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Archives for September 2017

Egg Sensitivities – How Do You Know if You Have Them

Eggs are a great source of nutrition and a food that should be included in your diet. In the past eggs have gotten a bad rap and we were told that we should stay away from them because they would cause our cholesterol to increase. It is true that eating whole eggs cause your cholesterol to go up, to typically only impacts the good cholesterol, HDL.

Eating whole eggs has a variety of benefits, including improving your cholesterol levels. They are among the most nutritious foods you can consume, so it would be reasonable for everyone wants to include them in their diet. After all, they taste great and are used to make so many different types of foods, and if you are trying to avoid eggs, you have to be cautious about the foods you buy.

But why would you want to avoid them? Could you possibly be sensitive to them? Or intolerant to them? Or could you be allergic to them?

Although eggs are highly nutritious, there are many people who can’t consume them due to sensitivity, intolerance, or even allergies. There are also many people who may not realize they have one of these conditions, whether it be because eggs have never been a staple in their diet or the symptoms are light, and they brush it off. Eggs are everywhere, and you could be consuming them without even knowing it.

Knowing whether or not you should be consuming eggs is good to know, otherwise, you could end up doing harm when it could easily be prevented.

In this post, you’ll learn…

  • The difference between sensitivity, intolerance, and allergy
  • Why you should tell your doctor of your allergy or intolerance
  • Surprising foods eggs hide in
  • Best egg alternative hacks

EGG SENSITIVITY

Although many people would consider an egg sensitivity and intolerance to be the same, like when referring to gluten intolerance, I am including it in its own category because of the effect it has on cholesterol for some people.

For most people, consuming whole eggs raises their good cholesterol, HDL, but for some people, who are more sensitive, it can also raise their LDL or their bad cholesterol. About 30% of the population will see a small rise in their LDL, and if you already have high cholesterol levels, you may want just to consume egg whites, which don’t have any cholesterol and leave out the yolks [1].

If you have had issues with your cholesterol in the past and are eating whole eggs, be sure to check in with your doctor to make sure your LDL remains at a healthy level, otherwise, you may want to reconsider your yolk consumption.

EGG INTOLERANCE

While some people are sensitive to eggs and the yolk can negatively affect their cholesterol, people who are intolerant should not consume them because they have a difficult time digesting them. This can cause many unpleasant side effects.  

If you are egg intolerant, you may notice that your symptoms are not sudden, nor are they always the same. You may eat a little bit of egg and be fine, and another time eat a lot and be sick.

You may not even be intolerant to the entire egg. Some people have an intolerance to the yolk, while most people have an intolerance to the egg white. This means, if you are intolerant to the yolk only, you can still make many egg recipes using only egg whites.

People who are intolerant to eggs may see the following symptoms [2]:

  • Nausea
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain/cramping
  • Headaches
  • Acne
  • Heartburn
  • Joint pain
  • Difficulty breathing

EGG ALLERGY

An egg allergy is different than an intolerance, and the two are often confused. Unlike an intolerance, where the body has a hard time digesting and absorbing the nutrition from the food, an allergy draws an immune response from the body. In this case, the immune system mistakes the proteins in the eggs as harmful and responds by releasing histamines.  

Egg allergies are one of the most common allergies in children, although most grow out of it. It is estimated that 2% of children are born with egg allergies, but only 30% of those children carry that allergy into adulthood. Those who do can be allergic to either the egg whites, the yolk, or both [3].

Unlike an intolerance, the symptoms come on suddenly, rather than gradually. If you are experiencing an allergy you could see these following symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sneezing
  • Runny Nose
  • Watery Eyes
  • Skin irritations (rash, hives, swelling)
  • Diarrhea
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Difficulty breathing

EGGS IN VACCINES? 

If you have an allergic reaction or intolerance to eggs, be sure to let your doctor know, especially before receiving a vaccination. When asked about allergic reactions at the doctor’s office, most people think of medication, but an egg allergy can be just as important as many vaccines contain eggs.

Receiving a vaccine with eggs in it could result in various reactions and symptoms from the above lists. If you are allergic to eggs, this does not mean that you will miss out on the vaccine as most clinics are prepared for and equipped to deal with allergic reactions to the vaccine [4].

SURPRISING PLACES EGGS MAY BE HIDING

Vaccines aren’t the only place eggs can be hiding, and they are also often found many common foods that we either forget are made with eggs, or we don’t expect. Here are some places eggs may be hiding:

  • Pudding
  • Baked goods
  • Battered and fried foods
  • Mayonnaise and other condiments
  • Ice cream
  • Caesar salad
  • Egg substitutes
  • Some cappuccinos (ask your barista if your cappuccino is made with eggs)
  • Marshmallows
  • Many candy bars
  • Meatloaf/meatballs
  • Pasta
  • Frosting
  • Soufflés

Eggs can also be hiding under various names, as many products use egg proteins. If you are trying to avoid eggs, keep an eye out for the following names:

  • Vitellin
  • Livetin
  • Lysozyme
  • Simplesse
  • Lecithin
  • Globulin
  • Albumen/albumin
  • Ovalbumin
  • Ovovitellin

If you are sensitive, intolerant or allergic to eggs, knowing what foods they are hiding it can be tricky as it seems they are everywhere. This is where a Custom Meal Plan can help. If you are trying to get to a specific goal and trying to avoid eggs, let your nutritionist know that you cannot have eggs and they will be able to create a plan that will help you get to your goals and ensure that you stay away from eggs.

TOP HACKS FOR EGG REPLACEMENTS

If you cannot eat eggs, this does not mean that you can never enjoy the foods that typically contain eggs. Unless found at a vegan store or restaurant, or you are purchasing a vegan product, chances are you will have to make your own alternatives to various foods.

Here are some of the best alternatives you can use instead of eggs:

  1. Chia and flax seeds – This is a great replacement in baked cooks, such as cakes and cookies. To replace the egg, grind your seeds and use 1 tablespoon mixed with 3 tablespoons of water for every egg needed. For example, if you need 2 eggs, you will want to use 2 tablespoons of ground chia or flax seeds and 6 tablespoons of water. Mix these together and put them in the fridge for 15 minutes before adding to your recipe.
  2. Fruit puree – Fruit puree is a great substitute for eggs in baked goods. Keep in mind, however, that it will add additional flavor to your recipe so plan accordingly. For every egg in a recipe, use ¼ cup of fruit puree. Keep in mind this will add sweetness to your recipe.
  3. Banana – Instead of eggs in baked goods, bananas are a good alternative. Bananas are not only a good egg alternative, but also a good alternative to fruit because it will be less sweet. If you are watching your macros, keep in mind that bananas are also a carb, so plan accordingly. To replace eggs, take a ripe banana, mash it and use ¼ cup for every egg that is called for.
  4. Applesauce – This is another alternative to use in baked goods, but be sure to keep it healthy by using unsweetened applesauce with no added sugar. To use this as a replacement, add ¼ cup of applesauce for every egg needed in a recipe. Keep in mind that even without sugar, this may make your recipe a bit sweeter.
  5. Baking Soda and Vinegar – This is a good alternative if you are trying to avoid the sweetness that comes with using fruit puree, banana, or applesauce. Use 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of vinegar for every egg that is needed in your recipe.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT SENSITIVITY, INTOLERANCE, OR ALLERGY

If you think you may have an egg sensitivity, intolerance, or allergy, stop eating eggs and talk to your doctor. They will be able to test your cholesterol and let you know whether or not you should avoid eggs. They will also be able to test you to see if you have an allergy to them.

If you are getting on a meal plan, whether you are looking to lose weight or gain muscle, let your nutritionist know of your suspicions, and they can remove any foods with eggs from your plan until you are cleared by your doctor. This way you don’t have to worry if you are going to unknowingly consume them.

Knowing whether or not you can safely eat eggs is important to know. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, talk to your doctor to be sure that it is eggs are the cause, as it can also be a symptom of other underlying issued. In the meantime, remove eggs from your diet to be safe.

3 Ways to Make Egg Whites Taste Great

If you are sensitive to egg yolks, or your LDL (bad cholesterol) is high, then you may be trying to stay away from egg yolks and are eating egg whites instead.

We are all on different journeys, trying to reach different goals and we want to make sure that no matter what journey you are on, you are doing it the best you can and that you enjoy your journey as much as possible.

Many complain that they don’t like to eat egg whites because they don’t taste as good as the whole egg.

But this could just mean you aren’t preparing them right.

Here are three egg white recipes that are so delicious, you don’t miss the yolk!

And if you are eating whole eggs, you may just want to give these a try anyway, so you aren’t missing out.

EGG WHITE OMELET 

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites
  • ½ cup chopped spinach
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup diced tomato
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Heat your skillet over medium heat and add your olive oil, letting it coat the bottom of the pan.
  2. Sautee your onions in your pan until they begin to become translucent.
  3. Add your spinach and tomatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Add your egg whites into the pan and cover your pan.
  5. Let cook until your eggs are cooked fully through.
  6. Once your eggs are cooked through, slide your omelet from your pan onto a plate, folding the eggs over as you transfer them.

Makes 1 serving

Macros
Calories – 118
Fat – 5g
Carbs – 7g
Protein – 12.3g

EGG WHITE BREAKFAST BOWL 

Ingredients:

  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400º. Add your olive oil to a baking pan so that it covers the bottom.
  2. Add your diced sweet potato and season with salt. Bake for 15 minutes, flip and back for another 10, or until your sweet potatoes are brown on the sides.
  3. Remove your sweet potatoes from the oven.
  4. Coat the bottom of your skillet with olive oil and heat over medium high on your stove.
  5. Once hot, add your onions and cook until they are soft. Add your bell pepper and let cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add your egg whites and cook for 5 – 7 minutes, or until your eggs are fully cooked. Season with your garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  7. Add your sweet potato to your skillet and mix your ingredients together.
  8. Remove from heat and serve with two bowls (or pack one for later).
  9. Top your bowls with your diced avocado and sprinkle with paprika.

Makes 2 servings

Macros
Calories – 264
Fats – 6g
Carbs – 35g
Protein – 19g

SOUTHWEST EGG WHITE FRITTATA

Ingredients:

  • 7 egg, large, whites only
  • 1 tomato, Roma, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your broiler
  2. Coat a nonstick, oven-safe skillet with your olive oil.
  3. Play over medium heat and add your onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell pepper and cook for about 4 minutes, or until your veggies are soft, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add your garlic powder.
  5. Spread your veggies in an even layer in the pan.
  6. Pour your egg whites over the veggies and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  7. Cook on low heat for 1 minute.
  8. Place your skillet under the broiler for about 2 minutes or until your eggs are cooked through.
  9. Remove from broiler and top your dish with black olives, green onions, and avocado slices.
  10. Cut into 4 slices and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Macros
Calories – 90
Fats – 4g
Carbs – 3.5g
Protein – 6.5g

These recipes are the perfect start to your day. Plus, we included the macros so you can easily fit them into your Custom Meal Plan without worrying about sabotaging your goals. Try them out and let us know which one is your favorite!

And be sure to follow us on Instagram so you can make these and share them with us on your feed, using the hashtag #morellifit

Why Eggs Cause High Cholesterol

We are all told to beware of eggs because they can cause high cholesterol, but does this mean we should really cut out eggs from our diet? After all, they are also an excellent source of protein and very nutritious.

Eggs are actually among the most nutritious foods you can consume, so keeping them in your diet can be highly beneficial, especially when it comes to your cholesterol.

Much of the fear of eggs and egg yolks originates from the lack of understanding of cholesterol. As most people understand it, cholesterol is what contributes to heart disease and increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. But it is a bit more complicated than this.

In this blog, you’ll see…

  • What cholesterol really is
  • How eggs impact cholesterol
  • Top benefits of eating eggs
  • What negative effects eggs can really have
  • How eggs got their bad rap

WHAT IS CHOLESTEROL?

For most people, cholesterol is a dirty work and the last thing you would want to raise. We are all so worried about having high cholesterol but how well do we really understand it?

Cholesterol is a type of fat that is carried through your bloodstream, and while fat is usually something we see as negative, it actually has some benefits to our body. Cholesterol is produced by the liver, and we also get it from animal products that we consume, and it is used to produce hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol.

There are two types of cholesterol, the good and the bad.

The other type of cholesterol is what you should be concerned about. This cholesterol is known as LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, and is what raises your risk of heart disease. This is the cholesterol you do not want to rise. This cholesterol sticks to the walls of your arteries and can prevent proper blood flow. This process is what leads to complications.

The good cholesterol is referred to as HDL or high-density lipoprotein. This cholesterol helps to remove the bad cholesterol from your system and helps lower your risk of heart disease.

You have probably also heard the term “Total cholesterol” and what this refers to is the sum of your HDL, LDL, and your triglycerides, which are not a type of cholesterol but often are associated with having bad cholesterol levels.

Having healthy cholesterol isn’t just about having a low about of LDL, but having a good balance between LDL and HDL. A good balance means having more HDL than LDL in your arteries, and the last thing you want is to have high levels of LDL and low levels of HDL.

Much of your cholesterol is determined by the foods that you eat and eating a balanced diet of whole foods, like the ones on our Custom Meal Plans, are a great place to start to keep your cholesterol balanced.

DO EGGS RAISE CHOLESTEROL 

When we think of cholesterol, we too often look at it in a negative view.

It is true that eggs can cause high cholesterol, but what is overlooked is that there is good and bad cholesterol and it is essential to the overall function of the body.

Our body needs cholesterol to produce hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol.

Eggs, or the yolks, in particular, have a high amount of cholesterol that was believed to contribute to heart disease, raising a person’s risk of heart attack.

Although there is a significant amount of cholesterol in the egg yolk, it mostly impacts our HDL or the good cholesterol.

Studies have shown that most people who eat up to 3 eggs every day, see a spike in their HDL, while their LDL, or the bad cholesterol, remains the same [1, 2].

These studies show that while this is the result for most people, there were a few that did see a slight rise in their LDL. It is these people that would have to be more cautious when consuming eggs [3, 4].

You also was to make sure that no matter which group you fall in, you are limiting your egg consumption.

TOP BENEFITS OF EGGS

  • Weight loss – Eggs are great if you are trying to lose weight as they also help to keep you full and satiated, so you don’t overeat. This can help you consume fewer calories and lose weight quicker [5, 6].
  • Brain Health – This protein source is great for the health of your brain due to its high amounts of choline, a nutrient that supports brain development, memory, and focus [7, 8, 9].
  • Maintain Muscle – Consuming eggs, and other animal-based proteins can help you maintain muscle, especially as your body begins to age [10].
  • Supports Healthy Cholesterol – As you’ve read, eggs get a bad rap when it comes to cholesterol, and unless you are sensitive to them, they are a great addition to your diet and can improve your overall cholesterol.
  • Lowers Risk of Heart Disease – Yes, you read that right, eating eggs can actually help reduce your risk of heart disease, rather than raise it. Eggs help to lift up your HDL, which is known to protect against heart attack and stroke [11].
  • Protein on a Budget – While this isn’t entirely a health benefit, it is beneficial because eggs are among the cheapest sources of quality protein. You really get your money’s worth with this food!

NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS OF TOO MANY EGGS

Although there seems to be no harm in consuming at least three eggs a day, there is evidence that too many eggs, or rather egg yolks, can be bad for you, especially if you are one of the few who is more sensitive to eggs and see a change in your LDL.

If you are one of these people, you will want to limit your intake of whole eggs. The majority of bad side effects, such as high LDL, may actually not be the result of the eggs themselves, but rather the result of the way we prepare them and the foods that are typically consumed alongside them.

HOW DID EGGS GET A BAD REPUTATION?

For years we have been warned that eating eggs and consuming the yolk is bad for our health. We are told that they are fattening, skyrocket our cholesterol and raise your risk of having a heart attack.

And while eggs can help us lose weight, the warning about cholesterol was only half right. Studies conducted over the past 40 years show that yes, eggs do contribute to high cholesterol, but not the wrong kind.

And they can even lower your risk of heart disease, so how did it get this way?

Think about the foods that are typically eaten with bacon and how eggs are often prepared. This has a lot to do with the higher risks of heart disease in people who consume eggs, making the relationship between eggs and heart disease a correlation, not causation.

Eggs are typically prepared for breakfast, alongside greasy foods like sausage and bacon. Too often, the eggs are often cooked in butter or bacon grease. When eaten all together, this is what can raise your bad cholesterol and leave a person at a greater risk of heart disease.

Your overall diet, and how you prepare your foods, can have an enormous impact on your health and it is not just reliant upon one food in particular. To ensure that you are eating a well-balanced diet, with or without eggs, sign up for a Custom Meal Plan where we create a nutrition plan for you based on your likes and what your individual body needs.

When you eat according to your body, you are more likely to have better control over your health, including your cholesterol levels. It will also help you lose fat, which alone will improve your cholesterol levels.

The bottom line? Don’t give up whole eggs just yet, as they can be incredibly nutritious, but limit the amount to you consume every day to keep your LDL low, especially if you know you are sensitive to eggs.

If you are concerned that you may be sensitive to eggs and have high levels of LDL, switch out your whole eggs for egg whites. When prepared right, egg whites can be just as tasty and satisfying as whole eggs.

And if you are wanting to only eat egg white and are on a Custom Meal Plan, feel free to let us know when you fill out your questionnaire, this way we can work them into your plan, rather than whole eggs. 

Top 10 Gluten Free Swaps

If you are working hard to improve your overall health and quality of life, one thing you need to start doing if you haven’t yet is to start to remove gluten from your life.

And this doesn’t mean you should go run out and buy the gluten-free version of your favorite foods. If you are eating processed foods and pick up the gluten-free version, this doesn’t make it healthier and can even make them more unhealthy as companies try to replace the gluten with even more harmful ingredients.

The best way to avoid gluten is to eat a diet of whole foods, just like most of the foods we put on our Custom Meal Plans. If you are trying to avoid gluten, just let us know, and we’ll make sure to make you a plan that is entirely gluten-free, yet still full of fantastic tasting meals that will get you to your goals.

But, because gluten is naturally occurring, eating all natural foods and grains can still contain gluten.

TOP GLUTEN-FREE SWAPS

  1. Pasta – Who doesn’t like pasta? It’s it always one of the top foods that people miss when they start eating healthy and when they cut out gluten, so the best thing to do is to find something to replace it. Just because you are living a better lifestyle that is healthier, doesn’t mean you can never have pasta again if you replace the noodles with better ingredients.

Swap – Zoodles (zucchini strings) and spaghetti squash are great alternatives to gluten-filled past. They taste great with marinara sauce and protein toppings, but you don’t get the gluten and instead get a nice serving of vegetables.

  1. Bread – Bread is everywhere and if you’ve made the switch to gluten-free, or even just eating better, this may be the food you miss because we use it everywhere. Often, you are served bread before a meal, you eat toast for breakfast, or you eat it with your hamburger. Some people include bread in every single meal that they eat, even though it isn’t good for us.

Swap – Sweet potato toast is the perfect replacement for your morning breakfast. Just slice your sweet potatoes, so the slices are ¼ inch thick and place in the toast, allowing them to cook until they are cooked through. You may need to toast them 3-4 times until they are done, but then just put butter, almond butter, or avocado on it.

  1. Flour – Most traditional flour is made from wheat, which contains gluten. Flour is a top ingredient in baked goods and some dishes.

Swap: Almond flour – Almond flour is a great alternative to flour made of wheat. It is easy to use and does not contain gluten, so it is the perfect swap!

  1. Tortillas – So how can you have Taco Tuesday without tortillas?

Swap – Lettuce or use cassava and coconut tortillas! Lettuce cups or pieces of chard are a great alternative to gluten-filled tortillas, or if you really want a tortilla, go with a cassava and coconut tortilla.

  1. Salad Dressings – Too many salad dressings have gluten in them, as they are put in as a thickening agent. Unless your dressing is all natural AND gluten-free, you may want to think twice.

SwapHomemade salad dressings are the best. Not only can you control everything that is put it in, but you can be sure it will be gluten-free.

  1. Granola – Granola is not a product that you regularly see and automatically think gluten, but because most granola contains a lot of oats, it is often contaminated by gluten. When purchasing granola, be sure you grab one that is gluten-free.

Swap – All natural granola that is gluten-free, or make your own granola using gluten-free oats, or just make it oat-free.

  1. Oatmeal – While oats themselves do not contain gluten, they are typically processed in the same facility as wheat. This means that oats have a high rate of contamination and if you have celiac disease or a gluten allergy, this can be problematic. 

Swap – Swap your oatmeal for gluten-free oats and make your oatmeal from scratch. These can be processed in a facility that is contaminated with gluten. When buying your oats, make sure that they say they are gluten-free. If you are unsure about the product, reach out to the company to make certain.

  1. Crackers – Most crackers that are sold on the shelves contain gluten, and those that don’t are usually so heavily processed to the point where you shouldn’t be eating them. Try something all natural and gluten-free.

SwapMary’s Gone Crackers are a great alternative to traditional crackers and are made with all organic ingredients, plus they are also vegan!

  1. Cookies – If you haven’t switched to whole foods yet, then you are probably eating cookies made with gluten. This is also the case with any baked goods that may be made with flour.

Swap – Try making your own cookies from almond flour or other, natural, gluten-free ingredients. This way you know just what is in them.

  1. Cereal – Most of us grew up on cereal, and if you have kids, you may be feeding it to them as well. There are so many things wrong with the fun packs of cereals that line the shelves at the grocery store, as they contain a lot of artificial ingredients, tons of sugar, and a lot of gluten. Even natural cereal without the added sugars still may contain gluten.

Swap – Gluten-free rice cakes are a great alternative to traditional cereal. They come gluten-free, and it is so easy to turn it into a delicious cereal. Just break up the rice cakes, add some almond milk and banana. And, if you want extra flavor and protein, this tastes great with Organic Vegan Protein Superfood.  

If you are on our Custom Meal Plans, many of these foods may be familiar to you as we try to limit the amount of gluten on our meal plans, with the only exception being Ezekiel bread if you really want to have bread on your plan. Otherwise, just let us know you want a gluten-free meal plan, and we can turn both the Custom Meal Plans and our Shred Fast meal plans into an entirely gluten-free diet.

Gluten Intolerance and Celiac. What’s the Difference?

Over the past decade, more and more people are becoming aware of the complications that can arise from consuming gluten and we are learning that going gluten-free is more than just the latest fad.

And even though some may not entirely realize why they should be staying away from gluten, they are beginning to understand that some people are more sensitive to it than others. Some people appear outwardly to tolerate it just fine, while others become really ill.

There are two misconceptions when it comes to needing to be on a gluten-free diet. The first is that only people with celiac disease can’t have gluten and the other misconception is that everyone else that is gluten-free is only doing it because it is trendy.

The reality is that celiac disease is not the only reason many people avoid gluten. A much more common condition than celiac disease is gluten intolerance.

While everyone can benefit from avoiding or limiting gluten, as it can damage your gut and cause bloating, some people need to avoid it altogether to risk becoming ill.

If you feel sick after eating gluten, then there is a chance you are either gluten intolerant or have celiac disease.

Keep in mind that if you are having issues eating gluten, you should see your doctor and refrain from self-diagnosing.

What you’ll learn in this post…

  • What celiac disease is
  • How celiac is different than gluten intolerance
  • If a wheat allergy could be the culprit to your illness
  • When it is time to see a doctor

WHAT IS CELIAC DISEASE 

Celiac disease is a severe autoimmune disorder with no cure and is controlled through a strict gluten-free diet.

When someone with celiac eats gluten, their body sends out an automatic immune response that attacks their small intestines. The small intestines contain small fingerlike structures that help to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream, and when a person who has celiac eats gluten, their immune system can destroy these little structures, interfering with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients properly.

Celiac disease is a genetic disorder that can be triggered by the consumption of gluten. This is a genetic disorder than can develop at any age.

Currently, the only way to treat celiac disease is through a strict gluten-free diet, avoiding even the smallest amount. If left untreated, more issues can occur, such as type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, skin rash, anemia, osteoporosis, intestinal cancer, epilepsy, and migraines [1].

If you think you may have celiac disease, see a healthcare professional before self-diagnosing.

WHAT IS GLUTEN INTOLERANCE

Gluten intolerance, or more commonly known as gluten sensitivity, is different than celiac disease although they do share many of the same symptoms, such as bloating, constipation, headaches, joint pain, and diarrhea.

This condition is less understood than celiac disease, often leading many people to self-diagnose and misdiagnose themselves. Because there is so much of this that goes around, it makes many people question whether or not this is a real condition or something people think they have because gluten-free has become the newest “thing.” Much of the misdiagnosis occurs when someone associates their ailments with gluten when there are many different things that could be the real culprit. This does an injustice to those who suffer from gluten intolerance, making it harder for them to reach out for help.

If you think you have a gluten intolerance, it is important to see a professional so you can ensure that there is not another underlying issue that you could be missing (2).

WHAT IS A GLUTEN ALLERGY

If you are having issues eating gluten, there could be a third culprit, and that is a gluten or wheat allergy. This is actually one of the to allergies in the US and so is not uncommon. This is also why so many people have such trouble eating foods that contain gluten (3).  

If you have a gluten or wheat allergy, you may be experiencing some of the symptoms associated with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, but the culprit could be an allergic reaction. People with a gluten allergy may experience nausea, diarrhea, hives or rash, and difficulty in breathing.

If you are allergic to gluten, you will want to follow a similar strict gluten-free diet as those that have celiac disease. If you believe that you could be allergic to gluten, your doctor can perform an allergy test to confirm or dismiss your suspicions.

WHEN SHOULD YOU SEE A DOCTOR?

Almost everyone reacts to gluten negatively, whether they realize it or not as your body tries to process it. Therefore you should limit the intake of gluten in your diet. However, if you think you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, or notice a correlation between consuming products with gluten and illness or discomfort, see your doctor.

It is important to not self-diagnose yourself, something that many people try to do. You could be overlooking an entirely separate issue and it may be something else that is making you ill. In this case, it is important to know which foods you should be avoided other than gluten. If you do have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or a gluten allergy, you should know the severity so that you can take precautions. People with severe reactions may become ill with the slightest contamination.

HOW TO CONTROL YOUR GLUTEN INTAKE

If you fall into any of the categories above, then removing gluten from your diet can relieve many of your symptoms and once you do, your body and gut can start to heal themselves.

And, if you don’t fall into one of the above categories, limiting your gluten intake, or removing it from your diet, can still help your feel better overall. It can help you have a clearer mind, healthier gut and give you more energy overall.

Controlling your gluten intake is easy if you are eating a diet of whole foods. In this case, almost all of your food with be naturally gluten-free. This is where getting on a Custom Meal Plan can really help, as all of our meals are gluten-free. Of course, this doesn’t account for any contamination that may occur, and this is something that you will have to regulate if needed.

Is Gluten Free Diet Just a Fad?

Are you gluten-free?

If you are, then you are part of over 22% of Americans who now say they try to avoid gluten and prefer and an industry that brings in about 15 billion dollars every year. And this number is only projected to rise, reaching $33 billion by the year 2025 [1].

If you are not one of these people trying to avoid gluten, then you surely know someone who is trying to avoid gluten and is known for buying gluten-free alternatives.

The gluten-free label is everywhere. It lines the shelves at the grocery store, and restaurants are rushing to be able to list it on their menu. Some do it for health reasons, while others do it to cash in on the latest trend in an attempt to draw in more consumers and make more money.

So, the question becomes whether or not gluten-free is just another fad diet that is perpetuated by the food industry, or if it is something that should be taken seriously. Is this the new trend in the health space that will soon come to pass as another trend takes over or is there some truth behind this trend that we should be paying attention to?

With so many different trends and fads that invade the health space, it can be difficult to decipher what is real and what is not.

In this post, you’ll learn…

  • What gluten is and where it hides
  • Why someone would want to avoid gluten
  • Why should be avoiding gluten
  • How to limit gluten in your life

WHAT IS GLUTEN

So, what is gluten?

Gluten is a naturally occurring protein that is found in certain carbs, such as wheat, barley, rye, and triticale, a cross between wheat and rye. One of the major misconceptions of gluten is that is in all grains, but this simply isn’t true. Gluten-free grains include:

  • Sorghum
  • Millet
  • Brown and wild rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • Oats
  • Amaranth

You can also find it in many processed foods because it is added as a cheap stabilizer and thickening agent. This is another reason you should avoid processed foods as they often include harmful ingredients in them that you may not even be aware of.

Unless a package clearly states that the food is 100% gluten-free, there is a big chance the food you are eating contains gluten. If you are unsure, contact the manufacturer to double-check whether or not the food has gluten in it, naturally occurring or added.

WHY PEOPLE AVOID GLUTEN

Gluten may be a new trend, but that doesn’t mean it is just a fad and there are many reasons why people would avoid gluten. For some, gluten can be dangerous and make them very ill, while for others it can cause discomfort and inflammation.

Here are the top reasons why people avoid gluten:

  • Celiac Disease – This is one of the most well-known reasons why people avoid gluten, and it is a severe autoimmune that can affect a person’s entire life, for the rest of their life. A person with celiac disease must follow a strict diet that is entirely gluten-free. The smallest amounts of gluten can result in damage to the small intestine.
  • Gluten Sensitivity – This is the condition that is most self-diagnosed, and those that do self-diagnose are often wrong. It is because of this that gluten sensitivity has been incorrectly labeled as being a fake disease. Gluten sensitivity is not the same as celiac disease but can leave a person feeling ill after consuming it, with symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, headaches, fatigue, acne, depression, anxiety, anemia, joint pain, and brain fog. Because these symptoms are common among other illnesses, it can make it difficult to self-diagnose.
  • Wheat and Gluten Allergy – Some people can be allergic to wheat and/or gluten and consuming it can cause irritation or even be life threatening. Symptoms can include a rash, difficulty breathing, vomiting or diarrhea. This allergy can be just like any other allergy, meaning it can vary in severity and those with an allergy to wheat or gluten should avoid it at all costs. This means you should make sure the foods you are consuming are not only gluten-free but have not been contaminated by other gluten foods.
  • Weight Loss – Many people avoid gluten to lose weight, and the main reasons, so many people lose weight on a gluten-free diet is because they end up avoiding refined carbohydrates that cause weight gain in the first place.
  • Fad – While there are health reasons why gluten should be avoided, some people don’t completely understand them and jump on the “bandwagon” because it is considered trendy. These are the people that are most likely to still consume gluten now and then and eventually go back to eating gluten. These are the people who are not doing it for real health reasons, but rather because they heard it was unhealthy or that it can make them sick. These are often the people who self-diagnose themselves with a gluten related illness. The reason this is separate from those doing it for real health reasons is that they don’t exactly know why they are following this diet, just that they were told to and had likely followed other fad diets that have no health benefits and will likely do so in the future.

SHOULD I AVOID GLUTEN

There are many reasons why people avoid gluten, but does that mean you should?

You may or may not fall into one of the categories above, but that shouldn’t determine whether or not you should include gluten in your diet. As you can tell, everyone handles gluten differently and you should go on how you feel.

The fact is, most people feel pretty good on a gluten-free diet and there are good reasons for this. Gluten can cause reactions within your body, even if you do not have celiacs disease or a gluten sensitivity.

Here are some of the reactions your body can have, regardless of whether or not you an autoimmune disorder, gluten sensitivity, or wheat allergy.

  • Inflammation – Gluten can cause an inflammatory response in your gut. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to an injury, and when you consume gluten, it can cause small damage to the lining of your gut. Your body then reacts with inflammation to fight and heal this damage.
  • Increased Gut Permeability – Your will lining is responsible for controlling what nutrients get absorbed into your bloodstream and which get blocked. The inflammation caused by gluten to the lining of your gut can affect its permeability, leading to the wrong things passing through the gut lining. This is known as leaky gut.
  • Imbalanced Bacteria – Your gut contains a lot of bacteria, both good and bad and to stay healthy you need a balance of both. The consumption of gluten can throw this balance off [2].

WAYS TO AVOID GLUTEN

Becoming gluten-free can help you feel better, and if you suffer from a gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, or a wheat allergy, then you want to avoid gluten at all costs. If you don’t suffer from one of these, I would encourage you to try going gluten-free or at least cut down on your gluten intake by swapping for gluten-free alternatives, and see how you feel. Chances are, you will love the difference.

The best ways to avoid gluten are to stick to whole foods and to get on a Custom Meal Plan and let a nutritionist design a plan that will get you on a better nutritional track. Our meal plans are being made with gluten-free foods in mind. If you want to ensure you are only eating gluten-free foods, just let us know when you sign up. Getting on a meal plan and cutting the gluten out of your life can help you feel better and more energetic.

 

Best Vegan Protein – Nine Optimal Sources

If you are living a vegan lifestyle, then I am sure you’ve been asked where you get your protein. Because a vegan diet does not include meat, protein must be sourced from plant-based foods and not understand what foods provide protein or how to combine foods can lead to protein deficiency correctly.

Being on a Custom Meal Plan or a Shred Fast meal plan is the simple way to make sure you are getting enough protein from quality sources, but if you aren’t on a meal plan, knowing where to get your protein and how much you should be consuming doesn’t have to be tricky.

You can easily use a protein supplements, such as our Organic Vegan Protein Superfood, or you can also turn to whole foods to get your protein.

Here is what you’ll learn in this post…

  • How much protein the average person should consume
  • Best plant-based protein sources
  • How to eat soy products
  • Tips for selecting the right vegan protein supplement

HOW MUCH PROTEIN DO YOU NEED

Knowing how much protein you should be consuming on a daily basis is important, especially if you want to stay successful and continue on a vegan lifestyle. This means that if not consuming enough protein can lead to protein deficiency and that can cause issues with your thyroid, mood, and energy levels. Maintaining enough protein as a vegan or vegetarian is crucial for staying healthy and something that should be considered if you want to switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet.

The amount of protein that a person needs depends on many variables, such as your weight, body composition, and goals. While no one solution fits everyone, there are some basic guidelines you can begin with. Start by figuring how much protein you should be eating according to your body weight. You should be eating .5g of protein for every pound of body weight as a minimum. This will give you enough protein to be sustainable where you are at.

From here, your protein intake will change according to your goals. If you want to lose weight and burn fat quickly, increase your protein intake to .7g of protein per pound of body weight. If you are trying to build muscle, increase your protein intake to 1g of protein per pound of body weight.

For example, if you want to sustain your body weight and you currently weigh 140 pounds, you will want to consume 70 grams of protein a day. If you are trying to burn fat, increase your protein to 98g of protein a day and if you are trying to bulk, you should be consuming 140g of protein. Keep in mind if you are trying to burn fat or build muscle, you should also be working out regularly.

Try to include protein at every meal. When eating a plant based diet, your foods will have less protein in them than animal protein, and so it may be more difficult to achieve this if you are not portioning out your foods correctly. You can also use supplementation to reach your ideal protein intake.

If you are vegan or omnivore, watch the video below to learn more about protein and how you can figure out your protein intake. What counts is how much you are consuming, not just what you eat. Whether you get your protein from animal sources or protein sources, the rules are the same, and the amount of protein your body requires is the same.

BEST SOURCES OF PROTEIN FOR VEGANS

Vegans get their protein from the same places as people who are omnivores. They either get it from the foods that they eat or through supplementation.

To help increase the amount of protein you are consuming combine some of the foods to maximize the amount of protein you are getting. For example, in one meal you can include beans, rice and a side of broccoli, or make a stir-fry with chickpeas, spinach, and brown rice. Combining your protein options during every meal will help you increase your protein consumption and give you more of a variety of amino acids.

Here are some of the best and healthiest sources of protein for vegans:

  • Sprouted Beans, Lentils, and Chickpeas – These are great alternatives to animal protein and are often substituted in a meal where meat would be. The best way to eat these is to sprout them as it cuts down some of the phytates, which can interfere with your body’s ability to digest the food properly.
  • Dark Leafy Greens – The great thing about dark leafy greens is that they contain protein and you can eat as much of them as you want, without worrying about interfering with your goals.
  • Nuts and Seeds  – Nuts and seeds make a great snack to add between meals and provide a protein boost. You can also get added protein from nut butter, like almond butter. This is great because you can bake with it, eat it by itself or on a rice cake, or add it to a smoothie.
  • Fermented Tofu and Soy Products – Soy is usually something we want to avoid, but fermenting the soybean can make this a good option for protein.
  • Quinoa – Not only is quinoa a great source of protein, but it is also a good carb that you can add to your diet.
  • Avocado – Adding avocados into your diet can give you a delicious source of protein, but be careful not to over consume because it is also high in fat. Although it is considered a healthy fat, over consuming avocados can impact your goals.
  • Peas – Peas contains a good amount of protein and can easily be added to your meals, especially if you are making rice.
  • Broccoli – Love it or hate it, broccoli is a traditional vegetable that is included as a side for many meals, and luckily it contains a few grams of protein. Plus, it is one of those veggies that you don’t have to worry about over consuming.
  • Mushrooms – Mushrooms are an excellent protein source and can give the texture of meat if it is something that you miss. You can add them to your recipes or eat it by itself. They taste greatly stuffed, or simply sauteed or grilled.
  • Protein Powder – If you want to add protein to your diet, you can also use a vegan protein powder, such as our Organic Vegan Protein Superfood.

THIS IS HOW YOU EAT SOY

When picking a protein source, you should avoid soy, but there is an exception to this rule. If you are going to consume soy, make sure it is fermented.

The reason you want to avoid unfermented soy is that it can increase your risk of brain cancer, cause cognitive issues, disrupt your thyroid, cause gut health problems, and contains anti-nutrients, so your body doesn’t absorb all the nutrients from the food you are consuming.

One reason soy should be avoided is that it is hard for your body to digest. However, when you ferment the soybeans, it makes it much more digestible. Fermentation also enhances the nutrition of the soybean and increases its bioavailability.

Here are some popular fermented soy foods:

  • Miso
  • Soy sauce
  • Tempeh
  • Natto
  • Ferments tofu
  • Fermented soymilk and yogurt
  • Fermented soy protein powder

TOP VEGAN PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS

Just with animal protein supplements, there are plenty of varieties of plant-based protein powders and knowing which one you should be consuming can be difficult. And if you aren’t consuming the right protein sources, you may end up not getting enough protein. Our Organic Vegan Protein Superfood is a great source or all-natural, organic vegan protein with no artificial ingredients.

When choosing a protein supplement you want to make sure that it is going to provide not just protein, but also be healthy for you while being easily digestible. Other great types of plant-based protein powders you can get are a pea, rice, or hemp protein.

You want to make sure that your protein is clean and free of any artificial ingredients. This means no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. You also want to ensure that it does not have any soy in it as a filler.

Soy protein is one of the most popular types of protein powders for those looking for a plant-based protein, but it can have damaging side effects when consumed in the long run. As with other soy products, you want to avoid soy supplements unless it is fermented.

ENSURE YOU GET ENOUGH PROTEIN

Here at Morellifit, we like to promote health and wellness, no matter your nutritional habits. If you are living a vegan lifestyle, but want to make sure that you are getting enough protein, as well as hitting any goals you may have, then our meal plans can help you establish better eating habits.

We have created thousands of vegan meal plans to help people maintain a healthy life, lose weight and even gain muscle. No matter your journey and regardless of where you are at on that journey, we want to provide you with the tools to be successful. And if you want to add a protein supplement to your diet, be sure to check out our Organic Vegan Protein Superfood.

Three Vegan Desserts To-Die-For

Michael may not be vegan, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy eating foods that are vegan, especially when it comes to dessert time.

In fact, some of his all-time favorite desserts are 100% vegan and now he wants to share some of these with you.

And just wait until you get to the Chocolate Strawberry Truffles… They are absolutely to-die-for!!

Keep in mind that these recipes are desserts and so the macros should be taken into consideration, especially if you are on a Custom Meal Plan or a Shred Fast Meal Plan. These desserts are not meant to be over consumed but rather a tasty treat from time to time.

Raw Vegan Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 1/2 pitted Medjool dates 
  • 6 scoops Detox Organics chocolate superfoods
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Water (2 tbsp max)

Instructions:

  • Mix all ingredients together in a food processor adding the water teaspoon by teaspoon until a dough is formed. (You may need a little less than 2 tbsp).
  • Press the chocolate dough down a 7-inch pan lined with parchment paper and smooth evenly using a wax paper on top so your fingers don’t get sticky.
  • Set aside.

To make the ganache:

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp raw unsweetened cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil

Instructions:

  • Sift the cacao over a small bowl.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Mix until smooth and silky using a hand whisk or a spoon.
  • Spread evenly over the brownies using a spatula or spoon.
  • Refrigerate for an hour.
  • Slice and devour into 10 pieces and devour!
  • Keep refrigerated for a week or in the freezer for 3 months!

Makes 10 brownies

Raw Vegan Mint Detox Mini Cheesecakes

Ingredients:

Chocolate cups shell:

  • ½ cup melted coconut oil (add more or less depending on your chips)
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup vegan chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup Detox Organics

Mint raw vegan cheesecake filling:

  • 2 cups cashews, soaked in 3 cups of water for 2-4 hours and drained
  • ½ cup melted raw organic coconut oil
  • ½ cup organic maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup of shredded mint leaves
  • 1 tsp spirulina

Instructions:

Chocolate cups:

  • Combine all chocolate cups ingredients in a bowl gradually melt together in a microwave-safe bowl, warming for 15 seconds at a time.
  • Whisk until smooth and just pourable. Add more coconut oil if needed, as different brands of chocolate chips melt differently.
  • Place mini cupcake papers into the muffin tin.
  • Using a small paintbrush, coat the sides of the papers as well as the bottom.
  • Freeze the first layer for 15 minutes.
  • Repeat one more time using any leftover chocolate to make sure all cups are fully covered.

Mint vegan cheesecake filling:

  • Combine all of the filling vegan cheesecake ingredients and blend in a powerful blender until smooth. Add 1 tsp of water if needed to blend to a creamy consistency.
  • Using a piping bag, fill each mini chocolate shell with the cheesecake mixture. This can also be done using a small spoon.
  • Freeze the vegan cheesecake bites for at 30 minutes.
  • Quickly but gently peel off the sides of the paper and the bottom paper from each mini dessert and place back into frozen muffin tin.
  • Store in the freezer and thaw for 15 minutes before enjoying.
  • These freeze nicely in a freezer safe container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 20 Mini Cheesecakes

Strawberry🍓 Cream Chocolate🍫 Truffles 

Ingredients:

Cream Filling:

  • ½ cup organic cashew butter
  • 1 ½ cup fresh strawberries
  • ½ cup organic coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1-2 tsp organic maple syrup
  • ½ lemon (juiced)
  • ½ tsp organic vanilla extract

Chocolate

  • 1 cup organic coconut oil (melted)
  • ½ cups organic raw cacao powder
  • ¼ cup organic maple syrup
  • 1 scoop Detox Organics

Directions:

  • Mix all of your ingredients for the cream filling in a blender until smooth.
  • In a bowl, mix all of your chocolate ingredients together.
  • Using a traditional ice tray scoop a tbsp of your chocolate mixture into each slot. Then add a tbsp of your cream filling on top of the chocolate you have added. Top those layers with another tbsp of your chocolate mixture.
  • Put the ice tray in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until your chocolate and cream molds are hard. Keep treats in the freezer until you are ready to serve. Allow them to sit for 3-5 minutes before eating.

Makes 14 Truffles

 

Why You Should NOT Go Vegan

There are many different diets, or nutritional lifestyles that people all over the world subscribe to and one of the more popular diets is veganism but is this the right way to go? Why would someone choose to go vegan?

The term “vegan” was established in 1944 in England as a way to recognize a vegetarian who also does not consume dairy, but since then it has changed and evolved. It how now become a term to include an entire lifestyle beyond just what foods are or are not consumed. Going vegan is becoming more and more popular, and a person’s reasons for doing so vary greatly.

In this post, you’ll learn…

  • What a vegan diet is and how it differs from vegetarian
  • Why someone would choose to become vegan
  • The health factors behind going vegan
  • How to be a healthy vegan

WHAT IS A VEGAN DIET

Veganism is not only a diet but can also be a lifestyle where a person chooses not consume or use any product with an animal origin. It also typically means that the individual follows a vegan lifestyle and excludes any form of animal exploitation and cruelty from their life.

There are two main types of vegan:

  • Those who are dietary vegans, meaning their diet is vegan, but they do not apply vegan concepts to the products they use.
  • Those who incorporate it throughout their entire life, from the food they eat to the products they buy and use.

When it comes to a vegan diet, any food that is sourced from an animal is avoided. This includes not only meat, but also fish, eggs, dairy, or any product or food containing these ingredients.

The vegan diet relies on plant-based foods, such as fruit, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. All nutritional needs come from plant sources, including protein.

Veganism is sometimes seen as the more extreme version of the vegetarian diet, which has also gained popularity in recent years as more restaurants, stores, and products have popped up to serve the needs of the vegetarian and vegan population.

VEGAN VS VEGETARIAN – WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE

People often confuse being vegan and being vegetarian when in reality the two are not one in the same. While someone subscribing to a vegan lifestyle excludes all animal products from their life, or at least their diet, a person who is vegetarian does not.

Vegetarians create their diet around plant-based sources and choose not to eat meat, but some do still include some foods that come from animal sources. For example, some vegetarians choose to include dairy or eggs in their diet. These options are left up to the individual and why they are choosing to follow a vegetarian diet.

While vegans exclude all animals sourced products and foods, vegetarians allow some animal sourced products into their diet and focus on not eating animal flesh. This means they do not consume meat from land or sea animals.

Those who do not consume a lot of meat, but do include it in their diet now and then are considered to be plant-based, meaning they base their diet on vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, but from time to time do include meat on the menu.

WHY PEOPLE GO VEGAN

  • Animal Rights
  • Environmental Impact
  • Health and Wellness

There are so many reasons why people become vegan and vegetarian, and the most common reasons are because of ethics. They choose not to endorse or support in any way the exploitation of animals, whether it be for food, products, or testing. They do not consume food or use products that had led to the death or cruelty of an animal, trying to break the cycle of breeding animals simply for our own use.

Many people also become vegan and vegetarian because of environmental impact. It is no secret that factory farming is having a global impact on the environment and its contribution to the environmental degradation. People who eat less meat, or follow a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle end up having a smaller carbon footprint than those who do not [1].

Factory farming leads to increased water pollution, air pollution, deforestation, and higher carbon emissions.

If you are following a vegan or vegetarian diet for these reasons, we are not here to change your mind or tell you that you need to stop. If you are vegan or vegetarian for ethical reasons and the promotion of animal welfare, we are on your side and fully support you. We have even made thousands of Custom Meal Plans for vegans and vegetarians to help them get to their goals and promote a healthy way of eating.

But ethics isn’t the only reasons that people become vegan or vegetarian. Many people do so because they believe that it is the healthier way to live or that it will help them lose weight. I have talked to many individuals who want to lose weight, and so they think the key is to cut out meat from their diet.

IS A VEGAN DIET HEALTHY

Going vegan and whether or not it is healthy is all about the approach. Many vegans and vegetarians take the wrong approach and rely on soy-based or processed foods that can have adverse health effects.

The use of unfermented soy is widely used in vegetarian and vegan products because it is a cheap filler, but soy can have adverse health effects, such as a higher risk of breast cancer, low mineral absorption, and digestive issues. Soy products that are often used by vegans and vegetarians include soy milk, soy protein supplements, soy cheese, tofu, and soy burgers. Almost anywhere you would find dairy or meat you will see soy as a replacement.

Watch the video below to see why you should avoid soy:

Being vegan and vegetarian can also quickly become unhealthy if you are relying on processed foods to feed yourself. Many people have the misconception that just because it is vegan, it must be healthy when in reality vegan foods that are processed are just as unhealthy for you as processed foods that aren’t vegan. These foods can include high amounts of calories, fats, sugars and artificial ingredients, which can lead to unhealthy side effects such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Being vegan or vegetarian does not make you healthier, and you can be just as unhealthy and anyone who eats meat.

WHERE DO VEGANS GET THEIR PROTEIN?

One of the biggest questions that vegans and vegetarians get is how they get protein without eating meat. If you know how to eat right as a vegan or vegetarian, you are aware that this isn’t an issue, however many people following this lifestyle do not eat correctly, and over a period, they do not get enough protein. This can lead to a slow metabolism, weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, low energy, joint and muscle pain, and mood swings. To avoid this, you need to be sure to get an adequate amount of protein in your system, and you can do this through the consumption of food like beans or quinoa, or through supplements, like rice or pea protein.

However, consumption of plant-based proteins is hard to compare next to proteins that are sourced from animals because of the amino acids that are found within each. The difference between animal and plant proteins is that animal proteins are complete protein sources, and so they contain all the essential amino acids. Plant protein, however, is not and usually lack or do not provide a sufficient amount of the amino acids lysine, tryptophan, methionine, and phenylalanine. These are all essential amino acids, and they are found in animal proteins in much and much higher amounts than plant proteins [2, 3].

Essential amino acids mean that your body cannot produce them and so much get them from the foods that you eat.

Essential proteins you’re not getting enough of:

  • Lysine is needed for proper development and energy.
  • Tryptophan is needed to for mood stabilization and a good night’s sleep. Lack of this can cause depression, anxiety, and mood swings.
  • Methionine is needed for your mood. Lack of this amino acid can lead to depression.
  • Phenylalanine is used to regulate hormones and brain chemicals. Lacking in this amino acid can result in depression, confusion, and memory problems.

GOING VEGAN AND WEIGHT LOSS

One reason many people have for going vegan or vegetarian is that they want to lose weight and they believe that the switch will automatically lead to weight loss. This is a major misconception and just because you switch to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle does not mean that you will suddenly start to lose weight and can even lead to weight gain if you consume processed or unhealthy foods.

If your goal is weight loss, you can easily do so without cutting meat from your diet. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, pescetarian, or an omnivore, you can effectively lose excess weight. In fact, these are all diets that we deal with on both our Custom Meal Plans and our Shred Fast Meal Plans.  

HOW TO BE VEGAN AND STAY HEALTHY

Following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is a choice many people make for many different reasons. Everyone is on their own journey, and whatever that journey may be, we want to ensure you are doing your best.

This means if you are vegan or vegetarian, we want you to be the best vegan or vegetarian that you can and work your way to a healthier lifestyle. Whether your goals are just to lose some weight, put on muscles, or simply lead a healthier life, we can help you get there.

Just like the Paleo diet that we promote here at Morellifit, it all comes down to the same basic principles. No matter what dietary lifestyle you are following it should be made up of whole foods and balanced. This means you are sure to get enough protein, carbs, and fats during each meal.

This is how you become a successful and healthy vegan or vegetarian, not by putting processed junk food into your body. If you’re vegan/vegetarian, this includes fake meats and vegan cheese or dairy products. Stick to REAL FOOD.

When going to for a good quality supplement, make sure that they are free of artificial flavors, sweeteners, and colors. Your supplements should be made of all natural ingredients and be sourced from quinoa, pea, or hemp. And, if you are vegetarian or plant-based, then I would recommend going for a Organic Vegan Protein Superfood because it is a natural vegan supplement, and if you are going to be vegan, you want to be sure you are using the best protein available. Protein is an extremely important food, especially if you are not eating animal products, so be sure you are getting the best.

How To Foam Roll For Faster Recovery

Working out is crucial to reaching your goals, no matter what they are. Whether your goals are to lose weight, gain muscle, or just maintain an already healthy lifestyle, it is important to stay active.

Depending on your goals, workouts may vary in style and intensity, but there is one that that will never change and the is the importance of recovery.

In order to prevent injury and continually improve in your workouts, you must take the time to recover from your workouts so that your body can rebuild. You could even say that recovery is just as important as the workouts themselves.

One of the best ways to help your body recover from its workout is to use a foam roller. As effective as this tool is, it is often underutilized, especially by beginners who either may not know what a foam roller is or don’t know how to use one.

We all know that to recover properly you need to give your muscles a break, and if you want to accelerate this process you can take protein, BCAAs, or X-Cell. But did you know that a foam roller could also help you recover faster?

What You’ll Learn About in this Blog:

  • What a foam roller is
  • The top 4 benefits of foam rolling for movement and recovery
  • How to incorporate it with your currently stretching routine
  • A step by step full foam rolling routine to do at home

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WHAT IS A FOAM ROLLER? 

A foam roller is an exercise device used to help a person stretch out their muscles through massage. They can come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and levels of firmness and can be used on almost any body part.

Using a foam roller can help sooth sore muscles, speed up recovery, and relieve stress and tension throughout the body when used correctly.

Having a good foam rolling routine is just as beneficial to your recovery as having the right supplements.

BENEFITS OF USING A FOAM ROLLER

  • Increased Flexibility and Movement – Regularly using a foam roller can greatly improve your flexibility and joint movement. You are most flexible right after your foam roller routine and this can lead to a better workout [1, 2, 3].
  • Enhanced Performance – Studies have shown that regularly using a foam roller helps to improve your strength, agility, and speed. Not only does it increase your performance in the gym, but it does so more than traditional stretching [4].
  • Faster Recovery – When you use a foam roller it can help to increase recovery time, reduce the soreness of your muscles and help you feel better after every workout. Plus, it helps you get ready to get back in the gym and kill it [5]!
  • Prevents Myofascial TightnessMyofascial is the skin around your muscles and post workout, this can tighten. Using a foam roller after your workout can help to avoid tightness of this skin post workout [6, 7].

HOW TO USE A FOAM ROLLER

Learning how to incorporate a foam roller into your routine is simple once you get used to using it. It may seem a bit strange at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be happy that you did.

Foam rolling can take the place of stretching and studies have shown that it can be even more effective than traditional stretching.

It is also best to use a foam roller before your workout, after, and on your rest days. This will give you the quickest recovery. Adding a good foam rolling routine into your workout is simple. Just focus on the muscles you will be working out and use the foam roller on them for 30 – 60 seconds. 

Here is an example of how to foam roll correctly. Below the video are additional areas on your body you can use a foam roller.

 

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