Archive for the 'blog your heart out' Category


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,


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!

January 2020
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