Holiday Gift Guide:
My Favorite Fitness Things

December 20, 2017

I'm sure you guys have been bombarded by gift guides, but I couldn't not share my favorite fitness items that would make perfect gifts this holiday season. (And, um, better late than never!) So, here are all my favorite things - many of which would make great stocking stuffers if you need last-minute ideas! ;)

ToeSox 


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Discovering ToeSox was one of the best additions to my yoga practice. Not only are they cute, but they really keep you from slipping on your mat. I've even been taking a pair to the gym with me and after my workout, I'll go into the yoga room and move through my own flow. The half toe style is my favorite!

Flipbelt


There are a few things that I always have with me for every workout and my Flipbelt is one of them. If you're like me and hate arm bands to hold your phone, the Flipbelt is perfect! It holds my phone perfectly. I even wore it to run the Thanksgiving 5k and carried my phone, my Dad's car keys and chapstick.

Earhoox

 

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Naturally Me, Gift Guide, Fitness Gift Guide, Gift Guide 2017, Earhoox

I've had my Earhoox for xx months and I have never taken them off my ear buds. As someone that doesn't like bulky headphones when I workout, these Earhoox are perfect. They fit my ears and stay in place. (Read my full Earhoox review!)

Passion Planner


Yes, I still use an actual planner and I've used a Passion Planner for 2 years now. I not only love the colors and designs, but also the goal-setting guides, motivational quotes, weekly focus, and more. You can also get a dated or undated planner!

Alo Yoga Moto Leggings


I don't pay a crazy amount for my workout leggings... ever (hello Target)... but I decided to splurge on these ever so popular Alo Yoga leggings. Let me tell you: they're worth every penny! They are an amazing quality, stay put during workouts, and are perfect for an athleisure look. I wear them all the time and really want to get another color.

S'well Bottles

 

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I can't think of better motivation to #stayhydrated than cute water bottles. (Okay, maybe all the skin and health benefits of water, but you know what I mean.) I already own two of these S'well bottles and they keep water cold (or hot) for hours. They come in so many different colors and the cutest patterns, too!

Spiralizer


Zucchini noodles for daysssss. I just dug this exact spiralizer out of all my moving boxes and I can't wait to use it again. It comes with 5 different blades so you can literally make anything. I kind of want to try to make fries at least one time.

Nike Dri-FIT Leggings


Nike Dri-FIT leggings sure make leaving the gym in freezing weather a lot more bearable. (I also like to wear them to run errands or under my jeans to go ice skating!)

Slap Nutrition


Slap is the only protein powder and BCAA's I use. There are only 5 ingredients (that you can pronounce), the flavors are so good, and they don't make my stomach upset. I can't recommend them enough! If you're looking for a protein powder, I'd suggest giving Slap a try!


SHOP MY FAVORITES:


Fall Activewear Under $80
+ Recent Purchases

November 22, 2017

Something weird has been happening: ever since I've been back in the gym, I want to buy all. the. activewear. #SorryNotSorry ;) If you missed my recent buys roundup on Instastories, don't worry! I've got ya covered in today's post and it's extra sweet because I'm also sharing my favorite activewear under $80.

Here's what I'm loving for fall (it is still fall, right??) in addition to mesh leggings, of course.

Twisted tops - I just can't get enough of the cute knot detail in athleisure and workout tops! It think it's just so cute and really elevates a plain old top.



Cropped tops - I'm loving the cropped top + high-waisted legging combo. A lot. (I know, I can't believe it either.) Usually workout tops are so long on me so maybe I'm ready for a change? lol This cropped tank from the Rock x Under Armour collection is my favorite. The back is unexpected and adorable!

Lace-up detail - Especially in sweatshirt form. Okay and leggings, too.



Metallics - I've been loving the metallic trend so much, I bought this copper and mesh sports bra and it's perfection. Sure florals, fun patterns, and color combos are great but in my opinion, metallic is


Now, let's move on to my recent buys! You'll definitely see some of the above styles... I can't get enough. You can shop the collage below by clicking on the plus sign next to each item (or at the bottom of the post). It's super easy!




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How To Get Back On Track
After A Workout Break

November 20, 2017

If you missed my previous post, I covered my lengthy exercise hiatus and why taking an extended workout break can be beneficial. (Seriously.) So today, I wanted to give you guys some more tools by sharing how I got back on track following my workout break.


Before I got back in the gym, I didn't just get a membership to my local spot. I also started back to my daily healthy routines such as:

1. Daily ACV + lemon juice shot


The very first thing I started incorporating back into my daily routine was my morning shot of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. (I still follow this recipe.) It has so many benefits and makes me feel ready to take on the day.

2. Increase water intake


We all know how important it is to #stayhydrated so when I started my new job I went right back to trying to drink 8 glasses a day. It was a struggle at first, but week by week I've been able to cross off an additional glass of water. (I keep a tally on my daily to-do list!)

3. Clean up nutrition


After I moved back to PA, I wasn't watching what I was eating very much, and on purpose. Just like an extended workout break can be beneficial, sometimes not tracking every single thing you eat is a much needed reset. I certainly didn't eat just anything, but I didn't watch as closely as I would have with working out. For awhile, it was okay. But, your workouts won't have maximum effect without eating well. So even before I got back in the gym, I started watching a bit more what I was eating - and how much - to fuel my workouts and recover properly.

4. Stock up on workout essentials


My workout essentials are protein powder and BCAAs. (Side note: here's why BCAAs are beneficial.) I didn't have much left so I made sure to order everything I need. I use Slap Nutrition and their protein powder is so good! Plus, it has only 5 ingredients - that you can pronounce. I also use their unflavored BCAAs mixed with water and flavor drops. If you use any supplements, protein, shakes... make sure you have everything on hand ready to go. I also stocked up on my daily vitamins.

5. Take it one day at a time


Since I've been back in the gym, my body is like 'What the heck!' My workouts have been pretty tough and I've been taking more breaks than usual. It's been frustrating. But, I have a habit of looking at the big picture and how far I have to go, instead of breaking the journey down into smaller, attainable goals. One day at a time, I'm learning to take it one day at a time. Change won't happen overnight, but it will happen over time with hard work.


Do you have any additional tips on how to get back on track after a workout break? I'd love to know... leave a comment and share away!


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The Benefits of Taking an
Extended Break From Exercise

November 6, 2017

It's Monday (woof) but it's already shaping up to be a good week because I'm back to blogging and I'm back in the gym! Somebody stop me. ;)


In case you're wondering why there have been zero Instastories from the inside of a gym, (I know you've missed them!) it's for a very simple reason: LIFE. Okay okay, maybe I need to stop using the I-just-moved-and-I'm-too-stressed-to-function excuse because I'm definitely settled and happy as a clam.

The biggest reason for not working out is that I didn't have a gym membership yet... and the current one I did have ignored all my correspondence to cancel said membership so I was paying for a gym I couldn't use. I was a little salty and didn't want to pay for 2 gym memberships. (And I'm not exactly crazy about home workouts, clearly.)

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Naturally Me, Taking A Break from Exercise, Target Activewear, Activewear Outfit for Fall

Long story short, I decided to enjoy some time off from working out. Even though there were moments I missed it dearly, I realized it's perfectly okay to need a break from exercising - longer than a day or two. I've now dusted off my Nike's and I'm back in the gym, adjusting to a much smaller facility than what I'm used to (miss ya, Gold's) but thankful I took an exercise reset. It was something I didn't know I needed.

You may think I'm crazy, but here's why taking an extended break from exercise can actually help you.

1. It helps avoid burnout


Burnout is real. I'm sure it'd be tough to find anyone who hasn't experienced it in some form, whether from work or working out. Even before moving back home, I've felt burnt out from a series of too many daily workouts and not enough rest days. Burnout can make you feel drained, which can lead to poor workout form, and increased risk for injuries.

2. You realize how important a healthy lifestyle is to you


I'm a creature of habit in anything I do, so when my daily routine didn't include the gym, I was reminded pretty quickly how important it is to me. It's my form of meditation. When I was unpacking, I found my workout notebook where I recorded PR's and really missed those days. This time off has been great, but I've also found myself craving a good sweat session. Reset time is over, I'm comin' back stronger!

3. You feel inspired to try new workouts


I've still been keeping up on podcasts and reading my favorite health and fitness websites for workout inspiration. That part of my daily routine hasn't changed and it's made me even more inspired to incorporate more exercises into my routine. Plus, last week, I found Pure Barre and Orange Theory Fitness just a few minutes down the road from my office. I definitely plan to try a workout or two there to keep my body guessing. (Bonus: your first OTF workout is free, along with these other first time workouts!)

4. You reexamine your goals


Are your previous goals still relevant? Has your outlook on fitness shifted? Are you interested in classes, a personal trainer, or a different workout style? As life evolves, so do we and goals we once had may not be important to us anymore. Even though I'm not totally starting over, I am kind of beginning a new fitness chapter. One that may or may not include doing a competition. The jury is still out on my new goals, but I'll keep yinz updated!

Naturally Me, Taking A Break from Exercise, Target Activewear, Activewear Outfit for Fall, Stretching

So, #FitFam, I'm not saying to put away the sneakers and foam rollers just yet, but if you find yourself at a point in your life like me where you need to press pause, it's okay. Just don't make it last forever. If you're curious about how I have gotten back on track after a long workout break, be ready for my next post! ;)


Have you ever taken an extended exercise break? How did it benefit you?


Photos by Rosa Loves DC

Life Lately, Vol. 4

October 16, 2017

Life has a (not so) funny way of falling apart so bigger and better things can fall into place.


I've been wanting to write this post since I moved out of Maryland for good, but between settling in and starting a new job, that wasn't at the top of my list. After all, life happens and more important things deserve as much focus and energy as possible.

Honestly, though, being busy wasn't all of it. I realized part of me was putting this post off because I haven't wanted to sit down and sort through all my thoughts and feelings. In a nutshell, this last month has been a rough road.

So, how did it all start? With heartbreak. I didn't see the breakup coming and, when you live together in preparation for the future, it's an even harder pill to swallow. Over three years together and still today I have no explanation. No closure. (Though looking back, I saw some writing on the wall, shall we say.)

Through all of that, I realized something: I wanted to move back home to Pennsylvania.

Then I realized it has been something I wanted to do for a few years. Years! But I figured the longer I stayed in Maryland, the more I'd grow out of feeling like I needed to move home. Never mind the fact that anytime I'd drive home to visit, I'd cry as I left to drive back to Maryland. Or when I talked to my Mom every week and heard about all the family time I was missing out on, my heart hurt. Each time I had that feeling, I told myself it'd be fine. Life would go on and home just wasn't in the cards for me.


Life did go on - and then I found myself single and making the decision to start job searching in PA. Before I knew it I was interviewing and then offered the job just an hour after leaving my interview!

It's been four weeks since I've been back with my family and I'm the happiest I've been in years.

The joy I feel to be in the land of spotty wifi, one lane bridges, roads without lines, farmland, and Steeler Sundays is unmatched. I've traded the hustle and bustle of Maryland for the occasional "traffic" jams of Amish buggies, turkeys, and tractors. My drive to work is longer than it's ever been, but I am finally part of a company I love with a President that respects and appreciates everyone. I don't dread work weeks and know this is where I belong. I'm more relaxed, calm, and care-free. For the first time in a long time, I'm happy.

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My hobbies currently include: pet sitting, missing the mountains of Utah, volunteering at a local fall festival, and enjoying family time. I've even been taking some time off from the gym and even though it's been unplanned, it's been a much needed reset.

As hard as the past several weeks (heck, months) have been, I'm grateful for one door closing and a new chapter beginning. I'm learning a lot about myself..... and others. I've learned it's nearly impossible to suppress feelings, they'll just continue to consume you. I've learned who my true friends are, and to hold them close. I've learned what (and who) deserves my energy. I've learned I'm stronger than I know. I've learned that there is nothing more important than family and there's no place like HOME.

Good or bad - everything happens for a reason. Happy Monday, fit fam! I promise there will be many more regular posts coming!

My Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day Experience

August 31, 2017

It's only been four days since I was in Philadelphia for the  Susan G. Komen 3-Day® and I am still smiling when I think of the amazing time I had.

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To say that it was a fun experience is a total understatement. For those of you that followed along across my social media channels - thank you! If you missed anything, hopefully this post will help you get an idea of what a 3-Day event is like.

I can sum it up pretty quickly: an experience unlike any other! However, I can't not share some of my favorite memories, photos, and perhaps the most important... some things I learned from my first 3-Day event.

Friday

The Opening Ceremony was an emotional kick-off to the 3-Day and one of the events of the weekend I won't forget. Men and women shared why they were walking and to hear their stories was so inspiring.

The route was through several neighborhoods and there were SO many residents that had cheering stations along the way. Some even had music playing which really put a pep in my step!

Susan G. Komen, Susan G. Komen 3-Day, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Philadelphia, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Philadelphia Experience, What to Expect at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Event, Philadelphia Events, Bra Street

Susan G. Komen, Susan G. Komen 3-Day, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Philadelphia, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Philadelphia Experience, What to Expect at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Event, Philadelphia Events, Bra Street

We also walked through Bra Street. (Um, can I live here? Seriously.) I saw photos of this from past events and let me tell you the pictures don't do it justice. The street was lined with bras, music was blastin', and it was just one big party. Let's do it again!

Saturday

In my opinion this was the toughest day to walk. Friday I pretty much power walked because I was so excited and everyone's energy just made my feet go faster. However, by Saturday afternoon, my feet and calves hurt so bad I had to head back to camp early... even after much debate. As much as I wanted to finish the full route, I decided to rest up in hopes of being able to walk all day Sunday.

Needless to day, the one lesson I was reminded of on this particular day was to listen to my body. Walking 20 miles a day for three days isn't easy and by the middle of the day, my body had had enough. Sometimes it's best to rest and recharge so you can come back stronger. (And avoid injury.)

Sunday

Sunday's route was all through downtown Philly and it was so cool! I haven't been to Philly in over 10 years so it was fun to play tourist. We walked through the Philadelphia Zoo, Kelly Street, the Rocky steps, and we even passed an Eagles practice! (I wish I had my terrible towel to wave, ha!)

Susan G. Komen, Susan G. Komen 3-Day, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Philadelphia, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Philadelphia Experience, What to Expect at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Event, Philadelphia Events, Rocky Statue

Susan G. Komen, Susan G. Komen 3-Day, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Philadelphia, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Philadelphia Experience, What to Expect at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Event, Philadelphia Events, Philadelphia Zoo

I've never given so many high-fives in my life than I did over the course of these three days, but let's just say I still want to high-five everyone I pass!

What I Learned


Since it was my first 3-Day experience, I really wasn't sure what to expect. Of course I had an idea by seeing posts from 3-Day events in other cities, but until you actually live it yourself, ya just don't fully know. Ya know?

I learned a lot, especially in my first day, so of course I'm sharing 'em all with you!

Blister protection = essential. I got a lot of advice from walkers who have done several 3-Day events and they recommended seamless socks, friction block, as well as switching out your socks halfway throughout the day. I was also told to try rubbing vaseline all over your feet before putting socks on (even just to bed if you already have blisters like I did) and I'm still shocked at how well it worked! Who knew?!

Slides over flip flops. I realized this the very first night as I was hanging out at camp, barely able to walk because my feet hurt. Flip flops are fine for showering - but bring slides to wear in the evening when you are eating dinner and enjoying camp festivities. (These slides are my favorite!) I even had a fellow walker give me the same advice when she saw me limping, haha!

Use the Medical Crew. I am not exaggerating when I say I was in the medical tent 2-3 times a day. They are there to help! And not just in a case of emergency. They also treat blisters and roll out tight muscles which was SO helpful for me!

Fun fact: my first night I met Vicky because she rolled out my very tight calves. After that, I saw her three times a day (in the morning before breakfast, at lunch, and in the evening at camp) so she could loosen my calf muscles. She was great! We became BFF's real fast. ;)

Airplane Mode. I don't know about you, but I love taking photos. And I knew I'd be taking tons of photos all three days as I was walking which can drain your battery very quickly. Thank goodness for airplane mode! It conserves your battery and you can still snap photos! That really helped my battery last all day until I could get to camp to recharge.

You're Never Alone. Even though I was a solo walker, I met so many people along the way that were eager to add another person to their group. It was awesome! We walked, talked, and shared stories, laughs, and sunscreen. There is even a solo walkers area where people can meet on the first day to get to know each other. I certainly never felt alone!

Use the sweep vans. Much like the medical crew, the sweep vans are incredibly helpful when you need a break from walking. I loved that each one had a different theme, too. Two of my favorites were the S.S. Nauti-Girl and America the Boob-iful. lol!

Susan G. Komen, Susan G. Komen 3-Day, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Philadelphia, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Philadelphia Experience, What to Expect at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Event, Philadelphia Events, The Navy Yard Philadelphia

I had a great three days walking, seeing Philadelphia sights, and meeting people, but I will never forget their stories and spirit.... long after my blisters heal. In just three days, 60 miles, and over 124,000 steps, I met breast cancer survivors, those still fighting each day, women who lost friends, men who lost their mom or wife, and many more. It was really eye-opening for me because I realized just how much breast cancer affects everyone. Overall, the event had 400 walkers and $1.1M was raised. That's quite a big step closer in the fight against breast cancer!

Just in case you missed it, you can read about why I walked in the 3-Day here - and if you're walking in an upcoming 3-Day, check out my training schedule and packing list!

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If you're looking into participating in the 3-Day yourself, I'm giving you a virtual high-five! The Susan G. Komen 3-Day schedule for 2018 is already online - I'd love for you to join in on the fight against breast cancer!


This post is sponsored by Susan G. Komen on behalf of Fit Approach, however all opinions are my own.

How I'm Training for the
Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day

August 16, 2017

Next weekend, I'll finally be walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®! Can you believe it? (If you missed my post on why I'm walking, you can check it out here!) I'm so excited to join in the fight against breast cancer and experience my first 3-Day walk.

Since I last filled you guys in, I've made a list of things I need to tackle before I head to Philly, gathered up all the pink I can find in my closet, as well as some other important items that I'll highlight below.

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Perhaps the most important preparation I've been doing has been my training. After all, walking 60 miles in three days is more continuous activity than my body is used to and I plan on walking every single mile!

Keep on reading to find out how I've been getting ready for the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day!

How I'm Training

 

1. Increasing cardio - Even though we will just be walking, 60 miles adds up! I'm making sure that I increase my cardiovascular activity to be able to tackle any hills as well as a full day of walking. I don't think I'll have to worry about reaching my 10,000 step goal each day!

2. Regular workouts - When was the last time you walked 60 miles in three days? I'd say it would be pretty difficult without any regular workouts and training. Anyone who has done a marathon will tell you they had a daily schedule of mileage goals they needed to meet in order to condition their body to be able to run for 26.2 miles. The same applies here (but to a lesser extent, of course). My daily workouts will only help my endurance!

3. Foam rolling - I'll have a full post on foam rolling soon but the biggest advantage to foam rolling is that it speeds up our muscle recovery. And since I'm training for the 3-Day in addition to my regular workout schedule, it's a very important tool. No injuries welcome here! Bonus points for stretching, too.

4. Walking outside - I always love going for walks outside, but since we'll be walking though out the Philly streets, it's important to get used to paying attention to stop signs, crosswalks and traffic. I'll try not to take too many photos along the way, too. ;)

5. Staying hydrated - One of my biggest goals this year has been to drink my 8-9 glasses of water a day... even if I'm sitting at my desk. Dehydration increases heart rate which, as you can imagine, doesn't usually end well if you're out in the summer heat walking all day.

Bonus: if you don't know where to start, Susan G. Komen provides both a 16-week training program as well as a 24-week training program which makes it super easy to start and stay on track!

My #PHL3Day Packing List


Susan G. Komen, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Event, Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day Event, Susan G. Komen T-Shirts, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Bag

You guys know I love my lists! Luckily, when you log in to The3day.org - there's a handy packing list that I've already printed out - yay for not having to write everything down myself! (And run the risk of forgetting something important...)

Luckily, since it's still summer I don't need any layers or bulky clothes so I can pack light. Or, can I? Here are a few must-haves for me:

1. 3-Day Gear - I love a good excuse to wear pink, so I'm definitely ready to roll with my new t-shirts! And they'll be a perfect reminder of my experience for years to come. I will always wear them with pride!

2. Sleeping bag - camping is one of my favorite things, so I was super excited to finally have a need for my own sleeping bag and can't wait to go out this weekend to buy my own. No more borrowing from Mom & Dad!

Susan G. Komen, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Event, Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day Event, Packing List

Susan G. Komen, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Event, Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day Event, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Notebook

3. Notebook - I've always been big on journaling and (in addition to taking photos), I want to remember this special weekend as I live it. Even if I write down a few thoughts when we have free time, I want to remember this weekend for years to come!

4. Water Bottle - (see training tip #5 ;) Not only will it be helpful when I'm walking - but I can also make sure I stay hydrated before bed so I can wake up ready to tackle 20 more miles!

Of course, I'll be packing all the other essentials including: SPF, lots of socks, hats, blister block, and sunglasses. Do ya think I can keep my bag under 35 pounds? ;)

Susan G. Komen, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Event, Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day Event, Join Me

Want to join me in walking 60 miles and making an impact in the fight against breast cancer? You can register at The3Day.org. Be sure to use code ALISSA10 for $10 off registration for the Philadelphia event!

If you haven't already, be sure to follow me on Instagram for live updates of the #PHL3Day!

I am also fundraising up until the event and would love it if you'd donate directly on my page. It's super quick and easy - and every dollar helps in the fight against breast cancer!


All items pictured are c/o Susan G. Komen.
 This post is sponsored by Susan G. Komen on behalf of Fit Approach, however all opinions are my own.

A Big Life & Blog Update

August 9, 2017

Remember this vague post where I was talking about some BIG changes that were coming?? Well, I can finally spill the beans on what I've been working toward......

I am now a NASM Certified Personal Trainer!




Nearly six months of studying, lots of workouts sacrificed, lunch breaks and so many beautiful weekends spent studying has finally paid off! (It's so weird not to carry a backpack to work now!)

My test was Monday afternoon and when I tell you I studied ALL weekend, I am not exaggerating. (Okay, minus one hour to go get a quick lunch & some groceries on Saturday.) I even woke up early Monday and went right back to studying until I had to leave.

Almost two hours later, I walked out of the testing center crying happy tears, incredibly thankful and excited about where my life is heading. Even though not many people knew I was doing this until it happened, I can't say thank you enough for the sweet congratulations texts and messages across social media. It means the world.

I am still smiling and have to remind myself this is real. Health and fitness have become a huge passion of mine and I am so proud to be part of the NASM family and eager to get started doing something I truly love.

Now.....

What about the blog??



In case you're wondering where this little blog is headed, I can tell you that it's not going anywhere.. but it is morphing into a bigger and better outlet for all things health and fitness. (With a new look, too?) I cannot wait to bring you guys even more helpful posts as well as inspiration and motivation for leading a healthy life.

My list of post ideas (i.e. why you need to eat carbs) keeps growing by the day which is definitely not a bad thing. I am currently working on a post about foam rolling which was heavily requested by readers so look out for that very soon.

As always, if you have an idea or topic you want me to cover, don't hesitate to let me know! (Workout questions welcomed, too!) I am all "ears" and want to give you the tools necessary to get started and succeed. I'd love for you to connect with me on Instagram, too!

Cheers to new beginnings and getting in as many bike rides as possible, and starting a new book! :)

New Podcasts I Discovered

August 7, 2017

My new favorite way to pass the time when I'm making the 4.5 hour drive home to PA is listening to podcasts on my iPad. (I used to have the podcast app on my phone, but #storagealmostfull.)

Since I don't really have time to listen to podcasts any other time, the drive home and back is the perfect opportunity to listen and learn. I can usually get through several podcasts in that time and it makes the drive go a lot quicker.

Podcasts You Should Listen To Now, Podcasts, Podcasts To Download Now, Fitness Podcasts, Lifestyle Podcasts

I still listen to the podcasts from this blog post, but I've been looking for a few more to add to my downloads list.... fitness-related and beyond.

There are definitely no shortage of podcasts out there, and I found six more that I immediately added to my list. Some I've already listened to a bunch, and some I literally just discovered and can't wait to listen to.

Here they are:

NPR's How I Built This - This is probably my favorite new podcast find and the one that started my quest for new podcasts. If you haven't heard of HIBT yet, the host (Guy) interviews entrepreneurs on how they got started. And there are some craaaazy stories! My absolute favorite episode is with the founder of TRX, Randy Hetrick. I had no idea he was a former SEAL and created TRX when he started using straps to work out on missions.

Mindbodygreen - I read articles every day on Mindbodygreen because they cover so many different health and wellness topics and they're full of great information. When I heard they finally jumped on the podcast train, I was so excited to listen in and have already crossed a lot of episodes off the downloads list. My favorite one so far is with

Bodybuilding.com - I've been reading articles on Bodybuilding.com ever since I started to get into fitness and never even thought to see if there was a podcast, too. Duh! Can't wait to check it out once life calms down a bit. Anyone else out there listen to it? What do you think?

Free Cookies - You guys may remember when I attended the Aim True workshop with Kathryn Budig last year (it was the most amazing day!). I still stalk follow her and she's had some pretty big life changes recently, including moving to NYC, divorcing her husband, and starting a podcast with ESPN contributor Kate Fagan. They talk about sports, lifestyle, wellness, and much more.

The LadyGang Podcast - I just literally discovered this podcast and can't wait to listen in. Each week, a celebrity joins the three hosts to talk about what life is really like in Hollywood. I think it'd be a fascinating podcast to listen to, especially when my mind needs a break lol

The Ultimate Health Podcast - I discovered this podcast because Kathryn Budig was on it recently. The hosts interview world-class experts on in the health and wellness community.. and tackle topics like cholesterol, the importance of carbs, and more. Hello, totally right up my alley! I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, but it's at the top of my list for new (to me) podcasts to check out.


What are your favorite podcasts? Share with me in the comments so I can check 'em out!

Namaslay Box: A Monthly Care Package
That's Perfect for Yogis

August 2, 2017

The past couple of months, I've been having a lot of fun testing out all natural products and accessories for my yoga practice. (And so far, no skin issues!)

I don't know about you, but I tend to feel overwhelmed by all the products out there. And I'm sure not many of us have the time to really research products but - the good news is.... Namaslay Box does all the work for you.


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Naturally Me, Namaslay Box, Yoga Box, Namaslay Box Review, Yogi, Yoga Diaries, The perfect montly yoga box

It's a monthly wellness yoga subscription box filled with products to nourish your mind, body, and soul.... something I've been working on more this year. All too often we forget to take time for ourselves but Namaslay Box is like a monthly care package. ;) Sign me up!
Every Namaslay Box comes with 5 to 7 items, as well as some extra goodies like positive affirmations, a simple yoga flow, and quick and easy vegetarian recipes (which I definitely need to try).

And bonus: unlike my Nordstrom order, I know when my box will arrive each month, ha!

(Editor's note: if you follow me on Twitter, you know that I'm still waiting for my #NSale order to arrive but the delivery date keeps being pushed back and UPS decided to stop scanning it at destinations.)

Anywho!

Here's what came in the latest box:


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Top Knot Chicago Hair Ties

I actually only use these elastic hair ties and also have a habit of losing them around the house so these are definitely a welcome sight. The middle one is a headband!

HumbleLove Sun Aromatherapy Spray

This aromatherapy spray is specifically designed to help motivate you and wake you up during those mornings where you just can't get out of bed. (Um, that's every day for me....) Funny side-note: the bottle says you can spray it on sluggish coworkers, haha! But seriously, can I??

HumbleLove Goodnight Moon Salve

This bedtime salve smells amazing! It's made with natural ingredients such as Vitamin E, beeswax, lavender oil, and is made to calm your mind and relax the tension brought on by everyday life. I think it's time I add this to my night time routine.

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Yoga Girl By Rachel Brathen

I admittedly have never heard of yogi Rachel Brathen, but I am super excited to get her book in my Namaslay Box! It's full of yoga sequences and simple recipes for a healthy lifestyle. Can't wait to dig in!

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Kind Bar (similar)

Real life: I ate this Kind Bar as soon as I finished shooting these photos. I'm not a fan of dark chocolate but love this bar. It almost felt like eating a dessert!

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Meet Matcha Organic Matcha Tea

I have seen so much about matcha and now I can finally try it! I mentioned here before I'm not a tea drinker, but this kind says you can add it to baked goods or smoothies. I'm definitely going to try it in a smoothie! It's considered to have 137 times more antioxidants than traditional green tea. Have you had it before? How do you like to use it?

Also - isn't the "Inhale joy, exhale love" card the cutest? I have it on my desk... such a cute reminder!

Yoga heals the soul.. and Namaslay Box is definitely the perfect addition!


Ready to Namaslay? Subscribe here and use code NMB10 to receive $5 off your monthly Namaslay Box subscription for life! Plus, enjoy free shipping in the U.S. and Canada!


I was gifted a Namaslay Box, however all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Naturally Me!

Why I'm Walking in the
Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day

July 31, 2017

Today, I have a different kind of #MondayMotivation post for you guys. I'm sharing something very close to my heart that I've never opened up about here before.

Every two minutes, one case of breast cancer is diagnosed in a woman in the U.S. Do you know anyone who has been affected? I do.

I also know first-hand the rush of emotions and helpless feelings upon receiving a cancer diagnosis. Although it wasn’t breast cancer, you never expect to hear the word cancer from your doctor, yet it begins a series of life-changing discussions and decisions. Three years after what was supposed to be a routine check-up, I still think about that day. And it’s still a reality I face at each appointment, knowing there’s a possibility it could return.

Naturally Me, Breast Cancer Awareness, Rock 'n' Roll 5K DC

Sidenote: a few days after my diagnosis, I ran my first 5K in DC even though I felt defeated and really wanted to stay at home. Instead, I used that race to run out my emotions: fear, anger, helplessness, and ended up beating my own PR by several minutes. (A goal I had been trying to accomplish during months of training.) The photo above was taken when I finished the race, and has become a very important reminder of how I pushed through a tough race and am stronger than I give myself credit for. Tears still begin to form when I think of that day (especially while writing this post).

Because of my experience, I'm joining in on the fight against breast cancer by walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® event in Philadelphia August 25-27. It’s a three-day, 60-mile walk that’s making a huge impact in the breast cancer fight.

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In the past 14 years and 156 events, more than $820 million has been raised to save lives and make huge strides in breast cancer research.

I am incredibly excited to be part of such an amazing event. One of my goals for this year is to volunteer my time for a cause I believe in and, up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t know where to start. Now, I can’t think of a better way to spend three days as cancer hits very close to home.

Whether you know a loved one who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, or you yourself have been affected, I want women to know that they don't have to go through the journey alone. It's during events like the 3-Day where we all find strength and inspiration together to fight. I can't wait to be part of it.


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In 2016, Susan G. Komen announced a Bold Goal – to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50% in the U.S. by 2026. I want to be part of turning that goal into reality.

Will you join me in walking 60 miles and making an impact in the fight against breast cancer? You can register at The3Day.org. Be sure to use code ALISSA10 for $10 off registration for the Philadelphia event!

I would love it if you’d join me! Who wouldn’t want to fight breast cancer by spending three days walking, making friends, and sleeping in pink tents?

The countdown is on... we are less than a month away from the start of the 3-Day event and I can't wait to share this journey with you. I'll be updating you guys on much more throughout August, including how I’m preparing to walk 60 miles so definitely stay tuned!

If you aren't able to walk in the 3-Day event and would like to help, I am also fundraising up until the event and would love it if you'd donate directly on my page. It's super quick and easy - and every dollar helps in the fight against breast cancer!

This post is sponsored by Susan G. Komen on behalf of Fit Approach, 
however all opinions are my own.
Last two images via Susan G. Komen. 

Splashin' Around With Splash Cycle

July 26, 2017

What if I told you there's a fun new workout in DC making quite a splash?

It's called Splash Cycle and it's 45 minutes of... you guessed it.... underwater spinning. I have seriously been wanting to try a class all summer. Last weekend, I finally made my way to the Embassy Row Hotel rooftop for a morning class.

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I wasn't quite sure what to expect and thought it'd be more of a "regular" spin class but it was actually set up a little differently. We did bicep curls, tricep exercises, leg and even ab exercises - all while continuously cycling. My arms were burning by the time class was over!

In fact, I was having so much fun I didn't even get out of the pool to snap photos, ha! (The instructor, Rachel, was also great... and not just because she had a killer Beyonce playlist.)

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Not only was it just plain ol' fun to cycle in a pool, but many people don't realize how effective water workouts actually are. They have less of an impact on our bones and joints, which means we can build more endurance with less stress on our bodies. (Fun fact: Splash Cycle founder Sarah started the company because of knee problems!)

You don't even have to worry about adjusting resistance on your bike like traditional cycling classes because you're pedaling against the water resistance. You get to decide how fast you pedal, or move your arms in the water during exercises. Of course, the faster you go, the more of a workout you'll get. And even though you're using your own body weight, you'll definitely feel the burn!

Bonus: throughout the workout the water is also massaging your legs (especially the calves) which helps in getting rid of toxins. Betcha didn't know you'd get a workout AND a massage in one class!

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It was such a fun time I texted my BFF and told her we need to take a class together. If you're interested in taking a class (or several), check out the class schedule but don't wait to register... classes fill up fast.

Here are some things to remember for your class:

What to Wear


I couldn't decide between a bikini or one piece, and ultimately decided to wear my favorite sporty swimsuit which was perfect for the class. You can also wear shorts and a sports bra.

I recommend wearing sunglasses (maybe even a hat) for early morning/afternoon classes. (You can also wear swim caps if you don't want to get your hair wet.) Splash Cycle does provide water shoes if you don't have your own pair. (I wore my cute ones ;)

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What to Bring


The hotel provides towels, but I suggest bringing your own since there may not be any available due to guests using them. I always like to have my own towel, anyway.

Since it's so hot out there, especially in the morning classes, don't forget a bottle of water (or two). You need to replenish the water lost from sweating and avoid dehydration.

And also - don't forget the SPF!

SHOP THE POST:




I was given a complimentary Splash Cycle class, however all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Naturally Me!

Working Out With Earhoox

July 24, 2017

Working out is a daily part of my life, and one thing I NEED to have for every workout is music. I don't know what it is but I just can't go without it. (Well, music and gum.) Luckily, I use Slacker Radio on my phone so I'm never without tunes.

As much as I'd rather not wear any headphones, you'll always find me working out with my trusty Apple earbuds since I haven't found anything else that I like.

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Sidenote: I did try a pair of headphones once but the cord was so long + I felt like I looked absolutely ridiculous with 2 giant satellite dishes covering my tiny head. Plus, they didn't adjust to a size small enough for my head. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be adjusting headphones (or anything, really) during a workout. I want to focus on those gains!

Anywho. I made a mental note that I really need to find some sort of easy solution to listen to music while I'm at the gym - especially something that doesn't fall out during circuit training or HIIT.

Enter Earhoox.


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Naturally Me, Earhoox, Earhoox Review, Workout Gear, Workout Accessories, Gym Accessories, Ear Buds, #FitFam

They're a small silicone attachment that fits Apple's EarPods and the new wireless AirPods. So cool, right! The folks at Earhoox reached out to me about trying a pair for myself and once I read about them on the website, I knew I had to give them a try. Perfect timing!

Here's what I thought about my Earhoox:

Earhoox Pros


They're affordable - hello, that's probably my number one must-have. (And why you'll never see me walkin' around wearing Beats.) They won't break the bank, and work with your existing Apple pods... #addtocart!

They're comfortable - another important thing for me since I get headaches easily. I've literally been testing them out every day - even when I'm not working out. The day I got them I attached them to my EarPods (more on that below) and wore them around the apartment lol. No music, just me and my Earhoox. They're made out of silicone and feel SO much better in my ear than just the EarPods alone.

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They stay put - bring on the burpees! I have had zero issues with them moving.. no matter what I'm doing. I can even lay down with them in if I wanted to listen to podcasts or binge watch Bruno Mars YouTube videos all day.

You receive 2 sizes - hallelujah! Each set of Earhoox comes with a large and small pair. I can't tell you how happy that makes me and my small ears! And, if they still don't fit perfectly, Earhoox has an easy full refund policy.

Easy peasy set-up - okay, I admit I did have to use the directions that are included with each pair, but it was a breeze to get them on my EarPods. You might need to rotate them a bit so they fit in your ears, but it seriously couldn't be any easier.

Earhoox Cons


The only thing I noticed is....... there isn't currently a pink pair ;) Seriously, I love them, buuuut I'd love them even more if they came in pink. Or purple!

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Naturally Me, Earhoox, Earhoox Review, Workout Gear, Workout Accessories, Gym Accessories, Ear Buds, #FitFam

I can't recommend Earhoox enough! They're definitely perfect for those of us who can't find headphones small enough. Oh and also for working out, but I could also totally see myself wearing them on an airplane to listen to music or watch movies. If you want to try them for yourself, starting shopping here - and use the special discount code below!

Try Earhoox for yourself! Use code EARHOOX30 at checkout.
Offer expires July 31st.


I was gifted Earhoox, however all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Naturally Me!