Loving Lately 12.18.14

Hello hello & happy Thursday, my loves! First, I want to thank everyone who watched my YouTube video about food fears & my first time trying cow’s milk in 10 years (!!!) and for all of the kind words about it. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I am seriously loving this new way of connecting with you guys through video.

I am filming four videos this Friday & Saturday with a production team from San Diego – I. Am. So. Excited. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean the impromptu Photobooth-style video content will be going anywhere. I still love throwing myself in front of the camera at any given time of day to share from the heart and chit chat it up with you all.

Also, I’m going to be working on a video series called “Ask TBB Anything” in the next month or so, so send me questions that you have for me!!! They can be food related, recovery related, health/nutrition/fitness/yoga related, style related, blogging/writing related, Los Angeles/NYC/Nor Cal questions… anything! It’s obviously an “Ask Me Anything” type of format. I am so excited about it!

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Now, without further ado… let me tell you allll about what I am loving lately!

** ALSO… I’m keeping the descriptions of each loving lately shorter than usual because my previous LL posts were LARGE & IN CHARGE a.k.a long as eff, and sometimes nice & simple does the trick… **

Loving Lately ▶▷▸▹►

LovingLately ▶▷▸▹► The Coffee Shop Life 

One of my favorite things about blogging and working almost entirely from the computer is getting to switch up my office location every single day. I am a creature of habit, so I have to push myself to try new places – especially after I’ve found places I love. It helps that I get to meet with so many awesome local entrepreneurs and health peeps that also have THEIR favorite spots, which has helped me broaden my horizon.

Lately I’ve been dividing my time between working from Equinox West LA, all sorts of coffee shops in Santa Monica/Brentwood/Venice/Beverly Hills/Malibu, the BEACH, the airplane, the Equinox hot tub (for real), my apartment for food photo shoots, outside, at friends’ houses & cute little restaurants. I love switching up my scenery as much as possible, and I work well with white noise around me so win, win.

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 1.07.34 PM ▶▷▸▹► Chai Tea Lattes with GLOBS of Cinnamon

 Yeah, I’m talking about chia tea lattes with full-fat cow’s milk. If this comes as a surprise to you, watch my latest YouTube vid. And yes, I was trying to avoid caffeine for a while because of my stomach ulcers, but I’ve found that the minimal amount of caffeine in chai tea doesn’t bother me a whole lot (yet, at least) and the taste is so great it’s worth the experimenting so far. I also have been loving dumping oodles of cinnamon on top and then getting warm little cinnamon chunks in each sip… I realize most people try to avoid cinnamon clumping in their hot drinks, but hey, I’m different. I accept it.

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 1.08.37 PM ▶▷▸▹► New Raw Organic Restaurant in my Hood

There is a FAB new raw organic vegan restaurant in Brentwood, and it’s pretty much the first of its kind out here in La La Land. Yes, there are great vegan spots and even a raw spot or two, but the superfood smoothies, cleansing options and amazing food at Beaming in Brentwood blows the others FAR out of the water. I’m only sharing this because I wholeheartedly believe in what they’re doing and I think you all will absolutely love their food, juice, smoothies, coffee, acai bowls (!!!) and soups. AND I’m doing a 3-day solid food cleanse with them this week. Boom.

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 1.10.12 PM ▶▷▸▹► Exercise as THERAPY

Being the extreme chica that I am, I get really into exercise in times of stress/happiness/whenever I find a routine I’m really into. I am on one of those kicks right now, and I’m not complaining. Between running at Equinox, yoga at Yogaworks & Corepower, running and interval training at Orange Theory and hiking on the weekends… I’ve been an energizer bunny and it’s working wonders on my soul (and bod!).

▶▷▸▹► Good Freaking People

I can’t say it enough. The people in my life are phenomenal. My BFF Tara has to deal with my morningly texts about my food freak outs, my mom and dad are so patient with me and give me the world (not to mention my mom also serves as somewhat of a personal business manager to me most of the time which is absolutely amazing), all of my friends are so supportive and wonderful and fun, my nieces make my heart explode with happiness daily, my TBB team rocks, my readers are incredible. I just feel lucky. 

▶▷▸▹► Working on the Book… And…

AND something else exciting in the book-related world that I’m not fully ready to disclose yet but let me tell you it’s gonna be GOOD.

▶▷▸▹► The Power of Morning Light

Morning LIGHT (read this) can help you lose weight. Not that losing weight should necessarily be a goal, but hey, who doesn’t love a good cup of coffee/tea/juice/water with lemon in some beautiful morning light? Light is everything to me.

▶▷▸▹► T. Swift’s “Out of the Woods”

I’m obsessed and it makes me think of a whole lot of things in my life and it also makes me think of the woods in general (I understand how literal of me this is) and I also just love everything about Taylor and want to be her friend. Desperately. PS… Here’s me in the woods.

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▶▷▸▹► The Perfect New Years Outfit / PJs Always 

That cross body though…

▶▷▸▹► Birthdays

Happy birthday to my sweet lifelong best friend TG. So proud of you, so lucky to have you, thank you for being you and shining your light on us all. If everyone could have your heart, the world would be a better place.

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What Are YOU Loving Lately? It’s almost Christmas… Yippee!!

Holiday Minty Blueberry Cocktails

Deck the halls with boughs of MINTY BLUEBERRY COCKTAILS, Fa-la-la-la-laaaaa-la-la-la-la! (Be happy I didn’t decide to make a YouTube video today, because let’s just say my singing voice leaves much to be desired… Ask anyone I’ve ever lived with.) HolidayCocktail1

That’s right, today we are talking alcohol. Healthy peeps celebrate the holidays with fun cocktails too, and we damn well enjoy it. And we don’t like being hung over the next day, because we like to wake up and do yoga and run and be productive and/or lounge the day away in our Christmas footie pajamas feeling awesome and hydrated sans raging headaches and bloating.

That’s where this cocktail comes in. The antioxidant cocktail. Remember antioxidants? That fun little buzzword that we like to throw into sentences but might not even be positive what it means. Antioxy’s (yeah, nickname basis) are natural substances found in lots of yummy healthy foods that help prevent cell damage and keep our immunity levels high.

HolidayCocktail7Blueberries are a fab natural source of antioxidants, and guess what – also keeps us from getting hangovers! Yippee dee doodah! That means we get to have our holiday cocktails and drink them too.

And in case you weren’t already convinced about the healthiness of this cocktail, insert Bai 5 Brasilia Blueberry.  This delicious sippy sipper is a blend of organic coffeefruit extract, white tea extract, Vitamin C and yummy berry juice concentrates.

Ever since Bai 5 joined me at my TBB App Launch Party back in November, I. Have. Been. Hooked. I knew I wanted to incorporate them in a holiday cocktail post, especially after countless people ran up to me at the party to announce that they’d invested in a case of Bai to use as mixers for holiday parties (and for weekends in general… if we’re being honest.)

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It also helps that the people behind Bai are extremely nice, health-oriented and fun to work with. Supporting those types of companies is my jam.

You know what else is my jam? Getting tipsy off of ONE cocktail. With my stomach ulcers I can only drink alcohol very sparingly, so one-ish cocktails per holiday party has been doing the trick for me. #Scooooore because I hate drinking too much and feeling like crappola the next day!

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Cheers! Now let’s get to it. Holiday blueberry minty vodka-y deliciousness… coming right up!

PS. Bonus points if you wear this shirt while mixin’ & sippin’:

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Ingredients:

1.5 shots vodka (I prefer Tito’s organic vodka)

½ cup club soda

½ cup Bai 5 Brasilia Blueberry juice

1 small handful muddled fresh mint leaves

¼ cup fresh blueberries

1 squeeze of fresh lime juice to taste

1 small handful ice

HolidayCocktail2Directions:

1. Muddle the fresh mint leaves with a drink muddler or with the back of a fork until desired consistency is reached.

2. Place muddled mint at the bottom of a cocktail class and add blueberries and ice. Pour in vodka, club soda and Brasilia Blueberry juice. Squeeze lime to taste. (And, if you’re like me, drop in the squeezed lime wedge for extra limey flavor!)

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Now get on it & go make this amazingness! And blast some T-Swift Christmas music and dance under the mistletoe while you’re at it!
Fa-la-la-la-laaa…

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Any other fav holiday cocktail recipes?! If you have one on your blog or a blog that you love, leave the link below & I’ll be sure to check it out! 

Xox, TBB

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Who has FOOD FEARS?

I don’t think there is a single person in the world we live in who doesn’t have food fears and food anxieties. This simple and stupid fact absolutely breaks my heart and brings me near tears because it is NOT cool that food interferes with our lives so much that we are unable to live and function in the way that we all deserve.

So… instead of focusing on how sucky that fact is, we are going to do our damnedest to change it. How might we do that, you ask? Well, I have a few ideas up my sleeve…

#1: Challenge ourselves to constantly play with our diets by adding in foods we’ve once feared and eliminating foods we suspect might be bothering our tummies. If we make it fun, and make these changes by trusting ourselves and being curious rather than punishing ourselves and beating ourselves up if we “slip up,” then we can slowly but surely loosen that hold that food has over our lives.

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Speaking of CHALLENGING ourselves…

Yesterday I tried full fat cow’s milk for the first time since I was 10 years old, and it didn’t bother my stomach, didn’t bloat me and didn’t make me feel guilty/freaked out/any of the above.

And you know why? Because I did it in a LOVING way. I trusted myself to call the shots and I did it when I was ready. I didn’t force myself to do it like I did with some other food challenges in the beginning of my eating disorder recovery process. I waited until I was very ready, and I did it in a curious way.

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If the milk had bloated me and made me feel like crap, I wasn’t going to beat myself up over it. I was just going to pay attention and take note so that from there on out I could decide if milk bothered me based on my own concrete knowledge versus on fears I had been subsisting on for years & years.

So, after I tried the milk, naturally I made a video about it. There is only so much I can say about it by writing, since sometimes the whole “food fear” discussion tends to sound repetitive on the Internet.

So instead of going on & on (like I kinda want to), you can listen to me talk about it instead! And, as you can see, I’m so passionate about this topic that I teared up mid-video and could barely regain my composure afterward!

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If you are like me, and you have suffered from food issues that run so deep you feel like you can’t even concentrate on anything else let alone ENJOY every ounce of life, then please know that you aren’t alone.

Let me know your thoughts, and if you like it, subscribe! I am filming some professional quality videos this Friday, and I am oh so thrilled about it. I can’t even wait to step it up and keep sharing with you all.

So much love!

Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland

Or should I say frolicking in a winter wonderland! I am way too excited to be in New York to walk… Er, maybe it’s just the cold keeping me from walking. I have to run, jump, skip or at the very least power walk wherever I go in this city because it is SO FREEZING right now.

Actually, who am I kidding? I lived here last winter when it got down to 5 degrees… it’s been a steady 30ish this week, so it’s really not too bad. Except for the sideways snow pelting me in the eyes yesterday on my way to Think Coffee in Soho (one of my favorite writing havens) that blinded me and caused me to pass it by at leaaassstt three blocks before I realized I needed to turn around.

Regardless of the weather, I can’t even tell you how ridiculously happy I am to be back in New York for the week. I had a few minor travel mishaps on the way here and ended up taking a train from Philadelphia (a place I had never been… all I could think of was Boy Meets World and the pizza and Philly cheese steaks that I don’t eat) into the city and I was so freakishly filled with excitement the whole time I thought I was going to bubble over onto the train station floor.

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When I arrived at Penn Station – without proper winter clothing, mind you, that was all in my suitcase that was stuck at the Philly airport for the night – I. Cried. Happy. Tears. Why? I don’t really know. I have missed this dirty, smelly, freezing, snowy, wild and outrageous city like no other. I guess I even missed freezing my toes off and dropping my gloves on the subway tracks. And the juice/smoothie bars… I have reeeealllllyyyy missed those.

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What I’m getting at here is that NYC awakens my soul. I know I have written about a lot of things that “awaken my soul” lately like writing and stellar connections with awesome people… but a CITY that wakes you up and makes you feel more alive and inspires you to get your butt to work and create is truly a brilliant thing. I feel so lucky to have found it. My spirit city.

I couldn’t imagine a better place to work on the book and meet with incredible people for the next few days. On Wednesday I had a super fun and inspiring meeting with my literary agent and got to check out the agency for the first time. It was beautiful and SHE is a badass. Enough said.

Sterling Lorde Literary Agency

Sterling Lorde Literary Agency

The rest of the week has been filled with fun meetings (SUPER exciting collabs coming up with Satya JewelryYou Fresh Naturals annndd more), writing, writing and more writing, frolics with my best friends, ice skating dates with my sissy, a Central Park romp or two, and hitting up all my old haunts for yummy food and yummy drinks. Ulcer friendly drinks that is.

ALSO, very worth mentioning, the incredible crew of NYC people who have made my week so amazing by simply being here/spending time with me… thank you for making me the happiest and luckiest girl. You are all special, insanely wonderful people and you make it VERY hard to ever want to leave.

And since Thursday is typically Loving Lately, I will leave you with a couple of things I am loving lately (other than NYC) this week…

▶ ▷ ▸ ▹ ► TBV Apparel being featured on one of my very favorite fashion blogs, Feral Creature. And she is blogging out of Seoul, to boot! Too. Cool.  

RTP-FC-LOOK1-FINALS-7▶ ▷ ▸ ▹ ► This Burt’s Bees Beauty Kit full of all of the chapsticks, lotions and skin care products I am obsessed with.

▶ ▷ ▸ ▹ ► The Andy Cohen Diaries… because who isn’t obsessed with Bravo / The Real Housewives / Vanderpump Rules? Or is that just me?

▶ ▷ ▸ ▹ ► These Sugar Cookie Bars by my sweet Chocolate Covered Katie

▶ ▷ ▸ ▹ ► Annddd this Paleo Cocoa Hazelnut Bread With Molasses by the lovely Lindsay Cotter #yummmm

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 5.09.54 PMHow has everyone else’s week been? What are you loving lately?

Be Spontaneous (!!!) + 10 Holiday Gift Ideas for Foodies and Food Bloggers

Hi all! I’m doing something kind of wild today… I am hopping on a plane to NYC! In fact, by the time you read this, I will probably already be in the air knocked out from my Xanax (uh, I mean working on my book, obviously) and I AM SO STOKED ABOUT IT.

If you’ve been reading this bloggy for a little while, then you know that a big (read: huge) piece of my heart is in NYC. I lived there all of last year, and because of a long list of reasons a.k.a because I like to be in the sun and be near my family, I moved back to California. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get my booty to NYC as often as humanly possible, and this week is no exception!

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The city feeds my soul in a way that every other place I’ve been has yet to do, and since a boatload of my best friends / kindred spirits / sister babes live in NYC, not to mention my literary agency, I decided to book a flight and go for it. By this evening, I will be romping around the west village! Yipppeee!!

Moral of the story? If you’re craving an adventure, go for it. Take the leap. There’s nothing holding you back except perhaps your practicality and who needs that anyway?

Anywho, I have been seeing lots of awesome gift ideas on the Internet so I decided to compile this little list of holiday gift ideas for foodies, health bloggers and people who love to cook and entertain.

And noooo this isn’t a hinty hint about what to get me for Christmas, but I can’t say I would TOTALLY complain if I received any of these beauts. ;)

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1. Celestial Coaster Set

I am madly in love with this coaster set. When I lived in New York Katie and I had these in light blues and greens, and every time I posted food photos with the coasters in them I got tons & tons of compliments and people begged to know where they were from. They are from Anthropologie, and they rock! They will brighten up any food photo, dinner party or fun breakfast smoothie.

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2. Pom-Pom Cocktail Stirrers

Um, I’m kind of obsessed with these. These adorable little babes make me super excited for my upcoming HOLIDAY COCKTAIL RECIPE POST featuring the delicious Drink Bai. I think every holiday party cocktail could use an extra spruce up with these lovely stirrers. Plus, anyone who likes to enjoy a good evening cocktail would love to mix with these instead of the typical boring throw-away variety. (In my opinion.)

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3. Striped Marble Serveware

Chicka chicka WHAT?! I would kill to serve my health foodie yumminess on this striped marble platter. Imagine how gorgeous this would look in food photos, and look how cute the little pinch pots are. I am very into this. But, then again, stripes are most definitely my weakness. Anything striped and I am in love.

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 2.29.11 PM4. Frosted Crag Barware

Sooo the only thing more awesome than serveware is barware. Imagine the yummy cocktails with the pom-pom mixers AND the frosted barware! Your kitchen would be an Anthro dream. And ivory is oh so classy, always. In. Love.

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5. Silvered Glass Pedastal

To be honest (and why wouldn’t I be?), this is my #1 pick on the list. I can envision so many yummy raw vegan peanut butter cupsbanana cacao chip muffins and cookie dough brownies modeling and doin’ their thang all up on this pedestal. Even cooler… LAYERING THEM. This might even inspire me to make a healthified cake of some sort. Oh yeah, baby.

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6. Langholm Cheese Knives

These are just really effing cool. No doubt about it. I am not a big cheese gal… but when I entertain, there will (almost) always be a platter of cheese, gluten-free crackers (sorry, gluten-y friends), and yummy homemade jams. These knives are the perfect tool for slicing any of the above, and/or looking pretty on display and/or looking pretty in food photo shoots and/or for slicing yummy fruits, veggies, bread, what have you.

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7. Adorable Baker’s Kit

OMG. Seriously? Seeeriously? If #5 would inspire me to bake more cakes, then this baker’s kit would inspire me to become the next healthified version of Betty Crocker. I loooove the tags and twine, grater, cookie cutter, and really all of it. And I’m sure my friends and fellow bloggers who like to bake a bit more often than I do would go totally gaga for all of this.

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8. Nordic Elk Measuring Cups

You can’t really blog about food if you don’t have measuring cups (even if you like to eye ball a lot of things that you make, like me!), so those are always a good place to start. I think these are adorable — I adore the rustic look and you can’t beat stackable in my book. After living in NYC, you learn to appreciate anything that makes you a #spacesaver.Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 4.58.06 PM

 

9. VitaMix

Nearly just as important (if not MORE important, in my book) in a food blogger’s life as measuring cups, is a GOOD BLENDER. I am in love with my VitaMix Pro Series 500 and pretty much swear by its amazingness, but there are lots of good, less expensive blenders out there as well. If you are serious about your craft and about your smoothie, soup and overall blending regime then this is what I highly recommend. Holiday splurge, anyone?

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10. Acacia Wooden Bowl

Perhaps what I have gotten the MOST compliments on thus far as a food blogger, aside from my awesome coasters, is the wooden bowl I frequently photograph smoothies, soups, and granolas in. It’s so handy, beautiful, photogenic, earth-friendly and is the perfect size — not too big, not too small.I looove it, in all of its woody glory.

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So for now, excuse me while I fly to NYC !!!! Let me know if you have any post requests while I am here — I will mainly be working on the book, but I want to get at leeeeast one fun New York blog post up. What is everyone else up to this week?! Thoughts on my spontaneous decision?!

Musings of a Writer

So I have been working quite a bit on the book lately (read: incessantly), and with every chapter that I write I get more and more excited to share my story with all of you. As someone who writes a blog for a living, you could say I am kind of used to pouring my heart out and having a community of awesome readers to connect with immediately thereafter.

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A book isn’t so much like that. Writing a book is so much more introspective, and when I go on tangents and write unnecessarily long asides about some random story that happened in college that somehow feels entirely relevant to the chapter at hand, there is no AUDIENCE to bring me back to my senses and think, “Oh, wait, what am I doing?”

So I tend to write and write and write until the next thing I know 11 hours have passed by and I have enough material on the page to fill the beginning stages of a TBB Encyclopedia. (Now wouldn’t that be fun? Next project…)

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Anyway, other than gaining loads of inspiration from Lena Dunham’s and Sophia Amoruso’s sensational memoirs, which both kick ASS by the way and I highly recommend that you read, I have also been noticing a certain something in the pattern of my writing that keeps sticking out to me.

My book is a memoir, so every chapter is tied in with a grouping of memories from a certain part of my life. And each set of memories draws back to the people that inhabited them with me, and the connections and relationships that we have or had.

And since I am writing so intently about a lot of people that are still in my life, I have been feeling incredibly nostalgic, emotional, grateful and attached to them. Let’s just say it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for me to text one of my close friends on a Tuesday afternoon and say, “I just want you to know how much I love you,” “You = my soul sister,” “Why are you the most incredible human being on earth?” and “How the eff have you put up with me this long?”

^ Every single one of those texts has actually been sent in the last week, and there are many more to come while I finish up the book over the next month and a half. (And is it weird that I am absurdly excited to write the “Acknowledgements” section of the memoir?!)

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But quickly before I go and before you stop reading and before we all pop back into our lives and away from our computer screens, I want to tell you something that’s been on my mind… (because I haven’t been able to while I’ve been in book land!!!)

Sometimes I really freaking like to be alone. I was pretty much never alone for more than ten minutes at a time for at least four years straight in college, and while I enjoyed it at the time it got very old. It got crippling. I needed some room to breathe, to explore what I loved and to get back in touch with myself.

When I moved to NYC I fell in love with the novelty of doing things alone. Going to restaurants alone, going on long walks alone, spending the entire day alone *gasp!!!* writing or hanging or doing yoga on my living room floor.

And I think the reason I have become so okay with being alone is because I know, in my heart of hearts, that I am never actually alone. The people I am close to are, in big ways, extensions of my very being. My mom, my dad, my siblings and nieces and nephew and lifelong best friends, they are all a part of me, and because I always feel their energy in my heart I never actually feel alone.

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The only times I have ever felt lonely are when I am not getting along with one of my peeps, or when maybe I’ve had a falling out or argument with someone close to me (which is rare). And, this is beyond the point, but I find it worth mentioning that after spending some time alone all I want to do is be surrounded by the people I love and cherish most.

They are extensions of my being! What can I say?!

People are everything to me.

Do you feel the same way? I’m so curious. I know people who despise being alone for even thirty seconds, and I know people who swear they could go weeks with no human contact. I think I am somewhere in the middle… Where do you fall?

PS… You need these books in your life:

Vanilla Shake That Will Make Your Heart Go Boom Boom

Good mooorning and happy Friday from my kitchen to yours!

Wait…. Kitchen?! Does this mean TBB is doing a recipe post? Hell to the yeah it does.

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This blog started as a recipe blog just a mere year and four months ago (almost at the 1.5 year mark, I think that means a celebration is in order, yes?!), but it has inevitably evolved into so much more. When people ask me what my blog is about I sort of get all tongue-tied and say it’s about health, fitness, lifestyle, clothes and… my thoughts/my life/yoga/eating disorder recovery/the book-writing process/interviews with people I love and admire, etc.

You all know as well as I do that while the recipe posts are a ball and the fitness posts are super fun and handy dandy, nothing has more meaning than something writing from the heart and/or reading about someone’s soulful outpouring of thought and connecting with them.

However, since a daily diary blog is something entirely different from what we have going on in this neck of the woods, recipe posts still happen! And when they do, they are really delicious and drool-worthy and healthy and fab, because I’m not just sharing my trial and error morning bowl of cereal on here anymore. (Actually, I never was, but I had to make my point somehow.)

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Today we are talking about a recipe I love to pieces, because, you guessed it… It’s a smoothie recipe! Chalk full of nutrient-dense ingredients, heavenly superfood protein powder (Can you say ALOHA?!), and delightful yumminess that will fuel you and keep you satisfied in the best way.

I have been really into ALOHA premium protein and superfood powders lately. They are free of any artificial ingredients (a must in my world), made from thoughtfully sourced whole foods and protein from plant sources, they have no added chemical amino acids, and they have 18-grams of plant-based protein per serving.

For a protein junkie like me, and an equally smoothie-obsessed protein junkie at that, it’s basically heaven in a pouch.

And because I have been playing around with my YouTube channel this week (have you seen my first video yet?! Tell me your thoughts!), I decided to video myself making this smoothie so you can get behind the scenes and see how it’s done – so you can recreate the experience for yourself, of course.

^ And if you like the vid, give it a thumbs up and subscribe to the channel so I can grow this whole video content thing and bring you as much face-to-face TBB-ness as possible!

So, without further ado, here is the Vanilla Shake That Will Make Your Heart Go Boom Boom!

Ingredients: 1 overripe banana, ½ cup greens (kale or spinach taste the best), ½ cup blueberries, ½ cup almond milk, ½ cup water, 1 tablespoon almond butter, ½ packet of ALOHA Vanilla Premium Protein Powder

Method: Blend it up, baby. And do as I do at the end of the video, “Cheers!” the air, snap a photo, and tag me in it and we will virtually drink smoothies together. Woo, woo!

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▶ ▷ ▶ ▷ Loving Lately 12.4.14

It’s Thurrrsdayyyyy, which means it’s one of my favorite blogging days of the week (okay, all of them have a special place in my heart, but I really love Thursdays). Thursdays = Loving Lately, where I get to tell you all about the myriad of things I am currently in love with.
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Since today’s list is a long one, I’m just going to get right into it:

Loving Lately 12.4.14  ▶ ▷ ▸ ▹ ►

1. YouTube, baby! 

That’s right, I started a YouTube channel. Yesterday. In my pajamas. With my unbrushed hair and my  spastic morning “I’m going to get a trillion things done today!!!” ‘tude. I watched a lot of YouTube videos in Carmel last weekend with my niece (she’s 11, she knows what’s up), and it struck me that so many of the super popular YouTubers were doing nothing more than sitting there, talking into their screens, being 100% authentically and genuinely themselves. They paused, they said “um,” they weren’t wearing loads of makeup or adding in a ton of visual effects. They were just sharing their souls and their passions and excitement with their viewers, and that’s what made them popular! And that’s the kind of thing I like to watch, anyway. So, because of that recent inspiration as well as a kick in the right direction from my blog manager Ali… I decided I was YouTube ready, and I posted this video.

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Tell me your thoughts! I know I rambled a bit and I was strangely nervous for a few secs there, but I’ve already made video #2 for tomorrow’s recipe post and I am super stoked about it. Tell me what you want to see more of!!! I am super thrilled about this new way of connecting with you guys.

2. Writing My ♥ Heart ♥ Out

Ok, there will be a major blog post on this to come (on Monday– I’ve already written and scheduled it– check me out being ahead of the game!), but I needed to address it here because it’s way too on my mind not to. I have been going to town working on my book lately (which is a very necessary thing, considering that my deadline is in January), and I have been feeling so incredibly fulfilled and thrilled to wake up each morning and get to writing. Writing puts me in touch with a part of myself that isn’t fully awake until I’ve explored it on paper, and it makes me feel so ALIVE it’s ridiculous. I guess when I proclaimed at age five that I wanted to be a novelist when I grew up I was onto something very real, because there is certainly nothing I would rather do than express myself via writing… and I’m even luckier that I get to write on this blog and share my writing with all of you every day!

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3. Skinny Me Tea, the best detox tea around!

Don’t be fooled by the name “Skinny Me,” because you know I am not into promoting any one body type on this blog, but think of the term “Skinny Me” as “Healthy Me,” “Detoxed Me,” or “Cleansed Me.” Basically, this stuff rocks. I have been living and breathing for it these past few weeks because with my ulcer there are only so many foods and liquids my stomach can deal with, and tea is one of them. I love, love the philosophy behind SMT because they believe that health is something that can and should be applied of all aspects of our lives. Once we find health in one area, we can actively and passionately chase it and create it in others.

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SMT also has a nutritionist approved eating plan and trainer-approved exercise tips on their site to help guide you through your teatox. The eating plan is heavy in fruits, veggies and nourishing foods that I adore, so trust me when I say that it is also TBB-approved. If you like the way you feel when super hydrated and eating food from the earth– try this! Let’s get rid of those nasty toxins before Christmastime rolls around. Oh, and because we all like to Insta-stalk, you can find them on Instagram at @SMTofficial + @SkinnyMeteaResults. You can also find them on their website and on their YouTube!

4. TBV Apparel Hitting RETAIL!!!

Yeppers, Truth Balance Virtue Apparel is going to be sold in its first ever retail location. Come January, you will be able to pick up your favorite TBV Apparel tees from four different Corepower Yoga locations in Minnesota. No, I do not live in Minnesota, but Lee does, and she passed my info on to some of the store managers at the studio and voila– we’re making it happen! I am so thrilled to see TBV Apparel IN STORES and to have people be able to try it on and feel the material and see how awesome it is before purchasing. Very special day for Ty and I!

TBV- New Designs

5. Home cooked meals, which also means recipe posts!

While I’ve been in recovery from my stomach ulcer, I have had to make sure to maintain a superbly bland diet. Unfortunately, this strict ish diet does not include eating out much at all. There is too much hidden oil, butter and who knows what else in a lot of restaurant food (as yummy as it may be), so I have been really getting down and dirty in my kitchen lately to prepare super plain foods for myself. And, just as I suspected, spending more time in the kitchen is making me appreciate the beauty of home cooked meals more and more. Cooking is somewhat of a therapeutic release for me, and I’ve really missed it. I haven’t made the time to cook as much as I would like to over the last several months… but re-learning to appreciate all of the delicious roasted veggies, organic baked chicken/salmon dishes and, of course, my favorite yogurt and granola parfaits and super simple vegan baked goods has been good for my tummy and good for my soul!

Because of that, there will be a recipe video coming your way tomorrow, and a few more upcoming recipe posts… Like tomorrow’s Vanilla Shake That Will Make Your Heart Go Boom Boom recipe:

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6. So many adorable winter looks!

Can I buy it all? PS: So many of these brands are having sales right now for the holidays. If I were you (and me), I’d hop on it! I am especially obsessed with the ASOS hat, Free People skirt, Isaac Mizrahi shoes & Topshop dress.

7. Organization (Who, me?!)

Nothing feels better than being totally organized and on top of it. I am in the habit of using the “Notes” feature on my laptop and iPhone like there is no tomorrow, and I realized earlier this week, to my horror, that TONS of my notes were being deleted. I’m guessing the reason for that is low iCloud storage which is kind of the most annoying thing ever, but it did prompt me to move over to “Stickies” (which will never be deleted, since they’re not connected to WiFi!) and also to my good old fashioned handwritten day planner.

I also recently did a major cleaning sweep of my whole entire apartment, chucking old crap that I don’t need, organizing all of my products for blog reviews, etc. Here is a photo I snapped of my workspace once I was finished (and officially dripping in sweat):

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8. Seeing the world through the eyes of a child

I have been getting to spend a ton of time with my 2 and a half year old niece Kealey lately, and seeing her musings and excitement about the world makes me so happy. There is something so completely inspiring about the way a child views the world… something I think we should all strive for as often as humanly possible. Shouldn’t all of our days be made by an M&M cookie, a balloon and a sticker from the grocery store, and a good cuddle with someone we love? Yeah, I think so!

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What are YOU loving lately?! Have you ever tried a teatox? Thoughts on my YouTube channel? Eek, so much excitement over here!

My Dirty Little Fitness Secret: My Fitbit!

FTC Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Fitbit through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Fitbit, all opinions are my own.

Hi all! The holidays are coming up (and if you count Thanksgiving, which I do, then they are already in full swing!), and I have been getting a lot of questions and concerns from you fab peeps about how exactly to go about maintaining balance over the holidays.

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Let’s be real… Holiday balance can be hard. We dive into the fall fresh out of bikini season feeling on top of the world. Thanksgiving starts to approach, and we pump ourselves up by saying, “This year will be different, I feel so healthy and balanced! No turkey leg or buttery stuffing or big old chocolate pecan pie will change that THIS year,” and next thing we know… the entire chocolate pecan pie is in our stomachs and we are well on our way to 15 Christmas and New Years parties full of baked goods, alcohol and a whole lot of spiked eggnog.

So let’s let this be the year that we take control. No more, “Next year I’ll be better about it.” How about we let ourselves indulge on the yummy stuff this season without going overboard? It’s all about moderation. And one way to exercise moderation is to do just that… EXERCISE! Move our bods. We’re good at that… we were born for that!

And for those of us looking to up our antes when it comes to exercise this season, I want to let you in on one of my favorite dirty little fitness secrets… my obsession with my Fitbit Charge! Fitbit Charge is an awesome little wristwatch (and hawt to boot) that tracks steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes out of the day and sleep.

For someone (cough cough, myself) who is addicted to being aware of the details of my workouts, who can use some major help in the sleep department, and who definitely benefits from some extra motivation to take more steps in a day, this product is kind of like a dream come true.

And no, I’m not just writing about it because it was sent to me and because it seems like a logical fit on the bloggy. I’m writing about it because ever since I started using it I have really enjoyed it, and for people who are looking to stay strong with their own health and fitness goals (especially with the holidays rapidly approaching), I would highly recommend it.

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Also, here’s something you should know about me. I get freakishly competitive with myself. With a Fitbit you are able to set goals for how many steps you want to take in a day, how many calories you’d like to burn, pounds you’d like to lose, etc. You know my motto, and I am NOT into obsessing over calories or the number on the scale. But what I am very much into is leading the most active lifestyle possible, and having a kick in the pants to do just that is something we can all benefit from.

I went on a gorgeous hike in the Palisades last weekend with some of my girlfriends. I wore my Fitbit, and was immediately thrilled to have an excuse to surpass my goal of 10,000 steps per day. After about an hour and a half of uphill hiking, I glanced down at the Fitbit to see how many steps we had taken, SURE we had gone far past the goal, and… we were at 6,500. Chicka whhhaaa?

unnamedEven though I generally feel quite aware of my workout details, I was pretty shocked to see how many steps 10,000 really is. Then I started thinking (and frantically mentioning to my friends who I was hiking with), how do people take a healthy amount of steps in a day when they are leading their solitary, sedentary desk job lives?!?! Even I sit at a computer for the large majority of most days and I don’t even have a desk job.

That’s why it’s extra important to be aware of how active we are being – life gets away from us sometimes! We are all busy; we all have a lot going on. It’s so easy to accidentally sit tight all day, skip our evening workout in favor of a fun meal out with friends (or whatever you enjoy), and valet our cars instead of parking in the lots across the street and taking the extra steps.

In using the Fitbit so far I have noticed I have been extra inspired to take those extra steps. It feels so good to get that little buzz when you reach your daily goal, and even better when you surpass it! Of course moderation is to be used here, as with everything, because there WILL be days you are too busy to get in your workout or days where you need a relaxing break, but that’s where balance comes in. Work hard some days so you can relax other days. Don’t coast along in the middle… with anything you do! Not with exercise, not with work, not with relationships, not with your relationship with your SELF. Give it your all so that breaks feel like legitimate breaks.

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This holiday season I challenge you to join me to #findyourfit. And guess what that means? Find YOUR fit, your own beautiful, unique, individual, personalized version of it. Maybe you’re training for a marathon, or maybe you’re just looking to take an extra 2,000 steps a day (a short, brisk nighttime walk would give you that and more!)… find your version of fit.

For the next few months I will be posting about my experience using Fitbit Charge and hashtagging #findyourfit on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Some days I will be in a hole writing the book and the best I can do is a long after-dinner walk or a walk from my car into the grocery store… and that’s okay! Because other days I will allow myself to dedicate some time to the gym or the yoga studio or a hike, and I will sweat my booty off. And it will feel GOOD.

Who’s ready to #findyourfit?! I know I am! Let’s do this thing.

Tips for Staying Active As the Season Changes

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9 all opinions are my own.

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Yo! The seasons are a’ changin’ over here… and even though I am a California girl again, there is no denying that there are certain workouts that are just easier to do in the summer.

When it’s warm out, I like to swim, hike, bike, and go on super long nighttime walks with my friends and fam. When the winter starts to creep up on us… even us So Cal peeps are forced indoors a little more often. That’s why it’s been especially fun lately to try all different types of workouts. You know I am a yoga junkie, but I have also been having a blast with spin, treadmill conditioning, weights and Orange Theory (combo of sprints, weight training and conditioning while wearing a heart monitor).

However… I know we are all different, and not everyone enjoys the same things when it comes to exercise, food, relationships, life in general… you feel me. Because of that, today’s post is all about tips for staying active as the season changes, no matter what your preferences are!

Ready? Let’s go!

Tips for Staying Active as the Seasons Change

1. Stay Active to Feel Good, Not to “Look” Good

Keep in mind that while wintertime is for cozying up by the fire with hot chocolate and marshmallows and cuddles with our loved ones, it’s notttt an excuse to do that every night instead of getting to the gym or staying active. It’s something to look forward to after we get our workout on! Sure, Christmastime is a GREAT reason to be jolly and merry and eat cookies in our onesies, and I would even go so far as to say take the whole week off if you feel like it, but then get back on the grind. There is no worse feeling than January rolling around and feeling sluggish from excess food, alcohol and lack of workouts throughout the holidays. Stay on top of your workouts so you can FEEL good throughout the whole season!

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Hiking because it makes me feel great + because working out with friends is the way to go!

2. New Years Goals Are MUCH Easier to Achieve If We Get a Head Start

Let’s be real. Who here has ever had serious success with New Years goals? I get it, we are all super excited about them for the weeks leading into early January and maybe even into February if we are really on top of it, and then at a certain point our goals drop off and we save them for the following year. The most success I have ever had with New Years goals is making a LIFESTYLE change. And guess when I made that change? November. Come January, I was feeling incredible and nothing was going to get in my way or stop me. I was able to kick start my health and maintain the great way that I felt because it was more about maintaining than beginning. Start now so you can maintain feeling amazing into the New Year!

3. Find Exercises You Love So You Can Be Consistent With Them

No one is going to remain consistent with a workout they aren’t excited about. And there is no reason to feel bad about disliking a particular type of workout. I love yoga, but Pilates kind of bores me. I adore spinning and running and weights, but certain types of conditioning classes just kill me and I don’t enjoy them. Find what you love so you can stick with it… And yes, that requires trying new things! Get out of your comfort zone!

Yoga is a way of life, baby

Yoga is a way of life, baby

4. Make Yourself a Damn Good Playlist.

Good music makes every good workout even better. Just do it. What have I been loving lately? T Swift, Hozier, Eminem (ALWAYS) and a whole lot of country amazingness. Oh, and weirdly I have also been loving the Kinky Boots soundtrack (specifically, the song “Soul of a Man” — AMAZING.)

5. Remember That a Short Workout = Better than Nothing

The holidays are busy! We will all be juggling family, friends, shopping, get-togethers, cooking (or grocery shopping…!), tying last minute things up at work, etc. If we can spend 20 minutes of the day being active instead of sitting on our butts… you better believe that is better than nothing! A 20 minute treadmill run will get your heart pumping, and a 20 minute stretch sesh on the ground is incredibly good for our joints and our muscles.

Stretching it out before a run

Stretching it out before a run

How are you going to stay active this season?! If you ever feel at a loss, glance at this list and hopefully you will find a bit of inspiration. Sending you all a whole lot of love!