Friday, March 30, 2012

Shoulder Superset

Hope you are all having a wonderful Friday! I'm looking through emails and messages and have had a few questions lately about supersets and drop sets so I thought I would explain those a little. They are both really important when you are trying to fatigue the muscle.

A superset is a technique where you perform two exercises in a row with next to no rest in between. Supersets are excellent for developing muscularity, but are not however, overly effective for building strength. They are not effective for building strength due to a reduction in the amount of weight you can handle. This reduction in weight is caused by fatigue due to lack of recuperation between sets.


A drop set is the simple technique where you perform a set of any exercise to failure or just short of failure, then drop some weight and continue for more repetitions with the reduced poundage. They're decidedly geared towards increasing muscle size (hypertrophy). 

[source:bodybuilding.com] 

There are tons of articles and examples on bodybuilding.com so make sure you check those out! 

I LOVE doing these because they really push my limits and I leave the gym with a huge sense of satisfaction every time I incorporate them into my routine. 

Here is my newest favorite superset for shoulders. Behind the neck barbell shoulder press superset with smith machine upright rows. I did 8 reps for the first exercise (even though it looks like 6, the camera man was a bit sleepy this morning...) and then 10 reps for the rows. Oh, and sorry the video oddly pans out... 


Hope that helps clear up any questions and let me know if you give this superset a try! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WIAW 16!

This one is going to be quick and to the point! Things have been a little crazy lately and work is hectic, not to mention my hard drive crashed on me yesterday. I need one of those "Keep Calm" posters in my office ASAP. 




5 egg white scramble with onions, mushrooms, and jalapenos and two slices of Ezekiel toast.... and a little ketchup. Okay fine, I'm a ketchup feign. 


My half gone green post workout shake!


Lemon protein bars and cottage cheese for snack. I haven't made the lemon ones in a while and forgot how delicious they are!


I made more buffalo chicken because I'm seriously obsessed with it, so here it is in a wrap with lettuce tomato and greek yogurt. 


What do you know!? There it is again! This time on a salad with 1/2 an avocado. 


Last but not least my delicious disaster of a dinner. It was Shepherds Pie... in the dish. Out of the dish it's just a mixture of yummy veggies, yam, and turkey. I won't lie, there was ketchup added after this picture was taken. Yum! 

Casein pudding before bed! I put everything into myfitnesspal.com and I'm right under 1700 calories which is great! I'm not looking forward to lowering calories... not one bit. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Plan: Next 6 weeks

So, this post is mostly so that I can "write down" my plan for the next 6 weeks and hold myself accountable, but I figured why not share it with all of you too. I have something really exciting coming up 6 weeks from this past Sunday, so it's time to switch things up and get into fat burning mode. I'm not quite ready to reveal what the big thing is just yet, but I will eventually!

I really like that I have one particular day in mind that I need to be my best for, because having a very specific goal like that really helps me push myself. I'm dedicating myself to no cheats and hard workouts for the next 42 days... I know I can do it! [Last Friday I had my "I'm buckling down" cheat... happy hour with B at our favorite sushi restaurant, and yes saki bombs were involved!] One bummer is that we have a wedding and Easter in the next 6 weeks, but oh well I will survive. 

I'm getting really excited with my progress lately, after upping my calories a little over the past 7-8 weeks I think I've added some more muscle, which is fabulous because now that the leaning down phase is here I'll likely lose a little bit of that muscle. 


So, here is my plan. 

Next 2 weeks- 
Nutrition: Remain the same as far as what I'm eating, but I will be decreasing my calories a bit. Instead of eating 200-300 over what I'm burning, I'm going to aim for maintenance so I'm going to eat right at my activity level, right around 1650 on workout days and more like 1400 on rest days. 

Workouts: Changing up my split a little (sorry for those of you that asked yesterday, I made a couple tweaks last night)
Monday: Back and abs
Tuesday: Arms and HIIT
Wednesday: Legs 
Thursday: OFF
Friday: Shoulders and HIIT 
Saturday: Chest and abs
Sunday: Repeat (either arms or legs) and HIIT 

My reps are going to increase from 6-8 to 10-15 and I'm doing TONS of super sets and drop sets. Just about every exercise! I'm actually following Joseph Donnelly's paid workouts that you can find at joeydfitness.com 

Final 4 weeks-
Nutrition: Follow Jamie Eason 12 week trainer meal plan for Phase 2 weeks 7&8. Then the last week I'm going to carb cycle. 

Workouts: Weeks 7-10 of Jamie Eason 12 week trainer. Basically high reps, really high intensity, and cardio.

I will get into more detail of the last 2 weeks once we get a bit closer. 

I'll keep you updated as I go and let you know if I change anything up! Fingers crossed this all works out :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Clean Buffalo Chicken Salad

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I used to work at a chain restaurant known for their burgers, and unlimited fry-refills (which now looking back is so disturbing). I worked a lot which meant I was eating at work a lot. What was I eating you ask? Let me tell you. I was having at least one basket of french fries dipped in ranch a day (usually more like 2 or 3 because they were free and easily accessible), our favorite quick snack was bread that went with the salads, dipped in ranch of course, and when I had time to actually sit down and eat a meal I loved the crispy chicken salad "buzz style" (which meant the chicken was tossed in wing sauce), with ranch for dressing of course. WHAT!? I know. So weird, gross, and most of all unhealthy. I have no idea how I did not weigh like 400lbs. 

Anyway, I bring this up because yesterday I randomly had a craving for chicken wings, which reminded me of the salad I loved so much. So, of course I had to create my own clean version. 

I actually had a bottle of Franks Red Hot Sauce sitting in my fridge, so I looked at the ingredients and they actually weren't too bad other than being pretty high in sodium. My sauce isn't Franks (because let's face it, that sauce is amazing) but it's definitely close enough to satisfy the craving. 

Ingredients (for buffalo chicken)
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Sauce: (You can easily substitute the Franks Red Hot here if you're not worried about sodium.)
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (less if you don't like spice)
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt 
2 tsp olive oil 
1/2 packet of Truvia

Directions
1. Grill chicken breasts until cooked through.
2. While chicken is grilling, heat remainder of ingredients in a sauce pan until the mixture comes to a slight boil. 
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool. 
4. Slice chicken into chunks and add to saucepan with wing sauce and mix well. (It wont seem like you have a lot of sauce, but it covers 3-4 large chicken breasts just fine). 
5. Now you can do whatever you'd like with your chicken! I put mine on a salad with hard boiled egg and a carrot/celery/greek yogurt mixture. 

Today for lunch I brought my chicken in a wrap with lettuce and tomato. It's really versatile and really easy to make in bulk too. You could double the sauce recipe and double the chicken and easily have enough to get you through the week. I knew this one was a hit when B was in the shower this morning and said "I can't wait to make a buffalo chicken wrap for lunch!"
It was 7am.
Points for me! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Only Protein Giveaway Winner!

I used a random number generator to choose the winner... (Don't worry, I went through and counted all the entries on my Facebook page as well)

So that means the winner is Katie from Faith Food & Fitness! Please email me (brittany@littlebshealthyhabits.com) with your address and your preference between chocolate and vanilla and we will get this shipped out to you! Thank you to everyone for participating and thank you to Mike and Michelle at Only Protein!

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WIAW 15

Thank you all so much for your comments/suggestions about Charley they are very much appreciated! She is doing better at night with the whining and she has been so good about using her doggie door, such a proud mom! Okay, on to the fun stuff, What I ate Wednesday green edition! I actually forgot it was the green edition, but looking at my photos I think I did pretty darn good with the greens. 





Overnight pumpkin oats make a comeback yesterday morning. I didn't think I would ever say this but I may or may not have over done it on the cinnamon. They kind of look a little chocolate-y, but no, that's just a plethora of cinnamon. 


Pumpkin protein shake with a handful of spinach to make it green!


Chocolate protein bars with a protein glaze on top and cottage cheese with cinnamon and Truvia for snack. 


Dinner leftovers of salmon, baked asparagus and tomato basil brown rice were for lunch. I mentioned on Twitter a couple weeks ago how lately I can be totally fine with eating something and then all of a sudden it completely grosses me out. [hold the pregnant comments!] Well this is what happened with the salmon yesterday. I devoured it the night before for dinner but when I went to eat it for lunch, I could only get about half down before I felt like I was going to yack it back up. Yuck. Salmon will be off the menu for a while.


Turkey chili on a bed of spinach with 1/4 avocado. Don't worry I was ravenous by the time 3pm hit so I completely devoured this without even breathing. 

Fajita salad with the other 1/4 of the avocado and a little pepper jack almond cheese for dinner. No I didn't forget to put a picture in, but yes I did forget to take a picture. Ah. Dummie.

See!? Lots of green. How are you guys doing on getting your greens in everyday? I'm telling you, if you haven't tried a handful of spinach in your shakes you should! You can't taste it one bit so that's basically a free serving of greens :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Charley and a Rice Recipe

 WE GOT A PUPPY! 


Last week when I was in Vegas I got a picture of the cutest little Pit Bull puppy from B, and he said that she just showed up at one of his properties. After posting found dog signs around the neighborhood, he took her home while we both posted her picture on our Facebook pages to see if anyone wanted her, not thinking for a minute he would want to keep her since I've been begging for a puppy for the last eh, year or so give or take.


The next day I got a text from him saying he wanted to keep her until I got home because he loved her and wanted me to meet her! What!? I was so excited to get home and hang out with her and sure enough she is the sweetest little nugget I've ever met! We decided on Sunday that we were officially going to keep her and make her part of our family... well, basically she is our family! So, now we are in the midst of potty training using a doggie door. So far so good but if anyone has tips or tricks I would very much appreciate them! I won't lie, she has not made for the best sleep the last few nights and it was rough getting to the gym this morning. We both sat around until the very last minute so I forced us to drink some Amino Energy and get our butts moving. Of course I felt a million times better after working out, and the saying "getting your shoes on and out the door is the hardest part" is totally true. 


Don't be alarmed if many pictures of Charley start showing up on the blog- I already have like 835 pictures (not really) and we've only had her for 3 days!

Totally switching gears, B and I went to a BBQ over the weekend and my parents friends house, and they had this awesome tomato basil rice that I recreated at home.

Ingredients:
1 cup brown rice
1 tbsp EVOO
1 tomato, diced
1 package fresh basil (about a 1/2 cup chopped)
1/4 tsp sea salt
pinch of pepper


Directions:
1. Cook brown rice as you normally would. I do 1 1/4 cup water, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until water is completely cooked off. 
2. Transfer rice to a bowl and add remaining ingredients. 
3. Serve rice at room temperature. 


This rice totally reminds me of one of my favorites- tomato and basil bruchetta. You can probably throw in some non fat mozzerella chunks and it would be like the real deal! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Only Protein Giveaway!

I'm so excited for this giveaway! I was first introduced to Only Protein by Michelle LeSuerer who is honestly one of the most knowledgeable people ever. [I was going to say most knowledgeable person I've ever met, but I've never met her, although I would LOVE to.] If you get a minute, take a look through her Facebook page and blog- you will learn so much, I promise. Anyway, Michelle helped develop this protein and it's awesome for many reasons.



"ONLY PROTEIN begins with New Zealand hormone free, pollution free whey.  Some of the highest standards in the world can be found in New Zealand.  Their cows are grass fed and free grazing, you will never see feedlot conditions because New Zealand does not allow rBGH or BST hormones!  Their cows are also free of antibiotics and chemical residue, which makes for a pure product, so pure that it is soon to be labeled "Certified Organic.”  We formulated Only Protein using all 3 types of protein to make sure that the muscles are getting an immediate feed, a medium feed and up to a six to seven hour feed.   We wanted to make sure whatever your workout or activity your muscle feed is being maximized." {Source: Onlyprotein.com} 

Also, it has no artificial sweeteners, is gluten free, and is 90% lactose free, plus has lactase enzymes in so that it's easy to digest that last 10%. Lastly, there is added fiber since most people don't get as much as they should. 

So, there are two very easy ways to win a jug of Only Protein: 1. "Like" Only Protein on Facebook and comment back here letting me know you did. 2. "Share" this giveaway from my Facebook page by using the "share" link and comment back here letting me know you did. (I can see who shares, so please be honest!) Leave 2 separate comments if you do both so that you can have 2 entries! This giveaway will close Thursday night at 8pm and I will announce the winner Friday morning. US Residence only... sorry :( 

*Stay tuned over the next few months for some exciting new Only Protein news and giveaways!! *

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

BodyRock.TV Workout

As you all know, I'm away at a work event in Vegas and you probably also already know how much I hate cardio. I did it twice when I was here 2 weeks ago, and I'm sorry to you cardio lovers but it is just the most boring thing in the world! I never, ever get bored with lifting but when I do cardio I find myself constantly staring at the clock wondering when in the world it's going to be over with. It's probably more of a mental thing at this point, but bottom line I need to find a way around it (or at least to minimize the pain). I have been following the BODYROCK Facebook page for a while and have watched a million of the videos but haven't tried them, until today. These workouts are so great for those of you with limited or no gym access because they can all be done in the comfort of your living room, or in my case hotel room. There are a few pieces of equipment that are used that I obviously didn't have with me, but I made a couple modifications and everything worked out great. I plan on using these types of workouts and incorporating them into my regular lifting routine to try to lean out a bit for swimsuit season! Here is a picture of me (dying) after doing BODYROCK this morning.... remember I haven't done any cardio whatsoever (besides the two sessions I mentioned above) since November. 

Posting this for two reasons: 1 is accountability for myself and the second is to show that you can stay pretty lean even if you don't do cardio! 

You can click here to see the workout I did this morning. I cannot believe that it was only 12 minutes long and I was absolutely DYING after! I watched it last night before I went to bed and thought to myself, oh piece of cake, I can do anything for 50 seconds.... ya right. I also used my Gymboss iPhone application to help me with the timing. You can make a customized timer where you input exactly when you need it to go off. Here is mine for BodyRock

 50 second rounds followed by 10 second rests, 12 times! Give it a try and please tell me that you die too, even if you don't... just to make me feel better :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

EmpowHER BodyMedia FITness Challenge: Week 6


I have a quick break between all the madness of the conference I'm at so I thought I would do my last BodyMedia update! It's the end of the six week challenge and I have SUCH a better understanding of my body what it is doing throughout the day and night, and that is so very helpful when you are trying to stay in shape. Here are a few of my stats from today, and it's only 3:30pm!


I'm at a little over an hour and a half for physical activity-- this is including 25 minutes of steady state cardio. The other hour and 10 minutes have just been from running around, and getting to and from the conference space... these hotels in Vegas do not make it easy on you! I have to walk down this hallway that is easily half a mile long, no really, and the whole way you just stare out the window at the MGM pool wishing so badly you could transport yourself out there. Okay, I digress.

You'll also notice my steps taken are nearly 3 times what they are when I sit at my desk all day and my day is only half over, which is crazy. Also, I got great sleep last night! 7 hours and 25 minutes which is about an hour more than I typically get, phew!

Thank you so much to EmpowHer and BodyMedia for giving me the chance to test out this device! It is amazing and I cannot wait to keep using it when I start to lean out, it's going to be so helpful!! 


BodyMedia FIT automatically tracks the calories burned during your daily activities — from pumping iron to using aniron — and monitors the quality of your sleep, an important factor in weight loss. Add in the easy-to-use food log and you have the information you need to improve your weight loss.  Our 3 part system includes:

1. An Armband that automatically captures data

2. An optional Display device or free downloadable mobile apps that give you up-to-the-minute readings throughout the day

3. An online Activity Manager* that analyzes raw data, allows you to log food and presents info in an easy-tounderstand way(*subscription required)


“Disclosure: Device and accompanying online Activity Manager subscription was provided by BodyMedia viaEmpowHER.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions orpositions of BodyMedia or EmpowHER.”

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Crazy Back Day!

One thing that I love about not following a specific program is pulling different workouts from magazines, bodybuilding.com, and Facebook which actually has taught me lots of new techniques and exercises. This morning we decided to do one of Joseph Donnelly's workouts... and oh my gosh it was killer. If you haven't checked him out on Facebook you definitely should, he has great workouts and recipes and is pretty easy on the eyes too ;)

I've actually been pretty frustrated with my back lately, because it has definitely been the slowest muscle group to respond so far. I looked back through some pictures on my phone and found this one from the end of November, so about 4 months ago. Here it is side by side with a picture from this morning. {By the way I realized how much I miss being tan after seeing this picture!}


Thankfully I am starting to see some changes, but my lower back definitely still needs lots of work. I'm actually really happy I took this photo because it's really nice to be able to see how I'm progressing, even if it is slowly but surely! Like I mentioned this morning on Facebook, results are what keep me the most motivated, and I can't wait to see what I look like in another 4 months! I highly suggest you take progress pictures too!

Here is a modified version of one of Josephs back routines, we left out 2super sets and the last set from the original workout because of time constraints. (What is listed below took us about an hour)

Deadlifts- 10/8/6/4- I did 100/115/135/135
Underhand barbell rows 4 x 10 super set with wide grip chinups 4 x 15- I used 65lbs for the rows and the assisted machine for the chin-ups 
Close grip pull downs 4 x 8 last set is drop set of 25- I did 75lbs and dropped to 45
Standing close grip T bar row 10/8/6/6- I did 35/45/55/55
Seated cable wide grip row 4 x 12 last set drop set to failure- I did 45lbs (I was DYING!) 

I felt like I needed to eat an entire cow after this workout. Yep, the whole thing. Don't worry, I just had a protein shake and added oats! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WIAW #14 + video!

I was so sad I missed WIAW last week, but don't worry I'm back!





Breakfast was pretty typical- oats with egg whites, cinnamon, truvia, almond milk, and blueberries with a shot of ACV. A few of you have asked recently if I still drink the Apple Cider Vinegar and the answer is yes! I take a medicine cup full and chase it with water first thing in the morning. I find it helps a ton with my digestion all day long.


Green protein smoothie after the gym! PS I feel like a walking ball of lactic acid today. My abs and whole lower body are SO sore!


Cottage cheese and chocolate peanut butter protein bars for snack. And yes, I ate the cottage cheese right out of the cottage cheese container. Hey, reduce-recycle-reuse, right?


Steak and asparagus for lunch. It doesn't look like much, but boooy it was tasty. Sometimes you just need a little red meat in your life. (I meant to bring sweet potato to go along with this, but I forgot. That's what rushing will do to you!)


Turkey meatloaf muffins with sliced tomato and a side of ketchup, of course.


Chili verde salsa chicken with lettuce, avocado, and roasted poblano pepper. I topped it with greek yogurt and Tapatio. Delicious!

The usual casein pudding for before bed snack. I actually made a quick video for those of you that had questions about it!




Happy Wednesday! :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

EmpowHER BodyMedia FITness Challenge: Week 5


So, there is only one week left in the BodyMedia challenge and although I may not win the challenge for changing or progressing the most in 6 weeks, I have learned so much about my body that will help me a ton in the future. When I am back from Vegas next week I am going to start incorporating cardio back into my workouts and my bodymedia devise will be so useful then. Speaking of Vegas, here is a snapshot of my stats from last Tuesday when I was there for work.


This is one of the days I did a little HIIT in the morning, and you can see that shows as yellow in the physical activity graph above. I also noticed that my steps more than doubled and my calorie burn is higher than usual as well. It was nearly impossible for me to track my calories because I was eating "out" at least twice a day, but I still had a rough estimate running in my head. I weighed myself when I got back and I am 105lbs, which is great because I started this challenge 5 weeks ago at 104. I don't usually pay any attention to weight because it is virtually pointless, but I did want to make sure I didn't have any drastic increases or decreases as a result of my business trip. 


At the event next week, I plan on packing much more food and trying to eat my own food as much as possible, even though it's going to be pretty difficult. I will also get a head start on my cardio by doing sprints a few times next week before getting the day started. There is just something about doing no physical activity that doesn't sit well with me! 


BodyMedia FIT automatically tracks the calories burned during your daily activities — from pumping iron to using aniron — and monitors the quality of your sleep, an important factor in weight loss. Add in the easy-to-use food log and you have the information you need to improve your weight loss.  Our 3 part system includes:

1. An Armband that automatically captures data

2. An optional Display device or free downloadable mobile apps that give you up-to-the-minute readings throughout the day

3. An online Activity Manager* that analyzes raw data, allows you to log food and presents info in an easy-tounderstand way(*subscription required)


“Disclosure: Device and accompanying online Activity Manager subscription was provided by BodyMedia viaEmpowHER.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions orpositions of BodyMedia or EmpowHER.”

Monday, March 5, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Bars

Seriously, holiday's are torture. Want to know why? Because my good friends at Hershey's have decided it is appropriate to make my very favorite piece of candy into a different shape for every freakin' holiday! On top of that, for some reason when they are shaped differently, they taste 10x as delicious and they normally do, which is pretty dang delicious. 

In case you haven't guessed yet, I have a soft spot for Reese's. The Christmas trees, the eggs, the pumpkins. I love them all. Unfortunately the sugar and the chocolate are not going to do anything for my abs, so I haven't had one in.... a long time. I was in line at the grocery store yesterday and saw a whole display of them, which made me remember this awesome recipe my mom came up with. They're not a peanut butter egg, but people, they're close. 

Ingredients:
1 cup oat flour
4 egg whites
2 scoops protein powder ( I used vanilla but chocolate would work too)
1/4 cup Stevia
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3tbsp unsweetened baking cocoa
4 oz unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup all natural peanut butter, or 1/3 cup if you're a pb enthusiast like me.
4 tbsp non fat Greek yogurt


Directions 

1. Add all ingredients in large mixing bowl, and mix. 
2. Place batter in a prepared 8x8 prepared Pyrex dish and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 

You should know that B happened to be doing the dishes while I was making these, and I made the mistake of letting him lick the spoon to taste the batter. I set my mixing bowl in the sink and turned around to put them in the oven. When I turned back around he went straight 7 years old on me and was licking the mixing bowl! When I say licking, I mean tongue out, bowl to the mouth licking. Don't worry, I made as many fat kid jokes as I could think of. But...I don't blame him, they're really that good!

Nutritional Info:
16 servings; 1 bar contains:
6g carbs
6g protein
2g fat
73 calories 

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