A Morning Routine for Brain Health With MOSH Co-Founders Maria Shriver & Patrick Schwarzenegger 

Last Update: January 23, 2024

For mother-son duo Maria Shriver and Patrick Schwarzenegger, brain health isn’t just a fleeting wellness trend. Shriver’s father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2003, and in her unwavering dedication to reduce the incidence of the disease, she went on a journey to de-stigmatize the topic, inspire others to proactively care for their minds, and fund brain health research — ultimately, uncovering as much as she could about the brain.

“Since I’m a reporter by nature, I started just trying to find out all I could about Alzheimer’s,” Shriver says. “I started traveling around the country speaking to researchers and doctors, and discovered that we knew so little about brain health.” She quickly learned that diet plays a major role in the health of the brain, and she changed her own lifestyle to adhere to these proactive, brain-healthy habits.

As Shriver was developing a new passion for brain health and Alzheimer’s research, her son was in the background, observing and wondering how he could help channel her passion into something that would educate even more people. “When I saw my mom taking all these different supplements and following a specific brain health diet, that’s when I said to her, Why don’t we combine all these things into a bar?Schwarzenegger remembers.

Soon after, the two began what would eventually become MOSH, a line of protein bars made with ingredients that help support your brain.

On Building a Family-Owned, Mission-Driven Business

Shriver and Schwarzenegger have a uniquely acute passion for brain health because of their shared family connection to Alzheimer’s Disease. While the inspiration behind MOSH’s mission was obvious from the start, they were able to get the brand on  the ground by tapping into their own unique talents and areas of expertise. “I’ve always worked in the non-profit, journalism or political space, and Patrick has always been interested in business,” Shriver says. “He went to college for business, he was interested in entrepreneurship since he was a little boy, and now has built this business from the ground up.”

Schwarzenegger says they must have tested “a couple thousand” different bar recipes in those early days before settling on the final formula. They spent more than a year perfecting the recipe, working with nutritionists and brain health experts to create something that tasted delicious and was made using only beneficial, natural ingredients without added sugars.

“Sugar is one of the biggest culprits for degenerative brain health,” Schwarzenegger explains. Each MOSH bar contains only 1 to 2 grams of sugar, and they’re sweetened with ingredients like allulose and real fruits instead of additives. The rest of the ingredients are designed to support the brain while offering a tasty, filling snack. “We have our omegas, which are really great for brain health and joints,” Schwarzenegger says. “We’ve got high protein, which is great for brain and body health and vitamin D3, which is something a lot of Americans, specifically, are very deficient in.”

Once they checked all the health boxes, it was time for the fun part: flavors. Currently, Schwarzenegger’s favorites are Cookie Dough Crunch and Lemon White Chocolate Crunch, while Shriver currently loves the Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch. “I also have a lot of new flavor samples in my car, so if you travel with me, you’ll always see me eating multiple MOSH bars,” Shriver laughs.

How MOSH is Making Brain Health Accessible, Affordable, and Delicious

“Many young people in their thirties are caring for parents with neurological diseases, so people are more aware that what they do now will impact how they age,” Shriver says. “The goal of MOSH is to make it affordable and accessible to all, and also to make the educational component of a brain-healthy lifestyle available to people of all income levels.”

The two knew from the beginning that they not only wanted the bars themselves to contribute to people’s brain healthy lifestyle, but they also wanted to be able to provide education about Alzheimer’s and fund prevention research. Shriver explains, “Every time people buy bars [on the MOSH website], a portion of the proceeds from their order get’s donated to Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM) through the Cleveland Clinic. We’ve already given six figures to research in that way alone. In addition, our community can choose to round up and donate as well, whether it’s 50 cents, $1, $2. Every bit counts!”

As the company grows, they’re able to further their mission by identifying even more opportunities to advance this research. “We’re going to be funding a grant called the MOSH Grant, that WAM will award to a top researcher to look at the role of food on the brain.”

Through their website, MOSH also helps to educate the public about Alzheimer’s prevention, brain health, the brain-gut connection, and other topics Shriver and Schwarzenegger are passionate about. Their blog, known as The Mosh Pit, is a free hub for health, wellness, and nutrition information, from ways to cut back on sugar to the relationship between nutrition and sleep.

As the research progresses and the general public’s interest in aging, longevity, and nutrition increases, it makes their journey with MOSH all the more inspiring for Shriver and Schwarzenegger. “From the days that I first got interested in this, it was dark and hopeless,” Shriver remembers. “You couldn’t even see the brain. The exciting thing is, as we learn more about the brain, now you can; brain scans are readily available to people. People are aware of their brain.”

Maria & Patrick’s Brain Health Routines

“We don’t like to say that our bar is a magic pill that’s going to save you from this thing,” Shriver says. “We like to say that there are other things you can and should be doing each and every day to help your brain health.”

For Shriver and Schwarzenegger, a healthy daily routine looks like starting the day with exercise and coffee, which also has purported brain health benefits. While Shriver fasts first thing in the morning, Schwarzenegger usually has a healthy breakfast. “We both eat very healthy: lots of vegetables, clean greens, and eating a mindful diet,” he says.

Though exercise and nutrition play a huge role in the foundation of brain health, both Shriver and Schwarzenegger put emphasis on things that aren’t quite so visible, particularly into older age. “Sleep is a huge part of a brain healthy lifestyle,” Shriver says. “Keeping your brain active, socializing, and trying to be mindful about how you really move through the world are also important. Who are the people in your world? Are you living a life that builds you up, that is empowering, that’s inspiring to you and to others? Those are all good for your brain.”

While Shriver and Schwarzenegger are now business partners, often meeting to discuss future product launches and fundraising opportunities, it’s easy to see that Shriver is also a proud mom, grateful for the work her son has done to help bring her passion to life. “I’m here as the Alzheimer’s advocate and activist, and all the people that I’ve met in my 20 year journey in this space have been super helpful,” Shriver says of MOSH’s success. “But at the end of the day, it’s a business that we had to grow from the ground up, and Patrick is the one who did that.”

Maria & Patrick’s Brain Health Morning Smoothie Recipe

Yield: 1 serving
Active time: 5 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes



  1. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and enjoy your nutritious smoothie!

This article is related to:

Brain Food, Brain Health

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Amy Roberts

Amy Roberts is Thrive Market's Senior Editorial Writer. She is based in Los Angeles via Pittsburgh, PA.

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