Archive for February, 2011


5 heart-healthy gym-bag must-haves!

before we wrap-up BLOG YOUR HEART OUT for 2011 and pack our (blogger) bags until next year, i want to leave you with a gym-bag full of tools to keep you heart-healthy year-round.   so grab your gym bag (i heart these from livewell360) and toss in this gear to keep that ticker strong all year long:

heart-rate monitor
whether you invest in an uber-pricey one or even get a more cost-effective heart-rate monitor, the most important thing is that you get one you use.  me…i hate the straps and i know i won’t use it, so i opt for a mio.  true – they don’t give you real-time heart rate and you have to stop to get a read…but for me it works.  take your age minus 220 to get your max heart rate (so mine is 189)…then aim to do cardio at about 80% of your max.  so mine would be 151ish.  according to the american heart association, you need to get “at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week OR 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week, or a combination of the two.”  note: this is just for a healthy heart…wanna lose weight or get fit?  you’ll need to up the cardio!

not only does this little music-maker motivate you with heart-pumpin’ tunes, but research has found that listening to music while working out results in up to 20% longer workouts and more calorie-burn.  i personally like to jam out while lifting weights…it’s a great way to tune out (pun-intended) and ward off any gym-lurkers that may interrupt your workout.  same for cardio: a fast-paced playlist can pump up my run.  i LOVE my little nike ipod+ too…i retired it there for awhile since my sensor died, but alas i have a new one just in time to train for my first 1/2 marathon. 🙂

weight-lifting gloves
if you haven’t got the memo yet….strength training is a must.  and rather than go on and on about all the benefits i shall focus only on heart-health to stay on topic and avoid my blog, yet again, spanning 2 page lengths.  here’s the deal: you won’t bulk-up (ladies!)…if this is what you want to look like then lift weights…if you’d rather be thin with no muscle-tone then i will leave you to your 1/2 hour of elliptical that will in no way, shape, or form give you lean muscle.  [disclaimer: author does not claim to rock that body at this point in time, but still religiously follows a 5-day-a-week lifting schedule]  the american heart association recommends “moderate to high intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 or more days per week“.  so don those weight-lifting gloves or even these lynx grips (which i got courtesy of my sweet buyer at 24 hour fitness) to avoid nasty calluses and push some iron around the weight room.

gym-bag-friendly snacks 
i’m a big proponent of avoiding most processed or un-natural foods (in moderation, of course – my darling golden spoon) but you have to be prepared for emergency hunger attacks. and i’m sorry but greek yogurt with fresh berries do not cut it when i’m toting my gym bag in a hurry to squeeze in a workout before running off to meeting in less than an hour!  (whew!)  so i keep quick treats with me –  for emergencies only.  note: an emergency is not “hmmm…that yummy snack bar looks tasty and i’m stuck in traffic, so why not?”.  an emergency would be more like “i have to endure an hour of spin and need a quick snack to give me fuel”…or “i just rocked my workout and won’t be home for another 3 hours and i need to re-fuel the bod a.s.a.p.  capiche?  i’m a big fan of kashi golean bars (or anything kashi, for that matter).  the golean bars are higher in protein for good pre- and post-workout and a lot of their bars pack in heart-healthy nuts, dark chocolate, and whole oats.  all for under 200 calories and less than 10g of sugar!  other yummy options: kind bars, luna, or make your own at home – these are my ALL-TIME-FAVE-GO-TO RECIPE!

lastly, if i must say so myself…keep a fitbook with you at all times.  here’s why: 75% of fitbookers lost weight within the 1st 12 weeks of using one…and research shows you lose more than double the amount of weight if you write down your workouts and your food.  we all know that being overweight isn’t good for you – in fact, if someone is 40% or more overweight, they’re twice as likely to die from serious medical conditions, such as heart disease.  as you know, heart disease is the #1 killer of women (and men) – and overweight people are more likely to have high blood pressure and cholesterol – both precursors to a heart attack or stroke. but instead of focusing on the negative – let’s look at the positive, and that is this: losing just 5%-10% of your bodyweight is proven to decrease your chance of developing heart disease!  so if something as simple as writing it down works, do it.  you won’t hurt my feelings if you use a blank notebook – the important part is just writing it down, putting pen to paper. i just happen to be a bit biased that it’s the best fitness + nutrition journal out there (p.s. i’m not the only one!).

so there you have it: 5 must-haves to pack in your gym bag.  note: not one of the companies or products above know i’m even writing this, much-less paid me to say any of this. i’m a fairly opinionated critter and just talk about what i like…and if sharing it with you can help your heart, well then so be it.  do me a favor: take a quick minute to either GO RED and tell 5 people you know about the risks of heart disease AND forward the link to this blog post to them in the body of the message!

with all my HEART,


#’s to make your heart skip a beat!

i don’t like #’s.  i’m more of a creative, marketing-minded idea person and numbers just aren’t my thing (ask my accountant!).  i’m not number-illiterate by any means, but give me the choice between looking over inventory and production numbers and creating our fun monthly newsletter and i’ll take the newsletter any day!  but because numbers are a key indicator to the health of my business, trust me i’ve learned to “love” (relative-term) them enough so that i can continue to do what i love.  ignore the numbers…and adios fitlosophy.

the same goes with our health. there are key numbers that we have to know, understand, and monitor – regardless of how mundane it might be.  so let’s look at these numbers as the “financial statements” of our body – they are the key indicators of our overall health.  know these heart-healthy numbers ( and keep them in check…and your ticker will be in tip-top shape to enjoy the things you love in life.  because at the end of the day, this whole “being healthy” thing isn’t about what size jeans your wear – it’s about living life…and being healthy allows you to do just that.  alright…sharpen your pencils and take note:

30: # of minutes of exercise you should get per day at least 5 days per week
5:  # of servings of fruits +  veggies you should munch on each day
1500: # of mg sodium you should limit your intake to daily
200: max # your TOTAL (LDL + HDL) cholesterol level should be

130: max # your LDL (bad) cholesterol level should be – even lower if you’re at risk for heart-disease
 lowest # your HDL (good) cholesterol level should be – the higher the better (men should aim for 40)
120/80: # indicating your blood pressure – lower is better
150: max # your triglyceride levels should be
18.5 – 25: # that indicates a “healthy” BMI (body mass index) – calculate yours!
1-2: # of alcoholic beverages you should limit yourself to daily…1 for ladies, 2 for the gentlemen
0: as in zero, zilcho, NADA tobacco products…cigarettes, cigars (yes, they’re just as bad), chew (ew!)…all of it – bad.

phew! consider yourself educated and if you DON’T know your numbers, sign up and GO RED and you can get a free heart health kit and take their heart check-up online!  so now that your math lesson is over…let me give you a few more numbers to noodle that i’m overly proud to share.  …….drumroll please……. HERE are the official results from the 2nd annual BLOG YOUR HEART OUT day on february 11th!

25: # of total bloggers who rallied to blog about heart disease on BYHO day (that we know about! didn’t email us? send your link!)
12,683: # of people who read about BLOG YOUR HEART OUT on BYHO day via one of the 25 blogs!
480: # of women who chose to GO RED on BYHO DAY who then told 2400 MORE women about heart disease via the tell 5, save lives initiative.
22,946: # of tweeps that heard about #BLOGYOURHEARTOUT via twitter from the team of 5 BYHO bloggers and the @american_heart team.  [this doesn’t include all of OUR followers retweets, so the number is FAR beyond this – love the power of viral social media for a good cause!]
95,653: # of facebook fans that heard about BLOG YOUR HEART OUT via facebook from our team of 5 (sweet) bloggers and the american heart association’s fan page.

[learn more about our fab 5 bloggers…must-follows for sure. and a BIG shout-out to our tiny but might team that turned out these impressive numbers, if i might say so my self!]

lastly…if it weren’t for YOU…for reading blogs, tweeting & retweeting away, and telling 5 of your closest friends and family about heart disesase…there would be no reason for us to put our hearts into this.  so we shall give back.  we’ve chosen 5 bloggers (aside from our fab 5 BYHO bloggers – sorry ladies, you’re part of the official team) who we felt really encompassed what BLOG YOUR HEART OUT was all about.  each of those 5 bloggers will receive a FREE fitbook to giveaway on their blog to YOU!  so…one more drumroll… are the blogs you need to follow NOW and watch closely over the next few weeks (and follow on facebook + twitter) so you can get a fitbook to get (and keep) that bod of yours fit!  the winners are….

kerri from kat does diets (@katdoesdiets on twitter)
erica from knocked-upfitness + coreathletica (@coreathletica on twitter – or @knockeduptfit if you’re a mommy to be!)
jody from truth 2 being fit
shanna from my favorite everything (@myfaveverything on twitter)
jennifer from tiny oranges (@tinyorangesoc on twitter) 

congrats ladies…YOU ROCK!  post your fitbook giveaway in the next week – and blog to your little heart’s content.

with that, my head is rattled from all these numbers so i really must move onto something creative…like finalizing edits for the new and improved fitbook junior going to press next week!  have i mentioned how much i love what i do?  be watching your inbox too for our monthly newsletter coming out next week, packed full of recipes, a 14-minute do-anywhere workout, and quite possibly a 14% off promo for YOU!

with all my heart,

p.s. i really intend these blog posts to be brief – how ever do i go on for so long? beats me!


heart-healthy recipes: a treat for you!

for this year’s 2nd annual BLOG YOUR HEART OUT day i wanted to celebrate and share with you some yummy heart-healthy recipes to keep that ticker tockin’!  however, you know that i can’t just jump into giving you the recipes before sharing WHY (please refrain from scrolling down and read my blurb).  here’s the deal: women love fitbook – in fact almost 90% of our fitbookers are ladies.  now – you may or may not know that heart disease is the #1 killer of women – it actually takes the lives of more women every year than the next 5 causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer.  whoa – scary huh?  so we at fitlosophy have decided to make a difference by using social media to rally bloggers around the world to drive women online to GO RED.  our hearts are in this and after winning an award from the american heart association last year, we’re back and better than ever! 

5 bloggers.  5 weeks.  our mission: tell 5, save lives.

so i could rattle off all the scary stats about heart disease, but that’s frankly quite depressing.  let’s focus on this: 80% of all cardiac events by women are PREVENTABLE by increasing exercise, eating healthier, and putting out those stinky ciggs!  this is why we’re on board – because at fitlosophy, our goal is to help others live life fit – and if we can do that, well then we can help save lives.  little effort, BIG IMPACT!

alas! here are the recipes for you – my treat, well kinda: 1 is from the american heart association’s recipe collection so i can’t take credit. but i am sharing MY morning oatmeal recipe which is heart-healthy and oh-so-yummy!

cherry pie oatmeal a la mode
this recipe touts 2 of the top 5 foods to lower your cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease: oats & walnuts!
serves: 1

  • 1/2c oats
  • 1/2c non-fat milk or almond milk
  • 1/2c water
  • 1/2c de-pitted fresh cherries
  • a sprinkle of walnuts
  • dash of stevia or honey (to taste)
  • dollop of non-fat greek yogurt on top!

combine all ingredients in a bowl and microwave for 2m. wanna go a la mode and add a little extra protein? add a dollop of non-fat greek yogurt. seriously like cherry pie in a bowl – ENJOY!

chicken with red wine sauce (from AHA recipe collection)
perfect for a heart-healthy, lovey-dovey dinner for 2 for valentine’s day…or any day really – vino is good ANY day!
serves 2:

  • 1 slice turkey bacon, chopped
  • 6 small button mushrooms
  • 6 pearl onions or shallots
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tbsp no-salt-added tomato pasted
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • dash of salt
  • 1 medium bay leaf
  • 8 oz. skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • pepper to taste
  1. in a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat for 5m…add mushrooms, onion & garlic and cook for another 5m, stirring occasionally. 
  2. meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the wine, broth, tomato paste, oregano, thyme, salt and bay leaf. place the chicken in the skillet with the mushroom mixture and pour the wine mixture over the chicken. 
  3. increase heat to high and bring to a boil. reduce heat to and simmer covered for 35-40m until chicken is tender – then transfer chicken to plates, reserve the liquid, and remove the bay leaf.
  4. put flour in small bowl and pour about 1/8c  reserved cooking liquid, stirring until smooth.
  5. pour mixture into skillet, increase heat to medium and cook for 5-10m until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly.
  6. season with pepper, return chicken to skillet, reduce heat to low and cook covered for 5m.
  7. serve with a side of veggies and glass of vino – enjoy!

want more heart-healthy recipes?  get a copy of the new cookbook from the American Heart Association: No-Fad Diet – a Personal Plan for Healthy Weight Loss!

there you go 2 recipes…just for you!  now, if you made it to the bottom of my post, which only my loyal readers do (due to my long-windedness…and yes that’s a word), you might just get a free fitbook. here’s the deal:  (and i’m trusting you on this one) you MUST click the BYHO badge above or click here and TELL 5 other women about the risks of heart disease.  (scout’s honor, here people!) then post a comment below and tell me 1) one thing you’re going to do each day for the next 5 days to be heart healthyand 2) the first names of the 5 women you signed up!   i’ll pick my fave and send you a fitbook to help you reach those goals.  

with all my HEART,


bloggin’ my heart out (again!)

it’s with great joy that i am back and bloggin’ for a cause for the american heart association as we kick off the 2nd annual BLOG YOUR HEART OUT initiative!  this award-winning (yeah, that’s right!) passion project is back again and better than ever.  here’s why i’m so stoked about BYHO 2011:

  • i love marketing, themes…anything that i can create a campaign out of and i’m a happy camper.  this year the AHA’s main mission is to get each woman to go red and in the process, tell another 5 women.  numbers…oooo…they are great for themes!  hence, the creation of our 5-themed campaign to support the AHA:  5 bloggers. 5 weeks.  tell 5 – save lives.  (sweet, right?)
  • while heart disease is the #1 killer of all women, higher percentages of hispanic and african american women are affected by this silent but deadly disease.  it’s with great joy that we welcome shay sorrells (from nbc’s the biggest loser) and ana cabán (with her line of best-selling dvd’s and creator of ‘la buena life’) to the BLOG YOUR HEART OUT team of bloggers.  they join BYHO alumni miss joanna sutter from fitness & spice and sahar aker from fatfighterTV who were pivotal in making BYHO 2010 a huge success!  and yours truly rounds out the team of 5 bloggers that kick off BYHO 2011 on february 1st.
  • as i already may have mentioned (ok, yes – bragged about) above – the BYHO campaign caught the attention of the american heart association at the national level last year and we were given an award for our efforts.  this sets the bar even higher to exceed our numbers last year, tell even more women, and get even MORE bloggers on board for BLOG YOUR HEART OUT day on february 11th!  here’s our benchmark (from last year) – remember, it’s all about setting goals right?
    • we blogged our way through 12 weeks of betterU reaching over 40,000 thousand people reading the BYHO blogs (3389 daily avg blog views)  
    • approximately 2517 joined the GO RED movement
    • the BYHO team of 5 bloggers tallied 1726  blog views on the official BYHO blogs on the first ever BLOG YOUR HEART OUT day!  in addition 19 other bloggers joined in and our combined efforts resulted in over 458 people joining the GO RED movement in one day.
    • for more in-depth stats on the program, check out the press

so before my blog gets too long (which you know it always does) – i want to make note of a few important things…and then ask that you join us in making noise for the next 5 weeks about heart disease:

  • red is the best color in the world.  (trust me).  so wear it loud and proud this FRIDAY, february 4th for national wear red day in support of the american heart association.  me – i’m going to be donning my red patent stilettos that santa brought me for christmas and sporting those with a chic red top, topped off with cherry red lipstick.  head-to-toe.  yeah, that’s gonna be me.
  • speaking of stilettos… if you live in los angeles, consider yourself a lucky one. macy’s and the american heart association are holding the first ever stiletto strut at the glendale galleria on thursday, february 3rd at 11am. rumor has it there will be prizes for highest heels, sexiest strut, and even best male strutter! 
  • mark your calendars! attention all bloggers, blogger wannabees, and anyone that’s, well – human. don’t even know what a blog is? great time to start one!  plan to BLOG YOUR HEART OUT with us on friday, february 11th (next week) on BLOG YOUR HEART OUT DAY.  it’s easy: blog about heart disease, how it has affected you or someone you love, or heck, just blog about why you love the color red.  i don’t care: just do it! want more info? click here for details.

so here goes a fab five weeks that will give you and hopefully many others some insight into how together we can fight heart disease. from recipes and workouts to just stories about how it’s affected my life, i promise to give you some good stuff.  only thing i ask from you: tell 5 other women!

with all my heart,

February 2011
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