A Taste of Summer


The gym my friend works at is having an open house this Sat, June 4th and she will be making nutritious meals for people to try [As she is a registered Dietitian].  The meals will be balanced and great ideas for summer!!  If your interested in better nutrition then you should check out this event and my friend, Christines website = http://www.foodworks4u.com


Today launches the second year for BLOG YOUR HEART OUT. It’s blogging for a cause for the American Heart Association and there are five stellar bloggers on board this year who will carry out the theme of 5 bloggers, 5 weeks: tell 5. save lives. The mission will be to tell 5 women to go red.

The bloggers for this year [5 of them of course] are:

Angela Manzanares (creator of fitbook)

Joanna Sutter (Fitness and Spice)

Shay Sorrells (from NBC’s Biggest Loser & www.shaysorrells.com)

Ana Cabán (creator of La Buena Life)

Sahar Akar (FatfighterTV)

Check out these ladies blogs for info, advice, recipes, fun and be a part of spreading heart health. Tell 5 women you know to go red!

I love the fall and even living in Southern California we get a few fall colors. In my world the fall color palette includes pink. You may think this is odd unless you’ve experienced someone close to you battling breast cancer. October is Breast Cancer awareness month, thus when I think October – I think pink. I’m very excited to announce that fitlosophy has created a fitbook PINK version and part of the proceeds are being donated in memory of my mother, Donna Zuidervaart, who passed away on November 29, 2008 of breast cancer. I am very happy to introduce fitbook pink and honored that everyone at fitlosophy put in 110% to make it happen. I hope you get one as its a little nod to my mom. It’s also a great tool to support daily healthy living.fitbook pink

More info on these two blogs [two of my favorites for health and fitness].

blogging my fitlosophy

Fitness & Spice

As I look up into the sky through my office window I see some great clouds that I must join my boys outside to gaze up. As a child I used to get lost in finding shapes in the clouds like animals, dragons and all kinds of things my imagination would help me see. I remember my mom joining in on some things she saw in the clouds too. Today seems like a good day to do that with my boys and say a hello to Grandma.

When I started this blog I set a theme for 2010 of “actions speak louder than words” and I wanted to use blogging to help me accomplish some of my goals and “to do’s”. I’m a list maker but yet getting things accomplished and off my list is a challenge. I’m gonna try blogging about a few and see if it helps with progress. I recently started a new nutrition and fitness journal, fitbook, which I love and I am the creative director for. The journal has a 12 week time period and this seemed like a good time frame to get six things off my to do list. I’m giving myself two weeks for each to do/goal. The theory and research behind writing things down is that your 75% more likely to achieve your goals so I’m banking on that this will work for blogging too. I plan to include some before and after shots and maybe even a vlog here and there to show insight on the challenges and show progress. 78 days to get it done.

start date =  08.16.10
end date =  11.01.10

Here is the list

  1. fitbook & fitbook junior [health]
  2. refresh Merlina Design logo [business]
  3. clear clutter from office [business]
  4. read book [personal improvement]
  5. side yard clean up [home]
  6. screen door. fix or get it fixed [home]

I picked a variety of categories. Some that are at the top of my list and some not so serious.

I’m excited and a little nervous as I’m putting myself out there. I’m thinking feedback and possible criticism [hopefully constructive] will be a motivating factor for the process. My hope is that I make progress, provide some insight and basically show some fun before and after shots that might inspire.

BYHO – Wrap Up


Over the past 12 weeks I was part of the Blog Your Heart Out program [BYHO] through a joint venture of fitlosophy and the go red for women Better U program. Throughout the 12 weeks I learned valuable information and the steps to makeover my heart health. When I started the program I was motivated by family history and my mother-in-laws personal experiences with heart disease, which stemmed from fear. Now after finishing the program, I have a new outlook that encompasses more than doing something out of fear – but rather be pro-active, be an example and an advocate for my family’s health. My goal is to use my new heart healthy skills for my lifetime. I truely enjoyed the BetterU program and I will not forget the heart attack I witnessed first hand, along with a CPR revival [see Reality Check blog entry]. An ironic event to have witnessed after starting the BetterU program but I know it was for a reason or maybe two. It made me realize how vital heart health is and it added an item to my to do list – become CPR certified. I encourage you to go through the BetterU program and learn about how you can makeover your heart.

I was unaware that there was such a thing as tackle softball until last weekend when I got shown first hand how its played. At a “friendly” charity softball tournament for my son’s little league, I was blindsided running to first base. An approximately 300lb man ran full force into me knocking into my knee and upper body which slammed my foot off the base and rolled my ankle. I’m so mad! This blog was suppose to be about how good I’ve been doing with P90x but now I’m on the disabled list and it has thrown a big wrench in my world. Being injured is taking its toll on me mentally and physically and I’ve been wallowing. So I need to stop blaming the dumb, out of shape guy, because although knowing he was in the wrong does make me mentally feel better – its not helping my ankle get better. So I need to move on and figure out a game plan. My game plan will include a recovery plan for my ankle, an eating clean plan to keep me moving toward my weight goal and an exercise plan that will accomidate my injury.

Here is where I am going to start:

RECOVERY: I am going to ice my ankle using ActiveWrap’s Foot & Ankle Heat Ice Wrap at least three times a day.  Also going to check out their article under injury help for care and treatment of ankle sprains.

EATING CLEAN: Watch my calorie intake and check out the P90X nutrition plan. Earlier I said I had started P90X but I wasn’t doing the nutrition portion so this is the perfect time for me to read up and try it out. I’m going to try to use the time while I’m icing and elevating my foot to read up on nutrition – I would like to create a plan that works for me and my family. I’m also going to try out using my fitbook in a different way. Usually I use my fitbook to record what I eat after I’ve eaten it, which works to detour me from excess food and I’ve been able to maintain a steady weight. This next twelve weeks I want to try planning out my meals ahead of time and seeing if it helps me stick to my target calories. Time to mix it up.

FITNESS: This one is simple – do whatever I can on one foot. So far I’m thinking abs, arms and maybe some pilates.

So one of the reasons I was interested in participating in the BLOG YOUR HEART OUT campaign was a heightened awareness of the importance of heart health due to my mother-in-law, Toni’s, experiences over the past two years. We had a few scares with Toni and experienced heart attack symptoms from a women’s perspective first hand. So to raise awareness on women’s heart attack symptoms I asked Toni to guest blog, here is Toni’s story…

Almost two years ago, I had a heart attack.  At least that’s what they told me.  I still find it hard to believe.  I did not have high cholesterol, I did not have high blood pressure, I was a healthy eater and training to walk a half marathon.  But, I was a smoker, having smoked for 10 years.  I had quit smoking in July and had my heart attack in October.  So, I blame it all on smoking and a fairly sedentary time the few years before my incident.

Here is what I want to tell all you ladies out there.  I actually had no symptoms Women should be aware of their bodies at all times.  Exercise, diet, take time for yourself.  If you feel off just a little bit, get checked.  We know our bodies.  We won’t have the massive chest pain that men do, usually.  Pay attention.

I had been doing yard work for a few days.  On Sunday, I was chasing my grandson and felt a shortness of breath and couldn’t run.  It passed.  Then, my left arm starting hurting me, like an ache.  I thought it was from using the rototiller.  I waited three nights and then it hurt all night and kept me awake.  Of course my doctor told me to go straight to emergency.  After a few tests, they told me that I was having a cardiac event (translated: heart attack) and then a stent was placed, as I had a 99% blockage in my main artery.  Then, at my 2 month checkup, I complained of heartburn and was placed back in the hospital.  Another stent was placed on another artery with an 89% blockage that had grown in two months from 30% to 89%.  I had some symptoms almost a year later, but didn’t need a stent, but was put on blood pressure medicine.

I haven’t had any symptoms since.  But, I attribute that to controlling my stress levels, diet and exercise.

I hooked up with a great walking group and I now walk 3 miles 6 days a week.
Go to www.meetup.org to find a walking group near you. It’s a great site.

Better Homes and Gardens had a great article called Heart Attack Signs and Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore” that I recommend you read.

~ Toni