Archive for the 'blog your heart out' Category


heart-healthy recipes: a treat for you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

with all my HEART,


bloggin’ my heart out (again!)

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

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

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

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

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

with all my heart,


heart-felt appreciation from the AHA

every now and thing something happens that reminds me why i do what i do.  and november 5th just happened to be one of those days.  all dolled up in a red top (of course), i treked up to the american heart association offices in downtown los angeles for a very special reason.  a few weeks earlier nicolla ross, senior director of community health, had contacted me to let me know that fitlosophy had been selected as the recipient of an appreciation award for “outstanding achievement in support of the american heart association’s efforts in cardiovascular science education and community programs” for 2009-2010.  what an honor.

here’s the back story:  i had met miss ross just about a year-and-a-half before at the women’s conference in long beach where i’d approached her at the GO RED booth, letting her know that we HAD to do some kind of initiative together because 1) heart disease is the #1 killer of women and 90% of fitbookers are women, 2) i have always loved the GO RED campaign marketing and branding, and frankly, 3) red’s my favorite color!  a few months later we met for lunch and i guess it was exactly about a year ago this month that we began brainstorming the initiative which eventually became the BLOG YOUR HEART OUT program.  utilizing social media, which the american heart association hadn’t yet ventured into at that point, this 12-week campaign followed 5 bloggers through the AHA’s BetterU program, they used a fitbook to log their journey, and they blogged along the way!  we also launched the first ever BLOG YOUR HEART OUT DAY on february 12th where we rallied bloggers around the world to join us in spreading the GO RED message.  [read here for the press release on the BYHO campaign launch and results]

as i reflect on the BLOG YOUR HEART OUT campaign: it was a blast, a ton of work made possible by a team of incredibly talented women, and absolutely worth all the time and effort toward such a worthwhile cause.  so to receive such an honor in return is just wonderful.  it goes to show what a good idea, a talented team with BIG hearts, and a lot of hard work can do.  shout-out to the BYHO team: lani (designer extraordinnaire), joanna (chief organizer), jodi & sahar (da’ bomb bloggers!)!

fast forward.  after tooling around los angeles and loving the one-way streets, i finally found the quaint little red brick building that houses the AHA, complete with signs reminding you take the stairs instead of the elevator (thank you!).  the meeting kicked off with nicolla presenting fitlosophy with the award – here’s what she had to say:

“Each year our Affiliate honors outside organizations whose contributions in advancing our objectives have been exemplary.  It’s an honor to have fitlosophy as the recipient of our 2009-2010 Appreciation Award for Outstanding Achievement for their help in furthering our objectives in the area of Cardiovascular Education and Community Programs. Blog Your Heart Out is such an authentic and innovative campaign. Spreading our messaging on heart disease prevention in women through this social media effort was not only fun, but impactful. Thank you fitlosophy for extending our messaging throughout your social media networks and helping us save lives one heart at a time in the process.”

honored, i accepted the award on our team’s behalf…and then we got down to business as we laid out plans for BLOG YOUR HEART OUT 2011, as well as other initiatives.  fitlosophy is going to be donating fitbooks to an upcoming go red por tu corazon event, as well as learning more about the AHA’s newest program to fight childhood obesity: teaching gardens.  the energy was infectious in the room as we plan for 2011!

here’s what i love about fitlosophy: we can make it, shape it, and mold it to be whatever we want it to be.  and since day one i’ve always wanted to give back.  and we have, in ways both big and small.  in church one time i heard a saying that stuck with me: “we’re blessed to be a blessing.”  as i see all that has happened for fitlosophy in (almost) 3 short years, i can’t help but know that giving back is not just a joy, but our responsibility.  i’m proud of 24 hour, target, fitbook junior…all of those things that exemplify the hard work that we’ve put in, but this for me shows that we are making a difference that has a lasting impact.  so we’re officially launching our fitgiving inititative this month (great timing with thanksgiving right?).  fitgiving is our (on-going) commitment to HEART-FELT, action-based initiatives that give back while improving the health + wellness of others for the betterment of our world.  so learn more about fitgiving online – we even share ideas on how you can give back and give fit with us!

 interested in how you can get involved, give back…be a blessing?  make sure and sign-up for our e-newsletter which has great ideas for giving back this holiday season.  another saying i heard that i love: “live simply so others can simply live.”  imagine what a better world we’d live in if we all lived this way.  just take one minute and think of just ONE thing you can do today to give back, a self-less act for no reason for someone else.  i guarantee you this: it usually does more for your heart than the recipient.

with all my heart,


BLOG YOUR HEART OUT: that’s a wrap!

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

with all my HEART,

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

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

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

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

view the official press release for BYHO!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

with all my HEART,


week 11: be a quitter

…of smoking that is!  week 11 of the betteru program was all about the dangers of smoking – which you think would be common knowledge by now, but the stats are still staggering.

  • #1: preventable cause of premature death in the united states
  • 440,000: annual deaths from cigarette smoking which lead to chronic disorders such as cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (lung problems), and atherosclerosis (buildup of fatty substances in the arteries)
  • 38,000: deaths each year caused by second-hand smoke. children are especially vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke so especially if the young ‘uns are near – put it out!

i only have one loved-one in my life that smokes and while it breaks my heart, it’s a nasty habit to break and i can understand how tough it might be to quit.  the relation to me will remain nameless however it would blow my mind if he/she actually read my blog, but to avoid an unnecessary family debacle i shall refrain.  anywho…of course i took it upon myself to give he/she a 21 days to quitting cold turkey magnet as a small, slightly humorous, but serious plea to quit.  so far the only success is the magnet’s success at keeping the grocery list in plain site on the fridge door!  i shall continue to try.  educate yourself or those you love on the danger’s of smoking: check out the truths of killer tobacco from the american heart association.  afraid of gaining weight (that would be my fear!)…another great article that talks about avoiding weight gain while quitting smoking.

because i’m not a smoker i wasn’t sure how this week would apply to me, aside from the fact that it just reminds me that someone i love dearly smokes which spurs minor panic attacks.  but i was able to make a connection to my life that was so relevant to anyone that aims to live a healthy, active lifestyle.  for smokers, a key part of being successful is to “replace the behavior” so that any time you have the urge to smoke, you have something else (read: healthier) to do.  this is a great idea not just for smokers – but anyone!  anytime you have something you struggle with, whether it be sticking to a fitness regimen or eating healthy, you’re bound to have tough days.

from the betteru program:
“unforeseen life events – an illness, a move, a promotion, a new baby, a vacation – or any life change can throw off your plans to eat healthy, be active, or stop smoking.  however, a lapse does not have to lead into a relapse back to your old habits. in fact, lapses are good learning opportunities.”

love this!  my life has been a series of “unforeseen events” for the past few years so i can relate wholeheartedly.  this is why the yearly plan that comes with the fitpack has a tip to “prepare for setbacks” because they are inevitable.  life is unpredictable, but if you plan for the best and prepare for setbacks, you’re more likely to reach your goals.   here’s a personal example of how i apply this to my life:

the unwanted behavior: mindless munching or emotional eating at night, especially on tough days

my plan for success:

  • on stressful days i replace certain behaviors so  i don’t fall into a trap.  for example,  i make a conscious decision to read a book instead of watching tv where it’s easy to snack endlessly.  try reading a book and snacking – not so easy!
  • i added things that are good for me to my nighttime routine that inadvertently make it impossible to snack. enter: teeth whitening strips!  not only do i avoid snacking, but i have nice and shiny pearly whites!
  • switching my schedule to include things that i otherwise “don’t have time for” allows me to shift my focus.  so instead of meandering around downstairs and lurking in the kitchen, i head to bed earlier than usual with my cup of decaf green tea and read. no munching – plus i  get time to read, sneak in a cup of green tea, and get in my 8 hours of zzz’s.

think of how you can make little tweaks to your life to help you reach your goals. whether it be quitting smoking, sticking to a workout program, or trying a new nutrition plan….it’s all about making up your mind about what that big goal is, then take the steps to make it happen.

with all my HEART,


week 10: START! a movement

that’s exactly what we did last week at the american heart association’s national start! walking day in orange county.  i joined miss shay sorrells from season 8 of nbc’s the biggest loser to lead the crowd of union bank employees, complete in work attire and tennies (them, not us), in a warm-up before the walk commenced.  of course shay inspired the crowd beforehand with the phenomenol

photo compliments of: Landon Hall /
The Orange County Register

story of her journey from 476 pounds down to XXX pounds. wanna know?  tune into the finale on in may!  the event was organized by the american heart association to create awareness around the importance of integrating movement into your everyday life….even if it means toting a pair of shoes to work and taking only a half-hour to eat and then hitting the pavement for the next half-hour.  other ideas to START! adding a little movement into your (busy) workday:

  • walk to lunch and back or “earn” that late-morning starbucks by walking there
  • instead of emailing walk to your co-worker’s office/cube to burn calories and connect 1:1
  • park further away in the parking lot instead of wasting time trying to find the best spot
  • try wearing a pedometer and set a goal for # of steps per day…and beat yourself by 10 steps everyday to work your way up

read more about the event and shay’s appearance which inspired all in attendance!

so why, might you ask, is this a cause so near and dear to my (and shay’s) heart?  pun intended.  fitlosophy has teamed up with the american heart association for the BLOG  YOUR HEART OUT campaign which follows five bloggers through the 12-week betteru program because we want to increase awareness around the risks of heart disease.   check out this fact from the american heart association website – making the link between their START! walking campaign and heart disease:

women who walked two or more hours a week  had a significantly lower risk of stroke than women who didn’t walk, according to a large, long-term study reported in stroke: journal of the american heart association

so week 10 in the betteru program talks about the importance of knowing your family history so you can be aware of your risk.  as i mentioned in week 1, heart disease runs in my family.  after having lost 3 great grandparents to heart disease and/or stroke and also having my grandmother still struggle with heart problems, i have a very personal connection to this cause.  and for shay, her heart is in creating awareness for her family and loved ones as well – get this: african-american women are 35% more likely than non-hispanic white women to die from heart disease.

do you know your family’s history of heart disease?  make that your goal this week: find out.  while there are many things you can do to prevent heart disease, no matter how much you may want to sometimes post-holiday chaos, you cannot change who your family is.  for more info on how to improve your health by working on factors you CAN change, read here.  for more information on how to somehow remove that strange uncle family tree, well you’re on your own there.

so join the shay and me as we support the american heart association to START! a movement that will change the shape of america (and the world!) – literally.  want more?

my final thought for you:  make a conscious decision to do at least 1 thing that’s good for you each day.  your heart will thank you…
with all my HEART,

June 2019
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