Great news friends! I’ve been invited to be an official member of SELF magazine’s #SELFMade Blogger Collective. Hard work certainly pays off. Now you can read some of my super special blog posts on self.com – yay! There are several other fabulous women who have joined the movement, including #SELFmade celebs like Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, and Allyson Felix! I screen shotted a pic from Jessica Alba’s Instagram (below)
I’m #SELFMade because for the past 3 years I’ve been juggling a full-time consulting career, teaching group fitness classes and blogging. There were many days I reached absolute exhaustion and wanted to quit everything, but I’m glad I stuck it out. Hearing your success stories and knowing that I can make a positive difference in the lives of others makes everything worthwhile.
From your comments and emails, I KNOW that you’re #SELFmade too. Thanks for sharing your gritty stories and continuing to work hard to make your dreams come true. Join the #SELFmade movement by sharing how you’re #SELFMade on Instagram. You can even be entered to win a trip to Hawaii from SELF Magazine! Visit their Instagram profile @SELFMagazine for more details.
Stay #SELFmade! Luv, Brit
Hey gang, here’s little mid-week motivation to keep you going till the weekend. First off, in case you don’t know what indomitable means (I didn’t) here’s the definition:
adjective: that cannot be subdued or overcome, as persons, will, or courage; unconquerable: an indomitable warrior. (source: dictionary.com)
Remember, the happiest and most successful people don’t always have the most strength, talent or the clearest dreams, but they do have the WILL and WORK ETHIC to succeed. On a related note, I was super motivated by Shonda Rhimes recent commencement speech at Dartmouth University. She kept it extra real while advising recent graduates to be “doers” and not “dreamers.” I wanted to share the video with you as some food for thought as we wrap up the week. Keep on fighting the good fight – you got this! xoxo, Brit
This is my favorite “fitspirational” quote. Hopefully it provides some mid-week motivation to move!
You’ll never regret a workout. xoxo, Brit
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.
Have an awesome time outside! #ParkYourThirst
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 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
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat pasta
- Whole wheat bread
- Potatoes (white or sweet)
- Canned beans (any kind – but my fav is Garbanzo, obviously, being a Falafelover, and all :))
- Tofu (extra firm for highest protein content)
- Canned tuna or sardines (in water)
- Cottage cheese (plain, low-fat)
- Collard greens
- Peanut butter (without added sugar/salt)
- 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).
Hey guys! I hope you are enjoying your weekend and looking forward to a wonderful week ahead. As you plan for your weekly grind, I just wanted to share a little nutritional nugget of wisdom. Now, you guys know that I firmly believe getting an early start to the day. That’s right, 5:30 am wake up call! There are numerous wellness benefits of being an “early bird” – get up and get that worm! Not only does waking up early help your productivity, but doing so also entices you to eat breakfast which gets your metabolism going.
When it comes to weight-management, studies show, it’s not just HOW MUCH you eat but WHEN you eat that affects your weight. Long story short, here’s why you should eat your BIG meals EARLY in the day and skip late night snacking…
- People who eat after 8pm have higher Body Mass Indexes (BMI) than those who don’t
- Calories consumed at night are not processed as efficiently as those during the day
- Sleep disruption is likely if your stomach is working hard to process food
- You are likely to eat larger portions later in the day than earlier (Weil Cornell Medical Research)
- At night, you are most likely eating out of boredom, NOT because you are genuinely hungry
That said, you’re probably now asking, “How can I consume calories earlier in the day instead of later?” Well, search no further. I put together this list of 5 Tips to Eat Breakfast Like a King and Dinner Like a Beggar. Check it out 🙂
Consume at least 400 calories for breakfast
Eat protein at breakfast and lunch
Have a hi-fiber snack before and after lunch
Don’t eat after 8:00 pm
Go to bed early!
Show me your GRIT! xoxo, Brit
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas full of blessings in abundance, laughter and good times with people who you love. Enjoy this holiday discount as my personal Christmas gift to you and prepare to kick-start 2014 on a happy and healthy note! CLICK HERE to visit my eStore.
Love you very much – Healthy Holidays! xoxo, Brit
Alright Gang – it’s that time of year. I can’t believe we are only 2 weeks away from Christmas! In my lifelong efforts to be like Oprah, I’ve compiled Brit’s Fit Holiday Gift Picks (my version of Oprah’s Favorite Things). Unfortunately, I’m NOT a baller and you will NOT receive a free gift set of the items above. However, because I’m in the Christmas spirit, I will send a free GRIT by Brit workout tank top to the first 20 people who email me their preferred color (black or blue), size and mailing address (email email@example.com). You’re welcome 🙂
So let’s get to right to it. My holiday fitness wish list goes a little something like this…
- OMG That’s Paleo? Recipe Book ($19.85) – So I started following Juli Bauer on Instagram and quickly became a fan of her blog/social media community PaleOMG. Her recipes are super savory and made with the fitness enthusiast in mind. She gets creative with the Paleo diet which is awesome if you’re sick and tired of eating the standard “burger no bun.”
- Quest Bars Variety Box ($26.99) – If you guys remember my post on the Best and Worst Nutrition Bars, Quest Bars topped my list due to their low sugar, high protein, high fiber and great taste. There are SO many yummy Quest bar flavors, so I would love a variety box. They are also convenient “meals on the go” especially when I ‘m traveling for work.
- Nike FlyKnit Multi Colored Sneakers ($129.90) – I’m a Nike FREE junkie partially due to functionality, but mostly due to style. However, the new Nike FlyKnit sneakers are supposed to be really light, flexible and comfortable. Also, they have this cool multicolored print that I love. I will definitely be getting some of these. Probably 2 pairs.
- Lululemon Reversible Wunder Under Yoga Pants ($92)- These leggings are bold fuchsia on one side and black on the other. Plus they fit like a glove and give your booty a nice little lift. I would wear these to yoga and then continue to wear them to prance around in the grocery store – word.
- Nike Twisted Headband ($15) – Because I’m a headband junkie, 2 different types of headbands made my list. This one is a new design by Nike that’s also very wide and twists like the Turban one. However, this is made of dri-fit moisture-wicking fabric and looks more sporty. I will wear this one to the gym and actually workout in it. I REALLY want one. Bad.
- Puma Women’s All Sport No Show Socks ($14) – These socks are the perfect texture – not too thick and not too thin. They keep my feet relatively dry during sweaty workouts and don’t show at all. Simple and effective. Just my style.
- Up 24 by Jawbone ($149.95) – So, you guys already know I’m obsessed with my Jawbone UP wristband. I wrote a product review a few months ago and my only beef was that there is no blue tooth capability. Well, that’s not the case anymore! The new and improved Jawbone UP 24 now has blue tooth capability so you don’t have to manually plug it into your iPhone to sync. I like to think I influenced that product enhancement.
- Focus T25 by Shaun T & Beach Body ($119.85) – As much as I want to be a Shaun T hater, he has a way of sucking me in. I’ve never tried Insanity, but I’m intrigued by this new T25 program. Essentially, the program is like Insanity but more “focused.” Each workout is only 25 minutes long and is promised to deliver the same results as a longer workout. Also, since I’ve come to the realization that I can only do a home workout for 30 minutes before I start to zone out, I’m even more eager to try T25. I plan start the Focus T25 program the day after Christmas. I’ll give it a formal GRIT by Brit review and share with you guys.
- C9 Champion Cold Weather Pull Over Fleece ($21.24) – This is super cute, super warm and super inexpensive. You can get it at Target. Enough said.
- Bosu Ball ($79.95) – Like 3 years ago I had a personal trainer and he always made me do Bosu Burpees and Bosu Plank stability drills. Since then I kind of stopped because I usually just go to group fitness classes. But, this holiday season I want to buy a Bosu Ball to keep in my house so I can start incorporating the exercises back into my routine. They are super effective for cardio and strength training. Actually, I’ll do a blog post on my favorite Bosu Ball exercises…
- Tribal Print Turban Headband ($10) – Aren’t these headbands presh? So, I don’t necessarily want to wear these to the gym, I just want to wear them with gym clothes. They come in all different patterns, but the tribal prints are my favorites. They give me the perfect balance of looking chic yet effortless. You can get them on Etsy.
- Olive Oil Deep Conditioning Replenishing Pack ($10 for 3 packs) – These deep conditioning treatments are my saving grace. I sweat a lot. Like my hair is wringing wet after a tough workout. I have to be diligent about hydrating my hair, so I do use one of these replenishing pack treatments each week. It’s a good, weekly, deep conditioning routine especially for women with hair texture similar to mine which tends to dry out.
- Lululemon Yeah Yoga Tank ($58) – How cute is the back on this? I like this tank because it’s supportive for those of us who are bustier, but also cute and sexy with the backless crisscross design. I can wear this to yoga AND to kickboxing because it provides enough support. Also, the fabric is thick and fits very snug, which I appreciate.
- Foam Roller ($15-20) – Foam rolling is my massage substitute. It’s also a good warm up for high intensity workouts (along with some light cardio). The foam roller allows you to massage deep into your muscle fibers, generate heat and break up lactic acid. It’s a really good tool to have around your house if you do lots of high impact and high intensity workouts (i.e Kickboxing, Boot Camps, CrossFIT, etc.).
- Sporty Afros G+ Hair Spray ($5-10) – I started using this product from Sporty Afros after I got a sample in a swag bag. It’s amazing! The spray is made specifically for athletes. So after a workout when my hair is sweaty, I spray it heavily on my roots and lightly on my ends, then comb my hair with a wide tooth comb. It helps prevent breakage and keeps my hair moist. Most importantly, it doesn’t feel greasy. I’m a fan!
What’s on your holiday wish list?
I don’t know about you guys, but starting this weekend my schedule is jam-packed with holiday parties – LOVE IT! Many of the parties are “pot luck – style.” So in an effort to avoid overindulging in high calorie desserts, I’ve been researching some “Healthier Holiday Treats” that I can prepare and bring to the festivities. Below are my Top 5 Favorites! Hope you love them too. Enjoy! xoxo, Brit
1. Rocky Road Almond Butter Balls
2. Strawberry Santa Hats
3. Maple Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
4. Sugar and Gluten Free Ginger Snaps
5.Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint
Hey Guys! Hope you had a great weekend. So my “fit friend” and fellow blogger Laura (author of http://www.50by25.com/) gave the great suggestion of creating a weekly resistance workout plan for my blog followers. The plan incorporates very targeted workouts that each focus on a specific muscle group. None of the workouts are full-body circuits (i.e. my infamous Tummy, Booty & Thighs circuit that you guys love so much).
So, the idea is that you need to complete the entire weekly plan in order to get a complete, total body workout. At the beginning of the week, you work the larger muscles groups and then later on in the week you work the smaller ones. This sequencing allows you to get some fierce fitness going on by really exhausting and fatiguing one muscle group at a time. Doing so requires greater muscle repair and consequently, the development of more lean muscle mass.
For best results, complete the following plan in addition to 2-3, 30 minute cardio workouts. Enjoy and let me know how it goes! Lots of luv, Brit