The One Thing to Do Every Morning to Energize the Day

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Alive! Multivitamins, but all opinions are my own.

I have a confession: I am a morning person...only if you can get me out of my grogginess when I wake up. What I mean is, I love the idea of the morning because it often comes with a fresh start. But, admittedly, I do find it hard to shake off the feeling of being incredibly exhausted.

What’s really been pushing me to get up and out every day is a handy dandy self help book. I try to wake up and reach a chapter each day, and on days where I can’t handle the pages I’ll tune in to a relevant podcast. Working long hours and learning about business as I go is a huge undertaking, but leaning into these to start my day keeps me fueled to create passionate work (*screams* YAAAAAS).

This self-care in the morning is also rounded out with fuel for my body. I recently tried Alive! Multivitamins to add a dose of plant-fueled energy to my day, made from delicious fruit flavors. This brand prides itself on premium and mindful sourcing of vitamins and minerals to provide more than 100% or more daily value than leading brands. I grabbed myself the Ultra Potency for the power boost I needed.

From early birds to wellness enthusiasts, this line of vitamins offers a variety of products to fit your specific needs and unique wake up call. While this will work differently for everyone, what I found is that it was an easy way to incorporate better habits into my daily wellness routine. Just knowing that I was taking the extra step to fuel my body with valuable nutrients toward overall better health made me feel even more ready to take on the day. It also travels really well, so that was a bonus.

Looking to revitalize your daily routine? With Alive! Multivitamins, you’ll be on the right track. Grab some for yourself on Amazon and use the code 15ALIVE1 for 15% off. #OwnTheMorning

Popchips’ nutter puffs x Art of Elysium: Spreading holiday cheer!

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of popchips. All opinions are my own.

Raise your hand if you’re a popchips fan (*flails hands all over the place*). For some time, I’ve been a huge fan of these healthy snacks. Hold on to your seats, they’ve gone nuts!

For peanut butter enthusiasts far and wide, popchips has taken everything you love about peanut butter and packed it into one perfectly snackable puff: nutter puffs! Peanut butter nutter puffs are a symphony of salty-sweet memories born from a shared love of this popular spread, made with real ingredients. Flavors include plain ol’ peanut butter and peanut butter & chocolate – which I can totally get behind!

In the spirit of the holidays, popchips nutter puffs are styling limited-edition packaging available at select retailers. This cheerful look is in partnership with The Art of Elysium, an artist organization built on the idea that through service, art becomes a catalyst for social change.

What’s in it for you? A Spread the Cheer sweeps where popchips nutter puffs are giving away $1,000 to five winners to use toward holiday shopping, and they’ll donate an extra $1,000 to The Art of Elysium on behalf of each winner. To enter, visit www.nutterpuffs.com.

This crave-worthy snack is doing their part to spread the giving spirit this holiday season, how will you?

To learn more follow @nutterpuffs on Instagram.

The Holiday Soirée Solution: Chick-fil-A Catering

‘Tis the season… to start thinking and planning for the holidays!

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To discover some of the best must-haves for the upcoming season of cheer, I attended Babbleboxx’s Holiday Showcase last week. From accessories to seasonal sips, there were a ton of brands showing why they’d make the perfect addition to an upcoming soiree or friends’ gift bags.

There was one brand I was particularly excited to see, and you won’t be surprised by it. Upon walking into the event, I was excited to chase a familiar scent of one of my favorite restaurants: Chick-fil-A! A tower of Chick-n-Minis, a delicious sampler of their side dishes, and refreshing iced tea brought so much joy to that night.

Now, imagine recreating that same feeling for your guests this holiday season. That’s what Chick-fil-A was there to convince us of. And convince me they did. Their catering menu is both delicious and an easy way to make an impression at home during a holiday get-together. Snag a tray of nuggets for fanatics of the original, grilled chicken cool wraps or fruit trays for those looking for something light, and don’t forget delicious dessert like their melt in your mouth chocolate chunk cookies.

Ordering your catering online or on the Chick-fil-A mobile app is quick and easy. But, if you’re craving a fix during your planning session, there are currently six (!!) Chick-fil-A restaurants in New York City, including four in Manhattan, one in Queens, and one in Staten Island Mall.

So, what are you waiting for? Start making a list of invitees and menu selections for your next soiree. You’ll have zero regrets!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Babbleboxx.com on behalf of Chick-fil-A, but all opinions are my own.







3 Ways to Tackle Your Period With Technology

There was a time when women got really pumped about a new period tracking app, but the latest advancements in Aunt Flow technology are kicking these apps to the curb. Periods are bloody awful, but from re-useable underwear to connected cups women are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel - and this time the light is probably coming from their smartphones.

Period innovation is due for an update. In the 1930s, the tampon was invented by a man and to-date not much has changed. In 1969 pads shocked the world by adding an adhesive strip. Finally, building momentum through 2015, we’re starting to see safer and smarter products that offer women alternatives to coping with a bloody mess and its side effects.

If menstruation is a gift from Mother Nature, these three gizmos are the gifts that keep on giving.

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1. THINX: Stain and leak-resistant undies

THINX self-absorbing underwear have been developed to keep women dry throughout their period and can be washed after each wear. Each pair has four built-in layers designed to wick away moisture, fight bacteria with an “invisible silver treatment,” absorb up to two tampons’ worth of liquid, and prevent leaks, respectively.

Sound gross? Yes, it does. According to the company and some brave early adopters, it truly doesn’t feel like a) you’re wearing a diaper b) you’ve leaked through your clothes or c) you’re sitting in blood. At the very least, THINK eliminates the need for preventative panty liners, light tampons or the “ugly underwear” you wear when you’re expecting a period and don’t want to be surprised.

The creators of THINX have also teamed up with AFRIpads, an organization that provides washable, reusable pads to women in developing nations who don’t have sanitary products. A pair starts at $24 and comes in various shapes and colors so you can pick what fits your style best.

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2. LOONCUP: A smart menstrual cup

We’ve evolved from smart phones to smart watches, then smart homes to now smart menstrual cups. Yeah, the thing you shove in your hoo-hah to collect lady juices, spill them out, clean up and use again later. As wearable technology evolves there’s one place we didn’t expect it to go (or did we?) but it recently went there.

The LOONCUP is a connected menstrual cup that automatically checks your menstrual cycle, analyzes fluid color and volume, while also doing all the other things your regular cup, tampon or pads would do on their own. The company raised more than $160 thousand on Kickstarter to bring the Bluetooth-enabled cup to market. It’s touted as safe because the sensor, battery and antenna are discreetly located in the stem of the cup, that is, the outside. Signals are as low and safe, so you don’t have to worry about creating a radioactive disaster down under.

Bonus: The Company believes their medical-grade technology will soon be able to read menstruation for signs of anemia, diabetes and cholesterol. High five for good health.

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3. Livia: Your cramps’ saving grace

Dealing with spills, bloating and food cravings is already so uncomfortable, and the time of the month is only made worse with a woman’s worst enemy: cramps. The pain can sometimes be so severe that women often call in sick to work or class, and stay in bed popping pain killers, waiting for them to kick in.

Livia, on the other hand, is a portable device that provides instant relief from cramps, and lasts up to 15 hours on a single charge, long after those pills wore off. The company has tapped into physiotherapy tech to block pain receptors through electrical pulses. All this science-talk means this is a game changer, especially during times when we are just not having it from Mother Nature.

“With Livia, women everywhere can have a more comfortable period,” said Livia’s CEO Chen Nachum. “Especially with people looking into holistic alternatives for food, medicine, and other industries, Livia is the natural step to take in order to get relief from menstrual pain, especially for women whose cramps can really be debilitating.”

Whether you’re into these ideas or not, the introduction of products like these into the menstrual space means there will soon be bigger and better things to help you with that time of the month.

Take that, Aunt Flo!

#BreakTheStigma: 3 Mental Disorder Myths We Need to Stop Using

Look left, look right, look in front of you, look behind you, and look in the mirror. One of you is affected by a mental health condition. Each year millions of Americans are facing the reality of a mental disorder of different nature and severity.

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May pays tribute to Mental Health Awareness by shedding light on the issues affecting so many and finding ways to provide support. Beyond money and time donations, education is one of the most powerful tools in fighting the stigmas that tag along with these conditions. Though this is a short start, here’s a couple of busted myths we need to never use again.

1. “Happy people can’t be depressed.”

Depression and anxiety are too often the poster child for mental disorders. When thinking of mental health going astray, many think about someone falling under severe feelings of restlessness and sadness. We see someone who is enjoying the fruits of life looking happy on the outside, and then put a mental block in our perception of them that tells us they simply can’t be suffering through depression.

“Happiness isn’t a permanent state; the experience of life includes every emotion,” says Dr. Patrick Wanis, Human Behavior Expert. “We can be fooled into thinking that someone who always has a smile on their face and appears to be so happy cannot actually be depressed, and yet they actually are deeply depressed.”

Depression is a serious illness with a huge stigma. No, a person can’t “just cheer up” like someone with a broken leg can’t “just put it back together.” It’s not about feeling sad or happy, it’s about feeling broken on the inside and creating a deep sense of hopelessness and despair that carries through their day-to-day activities.

2. “I don’t see how she can have an eating disorder.”

Whether we say she’s too big or too small to have a form of anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder, it’s often impossible to know the internal battles someone is struggling with from the outside. For Marcela Paguaga, a young thriving performer and blogger, her eating disorder started with her obsession toward achieving “the perfect body.” After countless fad diets she lost 74 pounds, but gained an eating disorder that she would carry through the next decade of her life.

“It was an addiction: losing weight and finally being accepted by society,” says Marcela. “I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. I was actually proud because I was finally looking the way I thought everyone wanted me to look.”

The dark side of an eating disorder also lies in the other mental health symptoms it can cause: depression, anxiety and feelings of suicide. For Marcela, seeking treatment for an eating disorder didn’t come until she started feeling symptoms like these. Through support from her family and peers, she followed through with therapy and now works to raise awareness of these conditions through her craft. You can’t see living disorder, but you sure will live it.

3. “ADHD is for kids — they’ll outgrow it later.”

If there were any of these that I wish most true, it’s this one. The transition from high school to college was hard for me, and not because the workload was more challenging. College demanded that I become accountable for myself, work and relationships while I hadn’t “outgrown” my ADHD symptoms. I struggled to keep grasp of people and things I was passionate about without letting my impulsivity, anxiety, absent-mindedness, forgetfulness and short attention span getting in the way.

Dr. Daniel Bober, Medical Director of Pediatric Psychiatry at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, says “about 60 percent of children with ADHD will become adults with ADHD and they will continue to struggle as adults in their personal and professional relationships, meaning their marriage and their work.”

Without help, adults with ADHD are highly vulnerable to depression, anxiety and substance abuse. But once you harness the power of condition, it turns into a gift. Unbeknownst to many of my peers, I started seeking treatment and counseling my sophomore year as an undergraduate and used my “Ferrari brain,” as the doctor called it, to be productive on campus and bring energy to the groups I belonged to.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness provides resources toward a stigma free society. Individuals, companies, organizations and others can take the pledge to learn more about mental illness, to see a person for who they are and take action on mental health issues.

1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition and each of them has their own story. Take time to lean in and offer support where you can.

Visit www.nami.org for more information.

If you — or someone you know — need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you are outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.

If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.