oncontextmenu="returnfalse" ondragstart="returnfalse" onselectstart="returnfalse">>>> Bri Runde: July 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

PicMonkey Tutorial: How to Add Words & Graphics

Lately I have had quite a few people asking me how I have been adding words and graphics to my photos, so I thought it would be a great blog post to share with all of you.

I am probably one of the least computer savvy people you will meet. This is especially true when it comes to editing photos. I have admired many people's photos and have wished that I were as talented and skilled, but I have accepted the fact that I am not, nor have the time to become so at this point in my life. Maybe some day. :-)

For now though, I am extremely happy that I found out about PicMonkey, a *free* photo-editing website! You can create some pretty beautiful images on this site. I am still learning what all the site can do, but overtime, hopefully I will just continue to improve.

That's what I am going to encourage you to do. Pull up the website and start having fun! Don't worry about "messing up".

I will share a tutorial on what I did for a photo I posted yesterday on my Facebook page.

1. Hover your mouse over the "Design" icon, and select the canvas you want. I chose the 4 x 6 this time.
2. Click on "Open" and select where you are retrieving your photo from. Mine was on "My computer."

3. Once it is uploaded, you can start having fun! :-)

4. To add text, click on the "Tt" icon on the left hand side of the page. There are a few font selections, but you are limited. In order to have access to all the options you have to pay a fee, which honestly I have never looked into so I am not sure on that cost. I am cheap and just stick to what's free. ;) 

5. Adjust the size of your words and change the font color using the box on the right. With this photo, I wanted my words to match the pink on my camera strap. To match an exact color, all you have to do is click on the rectangle that has "0%" below it and an eyedropper will appear. Move that eyedropper over onto your photo and click your mouse on the color you want.

6. To add overlays, click on the "Butterfly" icon over on the left sidebar. You can add your own by simply selecting, "Your Own" or you can choose from the general options they provide for you, which is what I did for this photo. 

7. After you have selected which design you want, it will appear on your photo. I chose from "Stars."

You can then move the image, enlarge or minimize, and change the color.

You can add more and overlap them. I added two smaller ones to put over the big star.

8. Click and save to your computer when you are finished.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If anything, maybe it will inspire you to try out your own masterpieces. The possibilities are endless! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

PiYo // Week 1 Review

PiYo arrived on my doorstep a couple of weeks ago, and I was excited to tear that box open! I started the program on Monday, July 14th, and I want to share my weekly progress with all of you.

I have to be honest when I say I was a little nervous to jump all in with this program. When I started my fitness journey out two years ago, I did TurboFire, which is a high-intensity cardio program. I had such great results from that program and then moved on to weights. I was just afraid to give that up. However, Chalene Johnson is fantastic and knows what she is doing, so I totally trust her and have decided to commit to this program from start to finish 100%!

My main goal with PiYo is not to lose weight. Instead I am looking to increase my flexibility, strength and my core. For this reason, I am going to be eating for maintenance calories. My plan is to continue using the 21 Day Fix containers for portion control and follow the PiYo eating plan.

To start, I figured out my calorie target. For me, that is about 1200-1300 calories per day. I found the food plan that matches my calorie target, which is plan A. 

For Plan A I am eating

4 servings of Primary Vegetables
2 servings Secondary Vegetables & Grains
2 servings Fresh Fruit
4 servings Lean Protein
3 servings Healthy Fats

With this program, it is important to follow the eating plan because you are not burning a high amount of calories with these workouts. I don't have a meal plan to share with you from week one, because we were camping over the weekend and I didn't make a PiYo plan for that. Future weeks, I will be sharing what my meals and snacks are.

Here are my week 1 workouts:

Day 1 is Align: The Fundamentals, which is 40 minutes long. This workout breaks down the most important and effective moves in the program to help you perfect your form and get your best results possible. You will not want to skip this introduction! Chalene guides you through each movement, pose and exercise that you will use the rest of the program.
Day 1 - Learning the moves
Day 2 is Define: Lower Body (25 min.), which really focuses on your lower body. This workout will helps lengthen and strengthen your entire lower body from your flutes and hamstrings to your calves.
Day 2 - After workout Shakeology
Day 3 is Define: Upper Body (35 min). This really is an upper body workout with plenty of tricep push-ups! Hello sexy shoulders!

Day 4 is Sweat (35 min.). This is a traditional PiYo workout that incorporates effective dynamic conditioning, fast-paced cardio yoga-flows, and bodyweight resistance strength training to help sculpt your entire body. And, YES, I was sweating without doing any running or jumping!

Day 5 is a rest day.

Day 6 is Define: Lower Body again.

Day 7 is Define: Upper Body

And, that is week 1! You can follow along on my PiYo journey right here on the blog, as well as on my Facebook Page, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tips for the Perfect Push-Up

When I started my fitness journey two years ago, having just come off a few months of bed rest, my first goal was to be able to do one push-up off my knees. It took quite some time, but I have gotten to the point where I can do a few before having to modify by going down on my knees.

Today, I wanted to share a few tips on how to get that proper form with a push-up.

Whether you're on your toes or on your knees, proper form is extremely important.                                                                             

  1. Get into a plank. Be sure your hands are aligned with your shoulders, and then just wider than them. Tighten your core.
  2. Lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor, tucking your elbows in as you do. When you're at the bottom, your arms should be at 45-degree angles.
  3. Keep your back flat and do not let your back or hips sag. If you can't do a push-up on your toes yet, don't give up! You're still getting a great workout.

For those of you who want to make your push-up more challenging, here are some tips:
  1. Slow down. By taking more time to do each repetition, you increase the time that each muscle must stay contracted.
  2. Bring your hands and feet closer together to move your center of gravity forward and make your shoulders, pecs, back, and triceps do more work. Tighten your core to protect your lower back.
  3. Change the angle. Place your feet on a stable surface and keep your hands on the ground. This puts more of your weight onto your shoulders.
  4. Move away from a stable surface and do your push-ups on a balance ball. These exercises will challenge those muscles groups and force you to tighten your core to stay balanced.
  5. Do handstand push-ups!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Egg White Breakfast Burrito

This burrito is loaded with egg whites, red onion, and bell peppers to give you a delicious, high-protien breakfast.

Total Time: 17 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 7 min.
Yield: 1 serving
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. finely chopped red bell pepper
1 Tbsp. finely chopped yellow bell pepper
1 Tbsp. finely chopped green bell pepper
1 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion
3 large egg whites (1/3 cup)
1 (8-inch) whole wheat flour tortilla, warm
1 slice low-sodium turkey bacon, cooked, chopped
Ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
2 Tbsp. fresh tomato salsa
1. Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add bell peppers and onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes or until soft.
3. Add eggs; cook, over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until eggs are set.
4. Top tortilla with egg mixture, turkey bacon, and pepper (if desired).
5. Roll tortilla burrito-style.
6. Serve with salsa.

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 232
Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 15 mg
Sodium: 715 mg
Carbohydrate: 26 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sugar: 4 g
Protein: 17 g

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Daily Eating Plan

One thing I have found since starting my healthier lifestyle is that it is so important to eat six small meals everyday, making breakfast your largest meal of the day. Eating smaller meals more often keeps your blood sugar levels steady and your metabolism going. You want to eat breakfast within one hour of waking up. Breakfast is the most important meal of your, so do not skip it!

If you are struggling with weight loss, be sure that you are pairing complex carbs with protein at each of your meals. It could be a reason for not seeing results.

What I eat on a daily basis is pretty simple. I wanted to share it today, because it is a question I get asked. I am pretty repetitive with my eating. That doesn't bother me at all. Once I find something healthy that I love, I tend to stick with it.

Before I eat breakfast, I drink one large glass of water. This helps cleanse my body, remove toxins and aid in digestion.

My breakfast is almost always Vanilla Shakeology. If I don't have my Shakeology for breakfast, I will eat oatmeal with cinnamon, fruit, and chia seeds.

Two to three hours later, I have my first snack. This is usually an apple with one tablespoon of natural peanut butter.

Some other great options:
  • Baby carrots and celery with two tablespoons of hummus
  • 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries, honey, cinnamon, and 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  •  1/2 - 1 cup of grapes with a low-fat string cheese

Again, two to three hours after my mid-morning snack, I will have lunch. This usually is a salad. I will take one chicken breast and put that on my bed of lettuce. I will toss on any veggies I have on hand, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, slivered almonds, and one tablespoon of a low-fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing. I make sure to have another big glass of water with my meal.
Here I have a creamy homemade Greek yogurt dressing.
I have 12 whole almonds and a cup of fresh fruit, along with a glass of water.


This varies depending on our weekly meal plan, but it usually consists of a protein and veggie. We eat a lot of venison at our house, and if we aren't having that, we are eating chicken or fish. We have sweet potatoes and quinoa or brown rice quite often here.

If I am still hungry in the evenings, I will have a bag of air-popped popcorn or Greek yogurt with berries, along with a cup of tea.

This is my daily eating plan. I have found what I need to fuel my body and meet my caloric needs. I strongly suggest figuring out what your daily calorie intake should be. If you have any questions or need help with this, I would be happy to help. You can contact me by messaging me here.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Abs Are Made in the Kitchen

Are you striving for that 6-pack? And I'm not talking beer here! ;) I'm talking about your abs!

I always thought the secret to getting those flat abs meant that I had to do a ton of sit-ups and crunches. I could not have been more wrong. 

Three kids, 3 c-sections later, and I have a flatter stomach than I did back in my college days when I was hitting the gym targeting those abs hard. How did I get there?! I changed what I did in the kitchen. I started eating clean and healthy. 

Did you know we all have that 6-pack of abs already? It's true! It's hidden under our belly fat. Just look at kids. You will see that they have abs, and they probably have not done a sit-up in their life.

By simply changing what you eat, you can start to break down those fatty tissues that are stored around your abs and bring out those beautiful abs of yours.

What changes do you need to make in your kitchen if you desire a flat mid-section?
  • Commit! You have to make the decision to change your habits! Start eating clean. Am I saying you can't have cheat meals and treats? No! But the majority of what you eat should be clean, and when you do have treats, make sure you count those into your calorie intake and continue exercising to make up for it.
  • Cut back on processed food. Cut back on store bought treats and make more of your own food. Read labels and avoiding unnatural ingredients and chemicals.
  • Cut way back on white flour and refined sugar. The way they make white flour is by stripping wheat of everything useful. When picking out your flour, you want to make sure to choose whole-grain flour or sprouted-grain flour.  As for the refined sugar, that along with salt can cause extreme bloating. If you want something to sweeten up your meal, try adding honey or agave nectar. Switch your salt to sea salt.
  • Add healthy fats, such as nuts, avocados and coconut oil. There is a big difference between the fat you get from avocados versus what you get from a bag of chips! Healthy fats are so good for you and a must-have in order to burn the bad fat. 
  • Track calories. It's easy to forget all that you eat throughout the day. Track those calories! It's simple, you want to eat less calories than you burn. I use MyFitnessPal to track what I am burning and consuming.
  • Increase water intake. Water helps flush out toxins, excess water and sodium.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Meal Prep 101

Today I want to go over how I meal plan and prep. I think it is absolutely crucial for success, whether you want to lose fat or build muscle, whatever your goals may be, if you don't prepare your meals for the week, you will just set yourself up for failure. You may be thinking, "I don't have the time to spend planning and prepping; it takes too long!" That is why I want to go over what I do. When I started, it took me about 4 hours, but now that I have it down, it takes me less than two hours. It saves time in the end because I don't have to think about what we are having for lunch or come home and try to get supper all ready. This is a great way to stay on track with your eating during the week. If you spend the time making healthy food and pre-portioning it out, you will be less likely to binge and be likely to grab the healthy goodies you prepared!

What To Do
  • Pick one day for planning and one day for shopping. I plan all my meals and snacks on Saturdays, and then I shop and prep on Sundays. 
  • Be sure to have enough storage containers. You are going to need storage for all this food, and you want to be sure to get something that isn't going to crack after a couple uses. For those of you on the 21 Day Fix, Target has colored sandwich bags that are perfect! You can measure your food and snacks out in the containers that came with the program and then put them in the coordinating baggies so they are ready to go for your week ahead.
  • Use your measuring cups or the 21 Day Fix containers to be sure you have accurate serving sizes.
  • I have a food scale as well. This has been a great tool to have on hand as I am measuring proper portions. I bought an electronic one from Amazon, and I love that I can zero it out and measure my food with the tupperware right on there.
  • Cook everything you can at the same time to save time.
  • I cook a lot of chicken breast, and you could do turkey as well. These are meats that keep longer. If you make seafood ahead, you will want to use it the first day or two before it goes bad.
  • Keep it simple! You don't need to make all these exquisite meals. If you check out my meal plans, you will see a lot of repetition throughout my week.

Prep Tips

  1. Head to the store and pick up all the groceries you need for the week.
  2. Place all veggies in a water/white vinegar bath and leave them to soak for 10 minutes. {To create the "bath", fill your sink with cold water and add 1/3 cup white vinegar.} Drain, rinse and set aside.
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. While that is preheating, you can start peeling and cutting the veggies you just washed. If you want to bake any of your veggies, I toss mine with coconut oil and sea salt, throw them in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. 
  4. If roasting any veggies, chop those with olive oil, sea salt and any other dry herbs you desire. Place in the oven, along with your sweet potatoes and bake for 30-40 minutes. 
  5. Boil any chicken breasts you will be using. Poach for 15 minutes or until cooked through. I shred or cut those up and place in a container.
  6. Hard boil eggs.
  7. Wash, cut up and portion out any fruits you need on hand for the week.
Good luck on prepping! Comment with any questions; I am happy to help!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Greek Yogurt Parfait

I love yogurt, especially a clean eating snack like Greek yogurt parfait! With the heat of the summer fully here, I enjoy having options like this to treat myself to. It's just a much better choice than that bowl of ice cream or DQ blizzard. My kids love these yogurt treats as well, which any mom knows is always a major bonus! I wanted to share this easy recipe with you all. Enjoy!
Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 1 serving
  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries (or mixed berries)
  • 1 Tbsp. unsweetened high-fiber cereal (optional)

1. Layer ¼ cup yogurt and ¼ cup blueberries in a tall glass; repeat layer.
2. Top with cereal if desired.

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 108
Fat: 0 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 8 mg
Sodium: 53 mg
Carbohydrate: 18 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sugar: 12 g
Protein: 12 g

Post in the comments and let me know what you think if you try this!