My Angel My Daddy

The Man in the Blue Cap

My Angel My Daddy

A few weeks ago, I couldn’t wait to finish my Saturday long run/workout so I could attend a fun day in DeBardeleben Park in downtown Bessemer. Lawn chairs in tow, we arrived at the Bob Sykes BBQ & Blues Festival. As I was sitting down listening to the sounds of soulful blues, my husband asked me to pass him the camera so he could take some candid photos of the Blues party that was obviously going on. When he returned, he asked me to look through them. I scrolled through, then stopped at this one particular photo. My heart sunk…

Tears immediately started to form. They fell. I smiled…then peace came over me. My husband was confused when I said, thank you. I got it. It was an inside thing between me and God. He was showing me a glimpse of my Dad and letting me know that he’s always with me. Everything about this photo said: John Earl. I looked up and saw the man in the photo that looked exactly like my Dad sitting there–a beautifully seasoned, brown man. He had a few specks of wisdom peeping through the band of his navy blue cap. He also had on a baby blue button-down shirt very reminiscent of my Dads.

If my Dad were alive today, I would have thought that was him sitting there listening to the sounds of Eddie Cotton as he waited on my tardy self to arrive to the festival. Then he would have greeted me with, “You’re late!” and smile. Boy, did this man love barbeque! He also loved to grill and would do it all while listening to the Blues, especially Johnnie Taylor. I still can’t get the lyrics “There’s a cat named Jody” (from Jody’s Got Your Girl and Gone) out of my head to this day.

I miss him. I miss the early phone calls, the requests for a Coke and a Snickers Bar, and the…”Hey baby, let’s take a ride to the state-line to pick up lottery tickets”. I thank God for subtle reminders that my Dad is still watching over me.


Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you and wish that you were here.

I love you, Pops. Happy Father’s Day!



SHRED INTO SUMMER! My Pretty Brown Blog

SHRED into Summer!

Can you believe summer is here? It has felt like summer since the beginning of spring! It has been hotter than the Caroliner Reaper here in the South and don’t even add humidity into the mix. I wonder if I’m going to take back saying I would rather train for a marathon in the spring/summer over winter? Craziness! The good thing is, heat training is great for runners as they prepare for fall races. But remember…hydrate, Hydrate, HYDRATE!

You probably know by now that I just finished Dr. Ian Smith’s SUPER SHRED Diet! I lost 15.1 lbs and 14 inches on Super Shred…woo-hoo! I loved Super Shred so much, I decided I wanted to SHRED into Summer! I learned a lot about food during my 4-weeks on Super Shred. Examples: meal spacing, calorie disruption, negative energy balance, and nutrient density—you can read all about that here.

SHRED INTO SUMMER! My Pretty Brown Blog


What is SHRED: The Revolutionary Diet ?

SHRED combines a low GI diet, meal spacing, and meal replacements. Those who follow SHRED will constantly be eating, 4 meals or meal replacements (soups, smoothies, shakes) and 3 snacks a day, over a six week program. Read more.

Again…I don’t look at Shred as a “diet”, but a different way of looking at food and a way you can incorporate the plan into your lifestyle. I started last week and I love the plan and how it keeps me on track with meal spacing, healthier options, and making sure I EAT! Like…who needs a reminder to eat!?  Clearly, me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do believe in allowances and occasional indulgences…just not extended stay vacays off of a daily “plan”. Plan meaning, knowing what you are going to eat and sticking to it, writing it in your food journal or even plugging your food into your app.

If you’ve heard of the 80/20 Rule then you know I’m all for it! POPSUGAR shares, “When you practice 80/20, you have the space to go out socially and enjoy a meal (or a cocktail!) with friends, but most importantly, it makes the whole clean-living thing feel doable for the long run.” I’m a realist when it comes to eating. That rule is necessary to keep you from crashing and going by Krispy Kreme when the hot sign is on and stuffing your face with a half dozen doughnuts. This really happened (No judgement, please)!

I will check back towards the end to share all about it. Now that I have the scale moving in the right direction, I must keep going. I’m also excited because one of my sweet friends, blessed me with the SHRED DIET Cookbook! I’m very thankful for people like her in my life—those who see the best in you, your potential, celebrate your successes, and encourage you when you need it the most! Sooo…thank you, Temeka! I appreciate you. Love you mucho! Yes, I’m having a sappy moment! You can find her over at Simply Temeka!


I’m so excited for all of the people that I have met during my Super Shred journey and all of those who have joined the Shred journey with me! I can’t wait to share some new recipes with you all from my cookbook! SHREDDER NATION STAND UP!

What goals do you have for summer?


Want to know more about my 4-week journey on Super Shred? Check out these posts!

The Super Shred Journey Begins (Part 1)

Super Shred Week 1 Mid-week Update (Part 2)

Super Shred Week 1 Review (Part 3)

Super Shred Week 2 Review (Part 4)

Super Shred Week 3  Review (Part 5)

Super Shred Week 4 Review | The Homestretch (Part 6)


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When It’s Acceptable To Say “Yo’ Mama’s…”

Yo' Mama's Restaurant - My Pretty Brown Blog If you live in the Birmingham area, in town for a race weekend (racecation), or traveling through the city, you must make your way to Yo’ Mama’s restaurant downtown! I kept seeing photos of various dishes from Yo’ Mama’s float through my newsfeed and I knew I had to make my way there soon! When I dine at a new restaurant, I always order something that I know I would like. One of my favorite menu items (if offered) is chicken and waffles. When I found out they were on Yo’ Mama’s menu, I was sold!

Yo’ Mama’s exceeded my expectations! My food was truly made with lots of love! My extra-crispy chicken shared the space with a perfectly golden, waffle. I added fruit which went well with their “top secret” syrup. They syrup is house-made and delicately sweet. Some may opt for fruit-only, but this Condiment Queen had to taste Mama’s house-made deliciousness! My HB and I were trying to guess the ingredients, because the flavor was like no other! Also, if you want to add a little excitement to your crispy chicken wings, make sure you ask for Yo’ Mama’s “made-from-scratch” wing sauce (on the side)…You’ll thank me later! For the gluten-free lovers, Yo’ Mama’s offers a variety of options for you too!

Yo Mamas Bham EatsBirmingham has truly grown into a Food Mecca and the list of eateries just keeps growing! Don’t believe me? Check out my recap of Eat Drink Birmingham here! I’m so glad I no longer have to travel to Atlanta or Los Angeles to get a delicious order of chicken and waffles. I can’t wait until my next visit…I hear the Shrimp & Grits are DIVINE! Next time I go, I must get one of Yo’ Mama’s freshly made desserts too! Doesn’t Mama’s Peach Cobbler made with farm-fresh peaches just sound amazing?! I know for sure this would make a great place to dine during a race weekend! *hint hint*

Yo’ Mama’s restaurant is located: 2328 2nd Ave North in Birmingham, AL 35203. You can also get a peek of their menu here. Don’t forget to check out their brunch menu and times (see website for details)! Make sure you sign up to receive future emails about specials and events. Eat local! Follow Yo’ Mama’s Restaurant: Twitter: @YoMamaMeals, Instagram: @YoMamaMeals, Facebook: Yo’ Mama’s Restaurant.

 Have you tried Yo’ Mama’s restaurant? What’s your favorite menu item?




Jumping Into June (Jump Rope) Challenge - My Pretty Brown Blog

Jumping into June (Jump Rope) Challenge – #jijc

Happy Monday!

Have you ever had one of those weekends where you enjoyed yourself a little too much and just needed to hit the reset button? Well, I did! I’m happy that it’s the start of a new week so I can start fresh. I told the HB that I was going to pull out my jump rope to use on my cross-training days during marathon training as well as incorporate it into my workout routine. Jump rope exercises are a great for the heart and heart health! I actually won the Jump Rope for Heart contest back in 5th grade at my old stomping ground, Oak Mountain! I was the last kid standing (well…roping) taking home the award for the longest jump roper!

…and BAM! Just like that, I came across a jump rope challenge. Twenty+ years later, I’m dusting off my skills and joining the Jumping into June Challenge! The challenge is hosted on Instagram by: @justrobbin, @sunshineneka, and @mr26point2. The official hashtag for the challenge is #jijc!

Jumping Into June (Jump Rope) Challenge - My Pretty Brown Blog

I know it’s the second week of June, but it’s never too late to start! Let’s “jump” right on in! It’s also a great way to kick off MoveItMonday.  All you do is follow the prescribed day and share it on Instagram (or social media). I’m determined to catch up and even bust out some fancy Jump Rope moves like my friend, Rashida (IG:@msladyrozz)!

“Surround yourself with fitness minded people. Positivity can be contagious.” Have a great week! Now…let’s get it!


Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower - My Pretty Brown Blog

Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower

Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower - My Pretty Brown Blog

As a kid, I would not eat cauliflower. I did not like the look, smell, or taste of it. But guess what? As an adult, I have found ways to enjoy it! I tried out a Cauliflower Pizza (recipe here) a few years ago and loved it! Then, I fell in love with roasting vegetables and decided to try roasting cauliflower to see how I would like it. If you haven’t tried it, then you must do so! I had a taste for buffalo wings one night, so I decided to try Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower. It turned out absolutely delicious! It was a great way for me get in my veggies while enjoying that “buffalo” flavor. There are several ways to enjoy Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower, but I kept it simple.

Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower


  • I head/bag of florets, cut in florets
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of buffalo wing sauce (I like Texas Pete!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Blue Cheese or ranch for dipping (optional)
  • Celery (optional)



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Toss or brush cauliflower with olive oil, salt, and pepper
  3. Roast cauliflower in the oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or to your desired crispiness
  4. Toss cauliflower in buffalo wing sauce
  5. Serve and enjoy!


That’s it! You can find a host of other Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower recipes here. Do you roast your vegetables? What’s your favorite?


Jeff Galloway - The Power of the Group -  My Pretty Brown Blog

The Benefits of Running in a Group

When I first started running, I was hesitant about running with a group. I really tried to talk myself out of it…”What if they are faster than me? What if they leave me?” I quickly realized, I didn’t have to worry about that. I knew by finding the right group, all of my fears would diminish. I have been part of a running group since the latter part of 2011. A lot of people run solo and enjoy it, including me most times, but I also like running with a group when I can. Running with a group is a great way to help you reach your goals!

One of the reasons I love Jeff Galloway is because he has brought so many runners and groups together. Today I’m sharing Jeff Galloway’s view on the Power of the Group!

Jeff Galloway - The Power of the Group -  My Pretty Brown Blog


The fun of running with a group pulled me into the sport 57 years ago.  Running and training with my friends Steve Prefontaine, Frank Shorter Bill Rodgers, brought out the best of running in me—while we became good friends, and Olympians.  As I travel the US this season, for our Galloway training program kickoffs, I see the same fun, support and friendship development.  I hope to see many of you at our free clinics.  Here are the ways I’ve observed runners of all abilities improve more and have more fun when in the right group.
  1. Great friendships
  2. The miles go by quicker—telling stories, sharing life experiences
  3. Guidance in running with the right group for you, with the appropriate run walk run strategy
  4. Because the group is waiting for you, you will stay motivated and get out there more often
  5. You’ll learn about some interesting races, places to run, fun running experiences
  6. On the really tough workouts and races, the group will pull you through
  7. Access to tools for management of nutrition, fluids, motivation, aches/pains
  8. The right group leadership can fine-tune the pace of each workout, avoiding injury/exhaustion
  9. Helping others who are struggling bestows an amazing sense of achievement
  10. Sharing the empowerment of finishing a long run can change your life

Most groups, like our Galloway programs allow runners to try them out for free.  Together we can celebrate fitness and inspire others to improve the quality of their lives.


Jeff Galloway Blogger Tips - The Power of the Group -  My Pretty Brown BlogHere is my sole sister and 26.2 training partner, Leticia! We met through our local running group, BGR! Birmingham, and became great friends! We trained for our first full marathons together! On those 16 to 20-milers when we wanted to give up, we helped push each other through. It’s hard not to become friends training for a marathon. They get the good, the bad, and the ugly…and love you anyway! I believe that’s why Jeff made “great friendships” #1 on his list of benefits of running with a group. There’s a lot of power when two or more come together!


Do you run with a group? How has a running group benefited you?


Jeff Galloway Blogger Tips - The Power of the Group -  My Pretty Brown Blog

Highlights of this year’s Galloway Training Programs:

  • Discount on the Jeff Galloway 13.1 and Barb’s 5K LINK
  • 50% discount of Jeff Galloway’s Running Schools and Blue MT Beach Retreats
  • Discounts on Phidippides products – Jeff’s store and the original running specialty store LINK
  • Discounts on ElliptiGO, my favorite way to cross train outside
  • Discounts on Pacific Health Products Accelerade & Endurox
  • Discounts on Cooper Complete vitaminsLink
  • Galloway Alumni hat available just for those who have been a part of our team before
  • Newly redesigned Galloway Training medal to celebrate completion of this year’s program

Jeff Galloway Blogger Tips - The Power of the Group -  My Pretty Brown Blog


A Note From Jeff!

Visit to find your closest Galloway Training Program, and ask me for more details about what I love about my Galloway group.


I hope this will encourage you to get in a group or find a partner to help you stay accountable. You can read the previous installments of my Jeff Galloway Blogger Tips here. For more wisdom from Jeff Galloway, you can find him on Facebook and Twitter!





Super Shred Week 4 results 2

Super Shred Diet Week 4: The Homestretch & Results

Well, I made it to the homestretch! Just a few months ago, I was thinking of all the ways I could get out of my plateau. I can’t even remember how I came across Dr. Ian Smith’s book, Super Shred Diet, but I’m so glad I did! I followed Dr. Ian’s book, The Fat Smash Diet, many moons ago, so I knew his plans worked.

Fast-forward 4 Weeks…

Super Shred Diet Week 4 is complete! I seriously can’t believe I did it! What an amazing, eye-opening four-week journey! Super Shred truly takes a lot of guts, dedication, and heart! Abandoning certain foods and drinks cold-turkey is not easy, but it’s totally doable! It’s only 28 days! Week 4 is called “Tenacious”. I had to hold firm, remain anchored (in the good Lord), and BELIEVE that I can carry out healthy habits that can and will continue to push me closer to my goals. 

This week was a lot easier than Week 3. The hardest part was having only one snack the whole day. However, I was consistently eating throughout the day with my meals surrounding “The Snack”. I ate more food this week, but still maintained the Super Shred way of eating. I was just super happy that Super Shredder Day did NOT fall on a Friday like it did in Week 1! It really wasn’t that bad, but if I were to ever do it again, I sure hope SSD is not on a Fight Night!


Recent Discovery

I shared in my last post, a few of favorite foods and finds along with the fact that you really can eat on Super Shred. So, I was on the hunt for Bell Plantation’s Chocolate PB2, which is a peanut butter powder that goes well in smoothies. This one particular day, every store that I went to was literally sold out or they didn’t carry it. Yes, I could have purchased it on Amazon, but I wanted it right then. I searched several stores and decided to try my local, healthy supermarket only to find out they have a similar brand called Just Great Stuff! Well, I must say…this stuff is great! I added into my protein shake on SSD and it was delicious.

Super Shred Diet Week 4 + Results - My Pretty Brown Blog

NEW favorite Snack!

On Super Shred, you usually have at least one 150-calorie snack per day (along with 100 calorie snacks). Sushi is something I never thought to include as a snack. This plan truly opened my eyes to so many ideas when it comes to food and smart snacking! I chose brown rice-California rolls from the PUB for one of my go-to snacks!



Another favorite is my veggie (+ rice) plate on Super SHRED. Since I’ve fallen in love with Brussels sprouts (one of my favorite recipes here), I found a way to liven them up. I tried adding a little sweet and sour sauce (while being mindful of the sugar per serving) along with liquid aminos. They were perfectly sweet and seasoned well while staying under 480 mg (sodium) or less per serving! Learned that tip from Super Shred too! I love how aware this book has truly made me when it comes to food.

Super Shred Diet Week 4 + Results - My Pretty Brown Blog

Brown rice with low-sodium collards, roasted green bell peppers and Brussels sprouts!



Last Day on Super Shred — Week 4, Day 7

On Sunday, the last day of Super Shred, I got a little too excited! I thought it was a rest day, but something told me to glance back over my book just to make sure. Boy, was I wrong—Womp! I had already made up in my mind that after church service I wasn’t doing anything. Since my mind was set on it being a rest day, going to the gym was out! I decided to pull out my Zumba Cardio Party DVD for the second time since purchasing (I usually do the 20-minute workout express), and I truly had a great workout! I wanted to put my Fitbit Charge HR to the test with the Zumba workout DVD to see how many calories I could burn. The exercise requirement for this day was 40 minutes of cardio. Zumba was 46 minutes, but I did cool down before stopping my Fitbit. I’m happy that I didn’t sit this one out, because I felt so much better once it was done!


Super Shred Diet Week 4 + Results - My Pretty Brown Blog



I’m beyond excited about my results! I broke them down by the weeks:

Super Shred Diet Week 4 + Results - My Pretty Brown Blog

Thank you to everyone who followed me, sent well wishes, and encouragement on my Super Shred journey! I have never shared “this much” about such a sensitive subject with the masses, but I hope that I have inspired someone along this journey. During these four weeks, I discovered so much about myself and learned so much about meal spacing, calorie disruption, nutrient-dense foods…just to name a few. I know now that I can accomplish ANYTHING if I want I want it bad enough and I can do ANYTHING for 24 hours, 7 days…or even four weeks! I did it! So long…Plateau! I encourage anyone in a plateau or desiring to lose weight to give the Super Shred Diet a try. It’s only four weeks. You can purchase the book here or see if the Shred (Revolutionary) Diet is a better fit for you. It’s a 6-week program great for those wanting to lose weight or maintain. If I can do it, YOU can do it too! Never give up!

What is life going to be like after SUPER SHRED? I was actually thinking about that and how much I’m kinda going to miss it! I am excited about the journey ahead. So…stay tuned!


If you missed one of my #SuperShred posts, find them here!

The Super Shred Journey Begins (Part 1)

Super Shred Week 1 Mid-week Update (Part 2)

Super Shred Week 1 Review (Part 3)

Super Shred Week 2 Review (Part 4)

Super Shred Week 3  Review (Part 5)


Get The SHRED Books!


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