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Outdoor Fitness Fun for Earth Month: 10 Minute HIIT Workout then #ParkYourThirst with Honest Tea

In honor of Earth Month, I’m encouraging you to spend some time outdoors especially at your local parks!  Here’s a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout I filmed in Central Park – NYC around this time last year.  Try it for yourself during your next park visit.  Outdoor workouts provide  several added benefits over working out indoors.  Not to mention, in great weather they’re just more fun!

Also, here’s a cool info-graphic I received from my sponsors at Honest Tea.  They surveyed over 2,000 people across the US seeking to learn how our parks (both local and national) impact us today.  They learned over 54% of Americans wished they spent more time outdoors, and 41% said they go to the park to get away from the hustle and bustle, and restore mental clarity.  With that knowledge, me and my Honest Tea sponsors are challenging you to return to the parks this spring to refresh—mind, body and soul.  Our goal is to see people empowered to become advocates for their park—be it a national park, or the one just around the corner.   Honest Tea will be rewarding people for taking a “selfie” at any park via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and tag it with #ParkYourThirst.

ParkYourThirst_InfoGraphic-FINAL4Have an awesome time outside! #ParkYourThirst

xoxo, Brit

 


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Nutritional BANG for your BUCK: Tips for healthy grocery shopping on a budget

Nutritional BANG for your BUCK

Guest Post – For more nutrition advice visit www.lknutrition.com

As a self-proclaimed “FalafeLover” (and “many-other-foods-lover”) in Brooklyn, grabbing a yummy meal at one of the Big Apple’s thousands of amazing eateries is pretty par-for-the-course when it comes to socializing & enjoying New York City life.

BUT, eating out’s not always super budget friendly…

(9 bucks for a measly chicken sandwich… Say what??)

In an effort to save some moola, I committed to avoiding (*almost* all) restaurant-dining in March – as part of my FalafeLover in Brooklyn blog series, where I challenge myself to add or eliminate a new “habit” each month. My overall goal for this challenge was to food shop and cook more frugally, without sacrificing the nutritional quality of my meals.

One major take-away has been learning how to better navigate the aisles of my local grocery store, and identify the most low-cost/nutrient-dense foods. News flash to the health-and-budget conscious: healthy home-cooking can still be quite expensive (especially in the city), IF you’re not savvy about it….

….But have no fear, Falafelover is here! To let you know that it IS possible to eat well without breaking your bank account.  And now presenting…

FalafeLover’s TOP HEALTHY/CHEAP GROCERY LIST

Grains/Starches

  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes (white or sweet)

Protein

  • Canned beans (any kind – but my fav is Garbanzo, obviously, being a Falafelover, and all :))
  • Tofu (extra firm for highest protein content)
  • Eggs
  • Canned tuna or sardines (in water)
  • Cottage cheese (plain, low-fat)

Fruit

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Pears

Non-starchy veggies

  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots

Healthier fats

  • Peanut butter (without added sugar/salt)
  • Avocados
  • Raw nuts (unsalted, in bulk – more cost-effective)

Bonus tips for getting most nutritional bang for your buck:

  • Go for the generic brand whenever you have the option– there’s almost always no difference in the quality
  • For canned beans, make sure to rinse out the excess salt
  • Cook a big pot of rice or pasta for the week, and then portion it out and use as a base for different stir-fries, soups, etc.
  • Produce prices ebb and flow big time depending upon what season we’re in. Berries are cheaper in summer, and squash is cheaper in fall/winter, for example. Go for the produce that’s in-season when you can (it’s fresher and yummier, too).
  • Don’t worry about buying organic. It’s not worth it, in my opinion. Just wash your produce well, and you’ll be good to go.
  • Skip the protein/granola/energy bars and make your own healthy snacks, like a DIY trail mix with nuts, seeds, dried fruit and little pieces of chocolate.
  • Invest in a water bottle and enjoy nature’s healthiest and cheapest form of hydration, H20! Skip the vitamin-infused stuff (way over priced for the lack of nutritional value it offers) and the juice (fresh fruit is cheaper – 30 cents for an orange versus 1 or 2 bucks for a bottle of OJ).


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4 Effective Moves for Firm Thighs

4 Effective Moves

As I eagerly await warmer weather and the reemergence of cut-off shorts into my wardrobe rotation, I’ve been doing some extra leg exercises.  My “Daisy Dukes” look especially nice on toned firm thighs!  Here are the 4 moves I rely on to tone my lower body.  Each move is dynamic and can be performed with only your body weight or by holding dumbbells for added resistance.  For best results, I recommend doing 2-3 sets of 15 reps of each exercise at least 3 days per week.  As the moves get comfortable, start using dumbbells and increasing the weight to ensure that you are building lean muscle mass and getting maxim, thigh-firming results.  Below are photos and step by step instructions.

Have fun and feel the burn stepping up, donkey kicking, lunging and squatting! xoxo, Brit

Step Ups

Step Ups 

Place right foot in the middle of step and step up as you balance your body for 1-2 seconds on the right leg. Your left leg should be behind your body to help stabilize your weight as it is shifting. Step down with your left leg first and continue on down with your right. Try for 2 sets of 10-12 repetitions for each leg. Source: Spark People

Donkey Kicks

Donkey Kicks

Kneel down on an exercise mat. Use your elbows to support your upper body. Lift one leg up and kick it straight in the air (upward). Try to kick as high as possible. Lower your leg until your knee is just below parallel to the floor. Repeat the kick on the opposite leg. Source: Workoutz

Walking Lunges

Walking Lunges

Step forward with right leg and lower your body to 90 degrees at both knees. Don’t step out too far. There should be 2 to 2.5 feet between your feet at this point. Keep your weight on your heels and don’t allow your knees to cross the plane of your toes.   From here, push up, bringing the rear leg forward until you are standing straight again. Step forward with opposite leg and repeat, walking forward for all reps.  Source: Spark People

Plie' Squats

Plie’ Squats

Begin in a wide stance with toes out at a comfortable angle. Your knees will need to stay aligned with your toes, so don’t go out too far.  Bend the knees and lower down into a squat, keeping knees in line with toes, abs contracted and back straight.  Only go down as low as you can without compromising your flexibility or your balance.  Push back to start without locking the knees.  Source: Exercise About.com


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Good things come to those who SWEAT

good-things

Hope your week is off a to a great start – mine certainly  is.  Last week was quite hectic for me. I had to travel to both Memphis and Salt Lake City for work.  When the weekend came I was completely exhausted.  Needless to say, I did not feel like the hitting the gym on Saturday nor doing anything that required even the slightest bit of energy.  Fortunately, the thought of hanging out with my “fit friends” was enough motivation to keep me from skipping my Saturday morning workout.  Afterwards not only did my body feel better, but I was less stressed and had a more positive attitude overall.  It was like magic – lots of good vibes and positive energy.  That’s the beauty of exercise, it’s great for the mind, body and soul.  Activity generates the energy that brings about good vibes.  Good things come to those who sweat!

On that note, here’s some fitspiration to get your sweat on –  20 Minute Calorie Blaster treadmill workout from the GRIT by Brit archives.  You can check out the original blog post for detailed instructions.  I highly encourage you to give this bad boy a whirl some time this week.  I am.

short-sprints-equal-long-strolls2And finally,  check out these 13 Mental Health Benefits of exercise.  On the list, Stress Relief ranks #1.  I can attest to the accuracy of this claim.  Just for fun, here’s a pic of me and my girlfriends on Saturday night enjoying the residual good vibes from my morning workout.

Wishing you a wonderful week with lots of sweat and good things!  xoxo, Brit

Feeling rejuvenated after a good Saturday Sweat sessions and enjoying a lovely evening with my lovely girlfriends.

Enjoying a lovely Dallas evening with my lovely girlfriends!  Feeling rejuvenated after a solid Saturday morning Sweat session :)


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Spring into Shape – Top 5 Super Sweaty YouTube Workouts

spring into shape

Now that Spring is upon us, I bet you’re super eager to rock your sundresses.   I am.  Fortunately, this weekend marks my official return to teaching Turbo Kick classes since my surgery in January. I’m excited and super nervous all at the same time.  Wish me luck!  While I’m huge advocate for group fitness (i.e. TurboKick, CrossFit, Yoga, Barre, etc.), I appreciate that sometimes we simply can’t make it to the gym.  On these days having a nice repository of fun, effective and free workout videos is key!  Here are my 5 favorite super sweaty YouTube workout videos that will have you drenched in sweat and feeling slim and sexy for your patio brunch.

For best results, do the following 7 day plan = 1 video per day for 3 consecutive days + 1 day of Yoga +  1 video per day for 2 consecutive + 1 day of weight training

  1. HIIT Cardio: 10 Minutes by MomsIntoFintess 

2. 15 Minute Cardio by Yours Truly

 3. 15 Minute Insanity Cardio Workout Exercises by HASFit 

 4.  Burn fat, Burn calories, Aerobic, Full Length Workout Video by Jessica Smith

5. Fat Burning HIIT Cardio Video by FitnessBlender

What’s your favorite YouTube workout?  Let me know!

Get ready to rock your sundress! xoxo, Brit


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Celebrating 2 years of Blogging! GRIT by Brit #blogiversary giveaway

cupcake2

Wow – I can’t believe 2 years have passed since the first GRIT by Brit blog post.  To celebrate our 2nd blogiversary I’m having a giveaway – yay! The first 10 people to post a gym selfie on Instagram with hashtag #gritbybrit will receive a free GRIT by Brit workout tank top.  You can check out the styles at my eStore.  I’ll message the winners for their mailing address and size (S/M/L/XL).  Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram @GRITbyBrit.

Let’s also take a little trip down memory lane.  First up, CLICK HERE to read the inaugural GRIT by Brit workout from March of 2012 – I called it the “Sexy Ladies Sweat Sesh” (wink wink).  Also, here’s a recap of the 5 posts I most enjoyed writing this past year.  While all of my posts have sentimental value, these 5 especially stand out.  Hopefully these can be your pleasure reading for the week.

  1. 10 Healthy Habits for Sustained Success - A random list of 10 habits I strive to live by (it’s a lifelong journey)
  2. 10 Minute Abs & Thighs Workout Video – My first YouTube workout video
  3. Show some Swagger - Reflecting on the importance of prioritizing our needs/health over pleasing other people.
  4. Love Your Body: Get Hate Your Heart – Exploring the physical healing power of forgiveness.
  5. Why Not Have a Big Life – Just a “feel good” post :)

Thanks for joining me on my GRITTY blogging journey!  

Lots of luv, Brit

Grinning from ear to ear as I celebrate to awesome years of blogging! #grateful

Grinning from ear to ear as I celebrate 2 awesome years of blogging! #grateful

 


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10 Minute Total Body Bosu Ball Workout #GRITbyBrit

bosu-ball-workout

Hey gang!  Here’s your workout for the week.  While I’m a big fan of equipment-free workouts, I decided to switch it up this week and incorporate a personal favorite fitness toy – the Bosu Ball! I chose the Bosu Ball because it made my  GRIT by Brit Holiday Fitness Gift picks back in December.  Bosu exercises are great for increasing stability and working the core.  They’re also a nice change-up from typical dumbbell or barbell workouts.

After designing and testing this routine, I assure you’ll get a serious sweat and feel toned and tight throughout your core.  The exercises quickly elevate your heart rate making this workout a good option for days when you’re short on time.  The entire workout takes about 10 minutes and you can expect to burn ~100-150 calories.  For best results, knock this out everyday for 5 days straight.  See below for instructional images to guide you – enjoy!

xoxo,

Brit

Instructional Images

Toe Taps (alternate legs back and forth w/ one foot tapping the top of the Bosu and the other foot on the ground, then switch)

Toe Taps (alternate legs back and forth w/ one foot tapping the top of the Bosu and the other foot on the ground, then switch)

Bosu Ball Lunges (alternate legs)

Bosu Ball Lunges (alternate legs)

Bosu Mountain Climbers (alternate legs)

Bosu Mountain Climbers (alternate legs)

Bosu Plank Hold

Bosu Plank Hold

Bosu Burpees

Bosu Burpees