Glute Work; Training Day

The first exercise is excellent for targeting the glutes.

My suggestions:

•use a barbell (not smith machine) as it requires utilization of more muscles

•stand with feet further apart than normal (outside shoulder width) with feet turned out

•get deep into squat with weight on heels •when exploding back up, make sure to fully engage glutes

•change hand positioning (right vs left hand in front) with every set

How do I train?

I train for performance, not for any other reason at this point in my life.  My weight training solely consists of compound movements and/or supersetting lower body exercises with upper body (shown in video).

Train strong, my friends!

Easy Meal Planning for the Busy Work Week

The EASIEST way to eat healthy during the week is to prepare food ahead of time. I realize taking a couple hours out of your Saturday or Sunday to prepare may not be ideal, but it certainly is worth it once the busy work week hits.

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Here is how I go about preparing for the week:

1) I cook all proteins because these are the most time-consuming. I switch it up every week. Pictured: grilled chicken and 96% fat free ground beef. I also made hard-boiled eggs (bake in oven for 30 minutes @ 350F). I always have cans of tuna and egg whites on hand as well.

2) Make salads. I pre-make salads, that way I can grab my chicken and throw it in the salad (and sometimes throw it all in a whole wheat wrap) for a healthy meal that takes less than 30 seconds to put together. Salads pictured: Summer Salad (fresh spinach leaves, sliced almonds, fat free feta, chopped strawberries), Cobb Salad (greens, tomatoes, hard-boiled egg, onion, cheese, turkey bacon), Broccoli Salad Casserole (broccoli, turkey bacon, fat free feta, apple cider vinegar, plain/fat free greek yogurt, splenda, salt, pepper).

3) I chop up fresh veggies and also use steamables. Throwing a bag of vegetables in the microwave may not be ideal, but it’s easy, convenient, and cheap. Pictured: Steamed peas and broccoli.

4) Cook whole grains. Pictured: Quinoa. I usually make some brown rice as well.

5) Other items I keep stocked that are easy for grab-and-go: fresh fruit, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, rice cakes, natural peanut butter, powdered peanut butter, nuts, beans, oats, puffed rice/wheat cereal, cream of wheat, protein bars, protein powder, potatoes (white & sweet), whole wheat wraps.

Once you get the hang of it, all you should need is 45 minutes-1 hour to get all your food together for the week. The best “diet” for you is one that is not only healthy and nutritious for the body, but one that is manageable and convenient. Find YOUR way!

Wednesday Accountability- Daily Workouts/Eats

Wednesday

Pre-Workout:

1/3 Cookies & Cream Quest Bar

Brewed Coffee with Unsweetened Almond Milk, Splenda, Cinnamon, Sugar Free Caramel Syrup, and Apple Pie Spice

Workout:

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TRX Workout:

I went through each circuit twice with no breaks.  Transitioning between exercises was enough recovery.  I wanted to keep the heart rate up throughout.  Keep in mind, this is all done with the TRX.  If I have time, I will film a video later of the different exercises to give you a better idea of what they look like.

**2 Rounds of Circuits 1-5**

Circuit #1

Single Leg Squat, 12x each leg

Push-Up (with feet in straps), 10x

Circuit #2

Curtsy Lunge, 20x each side

Upper Body Row, 20x

Circuit #3

Single Leg Lunge (1 foot in strap), 20x each leg

Bicep Curl, 20x

Circuit #4

Single Leg Jumping Lunge, 12x each leg

Tricep Extension, 12x

Circuit #5

Hamstring Curl (feet in straps), 20x

Upper Body Fly, 15x

**3 Rounds of Circuits 6-7**

Circuit #6

10-15 Second Max Effort Sprint (drive knees high, hands in straps, body in forward tilt/lean)

Knee Tuck from Push-Up Position (feet in straps), 1-x

Circuit #7

Overhead Squat (hands overhead in straps), 15x

Pike-Ups from Push-Up Position (feet in straps), 12x

**2 Rounds of Circuits *Circuit #8**

Circuit #8

Bring Legs Out-to-In from Push-Up Position, 20x

Bring Legs Out-to-In from Plank Position, 20x

Breakfast:

Salad: Spinach Greens, Dried Cranberries, Feta Cheese, Balsamic Vinaigrette

Banana with 1 Tbs Natural Peanut Butter

Unsweetened Almond Milk

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Lunch:

4-5 Oz Grilled Chicken with Regular Mustard and Reduced Sugar Ketchup

1/2 C Cooked Quinoa

1/3 C Steamed Peas

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Combating my Sweet Tooth:

Healthy Hot Cocoa: 10 Oz Brewed Coffee, 1 Tbs Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Unsweetened Almond Milk, Vanilla Extract, Splenda and Fat Free Whipped Cream

I spoon the Whipped Cream in from the bowl because if you put it directly in the Hot Cocoa it melts!

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Snack:

About 2.5 Oz Grilled Chicken on a Plain Rice Cake with Regular Mustard and Reduced Sugar Ketchup

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Grocery Shopping:

Picked up a few items at the grocery store:

So Delicious Dairy Free, Coconut Milk (No Sugar Added) Vanilla Bean Flavor and Mint Chip Flavor Ice Cream (my favorite ice cream)

Sweet Potatoes

Turkey Bacon

Unsweetened Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder

Garbanzo Beans and Dark Chocolate Chips (these are for the healthy dessert I am going to make : Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Blondies!!)

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Dinner:

4 Oz Lean Ground Beef (96% Fat Free) with Regular Mustard and Reduced Sugar Ketchup

1/4 Heaping Cup Cooked Quinoa

1.5-2 Cups Steam Broccoli and Cauliflower (topped with Hot Sauce and Apple Cider Vinegar)

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Dessert:

1/3 Scoop Chocolate Casein Protein Powder (About Time brand) & 1/3 Packet Mocha Mint Whey Protein Powder (About Time brand) mixed with enough water to reach Pudding Consistency

1/3 C Mint Chocolate Cookie Arctic Zero Ice Cream

1/3 C So Delicious (No Sugar Added) Mint Chip Ice Cream

5 Almonds

1/2 Tbs Natural Peanut Butter

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About Time is the only brand of protein powders that I use.  Their products are Gluten Free, Lactose Free, use the highest quality protein (Protein Isolate), No artificial ingredients, Sweetened with Stevia.  If interested in buying some About Time supplements, go to: www.TryAboutTime.com  (for 25% off entire order, feel free to use my coupon code: BrittATProtein )

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Wednesday:

Success!  I am trying to go to bed by 1oPM tonight,which is early for me!  I wake up at 4Am to workout and take care of my social media before work, so I should go to bed earlier, but hey, it’s a start!

Tomorrow’s Goal: DRINK MORE WATER!  I am challenging myself to hit one gallon minimum tomorrow.  What’s your goal?

Tuesday Accountability- Daily Workouts/Eats

Tuesday Accountability

Pre-Workout:

1/2 White Chocolate Raspberry Quest Bar

Brewed Coffee with Unsweetened Almond Milk, Splenda, and Sugar Free Caramel Syrup

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Mini Ab Circuit:

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Interval Run through the neighborhood :

I run this route all the time.  It’s about 1.5-2 miles with a ton of hills.  Much more often than not, I do intervals (sprinting/recovery walk) as opposed to running at a steady pace.

20 minutes of Yoga:

I haven’t done yoga in a very long time.  My body hasn’t had a “rest day” in a while, so I felt like it could use something of this nature.  I grabbed a yoga mat and pulled up a yoga session on youtube.  I can’t lie, I got a little bored after 20 minutes, but it definitely did the trick in loosening up my hamstrings and opening my hips.

My thoughts on scheduled “rest days”:

I personally don’t believe in scheduled rest days.  I don’t believe it’s necessary to rest every Sunday, simply “because.”  If the body is feeling capable, why not pull out a good training session?  I say take a rest day when your body tells you it needs one, whether that be once in two weeks or twice in one week.  The body will tell you all you need to know.

Breakfast:

1 1/3 C Plain Puffed Rice Cereal with Unsweetened Almond Milk, 3 packets Splenda, 7 Raw Almonds, 1 Tbs Natural Peanut Butter

Salad: 4-5 Oz Grilled Chicken, Greens, Dried Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts, Balsamic Vinaigrette

(Yes, I love salad for breakfast!  Salads are one of my favorite meals; I love how versatile they can be.  If you find one of your challenges to be vegetable consumption, this is a good way to ensure that you get enough veggies in.  It’s also an awesome way to get in extra fiber.  Having salad for breakfast has been a small step in helping many people I know achieve their weight loss goals.  Try something new; give it a go!)

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Lunch:

Buffalo Chicken Wrap: Sauce (Plain, Fat Free Greek Yogurt mixed with Hot Sauce and Buffalo Sauce), Grilled Chicken, Spinach, Fat Free Feta, La Tortilla Low Carb Mini Wrap

Bowl of STUFF (hey, doesn’t have to look good to taste good):  About Time Chocolate Casein Protein Powder (mixed with water), Low Fat 2% Cottage Cheese, Almonds, Puffed Rice Cereal, Splash of Sugar Free Syrup

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Activity:

I decided to go for a power walk around the neighborhood before dinner just to get some extra activity in.  I was sitting most of the day.  I enjoy walking around the neighborhood and listening to scientific, exercise science studies ( dorky, I know! :))   This particular video touched on the relationship between hormones and muscle growth.

I was fortunate to go to UConn, who has the best Kinesiology School in the nation.  There were studies going on all the time in the labs, which is what really sparked my interest.  Looking back, I wish I had gotten more involved, but we always seem to realize these things after the fact.

Dinner:

Egg White Omelet with Onions and Spinach

1/2 Cup Steamed Peas (I like to use a little sweetener to make sweet peas)

4-5 oz Lean Ground Burger (96% Fat Free)

Cherry Tomatoes

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Dessert:

I was planning on having my Sprinkles Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Recipe can be found in “Sweet Treats: Guilt-Free” E-Book located in the “Store” section), but there was only a little piece left and I wanted more dessert than that :)  I ended up making Cocoa Cream of Wheat.

Cocoa Cream of Wheat: Mix 3 Tbs Cream of Wheat, 5 Tbs Liquid Egg Whites, 1 Tbs Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Splenda (or sweetener of choice) Water and bring to a boil.  Continue to add water slowly to give it volume.  I added 1/2 Tbs of Natural Peanut Butter.  This would be an awesome breakfast option.  It would also be delicious with the addition of Chocolate Protein Powder.  I added a side of Unsweetened Almond Milk.

I know, the picture doesn’t do it justice.  I had a nice presentation, then I started to eat it before I took a picture.  Go Figure!

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You may have noticed, I now use “Splenda” a bit more often than I used to.  I used to be a “Stevia” always girl.  I have re-introduced other sweeteners into my diet (mind you, very small amounts).  After reading this article, my mindset changed a bit:

http://www.mohrresults.com/eat-your-medicine/stevia-natural-sugar-alternative-or-toxic-chemical/

Dr. Chris Mohr wrote this article.  I met Dr. Mohr in Florida while getting certified to become an Under Armour Combine360 Trainer.  He is very knowledgeable and puts out a ton of good articles.  Worth the follow.

Tuesday:

Success, but again, minus getting to bed early.  Oh you know, I just stayed up to watch the UCONN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM WIN THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.  Can we say DUAL CHAMPS?!!  I don’t think I could be more proud of my Alma Mater.  Basketball POWERHOUSE!

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Monday Accountability-Daily Workouts/Eats

 

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I thought I’d do something a little different this week. Something that’s both fun and educational, but also serves the purpose of keeping myself (and whoever plans to join along) accountable.

We don’t always have amazing weeks. I personally think that I can do better. This week, I set the goal of doing just that: BETTER. My personal best. I want my workouts to be more intense. I want my nutrition to be more on point. I want to drink more water. I want to get to bed earlier. These are my goals and I am ready to hold myself accountable.

Just remember: It doesn’t matter if you ate junk food all weekend. It doesn’t matter if you missed your morning workout. It doesn’t matter if you ate a doughnut this morning. We start NOW, in this very moment.

This week, Monday-Friday I will be posting my workouts and daily eats. Follow along if you’d like! LET’S ROLL!

MONDAY

*Please remember, how I do things may not be the way that you prefer.  That’s okay!  There are many different routes to reaching the same goal.  With that being said, I believe there is always something valuable that can be taken away from others’ experiences.  I love sharing my fitness journey and following that of others.  It’s important to keep an open mind, learn, share, and evolve.*

4 AM, Pre-Workout:

1/2 White Chocolate Raspberry Quest Bar, Brewed Coffee w/ Unsweetened Almond Milk, Splenda, and Sugar Free Caramel Syrup (Yes, I eat artificial sweeteners here and there, but certainly not a lot of them.  The majority of what I eat is fresh, wholesome food, so I don’t believe a little bit here and there will be harmful).  I have to be very careful what I consume pre-workout.  I am starving when wake up, so I like to get something in my stomach, but I have to keep it light.  Quest Bars seem to be one of the few things I am able to digest quickly without it negatively affecting my workout.  I stick this routine 95% of the time.  The other 5% of the time (usually when I am out of Quest Bars), I opt for a rice cake with powdered peanut butter.  The only pre-workout I have ever really used for a consistent amount of time is all-natural AUX (an About Time product), but the majority of time, coffee is my pre-workout.

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Workout:

The below is the workout I did.  This is a workout designed to keep the heart rate up throughout.  I went through each circuit 3x before moving on to the next one.  For instance, I did 3 rounds of #1 (50x out-to-in jumps, 50x jumping jacks, 15x glute kickbacks) before moving on to circuit #2.  I took no breaks between exercises in each circuit.  Once I went through a full round, I would take about a 15-30 second break before going on to another round.  Technique is always my number one focus, but with this workout, I try to go at max speed.

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Breakfast:

(I usually don’t measure everything out to this degree, but I did it so I could give you all a better idea of exact measurements)

3 Tbs Cream of Wheat, 5-6 Tbs Liquid Egg White Subs, 2/3 Cups Water (microwave)

Added 7 Almonds, 1 Tbs Natural Peanut Butter, About Time Cinnamon Protein Powder, Cinnamon, and a splash of Sugar Free Syrup

1 C Unsweetened Almond Milk

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Lunch:

Egg White Omelete (1 C Egg White Subs) with Fresh Spinach & Fat Free Feta

1 Can Tuna (drained) with Chili Garlic Sauce and Chipotle Mustard

Celery

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Snack:

Salad: Greens, Dried Cranberries, Walnuts, Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/3 C Low Fat 2% Cottage Cheese with a splash of Sugar Free Syrup

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Bulk Cooking/Food Preparation

Normally, I prepare all my food for the week on Sunday night, but I spent the weekend in DC and got back late on Sunday night, which is why I did this on Monday instead.  I find it most important to get my protein cooked for the week, as that always takes the longest.  As long as I have prepared protein, I can throw together other stuff quickly so I can eat healthy on-the-go.  I cooked a ton of chicken with different spices (these spices do have sodium.  Much of what I consume is fairly low in sodium, so adding a bit when I cook is no big deal.  However,  if you are someone that needs to be conscious of sodium intake, Perfect Pinch and Mrs. Dash brand are great salt-free spices).  My favorite protein is lean ground beef (96% fat free).

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Dinner

5oz Lean Ground Beef with Sauteed Onions

Brussels Sprouts (I used steamable Brussels Sprouts and just popped them in the microwave.  After they heat in microwave, I threw them on the frying pan with salt, pepper, and Apple Cider Vinegar to make them crispy.)

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Dessert (Can’t live without it!):

Healthy Pumpkin Pie (recipe can be found in my “Sweet Treats: Guilt-Free” E-Book located in the “Store” section)

Fat Free Whipped Cream

1 C Unsweetened Almond Milk

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Monday:

Success minus getting to bed early.  I have a valid excuse; that being: Watching the UConn men WIN the National Championship.  I can’t say I will be getting to bed early tonight either, as I have the women’s game to watch!  Maybe I can sneak a little nap in :)  Such a proud Uconn Alum and former athlete!!

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