This blog contains affiliate links and ads. This means that if you click on one and make a purchase I will earn a small commission for referring you. It costs you no more. Thank you for your continued support of FitViews! xoxo, Kerri O.

Returning By Popular Demand....

We'll be changing the rules a little this year. Stay tuned for details!

We had issues with people not sending prizes they promised, so this year we will only be accepting prize sponsors from companies, not participants.

Any companies interested in hearing about the perks of being a prize sponsor?? Email me at

Birthday Giveaway Winners!

Thanks to everyone who entered my fun little birthday giveaway!

Winner of the Yoga DVD:

Suzie H said...

I love your blog because of your honesty! Your reviews tell it how it is, and your personal posts show your experiences, perfect or not.
I would like to enter for the yoga DVD. I haven't tried it, but I'd like to!

Happy Birthday!!
Happy birthday again!!

I love the look of your blog! So fun and cute!! :)

I'd like to win the awesome fingernail polish!
I don't know why it is posting me anonymous!!! I am signed into my google account!! Very frustrating!

I love the everyday motivation and inspiration you have given me!! I absolutely LOVE the Things I'm Loving Right Now! I would like to be entered into the drawing for the book. Happy belated Birthday :)

Anyway, this is Elizabeth or @wizbanglizzy :)

Hype or Help: Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 Review

If you're not familiar with my Hype or Help experiments: I take a plan, workout, or product and put it to the test. I choose a certain amount of time (often 30 days) and test out their claims. Each week I update my progress and at the end post my final results, thoughts, and review. Each product will be judged hype or help and rated on a 5 star system.

Next in this series I am reviewing: Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30

Jillian promises "4 weeks 4 incredible workouts to get you in insane shape" (from the front of the DVD). I will be following the workout plan and the diet plan online that you can get when you purchase this DVD. In the beginning of the DVD Jillian says to workout 5 or 6 days a week (although elsewhere she says every day), I will be doing the workouts 6 days a week. What results will I see? I'm excited to find out.

Beginning Stats
Weight 179.5
BF% 32.8 
Waist 34.5
Right Thigh 22
Right Calf 14.75
Hips 42.5
Right Arm 12

I may also throw some runs in once or twice a week. I do this with all plans, so I think it makes the playing field level. I'm a runner, not going to quit running for any plan!

As I go along I will update this post with links at the bottom to each weekly progress post. Or you can check back on my blog on Tuesdays!

Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30, hype or help? Let's find out!

Week 1 Update and Results

I am just a blogger, not a doctor, trainer, or any sort of professional. What you read here are my personal experiences and opinions. Of course, always consult your doctor before trying a diet, supplement, or new workout program. This program was NOT provided to me and I receive no compensation for posting.

Brooklyn Fit Chick Guest Post: Why I Wear a Helmet

Hello all of you “Kat Does Diets” fans! Kerri was kind enough to ask me to do a guest posting on her Blog so today is the day.

My name is Margo and my Blog is called “Brooklyn Fit Chick.” You can follow me here:

I am a fitness instructor, personal trainer and avid cyclist. You can find all kinds of fun things on “Brooklyn Fit Chick” and I look forward to hearing your feedback on it soon.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @BrooklynFitChik (note spelling on Twitter)

I am also on Facebook: “Brooklyn FitChick”

Today I wanted to talk about the very personal reason that I always, absolutely, and without exception wear a helmet whenever I ride my bike (I call her Trixie!) Hope you enjoy it.

I have a love/hate relationship with my bike helmet. While it offers me protection should I ever need it and I promised my mother to absolutely, positively, without exception, never, ever go for a ride without it--I hate the way it looks and how hot it makes the top of my head.

Yuck, look here if you can stand it:

Yes, I will own my vain and shallow behind but I am not alone! There are many of us cycling vixens out there looking for a stylish solution to this bike helmet conundrum. (Design folks—get right on that. The day someone creates a stylish version will make serious money!)

Growing up, my generation did not bother with helmets, elbow and/or knee pads or enforced adult supervision. We were the latch-key, forgotten generation who boldly (and often stupidly) embraced dangerous activities without a second thought.

Anyhoo, way back when I was the rare tenth-grader who craved responsibility & structure and actively looked for an afterschool job but was too young to legally be hired anywhere. So I took my sincerity and youthful optimism and volunteered as a "Candy Striper" at the Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital in Malvern, PA. (Shout out!)

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about—Candy Stripers were young gals who were basically interns for hospitals and available to help out the hospital staff by handing out magazines, taking patients on their daily walk, playing cards, and pretty much do whatever the nurses ordered-- ahem, I mean asked us to do.

If you are wondering why they were called Candy Stripers, it was because our bitchin' uniforms that resembled a candy cane (from Getty Images)

Ugh, the memories are coming back now. This is probably the least flattering uniform for any profession. (Shudders)

Back to my story, my wing held the head-trauma patients and my job (which I took very seriously) was to hang out with them in between their doctor’s appointments and rehabilitation sessions. That could mean playing board games, watching TV, walking around the hospital grounds or as with my favorite patient--listen to records. (Records—yes, CDs were on the market but the hospital could not afford a “boom box” to play them.)

The patient whom I remember most clearly (and therefore was my favorite) was named Alice and she was 17-years old, had a boyfriend and a driver’s license which automatically made her seem cool as shit to 15 year-old me. Alice was very a beautiful girl and her parents described her as a "handful" on the count of her habit of sneaking out of the house to take midnight rides with her boyfriend who owned a motorcycle. (The coolness just kept piling on!)

Why was Alice a patient in the head trauma unit? From what I was told, one day while going on an actual parent-approved date, Alice's boyfriend hit a wet patch of leaves which caused his cycle to slide under a car (he was uninjured) while she was flown (head-first) right into the sidewalk. Without a helmet. In essence, Alice woke up one day as a "normal" high school senior and by that afternoon was left with the intellectual ability of a nine-year old.

A nine-year old with fits of temper and terrible headaches. Her short-term memory was practically nil; in fact I had to continually introduce myself to her for months. Alice's muscle coordination was compromised to the point where at the end of the day she would develop a noticeable limp and her right shoulder would stoop down into her chest.

Alice loved to listen to music and thought I was the coolest person ever because I was always bringing "new" records during my shift. Actually I only owned three but she could never remember what I brought the week before so as far she was concerned, I was a musical Santa Claus!

After several months of weekly visits, Alice was finally getting to the point where she would remember me, my name and the day I was due to be there. She would jump around and grab my arm excitedly when we would have the rec room to ourselves for "record time!"

Hands down her favorite was "Journey's Greatest Hits" and her favorite song was their ballad Who's Cryin' Now. As soon as the last guitar note would fade away she would shuffle over, pick up the needle and play it again. And each time her eyes would be closed as she listened very carefully to the beginning notes of the piano.

This happened so often the doctors, nurses, janitors and patients would take turns pleading with me and Alice to "please, please play another song!" To this day, I have a clear image of a young girl desperately trying to remember the lyrics and clapping clumsily off beat to the magic that was 80's Journey.

Almost six months to the day she was admitted to the center Alice had a seizure and was transferred to another facility. I was desperate to find out her condition but no one could offer a conclusive prognosis.

This completely threw me off because up until that time I thought doctors and hospitals had the answers for every ailment and injury imaginable. When I questioned her physician about her chances of ever getting better he shrugged his shoulders and said "Who knows? It's a head injury."

As he walked past me he added "You never want two things kiddo: you never want to be burned and you never want a head injury. All bets are off with either one." Never forgot that.

Soooooo, though I hate the look of my doofy helmet and how sweaty it makes my hair--I will always wear one when I ride..

I just wish someone would come up with a cute version. It's a potential gold mine--trust me.

Please promise me you will always wear your helmet as well.

Ox ox,


PS: This one's for you Alice—wherever you may be.

Sunday Quote

There's no reason to have a plan B because it distracts from Plan A.
~Will Smith

It's My Birthday, I'll Giveaway If I Want To...

Hooooooray! I turn 35 today. 

I am celebrating me today. Yep. I am.

It feels awesome to be in a place in my life that I can say that...but this post isn't really about's about you!!

I want to say thank you to all of you for being so. danged. awesome.

My mom took the boys last night, so I slept in this morning. I lazily rolled out of bed at 8 am, hubby got me coffee (I know, right?), and I decided to check my blog/facebook/twitter. Oh. My. Goodness. I was overwhelmed by the love!

Thank you all for making my birthday so great!!

And, like I said...this post is really about you. Thanking you...all of my readers. Last year I started a little tradition on my blog for my birthday. While I do LOVE getting gifts on my birthday, I also like giving them. So every year on my birthday I hope to do a giveaway here. Not just any old thing, but things I love or that are meaningful to me. Maybe not fancy and expensive, but from me (there's your disclaimer FTC, this is not sponsored). 

This year I am giving away some of MY FAVORITE THINGS:

Love, Love, Love this book. It made me want to make my life story AMAZING.


e-nuf is e-nuf by essie

Trophy wife by essie
Random, maybe, but love these. My favorite is actually called Dive Bar, but it's more of a winter color ;)


Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss

I love this so much I have the VHS!!

So, that'll be 3 winners: one for the book, one for the nail polishes, and one for the DVD.

To enter:
Leave a comment below telling me your favorite thing about my blog. Your favorite post, or thing I write about, etc...Also mention which item you're entering to win. (enter up to 3 times, once for each giveaway)

That's it! Winners will be chosen Wednesday June 29, 2011 at 5 pm mountain time.

Now, I'm off to make this an awesome birthday....

Think Thin Bars Review

Next in my series of protein bar reviews is Think Thin Bars:
Loved this brand. All the flavors I've tried have been great. Definitely one of my favorites from the millions I tried for this review series. I've already purchased more boxes of these, which is always a good indication of how much I like a protein bar! Since this video I've tried the Chocolate Espresso and am in love with it too. I know, chocolate, coffee, and protein...not surprising I'm smitten.

FYI these are gluten free.

Have you tried these before?

Disclaimer: These were sent to me by the company for review. As always, opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own. I receive no compensation for this post.

Things I'm Loving Right Now--May/June

Things mentioned in this video:
Supreme 90 Day
So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray with Olive Oil and Whipped & Creamy
Premier Nutrition Titan Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies
Coffeemate Natural Bliss in Sweet Cream
All Whites Egg Whites
Flat Out Bread Light Original
BSN Lean Dessert Protein in Whipped Vanilla Cream

Vita Coco Coconut Water
Running Gear
Puma FAAS 500 Running Shoes

Polar RS300X

Sofsole Coolmax Lite
Running For Women by Kara Goucher

After the Before and After by Karen CL Anderson

Calorie King
Muscle & Fitness Hers

Disclaimer: Some of these products were originally sent to me for review. Some I purchased on my own. That makes no difference in considering for my Things I'm Loving Right Now videos. I truly pick what I'm loving. Period. I received no compensation for this post.

Sunday Quote

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Guest Post Amy From Fruit Salad Life

Hey everyone! I’m Amy, from over at Fruit Salad Life. I want to cover something that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. It's so easy to get wrapped up in extremes when you're on a quest to lose weight and get fit (finally!). We've all been there. Starting Monday, you're going to run 4 days a week, do yoga 3 days a week, go to 2 spinning classes, eat zero carbs, drink 10 glasses of water a day, get 8 hours of sleep, and be the happiest, healthiest, and fittest that you've ever been!

I can't even begin to count the number of times I've written plans like this down. The plan would be incredibly rigid, and if I slacked off a bit, more often than not I'd completely throw in the towel. The first time I consciously remember doing this was the summer before sophomore year of high school when I would bring measly lunches of Triscuits and hummus to my job as a camp counselor.

My quirky plans increased with my income. I fell into a costly Kombucha-a-day habit, joined a fancy gym and obsessively took classes twice a day, and stuck to a strict shopping list at Whole Foods.

I drank a daily concoction of water and apple cider vinegar. When that fizzled out, I moved on to warm lemon juice every morning in order to "alkalize my body." I've forced myself to eat vegetables that I hated in order to reap the nutritional benefits. I cut out white foods, cut out carbs, cut out meat and dairy.

Then, I moved to San Francisco. 
Maybe it was being so far from home, or maybe it was the shock of living in such a healthy city. Seriously, it was really hard to find an overweight person in SF…people in general are incredibly fit there! It was as if I had a clean slate, and everything from then on could be fresh and new. I started walking everywhere. Granted, a lot of this was hitting the pavement trying to find a job. I allowed myself to try In-N-Out and not feel guilty about it. 
I joined a gym, but instead of building my life around classes, I scheduled classes around my life. There was a complete change in my approach to health and fitness. I started running consistently, and completed a half-marathon in November of 2010.
Gradually, my old weird health quirks started to fade away. I still get excited about health and fitness fads, but I've learned to take things with a grain of salt. I've replaced my former extremes with moderation. And you know what? I've never in my life been happier.

Moving to San Francisco was one of the best things to happen to me! It was the shock that my system needed to snap out of my crazy-obsessive way of thinking. We've all gone a little diet/workout crazy in our quest to better ourselves, but I think that everyone eventually has an AHA! moment. There is nopanacea for health. I'd always be looking for that cure-all, but when it comes down to it…the only thing that really, truly works for the long run is moderation and common sense.

Where am I now? I just recently moved to NYC, and my resolve has never been stronger. I'm making a conscious effort to cook more, finally stick to a manageable workout plan, and explore every inch of this incredible city…
…all while indulging without guilt

Thanks so much Amy! Everyone be sure to check out her blog and twitter!

What Do I Recommend?

Lately I've been getting more reader emails. Which I love. (Like, love love ;)

But I've noticed a theme amongst the questions I'm asked lately. That theme is my recommendations. I'm flattered that people care! I regularly do my Things I'm Loving Right Now videos, but don't always address these specific things. I will always try to answer every reader email I receive (except the pervs, nope, not gonna happen) but I figured I'd address these specific questions I've received a lot in a post. 

I'm no professional and I can only give MY opinion. But again, people are asking, in choosing these I asked myself: what do I love enough I'd recommend it to a friend? 

Single Workout DVDs

  1. Anything Jackie Warner. I won't list them, because I seriously love them all.
  2. Jillian Michaels Banish Fat Boost Metabolism and No More Trouble Zones. I know people have mixed Jillian opinions, but I like these two workouts. I haven't tried her newer ones, so I can't give an opinion on those.
Workout Systems (Packages that come with workouts, diet plan, and sometimes more)
  1. Supreme 90 Day System, best value you can get IMO.
  2. ChaLEAN Extreme.
  3. TurboFire.
Beginner Workouts
I am working on finding something I could recommend here. Many of the workouts I've listed show beginner modifications, but a true beginner workout, I don't really have one to share.

'Diet' Books, Plans, Websites, etc (I put diet in quotes, because I think they are more healthy lifestyle plans here.)
  1. Body Confidence by Mark MacDonald. 
Running Shoes
  1. One word: PUMA. I won't recommend a specific shoe, because it varies by your preference and running mechanics, but this is my go-to brand.
Protein Powder
  1. With Stevia: Jay Robb.
  2. If other sweeteners don't bother you: BSN Lean Dessert Protein and Syntha 6.
Protein Bars
  1. 2:1 Protein Bars.
  2. Think Thin Bars.
  3. I also really like Titan High Protein Cookies by Premier Nutrition (the chocolate chip).
Heart Rate Monitors
  1. Polar. I've had 2 and love them. Specifically now I have the Polar RS300X with S1 foot pod (in orange, not that it really matters).
None of the above links are affiliate links, and no, I don't make a dime for this post or if anyone buys these things. That's not the point of this post.

I'm always trying and falling in love with new things, so I may do one of these posts every so often. 

How about you, what do you love enough you'd recommend it to us?? Did I miss a category, something you'd like me to add next time I do a post like this?

I am just a blogger, not a doctor, trainer, or any sort of professional. What you read here are my personal experiences and opinions. Of course, always consult your doctor before trying a diet, supplement, or new workout program.

Monday Ramblings

Happy Monday! Please enjoy this rambling vlog update:
Some goals I've set for myself for the summer:
  1. Track every day for the rest of the summer. 
  2. Become more consistent with my early morning workouts. My entire day just goes better!
  3. Run 3 days a week.

I hope you can join us on twitter for #oatchat. More info here!

Sunday Quote

Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it! Boldness has power, magic and genius in it.

40% OFF Puma

Just wanted to share: PUMA Friends and Family 40% Off valid through June 13th. (If you click that link it will take you to Puma and give you a code, click 'Shop Now' and when you checkout enter the code.)

Have a great weekend everyone!


I don't often write on things like this, but my blog is for me, and I need to write this. 

The last week or so I've been dealt a huge dose of perspective. I've been tweeting, facebooking, and emailing with readers and blog friends that are struggling. I'm not talking struggling with the last 20-25 pounds like I am, but really struggling. People who don't just wish they looked better in their jeans, but people who's health and even lives are at risk here. People who have large amounts of weight to lose and just can't seem to do it. They've tried and failed so many times they don't know If they can stand another time of falling down. Some seem to have lost hope.

These interactions have been rough. 

I hear the pain and desperation in their voices and I remember it so well. I was there. I remember feeling like it was impossible, feeling like giving up on myself, feeling like I had no hope. I remember feeling that food controlled me, that I couldn't stop myself, that it was beyond me. I vividly remember loathing myself. 

The thing is that because I've been there, I feel like I should be able to help. Who better to help than someone who has been through that journey? I want to help. I don't want anyone to feel the way I did about myself. I don't want anyone to give up on themselves. I don't want anyone to go through life without hope.

I believe that my writing is a gift. A gift I've been given for a reason. So, why can't I help? I know, I can't fix the whole world, but damn it I want to!

Lately I've been asked how I did it. They see my before and current pics and want the 'answer'. I always do my best to give a helpful encouraging response to this, but fact is...I don't have the answer. I can discuss the xyz of what I do to lose weight, but it's much deeper than that. There's SO much mental and emotional stuff that has to go on too. 

I've thought long and hard, what could someone have said to the 'before' me to help? What could they have done? How would I have been reached? Truth is, I don't know. Maybe it was a process I had to go through. Maybe that's true for everyone. I don't know. But that doesn't stop me from feeling the pain I was in and wanting to save others from that. 

I just want to save them all, I just want to help them, I just want to force feed them with all this hope I have.

I posted on my facebook: Sometimes I realize I can't save the whole world and it makes me very, very sad. Karen replied: Karen C L Anderson I used to feel the same way until I realized something: you know how good it feels when you have saved yourself?? Who are we to take that away from those we wish to save?

I hear her. She's very wise.

I'm not perfect, I'm not at my 'goal', I don't always make the right choices. I slip up sometimes, I backslide. But I'm not there. I'm not where they are. I'm not where I was. Funny enough, tonight, that hurts. I hurt for them; I hurt for that 'before' me. From here I can see that she was me. She had every bit of my strength and awesomeness inside of her all the time, but she didn't know it.


New Smoothie Obsession (Recipe)

Do your eating habits change in the summertime? Mine definitely do. As the temperature goes up and up I start craving fresh fruit like crazy. I tend to want to eat lighter overall. It's not really a choice, I just naturally tend that way. Smoothies become a huge staple in my diet. In fact, after 10 AM I could LIVE on smoothies. There are days I will have 3 and days I won't have any.

Because they are being used as snacks and even meals in the summer I try to cram as much  nutrition as I can into my smoothies. My smoothie recipes get pretty creative. 

I always start with a base of 1 cup almond milk and 1 scoop of protein powder. Then I add whatever I'm feeling like. Frozen fruit like strawberries, blueberries, bananas, or peaches (I find frozen fruit gives a better shake-like consistency). Or a nut butter like peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter (I like these with vanilla or chocolate protein powder). Random things like spinach, oats, or bee pollen (hey, I've read it's good for you!). Anything to cram my nutritional needs into these yummy summertime treats.

Lately on hot afternoons this recipe has been hitting the spot:
You can't tell in this pic, but this smoothie is super green.
Green Tea Vanilla Protein Smoothie
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use BSN Lean Dessert Protein or Syntha 6 here)
1 cup melon balls (any kind) this is optional, I make it both ways.
1 tsp green matcha tea (it's the powdered kind, I buy online)
Handful of ice to desired consistency.
Throw that all in a blender and blend well. Yum! Reminds me a little of a Starbucks green tea frap.

What's your favorite smoothie recipe?

2 to 1 Protein Bars by MetraGenix Review

I promised to start this review series a while back following some twitter/email conversations I had with people about the overwhelming choices of protein bars. Several of you, just like me, wanted a quick easy protein bar option, but were overwhelmed by all the choices.
Since then I've tried many, many and these and 2:1 Protein Bars were among my favorites:
I found the best deal on these at and although they don't have every flavor (I have found both of those have very fast shipping). GNC also carries them, but the price is higher. I also found them at but I've never shopped there before. Of course you can always get all the flavors at

Disclaimer: After falling in love with this brand I contacted this company and they were gracious enough to send me samples for this post. I received no compensation for this post. As always opinions are 100% honest and my own. None of the above links are affiliate links.

Return of the #Oatchat

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....

OK, it was a little over three weeks ago on twitter... I co-hosted the first ever #oatchat with Lizzy from Coach's Oats. You can read about it here.

We had so much fun that we're doing it again! I hope you can all come to...Return of the #Oatchat:

Monday, June 13th at 3PM EST. 
Be sure you're following @coachsoats and me @fitviews on twitter. Use the hashtag #oatchat in your tweets to join in the conversation! (You can also sign in to and enter the hashtag #oatchat. It will automatically track all tweets using that hashtag and add it to tweets you enter from there!) If you have never participated in a twitter chat and have questions, please feel free to ask away in the comments below. I'd be happy to answer any and all. Pssst, if you're not on twitter, what are you waiting for??

There will be lots of oat-tastic giveaways and oat-standing conversation!

Will you be there?

No RSVP Required. Prizes can only be shipped to US addresses.

Sunday Quote

Do you want to be safe and good, or do you want to take a chance and be great?
Jimmy Johnson

HOT New Running Shoes aka Puma FAAS 500 Review

What better way to celebrate National Running Day than a shoe review? Today I'd like to review and share my experience with the PUMA FAAS 500 running shoe.

Get into your groove

The Faas 500 lightweight running shoe is an alternative to tradition with its superior flexibility. Constructed with BioRide Technology, an integrated system that gives you a more natural and responsive ride, the shoe works hard through every run. The Faas 500 falls towards the middle of the Faas cushioing scale, making it a perfect everyday trainer. The design is inspired by PUMA's old school running trainer, the RS1. It features a mesh upper with bonded synthetic suede for a soft, sock-like fit. EverRide and EverTrack technology in the outsole add cushioning and durability where it's needed, while the OrthoLite sock liner increases breathability.
(Women's Faas) Features:
  • Weight: 8.9 ounces
  • Mesh and synthetic suede upper for breathability and reflective for safety
  • OrthoLite® insole made from sustainable materials for cushioning support that's good for you and the Earth
  • Rubber outsole with EverRide and EverTrack components for durability and advanced cushioning
  • Innovative midsole with BioRide technology, featuring three components that work together to create a naturally responsive ride:
  • 1. Rocker: Incorporates a rocker shape for a centered heel strike and effortless toe-off.
  • 2. Flex: Most sidewalls are raised to stabilize the foot but then restrict the flex. Our solution? We incorporated flex grooves in zones where it makes biomechanical sense to allow the foot to move naturally.
  • 3. Groove: A groove on the side of the shoe gives the foot a feel for the ground, giving you a more responsive ride.
  • This style is eligible for the PUMA Time Trial Program.Try them out for 30 days risk free! See HELP section for details.

Like I said, love these shoes and absolutely recommend I want the pink ones! Strictly because I like to have two pairs to alternate between when I train. Right.

Guys, I gotta say, I'm a little jealous. The men's FAAS 500's come in RED. Hmmm, wonder if I could wear a guy's shoe ;) FYI the men's version is 9.5 ounces.

How about you, have you tried Puma running shoes? Are you a fan like me? Am I the only one that prefers bright crazy shoes to beige and boring ones?

Disclaimer: as I said in the video, these were sent to me for review. I receive no compensation for any posts and opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own.

PS Running on Awesome is having a marathon week challenge that starts next week, join us!