Author Archive for angela mader


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.


PREP SCHOOL 101: session #2

still with me? let session 2 begin.session2

session #2: PREP SESH for the time-crunched
i’m busy. i got a lot goin’ on. and yet, i’ve learned that prepping my food saves me tons of time – and money!  so this is actually time well spent that yields amazing return on my (health) investment.

hop, skip + jump over to six pack bags’ blog to get my (insanely) detailed 4-step prepping + planning schedule, complete with step-by-step pics that will have you in-and-out of the kitchen in sub 40-minutes.

yes, i am a multitasking maniac.

class dismissed.

p.s. uh, plus enter the giveaway while you’re there!


PREP SCHOOL 101: 3 sessions to rock a 6-pack

obviously anyone that creates something like the fitbook is your typical type-a, mildly obsessive, totally organized personality.  yes, prepschoolimagethat’s me.  and while there are some downsides which i won’t bore you with, when it comes to dialing in on those BIG goals, planning ahead is crucial.  enter the king of all meal planning tools: the 6 pack bag.  this mighty meal-packer is a planner’s delight, giving you all the slots + spaces to pre-pack healthy meals and more.  um, not to mention the snazzy little mesh pocket which fitbook nestles nicely inside.  add a food scale to the mix and it’s quite the trifecta of tools for planning, prepping + packing for success.

i’m always lecturing on this subject which is why i’ve pulled together a little prep school 101:  a 3-session series to make meal planning + prep easy whether you’re a gym rat + nutrition know-it-all, or a fitness newbie that still doesn’t know how to spell quinoa (keen-wa).

ok, class head on over to 6 pack bags to start session #1:  PLANNING is for winners.  while you’re there, get the scoop on how to enter a giveaway for a 6-pack bag, fitbook + lil’ red food scale!


p.s. WARNING: my guest blog post may contain proper capitalization which may throw my blog readers into a tizzy.


break it down, make it happen.

inevitably, as soon as i set a goal, this panic sets in. like, “what have i done?”.  did i just bare my soul on my blog for the world (ok, that’s a mild exaggeration) to see?  oh yes, yes i did. and just as everyone that has momentum going into the new year, i set the goals, wrote my post, and the hyperventilating soon followed.  it wasn’t the goals so much that overwhelmed me, but the process of setting my goals made me think of all the things i want to/should be doing in my life.  and that’s a good thing.  but as a result of this, it dumped 22 actionable items onto my already bulging to do list.   far be it for me to just set 2 or 3 goals. oh no, that’s not my style. i go big or just don’t go at all.  22 goals across 6 categories (financial, career, faith, fitness + health, personal development, and family + relationships).  some are BIG (train for and run a half-marathon) and some not-so-big (read my devotional every day).  and yet putting my dreams out there and then not having a plan to reach them just stressed me out.  til now.

someone brilliant came up with this idea of taking big goals and breaking them down into smaller, more achievable ones. the same applies to any type of goal so here’s my method for breaking down my LIFE goals and then taking small steps each week to achieving them.  the reason resolutions don’t work? they’re too lofty, not sustainable, or down-right unreasonable: “i will not eat sugar ever again.” yeah, i’ve tried that one. feel free to ask my neighborhood goldenspoon how that one’s going!  so, here’s my 3-step plan to BREAK IT DOWN, MAKE IT HAPPEN. [grab your goal list and join me, won’t you?]

  1. make it purty, print it out.2013goals
    keep your goals top-of-mind and the best way to do that is to post them where you’ll see them – every single day. the mere fact that you’re seeing your goals each day will keep you focused on that same go-get-em feeling that we all have at the start of a new year. mine is posted on my fridge, front and center.
  2. plan your actions.
    for every goal on your list, there is at least one step that will create forward momentum toward reaching that goal. but if you create an action step for every goal right now, hyperventilating from action overload ensues. look at your goals with a big-picture perspective and identify which ones you need to start now and which ones can be revisited at a later date. for example, if you want to learn to surf and it’s january, no need in stressing about something you could revisit in june. so for those goals, go to your calendar, smart phone, or even the ol’ paper planner and mark those on the calendar so you can free your mind from thinking about it til’ then. then, you’ve cleared some of the mental clutter so you can focus on your NOW actions.
  3. take action NOW [weekly].
    for those goals that require attention now, identify 1 action item per week. that’s it.  just one. these baby steps will add up throughout the year and you’ll be surprised the progress that can be made by applying this method.  so go down your list and ask yourself, “what’s the one thing i can do this week to move this forward?”.  add that to your weekly to-do list. (FYI i use a combination of outlook and workflowy to manage my to-dos).  then create a HABIT that every week when you’re prepping your food and cooking on sunday nights, you spend 10 minutes jotting down the next round of action steps for the week ahead. create a mental cue in your head that sunday night means prepping food, planning workouts, and preparing for the week ahead – and that includes revisiting your LIFE goals.

so i won’t bore you with how this applies to all my goals, but i’ll take my fitness + health goals and break ’em down to show you what this looks like for me.  here are my goals and notes for how i’m either taking action NOW (this week) or making note of when to revisit that goal.

  • identify and sign-up for a half-marathon in january; then train for and complete my first half-marathon in 2013
    i already identified that i want to run the OC half-marathon on may 5th (skinny margs to celebrate, anyone?) so my action item this week is to actually register for it. next week’s action item might be to start researching a training plan and then calendar when to start training!
  • try 1 new fitness activity per month that i’ve never done before (bikram yoga?) and cook/create 1 new healthy recipe every week (and blog about it!)
    this is an ongoing behavioral change, so this is why having it visible is important. each week i can see whether or not i’m on track. last week i tried a yoga sculpting class (hot yoga) which i’d never done before, so…check!  but i didn’t try a new healthy recipe (or blog about it…my apologies). so this week, my actions will be on sunday to 1) identify 1 more new activity i want to try in january and get that on the calendar and 2) find a recipe and add the ingredients to my shopping list for the week, then i’ll have what i need to make it for the week!
  • complete a 12-week hard-core workout program  (with my super hot trainer boyfriend) to get my body fat (back) down to a maintainable 15-18% to regain my commitment and self-confidence
    since i’m training for the half-marathon through may, this is a LATER goal. i may be working toward this goal during my training, but to specifically complete a hard-core 12-week program, i’m going to add that to my calendar for may (after the half-marathon) and whaddya know, we’ll wrap that 12-week program right in the middle of bikini season!  brilliant.

so i’m off to break down my other LIFE goals, and then (ya know), go make ’em happen.  success, after all, isn’t about making one big giant leap, but more so about taking smaller, consistent, baby steps in the right direction. positive momentum.

share: what are your action steps for the week? or, if you need help breaking down a BIG goal, tell me and i’m happy to help!



i am MORE: goal-setting for LIFE

fitness is a PART of my life, not my life in its entirety. it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) define me. i came to the realization recently that if my happiness is dictated by the size of my jeans or the number of the scale, i’m severely limiting my moments of joy in this lifetime. someday i will marry the love of my life and that may bring little babies (someday). will i miss out on one of life’s joys because i’m obsessed with the inevitable enlarging of my derriere and complete obliteration of what once were called abs?  this realization doesn’t mean i’ve overcome or mastered this. it means i’m aware. aware that my life has completely revolved around health/fitness/nutrition/body-image for the past 5 years since starting fitlosophy. don’t get me wrong, i LOVE what i do. and yet part of my occupation is to maintain this physical appearance that at least partly communicates that i practice what i preach. and i do, but i’m human. i stumble. and then i get back up again. but what i’ve realized is in the process of focusing intently on this one area of my life, i’ve partly lost touch with who i am. what makes me me.


[pardon me as i toot my own horn in an attempt to make this point]
 i am a smart cookie. i have a big heart. i’m really creative and a bit crafty. i can be funny, or at least i crack myself up. i love intensely. i love to laugh. i have ideas out the wazoo. i am witty. i love to read.  i love writing.  i am most me on a horse or with my family. i am loyal. i love coffee, wine, chocolate & froyo. i am softhearted. and i am feisty. i love God. and my family.  i am extremely driven. i have crazy-big goals. i work hard.  i love learning.  i really do love working out.  i surround myself with positive people.  i love helping others.  i am learning to love myself.

yes, i am MORE than a # on the scale.

and with that i’m revisiting me. my goals that make me who i am. and yes that includes, but isn’t limited to, fitness.  see if i just talk about goal setting in your fitbook and completely look past all the other areas that make YOU wonderful, i’m doing you a disservice.  there’s a time and a place to get hard core about your health goals.  but there’s also a time and a place to realize that a myopic approach doesn’t always result in reaching your goals.  sometimes it just becomes your obsession.  day-in and day-out defining yourself by your physical appearance may just be what is standing between me/us and reaching our true potential.  can focusing too intently on one area of your life be the problem in itself?  i think of it like this: i have all these other (6 to be exact) extremely pivotal parts of my life that truly bring me joy. and if i’m only focusing on setting goals in ONE area, i’m missing out on maximizing my happiness.  if i was setting and reaching goals in my personal growth and putting more energy into my faith, could that inadvertently positively affect my health? absolutely.  so it’s with this enlightened mindset that i’m going beyond just health + fitness and setting LIFE goals for the new year.  i don’t do resolutions – those were made to be broken. i use the fresh start of a new year to reflect on where i’ve come over the past year, revisit my 5 year plans, and then reset goals in each of these areas of my well-rounded little life. and regardless of which aspect of your life, here are my 4 guidelines for effective goal-setting

whether it’s your fitness or your finances, your faith or your family, no goal can be met without carving out precious time to give it priority in your life.  i can say my faith is important to me, but then say i don’t have time to go to church.  i might say that i’m trying to save money, but i don’t take the time to make a budget and revisit it often.  time is our most valuable asset – it’s that which we give to those we love.  so if something is important enough to set a goal, shouldn’t we give it a little (time) love?

any goal, especially a big 1-year or 5-year goal, can be intimidating.  the most important part of setting a goal is to think big, then be more specific as to how it will change your life daily, weekly, and monthly. yes, this is a fitbook concept, but it applies across all areas of life.  if i’m wanting to save for a house and i know that i can save $6000 per year, i break that down into $500/month (which is only $16/day) and it becomes a bit less intimidating. then i take the action of setting up the auto-withdrawal (monthly will suffice!) so i put action to my plan.

not all goals require an investment, but i’ve found that where my money goes, my heart follows (matthew 6:21).  so whether if it’s my faith, i may need to revisit my tithing.  if i’m serious about reaching a fitness goal, that might mean paying out the money to lock in a commitment to a marathon.  often times with my health goals, i’ll use these “investments” as a reward for reaching a goal – it’s a motivating way to earn something that will further you toward your goals. regardless of the type of goal, you’ll find that when you put money into something you value the outcome and will be more committed to its success.

never underestimate the power of people.  those positive people who will always push you to be your best version of yourself. spend time and energy to bring those people into your life and even MORE time and energy to keep them there. whether it’s a workout buddy who you can get on board to kick off a 12-week program, a friend to go with to a weekly bible study, or a group of business colleagues to get together monthly for a mastermind meeting, surrounding yourself with like-minded, goal-oriented individuals might just be the one element that gets you where you’re going.  operating individually, often times we get frustrated or distracted; get a team or even just one person in place that knows your goal(s) in one or all areas of you life.  encourage them to share their goals, ask them to be ruthless in holding you accountable, and ask for permission to do the same. then (see point 1 above) make time monthly to revisit your progress!

so what are the 6 areas of focus? so glad you asked: here are ones that i’ve identified as necessary for me being the well-rounded individual i want to be. i’ve shared (some) of my goals below partly to give you an idea of how to set your own goals, but partly (selfishly) to hold me accountable!


  • buy and read dave ramsey’s “total money makeover” by the end of january
  • save 10% of my income on the 1st of the month via auto-withdrawal, every month this year
  • contribute 10% of my income to my 401k every month
  • spend 1 hour per month re-evaluating and adjusting my budget on the 1st of each month


  • identify 3-4 likeminded entrepreneurs and establish a mastermind group by the end of january that meets once per month
  • double fitlosophy’s revenue  and triple net income with the majority of incremental revenue split 70/30 between services/licensing and new products, respectively
  • commit to writing 1 hour per day (blog/book) and pitch book proposal to 2-3 agents in Q1; publish book by 2014


  • identify home church by end of january to attend regularly (while also seeking/attending others!)
  • tithe first 10% of my income to my home church
  • serve once per quarter at a faith-based community event to give back
  • find a weekly bible-based small group (by the end of january) that meets at least every other week 
  • read jesus calling devotional app daily

fitness + health

  • identify and sign-up for a half-marathon in january; then train for and complete my first half-marathon in 2013
  • try 1 new fitness activity per month that i’ve never done before (bikram yoga?) and cook/create 1 new healthy recipe every week (and blog about it!)
  • complete a 12-week hard-core workout program  (with my super hot trainer boyfriend) to get my body fat (back) down to a maintainable 15-18% to regain my commitment and self-confidence

personal development

  • read 1 book per month
  • complete 1 course through uc irvine’s MBA program (audit as an alumni)
  • go horseback riding once per month and find local reining instructor to complete a series of lessons
  • take 1 spontaneous trip; un-planned adventure

family + relationships

  • plan 3 trips home to colorado to see family and coordinate 1 family trip either in california or somewhere fun
  • meet girl friend(s) for dinner/drinks/workout once per month to maintain important relationships
  • go on a double-date once a month, alternating each month between him/me planning so it happens!

so there are my goals. notice that they’re s.m.a.r.t. (no i’m not saying i am, my goals are!).  they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely (which i won’t go into in detail now but here are some resources for you to set effective goals if you’re so inclined).

so, now that you know my goals, what are yours? take this week/weekend to think about where you are now and where you want to go. write ’em down. make it purty and print it out so they’re top-of-mind.  (then make ’em happen).  but more importantly, recognize that you are SO MUCH MORE than what you look like. so much MORE than a # on the scale.  so fill-in-the-blank. what’s your “i am” statement?

comment…share…commit to be MORE.


January 2020
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