GRIT by Brit

Fun, Fierce, Fitness


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Brit’s Fit Holiday Picks: Top Fitness Gifts…a Gym Rat’s Dream!

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Alright Gang – it’s that time of year.  I can’t believe we are only 2 weeks away from Christmas!  In my lifelong efforts to be like Oprah, I’ve compiled Brit’s Fit Holiday Gift Picks (my version of Oprah’s Favorite Things).  Unfortunately, I’m NOT a baller and you will NOT receive a free gift set of the items above.  However, because I’m in the Christmas spirit, I will send a free GRIT by Brit workout tank top to the first 20 people who email me their preferred color (black or blue), size and mailing address (email brit@gritbybrit.com).  You’re welcome 🙂

So let’s get to right to it.  My holiday fitness wish list goes a little something like this…

  1. OMG That’s Paleo? Recipe Book ($19.85) – So I started following Juli Bauer on Instagram and quickly became a fan of her blog/social media community PaleOMG.  Her recipes are super savory and made with the fitness enthusiast in mind.  She gets creative with the Paleo diet which is awesome if you’re sick and tired of eating the standard “burger no bun.”
  2. Quest Bars Variety Box ($26.99) – If you guys remember my post on the Best and Worst Nutrition Bars, Quest Bars topped my list due to their low sugar, high protein, high fiber and great taste.  There are SO many yummy Quest bar flavors, so I would love a variety box.  They are also convenient “meals on the go” especially when I ‘m traveling for work.
  3. Nike FlyKnit Multi Colored Sneakers ($129.90) –  I’m a Nike FREE junkie partially due to functionality, but mostly due to style.  However, the new Nike FlyKnit sneakers  are supposed to be really light, flexible and comfortable.  Also, they have this cool multicolored print that I love.  I will definitely be getting some of these.  Probably 2 pairs.
  4. Lululemon Reversible Wunder Under Yoga Pants ($92)- These leggings are bold fuchsia on one side and black on the other.  Plus they fit like a glove and give your booty a nice little lift.  I would wear these to yoga and then continue to wear them to prance around in the grocery store – word.
  5. Nike Twisted Headband ($15) – Because I’m a headband junkie, 2 different types of headbands made my list.  This one is a new design by Nike that’s also very wide and twists like the Turban one.  However, this is made of dri-fit moisture-wicking fabric and looks more sporty.  I will wear this one to the gym and actually workout in it.  I REALLY want one.  Bad.
  6. Puma Women’s All Sport No Show Socks ($14) – These socks are the perfect texture – not too thick and not too thin.  They keep my feet relatively dry during sweaty workouts and don’t show at all.  Simple and effective.  Just my style.
  7. Up 24 by Jawbone ($149.95) – So, you guys already know I’m obsessed with my Jawbone UP wristband.  I wrote a product review a few months ago and my only beef was that there is no blue tooth capability.  Well, that’s not the case anymore!  The new and improved Jawbone UP 24 now has blue tooth capability so you don’t have to manually plug it into your iPhone to sync.  I like to think I influenced that product enhancement.
  8. Focus T25 by Shaun T & Beach Body ($119.85) – As much as I want to be a Shaun T hater, he has a way of sucking me in.  I’ve never tried Insanity, but I’m intrigued by this new T25 program.   Essentially, the program is like Insanity but more “focused.”  Each workout is only 25 minutes long and is promised to deliver the same results as a longer workout.   Also, since I’ve come to the realization that I can only do a home workout for 30 minutes before I start to zone out, I’m even more eager to try T25.  I plan start the Focus T25 program the day after Christmas.  I’ll give it a formal GRIT by Brit review and share with you guys.
  9. C9 Champion Cold Weather Pull Over Fleece ($21.24) – This is super cute, super warm and super inexpensive.  You can get it at Target. Enough said.
  10. Bosu Ball ($79.95) – Like 3 years ago I had a personal trainer and he always made me do Bosu Burpees and Bosu Plank stability drills.  Since then I kind of stopped because I usually just go to group fitness classes.  But, this holiday season I want to buy a Bosu Ball to keep in my house so I can start incorporating the exercises back into my routine.  They are super effective for cardio and strength training.  Actually, I’ll do a blog post on my favorite Bosu Ball exercises…
  11. Tribal Print Turban Headband ($10) – Aren’t these headbands presh?  So, I don’t necessarily want to wear these to the gym, I just want to wear them with gym clothes.  They come in all different patterns, but the tribal prints are my favorites.  They give me the perfect balance of looking chic yet effortless.  You can get them on Etsy.
  12. Olive Oil Deep Conditioning Replenishing Pack ($10 for 3 packs) – These deep conditioning treatments are my saving grace.  I sweat a lot.  Like my hair is wringing wet after a tough workout.  I have to be diligent about hydrating my hair, so I do use one of these replenishing pack treatments each week.  It’s a good, weekly, deep conditioning routine especially for women with hair texture similar to mine which tends to dry out.
  13. Lululemon  Yeah Yoga Tank ($58) – How cute is the back on this?  I like this tank because it’s supportive for those of us who are bustier, but also cute and sexy with the backless crisscross design.  I can wear this to yoga AND to kickboxing because it provides enough support.  Also, the fabric is thick and fits very snug, which I appreciate.
  14. Foam Roller ($15-20) – Foam rolling is my massage substitute.  It’s also a  good warm up for high intensity workouts (along with some light cardio).  The foam roller allows you to massage deep into your muscle fibers, generate heat and break up lactic acid.  It’s a really good tool to have around your house if you do lots of high impact and high intensity workouts (i.e Kickboxing, Boot Camps, CrossFIT, etc.).
  15. Sporty Afros G+ Hair Spray ($5-10) – I started using this product from Sporty Afros after I got a sample in a swag bag.  It’s amazing!  The spray is made specifically for athletes.  So after a workout when my hair is sweaty, I spray it heavily on my roots and lightly on my ends, then comb my hair with a wide tooth comb.  It helps prevent breakage and keeps my hair moist.  Most importantly, it doesn’t feel greasy.  I’m a fan!

What’s on your holiday wish list?

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My UP Life: UP by Jawbone Product Review

After seeing all of my friends with their fancy “wrist wellness” devices, I decided to jump on the band wagon a purchase one for myself.  In case you’re unsure of what I’m talking about, several devices have recently taken over the health/wellness scene for young professionals and hipsters.  The Nike Fuel Band, FitBit and of UP by Jawbone are just a few of the most popular.  They range in price from $75 – $130 (the Jawbone is $129).  Essentially, the devices are worn around the wrist and track daily activity.  They sync with a mobile device and have apps that can be downloaded for free to store all of your personal data and activity trends, lifestyle patterns, etc.  But what we consumers really want to know is, “Are these devices effective? Does simply having data bout our lifestyle actually promote healthy habits?”

Well, I’ve taken the personal challenge and bought myself an UP by Jawbone.  My hope was that having knowledge about my sleep patterns, daily activity and calorie intake/burn would naturally encourage me make healthier decisions.  In some cases this has been true and in others it hasn’t.  But before I go there, let me tell you a little about the device itself.

my jawboneI’ve been using the Jawbone UP for about a 2 weeks and overall I really like it! First I’ve been satisfied with the product quality.  I bought mine at the Apple store and the customer service/return policy is great.  So far it works perfectly.  The battery life is really long (like 10 days) before I have to charge it. I also think it has a cool/chic design and, honestly, I hope that people see it around my wrist because it signals that I’m “health conscious.” 🙂

Here’s a quick list of my likes and dislikes of this specific product…

Likesjawbone sleep patterns

  • It vibrates will I’ve been sitting for too long (kind of scared me the first time and literally made me jump out of my seat)
  • It has an alarm clock vibration to wake me up in the morning, only when I’m in a “light sleep cycle”
  • It tracks my sleep cycles (see the chart that get populated in the app – right) !  I didn’t think this would be that big of a deal but I’m more conscious about what I do during the day and what time I go to bed to ensure I get quality sleep
  • It syncs directly with “My Fitness Pal” app so I like to log my food and exercise there
  • It doesn’t track any activity other than my “steps” or so if I’m are doing yoga or riding a stationary bike I don’t get any “points.”  At firs this annoyed me, but this makes me actually make me more conscious about remaining active throughout the day.  For instance, I get up from my desk during the day and just walk around which is really important, even for those of us who exercise daily.  Remember what we learned from our registered dietitian?  “Sitting pretty” is unhealthy!

Dislikes

  • I haven’t found the perfect fit.  The small was too tight and the medium is too loose.
  • I don’t like that I have to actually plug it into my iPhone for my app to update, I wish is had Bluetooth so it will update in real-timejawbone with iphone
  • The design is really cool/chic, but sometimes the devices get hooked onto my sleeve because it doesn’t close all the way around (see pics below)

Overall, I think the Jawbone has a leg up over the Nike Fuel Band and the Fit Bit because it has the sleep tracking capability.  I didn’t realize just how much my lack of “deep Sleep” was impacting my liveliness and personal vitality.

Has Jawbone Changed My Life?

I would say, definitely YES!  First, I’m now knowledgeable of the specific daily habits that prevent me from getting deep sleep.  For me it’s drinking wine before I got to bed, going to bed late (after 11pm) or eating dinner too late (after 8pm).  If I avoid these things, I’ve found that I get much longer “deep sleep” cycles.  Also,  I’m more active throughout the day in addition to my morning gym workouts.  For instance, I try to take the stairs instead of the elevator, I walk the long way back to my desk during coffee breaks and I park as far away from my building as possible.  These small changes usually ensure that I meet my daily step goal of 10,000 steps.  In terms of body weight, I haven’t really noticed a significant difference.  But this is probably because I haven’t been tracking my calories very diligently.  If I got more disciplined with that, I assume the Jawbone would also be really effective for weight management.  All in all, at the end of the day, I give the Jawbone a big GRIT by Brit 2 thumbs up!

Do you guys have a Jawbone?  Or a Nike Fuel Band?  Or Fit Bit?   Are they effective for you?  Let us know!

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