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Vicki Brands - Page 2 of 4 - fitness & food on the go

Beach Cruising

My husband and I just celebrated our 3rd anniversary! We made a short trip to Huntington Beach for a few days to relax by the beach. Because I am pregnant, doctors (and the rest of the world) advise us to stay on the continental US to avoid any chance of contracting Zika, which limited our travel options this summer. However, our little beach get away was perfect! We went to the beach, swam in the pool, went to a nice dinner, found a few great breakfast spots, and got a whole bunch of walking and beach cruising in!

We rented beach cruisers one morning and ended up riding for hours; we rode a total of about 28 miles up and down the coast. We rode up to Sunset Beach, back to Huntington and then almost all of the way down the Newport Peninsula, and back to Huntington. It was an awesome workout and definitely doable being 26 weeks pregnant. I would not recommend riding almost 30 miles on a beach cruiser though- your butt will be sore for days after!

For the most part though,  beach cruising + pregnancy = great workout!

Shrimp Tacos- Take 2

Simple Shrimp Tacos

(with avocado salsa)


1 lb. raw shrimp

1 cucumber

1 avocado

1 large tomato

1 lemon

salt, pepper garlic to taste

corn tortillas



  1. Cook raw shrimp in a skillet, stovetop. Add seasonings to taste.
  2. While shrimp are cooking, dice cucumber, tomato, and avocado and mix in a bowl. Add lemon juice & salt. Stir well.
  3. Heat up corn tortillas.
  4. Add shrimp & avocado salsa to the corn tortillas. ENJOY!


Summertime Pregnancy Workouts & Recipes

I regret slacking off on this blogging business for the past three months, however…I’M BACK AT IT!

First, there are some exciting things I need to update you on:

  1. School’s out for summer! Yes, for the next 10 weeks or so, I am officially on summer break (thankful to be a teacher!), which means I have no excuses not to workout, create & find new recipes and generally focus on the health of my husband, myself, and our little one…
  2. YES, we’re expecting our first baby in October! I can’t wait to be a mommy, but time is already flying by too fast- I’m already 22 weeks in! Luckily, I’ve felt great throughout my pregnancy so far. Keep an eye out for workout modifications I’ve figured out, one’s I’ve researched, and sources I use to ensure I keep myself and our baby safe & healthy! I’ll also be adding some new summertime recipes; my diet hasn’t really changed much as a pregnant lady, except for the fact that I’m pretty sure I eat more throughout the day, just in smaller portions at a time. I’m thankful my pre-pregnancy self developed a strong understanding of what a healthy diet consists of and established a solid Crossfit-based workout routine. I’m confident these together will only benefit me throughout my entire pregnancy, help me “bounce back” after she’s (it’s a girl!) born, and ultimately, give her a great, healthy start to life!

Thanks for following! Stay tuned for some delicious recipes & pregnancy-friendly workouts!

16.1 & 16.2 Crossfit Open

It’s that time of year again; Crossfit Open time! 16.1 is done and in the books for me and 16.2 was released tonight!


Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of:
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
8 burpees
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
8 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Men lunge 95 lb.
Women lunge 65 lb.

I completed 104 reps in 20 minutes with my good friend Michelle judging me. Thanks pal! (;

16.2 was just announced tonight:


I’ll take a shot at this workout on Sunday, so for today’s workout, I just practiced the movements to make sure I could do them. I haven’t done toes-to-bar in probably a year…but I can still do them! I haven’t practiced double unders in a while either…but I’ve stillllll got em! Squat cleans are pretty much my favorite lift…so I’ve got those no problem! (: Bring it onnnn 16.2!!!


Beginning on a 4-minute clock, complete as many reps as possible of:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  15 squat cleans, 135 / 85 lb.

If completed before 4 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  13 squat cleans, 185 / 115 lb.

If completed before 8 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  11 squat cleans, 225 / 145 lb.

If completed before 12 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  9 squat cleans, 275 / 175 lb.

If completed before 16 minutes, add 4 minutes to the clock and proceed to:
  25 toes-to-bars
  50 double-unders
  7 squat cleans, 315 / 205 lb.

Stop at 20 minutes.

Today’s workout to warm up for it:

20 minute AMRAP

5 squat cleans @ 85#

5 toes-to-bar

25 double unders 


Crossfit Open 2016

The Crossfit Open: 5 workouts in 5 weeks.

These workouts are used to determine the top men, women, and teens in each Crossfit “region” around the world. The top athletes from each category in each region at the end of the 5 weeks moves on to their region’s “Regional” competition. From there, the top athletes from each region move on to the “Crossfit Games” with the hopes of being crowned the “Fittest on Earth”.

And I registered myself again, for the 4th year in a row…

Why? Do I think I’m the most outstanding athlete in the Southern California Region? NO. Do I think I have a chance to win the Crossfit Games? NOPE. Then why pay $20 to participate in the Open when there’s no chance of making it to the regional competition? (Especially when I expect to participate in the “scaled” category, leaving me out of any chance of going to regionals.) I haven’t put in the hours of training or been meticulous about my diet like those who want more than anything to ultimately make it to the Games. So, why?

The 1st year I participated in the Open was 2013. I was in pretty good shape at the time, getting stronger by the week. I was gearing up for my wedding on July 4, so I was at my box about 4-5 days per week. I was able to RX every workout that year and LOVED the friendly competitive nature of my box during those WODs. Cheering each other on, trying to get the best possible score on each workout, and waiting until the score-submission deadline came to see where I stood against other girls all over the world was such an awesome experience!

Year 2: 2014. This year was a similar experience to my first year participating. My friends and I completed each Open WOD together…I believe I even placed in a couple of the WODs within my box! Again, I finished all of the WODs RX’d, even if they took me a little longer than they should have. In the end, another great experience at my box.

Year 3: 2015. This year I went at the Open WODs at my friends’ affiliate. I decided to leave my old box in order to train at home with my husband, allowing me more time home, more time with him, and the ability to train when I want. Each week, I would drive out to my friends’ gym so someone could judge me and I could report an official score. It also didn’t hurt that I got some awesome gym time with my good friend! However, this year, there were so many more people that registered for the Open (the numbers have been growing exponentially since the first year of the Crossfit Games, 2007). When you have that many more people participating, you need a way to quickly cut people from the competition. Well sure enough, the 3rd WOD, 15.3, called for muscle ups as the first movement. Most Crossfitters can’t do a muscle up, a gymnastic movement where the athlete hangs from a set of rings off of the ground, swings/”muscles” themselves up to a straight- armed position and then lets themselves back down. So because I couldn’t do that movement, I earned a score of a “0” or incomplete for that workout. Once you get an incomplete, you’re basically out of the running and lose any kind of standing. This also happened to be the first year that they offered a “teen” and “scaled” category. You can drop down to “scaled” if you aren’t able to do the movements as prescribed, but I didn’t have any motivation to do that. So instead, I didn’t finish the other 2 WODs that year at an affiliate. My husband and I played around with them at home, but I didn’t report a score for them.

Looking back, not reporting a score or allowing myself to go “scaled” was a poor choice.

So this year, 2016, WHY?

I signed up for this year’s open so that I can make sure I log scores for all of the WODs this time. I will be working at the “scaled” level this year for more reasons than one, but that is fine by me. I’ll still get to visit & workout with my friend, participate in the excitement of the open, and get a few good Crossfit workouts in this year! <3

Want to see what it’s all about? Check out http://games.crossfit.com/


{SSS} Squats, Shoulders & Sore to the Core

Today’s workout: 

Equipment needed: a barbell, bumper plates, dumbells

A. 3 rounds of 20 back squats at 75#

B. 3 rounds of 20 deadlifts at #135, 20 shoulder flys with #7.5 dumbells

C. Sore to the Core: Week 4 Day 2

I loved this combination of movements! For part A, my husband and I took turns. When I was done, we switched out the weights for him and I rested. For part B, we also took turns. When one of us was on deadlifts, the other was working on shoulders. We took small rests in between so that we could switch out the weights and catch our breaths. Sore to the Core we do together; we set a timer on our tv in the garage. My favorite part of Crossfit type workouts is the lifting, so this combo was fun for me. Choosing a “fun” workout once in a while helps me to stay motivated throughout the whole workout!

Butt & Leg, Upper Body & Sore to the Core Challenge

Today’s workout: Week 4 of…

~Butt & Leg Challenge 

~Upper Body Challenge

~ Sore to the Core Challenge

all from http://www.alexajeanfitness.com/ !

You probably read my last post about the Sore to the Core Challenge my husband and I started doing a couple of weeks ago. Well, there’s more! By completing each of these “challenges” in the same day, right after one another, you will end up working up a sweat for about 45 minutes! If you’re not feeling all three in one day, choose another workout to combine with one of the challenges. For example, go for a run and then do “Sore to the Core”. Do a few rounds of backsquats and then do a day of the “Upper Body Challenge”.

The great thing about all of these is that there is little to no equipment required, they can be done in your bedroom, at a gym, at the park, on the beach… anywhere there is an open space.

Check out her site to purchase these “Challenges”!


Santa Rosa Plateau: Part 2

Yes, it’s Super Bowl Sunday. Yes, we went on a 6 mile hike at 2pm instead of hanging out with friends watching the kick-off. Normally, we would be with friends and family watching the big game, eating and drinking whatever we want. This year worked out to be a little bit different than that! (And we’re not complaining).

The weather today was outstanding; the sun was out, there was a little bit of wind, and it was warm up on the plateau. We decided to hike the other side of Tenaja Road this time so that we could see Vernal Pools. We took a new trail and were very pleasantly surprised. It was a steep hike at times (both uphill and downhill). We hiked about 3.5 miles to the pools, spent some time walking the small boardwalk there, and then headed back to our car. We took a different trail back to the parking lot which ended up being a lot flatter than the trail there.

We got back home in time to grab some drinks and head over to our sister’s house to catch most of the game!

30 Day Sore to the Core Challenge

I love following fitness bloggers and fitness blogger moms on Instagram. They always have great workouts that require little to no equipment and can be done in about 15-20 minutes. These workouts may look easy to your every day Crossfitter, fitness enthusiast, or athlete, but they are pretty challenging.

One of my favorite fitness blogger moms is Alexa Jean. She has an awesome fitness program that includes the 30 Day Sore to the Core Challenge, Butt & Leg Challenge, and an Upper Body Challenge. We just wrapped up the 2nd week of her Sore to the Core Challenge and highly recommend it! We complete each day’s Sore to the Core workout in addition to our full workout for the day (usually after). This is a no equipment, body weight challenge and can be done with as many people as you’d like. All you need is something to view the workout on (iPad, phone, computer…or print it out), an open space, and a timer.

Head to http://www.alexajeanfitness.com/ to purchase the Challenge! (picture above also belongs to AlexaJeanFitness)

{ Weekend Hikes }

This weekend Gerrit & I were blessed with an extra long weekend because of MLK Day, so we decided to spend most of it outside. Being outside and/or going to San Diego is always a good choice (:

Santa Rosa Plateau ~ Murrieta, CA

On Saturday, we hit the Santa Rosa Plateau which is located off of Clinton Keith/ 15 freeway in Murrieta, CA. There are several places to park along Clinton Keith, including the visitor center. If you keep following the road past the visitor center, you will come to two more parking lots, one on the left and one on the right. The one on the right is the one we choose to frequent because they allow dogs on a leash (as well as horses!). Our dogs LOVE coming out here and tend to walk us, rather than the opposite. The trails are fairly flat, but depending on the route you choose, it can get pretty rocky and steep at parts. Our hike on Saturday totaled about 3.5 miles roundtrip. Not bad for a little afternoon hike with the pups!


Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve ~ La Jolla, CA

Today we made it down to San Diego for one of the most beautiful hikes in southern Ca (in my opinion). Torrey Pines was PACKED with families today, maybe because most, if not all, schools were not in session today. Nevertheless, it turned out to be a gorgeous day that included a hike totaling just under 5 miles. Torrey Pines is located off the 5 freeway and Carmel Valley Rd. If you park in the parking lot at the base of the hill, you can walk/ run up the large hill to start your hike. If you’re not feeling so motivated, you can also drive up the hill and park by the Visitor Center (but we all know it’s better to take the hill!).  We hiked down and back on several of the trails lined with beachy shrubs. The trails lead to different view points and one leads down to the beach. Once you make it down to the beach, you can either go back up the trail (which we did) or you can walk on the flat beach back to your car. I highly recommend this hike, especially if you love the beach like I do!


If you have time to take another little trip after, head about two miles south of Torrey Pines Reserve to the Torrey Pines Glider Port. You can sit outside on the deck, enjoy a snack and watch the parachuters take off. It’s pretty neat. And relaxing. And…just go, you’ll see!