One of my favorite ways to test my fitness outside of the gym is obstacle course racing! I usually pick 1 or 2 a year to do for fun. This year I finally decided complete my goal of racing in an Elite Spartan Race…something that has been a goal of mine for a long time! It was a goal that made me nervous and excited SO I knew I had to do it. On October 22, 2017 It was finally time, I was all geared up at the starting line of the Atlanta Spartan Race. I will say it was definitely a little intimidating lining up with all the beasts of the OCR world…But I was there to do my best and that is all that mattered. I knew my running wouldn't match up with the speed of the other girls. But my goal was to run to the best of my ability, complete all of the obstacles, and have a blast doing it…and I did just that! (Minus missing the spear throw obstacle…Ooops!)
SO after running a few of these OCR races - I thought I would make a list of my top 5 things to do before and after a race. I always found myself googling tips before a race and never quite found what I was looking for…so hopefully this helps you on your quest to having an awesome race day!
1. FUEL UP!
Alwaysss make sure you wake up early enough to eat a good meal before you race. It is so important to eat a good meal and drink plenty of water before you walk out to the starting line. Nobody wants to have a growling tummy during the middle of their race! (I can tell you from experience…It is not a good feeling) I always give myself about an hour to get ready + eat my Kodiak Cake waffles or cookie dough ProBar + pack my water, cold brew coffee, and TryAboutTime protein with orange juice for post race.
2. WEAR THE RIGHT WORKOUT CLOTHES
This is when buying nice workout clothes pays off! You want to wear good compression leggings (or shorts). Thin/Sweat wicking leggings and tops are the best because they don't hold on to water. I prefer reebok, 2XU, or under armour. I also race in Salomon shoes because they have a grippy bottom and are made for trail running.
Make sure you get on a consistent gym schedule. If you just go out there for fun and take your time that is totally okay! BUT the more prepared you are for the race the better you will feel overall. I’d make sure to start running weekly + train upper body, core, heavy carries and go find a jungle gym to practice some monkey bars :)
4. ATTEMPT ALL OF THE OBSTACLES
You signed up to try something fun and new! If you come up to an obstacle that makes you a little nervous, get a friend to help! Don’t let your training go to waste by skipping any obstacles. Jump up there and see what you can do! I have a feeling you will surprise yourself!
5. EAT, SLEEP, RECOVER
Be proud of your awesome accomplishment! Plan out a fun post race meal that you've been craving. (personally I like to get a chik-fil-a chicken sandwich with waffle fries and all the Polynesian sauce available and a coke…buuut that's just me hehe) After your delicious post race meal - You should set aside some time to stretch, take an Epsom salt balt, treat any cuts or bruises, and get a GOOD nights sleep. You EARNED it! Then the next day you can start planning when your next race will be…!
I hope this info helps you feel a little more prepared for your upcoming race. Feel free to comment any other questions that come to mind while you read this. I am happy to answer!
Have and awesome race dayyyy,
On my search for healthier and tastier workout snacks, I came across the company SmashPack. If you are searching for a great tasting snack made with clean ingredients, then look no further! SmashPack not only tastes good, but they are packed with protein and REAL food ingredients. They are also low in fat, carbs, and sugar (very macro friendly – if you're counting!) and are soy, gluten and artificial ingredient FREE! To top it off their carb/fat/protein balance will also aid in muscle recovery and keep you fueled during your workout, which makes them a great pre/post workout snack.
Flavorful Thoughts: Mixed Berry, Tropical Fruit, and Orange Peach. Each with its own delicious taste - Here are my favorites in order:
1. Mixed Berry: a good texture with lots of berry flavor. A go-to flavor to have handy if you just need a snack throughout your day.
2. Tropical Fruit: super refreshing and one that I would use during a workout session for some quick energy.
3. Orange Peach: Love anything orange! This one is invigorating and great for snacking for a day out in the sun. It makes me think of summer!
Nutrition Facts: 180 Cals, 5g Fat, 35-45mg sodium, Potassium 240-280mg, 17-19g Carbs, 1-2g Fiber, 14-16g Sugar, 14g Protein
Choosing a favorite was really difficult because each one had it’s own unique taste. But if I have to select a number 1, then I pick … mixed berry. It was so flavorful and tasted like you were eating fresh-picked fruit. Also if you have time to refrigerate them, SmashPacks taste even more refreshing! But not to worry - they are amazing right out of your gym bag or purse too J
My husband always tells me I like to buy things at the grocery store that come in pretty little packages…which is probably truuue AND I definitely love the cute SmashPacks pouch. But beyond the fun little packaging, it’s the great flavors and healthy ingredients that keep me stocking them in my pantry. Cute, convenient, and tasty…my fave combination!
SO for all my gym goers, busy bees, or snackaholics – Definitely check out SmashPack and let me know how awesome you think they are too! Also, for 1 lucky person reading this right now, I have 3 free SmashPacks (1 of each flavor) to GIVE AWAY! To win these samples, Post a comment below and tell me why you would like to WIN and you might just find yourself with some FREE products. YAY!!!
Where to find SmashPack:
AMAZON (Free shipping for Prime users)
SmashPack Website: Click Here
You can also use my discount code AHFIT15 for 15% off your order (1 use only & only redeemable up until Oct. 21)
If you are searching for a healthy way to lose weight then read on! I want to introduce you to the Renaissance Periodization diet. This plan was a MIRACLE for me, and I'm excited to share my experience with everyone.
*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience
When I started Crossfit training in 2013, I was fairly lean - weighing in around 130lbs. During the next year and a half I slowly gained lean muscle mass bringing me up to a healthy 140lbs. I felt great and was extremely happy with how I looked and how my workouts were progressing. But somewhere around the two-year mark, my previous food intake was failing to fuel my workouts. To help me become a better Crossfit competitor I had really ramped up my working out; and therefore, I found myself hungrier everyday. My knowledge of nutrition was slim, and I only knew to keep on doing what had worked for me in the past. So slowly my weight began to creep up during the next 1-2 years, until I found myself sitting at an uncomfortable 165lbs. These extra pounds began to impact my training, and I could just feel that this was not the right competitive weight for me! I was sluggish, inflamed, and out of breath during all of my workouts. I knew that something needed to change so I began my search for the right nutrition plan for me.
I tried many forms of diets including (Intuitive eating, macro counting, and RP strength)! Intuitive eating (eat when you're hungry … stop when you're full) worked really well before I began to train competitively (2-3 hours a day). Macro counting, which lays out the amount of carbs, fats, and proteins to eat throughout the day, somewhat worked for me; but I was lacking the guidance of meal timing and definitely wasn't eating the correct amount of food with each meal. I found myself in an endless cycle of trying to "save" macros for the end of the day, and my weight just would not budge. So FINALLY I decided to give RP Strength a try. #bestforlast
I had always seen so many amazing “before and after” transformations that I was afraid it was too good to be true...Little did I know I would soon be one of them! Hallelujah! :)
In January 2017 I signed up for 1:1 coaching through RP. It was a 12-week cut with a personal coach to guide you through the whole process. [They send you diet templates with meal timing and they lay out when to eat and how much protein, carbs, and fats to eat with each meal.] Since I had tried about every other healthy option - I knew that I had to give this a shot! As the weeks progressed, I began to see amazing changes to my physique and to my performance in the gym (changes that I had been trying to achieve for so long!). I started feeling leaner and lighter and breathing was becoming easier during my workouts.
After the 12 weeks of 1:1 with my coach, Meagan, I officially weighed 147! That was about a 10lb loss from where I started on the diet and almost a 20lb loss from my heaviest weight. I was so excited, relieved, and happy to have found a plan that worked for me. But the best part is that my weight loss through RP strength was done in a very healthy way and with a natural (not rushed!) progression. During my RP plan I felt great, I was well-fueled for my workouts, AND I was eating more food than before I started. Also, I think it is good to point out that my training in the gym did not change AT ALL! It all came down to dialing in my diet. No extra running, rowing, or metcons were needed.
Also, During the 12 weeks I definitely had a couple of "cheat" days. It is good to point this out because so many people think one meal will ruin their whole diet (or they let it start a whole week of cheating). I allowed myself a few cheats, and then I was right back on track the next day. Moral of the story: 1 meal is not going to hurt the outcome of the diet BUT the more you stay on track, the better the results will be.
As of now I have been on maintenance for about 4-5 months and I am still feeling good. For those who aren’t familiar with the term “maintenance”, it’s the few months after the 12 week diet when you try and maintain your new weight with the numbers of carbs, fats, and proteins you are given from the RP templates. It's a crucial phase of the plan because it helps cement your weight loss so that it will become permanent! It's in this phase where you can make or break the diet (and all your hard work!). I encourage you to stick to the plan as much as possible at this stage and don't be tempted to slip back into your old ways of eating. Rest assured that towards the end of my maintenance I was able to work in a few cheat meals on the weekends - maybe a glass of wine or a beer during the week - and still not feel guilty. I consistently tried to stay pretty close to my numbers during the week, and then could enjoy a more relaxed weekend of eating … which is ultimately the goal of successful maintenance!
I hope this article has been helpful to anyone struggling to lose some weight or for anyone who is considering trying the RP diet. I 100% recommend giving it a shot, and I am happy to answer any questions in the comment box below.
Click the link below if you want to give the RP Strength templates a try! They also have RP cookbooks for anyone who needs some great healthy recipe ideas.
Click here to learn more about the RP diet templates and make sure to use code Amelia10 at checkout to save on your purchase!
Have any RP success stories of your own?! (If not then click that link above!!) but if you DO then leave a message below and share with me and other readers how awesome RP really is :)
First, thank you so much to D’s Naturals for sending me their product to review!
PSA: This post contains a GIVEAWAY! [Everyone’s favorite! – Read more to find out how to win]
Can’t get enough of that Fluffbutter goodness:
I have been a D's Naturals fan for quite some time now, so I thought I’d give their products some love! For years, I would go to the store every other week to get a new jar of their heavenly Fluffbutter (D's famous protein infused almond spread.) Not because I was trying new flavors every other week, BUT because I loved their brownie batter flavor SO much I couldn't stop eating it!
“Brownie Batter” protein spread ~the no guilt form of icing~
My favorite flavor “Brownie Batter” honestly tastes like a healthy version of chocolate icing. (I know this because, once upon a time I used to sneak spoonfuls of vanilla icing from the fridge daily!) D's Naturals Fluffbutter has saved me from my inner child + gives me a healthier option to reach for when I’m having a sweet craving!
~Seven freaking flavors sayyyy WHATTT~
D’s has 7 flavors of Fluffbutter deliciousness, but I just can’t stray away from my #1. After a few years of using Fluffbutter I got an email saying they were introducing a new protein bar called No Cow Bar. I was super pumped because I knew how much I loved their other products, and I'm always looking for good protein bars to add to my go-to snack list ~ones that don’t have tons of sugar or a fake sugary after taste~. When I finally got my hands on D’s new bars there was no looking back! They are soft and full of flavor without any funky aftertaste. My favorite flavors are Peanut Butter Chocolate chip, Lemon Meringue, and Blueberry Cobbler. I love that they have so many flavors to choose from with a wide variety of tastes. They are always fresh tasting and never disappoint!
Health Nuts Read Below (Nutrition Info) – The best part about these bars is they are lower in fat and sugar but still high in protein ~unlike most bars~ !! So, you aren’t sacrificing flavor for macros here ;)
Each product is all natural, vegan, gluten free, non-gmo, no added sugar, dairy free, soy free, and high in fiber + taste AMAZING = all my health food junky friends reading this should be ordering these products ASAP!
“In my own personal quest to better health, I was surprised to discover that natural doesn’t always mean healthy. I struggled to find natural products that tasted great, but didn't add any harmful ingredients, like sugar. That’s why I created D’s Naturals, where we are redefining the word natural. We use only the healthiest ingredients, so you can believe in what you eat and feel good about the choices you make” –D’s Naturals
~Some solid snacking suggestions~
Fun Snack Tip: (If I’m going to splurge) One of my favorite ways to enjoy my Fluffbutter is by topping a Lenny’s and Larry’s Snickerdoodle cookie with my Brownie Batter Fluffbutter. Try it and you will thank me later!!
If you have questions about these products feel free to comment below!
Giveaway: For a chance to win some No Cow Bars or Fluffbutter – Share this post and comment below. Each share and comment will be entered in to win :) Good luck and happy, healthy eating!
Attention all you active people out there reading this blog! Let's take a vote…How many of you fitness enthusiasts get really grossed out from sitting in your car seat after a really sweaty workout?? (Both of my hands are way up!!) I am here to tell you about an awesome discovery I made this month that will solve your sweaty seat dilemma, and it's called SEAT HOODY.
Let's take it back a few months to the Crossfit Atlantic Regional in Atlanta, GA. I was strolling through the vendor village when I came across the lovely Seat Hoody booth. I did not stop while I was there but I remember thinking,"HEY, that's a really awesome idea, and I need to get me one of those!" A few months passed and now we were in the middle of a HOT July in Georgia. (AKA 100 degrees in the gym with no air conditioning!) Every day I would walk out of the gym to get in my car, and I would be slipping and sliding in my sweaty seat the whole way home. It was super gross; and I tried everything from sitting on a towel, pointing all of the air vents in my direction, and rolling down the windows. Nothing seemed to help, and that's when I decided I really needed to give that Seat Hoody a try.
Fast forward to late July, and here I am 2 weeks in with my new Seat Hoody; and I can already say that it has changed my post workout mood 100%. Instead of suffering all the way home in a pool of sweat, I am now sitting comfortably on a cute, sweat absorbing Seat Hoody. The best part of the Seat Hoody (besides the fun patterns) is that it is machine washable. So whenever you feel like your cover is getting kinda grungy, just toss it in the wash J Another plus side is that it protects your legs from the seat burn after they have been baking in the sun (if you have leather seats like me). Seat Hoody is designed to slip right over your headrest and will work for any type of vehicle. It even has optional buttons on the side to prevent airbag interference.
The Seat Hoody is super comfortable, cute, and a great investment to protect your seats! On a side note: I am definitely purchasing a second cover for my passenger seat to protect it from my dog. He loves his car rides but his claws, drool, and dirty paws are taking a toll on my leather seats (OK, OK maybe I'm just looking for a reason to get another matching Seat Hoody…I know!! But you'll understand once you see how awesome they are!)
You can see in the pictures below that I have the pattern called Aqua Arrow (which I love). There are a total of 19 patterns/colors to choose from on the website www.seathoody.com , so you can find the pattern that best fits your style! The Seat Hoody retails for $48 through the website and also on Amazon (+ free shipping with Prime).
You can bet I'll be using this product from now on, and I highly recommend getting one for yourself!
If/when you purchase your seat hoody make sure to message me! Then tag @ameliahamilton93 & @Seat_Hoody on Instagram so that we can see you rocking your new cover!
You can connect with Seat Hoody on social media here:
For my first review I thought it would only be fitting to take a look at a company that I have been working with for quite a while now. AboutTime products have been supplementing my training for about five years. Speaking as someone with a ton of allergies and a very sensitive stomach, it wasn't until I tried AT whey protein that I was finally able to implement a protein product into my regular diet. Every other brand I used routinely gave me nausea and had way too many unnatural names that I could not pronounce in their ingredients. But that is not the case with AT products - they are something far better!
A little background on the brand - TryAboutTime is located in Pittsburgh, PA and was founded in 2008 by Sean Marszalek and Devenee Schumacher. About Time makes high quality whey protein, pre-workout, vegan protein, and healthy on-the-go snacks for the every day athlete, parents, & kids. They pride themselves on creating products that are all natural, non-gmo, gluten free, zero sugar, no artificial sugars, and no growth hormones. You can find most of their top products in many health/nutrition stores now - including whey protein, protein pancake mix, and AUX pre-workout.
This post is going to take a closer look at one of their newest products - AminoHydrate. They have 2 flavors: Orange Cream and Watermelon Lime. Their description of this new product lists 10g amino acids, 7g BCAAs, 2g citrulline, and 1g glutamine, gluten free, & full of electrolytes. The goal of the product is to help reduce protein breakdown, preserve muscle glycogen stores, and keep you more hydrated. I was so excited to try this product, because since I had previously been supplementing my training with separate amino acids and BCAAs from different companies through the years. My main concern with those products was of course quality. When AT announced they would be introducing this product, I was excited because I knew it would be great quality. After opening my package of Watermelon Lime AminoHydrate and throwing some in my shaker bottle, I was excited to discover that the powder mixed well and tasted WAY better than I had even hoped. The flavor is super light, tastes a little more like watermelon than lime, and was super refreshing. I'm excited to add this supplement to my routine and throw out my old, lower quality products I had been using for so long. Thank you AboutTime for putting an awesome new product out there!
Now for the fun part :) For a chance to a WIN a FREE tub of the TryAboutTime AminoHydrate (reg. price is $44.99) please share this post on your preferred social media page and leave comment/feedback in the space below! A winner will be drawn in a few days. Thanks for taking the time to read this - I have more awesome products lined up to review soon, so stay tuned!
***Update Winner has been chose for this original post on July 2017
* I received this product in my monthly athlete package from TryAboutTime but all opinions are my own tryabouttime.com/shop/aminohydrate/
Join the 12 days of Fit-Mas Challenge for 12 days of workouts to keep you feeling good during the Holiday season. With family gatherings, time crunches, and holiday celebrations - take some time for YOU this season to squeeze in these 12 days of Fitmas! Join our group taking on the Fit-Mas challenge and share your journey with us!
•12 workouts emailed to your inbox
• At home workouts
• Equipment: a kettlebell OR dumbells
• 30-60 minute workouts
• Email availability to answer any questions throughout the challenge