This Local Business Founder Starts Every Morning with Journaling and Meditation
Alia Sobel, who created local wellness brand Two Word Story, relies on meditation, journaling and Orange Theory to keep her on track.
Welcome to Sweat Diaries, Be Well Philly’s look at the time, energy, and money people invest in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle in Philly. For each Sweat Diary, we ask one Philadelphian to spend a week tracking everything they eat, all the exercise they get, and the money they spend on both. Want to submit a Sweat Diary? Email [email protected]
Who I am: Alia Sobel (@twowordstory_mindsetmovement), 39
Where I live: Delaware County
What I do: I’m a passionate person who wears many hats. I’m originally from Chicago, but I’ve lived in Delco for ten years now. I love all the vibes of the city of Philadelphia. I’m a mama, yoga instructor, entrepreneur, Reiki healer, success mentor, co-owner of Luna Luxe Soul Hood, and the creator and owner of Two Word Story, my mindset movement brand.
What role healthy living plays in my life: On a scale of one to ten, healthy living falls at a ten for me. After 38 years of life’s ups and downs, motherhood threw me into a ride of postpartum depression and mad anxiety. Through that, I have learned the true power of taking care of myself every. single. day. Whether it be a set workout routine, journaling, healthy eating, wine with friends, a hot bath, sunset walks, moon-bathing — there is so much that falls on my list of healthy living. Healthy living though, can’t be achieved without the right mindset, which is why I am so passionate about it. I am focused on balance and simplicity in all that I do. I have fun on the weekends but reset every Sunday. The week below is a typical week in the summer time. I’m grateful to Philly Mag for sharing my Sweat Diary — it was such an enlightening experiment and close look at my time management. I’d recommend anyone try to create their own Sweat Diary. Tapping into where you are spending your time during the day is a mindful practice.
Health memberships (and what they cost): Orange Theory at $120 a month; Caitlin Mundy fitness at $10 per class drop-in; Paris Fit Studio classes as I teach yoga there; The Sporting Club Main Line as I teach there as well; Peloton virtual yoga at $12.99 per month.
7 a.m. — I wake up and kiss my babies good morning. I make a Nespresso with unsweetened almond milk ($2), start on my 50 oz alkaline Trader Joe’s water bottle ($1.79), and take my probiotic, NAC supplement, and vitamin D. Then pop over to my office with my espresso to visit my Happy Planner (out of the Fab Fit Fun box), reminding myself what I have on schedule for the day. I check emails, social media private messages. I open my journal to document my morning feels and vibes that day. Followed by Mom mode — Kylie (nickname Pickle) and Charlie (nickname Manburger) asking, “What are we having for breakfast?”
8 a.m. — I cook breakfast for myself and the kids. They love protein for breakfast, especially bacon or pork roll. (Are you even a Philly kid without it!?) I toast up Ezekiel bread to make avocado toast with lemon, a little evoo, sea salt, and pepper, and pair it with a hard boiled egg topped with Za’atar spice ($3). I get the kids set up to do a page in the summer math book and do summer reading.
8:45 a.m. — I drink water. Rocking my typical Owfit athletic gear I am outside on my yoga mat to move my energy with a quick yoga flow and a meditation from Insight Timer app (free). Being in nature throughout the day, especially the morning, is so very grounding for me.
9:15 a.m. — I drink water. I hop in the car to head to Orange Theory for a morning sweat sesh. I get so many creative ideas while working out, so you will almost always find me stopping my workout for a minute to jot the ideas down.
10:30 a.m. — I drink even more water. I rush home to log onto Zoom to record the Mantra Monday motivation with This Is It TV Network, based out of Philadelphia. Catch Mantra Monday every week on my IGTV and Facebook, with a new Two Word Story mantra to ruminate on for the current week. Remember, I am super passionate about mindset and how powerful it can be if you know how to change that channel in your mind quickly to a more positive vibration.
11 a.m. — I take a quick rinse in shower, and drink more water. I do a check in and kisses with Pickle and Manburger. Then I jump onto IG Stories to share the Daily Quote from Two Word Story. I do some social Media scroll time to catch up, support others’ posts, comment back, and get inspired.
11:30 a.m. — I keep drinking water. I do an astrology check in. I’m a wanna-be astrologist and share a lot about the power of astrology and the energy it can have on our mindset. I check a few of my fave Instagram accounts like SpiritDaughter, MoonOmens & EnergyHealingTool, followed by a quick check in with The Pattern & Co-Star apps (both free).
12 p.m. — It’s lunch time, so I cook the kids buttered noodles (lunch of champions!) and cut up some fresh fruit. I drink water and I make myself an Isagenix chocolate shake, add Ulli’s protein hemp seed powder, some raw almonds, four ounces of water & ice ($3.00). It literally tastes like a Wendy’s frosty — but WAYYYYY better!!!
1 p.m. — I drink even more water, and do more yoga outside. Movement midday is key to keeping my mind grounded and clear.
1:30 p.m. — You probably caught my drift with consumption of water! I work on Two Word Story expansion: sponsorships, partnerships, merchandise — all ways to share the mindset movement.
2 p.m. —I prep the Mantra Monday post for the day and story shares. I turn on Spotify, hit shuffle, dance, sing, create a TikTok. I act free and silly by myself and with the family. Then it’s snack time — a handful of Blue Diamond almonds ($1).
3 p.m. — I teach kids yoga through Paris Fit Studios.
3:30 p.m. — I hop in the jeep with the kids to head out to have some pool time.
5:30 p.m. — I cook dinner: seasoned, grilled chicken breast along side a salad of lettuce, chickpeas, radish, tomato, cucumber, fresh garden mint, lemon, EVOO, sea salt and pepper. ($10) I drink more water.
7 p.m. — I take a sunset walk with our little white fluffy Cavachon dog named Bevin.
8 p.m — It’s shower time as we wind down the day. We always shower before bed to ease into the sheets nice and clean. I take two showers depending on the level of activity for the day.
8:30 p.m. — Family TV time or free time — we usually can’t decide on what we all want to watch, so we end up on the phones.
9 p.m. — Kids head upstairs for bed. We say our prayers and talk about what was the high and low of the day.
9:30 p.m. — Laundry, clean kitchen, vacuum (every night) and finally a bedtime meditation, more water, and taking my second probiotic for the day. I crawl into bed.
DAILY TOTAL: $20.79
6:30 a.m. — I am doing a cleanse on Tuesday, as I do once each week on a different day. I wake up, have an Advocare lemon lime spark energy drink ($1) and a Trader Joe’s alkaline water. I do a 20 minute meditation with the Insight Timer app, followed by 20 minutes of journaling.
7:30 a.m. — I make breakfast for my family and make my first of four Isagenix peach mango ($5) drinks for my day.
8:30 a.m. — Summer school work with kids and daily house chores.
9:30 a.m. — I shower up & settle in for office work, like recording Two Word Story interviews, emails, and mindset movement expansion.
12 p.m. — I prepare lunch for the family and drink my second cleanse drink, while continuing to drink that 50 oz Trader Joes water bottle.
1 p.m. — I move my energy and creative thoughts with a neighborhood walk, put on my favorite Urban Ears headphones and favorite playlist of the moment. Music is life for me so I am almost always playing something. On a walk soaking in the sky, trees, and all the surroundings I play an instrumental mix with vibes like ppp by Pavane & Flown by Saavan.
2 p.m. —I hop into the jeep (top down of course) with the kids for a a fresh celery juice from Jaco Juice and Taco in Media, PA ($8). I cruise around Ridley Creek State Park to explore with some tunes of their choice — it’s always a Tik Tok related song!
3:30 p.m. — I mix my third drink of the day and cut some cucumber slices with sea salt ($1). I drink water and head back into the office to finish up thoughts, emails, and posts for the day.
5:30 p.m. — I am in mom mode, doing any house chores, and making dinner for the family.
7 p.m. — I drink my fourth cleanse drink of the day and grab my headphones for a sunset run. I run three miles, taking in all the beautiful nature around. I come back to do a 15-minute Peloton ab routine. I shower and slip into my comfy clothe, almost always a Two Word Story mantra tee.
8:30 p.m. — Bed time for the whole family. We say prayers, say our high and low for the day, and give kisses good night. I take time to journal more. My favorite method is free journaling — just writing about how I’m feeling in that moment in my mind and heart before bed.
DAILY TOTAL: $30.79
7 a.m. — I wake up with a Nespresso outside ($2). I do a short ten minute sun salutation yoga flow, and a longer journaling session with the questions I provide in the Wednesday Mindset Mantra post, which comes out every Wednesday with new journal questions. I start drinking a 50 oz water from Trader Joes ($1.79).
8 a.m. — I get breakfast for the family. It’s an Isagenix chocolate shake, hemp protein powder and almonds ($3) for me to break my cleanse from the day before.
8:45 a.m. — I do an office check in to see if anything urgent needs attention. I post my “Hump Day Mindset Motivation” — a live interview with a person located anywhere in the world, sharing what their Two Word Mantra is, and why. Every Wednesday is a pink image with their Two Word Story, and later in the day I post the video recording of us sharing their beautiful story. If you would like to come on and share your Two Word Story, please send me a message at [email protected]
9:30 a.m. — I participate in some Orange Theory fitness training, led by the amazing @BronsUniverse.
11 a.m. — I shower and get ready for calls, office work, and content creation.
12 p.m. — I get lunch for the kiddie. I did not feel like cooking so Chick-Fil-A delivery it is! We all order the eight-piece nugget meal with fries. My favorite is their buffalo sauce!
1 p.m. —I take a 30-minute nap. I like to fit some sort of mediation in every day, and napping, or sleep, is the best form of meditation. You should try to rest your mind if you can. I am blessed to work from home, so I have that luxury of sneaking away to nap.
2 p.m. — I do an activity with the kids, playing “Just Dance” on the Nintendo switch since it was too hot outside to do an activity.
2:30 p.m. —I do some office work and return calls I set for Wednesday afternoon, and work on the Mantra Merchandise project development. I am always expanding my business. I start snacking on some Smart Pop Cheddar Popcorn ($2).
5 p.m. — I am dancing to the kitchen to “Life is Good” by Future and Drake. I begin cooking a favorite Middle Eastern dish I grew up with, Majededuh. It’s brown lentils, onion fried up in EVOO, cumin, salt, and pepper along side a tomato, cucumber, mint, lemon EVOO salad and greek yogurt ($10).
7 p.m. — I take a sunset walk with music, hitting shuffle on all of my songs to see what the universe wants me to hear.
8:30 p.m. — I tuck the kids in; we say prayers and say our high and low for the day. I wash my face put on my comfy clothes.
9 p.m. —I tune into my current favorite Netflix show with a glass of Pinot Noir from Naked Wines. I’m currently obsessed with Hart Of Dixie. Then, it’s time for bed for me too.
DAILY TOTAL: $58.79
6:30 a.m. — Friday Junior! I wake up, have an Advocare lemon lime spark energy drink, start my water chug ($1.79), and do a ten minute meditation with the Insight Timer app, followed by 20 minutes of free journaling.
7:30 a.m. — I make breakfast for the family. I snack on apple slices with peanut butter before my morning run.
8 a.m. — I run outside with my favorite light purple headphones. I press shuffle on all my songs in Spotify to see what plays… “Waves” by Kanye starts me out, and i’m feeling so in flow. I’m running three miles. Then, I press play in my driveway on an Orange Theory at home workout, including weights and band work.
9:30 a.m. — I shower and make a Strawberry Isagenix shake, then I’m in the office for Two Word Story interview recording and computer work. I’m beginning development for a new project: the Mantra Magic Card Deck.
12 p.m. — It is that time again, lunch! I make the kids chicken nuggets and fruit. For me I create a favorite: albacore tuna, half an avocado, sea salt, lemon, evoo, cracked pepper (mixed all together), added to a wrap with fresh tomato slices, and romaine lettuce, and wrap it up ($6).
1:30 p.m. — I do a 15-minute Peloton yoga flow to move energy in my office, followed by desk work. I do networking and connecting on Social Media and LinkedIn.
4 p.m. — I take the kids to swim in neighbor’s pool. I answer emails and check in with family and close friends via phone and text.
6:30 p.m. — We go for a family dinner out at Llanerch Country Club in Havertown. We get broiled crab cake with asparagus, and of course, wine. I had a Sav Blanc and a Pinot Noir. ($45) We snap pictures of the Sunset.
DAILY TOTAL: $58.29
7 a.m. — I have a Nespresso outside, and a slower Friday coffee sesion with journaling No movement, just meditation with appreciating nature around me and my warm coffee in hand. I start on my water from Trader Joe’s ($1.79).
8:30 a.m. — For breakfast I have avocado toast and a hard-boiled egg with Za’atar.
9:30 a.m. — I do another Orange Theory workout with Bron.
11 a.m. — I take a shower and do a quick office check-in.
12 p.m. — I hop into the jeep to pick up lunch from The Juice Pod in Springfield. The kids order acai bowls and I order a Beach Beet juice and a Mediterranean bowl ($40). We swing back home to eat out back on the patio.
1 p.m. — I head into the office for work on the computer and phone calls.
3 p.m. — Weekend rest mode turned on! I do a fun activity with the kids. Today, we are tie-dying shirts. They love it!
4:30 p.m. — I order pizza from Pica’s Restaurant in Upper Darby ($25) and we play a WWE Uno card game while eating the pizza. Shortly after, I start movie night with the family, then we start watching WWE Smackdown together.
8:30 p.m. — I slip away to have a glass of wine with the neighbors, who are also my best pals. We share some girl talk and vino.
10 p.m. — We shut it all down down, take showers, and get ready for bed time — which means cozy clothes, snuggles, and gratitude!
DAILY TOTAL: $68.79
Money spent: $237.45
Orange Theory workouts completed: Four
Water consumed: The limit does not exist!