entrepreneurs: 5 signs you drink too much ((coffee)) 01.08.15

you know the saying that entrepreneurs are driven by passion? well, i think it’s actually just coffee. okay, driven by passion, but definitely powered by coffee. i came to this realization while at peet’s today. after going there day after day for months (because it’s within walking distance from my office) the baristas asked what i do for a living. now, mind you, i know them all by name and they know me as “half-cup girl” (i can explain).  and all this time, i’m thinking to myself that they’ve probably all decided that i’m unemployed given how often i’m there. when i said that i own my own business, they all replied, “ooooh!!! now we know why you drink so much coffee!!” as though it finally all made sense.  i explained to them that while i have a cute little red office just right down the road, with like the sweetest employees ever, i get 10x more done at the coffee shop. i mean, my team actually kicks me out of the office when we’re on deadline because they know me so well.  am i alone in this? i think not.

you know you’ve been at the coffee shop working for far too long when one or all of the following occurs – in a single day:

  1. the baristas greet you after the holidays like a long lost family member, wanting to know why you haven’t been by in so long. i was gone only 12 days. i’m sure my absence put a ding in their in-store sales for the month of december. sorry, peet’s.
  2. they know you by name and/or have a nickname for you. yes, i’m half-cup girl. why? because i drink coffee slow when i’m working…and my coffee gets cold…and cold coffee makes me cranky. so as not to waste precious coffee, i pay for a full cup, they give me a half-cup, and about an hour later i get the other half. bizarre, i know.
  3. you’ve had anywhere from 2-3 (or 4) refills and they make you a free espresso shot, just ’cause. and they cheers you while they do a shot with you, making me feel oddly like norm bellied up to the bar in the show ‘cheers.’
  4. while they’re sweeping and cleaning the machines, they start offering you pastries that they’re going to throw out soon. (i politely decline.)
  5. your colleagues are texting to see if you need a ride home because it’s dark and you ever-so-smartly walked to the coffee shop in an attempt to get steps in on your jawbone.

and that, my friends, was just 1 day. 5 signs, 1 day.

and one (me being “one”) wonders why one doesn’t sleep at night. one knows that one shouldn’t drink coffee late in the day, but one has also learned to accept how God made her. just like my momma, i am a night owl. in fact, most of my creative work is done in the wee hours. every article you read says that successful people wake up early. and i’m not arguing that – i’m envious actually. but i’m just not wired that way.  so leave it to me to find research backing that being a night owl isn’t so bad after all. apparently, new research shows night owls are more creative and smarter, and surprisingly have lower levels of stress hormone cortisol. regardless of what research says, i know that i’ve created more products, presentations, pitches, and proposals past midnight than i can even count.

now, the health nut in me must clarify: being a night owl isn’t necessarily bad, but sleeping too little IS. like, sleep deprivation is really bad for you. choosing to go to bed at 2am isn’t necessarily horrible…as long as you’re still getting at least 7 hours, which they’re now saying is better than 8.

yeah, i don’t get enough sleep, so do as i say, not as i do. (i’m working on it)
[ha! she says as she's finishing up a blog post at 12:28am]

here’s the deal: i shall continue to caffeinate, try to get a bit more rest, and should seriously consider paying rent at peets.

nighty night,
half-cup girl

(ocd) procrastinator’s goal-getter guide + grid [download] 01.04.15

an idea is just a dream

pardon my tardiness to the new year’s goal-setting extravaganza that commenced jan 1st. as you know, my ocd-ness just does not allow for starting new goals on new year’s day when it falls on a thursday. i mean, really?  like, when did i have time to think about my goals when it just falls in the middle of the week like that? so if you’re like me and dead-set on really kicking off the new year on the first monday of 2015 (like any logical person would do), take a gander at my goal-getting tips for the (ocd) procrastinator + handy-dandy goal-getter grid (which, i created totally at the last minute, as i do most things).   but before we get to your plan of action, why not procrastinate a tad bit more?  here’s why being a procrastinating goal-getter actually works this time of year:

there’s plenty of time.
relaaaax…this is the beauty of being a procrastinator: you’ve got time. like all day. see there’s a whole slew of people who rushed to set their new year’s goals exactly on january 1st, operating on very little sleep, and quite possibly recovering from a holiday hangover. i mean, who sets goals in this state of mind? not us. we are efficient!  one of these years, the first is gonna fall on a monday and i’m gonna have to rethink my strategy here, but it’s a wonderful thing when i have a weekend to to sit back and relax, and then give some good thought to what i want my goals to be.  for me, having a company in the business of helping people set goals around their health means that december and january are a bit chaotic to say the least. then add to that the fact that regardless of my busyness/business, i choose to take time off between christmas and new years to be with family. because for me, that’s what really matters. so come jan 1, i appreciate the few days leading up to the first monday in the new year. because, who starts anything in the middle of the week? the holidays are stressful enough for most, so pardon me for wanting to just enjoy them, knowing full well i have a whole weekend to work on my new year’s goal while curled up on the couch with a hot cup of coffee. [heads up: we have until january 2018 to worry about this - that is the next time new year’s day falls on a monday.]

take it all in. 
talk about good material out there. all the good articles on productivity, goal-setting, motivation, achievement, etc. are all simultaneously published and posted anywhere from dec 31 through jan 2nd and i need some time to sift through all the goodness. what new research has been done? what motivates change? what tools must i have in my arsenal to be more productive this year? how can i effectively apply these things to my life? how can share them with my fitbookers in a way that helps you as well? as much as i create materials, i see myself as a purveyor of such information because not only does it guide me, but it also helps me to understand how i can better inspire others.  here’s a quick list of  the worthwhile reads that i saved to my phone to share with you:

let the noise die down. 
frankly, there’s information overload this time of year, if i must say so myself.  why must we condense all of our ambition to be our best into one day? as though we think it’s entirely possible to shift our behaviors, habits, goals, and complete trajectory of our life in one day that happens to begin with 01/01. the beauty in the new year is the fresh start…the hope for something better…the desire to bring about positive change. but it’s always been my prerogative to promote this message year round, not just on january first. so pardon my quietness and maybe lack of noise around 01/01 when you would expect this self-proclaimed “goal guru” to tout my “top tips to being your best you in 2015” or “5 ways this will be your best year ever.” the truth is, goal setting (and being a goal-getter) is not something that we should focus on just once a year. this is something that you should revisit frequently, some might say weekly or even daily. my approach has always been to take a big goal, then break it down into smaller, more achievable goals, because frankly, big goals can be overwhelming. often that big goal that was designed to inspire you, instead stares you right in the face and scares the pee-wodden (yes, that’s a term) out of you. big goals are effective in that they push us to achieve more; to set our sights on something greater. but when it’s a pie-in-the-sky ambition with no logical steps of how to achieve it, you’ll often find yourself falling flat on your face. and that’s no bueno.

so, given that now i sound like a new year’s goal setting scrooge, let me clarify that i do think there’s tremendous value in doing so, especially in the new year. there’s something wonderful about reflecting on where you are in life, who you want to be, how you can make positive changes + what you can do differently to bring about those changes. so here’s my approach to setting new year’s goals. yes, it’s a bit more involved, but i guarantee it will be more effective than setting immeasurable, fluffy goals that won’t last you through super bowl sunday. now….finally, post-rambling, here’s your (last-minute) plan of action to set some serious goals:

1. determine if you’re an ocd procrastinaor
hint: if you’re reading this, haven’t set your new year’s goals and/or feel awkwardly uncomfortable reading this because you feel like i’m reading your mind, the answer to #1 is yes. embrace it. i’m right there with you.

2. download + print out the goal-getting grid
i worked on it all morning at a coffee shop. i’m so last-minute, it entertains me actually. but i did it for you. okay, and for me too. this was designed for you to set goals in ALL areas of your life, not just weight loss and fitness. i mean, after all, you are MORE than the # on the scale, right?  okay, download it. (2nd link down)

3. block out 1 hour tonight to set your goals
curl up by the fireplace with a hot cup of tea + arm yourself with your goal-getting goods: the goal-setting grid print-out to set big goals for the year, fitbook to set weekly goals + plan your workouts, and a freshly printed copy of my 3-day KICKSTART ebook. (have you seen it? it’s pretty awesome…so if you need a guide for where to start on your health + fitness goals, download it!)

fitlosophy goal grid

[2nd link down once you click!]

  • identify your 7 key goal areas + list those across the top.
    to give you ideas, here are mine: family + friends, finances, faith, fitness + health, fitlosophy, free time, future. (note: yours don’t have to all start with f. again, ocd.)
  •  set a few BIG goals for each goal area.
    for example, my “free time” goal area might include: read 2 books per month, spend 1 hour per week writing my memoir + go horseback riding once a month. make them measurable + think about creating well-rounded goals that get you from where you are to where you want to be.  write those out in row 2 next to the little checkmarks.
  • map out when you want to focus on each goal
    for example, if one of your “faith” goals is to find a small group in your church, that’s a good goal to accomplish in january – so in the january column, jot that down. creating a “map” for the year makes it a bit less overwhelming. note: you may not have ALL boxes filled in…it’s only january! hence, the next step…
  • create a reminder in your phone to revisit goals monthly
    on the last sunday of each month, i block out an hour in the evening to reflect on what goals i accomplished for the previous month, revisit my big goals + reset them if necessary, and then determine what my action step is for the next month. add this to your smartphone + block off time. this step is pivotal!!!

it’s a time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished + also focus on where you want to go. so, let’s lose the resolutions and PLAN to rock some serious goals this year. you in?  now, off to plan my own goals…because well, i haven’t finished yet. :-)

happy new year, fitbookers.
angela

coco-cacao truffles + cookie dough memories 12.17.14

 

cocoa truffle cookiesever have one of those nights where you need chocolate? no, not like a little oh-chocolate-would-be-nice-right-now craving. i’m talkin’ a gimme-chocolate-now-or-else kinda craving.  yes, this compulsive chocolate craving struck this evening and wouldn’t you know: my ghirardelli almond sea salt dark chocolate squares, nowhere in sight. scharffen berger nibby bar with cacao, nada. a green & black organic 85% dark chocolate bar, perhaps? nope. even my little trader joe’s dark chocolate wedges, zilch. (trust me: this girl knows her chocolate.) but, apparently not well enough because a true chocolate lover never (and, i mean NEVER) would be caught empty-handed, especially when certain cravings strike. (hear me, ladies?)

so what does one do?
one rummages through the cabinets, that’s what one does.
and i, being the one in question, did just that.

tearing through the cupboards, i was a woman on a mission. a chocolate mission. as i tossed the ingredients together, adding a little bit more of this and a tad bit more of that, i would take a little taste. because what is making cookies without tasting the dough? (don’t worry, these are 100% raw and no eggs).

momma + me

and in an instant i had flashbacks of standing on a milk crate in the kitchen next to mom, dipping my fingers in the dough to taste it when she wasn’t looking, while she made her perfect little chocolate chip cookies.  still to this day, i’ve never tasted better. full of gluten, and even more butter, those warm little cookies melted in my mouth just as fast as the memories melt my heart. she always made them tiny, perfect little bite-size cookies only a tad bit bigger than a silver dollar. her trick was to up the temperature just at the last minute to add a golden brown crisp. my job was two-fold: 1) lick the beaters and 2) wait for the buzzer. see, like me, she was a busy little bee, scurrying about, never standing in one place. so about nose-height to the oven door, i was the perfect little perpetrator to watch the cookies bake (11 minutes per batch, to be exact).  and as soon as the buzzer would go off, i would scamper off to find her, wherever she was. folding laundry, watering plants, pulling weeds, whatever she was up to, i would get her attention.  together we’d hurry back to remove the crispy golden cookies, set them ever so gently on the foil to cool, and i was always the first to get to taste one. “just right, momma,” i’m sure i would say with a crumb-filled grin. and we’d do it all again, batch after batch.

the beautiful thing about life is that you may not even know when you’re making memories. more often than not, my mom probably felt guilty for being busy or pulled in too many directions. but oh what a wonderful mom she was. and little did she know, that even as she was running about to and fro, while i watched guard on the cookies, she was molding my little heart with moments that have lasted all these years.

so while there’s no gluten, no butter, and heck, not even an oven involved in making my little cookies, there’s just something about making cookies that always makes me think of home, and of her.

my heart is warm.
my tummy is full. 
my craving is cured.

enjoy.
the chocoholic

coco-cacao truffles
[no-bake, raw, all-natural, 10 ingredients + done in just 10 minutes!]

  • 2c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2c almond flour
  • 1/2c cocoa powder
  • 2tbsp cacao nibs
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2c pumpkin puree
  • 1/3c raw honey
  • 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  1. combine dry ingredients (first 6 ingredients) in a bowl + stir well
  2. add remaining ingredients + mix until smooth
  3. sprinkle a light layer of coconut on a cookie sheet or plate to place the cookies on
  4. using a small cookie scoop, spoon rounded balls onto the plate or cookie sheet
  5. sprinkle with a little bit of extra coconut just to make them pretty!
  6. place in the freezer for at least an hour + serve!
    **you can put in the fridge and serve just cold, but i love them frozen!

recipe serves: 24 

health(ier) holiday sips 12.15.14

 

holiday sips fitscaletake a peek at my health(ier) holiday sips that are guaranteed to be tastebud pleasers without being waistband expanders.   TIP: a great way to enjoy the holiday season without depriving yourself is to weigh your treats, sips + sweets. a few (extra) ounces here and there can add up!

now, here are my healthy tweaks on holiday sips!

festive frothy sips:
for the frothy beverages, i love my aeroccino milk frother but there’s a lower-budget one my brother swears by…either way, frothy makes it better!

  • (somewhat) healthier eggnog latte: froth 1/2c organic lowfat eggnog from horizon + 1/4c unsweetened vanilla almond milk, then add either 1/4c brewed coffee or 2 shots espresso…sprinkle with nutmeg!  note: eggnog is HIGH calorie, HIGH sugar…so this is the healthier option with only 140cals + 3g fat per 1/2c compared to ~200cals + 10g fat…but beware, it still packs in 22g sugar!
  • minty coco-cocoa: froth 3/4c SO delicious mint chocolate coconut milk + 1/4c unsweetened chocolate almond milk…then top with a sprig o’ mint if you’re feelin’ fancy. note: this stuff might be too good to be true at only 50cals, 2.5g fat, and (get this) only 6g sugar per 1/2c!  i add the chocolate almond milk to keep it from being too sweet. plus, it’s gluten-free + non-GMO verified.
  • homemade hot chocolate: in a small sauce pan, melt 1oz 70% dark chocolate and then add 1/2c nonfat milk (yes, moo milk) + 1/2c unsweetened chocolate almond milk…top with dark chocolate shavings or a few mini marshmallows. note: unless you’re lactose intolerant or just have a personal issue with milk, it’s chock-full-o-vitamins, minerals, and bone-building protein…plus, this little concoction is the perfect post-workout winter sip!
  • frothy caramel apple cider: heat up 3/4c  reduced-sugar apple juice in the microwave, mix in 1/4tsp each of allspice + cinnamon, and add a few drops natural caramel extract.  top with 1/4c frothed nonfat milk and sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon! note: apple juice is sugary, no way around that…but this all-natural option has only 8.5g sugar + 45cals per 1/2c – with no added artificial sweeteners.

healthier liquid libations:
looking for something a wee bit stronger this season? try one of these healthy concoctions!

  • mulled wine: pour 2 cups red wine into a sauce pan with some mulling spices (cinnamon sticks are fab) + 1tbsp honey and simmer on low.  this warm wine will ensure you sip slowly – a healthier alternative to guzzling multiple glasses!
  • hot toddy: brew a cup of black tea then add 1/2 tbsp honey, 2tsp lemon juice, + 1 oz whiskey or brandy.  not only will this drink warm you up, it’s perfect for fighting the common cold this winter!
  • not-for-kiddos cocoa:  add 1oz peppermint schnapps minty coco-cocoa or homemade hot chocolate (recipes above) for an extra kick o’ mint!
  • festive pomegranate champagne: feeling festive? pop open some bubbly and add some pomegranate seeds for a (pretty) holiday punch.  as always: sip in moderation!

remember: making healthy choices is important, but so is enjoying the holiday season. it seems at the holidays everyone likes to make it their business when it comes to what you eat or don’t eat.  remember to choose what works for YOU. not budging from your clean-eating-action-plan? yay you! be prepared to get flack from those with less willpower.  usually eat healthy and decide to sneak some treats? be ready to be called out by someone that is just waiting to prove that you’re not perfect.  repeat after me:  “i appreciate you’re so concerned with my dietary intake and i assure you i’ve got this under control.”  if you can’t tell, more than one holiday haggle has resulted from this topic of conversation!  [for more tips, here’s my holiday survival guide].

now i’m off to get a workout in – the “absolute must” in this holiday moderation equation. my tip: #move30 every day and then enjoy your holiday treats!

happy sipping!

angela

p.s. have a healthy twist on any of these or another one to add to the list? share!

merry #FITmas: a gift guide 12.10.14

2 weeks: that’s how long you have to wrap up your holiday shopping, people. i for one, am SO not even done. so rather than keep all my nifty fit gift ideas to myself, i thought i would share. sharing is caring.  still trying to find the perfect gift for the fitness lovin’ guy or gal in your life?  without further ado, i give you the 2014 merry #FITmas gift guide! (fitlosophy- approved, compiled by yours truly – and my elves.)

Merry FITmas blog header

for the traveler: i’m traveling for 2 weeks straight for the holidays, which means there often won’t even be a gym in sight! i always pack my running shoes and my fitkit so i have all my gear, on-the-go. these travel kits come with a resistance band, jump rope, and even a handy little case so you have no excuse not to get your workout on while you’re traveling. these are compact in size + make the perfect lil’ stocking stuffer for the jet setter on your list!

fitkit

for the paper lover: surprise, surprise….i heart paper. (go figure).  fitbook covers my fitness + food, but these 2 bound beauties complete the perfect paper trio. i start my day by jotting down my to do list + getting my priorities straight with my Day Designer planner. it was created by Whitney English, an entrepreneur, for the (type A) creative entrepreneur that still needs to put pen to paper. but even before i crack open my planner in the morning, i spend time in my prayer journal…and then end my day by reflecting in my gratitude journal, both from Val Marie Papers. yes, #paperrocks.

day designer val marie papers

for the fashionably fit: i’m pretty obsessed with our new fit gear line. we’ve had our little raceback tanks tops (super cheap on sale right now!!) for years , but i’ve always wanted to expand our apparel line. i’m so grateful we were able to do that this year for the holidays.  to be honest, i created them so i could wear them!  nothing inspires a workout like feeling (and looking) good. i’m not sure which saying is my fave: “goal-getter”…”fit happens”…or “no goal was met without a little sweat”!  and no, it’s not just for the ladies. we’ve stocked up on gear for the guys too!  what better gift for your buff beau than a sporty tee to flaunt his brawny biceps?

fit gear line up

for the goal getter: give them the gift of health this holiday season with new fitbook lite.  did you see the google hangout where i give you the 4 tweaks to lose 5+lbs in 6 weeks?consider getting one for you AND your accountability buddy so you can go after your goals together in 2015. it’s designed to work with digital fitness trackers too, which is a popular gift idea this holiday season. not in the mood to drop $100+? get our little red fitstep pedometer for <$10 that displays all the necessary digits: steps taken, calories burned + distance walked!

fitbook lite + pedometer

for the sweet snacker: need a healthy snack to leave for santa this christmas? these little coco-roons are raw, low in sugar, and made with all natural ingredients, which means you can have a couple without a sugar overload.  eating just one curbs sweet cravings + leaves me satisfied. tip: i keep them in the freezer…that way i eat them slower and they’re mentally a “treat”, not something i see every time i open the cupboard.  use promo code WR20 for a sweet little discount at checkout. (expires 12/31/14)

my cocoroons FITmas

for the foodie: with all the holiday parties and sweet treats galore this time of year, it’s super important to prep and pack healthy food so i’m making healthy choices the rest of the time. my friends at 6 pack bags make the absolute best products on the market – especially their new line of purses that discreetly (and stylishly) stash my food!  because they’re my buddies, they’re offering  fitbookers 15% off your order with promo code FITMAS15 at checkout – valid on ANY purchase so shop shop! (expires 12/31/14)

6 pack bags innovator mini

for the de-hydrated: i don’t love drinking water – if you know me, you know i prefer coffee…or wine…but not water. until now. our new fitfuser water bottle has me downing water like a pro!  i’ve tried orange + lime, strawberry + basil, and my current festive combo is cranberries + mint. since using this, i am easily downing 3-4 of these a day….a drastic improvement for moi!  research shows you consume fewer calories if you sip up before a meal – so make sure and guzzle the good stuff before holiday parties to keep from overeating!  this is a pretty awesome stocking stuffer for the fitness fiend in your life.  consider leaving santa a creative concoction in place of the milk this year!

fitfuserbottle

for the busy mom: the holidays can be overwhelming and stressful, especially when you have kids and are trying to sneak a workout in.  one of my favorite dvds for busy mommas are Erica Ziel’s after baby dvds.  whether you just had a baby or have little ones running around, these short, quick workouts will work you out in as little as 10 minutes a day.  pop one in the afternoon to get a quick + effective pilates workout while the kids are napping. even if you didn’t just have a baby, these workouts are seriously legit.  use code FITBOOK25 and get 25% off your order at knocked-upfitness.com! (expires 12/31/14)

knocked up fitness

for the faithful fashionista: not only do i love the creator of  Cross Training Couture, but i am a fan of her stylish apparel that proudly proclaims Jesus love.  i think i already own almost every tank top, but i’m hoping santa gifts me with this In It, Not Of It slouchy pullover to keep warm this winter.  i totally scored a discount for you too - enter promo code FITBOOK at checkout for 10% off – get shopping. (expires 12/31/14) 

in it not of it slouchy pullover

for the protein packer: healthy sources of protein help keep you more satiated and less likely to overindulge later.  stock up for a quick protein fix during your holiday travels – and get a few extra to stuff those stockings!  most natural bars out there either pack in the sugar with high fruit contents, or they’re a sad excuse for a protein bar. enter Rise Bars: with just 5 ingredients, they’re low in sugar, gluten free, non-GMO AND pack in 15g of high quality protein. psst…my fave is this one (lemon cashew) but they’re all tasty!  the company is also based out of orange county + have become friends of mine so they’re giving fitbookers 20% off all orders on their site with code FITBOOK20. (expires 12/31/14) 

rise bar lemon cashew

for the device diva: if you follow me on instagram (@fitbook) you might have see my sweet bytten giveaway.  i’m all about sporting my jawbone, and of all the trackers i think it’s the most stylish. but let’s face it, it’s not exactly my accessory of choice to go with my little black dress. until now. these stylish little  accessories  slide right on my jawbone, which means i can dress up my fitness tracker at a party and make sure i still get my steps in while i bust a move on the dance floor! check out their sweet selection too: gold, silver, red, blue, purple…almost every color for every occasion. perfect gift for that fit friend who always sports their tracker! (also available for fitbit)

bytten fitlosophy

for the procrastinator: sometimes it’s hard to find the perfect gift for the fitness lover in your life. and if you’re like me and tend to put things off a bit, you might be needing that you can get in your inbox, like ASAP. enter our fit gift cards: simply order, download + print…then your fit friend can shop til they drop!

fitlosophy fit card

remember: the holiday season is not just about the gifts.  trust me, i love giving gifts too…there’s nothing that brings me more joy than seeing someone’s face light up when i got them a thoughtful gift that makes them feel loved. and as always: let’s not forget the Reason for the Season.

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 9.39.44 PM

xoxo,
angela

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