3 Healthy Habits For An Active Lifestyle

Hey Friends! I recently got back from Mexico with my boyfriend on a much-needed 4 day vacay. We went to Playa del Carmen Mexico for a little fun in the sun. Here are a few pics from our trip…

Beautiful view from our hotel balcony
Of course I enjoyed many mojitos ūüôā

As much I love chillin’ and relaxing it’s so good to come back home to a job I love!   Upon my return, I immediately got back in the swing of things by teaching 4 classes in 1 day, 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening. No rest for the weary ūüôā

While I’ve quickly got back into my workout routine, I’ve been pretty sloppy about getting adequate nutrition and rest. This week I’m making a personal goal to recommit to some of the daily habits that I’ve always sworn by, namely the following:

  • Get 8 hours of sleep each night
  • Drink 2 liters of water each day
  • Take 1 multivitamin each day

I hope sharing these daily goals with you helps me stay accountable throughout the week. Wish me luck! If you’re looking for more healthy habits, check out my Top 10 Healthy Habits for Sustained Success!  What are some of you healthy habits?

Have a happy, healthy week ahead.  xoxo, Brit

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Brit’s Tastiest Top 5 Healthy Holiday Treats: Lower Calorie Dessert Options

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

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Source: http://livglutenfree.com/recipes/rocky-road-almond-butter-balls

2. Strawberry Santa Hats

strawberry santa hats

Source: http://www.snack-girl.com/snack/light-holiday-snack/

3. Maple Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

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Source: http://thehonoursystem.com/2013/04/26/maple-cinnamon-roasted-almonds/

4. Sugar and Gluten Free Ginger Snaps

Ginger-Snaps

Source: http://realhealthyrecipes.com/2011/12/20/real-healthy-ginger-snaps/

5.Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint

dark chocolate covered peppermint

Source: http://shadandlizzie.blogspot.com/2011/12/dark-chocolate-covered-peppermint-joe.html

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Healthy Habits for Sustained Success

10 healthy habits

I made up this healthy habits list about 2 years ago when I got really serious about taking control of my health, my weight and my life.¬† While these habits may seem a little extreme, they are doable and beneficial!¬† Personally, I have not mastered the list, but each day I try to do a little better.¬† It takes a lot of GRIT to develop healthy habits.¬† But healthy habits are the only way to a sustain a healthy lifestyle.¬† While these habits¬†can take a lifetime to develop, we should strive to perfect them EVERY DAY.¬† Doing so helps us be our BEST SELVES!¬† If we focus on 1 healthy habit at a time, soon enough we’ll be living by the full formula.¬† GOOD LUCK! Luv, Brit ūüėČ

need a littl GRIT

BRIT’S LIST OF HEALTHY HABITS – MY FIERCE FORMULA…

0 – Hours of television

1 – Hour of exercise

2 – Liters of water

3 – Cups of hot green tea

4 – Short mental breaks

5 – Small meals

6 – AM wake up time

7 – Minutes of laughter

8 – Hours of sleep (at least)

9 – PM end of the day and off to bed

10 – Prayers of gratitude (list 10 things you’re thankful for)

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Spring in to Shape! 10 min Total Body Toning Workout Video

spring_into_shapeHappy 1st day of Spring!¬† Here’s a new YouTube video that I shot last weekend.¬† I choreographed the exercises to some of my favorite jamz to get you pumped up and excited for Spring.

The workout lasts exactly 10 minutes.  Expect to burn ~70-100 calories and really tighten your core, arms and legs.  Hope you like it!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-bhTyUDMwk]

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Fitness for the SOUL: My fun-filled weekend in NYC

Last weekend, my lil bro Austin (@Austin_Rettig) came to visit me in NYC.¬† He’s a Freshman Men’s Basketball Player at the University of Tampa.¬† Because I’m SO VERY PROUD of him, I decided to treat him to a weekend in the city for his Spring Break.¬† We kicked off the weekend with a stroll through Central Park…

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Then hit up the Big East Final Four at Madison Square Garden

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We started Saturday with some vintage shopping in the East Village…

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and ended it with a hearty meal in Little Italy.¬† We were really missin’ our sister Kortani (@toots_boots) because nobody loves pasta as much as she does.

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I taught a KILLER Turbo Kick class on Sunday morning at Turbo NYC (if you haven’t been to my class, I hate that for you).¬† Austin, helped me with the audio and cut some new tracks to “Harlem Shake” and “Snapbacks and Tattoos.”¬† After class we shot a new YouTube workout video that I’ll post tomorrow – be on the look out ūüėČ

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After gettin’ our praise on at HillsongNYC, we took the Q train to Brooklyn where we supported our home town hero, Derron Williams – DALLAS stand up!

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Finally, we topped off the weekend by stuntin’ real hard b/c Derron’s mom gave us a serious VIP hook up – thank you Miss Denise!

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Yeah…what you know about that family pass with the courtside action? hehe – I was pumped!

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So grateful for my family.  My soul sings with gratitude #BLESSED

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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 ūüėČ

GRIT by Brit Swagger

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NEW 4-week challenge: Chi-town shape up w/Lakshmi

I’m kicking off a new 4-week challenge with my friend, Lakshmi.¬† Ordinarily, I’d give you my usual song and dance about how we became friends, blah blah blah.¬† But I think a picture is a worth a 1,000 words when it comes to describing our friendship.¬† So get to know her, check out her diet and exercise plan (maybe even try it for yourself) and check in every week for her progress reports!

Luv, Brit

Our friendship…

Meet Lakshmi a.k.a “Lak-sheezy”

I’m a girl with good intentions, but I am easily swayed off course. I try to work out each day and am able to eat well until the mid-afternoon. Then I find temptation taking over and a handful of miniature chocolates in my hand. I’ve got some major love for starch and sugar – and I need help curbing the cravings.

My goal is to not change in the short-term, but change in the long-term. I want to fix bad habits. It would be amazing if I could drop some lbs. But mostly I just want to get tone, feel confident about my body, and feel some control in my life.

I’m a consultant with unpredictable hours and very last minute travel. I make it a priority to get to the gym. It’s not always possible, but by in large, I’m there 4 – 6 times a week. My hours are long, which makes cooking and planning meals tough.

Help me!

Exercise – I’m a class girl. Unless someone tells me what to do, I will convince myself it’s okay to stop. The meaner the teacher, the better in my world.

Also, I walk to and from work (25 minutes each way) while listening to a live stream of NPR (how yuppie is that?).

As for my diet…

Breakfast – I try to do oatmeal and coffee. Sometimes I do museli with fruit.

Lunch – Salad or sandwich and a diet soda (I know, I know). On a bad day, I add in chips. And chocolate…

Snack – This is where I falter. My company is really good about supplying snacks. No good deed goes unnoticed, so I find myself often in our snack cabinet foraging for sugar and/or salt. Lately our miniature Hershey chocolates have been by downfall.

Dinner – I like starch, especially potatoes. Today I had some leftover gnocchi. Sometimes it’s a frozen dinner. I am tired when I get home from work (usually 8 or 9), so I’m in no mood to cook for one.

Dessert – I will have a tablespoon of PB. Or chocolate covered bananas from Trader Joe’s (4 pieces)

Here are things I don’t like: Running, chicken (it’s a dirty bird), cold meat on salad (unless it’s tuna), pork, ham, lifting weights

Here are things I’m allergic to: Shellfish, walnuts

Here are things I like: Spinning, yoga, potatoes, french macarons

Also, I’m awesome at taking my vitamins everyday.

Brit’s 4-week shape up plan for Lakshmi

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4-week challenge ‘Euro Style’ COMPLETE: Sexy, Sexy, Sexy

Jenny has officially completed my 4-week challenge and she looks SMOKIN’ HOT! ¬†Below you can read her final update and see pics from her challenge¬†completion¬†photo shoot.

Lookin’ FIT 50’s¬†style¬†– way to go Jenny!¬†

Jenny’s biggest lessons of the 4 Week Challenge:
  1. At 28, diet is much more important than it used to be, and all the changes that I used to see so fast take more time.
  2. Also, it is so important for me to keep my workouts fresh, so I don’t burn out or lose motivation.
  3. And finally, slow down a bit – getting sick really sets one back with regard to working out, so it is important to make sure that i’m not pushing myself too hard and wearing myself down.

Regardless, this past four weeks have been great – I look better, feel better ¬†and have done some great new workouts that have really re-motivated me! ¬†I’m more toned, but I still have my curves as you can see above ūüôā

If you missed any of Jenny’s earlier updates, you can catch up here:¬†

Kick Start РFull Plan, Week 1 , Week 2, Week 3

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4-week Challenge: Jenny’s Week 3 Update – Maintaining in Malaga, Spain

Despite vacations, minor set-backs and work commitments, Jenny has done an excellent¬†job staying on track with her 4-week challenge!¬† If you are trying the¬†challenge¬†for yourself, stay motivated by keeping up with her progress. ¬†Here’s her week 3 update:

“My girl‚Äôs weekend in Malaga was really great! I found a nice balance between relaxing, getting in some workouts, eating healthy, and eating whatever I wanted! ūüôā I took the first day off from any kind of activity except for walking around, eating tapas, and drinking wine. But the next two days my friend and I got two solid workouts in at a local gym, and ate mostly salads. We also did a ton of walking around! It wasn’t so hard for me to eat healthy, since I‚Äôm actually not a huge fan of¬†Spanish cuisine.¬†But that said, my friend and I didn’t hold back on the Sangria or wine ¬†(Hey, you gotta live a little!). I found that it is much easier to keep up with diet and exercise when on vacation when you are with someone who is also health conscious and likes a good workout!

And now that I am back at home, I feel great – I don’t think I lost any weight, but I don’t think I gained any either. I’ve just gotten back, and I‚Äôve already hit the weights and a spinning session! I love that way I feel after a rest day – super strong and energetic! Now I‚Äôm pushing hard for the next three days (spinning every day to get all three classes in + Pilates + Brit’s workouts!) – And then going to a Wedding over the weekend (and plan on looking fabulous in a new dress I bought in Spain!).

So here it goes with the last week¬†of the four-week challenge – wish me luck!”

– Jenny

Brit’s advice for Jenny:

  • Keep your eye on the Prize – ¬† I want Jenny to be extra¬†disciplined¬†this week. ¬†She should revisit the goals she set at the start of the challenge and have FULL CONFIDENCE¬†that¬†she can¬†achieve¬†them!
  • Focus on Food – After a vacation, it’s common to want to hit the gym hard, which is a good thing. ¬†However, Jenny should be extra mindful of what goes into her mouth. ¬†She must be careful not to wipe out all of her hard work in the gym by consuming too many calories.
  • Stretch, Stretch, Stretch – Since Jenny has been away for a few days, it may take a her body a little time to adjust to the hardcore workout regimen. ¬†T0 prevent soreness and injury (and ultimately missed¬†workouts), I want her to stretch for at least 15 minutes per day.

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