Posts Tagged ‘Top Secret Nutrition’

Bring On 2015!!!

Posted: December 30, 2014 in Miscellaneous
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Hi Girls and Guys!  I cannot believe that another year is coming to a close…I guess it is true that the years seem to go faster and faster as you get older (Ahem…well, so I’m told anyway).  This post is just as much for me as it is for you.  In my opinion, reflecting on the past year is a great thing to do.  What was good, what didn’t go as planned, and what are some personal goals going forward.

Thinking back, I can’t believe that I actually made it through 2014 without going off the deep end.  2013 ended horribly for me; just before Christmas, I made a bold decision to quit my job.  The night of Christmas was a moment that I will never forget.  I unfortunately watched my mother die a sudden and premature death.  To be honest, the first half of 2014 is a blur to me.  My father initially did not handle the death of my mother very well and ended up in the hospital after mixing up his own medications. Shortly thereafter, my grandmother passed away.  In the midst of all this, I obtained my personal trainer certification, started a new job, and also started a personal business.  What the hell was I thinking?

I made the decision to hold off on any competitions this year knowing that my head and my heart just weren’t in it.  I certainly didn’t need to add any additional stress.  I continued to train and eat healthfully of course…I honestly don’t know what I would have done without my training.  That was my therapy that got me through everything.  My momentary escape, my “me” time.

The last few months of 2014 weren’t the best either.  I battled through several injuries as well as my own health scare.  I’m definitely not trying to start a pity party here, but rather use it as a reminder of my blessings.  I must say that it has brought my family closer together.  So, I am thankful for my family and friends that support me, I am thankful for my job and business that allow me to be there for my daughters, I am thankful for my health and that I am recovering well from my injuries, I am thankful for a roof over my head and a warm bed to sleep in, I am thankful I have a great place to train, I am thankful for my amazing sponsor Top Secret Nutrition that supplies me with great support and top notch supplements, and I’ll admit, I am damn thankful that this year is over!

I guess it’s true, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…so, for 2015, I am going to be one strong mother!  Who’s with me?

Hi guys and girls.  Hope you’re all having a great week and still have some Halloween candy left to give out tomorrow!  🙂

Anyway, I had my littlest home sick with me today so I wasn’t able to get to the gym.  I’m lucky enough to have a decent amount of equipment at home so I grabbed some kettlebells and went to work.  Here is the result:

I used my Top Secret Nutrition Cardio Igniter – one scoop about 20 minutes before:

  • 10 minute warm-up on my bike
  • I did 2 warm-up sets of just one kettlebell of the following exercises and then I grabbed 2 and did the same exercises for a total of 5 rounds:
  • Kettlebell swing x 5
  • Kettlebell Press
  • Kettlebell Squat
  • Kettlebell (sumo-ish) Deadlift

I’m adding a quick video snippet to my Facebook page if you want to have a look… (if you listen closely, you’ll hear my daughter ask for some cheese… 😛 )

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!

I can’t believe that we’re halfway into July already!  I’ve been squeezing in my home workouts whenever and however I can with my kids home this summer.  Today I’m going to share with you one of my “quickies”.  I had about 25-30 minutes to get something done and I wanted to make sure I hit a little bit of everything.  Weights, cardio, upper body, lower body, core, and a few drills for fun.  I wanted to keep the intensity high the entire time so after downing my Cardio Igniter from Top Secret Nutrition, I strung together a quick warm-up, 4 bouts of Tabata, and some drills at the end.

Warm-up: 2-3 minutes of jog in place and dynamic stretches (I wrote another blog on the dynamic warm-up if you’re interested: )

Tabata #1 – Lower Body Focus (a quick reminder of Tabata – it is 20 seconds of work alternated with 10 seconds of rest and performed for 4 minutes.  This equals 8 total “rounds” of exercise)

  • 2 rounds of Goblet Squat (I used a 35# Kettlebell)
  • 2 rounds of Kettlebell Swings
  • 2 rounds of Jump Squats
  • 2 rounds of Pop Squats

Tabata #2 – Upper Body Focus (I wanted to focus mostly on shoulders on this particular day)

  • 2 rounds of DB Lateral Raises
  • 2 rounds of DB Bent-Over Raises
  • 2 rounds of Push Press
  • 2 rounds of “V” Push-Ups

Tabata #3 – Cardio/Conditioning Focus

  • 2 rounds of Battle Ropes
  • 2 rounds of Jump Rope
  • 2 rounds of Jumping Jacks
  • 2 rounds of High Knees

Tabata #4 – Core Focus

  • 2 rounds of Mountain Climbers
  • 2 rounds of Burpees
  • 2 rounds of Plank with Arm Raises
  • 2 rounds of Plank with Leg Abduction Hops

Rest about 1 minute or so between each Tabata bout.

To finish the workout I did a few laps up and down my street of the following:

  • 1 lap of forward jogging
  • 1 lap of backward jogging
  • 2 laps of lateral shuffle
  • 2 laps of cariocas

Make sure to cool down and stretch for a few minutes and you’re done!

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!

If you know me fairly well, you know that I dread cardio…but for many, including myself, it is an essential part of a fat-loss program.  As I’ve said before, the order of importance for a proper fat-loss program is 1.  NUTRITION, 2.  Resistance Training, and (a distant 3rd…) 3.  Cardio.  While doing some form of steady state cardio can and often should be included in a program, in my opinion, it should NOT be the primary method you use for fat loss (unless of course recommended by your healthcare provider).

I prefer many other methods including HIIT, CardioAcceleration (you’ll be familiar with this if you’ve read any of Jim Stoppani’s work), and complexes and other “finishers”.  I’ve previously written a blog on Barbell Complexes for fat loss and you can read it here: .  There is a huge variety of other “finishers” that you can tack onto the end of a resistance workout to aid in fat loss without ever setting foot near a treadmill.  These forms of cardio can be included 3-4 times per week depending on your overall intensity and need for rest (the other days you can add in a little bit of steady state cardio if you want to).  Don’t forget your Top Secret Nutrition Cardio Igniter!

So, here is what I’m planning to do to finish off my next workout (or in place of it if I’m unable to get to the gym)…who’s with me?  It should only add about 10-15 minutes to your total workout time (you’ll need 1 heavy Kettlebell and 2 moderate weight Kettlebells):

  • 2-arm KB swings (using the heaviest KB you can handle) x 20 reps
  • KB Thrusters (using the 2 moderate weight KBs) x 20 reps
  • Sumo KB High Pull (using 1 or 2 moderate weight KB(s)) x 20 reps
  • KB Renegade Row x 20 reps

Perform these 4 exercises in a row with no rest.  Rest for 60-90 seconds.  Repeat for 2-4 cycles (depending on how intense your weight-training routine was).  This can also be performed as a stand-alone routine on days you are short on time but want to do something (ahem…that will be me this week because my kids are on Spring Break)…have fun!

It’s still dark outside but it’s time to wake up and get my butt out of bed.  I wobble downstairs (because yesterday was leg day of course) and start to make lunches, prepare breakfast, pack backpacks, and pack my own bag.  I then remind my girls for the 4th time that it’s time to get dressed and ready for school and eat breakfast.  Another morning rush and we’re all out the door.

After dropping off the girls, I get back in the car and give my shaker bottle a few good shakes, and start my morning ritual.  I’m on my way to the gym and it’s time to start getting myself ready for the work ahead.  Inside my shaker, one of the best pre-workouts I’ve ever used – Top Secret Nutrition’s Pump Igniter.  I like all the flavors but will admit that my favorite is the Cherry Limeade.  I mix in a scoop of TSN’s Creavar to up the ante.  Within minutes (and I do mean minutes!) of finishing, I start to feel that all-familiar tingle.  It spreads across my face and hits my ears.  I turn onto the main road and I’m starting to drive a little bit faster (I often wonder if the excuse of taking a pre-workout will get you out of a speeding ticket?).  I’m now completely focused and ready to hit the weights!


Needless to say, I absolutely love Pump Igniter.  I’ve been using it since it came out last year and have never needed more than 1 scoop.  It’s still working just as great as the first time I tried it.  I don’t hit the wall, I don’t crash afterwards.  A solid product I will continue to use and recommend.

Hey guys and girls…well, the mad baker is at it again.  Last week I made some protein brownies using Top Secret Nutrition’s 100% Whey in Chocolate and they were pretty good.  But, I felt the need to tweak the recipe just a bit to get them a little more moist.  So, I gave it another go tonight and think I came up with one that was pretty darn good.  So, here goes:


  • 1/2 cup oat flour (you can grind up oatmeal – just make sure you measure AFTER grinding)
  • 3 scoops Top Secret Nutrition 100% Whey, chocolate
  • 3 TBSP Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup stevia, splenda, or truvia (I used truvia in my recipe)
  • 4 oz unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg whites
  • 1/8 cup Walden Farms Zero Sugar/Zero Calorie chocolate syrup

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 9 baking pan with Pam baking spray.

Combine all dry ingredients first, then add wet ingredients and mix well.  Add the batter to the pan and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until done (toothpick or knife comes out clean).  Check first around 20 minutes and then every 2 minutes after…do not overcook!  Cool for about 10 minutes, cut into 9 even squares (or 9 ridiculously uneven squares if you’re me) and enjoy!

Here is the nutritional breakdown per brownie:

  • Calories:  101 (darn that single calorie!)
  • Protein: 12 grams
  • Carbs: 8 grams (only 2 sugar/2 fiber)
  • Fat:  3 grams

Optional:  add crushed walnuts or anything else your heart desires (just don’t forget to add those calories in if you’re keeping track).  Hope you enjoy them!

Before we get started, I’m going to poke a little fun at myself (and maybe some of you too! :-))

You might be a gym rat if…

  • You own more workout clothes than regular clothes
  • Your sink is full of dirty shaker cups
  • You think the 5 food groups are chicken, egg whites, brown rice, protein powder, and broccoli
  • You have a special pair of shoes for leg day
  • You think your job is seriously cutting into your gym time
  • You can easily count by 45’s
  • You get more excited when your supplement package arrives than on Christmas or your birthday
  • Your taglines are “beastmode on” “killed it” “nailed it” or “grrr”
  • You can’t pass by a mirror without at least one flex or pose
  • You’ve perfected the mirror selfie
  • You eat most of your meals cold and out of Tupperware
  • The saddest day of the week is “Rest Day”
  • You just finished a killer workout but all you can think about is your NEXT workout

Feel free to add any more that you can think of in the comments section!

Ok, but seriously, I want to talk about one of my favorite products that I’ve been using on a consistent basis from Top Secret Nutrition:  BCAA Hyperblend Energy.  Now, let me tell you why I love this stuff.  First of all, it has caffeine in it (and if you’re like me, you can never get enough caffeine ;-)).  There’s 150mg in each scoop to be exact – about 1 1/2 cups of coffee.  But that’s just the start:  There is a 3:1:1 ratio of leucine:isoleucine:valine.  Leucine has been the star player out of all the BCAAs for its role in protein synthesis, providing energy to muscles, and overall muscle recovery.  It is also an essential amino acid meaning you need to either get it from your diet or supplement (because your body cannot make it).  There are also other ingredients included in this supplement to aid in absorption.  All of this for about 5 calories….winner!

So, how do I use it?  Well, I could literally drink this stuff all day long!  My favorite ways to use it:

  • during a longer workout when I will need the extra fuel for my muscles and the additional energy from the caffeine
  • for an afternoon pick-me-up when I am between meals and want a little something to get me past that 2 pm slump.  It’s great to add to my big jug of water so it makes drinking all of my fluids much easier.  There are 3 great flavors to choose from:  watermelon, pink lemonade, and blue raspberry.  Don’t want the caffeine?  Not to worry, TSN also has regular BCAA Hyperblend WITHOUT the added caffeine.

Cliché?  Sure…True?  Definitely yes!  Anything worth doing well will require proper planning.  A vacation, a project at work or school, and of course proper nutrition and training.

I am currently less than 2 weeks out from my next competition and while I’ve been planning all along, this is the time when I need to step it up a notch and make sure that I have everything set.  Hair, tan, suit, bag packed, and everything else in between.  But, what happens when the show is over?  Well, I plan for that too.


Dieting and training for a show for many weeks or months can be very difficult.  But for most people, having a set meal plan and training schedule keeps them accountable and on track.  But if there’s no upcoming show or photo shoot, I don’t need to worry about a meal plan, right?  Sure!  Go ahead!  Eat whatever you want, rebound, gain 30 pounds in 3 weeks and look like a completely different person than those amazing photos from show day.  Nah, just kidding.  You definitely don’t need the same strict boundaries like when preparing for a show, BUT, you still need to monitor the quality and quantity of food you eat.  Competitions aren’t won and lost during contest prep, they’re won in the “off-season”.  The weeks directly after a show are when the body is primed and ready to make some amazing muscle gains (or fat gains if you don’t plan properly).  The months of training and eating at a “proper surplus” BEFORE you start your next contest prep is when you can gain lean mass, work on any lagging body parts, and even out asymmetries.

So, what’s my plan?  Well, I’m human so of course after the show, I will have my treats (pizza anyone? :-D).  I will also take a few days off from training to give my body and mind a rest.  After that time, I will go right back to a healthy eating plan (notice I said healthy eating plan and not DIET!).  I will “reverse-diet” as it has been called.  This will include SLOWLY increasing my calories over the weeks and SLOWLY decreasing the amount of cardio I will do.  If I eat at a major surplus and halt all cardio, that is a recipe for rapid weight gain.  Don’t get me wrong, I will include some treat meals (usually one and occasionally two per week – after all, the holidays are fast approaching).  I will also make sure that I continue to take my daily supplements.  Thank you Top Secret Nutrition! 🙂  When I’m not leaning out for a contest, my daily staples include ActiveXtreme Multivitamin, Fish Oil/CLA, 100% Whey, and Advanced Joint Support.  For training, Cardio Igniter, Pump Igniter, and BCAA Hyperblend Energy are always in my gym bag!

Just remember, health and fitness should be your lifestyle; not an on/off button that you push when you’re in contest mode or “off-season” (I don’t really like that phrase anyway).  Find the right balance for you!  For me, no foods are off-limits; I will enjoy the holidays, have a piece of cake on my birthday, but make sure that I fit these treats into my daily PLAN.