Every Workout I Did This Year

It’s been an amazing year at the gym, and here, with the help of the almighty Beyonce, are photos before, during and after the 175 workouts I did as a 32-year-old. Thanks to my gym fam for helping me shine. Enjoy!

 

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Favorite Jokes of the Year

If you know me, you know I’m always writing jokes. Here are my 15 favorite I wrote this year.

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A man in Australia has been bitten by a venomous spider on his penis for the second time in five months. “Fool me once…”, said the person who had to suck out the poison

A new restaurant has opened in New York that is inspired by the show Golden Girls. And like Blanche’s legs, it’s open 24 hours.

A new study finds that 84 percent of all wildfires in the US are started by people. Though one man strongly disagrees. (KEY: Billy Joel)

It was announced that this summer Manhattan will get a fourth area code, 332. While the Bronx is sticking with its area code, 911.

This month marks the 75th anniversary of the classic animated film Bambi. And he’s still looking for the bitch that killed his mom.

A man in Florida protected his prized BMW during Hurricane Matthew by parking it in his living room. While his wife and kids got the garage.

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the iPhone. Meaning iPhones have been around longer than most of the people making them.

An ice cream parlor in Mexico has begun serving ice cream specially made for dogs to eat. The most popular flavor is “other dog’s butt.”

A woman in Australia gave birth to a 13-pound baby, and she’ll never be the same down under.

A Massachusetts man tried to argue his way out of a speeding ticket by claiming that the police officer’s radar gun picked up a deer running at 40 miles an hour, and not his car. Sure, blame it on the guy with brown skin.

New York City officials said that the city doesn’t face any threat from people dressed as “creepy clowns.” That’s just how they dress in Brooklyn.

A shoe company was able to use a 3-D printer to make shoes big enough for a Michigan man, who was once listed as the world’s tallest teenager, and has size 28 feet. He’s hoping next they’ll be able to print him out some condoms.

Shaquille O’Neal announced that in 2020 he will run for sheriff of Henry County, in Georgia. Even though traditionally in Georgia, big, black men run FROM the sheriff.

The controversial Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, about a teenage girl’s suicide, has been renewed for a second season. Because getting cancelled would be the easy way out.

Two more Fox News employees have joined a race discrimination lawsuit against the network, saying working there was “more akin to plantation-style management than a modern-day work environment.” For starters, they were literally chained to their desks.

In Weight Loss, Perception is Half the Battle

It takes a gym girl to know one, and lately I’ve been noticing a good friend of mine looking fierce on Instagram. Yes, even more fierce than the side pony I rocked last week at Crunch, but because of a common … Continue reading

Conquering the News – Election Edition

I’m making Super Tuesday extra super with a brand new video!

You’ll never guess who I want in the White House in 2016… Please enjoy this special election edition of “Conquering the News”.

SHARE, share, SHARE on Twitter with #LilConqueror 🙂

#HireBrianna

My name is Brianna, and I want to do social media for the Foo Fighters.

“Go to the fucking yard sale, buy a fucking guitar, start a band with your fucking friends, get in the garage and fucking suck and work on it until you fucking make great music, and become the biggest band in the world.”

-Dave Grohl

If the Foo Fighters have taught me anything, it’s that if you want something, you have to get off your butt and do something about it. So this is me doing just that.

I got out my computer, wrote a cover song, asked some friends to help me record it, and shot and edited this video.

As one of the biggest rock bands in the world, it’s very possible Foo Fighters already has a social media team in place, but the opportunity to be a part of it would be the best thing ever. I could contribute a whole lot of experience, and am fully aware of the amazing chance to learn from the pros.

For anyone reading this, all of your time, consideration, shares, likes, and retweets are very much appreciated. I know that #HireBrianna can only be successful if a bunch of people join in on the fun, so thanks for helping me make this a thing!

You guys rock.

B

PS…

If you decide to tweet out the video, you could just copy and paste the below tweet:

Hey, @foofighters… It’s time to hire @lil_conqueror! #HireBrianna http://bit.ly/1OMJw7x

ORRRR feel free to write your own, including:

-@foofighters

-#HireBrianna

-the video link (http://bit.ly/1OMJw7x)

Farley Elliott is Taking it to the Streets in his DELICIOUS New Book

I am all about things that make you go “mmmmm”, and Farley Elliott’s debut book, “Los Angeles Street Food”, definitely falls in that category. Farley, a Senior Editor for Eater LA, does his city more than justice with mouth-watering descriptions of LA’s top food trucks, carts, stands, festivals and more, complete with photos that can only be described as food porn.

farley ramen'

Farley travelled far and wide for his soon to be go to guide, and I was lucky enough to catch up with him to talk about his book, the LA food scene, and of course tacos. You can check out our convo below.

cover book

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With all the great restaurants out there, what about street food gets you so excited?

It’s the innovation, the regional specificity. When you’re opening up big restaurants with big-name chefs, you sort have to take a maximalist approach — appeal to lots of people, and charge accordingly. With low overhead operations like carts and trucks, you can really focus on the one thing, or the two things, that you want to do, and do them with amazing accuracy. You can learn about the world through LA street food, because every place you visit is allowed to have its own footprint leading back to wherever it originated.

So many people come up with great ideas, but never follow through. What motivated you to actually make this book happen?

Well, for one, I always feel like I have something to say. That’s just part of being a writer. So there’s that idea — I get to say what I want, and you pick up the book and listen. That’s pretty great! I also wanted to write the book because, no matter how successful anyone is, we always try to find benchmarks to define ourselves. Having a book was a benchmark for me — a big one — and being able to see it on the shelf of my local bookstore was something that was important to me. Not wanting to fail yourself is a big motivator.

asian-night-market-meat-skewers

You travelled to the far reaches of LA to hit up some of the vendors in your book. What was the craziest thing that happened on the road?

I did have a knife pulled on me once, but that was from a drunk guy and could have happened anywhere, at any time. It just happened to be in front of a taco truck. The idea of an unsafe taco stand or Taiwanese meat skewer truck has largely become a vicious rumor. Honestly, these are hardworking families trying to make a great product to feed their own neighborhoods; rotten food or outbursts of violence would be bad for business.

The photos in your book and on your drool-worthy instagram account are always amazing. Any tips or rules of thumb for taking awesome food photos?

Lighting is key. You can make bad food look good with the right light, but you will never be able to make amazing food look even remotely interesting in the dark.

pranom-thai-wok

While delicious, the tacos, meat, pastries, etc. featured in the book might not be the most healthy. What street food would you recommend for someone trying to watch what they eat?

Well, there IS the idea of moderation in all things. But you’re right — it’s not the healthiest way to eat, especially if you spend most of your time in front of a computer screen. But there are fruit carts, juice vendors, trucks that serve goat birria with a hearty “bone broth” side of consommé. And yes, there are many, many vegetarian taco options, from huitlacoche (a funky sort of corn option) to stewed huazontle, which is a hearty green native to Mexico.

el-compita-tacos copy

If money and LA traffic weren’t an issue, what is your dream street food meal?

I’d start with elote from the Lincoln Heights corn man. It’s this amazingly simple corn on the cob that’s grilled, swiped with mayo and butter and dashed with salt and spices. From there, a round robin of tacos: one short rib from Kogi BBQ, one carne asada from the Tire Shop Taqueria, one al pastor from Tacos Tamix, and one carnitas from Tacos Los Guichos. Then the main: a torta cubana from Super Tortas D.F. in South LA. If there were any room left, I’d take some champurrado as a sweet finisher.

Oh, and an al pastor quesadilla from El Chato — as a late night snack, just in case.

backyard-burmese-food

If you were to open up a food truck, what would it be?

I’d be no good at opening a truck. The margins are too thin, the days too long, and I’d blow up at a customer within the first few hours, probably. But in my best moments, I could see being a sort of short order breakfast cook within the food truck realm. Simple egg and sausage sandwiches, easy breakfast burritos, some high-quality drip coffee. There is something undeniably satisfying about feeding a crowd…

“Los Angeles Street food: A History from Tamaleros to Taco Trucks”, is available here, and be sure to follow Farley on Twitter and Instagram.

This Year I Gained 15 Pounds… Of Muscle.

I just turned 31, and in an attempt to continue on my quest of empowerment, am going to do the thing that terrifies me the most. I’m going to tell you how much I weigh.

30_31

In exactly one year, I’ve gone from 153 to 168. And no, it has nothing to do with the fact that Dairy Queen opened in NYC.

Gaining weight is something I’m REALLY good at. When I was 13, my family moved across the country to California, and my friends were replaced with McDonald’s Quarter Pounder Value Meals. I went from a size 6 to a size 12, gaining 30 pounds in a matter of months. 30 pounds I have been fighting to lose ever since.

Sometimes to lose weight, you have to put it on first, and that brings me to my latest set of “Skinny Girl Problems”. Last year was all about cardio. I was at spin class 24/7, turned the treadmill into my part-time residence, and when I did use weights, they were the lightest ones possible.

The weight seemed to just fall off. The more I sweat, the more I lost. I got to my lowest weight since high school, which you might remember reading about last year. But I wasn’t strong. I couldn’t do a push up. My lower back was a mess. And strength training was a concept as mysterious to me as wanting to go to a Dave Matthews concert.

My workout instructor, the great Angel Ortiz at Crunch, starts every month by saying, “change something”, and this year I took that advice to heart. I traded out my spin classes for strength training classes, and now there are muscles where my fat used to be.

I earned every single one of the 15 pounds I gained this year through long-ass sweat sessions, crazy tough workouts, a gazillion squats, and lifting all the weights. I gave my whole exercise regimen an overhaul, and in doing so, lowered my percentage of body fat, went down 1-2 sizes (depending on the store), and am now considered “acceptable” instead of obese.

Push-ups have become something I’m excited for, because I can actually do them. I love the definition in my quads, right above my knee. I love that I just had to switch to even heavier weights because the lighter ones were too easy. And finally, I love that my hip problem has chilled the eff out, because my back is getting stronger.

All of this kind of hit me in the last month. I was lucky enough to travel to Bermuda, and had an insane epiphany. As I stepped out in my new bikini, 100% conscious of my rolls, stretch marks, and cellulite, I looked out at the bluest water I’ve ever seen, saw the palm trees swaying in the wind, and felt the soft, warm sand on my feet. It took my breath away, and I realized that the world is just too freaking beautiful to worry about what little ole me looks like in a swimsuit. I’m the only one thinking about my flaws because there are too many other incredible things to look at instead.

Screen shot 2015-06-25 at 12.04.19 PM

So now, a few days into my 31st year, it’s time as Angel says to, “change something”. And the thing I plan to change is the idea that my body is something to be ashamed of. Right now it’s the result of a crap ton of hard work, and I’m excited for what next year’s fitness milestone is going to be. Maybe by then I’ll be able to do a pull up, or have 1 or 2 abs.

A girl can dream.

The first thing I did on my bday was go on a long run... Who am I?

The first thing I did on my bday was go on a long run… Who am I?