Tag Archives: wellness

These 7 Foods Hide Massive Amounts of Sugar

Hey gang – happy Tuesday!  I hope your week is off to a good start.  I’ve been working away setting up my new fitness studio, Dallas GRIT Fitness.  It’s truly a dream come true, but boy is it a TON of work.  Yesterday the painters started preparing the walls, we got internet installed and I made a final decision on the flooring – woo hoo!  The work continues today so I’m having my friend and fitness partner in crime, Turner, fill in a guest blog post for me.  I’ll be back in action tomorrow with your workout of the week.  I’ll also post some pics of the progress we are making on my studio.  Talk soon.  Lots of luv, Brit

7 healthy foods loaded with sugar

Guest Post from Turner Cavender, owner of Dallas Fit Body Boot Camp. Follow Turner on Instagram @turnercavender

It’s hard to avoid sugar when many common foods secretly contain loads of it.

You may already know that eating an excess of sugar will derail your fitness progress and quickly lead to an increase in body fat.  To add to this fact, recent studies are proving that sugar is even more dangerous than we once thought.

According to a new study published in JAMA International Medicine, our risk of heart attack doubles when 20 percent or more of our caloric intake come from sugar.  That is no joke!  Knowing this, let’s uncover the 7 common foods that you may not have thought contain high amounts of sugar.

1. Fruit Yogurt
Yogurt is packaged and marketed as a diet food for women, which is outrageous. The pretty little packages may be low in fat, but just one serving contains a whopping 19 grams of sugar.

2. Pasta Sauce
This one may come as a surprise, since pasta sauce is considered to be a savory food, but alas, it has loads of sugar hiding in it. For every half a cup of store bought pasta sauce you’re ingesting 12 grams of sugar.

3. Agave Nectar
Many think of agave nectar as a free pass, since it has been so cleverly marketed as a “health food,” but sadly this sweetener is just as dangerous as white sugar. Agave nectar is 85% fructose.

4. Dried Fruit
Yes, even our fruit isn’t safe anymore. Most companies are adding extra sugar in with their dried fruit, making it as sweet as candy. Just 1/3 of a cup contains 24 grams of sugar.

5. Granola Bars
Granola bars may boast “wholesome, whole grains “on the package, but your it’s hiding a sickly sweet secret. The average packaged granola bar contains 12 grams of sugar.

6. Energy Drinks
When you need an afternoon pick-me-up, think twice before reaching for that energy drink. Mega energy drinks contain up to 83 grams of sugar.

7. BBQ Sauce
There’s a reason that those BBQ chicken wings are finger licking good…all that sugar it’s hiding. A 2 Tablespoon serving will set you back 13 grams of sugar. Start eliminating the sugar-packed foods in your diet today. Your body and your heart will both be in better shape for it.

And let’s not forget the critical role that a challenging, consistent exercise program has in your quest for good health and a fit physique. My programs are specially designed to blast fat and to build muscle in all the right places.  Email me at Turner@dallasfbbc.com to get started on a fat loss program that really works.  Here’s to good health!

Bridal Shower, Kickboxing & Pumpkins – OH MY!

Happy Monday my friends!  I hope your week is off to wonderful start.  I taught an indoor cycling class this morning and now I’m at my neighborhood Starbucks sipping away on my grande bold coffee and working away on my blog.  This was a big football weekend in Dallas.  Our city hosted the Red River Shoot Out (Texas vs. Oklahoma football game) so every bar and restaurant was filled with the energy of football enthusiast.  I loved it!

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Enjoying the poolside view at SiSu Dallas on Friday night!

On Friday night, my friends Andria, Ashley and I went out for happy hour at SiSu Uptown Dallas.  They have beautiful outdoor pool bar, as you can see above.  We mixed, mingled and sipped our drinks while enjoying the lovely Dallas skyline.  The weather was absolutely perfect – cool enough to wear jeans and cute scarves but warm enough that we we’re weren’t chilly.  I didn’t stay out to too late because I had a teach an 8:00am cycling class at Beyond Pedaling  on Saturday morning.

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Me and my bestie Leslie at her bridal shower this weekend.

After my cycling class on Saturday, I co-hosted a bridal shower for a my childhood best friend Leslie who’s getting married in 2 weeks (pictured above).  We’ve been friends since we were 12.    Just for a little Monday chuckle, I’m also sharing a pic of us when we were 13 – haha (see below).  We’ve come a long way.  She’s gonna kill me when she sees this post.  Oh well, I value our friendship and am so grateful to have a friend who loves me unconditionally, flaws and all.  We had a wonderful time eating yummy brunch food, playing games and sipping mimosas.  After the bridal shower I was super tired, so I laid low and chilled at my bachelorette pad for the rest of the day.

Me and Leslie over 15 years ago - the mini pony tails around the hair line (yikes!) - haha

Me and Leslie over 15 years ago – the mini pony tails around the hair line (yikes!) – haha

On Sunday, I did my usual: Wake up early > eat a big breakfast > Church/read some inspirational books/watch OWN Super Soul Sunday > teach afternoon Turbo Kick.  I’m so happy that my class has been growing.  When I first took over this class, only 10-15 people would show up each week and now our class has grown to 25-30 attendees.  I love the energy of the class and that everyone works so hard.  We have a lot of fun and, of course, I blast the music to keep things lively 🙂

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Post Turbo Kick Selfie (I was spent!)

After kickboxing, I stopped by my parents’ house to watch the Dallas Cowboys whip up on the Seattle Seahawks!  How bout dem Cowboys?!  I also enjoyed my mom’s Sunday dinner – yum!  I love a free meal.  When I got home last night I worked on my blog, lit my pumpkin scented candles and sipped some hot Lemon-Ginger tea (wonderful for digestion BTW).  It was the perfect end to a wonderful weekend.

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My little pumpkins (gifts from my friend Lew) alongside my pumpkin-scented candle

 How was your weekend?  What are your workout plans this week? 


Power Bell Workout = Kettlebell + Dumbbell Circuit

Hello Friends!  Hope your day is off to a good start.  I taught my very first cycling class at Beyond Pedaling in Dallas this morning – it went great!  I’m so glad that the jitters are out and now I can go full speed ahead.  Even though I’ve been teaching fitness classes for over 3 years, every time I join a new studio or start teaching a new format, I get major butterflies in my stomach.  Are you taking on any new challenges this Fall?  I hope so!

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Anyway, here’s a workout that I created a few weeks ago while I was traveling for work.  I did it in my hotel gym because they had dumbbells and kettle bells, which was a nice change-up from the usual half-broken stationary bike.  I enjoyed my workout so wanted to share with you.  Obviously, you need a kettlebell and a pair of dumbbells to complete the circuit.  If you don’t have a kettelbell, you can use one dumbbell in place of the kettlebell for certain exercises.  The circuit is designed to keep your heart rate elevated and blast calories.  This means you should get a good sweat going!  However, if you want some extra cardio, I suggest warming up with 10-15 minutes on the elliptical or treadmill.  The total workout can be done in less than 30 minutes. Give it a whirl and let me know how it goes!  I also included some action shots below of me doing the workout (please be merciful as it was 5:30am and I had no make up and a messy top not).

ENJOY!  Lots of luv, Brit

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell Swings

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Kettlebell Plie’ Squats

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Squat w/ shoulder press (Thrusters)

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Push Ups

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Berry Pickers / Russian Twist

Push Away All Negative Vibes: 5 Tips to Maintain a Positive Mindset

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In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a pretty “smiley” person.  People always ask me, “how do you stay so positive?”  The reality is that I don’t always feel good or optimistic, but over the years I’ve started practicing some strategies to help me maintain a positive attitude.  I thought it would be a good idea to summarize my positivity pointers into 5 tips to share with you guys.  Here they go…

  1. Focus on Self-improvement – “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” – Anais Nin.  I love this quote because it’s so brutally honest.  Usually if our outlook on life is negative, it’s because we have chosen to cultivate negative energy.  On the flip side, if we focus on improving ourselves (i.e. getting physically fit, growing spiritually, developing a skill, being a better a friend, etc.) we can naturally develop a more positive outlook.
  2. Avoid Negative People – I know I sound like a broken record, but negative people are like deathly toxins.  You know who I’m talking about…that one person who no matter if they won the lottery, landed a dream job or found the love of their life would still only see the downside of the situation.  Unfortunately, we can’t control other people.  We can only control ourselves.  So it’s in our best interest to identify these negative people and stay as far away from them as possible.
  3. Write down your Happy Moments – This one is simple.  Just a take moment at the end of each day and write down 3 good things that happened.  This habit has magical positivity powers!
  4. Serve Someone  – Often we can be “Debbie Downers” because we are too focused on our own lives and our own problems.  Sometimes, simply focusing all of our energy on helping someone else and understanding their needs provides an instant pick me up.  Better yet, we can help someone else while helping ourselves.  Finding a way to serve others also helps us identify our purpose in life because ultimately we are all here to help each other.  And when we feel that our lives have purpose, it’s a lot easier to be positive.
  5. Say a Motivational Morning Mantra – My late grandmother (we called her Mudear) would always says that the first 5 minutes of your day set the tone for the rest of the day.  I’m not sure that this claim is based in science, but if an old country woman says it, I believe it.  The best way to take control of your day is wake up and recite, out loud, a positive mantra.  Now a mantra is simply a positive affirmation stating something that you believe (or want to believe) to be true.  For instance ,”I am enough.” “Today is the best day of my life.” “I am loved.” You get the gist.  There’s extra power in reciting these mantras out loud rather than just thinking them in your head.  Go ahead and give it a whirl tomorrow morning 🙂

Wishing you week filled with good vibes and positive energy!  Post a comment and let us know if you are going to incorporate any of these tips into your daily routine.  xoxo, Brit

Icebreaker Merino Wool Fitness Hoodie #icebreakeradventure

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Warming up for Turbo Kick in my Sublime Long Sleeve Zip Hoodie #IceBreaker Adventure

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So, you fellow Texans will be able to relate to the annoyance of having to deal with constantly changing temperatures during the Summer.  When you walk outside it’s 100 degree blazing heat and then when you step foot indoors, the AC is on super blast and it’s below 65 degrees.  Know what I’m talking about?

Well this is especially an issue for me because I teach most of my group fitness classes indoors at large gyms.  When I was offered a sample of this merino wool hoodie, I got super excited because it’s midweight and breathable, so I don’t get too hot.   Also, this company, Icebreaker Merino, seems pretty cool.  They are fairly new and based in New Zealand (I’m all about showing love to start-up companies).  While I’m not a real “outdoorsy” girl, I do love being active.  This brand seems to blend well across the “granola” types and the “trendy/chic” consumers.

My Icebreaker hoodie stands out from my others because it’s naturally odor resistant and breathable, which is great for chicks like me who sweat a lot.  (I hate it when my clothes stink after a workout – ugh!)  I also love the princess seams, front hand pockets, back air vent and slightly cropped length – stylish and functional.  I like it a lot and highly recommend!

What’s you favorite fitness hoodie?  


4th of July Giveaway from Sweaty Bands & 20 Minute Cardio Workout

Hey Gang – Happy (almost) 4th of July!  In honor of the upcoming holiday I’m hosting a giveaway of 2 super cute headbands from Sweaty Bands (pictured below)!  I love Sweaty Bands because they come in TONS of bright colors and cool patterns and most importantly, they don’t slip during your workout.  To participate in the giveaway, just post a comment telling me your 4th of July weekend workout plans – be creative!  I’ll pick a winner and announce on Wednesday, July 2nd!  Also, be sure to include your email address or a way that I can contact you if you win.

2 Super Cute Sweaty Bands to be given away to 1 lucky winner!  Post your 4th of July Workout plans below to enter to win!

2 Super Cute Sweaty Bands to be given away to 1 lucky winner! Post your 4th of July Workout plans below to enter to win!

In case you’re pressed for time this weekend, here’s a quick and very effective cardio workout that you can complete in 20 minutes.  I do this workout in my hotel room all the time – it’s simple and sweaty!  Warning – there’s a lot of jumping incorporated, so if you have chronic knee pain or knee injuries, this is not your ideal workout.  For best results, move quickly from one exercise to the next and ONLY rest during the set rest times.  You can expect to burn 250-300 calories in 20 minutes or less.  Be sure to stretch after you’re finished.  If you have questions about any of the exercises, email me at brit@gritbybrit.com.  Also, YouTube has tons of example videos to guide you.  Give my 20 Minute Cardio workout a whirl and let me know how it goes.  Also, don’t forget to share your weekend workout plans to win these adorable Sweaty Bands.  Have a great week!  xoxo, Brit

20 Minute Cardio Workout

5 Tips to Ensure Good Health

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I’ve been getting over a cold the past few weeks which had me feeling pretty groggy.  Thank God I don’t sick very often, but when I do I recognize a pattern of  lifestyle changes that largely contribute to my lack of health.  For instance,  I get sick when I overindulge, get stressed out or spend minimal time doing activities that energize me (like teaching fitness classes).  I saw this quote and loved it because it rings so true to my personal health.  Of course I added some “GRIT by Brit flare” and elaborated on each point with my colorful commentary.   I hope these words of wisdom keep you healthy today, tomorrow and forevermore! xoxo, Brit

1. Eat Lightly

Eating well and eating lightly are two different things.  I have several friends, including me, who overeat because we are eating “healthy” foods.  This is not a good look.  Hopefully you read the guest post I featured on Intuitive Eating.  If not, go check it out.  Bottom line is that overeating may cause temporary satisfaction but it ultimately leads to sickness, obesity and even depression.

2. Breathe Deeply

Breathing deeply requires to us to tap in to our diaphragm and “fill up our bellies” with air. I learned the technique and value of breathing deeply through my yoga practice. I find that deep breaths calm my nerves and help me process my thoughts. “Deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange — that is, the beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. Not surprisingly, it can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure.” (Source: Harvard Medical School)

3. Live Moderately

It is possible to have too much of a good thing.  As much as I love to travel and socialize, I have to be mindful of getting burnt out.  The same goes for sipping wine, shopping, investing in relationships, etc. Every few weeks it’s a good idea for me stay in, not make any plans for the weekend and just chill on my couch with a few good books.   To ensure good health, we must be mindful of aiming for moderation in all aspects of life – even the good stuff.

4. Cultivate Cheerfulness

Nothing brings about sickness more than sadness.   Go out of your way to be cheerful.  For me, the trick is to never allow myself to get really down in the dumps.  I mean, obviously life brings about some serious challenges and it’s healthy to grieve.  However, I believe in the laws of Physics.  A body in motion, stays in motion.   A mind that starts cultivating negative thoughts continues to cultivate negative thoughts.  It takes a TON of energy to perform a 180 degree turn.  It’s a lot easier to move forward in the direction you are already headed.   So make a conscious effort to cultivate cheerfulness even during tough times – Fake it till you make it!

5. Maintain An Interest In Life

I find that my interest in life diminishes when I’m feeling hopeless.  To me, being hopeful about life and being interested in life go hand in hand.  Life is crazy complex but it always works out for the good.  So stay hopeful.  Be interested in helping others, observing beauty and seeking the happy ending.  This curiosity will initiate a personal vitality and internal energy to help ensure good health.