Super Shred Week 3: Shape It Up!

Week 3 (Shape) of the Super Shred Diet is a wrap and I’m almost done with my final week! Yay! It feels like I just started my Shred journey! Dr. Ian shared that Week 3 was meant to be a tough one. Thanks a lot, Dr. Ian! He did state in his book, “Remind yourself every morning when you get up and every night when you go to sleep that this is something you can and must and will do.” Well, I completed all seven days. During Week 3, your body basically starts to shape up.

“…you have mobilized a lot of those plump fat cells and burned the energy they had been storing, causing them to shrink.”

I don’t have a six-pack (yet), but I can notice a difference in how my clothes fit. Hooray! for non-scale victories! I did put in a lot of work during Week 3. I exercised five mornings in a row, including two-a-days twice during the week. Another non-scale victory! If you know me then you know that I used to hate getting up in the morning to exercise or run, but I have quickly grown to love it. Knowing that I have the ability to procrastinate and realizing that I have a goal to meet pushed me to get up and get it done. Plus, you feel so much better once it’s done! Thank you Move It Monday for helping kick-start my week!

Week 3 was challenging. Not only was the meal plan for the week drastically different, but we also had a celebration at work starting on Monday, a midweek celebration for one of my team members, and it was my 40th chapter (sorority) anniversary weekend. I had my first meal in the morning (breakfast) and my second meal in the evening (dinner). In between I was allowed three snacks, plus a bonus “floating” snack, which I had 1.5 hours after dinner.

 

Yes, you can eat on SHRED!

I’m sharing a few of my meals because I want people to know that you can eat on the Super Shred Diet!

The Monday morning celebration was where two dozen boxes of Krispy Kreme were brought in. I sat and ate my Super Shred breakfast: 2 pancakes (with 1 tbsp of syrup), 2 pieces of turkey bacon, 1 serving of fruit, one cup of coffee, and 8 oz of water. It just so happened that the celebration started around my breakfast time so it worked out perfect. It was hard watching everyone eating those tasty “Hot Sign Is ON” doughnuts, but I remembered that my breakfast was a healthier option and I was one step closer to my goal.

Dr. Ian Smith's Super Shred Diet: Week 3 | My Pretty Brown Blog

Another breakfast on Shred! 8 oz of water (unlimited), 8 oz of orange juice (must have, I like Trop 50), 1 cup of coffee (optional), 1 scrambled egg with cheese, and 1 serving of fruit.

Dr. Ian Smith's Super Shred Diet: Week 3 Review | My Pretty Brown Blog

On Shred you are allowed fat-free dressing with your salad. Ranch dressing is one that I really like, but I absolutely detest fat-free, ranch dressing. It really should be illegal! I don’t really care for fat-free dressing at all…period, but I did manage to find a few that I like. However, I decided that I would try using salsa as my salad dressing. It’s low-fat and low-calorie and a healthier option than store-bought.  For one of my meals, I was allowed 2 oz. of chicken with 4 cups of greens topped with a few veggies and 3 tbsps of dressing. Salsa just made everything better! Of course I would have loved to have it with all of the other fixings like cheese, Greek yogurt, guac, etc., but you get the point!Dr. Ian Smith's Super Shred Diet: Week 3 | My Pretty Brown Blog

 

SNACK Attack!

If you have been following my Super Shred posts then you know I love these Tuna Creations by Starkist! They are so yummy and perfect for on-the-go! Finally tried the Hickory Smoked flavor…loved it! It went great with my Laughing Cow cheese wedge.

Dr. Ian Smith's Super Shred Diet: Week 3 | My Pretty Brown Blog

Dr. Ian Smith's Super Shred Diet: Week 3 | My Pretty Brown Blog

I found these Lentil Snaps at the PUB (Publix) on BOGO! They are really good!

Dr. Ian Smith's Super Shred Diet: Week 3 | My Pretty Brown Blog

Super Shredder Day, Week 3! I had a protein shake with coffee. And there goes that stair climber again! Five minutes is all it takes! Now, that’s a crazy, insane workout. You can find a great circuit here.

Super Shredder Day | Dr. Ian Smith's Super Shred Diet: Week 3 | My Pretty Brown Blog

 

 

I’m taking my fitness to another level!

On Super Shred, you do have to stay active (specifically cardio).There are two rest days per week. Most workouts are 40 minutes, 30 minutes on Super Shredder Days, which you can read about here. Examples: walking/running outside or on a treadmill, elliptical, 200 jump rope revolutions, or Dr. Ian’s SHRED 27 Burn DVD. The goal is to do high-intensity interval training during these workouts—i.e., variation of speed, incline, etc. It is encouraged to split up the machines (ex. 20 minutes, Arc Trainer, 20 minutes, stair climber).

After months off, I returned to Zumba class with one of the best instructors on the planet, Marta! She’s a beautiful friend of mine (inside and out) and she’s about to celebrate her birthday—5-0! She doesn’t look a day over 21 and she is one of few that I know that ALWAYS looks fabulous before, during, AND after working out!

Zumba Night - Dr. Ian Smith's Super Shred Diet: Week 3 | My Pretty Brown Blog

Me again…with my new favorite Bondi Band headband! “Strong is the New Skinny”. Available here!

 

I’m also super excited about my new Fitbit Charge HR! I have had the Fitbit Flex over a year. I will wear my Flex while I’m at an event or when I want my tracker to be more discreet. You can read more about it here. I have a Garmin (+ HR monitor), but I can’t wear my chest strap anymore. I wanted something that could track my activity, steps, and my heart rate. I love it so far! I will share my review of it after I’ve used it for a month or two.

Dr. Ian Smith's Super Shred Diet: Week 3 | My Pretty Brown Blog
Temptations and all, I had a successful Week 3 and I’m excited about my weight loss. I can’t wait to share Week 4, my final week! Don’t forget, Bondi Band is having an awesome deal for May on compression socks and sleeves! Also, a fun “Sharing Contest” on the Bondi Band Facebook page! Catch them both before they end. You can find out more here.

 

If you missed one of my #SuperShred posts, look no further!

The Super Shred Journey Begins (Part 1)

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

Super Shred Week 1 – Complete (Part 3)

Super Shred Week 2 – Complete (Part 4)

 

 

Some posts may contain affiliate links.

Super Shred Diet Week 2: Accelerate

The second week of The SUPER SHRED Diet is called Accelerate. It pushed me harder than it did in Week 1. During the second week of most weight loss programs, things usually slow down. Accelerate is designed to help you accelerate through the natural slowdown. During Week 2 you may not lose as much as Week 1, but you can lose weight! I really had to push myself to stay focused as I adjusted to the new meal plan for the week.

Week 2 meal plan was a lot different than Week 1. I had two snacks for the entire day. The challenging part was having a snack at 10:00 a.m. and not another snack until 8:00 p.m. or three hours after my last meal. There was a 4.5 hour gap between Meal 2 and Meal 3. I did notice that I had to stay focused with hydration and being more intentional about getting my water in. I slacked off a little bit, but quickly got back focused. 

Super Shredder Day (SSD)—For those who don’t know, SSD is somewhat of an intermittent fasting day. You can read more about it here. It also fell on a Friday night. Womp! Now THIS was kind of hard. Friday nights are usually when I like to enjoy something really good for dinner or something I have been wanting to eat all week. I had 1.5 cups of soup for lunch and then another 1.5 cups of soup again for dinner. The good thing about soup is that you can switch them up so you won’t get bored.

Super Shred Diet Week 2 - My Pretty Brown Blog Tuna Creations (with grapes), one of my favorite snacks that I had during the week!  So far my favorite flavors are Garlic & Herb and Ranch! Sweet & Spicy is not too far behind. High in protein and low in fat…and still a very healthy snack!

 

Super Shred Diet Week 2 - My Pretty Brown Blog

This was my Hump Day lunch (5/6/2015). Green salad (4 cups of greens) which can include olives, shredded carrots, 1/2 sliced tomato or 5 grape tomatoes with 3 Tbsps of fat-free dressing. I’m not a fan of fat-free dressing or tomatoes (but I love fresh salsa, pico de gallo, and ketchup…weird I know). I did find a Sun-Dried Tomato fat-free dressing by Ken’s Steakhouse that’s pretty good. I had green salads often throughout week 1 and 2.

 

Super Shred Diet Week 2 - My Pretty Brown Blog   One of my Week 2 dinners: 3 servings of veggies (Brussels sprouts, low-sodium collard greens, yellow squash) + 1 cup of brown rice. This was like heaven on a plate! Not sure if it was due to the acceleration of the week or because my plate was full and my tummy was happy—with all the good stuff!

 

 

Eat Clean Shred On - Super Shred Diet | My Pretty Brown Blog

Overall, I had a good week! A few challenges here and there, but I survived. I did lose weight (Yay!), but it was not as significant as it was in Week 1. Let me rephrase that, ANY weight loss is significant. I have to remind myself to celebrate all victories…even the non-scale ones! I’ll share my weight loss results again after completing Week 4! CAN.NOT.WAIT. I will also be sharing more about life after SUPER SHRED.

If you’re looking to maintain or lose weight, you may want to check out SHRED! Find it here.

 

If you missed one of my #SuperShred posts, look no further!

The Super Shred Journey Begins Part 1

Super Shred Week 1 Mid-week Update Part 2

Super Shred Week 1: Complete Part 3

 

 

 

 

 Disclosure: Some posts may contain affiliate links.

Move It Monday Ambassador

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had an awesome weekend! I wanted to pop-in and share some exciting news! You probably already know that I’m passionate about health and fitness. I’m not fitness guru and I’m not perfect, I’m just trying to make healthier choices one day at a time. It’s all about changing your lifestyle and creating healthier habits. I really do love sharing my health/fitness journey with others because I know it can be hard, especially when you think you’re out here doing it alone. I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone and it’s a lot of us on this journey to better health!

I’m excited to share that I have been selected as a MoveItMonday Ambassador!

 Move It Monday Ambassador My Pretty Brown Blog
MoveItMonday is an international campaign which encourages people of all fitness levels to get moving each week starting on Mondays. MoveItMonday offers fitness routines, tips, and inspiration to help individuals, worksites, schools, and communities incorporate exercise into their weekly routines. You can find everything you need via MoveItMonday.com!

In the past, Mondays were hard for me. After making my Monday workout a priority, I realized that it sets the tone for an incredible, productive week! I got up early this morning and completed 40 minutes of cardio (Arc Trainer and the infamous Stairmill. You can find my Stairmill workout here). I’m also on Week 3 of Super Shred! Woo-hoo! You can follow my Shred journey here. I feel confident about the week ahead!

Join me by sharing with others on how you will be kicking off your Monday through activity/fitness! Use the hashtag #MoveItMonday on social media to show the world you are moving and encourage others to get moving too!

 

Have a great week and here’s a fun challenge to start your week!

 

 

 

 

Super Shred Diet: Week 1 Complete! There is a Light!

I seriously see a light at the end of the tunnel! I completed Week 1 of 4 of Dr. Ian Smith’s SUPER SHRED Diet. In case you missed it, I started the Super Shred because I was tired of going through the motions with this weight thing. After being in a plateau for almost a year I decided to do something about it. You can read my first post here and then my Week 1: Midweek check-in here, which goes into more detail.

Super Shred: Week 1 Complete! There is a light! | My Pretty Brown Blog

WEEK 1 – Foundation Sooo…week one wasn’t as bad as I thought. In the beginning, I thought about everything I couldn’t eat (right now). I had to tell myself “it’s only temporary…Get it together, Artney! You completed 21 Days of Raw…surely you can do this!” Yes, this conversation happened. The plan is only 4-weeks…but I knew it would be a test of dedication and discipline.

Hunger levels—I keep a journal to write down how I feel throughout the day. I found on most days I was good, but there were moments where I was just plain hungry! Granted a lot of it could have been in my mind or because of the intensity of my workouts…or quite possibly, I just wanted to eat!

Snacking and Tracking—I realized that I have to watch myself around Goldfish crackers and pecan halves. I had to do a double take at the label of pecan halves…20g of fat for 1/4 cup serving! Yes, I get they are healthy fats, but if you can just grab a handful and munch on them like it’s popcorn and go back for another handful without blinking an eye…No Bueno!

Super Shredder Day—This was somewhat of a “fasting” day. I thought this day would have been the one to take me out. It actually wasn’t hard. Even though I had “life” situations going on (family), I didn’t allow it to get me off track. I stayed the course. The hardest day for me was actually Saturday (5/2) night…YES, FIGHT NIGHT! Everyone was at their favorite bar or restaurant enjoying their beer and buffalo wings and I was at home eating a bowl of tomato basil-soup and a salad with fat free dressing! So yummy! *sarcasm* I was craving everything from Wings Plus lemon-pepper wings and ranch fries (Birmingham thing) to a Swamp Thing from Pappadeaux’s. *hangs head in shame* …but I made it. For Sunday breakfast, I had a cup of hot (green) tea with a grilled cheese sandwich and a serving of fruit. It was like heaven on plate after the night I had!

Speaking of Sunday…

Super Shred Diet - My Pretty Brown Blog

Snack 1 and Snack 2 (5/3/2015)

What I learned—I learned a lot about meal spacing/timing over this past week. It’s SO important! More than you would ever know! One of the things that I have struggled with in the past is keeping a consistent eating schedule (especially on Sunday). I would head out of the door for church without eating anything (not even a snack) and my first meal would usually be around 12:30-ish. Well Sunday, I was prepared. I ate breakfast before church and packed Snacks 1 and 2. I ate one snack before service and the other after service. It’s really not hard, I just have to plan accordingly. By timing out the way calories are distributed throughout the day, the fat-burning metabolism keeps insulin hormone levels in check. I’m finally getting it!

 

 

 SUPER SHRED WEEK 1: WEIGH IN DAY

Super Shred Diet Weigh In | My Pretty Brown Blog 5/4/2015 — Down -6.4 lbs I was so excited when I looked at the scale. If you only knew how hard it has been to get this scale to move! I’m really excited and interested in seeing my progress over the remaining three weeks. I’m on week 2 and it makes me a little nervous! Not to mention, Super Shredder Day falls on a Friday! *soul cry* I just have to keep telling myself…it will be all worth it! I can do anything for 28 days!  

You can get the Super Shred Diet book here! I personally recommend the paperback book over Kindle although I have both. Super Shred Week 2 update coming soon!

 

Art’s Shred Life Journey:

The Shred Diet Begins (Part 1)

Super Shred Week 1: Foundation + Midweek Update (Part 2)

 

 

 

Post contains affiliate links.

 

The Super Shred Diet Begins!

Super Shred Diet | My Pretty Brown Blog

I have been in a plateau for far too long and it started to become so frustrating! I had to realize that ultimately, no one was going to help me reach my goal, but ME! I needed a change. No more excuses! If I want to feel better, look better, train smarter…the list goes on, I have to keep trying. It’s not about being “skinny”, I want to be healthy and fit! *Fit Check* Let me be real—I know I haven’t put in the work to REALLY get the results that I want. I’m tired of making excuses. I am no longer on vacation, I am no longer dealing with winter blues, and I have nothing holding me back. As of today…

It’s official! I kicked off the SUPER SHRED Diet by Dr. Ian Smith! I have been a fan of his books/plans over the years so I know how they work. It will take meal preparation, but the plans are easy to follow, you have options, and you actually get to eat! I tweeted Dr. Ian last week and asked him which method would be best to help me out of my plateau and he said definitively, Super Shred! The previous plan that I discussed here worked for me in the past, but I decided it wasn’t the best for me right now. I also like knowing how many calories I take in daily (vs. counting points).

SUPER SHRED is not designed for long-term use. His book, SHRED, a gradual program that helps you shed unwanted pounds and gives you the tools to lead a healthy life, is designed for those looking for a plan to follow long-term. The SHRED system never leaves you hungry. You get to eat y’all! Did I mention that already?! I absolutely cannot follow “diets” or plans that are too restrictive or won’t allow you to eat real, sustainable food. When I read more about the SUPER SHRED diet, I made my decision and knew it was time to put in the work!

What is SUPER SHRED?

SUPER SHRED is a four-week super-charged program that shares the same principles—meal spacing, snacking, meal replacement, and diet confusion—as SHRED—with twice the intensity and a shorter quick-acting plan. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with SHRED.

I was a little hesitant about sharing about my Shred Life Journey because of doubt. I kept thinking, what if I fail? I had to stop entertaining the negative thoughts IMMEDIATELY and remind myself that this journey is not just about me. There are countless others on the journey to better health. I like when people are real about their journey, because I think more people can relate. Ain’t nobody perfect! I want the struggles, highs, lows and successes…so why not share mine?  Besides, failure is not an option!

 

Week 1, Day 1 – I’m so not a morning person, but I got my bum up and worked out for 60 minutes (Arc Trainer, Stairmill, and bicycle — daily workouts are described in the SUPER SHRED book for each day). I had to rock my “Strong is the New Skinny” Bondi Band for my first workout!

SuperShredWO1

I have my journal to keep track of everything from exercise, food, moods, whatever! I’ll be posting my Super Shred check-ins over the next four weeks, so stay tuned and make sure you follow me on Instagram. After Super Shred, I will start the Shred Diet. I’m ready for a new start and I’m excited to be a part of the Shredder Nation!!!

Who’s joining me? LET’S GET IT!!!

 

Art’s Shred Life Journey

Super Shred | Week 1: Foundation – Check-in (Part 2)

Super Shred: Week 1 Complete + Update and Weight Loss Results (Part 3)

 

 

**Post contains affiliate links.

 

 

 

The Hills Return + Jeff Galloway Tips: Running Injury Edition

To kick off our new season of Hump Day Hills, I returned to the Hills of the Magic City with the ladies in my running group. There’s nothing fun or cute about these hills. Kudos, to Michelle for being a first-timer and sticking it out like a champ! It takes pure guts and determination to tackle mountains (yes, mountains). I just completed my 8th half marathon (recap coming soon) at the Run The Bluegrass Half in Lexington, KY and oh boy, did those hills have eyes! I won’t even get into that here…just know it wasn’t pretty–but I got it done!

I knew in order for me to even attempt four miles of hill training three days after completing 13.1 miles at Run The Bluegrass, I was going to have to take it slow and steady. I mean goodness, I was still sore and I didn’t want to overdo it and injure myself. As you may know by now, I am a huge fan of Jeff Galloway and I use the Galloway Method (run-walk-run) faithfully. I have used run-walk-run for all eight half marathons and for my first full marathon. Using run-walk-run and taking walk breaks has been one of the reasons I have been able to stay injury free. I’m not saying you can’t get injured, because things happen—but run-walk-run sure helps!

 The Hills Return + Jeff Galloway Training Tips/Injury Prevention: Why Do We Get Injured? | My Pretty Brown Blog #JeffGalloway #runwalkrun #runinjuryfree #running

BGR-Birmingham Hill Fanatics

 

Being a Galloway Blogger, I have the privilege of sharing Jeff Galloway’s Training and Motivation Tips. Running injury free is so important to Jeff and I’m sure it is to most, if not all, runners. In this installment, Jeff discusses INJURIES!

 

 Why do we get injured?  

 

1.  Be aware of irritation of weak links:

  • The Key Weak Links are body parts where my runners tend to experience injuries are these: Knees – Feet – Calf  – Achilles – Hip – Glute/piriformis/sciaticia.
  • The body parts that YOU need to be aware of are the sites where you are injured or suffer more aches and pains.
  • If you’re sensitive to the first indication of irritation in these areas and take immediate action it’s possible to avoid injury.

 

 2.  Stress buildup due to the way we train:

  • Training schedule is too intense—not enough rest between stress.
  • Adverse Training Components—speed is too fast or has too much, too soon.
  • Running form—too long a stride, forward lean, bouncing too high off the ground.

 

So staying focused on the way one runs and following these guidelines, can often allow runners to maintain a manageable increase without injury.  

 

Top 5 ways to avoid stress buildup-and avoid injuries:

  1. Take walk breaks more frequently, and run shorter run segments
    • AW: There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking walk breaks. You’ll be amazed at how many runners PR (including BQ) using walk breaks. It gives your body control over fatigue as you prepare for the next segment.
  2. Form: shorter stride, feet low to the ground
    • AW: I try to remember this while I’m running. Sometimes I get excited (forget), especially race day, and I have to pull it back so I won’t overdo it.
  3. Slower long runs, with more walk breaks
    • AW: I didn’t understand this until years after I started running. Train slow to run fast (and strong). It definitely helps increase endurance while remaining injury free.
  4. Avoid Stretching
    • AW: I don’t stretch until after I run and I love using Mr. Foam Roller too!
  5. Be careful when running speed sessions
    • AW: You know your body. Listen to it.

 

MPBB and Jeff Galloway | My Pretty Brown Blog

 
 
If you missed my previous posts with Jeff Galloway tips, you can find them here and here. What else can you think of to add to the list for injury prevention? 
 
 
 
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It’s A Meal Prep Party!

Meal Prep Party | My Pretty Brown BlogSo here’s the low-down…I’ve been “saying” that I was going to start meal prepping months ago! I would cook and somehow what was left ended up being devoured. Not to mention one extra serving of fish just doesn’t cut it. Okay, maybe I just didn’t take meal prepping seriously. But then, I didn’t like having to figure out from day to day what I was going to eat for lunch (or dinner). I could take the easy route and just buy frozen meals for lunch, but I wanted a healthier option. Not knocking anyone who does, because sometimes a Smart Ones is what’s on the menu! Well…

My great friend, Leticia, inspired me to get serious about meal prepping. This girl stays on it and she does not deviate. She has the results to prove it! She turned down Krispy Kreme for some grapes! WHO TURNS DOWN KRISPY KREME?! That should be against the law!!! But, I tell you who does…somebody on a mission! I’m gonna be real with y’all…after getting on the scale the other day, I said, “This ain’t gonna cut it”. I knew after my marathon I could gain weight. Well…I did. Not a lot, but enough to make me change my focus. I was getting way too comfortable. My marathon was 3 months ago, so I can’t keep saying I’m still taking time off to recover. As for training, I don’t want to use “I’m carb-loading” as an excuse to pig out before a race. There’s a way to eat clean(er) and still run, crossfit, weight train, etc. 

Don’t get me wrong, I will never be an advocate of deprivation. That’s why those cabbage, applesauce, baby food diets…just don’t work. We need real food! That’s the reason why I love Weight Watchers–nothing is off limits and everything is in moderation. I can easily eat a doughnut or a half a dozen (no judging), but that only derails progress. I’ve heard people say, “Don’t reward yourself with food, you’re not a dog!” Well, of course we’re not dogs…but if you know you want to enjoy a splurge meal or item, then plan accordingly. A sacrifice has to come from somewhere. You know your level of will power and I know mine. If I can go without something, I’ll wait until I REALLY want it—not just because it’s in front of me. 

Sometimes you have to shock your body by kicking in healthier habits that will benefit you for the long haul. Food prepping is actually fun! You feel a sense of accomplishment when you’re done. I’m talkin’ meals for the whole week! My HB was so intrigued by all my little meals and containers sprawled all over the kitchen, I think he wants to join the party!

Meal Prep Party | My Pretty Brown Blog

I pretty much baked everything at the same time. You may have to do two or more cycles depending on how much you want to prepare. My menu consisted of Brussels sprouts, yellow squash, broccoli, boiled eggs, salmon, chicken, brown rice, sweet potatoes, fruit, and mini snack packs. I measured out each baggie on the food scale to make my 100-ish calorie snack bags. You save so much money doing it this way. I never thought I’d love Brussels sprouts either, until I made them for the first time.  Did I mention, as a kid, I wouldn’t dare eat them? Now I love em’! I’ll also be switching up my foods/meals so I won’t get bored.

Meal Prep | My Pretty Brown Blog

If you don’t have a food scale, I encourage you to get one. I absolutely love my Weight Watchers scale and it has become my BFF. It converts into points as well. I measure everything. It amazes me how portions can get out of control, especially in restaurants—but it’s also interesting to see how often times we cheat ourselves. I was testing out a new recipe and I wanted French bread. I was surprised to see how much bread I did actually get, simply by weighing it. Weight Watchers Scale | My Pretty Brown Blog

I’m really excited about this new journey of food/meal prepping! I’ll check back in a little later to share how it has been going. Do you meal prep? What are some of your favorite go-to food prep meals/items?