Tag Archives | Trainer

Brittany Dawn Fitness: Training & Macro Review

I recently completed 30 days of training and macro counting with Brittany Dawn Fitness and I thought it would be a fun to start doing reviews of the programs that I try out.

I’m an avid follower of trainers and personal wellness gurus on social media so I’m going to start offering up my thoughts on the programs that I tackle in my personal life.

When I decided that I wanted to give macro counting a try to tighten things up in preparation for my birthday, I knew I wanted to reach out to Brittany of Brittany Dawn Fitness. I’ve always found her posts inspirational and wait excitedly for new YouTube videos.

As I said in my macro-related post {Macro Counting}, it comes down to keep track of and trying to hit goals for your daily intake of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. All the while, staying under set limits of sugar and sodium.

Brittany Dawn Fitness Weightlifting Training Program Counting Macros Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Vegetarian San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Recipes

With the Brittany Dawn Fitness program I received three main things:

  1. Personalized Macro Breakdown
  2. 30 Days of Workouts
  3. Coaching

Curious how it went? Here’s a review as well as some of my personal experience with these aspects of the 30 day program.

Macros:

I didn’t know where to start on this so it was great to talk to someone experienced, get a program tailored to my needs, and have the ability to have follow-up conversations and tweak the plan. We aren’t talking about a restrictive diet, this was a ton of food. I won’t share the specific macros, but here a sample of a date of eating:

Brittany Dawn Fitness Weightlifting Training Program Counting Macros Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Vegetarian San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Recipes

  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Protein oats
  • Smoothie
  • Salad + veggie burger
  • Nuts + dried fruit
  • Banana softserve

Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling hungry. And some days, I actually had trouble finishing all of the food. I set aside a few minutes each morning to play with my menu for the day in My Fitness Pal and then adjusted it throughout the day as needed.

Training:

I love weight training and usually make it to the gym at least 5 times a week. Sometimes more. Needless to say, it’s easy to get bored or plateau when you work out as often as I do. That means that I was especially looking forward to see the workouts that get Miss Brittany looking so fabulous.

What I really liked was how her workouts pushed me outside of my comfort zone. While I normally might skip a workout with moves I’ve never done or that I think are too challenging – This program pushed me to get creative and try new things. I don’t think I’ve done bench press since high school!

The only downside was that the workouts are fairly long – Sometimes I didn’t have enough time to finish all the moves or sets during my lunch break workouts.

Brittany Dawn Fitness Weightlifting Training Program Counting Macros Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Vegetarian San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Recipes

Coaching:

This was, without a doubt, my favorite part about the 30 day program. Once a week I sent Brittany an email with my progress – From my measurements and weight to pictures and a breakdown of how I’m feeling. I loved not only being held accountable, but also getting to chat with someone knowledgeable and interested in helping me meet my goals.

I don’t know about you, but when I get excited about a new program or finish setting some exciting new goals, I want to talk to someone about it! So, having an online trainer buddy that I can chat with takes the pressure of le boyfriend to listen to me ramble about my workouts and diet. 🙂

Who are YOUR go-to trainers? Do you have any super inspirational online fitness or healthy living gurus I need to follow?

After taking a few weeks off after my program I’ve just started a 60 Day Fall Challenge with BDawnFit so stay tuned to hear how it goes!

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{Guest Post} Food & The Daily Battle

Welcome to Part II of the Women’s Health series here on Moi Contre La Vie. Today we’re going to hear more from Megan of Kaia F.I.T. Sacramento on the daily struggle to eat well. If you’re new to this series be sure to check out Megan’s bio {Guest Post: Women’s Health} and her previous post – Fashion of the Fitness World.

Part 2: Food… The Daily Battle

I love ice cream, especially cookies & cream. I love cheeseburgers and extra crispy french fries. I can put down a serious amount of pizza. I love crafty cocktails and champagne. I worked in fine dining restaurants for 10 years and was privileged to indulge in some amazing dishes and glasses of wine…

But now I work in the fitness industry. And I constantly try to balance my view of food… Fuel or Delicious Goodness? My answer is both.

The majority of the time, on the day-to-day, food is fuel. Looking at it that way leads me to eating cleaner, leaner, and healthier. I view myself like a machine and if I want to run properly, perform well in my workouts, and feel energetic all day, I need to provide myself with the best fuel available.

I personally feel the best when I eat multiple times throughout the day, always beginning with breakfast. I feel great when I eat lean meat and eggs, lots of veggies and greens, and fresh fruit. I like nuts and trail mix for snacks and dried fruit for dessert. Avoiding the starchy carbs, dairy, and sugar is essential to feeling good.

KaiaIV

However, coming from the restaurant industry, I love nothing more than a nice dinner out. I appreciate a perfectly cooked noodle and a salty piece of pork belly. And I absolutely love home-made ice cream and cookies at my mom’s house. These are the good things in life.

So, how do I balance it? When do I decide to devour a sandwich and when do I stick to a salad full of veggies? I practice MODERATION. I try to stick to healthy ‘fuel’ most of the time. When I treat myself to ‘carbs’ and sugar, I view it just that way… As a TREAT. I think it’s better that way anyway. I feel like crap when I eat sugar and bread days in a row and I stop appreciating it.

Everyone has to make their choices, each and every day. But awareness is where it all begins. If you never go without bread, dairy, sugar, alcohol, etc., how will you ever know how you feel without it?

Our go-to detox at Kaia FIT is 7 days without the following:

  • All starchy ‘carbs’ (bread, tortillas, rice, potatoes, etc.)
  • Sugar over 9g per serving (besides sugar naturally found in fruits/veggies)
  • Alcohol
  • Dairy
  • Processed Foods (if you can’t pronounce something on the label, avoid it!)

Eating clean is a great feeling and I highly recommend letting yourself experience it. And remember, “All things in moderation, including moderation.”

A big thank you to Megan for this great insight into her way of thinking about nutrition. It’s very easy to get into patterns of binging or restricting, so avoid all the negative side effects of both of those ways of eating and try practicing moderation as Megan has suggested.

What’s your personal approach to your daily diet?

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Beginner Fitness

In 2012 a reader came to me with a simple request – Could I help her ease into a workout routine that would put her on the path to overall better health? I documented a part of the process in the following series of posts – Want To Achieve Gym Goddess Status?, Part II, Part III, Part IV & Part V.

I’ve recently received a similar request and thought that 2013 would be a great time to share some of the details with my readers again because I think it’s such a worthwhile topic and achieving better health is widespread goal. I’m sure there have been countless New Years Resolutions related to this so why not get started on your path to health and happiness now?

In addition to providing short beginners workouts for the next few weeks, I’ll be recommending reading and do my best to keep you all motivated and inspired – Which is half the battle.

Workouts:

You want to ease into a new workout regime regardless of your current level of fitness, however if you’re not currently working out, attending classes, and/or running on a regular basis I would suggest starting with one or two small workouts a week and gradually increase to 3-5 as you start improving and feeling stronger.

Let’s start Week One with two short workouts to get us in the mood:

Day One

Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

Warm Down: 5-10 minutes of intervals on a machine of your choosing {See the suggestions under Warm Up}

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

*My recommendation is to turn this into a mini circuit workout – After your warm up do one set of planks, one set of lunges, and one set of squats, then repeat the process a second and third time to complete the circuit before your warm down.

Day Two

Warm Up: 5 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

  • Reverse Lunges {FitSugar’s Back to Basics: Stationary Reverse Lunge} 3 rounds of 10 lunges on each knee
  • Crunches {Dummies.com’s How To Do Crunches} 3 rounds of 20 – Be sure to watch your form & keep your chin & elbows UP form is important w/ this move
  • Leg Lifts {Shape Magazine’s Double-Leg Lower & Lift} 3 rounds of 20

Warm Down: 5-10 minutes of cardio {Walking quickly, jogging/running, elliptical, stationary bike, rowing, stair climber…}

Nutrition:

Following diets, participating in cleanses, and going through detox programs are interesting ways to find out how your body responds to things, but they’re not a way of life. Learning to eat well & make smart food choices on a daily basis is going to do much more for you than any short-term healthy eating “fix.”

Depending on your typical diet transitioning to a clean eating regime can seem pretty daunting, so to make the switch more manageable I’ll just recommend a few tips and suggest some things to cut out of your diet each week.

To start, it’s time to get cooking! Your first goal should be to cut out packaged, processed, and pre-made food from your diet. Don’t panic! That doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to order Chinese again or never enjoy a handful of chips in the future, but if you want to transition to a clean diet the first step is to eliminate all of these types of foods. So your mission for the next two weeks is to start giving up anything processed, stop hitting the drive-through, and spend more time in the kitchen and less time at restaurants.

PumpkinSeeds

Here are a few alternatives:

  • If you like chips or salty other snacks – Try raw almonds, butter-free air popped popcorn, or baby carrots w/ hummus
  • If you crave the beta-endorphin rush of sugary treats, baked goods, or candy – Switch these high calorie picks for fresh fruit, natural almond butter, or homemade sweet treats like Choosing Raw’s Cinnamon Caramelized Cauliflower or Maple Cinnamon Candied Pumpkin Seeds

Homework:

Understanding why you feel the way that you feel and how to improve your health is important. Anyone can blindly follow instructions, but learning about health, nutrition, and your body will help you for your entire life.

So with the goal of educating yourself and expanding your horizons here are some interesting articles you might enjoy:

  • Healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, and nuts & seeds {in moderation} are an important part of a healthy diet. Learn more about this subject by reading Natalie Jill Fitness’s Eating Fat Will NOT Make You Fat…
  • One of the things that impacts your health almost as much as nutrition and fitness is stress. You need to pay attention not only to how much stress you have in your life, but how you deal with it – How Stress Affects the Body.

Stress

So what do you think of this new series? Are these topics and the information I provided above interesting and relevant to your life?

Disclaimer: I am not a trainer, doctor, or dietitian nor do I have any certifications associated with physical fitness or nutrition. I’m merely an enthusiast {and former athlete} who reads & does research daily and has worked out alone or with coaches & trainers since the age of 6. I am lucky enough to have access to a handful of blogs, websites, and trainers to answer my questions though. Prior to making any dramatic changes to your fitness routine or diet I suggest that you consult a physician.

For more inspiration, my daily workout routines, and more Moi Contre La Vie you can find me on these platforms:

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Guest Post: Women’s Health

Raise your hand if your New Years Resolutions – officially or unofficially – include anything similar to these:

  • Eat healthier
  • Go to the gym more frequently
  • Lose weight
  • Get in better shape

That’s what I thought.

So with all of our ambitious and health-oriented resolutions in mind I’m planning a few new series during 2013 to help motivate and educate us with regard to health, fitness & nutrition – (1) A series of guest posts from people in the health & fitness industries, (2) A Beginners Fitness series w/ reading materials, workouts, and nutritional information for you to consider, and (3) A series of posts documenting the trials & tribulations I face while attempting the Whole 30 program at the beginning of 2013.

To help get us started with Fitness Friday & put us in a healthy, motivated mindset so we can start 2013 at our best, I’d like to welcome Megan:

My name is Megan and I’m very excited to have the opportunity to guest blog for Moi Contre La Vie! When I was asked to write a few pieces for this blog, I found myself a little dumbfounded, searching for a topic interesting and worthy enough of the site. It surprised me that I felt this way since I blog at least three times a week on my own!

photo

I manage and coach at an all-women’s gym called Kaia FIT Sacramento. I write 3-4 pieces a week for our website and find my inspiration from the amazing women of our gym community. I realized this inspiration fits perfectly in with the concept of Moi Contre La Vie and my blog topic was staring right at me the whole time!

At the top of the Moi Contre La Vie site it reads, “Celebrating Fashion, Food and Fitness,” and these are three of my favorite things! I will be writing a 3-part series on these topics and how they relate to my life as a fitness trainer and how they affect the women I’m surrounded by. Before my first post, however, I thought I’d share a little about myself and how I came to be where I am.

I’m 26 and married to an amazing man named Nick. Nick is a CrossFit trainer and ultra-runner. His passion for fitness, health and science has been one of my favorite parts about him since we met and I owe much of my success in the fitness world to him.

I was always an ‘active’ person… Dabbling in yoga and running, hitting spin classes at 24 hour fitness if I didn’t get off work at the restaurant too late the night before. You know, the typical college girl routine.

But none of it was ever enough. I loved the feeling of working out. Not the feeling AFTER a workout… But the terrible, breathless, burning feeling DURING it. And I know I wanted to feel it with more intensity.

Enter Kaia FIT.

A friend of mine started at Kaia FIT Sacramento as soon as they opened their doors and was absolutely loving it. Never mind her amazing results physically, her entire attitude and outlook on health and fitness had changed! I knew I had to give it a try….

And I never looked back. After a few months I went to certification and began coaching. A year later I’m managing the joint and have made it my full-time career!

Coming up: Fashion… Of the fitness world!

Thank you so much for the introduction Megan – We’re all looking forward to reading your next post. If you have any specific questions that you’d like Megan to answer please let me know!

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