Super Shred: 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 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!



2015 Walt Disney World Marathon: Marathon Day

Cigna Blogger Cook-off — Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend

Mercedes Half Marathon — My First Half Marathon



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!





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!


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!


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



**Post contains affiliate links.




Jeff Galloway’s Four Ways To Energize Your Day and Clear Your Brain

Four Ways To Energize Your Day and Clear Your Brain - My Pretty Brown Blog

I am constantly learning and growing when it comes to running. I just received new tips from Jeff Galloway and it’s perfect timing being that I shared in an earlier post about needing to reboot. Sometimes “life” things happen, but there are ALWAYS better days ahead. All we need to do is refocus and get re-energized—with a little motivation, of course!

Four Ways To Energize Your Day and Clear Your Brain
By Olympian Jeff Galloway

It’s natural to become focused on the big things in life, and worry about outside forces, building stress.  A few simple lifestyle adjustments can result in greater control over attitude and energy, while reducing stress and fatigue.  Yes, you can exert more control over your life, produce positive attitude hormones, and blend together body, mind and spirit by planning and taking action.

  • Walk or run, one day and a walk (or cross train) the next.  While the exertion will wake up the muscles, you’re away from the phone, allowing the mind a little freedom.  Most who start with a blank mental state, finish their exercise session with the day planned, and a few new ways to deal with problems.  Others like to walk/run during lunch hour, while munching on an energy bar.  This can clear out morning stress and prepare mind-body for the challenges of the afternoon.  Many evening exercisers believe that the weight of the day’s stress is erased or contained with the after-work workout.  Scheduling these outings gives you control over your existence.
  • Don’t sit—walk! The addition of a few extra short walks, throughout the day, will energize the body and activate the mind.  Park farther away from work, the food store, the transit station, etc.  Many of my clients use a step counter for motivation and calorie counting.  It helps to find one that is consistent and reliable (usually @ $30).  Shoot for 10,000 steps a day.  You are rewarded for  getting out of your chair (or  the couch) more often.  These short walks burn fat, which adds up (up to 30 pounds a year!).  The best reward is the head clearing effect, which can power you through the mid morning or mid afternoon energy crises.  Even a 3-4 minute “recess” walk at work, can result in clearer thinking, more energy, and greater self-confidence.   
  • Eat more frequently.  Each time you eat, even a small snack, you’ll boost your energy level. The longer you wait to eat, the more likely your metabolism will slump into drowsiness and laziness.  This also means that you’re not burning many calories.  If you divide up your daily calorie budget into 6-9 snacks a day you’ll burn more fat (up to 10 pounds a year).  Eat a snack every 2-3 hours, and you can feel better all day.  It helps to choose foods that have (percentage of calories vs total calories) about 20% protein, about 15% fat and the rest in complex carbohydrate.  This combination will leave you satisfied longer with fewer calories consumed.  To experience a fat loss, consumption can be managed through websites or journals.  For more information, see A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO FAT BURNING by Jeff and Barbara Galloway.
  • Help someone exercise. The psychological benefits are significant when you help someone improve the quality of their life.  Offer to walk (run, hike) with your spouse, parent, friend co-worker, child—or all of the above.  My books WALKING & GETTING STARTED have proven programs with motivation which can lead you  and your “coach-ee” through the training. 


Mental well-being plays a big part in effectively running and training, which ties back into ways to run injury free. I hope you enjoyed these exclusive Galloway Blogger tips! I love sharing with others about running, because I know there are others seeking knowledge just like me. There’s something about learning from those who have experienced the very things you may need help with. Getting tips from a well-respected athlete and Olympian makes it even better! For more updates and wisdom from Jeff, make sure you follow Jeff Galloway on Facebook!


Jeff Galloway 13.1 - My Pretty Brown Blog


Have you registered for the Jeff Galloway 13.1? If not, you can do so by visiting: You can also get updates via Jeff Galloway’s’ 13.1 Facebook Fan Page here. I hope to see you there!!!

If you missed the last few installments of Jeff Galloway Blogger Tips, you can read them here:
Run Happy and Injury Free!

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? 
Register now for the Jeff Galloway 13.1 with no risk!  The 2nd annual half marathon on Dec. 13, 2015 is currently $95. You can sign up with no risk! Take advantage of this low price, and if you can’t make it, you can roll into the virtual option with no extra charge!
Register today at
Carmel, CA
“Re-Charging Your Running, Fitness and Nutrition”
April 23-24, 2015           
Lake Tahoe, CA
The Perfect Summer Running Camp
July 23 – 30, 2015 (week)
July 24 – 26, 2015 (weekend)

Shake It Off, Tone It Up + Stairmill Workout!

I don’t know about you, but I’m so ready for spring! I have been in complete struggle mode the past few weeks. Winter really had me in a slump. Lots of rain, a few snow days…I really needed some vitamin D. Then I realized, I have suffered from SAD. Did you know that SAD existed? It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which simply means: you turn into Crabby Patty or you feel sad, anxious, tired, excessively eat with potential weight gain, and have trouble concentrating just to name a few. For me…I’m just ready for spring!

After my marathon, I had the Post-Marathon Blues. I remember my sister saying, “Artney, enjoy this moment! Your race will go by so fast and then it will be over.” Everything she said was true. About a week after my marathon the blues kicked in. You go through vigorous mental and physical training all while building a bond with yourself and your training. You put in days, nights, months of training then the big day comes, your excitement level is on fleek (yes, I actually detest this word, but it worked), then it’s over—just like that. I was sad, a little depressed, and this winter SADness didn’t help. I really enjoyed my sabbatical and not working out, but I can’t believe I’m saying this…I miss working out and I miss the endorphins! Euphoria, where are you? I had to figure out how to get out of this comfortable slump of laziness. It had to start with the renewing of my mind. So, I whipped my bum back into shape mentally and got on the physical train. One foot in front of the other and one day at a time. No More Excuses! 

Shaking Post-marathon blues, Stair Master, Fitness Exercises

Have you ever had that one activity or machine in the gym that you just wanted to run from? Well, mine is the Stairmaster/Stairmill aka the HELL-master! This is one of the hardest machines on earth and 5 minutes is all it takes to have me calling on Jesus. I get bored doing the same thing, so when I found this Stairmill Workout on Pinterest I got excited! But…it’s hard y’all!!! I have to stop mid-way to catch my breath because my heart rate is always off the charts—but it works! I’m not trying to go in too fast, so I’m going to stick with one cycle for the first few weeks then add another, etc. Next time you’re at the gym, try this awesome workout from ToneItUp!


 Stairmaster, Stairmill, Fitness Exercises


What’s the one workout or machine that you have a love/hate relationship with, but gets the job done?



More Training and Motivation Tips from Jeff Galloway

A few weeks ago, I came off of my post-marathon sabbatical to run one of my favorite races, the Mercedes Half Marathon. It was also my 7th half marathon to date! I love this race because it was my first half and it’s also held in my hometown, Birmingham, AL. I was able to PR and Jeff Galloway’s Run Walk Run (intervals) helped me achieve it. I mentioned in my earlier post how excited I am to be part of the Jeff Galloway Blogger program sharing training and motivation tips from Jeff. Run Walk Run is a method that is tried-and-true and has helped countless runners meet their goals!

Here are more Training and Motivation Tips to help you stay motivated during your training. 

Run Injury Free: Jeff Galloway Training and Motivation Tips | My Pretty Brown Blog

I use Run Walk Run on all of my long runs. It’s up to each person to decide how fast or slow they would like their long runs to be. I like to pace my runs 1 to 2 minutes slower than race pace. Just remember “slow and steady wins the race”. This is my mantra and I stick to it. I paced myself too fast one time and that’s all it took. When I use Run Walk Run, I recover quicker, have less fatigue, and I’m motivated to get back out there.

We all want to run and stay injury free. You can find Jeff Galloway’s Book Run Walk Run here and Running Injuries here.


Run Injury Free: Jeff Galloway Training and Motivation Tips (Part 2) | My Pretty Brown Blog Runners from Austin, Duluth, Denver, Metro Dc, NW Indiana, and Montgomery County, MD – We are coming to you! There is a Galloway Training Program starting near you in the month of March! Check the calendar for more information.

All Roads Lead To Rome!
Deadline extended until March 8th. 
(Time & Space is now limited – 2 slots left)
Sign up at or


Offer Expires: 3/8/15


If you missed my first JG Training and Motivation Tips, you can find them here. Have you dealt with any running-related injuries? What methods did you use to recover and get back to running?