dew, Squirt, Fanta Orange, Sunkist Pineapple, Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange, Powerade Strawberry Lemonade, and Fresca Original Citrus.

The problem with BVO are the effects it can have on the health of the people who consumed it. One study shows how BVO not only remains in the human body after consumption, but it builds up over time, even remaining for a time after consumption has stopped [5]. This can have unhealthy side effects, especially if over consumed. An article published in The New England Journal of Medicine discusses the case of a man who drank 8 liters of Squirt every day, which resulted in the development of ulcers on his hands which had swelled. Once cut off of Squirt, his hands returned to normal [6]. Other side effects include thyroid issues, cancer, autoimmune disease, organ damage, and birth defects. These are the reasons BVO has been banned in over 100 countries, including throughout Europe and Japan.

Olestra/Olean

Olestra is a sucrose polyester blend with the properties of fat, without the calories, trans fat, or cholesterol. This fat substitute is found in fat-free foods, and also some high-fat foods, such as chips, all over the U.S. In fact, the FDA at one point demanded that products containing Olestra be labeled and that it may cause cramping and loose stools, but removed the mandate in 2003 after deciding it was unnecessary. In a particular study involving rats, one group was fed chips cooked in olestra, while the other consumed chips that were not. The conclusion was that rats who consumed the olestra chips gained much more weight than the rats that ate the chips not cooked in olestra [7].

This fat substitute is banned throughout the European Union and Canada due to its negative health effects on people who consume products made with it. Popular foods, including Lay’s and Pringles, still use it here in the U.S.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US?

It makes you wonder why so many countries ban certain ingredients in their food and their livestock, yet the FDA has considered it to be safe for our consumption. This is where it is important for you to know what you are putting into your body.

Just because something is on the shelf at the local grocery store, doesn’t mean it is completely safe for you to eat or drinks. The best way to avoid this is to eat whole foods that are not processed. When eating meat, go for brands that are known to not use artificial hormones or antibiotics when raising their animals. When it comes to beef, you want to make sure that your cows come from grass-fed farms for better quality and taste. 

⚡ Related: Learn what highly controversial pesticide is being sprayed on your food

When you are buying fruits or vegetables, try to buy organic, or at least follow the dirty dozen rule to avoid certain chemicals that may be used on the crops.

And of course, when you purchase supplements, follow the same rules. It is best to avoid supplements made with artificial ingredients, colors, and sweeteners, and to go with a protein made from grass-fed cows that are free of artificial hormones and antibiotics. Whatever the supplement is, whether it is BCAAs or Protein, it should be free of all of these ingredients.

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