I’m Back… With a Banana Shake Recipe + BIG Giveaway!

First of all, hiiii!!! I’ve missed you. I am writing from the sunny & perfectly serene Costa Rican jungle, and I wish I could teleport everyone reading right here next to me. All you need is sunglasses, a swim suit & a spicy pineapple margarita in hand. Oh, and yoga clothes – if you’re on the retreat I’m on, at least! And sunblock. It’s hawwwttt out here.

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I can’t tell you how incredible it’s been to take an Internet break for a whole entire WEEK! I just opened my email in a second tab and seeing the rising numbers flashing (let’s just say we’ve reached quadruple digits) would normally give me an unreal amount of anxiety, but I am surprisingly calm. I will get to them when I get home, and this time in Costa Rica, surrounded by incredible souls & basically living on the ocean, has been invaluable for my mind, body and heart.

I needed a vacation more than I realized. And the fact that this was a vacation with a killer group of yogis who are allll here for different reasons but we all love the same thing (y-o-g-a) made this trip totally different from what I am used to and really helped me unwind. I turned my texting off for nearly the entire week – say whaaattt?! Yeah. Amazing.

I have a few fun Costa Rica posts lined up (in my mind) for when I get back… but today I want to share something else with you. It’s a two in one because it’s my go-to vacation smoothie recipe, especially on this trip, AND it also includes a giveaway hosted by the awesome Bai antioxidant infusion drink company. You should remember them by now if you spend time on this bloggy, because I work with them quite frequently. (Read: I am obsessed with them. It’s a mutual love affair. For the record, their Molokai Coconut flavor is my all time favorite.)

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Giveaway!!!

Bai & I have teamed up to do a pretty amazing giveaway if you ask me. As a part of their fun Smoothie Madness campaign, they are giving away $1,500 total to Whole Foods, 40 free cases of Bai, a Vitamix, a year’s supply of Bai, and a FLVR shirt.

To enter, all you have to do is post a smoothie recipe with Bai in it & tag them on social media. Simple as that! I will be choosing the Blogger’s Favorite award, which is $100 to Whole Foods + 10 free cases of Bai! Hell to the YEAH!

And in honor of the giveaway, I am sharing my favorite banana shake recipe with you. We have all been drinking it here in Costa Rica because, well, let’s just say that the food and water isn’t 100% agreeing with all of us here… And bananas + rice milk together are so unbelievably tasty, healing, full of nutrients and easy on the tummy.

One of my BFFs that I am here with likes this with whole milk (or maybe it’s 2%? We can’t tell) and it legitimately tastes like a milkshake. He was shaking his head while I was sipping on it during this lil’ photo shoot, because we all know what dairy does to my tummy… NO bueno.

Warning: This recipe is very simple.
Double Warning: That’s the awesome part about it.

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Banana Shake Recipe:

1 banana

1 cup rice milk (or any type of dairy-free milk)

1/2 cup ice

Optional: a few pinches of stevia or coconut sugar

I’m telling you guys, it’s REAL good.

Head over to Instagram to enter the contest– you could be the winner of $100 to Whole Foods + a free case of Bai! Oh, also, CONGRATS to Miss Emily Korengold for winning my Suja giveaway of $500 to Whole Foods + a Breville juicer!!! FUN FUN! I will be choosing a winner on May 15th!

Alright, love you all so much. This was fun. I’ve missed blogging. But now I am all recharged and energized and excited to hop into next week with some fun posts for you all!

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Let’s Put a Stop to this Perfection Ish Riiiighhht About Now

Hi! Okay, I know I’m not the only one around here who holds myself to an extremely high standard in all aspects of life: work, relationships, food, exercise, body image, writing, yoga, family life, friendships, photography, videos, hair length (I cry when my hair is cut two inches…) but especially two main things: food & body image.

About two years ago, I was the thinnest I’d ever been in my adult life. I ate nothing but raw fruits and vegetables, and I didn’t eat high quantities of them. I exercised every day to an excessive degree between yoga, running, walking everywhere I possibly could and convincing a new person each day to go on a hike, beach walk or bike ride with me. For several hours. I didn’t even sit down to write or do my schoolwork… I did everything I could standing up, and when I was on the phone with people I stretched, danced around and did weird things just to keep moving, and moving and moving.

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I was addicted to feeling tiny, and also to feeling EMPTY. Like, very empty. If I was even more than 50% full or satisfied in my stomach, then I would freak out like I had done something wrong. It was partially about being small and partially about a fixation in my head about being totally in control. I felt so, so, soooo in control and I felt like my willpower was stronger than anyone else that I knew. I also had no stomach problems for the first time in my life, because I had nothing to digest… so how could I have digestion problems?

But I know what you may be thinking: you already know this about me. I’ve written about it a lot. I’ve made videos about it. Heck, I’ve written a book about it. I blogged the whole entire time. So now I’m here to talk about where I am with it now.

I still have hard days. Sooo many of them. I’ve hinted at it here and there lately, but even my closest friends and family don’t exactly know how bad it’s gotten (well, now I guess they do — hi everyone, lol). Some way and some how I learned very young to use food as a mechanism to control my emotions. If something was going wrong, I turned to food or the restriction of it. It was always one or the other, and usually intense restriction. And after being oh so restrictive for so many years, food became this weird thing that felt totally off limits but right in front of me at the same time. Needless to say, after shedding the vegan label… the world of food & everything it had to offer (nutrients, satiety, comfort, control/lack thereof, flavors I hadn’t experienced in years, protein I hadn’t put into my body in years, and so on…) was terrifying.

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Not to mention I have a job where I am always putting myself out there for the world to see. Photos, videos, outfit posts, TV appearances, bikini photos (eek!) — I love ALL of that stuff. So much! If I didn’t love it I wouldn’t do it. I like to share my life with all of you. But then again sometimes I see myself on camera and I’m like holy shit my face looks round, or wow I don’t look like the vegan ultra-fit ultra-tiny raw foods powerhouse I once did. I look balanced… I look healthy, but as all humans do, I still scrutinize myself. Especially on a morning after perhaps I’ve eaten one dessert too many or “too large” of a meal (it’s so hard to unwind from that eating disorder mindset).

And then I get these ideas in my head where I feel that I HAVE to look a certain way by the time a certain event rolls around: for example, I am leaving for Costa Rica today and the eating disorder side of me tried to drill it into my head that I should restrict my food intake so I would be as thin & fit as possible on the trip. (I can’t believe I’m writing all of this, but I am!) So I restricted for weeks, halfway because I wanted to look a certain way in Costa Rica and halfway because goddamn do I love a good dose of overly obsessive self-control. It’s just in my blood, it’s in my nature. I know it’s not a healthy way to be, and I try to channel it into other aspects of my life (like the blog!) that result in a much more positive outcome than taking a toll on my body… But it is SO. HARD. TO. DO.

So naturally, at a certain point I bounced back from my crazy restriction. To be exact, it was a little over a week ago. My body felt so deprived, so starved and so sick of what I was doing to myself… that I went over the edge and decided to screw the restriction and eat whatever the hell I wanted. But too much of it. To the point where I made myself sick.

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(WEARING: ALALA Yellow Crop Pant || ALALA Mesh Back Tee)

Then I had somewhat of a revelation… and this revelation happened while I was talking to my dear friend Tara, one of the only people I truly confide in about this and turn to when my eating/restricting skyrockets out of control, and I realized two very important things:

1. I am afraid to fully let go of my eating issues, because then I feel (irrationally) like the floodgates will open and I will finally have to deal with everything else in my life – some larger & arguably more important issues than food. In my eating disorder mindset, if I focus on food, restricting, control, etc. then I feel like I can push those responsibilities and issues away until they no longer “exist.” But that’s not the case, they are always there, and my response to food & restriction is a huge part of how I deal with them.

2. Eating disorders really are a mind over matter game, and when you get too stuck in your head you get sucked back in. So you can’t be too hard on yourself! And I have been extreeeemely hard on myself and so, so stuck in (and obsessed with) perfection. I hold myself to a very high standard, and sometimes I feel that if things aren’t perfect then why try in the first place? It’s not a place I want to be. I want to be balanced! And I am trying.

So, there we are. My little update on shedding the layers of perfection and trying to just BE! I think I need to get “Mind Over Matter” tattooed on my body, lol. Or “I am worthy” orrr maybe “JUST BE” or god anything of that notion.

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And I am going to Costa Rica tonight, and I am going to do my veryyyy best to be KIND to myself and let go of all the food craziness. I hope to enjoy the food on the trip, not get crazy obsessive about exercise and not obsess over how I look in a bathing suit. I hope to just be. And that is the realest I have ever been on this blog, because usually I put a positive spin like “I WILL be _____” and to be honest, right now all I can do is hope & try and do everything in my power to focus on feeling good, treating myself well and being open and very, truly, radically honest.

And thank god I will be with one of my lifelong, dear best friends who is very aware of how rocky my food path has been over the past few months. He has heard me break down like you wouldn’t believe — a side of me that I only show to those I trust immeasurably… we all have those people. :)

PS I sort of touched on this in my latest YouTube video, if you want to check it out! & if you like it, would love to have you subscribe!!!

Has anyone else ever felt this way / currently feel this way?! If so, I am so here for you. I am always here. 

The Simple Life

Hi lovers! I was trying to figure out a title for this post and every time I glance at the pictures we shot of these overalls I think of one thing: The Simple Life.

For so many reasons.

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Yeah, I think about the Paris Hilton + Nicole Richie TV show circa 2003-2007 (yes I know those dates… I mean, I was a fan, okay?) because they were blondies rocking overalls for maybe the first time in their life (lol) but I also think about it for another reason.

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Every single day I strive to life a simpler life. I spend 90% of my time focused on managing my business & growing my brand — and don’t get me wrong, that is fun. I am hugely passionate about spreading the TBB message and I have big plans for where my brand will go. The other 10% of my time is spent trying to relax and/or do something totally not work-related. I also try to balance everything else between friends, family, exercise, recovering from my eating disorder, etc. But I would say 90% is still geared toward TBB-ness, even when that means shooting fun videos, trying new fitness studios & traveling to rad tropical locations for work.

And if you read that paragraph carefully then you will catch something… I totally just said “TRYING to relax” which if I’m being totally honest should have said “trying to force myself to relax,” and that’s because my natural inclination in life is to stay super, duper, unbelievably, unbreathably (yeah, I made that word up) busy.

Even my days off are filled with so many plans & events you would think I’d lost my mind.

So perhaps what I am advocating is not a SIMPLE life per say, because I think complexity is the key to living a passionate life. Complex people are the best people. We may not be the happiest always (whoops), because we have a lot of shit on our minds and we hold ourselves to a very high standard, but holy moly do we get the most done.

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And us complex people need some simplicity in our lives once in a while. If you can’t channel that simplicity in your everyday life, get out of your comfort zone. Force yourself to go on a hike and immerse yourself in nature in the middle of the week if you have to. Put on a pair of overalls, find a tractor and find your inner simplicity by connecting to nature and to your true, deep, soulful and heartfelt self.

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If nature doesn’t do it for you, do something else. Read a book, take a yoga class, or FILM A VIDEO (I filmed my first vlog yesterday… a “video” + “blog” a.k.a a day in the life vid… how did I do?!) And because I like to play the part whenever I do something, I got super into the whole “wear overalls & go on a hike” thing the other day… except I also liked my Converse so much that I didn’t take them off, and I didn’t wear socks (such. an. idiotic. move.) and I have had painful blisters ever since. So don’t do that!

Shop My Outfit: 

Converse || Overalls || Grey Bandeux || Flannel || Sunglasses

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Sipping on my Peet’s Coffee Javiva blended coffee drink before we headed to our hike! I love their stuff because it’s always real & never instant. I am part of their social media #StandUpForFresh campaign right now and am very excited about it. They don’t ever use coffee flavored syrups or powders… thank goodness, because I wouldn’t be into that at all. And it tastes like a coffee-flavored milkshake… Can I get a YUM?!

SHOP THE POST:

 

Tractor not included with purchases… Unfortunately. ;)

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Who Loves Chocolate as Much as I Do?!

Happy Monday, my loves! How were everyone’s weekends? I am still so pumped about the Suja Solution Giveaway I’m hosting ($500 to Whole Foods + a Breville juicer!!!), annnddd I am so excited about the Daiya Cheezecake giveaway so I am keeping them both open for one more day! Comment on each post to enter, telling me why you want to win — hint: specific reasons really help, not just the generic “because I want to!” Ya feel me?

Sooo now on to today’s post & what it’s all about. CHOCOLATE. You all may know that I started an Instagram account (yes, on top of my other three… @thebalancedblonde, @tbvapparel, @jojoyounger) specifically about chocolate…. @CHOCOLATEADDICTS. Buttt if you know that, then you also know that I haven’t posted on Chocolate Addicts since the beginning of February. Why? Because I can’t remember the freaking password, or the email that I set the account up with! #fail.

The half-baked gluten-free chocolate chip cookies that I love oh so much were a hit on Chocolate Addicts…

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I am still trying to figure the password info out because I was having so much fun with it and it was growing pretty darn quickly. However, it made me crave chocolate ALL. THE. TIME. and I already want chocolate quite often sooo maybe losing the password for now is for the best. ;)

Because I love chocolate so much, I’ve had to come up with lots of healthy & yummy alternatives to straight up chocolate bars, brownies, cookies, and ice cream because you know me — I try to stay as balanced as possible! I indulge here and there, but I try to keep my dessert choices on the healthier side because in the end it makes me feel much better, it keeps my energy levels high AND it makes my very sensitive tummy much happier.

(Side note: that’s not to say that my dessert choices are always perfect. I’ve had a stressful few weeks and I’ve eaten a lot of desserts, both healthy and unhealthy… Just telling you that because I don’t want you to ever feel like my blog is touting perfection or an unsustainable life — life is all about STRIVING for balance, which means riding the ebbs & flows and learning what works, then coming back to the core & learning all over again.)

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One of my favorite healthy ways to incorporate chocolate into my life isn’t even through a dessert, it’s through a bar! The bars are called RxBar, and they are basically the go-to real food protein bar on the market. And before I get into it I want to tell you, this post isn’t sponsored. I met the awesome people behind RxBar when I was at Expo West last month and we totally hit it off. The four main people behind the company have been friends since FOURTH GRADE… you knooowww how much I love that. So many of the closest people in my life are my dear friends from childhood, and the fact that the RxBar peeps all came together with such a cool mission (to provide a healthy, real foods bar to the protein bar space) fills my heart with so much happiness.

Each bar in their line contains 12 grams of protein, which is derived naturally from egg whites & raw almonds. There are no grains, added sugars, gluten, soy, dairy or any artificial or processed ingredients. It’s high in fiber and has natural sugars from fruit (dates and figs!) which add nutrients & a delicious taste.

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And today is the first day (literally the FIRST DAY… how cool) that they are launching their fab Cacao Collection!!! A.k.a chocolate heaven in a box. There are 14 bars in there and the total for the entire box is $29.99. If you think about the breakdown that’s a pretty unbelievable deal, and if you use the code BalancedBlondeRX you will get 10% off of your entire order. 

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In the box there are 7 Coffee Cacao flavors, 5 Coconut Cacao & 2 Chocolate Sea Salt (you guys will die. I am massively addicted to the Chocolate Sea Salt). And in case you wanna know…

Facts about Cacao:
  • 40x antioxidants of blueberries – antioxidants absorb free radicals from pollution and toxins (free radicals can lead to diseases like cancer)
  • highest plant-based source of iron
  • natural mood elevator – cacao is a great source of serotonin and dopamine
Facts about the bars:
  • Each has 200 calories so they are a perfect between meal snack
  • Chocolate sea salt has the lowest sugar of them all (it’s hard to believe!)
  • 12g of egg white protein – a lean, high quality source of strength for your day.

Sooo pretty much in my very humble & un-sponsored opinion (and okay maybe kinda biased because I’m obsessed with chocolate), I think you’ve gotta order these bars STAT! The discount code will only last for this week, so get your hands on it while you still can!

Plus, if you’re anything like me and you love supporting young companies with passionate founders who have a mission to make the world a healthier place, then there isn’t really a better company to support. You will looooove these bars. You can place your order here.

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It’s a Dairy-Free Cheesecake Partay!

Where my dairy-free friends at?! I know you’re out there… even if you don’t know it yet! Who has ever suffered from pesky digestion problems that they kinda sorta actually really do not understand?

If you’re raising your hand by now, then you are a little something like me. You could say that I am the queen of food intolerances – and no, that’s not the coolest queen to be but it’s a queen nonetheless. I feel like I am a queen in the genre of food and tummy issues because not only have I lived with these probs my whole life, but I am super open about them. Generally if people who know me or read the blog hear the terms “dairy-free,” “gluten-free,” “FODMAP,” “formerly vegan,” etc. they think Yep… Jordan would love this.

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Not that I am a fan of labels! Because I’m definitely not. I have done everything in my power over this last year to find a middle ground with staying away from foods that bother my tummy but also not putting myself into a box where I am terrified of those foods and won’t touch them because of some dietary label I’ve smacked on myself. (Hint: the whole vegan for many years turned orthorexia thing.)

One thing that has really helped me find peace and balance when it comes to feeling my best without being obsessive is generally staying away from dairy. When I stay away from it in my daily routine, it doesn’t send my tummy into a total mess if I have a sprinkle of cheese or a mini frozen yogurt every so often. It’s not about making things off-limits, it’s about finding what works for you and modifying it to make it work for your life.

vSO3W3ro7suwdehB1vQD3a3YnmcPxlLYS54CIFIcdCs The best thing in the world is when I find good dairy-free and/or healthy alternatives to things I love that usually have dairy or are not necessarily healthy or good for my tummy. One thing I have always loved is cheesecake – I mean like, I really love it. When I was in middle school and high school I used to go to the Cheesecake Factory with my mom (in the parking lot of the mall, hell yeah) and we would split the turkey burger and a piece of chocolatey cheesecake… for lunch.

We were both healthy and active people, so there wasn’t a big deal that Cheesecake Factory was our treat every so often. But when I became obsessively plant-based and everything became off-limits in my mind, cheesecake seemed like the devil! Even that “low cal” Splenda-sweetened (don’t quote me on that) light cheesecake they offered sounded like pure sin to me – and not in a good way.

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When I slowly started adding more foods back into my diet, I tried ice cream here and there (and gelato in Italy, of course!) but I didn’t really try cheesecake. For some reason it didn’t sound as appealing to me as it used to in all of its whipped creamy, dairy-lurkin’ glory. Sure, it would taste good. But it would also make my stomach feel like it was on fire and want to explode.

Not worth it.

Then I discovered something totally awesome & groundbreaking in the world of dairy-free dessert lovers – Daiya Cheezecakes! Yes, “cheeze” is spelled phonetically to avoid confusion with your typical cow’s milk cheese, and I am all about it. Daiya was actually the first brand of dairy-free cheese – or should I say cheeze – that I ever tried. It was back in college at a pizza place by campus that shockingly offered vegan pizzas! I fell in love with the ooey, gooey cheese alternative and didn’t miss the dairy stuff that bothered my tummy for even a second.

YNgXFf3sIMO3-sl_jKvQjD_NYBMhEMaKg21w3L7anwADaiya’s newest product is their line of cheezecakes. So, being the healthy livin’ lover that I am, I naturally ran out to buy 6 of them and have my friends over to show them that a dairy-free lifestyle (or even a dairy-free dessert every once in a while) ain’t so bad!

And let me tell you… everyone kind of went wild. I didn’t even tell two of them that they were dairy-free and after trying it they didn’t believe me. They have chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, and if you’re feeling wild you can even layer them and make a cake like I did!

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I bet you can guess which one was my fav…

(Hello, chocolate.)

And because I love all of you and I know there is a lot of dairy-free intrigue out there, we are doing a Daiya giveaway on the bloggy this week! The giveaway will include a coupon for a dairy-free cheesecake that you can find at your local Whole Foods, and a fun Daiya apron to wear with it! I will be choosing two winners by the end of the week – to enter to win, write a comment on this post telling me about your dairy-induced tummy probs and why you’d love to try this product… and maybe host your own party!

ALSO if you head to this link, you will get a $1-off coupon to try your own Daiya Cheezecakes!

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Who wants to try this?! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts if you do!

How to Rock Your Favorite Color

Some days you’ve just got to get outside & rock your favorite color.

No, but really.

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One of my biggest pet peeves in the world is when people say, “Well, my favorite color is ____, but I would never wear that color, because, well, duh… It’s not a good color for that…”

Um, excuse me? You mean to tell me that you have a favorite color, a color that makes you happy & feel fab when you look at it / are surrounded by it, but you would never wear it because you think it won’t make you look good? Perhaps because it’s too bright & you’re a neutral kind of person, or vice versa?

Well, my dears, TBB is here to tell you that that is simply not the case.

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Don’t get me wrong, we all have colors that wash us out & don’t do much to compliment our skin tone. For me, those colors are pale pinks, ivories and light beiges. My skin tends to take on the same pale pink pallor as the outfit and make me look like I walking a one-toned washed out bleh.

BUT, here’s the thing– A) luckily pale toned colors are not my favorite by any means, and if they were I wouldn’t feel my best in them so they probably would make me want to stray away from them regardless, and B) I’m okay with cutting my losses there because it leaves room for more fun brights in my wardrobe & skin-complimenting neutrals.

So, my advice is rock whatever color you please until you make it work. If I wanted to rock a pale pink, I would. Have I done it and looked okay? Hell yeah. Do I do it often? No, because there are other colors that make me feel way better.

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My favorite color is… you guessed it: lime green.

In fact, lime green has been my favorite color since 1st grade. It came to be because we were sitting in a circle on our classroom floor and going around sharing our favorite colors. It sounded something like this — Girls’ favorites: pink, pink, pink, pink, purple, pink, purple, red, pink, pink. Boys’ favorites: blue, blue, blue, blue, black, grey, blue, blue.

Uh, what? Everyone had the same fav colors? Their repetitiveness was boring me to tears and by the time the circle came around to me I was like hell no am I going to say pink; by association I now really dislike that color. (Then, not now. Now I kinda love it). So I blurted out the best, brightest, most fun & vibrant color that came to mind– LIME. GREEN.

IMG_7828That’s right, bright & bold & in yo’ face & neon as ever. And I’ve always been the kind of person who rocks lime green with absolutely zero shame — but that’s not to say that people have always received it well.

My mom had a clothing store for many years & on top of being everyone in her life’s personal stylist, the moment she had a little girl (me!) she became my stylist too. She is the chicest and trendiest woman alive, so naturally she dressed me in a lot of: black. Black dresses, black turtlenecks, black overalls, black tankinis on vacation & black velvet headbands.

Black on black. And I was never into it. I was ALL about prints on prints and basically wearing basketball shorts with frilly tops and my hair in three ponies on the top of my heads with seven barrettes — but that’s a different story, lol.

Now I looove wearing black (I guess you could say NYC rubbed off on me) & I love mixing it with my fun, favorite, bright colors.

downtown1So, now how to rock bolds & brights in a fearless way:

1) Own it. Confidence is everything. If you feel great in your clothes then you will be radiating beauty no matter what. You have two options: you can rock a bright color or a bold print and tug at your clothes all night and feel self-conscious, or you can embrace it and rock the color like you were born wearing it. Confidence catches everyone’s eye.

2) Pair it with a color you are comfortable with — something simple & subtle. Black, white, or in case cases grey or beige. A bunch of bolds together will probably look a little sloppy and out there, but a bright color paired with a dark or light solid will look sophisticated and cool. (Example: bright green shorts with a black tank!)

3) Find the common denominator. Does the bright color have an accent color? In the shorts that I am wearing in these photos, there is a black design that makes the shorts easy to pair with a black top and black shoes. Without the design, there wouldn’t be a common denominator & I could go with either a black or a white and be safe– but the tie-in makes it much smoother!

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4) Love it. If you are a fan of the color you’re wearing, other people will be too. It goes back to number 1 — confidence! There are a million shades & varieties you can wear, so might as well choose something that makes you feel great.

5) Find the right occasion & location. I wore these pants in Downtown LA, which is a fun & eclectic neighborhood and I had a blast rocking them there. Casual day at the office might not be the best choice, but if you feel good doing it then that’s the bottom line!

6) There are no ruuules!! These are guidelines/tips to help you feel more comfortable, but at the end of the day I just want you to feel your best & do what makes you feel the most YOU!

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Lime green is my favorite color because it makes me feel happy, bold and in control. I like giving off the vibe that I am not afraid of a pop of color a.k.a a little challenge in life / being different. Wear your favorite color this week and hashtag #TBBMadeMeDoIt on social media, and I will repost my favorite photos on the bloggy next week!

PS I am not the only lime green lover around these parts. Brandin & I learned early on in our friendship that we both love neon green… and we aren’t afraid to rock it. ALSO tell B that he needs a new blog post! It’s been a little. ;) Judging by this photo I think it should be a fashion post. Comment below if you agree that he needs to get on that! unnamed-6

Sooo, One of my BFF’s Wrote a Book! (+ Giveaway!)

Hi darlings! So, if you follow me on Instagram, Snapchat (username: jojoyounger), or just about any form of social media, you know I’ve been spending lots of quality time with my dear friend + maaajor inspiration/role model miss Annie Lawless a.k.a the Co-Founder of Suja Juice.

You also know, if you follow me, that I am a huge beyond huge Suja fan & I drink a Lemon Love (lemon, cayenne, stevia) or Glow (mint, apple, celery, cucumber, kale) juice just about every day as a midday pick-me-up and as a great way to stay hydrated and flooded with nutrients!

Say hi to Annie below! Isn’t she the most beautiful ever? (Sidenote: She also has a BLOG called Blawnde, so together we are The Balanced Blawndes — hehe.)

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 2.50.54 PMSo, by the title of this post & the lead in you’re probably beginning to gather — Annie wrote a book. It’s called the Suja Juice Solution. And it’s all about something I am very, very into & a huge proponent of: resetting the body in a HEALTHY, nourished way. Otherwise known as a solid food cleanse, and/or a jumpstart into a healthy lifestyle change.

The book contains an easy-to-flow plan that combines fresh, nutrient-dense juices with delicious, whole food meals. The cleanse is not about depriving yourself, making drastic changes that you won’t be able to maintain afterward or cutting back on anything healthy that already works for you. What it IS about is crowding out unhealthy foods and replacing them with foods that are good for you, will fuel you & make you feel awesome, and foods that are easy to digest.

Like this absolutely amazing all-natural Mexican Chocolate Shake (is this seriously for real???!):piQe7JdvV1klVsZFG4H3dz4M_su7pRZ95BWpTLAaD64,TJKvUfUD5f2SYP4teTENfuQfr9fJiRqyPJozCncn_20For someone with lifelong stomach & digestive issues, this book is a serious godsend. If anyone in my life knows about tummy probs firsthand as well as I do, it’s Annie. She grew up enduring years of food sensitivities and feeling sick but not understanding why. Eventually she was diagnosed with Celiac disease, and learned how to make important changes in her life and diet that helped her feel better and life a healthy life in the longterm.

Seriously, there aren’t that many people I trust when it comes to cleanses, mainly because a lot of people who promote cleanses go OVERBOARD on the cleansing wagon & juice-only diet (cough cough, me for 2 years straight) — but when Annie and I go out to eat she orders steak, salmon, chicken, salads, and healthy cocktails — and she looks & feels amazing regardless because she sticks to a healthy plan in her everyday life. If there is one huge thing I’ve learned throughout my recovery process, it’s that when you eat well and nourish your body 99.9% of the time, you will ALWAYS feel amazing, healthy and confident in your own skin. Then you have the leeway to indulge every so often and still feel good when you wake up the next morning — because you have a solid base & foundation to work off of.

Alternately, I used to think there was only one or the other: you eat CLEAN, juice all the frickin’ time, look and feel ridiculously good and live a life of mild social anxiety whenever food is involved, OR you let yourself go, have a lot of fun but kind of eat like shit and drink a lot of alcohol. (Clearly I had a very black & white mentality.)

Since I am so prone to viewing things (especially with diets) in extremes, The Suja Juice Solution has been a GREAT book for me to read. The moment I read the section title “Renew Your Commitment To a Long & Beautiful Life” I was hooked because, well, that is the anti-cleanse, the anti-short term “OMG this will change your life forever in 5 days” mentality. It’s about living a sustainable healthy lifestyle and being HAPPY and healthy by being good to our bodies.

There is an FAQ, insanely mouth-watering photos, shopping lists, kitchen tool explanations, lifestyle deets, personal accounts from people who have followed this plan + similar ones and changed their lives, and more.

And this apple pie chia pudding speaks for itself… LOUDLY.

DuHL0mmPyD_agpSr2ceHa98Zi61SWNTJRZjDYuYpzFY,sZyVzs-IQddlOaXAq-kxgH5ZNmhxm7qy8bM1neIX9KA,7_W76TohyEnkoHUqBQU2bbdHLRXxJLtggsxybkuZPqISo, also, guess what? Because I adore everything about this book AND because the Suja crew are my buds we are teaming up to offer something really, really exciting and awesome for everyone who orders the book through my bloggy.

Giveaway Deets!!!

* One of YOU awesome readers will have the chance to complete the 7-day Suja Juice Solution program alongside me — including a $500 WHOLE FOODS gift card (yeah, WF is in caps because I am so very obsessed with it) and a FREE Breville juicer. Like really? Yeah. ENTER by commenting below about why YOU want to read the book — what are your goals in feeling happy and healthy?

* EVERYONE who purchases the book using this link (or any of the links in this post), gets 7 free Suja juice coupons. 7!!! That’s more than 70 bucks worth of juice, my friends. It’s unreal that Suja is being so kind. Send me your confirmation email once purchased and I will give your info to Suja so you get your free coupons!

Anyway, this book is already basically a best-seller so they don’t need my help. I am simply promoting it because I think the book has an outstanding message, is super well-written and beautifully put together and it’s going to help so. many. people live healthier and happier lives. I am thrilled to have gotten the chance to read it early & pour over it cover to cover.

You knooowww you want this yummy green soupy soup in your life!

YxlMPRPJTqBsiRC7bMh2KKADjUDiC2Mn5PEtmag388U,m6iU4IHvlUc0iZGBfi-iqEOeir_BW9xdsXEJNOBaTYwSo, don’t forget to enter the giveaway my loves! Comment below telling us why YOU want to read this book — whether it be because you are looking for a healthy kickstart, you have tummy probs or you just want to learn how to make some healthy, sustainable life changes. Let’s hear it!

PS, Speaking of giveaways, congrats to Laura Verbich of @gorgeousssleep for winning our Nomadix towel giveaway from last week! I just love doing giveaways with you fab humans. :)

TBB Gets Real: Springtime Beauty Tutorial

Happpy Monday, and also HAPPY SPRING!

I’ll be honest, I just Googled when the first day of Spring 2015 actually was because I kinda had no idea. It was March 20th, in case you were wondering. And if you type “First day of…” into Google, a million and one Springtime things pop up so I guess I’m not the only curious one.

And now that we are a couple weeks into Spring (because I tooottalllly knew that all along, hehe) it’s time to get our Springtime looks on!

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I’ve partnered with my ladies at BeGlammed to bring a series of Beauty Tutorial videos to The Balanced Blonde TV! I am extra excited about these videos, because I for one have never been huge into doing my own makeup. You can ask my friends, family and certainly anyone who has ever lived with me– I wear minimal makeup in my everyday life. The running joke in college was, “Put on your nonexistent mascara and clear lipgloss Jordan so we can go out,” because that was about as far as I would go, even on special occasions.

But now that my life & job includes lots of fun events, TV appearances, photo shoots & YouTube vids, I have had to step up my makeup game. And seriously THANK GOD for BeGlammed on-demand beauty services. I started working with them a few months ago for different TV appearances, and it was basically love at first sight between me and my BeGlammed makeup artist Brittany. A) we are both from Sacramento living in LA, B) she is ridiculously talented, C) our schedules always seem to totally fit with each other’s and D) she has her OWN YouTube channel which means we never run out of things to talk about and fun collab ideas.

If you follow me on Snapchat (at username Jojoyounger) you know that I post selfies with Britt, um, all the time. Because she is doing my makeup, um, all the time. Because it’s a mutual love affair. Say hiiii, Britt!

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SO what better way to collaborate than to bring you guys a series of fun beauty tutorials with my girl Britt + her stellar BeGlammed team?!

I la-la-love working with them, because they are killer female powerhouse businesswomen with an amazing mission to make beauty accessible & convenient to anyone and everyone– all you need is a smart phone to order your stylist! Boo ya.

And when we shoot together we eat lots of macaroons… #happiness

macaroonsAnnndd we drink lots of champagne & coffee…

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Annnddd we take lots of selfies (or wait is that just me?)

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Without further ado, here is our Springtime Look Beauty Tutorial video! The lipgloss color is called LOLLIPOP and I am obsessed with everything about it.

If you like the video, give it a thumbs up & subscribe to the channel so we can keep bringing you more fun stuff! & let us know if you have any suggestions. I want to try them all! :)

Sending lots & lots of loooove!

XX, Jordan AND the killer BeGlammed crew

 

Chambray & Stripes // “What Kind of Blog Is This Anyway?”

I’ve been thinking about this blog recently & the way that it has evolved over the past two years. When I first started, this was a vegan food blog (really?!?). Over the period of that first year, it evolved from food to more and more lifestyle until eventually I was just writing about my life, my passion for wellness, my travels, grad school, friends & family and more.

Then I transitioned from veganism, and all of the sudden I had a new platform to not only grow the blog in a more versatile way (by no longer having a strictly vegan name or label to hold onto) but also to talk about things that I love.  I promised myself that my new blog name would be broad enough to allow me to write about anything that fits my personality: because this blog, after all, is an extension of my personality.

Do you spy what I spy? Balance, baby.

Do you spy what I spy? Balance, baby.

I have struggled a bit here & there with trying to remain in a certain niche when it comes to blogging. Am I a wellness blogger? Am I a fitness blogger? Am I a healthy food blogger? Or is it okay if I write & make videos about beauty, fashion, home decor, relationships & life advice too? I see these awesome blogs who have their very specific purpose: fashion, food, beauty, travel. I have had thoughts where I feel like I should have a purpose if I want to continue making a real name for myself in the blogging world.

But now I realize more than ever… I do have a purpose. My purpose is to share my lifestyle with all of you, which, even masked as a vegan food blog, was exactly what I was doing in the first place when I began The Blonde Vegan nearly two years ago.

This blog has grown into something that captures my whole life. I’ve written about personal things from my eating disorder recovery to my juice cleanse addiction to leaving graduate school and more– and I have written about exciting, monumental business moves like creating TBV Apparel (because of the blog!), writing my memoir, starting my YouTube channel, and partnering with my favorite brands to name a few.

Libra Love.

Libra Love.

So, here I am to tell you that I finally, for the first time in a longgg while have an answer to that pesky “What kind of blog do you have, anyway?” question.

I have a lifestyle blog.

You can expect to see posts about health, fitness, travel, fashion, beauty, relationships, friendships, eating disorder recovery, building a business & following your dreams, yoga and the occasional “I feel like writing about this today so I’m going to.”

The Fifth Label + Piper Lime

The Fifth Label + Piper Lime

I hope that works for you (yes, you!) who is reading– because I am oh so excited about it and it feels good & extremely relieving to have a purpose.

There is no better way to commemorate this realization than by sharing a series of photos we snapped in Downtown LA yesterday. My photographer Danika Miller captured this playful day in her talented way… She gets me. She gets it. She gets creativity. She is a rockstar. Little does she know but her involvement with my brand has helped me come to realize what is most important to me when it comes to what I share on the blog. Sometimes it helps to have a great visual to come to the full realization of a vision.

Wearing: Chambray Top: The Fifth Label || Striped Top: The Fifth Label || Leather Shorts: Piper Lime || Aviators: Ray Ban

Similars: Chambray Top: CWST || Striped Top: ASOS || Faux Leather Shorts: Nasty Gal || Aviators: Nordstrom

 

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More photos from this fun shoot day to come. In the meantime, what are your thoughts on my lifestyle blog realizations? I supposed I’ve really known this all along, but it feels good to share. <3

A Video Blooper For You!

Hi lovers! Happy Tuesday!

I don’t know who else is with me on this one — but I’ve always thought that the bloopers were the best part of videos / movies / TV shows / everything I’ve ever watched that involves real people + behind the scenes funniness.

Plus, if you don’t make your own videos very often (or ever) then you might not realize that for one little 4 minute video, there can be hours and sometimes even days’ worth of work and filming behind it! For the Nut Butter video I filmed with Sophie and our fab Enjet team a few weeks ago, we powered through filming in an hour or two because Sophie & I have a crazy connection where everything on and off camera seems to run pretttyyyy freakishly smoothly.

But still, that’s an hour or two of filming for a 3 minute and 42 second video! I imagine that some people think that took about 10 minutes to shoot- but nooo, no! Not the case.

And when you have a fabulous video editor (hi Tiff!) everything comes together so seamlessly that you almost forget about all of the funny things that happen behind the scenes while filming.

So, yesterday Tiff sent me this hysterical video that I had no choice but to title “Betches Love Nut Butter” because… wellll.. clearly, we do.

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Watching the video also reminds me how lucky I am that I get to work with my close friends & make magic go down in the kitchen and connect on a really cool level with them– producing something that we can all be proud of. Sophie inspires me to no end.. She is a mama of two beautiful little boys, an amazing wife to her awesome hubby and somehow she finds the time to not only run a business (PHILOSOPHIE SUPERFOODS!) but to be there for me as a super close friend who is available absolutely always. And she reminds me to be my true self when I need to hear it most.

TBBSoph

With that said… Check out this funny behind the scenes blooper reel from our nut butter video! Because betches loooove nut butta.

PS, if you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube channel yet, please do! I am having so much fun with it and want to keep bringing ya fun content!

Does anyone else have a friend they get to work with that inspires them both in and out of the blogging world?! Davida + Lee, I know you two do (each other!)– tell me!!!