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Get your Body Prepared for the Holiday So It Keeps Working As You Keep Drinking

June 29th, 2015 No Comments

(Photo by Kelly Fajak) 

Holidays seem to be relaxing for our heads, but not really for our bodies. Yes, we decrease the physical exercise, but at the same time we intentionally increase the caloric intake.  Laying out on the beach, we absolutely need a margarita in hand.  The hot weather insists on cold beer.  How could we not eat burgers at a pool party?  And yes, I’d like cheese on that.

So while we’re not holding on to a ton of guilt, we’re demanding our bodies work overtime to allow us to relax.

You might think I’m going to tell you NOT to do any of those things.  You would be wrong.  I’ll be right there with you pouring the tequila and making patties.

So our plan should be to get our metabolism in gear before the festivities begin.

Here is the plan of attack:

1.  HITT – High Intensity Interval Training.

Taking your heart rate to its max and then dropping it down again.  You can do this in so many way: spin class, boot camp, boxing, circuit training, running up a hill, etc.

It’s not easy, but it’s effective in spiking your metabolism.


2.  Keep Eating!

To prep for days in bathing suits, we usually starve ourself.  Bad idea.  If you stop eating now, your metabolism will slow down.  When it’s hit with the onslaught of goodies, it won’t be prepared.

Keep it moving at regular pace by eating 5 small meals a day.  Each including protein, carbs, and fat.

3.  Drink lots of water.

Sunshine and booze are satisfying and depleting at the same time.  Hydrate your body now!

The additional water will help control your portion control at meals as well.

4.  Plan ahead.

Plan one day when you will exercise.  Make it your favorite workout so you’ll want to do it.  You don’t have to make it a killer workout, just one to keep everything in motion.

I promise you now, you will feel AMAZING after you’re done.

A few of my vacation workouts here:

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Hostesses, meet your new wooden friend.

May 20th, 2015 No Comments

I was introduced to Honey Boards through my longtime childhood friend Julie Soefer, who is one of the most talented photographers I know.  After working with Annie Lebowitz and being a natural behind the lens (as she proved in high school), how could she not be.  Julie shot that amazing picture above, posted it on her Instagram, and this little southern girl who loves to entertain melted into her iPhone.

A little investigation led to learn about the company.



Honey Boards, are made from cypress knees of trees that have been cut down for lumber by a cute couple in Louisiana.  They come in all shapes and sizes and their price point is reasonable.  Unfortunately, since they’re all hand-crafted and one of a kind, they’re often sold out!  See what’s available here.



According to their instagram @honeyboards, VERY SOON, we will be able to find them in West Elm.  However, I’m the kind of girl who likes to go to the source.



What I love most about this serving platter is that I would (and will as soon as I buy one) use it as a decorative piece where I could see it and smile daily.

(Photos via Honey Boards Instagram)

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MTM gift guide giveaway 2013

December 11th, 2013 3 Comments


Readers, it’s that time!  Most of you should know the one very simple rule by now.  Share this gift guide on your social platform and be entered to win one of four gift bags stuffed with my favorite goodies.For each platform you share on, you get an entry.  Share AS MANY TIMES AS YOU WANT!  If you add a gift with a link to purchase in the comments, you’ll get two entries.  Easy enough?!

To enter, simply share something like this:

@MaryRambin just posted her #MTMgiftguide giveaway. LOVE some of her ideas and great products to win! http://ow.ly/rFLFy


**Make sure to include the link and tag @MaryRambin #MTMgiftguide so I know to enter your name.  Remember, you can post as many times as you want.  Each post puts your name in the hat AGAIN!

There will be one grand prize winner (who will receive goodies below along with Sol Republic headphones and a Glow and Go Mask from January Labs), 2 runner up gift bags with all of the following products, and one goodie bag for a guy.



The Gift Guide

My Top Picks for Women

My Top Pics for Men

Electronics anyone would love:

Accessories for athletes and active people:

Discount sites to browse

Brands to shop for…

Still stumped? How about random stuff my family loves:



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Is fitness an appreciated or offensive Christmas gift??

December 9th, 2013 1 Comment

BLAST900 interval training


Unfortunately, over the years this has become a loaded question.  If you buy a gym membership or gift card for someone, you believe you’re giving a thoughtful gift because you’re considering their well-being, financial situation, and what they like to do.  Unless the later is not true, in which case you’re perceived as saying they need to get in shape.  And even if they do, and have outwardly stated they WANT TO, you’re still the bad guy.

“Not so fast!” as Lee Corso would say.

Think about it as giving someone a massage or a day at the spa: you’re giving them something they usually wouldn’t splurge on for themselves.  “Exercise” can be the same way.

To give fitness as a true GIFT, in other words as a luxury  and not as necessity, ask yourself these questions about your friend/family/signifigant other. We’ll call this person Alex to make things easier.

1.  What kind of physical activaty does Alex like to do?

If Alex doesn’t go to the gym, there are probably  more reasons other than time and money at play.  If Alex actually enjoyed it, s/he’d figure out a way to go.  So, what does Alex really like to do?  Tennis, yoga, group activities, basketball, surfing, skiing, racquetball, weight training?  Unfortunately I’m going to have to take golf out of this equation because it fails to get your heart rate up.

2.  Where can Alex do this?

Find a private studio, instructor, or group that specializes in the activity.  Tap into the luxury of the activity.  So you purchase hours with a trainer, not just a gym membership.  You get a package at a yoga, pilates, or spinning studio.  Find a tennis pro near Alex’s home or office.

Now the gift is truly a treat!

If Alex wants to be active but he hates the gym, your thoughtful gift of an activity s/he actually enjoys doing can serve as the gateway to getting Alex back in action!

Here are a list of studios I love in major cities:

Los Angeles

New York




Kind of a short list, but that’s where I rock out in town.



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Think Negative Thoughts To Survive The Holiday

December 20th, 2012 No Comments

Sounds like something Scrooge would say, right?  Apparently we’re mistaken, according to an ancient Stoic philosophy and findings noted in an article I read in the Wall Street Journal a couple weeks ago.

The article was called “The Power of Negative Thinking.”  Honestly I was first drawn to it because my boyfriend tends to have a pessimistic view when it comes to conflict, yet he’s very calm and successful at overcoming it.  Little did I know that I was about to read about an ancient Stoic logic.  The philosophy goes:

“Sometimes the best way to address an uncertain future is to focus not on the best-case scenario but on the worst…It is simply realism.”


It didn’t really start to make sense until writer Oliver Burkeman plays it out in the article.  He notes an exercise that Albert Ellis, the NYC phychotherapist who “pioneered the negative path,”  would make this clients do in order to overcome their fear of embarrassment.  They had to ride the subway and say out loud each station they passed.  Burkeman actually did it and found that his “overblown fears were cut down to size” when he wasn’t harrassed or attacked.  People looked at him funny, but that was about it.

How does this apply to us and the holidays?

The Stoics called it the premeditation of evils,” which apparently one-third of Americans instinctively use “defensive pessimism.  Burkeman states the principle:

“Positive thinking…is the effort to convince yourself that things will turn out fine, which can reinforce the belief that it would be absolutely terrible if they didn’t.” 

Well, that makes sense!  If we are “realistic” and just accept the things we hate about the holidays instead of denying them or shoving them aside, it might relieve our anxieties.  Seriously, what’s the worst thing that can happen if the food isn’t perfect or if siblings get in a fight?

“There are some facts that even the most powerful positive thinking can’t alter…The future really is uncertain, after all, and things really do go wrong as they go right.”

The most interesting part is when the tenet is applied to the corporate environment and setting goals. I wont’ go into that, but you should read on about “learning to accommodate feelings of uncertainty is not just the key to a more balanced life but often leads to prosperity as well.”

I hope this helps in some way if you’re stressed or anxious.  I just tell myself to relax.  There’s no reason to get wound up.

(Apologies for the stock photo…)



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More is More for Holiday Attire

December 19th, 2012 No Comments

This time of year is really the only time I can think of (besides Halloween) when we can break the rules and over-accessorize.  In the spirit of being festive!

Usually you pick one statement piece and let it shine atop your outfit.  Now I’m saying pile them all on.  Wear metallics, statement jewelry, and a bright red lip altogether.  Go on, throw on those red shoes too.  Of course you can go overboard, but this is your chance to play.

Let’s take Taylor as an example.  As always Taylor Swift looks amazing, but would you say she looks festive?  I don’t think she does.  I would love to see a big statement necklace and some shoes with character.


Here’s a key to pulling this off: the accessories you choose shouldn’t be be festive in their own right (Ranjana Khan above).  You don’t want to beat the issue to death before people’s gaze makes it to your waist.  You want your individual pieces to create one festive look.  I wish I had some examples to show you of successful ensembles, but I’m hoping now that I’ve mentioned this to you, you’ll notice women embracing the “more is more” holiday sensibility and give it a shot.

I’ll take some more pics and post them here after I’m out and about a little bit more.  You can always follow me on tumblr to keep up as well!


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TODAY is the LAST DAY to enter the MTM Holiday Giveaway!

December 14th, 2012 1 Comment


It’s too easy not to enter and win some really cool stuff.  CLICK here to go to the gift guide and details.

This house is near me in Atlanta and just cracks me up.  They’ve been buying and collecting these blow-ups for over 8 years to decorate their lawn (this is only about 1/3 of it!).  In the spirit of giving, they ask people to donate money for a local charity.  Considering the display is so captivating as you drive by, I’m sure they’ve done thousands of dollars worth of good.  GREAT IDEA, right?!

We can have great ideas and give without the blow-ups, you know.

Should you want to give the gift of life instead of material items, I admire the work of AdventConspiracy that asks us not to spend money on random gifts, but to make each other things, spend time together to share your love, and donate to people who really need things.  Things like shelter, like food, like water.  Advent Conspiracy has been working with Living Water to build wells in communities without ANY clean water.

Watch three seconds of this video.  Whether or not you give to Advent Conspiracy or the charity of your choice, I encourage you to consider giving a real gift to people who really need a sweater, a water bottle , a bed to sleep in.  Because really, we don’t NEED anything, do we?


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Holiday Survival Tips from My Nutritionist

December 13th, 2012 No Comments

Hilary says you CAN have fun and still be healthy over the holidays.  Here are her tips for survival:

Before the Parties

Do NOT skip meals!! You know when people say, “Oh I’m not eating lunch because I’ve got this party tonight, and I know I’ll eat there!” WRONG!  Do NOT go to the party hungry. Try eating something before hand like a think thin bar so that you don’t go in hungry!

At the Parties

Do NOT hover around the food table. Get a small plate, put what you want on it, and walk away! Work the room, talk to people—focus on the company rather than the food.

  • Put protein on your plate FIRST!! Start with protein and then move to rich vibrant colors.
  • Rather than loading your plate the first time, put a little on, and if you want more later, you can always go back.
  • Be picky!! Passed hors d’oeuvres are small, but they add up FAST. To avoid eating 2,000 calories worth of cheese puffs, limit yourself to 3 you love—if you can, pass on the crab cakes and other fried fare.
  • If you’re at a sit-down dinner party, cut your first helping in half. That way, you can enjoy seconds (and your host or hostess will feel good about that), and the total amount of food you eat will be about the same as a normal-size portion.

Be Smart About Alcohol 

Keep your calories and your buzz under control!

  • A single shot of vodka, gin, or rum with club or diet soda and a squeeze of lime is about 100 calories.
  • Low-cal options like light beer or wine have fewer than 150 calories per serving. They’re perfect if you sip one all night.
  • If you’re the type to make several trips to the bar (no judgments!), ask the bartender to fill your glass halfway each time to keep your total intake down.
  • Champagne or pink Prosecco are both great options. Not only are they low on the calorie chart—80 to 120 per glass—but you’re more likely to sip rather than guzzle.

Holiday Shopping Snack Attack

Ohhhh the mall food court! All of the gift decisions you face at the mall will make you more vulnerable to temptation at the food court so keep things in your purse.

  • Pack Snacks! 30 pistachios or 24 almonds in a Ziploc bag with two dried plums or apricots, or even some turkey jerky or a snack bar like Think Thin—get protein—it’ll keep you full.

Holiday Special Treats

Why are we such suckers for holiday desserts? The scarcity theory: things we think are in limited supply, are more desirable to us than non-scarce items.

Holiday-themed coffee drinks and sweets are often more caloric than regular ones, so stick to the basics: add your own cinnamon to your every day coffee or drizzle your own vanilla or peppermint extract.

Fast Food At Home

We get it, you’re busy! This means less time to prepare meals, so you may be tempted to eat at the drive through for convenience.

  • Making recipes in advance that you can store in the freezer to reheat for dinner on busy evenings.
  • Crock pot dinners are another good option for protein then just add steamed veggies.

Get your Protein Early

Eat a protein-based breakfast. Healthy proteins and good fats will give you an energy boost in the morning and prevent cravings later in the day.

  • Try a whole boiled egg or some salmon with avocado instead of cereal or toast.
  • Use nut butter like almond butter on Ezekiel or gluten free toast.
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