Let’s Talk Gains :Optimum Nutrition Gainer Review

Looking to gain some muscle? Gaining muscle requires you to eat in a surplus. You’ll be eating more food than normal while hopefully still consuming  your calories mindfully. You should be counting your macros to make sure you are eating in the correct surplus range. To read about how to count your macros please click here.

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Sometimes there isn’t enough time in the day to cook and eat all the calories you may need to eat to gain weight. That is where supplements come in. You want to put supplements into your body that you can trust. The Optimum Nutrition gainer has helped me gain muscle weight and increase my strength in the gym. My current goals are to build muscle and increase my strength on the powerlifts: bench, deadlift and squat.

I have been taking half a serving after I work out which is more than enough for me as I am eating in a small surplus of 250 calories above maintenance daily. Half a serving is 385 calories, 4.5g F/ 58g Carb/ 27.5g Protein. I mixed mine in a shaker bottle with unsweetened almond milk which adds a few calories but not many. For those of you looking for more immediate weight gain results I would recommend consuming a full serving of this gainer daily. You can buy the gainer here.

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I often find it hard to hit my carbs in a healthy way. This shake definitely fills that void for me. Rather than reaching for packaged food or sugary carb sources this gainer is filled with a healthy carbohydrate blend that is made up of oat flour, pea starch and potatoes. The mix also includes flax seeds and chia. The gainer its self mixes fairly easily in a blender bottle although I think it would be best with ice and almond milk in a blender. It was very creamy and the vanilla flavor was tasty without tasting artificial.

You can drink this post workout or even have half a serving between meals if you are looking for steady calories throughout the day. Gaining muscle weight can be empowering and awesome. No wonder why #gainingweightiscool is trending. Here is my transformation over the years.

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The far left is me at 115 pounds six years ago, the middle is me at 120 pounds 6 months ago and the right is me in December at 125 pounds.

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My Gym Clothes: Secrets & Steals!

Hey guys! I have been endlessly frustrated paying far too much for cute and high quality workout clothes. I’ve done a lot of research and had some hits and misses from clothing companies. I am going to share with you some of the best deals out there for adorable workout leggings and tops from some of my favorite companies, such as, Athlenix Apparel, DTina’s Boutique, Aerie, T.J. Maxx and Plato’s Closet.

Athlenix Apparel workout leggings are so stylish, good quality and so cheap! Everything on their site has free USA shipping. I wish I had found them sooner. This is by no means a sponsored post. I found these camo leggings and a 15% off code (Faith15) and I had to purchase them. I selected the blue camo leggings in a size medium for $11 (discount applied) and I recently purchased the grey camo leggings and got the same deal! Leggings on their site range from $34- $11 with the discount and free shipping. You’d be silly not to get them.

Shop the look here: https://www.athlenix.com/

DTina’s Boutique has adorable workout clothes. I love them for their scrunch booty leggings and scrunch booty shorts. They are the most affordable “scrunch booty leggings” I have found and are super high quality. I was trying to find something comparable to my Celestial Bodiez leggings and these are it! They come in tons of fun prints like donuts and Mexican skulls but I am a fan of their solid color collection. I am a size small in DTina’s leggings and shorts and own a few pairs in scrunch booty. The leggings and capris are generally $45 for solid colors and the shorts are $30. You can also get them without the scrunch booty, but, I highly suggest getting it for its booty enhancing magical powers. They also have awesome sales all the time so sign up for their mailing list. I got my last leggings 30% off because of a promotion so they were $31.50 which is INSANE for handmade leggings!

Shop the look here: https://www.dtinasboutique.com/

Aerie believe it or not has super cute workout clothes and leggings now. I am a huge fan of their fall inspired workout capris in army green colors as well as deep maroons. My capris I got there are maroon and have lace detailed cut outs on the bottom. I got them for under $18. They have adorable. Spandex shorts for under 12 bucks too!

Shop the look here: https://www.ae.com/web/thp/fitness-apparel.html

 

I love scoring deals on athletic tops at T.J. Maxx on brands like Nike and Under Armor. You can also get great deals at the outlet from those stores. I am a huge fan of Reebok outlet prices and their affordable spandex shorts I now have two pairs of them in super fun colors and prints. They move wonderful, they are super soft and are muffin topless unlike Nike pros. LOL.

Shop the look here: http://tjmaxx.tjx.com/store/index.jsp

 

I get most of my workout tops second hand at Plato’s Closet. I got a ton of cute oversized crop tops there that aren’t traditionally workout clothes but are adorable to complete your modern athletic look.

Shop the look here: http://www.platoscloset.com

What are your favorite brands and places to shop for athletic clothing steals?

Xo, Lauren

Fitness Mistakes You’re Making Right Now

1. Neglecting to train compound movements first thing when you get to the gym:

  • Compound movements are exercises that activate more than one muscle group as opposed to isolation exercises that only work one muscle group.
  • Some examples of compound exercises include squats, bench and deadlift and these should be trained right when you get to the gym as they will require more attention and energy. You do not want to be exhausted from isolation exercises and not be able to perform optimally on your squats or deadlift because you’re too tired.

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2. Upping the weight on any exercise before you have perfect form down:

  • Treat the light weights as heavy and the heavy weights as light.
  • Every lift should look the same no matter what the weight you’re lifting is.
  • Consistency is key when avoiding injury and progressing linearly on your lifts. (This point was brought up by my USAPL coach Dylan Smith)

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3. Not taking enough rest days if any at all:

  • It is so important to have rest days to let your muscles your muscles, bones and nerves rebuild and repair. It allows your body time to rebuild body tissue insuring it grows back even stronger.
  • Resting can prevent injury and over use. That is especially important for me to remember as I get into powerlifting which consist of heavy weight and low repetition compound movement training.

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4. Not getting enough sleep:

  • Often times if you’re overtraining it can be more difficult to get a good night’s sleep as your body can become on high alert mode.
  • When your body is asleep your muscles go through recovery allowing them to repair and rebuild which is necessary for optimal progress.
  • Your body needs generally 7-9 hours of sleep to be well rested.

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5. Neglecting to stretch:

  • Stretching is often the most neglected practice among fitness enthusiasts. I am often guilty of this. I am now making a point to stretch more often.
  • Stretching lengthens your muscles, allows for more flexibility of movement, prevents injury and is considered an anti-ageing investment.
  • Dynamic stretching should be used before a workout and static stretching after your workouts and on rest days.

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Resources:

Anderson, Sally. “Stretching Is Most Neglected Component of Fitness.” The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times, 08 Jan. 2012. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.

By Diana Rini. “Compound Exercises Bring Compounded Results: Get More In Less Time!” Bodybuilding.com. Bodybuilding.com, 08 Dec. 2014. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.

KARNAZES, DEAN. “Designer.” Fitbit Blog. Fitbit, 26 Feb. 2014. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.

Schletter, Michael. “The Fit Five: Sleep Your Way to More Muscle.” Men’s Fitness. Men’s Fitness, 12 Feb. 2016. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.

JackedPack Subscription Review

I absolutely love JackedPack. They are a goal focused and personalized subscription box for weightlifters. They personalize your samples to you by asking your supplement flavor preferences as well as if your goals are to burn fat or build muscle. They also get your information as far as gender, height, age and weight. They are also very affordable and the longer you get a subscription for the better the deal.

So far I have received two boxes from JackedPack.

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Each of my boxes had 7-8 separate samples in them. Each box had lots of sample variety ranging from protein bars, BCAAS, fat burn pills, whey protein powder, beef protein powder, pre-workouts as well as even an awesome pain relieving patch. The best part is that almost all the samples had two servings inside so the average servings you get per box is around 9-11 servings of supplements.

These boxes would make a great holiday gift in fact JackedPack normal deal is as follows:
-JackedPack is $15 per pack with free shipping.
-If you sign up for six months, every sixth box is free. This works out to $12.50 per pack.
-The best offer is to sign up for a year. Three boxes are free. This works out to $11.25 per pack.

BUT if you get one before December 18th, you will get double samples in your pack as well as a free shaker cup & you can get $25 off a 12-month sign up which comes out to only $9.17 a box! Use the code HOLIDAY if it’s a gift for you or GIFT to give the gift of gains to someone else! Sign up here!

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Cranberry Orange Skinny Muffins

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I simply adore these little festive muffins. They taste amazing cut in half and broiled in the toaster oven topped with some honey or spray butter. They make an amazing on the go breakfast or snack. They contain no artificial flavorings or sweeteners or any refined sugars. They are great for low carb, low fat diets and those who are gluten intolerant.

Ingredients:
-2 egg whites
-1 and 1/2 servings True Nutrition vanilla hydrolyzed whey (Discount Code: Eatingbrofood)
-1/2 cup fresh cranberries
-Orange zest
-Juice or half an orange
-1 cup oat flour
-2 overly ripe bananas
-1 tsp. baking powder
-3 spoonfuls baking Truvia
-1 tbsp. coconut oil
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 spoonful low fat Greek plain yogurt

Directions:
-Mash bananas with potato masher or blender or food processor
-Zest orange and add half the juice to a bowl
-Add rest of ingredients to bowl and mix
-Add to sprayed loaf pan or greased 12 cup muffin tin
-Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25-30min

Macros: Fat (g): Carb (g): Protein (g): Calories:
Macros for 1/12 muffins 2g 9g 4.6g 70
Macros whole loaf 24g 111g  56g 844

*Makes 12 Muffins*

May your Faith be Louder than The Objections of Others

Never pass up an opportunity to learn and grow no matter how much pressure you get to stay a bystander. I was nervous to compete in my first powerlifting competition. I had many people try to put down my dream and tell me I was making a rash decision. They told me if I was serious about my training I would have paid a trainer to teach me or paid 150 dollars a month for some ritzy gym.

What they don’t know is I have been serious about weight lifting for over two years now. The objections, “you could really hurt yourself” or “wow you must emasculate so many guys” simply became background noise to me. Some oppositions even fueled my preparation and helped me train stronger and smarter because I wanted to prove them oh-so-wrong.

It also helps having spent years networking online building my online turned real life fitfam. These people have become a wealth of knowledge throughout my fitness journey. They have helped me find strength plans online or have given me weights, splits and reps to work with to meet my goals.

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My first meet was the Shenandoah Open Raw Bench Press-Deadlift Championship. Although I only competed on one lift and it was unsanctioned it was a great way to get the feel for a meet. I was shooting for a PR at the meet and I went in and did exactly what I was hoping for. I lost weight for the meet as I expected to do and competed at the 123 lb. weight class but ended up weighing in at 120 lbs. Even though I weighed a little less than I wanted to I was still able to pull 285 lbs. as my final attempt for a new deadlift PR!

The meet also allowed me to key in my training and really focus on improving my deadlift, form, grip and strength. At my next meet I plan to complete a full powerlifting meet competing on deadlift, squat and bench. My bench and squat need a lot of work but I know if I work hard and train properly I will be amazed at the results.

My Deadlift Warm-Up at the Meet:

  • 138 lbs. X 8
  • 155 lbs. X 5
  • 185 lbs. X 3
  • 205 lbs. X 1

Deadlift Final Attempts:

  • 1st attempt: 235 lbs. completed
  • 2nd attempt: 255 lbs. completed
  • 3rd attempt: 285 lbs. completed
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  • (Me powering through 285 lbs.)

That’s It Zesty Bars Review

I have always loved the That’s It bars for their simplicity. They never add extra sugar and are sweetened only by fruit. They make an amazing pre-workout snack to have before working out because they are portable quick to digest carbs. I always carry them around with me as a pick me up before I lift. They have no preservatives and are simply just fruit and spices.
Apples & Cinnamon
This is my favorite out of the Zesty product line. It tastes just like fall and makes me feel like I’m cozying up by a fire with a glass of mulled cider.

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Apple + Mango & Chili
This bar has a kick to it. If you are sensitive to spice this might not suit you but I found it to be refreshingly different. If you love dried mangos this could be your new favorite energy bar.

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Apple + Pear & Ginger
This had an overwhelming ginger flavor. It was not equally balanced with the pear and apple. It was a bit gritty as well. This wasn’t completely terrible but also not my favorite.

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Overall I would recommend these bars to anyone looking for an easy way to get more fruit into their diet or looking for convenient healthy carbs. If you sign up for their mailing list you can get 15% off today at http://www.thatsitfruit.com/.

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