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How to Unleash Your Inner Wonder Woman

If you found yourself as moved and motivated by Wonder Woman as I was last year, listen up. I’ve been looking for ways to hold onto that emotion — that inspiration — ever since the first time (out of three) that I saw it in the theater, because while watching it over and over again […]


If you found yourself as moved and motivated by Wonder Woman as I was last year, listen up. I’ve been looking for ways to hold onto that emotion — that inspiration — ever since the first time (out of three) that I saw it in the theater, because while watching it over and over again certainly does the trick, I don’t want to miss a bootcamp because … I was too busy watching a movie so I could get pysched for my bootcamp. You know? You know.

So, here’s what I’ve been doing. And it’s working.

Take up space.

I’ve referred to the Amy Cuddy TED Talk on power postures countless times — and I’m sure I will do so countless more times. But why wouldn’t I? Simply standing in a power posture (like, say, the way you envision Wonder Woman standing as she prepares to fight for justice) for as little as two minutes can increase your confidence (and Wonder Woman-esque attitude) on a chemical level. So stand up straight, widen your stance, and don’t be shy about taking up allll the room in the room.

Wear clothes that make you feel badass.

There are a few companies picking up on the fact that we all wanna be Diana Prince. My choice of Wonder Woman Halloween costumes last year was plentiful (and I was thrilled with my pick, although it wasn’t ideal for running a five-mile race), which was awesome, and I recently received activewear samples from Nuyu, which has three different Wonder Woman collections — Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary, Warrior Collection, and Wonder Woman Nuelle by Nuyu.

I’m sporting the Fitted Tank and Gladiator Princess Leggings, both from the Warrior Collection, and, oh my gosh, I feel like such a rockstar wearing them. The material is soft and the gold foil print is really striking. Plus, I love the fact that it looks appropriate for a warrior straight off of Themyscira without looking like a costume.

Surround yourself with girl power.

Find playlists that make you feel feminist AF. Embrace workouts that make you feel like your best self — and sure, that might mean picking up some heavy weights, but it also might mean getting into a serious yoga groove or hitting your favorite dance class. Spend time with friends who build you up — and put your energy into building them up as well, because that’s what strong women do rather than tearing one another down.

And, above all, speak to yourself with the same kindness and encouragement you’d show your closest girlfriend. Positive self-talk isn’t just a nicety — it’s a tool even top athletes and leaders use to achieve peak performance. If it works for Olympians, seems like it should do the trick for you, too, right?

Is Wonder Woman one of your idols as well? Or do you have another icon you look up to? —Kristen



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5 Awesome Running Sports Bras for Larger Cup Sizes

As an ultramarathoner who is also an F cup, I can tell you that finding the right sports bra is mission critical … but it often feels more like mission impossible. There was a day not all that long ago when women with larger cup sizes — like myself — really had no other option […]


As an ultramarathoner who is also an F cup, I can tell you that finding the right sports bra is mission critical … but it often feels more like mission impossible.

There was a day not all that long ago when women with larger cup sizes — like myself — really had no other option than to wear two (or more) sports bras layered on top of each other or, worse yet, had to skip the high impact activities altogether. Sad but true.

The good news is that times they are a changing. It’s getting easier to find sports bras that are actually capable of providing some serious support … sans the extra layers. Here’s a few of my faves. (Disclosure: affiliate links included — so if you buy, you help support the site!)

Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra ($79.99)

Shock Absorber has been one of my go-to brands for supportive running bras for several years now. As the name suggests, the Ultimate Run Bra is designed specifically with runners in mind. It provides tons of support and offers friction-free comfort with it’s soft seam-free inner lining. The smooth cups are molded and wireless and the straps are wide, comfortably padded, and adjustable. It comes in band sizes 30-42 with cup sizing from A-G (band sizes in this one run small — so I went up in band size and down in cup size).

Anita Active Maximum Support Sports Bra ($69)

This sports bra has tons of well-thought out details and is clearly designed to support you through all your high-impact endeavors. Its cups are molded, wireless, and lined in an extra fine microfiber terry that keeps you comfortable and dry. The special angled seaming and side support panels provide a flattering shape and the center front panel is tall to enough to provide real support. The padded, adjustable straps have laminated plastic hardware that won’t slip. It’s available in band sizes 30-46 with cup sizing from B-H.

Enell High Impact Front Close Sports Bra ($64-$66)

If you’re looking for serious support, look no further than the Enell Sport. Designed specifically for C-cups and above this bra’s encapsulation and compression qualities are second to none. Once you try this front-closure system, you might never want to go back to a back closure ever again — it’s so easy to get on (and better yet) off. The lining and bound edges along the neck and arm make the inside of this bra extra soft on the skin and the solid construction of the wide, non-adjustable straps really help to add to the support level. The sizing on this one is somewhat non-traditional but once you get your measurements and compare them to the Enell size chart, you’ll see that it’s actually a pretty simple and universal sizing system. And the company has just come out with a racer-back style, too.

Wacoal Sports Underwire Bra ($65)

For those who prefer a wired bra, this bra is the best for managing the high impact of running. Wacoal cleverly placed the wire on the outside to give you all the support of underwire without all the discomfort and friction. The straps adjust through hook rather than sliders so they stay locked in place. The full-coverage cups are lined and seamless. It’s available in band sizes 32-42 with cup sizing from C-H.

Brooks Jubralee ($58)

I applaud Brooks for being one of the first mainstream running apparel companies to sell running bras for women like me. I wasn’t sure I’d ever see the day. Once you get your hands on it, you’ll see that the Jubralee bra means business. The high-density power panels offer serious compressive support while the seamless, molded cups add a layer of encapsulation support as well as provide a more flattering shape. The inner front yoke feature helps to further limit any bouncing. It comes in band sizes 32-44 with cup sizing from D-F.

How do you keep the girls supported during your runs and other high-impact workouts? —Alison



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IIFYM: How Eating More Made Me So Much Better

Like many people, I did my time counting calories. Then, for all these reasons, I stopped and never looked back. Years went by without me counting anything. I ate intuitively and in moderation, in a way that seemed to support the pace of my life and all the running and WODs I do week in […]


Like many people, I did my time counting calories. Then, for all these reasons, I stopped and never looked back. Years went by without me counting anything. I ate intuitively and in moderation, in a way that seemed to support the pace of my life and all the running and WODs I do week in and week out.

At one point though earlier this year, I found myself fairly regularly running out of gas mid-day, my running felt sluggish, and my lifts were not progressing as I’d hoped. I couldn’t help but wonder if there was more I could be doing to eat in a way that gave me more energy and to better fuel my performance in the gym.

So, I sought out a sports performance nutrition coach who put me on a macro plan. At first, I worried that all that counting would bring out the calorie-counting monster in me again. But it had a completely different (and totally awesome) effect. In short, it was eye-opening.

I’d like to preface this post by clarifying that I’m not trying to lose weight. In fact, I’d be happy to gain more weight if it meant my muscle mass increased — swole is the goal for me. I’m looking to increase my energy and crush my workouts in the most epic way possible.

My Experience with IIFYM

So let’s first talk about what it means to track macros. I’ve been following an If-It-Fits-Your-Macros (IIFYM) plan, which means that I can technically eat whatever I want on any given day as long as at the end of the day I’ve stayed with certain prescribed ranges for my macronutrients. There is some math but no calorie-counting — just counting grams of carbs, fat, and protein. Also — and this is the best part — no deprivation.

The program my sports nutrition coaches put me on gradually, over a period of months, took me from an average of 1,800 to 1,900 calories per day (which was what I intuitively ate) to an average of 2,500 – 2,900 calories per day … crazy, right? The old calorie-counting Alison would have had a mini freak-out seeing those numbers.

As we cycled through different training phases, my weight fluctuated a little. But now, I weigh pretty much the same as I did at the start; however, my lean muscle mass has improved significantly. I also set a new lifting PR at least once every other week, and my mile paces have gotten faster and much easier to maintain. In short, I feel strong AF.

Eight months later, I’m still at it. And I learned a ton about food and how the right combination of macronutrients affects my energy levels and performance along the way. I discovered through this process that I was seriously under-eating for my activity level and goals. Here’s what else I learned:

  1. I don’t eat enough carbs. Here’s where the mid-afternoon energy slump came in. A (non-sports) nutritionist (who I haven’t seen in years as a result) once told me I should stick to 120 grams of carbs per day … now I eat between 230 and 400 grams per day and I feel so much better than I ever did. Energy all day long to power through my day.
  2. I don’t eat enough protein. And it wasn’t for lack of trying. I seriously thought I was getting plenty of protein but I wasn’t even close. Most days, I used to top out around 90 grams per day. Now I eat, 125 to 140 grams per day and my strength has skyrocketed to match.
  3. I eat too much fat. In fairness to me, it was pretty much all good fat. I don’t eat fried foods and stuff. No, my fat numbers came from making a habit of biting into a peeled avocado like it’s an apple. Too much of a good thing can also create imbalance it turns out.
  4. I eat way too much sodium. Again, another huge shocker since I don’t eat many processed or pre-packaged foods. Once I started to pay attention to sodium levels in food, it was shocking to see what and how much is in like everything. Through careful planning and a few minor tweaks, I now have my daily sodium numbers under 2,500 and my body is retaining far less water.

All in all, it definitely helped me to see how my food choices were affecting me. I’m way more more skillful and strategic about my choices in order to maximize my strength gains, running performance, and overall energy levels to get through the day.

It’s pretty much been the opposite of a diet. Food is fuel and I’m now making way better choices about how I fuel my body. I eat to support my goals — the ultimate form of self-care.

How do you ensure that you eat to support our goals? —Alison



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‘YOUv2’ Workouts Focus on the Fun

I had a few different fitness setbacks pile up, so between a cranky achilles on one leg and an IT band flare-up on the other, followed by dental surgery and a cold … let’s just say I’m a little deconditioned and in need of a good beginner workout to get me back in the swing. […]


I had a few different fitness setbacks pile up, so between a cranky achilles on one leg and an IT band flare-up on the other, followed by dental surgery and a cold … let’s just say I’m a little deconditioned and in need of a good beginner workout to get me back in the swing.

And I found it! I’m not sure where I first saw it, but a video of trainer Leandro Carvalho (he’s the Brazil Butt Lift guy) having the time of his life with a room full of “real-sized” women had me seek out his new YOUv2 workout DVD set.

I ordered it and promptly popped the first disc into my DVD player.

OMG, fun! Seriously, I’m in love with this workout set.

It’s not a big, complicated “system” — you get two discs with six 30-minute workouts. They’re primarily cardio but a couple of them focus on bodyweight sculpting.

You get a guide that goes over each workout, a four-week journal for charting your goals, “daily vibe,” and inspiration, a calendar to keep track of your workouts (with a cute backside of motivational sayings), and a Keep It Super Simple Meal Guide that features some good-looking recipes and a weeklong sample meal plan.

These aren’t intense, hard-body workouts by any stretch but that’s not what I was looking for. I glanced down at my Fitbit and saw that my heart rate was at a respectable 150 bpm while in the cardio phase.

Leandro is motivating and cheerful without being condescending — something that often crops up in workouts meant for the less fit. The background exercisers, diverse in age, race, and size, are freaking delightful — none of them fit the typical workout DVD mold, and they all appear to be having a blast. The music has a bit of a Baby Boomer vibe with songs like Love Shack, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, and Let’s Get Loud.

Best thing about these workouts — I promise you can complete them all without any modifications. That alone is a huge motivator. In fact, the only background exerciser doing anything different is the woman wearing weighted gloves for a little more upper-body resistance.

The set is available on DVD through Beachbody and Amazon and is also offered through its Beachbody On Demand streaming channel, which is available on many platforms, including Roku and Amazon Fire. One little extra in the streaming version is that there are kid-focused workouts, featuring younger exercisers.

How do you get back into the swing of exercise after a setback? —Gail



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How to Run for a Cause This Winter (and Stay Warm Doing It)

You know that a good run always feels awesome. But running for a cause? That feels even better. And, via our blog ambassadorship with Brooks Running, we’ve got two ways you can do that — plus a bonus review of a new piece of apparel that’s gonna make running outside SO. MUCH. BETTER. UNICEF Kid […]


You know that a good run always feels awesome. But running for a cause? That feels even better.

And, via our blog ambassadorship with Brooks Running, we’ve got two ways you can do that — plus a bonus review of a new piece of apparel that’s gonna make running outside SO. MUCH. BETTER.

UNICEF Kid Power Band + Brooks Donation

Have you guys seen the UNICEF Kid Power Band yet? Basically, it’s an activity tracker in which kids can transform their activity into lifesaving nutrition that UNICEF delivers to severely malnourished children around the world. And, if that wasn’t cool enough, Brooks is sweetening the give-back deal by donating $15 to UNICEF USA for each Kid Power Band sold on brooksrunning.com in the U.S. until Jan. 31, 2018. If you don’t have one yet for yourself and all the kids you know, stock up!

Soles 4 Souls

Wanna give back but short in the cash department? Consider giving your gently worn shoes and apparel to Soles 4 Soles, who will get them to those in need. Brooks recently gave 8,000 units of apparel and 8,000 pairs of shoes to hurricane relief efforts — and we can all chip in another pair or two, right? Right.

brooks running victory collection

Now that your insides are all warm and fuzzy from helping the world be a better place, let’s warm up your outsides with running gear that you can take on your winter-running adventures!

Cascadia Thermal Vest ($110)

Let me just say that I love this vest. Love. It. See the light behind me? I swear it’s the running gods shining down upon me with their vest-delivering brilliance.

This is my current favorite winter-weather layer (and, yep, we’re an affiliate) — both for running and athleisure. First, it’s cute. Second, it’s warm but not overly bulky. Third, it cuts the wind (and we all know that it’s not the cold that’ll get ya but the wind). Fourth, the collar is soft and snuggly if you zip it all the way up (and totes comfortable if it’s not totally freezing out and you have it down). Fifth, it has an awesome small zipper that’s smooth as butter going up and down. Sixth, it fits like a warm hug — snug and cozy while still being breathable and flexible with stretch side panels. Seventh (yes, we’re still going here), it has two front pockets with an inner security pocket and media port in the right one. Eighth, it has front and back reflectivity. Ninth, it makes minimal swish-swish as you run. Tenth, did I say it’s cute? It’s hella cute. And I’m wearing it over everything I wear. (And, I imagine that the Cascadia Thermal Jacket is just as awesome if you’re looking for similar-type warmth but want sleeves.)

Do you run for a cause? We were thrilled to learn about Brooks’ Run B’Cause commitment to helping folks in all kinds of communities and of all backgrounds run happy and have the ability to incorporate running into their lifestyle! Just another reason why we love partnering with them. —Jenn



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5 Ways to Upgrade Your Next Workout

Ever been on a flight and randomly gotten upgraded and said, “No thanks. I’ll go ahead and stay in coach”? Yeah, us neither. via GIPHY Which is why today we’re upgrading your next workout in five fun ways. via GIPHY (Sorry, we don’t have much clout with the airlines, but if we could we’d upgrade […]


Ever been on a flight and randomly gotten upgraded and said, “No thanks. I’ll go ahead and stay in coach”?

Yeah, us neither.

via GIPHY

Which is why today we’re upgrading your next workout in five fun ways.

via GIPHY

(Sorry, we don’t have much clout with the airlines, but if we could we’d upgrade you there all the time, too!)

Upgrade Your Intensity

You’ve heard of HIIT and probably know the results it can get, but are you doing it right, really? An easy way to track if you are or not is with a simple heart rate monitor. There are tons of them out there (although we just were sent the Nokia Steel HR for a sponsored campaign and it was AWESOME — so simple to use and looks more like a pretty watch than your usual fitness tracker), and they’re a great way to see if you’re truly getting up in that 80-plus percentage range of your maximum heart rate.

Another option is to take a class like Orangetheory Fitness, which actually tracks your heart rate during the class and helps you to get in the right zones.

And, if those options aren’t right for you, don’t discount the rate of perceived exertion! Basically, to truly do HIIT, you need to be working so hard that you can’t say much — and then recover back down so that you can chat before you push hard into another interval again. (We’ve got tons of HIIT workouts to try here.)

No matter how you do it, changing your intensity can be a great way to get results. (And remember, as you get fitter, you’ll likely need to switch things up or make them harder in order to truly challenge yourself.) Oh, and if you always go hard, try slowing it down for other perks.

Upgrade Your Hydration

We love water. We love water with lemon. And lime. And berries. And orange. And pizza (just kidding).

And water is great. But for really sweaty or long workouts or when we just can’t seem to get fully hydrated even though we’re drinking all the water (hello, jet lag), we also really, really dig Liquid I.V.

The name sounds a little clinical, but it’s basically a clean (no preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, gluten, dairy or  soy) powdered drink mix with electrolytes. It tastes  great (with half the sugar and calories of most sports drinks) and adding one packet to 16 ounces of water has the same effect as drinking two to three glasses of water because you absorb it better. Cool, eh?

Upgrade Your Recovery

In a lot of ways, your next workout is only as good as the recovery from your last workout was. Hydration, sleep, protein and proper nutrition are obviously key to recovering well, but so is the pain that hurts so good: foam rolling. We’ve reviewed tons of foam rollers over the years, but one that we’re currently digging on (or cursing at) is the Sissel Myofascial Roller.

It’s not the most dense foam roller we’ve ever been on (this is), but it definitely digs in to those muscles deeply and we love how ergonomic it is. Plus, notice how it has place for your hands to hold built straight into it. Brilliant!

Upgrade Your Mindset

What thoughts are you thinking before, during and after your workout? What thoughts are you thinking about your body? Your performance? Your life? What thoughts are you thinking about YOU? In order to reach your full potential in and out of the gym, the right mindset is essential. And in case you need a little help getting there, we created the Fit Bottomed Reset Email Course just for you. It’s totally free and totally waiting for ya to take it here.

Another resource we love for getting your mind and body healthy is the 10 in 4 Challenge, our weight-loss with self love program. Get deets on it here now.

Upgrade Your Weights

How heavy are you lifting these days? Have you moved past doing modifications of certain moves, like push-ups on your knees? You know how the saying goes: if it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you. So get challenged!

That may mean trying strength training for the first time. Or reducing the number of push-ups you can do but doing them all on your toes this time. Or picking up a barbell. Or investing in some awesome strength training gear for your home (here’s our fave stuff!). Or doing a new workout (we recommend this one to go heavy.) Whatever it is, do it for an instant workout upgrade.

Did you try one? How did it change your workout? —Jenn



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The 2017 Fit Bottomed Girls Holiday Gift Guide

Fit Bottomed Mamas did it. So did Fit Bottomed Zen. And Fit Bottomed Eats. And now it’s our turn … introducing the 2017 Fit Bottomed Girls Holiday Gift Guide! Before we get started — confession — we love these gifts SO much that for many of them we’ve become affiliates. Meaning, that when you order […]


Fit Bottomed Mamas did it. So did Fit Bottomed Zen. And Fit Bottomed Eats. And now it’s our turn … introducing the 2017 Fit Bottomed Girls Holiday Gift Guide!

Before we get started — confession — we love these gifts SO much that for many of them we’ve become affiliates. Meaning, that when you order a little something that we recommend from here, you also give us a gift by helping to support the site and everything we do and stand for here at FBG. So thank you!

Desire Map Planner

This is the gift that keeps giving way after the holidays. For reasons that we’ve named again and again (including in our epic conversation with THE Danielle LaPorte), the Desire Map Planner ($44) isn’t just your usual planner. Yes, it keeps track of events and to-dos, but it also helps you to focus on what you need to stop doing and helps bring awareness to all the things you’re grateful for. It basically puts your soul on the agenda. And that, our friends, is a killer gift.

Meals for Results Subscription

Meals for Results ($197) is the best meal planning tool out there, period. We partnered with our fave trainer Dave Smith on it, and it seriously makes for a great gift for the busy friend who wants to eat and cook healthier but doesn’t have the time to start from scratch. With 1,000+ recipes that are totally customizable to food tolerances, personal preferences, goals and macros, a subscription to this software creates weekly meal plans in the right portions to reach individual goals for a whole year. Genius!

Hydaway Bottle

 

How cute and handy are these? Hydaway Bottles ($20) — portable, re-usable and collapsible — hold 21-ounces of water and can be folded down to just over 1-inch, so they easily fit in a pocket, backpack or gym bag. All bottles feature an easy-to-use, flip-up straw for quick sips, a carabiner-friendly carry handle, and a watertight guarantee. They’re also BPA-free, taste-free, odor-free and dishwasher safe. And they come in eight fun colors. A truly great stocking stuffer!

Varidesk Standing Desk

kristen stretching

Health and fitness doesn’t just come from the time spent at the gym. The hours you spend at the office also have a big impact — and we think one of the simplest ways to maximize your time at work is with a standing desk solution, like the ones at VARIDESK. We seriously love ours, and if you have someone in your life who spends more time sitting at a desk than they’d like, we’re certain they’d love it too.

ProSource Resistance Bands

Give your loved one this ProSource Resistance Band Set ($25.99) and you’re basically giving them the ability to work out anywhere, at anytime. Which is pretty rad! The set includes five bands with varying resistance levels, cushioned foam handles, door anchor, manual and a travel bag.

Brooks Running Levitate

brooks levitate

Guys, we LOVE THESE SHOES ($150). And if we could, we’d gift all of you with a pair. Simply put, of leading performance running shoes, these give you the most energy return of ANY shoe out there — meaning that you get a springy, responsive and awesome feeling ride each time you run.

DNA Power

Knowledge is power. Which makes a dietPower + fitPower dnaPower test ($599 — but if you use code “fitdna100” at check out you’ll get $100 off!) not just a powerful gift, but a life-changing gift. Both of us did these tests a few months ago and they totally changed how we ate and how we worked out — and just explained SO MUCH. The dietPower test helps explain how your body burns fat, your sensitivity to carbohydrates and insulin, your cholesterol regulation, and your protein requirements to help determine your optimum eats, plus loads of other cool info. The fitPower test looks at everything from your genetic ability for high-intensity aerobic and longer endurance activities to how well you recover to how likely you are to get injured. Like we said, life changing.

Fab Fit Fun Subscription

Not all beauty subscription boxes are created equal, and this is our favorite one, hands down. For $49.99, your gift recipient will get a box filled with more than $200 worth of full-sized products (yep, no tiny trial-sized stuff here!) hand-picked by FabFitFun. A mix of beauty, fashion, jewelry and fitness, we discover something new to love in every seasonal box!

Merrell Chateau Tall Pull Waterproof Boots

 

These boots ($210) take athleisure to the next level — the next winter-walking level. With wet-weather protection and traction, these are a great fall-winter-spring pair of boots that have the look that you can wear anywhere (great with leggings or jeans or a skirt) with the functionality of comfort, support and warmth (so warm). And, yep, there’s expandable width in the calf area. (Our prayers have been answered!)

Athleta Pranayama Wrap

Ladies, we’ve recommended this wrap ($89) so much to friends. SO MUCH. It’s perfect for being cozy around the house in, as a cover-up on your way into the gym, to snuggle up in when you meditate, all the places. Super comfy and soft, it’s the perfect length, has thumbholes and deep pockets, and … just get it. For all your friends. And yourself.

TRX Home2

TRX Home2

TRX suspension trainers are a staple in our home gym, and this new TRX Home2 System ($199.95) is taking things up a notch, because it doesn’t just include the latest suspension trainer with adjustable foot cradles and soft, durable foam handles, but also a one-year subscription to the TRX App, which works with popular wearables and can act as a fitness tracker, schedule, dynamic in-ear coach, and music control. Oh, and, as you might’ve guessed, it also provides you with workouts — more than 80 workouts, in fact, with all different focuses (HIIT, cycling, running, yoga and more). The suspension trainer can be used pretty much anywhere — in a doorframe, over a tree, with an anchor on the wall or ceiling, and it’s really easy to transport, so it’s an incredibly versatile tool for your home gym.

 

Now for the important question: what’s your holiday wish list? —Jenn & Kristen



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We Tried a Bunch of CALIA by Carrie Underwood Apparel — Here’s What We Thought

Y’all know Carrie Underwood, right? via GIPHY And you know how she has a workout apparel line: CALIA by Carrie Underwood? Well, her company sent Kristen and me a few pieces to try. And here are our thoughts after putting them to the sweaty test. Women’s Inner Power Crossback Sports Bra ($42) This is a […]


Y’all know Carrie Underwood, right?

via GIPHY

And you know how she has a workout apparel line: CALIA by Carrie Underwood? Well, her company sent Kristen and me a few pieces to try. And here are our thoughts after putting them to the sweaty test.

Women’s Inner Power Crossback Sports Bra ($42)

This is a pretty good moderately supportive sports bra for the price. The fabric is smooth, so it’s comfy and there’s a foam liner that helps with coverage and support. Great for medium-impact activities and ideal for C cups or smaller, the back design is really fun — and the fabric has moisture-wicking and antimicrobial properties for freshness. —Jenn

Women’s Four Strand Braided Headband ($12)

I had high hopes. It’s thick enough to look cool and funky and has a bit of grippy material on the backside to hold it in place. y first workout went well, but … during my second workout with it, however, it started to slip, and halfway through it was on the floor. It should be noted that this has been the case with every thick headband I’ve ever tried, so it was a valiant effort that I’m sure would work for people who don’t have a head shape that refuses to play nicely with cute headbands. —Kristen

Women’s Essential Crossover Fitted Capris ($60)

There are a million different kinds of workout capris out there — and the bar is set high when it comes to quality. And for the price, these are pretty much exactly what you pay for. They’re not quite as soft or luxurious feeling as say, a pair of Brooks or Athleta, BUT they, like, hold up way better than something you can pick up from Target. The length is flattering, they have a cool crossover hem that’s unique, and they have a flat seam that stays put so that you can focus on your workout — and not adjusting your pants. —Jenn

Wide Brim Floppy Hat ($30)

Love it, although the shape is quite different than what’s on the site — mine is much floppier. Obviously, it’s not a workout accessory, but I love having stylish hats available to throw on when I’m meeting friends and have little time to get ready post-workout, and this is definitely a fit for that. It’s great with a side braid or messy hair down. (Probably would also be great with non-messy hair down, but that’s not really my reality, so … ) —Kristen

Women’s Support Strap Back Double Layer Tank Top ($55) & Women’s Flow Loop Back Logo Graphic Tank Top ($35)

Both of these tops are winners. The one on the left is almost dressy with some structure to it and is great for a yoga or barre class or — let’s be honest — brunch (anything where you’re not getting too sweaty) and the top on the right is flowy, soft and more relaxed. I love wearing the graphic tank when lifting weights or walking — it’s got just the right mix of function and girliness. —Jenn

Have you tried any pieces from the CALIA by Carrie Underwood line? What did you think? —Jenn & Kristen



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New Tech for Next-Level Workouts

We all go through it. Every once in a while, we experience phases when our workouts feel very lackluster. Sometimes we get lucky and those phases quickly pass. Other times, they linger and cause us lots of anxiety and frustration. But — good news! — there are a bunch of new tools that can help you […]


We all go through it. Every once in a while, we experience phases when our workouts feel very lackluster. Sometimes we get lucky and those phases quickly pass. Other times, they linger and cause us lots of anxiety and frustration.

But — good news! — there are a bunch of new tools that can help you bust out of your workout rut and take your fitness to the next level.

I tried a couple of new gadgets recently that promise to help up-level your fitness, and here’s what I found that’s worth checking out.

Next-Level Cardio with Zoom HRV

This Zoom HRV goes well beyond the standard fitness/activity trackers on the market by measuring and tracking your heart rate without the use of a chest strap. It can even measure your heart rate while you’re swimming and it will count your laps for you — how cool is that? The Zoom Pod can be worn on your wrist, forearm, upper arm or ankle. A single charge delivers about five days of continuous biofeedback.

One of the coolest features is the workout readiness detail. Heart rate variability monitoring detects signs of physical fatigue to provide recommendations on how much you should exert yourself in your next workout. This helps to answer that question of when it’s time to push and when its time to rest, limiting the chances of overtraining. I used this feature this week in advance of the Chicago Marathon to monitor my training recovery. It was super cool to watch the workout readiness number go up as the race approached and confirmed that I wasn’t running any of my short shakeout runs too hard.

In addition to providing tons of valuable heart-rate based information about your current fitness level and recovery status, this little gizmo tracks your sleeping quality and patterns, ambient light exposure, workouts, average daily heart rate, steps, and calories burned.

Zoom HRV is available for $139.99. The arm and ankle band are sold separately as a set for around $19.99. Zoom HRV is compatible with iOS and most Android devices.

Next-Level Strength Training with Beast Sensor

The Beast Sensor is an excellent tool to help quantify the quality of your performance in your lifts. It uses three on-board sensors — an accelerometer, a gyroscope and a compass — to measure power, speed, strength, and explosiveness.

You wear the yellow sensor in its accompanying wristband. When you lift, the sensor then streams data in real time to your mobile devices for immediate feedback on every rep and every set, and provides motivation to give it all you’ve got for each rep (translation: less half-assing). The Beast App also tracks your performance over time — energy burn, weights, reps, sets and progress — and assists you with making better decisions about the amount of weight and number of reps you should use to reach your goals, like increasing strength, power, or speed.

The Apps rest timer is a nice feature that helps keep you on track while you review the detail from your previous set and check out the recommendations for adjusting your weight or rep counts. Pretty cool since I tend to get distracted easily and lose track of my rest periods.

In short, you get lots of very sophisticated information to take your lifting up a notch and performance data that you might not otherwise have access to. At the end of your workout, the Beast App will even tell you how many tons you lifted during your workout — makes you feel like a total badass.

The Beast Sensor costs $249.00 — a bit steep, but if you’re looking for serious consistency and power with concrete numerical evidence to show how you’re progressing over time, then it’s a small price to pay. The Beast Sensor is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. Wanna see it in action? Check out this video.

How do you keep challenging yourself in your workouts? —Alison



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3 Fresh Running Finds We’ve Fallen in Love With

Three fresh running finds we’ve “fallen” in love with. See what we did there? via GIPHY Yeah, it’s fall. And we love it. via GIPHY Especially for running. And here are three new pieces we’ve tried from Brooks Running (remember: we’re an ambassador, so we got to try these on the Brooks house although all […]


Three fresh running finds we’ve “fallen” in love with. See what we did there?

via GIPHY

Yeah, it’s fall. And we love it.

via GIPHY

Especially for running. And here are three new pieces we’ve tried from Brooks Running (remember: we’re an ambassador, so we got to try these on the Brooks house although all opinions and bad puns are independently ours).

Canopy Jacket ($120)

This lightweight jacket keeps wind and rain out — and lets air in. With a cute design, a streamlined hood that keeps your noggin warm without limiting too much of your peripheral vision, it even has soft, stretch thumbholes and it can be packed into its own left-hand pocket which you can wear around your arm — meaning you can carry it with you everywhere, without tying it around your waist. (Now, that, is a long sentence.)

Why Jenn loves it: Besides the thumbholes and light material that is quiet (this jacket is nothing like the athletic pants of the 90s that were all like swish-swish-swish as you walked … anywhere), I love the zippers on this one. Zippers that stick or catch annoy the ever loving you-know-what out of me. And these zippers are so smooth they practically glide. Totally pet-peeve free!

Why Kristen loves it: Being able to pack a jacket into its own pocket isn’t entirely revolutionary — but providing a simple, comfortable way to carry that small package around? It’s everything. Here in Florida, it’s rare that I need a jacket for a full run, so having an easy way to transport it so I can wear it at the start (and then maybe pull it back on afterward when I go meet a friend for coffee) is the best thing ever. EVER.

Ghost Crop ($72)

ghost crop

This is our second time trying the Ghost Crop and although it’s in a different pattern, all the things we love about our first pair ring true for this pair. These are so lightweight and breathable that they almost feel like a second skin — they are definitely lighter than any other tight we’ve worn and feel great on.

Why Jenn loves it: Not to, like, be totally self-absorbed, but the first time I wore these, I got FIVE separate compliments from five separate people — many of which I didn’t know and literally just stopped me on the street. So, I think that’s saying something, right? Right.

Why Kristen loves it:  I want to second Jenn on the lightweightness — because again, hi, I live in Florida. But I think it’s important to note that, as thin as they are, they don’t, like … show stuff that shouldn’t be shown. And I love the way they stay in place, both for running and yoga/stretching. One tip — I had these in my usual Brooks bottoms size (medium), but ordered up to a large this time because I find this style is quite snug, not just at my waist, but on my calves. Both sizes work, but the large is more comfortable for a longer period of time. (I’m talking to you, fellow peeps who wake up, put on workout clothes, then don’t hit the gym until way late in the day.)

Levitate ($150)

brooks levitate

The Levitate utilizes groundbreaking technology in its signature midsole to enhance energy return — and you don’t have to be an elite runner to notice. This shoe went through nine rounds of development, seven rounds of wear tests, and was worn during thousands of trial runs before it came to market in its current form. The release of this shoe was a big deal for Brooks — we actually got to take part in a Google Hangout with some of the employees and athletes involved in the creation of it — and we’re pretty psyched to see it living up to the hype.

Why Jenn loves it: I’ve run in A LOT of Brooks shoes, and I have to say, straight out of the box, from the first run, these wowed me. They feel PERFECT. For shorter distances … longer ones … they’re light and springy and feel like they were made just for me. Seriously, the one time I won’t wear these running is if it’s raining. Because, who wants to get such pretty shoes dirty? Hehe.

Why Kristen loves it:  The big deal, to me (and to a lot of runners, from the buzz I’ve heard), is the cushioning. It’s made of a brand new material that distributes the energy you put into it back up into your run — so, instead of the material in the sole springing out in every direction, it sends that energy right back at you, putting a legitimately new spring in your step. However, all that cushion doesn’t keep you from feeling the road, so no responsiveness is lost in the transaction. I’m seriously digging them, and I honestly have yet to talk to anyone who’s not.

What are you running in this fall? Seriously, guys, if you need new running shoes, consider Levitate. It’s life-changing (or at least run-changing)! —Jenn & Kristen



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See and Be Seen: Time Change Workout Safety Tips

I have mixed feelings about the fall time change. One the one hand, I love the fact that it suddenly becomes really easy to wake up early, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing daylight in the morning before 7:30 am. Then again, that means that it’ll be getting dark early — really early in a […]


I have mixed feelings about the fall time change. One the one hand, I love the fact that it suddenly becomes really easy to wake up early, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing daylight in the morning before 7:30 am. Then again, that means that it’ll be getting dark early — really early in a few weeks — and that, I am no fan of at all. (Hello darkness 8:30 p.m. bedtime, my old friend.)

One of the biggest issues I have with it getting dark so early is the fact that many of my outdoor activities (like running with friends) take place after work during the week, which means I’m spending more time out and about well after the sun goes down. It’s not such a big deal, really, but it does require a little more planning in order to stay visible and safe.

With that in mind, here are a few tips and tools (which companies have sent me to review — but all opinions are mine and mine alone!) that can help you out once Daylight Savings Time ends.

See It All

knuckle lights

I’ve tried a lot of different lights, and I have to say that the Knuckle Lights really stand out from the crowd for a few reasons. My go-to has always been a headlamp, but in order for that to feel comfortable while running, I have to wear a hat — the fact that these go on your hands (and can fit any size hand, even over gloves) is super cool. And it’s not like you’re actively holding them, either. They use soft silicone straps to stay in place, so you can still grab a sip of water or hold a dog leash. They’re battery-operated, safe for use in all kinds of weather, and each light in the set of two put out a broad, bright light (so there’s very little noticeable bounce as you run or walk).

Be Seen By All

It’s important to remember that just because you might be able to see where you’re going fairly well, that doesn’t mean you’re fully visible to others. And it’s not just motorists (although, obviously, that’s probably the biggest concern) — I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out running and nearly collided with someone who’s out with no lights. So, in addition to using lights (like the Knuckle Lights I mentioned earlier), make sure you’re decked out in something reflective. CEP has new Nighttech Compression Socks that are awesome. I’ve long been a big fan of CEP socks for their incredible quality and the progressive compression, and I think having reflective patterns on arms and legs is key (because those are the areas that move, and therefore are more likely to grab the attention of others). Plus? They just look like patterned socks, so if you’re wearing them during daylight, you’ll still fit right in.

ruffwear beacon light

That goes for four-legged friends, too! If you’re out walking your pup, remember that even if he’s connected to you on a leash, that doesn’t mean people can see him — and unless he’s stuck to you like velcro, that could be dangerous when crossing roads or passing other pedestrians or cyclists. Ruffwear has a number of products to make sure your dog is easy to see, like the Beacon Safety Light, which attaches to your dog’s collar or harness and is durable, waterproof, bright, and rechargeable; the Patroller Leash, which has reflective details all down the sides and is designed to make going from on-leash walking to off-leash play super simple (it fastens around your waist when not in use as a leash); and the Track Jacket, which is a durable, waterproof, high-visibility reflective jacket that’s lightweight and easy to put on and take off.

Of course, visibility isn’t the only safety issue at play. If you’re going out for a walk or other workout after dark (or any time, really), use common sense. Leave the earbuds at home if you’ll be on a road or in a remote location so you can be fully aware of your surroundings, and, when possible, let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be home. Or, even better, enlist a friend to join you!

Does the time change throw off your workout game? It stays so warm for so long here in Florida that running in the dark (and therefore cooler weather) is a bit of a perk … so long as I don’t trip in the dark. So you know, these new lights of mine are gonna see some serious use! Kristen



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New Drug-Free Tools for Pain Relief

My workout philosophy is “work hard, recover harder,” so I’m always on the lookout for new tools that will help me bounce back quickly. I give lots of bonus points for easy-to-use and innovative drug-free tools. I had a chance to try out some new products recently and there were some winners that I’m sharing […]


My workout philosophy is “work hard, recover harder,” so I’m always on the lookout for new tools that will help me bounce back quickly. I give lots of bonus points for easy-to-use and innovative drug-free tools.

I had a chance to try out some new products recently and there were some winners that I’m sharing so you can check them out, too. You know, cuz we FBGs gotta look out for each other.

PainCakes. How has this not been a thing before now?! Holy crap, this product is amazing! It’s a cold pack that literally sticks to you. I’m surely not the only one who has struggled with icing my sore spots and wondering why it’s too much to ask that the freaking ice pack stay where I put it. And for $14.99, it’s kind of a no-brainer to have around.

I tested it out after running a 50k and at one point had three PainCakes stuck to me. I was lying on the couch, nursing my achy parts without worrying at all about shifting positions. The adhesive is strong but won’t strip the top layer of skin off of you when you go to remove it. Added bonus: The adhesive pad creates some separation between your bare skin and the ice pack so you’re protected.

Simply chill it in its resealable pouch, then remove the cover to reveal the adhesive and stick it to your ouchie. It conforms to the shape of you so you can stick it right where you need it. It holds its cold for up to 15 minutes. Then just slap the adhesive cover back on, tuck it back into its pouch and toss it back into the freezer for reuse later.

The Muscle Stick by Naples Soap Company. I’ve never really been a fan of topical medicated pain relievers — probably due to the smell and the associations with it from my childhood. But I test drove this wonder stick after I did Murph on Memorial Day weekend to deal with the DOMS in my legs and it’s pretty awesome. Only $14 and it’s not sticky or greasy at all. Plus, it gets its superpowers from a blend of essential oils (instead of chemicals) designed to help promote circulation and reduce inflammation as it provides cooling relief for your muscles.

You just rub it on your skin straight from the stick and it smells delightful — like peppermint and eucalyptus. Then about 10-15 minutes later, the cooling menthol action starts. It’s not insane either, just a mild, tingly, cool sensation that dulls the achy feeling in and around your hard-working muscles. I love that the applicator means you don’t have to get the product all over your hands (somehow I always end up with stuff in my eyes).

What are you favorite, all-natural ways to deal with aches and pains? —Alison



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A Day in the Life of the Newest Brooks Running Shoe

When I was in high school, my basketball and volleyball shoes were sacred. I only ever wore them indoors on the court — I didn’t wear them to and from the car, I didn’t wear them to class, I didn’t wear them in the weight room. I didn’t wear them for anything but practice or games. […]


When I was in high school, my basketball and volleyball shoes were sacred. I only ever wore them indoors on the court — I didn’t wear them to and from the car, I didn’t wear them to class, I didn’t wear them in the weight room. I didn’t wear them for anything but practice or games.

And that made sense, because those shoes were sport-specific, pretty pricey, and, over the course of a season, got a lot of mileage. It was just smart to keep them as pristine as possible.

But in my real life, today as an adult? That’s not quite the case. Almost all of my runs take place outdoors — on a variety of surfaces ranging from trails to beach to street — and if I’m getting up early to hit the gym, well, I need my ensemble to be as easy as possible. Changing shoes at the gym? That’s an extra step (and extra minute or so) that I’m not willing to take.

Brooks Running (as you probably recall, we’re affiliates but all opinions are entirely ours!) recently introduced their newest addition — the Revel Running Shoe ($100), and the whole idea behind this model is that it’s designed to go anywhere with its flat-knit upper for solid style and BioMoGo DNA midsole to offer dynamic cushioning for all types of movement.

Running a race, running with friends, or running errands — it’s good to go on whatever adventure you have in mind. Even if that adventure is a fairly typical day. Like this one!

A Day in the Life of Kristen’s Revel Running Shoes

def fit workout shoes

6:30 a.m. Strength work at Definition Fit

7:45 a.m. Coffee with a friend on my way home

9:15 a.m. Working from my home office — at my standing desk

biking

11:50 a.m. Biking to the vet to grab dog meds and the grocery store to pick up lunch and a few other staples

5:15 p.m. Walk the dogs around the neighborhood

brooks running revel outfit

6:00 p.m. Group run from my local craft beer bar

6:35 p.m. Grabbing a post-run drink with friends

7:15 p.m. Walking home so I can stretch, shower, eat, and get ready to rock the next day

Do you have a pair of shoes that works for just about everything? —Kristen



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Review: Life’s Too Short to Go So F*cking Slow

Immediately after I finished Susan Lacke’s new book (it’ll be out in November, so pre-order now!), Life’s Too Short to Go So F*cking Slow, I sent her an email. Susan wrote for us from 2012-2016, and I’ve always found her to be not only a great writer but also one of the most hilarious people around […]


Immediately after I finished Susan Lacke’s new book (it’ll be out in November, so pre-order now!), Life’s Too Short to Go So F*cking Slow, I sent her an email. Susan wrote for us from 2012-2016, and I’ve always found her to be not only a great writer but also one of the most hilarious people around — the kind of person that will say something so funny that your green smoothie shoots right out of your nose. And her book? It’s all that and more.

Susan tells the story of her unlikely friendship with her uber fit boss Carlos, who helps her get healthy, finish multiple Ironmans and — in many ways — find and accept her true self. It’s poignant. It’s vulnerable. It’s real. It’s inspiring (anyone can do an Ironaman!). It’s funny. SO funny. But, Life’s Too Short to Go So F*cking Slow is also deeply personal and reflective.

I finished it in two nights — it’s not a long read, but it’s the kind of story that makes you look within. The kind that makes you want to call up your best friend in the middle of the night and say “thank you — from the bottom of my heart.” It’s the kind of read that makes you want to write a bucket list and start checking things off of it now. It’s the kind of book you should probably read with a box of Kleenex near by. Really, it’s a book everyone should read.

Here’s our email exchange …

Jenn: Just finished reading your book … f*cking beautiful. 💙

Susan: No, YOU’RE f*cking beautiful. XOXO

Extraneous use of curse words aside, it’s just like Susan to deflect the praise of her book with a joke, but seriously, this book is SO F*CKING beautiful.

Pre-order it now! And maybe buy a couple extra as holiday gifts for your fit friends. Jenn



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The Essential CrossFit Outfit

  I remember when I first started doing CrossFit-style workouts, I pretty much wore yoga pants and running shoes to every class. But now? There’s SO much CrossFit-specific apparel and gear out there. And it’s hella cute and/or hella functional (or both!). Take these five products for example. They pretty much make up the essential […]


 

I remember when I first started doing CrossFit-style workouts, I pretty much wore yoga pants and running shoes to every class. But now? There’s SO much CrossFit-specific apparel and gear out there. And it’s hella cute and/or hella functional (or both!). Take these five products for example. They pretty much make up the essential CrossFit outfit!

CrossFitters take their workouts seriously. They take their PRs seriously. They do NOT take themselves seriously though. Case in point, the number of hilarious tanks out there. From dirty puns to carb jokes, apparel companies like Boxstar create inside jokes for you to wear in the box (and out).

Shoes for Double-Unders: Ropix Sonic

If you’re really serious about getting better at double-unders, then you might need to throw a pair of Ropix Sonic ($79) into your gym bag. Designed specifically for jumping rope, these are super lightweight and super low to the ground. While they can’t guarantee you a new all-time high DBU-in-a-row count, they certainly can increase your chances!

You got the funny tank and the right shoes, but what about your socks? While you want to keep a knee-high pair for rope climbing in your gym bag, those can get really hot for the everyday non-rope WOD. So try something high-performance yet fun like these Serena No-Show Tab socks from U-Sox ($9.90). The tab prevents chafing on your heels, and the light-weight and breathable mesh instep means that you can focus on your form and not your feet.

Yes, short shorts are the rage at many a CrossFit gym, but these RBX Active Vortex Capris ($29.99 — great price point, yo) give you more coverage and keep you cool with mesh panels. They also have pockets that fit your phone, which is hella convenient. Because we all know you’re going to brunch after that Saturday morning workout and it’s helpful to have a pocket for your stuff.

Okay, so you can’t wear these. But — believe us — once you try them, you’ll consider them an essential part of your workout. You’re probably already bringing water and some post-WOD protein powder to the gym, but on really hot days or for workouts that you know are going to take awhile and work up a serious sweat (Murph, anyone?), Bob’s Pickle Pops are a must! About a dollar a pop (or less if you buy in bulk), these are made from dill pickles and nothing else. Recent research has shown that pickle juice can be beneficial in helping counteract the effects of dehydration and cramping — so these just might help you to keep performing at your highest level. For a cool pickled treat, try them frozen!

What else goes into your perfect CrossFit outfit? —Jenn



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5 Ways to 80s-ify Your Workout

The 80s were great, right? via GIPHY And if you’ve been feeling nostalgic for a more-neon and less-plugged-in time (like, totally, please), why not give your next workout a good ol’ rad blast from the past with these five fun ideas? via GIPHY If you want to rock a leotard, rock it. But if not […]


The 80s were great, right?

via GIPHY

And if you’ve been feeling nostalgic for a more-neon and less-plugged-in time (like, totally, please), why not give your next workout a good ol’ rad blast from the past with these five fun ideas?

via GIPHY

If you want to rock a leotard, rock it. But if not (that is one trend we’re okay with staying the past), how about going a little 80s with your shorts? These both remind us of gym class and Rainbow Brite, which is pretty freakin’ rad.

Find your inner 80s groove, even in yoga with this cotton yoga mat bag that looks like a boombox. The only question is: will you use the strap to carry it or simply throw it up and on your shoulder? (We know the answer.)

via GIPHY

Remember when stair climbers were all the rage? Well, it’s still one hell of a workout. Get on and climb easily for one minute, followed by as fast as you can for 30 seconds and repeat until the clock hits 15 minutes for one heck of an 80s-inspired (yet really, really effective) HIIT workout.

Obviously! And you guys helped us put it together — and determine the ultimate 80s workout song — so thanks for that!

bubble braid

It doesn’t make sense to tease or crimp your hair only to get it sweaty, but a side braid or a high-pony? Oh, yeah. Like, totally.

What’s your fave trend? I still say dude way too much. And probably still will when I’m 90. —Jenn



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Summer Running Gear: Had Us a Blast, We Were Running So Fast

You know how new, cute running gear can make you feel (at maybe even “look”) fast? Well, that’s exactly how this new apparel we got to try from Brooks Running is making us feel. And — remember — we’re a brand ambassador and affiliate of theirs, but this review is totally and 100 percent our […]


You know how new, cute running gear can make you feel (at maybe even “look”) fast? Well, that’s exactly how this new apparel we got to try from Brooks Running is making us feel. And — remember — we’re a brand ambassador and affiliate of theirs, but this review is totally and 100 percent our honest-to-goodness thoughts, as always.

Women’s Distance Tank

This tank may look simple and basic — and it is. But don’t let that fool you. It’s still made of odor-resistant fabric that breathes beautifully. And it’s light and relaxed, with a really flattering look. The ruching on the back is extra cute, too, no? Perfect with a pair of shorts on a hot day, or even with capris on a cooler morning or evening.

Greenlight Capri

Running tights shouldn’t be complicated — they should just fit well, feel good, stay in place, and, ideally, look cool. These capris do that and more (especially if you opt for one of the funky geometric prints like we did!). The  Greenlight Capri is super soft and offer significant support, probably thanks to the DriLayer® HorsePower fabric used. Either that or fairy dust and magic, whatever. Instead of a drawstring, it has a wide, flat waistband, as well as two pockets (one of which is sweat-resistant). Plus, the capri length is where it’s at for summer, unless you want to wear shorts, in which case …

Chaser 5” Short

We expected these shorts to be a bit on the long side, but, honestly, they are PERFECT for running. Super light and airy, but with a fitted waistband that stays put (hooray!), we’re especially in love with the petal hem slits towards the back. They’re not only flattering, but also allow for a full range of motion. There are even two pockets to store your stuff, including one that’s sweat-resistant and fits an iPhone 6. Even the moisture-wicking mesh brief liner is comfy. Seriously, these are great!

Run-Thru Hat

Want to wear a hat to keep the sun out, without feeling like you’re actually wearing a hat? This would be it. Stretchy, comfy, insanely light and with a shorter bill so it’s got a slim profile, you might just forget you have on a hat at all. Our only complaint about it, is that for people with smaller heads, the back velcro closure doesn’t stick as well. But if you have a normal-sized head, you’ll be totes fine.

Sherpa Running Hat

Brooks’ new running hat is sleek, soft, lightweight and moisture-wicking with reflective details and an easily adjustable velcro back. The color options are dope — we went with the solid blue and got loads of compliments on it immediately, but it was a tough choice between that and the stripes! It has a longer bill than Run-Thru hat (so, a little more sun/rain protection), but like the Run-Thru, it might not be the best fit for very small heads. It fit our standard-sized noggin quite well, but a much smaller head would run out of adjustability.

What gear makes you want to run fast? —Jenn & Kristen



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Fashion From the Depths of My Gym Bag

Over the course of four months, I’ll be flying from Florida to New York, Las Vegas, Michigan, California (for our retreat — will I see you there?) and Italy (by way of London). And, while it’s not unusual for me to travel a fair bit each year, this definitely exceeds my typical time above 10,000 […]


Over the course of four months, I’ll be flying from Florida to New York, Las Vegas, Michigan, California (for our retreat — will I see you there?) and Italy (by way of London). And, while it’s not unusual for me to travel a fair bit each year, this definitely exceeds my typical time above 10,000 feet … as well as the number of times I’ll be packing and repacking my bags.

Oh, and did I mention that I’m refusing to check a bag for any of these flights? Yep. So, my packing game has gotta be on point, which can be tricky because for most of these trips, I have at least one event where I need to look … nice. Not, like, athleisurely nice (because that’s a piece of cake for me!), but more on the dressed up end of the spectrum. Meaning a dress, and nice shoes and no wrinkles — which is tough because the only iron I wield with any competence is that of the curling variety. Well, and I guess also the iron you pump. But you get the idea.

via GIPHY

Happily, the universe seemed to hear my call and I’ve had a couple of super stylish product cross my desk in recent weeks — and you guys? They make packing so much easier. Get ready to fall a little bit in love with the two newest additions to my closet (and an oldie but goodie that I purchased years ago but can’t help but share here).

I love, love, love a wrap dress, but have historically had a tough time finding one that works for me — something about my broad shoulders and bust size generally leads to a lot more being on display than I intend. But this dress is a faux wrap, and while the v-neck comes low, after numerous wears, it’s never even hinted at showing my bra. And that’s not even the best thing about it. This dress is legitimately wrinkle-free. No, really. It was in a ball at the bottom of my bag, I pulled it out, put it on, and five minutes later went on a date with my husband where multiple people stopped me to compliment me on or ask me about my dress.

My thought is that, if you’re wearing a lovely dress in a bright color or bold print, you rarely need much more in terms of accessories, which is why I think the “perfect” part of this dress’ name is super accurate. Leota sent me the Alhambra Fern print, which I adore, but the brand is known for its bold prints that are hand-painted in house. If wrap dresses aren’t your jam, they have sheaths, rompers, caftans, maxis, shirt dresses, cocktail dresses and more (including maternity and styles designed for fuller figures). Also, if you’re on a budget, be sure to check the sale section — there are some pretty sweet options in there for an awesome deal.

Nobody gets more use than I do out of those cheap drawstring backpacks you get at races. I use them all the time. And when I’m not using one of those, I generally have either my backpack (because laptop = life) or just my small wallet, which, now that I have a big ol’ phone, just barely holds the essentials. If I need an extra lipstick or something? Totes out of luck. Which is why having a cool clutch is ideal (and if you need inspiration, here you go!). The one that Neely and Chloe sent me — No. 23 The Large Clutch Suede — is compact enough to fit in my backpack (or my suitcase without taking up much space) but has enough space to carry just about anything I might need for an evening or an event. This particular style has nice, sleek lines, so it’s dressy enough for a big night, but it’s not over the top, so it can easily be paired with jeans and a tee. And if I’m spending my money on something other than running shoes, I need it to be multi-purpose, you know?

And speaking of spending money on shoes …

In theory, I love a super high heel. But when it comes to me actually having to walk anywhere — or even stand on my feet for any period of time — I just can’t do it. Between my creaky knees and weak ankles, spending an evening solely in stilettos is a disaster waiting to happen. Plus, big heels take up a lot of space, so with the packing challenges I’m staring down, they’re just out. But what’s not out? Foldable flats, and happily, I invested in a pair of Tieks a few years ago — a move for which I’ve thanked myself over and over again. Now, these are a little on the high-end side, but I’d worn through so many pairs of lower quality foldy flats already that I felt it was money well-spent. These shoes are made to be comfortable and durable, and they come in 58 prints and colors, so you can opt for bright, neutral or shiny shiny (which I believe goes with everything — Metallic Pewter has yet to let me down).

What’s your biggest packing struggle? Overpacking? Forgetting things? I find overpacking incredibly easy to do, but I’m really working minimizing! Kristen



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Two Ways to Work Out at Home (Equipment Needed)

As a stay-at-home mom who freelances, I’m constantly on the go. Finding time to hit the gym is not always my top priority and, as such, it often falls to the bottom of my list — and then it just doesn’t happen. But after baby number two (my last) I’m bound and determined to get […]


As a stay-at-home mom who freelances, I’m constantly on the go. Finding time to hit the gym is not always my top priority and, as such, it often falls to the bottom of my list — and then it just doesn’t happen.

But after baby number two (my last) I’m bound and determined to get back into pre-baby shape (hey, even pre-second baby would be okay with me at this point). That means I need to find ways to stay motivated and do quick workouts from the comfort of my own home so there is no room for excuses. Here are two products I recently tried to do just that!

Bowflex Max Trainer 3 Review

For my birthday back in March I was lucky enough to get the Bowflex Max Trainer 3. It’s like an elliptical and stair climber in one machine. It is pretty compact, which was key since I don’t have a ton of space now that there are two times the toys around our house. It does have a fan, which makes some noise, and there is a dinging when you change intervals, but it is quiet enough that my nine-month-old sleeps through it.

The reason I purchased this machine was because it touted a “14-minute workout” with its interval setting. I try to do it three to four times per week, and I increase the resistance one level every few times I use it. In the beginning I could barely make it through the 14 minutes and definitely broke a sweat. Now, I’m about two months in and I’m up to level 7 and can definitely do the 14-minute workout, still breaking a sweat and feeling it, but my stamina has increased.

It may not be the whole-body workout I get when I go to a class at the gym, but, it’s better than me phoning it in every day and doing nothing but running after my two munchkins (although don’t get me wrong — that is also a workout). I feel good after I’m done and I have definitely noticed my legs are more toned. It boasts that you can get a good upper-body workout as well, but I have to admit I have not seen the same results on my arms as I have my legs.

Booty Belt Review

To supplement this cardio workout I also purchased the Booty Belt. I saw this system on my Facebook feed and when I did, I just happened to be looking for a way to tone in addition to my cardio workouts at home. I don’t normally buy infomercial-type things like this, but it has a 30-day money-back guarantee and I heard that Kate Hudson uses it (hey, who wouldn’t want her body?). It also boasts that you can get toned doing it just five minutes, three times per week.

It comes with a DVD, a pamphlet filled with exercises you can do on the fly, a mat for your knees and three levels of bands.

I’ve only used it a few times thus far, but it is HARD (and that is just the beginner-level bands). I barely made it through the pamphlet of suggested exercises, but I’m going to keep at it and I think I will definitely see results. I feel it already in my core, legs and back.

All in, I’ve spent $1,300 for both systems and I would say I’m pretty happy so far. It may be quite a bit of money, but it is keeping me motivated and there really is no excuse for me not to do something every day when I walk by both items multiple times a day. My husband has even started using the Bowflex (he’s a marathon runner) and says it’s a good workout, which makes me feel good, too.

What do you do to keep motivated with little ones and what kinds of exercises do you do at home? —Jenn A.



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Lucky’s Take: A Review for the Dogs

There is a lot more to dog ownership than just heaping on the love. Like us, our furry companions need plenty of fresh air and exercise to keep them happy and good quality nutrition to keep them healthy. Two pet food brands that have our dogs’ best interest at heart — newcomer Austin and Kat, […]


There is a lot more to dog ownership than just heaping on the love. Like us, our furry companions need plenty of fresh air and exercise to keep them happy and good quality nutrition to keep them healthy.

Two pet food brands that have our dogs’ best interest at heart — newcomer Austin and Kat, and Wellness Natural Pet Food — sent product samples for us to review. My rescue dog, Lucky, volunteered for the task.

Austin and Kat: CBD Infused Wellness Dog Biscuits

Austin and Kat offers hemp dog biscuits made with cannabidiol or CBD, the non-psychoactive chemical compound derived from the cannabis plant. CBD is completely safe for pet consumption and has been proven to help with anxiety, inflammation, digestion, mood and sleep.

The handmade, all-natural biscuits couldn’t come with a better list of ingredients: human grade CBD, coconut oil, oats, peanut butter, turmeric and apples (heck, I was tempted to chow down on one myself). Each quarter-size biscuit contains 2 mg of cannabinoids (also available in 5 mg/large size).

Lucky’s Take: I appreciate that the biscuits are made with human-grade ingredients; (hello, I am one of the family) and the CBD is a wonderful addition to my regular treats. Before I was rescued I spent two years outside, unprotected from the elements, and honestly, my nerves are shot! Loud noises freak me out and when those thunderstorms roll in it’s all I can do to keep it together. Since they contain CBD these biscuits are a bit pricey, but I don’t eat ‘em like candy. My owner stores them in the fridge where they will keep for six months (two years in the freezer) and doles them out when necessary. I love Austin and Kat for thinking of dogs like me; a little extra TLC mixed with a small dose of CBD (not THC!) is a godsend in my time of need.

Wellness Core: RawRev

Wellness Natural Pet Food sent samples of Core RawRev (short for raw revolution) kibble and Core 100-percent freeze-dried treats for Lucky to critique.

The high-protein, grain-free kibble is combined with freeze-dried chunks of what dogs crave the most — real meat! The nutrient-rich diet is formulated with your canine’s specific needs in mind and sets the foundation for a happier and healthier pet with good stuff like glucosamine chondroiton for joints and flaxseed for a healthy coat. With three formulas to choose from, including small breed, Core RawRev is a safe and convenient way to incorporate raw food into your dog’s diet.

The Core single-ingredient freeze-dried treats are the kind of irresistible rewards your dog will sit, stay and fetch for. The preservative-free, low-calorie treats come in beef, turkey, salmon and boar.

Lucky’s Take:  I am so embarrassed! My manners are usually impeccable, but something came over me when I saw those freeze-dried meat treats. It’s like I was a woman possessed. Must. Have. Protein! Long story short, I got caught jumping up on the desk to steal the bag. I was mortified at my behavior; those treats reduced me to acting like a common housedog, which I most definitely am not.

With more of those delectable chunks of meat and no fillers, The Core RawRev was just as tasty. I would have scarfed the whole bowl down, but my owner is a stickler for rules and followed the guidelines of slowly incorporating it into my diet. I like the fact that it’s raw. My kind has a bad rep for eating just about anything you toss in a bowl or drop on the floor, but given the choice we’d prefer to eat like our ancestors.

Do you have a dog? What’s their favorite snacks?  —Karen (and Lucky)



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Do Expensive Skin Creams Really Work Better?

This post is sponsored by Olay. Find more on our sponsored post policy here. Age ain’t nothing but a number. And that’s the truth. BUT. I wouldn’t be honest if it didn’t feel like my face just hit the jackpot every time I got carded or someone commented on me looking way younger than my age. I […]


This post is sponsored by Olay. Find more on our sponsored post policy here.

Age ain’t nothing but a number. And that’s the truth.

BUT. I wouldn’t be honest if it didn’t feel like my face just hit the jackpot every time I got carded or someone commented on me looking way younger than my age. I mean, I eat right, try to get eight hours of sleep a night, drink tons of water, do burpees, think positive thoughts — so I should look pretty fit and healthy, right?

Well, one area I’ve been totally ignoring is my face. I mean, I know it’s there. And I like it! But instead of me trying to do anything about those fine lines and wrinkles, I’ve kind of just been ignoring them. Because … A) I didn’t want to really think about getting older; B) Have you seen anti-aging creams and products lately? There are a million of them. And a lot of them are pricey; C) How the heck do you pick one — and actually know that it’s going to work?

And then I got the answer: science.

An independent test by the Good Housekeeping Institute showed that Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream outperforms 10 top prestige creams, including one with a $440 price tag. A 1.7-ounce container of Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream goes for $26.99 sooo …

I decided to try it out for myself. Because — let’s be honest — no burpee (no matter how much I love doing ’em) is ever going to make the lines on my face disappear overnight. But this stuff? The reviews are SO good.

And, ladies, even if you’re not experiencing fine lines and wrinkles yet (high-five, right here), this is the kind of product that you want to start using no matter how many trips around the sun you’ve celebrated. Not only is it an anti-aging cream, but it’s also a moisturizing and plumping powerhouse that can help younger women to actually prevent those wrinkles and fine lines. Plus, it won’t break the bank!

You simply wash your face like you normally do in the morning and at night, then rub a thin layer of this skin cream gently in. As it goes on you can almost instantaneously feel the hydration. Which is SO important! Hydration is one of the ways you can fight aging when you’re younger, and its essential to having bright, full and beautiful skin. This skin cream is so rich and yet somehow it doesn’t feel heavy or greasy in the least — it absorbs really, really well. In just one day, you can start to see results. I know I did! (And, yeah, obviously no filters are used below and I have no make-up on. Just me right after I washed my face, and me again, three hours later. Same bathroom, same light … much smoother and brighter face!)

In fact, according to the aforementioned Good Housekeeping Institute study, at the three-hour mark, Olay moisturized 400 percent better than a cream nearly 18 times its price and beat all other products tested. It also increased moisture by 50 percent on average over a 24-hour period. Formulated with powerhouse ingredients like niacinamide, carob seed extract, vitamin E and hyaluronic acid, Olay was found to improve skin’s texture by 10 percent in four weeks. Seeing how much it’s already changed my skin in just a few weeks of use, I cannot wait to see what it looks like in a month.

And it’s so great to put another Olay product into my life. I’ve been using Olay body wash and face cleansers since I was a teen, and now I’m thrilled to put Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream in my daily skincare rotation. Olay is a worldwide leader in skin care and has been trusted by women for more than 60 years. Olay was founded on the philosophy to maintain a deep understanding of women’s changing needs and to combine products that fit their needs with the latest advances in skin care technology without premium prices. And you know what? I think this product embraces that perfectly. It’s made a believer out of me already!

Has your skincare routine changed as the years have passed? I really wish this had been around when I was in my 20s. No telling how young I’d look! —Jenn 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Olay. The opinions and text are all mine.



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Beyond Books: What’s in My Beach Bag

It’s full on beach season (or, at least it would be if Florida would get the memo and knock it off with this crazy rain!), and I, for one, couldn’t be more excited. I mean, I live pretty close to the beach, and sure, I go there for happy hour with friends most Friday nights even […]


It’s full on beach season (or, at least it would be if Florida would get the memo and knock it off with this crazy rain!), and I, for one, couldn’t be more excited. I mean, I live pretty close to the beach, and sure, I go there for happy hour with friends most Friday nights even in the winter, but that’s not the same as having a full on beach day, you know?

I mean, it’s one thing to show up for an hour and have a glass of wine as the sun sets. It’s a whole other experience to show up early in the day with a book, a chair and an umbrella and just plan to relax.

But, aside from having something good to read (I just finished a fun romance called Dating You, Hating You, for anybody looking for a light and fun beach read this summer) and a shady spot to sit, what’s in your beach bag? I’ve become a bit of a pro packer at this point, so I thought I’d share what’s in my bag now. Many of these items were sent to me for review, others I purchased on my own, but they’re all keepers in my book.

beach products

What’s in My Beach Bag

1. Beach bag. I still use the Fivesse beach backpack I reviewed two years ago, and while that specific style seems to be out of stock in every color, there are a few things I love about it that I’m sure you can find in another bag. There are numerous pockets, which makes organization easy (plus, I can keep things dry and sand-free when needed), the main compartment is spacious, and there’s a cord on the outside that’ll hold a big towel or clothes, which is awesome.

2. Anti-chafing stuff. Even if you don’t deal with your thighs rubbing on a regular basis, walking the beach in a swimsuit when it’s super hot and humid out can create some chafing issues. And if you’re spending any time on a surfboard or SUP, you might find that you have a few areas that tend to rub. Enter Body Glide Skin Glide — it’s lightweight and non-greasy, and really helps ease any friction you might experience. It might not be a staple in everyone’s beach bag, but it sure is in mine!

3. Conditioner or detangler. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t skimp when it comes to getting my hair cut and colored, and that means I try really hard to protect it — I mean, hey, I want to put as much time between appointments as possible! I actually really like the texture salt water gives my hair, but sometimes it makes the ends pretty dry and tangly, so I like to keep some conditioner or detangler on hand. I don’t do a full wash/condition, but rather just put a small amount into the ends of my hair when wet and then comb it through with my fingers. Aussie’s Color Mate Conditioner smells good, gets the tangles out, and protects that color that I spent so much money on — win, win, win!

4. Shoes. I’m typically barefoot on the beach, true, but walking on hot pavement to get there is not my idea of a good time. Plus, it’s nice to have comfy shoes handy in case I decide to grab a bite to eat on the way home after working up an appetite! I’ve been sporting Vionic’s Beach Noosa Toe Post Sandal lately for a few reasons. First up, CUTENESS — I’m a sucker for a great floral print, and these are tropical as all get out. Plus, they actually have arch support, which means I’m way less likely to anger the plantar fasciitis gods.

5. Shower wipes and body spray. Just like shoes are typically a must if I’m hoping to do anything social after my beach day, so is some sort of shower-in-a-bag. YUNI has a Sweat, Refresh, Go Kit at Sephora right now that includes their Shower Sheets, Flash Both No-Rinse Body Cleanser, Chillax Muscle Recovery Gel, and My Om World Aromatic Body Mist. (You’re welcome for that — and so is everyone you’re gonna hang out with after a hot, sweaty day this summer!)

6. Sunscreen! (Duh.) I keep sunscreen everywhere. There’s a sunscreen station in my house near the door to the pool area, I keep a bottle in my car, and I always have at least one or two options in my beach bag. Always. Recently I’ve been trying out Coppertone’s Clearly Sheer Whipped Sunscreen, which feels a lot like hair mousse and goes on really light — enough that I can use it for every day. I also have their Sport Sunscreen Stick, which looks like a deodorant stick. It goes on thick and, to be honest, a bit greasy, but when you’re really trying to ensure coverage, that’s really not a bad thing. I hit my shoulders (which tend to burn) with it when I know I’ll be heading out into the water (since it’s water resistant for 80 minutes). I wouldn’t use it every day but for days when I’m being beachy and active, it’s a convenient option.

7. A big hat. I am almost never outdoors without a hat of some kind, and I’m a huge fan of Headsweats (as you might recall). For one thing, having a Bigfoot on your hat is just fun, and the trucker hats use a terry sweatband wrapped in the brand’s signature Eventure knit to keep the sweat out of my face. It’s also nice to have a snapback if you’re wearing a ponytail!

Okay, I shared my latest beach read. What are you reading right now? I really love a good book recommendation! —Kristen



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What We’re Running in This Summer

You know we’re Brooks Running brand ambassadors, right? We love Brooks, love what they’re about, love checking out what’s new. But we’re also really honest on our reviews and only ever share our real, true opinions … as you’re about to see here! What’s your go-to when it comes to running apparel? I’ve been a […]


You know we’re Brooks Running brand ambassadors, right? We love Brooks, love what they’re about, love checking out what’s new. But we’re also really honest on our reviews and only ever share our real, true opinions … as you’re about to see here!

What’s your go-to when it comes to running apparel? I’ve been a capris or spandex shorts girl for years and years, not because I was modest about showing my legs (definitely not the case) but because I always ran into issues with chafing and fit with running shorts. So now, while I love a good pair of workout capris, I also do a lot of running in shorts — namely, the Chaser Shorts from Brooks Running. I have them in both the 3″ and 5″, and I wear them all. the. time.

So, when I had a chance to try out their Go-To 5″ Running Shorts, I had high hopes. After all, in addition to loving the Chaser Shorts, I’ve also had great luck with their Go-To Shoe (the Adrenaline), and their Go-To Running Capris are in heavy rotation around here.

The shorts, though? Well, not every product can be a big winner, and I’m sad to say that these were definitely not winners for me. Maybe I would’ve liked them better in a shorter length, since I dig the kind of retro style with the stripes down the side, but the inseam seemed really long and drawstring waistband just wasn’t my jam. Win some, lose some. And happily, there were other winners for me this month!

The Racerback Streaker Tank is quickly becoming one of my favorite workout tops. The ombre color scheme is seriously eye-catching, and the fit really works for me (although I’d definitely recommend sizing down if you’re between sizes — I sometimes order a large, but the medium in this gives me plenty of room). It’s lightweight enough that I plan to use it for some of my longer, sweatier runs this summer — and there’s not much higher praise I can offer.

Another big win is the brand new Glycerin 15. This neutral shoe has been updated with a new plush transition zone, and it features the Brooks Super DNA midsole for super adaptable cushioning. Noticing a focus on cushion? Yep, so did I. I’ve only gotten a few miles in on these, but they’ve felt good — really good. (And, spoiler: You can come back next week for your chance to win a pair!)

So, to bring it back around — what’s your favorite style to run in? Shorts? Capris? Like a tight fit, or something looser? —Kristen



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Two Pieces of Apparel You’ll Feel Good In — and About

This post is sponsored by REPREVE. Find more on our sponsored post policy here. What’s the no. 1 thing we here at FBG look for in our apparel and swimwear? How it makes us feel. Because when we feel good, well, everything just seems to go a bit better. And here are two new pieces of […]


This post is sponsored by REPREVE. Find more on our sponsored post policy here.

What’s the no. 1 thing we here at FBG look for in our apparel and swimwear? How it makes us feel. Because when we feel good, well, everything just seems to go a bit better. And here are two new pieces of apparel that are making us feel SO good, inside and out. You guys just gotta check them out!

Waterlust Cosmic Coral Legging

How fun are these Cosmic Coral Leggings from Waterlust ($65)? With this super fun pattern that’s inspired by soft coral and looks out of this world (because it’s cosmic, get it?), these are soft, stretchy and just perfect for your yoga mat. Or brunch after. Or a walk. Or at the gym or even in the water. Okay, they’re really great anywhere. They’re made of 86 percent REPREVE (more on that in a bit!) and 14 percent lycra with a 50+ Ultraviolet Protection Factor — so they’re great whether you’re being active inside or out. And besides being hella cute and way flattering (the waistband sits perfectly — not too high, not too low), 10 percent of profits from each pair sold goes to Coral Morphologic to continue their research into coral reefs and further inspire others through their unique marriage of art and science. Yay science!

Bare Beach Double Strap Top and String Bottom

It can be really hard to find the perfect swimsuit. If you’re like me, you want something that’s flattering and that you feel good in. But you also want something you can move in. And this is kind of the perfect swimsuit for that! First, let’s talk about the Double Strap Top from Bare Beach ($53). It comes in solid colors, so it’s easy to mix and match, has great support for active, small- to medium-chested ladies and has the coolest tie in the back. It’s just the right mix of fashion and function. Then, there’s the String Bottom ($53). These have fun ties on the sides and enough coverage to make you feel like you can move around while still getting plenty of sunshine on your fit bottom. Both pieces are a mix of 82 percent REPREVE and 18 percent Spandex. So, like the leggings, you’ve got just the right amount of stretch and REPREVE …

What’s REPREVE, you ask?

While all the above pieces make us feel awesome, we want to tell you guys more about what they’re made of — because it’s amazing. REPREVE is an eco-friendly fiber that’s made from recycled materials like plastic bottles. And it’s freakin’ changing the world. Already in a ton of products (like the awesome ones above, plus other clothes, footwear and auto interiors), the company that makes REPREVE — Unifi — has recycled and transformed more than 5 billion plastic bottles into this special fiber. So, when you support and wear this stuff, you’re not only hooking yourself up with awesome high-performance apparel, but you’re also saying: Hey, world, I care about you and I want to make you a better place!

And that feels pretty great inside and out, doesn’t it? We think so. It’s recycled bottles reborn!Jenn



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2017 Fitties: The Best Fitness- and Health-Related Products

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for …. and — quite literally — the post we’ve been working on for the past 365 days. It’s the 2017 Fitties! In case you’re new to the Fitties game or need a refresher, the Fitties are basically our version of the Oscars. And we give them out to only […]


It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for …. and — quite literally — the post we’ve been working on for the past 365 days. It’s the 2017 Fitties!

In case you’re new to the Fitties game or need a refresher, the Fitties are basically our version of the Oscars. And we give them out to only the best-of-the-best fitness- and health-related products that we have tried in the last year and love like whoa. We mean, we covet this stuff and only select products we believe in and recommend 100 percent.

We’ve got each content category divided up on individual pages so that you can find exactly what you’re looking for. So gird up your fit loins, click each of the page numbers below to get started and let’s do this!



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7 Healthy Books to Put on Your Summer Reading List

Remember how your teacher used to give you a list of recommended reads for the summer? And it was full of classic literature? I read SO many great books that way. It’s how I was introduced to everything from East of Eden to Gone With the Wind to I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. […]


Remember how your teacher used to give you a list of recommended reads for the summer? And it was full of classic literature? I read SO many great books that way. It’s how I was introduced to everything from East of Eden to Gone With the Wind to I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. And those books changed my life — because they changed my perspective of life. They introduced me to new places, new people, new ways of thinking. And while, OBVIOUSLY, nonfiction fitness and self-help books aren’t typically *quite* on the same level as, ahem, Maya Angelou, we thought it would be fun to put together our own summer reading list that has a healthy twist.

From helping you to rock the gym, to loving yourself more, to reaching your goals to living an active life that rocks, these seven books are totally worth checking out at your library, downloading on your Kindle or picking up at the bookstore. Kick back with them this summer and get inspired!

Credit: Catherine Just

You guys know how we feel about all things Danielle LaPorte (authentic poetic genius!). Her new book, White Hot Truth, drops May 16 … and it is everything.

We got a sneak peek at the copy and it’s sharp, wise, inspiring and sometimes hilarious. If you’re a self-improvement junkie, this book will CHANGE YOU. (Not to mention, it’s pretty to look at, right?!)

Gym routine getting stale? Bored with your current workouts? Mix them up forever and always with The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises. It’s basically the bible of exercise. We’re talking tips, exercises, workouts and 1,350 photographs that show movements for every muscle and training plans to match every fitness goal. Consider your gym boredom busted.

3. Body Kindness

We featured a wonderful excerpt from this book during Love Yo’Self Week and that article is a great reflection of this entire book. It’s thought-provoking, inspirational and if you struggle with only using your body size or weight as a barometer of your self-worth or mood, it’ll help you break the pattern and feel the love.

What’s one of the world’s most challenging, inspiring, and fastest-growing sports? Triathlon! And more and more women are doing them — including the author of this book and mom of four small kids, Alicia DiFabio. Alicia shares her personal experience with triathlon, along with why more and more women are doing them. Whether you’re a seasoned triathlete or simply tri-curious, this book will inspire the heck out of you!

We recently had Katy Bowman on our podcast and had the MOST fascinating conversation about what it meant to be truly active — and how our modern lives are kind of mucking all that up. And this book is a deep dive (yet totally readable and relatable — Katy is the best at that) into the science of how we can all feel better and move better in our bodies. And the info is really easy to put into practice, too. The book includes movement programs, corrective exercises, habit modifications and simple lifestyle change suggestions, so that you can help move your DNA in a healthier — and more natural — direction.

We’ve long been internet buds with Laura Williams and this book is SO creative and fun! We definitely know that getting and staying fit is better and more fun with a partner, and this book gives you a ton (okay, 70 to be exact) of step-by-step body weight exercises to do with someone else. With 40 actual workouts to try, plus three long-term full exercise programs to hit your fitness goals, the only thing you have to do is ask someone to join you!

From the title, you might think that this book is all about posture and body alignment. And it is A LOT about that (and has fantastic info in it about that), but it’s also about habits, what your mind thinks about your body and how you can change your lifestyle to be more mindful. Whether you suffer from chronic pain of some kind or are injured … or not, it’s a really, really interesting read!

And y’all didn’t forget that we have a book, too, right? It’s kind of the best. Hehe. Jenn



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How to Have the Perfect Hike

Guys, it’s hiking weather. And we’ve got your step by step guide (along with some recommendations for cool products that have been sent our way!) to making your next trek a really freakin’ awesome day out on the trail. 1. Get up early. Hikes are awesome in the morning … and you know what they say […]


Guys, it’s hiking weather. And we’ve got your step by step guide (along with some recommendations for cool products that have been sent our way!) to making your next trek a really freakin’ awesome day out on the trail.

1. Get up early.

Hikes are awesome in the morning … and you know what they say about the early bird and all. (Plus, you’re less likely to encounter any afternoon storms!)

via GIPHY

2. Pack for the unexpected.

You probably already know to bring extra clothes, a first aid kit, map and compass (safety first!), but there are a few new goodies that landed on our radar that are worth making room in your pack for. The first: a portable water bottle that uses ultra filtration technology to remove viruses, bacteria, cysts and parasites to produce instant clean, drinkable water no matter where you get the water from. Called LIFESAVER, it pretty much is a lifesaver!

All you have to do is scoop water from any water source, then pump the LIFESAVER pressurization system and you’re ready to go. It removes a minimum of 99.9999 percent of bacteria and 99.9 percent of cysts — even from muddy, thick water.

And, in case you spill said water all over yourself or end up in a rain shower and all your stuff (including you) gets soaked, it might be a good idea to have a small NanoDry Trek Towel on hand, too.

 

3. Don’t forget your fuel.

Hiking makes you HUNGRY. And sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how long you’ll be on the trail for. So, food and water is the one thing you definitely don’t want to skimp on. Here are a few of our fave packaged snacks.

Patagonia Provisions

This line of packaged food is convenient, hearty, healthy and sustainable for the planet. Patagonia Provisions has everything from buffalo jerky to breakfast grains to nutrition bars to fully cooked wild sockeye salmon to grains. All of it is outdoor-friendly and shelf stable, meaning that you can either open and eat or open and add hot water and eat. It’s awesome. And delicious. Oh, and they even have BEER.

Clif Bar

Clif Bars and hiking go together like sunshine and sunglasses, and its new Peanut Butter Banana With Dark Chocolate bars are ON POINT if you’re wanting a bar that is hearty. With 260 calories, 10 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, they’re also delicious. (We mean, who doesn’t love PB, banana and chocolate?!)

Luna

Want a bar that’s more like a sweet snack than a meal? Try Luna’s new low-sugar bars. Flavors like Salted Caramel Cashew and Cinnamon Almond Swirl deliver serious flavor (like dessert!) with 170 calories, 6 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and only 5 grams of sugar. Also, these are gluten-free and non-GMO.

Clif Bloks

If you’re just needing some energy to keep you on the move as you tackle those hills but don’t want to, like, eat eat (you know what we mean, right?), chomp on some Clif Bloks. These organic energy chews — in the new and exciting flavors of salted watermelon, spearmint and ginger ale — are easy on the stomach and deliver you the glucose your muscles need to keep pumping. And if you’re sweating up a storm, we really recommend the salted watermelon — it has twice the sodium!

SmashPack Protein

Go ahead and smash these in your backpack before you hit the trail. With 14 grams of whey protein, one serving of real fruit, five grams of healthy fats and 180 calories, SmashPack Protein is awesome as a quick breakfast, snack or as a recovery snack post-hike. Super portable and also gluten-free!

4. As you lace up your shoes, set an intention.

What do you want to do on this hike? Really feel the burn? Notice all the beautiful things around you? Relax? Do a trail in your fastest time yet? Pick your goal.

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5. Track your steps.

Whether you’re doing a little trail running or just want to see how many steps and miles you rack up on the trail, the TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music is perf for that! It features a built-in heart rate monitor, GPS tracking (with distance, time, speed, pace and route) and space for more than 500 songs to jam along to with Bluetooth headphones (obviously, don’t play too loud — again, safety first on the trails!).

6. Enjoy the heck out of yourself.

It’s nature. It’s beautiful. And so are you.

via GIPHY

What’s the most memorable hike you’ve been on? Man, I have SO many good hiking memories!Jenn



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These Running Shoes Feel Like They Were Made for Me

Have you ever put on a pair of shoes and they just felt so right and comfy that it’s almost like the running gods were smiling down upon you? Guys, that’s the experience I had with the new Brooks Running PureFlow 6 ($100). (And, yes, we’re an affiliate and a brand ambassador, but no, that has […]


Have you ever put on a pair of shoes and they just felt so right and comfy that it’s almost like the running gods were smiling down upon you?

Guys, that’s the experience I had with the new Brooks Running PureFlow 6 ($100). (And, yes, we’re an affiliate and a brand ambassador, but no, that has nothing to do with my opinion of these — they are magic on my feet.)

I’ve long been a fan of the PureFlows, but this shoe just hits all the marks for me like no shoe has ever done before. It’s light and minimal but still with a little cushion for springiness, it’s great for shorter runs (you know me — no long distances here, haha) and performs well with cross-training. (I love it for circuit training and boot camps that incorporate some but not all running.) The heather upper and color options are BEYOND CUTE, too (literally the cutest shoe I’ve ever seen — and I don’t use “literally” lightly), so you can wear it here, there, to the gym, out to brunch and everywhere.

They are also ridiculously comfy. They almost have a slipper-like coziness to them, although there’s still support. They just fit basically like a glove. In other shoes, sometimes I have issues with the heel chafing (even if I’m wearing socks with a tab on the heel) or the laces/tongue area rubs or feels unnecessarily tight, or sometimes it moves around on the top of my foot. Not with these though. No chafing, no rubbing, no moving, no tongue being annoying — all perfection.

The only con of these for me is closet space. Because I want ALL THE COLORS. #FBGProbs

I feel like they were basically made for my feet. I hope your feet feel the same.

Have you ever had a Cinderella moment with running shoes, too? —Jenn



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