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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.

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.

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