Author Archive for angela mader


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(still) bloggin’,


mile-by-mile: musings + misery

yes, i did it. i completed my first half-marathon this past sunday. [note: 2013 new year’s resolution goal…check!] for those of you unfamiliar with this addictive world of running, a marathon is an ungodly 26.2 miles, with a half-marathon being, well half that: 13.1. this fact alone just irks me. why call it a half? it belittles my very accomplishment. like, well i’m not quite as good because i just did half. not cool. i mean shorter triathlons they call “sprint tris”. i am therefore proclaiming that a half-marathon should be renamed so as to restore some bit of dignity to those of us that still wake up at the crack of dawn to run our little hearts out for thirteen miles. thirteen-point-one to be exact. don’t forget that point one. that lil’ sucker might be the hardest of the entire race.

so here are my mile-by-mile musings of my still-to-be-renamed-shorter-than-a-marathon-but-still-a-big-deal race:

before: all smiles

before: all smiles

on your marks: the energy is infectious at the starting line, especially with my young whipper-snapper of a boyfriend who i swear wakes up with a smile slapped on his face every single day. i only say this in envy as i am so not a morning person. but this particular morning i was chipper, regretting my inability to fall or  stay asleep, but excited nonetheless. today i wasn’t running for time (okay, i’m still competitive): i was running for momma. the gun fires: we’re off!

mile 1: ego check
wow, my heel hurts. oh and my hamstring. i really should have slept more. why does my heel hurt? my heel has never hurt! oh great. ok body: don’t fail me now. just go numb – you’ve got a ways to go. and why are people passing me? like the dude that is wearing converse and the chick with the pink tu-tu is passing me. pace yourself, ang, don’t worry about anyone else around you. at 7:55 pace you need to keep your ego in check and focus on your race.

mile 2: dear lord
my sweet boyfriend (kevin) breaks into prayer: thankfully we both keep our eyes open. um, dear God please help us make it through this race. i mean, we’re solid…we got this, but it’s never a bad idea to have J-man on your side for good measure.

mile 3: slow your roll
hey, kevbo, you’re flying at 7:30 and i know it stinks royally to have the dudes passing us but trust me: we gotta pace ourselves! at least we have a view of the ocean. talk to me: let’s distract each other because we have a ways to go. and honey, slow down.

mile 4: we got this
seriously, we’re solid…way outrunning the 1:50 pacers behind us and already left the 2:00 hour pacers in the dust at the finish line. ha!

mile 5: and away they go
the 1:50 pacers, that is. bye-bye. but we’re on your tail. and what’s with the pacers being sponsored by “snail’s pace”. way to boost my self-esteem when the snails are passing me by!

my boyfriend: the puma hunter

my boyfriend: the puma hunter

mile 6: c’mon baby
you got this! kev hits his wall so we slow to a walk through the water station for a (very) quick pit stop as he rips off his shirt to get his second wind, and away we go. i was so NOT complaining. *whistle*

mile 7: *smack*
that’s the sound of me hitting my wall. luckily kev had recovered from his and i wish i could’ve ripped my shirt off, but that’s just not very lady like. instead i make a quick detour to the lovely port-a-potty en route, cursing that i’d drank too much gatorade somewhere along the way.

mile 8: strategy sets in
when physical energy starts to wane, mental mapping takes over: we chart out our strategy to get through the next 5 miles. “pace it baby”. i think i said that about ten times and i promise you that is no technical running term. let’s just keep miles 8-11 at a 9:00 pace, nice and easy, and then we’ll kill the last 2 miles. okay?

mile 9: nice and easy?
there are times a 9:00 pace is nice and easy – and this is not one of them. slowing down to 9:30 at times, we’re struggling to just keep pushing through but luckily we have some down hills to our advantage. free fall your legs…enjoy the pace. see that hill ahead? enjoy the the jaunt downhill while it lasts…pain is right up ahead. hmm, metaphor for life, perhaps?

mile 10: holy hill.
while i dominate hills for some reason, i still hate them with a passion. i think it’s the fighter in me. i see a hill, tuck my head down, and lean into it. you’re so not going to conquer me. and off i go, with a pace of about 8:30 up the longest hill known to man (okay only about 3/4 mile). keep going girl, you got this…don’t stop til you get to the top.

mile 11: help me!
post-hill with only 2 miles to go, my theory on man-handling the hill seems to have turned around and kicked my butt. chest pounding, side-stitches, and a little dizzy: i can’t go anymore. “help me” i cried out to kevin a few times, not knowing what exactly i wanted him to do for me, but i cried out nonetheless. c’mon babe…we’re almost there, he would coach me as i would slow to a trot….i’d pull ahead and then i would look back and he was slowing to a walk right behind me. we yo-yo’d our encouragement just to get through, pushing each other that we only had 2 miles to go!

my running angel: julz!

my running angel: julz!

mile 12: running angel
shuffling my feet and turning the corner with just a mile to go, the end was in sight but my body was not having it. and about then i hear kevin yell out: “julz!” my dear sweet friend had ran the 5k earlier that morning, finished, and ran backward on the half-marathon route to come find us and run us in. maybe i was a bit delusional, but i swear i had visions of little white wings and a halo with nikes on. you’re right on pace – “you look strong…you guys can do this” she cheered and all i heard was “whah-whah whah-whah, whah-whah whah-whah”. it was a blur. the only thing that kept me running was knowing that she’d come for me and i didn’t want to let her down. “go ahead kevin” she yelled at him (later he told me, he was just fine at the pace he was but he had to speed up with her yelling that). he sped up, the little speed-demon, and she whispered to me: “don’t let him lose you!”

mile 13: all heart
we turned the corner with the finish line in sight and julz gave me a running push: go get it girl! and off i went. numb legs, but full heart, knowing that i could do this. knowing that i wanted to finish with kev, he was about 50 feet in front of me and somehow i dug deep, put my little noodle legs in gear, and ran my tail off.

after: exhausted + exhilarated!

after: exhausted + exhilarated!

point 1: for momma
wanting to cry and shout all at the same time, i was right on his tail: “babe!” he turned, and about 20 feet before the finish line we sprinted across the finish line for an emotionally exhausting finish. our goal was to finish in under 2 hours and our four tuckered out legs crossed that finish line at 1:57:04 with an average pace of 8:37 which even impressed us.

we didn’t do this to beat anyone (although we’re highly competitive). we didn’t run it to get in shape for summer (however that’s a nice byproduct). we ran this one: for momma.

i know you’re proud momma: look at your little girl go. and i promise i’ll get a pedicure to pamper my little tired feet. red toes, just for you momma.

all for you momma

all for you momma

with love,
angela marie


this one’s for momma.

to say that writing this blog post is tough is quite an understatement. it was just over 2 months ago that i was HEARTbroken to learn thamom+met my sweet momma had been diagnosed with leukemia. february 10th to be exact.  and a very quick 18 days later she went to be with Jesus. i had all the faith in the world that if anyone could kick cancer’s butt, it was my stubborn, healthy mom. turns out she had a very rare, fast-acting form of cancer, FLT3 which is a mutant of AML. maybe some day i can share more, but it’s still so fresh. i’ve went from full of peace and joy that she’s not in pain to anger and sadness that my best friend is now gone. and somewhere in between those two ranges of emotions is numbness: where i spend most my days. and i don’t share my story about my mom for pity.  or for sympathy even. i share it to be real.

see i haven’t been in the mood to blog about getting fit for summer. or to ramble on for pages about losing those last five pounds.  because to me, that hasn’t been my reality.  my new reality is learning to live my life without my mom who i talked to every single day…taking care of my family as best i can from 1700 miles away…getting out of bed on days when i don’t feel like it…sorting through emotions that creep in and out of my mind that leave me feeling exhausted…trying to understand why i’m almost giddy happy on some days and not feeling guilty….imagining my future without my mother when i still feel like i need her. that is my reality. and next to probably the most amazing friends and family and a very merciful God, the only thing that’s gotten me through is doing what i do best: take action.

so here’s a weird coincidence that i just now realized: the very day i signed up for and blogged about committing to my first half-marathonwas the very same day i found out about my mom: february 10th.  like, i hit publish in wordpress right before i got in my car to head to the gym, called mom and dad… and got the news.  and now, 12 weeks later i sit here the night before reflecting on what has transpired.  only 2 weeks into my training program, i dropped everything to go back to be with mom, then in less than 24 hours of my arriving she was gone. the next 4 weeks were a blur spent in colorado with my family with the last thing on my mind being running or training. a few therapeutic runs here and there, but training, not exactly. upon returning to some semblance of life in california i found running to be the very outlet i needed to process the pain, deal with the depression, and connect with God and my mom. at first the running was more out of distraction and honestly a fear that if i didn’t train for the half-marathon i’d already committed to, i would either not be able to finish, or die trying.  and in the process i found healing in those morning runs all by myself; joy in the sense of accomplishment with each long run conquered.  only 6 weeks consistent training under my mizunos, i shall lace up my sneakers tomorrow at 6:15am not to win…not to prove anything…but to run with all my heart for my mom.

i love you momma…your girl wants to make you proud.



pre-fuel to BOOST your workout!

determination will get you far in the gym, but nutrition is the foundation to training success. while breakfast steals the spotlight as the “most important meal of the day” (which, yes, it is) – what you put in your body right before those killer workouts is arguably even more important when setting out to reach your fitness goals. having the right amount of protein + carbs before your workouts will not only help you go longer and be stronger, but will also help your body recover and prep for your next gym session. the tough part: knowing what to eat + when to eat it in order to fuel your body to crush your workout!

you’re in luck: we’ve got the details on what to consume, when to fuel up, and why!

click here to head over to EBOOST to learn all there is to know about pre-workout fueling.  then check out our facebook challenge for the chance to win!

p.s. my guest blog post may contain proper capitalization… prepare yourself.  🙂



a HEART-warming story.

it seems like there’s a “day” out there for everything. like, did you know there’s a national organizer’s day (yes, ocd-ers unite) and a national PIN_BYHO-SaveTheDatelowercase day (holla!)? and oh, by the way, yours truly happens to be born on national stick-to-your-resolutions day. ironic? i think not.  so, i took it upon myself 3 years ago to create national BLOG YOUR HEART OUT DAY in an effort to help spREaD the word about heart disease.  someday, hallmark will recognize this holiday. until then i have joined forces with the American Heart Association and Go Red For Women, as well as our 4 fab featured bloggers to rally bloggers around the WORLD to blog to their heart’s desire on this one day.

here’s a fact: heart disease is the #1 killer of women. and fact: nearly 90% of fitlosophy’s customers are women. hence,  it’s a cause near + dear to our hearts.  do you dabble in blogging or do it for a living?  blog already.  have friends who blog?  tell them to join – everybody’s doing it.  then, hop on twitter and rally anybody and everybody to join us for a tweetchat with GoRedForWomen and AHA at 11am PST TODAY (02/22) to #GORED.   there will be giveaways, sharing of stats + facts, polls…did i already mention giveaways?  look for #BYHO2013.

i could ramble on (which i usually do) but i received an email today that warmed my heart.  what was meant to be a heartfelt email to us about her love of fitbook, opened my eyes to the seriousness of heart disease. read on to see how one of our very own fitbookers was affected and the actions she took to change her life. be inspired.

“This email has been a long time coming. I wanted to share my story and let you know that fitbook has honestly changed my life. I’ve been with you since day 1, when the very first fitbook was released and I’ve gone through many, many fitbooks!  My brother passed away at 30 years old from a heart attack that was shown to be correlated with his high-fat, high-sugar diet and sedentary lifestyle. He had the heart of 70 year old. Before he died, he took me aside and said I had to change my lifestyle or I would end up like him. I was determined to make a change

I picked up a fitbook on a whim while at Target and little did I know how life-changing it would be! Keeping a fitbook journal of my lifestyle was transformative. It kept me accountable. It revealed my habits and behaviors. It made my goals more realistic. It helped me see what worked and didn’t work.  Because of my new lifestyle, I am much healthier– physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. 

I lost my house in a recent fire and though this house fire was devastating to my entire life, the healthy emotional and mental gains that fitbook helped me achieve has given me the strength and positivity to get through this dire time. You’ve gained a fitbook customer for a lifetime.   

You, fitbook, and the fitbook team are truly a blessing. Fitbook has been a tool that has helped empower me to become the healthiest person I can be and I am truly, truly thankful for that. I am much more in control of my life now and I know my brother is smiling down on me each day. Just wanted to share my story. Keep up the great work, fitbook!”

thank YOU vanessa for sharing your story…warming my heart…but more importantly inspiring others to make a REAL change in the fight against heart disease.

bless your heart.

p.s. wanna know how YOU can make a difference? click the BYHO badge on this page to learn more. now, go BLOG your little HEARTS OUT!



i’m supposed to be BLOGGING MY HEART OUT right now to spread awareness around heart disease. and i can’t.  not right now. (but i will) right now my lil’ heart hurts because of another nasty disease. heart disease may be the #1 killer of women, above all cancers combined, but cancer has hit way too close to home and right now has consumed my focus. broken my heart.

on my way to the gym monday night i called my momma to check in on her. and i knew immediately that something was very wrong. i 536415_10150958482901772_1621159232_npulled my car over and sobbed as she and dad told me that she had just been diagnosed with leukemia.

my mom. cancer.  i have felt pain in my life and nothing could compare to hearing that heartbreaking news – it terrified me to my core. and still does. she is my best friend. how can this be happening? it shook me. something that always seemed sad but so foreign to me had just i

nvaded my life in a whole new way.  being 1700 miles away, i felt so helpless and panicky, anxious and alone. and through the outpouring of support and endless stories of survival, the only thing that calms me is hearing her sweet voice and praying over her. she’s such a trooper.  with sense of humor well in tact and still her same stubborn self,  this whole experience has put life in perspective in one quick moment. it has deepened my faith and walk with God and has already strengthened our family. see i don’t think God did this, but i know He has the power to heal her and use this for good. and so i shall try to share parts of my momma’s story in hopes that it can help others. and just in this short time, here’s what i’m learning through all of this.

what really matters
calling my dear friend marcia for support, i reached out to her because she knows cancer all too well.  overcoming ovarian cancer at a young age, she went on to create, which is a free resource for cancer patients and caregivers.  through the tears, i had to laugh as she told me that: “people who’s biggest problem in life is those last five pounds really have it good.” and that hit home. while being healthy is important, in one instant it put everything and everyone in my life in perspective. i get cranky when i miss a workout or when my pants get a tad bit snug. i stress about my business and gripe about traffic. it clicked for me that nothing really matters in this life except our loved ones who are here today and could be gone tomorrow.  what would it look like to live a life around what truly matters?
RED tip: love your family? then be there for them. because all they really want and need is you. heart disease IS the #1 killer of women so if you don’t make the choice to get healthy for yourself, do it for them. trust me. all i want is my momma healthy and well. instead of dreading workouts, fit in 3 30-minute walks per week with a loved one and you lower your risk of heart disease by 30%.   do it for the one’s  you love.

lose control
God bless my momma, all my life she’s been a worrier. a class stress case, and she knows it. not one to ever give up control, i am a perfect example that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. but now, she (and we) are faced with something that leaves her no option. and it’s a beautiful thing. the woman who always has everything under control has gracefully given it to God. we don’t know why she got this nasty disease – she’s very healthy for the most part. but if i had to guess the one thing that could’ve done it – it would be stress.  and what was my response to this very dire news? like momma, like daughter, i panicked. anxiety set in. and then the same woman who i learned that response from was the one to calm me. told me to give it to God. and pray. it’s not in our control.
RED tip: relax. stress is the leading cause of so many diseases, including cancers and heart disease, because it weakens your bodies immune system through elevated cortisol levels. it stressed me out (ha!) to learn that you have a 40% higher risk of having a heart attack just by having a high stress job. you may not be able to control your work or every stressful situation you’re facing, but you can control your response to it. personally, the primary reason i workout is to handle stress. my latest find: yoga. studies show that people who regularly practice yoga have significantly lower blood pressure which is a key indicator of heart disease.

listen to your body – and act (quickly)
only time will tell how soon we caught the cancer, but luckily mom went to the hospital fairly quickly. she went in thinking she had a serious bout of the flu. i wish. she is high energy. like she can out-shop me any day of the week.  she doesn’t miss a day of work. she’s for the most part a very healthy and beautiful 50-ish (i’m not outin’ ya ma!) woman. but for about a week she had extremely low energy, was really nauseous, and after powering through a few days at work, she finally called in sick.  by the time the weekend rolled around, dad took her to the hospital. with stubbornness running rampant in our genes, luckily she knew her body well enough and responded.
RED tip: know your body and know the signs. dizzy, shortness of breath, nausea, chest pain, heart palpitations – all signs of heart disease. but less than 1/3 of women feel chest pain as strong as men do which is why twice as many women die from heart disease.  so i’m all for being a strong woman, but don’t be stupidly stubborn. get to a doctor quick and you have a 90% chance of surviving a heart attack.

get healthy – for health’s sake
she is taking chemo like a champ.  when she checked into the hospital her white blood cell count was up around 300,000.  i learned that most leukemia patients go in around 100,000, hence the team of doctors working 24-7 to get her blood count down. after the first day of chemo they got her down to 100,000…then 60,000…down to 9000…and now, she’s at 3000 (thank God). apparently her liver is holding up to the treatments beautifully, which can be a concern with chemo.  i’m no doctor but my guess as to why she’s doing so well is because she’s overall a darn good picture of health. she’s always on the go (you can’t get that woman to sit down!)…she’s at a healthy body weight (even though she gripes about her thighs)…she gets regular check-ups…she doesn’t smoke and i don’t think she even had a glass of wine until she was well into her forties (at my coercing).  she jokingly told the nurse not to leave any marks on her when he was taking the bone marrow sample; she didn’t want him to ruin her career as a bikini model!  funny, yes.  but isn’t that so true? we worry about the physical part of being healthy – not so much the health part of being healthy.
RED tip: you may want to lose 5 or 50lbs because you want to fit in your jeans, and what ever it takes to motivate you, so be it. but aside from losing your muffin top, you’ll be gaining your health.  and that’s priceless. did you know that carrying extra belly fat increases your risk of dying from heart disease by 3 times? and stop smoking already – you increase the risk by 2-4 times.

take action
whether it’s cancer or heart disease, the truth is that they are both serious. they both take lives. cancer is the second leading cause of death, second only to heart disease which kills more than 800,000 americans every year with more than half of those being women. all i can do for my momma is love her…pray for her…and give it to God. and all i can do for heart disease is my (small) little part in helping to spread the word with BLOG YOUR HEART OUT.  if i’ve learned anything through this it’s that life is precious and i’m choosing to make some sort of difference. big or small.
RED tip:  so join me, won’t you? BLOG YOUR HEART OUT this friday- just blog about heart disease. learn how easy it can be to do one little thing that could make a BIG difference.

and my momma? she’s gonna be just fine. i’m learning that all i can do is trust God through this. lift her up in prayer every moment of the day and have amazing FAITH that she is His little girl – He’s got this.  between God and mom’s spunky, stubborn self, Cancer doesn’t know who it’s messin’ with!

with all my HEART,



i did it.  in true angela-style, i am an absolute procrastinator: all signed up with 12 weeks (yes, one fitbook) to train. and not one day more.  nonetheless i signed up for my (very first) orange county half-marathon.  my love of running goes way back to when i was in high school and started going on long runs on the back roads in the country.  it was my escape.  whether it was a scorching hot summer day or a windy misty morning, i craved hitting the ditch-bank behind my house and scampering for miles, hearing nothing but my feet pound the dirt.  and while i somehow loved the isolation, i also adored my long runs with my dad who would hop on his bike to keep me company and ride alongside slowly. i’ll never forget: he got me my first subscription to runner’s world magazine and that was the beginning of my love affair.  one that would continue throughout high school, into college, and well into my adult years. and then almost two years ago (wow how time flies), yours truly gracefully broke her tailbone – in two places. [note: the author does not wish to revisit how this injury occured to avoid any further humiliation, so if you wish to know, you must read “falling flat on your a**: it happens”]  that not only quickly ended my running, but put my entire heiny on hiatus for a good year.  and even now i have days where it might hurt, but i’m officially declaring myself healed and in celebration of that i’m doing what i’ve always wanted to do for years. run a half.

and here’s my why: it’s 3-fold.

  1. for my boys: partly inspired my business partner + dear friend,  he is running the boston marathon in october to celebrate his 60th birthday!  his energy is infectious and seeing him set such a definable goal and be working every day toward it excites me.  plus, he’s paving the way for me, giving me tips, tools + a training plan.  then somehow i bribed my boyfriend to sign-up for the half with me too, and it’s on.  now i’m trying to convince both of them to run with me a few days a week.  i figure having someone to entertain me will make the miles will go by faster…so between the two of them, there will be plenty of miles to cover.
  2. for my HEART:  as part of BLOG YOUR HEART OUT 2013, i’m having the proceeds of my half-marathon go to the american heart association to further spREaD the word about heart disease being the #1 killer of women. plus, as part of this marathon you can choose to supp
  3. ort kids run the o.c. which pays for one child to run, as well as supports the cause of inspiring kids to fitness.  both causes near + dear to my HEART: women + lil’ ones. and i will run my half WHOLE-heartedly for both.
  4. for me:  it’s been awhile since i’ve started + finished something that truly made me proud of me.   and i want that. that satisfaction of saying “this is what i’m gonna do” and do  it.  so, this is what i’m gonna do!

i mean frankly, i’m just proud of myself for signing up:  it was one of my 2013 #iamMORE goals.  i’ve had the browser open to the registration page for 4 weeks. and i finally clicked, paid, and it’s on.  no turning back.  so exactly 12 weeks from now, on cinco de mayo, i’ll be a runnin’ son-of-a-gun. i may be limpin’ across the finish line, but i’ll be smiling (and perhaps sipping a skinny margarita) to celebrate my accomplishment!



drinking for HEART health.

no, i do not have a drinking problem. except when it comes to coffee, that is.  okay, and maybe wine.  and nothing makes my HEART more happy than knowing that sipping them can be good for my health too.  but is there a catch?  yes. yes, there is.  the headlines may read “coffee heart benefits maybe be greater than thought” and “red wine and reservatrol: good for your heart“, but as all news that flitters about, there’s always a flipside. a catch, if you will.  and trust me, i’m not one to want to burst anyone’s bubble – especially about two of my liquid loves, but here’s my insight on enjoying the heart-healthy benefits, sans the weighty side-effects.

coffee + cream + calories…oh my!coffeeheart
let’s get the facts straight first: coffee does have heart healthy benefits! (amen, hallelujah)  in fact, drinking 1-2 cups per day may lower your risk of heart disease by as much as 11%. other studies have found that your risk of diabetes lowers by 9% for every cup of coffee you consume.  and here’s what i want to know: what kind of coffee? like are we talking black coffee or espresso, or do the lattes and “cup-accinos” (as my sweet great grandma used to call them) count to? i’m going to guess that the heart health benefits wane a bit when you indulge in a grande vanilla latte that may only have 250 calories, but hello 32g of sugar!  go skinny, you say? well calories may drop to 120 and sugar to 16g, but the downside of that is that taking in artificial sweeteners actually TRICKS your body into thinking its taking in calories that it doesn’t receive, so you actually consume MORE calories later on! ouch.  all that said, let’s say you enjoy a special bev from the ‘bux once a week. no big deal, enjoy. but if you want the heart healthy benefits, which means consuming a cup-o-joe every day, you’ll want to reconsider what you’re sippin daily.  this one hit home for me.

truth is that so often we (and by we, i mean me) set these big pie-in-the-sky goals and yet we’re unwilling to make the daily changes that are required to get there.  case in point: i gave up cream in my coffee. yes, i’ve been “clean” now for almost 4 weeks. i didn’t want to. i love my cream. and we’re not talking half-and-half or almond milk, it’s cream – as in the good stuff.  but what i realized is that while i’m all about enjoying most things (in moderation), this one daily habit was standing between me and my goals.  so i went black. no sugar…cream…nada.  except cinnamon.  i’m no calorie counter, but i did the math: there are 50 calories in 1 tbsp. and i do not use 1…more like 4…on a good day.  that’s 250 calories in my daily coffee…that’s 1400 calories a week.  that meant that making NO other change to my daily habits, i would lose 1 lb in 2 weeks.  so, news break: i’ve lost 3.  yep, one small change. one daily habit…a small tweak that is a little sacrifice that to be honest, doesn’t even phase me now. i’ve actually learned that i like the flavor of coffee. and this is coming from a recovering cream addict!  the beauty of it: i get the heart health benefits of coffee, sans the guilt.

my love for wine is live and well (in moderation), however consumption dwindles when my sights are set on reaching health goals.  don’t get me wrong, i love my vino – and after a few weeks of indulging in italy i had to dial it back a bit to lose my souvenir 5lbs i brought home on my backside.  don’t get me wrong, it was a beautiful thing.  a glass of pinot grigio with lunch overlooking the arno river…a bold brunello while gazing at the vineyards…and maybe a late night chianti in a wine bar on some street in florence. *sigh*  but, as with all things, too much of a good thing is well, too much.  cue the super-snug jeans.  and aside from the new-found love handles you might find when imbibing daily, research has found that drinking too much red wine (or alcohol in general) can have a negative effect on your health. go figure!  yes, the reservatrol…the flavenoids…the antioxidants – they are a beautiful thing.  in fact having 1 glass a day can improve heart health by as much as 30% over non-drinkers. specifically, it increases your HDL (good cholesterol), lowers your LDL (bad cholesterol), and reduces the formation of blood clots.  however, drink too much and research shows you risk increasing your blood pressure and developing cardiomopathy, which is basically a weakened heart.  that’s what the doctors say, anyway.  and i’m not doctor but i’m smart enough to figure out that too much wine makes my pants tight. which makes me cranky. and well, that’s just no good for anyone! (ask my boyfriend)

so as i continue to BLOG MY HEART OUT to spread the word about heart disease, hopefully you find one tidbit of useful info. like, how to drink for heart health.

sip up (in moderation)!



love RED [with all my heart]

red. oh, where do i begin? i love it. it’s sassy. it commands attention. and it’s also mushy + lovey.  oddly, those kinda describe me.  my mom has called me ‘sassy britches’ (for as long as i can remember)…i absolutely crave attention from those i love (youngest of 2, not my fault), and i’m a sucker for love (yep, big softie).   and while i could go on (and on) about me + my love for red, that really adds no value to anyone’s life whatsoever.

but this does: today is GO RED day. and why? how can wearing one (fabulous) color on one single day make a difference?  oh, it can. it’s amazing what can be accomplished when passionate people join together and make noise.  and it will be noisy as we join forces with american heart association + go red for women to kick off our 3rd annual BLOG YOUR HEART OUT campaign.  the message behind this ultra-viral, social media-driven initiative is to rally others to spREaD the word about heart disease.

how?  not only are we harnessing the viral nature of social media to tweet/facebook/pin to our little hearts’ content, but we’re featuring 4 fab bloggers who have a heart for helping others to blog throughout february to raise awareness.  and together, we are rallying bloggers around the world to join us to blog about heart disease on one day. yep, one day. major noise.  ok, so random blog-reader, how can YOU get involved. well, i’m so glad you asked. here’s a little exercise (ok, no calories are burned, but it’s worthwhile):

i am a:

  • fabulous woman. [woo hoo!  YOU are why we’re doing this.]BLOG YOUR HEART OUT
    take (heart) action steps:
    1. wear red.  it’s fabulous, just like you. so sport it. pull out your red pumps, heck don your red boa for all i care, but please just use this one day as a reason to rock your red.
    2. go red.  it takes 30 seconds to join the movement + in return you get a 5-step action plan from the american heart  association. based on your profile, they provide a sweet step-by-step personalized plan for preventing heart disease, which is the NUMBER ONE killer of women, more than all forms of cancer combined. scary, right?
    3. spREaD the word. tell women in your life about the risks of heart disease. it’s easy.  share this blog post, share a link on facebookretweet, , PIN, or go old-school and just have a convo!  and repeat after me: “go to!”
  • blogger. [or just one-who-blogs, like yours truly.]
    take (heart) action steps:
    1. please see steps 1-3 above, plus…
    2. blog your heart away.  join us on february 22nd, 2013 for the 3rd annual BLOG YOUR HEART DAY and  post a blog on 02/22 about heart disease. p.s. there’s something in it for you. we will pick the top 4 posts to win amazing giveaway goodies, plus be recognized in our national press release. [learn more here on how to join]
    3. tweet it. mark your calendars (again, 02/22) to join a very noisy tweetchat on BYHO DAY at 11am PST. join this very heart-warming cause to raise awareness on one day – look for hashtag #BYHO2013 and follow @fitbook, @american_heart, and @goredforwomen.
  • human being. [please, leave a comment if this doesn’t apply to you as i could use a good laugh.]
    take (heart) action steps:
    1. move for 30research shows you can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease just by being active for 30 minutes per day. that doesn’t mean a grueling sweat session (although it is advised to get your heart pumpin’)…but this could mean a quick 10-minute brisk walk in the morning, one at lunch, and one after dinner. every little bit adds up!
    2. eat 5fruits + veggies, that is.  try RED ones just for fun today: tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon, beets, bell peppers, apples…and right there you’re packin’ in some major antioxidants, lycopene + hearty-healthy nutrients.
    3. get healthysee your doc, check your cholesterol + blood pressure, and take action. do you need to lose weight? stop smoking? 80% of heart attacks are preventable just by improving your health.

so why? why, oh why would we do this?  well aside from my obvious love of red, no that is not my motivating factor. 2 things:

my family means the world to me. and with heart disease prevalent on both sides of my family, i wanna do all i can to keep those i love around for a long time to come. and do what i can to do the same for my (future) little ones. at the end of the day, all that really matters is those we love.

my passion is my company, but more importantly, my customers. or as i lovingly call them, my fitbookers.  and with over 90% of our customers being women, i see it not as an obligation, but my very real responsibility to raise awareness around the #1 threat to their health. see, it doesn’t matter if we have a small group of people with 6-pack-poppin’ abs, if we have an even larger group of women who are at risk for losing their lives. this is a serious matter and one that i’m whole-heartedly committed to.

so with that: join me for the next month as i BLOG (my) HEART OUT.

join me, won’t you?
[if that’s a yes, leave a comment with how YOU are taking one or all of the take (heart) action steps above. i’ve been known to give away fun things when someone or something touches my heart.]

with all my HEART,


PREP SCHOOL 101: session #3

you still with me, class? you’ve now planned + prepped.  the final course in PREP SCHOOL 101 is packing portions.  not gonna lie, i’m pretty excited that we’re giving away a 6 pack bag, fitbook + lil’ red food scale and pssst….i hope one of you wins!  i don’t do giveaways, never have…not even a blogger, really. but when i had the chance to communicate the very important lesson of prepping to reach your goals, i jumped on board.


leap quickly over to 6 pack bags and take a gander at session #3:  PACKING portions.  get my 3 tips to:

  1. plan meals ahead of time (in yer fitbook, of course!)
  2. pre-portion to avoid inevitable portion distortion
  3. pack it up – pack it in…let me begin. i came to win! (sorry, couldn’t help myself).  insight on packing food and how i use the oh-sexy 6 pack bag

i recommend you move on over to their blog to read up before i break out in song and dance. it won’t be pretty.


p.s. thanks to the sweet peeps at 6 pack fitness for inviting me to invade their blog for a few days to communicate this pertinent planning + prepping program.

September 2020

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