By Vanessa Packer
Photos courtesy of First Base

INSTAGRAM CAN BE AN INCREDIBLE MOTIVATOR. Motivation for traveling, for working hard, for partying, for eating and drinking, and one of our favorites, for fitness inspiration. First Base, a lifestyle clothing company started by Aussie babe Ali Cotton, is perhaps our favorite when it comes to #fitspo, which is how we originally came across her cool, casual lifestyle brand with a sportswear edge. The world of First Base is all things beach babes, think Bondi, sun streaked hair, major waves, tan-lines and ripped denim. In the depths of a New York winter, the images and stories on her site can aid greatly in vicarious living. Not to mention, her easy-to-wear, sexy duds are the perfect motivator at the gym and beyond. Read on to discover how First Base really lives.

What inspired you to launch First Base?
I just wanted to create something that was authentic to my own personal style and really resonated with me, and hopefully a lot of other women. Some things I don’t think you can fake and I’ve certainly learned that over the years in fashion – you have to either be all in or totally out. With First Base it was all about really committing to something, a very specific idea and aesthetic and putting that out there.

Who are some of your style icons that inspire you as a designer, past or present?
These days I find myself a lot more inspired by people in my life like my assistant Youngie who has a very unassuming confidence about her and somehow pulls off a tribal poncho and reef sandals. No mean feat! There are also plenty of babes around who surf and have that effortless thrown together style down pat. I love them.  And then anyone who really just goes for a look and owns it – I love that – I find that totally inspiring.

How would you describe your approach to diet and fitness?
I try to live by the idea of doing one active thing a day whether its a surf in the morning or a yoga class after work just so I don’t become totally consumed with work and never leave my desk! As for food I love a pack of M&Ms and a bottle of pinot as much as the next person but I try to balance that with more often than not healthy food choices. As I’ve gotten older I definitely do not obsess as much about food like I would have in my 20s. So now I try to stay as healthy as possible to help counteract the stresses of work and then party when I know I have nothing on the next day! YOLO!

What is your favorite workout? 
Surfing is easily my favorite workout, with a hot yoga class being a close second. I try to alternate between the two to really get a full body workout.

Do you cook? If so, what is your favorite easy healthy dish to make?
I wouldn’t say I’m a great cook but I have a limited repertoire of dishes I’ve mastered that are pretty impressive for when people come to dinner! There’s a baked eggplant dish that I’m really into doing at the moment which is pretty amazing! And just doing the prep for the dish is almost like a workout as there’s a lot of chopping involved.

Take us through a day in the life when it comes to meals and routines?
530am:  Up and out of bed to get to yoga by 6am
7am :  If there’s waves then Youngie and I will run up to the studio after yoga and grab our boards and head out for a surf before work
8:15am:  Get out of the surf and head back to the studio to be at our desks for our 8:30 start. I’m generally starving by now, so Ill have a cup of tea, a bottle of water and some quinoa porridge and a piece of fruit.
1pm:  I’ll be starving again so one of the girls will run out and grab our lunches. I’ll have a chicken salad wrap or maybe a big salad. Another cup of tea, a coconut water and a yogurt.
3pm:  We all start talking about chocolate and much discussion goes into who’s going to have what! I’m currently abstaining from our afternoon treats but this is normally when that pack of M&Ms comes into play! This month I’m having a piece of fruit instead and having a whole lot of food envy.
6pm:  Time to think about leaving work if I can…. often I don’t walk out of the door before 7 or 8pm unfortunately. I’ll generally grab some ingredients on the way home and make a spiced steamed fish and salad or a vegetable tart for dinner. More water. I’m also not drinking alcohol at present so I’m a pretty boring dinner guest.
9pm:  I’m totally ready for bed. I’m reading Layne Beachlys autobiography at the moment so I want to get into bed with that and a glass of milk. Yes really. I’m a huge milk drinker.
10pm:  Lights out, because there are going to be waves tomorrow and I want to get into the surf early!

What is the one health non-negotiable thing you do for yourself everyday?
Drink water. Some days it’s more and some days it’s less but I’m always mindful to down a liter or 2. Second to that I try really hard to get a decent nights sleep, without sleep I’m kind of a bitch!