Posts Tagged ‘supplements’

I cannot believe that it’s August already!  I’ll admit, I’m a bit happy about it too.  It’s been a long summer so far and my girls and I have been spending MUCH too much time together. With that aside, there’s also less than a month left until my vacation 😀

My sponsor, Top Secret Nutrition, has been really upping the ante with some of their newest products that have recently hit the market.  I have tried just about every one of them and have yet to be disappointed.  In this blog, I’m going to discuss what my current supplement stack looks like for the remainder of my fat loss phase before I hit the beach…and maybe, just maybe, a competition in the fall…

My standard supps that I take pretty much year-round include the Whey Protein, Active Extreme Multivitamin, Fish Oil & CLA with Lipase, Advanced Joint Support, and Red Palm Oil.  These are my “must-have” health essentials.

My workout stack includes Pump Igniter and Creavar pre-workout for resistance training or Cardio Igniter prior to cardio/conditioning.  I sip BCAA Hyperblend during my training.  Post-workout is usually a Whey Protein shake unless I have a whole-food meal instead.

For fat loss, Top Secret Nutrition has added a ton of new products to their line.  My current fat loss stack includes Ab Igniter once or twice a day with the newest Garcinia Cambogia chews as needed a couple times throughout the day to help with cravings and appetite (I have a big one!).  I’ll also cycle between some of the other products as well: the Garcinia Boost and Raz-Lean Energy shots are my other favorites!

Be sure to check out all their amazing products at or if you already use some of them, tell me your favorites and why.  Happy August everyone!

In this week’s blog, I want to discuss one of the newest fat loss supplements from Top Secret Nutrition.  I have had the opportunity to use the new stimulant-based thermogenic Ab Igniter.  I am certainly no stranger to fat burners having sampled many in the last few years during competition prep.  I have used both stimulant-based and non-stimulant-based and they both have their advantages and disadvantages.  Anyway, back to Ab Igniter…


First off, all the ingredients and amounts are clearly laid out on the label – I love it when I know exactly what I’m getting and how much.  This formula includes many of the most popular and researched fat loss ingredients on the market today including Garcinia Cambogia, Green Coffee Extract, Green Tea Extract, Caffeine, Raspberry Ketones, and Yohimbe to name a few.

Ok, so what did these ingredients do in “real life”?  Anyone who knows me, knows I have an appetite…if it looks good, smells good, and ain’t moving too fast, I’ll eat it…well, maybe.  But, this product really did curb my crazy appetite.  I’m usually starving by mid-morning, but after taking this product, that certainly wasn’t the case.  The energy from this product was also good.  I felt a pretty clean energy without any jitters and it lasted for a good part of the morning.  I usually took a second dose in the early afternoon to carry me through the rest of my day.  For those of you that are sensitive to caffeine, I would certainly recommend starting with only one capsule.  My end dose was 2 capsules twice a day and that was perfect for me.  Ok, confession time – my diet was not always the best while using this product and I still managed to lose some fat: win-win!  The Garcinia is supposed to slow fat accumulation so maybe that was it?!

I have seen some good results but will take a little time off before starting a second bottle 🙂  In a nutshell, if you’re looking for some clean energy and appetite suppression while trying to reach your fat loss goals, I definitely recommend Ab Igniter!

I was cleaning out my gym bag the other day (for fear of what might be growing inside) only to discover the “kitchen sink” of fitness items and other goodies that I keep in there.  As I pulled each item out, I was trying to think if it was something that I really needed.  I’m a bit of a gadget girl and when it comes to fitness gadgets, I’m a self-proclaimed junkie!  So, what did I find in my gym bag and what the heck is it’s “I can’t live without this item’s” use?


  • Towel:  Ok, so this is a no-brainer.  Everyone should have a towel to a) cover the piece of equipment they’re using and b) wipe the sweat off (cuz let’s be honest, if you’re not sweating, you’re not working!)  Here’s a tip to remember!  Use a towel with some sort of logo or even write on it if you have to…trust me, you don’t want to wipe your face with the side that was on the equipment.
  • Gloves:  Another must-have to help protect your hands from both germs and those lovely calluses.  Just remember to wash them once in awhile.
  • Versa Gripps:  These are not ordinary gloves or straps.  For me, they are a huge asset to every back workout or any deadlifting routine.  I was able to lift MUCH heavier with good form using these and they didn’t hurt my wrists like regular straps used to.  I do believe grip/forearm strength is important but I also know that my grip will fail WAY before my back or legs.
  • Good Quality Belt:  This item has helped me improve in so many lifts including deads, squats, bent-over barbell rows, etc.  It helps protect my back when I’m working at the upper limit of the weights I use.  I suggest trying to avoid wearing it during your entire workout though (unless of course you must for a back problem).  Over-reliance on a weight belt can cause you to avoid the use of your core muscles during various exercises.  (And yes, my belt is pink, don’t judge! :-))
  • Headbands/Ponytail Holders:  A definite necessity for me!  I keep a bunch in my bag wrapped neatly around a metal ring (for easy access and so they don’t get tangled).  I can’t understand how some people workout with their hair down – that would just drive me nuts!
  • Timer:  This is a great little device that you can use to use for interval training or to time your rest periods.  I have the Gymboss and it’s really easy to personalize for Hiit, Tabata, etc.
  • Orbitape/Tape Measure:  Always good to keep track of your progress without being a slave to the scale!
  • Phone/Music Player and at least 2 sets of Headphones/Earbuds:  My ipod battery has been known to die at the most unfortunate times; I always manage to lose the rubber tips off of my earbuds which renders them completely useless.  So now I have 2 backups (phone for music and extra headphones)
  • Heart Rate Monitor:  I like to use this during all of my workouts to make sure that I keep my intensity high, track the length of time, and calories of each workout.  I have always used Polar and rarely have a problem with them.
  • Training Journal:  I think everyone should keep track of their workouts.  A training journal is a great tool to write down your plan for the gym so you know exactly what you’re going to do.  You can also keep track of weights/sets and how you felt during and after the workout.  When I notice that a particular workout really hit the targeted muscle group, I make sure to note it so I can repeat the workout.  It can be as simple as a blank notebook.
  • Various Wraps & Braces:  I’ve been involved in sports and weight training for quite some time now.  An unfortunate side effect of pushing the limits can be overuse or injury.  So, I keep a few wraps & braces handy if I need them on a particular day.
  • Toiletries:  Cleansing cloths/make-up remover, hairbrush, deodorant, Febreze Sport (great for those sneaks!), etc.  You never know when you’re going to need to do a quick clean-up.
  • My Favorite Top Secret Nutrition Supplements:  Some of my favorites that are a staples in my gym bag are my Cardio Igniter, Astravar 2.0, Creavar, and BCAA Hyperblend Energy.
  • Padlock:  Gotta keep all my goodies safe and sound while I’m on the gym floor!

So there you have it!  I’m amazed at all the stuff I can fit into my bag.  But, just as a reminder, if your gym bag is stocked and ready to go at all times, you don’t have any excuses…just grab and go to work!

Our days are jam-packed with responsibilities. So, how are we supposed to fit in anything extra like preparing healthy meals or training?

For those of you that are curious, I’m going to take a page out of my life and show you how I personally fit it all in, including excerpts from my training and food journals.

Most days start fairly early for me. I’m up and running at 6 a.m. (occasionally before if I need to do my training in the morning). First and foremost…COFFEE! I have two daughters so while I’m taking in my morning dose of caffeine, I’m packing lunch for my oldest.

Next up, get everyone dressed and ready for the day. I try to make sure that clothes for my girls are picked out the night before to avoid any morning wardrobe drama…”you wear what you picked out last night and that’s final!”

My oldest is in school full-time so she’s the first to be dropped off, followed by my pre-schooler.

A moment to breathe for me and one of my favorite parts of the day: training time! I sip my pre-workout while I drive to the gym. I’ll spend approximately 45-60 minutes weight-training and then tack on an additional 20-30 minutes of cardio at the end. My post-workout meal follows right after I’m done training.

Once I’m finished at the gym, I’m on the run again! Time to pick up my youngest from pre-school (she only spends a few hours there a couple times a week), head home, take a quick shower and prepare our lunches. I usually try to pre-cook several days worth of meals so that meal prep during the day is fast and easy. I’ll grab my food from the fridge, then heat and eat! Having meals ready makes me less likely to make poor choices when I’m hungry and in a hurry!

Time to head out once again and get my groceries for the week. I take my youngest with me (which always makes any shopping trip twice as long!) and load up on fresh fruits, veggies, complex carbs, and lean meats. I’m usually suckered into getting one or two treats for my daughter but I try to steer-clear of the chocolate aisle!

Done shopping, groceries are put away (well, at least the refrigerated stuff!) and then it’s time to pick up my oldest from school.

Snacks, homework, finish putting the groceries away, dinner prep, dishes, baths for the kids, and then their bedtime! If I’m prepping for a show or trying to lean out (as I am now for the summer), I’ll do another short bout of cardio (20-30 minutes) right after I put them to bed.  Yet another shower, snack for me and then…whew, my bedtime! And then I’ll do it all again tomorrow! Sound exhausting? Most definitely! Worth the effort? You bet!

Here’s a typical day’s diet, training, and supplement schedule:


Meal 1: Coffee, Top Secret Nutrition Protein Shake made with Unsweetened Almond Milk; Oats topped with Raspberries and a dash of Sugar-Free Syrup.

Meal 2: (Post-workout treat!) 1 Cup Non-Fat Greek Yogurt with 1/2 Frozen Banana & 1/2 Cup Frozen Blueberries.  A nice cold treat after a hard workout!

Meal 3: 5 Ounces Grilled Chicken, 1-2 Cups Broccoli, and 1/2 Cup Brown Rice

Meal 4: 1 Cup 1% Cottage Cheese & a handful of Raw Almonds OR another TSN Shake if I’m on the run!

Meal 5: 5-6 Ounces Lean Meat (Chicken, Fish, Lean Beef) and a Large Spinach Salad topped with Cucumbers/Bell Peppers/Onions/Fat-Free Feta Cheese and Balsalmic Vinegar

Meal 6: (Just before bed): 1 1/2 Scoops 100% Casein Protein mixed into a pudding with 1 TBSP Natural Peanut Butter – frozen for 1 hour (kills the sweet tooth!)


Typical Back Day Workout (one of my favorites)!  Warm-up sets are fairly easy, working sets I try to lift as heavy as I can with good form almost failing on the last rep or two.

Bent-Over Barbell Rows: 2 warm-up sets of 10 reps; 4 working sets of 8-10 reps

Pull-ups: 4 sets to failure with varying grips

Seated Row: 1 warm-up set of 10-12 reps; 4 working sets of 8-12

Unilateral Cable Pull-Down: 4 sets of 12

Straight-Arm Pull-Down: 4 sets of 12-15

Cardio After: 20-30 minutes (preferrably HIIT)

Supplements (all of my supplements are from Top Secret Nutrition):

AM: 1 Grab & Go Packet of Diet Accelerator N-Pack (has everything I need!)


Pre-Workout: 1 Scoop each of Cardio Igniter and Creavar

Intra-Workout: 1 Scoop each of BCAA Hyperblend Energy and Creavar

PM: Hair, Skin, & Nails, Green Coffee Bean Extract, and Fish Oil & CLA

Before Bed: TSN Sleep

Throughout the Day:  TSN 100% Whey Shakes as described above