Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Get In The Zone: The 11 Little Things You're Not Doing - But Should Be - To Get That Beachbod

Ok but really.. who is Jamie
Eason NOT an inspiration to?! ha ha
1. Change your computer password to an inspirational phrase "iamtightonedandfit" .. "cutandjackedinjune"..  I personally log on to my work computer at least 10 times a day, so 10 times each day I'm refocusing my mind on my goal... awesome, right?

2. The first and last 30 minutes of your day are when your mind is most open to suggestion and programming. Fill this time slot with the most insanely inspirational images/videos/word you possibly can.  Review your goals -- What do you want to achieve in the next 30 days? Why do you want it? What does your life look like a year from now? Do you have a vision board? Make one and look at it.

3. Take 20 minutes of your day to find and download 3 songs that make you want to light it up (search top hits on itunes, google "workout playlists" or scroll thru playlists on 8tracks or songza that are tagged "sweat" "beast" or "gym".  A few of my favs: 2 Reasons - T. I.  /// Feel Again - One Republic /// Show Goes On - Lupe Fiasco /// All of the Lights - Kanye /// The Motto - Drake /// I Made it - Kevin Rudolf /// Don't Wake Me Up - Chris Brown /// I Need Your Love - Ellie Goulding /// It's all about the #GYMSWAG, babyyyy!!

4. Drink 4 L of water a day. Go to Walmart and buy a giant water jug. Mine's 2.2 L and I fill it up and drink it dry twice a day.  If you can chug a pint of beer when wanna get wild, you can chug a pint of water when you wanna get ripped. I don't care if you don't like water. Suck it up.

5. Include both HIIT (high intensity interval training) + steady state (running at a steady pace for 45 mins) in your training schedule.

6. Tea will make you skinny. Def helps you get extra h20 in for the day, and it feels like a treat! My fav right now's Chocolate Mint by Stash but you can totally mix it up -- stores like David's teas have flavors like Red Velvet Cake.. camonnn now.. who wouldn't like that? ;)

7. Write your goals down. I write mine in capitals, on a big white piece of paper in a sharpie, and put it on the floor of the passenger seat of my car so I see it every morning and am focused on my way to work, to the gym and during my downtime throughout the day.

8. Green veggies will get you shredded. And you'll live longer. Roasted brussel sprouts: cut in half, EVOO, salt, pepper, spread on cookie tray and bake at 350. Chopped green onions: add to egg "muffins", salads, top stir frys. Kale chips: tear off stems, rinse + dry, 1/2 tbsp EVOO, onion powder, garlic powder, salt + peppa, bake on cookie tray at 350. Get it in ya.

9. Pump up your workout. When I know I've got work to do in the gym or long run, I'll take a pre-workout (right now I'm using BSN's NO-XPLODE) or fat burner right before my workout (my fav is LIPO6 Black Ultra Concentrate). Other times, I'll have a cup of coffee or SF energy drink (these are loaded with crap.. it's an addiction I'm trying to kick!!) Get yourself pumped up and ready to rock...

10.  SELFIES! Take progress pics. If you actually commit to a training and diet plan, you will see changes, and nothing is more motivating than being able to compare pics from day 1 to day 14 and seeing just a little more tone, a little more lift, a little ab ... nothing. Promise.

11. When you go the gym tomorrow.. (What? You thought your day was too busy and you were planning on skipping the gym? Didn't want to wake up early? Why are you making excuses? You will never unlock your true potential until you can learn to be honest with yourself. The only person you're cheating is yourself. If you have to set your alarm for 5 AM, you set your alarm for 5 AM. Life starts at the edge of your comfort zone.) When you get there, hop on to the treadmill. Set the incline at 3.0, and the speed at 3.5 and the time at 10 min warmup. Watch this video. My bet's you'll be running before you hit the 6 minute mark.....

 Until next time... "Desire is the starting point of all great achievement. Weak desire brings weak results. Keep this constantly in mind." 

Have a fantastic, fit and sweaty day!!!!

xo Brooke

Monday, June 17, 2013

Brilliant Breakfast: Chocolate Banana Protein Pancakes

Good MORNING fitfam!

Going to keep this post short + sweet today -- here's the long-promised recipe for my protein pancakes and a few tips to save some time in the morning :)

chocolate banana topped with maranatha choc
almond butter + SF syrup + banana 
berry pancakes with raspberry "jam"
Pancake Recipe
1/2 cup oats (use blender to chop into oat flour)
1/4 tsp baking powder
cinnamon (2 big shakes)
1/2 tsp splenda brown sugar sweetener (or natural sweetener of your choice!)
1/2 c egg whites
2 tbsp water

for chocolate banana pancakes add in:
1 - 2 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 extra ripe banana 

Other optional add-ins:
1/4 c frozen berries (raspberry/blueberry)

pumpkin spice:
1/2 c pumpkin puree
a few shakes of pumpkin spice

prepping baggies ahead of time
makes breakfast quick + easy! 
Blend dry ingredients, add in egg whites and water. Heat non-stick pan at medium or just under medium heat, and use coconut oil or EVOO spray to cook. Top with greek yogurt, cinnamon, nut butter, pure maple or SF syrup, nuts, fruit, or raspberry "jam" that can be made by heating up a handful of frozen raspberries in the microwave then mashing with a fork.

I like to prep 5 "batches" at a time so I'd do 2.5 c of oats and x5 all the rest of the dry ingredients too then divide into ziploc baggies so that I'm not spending time measuring and chopping oats in the AM! :) I keep these baggies in the cupboard then when I get up, just throw that into a bowl, add my egg whites, berries and water and heat up my pan.

When I've  got a bit of extra time the night before, I'll actually make the pancakes and wrap them in tinfoil and then store the in the fridge. When I get up in the morning, I just throw them in the oven 100* and get ready while they're heating then take to work or eat in the car!

Until next time, remember: "There is no glory to be found in living a life that is less than the one you are capable of" - Nelson Mandela

Have a fantastic, fit and sweaty week all!!

xo Brooke

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Q + A: Protein Crash Course -- My 20 Fav Protein-Packed Foods + Top 3 Protein Powders!

Q: Matt asks “I am wondering what kind of protein you use? My mom is looking for some advice and since I don’t know anything about girl health I wanted to know what’s good!”

A: Girl Health.... lol. Don't you worry, Matt... I don't think you're the only guy out there who isn't a "girl health" expert. ;)  

Keep in mind that I am not a certified nutritionist or prep coach and my advice and opinions are simply what has worked for me. It has been recommended to me, by my trainer, for my body type and fitness goals, and this isn’t necessarily what is right for everyone. That being said…… :) 

There are two different basic ways to get your protein – food sources and protein powders.

Food-Based Protein
Food-Based Protein Sources
While my diet changes a bit when I am prepping for a contest, I generally stick to these foods --->>>  which are mostly great lean, clean choices. The “most efficient” (in terms of reducing body fat, building muscle, getting the bodybuilder/bikini babe “look”) and richest food-based protein sources are meat and dairy and for this reason, that’s mostly what our diets look like. But! I will take a second to mention that there are plenty of other vegan and whole food sources that are great too -- (beans, lentils, etc)… I just don’t really see a lot of them lately :) lol

Protein Powders
As for protein powders, I really wouldn’t really say the key to success is in choosing the “right” one as there are SO MANY different flavors and brands out there and many are very similar. Yes, you need to find one you like so that you’ll stick to your diet plan (if you are following one) but other than that, I would say as long as you’re around about 120 cals/scoop, and 30 g of protein, you’re in great shape. Now here comes the epic protein debate.. natural vs. “mass market” protein powders. My best friend, Christal, swears by the North Coast Naturals, and for good reason – it ROCKS! However, our styles are a little different - she is also a bit more strict in sticking to a 100% natural diet, whereas I’ve found that this is definitely harder with my show prep dieting, so I also use some of the more “mainstream” proteins. Here are a few of my favs:  

My 3 favs are:
Quattro by MAGNUM – Chocolate Love
This one is seriously a gamechanger.. !! I am pretty sure this is my all-time fav.. it doesn’t have any chemical-y sweetener taste, and it’s a perfect balance between mild and “intense” .. if that makes any sense? Blends fantastically with water,  Seriously, try it.. it is BOMB!

North Coast Naturals – Chocolate
This one’s really good to throw into the mix because it’s aaaaaall natural, which I LOVE! Has a super mild flavor and is not super sweet like so many of the other powders out there.  This one’s also very great for baking because it really just ups the protein value of your recipe and has a light cocoa-y taste, instead of the more intense “protein powder” flavor you get with some of the other ones. I buy this one in the Organic section at Superstore (which seriously is a TOTAL goldmine!) for $32.99 a jug. Smaller jug, but lower price too.

Isoflex by ALLMAX - Mint Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chocolate
These two are pretty basic and pretty popular but have def been one of my good, dependable go-tos.

[BONUS] Isoflex actually has a new line called “Chiller” that I got a sample of from my supps store (Guaranteed Nutrition on Ellerslie + 91st) and it’s ICED TEA flavored! Yeah.. seriously. I know!! Ha ha I got the Peach Iced Tea sample and it was seriously amazing.. especially during prep when my diet usually consists of a protein shake for 3/6 of my meals. I find that it’s pretty easy to get sick of just downing milky powdery drinks all day so this one was really great because it’s actually clear and really tastes like Iced Tea! I had a bit of trouble with it mixing nice and smoothly, but I didn’t have my normal shaker and didn’t add any ice, so I’m sure that problem would be easily solved. Absolutely worth checking out, I would say!
My FAV! Quattro 4 Choc Chunky Monkey Shake. <3 

Lastly, there are many different types of proteins out there (hemp, soy, pea, whey, etc) but I stick to a whey isolate for my normal everyday use, and casein as my “before bed” go-to. Whey is quicker digesting and simpler, so it’s great for pre and post-workout as well as throughout the day, paired with a healthy fat or carb source. Casein is a slow digesting protein and definitely a bit thicker, so it is great for the last “meal” of the day as it will keep your body from burning your muscle while you sleep and help prevent you from feeling starving when you wake up.

Overall though, to get that lean, tight bikini bod, just meeting your protein requirements or just taking “cutters” really won’t work. In order to really look and feel fantastic, it takes consistency, discipline in diet and a properly structured training plan, and a whole lot of patience! J

Until next time, remember… “It’s never too late to be, what you could have been.”

Have a sweaty, fit and fantastic day!!

xo Brooke

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Q + A: The A's to your Q's! Today -- Finding a Workout Plan Online :)

Sabrina asks -- I am joining a gym this week and I was just wondering if you have any websites that have good suggestions for routines or anything like that :) 

You were juuust wondering if I have any suggestions... Ohhh boy oh boy, Sabrina, do I ever! I have so many, that Suggestions could probably be my middle name ;) ha ha Here are some of my favs!

If you are looking for a full, structured plan, I would definitely suggest! You can plug in your starting point (weight, body fat, etc), what physique you're aiming for, and find a nutrition and training plan to follow. One of the most popular ones that I've seen is Jamie Eason's LiveFit training program so I would say that's probably a good place to start! Everyone's going to have a little bit of a different style that they like, so you can peek at a few and see which one you think would be best for you! is this super cool fitchick from Oz who posts wicked 12 min HIIT workouts that will get you sweating STAT -- these would be great to add to a weightlifting plan, as part of your cardio. And the last two - and are just general health and fitness sites that have tons of interesting reads, along with free printable workouts.

Another really great idea, which would be less structured, is just trying random workouts that other fantastically fit chicks have posted. Blogs/personal websites, facebook and instagram are all great places! A great little added bonus is that almost all of these spots will have nutrition tips too! :-) 
Ashley Horner - love this girl! <3

Lori Harder, 2010 Miss Bikini America, 2010 Miss Figure America and 2010 Miss Bikini Universe at 
Brittni Shae, WBFF Pro at 

Brittni Shae, WBFF Pro   @bshaefit
Ashley Horner, WBFF Pro  @ashley_horner 

Now, of course I have to add this little bit in - To be perrrrfectly honest.. you can sprint your ass off, do crunches for hours a day, and glute kickbacks till you puke, but until you commit to a consistently clean diet, you will not see results. ha ha! It really is true what they say - 70 or 80 or 90 or (whatever very high percentage you want to use, lol) of seeing a difference in your body is diet. This is definitely my biggest struggle, I will admit. I truly love to workout - I love lifting, a nice long 14 km run is my go-to stress buster, and sweating buckets in a hot yoga class is my idea of a blissful Sunday. But I ALSO really, really, really love food. Like... level 10/10 in love with food. Given, I really really really enjoy tons of different healthy, nutritious foods, but I also have a major sweet tooth and get a little big of a high off of clean baking (and my best friend having the most amazing, to-die-for clean eating blog definitely doesn't help! haha seriously tho... double chocolate coconut donuts?! #yourekillingmeee!! )

Anyways, a great, consistent workout plan can absolutely transform your body, I will say that. Just keep in mind, there needs to be a commitment to clean eating as well. :) 

Hope this helps, Miss Sabrina, I would love to hear about what you find and how you make out! 

But until then... keep this in mind - "Strength is the product of struggle, you must do what others don't, to achieve what others won't." - Henry Rollins

Have a fit, sweaty and fantastic week!! 

xo Brooke