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 was just started my Shred journey! Dr. Ian shared that this week was meant to be a tough one. Thanks a lot, Dr. Ian! But, he did reassure me by sharing 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.

Dr. Ian shares in his book:

“…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 were the meal plans 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 morning celebration 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.

Super Shred Week 3

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.

Eggs and Graps Breakfast - Super Shred -- My Pretty Brown Blog

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!Salsa Salad 2 - Super Shred - 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.

Super Shred - Tuna Snack - My Pretty Brown Blog

Super Shred - Tuna Snack - My Pretty Brown Blog

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

Lentil Snaps - Super Shred -- 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! That’s a crazy, insane workout. You can find a great circuit here.

Super Shredder Day - Super Shred Diet -- My Pretty Brown Blog

 

 

I’m taking my fitness to another level!

On Super Shred, you do have to stay active. 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 - Super Shred Diet -- 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.

wpid-screenshot_2015-05-19-14-54-00-1.png
Temptations and all, I had a successful Week 3 and 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 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!

 

 

 

 

Five Ways To Run Faster | Jeff Galloway Tips

Hi everyone!
 
It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are as a runner, I believe everyone wants to get faster. I always say, the faster I go the sooner I can get the job done! Different factors may play a part in speed on any given day or depending on the person. As for me, I want to be stronger and faster. I have used Jeff Galloway‘s training since my first half marathon and it will continue to be my go-to method for training and race day. I actually just reached a personal record (PR) earlier this year using his Run Walk Run method. If you aren’t super fast or if you’re what I call a running turtle (including myself, lol) don’t beat yourself up about it! You’re out there doing more than those sitting on the couch. As long as you’re putting one foot in front of the other, you’re STILL a runner! But guess what? I have invaluable tips from Jeff Galloway to share on ways to run faster and ways to increase your pace!
 
Jeff Galloway Five Ways To Get Faster | My Pretty Brown Blog
 
 
FIVE WAYS TO GET FASTER
by Olympian Jeff Galloway
 
Longer Long Runs

Increasing the length of the longest long run has produced the greatest amount of improvement that I’ve seen among my coaching clients.  Several surveys have shown more than 13 minutes of time improvement when runners increase their longest long run from 20 miles to 26 miles before a marathon.  Comparable time improvements are experienced in 10K runners and half marathoners when they increase their long runs above race distance as noted in my YEAR ROUND PLAN book that covers all the distances.  Long runs must be at least 2 min/mi slower than current ability, with liberal walk breaks.  The slower the pace, the quicker the recovery.  I suggest doing the long runs every 2-3 weeks.

Speed Repetitions—increasing the number

My runners have improved by an average of over 6 minutes in a marathon (3+ minutes in a half marathon) by increasing the number of speed repetitions to 14 x 1 mile for the marathon, and 14 x 800 meter for the half marathon.  I recommend that each of these be run 30 sec/mi faster than goal pace.  The recovery interval is a 5 min walk between miles and a 3 minute walk between 800’s.  These workouts prepare one to maintain or pick up pace at the end of the goal race, instead of slowing down.  See GALLOWAY TRAINING PROGRAMS & HALF MARATHON books for details (www.RunInjuryFree.com).

Improve Running Form

Most runners I’ve monitored have improved several minutes in a marathon by fine-tuning their running form.  As the mechanics become smoother and within one’s limits, there is a significant reduction in aches, pains and injuries.  The two best ways to improve form are water running and cadence drills.

  • Water running uses the same basic motion as when running on land, using a flotation device so that the feet don’t touch the bottom of the pool.  When done for at least 15 minutes, once a week, the legs find a more efficient path through the water—eliminating extraneous motion.
  • The cadence drill is done for 30 seconds, counting the number of times the foot touches the ground.  This drill is detailed in most of my books.  I’ve found the key to improving speed on the mechanical side is quicker turnover.

 

Race in Shorter Events

Dropping down a standard distance or two can improve your mechanics for running faster and your ability to handle a higher level of oxygen debt.  On non-long-run weekends, during a half marathon program, try some 5K or 10K races.  When training for a marathon, race at the 10K or half marathon distance.  At first, the faster pace of the shorter distance may seem awkward.  But after several short races, you will adapt—especially if you do some speed training for the shorter/faster event.  These performance improvements can translate into faster times in the longer distances.  My book 5K/10K details the training and the racing strategies for these events.

Hill Training

The only way I’ve found to build strength for running is to run hill repeats.  On a moderate grade hill, start at a jog and pick up the turnover rate of the feet and legs as you go up the hill, shortening your stride.  Walk down the hill for recovery.  Don’t sprint, and follow the other hill training guidelines in my books and at www.RunInjuryFree.com.  The strength from hill training will allow you to perform better in speed sessions which will help you improve in your goal race.  You’ll also run faster on hilly courses, during your races.

 

 

Running is something I never thought I would be doing (and enjoying)! I am a free-spirit when it comes to running…meaning I take pictures along the course (blame my love for runDisney), I rarely race for “time”, maybe once (blame my love for runDisney again), I’m just out there enjoying the moment (or not), and soaking it all in. After starting the Super Shred, I decided I was going to give more effort in everything and that included running. Will I ever qualify for Boston? I doubt it…maybe when I’m like 90! LOL…seriously! However, I know following Jeff’s advice would improve my running and I will definitely be using all of these tips for my upcoming training. I want to try harder and become better. I can attest that hill training does work. You can check out my post here and here about my love hate relationship with the hills. If there aren’t any hills in your area, try the Stairmill (StairMaster) at your local gym. That’s another love-hate relationship that you can read about here. I also miss the days when our pool was open so I could go swimming, but all of these tips from Jeff are attainable and key to improving performance.

Have you tried any of these methods? What have you incorporated into your training to help you improve?

 

WHAT’S COMING UP?

 

Jeff Galloway | My Pretty Brown Blog

Don’t forget to register for the Jeff Galloway 13.1 and Barb’s 5K at: http://www.jeffgalloway131.com! I will be participating in the half marathon in December and I’m so excited…so sign up!!!

 
 
 
 Jeff Galloway Podcast
 
 

 Listen and share this great podcast “Jeff Galloway’s Tips For Beginner Runners” with Mark Kennedy from Healthynomics!  From how Jeff got running to breathing while you run; it’s all here!

 

 

 

You can find Jeff Galloway on Facebook and Twitter!

Happy Running!

 
 
 
 
 

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.

 

Guess Who Turned 4? It’s My Blogiversary!

Guess Who Turned 4? It's My Blogiversary! - My Pretty Brown Blog

 

First off…May the 4th be with you! You know I couldn’t resist!

Wow! Time sure does fly by! Today, May 4, is my 4-year Blogiversary (Blog Anniversary)! It seems like yesterday I was sitting on my couch writing my first post not having a clue where my blog would be in four years. So many experiences, many of them still in my queue lol (don’t worry they are coming)! Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to meet, connect, and network with some pretty amazing readers, bloggers, and people (online and in for real-life) who just make this world a fun place to be in. I appreciate you all for showing my blog and me so much love and support. With this new year, I will be embarking on a journey and I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to share it with you all (even the HALF-craziness lol). LOTS of running, fitness…and oh yes, lots of food and foodie finds—and of course, so much more!

 

Here are a few of my favorite posts over the past year and since inception of My Pretty Brown Blog!

 

Running

2015 Walt Disney World Marathon: Marathon Day

Cigna Blogger Cook-off — Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Mercedes Half Marathon — My First Half Marathon

 

Food/Recipes

Babalu Tacos & Tapas – Birmingham

Eat Drink Birmingham!

Baked Parsnip Chips

 

Everything Else

‘Tis the Season To Protective Style: Senegalese Twists Edition

Essence Music Festival 2013 Rewind!

reCreate ’13 (Women’s Conference) – I Was There!

 

 

Four Year Blog Annivesary My Pretty Brown Blog

Make sure you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest—because I’ll be sharing all about running, food, and fitness, and a little randomness in between!

-XO

 

 

 

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.