Biking through the heat: tips and tricks to keep your cool

Hello and happy Friday! This week was a super weird one in terms of weather for Southern California – through out the weekend and early into the week, we had rain and thunder storms, so that kept me off my Pedego electric bike… and the next few days we had scorching 95 degree heat. Yowch! Neither of these make an ideal environment for a prego looking to get some outdoor activity. I was sad to miss out on quality time with Cora, especially when I felt all accomplished for learning how to adjust the swivel of the seat all by myself. (Hey, it’s the little things.)


Today was a cooler day (85), so I felt comfortable taking a ride through the neighborhood. I also spent some time researching hot weather biking tips, because I feel like this is one of those things you don’t think about… and then before you know it, you’re outside exercising and you’ve got the uncomfortable spins from being overheated. It’s happened to me before during a particularly ass-kicking krav maga session on a hot day (before I was pregnant), and overheating during exercise SUCKS! So — here are a few of the most helpful tips I use, with clarification from

1) Water. Yes, obviously. But, if you don’t make sure you have water with you, you can get dehydrated so quickly, especially when you’re sweating. Take it a step further and hydrate with a sports drink — something like Gatorade with electrolytes and sodium. I never gave the Gatorade thing much credence until I started doing a bootcamp in the morning and found that I felt considerably better after sipping some light Gatorade. Placebo? Who knows, but it works.

2) Freeze it up. Go a step further with your water bottle by pre-freezing a layer of ice in the bottom. This helps prevent your nice, cool water from turning into gross, lukewarm liquid.

3) Need to cool your skin down? Either invest in cooling fabric shirts, or for a more inexpensive but effective solution, try a cool-tie. I recently bought one of these specifically for biking/walking during a hot day, and it’s awesome. Simply wet it, and the cooling ingredients activate, and you’ve got a nice chilly neck wrap or something you can press against your inner arms, wrists, or hands. (Note: affiliate link.)

4) Sunscreen. A sun burn doesn’t help anything, but just the act of a barrier on your skin can help keep you cool.

5) Take breaks. Find a shady tree and rest, and don’t put out as much exertion as you’re used to. Hot weather can quickly zap your energy, so you have to take it a little lighter.

I hope these tips are helpful to you whether you’re walking, biking, or doing something else in the hot hot heat. While I have you, won’t you please take a moment and vote for Pedego in the Small Business, Big Game contest. They have a chance to win a Super Bowl commercial! You don’t have to provide any personal information, and it’s just one quick button click. For a quick reminder about what Pedego is all about, watch this video.

Stuff the FTC makes me say: Pedego provided me a complementary bicycle in exchange for my coverage on the Double Chin Diary and social media as part of being a Pedego Electric Bike Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

It’s not goodbye, but see ya around!

Dear Double Chinners,

When I started this blog over four years ago (wow!), I felt inspired and compelled to chronicle my journey from fat to fabulous. When I started blogging, the ‘fabulous’ part meant that I’d reach my goal weight and flutter off into a land of thinness, where I could eat chips and dip with no ramifications (I still wish for that!). As the years wore on and the journey remained a journey and not a destination, I started to grow a little bit bored of the whole “losing weight” thing. I’ve accepted that my struggles with reaching a healthy weight will be something I’m constantly trying to achieve, and that’s okay.

I decided over Christmas this year that I was ready for a change. I was planning on writing my traditional New Year’s post for this blog, and I was looking back at last year’s New Year’s post. I had already been feeling stifled this time last year, and even wrote that I was considering starting a new blog, since my “weight loss blog” has really been nothing but a “weight maintenance, sometimes loss, and sometimes gain blog”. I was feeling like I was falling out of love with blogging, and that sucked, because I’ve been blogging since I was 14 and I LOVE blogging. So I took some time away from the blog to think. We didn’t break up, but we took a break. And that break was exactly what I needed to decide that while I’m not done blogging, I need a breath of fresh air. I need to get out of the box that I put myself in, and step into a new place– one that’s huge and large and limitless and lets me talk about whatever the heck I want, like travel or makeup or fashion or weight loss with PCOS.

And so, my friends, was born. I noodled for awhile on a new blog name, and settled on for a few reasons. First of all, I had purchased as a play on words, to be everything and ALL Alyssa, but then I learned that (one less L) was a porn site. Yeah, no. Too much potential for awkward typos. I was going to blog under my business site,, but I liked the idea of a cutesy, separate land for all my ramblings. And so I chose, for a few reasons:

1) I choose to live my life embracing quirkiness, and sometimes I feel like I’m in LaLa Land.
2) I live IN La La Land (Los Angeles).
3) I used to name products, and one of my favorite things I’ve ever named is a popular toy line that starts with the prefix ‘Lala’.


So there you have it. The Double Chin Diary isn’t going away, but it’s going to quietly simmer on the backburner. Every now and then when I want to write about weight loss or fitness, I’ll probably write a post over here, but will link to it from my new site as well. As I said before, my journey with weight loss is far from over. Despite the number on the scale, I’ve made some amazing progress towards being a healthier me — like being able to walk amost 60 miles in 3 days, and more importantly, learning to love myself despite my weight. I hope you’ll come over and check out what I’m up to at, because I love hearing what you think. I’ll always be grateful to the Double Chin Diary for giving me a taste of what being a ‘real blogger’ is like, and for opening the door to many exciting and awesome opportunities. I also plan to one day write a book, and that was the reason I started this blog — because I knew one day, I’d have an “after” to match my “before”, and I’d call it the Double Chin Diary. This isn’t goodbye — it’s just see ya later 🙂

The Double Chin Diary Siggy


Want a chance to win 1,000 Diet to Go meals?! Of course you do!

It’s January. Which means the gyms are filled with resolutioners and hopefuls, those embracing a new, active lifestyle. I say… “more power to them!” But — we can’t forget that some health enthusiasts fully believe that “Abs are made in the kitchen.” (I think my jellybelly was made in the kitchen too, but I digress!) Because you can’t embrace a new, healthy lifestyle without embracing a new, healthy eating plan, now’s your chance to give Diet to Go a try – for free! Diet to Go is offering up a chance to win 1,000 meals! Say whaaaaat?!


Your chances are good, guys. I admit — I’m lucky and I win raffles pretty frequently. Today, I’m sharing the good luck ju-ju with you! Here are all the awesome details:

• 5 lucky winners will receive one month of free meals! (Dude – I lost 9 pounds in a month!)
• 20 winners will receive a free week of meals! (And averaged 2.4 pounds per week)
• 25 winners will receive a $50 Diet-to-Go gift card! (With code NEWYEAR2014 you can save an additional 25% off!)

It’s easy. Simply enter your email address for your chance to win! Receive up to 5 bonus entries just by liking and sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Plus, get unlimited bonus entries for each friend you refer! You can even enter right here, without having to go to any other website.

Now — want a few more chances to win? Of course! Join me and some other members of the Diet to Go Dream Team for a Twitter Party on January 7th at 9:00 p.m. EST. We’ll be talking about the Anti-New Year’s Resolution, which means using common-sense to make lifelong, lasting changes towards health. (It’s not about a diet or quick-fix. It’s about a lifestyle change) 1 randomly drawn chatter will win a Fitbit Flex Wristband or a Fitbit scale and 3 randomly drawn chatters will win 1 week of free meals. If you guys have never done a Twitter Party, it’s fun, I promise! You answer questions sent out into the Twittersphere by @diettogo using the hashtag #diettogo, and each answer gives you more chances to win.

Enough of me blabbing – let’s get to WINNING! Enter now and please let me know if you have any questions 🙂

***Diet to Go is compensating me for helping to promote this sweepstakes. As a reminder, I only promote things I believe in — no B.S. here!


Girls’ Weekend – Camping in Ojai and Santa Barbara Day Trip

Hi Everyone! I hope you had an awesome weekend and the first day of the work week is treating you ok. I had an amazing weekend, because it was my 2nd annual Grad School Girls Camping Trip! Remember last year we went to Big Bear? Well, this year, we headed up the coast to Ojai, a sleepy little town known for its citrus and hilly retreats. We camped at Wheeler Gorge, a beautiful campground with a chapparal type feeling, covered with big river rocks and low grassy scrub.

Here’s our campsite before we set up our tent.

Wheeler_gorge_CampgroundWe arrived at the camp site on Friday around 5 pm, so we had some work to do before we could settle down with some hard ciders and s’mores. With only minimal frustration (aka one hour of “wtf?!” type exclamations), we set up our tent and got the “mess hall” (aka the picnic table) all prepared. Once that was done, it was time to cook dinner, and I’m proud that I was the official “chef”, serving up very gourmet all-beef hot dogs. Don’t mind my stylish camping apparel.

Alyssa gets grillin'

Alyssa gets grillin’

After dinner it was time for S’MORES! I love me some marshmallows, in fact, they’re probably one of my favorite sweet things. I had previously seen Jumbo Marshmallows and was enamored by the size, so we had to get them. Unfortunately, I can say they’re almost too much for a s’more — and at a whopping 90 calories each, I’ll stick with the normal s’mores size. However, they were super yum despite their monstrous size.

Expert Marshmallow Roasters

Expert Marshmallow Roasters

See how huge they are?!?! Massive Mushmellows! After a couple drinks, we hit the hay… only to be awake all night thanks to our rude campsite neighbors, who decided playing their guitar loudly to crappy Bieber music was the best thing to do from midnight through 5 AM. I can definitely tell I’m getting older, because as a teenager, sleeping on the hard ground was never an issue. Now, I feel all creaky and like a 90-year-old as I lament the dirt beneath me instead of my posh pillowtop. The next day, we got up early and headed to the beautiful Santa Barbara Mission.

Santa Barbara Mission

Santa Barbara Mission

If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend you pay a visit to the town of Santa Barbara. It’s a gorgeous coastal town nestled up into beautiful mountains. The Santa Barbara mission is only $6 to get in and you can take a self guided tour through lush rose gardens, see the Friar’s old living quarters, read about the history of the people who lived (and died) there  in a beautiful cemetery, and check out the chapel.


This mission is also the site of the famous I Madonnari Italian Street Painting festival, so you could see the remnants of highly detailed chalk paintings around the missions grounds. I also caught a glimpse of this Monarch butterfly in the gardens, isn’t he pretty?


One very important thing I realized about this weekend is how nice it is to be out and about and STAY HYDRATED! I took my hubby’s CamelBak and was able to suck down water anywhere we went. With long days in the hot sun, it felt really good to not feel parched and chapped.

Stayin' Hydrated!

Stayin’ Hydrated!


In terms of camping while on the Double Chin Diet, this weekend was way better than last year’s trip in that I really didn’t go overboard on anything. I ate until I was full, enjoyed s’mores, salt water taffy and pasta when we went out to dinner, but I ate without remorse and just tried to remember the trip wasn’t going to be “good or bad” based on the food I ate, but what memories I made. It’s nice to have a healthy attitude towards food!

Santa Barbara Beach

Santa Barbara Beach


We ended our trip with a beautiful evening at the beach. I basked in the sun and read magazines, and then later, we all walked down the Santa Barbara pier and had a sunset dinner at a seafood restaurant. This weekend made me so grateful for the amazing state I live in (Thanks for dragging us here 19 years ago, Dad!), my awesome friends, and also, the ability to disconnect for awhile. I had decided the day before I left that my phone would be OFF all weekend, and other than a quick phone call to the husband, I didn’t check Facebook, Twitter or instagram once. Especially because my career depends on constant connectivity and monitoring of social sites, brand pages, accounts, e-mails, etc, I wanted a break. As a freelancer, you’re essentially on call 24/7 — meaning if something breaks online, you’re the person to handle fixing it. It was really nice to enjoy the sights and sounds of Ojai without hearing the “ding ding” of an incoming text. It may sound scary, but if you’re going away for a quick weekend and can get away with being unplugged, do it! You just might find out how nice it actually is.

So that was my weekend, in a nutshell! What did you do this weekend????




Friend Makin’ Monday… on Tuesday!

Hey Folks! The inspiration fairy has not visited me for tomorrow’s post, so I decided to go back to an old favorite – Kenlie’s Friend Makin’ Monday!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Ten Questions

1. Describe the kind of home you would live in if money were no object.  I think location would definitely be Malibu – and I’m seeing a large, colonial or Cape Cod style home with amazing natural light, a huge yard with space for a garden and fences high enough to let the cats explore, an in-ground pool with a diving board, and gigantic bay windows looking out to the sea. Oh, and the kitchen would be HUGE with a granite island and a Viking range with a massive stainless steel refrigerator. I’d also like a secret garden bursting with blue and purple hydrangeas, climbing vines and a romantic wrought iron table set up next to a trickling waterfall where I could have my morning tea. Yup. Sounds good.

2. Are you more conservative in your actions or more rebellious? This is a hard question for me because I can be a goody-goody in a lot of ways, like I hate being late, and will bite my tongue rather than provoke a conflict over something petty, but I’m rebellious in that if I know something is WRONG I will stand up for what I believe, even if that means attracting negative attention. I’m also rebellious in that I work hard to always be my authentic self; on my blog, at work, with my friends, with my family. I have a pretty outgoing personality and I’m not shy about expressing myself, which some people would say is rebellious because it sometimes means making an ass of myself. I’m also very blunt and have been known to shock with my crude sense of humor and blatant honesty – in that way I’m a great friend to have because I never blow smoke up people’s arse, and it makes me a good employee because I can’t tell a lie to save my life!

3. Would you go to Mars even if it meant you could never return to Earth?  Haha. As much as I’d love to see Mars, I want to stay on Earth for now. Until intergalactic travel is FDA and FCC approved, I’ll stay on this Planet. 😉 Isn’t Mars the really, really hot planet anyways?

4. Name one song that makes you want to dance every time you hear it. “The Bird Song” by Florence and the Machine. It’s actually a pretty morose little song about a bird, but I always put this on when I’m unloading the dishwasher and boogie around.

5. Share one thing that you wish you could go back and do differently in your life.  I wish I would have learned about nutrition and health much earlier in my life, as I believe I’d have an easier time losing this weight if I had been more aware of a proper diet and fitness. It’s shocking to me that the girl who I am today never orders french fries on the side and spends at least every other day in the gym – and at one point this girl regularly ate pints of Ben and Jerry’s and wouldn’t know a transfat if it poked her in the eye. This did a lot of damage to me – one I’m going to spend years undoing.

6. Share at least one accomplishment that people wouldn’t expect you to be proud of.  I’m learning to say no. This is a weird one for me, because I love to help people, and I’m a very nice person. However, the past few years, constantly saying yes started to affect my stress level because I was always taking on too much. In the past year I’ve been so fortunate to have been approached with SO MANY opportunities, but I’ve also been fortunate to learn when I’m biting off too much. I now recognize that when I’m at my max capacity I don’t put out my best effort – and to me, not giving something 110% is really frustrating. Finishing my master’s degree, running this blog, working full-time, writing for freelance clients and trying to get healthy, all while trying to maintain friendships and a relationship, has not been easy, but I’m learning to navigate “no” much better than I used to.

7. Describe one delicious thing that you’ve eaten lately.  BUSTED! My mother-in-law will be here tomorrow night, and it’s her BIRTHDAY! Happy Birthday Shirley, I love you! Anyways, I made her some delicious chocolate cupcakes with a peanut butter buttercream. I’m not gonna lie, I definitely licked the bowl out more than I should have. Hey, nobody’s perfect. 😉

8. If you had a theme song that would play every time you entered a room, which song would you choose?  “Somewhere over the rainbow” by Iz, because I walked down the aisle to it and it’s sooooo pretty and is all about dreams coming true and living a calm, happy and centered life. And the line “where troubles melt like lemon drops”, isn’t that just perfect? Don’t you want your troubles to melt like lemon drops? I do!

9. Had technology enhanced your life, or has it over complicated your life? I think the answer to this is honestly both. I’m a child of the Internet, and I looooove the Internet, but I definitely grapple with the irritation of social media crises erupting at 3 AM, or when my iPhone decides to crap out in the middle of recording an important interview. I love technology and would never, ever willingly get rid of it, but I have to say, it does cause a lot of trouble! But on the flip side, I’m lucky enough to have a tech-focused career, and the industry itself is fascinating, fast-moving, and always ripe for adventure. So if I had to lean more towards one option, I’d say enhance.

10. If you could get paid to do any job, which job would you choose?  I’d be a writer, which makes my heart happy, because I do get paid to be a writer. Writing has always been my “safe place”, and I find that words can do so much – inspire, inform, entertain, persuade, disappoint, excite, aggravate, convince, compel… You name it, words can do it. When I got my first copywriting job at a toy company writing instruction manuals, my first thought was “How lucky am I? People all around the world are going to read my words. So what if they’re words about how to put together a toy car?! I’m getting PUBLISHED!”. My long-term career goal is to become an author, and I’m hoping the little old Double Chin Diary turns into my first book. 🙂

Ok – that was FUN!  Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions!  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments. If you don’t have a blog, pick one question you like and answer it in the comments, I’d love to know more about you.  Thanks for reading! <3

I’m a FitBloggin’ Live Blogger!

Hey bloggies! This is the first of two pieces of very good news, the second that I’ll share in a couple days (just crossing some T’s and dotting some i’s…). When I first started blogging about my attempts to lose weight, I noticed that all the “big league” bloggers like Skinny Emmie, All The Weigh and Jack Sh*t Gettin’ Fit were talking about FitBloggin’. After some internet sleuthing I found out that it’s a super cool health, fitness and weight loss blogging conference in Baltimore, Maryland. I considered going but wasn’t sure if a small bloggy fish like me in such a big bloggy pond would fit in. Then, there was the cost. As y’all know from my frequent complaining, I’m a grad student by night, so I don’t often have a couple hundred dollars just laying around. With the cost of airfare, hotel and the conference ticket it was just a bit too pricey for me to swing with August’s text books looming! I asked about FitBloggin’ scholarships and then I found out the founder, Roni, had just implemented a new volunteer program. If you were willing to live blog a conference session, you could get a scholarship to attend the conference for free!

I applied, crossed my fingers, did a little rain dance and then I got the email Tuesday morning that I had made it in!!! I’ll be joining 29 other bloggers in September and covering one of the event sessions on the blog as it happens! I am SO excited, and I love that my love of blogging and new media and journalism is converging in such a cool way. Matt is also thrilled because he’ll be coming along with me to Maryland, where he’ll explore DC while I mingle with other fit-minded people, eat granola, do exercise classes and learn about growing the little old Double Chin Diary. YAY!

So tell me, friends – I can’t be the only one getting good news in July. What has rocked your world so far this month?