Archive for May, 2010


summer bod week #9: bbq survival guide

ahh…a 3 day weekend.  if you were a brave soul last week and joined me for the circuit workouts then you’ve definitely earned a little r & r!  holy camoly the circuits were brutal – but beware it gets tougher this week.  i did 3 days of cardio for 45m-1hr each day plus the circuit workouts the other 3 days.  i must admit i squeezed in an extra 2om cardio on the circuit days.  it’s a mental thing for me.  i know circuit training actually burns more calories because you’re combining strength and cardio, but i can’t seem to get it through my little head that it’s ok to NOT be in the gym for an hour.  it’s like i have this little time-clock in my head and if i don’t reach that one hour point i feel like i haven’t worked out hard enough. silly, i know.  plus, with only a mere 4 weeks left in the program, adding a little extra cardio doesn’t hurt when you’re trying to lean out!  check out this week’s workouts…and then onto my handy bbq survival guide for all of you that will be partaking in any memorial day festivities that usually include burgers, brats & beers.  read on…

weekly fitness challenge: more circuits + even more cardio
this week has a similiar split schedule to last week (3 days circuits + 3 days cardio) but 1 ) the circuits include harder exercises, 2) you do the circuits longer and 3) we’re upping the cardio even more!   if you are not on the verge of getting sick at the end of the circuit workouts, take your pen and check the “good” box in your fitbook and next time work hard to make it “killer”!  the best thing about these workouts: you’re working every body part during each workout but giving each muscle group time to rest in between so that you can really work hard since muscles are fresh once you get back to them!  here’s your weekly schedule and below are the circuit workouts.  take time sunday to jot the circuits down in your fitbook and you’ll be ready to go!

monday: circuit #4
tuesday: cardio intervals (30-40m)
wednesday: circuit #5
thursday: steady-state cardio (45-60m)
friday: circuit #6
saturday: cardio intervals (30-40m)
sunday: active rest day (beach volleyball, swim, bike, hike, walk…get outside!)

circuit notes: perform exercises #1-10 as a circuit for the 40 minutes, repeating as necessary for the entire time. then do ab exercises #11-12 and cool-down. so for example, you should be able to almost get through the circuit 4 times in 40m…then do abs for a total workout of about 50m. key to this workout: MOVE FAST – NO REST BETWEEN SETS…GO GO GO!  lift moderate weight – you’ve gotta be able to push through for 40m and it’s tough!

circuit #4:

  1. squat thrust (10)
  2. incline dumbbell bench press (10)
  3. bent-over 1-arm dumbbell row (10/arm)
  4. lying overhead triceps extention (10)
  5. jump rope (70s)
  6. squat w/dumbbells (10)
  7. dumbbell curl (10)
  8. dumbbell bench press (10)
  9. dumbbell side raise (10)
  10. jump rope (70s)
  11. plank (3 times, 60s each)
  12. side plank (3 times, 60s each side)

circuit #5:

  1. jump rope (70s)
  2. push-ups (15)
  3. dumbbell side raise (15)
  4. lateral bench hop-overs (12) jump back & forth quickly!
  5. jumping jacks (20)
  6. lying triceps extention (15)
  7. squat thrust (15)
  8. incline dumbbell curl (15
  9. jump rope (70s)
  10. dumbbell kickback (15)
  11. crunches on ab ball (3 sets of 20)
  12. side crunches on ab ball (3 sets of 20)

circuit #6:

  1. clean & press squat thrust (10) oooh these are brutal – see video for example…do the 2nd one if you canw/the press. (author note: after taking this long to find a video of this exercise, i think i am going to break out my FLIP soon!)
  2. single leg lunge on bench (10/leg)
  3. dumbbell bench press (10)
  4. seated dumbbell overhead press (10)
  5. jump rope (70s)
  6. bent-over 1-arm dumbbell row (10)
  7. barbell curl (10)
  8. dumbbell deadlift (10)
  9. jumping jack lunges (10/leg)
  10. dumbbell triceps extension (10)
  11. plank (3 times, 60s each)
  12. side plank (3 times, 60s each side)

[again – credit goes to celebrity trainer t.r. goodman for designing this program i found along time ago in men’s fitness…it is killer]

weekly nutrition challenge: bbq survival guide
nothing like a memorial day bbq to get you in the summer spirit!  i’m all about living life (fit) which means enjoying (almost) all things in moderation.  thing is: you can easily get through a bbq without doing too much damage, you just have to 1) plan ahead, 2) be strategic, and 3) be mindful.  if it’s your bbq then it’s easy: make sure you have a healthy cookout.  i’m not saying grill up veggies and a side of sauteed tofu here people, just healthy tweaks.  for example, for your burgers try going with grass-fed bison (buffalo) which is leaner than other types of beef, and then when you’re making the patties add in about a cup of diced up portobello mushrooms.  it cuts calories, makes more burgers, and actually keeps them super moist!  but odds are you’re going to be at a pot-luck style bbq with all the (not-so-healthy) fixin’s.  so here are a few things you can offer to bring – you’ll be a generous guest and ensure you’ll have a few healthy options:

  • orowheat whole wheat 100-calorie sandwich thin buns – a better option than those big buns that pack in  200 cals each!
  • a pack of veggies burgers – a thoughtful option for non-meat-eaters at the shindig.
  • LEAN turkey burger patties – don’t be fooled though, restaurant turkey burgers can actually pack more calories & fat than beef so if you buy the turkey at the store buy extra lean.
  • a veggie platter – instead of ranch dip, add a pack of the powdered ranch seasoning to non-fat greek yogurt.
  • light beverages – whether it’s coke zero, vitamin water, or corona light, trust me there’s always someone at the party that appreciates a lower-cal alternative; if opting for alcohol just remember to sip water in between so you don’t throw back 500 calories!
  • fruit popsicles or skinny cow ice cream sandwiches – these are a light and fresh alternative to heavy desserts and both have only around 100 cals.  plus they’re already single-serve meaning no cutting and serving a messy pie or cake!

so there you have it: a quick little how-to guide to get through any bbq while still enjoying yourself!  important though: if you’re following our 12-week plan, our focus this week is the same as last: eat clean.  so enjoy your bbq as your cheat meal (not cheat DAY) and then get back on our plan so you can reach those long-term goals.  and just because monday is a holiday (here in the states anyway) doesn’t mean you don’t work out.  wake up, get it in early so you can go on about your day and enjoy yourself.  i promise you’ll feel better that you did.

any questions, comments or random thoughts on the blog – feel free to comment! last thing: check out our new facebook fan page for a 3-day only promo for facebook fans only…good through sunday at 12pm PST!  now i’m off to enjoy my 3-day weekend…WOO HOO!


summer bod week #8: clean up + lean out!

ahhh…spring is in the air!  despite a little grey weather lately, i must say i love the brisk mornings and the warm afternoons that are just teasing us with summer right around the corner.  this time of year i get the spring cleaning itch and it began this weekend after plowing through my entire house.  organizing…cleaning…sorting…and tossing any excess stuff which really serves no purpose other than the added anxiety that i get from trying to keep it all organized!  my inspiration? well, other than the parents coming to town for a visit for the holiday weekend, our upcoming e-newsletter is all about spring cleaning so after working on that this past week – i’m inspired.  but obviously this isn’t about spring cleaning mi casa – this is all about cleaning up your diet and leaning out those bods for summer.  we’re in week 8, which means 1 of 2 things: 1) you’re completely on board and have seen such great success that you’remotivated as we head into the last 4 weeks or 2) you’re kicking yourself because somewhere around week 2 or 3 you fell off the bandwagon and gave up.  either way – tomorrow is always a new day which means we have the opportunity to make even better choices and making those little choices every day leads to big success over time.  so pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and let’s spruce up your nutrition plan and polish that workout program!  grab your broom (er, dumbbells) and let’s get to it!

weekly fitness challenge: killer circuits + cardio/cardio/cardio
circuit training is the best way to lean out because you’re increasing the intensity of your entire workout but you’re still including resistance training.  i’m warning you: this workout will kick your butt.  and if it’s not, then you’re not pushing yourself hard enough.  we will do circuits for the next few weeks but each week they’ll get harder.  so here’s your weekly schedule and below are the circuit workouts….and i will be doing these too so never fear, i will be in pain along with you!  note: if you want to switch the off day with one of the cardio days that’s fine, whatever works with your schedule but just be sure there’s a rest day between each circuit workout.  jot the workouts down in your fitbook before you head to the gym and you’ll have them handy to reference!

monday: circuit #1
tuesday: steady-state cardio (30-45m)
wednesday: circuit #2
thursday: cardio intervals (20-30m)
friday: circuit #3
saturday: steady-state cardio (30-45m)
sunday: active rest day!

circuit notes: perform exercises #1-10 as a circuit for the 30 minutes, repeating as necessary for the entire time. then do ab exercises #11-12 and cool-down.  so for example, you should be able to almost get through the circuit 3 times in 30m…then do abs for a total workout of about 40m.  key to this workout: MOVE FAST – NO REST BETWEEN SETS…GO GO GO!  lift moderate weight – you’ve gotta be able to endure for 30m!

circuit #1:

  1. jumping jack (20)
  2. push-ups (12)
  3. single-leg lunge on bench (12/leg)
  4. dumbbell curl (12)
  5. squat thrust (12)
  6. lateral dumbbell raise (12)
  7. squat w/dumbbells (12)
  8. lateral bench hop-overs (12)  jump back & forth quickly!
  9. jump rope (60s)
  10. dumbbell tricep kickback (12)
  11. crunches on ab ball (3 sets of 20)
  12. side crunches on ab ball (3 sets of 20)

circuit #2:

  1. squat thrust (10)
  2. dumbbell side raise (10)
  3. bent-over single-arm dumbbell row (10)
  4. single leg lunge w/back leg on bench (10/leg)
  5. dumbbell overhead triceps extension (10)
  6. squat thrust (10)
  7. barbell curls (10)
  8. dumbbell bench press (10)
  9. squat thrust (10)
  10. dumbbell overhead press (10)
  11. plank (3 times, 60s each)
  12. side plank (3 times, 30s each side)

circuit #3:

  1. jump rope (60s)
  2. dumbbell squat (10)
  3. lying tricep pullover (12)
  4. jumping jack (12)
  5. push-ups (12)
  6. jump rope (60s)
  7. lateral bench lunge (12)
  8. jumping jack lunges (12/leg)
  9. jump rope (60s)
  10. dumbbell tricep kickback (12)
  11. crunches on ab ball (3 sets of 20)
  12. side crunches on ab ball (3 sets of 20)

[gotta give credit where credit is due – this is a workout i found a long time ago by celebrity trainer t.r. goodman…it rocks]

weekly nutrition challenge: clean it up
workout out all you want and if you’re not eating a healthy, clean diet, you may as well kiss any plans to see that 6-pack goodbye.  it’s all about eating clean.  so – this doesn’t mean starve yourself.  on the contrary, the cleaner you eat, actually the more volume of food you can eat because clean, healthy foods tend to be lower in calories.  so – here are a few tips for this week to clean up your diet and yes, we’re going to take a few things away, and NO you don’t have to do it.  but if you wanna lean out, well, you’ve gotta sacrifice something.  this little plan is a derivation of my 4 weeks out competition diet – so beware, this is not for the weak.  enjoy!

  • limit dairy (low or non-fat) to only one serving per day
  • try substituting milk or soy milk with almond milk (unsweetened!)…you’ll never go back!
  • drink a gallon of water per day
  • limit condiments that usually just add either salt or sugar (ketchup, salad dressing, salsa, etc.)
  • no starchy carbs (yes – this means NO bread!)…only whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, oats, etc.)
  • max of 1 egg yolk per day – unlimited egg whites though!
  • alcohol: hate to tell you but this isn’t really included, but if you must, choose 1 glass of red wine

need clean eating recipe ideas?  i subscribe to clean eating magazine (or even peruse their recipes online) and check out the recipes on my blog or at fitness & spice.  other great resources: note: you can add in a cheat meal per week and i actually recommend it so that you don’t lose your sanity.  but it’s a cheat MEAL, not day.  make sure your cheat meal is not on your off-day and be sensible…trust me if you go all out with burger, fries, and shake, you’ll pay later!  maybe your cheat is a healthy dinner and splitting dessert with a friend or enjoying a glass of wine and a few chocolate strawberries.  love burgers?  have one – but consider making it at home versus ordering out…they can pack nearly 1000 calories!  remember: the point is to treat yourself for doing great all week, but then quickly get re-focused.  my cheat (in case you’re new to my blog): golden spoon frozen yogurt…mmmm!

alrighty…so there you have it: a lean-and-mean workout routine and a spic-and-span clean eating plan!  along with this theme of spring cleaning, make sure you’re subscribed to receive the fitlosophy e-newsletter coming out THIS week which will be our special spring cleaning issue, full of fresh new things at fitlosophy, super spring savings, my picks for the summer’s best beach reads, an update from our miss shay sorrells from the biggest loser, and of course a recipe for you!

happy sweating…


summer bod week #7: prep school

“if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” 

obviously anyone that creates something like the fitbook is your typical type-a, mildly obsessive, totally organized personality.  and while there are some downsides which i won’t bore you with, when it comes to your fitness + nutrition (and life!), planning ahead is crucial.  i’m always lecturing on this subject which is why i’ve pulled together a little prep school 101 for you so that anyone can apply some or all of these lessons to your lifestyle.  ok class – pay attention:

begin with the end in mind
whether it’s your health or even your finances or a project at work, the first step to making a plan is to identify where you’re going first.  that’s why about 7 weeks ago we set our 12-week goals so that we’re not just reaching for some arbitrary goal, but we have a concrete idea of where we’re going and how we’re going to get there.

break it down
while i love dancing, no this is not what i mean here. focus. it’s important to take that big goal and break it down into smaller, more achievable steps.  while a big goal like “i want to lose 12 lbs” might seem overwhelming, breaking it down into “my goal is to lose 1 lb per week” makes it seem more attainable.  if you don’t break goals down into little bite-size chunks, often times you get overwhelmed and give up before you’ve even started.

work it out
for me, i never go to the gym on sunday.  and while i do something active (walk, rollerblade, swim, etc.), it’s just the one day where i don’t want to step foot in the gym.  so i use that extra time on sunday evenings to sit down and plan out my week’s workouts ahead of time. while not everyone uses the fitbook this way (and that’s ok), it was designed to help you map out your week ahead of time so that you know not only what you’re doing at the gym each week, but you set a time schedule it into your day.  our days are crammed with work, family, and often times random chaos – and i promise you that if you don’t block out time to workout, odds are that you won’t fit it in.  sit down and plan out your week to give you a week-at-a-glance view of what’s ahead. while inevitably you’ll have to switch things up, odds are that you’re more likely to stick to it if you plan ahead!

grill, boil, slice and dice
after i make dinner on sunday night, and since the kitchen is already in cooking-mode, i take about 20m to prep healthy foods for the week ahead so that i can “assemble” foods during a busy day instead of slaving over the stove.  plus it makes it ten times easier to have your grab-and-go meals be healthy instead of accidentally veering toward a drive-thru or opting for highly-processed “health” foods.  while your list may vary, each sunday i try to prep my proteins (grill chicken, hard boil some eggs, thaw fish, cook ground turkey), boil my whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, steel cut oats), and then slice and dice fruits and veggies and place them in the fridge at eye-level so they’re the first thing i reach for.  other foods you can prep before-hand:  protein pancakes, spaghetti squash, and homemade trail mixes in pre-portioned baggies.  having those foods prepped almost guarantees you’ll make healthier choices throughout the week because a.) it’s already ready to go and takes less work than anything else and b.) you’ll want to consume those things first so they don’t go bad.

ok class, now that you’re on the up-and-up on planning, here’s your weekly assignments to whip those bods into killer shape – focus and be determined as we head into week 7!

weekly fitness challenge: switch days + up intensity
this is the last week on the same plan – but the last thing you want is to be bored, not just mentally but you don’t want your body to get in a rut either.  so continue with the same workout plan this week, but when planning your workouts for the week, switch up a few of your days and even alter which lifting you do with which cardio workout.  keep that body guessing for maximal fat burn.  then, again this week step it up even more on your intensity.  this is why we jot down important info like distance/stairs/RPMs…each week you can challenge yourself to push harder and beat that number within the same time frame, meaning that you’re working harder.  the last 4 weeks are going to be semi-torturous (hey – you want this right?), but that means you need to push yourself hard this week to prepare for what’s to come. so sprint faster, lift more weight – and push through.

weekly nutrition challenge: prep + pre-portion
in line with today’s lesson, even though sunday night is gone (note: author apologizes for her late post due to her un-planned afternoon nap that extended into the early evening) when cooking dinner on monday night, play around in the kitchen and prep foods for the week.  pick and choose what foods work well with your nutrition plan, but aim to have at least 1 protein, 1 whole grain, and unlimited fruits + veggies prepped so you can keep on track throughout the week.  take it one step further and pre-portion your meals so that in a rush you don’t grab too much or if you’re starving, you don’t scarf everything in sight.  i like using little snack-size baggies or even invest in a tupperware set that has the tiny little that measure out a 1/2 cup.  rule of thumb for portions: proteins should be 4-6oz, whole grains and dairy should be 1/2 cup, and you want to keep fats to 2 tbsp.  [visit the food log guide page of the fitbook for more deets!]  don’t own a food scale?   i highly recommend it so that you keep your portions (and caloric intake) in check.  you’d be surprised how even just an extra 100 calories per day is all that’s standing between you and your long-term goals.

now class, if you have any questions/comments/concerns…leave a comment and i’m happy to help.
make it a great week…class dismissed!


BLOG YOUR HEART OUT: that’s a wrap!

just a little heartfelt thanks via blog to the american heart association, the go red for women team, and of course our lovely  team of 5 fitlosophy bloggers that blogged their little hearts out over the past 12 weeks to raise awareness around heart disease, the #1 killer of women.  below is a synoposis of the big impact this little campaign had – read on for stats, facts, and press coverage.  CHEERS (with heart-healthy red wine of course)  to a successful initiative and to what we hope becomes an ongoing partnership to make a difference in this world.

with all my HEART,

average # of daily blog views on the official BLOG YOUR HEART OUT blogs by the fitlosophy team via either blog hits or subscribers (which means over the 12 weeks that adds up to over 40,000 hits/views over the entire campaign!) check out the blogs:

17,000: # of members in the online community,, where each week the BYHO post was seen via RSS feed! (thanks to miss joanna of fitness & spice!)

2517: # of hits to the GO RED page on fitlosophy’s website so people could learn more about the BLOG YOUR HEART OUT program.

1047: # of UNIQUE hits to the BYHO redirect link via the badges on blog pages – meaning that we sent over 1000 people to register for GO RED at to join the movement! (and this is just how many we tracked…others could have gone via other links!)

view the official press release for BYHO!

below are the results for BYHO DAY (02/12/10)…

1726: # of blog views on the official BLOG YOUR HEART OUT blogs by the fitlosophy team on feb 12th, 2010.

976: # of page views by the blogger miss rachel of ShedItAndGetIt who is one of the winners of the BYHO day challenge – meaning she wins a fitbook to give away on her blog!

458: # of UNIQUE hits to the BYHO redirect link meaning in total, via the badges on blog pages we sent that many people to register for GO RED on 02/12/10 alone!

6284: # of recipients of the fitlosophy e-newsletter that went out on february 5th promoting go red for women and the BLOG YOUR HEART OUT initiative.

140: # of tweets using the hash tags #BLOGYOURHEARTOUT and/or #GoRedForWomen .  click on each one to view the tweets!

5: # of amazing women on the fitlosophy BLOG YOUR HEART OUT team who made BYHO day possible!

20: # of total blogs posted on BYHO day to create awareness around heart disease and encourage others to GO RED!   Note: these were the ones we found – there may very well be others that we just did not find via search engines!   thanks to all these love ladies for blogging their hearts out on the first-ever BYHO day!


summer bod week #6: get your c’s, g’s and zzz’s!

half. way. there.  that means we are a mere 6 weeks away from flaunting our fab figures.  we’ve focused a lot on reining in our nutrition and refining our workouts – and the half-way point is a perfect time to re-evaluate: reflect on how far you’ve come over the past 6 weeks, reward yourself for those accomplishments (as we preach in the fitbook!), and then revisit that big goal that will keep you motivated on the home-stretch.

while i never focus too heavily on supplementation (except for my crazy pre-competition pill-popping), there are a few recent studies that came out that have me dialed in on getting my c’s, g’s, and zzz’s.

c’s: as in vitamin c
we all know that getting vitamin c is great for boosting immunity, but did you also know that it can reduce the levels of cortisol in your body?  cortisol is the nasty stress hormone that causes your body to store abdominal fat so the beautiful thing about vitamin c is that studies show getting approximately 1000mg per day can actually increase your body’s ability to burn fat!   check out my nutrition challenge below for the week on ways to get more vitamin c in your diet naturally.  a few fizzy supplement options are emergen-c (a fave of biggest loser contestant ms. shay sorrells) or my newest love e-boost which throws in some added bonus vitamins, minerals, and green tea extract…which leads me to the g’s…

g’s: as in green tea
if you saw the most recent issue of the fitlosophy e-newsletter, you saw my new-found love for green tea, which started primarily because of the fat-burning properties that caused me to perk my ears up and take notice.  if i can kick-start my metabolism by just adding 1 little cup of green tea to my day, it’s worth it. along the way i found out that there are some super yummy teas that (dare i admit!) i may have almost enjoyed more than coffee (gasp!).  say it isn’t so!  it’s true.  getting a daily dose of this metabolism-boosting, cancer-fighting, and cancer-fighting miracle-in-a-cup has been shown to slow your body’s absorption of carbohydrates, preventing a rise in insulin levels, which then causes your body to burn fat.  if that’s not enough, green tea is a mild appetite suppressant and also removes excess water from your body.  enjoy a decaf cup at night so you can relax and get your…

zzz’s: as in sleep!
we all know we need to sleep more…but did you know that lack of sleep could be sabotaging your ability to get that rockin’ bod that you work so hard for day-in and day-out by eating right and exercising?  while it may seem simple: sleep more, lose weight…the truth is that we have so many things in our lives pulling us in every direction that often our sleep is the first to go.  from the article “lose weight while you sleep” on this subject from glamour magazine: “science shows that sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on hormones that control appetite, cravings and the metabolism of fat.”  lack of sleep actually causes your body to also create more cortisol (again – that nasty stress hormone) that causes your body to store abdominal fat.  (and no it’s not ok to slam double doses of e-boost and operate on 4 hours sleep…i know you were thinking it!).  now i’m preaching but i’m not all that good at practicing, but starting this week i’m adding sleep into my weekly goals because the last thing i want is lack of sleep to be why i don’t see results from all my sweat sessions at the gym. cut out a little tv time (tivo people!), keep the crackberry/iphone out of the bedroom, and unwind a half-hour before bedtime.  try it this week and see just how much more energy you have during the day!  i’m in.

so those are my 3 little add-ons to my fitness + nutrition goals…so much so that i’ve added little reminders in my fitbook each day (if i like ’em enough, they might just be added to future versions!).  here’s what i do: at the top of my food log page i jot down “sleep = #” and enter the number of hours i sleep the night before…and then i can see how that affects my eating that day.  then in the nutrient tracker section under h2o i’ve been adding a little “g” and “c” in 2 of the boxes…and since i take both my vitamin c and green tea with 8oz of fluid, it’s just a way to remind myself that i need to take those each day.  i’ve been having my green tea after breakfast so i don’t forget for the day…and then having my e-boost or emergen-c as my post-lunch treat because it actually satisfies that little sugar craving i have after a meal.  just my little tips – now onto your weekly challenges.

weekly fitness challenge: consistency is key
last week we changed up the workouts quite a bit by tweaking your splits and adding intervals into your cardio. continue with the same workout plan this week, remembering that the key to seeing results is to be consistent.  going to the gym isn’t an option – it’s part of your day.  do it. don’t think about it – just go. i saw a quote the other day in fitness magazine: “no one ever said ‘i wish i hadn’t gone to the gym today’.”  so as i plan out my week ahead, that’s my inspiration (which i’m happily writing in my new fitbook 3.0 in my little inspiration box!).  i go to the gym every day (except sunday) – but i don’t want to just show up, i want to make every session brutal and walk out knowing i did myself a favor by kicking my own butt.  on those intervals, you should have jotted down your distance/stairs/etc. that you reached within the 20m…this week, beat those numbers.  lift harder, run faster, sweat more.

weekly nutrition challenge: get those c’s + g’s
few natural sources to get in your vitamin c:
oranges, guava, red/green peppers, kiwi, grapefruit, strawberries, brussel sprouts, canteloupe

and get your green tea: check out the green tea that i flipped over so much so that i had the waiter bring me an extra tea bag so i could find it online – and a little lean green tea mini muffin recipe from ms. fitness & spice to enjoy with your tea! one thing though: recent research shows that adding milk to green tea negates the positive effects, so drink your tea straight up either steeped or on the rocks.

half-way there.  what’s your goal?  i can’t remember if i shared mine with you or not, so those of you that faithfully read my blog (all kajillion words of it) – i’m spilling my little soul.  my 12-week goal is to look and feel like the girl on my website both inside and out.  she’s confident and happy with who she is.  and i’m almost there.  and while life’s inevitable ups and downs has throw me a few curveballs – i’m happy to say that “i’m back”.  i’m focused. most people would look at me and see a fit little bod, but what i’m striving for is that internal confidence and go-get-em-ness that i know i have in me.  i have no desire to be a certain size because of what i look like on the outside, but because what i look like on the outside is a direct reflection of how i feel on the inside.  ok now i feel like i’m standing naked in a room full of people by baring my soul.  (and why that would bother me i have no clue given that i am half-naked in all my pre-competition pics!).  but i’ve always promised to myself that this blog is nothing more than just me being me, and hopefully, just maybe it helps someone else along the way.

with (true) love,


week 12: blogging our hearts out…for a cause.

this week marks week 12 of the BLOG YOUR HEART OUT program where myself and 4 other bloggers joined forces to increase awareness around heart disease and the american heart association’s go red for women initiative.  each week we blogged through the 12-week betteru program – and honestly i loved it.  it took maybe only 10-15m each week but was a great way to start the week out thinking about something new and different to make myself just a little bit healthier.  of course my favorite part of the program was the focus on goal-setting which fit oh-so-nicely with planning in my fitbook each week.  here’s a little insight into what the betteru program has to say about goal-setting (i couldn’t say it better myself, so why try!?):

plan for the future. Throughout the Go Red BetterU Course for Success you have been encouraged to set smallweekly goals. Short-term goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, appropriate, realistic, and have a time frame) guide you in making changes and build your self-confidence. It is important that you continue to set new short-term goals for yourself. These daily action plans will remind you what you need to do to make your heart and your health is a priority.

long-term goals help keep you focused. In addition to setting short-term goals, set one or two long-term heart health goals. Walking in an organized 5K walk, eating four cups of fruits and vegetables most (5 or more) days of the week and taking 8,000 to 10,000 steps each day are long-term goals that Go Red Women have set.

i have to give a shout-out to the betteru program.  we issued a fitbooker survey back in january where 72% of all customers said they wanted a weekly wrap-up added to the fitbook – so of course i took note of that. but it was the betteru program that really opened my eyes to how effective it was to set weekly rewards.  i found myself more motivated because while the fitbook encourages you to set weekly goals to reach that big 12-week goal, we only had implemented rewards on a 12-week basis.  hello – love short-term rewards!  even if they seem trivial, like treating myself to new magazine or a trip to go window shopping at the mall, those weekly rewards really did keep me focused toward reaching my weekly goals.  so a big thanks to YOU betteru for inspiring the latest version of fitbook: fitbook 3.0!

so as we wrap up this 12-week program – just a look back at the big things that happened over the past 12 weeks:

  • fitlosophy launches the BLOG YOUR HEART OUT initiative to increase awareness around heart disease using social media, gaining press coverage for our efforts!
  • fitlosophy sponsors the first-ever BLOG YOUR HEART OUT day on february 12th with the fitlosophy blogging team alone tallying 1726 blog views. bloggers worldwide joined the campaign to create awareness and share their personal stories, with over 458 people being directed to the go red for women site in one day to join the movement.
  • fitlosophy teams up with shay sorrells, season 8 contestant from the biggest loser, to kick off national start! walking day with the american heart association in orange county to promote the importance of being active.

so as we wrap up what has been an amazing intitiative to be a part of, i want to personally thank my amazing team of bloggers who have rallied over the last 12-weeks all for a good cause – so thank you lani, joanna, sahar, and jodi!  and last but certainly not least we want to thank the american heart association for supporting this effort that we hope becomes an annual initiative.  with nearly 90% of fitlosophy’s customers being women, it’s a cause near and dear to our hearts to increase awareness around the #1 killer of women.

with all my HEART,


summer bod week #5: change it up!

change is good.  trust me.  we may not always like change – but (in my humble opinion) looking back, you can always see the good that you may not have seen amidst the chaos of change.  we’re such creatures of habit – but whether it be your life or workouts and nutrition, a little change does a world of good.  here is one of my favorite quotes that motivates me and reminds me to embrace change:

“if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
~mark twain

which leads me to week #5 of our 12-weeks to a summer bod.  hopefully you’ve been pushing yourself the past four weeks and really got in the routine of working out 5-6 days a week,  eating more healthy and clean (most of the time), and odds are you’re seeing a change in your body.  so leave it to me to pull the rug out from underneath you once you’re just starting to get comfortable!  this week we change it all up and shock your body.  with workouts especially it’s important to switch up your workouts every 4-6 weeks because our bodies adapt.  keeping the body guessing is how we maximize our time in the gym and really reach those goals of a lean 6-pack rockin’ bod by summer.

weekly fitness challenge: shock it and rock it!
say goodbye to 1 muscle group per day and those enjoyable little cardio sessions where you can enjoy american idol.  no mas muchachos/muchachitas!  it’s seriously starting to get warm out which means we must kick it into high gear.  here’s your workout splits for the next 4 weeks although i’ll tweak it a bit and challenge you as we go.  since we’re going to 2 body parts per day in lifting, we’re adding in interval training in (which means more intensity but less time) so you’ll still get in and out in about an hour.  upping the weights – decreasing time on cardio, but increasing the overall intensity!

for strength training do 2-3 different exercises per body part with 4 sets per exercise.  in this phase we’re going to add some muscle (don’t worry ladies – you won’t bulk up!) so the first 2 sets go heavy (6-8 reps) and the last 2 sets drop the weight and do 15-20 reps.  this will build muscle and then lean out by following up with high reps.most importantly – keep moving in between sets to maximize fat loss and keep that heart rate up!  then for cardio we’re going to really mix it up with a focus on high-intensity interval training which is going to torch fat and calories much faster than steady state cardio because of the “afterburn” effect, meaning after intervals your body continues to burn calories!  proof: in my recent muscle & fitness hers mag they referenced a study where athletes who performed 20 weeks of endurance training burned 28,661 calories and an interval group trained for 15 weeks and burned on 13,614 calories,  however, because of the afterburn effect, the interval-training group showed greater fat loss than the endurance group.  ok enough convincing – here’s your program:

monday: back/biceps + 20m stepmill/stairstepper intervals*
tuesday: legs/abs + 12m treadmill tabata sprints** (see below)
wednesday: hour-long class (yoga/spin/kick-boxing) or 30-40m jog/run
thursday: chest/abs + 20m row machine intervals*
friday: shoulders/triceps + 12m treadmill tabata sprints**
saturday: legs/abs + 30m steady state (but keep heart rate at 65-70%)
sunday: active rest – swim, rollerblade, walk your dog – anything!

*intervals: for 20m intervals, do 2 minutes at a tough but manageable pace, then go all out for 30 seconds pushing yourself as hard as possible.  take note of stairs climbed or distance ran – and next week aim to beat that number in the same amount of time.  the goal here: kick your own butt.

**tabata: this high intensity interval training (HIIT) program will kick your butt into next week.  on the treadmill, warm-up at a jogging pace at a low incline.  i’ll use my numbers for example purposes.  so i warm-up at 5.0 at a 3% incline for 4 minutes.  then double everything, so i go to 10.0 at 6% incline and then get ready for 4 minutes of hell. jump on the treadmill (be careful) and sprint all out for 20 seconds…hop off the side and recover for 10 seconds. get back on again and sprint for 20, jump off and rest for 10.  do that 8 times through for a total of 4 minutes.  then go back to your warm-up speeds by going back to 5.0 at 3% incline and cool-down for 4m.  i promise you your chest will be pounding like no other – killer.

weekly nutrition challenge: portion distortion
after doing both competitions, i’m not big on calorie-counting. i despise it actually, but unfortunately leaning out is all about calories-in/calories-out. muscle & fitness had this great little formula for calculating how many calories you should eat. you figure out how many hours per week you work out and add that to 9. so for me, i work out at least 6 hours a week (probably more, but i wanted to be conservative) so i add that to 9 to get 15. then you take that and multiply it by your target body weight (mine is 110)…so that’s how i came up with 1500! not rocket science but it’s a different way of figuring out your target caloric intake needs. your focus this week – even if you’re not wanting to track calories – is to really keep portion size under control. just this week do me a favor and measure things: a 1/2 cup isn’t really as much as you’d think…and pay attention to labels and serving sizes. jot down the portion sizes in your fitbook and after just one week of this you’ll have a better idea of why you may not be seeing the scale budge. you must have a calorie deficit of 3500 through a combination of working out more and eating less to lose one pounds so NOT knowing your portion sizes can sabotage your success.

stay focused and if you’re getting a little antsy, flip back to your 12-week plan in your fitbook to remind yourself of WHY you’re doing this. keeping in touch with that inner-drive will help you stay motivated on tough days. case in point: i went to sport my cute little capri jeans for the first time this year since it’s warm out and the last time i wore them was post-competition last year when i was a little itty bitty thing. regardless of knowing that, it doesn’t exactly leave you feeling stoked when your bum won’t fit in a pair of jeans. so – i could’ve slipped into sweats and headed straight for the freezer to indulge in a pint of ice cream. thankfully, 1) i don’t keep ice cream in the house and 2) i decided to find a pair of jeans that made me feel sexy (why suffer all day?) and made plans to go roller blading a the beach. little choices lead up to long-term success and if i can tell you anything it is that hard work pays off – and it will for you (and me!) too.

embrace change this week and do yourself a favor – and kick your own a**.


May 2010
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