Name Your Favorite…

Hi loves! I want to start doing more of these “behind the scenes” survey question posts because I know that when I am reading someone else’s blog, I want to feel like I know them. If I like someone’s blog then above all I pretty much just wanna be friends with them (and I find what they have to say interesting)– and I consider all of you my friends, so in between writing about wellness, beauty, products I love, inspiration, etc. I want to share my SELF with you — and what better way to do that than answer a boatload of fun, non-worky questions?

No better way, if you ask me. ;)

So today I am playing the “Name Your Favorite…” game! And just for fun, I am going to tag a few of my favorite blogger babes & friends to do the same, if they want to, so we can see what their favorite things are too! I tag Annie from Blawnde, Lauryn from The Skinny Confidential, Kaitlynn from The Western Wild, Tara from The Whole Tara, Talia from Talia Furhman & Lottie from Running On Veggies. Name Your Favorite things, boo loves!

Oh, also, I want YOU guys to participate too (everyone reading) — in the comments, answer a few (or all, if you want) of these questions so I can get to know you too. And tell me where you are writing from! I like to have a visual of where all of you beautiful souls are.

Name Your Favorite ▶ ▷ ▸ ▹ ►

▵ Place: My favorite place to travel is the island of Maui in Hawaii. I grew up going there every summer, so even the smells bring me back to incredible memories of being a young & carefree ocean dweller and having the best, closest times with my family. Tropical places bring me so much peace, and the ocean calms my soul. My favorite local place is my yoga studio– it’s my go-to spot whenever I need to clear my head, get a good sweat or reconnect to a community of like-minded individuals. I love it.

▵ Person: Well, that’s a hard question to answer! I only surround myself with people I love, who inspire and support me and lift me up– so they all have their place. But the favorite person that comes to mind is my mom– we talk at least 15 times a day, and there isn’t a single thing that she doesn’t know about me. She is the yin to my yang (a.k.a the calm to my storm, haha) and she is one of the most patient, loving and FUN people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I strive to be like her every single day

mamacita2▵ Color: Lime green, 1000%.

▵ Food: Dark chocolate everything, green smoothies & lemony, garlicky kale salads. I could live off those three foods for all of time and be completely happy.

▵ Smell: Eucalyptus. I can’t get enough of it.

▵ Book: There are so many. I am a huge reader, but Defending Jacob is an amazing thriller that has always stuck with me. As far of memoirs, It Was Me All Along by the amazing Andie Mitchell is stellar, annndd lately I have been reading (slowly but surely) The Leader in You by Dale Carnegie. Thanks to Brandin for the recommendation. :)

▵ Movie: Remember The Titans will always be my fav, it gets me every time. And as far as newer movies — I adored Boyhood. I like alternative stuff… the more emo, the better.

▵ Music Artist: Eminem + Adam Levine will be tied in my book for life. I would marry either one in a heartbeat — just sayin. ;)

▵ Genre of music: Contrary to my two favorite artists, my fav genre would have to be chill, folky, alternative music. Anything that would be played in a yoga class that has great lyrics and a soft beat… I will probably become obsessed.

▵ Genre of literature: Autobiography/Memoir. I like to read about people’s lives. (Hence why I like to write about people’s lives, too!)

▵ Magazine: Vogue + Elle are always goodies, and of course I am partial to Yoga Digest…

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▵ Texture: Soft & silky. Like a kitty cat except I don’t love cats. Anything that’s not velvet! That ish makes me cringe.

▵ Time of day: Early morning when I have the whole day ahead of me, and sunset when dusk washes over the beach & makes the world perfectly beautiful and serene.

▵ Day of the week: I might be the only person in the world who loves Mondays. I love what I do, and hopping back into work in the beginning of the week gives me a jittery excitement feeling every time. And it’s the only day of the week when I know I have lots & lots of days left in the week to make plans / do collabs / write / create – and inevitably the time slips away from me every single week. ;)

▵ Blog: Clearly I have a lot. I have always been a huge Gal Meets Glam fan for beauty & blog inspo, as well as Chocolate Covered Katie for food & My Name is Yeh for aesthetic.

▵ Thing to do when bored: I am rarely bored because I like to stay super busy, but when I have free time I love reading blogs, reading books & binge watching Orange Is The New Black & (R.I.P) Breaking Bad. And I am that friend who will text you at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning and beg to go on a spontaneous morning hike or a beach walk.

▵ Celebrity: Sienna Miller is such an effortless beauty and amazing actress. Magic Johnson, as of Monday night when I got to meet him, is one of my favs because he is so humble, down to earth & hardworking. Also a huge Adam Levine, Aaron Paul & Eminem fan.

▵ Drink: Green tea with almond milk & stevia, Suja Lemon Love annndd vodka soda with lime when I go out!

▵ Precious stone: Opal & Turquoise. Opal because it’s my birth stone and it is known for its magical, luminescent quality that transfixes its onlookers. What a frickin’ cool trait. And Turquoise because it’s gorgeous, bright and my favorite gemstone to wear on rings, necklaces and bracelets.

▵ Animal: Monkeys (spirit animal), piglets and puppies. Put me in a room with all three of the above and I would be happier than life.

▵ Flower: Sunflowers! They signify happiness & sunshine to me and I love that. I am allergic to many, many types of flowers… so beware if you ever thought about getting me any for a special occasion. ;)

▵ Time in history: The Roaring 20′s! Ah, it seems like such an elegant and transformative period– I would want to be BFFs with Hemingway, Zelda & F. Scott Fitzgerald and their crew. I am such a literature geek but I would totally kill to go back and live in that time– for a while, at least. What would I do without blogging/the Internet?! Lol.

▵ Font: Courier New, Times New Roman… I like my fonts simple. Curly-Q and handwriting type of fonts annoy the shit out of me– no offense if you use them. They always look like they are trying too hard.

▵ TV show: Orange Is The New Black, Breaking Bad, House… those are some of the only three I’ve ever liked (read: been obsessed with), and I can get sucked into reality T.V. from time to time — you can’t be surprised, with my love of analyzing and getting to know people/characters!

▵ Play: The Glass Menagerie. Depressing but so well written and amazing. And Anne of Green Gables is my jam ever since our middle school rendition– we killed it. I will try to dig up some old photos for your viewing pleasure. ;)

▵ Fruit: Bananas + berries!

▵ Vegetable: Broccoli, kale, sweet potato, bok choy, cauliflower, brussels… I love so many.

▵ Store/shop: Wildfox Couture, The Fifth Label, Jen’s Pirate Booty, Lovers & Friends, MinkPink, rag & bone… TBV Apparel, duh. ;)

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▵ Article of clothing you own: I would have to go with my green & white pinstripe boxers & oversized Katy Perry concert shirt– sorry, but I sleep in them almost every night (and wash them often too, don’t worry). Nothing beats the comfiness of getting home after a long day and throwing those on with my Ugg slippers!

▵ Fashion/style: Bohemian chic all the way. The flowier, hippier, beachier the better. And I am a Lulu Lemon freak… Never not in workout clothes.

▵ Workout: Yoga, Orange Theory HIIT, running… I love it all. :)

▵ Quote: I am a quote junkie, but one of my very favs is: “Be who you were meant to be, and you will set the world on fire.” Also, simple but sweet & SO TRUE: “Fall in love with your life, every minute of it.” – Jack Kerouac

▵ Historical figure: Oscar Wilde + Anne Boleyn are pretty damn cool.

▵ Boy’s name: Ryder & Sawyer

▵ Girl’s name: Piper Jane! And Isabella + Olivia but those are my nieces names so I won’t be stealing those. ;)

▵ Ice cream flavor: Dairy-free mint chip!

▵ Season: Fall! It’s the beginning of all of the best holidays & the coziest, most gorgeous time of year.

▵ Month of the year: October, for the same reason. #LibraLove

▵ Memory: Mostly all of my memories from studying abroad in Italy & traveling Europe with my best friends. Specifically our Lake Como trip, Paris romps & London adventures.

▵ Dessert: Brownies, all the way.

▵ Language: Spanish, although it frustrates me because I used to be borderline fluent & have totally lost it. I need to study & re-learn! I always tell myself I’m going to!

▵ Thing to learn about: Other people’s lives, their passions, what drives them — especially people who are doing awesome things that they love… Like these killer friends of mine. Say hi to Annie & Brandin!

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▵ Thing about yourself: That I dream huge & never give up on the things I love, whether they be people, work-related things, goals, or anything else. Being connected to the people in my life is what’s most important to me at the end of the day, so I make sure to balance that with everything else so that they are my numero unos, always.

Whewww!! That was a doozy. Would love to hear what your favs are, or if there is anything on this list that particularly surprises or inspires you! 

Springtime Must Haves

Hello, helllooo! Today I’m comin’ at ya with a current list of TBB Must Haves! I suppose it’s kind of like a loving lately post except more like instead of just loving these things, they are actually musts in my life… Also, I am listening to Eminem right now while writing this (The Marshall Mathers LP2 to be exact) so I am typing psychotically fast — kinda fun, felt like telling you.

Ready? LET’S GO. (I’m also hyped up on coffee. Eminem + coffee + protein shake + post OTF workout a.k.a open the endorphin floodgates. Uh. Oh.)

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TBB Must Haves ▶ ▷ ▸ ▹ ►

▶ ▷ ▸ ▹ ► POPSUGAR Must Have Box: Because of my ongoing partnership with POPSUGAR, I have had the awesome opportunity to receive their “Must Have” box full of amazing goodies each month. It’s basically the best of fashion, beauty, home, fitness and food… in a box, delivered straight to your door. Each box features of $100 in full-sized premium products hand-selected by the super trendy & in-the-know POPSUGAR editors. Previous boxes have featured products from Neiman Marcus, Joie (MY LIFE), Missoni, Target, Tarte cosmetics, Rachel Zoe, and wayyy more. Check out the full site here to check out all past products. I would tell you what the products for next month will be, but it’s a surprise! Even I don’t know yet.Pre-Diffuser spillage! Eeeep.

Pre-Diffuser spillage! Eeeep.

What I can tell you is that some of my favs from March’s Must Have Box have been a mini wet brush (anyone with long hair… this will for real become your best friend post-shower, or basically anywhere/always), a super yummy smelling diffuser from The Archivist (granted, I accidentally spilled it all over my nightstand and it took the paint right off… my bad… to see scenes from that disaster, add me on Snapchat @jojoyounger), and some delicious “half pops” popcorn. Oh, and a really cool neon makeup case. Basically I’m obsessed with everything– and the fact that you’re getting a major deal on the newest, coolest products on the market from KILLER brands is basically unreal. I highly suggest hopping on it!! More info here. :) That wet brush though... Swoon-town.

That wet brush though… Swoon-town.

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▶ ▷ ▸ ▹ ► Striped T-Shirt Dress for Spring:

I am obsessed with my striped building blocks t-shirt dress from The Fifth Label. I had the best afternoon in Downtown L.A. checking out their showroom and getting my hands on some of their Spring looks! Lots of fun photos to come, but the running joke by the time I left was that I am clearly a stripe kind of gal. I love my stripes, especially when they are fun & fresh for the new season! My exact t-shirt dress is currently sold out, but I’ve put together a great list of similar styles from The Fifth (dresses, rompers, tops & shorts! Thank me later) AND similar styles from a few other brands. I love dressing this look up with a lil’ daytime heel (like these Steve Madden babes I’m wearing here) or throwing on sandles or booties for a day of errands and meetings!

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Your own personalized look book:

Your own personalized linkies:

Fifth Label Cutness | Striped Shorts | Calf Length Dress (fav) |

Striped Top | Nasty Gal Dress (50% off!!!) | Zappos Dress (More Nighttime)

▶ ▷ ▸ ▹ ► Spring-time COCKTAILS! I mean hellloooo, right? It’s Spring, and at least in L.A. that means lots of late night rooftop hangouts, get togethers with friends and (in my case at least) healthified cocktails. To help you get started, we are giving away 1 case of Suja Juice + 1 bottle of VEEV all-natural vodka (plus mason jars + bracelets!) to three lucky winners. All you have to do is subscribe to my YouTube channel, and comment on our Healthy Cocktail Video telling us why you’d like to win! Easy peasy!

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▶ ▷ ▸ ▹ ► Idols / Mentors: Okay, this isn’t necessarily a springtime must, because it’s an always must. But in case you are looking for some inspiration but have been putting it off for one reason or another (we all do), make it your goal this season to surround yourself with people who inspire you! Whether that be a friend, mentor, or going to speakers series / conferences / workshops / meetings with people who inspire you to be better and chase your dreams… do that! On Monday night I went to an incredible talk by Magic Johnson, a.k.a one of the most influential businessmen of our time (and obvi a Hall of Fame bballer). Moral of the story: you can’t leave a talk like that and not be inspired to chase your dreams and work extremely hard doing so. I want that for all of you oh so much!

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Thoughts on all of these Springtime Musts?! Are you going to check out the POPSUGAR Must Have Box? I kiiiinda sorta think/know you’ll love it. Also, who is your idol? Have you ever had a chance to meet them / one of your idols? xx 

Create + Cultivate LA Experience | More Inspired than Ever

Hi lovely ones! Yesterday I attended the Create + Cultivate conference in Los Angeles and I am feeling ULTRA inspired about blogging, YouTube, writing, creating and continuing to share my passions for all of the above + more across TBB channels with you!

Create + Cultivate gathers the next generation of curious creatives, entrepreneurs & business leaders to enlighten, entertain and inspire across multiple categories such as fashion, design and business. Many of the speakers & panelists were top bloggers, celebs & writers that I have admired for years, and a few others were my friends who are amazingly cool & inspiring enough to entertain a room full of curious creators who are killin’ it.

Also, while I was there I was freaking out because what a lot of the bloggers were saying on stage about their experiences are exactly what I find myself saying to my readers, friends and other growing bloggers all the time. Seeing such distinct similarities between my daily blogging lifestyle and those of Julia from Gal Meets Glam, Geri from Because I’m Addicted, Shea from Peace Love Shea, Devon from Devon Rachel and more was an outstanding and eye-opening feeling.

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Naturally, the decor was unbelievable (I mean, hello, a room full of bloggers & creative cultivators… what’s to be expected?), the Photo Booth was a BLAST (especially because it was hosted by my Be Social PR babes a.k.a my management company), the pop up shops were on point, the SUJA was a’flowin’ (I think I spent more time hanging out with Sam in the Suja booth than anywhere else!) and even the break time activities were pretty glam… I mean that literally, there was a glam squad onsite!

The only thing I could possibly complain about, and this is only because my sensitive tummy makes things a nightmare for me sometimes, is that I was running on zero food all day because I couldn’t eat any of the snacks or the lunch that was provided! (I just started on the FODMAP diet to try to cure my latest tummy probs.) But that’s my own fault for not bringing my own snacks or being more prepared… Whoopsie.

Here is a walkthrough of my day & some of my biggest takeaways from the experience:

A) The first person I saw when I was walking into the conference at the ripe hour of 8:30 a.m. was the beautiful Betsy Jones. She had been at my Orange Theory event the night before because of our mutual friend & yogi master Laura Conley, but we didn’t get the chance to meet. We both recognized each other on the street from the event the night before, and we couldn’t help but freak about how serendipitous the run-in was. She is a killer woman, and I am so glad we got to hang throughout the day yesterday! And of course we snapped this selfie to send to Laura!

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B) After checking in & exploring the cool digs, it was time for panel #1: Julia Engel, Geri Hirsch, Gabi Fresh & Vanessa Flaherty. I loved hearing them speak and talk about their inspirational stories from transforming blogging from a hobby into a business for these top bloggers. The best part of this experience was finally getting to meet Julia Engel from Gal Meets Glam, since we have chit chatted back and forth for a long time & I totally idolize her and all that she has grown her blog into!

IMG_1393C) After that we had a panel on the art of styling/branding, where we were introduced to the app “A Beautiful Mess,” where after much trial & error (lol Kaitlynn & Priscilla!) I came up with this “digital business card” which I used precisely zero times yesterday but perhaps I will start using it from time to time. ;) I got super into it and it reminded me that I need to get back to my crafty roots more often on the bloggy.

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D) After that panel discussion we had a lunch break whereeee unfortunately I wasn’t able to eat the food they had because of my tummy, but I did have a blast in the Photo Booth… You know I love a good photo booth!

photoboothcollageE) Next was small group mentoring where we got to pick two different mentors to sit down with and ask all of our burning questions! I met with the incredible Devon Rachel & Erin Weinger from Pretareporter. They were both super cool, down to earth, authentic and sweet. I loved their personalities and it was easy to see why they have both become so successful. I also loved hearing Erin’s story about how she came to start working at The Hollywood Reporter, especially since it included juicy tidbits about her shamelessly introducing herself to some of her journalism idols which eventually won her jobs at their companies. Yesss for being a persistent, confident go-getter! I am all about it.

F) In between every panel I bounced back over to the Suja booth because for 1, my love Sam was working the booth and I wanted to hang with her, and for 2, I desperately needed hydration and sustenance because I was starting to get dehydrated & hangry.

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G) The next panel was headed by YouTube sensations Mr. Kate, Chriselle Lim & more! Super interesting for me since I am working on growing my YouTube and am currently in love with anything and everything on-camera! They had some great tips. One of their tips was how Snapchat is the newest up & coming form of social media and connection. (On that note, add me on Snapchat!!! I’m @jojoyounger. I’ve been having a blast with it.) Also, I found out that the lovely girl behind Mr. Kate went to LMU just like me– smallll & amazing world!! I love love the connection.

H) Next were the absolutely sensational Julianne Hough, Whitney Port, The Fat Jewish & Shea Marie. I adore each & every one of these rockstars– both the IG stars and the actual stars! Hearing where they all came from & their thoughts on the art of Instagram was super cool. And The Fat Jewish had everyone rolling on the ground laughing.IMG_1429In fact… I also took a selfie with him post-show and sent a bunch of texts to my friends who love him. He was hysterical and most definitely unlike anyone else I’d ever met before. Don’t mind my green tongue… I told you that all I had to eat that day was Suja juice!

IMG_1445I) After that were Aimee Song & Alex Taylor of Who What Wear which was fun to watch because I know Alex personally and she inspires me to no end. And Aimee is an awesome, kickass, successful blogging businesswoman whom I also adore!

J) Anndddd there was more, but then I absolutely had to bounce because I was dying of starvation at this point and needed some major food in my life. Also, my awesome friend & graphic designer (she designed my TBB logo!) Jess Hannah spoke, but I was in a different track so I didn’t get to see her! However, just for fun & in honor of her massive accomplishment, I am sharing this hilarious old photo of us from our high school days. Clearly we thought we were ravers.

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My main takeaways from the day…

1. “BE AUTHENTIC!!!” -Everyone who spoke, especially the killer Julianne Hough + Devon Rachel who were both super passionate about authenticity. My JAM!

2. Don’t get ahead of yourself by taking on too many projects too early. Wait for the best things to come, and if you work hard then they will. -Julia Engel

3. Snapchat is going to be the next big thing. -Almost everyone who spoke, especially Geri Hirsch + Mr. Kate

4. “Having a real job, is like, so 90′s.” – The Fat Jewish. LOL I agree

5. Don’t ever respond to haters. Just delete & report abuse! -Whitney Port

6. It’s not ALL about video quality, sometimes a good “day in the life” vlog shot on your own computer is just as wonderful, interesting and endearing. – Chriselle Lim + Mr. Kate

7. I need to bring snacks with me everywhere I go… haha, but really.

8. I want to start speaking at more conferences/panels!

9. Being around like-minded individuals inspires me and makes me incredibly happy.

10. I love hanging with my blogger babes… Hi, Kaitlynn!

IMG_1370In conclusion– follow your dreams to create & cultivate. They WILL come true if you put in the time, effort, work, love, passion and energy.

Feeling more inspired than ever to kick ass with TBB + keep creating fresh, new, fun, aesthetically pleasing and well-written content for you all.

But really… Thank you for reading. Without you, there would be no bloggy!

Xox, TBB

 

Healthy Cocktail Recipe || Lemon Love Muddled Mint Vodka Soda

Happy Friday, my lovely dears! I hope everyone had rockin’ weeks and are ready to head into the weekend & work more.

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Totally kidding– you should all be relaxing the weekend away. I will be working, but it’s all fun work, so I am beyond good with it! Tonight I am hosting a Happy Hour at Orange Theory Fitness to celebrate the International Day of Happiness with some of my very favorite people.

We are going to work out, do a candlelight yoga sesh, have a happiness talk lead by my nutritionist love Kelly, have some fun TBV Apparel sales, drink some yummy healthy cocktails (think VEEV vodka + Bon Affair wine spritzers… With Suja, obviously) & be blast our faaav happiness music!

Tomorrow I am headed to an awesome Create + Cultivate summit for creatives, entrepreneurs & business leaders in the beauty, design, fashion and wellness space. I am beyond excited to learn & meet some of other incredible entrepreneurs behind the event who have inspired me for years!

Sunday I have a lot of catch up work to do since this week was so fun & interactive, and I will definitely also be making some time to relax and hang with my babes & BFFs. That’s what Sundays are for, right? Even for us uber busy psychos like myself.

But before I get ahead of myself, it’s still Friday, and I have a yummy healthy cocktail recipe for you to have fun with this weekend! Watch the video below for the super simple & yummy recipe!

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PLUS we are doing a giveaway! Watch the YouTube video, subscribe to the channel & comment telling us why you’d like to try this cocktail, and we will pick three winners to win a case of Suja Juice + VEEV Vodka, mason jars & bracelets!

I have big goals for my YouTube channel… I will share soon, but if you are extra interested shoot me an email and I will gush to you. :)))

As always, huge thanks to Enjet Media (a.k.a the dream team) for producing!

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What is everyone up to this weekend?! Are you into healthy cocktails or do you like a little sugar sugar in your drinks?

Want to Learn How to Zen Out?

Happpy Thursday, my babes!

You all know how much of a fitness lover I am, and I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with the fact that I am into zenning out as much as I possibly can. And because those are two of my favorite stress-reducers in the entire world, I have to share this product/app I discovered with you. Tinkephoto1

It’s called Tinke, and basically it rocks. It is backed by research on bio-sensing and it serves to put every individual in charge of his or her own wellbeing. That is something we ALL very much deserve, but don’t always entirely know how to do.

A.k.a: let me know if this sounds familiar… “I’m tired, and I kinda want a donut, and I know I should work out tonight, except I also really feel like I need to sleep, and maybe I should be eating grilled chicken and veggies for dinner and doing yoga instead of running and then getting to bed early?”

^ If your thought process on any given day sounds anything like that, then we are pretty similar. Sometimes I am ALL over the board when it comes to balancing my health, fitness and chill time. In fact, I basically never relax and now that I’ve finished writing the book that is something I am actively trying to work on. Meditating, yoga, making fun plans with friends and reading in bed are some of my favorite ways to chill and get away from work every now and then… but that doesn’t mean I do it often enough.

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When I started using this app I learned that my heart rate was pretty fast, and it advised me to take a little bit more time to relax and clear my head. In fact, it told me loud & clear to go to BED! LOL.

For those of us who have trouble slowing down, sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that a break needs to be taken. Orrrr for those of us who need a push to get to the gym, it will tell you that too based on your heart rate.

The way it works is that it’s a sensing device that pairs with a mobile app on both iOS and Android. It’s a cute portable little chip that you can bring with you and pop into your iPhone whenever you feel that you’d like a little extra info about how your health & zen are doing.

And if you’re wondering: “Jordan, what the heck do you mean when you say I can check how my zen is doing?” then let me explain…

Tinke has a Vita Index and a Zen Index. The Vita Index measures your fitness level by integrating data from your respiratory rate, heart rate and blood oxygen level. The Zen Index measures your relaxation level based on heart rate variability. All you need to do is hold down your thumb on the tracking device (a.k.a the “cute little portable chip” I spoke of earlier).

tinke.zen It was created by this super cool company from Singapore called Zensorium, and they are well respected in the tech space for innovative & easy-to-use products. And I am allll about anything that helps us manage or health & fitness routine with more ease.

Remember my loves: knowledge is power, especially when it comes to our own bodies. If you are just getting into eating well and tracking your health and fitness, this app will be super helpful in your journey. Alternately, if you’ve been on a healthy path for quite some time, this is still an awesome app to stay in the know about how your bod is doing.

If you have any questions, check out their website here.

If you try it, let me know what you think! I’m pretty excited about it. I think it’s awesome. And I feel very techie telling you about a new, up & coming product and app that I am pretty sure is going to revolutionize the way we take charge of our health and fitness!

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Interested in trying Tinke?! Is it not crazy that we can track our wellness through an APP these days? I think it’s pretty amazing.

Half Marathon Recap: The Personal & The Physical

Hi lovers! How are everyone’s weeks going? Mine has been nice and mellow over here in Sactown with the exception of that little 13.1 miler I ran on Sunday — along with at least 4,000 other Nor Cal rockstars decked out in green from head to toe and staying motivated by way of signs promising, “Beer is Only 4.1 miles away!”

First thoughts about the race: It. Was. Awesome.

Second thoughts about the race: I am so freaking sore.

Third thoughts: I have, have, haaave to train properly next time because if I can run the whole thing with very minimal training then my competitive little self could have a lot of fun with this.

Fourth thoughts: When’s the next one I can sign up for?!

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Yes, this is my third half marathon in a row that I didn’t train for (by definition that makes me certifiably insane by now, right?) and I was SURE that the third time would be a charm training-wise. I was on my A game in January, but February flew by in the blink of an eye while I finished up writing my memoir, and come March I shrugged off the training telling myself, “Ehhh, whatever distance training I do now won’t even matter!”

All I have to say is thank god for Orange Theory Fitness keeping me on my cardio game, because even though I didn’t train distances for this race, I was still running pretty much every day. At OTF we do crazy intense HIIT like sprinting on the tread at an incline and then hopping off to do weight training before even catching our breath, so I had been bumping my endurance wayyy up without me even realizing it.

And I have them to thank for the race being surprisingly easy for me to do without fully training. The last two times I ran a half marathon I ended up walking 3-4 miles throughout. My goal this time was to just run the entire time — I had no goal time or anything to prove. I knew I had it in me to just keep moving, so that’s what I set out to do.561998_605124606218457_2014172036_n

It’s been a rough year – for reasons I’ve written about on the blog and reasons that I haven’t. It’s also been an amazing year, between writing the book, releasing the app, growing the blog, launching the clothing line, moving back to LA, getting the chance to meet countless people who inspire me and more. But between all of that mayhem it has sometimes been hard to focus on myself… On what I needed in order to feel good about myself, my relationships, my body, my eating disorder recovery, my fitness, etc.

This half marathon meant a lot to me for those reasons and beyond. I am a very driven person. Some people would even say too driven — too headstrong about what I believe in, too unwilling to make certain changes, so very determined to stick to my willpower that sometimes I crack and it all comes undone. It’s the messy truth but it is the truth at least.

So of course I signed up for this half marathon and didn’t train. I was in over my head with work and life in general, and running 10 miles on my Sunday mornings never sounded like the best use of my time. Not because it wasn’t actually a good use of time — it would have been an amazing accomplishment had I done it, but rather because I was so caught up in making sure everything else in my life was moving and that I was on top of work and the people in my life. I had to whittle it down to those two things: work, people. People, work. The only two things that really seemed to matter in order to stay afloat.

And maybe that’s what I needed to do to keep my head above water, and I don’t regret doing it that way. But when March 15th rolled around and it was time to get out there and run that race with my three siblings, I had a few thoughts in my mind: A) I wish I had trained more, and B) I am finishing this thing while running the whole time if it’s the last thing I do. (You know I’m extreme like that.)

So I ran, and I had the support of my amazing family waiting for me at the finish line. My sisters Lisa and Melissa and my brother Christian all totally killed it, finishing in well under 2 hours and reaping the benefits of the hard work they put in to training. Knowing that they were there at the finish line made it much easier to keep my legs moving when I hit mile 11 and I thought my feet were going to fall off. And coming around that bend with the finish line in sight, high-fiving both of my parents with less than .01 mile to go and hearing them screaming my name, was the COOLEST feeling in the world.

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I knew, even if I didn’t put in the time to train, that where I was mentally throughout the race was so much stronger than I had ever been in the past. Other than the intense cardio work I put in at OTF and the short distance running I do because I enjoy it, finishing that race without walking was very mental.

I kept drawing inward and going back to the reasons I was running in the first place… Yes, because my family was doing it and doing it with them was super fun, but also because challenging myself and having goals to check off and look forward to keep me motivated in every aspect of my life. Those 13.1 miles were the goal, and I knew if I worked hard and ran through it then I would feel amazing afterward.

Annndddd I was right. I needed something like that, and now I am motivated and re-dedicated to training for REAL this time (I know no one believes me, but when I do it you’ll see!)

My legs are still sore as F and the mental concentration it took from miles 10 onward were insaaane, but I am so beyond proud of myself for doing it. I am sooo very proud of my siblings as well– I feel super lucky to have a family that values fitness and health and who are also SO good at something like running that doesn’t come as naturally to me.

Also, (and lastly I promise), I fell even more in love with my beautiful hometown of Sacramento. Running through the streets in the early morning light with so many people who love this town was truly remarkable, and I saw parts of the city I had never even seen before! I would describe where but I don’t exactly know because I felt a little turned around from mile 8 onward (lol).

SO, there is my very stream of consciousness recap of the half marathon– more personal than physical, but I guess that’s what you can usually expect from me.

Sending you all so, so much love. Happy Tuesday!

P.S. Happy St. Paddy’s Day! If you haven’t seen my St. Patrick’s Day inspired Green Dream Cashew Butter recipe with my BFF Sophie yet, check it out here and tell us your thoughts!

My Thoughts on the Healing Belle Controversy

Hi babes! I am home in Sacramento for the weekend (Nor Cal, what up!) and couldn’t be more cozy on my couch, cross-legged, flannel pajamas, sipping a smoothie, with my dad working on his adding machine nearby (yes, his adding machine…), & with NOTHING on my agenda today except to rest up for tomorrow’s half-marathon and maybe to go on a nice, long walk in my neighborhood. Oh, and I got the best night’s sleep of all time last night.

It is with a heavy heart that I address the topic of Healing Belle today. I don’t know any more than what has been written about in the news, but I feel obligated to write about it because not only have I publicly encouraged the support of Belle’s app, book and personal journey… but I have turned many friends/readers onto her story and brand, and I know that there is a lot of confusion out there right now.

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If you are unfamiliar with Belle’s story, let me hit you with a little background info: Belle Gibson is an uber-popular Australian health blogger who rose to major success via her best-selling app, The Whole Pantry, and a book by the same name published by Penguin. Belle garnered a massive social media following by telling her heartfelt story of being a young brain cancer survivor who healed herself through a plant-based diet. She encouraged a treatment-free healing program and wrote about it extensively on her social media & in her book.

I had the opportunity to meet Belle personally in New York nearly a year ago, and we became extremely fast friends. Actually, more than fast friends– we connected on a level of practically soul sister-ness that would be hard for me to capture in words. At our first dinner together, we laughed, cried, talked late into the night and literally held hands across the table while I confessed to her that I was transitioning away from veganism and was terrified what that would mean for my brand. Belle listened, offered a shoulder to cry on and gave me cut throat business advice that I still think about daily. She told me in a pragmatic and loving way, all at once, that I needed to change my blog/business name and I needed to do it stat.

Then she came to an event I was hosting two nights later, which was the first place that I publicly announced my transition from veganism. She stood in the back of the room, quietly, soaking in the night and offering her support. My friends and others in the wellness industry were beyond eager to meet her that night, as she was a huge inspiration to all of us — a celebrity in the wellness world and a physical embodiment of strength and success in the face of great adversity. She socialized, took pictures, hung out and slipped out of the room when the night was over.

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We kept in touch here & there after that night, but with her being in Australia, battling cancer, working on book #2, raising her 3-year-old son, running one of the most successful iPhone/Android apps on the market, getting recognized internationally for her business success & being a notoriously “not good at texting people back” kind of person, I was not offended at all when our communication dwindled out.

When I found out that her cancer had returned with a vengeance (after a very public Instagram photo she posted saying that it had spread throughout her whole body), I cried for a solid afternoon. I couldn’t believe someone so young, so capable and so kind-hearted could possibly have to suffer so much. I reached out to Belle to offer my support & love many a time with no response, even offering to come to Australia and help with anything she needed.

I never heard back, and I wasn’t shocked. I figured she was receiving more support than she could even acknowledge, and I went on with my life in NYC and then in LA. Now, in the wake of strong allegations that she never had cancer, did not donate a single cent of her supposed non-profit app & book to charity, and has even lied about her age/name, I feel shocked, betrayed and wary to believe it all… but I know the allegations had to have stemmed from somewhere.

If the allegations are true, then I was manipulated, along with many, many other people out there, into believing her words as truth. I cried with her and held her hands while we talked about her fears of her cancer returning and all the friends she had lost to the disease. I am an optimist, so I would like to believe that there is at least partial truth to everything we discussed, but now I am not so sure.

Belle had told me that she donated 100% of the money from The Whole Pantry App & The Whole Pantry book to different charities – both cancer foundations & a foundation that supports angel babies, which Belle has also publicly talked about. There is no record of her donating any money anywhere to any charities. And while Belle says that she is 26, records indicate that she was born in 1991– making her a year younger than myself. (I don’t care how old you are, Belle! But what the heck?)

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Looking back, maybe a bit of it makes sense. I haven’t heard from Belle in almost 9 months. I do strongly believe that when people are not being authentic to others and/or to themselves, they pull back from people who care about them and give them nothing but positivity.

I don’t want to say that I believe that everything Belle has said is a lie. I am wary, because even her publishing company & Apple have both said that they did not do background checks (and Apple just took her app off of Apple Watch) and Belle has now made her Instagram private & deleted all health-related posts… but I would never fully believe the media and the claims without hearing her side of the story.

Regardless, I do think The Whole Pantry has helped people live healthier, happier lives, and I don’t think that her hard work to grow that empire should be forgotten.

The reason I AM writing about it is because the issue of authenticity is huge to me. If people who were suffering from cancer chose holistic treatment versus Western medicine because of Belle’s story, then I am horrified if it was all a lie. Just like I am horrified when people lie about being vegan when they’re not, and how people on the Internet can claim to be ANYONE, anywhere, anyhow (Catfish, anyone??!).

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We as bloggers/Internet personalities have the responsibility of being as authentic as humanly possible. We are responsible for bringing truth, accuracy, genuineness and a sense of humanness and reality to a sometimes very untrustworthy Internet world.

I hope, if the allegations are true, that Belle will release a statement explaining herself, her thought process and her entire truth. I hope she knows that that could be a book in itself, and that her hundreds of thousands of followers and former supporters would appreciate every ounce of it.

Also, as someone who has been publicly bashed for my authenticity & honesty about my eating disorder/lifestyle change, I feel strongly about advocating for honesty. At the end of the day being HONEST and true to yourself is worth everything in the world. Plus, I have gotten a lot of hatred for being “media hungry” because of my authenticity… and seeing Belle get bashed for being “media hungry” for supposed inauthenticity is a very interesting catch-22.

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I will be curious to see how it unfolds, but in the mean time do me a favor & remain your authentic, true, beautiful selves. The world needs more of that. Am I right?!

P.S. I will update you if the information available changes or expands, but I had to get my thoughts out there. In the meantime… this article via Yahoo & this article via Elle are very interesting.

Healthy St. Patricks Day Recipe | Green Dream Cashew Butter

( Scroll down if you’re only here for the recipe & video — that’s totally fine, too! )

Hello, hello my beautiful loves! I can’t tell you how good it feels to sit down & write a post this morning. It is now Thursday morning annddd I haven’t even been on my computer since Monday! For someone who normally spends a heck of a lot of time on the computer writing, emailing, social media-ing and editing writing/photos… that is one long ass time.

BUT the computer break hasn’t been for nothin’ — I have been doing some super fun stuff around here! On Tuesday morning I was on Larry King Now where I sat on a panel on orthorexia with two esteemed doctors & Larry himself. When I say that Larry is a MASTER at what he does… that is a huge, huge understatement. He has been in this business for well over 60 years (he’s 81!) and his familiarity with being on camera, reading the teleprompter, intrinsically knowing what questions to ask and how to engage his guests BLEW. MY. MIND. As an aspiring TV host of some sort, he seriously is a new idol of mine.

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So that was freaking awesome & I will put the link to the show up the moment I have it! It will air in a couple of weeks.

Yesterday was extremely fun as well. I spent the day filming YouTube videos with BeGlammed – an on-demand beauty service where you can request hairstylists and makeup artists through an app on your iPhone! I adore working with the BeGlammed gals, and I even have a go-to makeup artist named Brittany who is also a Sactown girl in LA like me. We had a blast filming & can’t wait to share the beauty tutorials on our YouTube channels! And I spent the NIGHT having dinner with my BFFs and capturing it for the book.

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I also still need to write & tell you all about my amazing experience at The Natural Products EXPO WEST a.k.a my version of Disneyland a.k.a Coachella Weekend Zero (right Brandin & Hayden?)

But first… What you’re here for:

Cashew Butter Green Dream Magic.

Also known as the most delicious, decadent, vanilla, CAKE-FLAVORED dreamy green superfood nut butter.

I’m serious about this. (If you want to skip right to the video, you officially have my permission to do so HERE.)

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Sophie & I wanted to bring you guys something extra delicious & healthy for St. Paddy’s Day, since we know the holiday itself can be a bit of a beer & fried food fest. This is something yummy AND nutrient dense you can bring to a St. Paddy’s party, to work so you don’t get pinched, or to feed your kiddo’s while celebrating.

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Also, filming this video with Sophie made me think of two things:

A) I want to film all videos with Sophie because I think we make a power team and she brings out the best in me and our love shines through on camera. And it’s fun to watch two people at once I think!

B) Filming makes me extremely happy & I want to do it as much as possible.

C) Making magic with your best friends can’t exactly be topped by ANYTHING.

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^ See how much fun we were having?!?!?! Or at least me… LOL.

And without further ado, HERE is the video:

+ we are doing a fun GREEN DREAM super food powder giveaway for those who subscribe to the channel & comment telling us why they like the video!

Also, use the discount code “GreenHoliday” for 10% off Green Dream this weekend.

Last but not least, the recipe written out since I know that’s easier sometimes:

2 cups soaked cashews (soak for 1+ hour)

2 big pinches coconut flakes

1 heaped tablespoon coconut oil

2 tablespoons honey

few pinches Himalayan sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

BLEND & enjoy!

Happy St. Paddy’s Day my lova loves!! What’s everyone doing this weekend? I am running a Shamrock’n Half Marathon! Eeek!

 

Nutty Banana Split Smoothie

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

Hi loves! I had a huuuugely fun & jam-packed weekend doing things like: romping around Expo West, zenning out at a Lululemon “Disconnect to Reconnect” retreat, getting my sweat on at a fitness video shoot for my pal & trainer TMac Fitness, AND trying yummy recipes like this one that I’m sharing with you today…!

I’ve recently been made aware of some of the grossness that can occur in our bodies when we have too much soy. Of course, everything in moderation is fine, but if you’re a vegan or veggie-lovin’ individual (like I was for many years), then a little dash of soy milk here and some tofu there, next thing you know you have kind of kicked up your estrogen like woah.

My lovely friend and beWELL health coach Kelly Leveque taught me that soy affects our thyroid and is linked to hypothyroid disease and chronic fatique. Yikes!

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And we all know I don’t do dairy very often because of my sensitive tummy.

A great alternative to cow’s milk and soy milk? Cashewmilk! And, in my opinion, it actually tastes a whole lot better too… My fav brand at the moment is Silk Cashewmilk, which is super duper awesome because Silk is easy to find at your local Whole Foods or another healthy grocery store (actually, I also found it at Ralphs! Who knew?!).

I have always been an almond milk junkie, but it’s been fun trying something new. Another cool thing about Silk Cashewmilk is that it’s creamier than skim milk with 1/3 the calories! (Only 25 per serving. Chicka whaaaat? Can I guzzle this stuff straight from the bottle?) It is non-GMO (Max, are you proud?), free of saturated fat and cholesterol. It also contains no dairy, soy, lactose, gluten, casein, egg or MSG. And no artificial flavors! cashewmilk2

Does it sound like I just rattled off a laundry list of info at you? That’s because I am super passionate about this health business, and you should be too! These are our bodies after all, and I think the biggest mistake we make with our health is simply not being aware of some of the dangers of what we put into our body.

So when we do find a delicious product that’s totally yummy and healthy and natural and deserving of being enjoyed in abundance… then you’d better believe that that it should become a staple in our diets!

Also, to address the question I get asked quite often: “But Jordan, you’re all about balance! You tell us to eat whatever our heart desires and then you tell us to avoid this or that because it’s not good for us. What the heck?” cashewmilk3

That’s the key, my friends. Balance! I’m all about enjoying foods that we desire and especially when that means listening to our bodies, but having the knowledge to make those choices is where the power really exists. If you know what’s in that brownie you crave, maybe you’ll opt for a healthier alternative and it will still satisfy that sweet tooth. Or maybe you’ll go for the brownie (nothing wrong with that!!!), but you’ll have the knowledge behind it to know how it affects your blood sugar, etc. and will maybe make a healthier dinner choice because of it. :)

Now…. Silk Cashewmilk! What can you do with this amazingness? You can put it on your granola or cereal in the a.m., you can drink it straight, mix it with protein powder, bake with it, or make a smoothie with it!

You know what my first choice would be – I am the smoothie queen after all! (And by queen I just mean that I am ridic obsessed!)

You are going to die over this Nutty Banana Split Smoothie. It’s silky and smooth from the cashews and banana, and sweet and creamy from the coconut butter and hint of chocolate.

And if you’re anything like me and you love having that extra crunchy crunch in your life, stir in some additional cashews and cacao nibs and/or chocolate chips at the end to enjoy that true nutty texture of a real banana split!

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Nutty Banana Split Smoothie

Ingredients:
1 cup Silk Cashew milk

1 overripe banana

1 tablespoon coconut butter

1 scoop chocolate protein powder and/or cacao powder

Optional: 1-2 tablespoon cacao nibs or chocolate chips, 1 small handful cashews (for that extra crunch!)

Method:

Blend all ingredients and enjoy!

Boom! Silky, creamy, delish. Thank me later. :)

Silk Original Cashewmilk: 60 cal/serv; skim dairy milk: 80 cal/serv. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27. Data consistent with typical skim dairy milk.

Have you tried Silk Cashewmilk?! What’s your favorite type of nut milk? Into trying something new?

Q&A with Vani Hari of ‘The Food Babe’!

Hi darlings! I had the awesome opportunity to sit down with total rockstar Vani Hari of The Food Babe to chat with her allll about her killer new best-selling book, The Food Babe Way!  (BTW- how perfect is her blog name? Anyone who eats healthy food to fuel their bodies in the best way is a Food BABE.)

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I am a HUGE fan of Vani’s message & what she is doing to combat the mainstream media’s idea of “healthy.” Similarly to me, Vani has received a maaaajor backlash from the food industry to bringing the truth to light about processed foods, hidden toxins, GMOs, yuck-o additives and more.

It’s the sad truth that learning about health in a realistic way is still shocking to many people, so Vani’s investigations haven’t always received the most positive feedback.

I am doing this post today to A) show her & you all that I 100% support going out there into the world and fighting for what you believe in, regardless of the critics, B) because I support her research and am so grateful for her findings, C) I want you all to be as healthy and happy as you can be (without nasty foods that deceive you into thinking they’re “healthy”!!!!) and D) because I love, love sharing books with you all that I truly adore reading. Reading rocks.

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So, without further ado, The Food Babe is taking the stand!

Q&A with The Food Babe herself:

Q: How did you get interested in healthy, organic food to begin with?! I love a good origin story. :)

I began my food journey, like most people, by following the standard American diet. As a successful management consultant, I was either in the office eating whatever take-out was available, or I was on the road eating every meal out. Although this lifestyle allowed me to fit in with my peers and work crazy hours, it also took a huge toll on my body and I became very ill. Over the holiday season over ten years ago, I found myself in a hospital bed. I was sick, overweight, and I was ready to change! I made a personal promise that from that point on that I was going to make health my number one priority. And then when I started eating organically something dramatic happened. All the issues I had as a child—asthma, eczema, allergies went away. I was on six – eight different prescription drugs depending on the season and I’m on zero today. My weight normalized, and I actually lost another 5 pounds (on top of the other 30+ pounds I gained!) I began to have more energy than I had when I was years younger! The way you treat yourself, the way you treat your body, what you put in it, can make a HUGE life changing difference.

Q: Awesome. Now that we know where you came from, tell us a little bit about getting started with your book. What a massive project – where did you begin?

When I started to investigate the food industry and find out exactly what was in the food I was eating, I was shocked. I realized there was a lot of information out there about the food industry no one knew, including me until I found out. I have made it my life’s mission to tell people the truth about what’s in their food and how it could affect their health. In my book, The Food Babe Way, I get to give people the most critical information and roadmap on how to live in this over-processed food world. There’s a way to survive and look good without always having to be on a diet. The Food Babe Way contains the 21 essential habits that I taught myself to take control of my health. This book is for anyone who is tired of the food industry hijacking their taste buds and wants to take matters in their own hands and become their own food investigator, nutritionist and food activist. We have the power to change our health faster than anyone else and I wrote this book to show people how to do just that.

Q: I LOVE that your book gives 21 essential habits to help us take control of our health and our lives. Do you have a VERY favorite habit or takeaway that you think everyone should incorporate into their lives?

Changing where you shop for groceries is huge. More natural grocery stores are popping up that don’t have any Coca-Cola or Doritos on their shelves, while offering more organic produce and products instead. Seek out those types of grocery stores, especially those that have banned certain ingredients such as Whole Foods Market, Sprouts and Earth Fare. Ever since I began to shop exclusively at stores where I could find organic and additive-free foods, I realized how much it could affect my temptation for other foods filled with additives.

Q: I also love that you provide us with a great list of top 15 ingredients that we should avoid in order to be healthy– will you share a couple of those here (a few that you find most important!) so my readers can get an idea?

Preservatives – Some common examples are sodium phosphate, nitrates, BHA, BHT and TBHQ. These additives are potentially cancer causing and/or endocrine disruptors. Preservatives are commonly found in cereals, crackers, snack foods, cakes. Try choosing fresh foods that do not have a long shelf life or organic brands that do not use preservatives.

MSG & hidden MSG additives – Used as a flavor enhancer, MSG is one of the most fattening ingredients that can also cause adverse reactions in some people including skin rashes, itching, hives, nausea, vomiting, migraine headaches, asthma, heart irregularities, depression and even seizures. Hidden forms of it can be listed as yeast extract, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed protein, natural flavor or textured protein. It is commonly found in restaurant foods, chips, dips, frozen dinners, salad dressings and soups. This additives makes you eat more than you should – which is why the food industry likes to use it so much!

Artificial Sweeteners – These may do more harm than good, they may slow down your metabolism and “train” you to crave sweets. Also, the presence of artificial sweeteners in a product doesn’t automatically mean high-calorie sweeteners aren’t present, too. Some food manufacturers use both. Look for aspartame, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, erythritol, acesulfame potassium, and acesulfame K on the label. You can also find them under brand names “Nutrasweet,” “Sweet N’ Low,” “Equal” and “Splenda.” They can be found in sodas, candy, yogurt, desserts and many other processed foods. Try and find foods that are sweetened with natural sweeteners like fruit, honey, maple syrup, 100% pure stevia or coconut palm sugar and eat these foods in moderation.

Artificial Trans Fats – These are found in partially hydrogenated oils, an ingredient that the FDA is currently considering to ban. Trans fats can raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol, and are a leading cause of heart disease. They can be found in many shelf stable food items like crackers, cookies, bakery items, doughs, pies and snack foods. Try and choose foods that do not have partially hydrogenated oil listed on the label and that use healthy oils instead like olive oil and coconut oil.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) – These crops are manufactured in laboratories — injected with new DNA, viruses, herbicides, insecticides and/or other chemicals — to be resistant to synthetic chemicals and are completely different than hybridizing techniques allowed by nature. The most common GMO ingredients are soy, corn, canola, zucchini, squash, and sugar beets. Most GMOs are found in processed foods. Buy certified organic foods or those that are certified by the Non-GMO project to avoid them. A list of known GMO ingredients, including their derivatives, is available on my website.

Q: I know you’ve faced a lot of adversity in the media (you know I feel you on that, gf) for taking a stand in what you believe in. What’s your top tip for dealing with critics?

Food is an emotional topic and it can be polarizing. People don’t always want to hear that the food they have been eating contains a controversial ingredient or possibly been damaging their health and this can lead to resistance. Many critics that speak out frequently against my ideas are ones that either support the chemical companies and food companies or are critical of natural therapies in general. There’s a distinct difference between who I am – a consumer activist, and what they are – chemical activists. It is my job to tell the truth and I leave it up to the consumer to choose how they react and what they do with that information. I’m intensely passionate and won’t stop until everybody has access to safe and affordable food and knows exactly what is in their food. This is a movement about transparency in the food system. Everyone deserves to know exactly what they are eating and my job will not be done until we all have this information.

Q: Fav part about writing your book?

It was impossible to put everything I have discovered about our food system in one book and discovering that was one of my favorite parts of writing The Food Babe Way. I worked very carefully to choose what I felt was the most urgent and important topics to share. On a personal level, writing this book has taught me a great lesson in taking care of myself no matter how large the project at hand. There were times where I let the stress of deadlines start to impact my habits, but thankfully the message I was writing helped me get back on track. I loved the practice in putting my health first.

Q: Will there be a Part II in the future?!

I will be coming out with a cookbook in the future. As for now I am still focusing on spreading the messages and life changing habits I’ve written about in The Food Babe Way. I know that this book has the ability to change the way the world eats. This is truly the book the food industry doesn’t want you to read.

Q: Fav healthy indulgence?

I love golden berries and am eating them like crazy these days. Golden berries taste just like sour patch kids, but instead are really good for you! They are high in protein and vitamin A. Also, I have to admit, I’m a sucker for donuts, I am currently trying to per-fect additive free ones in my kitchen at home.

Q:  If you could have dinner with anyone in the world…!

My mother-in-law Diane. She passed away from ovarian cancer 5 years ago and I would give anything to have another meal with her.

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Q: Anything you’d like to add?

One of my most maddening discoveries was when I found out that several American food companies are using harmful additives that are not used — and in some cases banned — in other countries. When companies formulate products all over the world, and if they are required to take out certain chemicals in other countries, I think that they have an ethical obligation to do that for all of their products. That’s why I recently started a petition asking Kellogg’s and General Mills to remove the preservative BHT from their cereals, like they already have in Europe. The Environmental Working Group includes BHT on its “Dirty Dozen” list of food additives to avoid (out of about 10,000 ingredients known to be in food). The petition has received over 48,000 signatures so far, and Kellogg’s and General Mills both told the media that they have plans to remove BHT. However, they won’t give us a date or a timeline for its removal. I’m asking everyone to sign the petition here, and call up these companies (details here) to ask them to tell us when BHT will be removed. This is the fastest way to enact changes in the food industry, and it’s working.

Vani Hari is a revolutionary food activist, creator of FoodBabe.com and author of the #1 best selling book The Food Babe Way. In her work, Hari has influenced how food giants like Kraft, Subway, Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, and Starbucks create their products, steering them towards more healthful policies. Vani teaches people how to make the right purchasing decisions at the grocery store, how to live an organic lifestyle, and how to travel healthfully around the world. The success in her writing and investigative work can be seen in the way food companies react to her uncanny ability to find and expose the truth. She lives in North Carolina and travels around the world to speak about health and food awareness. She is currently planning her next campaign.