My Dirty Little Secret: Confronting the Truth of Depression


In observance of Mental Health Awareness Month (October), our blogger Marisa opens up about her journey and what she wants other people to know about depression and other mental health issues. 

I live my life pretty transparently; it’s the only way I know how. For me, owning my strong means putting a lot of effort into self-awareness, and being as real and authentic as possible in my day to day life. I’m pretty much an open book, and I like it that way.

But there is one thing that doesn’t really make it outside my inner circles, something that maybe people wouldn’t guess about me, and something that really challenges my perception of myself as strong:

I struggle with depression.

My experience of depression is more cyclical than constant, and is often aggravated by outside factors. This means that most of the time I am functional, happy, productive, successful, and able to take joy in life and look forward to the future. But when those demons rise up… I’m a different person. A person that very few others get to see, because she is too ashamed to be seen that way.

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Fall in Love with These Apple Pumpkin Pie Bites

Every year for Thanksgiving, my mother is on pie duty. And every year that woman cranks out enough pie for a small army. We’re talking pumpkin, apple, custard, pecan, chocolate, peanut butter, and sometimes even minty fudge. It’s inSANE!

But sometimes you don’t want a whole pie, sometimes you just want a bite.

That’s what makes these Apple Pumpkin Pie Bites so perfect! They’re simple to prep, quick to cook, and you don’t even need a pie pan.

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What to Do (and NOT to Do) When Visiting a New Mom & Baby


Having a baby is exciting for everyone involved. It’s a momentous and life-changing occasion for the parents. And you, as a friend or family member, are so excited for them and can’t wait to meet this new life they have brought into the world. You want to meet the baby, congratulate the parents, and maybe bring a gift to show your love and support.

Awesome! Now, before you go and visit, there are a few things to consider. These new parents have been through a lot. Labor is HARD and the mother’s body needs time to recover. Since that mother’s body ran the marathon of labor, she probably hasn’t gotten more than 2-4 hours of sleep at a time. Her partner is doing his or her best to support her, but no one is getting much sleep, especially the first month. They are also trying to bond with their new baby. There is a lot to juggle.

So, to help you help them, here are some recommendations to make you the best visitor new parents have!

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Wear Your Strong on the Outside: NEW Own Your Strong Apparel!

Free shipping through September 21 2016

Hoodies, tanks, and leggings now available from Own Your Strong!

Hoodies, tanks, and leggings now available from Own Your Strong!

We know you’re strong, inside and out. Let the world know it with our brand new line of Own Your Strong apparel, available through (who will ship it to you for free if you order before September 21, 2016).

These custom designs are printed on gym-ready clothes from such reputable retailers as American Apparel, Next Level, and ALL Sport, and most garments are available in different sizes and colors. We’ve given you three different Strong slogans to choose from: Own Your StrongThis is What Strong Looks Like, and Stronger Than You Know, available on tanks, long-sleeve shirts, hoodies, and the perennial fan favorite, leggings.

We have yet to meet a strong gal who doesn’t love leggings.

stronger than you know capri leggings

Seriously though.

stronger than you know leggings

Stay warm during that dash from your car to the gym with this hoodie.

this is what Strong looks like hoodie

This tank is also available in racerback.

this is what strong looks like tank tops

>> Shop All Items <<

This is just the first wave of designs we’ve created to help women celebrate their strength and wear it where the world can see it. Stay tuned for more great clothing and accessories, especially as the holiday giving season approaches!

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Important Tips for Working Out with DVDs & Videos

working out with dvds and videos

Fitness is a multibillion-dollar industry that is always churning out new books, equipment, trendy devices, and especially videos. From the infomercials making insane promises (admit it, you’ve gotten sucked into watching one at least once) to YouTube how-to’s there’s no shortage of material for someone who wants to bring the workout home instead of, or because of lack of access to, a gym or studio. Workout DVDs and online videos can have a place in your fitness plan, either as the main course or a supplement to what you already do.

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Spiralize ALL THE THINGS! Why I Love This Kitchen Gadget

Spiralizer Zucchini Noodles

Spiralized Zucchini Noodles

Over the past year I’ve noticed a trend in the cooking world: noodles made from vegetables. As a die-hard pasta lover, I wasn’t so sure at first about this carb-free-craze. But since committing to live a healthier lifestyle , I was willing to try anything that could let me enjoy my mom’s famous spaghetti sauce with a little less guilt. Enter: the Spiralizer. 

A quick Google search revealed that selecting which spiralizer to use would be the first challenge. Spiralizers range in price from the $10 As-Seen-On-TV option, to this uber intense slicer/decorator/”veghetti” maker that’s almost $200. Another thing to consider is how much space you have. If you’re in a tiny apartment without giant counters, a handheld version may be a wise choice. If you’re blessed with a bit more elbow room, then a spiralizer that sits on top of the table could work just great.

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What’s All the Hoopla About Hula-Hooping?

Get out and play!

Hula hooping – it’s for kids, right? Guess again. Just because you’re a grown up, doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t play! Grown ups need play in their lives too. One great way I’ve discovered to get a little play time is to get out a hula hoop and go for a spin.

A few years ago, a friend of mine fell in love with hula hooping. It looked like so much fun, and I thought, why can’t I do it too? Her hula hooping was inspirational to me, and I asked her about her journey.

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