Tag Archives: MealFit

MealFit Maple Butternut Squash

This is one of the easiest and most complimented side dishes we do. People just love it! I have this one Pharma Rep that wants it every time I do a catered lunch for him.

Ingredients:
• 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
• 1/4 c. pure maple syrup
• 3/4 tbsp. coconut oil, melted (may need more)
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 3/4 tsp salt
• black pepper, to taste

Instructions:
• Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty foil and set aside.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon, and salt. Add the cubed squash and toss until evenly coated.
• Spread out the squash on prepared baking sheet into a single layer. Sprinkle with pepper, if desired.
• Roast squash for 25 minutes. Use a metal spatula to carefully flip cubes over; roast for 15 to 20 minutes more (checking frequently) or until squash is tender with golden edges. Serve immediately.

You can also watch our recipe video HERE and prepare this dish alongside Thomas.

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What Are The BENEFITS of Pumpkin?

With the Halloween season getting closer, a lot of attention will be paid to the pumpkin. Yes, the thing we all carve and stick candles into, and the fruit we use to make delicious pies during the holiday season. However, why do a lot of us regulate pumpkin consumption to just these specific times?

Pumpkin has incredible health benefits – I’m going to give you five  reasons why you should eat more pumpkin, and not just save it for the holidays!

1. Helps Regulate Blood Pressure

Pumpkin flesh is rich in Vitamin A, Potassium, and Fiber, all of which are vital players in keeping your blood pressure in check. Potassium plays an important role in sodium regulation in the blood, and adequate intake of potassium can lead to decreased risk for hypertension.

2. Reduces Risk of Colon Cancer

Pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene – it’s what gives the pumpkin it’s signature orange color. Fortunately, beta-carotene has been shown in research to have an inverse association with developing colon cancer cells. What this means is that the beta-carotene in pumpkin acts as a reversal mechanism in the presence of colon cancer cells. How cool is that?

3. Helps Immune System

Like mentioned earlier, pumpkin is high in Vitamin C and beta-carotene. Along with the previous benefits talked about above, these two molecules provide a serious tag team defense for your immune system given their immense nutrient dense health immunities.

4. Helps Women Who Are Trying to Have Children

There are numerous women who have trouble with fertility in America, yet who knew that the pumpkin had the potential to help those women? According to a Harvard Study, women of child-birthing age who ate more iron from plants (such as pumpkin), were shown to have increased levels of fertility. Vitamin A also plays a key role in this as well because it helps regulate and stimulate lactation enzymes and hormone synthesis.

5. Helps Eye Health

Rule of Thumb in nutrition: If a vegetable or fruit is orange or red, chances are it will help with eyesight. This goes back to the beta-carotene found in pumpkin. Along with Vitamin E (also found in pumpkin), the two team up to provide not only eyesight improvement, but also fight against eyesight degeneration.

3 Hacks to Drink More Water

Everywhere you turn, there is someone out there telling you how you must drink more water to be healthy. Well, yes, this is true—water is essential to our bodies, and most of us could use more of it each day. But no one ever tells you how to drink more water. Today, we’ll focus on how we can make a habit of consuming a healthy, optimal amount of water each day.

But first, let’s look at some fun facts about drinking water:

  • The average person could live without food for nearly a month, but we could only survive about one week without water—that’s how essential water is to human life. Some of us can’t go a day without coffee, but that’s a different story.
  • Good hydration can prevent arthritis. With plenty of water in your body, there is less friction in your joints, thus less chance of developing arthritis. 
  • Drinking enough water every day can help reduce heart disease and cancer. Water helps flush toxins out of your body, and the fewer toxins that come into contact with your colon, bladder and other organs, the less chance that critical ailments can develop. 
  • Smile! Good hydration can help reduce cavities and tooth decay. Water helps produce saliva, which keeps your mouth and teeth clean.

(Facts pulled from the Culligan Website)

Studies generally agree that you need about 100 ounces of water a day. When I tell people that, they’ll often say:

“That is so much. I have a hard time drinking that much.”

or

“I struggle to drink that much in one day.”

But now that we’re a little more knowledgeable about our water consumption and we have gotten all of the excuses out in the open, let’s take a look at how we can consume more water throughout our day:

 

1. Find A Cup That Is Easy to Drink Out Of

This may seem ridiculous, but it’s true. If something is hard to do, human nature will have us avoiding it simply because it’s hard. After all, one of the largest avenues of business in the world is convenience. People will pay a lot of money for things to make their lives easier. For example:

  • The drive thru at a restaurant
  • Smartphones
  • Dishwashers
  • GPS
  • E-books
  • Amazon

Everything listed above exists because someone wanted to make tasks easier and convenient for consumers. So we ought to take a page out of their books and make water consumption easier for ourselves. Find a cup that is easy to drink out of – like what? You’ll want a cup that:

  • Feels good in your hand.
  • Isn’t too big and isn’t too small.
  • Has a drinking hole at the right size

This might sound silly, but everyone has a favorite cup. Why? Because it is easy to drink out of! For example, Nalgene water bottles are super cool looking, real trendy, and virtually unbreakable—but you may have to stop and concentrate when you are drinking from the bottle if you don’t have a splash guard. For me, the hole is too small to drink like a normal water bottle. Therefore, I personally don’t drink from a Nalgene bottle—it’s just not easy to.

I love drinking out of a straw; it makes it easier for me to drink. When I go to a restaurant or get a to-go cup, I always put a straw in because I know it will help me consume more water. The bottom line? Find what is comfortable to hold and easy to drink out of and you will find yourself drinking more. It’s simple.

2. Drink Water At Room Temperature

 Many people feel like you have to drink ice water. On a hot day, cold water is satisfying, for sure, but many times it’s more difficult to drink cold water because of brain freeze or sensitive teeth. I have found that drinking water that is room temperature causes me to drink more. Not sure what it is – no real science here, I just know that it works!

Next time you buy a case of water, put some in the fridge and leave some out on the counter or in the pantry. I guarantee you will drink more of the room temperature stuff.

3. Add Some Lemon

 One of the big complaints from people about drinking more water is that is has no taste and they get tired of it. I get that. Next time you get tired of water and don’t think you can drink another drop, add half of a lemon or lime to it. This gives water a little bit of flavor, and will satisfy that hankering for something different. Lemon water also has some great health benefits as well, like aiding digestion, boosting the immune system, and more.

So if a regular old glass water is getting a little bit boring to you, just squeeze in some lemon to break up the monotonous taste that sometimes comes with it.

 

These three reasons may seem silly or trivial when you read them, but I dare you to implement one or all into your daily routine. After all, they seem so trivial because they’re dead-simple strategies that you can’t afford not to try. I guarantee you will drink more, and your body will thank you for it!

 

Paleo Sweet Potato Chili

Indulge yourself in a bowl of spicy chili that is full of beef and sweet potatoes. It’s thick, rich, and slightly sweet while being grain free, sugar free and dairy free. If you’re looking for a low sugar, healthy option, you won’t be disappointed with this recipe!

We’ve done this as one of our mealfit Ready meals and got amazing reviews!

Prep Time: 13-17 min

Serves: 6

Ingredients:
• 2 lbs ground beef
• 1 red onion, chopped
• 1 tsp minced garlic
• 1 large can (29.5 oz.) tomato sauce
• 2 cups petite diced tomatoes, with juice
• 3 cups beef stock
• 3 carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
• 5 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 2 bay leaves
• ½ tsp. thyme
• 2 tsp. salt
• 1½ tsp. black pepper
• ½ cup chili powder
• Dash of oregano
• Dash of red pepper flakes

Instructions:
• In a large saucepan, brown ground beef, onions and garlic. Drain off the fat.
• Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan. Mix well, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes and carrots are cooked through.

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Top 3 Reasons You Aren’t Getting Lean

One of the greatest parts of my job is seeing people’s progress. I love getting text messages and emails where people tell me they have lost 15 pounds in a month since starting mealfit. Another great one is when they tell me they have had to buy all new jeans because the old ones don’t fit anymore. These messages are priceless, and they make my day.

Often when people come to me for advice, they say that they have been trying to lose weight, but nothing seems to be working.  After talking to hundreds of people, I have reduced it down to 3 mistakes that people make when trying to lose weight.

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1. No Plan

I was talking to my son’s teacher the other day, and this is what she told me:

“You know, I leave work and I am honestly not sure what we are going to eat, so we just go to the local drive thru.”

Here is another line I get thrown at me time and time again :

“When we get home from ball practice we are so tired we really just don’t want to think about cooking. We tend to just go to the pantry and figure it out.”

I believe part of my mission is to help people avoid the drive thru and eat in a way that keeps them fit and healthy. The 2 people above have fallen prey to not having a plan. The old adage of  “Failing to plan is planning to fail” could not be more true when it comes to the food we eat. When we do not have a plan we stumble into eating foods that are full of grains, sugar, and preservatives. All of which are making our society obese and lethargic.

When people have a plan, they are 7 times more likely to succeed than when they don’t.  Think about it; when you go to work, and you have a schedule that you must stick to you are so much more productive than you would be when your day is not mapped out.

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Get a plan that will tell you what to buy, what to eat, how to cook it. A great and easy way to do this is to check out mealfit Plans. I know that it can be hard to prepare your meals each week, so with mealfit Plans I will give you a complete meal plan along with a grocery list of what to buy. I promise it will make staying prepared so much easier! It also helps to make this process mindless so that you can spend your effort on other things — like your business or family.

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2. Less Fat = Less Fat

Fat is a macronutrient. It shouldn’t be used to describe someone’s appearance. How would it sound if you called a guy that is yoked with muscles on top of muscles “Protein”??

It makes no sense. Since we have done that, it has been virtually impossible to convince people that FAT is not bad for you. When wanting to lose weight our daily goal should be to reduce our intake of sugar.  When we reduce our sugar intake, our blood sugar stays steady, thus keeping us from being hungry throughout the day.  A low sugar, higher fat diet will increase our satiety and overtime reduce our weight and decrease our body fat.

 

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3. Stop Eating

I’ve heard it a thousand times — consume less calories than you burn. This methodology has driven most of the female population to work out to the extreme and eat next to nothing. While this will increase your weight loss, it is not something that will keep weight off. Also, it is very unhealthy. When you don’t consume enough calories, your body goes into starvation mode. Thus, shutting down your metabolism and holding on to weight that could be lost with proper diet and exercise. Not to mention, the loss of energy and cognitive ability that comes with not consuming enough fuel.

In order to get lean and do it effectively in a healthy manner, consuming the right foods in the right amount is crucial. I would love to give you an amount that is optimal for everyone, but everyone is different and it will vary from person to person.

Throughout all my conversations of helping people with losing weight or leaning out, I have realized most have some misconstrued ideas of healthy eating. The above things are issues that produce results, once people apply them. If there was 1 thing I could leave you with as you proceed on your weight loss — Have a plan, and stick to it.

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Mealfit’s New Industrial Menu Board

We have new menu board at Mealfit. We went over a year without having a menu at all, so we decided it was time to get one. We wanted to stick with the brick and wood theme we already had going, so we made our own.

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We took some boards that were the seats in the restaurant before we took over this location and re-purposed them. I didn’t want to throw them away, so we made a sign out of it shortly after we moved in.

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The boards sat in the back for about a year and we wanted to save some money, so we figured this was a great opportunity for the menu board. 

We bought two pieces of luan and painted them with chalk board paintWe set the luan in the reclaimed wood, kinda like a picture frame. This is what makes up the two outer sections.

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We then bought a piece of tin from the local hardware store and mounted it between two pieces of reclaimed wood. We got some cast iron pipe and mounted it to the top piece of wood. We used the same type of tin that we used in another sign we have in the building for a cohesive look.

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For the middle section, we got the same size cast iron pipe and ran it through a roll of peach butcher paper. Took a piece of leather from Hobby Lobby and nailed to the bottom board to keep the butcher paper in place. We use these chalk markers to do all of the writing of the menu including specials and our awesome seasonings.

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Loved the way it turned out. It is industrial, but it still sticks with the Mealfit look.

Check out our website for more about all things Mealfit including Mealfit Plans and Mealfit Gyms!

Share and let me know your thoughts below in the comments!

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5 Things To Do Everyday

We live a busy life, not busy as in stressful, but busy as in we need to be organized in what we are doing to efficiently get things done.

We have an 8 year old, a 4 year old, and a baby. My wife is the head volleyball coach at the 3rd largest high school in the state of Tennessee. As you know, I run my own business, and it allows me a little more free time to go and do. As long as my work gets done, I am fine.

Even if you don’t have kids, you are probably busy.  Jeff Bezos made a comment in an interview one time that the one thing that will not change in society is how busy people are. There are not many people out there that sit around and go, “You know, I really have tons of free time, all the time.”

In my experience with coaching college football, working at a church, and now owning my own business, I have realized that routine and consistency keep me organized in my day. Whether I am working 90 hours a week like I did when I was coaching, or 40 when I was working at the church, routine is paramount for getting things done.

So, I have listed 5 things to do everyday that will make your life easier. Some of these can take 30 Seconds and some may take 20 minutes, but when these are in your daily routine you will be more productive.

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1. Exercise (20 min)

I always feel tons better when I workout in the morning. A bout of exercise increases your focus on the next activity, because your body is aroused. What follows a morning workout? For most people, it’s the office or school. Hence, one of the advantages of working out in the morning is that you’re more alert during those later hours.

You’re probably familiar with the notion that some workouts release endorphins, feel-good hormones that are increased following exercise of sufficient intensity and duration. This will also help your attitude, as you get ready to take on the day.

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2.  Make your Bed (30 seconds)

This seems silly, but it literally takes 30 seconds depending on how many decorative pillows your wife has. I want you to try it both ways for a week. Take the first 2 days of the week and do not make your bed. Then the rest of the week, make sure it gets done. The effect it will have in the evening when you get home is a feeling of peace and relaxation. Trust me on this one.

3. Be thankful  (No time at all)

The formal study of gratitude’s benefits is relatively young, but researchers have found that gratitude can enhance well-being and improve romantic relationships, among other benefits. A 2011 study published in the journal Heart International, found that acute cardiac patients who had positive psychological interventions actually had better outcomes than those who didn’t.

Choose to be grateful. If you are reading this you have 1st world problems. Those are not problems. Not having clean drinking water is a problem. Your kids not having food to eat is a problem. Your favorite pair of jeans that have a hole in them is not a problem.

Be thankful for what you have.

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4. Read (2-15 min)

Tai Lopez is an entrepreneur that is famous for reading a book-a-day. He has invested in numerous million dollar companies and coaches people in business and finance and others areas of health, wealth, love and happiness. He attributes much of his success to the massive amounts of reading he does on a daily basis.

He continually refers to Warren and his reading habits. When Warren Buffett started his investing career, he would read 600, 750, or 1,000 pages a day.

Even now, he still spends about 80% of his day reading.

If you want to get ahead and continue to progress in your area of business and in life, you must invest in the most important asset you have…YOUSELF. Spend time daily investing in yourseld and increasing the value you can give to people. Read about things that will make you better at the life you are living.

5. Pray (1-5 min)

As I was doing some research there were tons of sites and articles from Christian organizations that talk about why prayer is important. Since some of my readers are not Christians I wanted to find something that did not have Christian bias to it. This is what they came up with.

  1. Prayer improves Self Control
  2. Prayer makes you nicer.
  3. Prayer makes your more forgiving
  4. Prayer increases 
  5. Prayer offsets the negative health effects of stress.

If you will take some time (I suggest at least 3 weeks) and consciously do all 5 of these tasks on a daily basis, your day will be filled with a more positive outlook and less stress. Create a plan to make get these simple tasks into your life

  1. Write them down.
  2. Put them on your calendar
  3. Make them happen.
  1. Goldfarb, A. H., & Jamurtas, A. Z. (1997). B-Endorphin response to exercise.Sports Medicine, 24(1), 8-16.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-6811.2010.01273.x/abstract

Try these out, and let us know how you feel in the comments below! 

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4 Simple Ways to START Losing Weight

Probably 75% of the people you meet on a daily basis are not satisfied with how they look- specifically their weight. Everywhere you turn there is someone out there trying to tell you how to lose weight. When you first decide to lose weight, exercise is typically your first concern. There are endless options including Body Pump, CrossFit, Zumba, walking, running, cycling all the way down to the shake weight.

The other piece of the puzzle you need to think about is nutrition. There’s high carb, Low Carb, carb cycling, Paleo, South Beach, Primal, Weight Watchers and that list could go on and on as well.

It can be a daunting and intimidating process when you are first starting out, but I am here to give you some simple steps to help you get started losing weight.

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#4: Sleep More

Being short on sleep can really affect your weight. When you’re short on sleep, it’s easy to lean on caffeine to get moving. You might be tempted to skip exercise because you are too tired. You get takeout for dinner, and then go to sleep late because you’re uncomfortably full.

Why? Because insufficient sleep impacts your hunger and fullness hormones, including two called ghrelin and leptin.

Ghrelin signals your brain that it’s time to eat. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body makes more ghrelin.

Leptin, on the other hand, cues your brain to put the fork down. When you’re not getting enough sleep, leptin levels plummet, signaling your brain to eat more food.

Then there’s the cortisol spike that comes from too little sleep. This stress hormone signals your body to conserve energy to fuel your waking hours. (1)

Bottom line: Sleep more to help with weight loss.

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#3: Drink MORE Water.

Drinking water is not the new Fat burner. However, there are so many examples of how more water consumption can help with weight loss. Here is how:

  1. Keeps you from overeating. The more water you drink the less likely you are to eat too much.
  2. If you are drinking water you are not drinking sugary drinks.
  3. Staying hydrated makes your whole system run better. You body is 70% water, so make sure it has enough to function properly. Its kind of like the oil in your car– When you are dehydrated its like the “Low Oil” light coming on.

How much should I drink? You are safe drinking anywhere between 80-120 oz a day. At least 80, 100 is good, 120 is best.

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#2: MOVE

As we talked about earlier, there are tons of different ways to get in shape. One of the problems we are having in our society is that many jobs today require people to sit behind a desk or a computer all day.  Thus we have grown sedentary.

QUESTION: How many pictures of your great grand parents or even your grandparents have you seen where they were OVERWEIGHT?

I’ll answer that for you, NONE. Why? Because they moved. They were farming, working in a factory, they were going and doing instead of sitting behind a desk. This is not a free pass to be overweight if you have a desk job. There are tons of ways out there to exercise and most of them have a promise of it not taking very long.

Here is the thing, If you want to lose weight and more important than that be healthy, you are going to have to move and be uncomfortable. Get out of breath, lift something heavy. You have to do more than you are doing now. My recommendation is doing something in a group. That’s part of the reason I push CrossFit. It is an amazing sport that helps people be better at life. The other recommendation I have is group fitness classes such as Body Pump, TRX and Zumba. The bottom line is you need to get out of breath and move. You may say, “I already exercise” without knowing you and knowing what you do I would say you probably need to do more and get more uncomfortable when you are doing it.

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#1: CHAGE YOUR DIET

When I say change your diet I am talking more about taking things that are bad out of what you eat as opposed to adding what many people perceive as good. If someone asked me “If you could only change one thing about someone’s diet in order for them to lose weight what would it be?”

SUGAR. Eliminate all sugar from your diet. You do that, and you will see results.

In order to change, you must……change. Your diet is the most important thing that will contribute to weight loss. Taking sugar out of your diet can change everything about you. You are probably consuming a lot more sugar than you think. You body will go through some great but sometimes difficult changes when you do.

Many people believe that exercise is the most important aspect to losing weight. Yes exercising is key. But if your nutrition does not change then it does not really matter.

Final Thought: If you workout for 5 hours a week that is great. You typically eat 3 times a day for about 30 min at a time. That comes out to about 10 ½ hours a week of eating. The one you do more probably needs to be your focus.

QUESTION: What is your choice of exercise and why?

Let us know in the comments below!

Need Plan?  Click here for a plan to help you with what to eat all day everyday.

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Reference:

1- http://www.webmd.com/diet/sleep-and-weight-loss?page=2

One-Bowl Trail Mix Cookies

Do you ever have have an intense sweet tooth, but don’t want to ditch your goals? And when you decide you want to actually make yourself a batch of cookies, you change your mind because of all the dishes and clean up it involves?

If you answered yes to either or both of these questions, you aren’t alone! We completely understand how hard it is when you want a yummy treat, but don’t want to splurge too much. These delicious cookies have a short ingredient list and are super simple to make with minimal clean up!

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Grab one bowl and only a handful of ingredients to make these jam-packed breakfast cookies! They’re ultimately-soft and chewy with only 147 calories per cookie!

Wondering how they can be so simple? Check out this video to see for yourself!

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Serves: 15 cookies

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 10 mins

Total time: 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy Almond butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, beat mashed banana, yogurt, sugar, Almond butter, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Mix in flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon until a dough forms. Mix in cranberries, chocolate, and pecans.
  2. Scoop dough into 2-in balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Flatten cookies slightly and bake at 350F 10-12 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges (middles will still be soft) Cool cookies on pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information: Serving size: 1 cookie Calories: 147 Fat: 7.7g Saturated fat: 2g Unsaturated fat: 5.7g Trans fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 16.9g Sugar: 5.2g Sodium: 125mg Fiber: 2.7g Protein: 3.8g Cholesterol: 11mg

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Can you believe this cookie recipe only has TWO steps? And uses ONE bowl? Baking doesn’t always have to be a tedious and complicated process to be delicious! With such an awesome list of ingredients, do you have a favorite one? Let us know in the comments!

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5 Quick Morning Musts for Better Immunity

A morning routine is a crucial aspect to beginning your day on the right foot. Getting into the habit of performing important steps when you wake up each day is a great way to improve your health and your mood right from the get-go.

Today, I want to show you a glimpse of my morning. There are 5 things I do each and every morning to jumpstart my day. Each of these steps in my routine have awesome benefits, but overall they work to create a better and healthier immune system.

You may be wondering where to get these items I am mentioning, so just click the name and it will take you right on over to where you can purchase them. If you would like to learn more about why I choose every morning to make this process a priority check out this quick video:

Each step is as important as the one prior, and they all have incredible health benefits, as you see here:

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10 oz of Alkaline Filtered Water

  • removes lead from water
  • reduces risk of rectal cancer, colon cancer, and bladder cancer
  • protects body, leading to better overall health

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Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

  • help cure acid reflux
  • lower blood pressure
  • improve blood sugar levels
  • support weight loss
  • kills bacteria
  • lowers cholesterol

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Elderberry Syrup

  • lowers cholesterol
  • boosts immune system
  • improves vision
  • improves heart health
  • helps with coughs, colds, flu, sinus issues, and bacterial and viral infections

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Vitamin-C

  • prevention and treatment of scurvy
  • treatment of the common cold
  • lowers hyper tension
  • maintains elasticity of skin
  • controls asthma

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Colloidal Silver

  • antibacterial
  • antiviral
  • anti inflammatory
  • controls sinus infections
  • prevents different types of flu
  • fights bronchitis and pneumonia

What does your morning routine look like? Do you have any health or immunity-boosting tips? Tell us about them in the comments!!

I hope this inspires you to consider taking a few extra minutes in your morning to invest in your immune health; you won’t regret it!

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