#FitChicks: 10 Gym Bags You Can Use For Everything

We count on our gym bags to do quite a bit. We want them to be lightweight, but we also expect them to hold everything. We love it when they're water-resistant and weather-proof, but they’ve got to look decent too. Once we determine which features are our priority, then comes the matter of wading through the countless options on the market. If you’re already overwhelmed, take a breath: we've gone ahead and done the hard work for you. Gym bag - not the actual workout. That’s your job.

Below, we've rounded up some of our favorite gym bags that range from totally functional to super fashionable. No matter your style or your preferred workout, there's something here for you. Scroll on to find the right gym bag for you.

Battenwear Wet-Dry Bag

Whether you're hitting the beach or logging a few laps at the pool, this wet-dry bag has you (and all your items) covered. Since summer is upon us, I’ll definitely need something to keep water off of our stuff when my mini hits the pool. This may just be an option.


Herschel Supply Metallic Packable Duffle

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If you’re anything like us, you need something that’s going to take up very little room while doing everything you need it to. This duffle isn't just lightweight (because, arm day is a killer) and reflective at night (for those of you who swear by those late night workouts) — it's packable like a mug which means there’s no reason to miss your workout on that vacay. Simply fold it up into its internal pocket and throw it in your carry-on.

Dagne Dover Landon CarryAll

Whether you’re off toan intense crossfit session or headed on a girl's weekend trip, the large Landon Carryall has you covered. This bag is super lightweight bag isand can pretty much adapt to any journey. Our favorite feature handsdown is that it unsnaps at the sides to create more room for any unexpected finds you can’t leave behind. Because, who doesn't shop too much when you are on a trip or who doesn't want to pack up some major layers for your sweat session because we never know what the day may bring post workout.


Puma Alexia Tote Bag

Throw everything you need for the gym AND work into this tote. With a large compartment for a full outfit change, plus an internal laptop sleeve, this Puma bag can handle it all. PLUS, it’s on sale now for $30.00.

Lululemon Essential Mat Carrier

So, what about when you just need something to keep everything together for your yoga class or a pilates party in the park? When carrying a WHOLE bag is way too much, this essential mat carrier will be your BESTIE. While the bag’s strap can accommodate a whole yoga mat, the mini pouch is a perfect way to carry all of your essentials (keys, lip gloss, cards, and ID) without the unecessary hassle of a full duffle.

 

We've got 5 more bags that can take you from the gym to your next weekend getaway here.

What are some of your favorite ways to hit the gym (or that post-workout brunch) in style? Let us know in the comments below!

XOXO,

Brit & Chan "Fit Chicks"

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#FitChicks: Get Bossy With Lauren Bealore

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Can you believe we’re already halfway through May!? HALF WAY!  After bringing you athleisure goodies last week, it’s time to properly ring in a new month by introducing you to our newest Boss Chick.

While our lane typically rests in the sneaker/fitness lifestyle lane (Fit Chicks, duh), there are so many women outside of this niche that we’re excited to introduce you to. One such woman is Lauren Bealore.  The Michigan native is a business and political powerhouse who is both an appointed and elected official with the National League of Conservative Voters and as a City Commissioner.  

Pull up a seat and get the goods on this groundbreaking young lady as we bring you three reason why Lauren inspires us in the bossiest way possible.

#FitChicks: 4 Athleisure Trends That Can Help You Transition Your Summer Look

The cool thing about athleisure is that in the past two years it has been deemed totally acceptable to rock your look all day long even if you have not or have no intention of working out. For girls like us who are not about that heel life and thrive on things that are both easily transitionable and functional, we can only hope and pray that this trend stays around for awhile.

The coolest part being that so many brands are creating lines that are making it easy for even the business professional to sneak into work mode and transition into happy hour (or a post work sweat session) with the simple removal of a staple outerwear piece. With summer and warmer weather fastly approaching, it is essential to be proactive in updating your wardrobe by simply following these four athleisure trends. You can thank us by dropping a comment below and giving us your input! Ok?

Accessorize Your Look

Image Her Campus

Image Her Campus

“It only takes one piece to take your athleisure look from gym to street,” says Los Angeles­­–based stylist Rob Zangardi, in his interview with Vogue. “A pair of mirrored sunglasses, a structured leather jacket, a shirt tied around the waist . . . the key is that the piece has a sleek, sporty feel itself. Don’t add a vintage fringed jacket to your Lululemon Wunder Unders or cat-eye sunnies to your zip-up Nike jacket.”

We would also add in the simple addition of a baseball cap or our favorite, denim shirts, can create an entire new look.

Invest In Joggers

Image Fame Cherry

Image Fame Cherry

We both love a great comfy pair of sweats but the heavy material will not fare well in this Texas heat. Why not try out joggers as bottoms when you are not feeling shorts or skirts? They tend to be a lighter weight than the traditional sweats and the elastic in the ankle area allows you to add a little more emphasis to whatever kicks you are rocking, whether they be heels or your favorite sneakers. Focusing on primary colors allows you to be able to mix and match these with a variety of tops that can create a different look depending on your destination. We suggest crops, tanks, and the simple tee. You can either go with solid colors or pairing these joggers with a busy print can add a little bit of spice to your look.

Hopefully, you are a little less overwhelmed about how to use what you already have in your closets to create an athleisure looks that will carry you through the summer season. Do you have any summer faves that you just can’t live without? Let us know below!

XOXO,

Brit & Chan "Fit Chicks"

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#FitChicks: 5 Ways To Beast Your Income Tax Return

Tax season, for us, is usually one big moment when we pull together every piece of paper, e-receipt, expense sheet (read: anything with numbers scribbled on it) and wonder what in the world we did before Turbo Tax.  Whether you prepared your taxes yourself (whoo hoo!), pawned that duty off on an accountant (equally smart, by the way), or convinced your father to take one for the team, here’s something we can all agree on: that return is a gift. Amen? Amen.

In years past, both Chan and I have blown our refunds on ridiculous things, but now, we’re older, wiser, and have experienced that perils of being broke phi broke. But, let’s be honest: We’re just like you. We want to live our best lives.  Not classified by material items, but lives filled with amazing travel opportunities, fleeky 401Ks, paid off credit cards, more financial freedom, and *gasp* a savings account we can hang our sneakers on.  

While there are no super easy answers as to how to make your money grow, with just a little bit of knowledge, planning, and intention, you can make your tax return work for you and your future. So, in an effort to help you (and help ourselves) be accountable for making better adulting decisions, here are 5 ways we’re planning on beasting our tax return.  


Invest In Your Future

Image Olu Eletu

Image Olu Eletu

 

Wanna maximize your tax refund? Invest in human capital. That is, invest in yourself.

You are your biggest income-producing asset. Your expertise, talent, experience, work ethic and your side hustle all offer potential. And, unlike stock market returns and interest rates, you can influence your own rate of return by improving your value either in training or by making the necessary investments to turn that side-hustle into income generation.

Whether you use your tax refund to pay for online training, tuition, an informational conference, membership in a professional organization or business start up costs, it’s an investment that can pay off for years to come.

 

Play The Market

Image Fabian Blank

Image Fabian Blank

Investing is REALLY important.  While both of us are a little intimidated by sticking our money in volatile stocks, we both know that as we get older it’s imperative that we diversify our assets in order to live that life we dream about.  Basically, we’re trying to make sure our 50-year old self is sitting pretty.  According to financial adviser and SoFi’s president of wealth, John Foley, start with the free money - bka: your 401(k).  

“If your company has a 401(k) plan, one thing that is a no-brainer is if they have a matching program. Many companies will match your contribution for a 401(k), sometimes dollar for dollar. If they do match your contributions, that’s basically a guaranteed return. You really should take advantage of that. You can’t just take your tax return and put it in, but make your 401(k) contributions by reducing your paycheck, so if you make a deduction and that will eat into money that you need to live, set your tax return aside to cover those expenses.”

Next up, an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) will be your best bud when it comes time to live your best life.

“If you put $5,500 in an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) starting when you’re 25, and when you get the typical rate of return—about 7%—and continue putting money in for 30 years, you’re going to have over $1 million. If you start when you’re 35, you’re going to have to put more in or you’re going to end up with a lot less. Put a lump sum like a tax return in first just to get started, and then be disciplined and put a little bit in every month after that—then you’re in a great place.”


What are some ways you used your refund (or are planning to use your refund) to better yourself? Let us know in the comments below!

XOXO,

Brit & Chan "Fit Chicks"

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#FitChicks: Get Bossy with Chelsea Williams of That's Chelsea

All Images via Chelsea of That's Chelsea

All Images via Chelsea of That's Chelsea

Oh April! What a pleasure it is to see you again! Lucky for you, a new month means a new lady we are crushing on that inspires us in the bossiest way possible.

When it comes to inspiration, we are always taking to social media and connecting with women that we would probably not have the pleasure to experience if not for the world wide web and this month is no different! With Veg Week upon us, it was only right to introduce you guys to one of our favorite plant-based foodies (and all around wellness blogger), Chelsea of That’s Chelsea.

Get cozy and stay for awhile as we bring you three reasons why you absolutely need a little bit of Chelsea in your world!


She Not Only Talks The Talk, She Also Walks The Walk

Because of the growing popularity in being a vegetarian or vegan there are so many that are, in all actuality, more in line with the term “veganish.” But not Chelsea! She’s committed. After battling Graves Disease, and more recently hypothyroidism, Chelsea has learned that committing to a plant-based diet not only leaves her feeling better but, also helps her to be her own advocate as it relates to managing her conditions. That is what drives her passion to share her journey and the tips she has acquired along the way with the masses. Not only does she talk food but, you can also get help in becoming more knowledgeable about natural hair, becoming more of a minimalist, and enhancing your own spiritual journey.

She Gives It To You Straight - No Chaser

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I personally came across Chelsea and her blog when she published a post titled, “ Why I Stopped Drinking.” Without giving too much of it away (you definitely need to take the time to read it for yourself) her reasons were not only based on facts but, most importantly, they were grounded in things that we can all probably relate to. While I have yet to take the plunge and swear off alcohol entirely, I can honestly say that it wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Definitely a post that I re-read after a weekend where I had a little bit too much freedom and am reflecting on how I got myself in you fill in the blank situation...again. It’s hard to find a balance between educating people but also remaining human and this Boss Chick definitely accomplishes that on a level that pretty darn dope!

She Isn’t Afraid To Cheer For Others

In a society that seems to be fueled on “self,” we absolutely love when we spot ladies that are not afraid to show love to one another. Whether it comes in the form of sharing a business owner’s products with your audience or giving someone kudos via insta stories, it is just a breath of fresh air when we see women supporting women. Chelsea does this in a way that comes across as organic and makes you want to pass the good feeling along to someone else! That we love!


Get connected with Chelsea via her platforms below and join in on taking the pledge to go veg by giving up meat from April 17-23, 2017!

*Website*Instagram*Twitter*

XOXO,

Brit & Chan "Fit Chicks"

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#FitChicks: Are You Wearing The Right Sports Bra?

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What’s the most used piece of fitness gear you own? Your sports bra! Chances are that while you’ve changed your sneakers or your workout attire your sports bra is something that stays in the rotation frequently. Research (which you can find here) reveals that your breasts, no matter the size, can move as much as eight inches - up and down, side to side, and forward and backward - through the duration of your workout. That’s A LOT of stress on your tatas, ladies.

All that movement can make workouts uncomfortable and even for some, downright painful. That’s why the right support is crucial, not only for your daily fitness goals but, for your overall breast health. Luckily, a ton of fitness brands have been paying attention to the science behind our fun bags. With various advances in technology, fit, style and support, there’s a bra that can be ideal for every cup size and activity. In order to ban the bounce and enhance the comfort you feel during a great sweat session, we decided to break down a few of our favorite options by size AND by workout preference. Let’s get into it!

Image CNK

Image CNK

A Cup

According to Women’s Health Magazine , straps that stretch or adjust will stay on your shoulders better when you bend, stretch, or lengthen. A clasp-free back will nix pinching and keep you comfortable.

This particular bra features Duo Dry+ technology which reduces moisture and dries fast. The seamless fabric ensures a smooth undershirt fit and the removeable cups coupled with adjustable straps helps you adjust accordingly. Plus, it’s a steal for as little as $5.94 to $16.00 USD.

Do you fall in the B, C, D+ category? Keep reading! There’s more for you too!

How satisfied are you with your current sports bra?  Do you have any brand recommendations? Let us know in the comments below!

XOXO,

Brit & Chan "Fit Chicks"

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#FitChicks: 6 Ways To Celebrate National Nutrition Month All Year Long

We love the idea of National Nutrition Month because it gives a platform for people to step up their nutrition game and focus on making changes in the way that they view food. It also gives those with a platform the opportunity to voice the importance of creating a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their household. Providing their audiences with the motivation and tools needed so that they can realize just how easy it really is to Live YOUR Fit. Emphasis on the YOUR because their is no one size fits all approach when it comes to nutrition and fitness. The fact still remains that you have to make changes at your pace. Of course, we are here to give you tips that will make celebrating National Nutrition month turn into your best year yet as it relates to your nutritional goals. Our only requirement is that you are open to the possibility. You ready?


Cut Out As Many Processed Foods As Possible

This is going to hurt and we apologize in advance but it is time to take a serious look at your pantry and just clear out all of your artificial and just overall unhealthy foods out. Now, on the other hand, we aren’t over here advocating wasting food either so “clear out” could mean finish what you have and vow not to bring anymore of that overly processed stuff into your household. One rule to go by is 7 ingredients or less AND all of the ingredients should be something that you can pronounce and can be classified as real food. If you are all in you can focus on the fact that, “REAL FOOD doesn’t have an ingredient list because, real food is the ingredient.” Simmer on that for a second.


Change The Way You Look At BreakFast

What you do in the first couple hours of the day sets the tone for your day, so why not start it off with a bang?! Sometimes cereal is just convenient so we allow it to be the move for the morning but a proper breakfast should be rich in protein, healthy fats, veggies, and low in carbs. So, as much as we want to just grab that donut, the sugar rush that you get after consuming it will most likely result in a crash that will have you craving sugar all over again versus stocking up on protein that will help keep you fuller longer. Hear us when we say, BREAKFAST DOESN’T HAVE TO BE BORING!

Shop The Perimeter

Image Unsplash

Image Unsplash

In most grocery stores you will find the whole foods located around the perimeter of the store. It’s when you go into the core that you find chips, dips, and all of the things that may tempt you. We are moving towards becoming a society that thrives on convenience and I totally understand why, but focus on the food that will spoil. Maybe that can motivate you to consume it because, who likes wasting money?!

We are slowly entering into the next quarter of 2017 and we have one question for you. Where are you on those healthy lifestyle goals you set for yourself in January?

XOXO,

Brit & Chan "Fit Chicks"

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#FitChicks: Get Bossy with Sakara

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Happy March! It's that time again! If you've been eager to meet a new lady you’re in luck - we’re giving you two.

For us, having a friendship that also incorporates our individual businesses has been both amazing and a way that we both stay sane in those moments of uncertainty and self-doubt. So, when we spotted the founders of Sakara - an organic meal delivery service - we knew they’d be perfect for this month’s Boss Chick for two reasons. First, friends who can glo up together are always #Chickspiration and second, what better way is there to celebrate women’s history month than with two women doing the damn thing? There isn’t. Boom.

Take a look below at three reasons why Danielle DuBoise and Whitney Tingle are bringing major Boss Chick vibes!

XOXO,

Brit & Chan "Fit Chicks"

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#FitChicks: 5 Trainers Get Real About The Sneakers They Actually Wear

Image Nike Training

Image Nike Training

There’s no question that aesthetics mean a ton when we make sneaker purchases. For us, our kicks are separated into two categories: street and gym, and yes most of them are something we can easily rock while we run errands. That said, even though we try to buy shoes specifically for our workouts, we too make uninformed choices.

For those who work out for a living, comfort and performance always come first, which can lead to some pretty unexpected gym choices. For instance, more than one instructor told us that a go-to shoe for themselves and their clients is the Converse Chuck Taylor Classic—a shoe that you typically wouldn’t associate with heavy duty workouts.

Intrigued? We were, too. So to find out what sneakers these instructors actually work out in, we sent them a few questions (the what and the why) for an in-depth look at what works best for targeted workouts. After all, these are the shoes they wear to teach multiple classes a day, dash from gym to gym, and do workouts of their own.

Scroll down to discover the best sneakers for your training session, from the instructors that know best.

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Name:

Janna Harris ( IG: barreinyourbedroom)

Where You Can Find Her:

Private Barre Studio / Barre and Bites Events (follow @barreandbites on IG for event dates and details)

Sneakers Janna Loves

Nike Roshe One Training Shoes : Roshe’s are my absolute favorite. I have super flat feet, so I need something stable, but not too much arch support or I'll be in pain for days! The Roshe training shoes are lightweight, durable and easily go from a light cardio session to the weight room, and if they're black, they're perfect and go with everything!

Converse Chuck Taylor: They're comfortable (for me - again with the flat feet), totally suitable for a weightlifting session. Again, if they're black, they're perfect :)

A Good Pair of Barre Socks: Because my favorite form of training is barre, I truly spend a lot of "workout time" barefoot or in barre socks.  Overall, I always select a shoe that is comfortable. I workout hard, so my body will already be sore enough from the physical stress, I don't want my shoes to add to any soreness or interfere with my biomechanics (gait). In fact, the right shoe should help combat some soreness (and definitely injury) by providing the appropriate level of shock absorption, compression and stability throughout the workout.

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Name:

Jeremy Dumenil ( IG: jeremydumenil)

Where You Can Find Him:

Personal Training (By Appointment Only);

Bootcamp:

Desoto High School 4:30 a.m. MTTH

Les Zeiger Park 8:00 a.m. MTTH

Les Zeiger Park 5:00 & 6:15 p.m. MW

Hampton Uplift 5:30 p.m. TTH

Sneakers Jeremy Loves

Reebok CrossFit Nano - all cross training

Converse Chuck Taylor - weightlifting

Nike Metcon 2 - cross training


All 3 pairs of shoes are great for weight training, which should be the foundation of almost every exercise routine.  They are still lightweight to allow for running, sprinting, and functional training at the same time. The flat shoe forces your feet to remain grounded in a squat and helps prevent your heel coming off the ground or too much movement in the shoe. This will help you focus more on other areas of your movements.

Now that you know what sneakers these instructors are rocking, is it time to make a change in your own collection? Let us know your thoughts (or if we missed a pair you swear by) in the comments below!

XOXO,

Brit & Chan "Fit Chicks"

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#FitChicks: It's National Pie Month and We're Celebrating With Smoothies

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If you’ve been following our #FitChicks posts for awhile, you know just how obsessed I am with Smoothies. While most of us are downing oatmeal or egg whites for breakfast, you can usually catch me with a cup of something colorful. We both, however, love pie. I know you just probably got whip lash, but stick with me for a second. When we were planning our February calendar and realized that in addition to being Black History Month February is also National Pie Month, we were ELATED.

So, we decided that it was ultra important to fuse two of our favorite eats (pies and smoothies - now you see where I was going, huh?) in a fun and healthy way to honor this month of PIE. Take a peek below at 5 smoothies that will make you think you’ve just cut into your favorite slice.

Image: Lemon Tree Dwelling

Image: Lemon Tree Dwelling

Get ready for creamy goodness in a glass. Made with just 5 simple ingredients, it comes together in a snap and gives you all the blueberry pie vibes. For breakfast, for snack, or for dessert, this dope find from Lemon Tree Dwelling is a refreshing way to ring in the last few weeks of National Pie Month.

INGREDIENTS

1 c. vanilla yogurt

1 c. almond milk (I used unsweetened)

1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

1 frozen banana, cut into chunks

1 tsp. vanilla

(optional) 1-2 graham crackers

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Image: Minimalist Baker

Image: Minimalist Baker

This smoothie is will only require 6 ingredients, 1 blender and 5 minutes of your time. Simple right? For those of us who LOVE pumpkin pie even after the holidays, this smoothie, created by Minimalist Baker, is the gift that keeps on giving. The ingredients are SO simple you likely have them in your kitchen right now, PLUS you’re getting an extra boost of goodies with some spinach in the mix. Two things are optional: A greens powder and protein powder. Seeing as I’ve just posted a (insert link to your protein powder) I suggest two of my favorites for this smoothie. BUT, if you don’t have any protein powder laying around, you can definitely achieve the same great taste without it!

INGREDIENTS

1 small frozen ripe banana

1/4 cup (50 g) pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix)

1 1/4 cup (~80 g) organic spinach (best if frozen*)

1/4 cup (60 ml) light coconut milk

1/3 cup (80 ml) plain unsweetened almond milk (more to thin)

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice*

optional: 1 tsp green powder*

optional: 2 Tbsp (14 g) plain or vanilla protein powder*

INSTRUCTIONS

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. If too thick, add more almond or coconut milk.

Taste and adjust flavor as needed. For more pumpkin flavor, add more pumpkin pie spice. For more sweetness, add more banana, or a bit more vanilla protein powder - optional (or a bit of maple syrup, agave or stevia extract). Serve immediately. Best when fresh, though will keep in the refrigerator well covered up to 2 days.


What are your favorite pie-inspired smoothies? What did we miss?  Leave us a note in the comments below!

XOXO,

Brit & Chan "Fit Chicks"

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#FitChicks: 6 Ways To Show Some Self-Care Love

February is the month where we tend to put a lot of focus on love. Whether it comes in the form of celebrating love, being in love, finding love, the common denominator is…love. While this is a beautiful concept that we often find ourselves indulging in (who doesn’t like getting flowers delivered at work and having any excuse to indulge in chocolate covered everything!?!), we also are aware of how emotionally and physically exhausted we can sometimes get especially considering everything that is going on in the world these days. We all need a little nudge in the right direction in order to truly understand the importance of advocating for more self-care, even in the smallest ways. So, Chan and I want to share with you six ways to make sure that you are loving yourself! Then, you can eat the chocolate (in moderation), we promise!

What if you simply devoted this year to loving yourself more?


Take Breaks From Social Media

Social media is a gift and a curse. Great because it allows you to connect with people that you may not have otherwise had the chance to meet but, can also be a double edged sword because of its convenience and ability to enhance insecurities and increase distractions. I decided just this week to unplug for five days as a way to grow mentally and spiritually and block out everything that is going on if only for a couple of days. It required me to remove all apps from my phone and I still caught myself picking up my phone scrolling, looking for the apps but it was a relief not to have to deal with it in any capacity for awhile. Chan makes an attempt to be “phone free” one day a week and finds that to be a way to remove herself from the chaos that an instant newsfeed can bring. We both are in a business that strongly benefits from the grassroots approach taken with the use of social media so, we get it. Social is a significant part of our businesses and it’s needed. But, the beauty of “unplugging” and realizing that the internet will be ok without you is just pretty darn refreshing.


Get Some Sleep

I have always heard that it is important for a lady to get her “beauty rest” but with this generation being all “Team No Sleep”, people are taking pride in staying up all day and all night to work on their dreams. But, what good is accomplishing your goals when you are struggling internally, not even aware of the damage you are doing to your body? So, while I am all about staying on the grind - and wishing there were more than 24 hours in the day - my sleep is something I am no longer willing to compromise. Not only can lack of sleep affect you externally but it can also affect your