Tips for a healthy, yummy, skinny 4th of July BBQ!

healthy 4th of july dessertHappy Monday!  4th of July is around the corner!  As we American’s celebrate our independence, let’s not go overboard and throw our bikini bodies out of the window.  Here are some 4th of July healthy BBQ tips from Darya Rose at  I also designed a custom workout for you to do on Independence Day.  It doesn’t take too much time.  So just wake up, sweat and head to your BBQ!


6 Tips for not regretting your 4th of July BBQ

1. Use small plates
Research clearly shows that people who choose smaller plates and utensils eat less without even noticing it. The difference can be as substantial as 50% fewer calories consumed, yet everyone reports the same level of fullness and satisfaction. Try borrowing a plate from the kids table or the dessert tray.
2. Eat slowly and mindfully
People who eat more slowly eat fewer calories over the course of a meal. BBQs are a perfect opportunity to pace yourself as you mix and mingle with friends and family. The more you’re chatting, the less you’re eating.
3. Eat healthiest foods first
If you are eating slowly and off small plates, you may as well fill up on the healthiest stuff first. Salads are a great place to start because watery vegetables slow digestion and have very few calories. Try to choose something with oil and protein as well, because these will help you feel full sooner.
4. Skip the chips, crackers and bread
Refined carbohydrates are the worst things you can eat because they offer little satisfaction, loads of calories and dangerous insulin spikes. BBQs are filled with wonderful food, so do yourself a favor and save your calories for the really good stuff.
You don’t have to eat your burger without a bun, but pass on the pointless chips and other snacks that lure you when you’re not thinking. If you’re feeling bored, grab a Frisbee instead.
5. Keep dessert small
The difference between a large slice of cake and a smaller slice of cake can literally be hundreds of calories. And to reiterate, sugar and refined carbohydrates are the most dangerous foods. You don’t have to pass on dessert completely, but keep your portion sizes in check for this course.
6. Think before you drink
There is a place for alcohol in a healthy lifestyle, but making smart choices can be the difference between losing or gaining weight (not to mention your self-control). One sugary margarita can have 600-800 calories. That means 3 margaritas is more food than you should be consuming in an entire day. Is that really worth it? Stick with wine or beer, drink plenty of water and remember to pace yourself.

Happy 4th of July!  Lots of luv,  Brit

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Best ABS Ever!


Sick of crunches?  Search no more.  Here’s a fun, fierce ab workout that I designed and filmed for you guys.  You need to 2 medium dumbbells to complete the workout.  It takes about 10 minutes and you can expect to burn 100 calories.  Do the workout 3-4 times per week along with some cardio to get your Six pack by Summer!

I think you’re FABULOUS!  xoxo, Brit


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10 Minute Legs & Thighs Workout Video: Complaining Won’t Burn Calories!

In the spirit of it being Sunday afternoon, I want to share some good old fashion inspiration.  It goes like this “Always be joyful.  Always keep praying.  No matter what happens, always be thankful.”  (1 Thes. 5:18-16) This is easier said than done, but the truth of the matter is that complaining or having a victim mentality will do us no good in life.  Life is hard.  It always will be.  We know this.  HOWEVER, when we learn to always be thankful we make ourselves STRONG enough to endure and thrive under the most trying circumstances.  This week, I challenge you to practice being joyful.  At the end of each day, think about 5 things that happened in your day that you are grateful for.  It’s amazing how practicing gratitude can totally uplift our outlook on life, energize us and give us more #GRIT.

With that in mind, here’s a new leg workout video that I made last week. It’s HARD but guess what, you CAN do it!   Be thankful for a healthy body that’s able to workout and know that complaining won’t burn calories 🙂  Make it an awesome week.  Lots of luv, Brit

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Cardio + Abs = Six Pack by Summer: Free 10 Minute Workout Video!


Hey hey!  Here’s a new workout video I made last weekend.  It is intense!  If you want a 10 minute cardio and abs workout, search no more.   Expect to burn ~200 calories and for your abs to be on FIRE!  Below is the description of the the workout in case you want to do it on your own without watching the YouTube video.  Hope you like and hope you SWEAT!

Lots of luv, Brit 🙂

GRIT by Brit cardio abs

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Les Mills GRIT Series – Inside Scoop!


Many of you have been asking me my thoughts about the new Les Mills GRIT Series.  Well, I finally got the inside scoop!  Last weekend I passed the official 2-day, super high intensity GRIT module training and will soon become certified Les Mills GRIT coach – holler!

GRIT DFW Coaches

(above – me & the 1st GRIT coaches of Dallas/Fort Worth, TX, USA)

What is it?

Long story short, it’s a small group “CrossFit-like” workout inside of big box gyms…

The GRIT series are 30 minutes HIIT training workouts.  There are 3 types of workouts: 1) Cardio 2) Strength 3) Plyo.   GRIT workout sessions will be offered at select clubs in the United States this year, but have been offered in other countries for a few years now. (see pic below of me getting critiqued while teaching the Plyo workout)picstitch(21)

Now, this isn’t just another group fitness format, this a is  fierce, scientifically proven , athletic training workout targeted to people with lots of mental GRIT or to those want to develop more GRIT – a workout after my own heart 🙂  The sessions are capped to about 15-20 participants and they are done in private sections of fitness clubs.  It’s more like group personal training rather than group fitness.

Why is it so special?

Besides the special combination of strength, plyo and cardio training, what makes the workout unique is the choreography, super fit GRIT coaches (like me – wink wink)  and the music – the base in the music tracks will PUMP you up – dubstep anyone?

What benefits can I expect to get?

The workout it designed to really challenge you and improve your athletic abilities (i.e. speed, strength, agility, power).  During our training class, we spent several hours learning the science behind the GRIT method and how the workout increases our anaerobic threshold (below – see pic of us studying hard). Because the workout is so hard, it just flat out makes you tough.  The small team environment is also really encouraging and uplifting.


How many calories will I burn?

Assuming you give your max effort and really push yourself, I estimate that the average person will burn ~500 calories in a 30 min GRIT class. Pretty darn efficient.  In fact, the workout is so intense that only 2 GRIT workouts per week are recommended.

How much is it going to cost me?

Because this is a special workout there is an additional fee, on top of your monthly club fee.  You get what you pay for!

So what’s the real deal, Brit – YAY or NAY?

To keep things 100% honest, I’m not a huge Les Mills fan.  I think the music is usually outdated and the moves are super corny.  I mean have you done that “super man” side skip in Body Attack?  I seriously left the class when we started doing that.  Different strokes for different folks – but just not my style.

HOWEVER!  GRIT is much different.  For 1 the music is MUCH MUCH MUCH better.  Primarily because there’s no 2010 top 40 tracks.  Instead, it’s mostly hard core hip hop and electronic beats that make you feel fierce and strong!  Also, there’s no corny choreography.  All of the moves are athletic drills and power lifting moves set to the strong base beat of the music.  Last but not least, the workout is freaking hard!  You guys know I’m always up for a challenge.  Well this workout actually kicked my butt and took me back to my old college basketball days.  Also, MEN will enjoy this workout because of the sports conditioning, athletic coaches and the tenacity engrained in the workout.

GRIT by Brit verdict = YAY!  Get involved with Les Mills GRIT!


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March Madness! Basketball Court Workout

Happy March everyone!  The NCAA Men’s bball brackets are out – who you got?  I love college hoops.  This past weekend my lil’ bro came to visit me for his college Spring Break and we hit up the Big East final four at Madison Square Garden (a good look).  Also as a former D1 basketball player, I’m inspired by March Madness because ANYTHING can happen.  May the team with most #GRIT win!

In the spirit of Basketball & Bracketology, I made a basketball court workout for you to enjoy.  Expect to burn a ton of calories and have a ton of fun during this anaerobic workout.  Try it for yourself and let me know how it goes.  Happy Monday!

Lots of luv,



March Madness Basketball Court Workout

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Show some SWAGGER

Brittani Rettig SwaggerAt a very young age, my parents taught me the importance of self-respect and self-confidence.  My mom always had me play the lead in church programs and made sure I was on the front row at my dance recitals.   Later when I started playing sports, my dad would preach that “competitions are just about confidence…if I worked hard and believed that I was better than my opponent, I was!

However as I matured, I started to believe that humility and self-confidence were mutually exclusive (i.e. if I wanted to be humble, that meant I needed to put the needs of others before my own or criticize myself).  However, the TRUTH is exactly the opposite!

As a new vegetarian, I started reading the book “Skinny B*itch” which takes a very no-nonsense approach to healthy living and healthy eating.  There’s a paragraph in the book, that really hammers home my beliefs about self-confidence and SWAGGER:

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“Certainly your health and your body and you are more important than anything else in your life.  You are worthless to your colleagues, friends and family if you do not value yourself enough to take excellent care of you.  Yes, you have to put yourself before your friends, parents,  boyfriend, husband and even your children.  It won’t make you bad daughter or wife or mother; it will make you less resentful, more confident,  interesting,  beautiful, patient, tolerant, and fun person to be around.  Your bright shining light will give everyone around you permission and inspiration to shine more brightly.  Love yourself enough to do whatever it takes to be the best you you can be.”

For your Monday Motivation, I wanted to share this excerpt along with a graphic that my Aunt sent me (shout out to Aunt Cathy).  Think about these truths as you start your week.  I hope they encourage you as much as they encourage me! #GRIT

Lots of luv,

Brit 😉

GRIT by Brit Swagger

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SoulScoop: Official New York SoulCycle Instructor Ranking

Soulcycle logo



I introduced my bestie,  Jazzmin, to SoulCycle about 2 months ago and since then she has officially joined the cult.  She’s not a casual cult member by the way,  shes’ a freakin’  fanatic – I’m talking multiple classes per day sometimes – no joke!

That said, Jazz has taken classes with almost every single instructor across all of the New York studios.  Today she is gracing us with some #realtalk and providing the inside scoop on the best instructors.  You guys know we always keep it extra real on GRIT by Brit…enjoy 🙂

jazzmin lamas

Guest post by Jazmin (AKA Jaz on Jane)  Harvard MBA, NYC Finance Professional, SoulCycle cult member

And here’s the official ranking…

  1. Stacey Griffith: If anyone can get Kelly Ripa bobbing to Khia’s My Neck, My Back (lick it), it’s Stacey.  There is a reason she has a cult following, and the reason is that she’s amazing. She plays Jay-Z, Fleetwood Mac, MIA, Kanya, Nine Inch Nails, and the most incredible mash-ups you could ever imagine (99 Problems/99 Big Red Balloons). She varies the workout just enough (alternates between top of the hill and low resistance intervals) that you sweat your a** off without feeling completely lost.  She’s inspiring. She’s challenging. She’s zen. She’s crunk. She is everything you could want in an instructor and I am clearly obsessed with her.
  2. Nick Oram: Nick is hot. So is his class (literally, you can see the steam on the mirrors).  His class is always a challenge, and there are a few songs that he plays more often than not (Daylight, Summertime Sadness, Everything) which, if you like his taste in music, makes it really fun.  Everyone is on the same page, and bobbing in the same direction.   There is admittedly little to his choreography (lots of around the world), but for me it’s just enough.  
  3.  Charlee (aka Christine Atkins)Charlee is also hot.  She has an amazing body, raspy voice, and dirty mouth.  She reminds me of the girl with the dragon tattoo, minus all the scary piercings.  Her playlist is dark and dramatic (Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Eminem, insane instrumentals) and the beats have a way of pushing you through her grueling workout.  I love the way she goes heavy on the tap-back push ups so they are right on beat.  Charlee likes to say at the beginning of each class that the “ride is only as hard as you want to make it,”  but I think it’s pretty challenging no matter what.
  4.  Parker Radcliffe: Parker reminds me of Kurt from Glee.  He is upbeat and endearing and does cute dances in the mirror.  His classes are somewhat inconsistent, however.  Sometimes they are challenging and the music is killer and sometimes it’s less demanding and heavy on the house/techno, which I’m personally just not that into. 
  5.  Emma Zaks: I heard that in LA they have 90’s themed rides.  Emma is like a Z100 DJ circa 1996 (think Four Non Blondes, Collective Soul, Whitney Houston).  The workout was also challenging, heavy on the resistance and the arms section was really long.  I like how invested she is in our getting a good workout – telling the class where and when to squeeze and reminding us not to ruin it all when we got home by pigging out (“just eat lots of protein”).  I can see how her class might appeal more to women, but as a female 80s baby I dug it.
  6.  Rique Uresti: Four words: TOP OF THE HILL. That is pretty much where you will spend the entire class. Everybody knows Rique is one of the most challenging instructors, and I think that’s one of the reasons he has such a big following.  Rique reminded us that “a tight bike equals a tight body,”  and besides the Canadian sounding “ayes” that followed a few too many sentences, I LOVED his attitude.  “Keep up that resistance, and soon enough you’ll be sleeping with cuter people.”  Sign me up!  The only thing I wasn’t into was Rique’s music. I like songs with words, and his playlist was lacking. I’ll give him another chance, but for that reason he’s not my personal fave. 
  7.  Jolie Walsh: One of my friends who is a Nick/Rique devotee recommended I check out Jolie. Jolie was super cute, the kind of person you want to go out dancing with after class (she kept saying things like, “pretend you are at a club” or “I can’t wait for spring break”! The class was really upbeat and she counts in Spanglish so you feel really inspired to get bikini ready for that beach vacation. 
  8.  Sydney Miller: Sydney took my soul cycle virginity. The first class was high energy (two of her best friends were in the class and it also happened to be both of their birthdays) and it just what I needed to get hooked.  Sydney is great for first timers, very explicit in her instructions but also willing to critique.  In one class she repeatedly reminded me to keep my knees in (both on and off mic).  Though I was a teeny bit embarrassed, it was a much-needed and appreciated cycling form correction.  
  9. Danny Kopel: Danny is another SoulCycle favorite who isn’t 100% for me. The two times I took his class, I didn’t find it challenging enough.  I also thought the music was mixed (although in the second class he played 3 Michael Jackson songs, which was fun).  He is entertaining and fabulous, but I enjoy more of a challenge. 
  10.  Jeremy Whistine: I was really excited to take Jeremy’s class because I always hear the music before going into Nick’s 5:30 and its great.  Apparently Jeremy’s Friday evening class is his most popular, but the class I went to wasn’t very full.  That makes it more challenging for the instructor to get the energy up, but it’s still no excuse.  His music was great, but the class wasn’t challenging at all.  For the first time when I got off the bike I went to the front and asked to get into the next class, which ended up being my first experience with Charlee and my first back to back.  If you are going to go with Jeremy, I would say try to Friday night class where there is  presumably more energy. 
  11.  Madison Lari: I haven’t taken a Madison class in a while, but in general I would say that she provides a solid workout to a solid soundtrack.  In the middle of one class, at the top of the hill she proclaimed “ugh I was in such a bad mood before this class, but not any more”.  She just reminded me what an amazing distraction SoulCycle is to an otherwise hectic/stressful/burdensome life of a New Yorker.
  12. Melanie Griffith: When I took Melanie’s class, it was the first time I experienced an instructor who was off the bike the entire class (Stacey and Rique are never on the bike).  As a beginner, I thought this was kind of weird and that I didn’t get the full Melanie experience.  What I did learn from Stacey and Rique is that even if the instructor is off-bike, they can still be engaging and easy to follow.  I found Melanie to be insightful and enjoyable, but I didn’t leave her class dying to schlep uptown just to see her. 
  13.  Bea Del Rosario:  I took my first SoulSurvivor (60 minute class) with Bea when I was visiting my parents near Roslyn.  The feel of the whole place was different, it was also Super Bowl Sunday at 5pm – so most normal people were at home prepping for Beyonce.  On a positive note, Bea played mostly pop (she also can’t get enough of Rhianna’s Diamonds) and was good at helping people find the beat.  Unfortunately, many of her transitions were off and we would end up having to stop randomly mid-count.  There were also a few straight “recovery”, but I didn’t feel like there was anything to recover from.  Going in I was concerned about taking a 60-minute class, but unfortunately Bea just didn’t push it enough.
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Love Your Body Day #5: Eat Good to Feel Good

We ARE what we EAT….  You’ve heard the saying over and over again but most of us (including me) still struggle to maintain a healthy, nutritious diet.  Since today is the last day of my “love your body” series I figured I’d talk about the #1 way to love your body = nourish it with healthy food!

fantasic foods

Here’s 10 fantastic foods that make you FEEL & LOOK good courtesy of

  • BLUEBERRIES The ultimate immune-boosting food. Rich in anti-oxidants.
  • BROCCOLI Guards against cancer and is rich in a wide range of anti-oxidants, vitamins C and E, folate and iron.
  • CARROTS High in carotenes, known to boost the immune system.
  • LETTUCE AND SALAD GREENS Tangy varieties, such as chicory and endive, stimulate the liver, making them great detoxifiers. Most lettuces contain valuable amounts of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.
  • BEETROOT Bursting with minerals and has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, immune-boosting and detoxifying properties.
  • BRAZIL NUTS You only need to eat two or three a day to benefit from their great combination of immune-boosting nutrients: vitamin E, selenium and B vitamins.
  • GRAPEFRUIT Has immune-boosting, antiseptic, wound-healing and anti-bacterial properties.
  • GARLIC Strengthens the heart and blood, and has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Also thought to help lower blood pressure. A key ingredient is allicin, which has cancer-fighting potential.
  • CRANBERRIES Best known for helping to prevent and treat urinary tract infections, especially cystitis, in women. They have both anti-fungal and antiviral properties.
  • GINGER Stimulates the immune system and circulation.

love your body series image

Love your body today by eating well. We can’t out exercise a bad diet #GRIT

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