A Few Things I’ve Learned from Being a Blogger

Hi babes! Today I’m bringing you into the wild little world that is my head when it comes to what I do for a living. Sometimes when I tell people that I’m a health & lifestyle blogger, their immediate reaction is, “…Huh?”

Then I go on to explain that I basically write in an online diary for a living, and what I usually focus on is health, living a balanced lifestyle, fitness, yoga, organic food & pretty much any/all details from my life, musings and travels. I understand that my response can be a little, uh, vague… And that it takes a solid five-minute explanation at least before people even begin to say, “Ohhh, NOW I get it.”

That’s the funny thing about being a lifestyle blogger. I’m not solely a food blogger where I can just say that I make recipes, photograph them and post about them for a living (although that is how my blog began, funny enough), and I’m not a fashion blogger which is another type of blogging people seem to be a little more readily understanding and aware of.

Plus, I get to make fun videos & be my totally dorky self while I'm at it.

Plus, I get to make fun videos & be my totally dorky self while I’m at it.

I am a medley! My day to day is really, reaaalllly different from one to the next, and while some days I am so busy I can’t not work from dawn until the wee hours of the night… Some days I basically get to chill, work out, hang out with cool people and call it a day. If my job is only just beginning to make sense to me, how can I really explain it to other people and expect them to understand it?

Well, today I’m going to try to give you a little lowdown about some things that I’ve learned from living #thebloglife that will hopefully give you some more insight into this wonderful lil’ part of the Internet that I inhabit — along with hundreds & hundreds & hundreds of other killer bloggers.

What I’ve Learned from Living the Blog Life…

1. Just because I don’t have a traditional 9-5 doesn’t mean that my schedule is a free-for-all. One of the biggest misunderstandings about blogging is that we are flooded with free time and once our blog post is written for the day we can pretty much do whatever we please. All too often I am met with a, “Yeah right,” kind of response when I tell someone that I’m not available to meet for lunch or a workout class during the workday because I’m working. “Ugh, you work for yourself, what are you talking about?” is the typical misconception. In fact, I learned this the hard way! I used to pack my schedule with lunch dates and mid afternoon yoga classes, only to feel constantly behind and kind of stuck in my head when I was doing these other things. Now I’ve learned to treat my schedule the way I would as if I were working for someone else– working during the day is the priority. Unless I wanna be up all night and/or stressed to pieces, the workday is for working.

2. If I don’t hustle & stay on top of things, nothing will get done. And when I say “nothing,” that’s exactly what I mean… Nothing. There is no one else to pick up the slack when I get off track. Yes, I have help with TBV Apparel, securing blog partnerships, scheduling, staying on top of my book deadlines, photography, etc., BUT if I am not doing the work that needs to be done before any of my TBB Team can step in and help — then there is nothing to help with. When I am on vacation & I haven’t written any blog posts prior to leaving, no blog posts will go up. When I am sick and not in the mood to work on the book or develop a new recipe for it, it simply will not happen until I get it together and get the work done. If I don’t reach out to brands or brainstorm brands that I want to work with, then the $$ does not come in. Running a successful blog means always being on your toes, staying up on the latest brands, reaching out to brands, KNOWING what brands are a seamless fit with your blog, going to events, keeping your team close & on top of it, staying passionate and creative, etc. There isn’t a whole lot of downtime. ;)

3. Inevitably, I end up surrounding myself with like-minded people who also blog. This isn’t always a given, but it’s crazy to think about how many of my close friends I have met through the blogging world. The people I generally spend a lot of time with during the weekdays (and weekends!) end up being other bloggers, and even the ones I have yet to meet in person feel like friends from afar. A couple of my very closest friends (TaraSophie & Lisa to name a few) I’ve met through the health blogosphere, and not only do I talk to them every day but we have a deep & lasting bond because of all of the work life experiences & passions that we share. Also, having a successful blog means lots and lots of fun collaborations, and if you aren’t surrounding yourself with other great bloggers to collab with, then that doesn’t happen! (Or it doesn’t happen organically, at least — I would much rather collaborate with friends than strangers!)

Two of my bloggin' besties -- Tara of TheWholeTara & Lisa of MindBodySwag

Two of my bloggin’ besties — Tara of TheWholeTara & Lisa of MindBodySwag

4. There CAN be such a thing as sharing “TOO much.” Alas, I never thought I’d say this, but it’s true. I share just about anything & everything that crosses my mind on the blog — all big life experiences, the bad & the good — but at times that has backfired on me. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to be an open book about my transition from veganism, but because I shared SO MANY personal details about my life before/during/after, people who did not support my decision dug up exact wording and phrases that I had used months/years prior about my stance on veganism when I was vegan. Also, there have been times that people who I am close to have found out about very key things in my life (my eating disorder, my book deal, some TV appearances…) via the blog and they have been hurt because of it. I have had to learn that some things I have to be careful about sharing, especially if I haven’t told friends/family beforehand.

5. When you make your life public, there will be criticism. This one I have definitely learned. I have heard everything in the book from being a fat cow to being anorexic to being a hypocrite who deserves to die (seriously?!?) to being someone who has no knowledge about nutrition or healthy living (funny). I have learned to roll with the punches & be okay with it, because I understand that it’s been my choice to put my life out there– for better or for worse. I will take the awesome support & the extreme fun-ness that comes from it any day and ignore the haters!

6. I get to do lots of cool things that sometimes kind of blow my mind. Sometimes it seriously shocks me that I get to be one of the first to try a new restaurant/hotel/clothing item/fitness class and that I frequently get the chance to meet (and oftentimes even interview) people that I have admired for years. I get to go to cool events and try awesome products all the time (my apartment is actually FLOODED with food/cosmetic products — my friends enjoy this very much). The perks continue to keep my on my toes and make all of the challenges VERY worth it– plus, I have always liked being “in the know,” and when you blog you have no choice but to stay on top of everything!

Sophie & I with the owner of Drenched Fitness co-owner/Flexline creator, Brian Kennington at the Women's Health Drenched event last week!

Sophie & I with the owner of Drenched Fitness co-owner/Flexline creator, Brian Kennington at the Women’s Health Drenched event last week!

7. There isn’t one area I can put all of my focus on — it’s a brand! I used to struggle between knowing which PART of my brand was the “most important” part. Is it the blog, the book, the app, the clothing line, the YouTube channel, the events, the health coaching, the travel?! What do I need to focus on in order to make this a lasting career?! And as time has gone on, I’ve come to learn… It’s the brand in itself. Being true to the brand and making sure it always represents my truth & my mission (balance, above all else) is my #1 job. If sometimes that means working for 28 hours straight, so be it. If sometimes that means taking a week off to be the best daughter/friend/aunt/sister I can be, then so be it. I roll with the tide… The way I’ve always worked best!

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 2.37.59 PM

Last weekend’s YouTube filming with my Enjet Media crew

8. At the end of the day, I feel pretty damn fulfilled. I get to do what I love, and combine a LOT of things I love, on a daily basis. If that’s not fulfilling I don’t know what is.

Thoughts on blogging as a lifestyle? Have full-time bloggers schedules ever confused you? To my other bloggy peeps, what do you think about all this– do you agree?! 

My All-Natural Beauty Routine

Wellll, what do ya know? I finally did the all-natural beauty routine video that I have been talking about doing for ages upon ages!

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 2.10.13 PM

Top: Vince || Leggings: Zella || Lipstick: Cate McNabb ‘Vamp’ || Kiss Wall Art || Champagne: Bon Affair

One of the number one questions I get asked via the bloggy is my stance on makeup. Do I use all-natural, paraben-free, cruelty-free, easy on the skin makeup? If so… HOW do I find the right shades that still come in beautiful hues & are long lasting? Also– do I even WEAR makeup, you ask, (?!?) since in most photos it appears that I don’t.

If you know me, you know that I don’t wear a whole lot of makeup in my everyday life. I go all out for TV appearances, photo shoots and extra special events, but on the daily the most makeup I will possibly wear is a bit of natural foundation, some lipstick/lipgloss and MAAAYBBBEE some mascara. And I say maybe because mascara gets freakishly stuck on my lashes and ends up under my eyes more often than not. (Which is why the right all-natural makeup remover is so important to me– my favorite of which is featured in the video!)

The main takeaway here is… B A L A N C E ! I love to get dolled up on special occasions & I definitely have my brands that I stick to. In the video I mention my favorite lip wear, foundation, mascara (that smells like BLACK TEA! Yummm), makeup remover, deodorant (the best ever. You will fall in love) & sunscreen.

Without further ado, here we are. And if you haven’t yet subscribed to my YouTube channel, I would be eternally grateful if you hit the little ‘Subscribe’ button under the banner on the homepage. I have lots & lots of fun videos to come– including a super personal “Mess Up Your Life” video that we filmed on the beach this weekend.

Video is produced by Enjet Media, a.k.a some of my absolute favorite people out there. Here we are having a blast this last weekend during filming at Tastemade:

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 2.37.59 PMThoughts on the video?! What are your feelings about all-natural cosmetics? Do you wear a lot of makeup, or a lil bit (or none)? Love hearing this kind of stuff. Xox 

 

Cabo Recap Part I

Good morning, lovers. Many of you know (especially if you follow me on Instagram) that I spent most of last week in the gloriously beautiful San Jose del Cabo, Mexico with three of my most favorite ladies — my mama, my BFF Jill & her beautiful mama Leslie.

cabo1

Trip highlights: relaxing by the pool, beach walks, reading TWO full books (so heavenly for a reader-bug like myself who rarely finds the time to read these days except for bedtime), hibiscus mezcal margaritas at Flora Farms (full post from the farms to come! Too much amazingness happened there), spending time with great people, going to bed early & waking up to the sound of the waves crashing into the shore (and on that note, waking up to the bright sun blazing in through our curtains and having THIS view):

DSC_0670

More highlights: frolicking around Flora Farms with Jill & getting to go behind the pizza counter & MAKE my own pizza (!!!), enjoying the delicious & super healthy cooking via my soulsister Alin Siqueiros, chatting around the dinner table late into the night (and by late I mean 9:30 p.m.) and listening to funny stories about Jilly as a kid from her mama, rocking my ViX swimwear & fun jumpsuits and coverups:

vix4ViX Jumpsuit || Dolce Vita Wedges || Jill’s Red Romper

And… perhaps the MOST exciting part of the trip…

Planning a HEALTH RETREAT at Casa Encanto for early next year!!! (Potentially a New Years retreat… So KEEP THAT TIME OPEN if you’re interested!) I am so freakishly excited about it. There will be lots more details to come, but we all know I can’t keep a secret from you even if my life depended on it– so, it’s out there. Pleeease tell me if you have specific questions! I am planning it with the completely fabulous & inspiring chef & manager of the house, Alin and Mauricio (also an adorable couple)– and WE. ARE. SO. EXCITED.

So, yes, the trip was work & play, buttt… Mostly (99.99999% play). ;)

Highlights Continued:

TBV Apparel #allovertheworld

healthisthenewblackThe freshest fruit prepared by the greatest chef around…

fruitLots of great mama time:

mamatimeAll natural & local lavender Oat Soap… For real?!?

florafarms5

Beach yoga, because it wouldn’t/couldn’t be a TBB trip without it ;)

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 12.53.01 PMThis brie plate… (I mean, really?)

florafarms4

 

Annnddd so much more. Stay tuned for Cabo Recap Part II, which will be allll about FLORA FARMS & how much I (clearly) fell in love with it.

PS, have you seen my newest YouTube video?! All natural beauty featuring my favorite natural brands like Cate McNabb, Sunology & more…!

#outtake (yes, I’m this much of a dork in the whole video):

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 1.24.10 PM

 

How was everyone’s weekend? Thoughts on the video? Thoughts on the HEALTH RETREAT?!

How to Stay True to Yourself

I’m going to let you in on a little secret about how I am always sure to stay true to myself…

1) I take a good sec and think about what I need. Is it rest? Is it fresh air / exercise? Is it adventure that I crave? Wait… what about all of the above? Then I order them in order of most important to me in that moment and least important.

2) Usually if I have to stop my day in the middle of it to think about what the heck I need in order to re-ground myself, rest is a huge priority. Sometimes I give myself permission to go hang in my room and read, and next thing I know I am dead asleep for an hour and a half and waking up at 3pm ready to kick the rest of the afternoon’s butt. (CRAZY-town for someone like me who usually can’t even fall asleep at night.)

3) If I am going stir crazy from too many hours of computer-gazing OR too many hours/days/weeks on end (let’s be real, it usually gets to this point) of running from meeting to meeting, then I know what I need is FRESH AIR. Not just exercise, but getting out of the hustle and bustle and breathing in the fresh mountain or beach air that only exists when you step just far enough away from the craziness of the city.

unnamed

SO, a few days ago, I gathered up my beautiful intern Danika & we did just that — we hiked! In the beautiful, fresh, wide open air in Will Rogers State Park. It was seriously a phenomenal afternoon. We went on a Friday after my fun Livestrong photo shoot & it was so relaxing and re-energizing it basically felt like the weekend had already begun. (Even though I don’t really take weekends off, there is still a blissful relaxation quality to them that I kind of adore.)

And I will tell you that there is a little something extra rejuvenating about getting outside & hiking midweek compared to reserving it for a leisurely weekend activity. On the weekends, it seems like it should be part of our routines to relax & do something different. During the week, it seems a little rebellious and very woah-wtf-am-I-doing-right-now to get outside and do something totally non-work related. And even for those of you who do have a 9-5 or even a 9-10 (I get it- I have lots of crazy busy NY worker-bee friends!)– there is ALWAYS time to get outside. Whether that be at the crack of dawn or late at night instead of coming home to watch TV/make food/go to sleep– it’s all about those priorities, baby.

PS... This is what it's like to intern for me, if you ever wondered. Hi Danika!

PS… This is what it’s like to intern for me, if you ever wondered. Hi Danika!

Something that made our mid-week rejuvenation hike EXTRA enjoyable & refreshing was… you guessed it – Bai 5 antioxidant infusion. If you’ve been around my bloggy for a bit, you already know that I am completely addicted & in love with it. They sponsored part of my app launch party by bringing their delish teas for all of my guests to sip on anded of course mix into their organic vodka. ;)

Bai3

It’s not hard for me to choose a favorite flavor of Bai, because I am completely 100% obsessed with coconut everything. Their Molokai Coconut is a true addiction of mine. Excuse me while I profess my love: it is naturally sweetened, antioxidant-infused, gluten-free, low-glycemic, and only 5 calories per serving. Whaattt? Is that reality? Oh and it tastes amazing– duh. (PS check out the recipe on their site for the Molokai Cooler.)

So, in typical TBB fashion, I chugged the Molokai Coconut flavor before Danika & I really got the chance to take any pics on the real cam. Because, also in very TBB fashion, we left the nice camera in the car and had to improvise with photos at the end of the hike. (Thank god for iPhones taking pretty stellar photos in the clutch!) Except, since it’s LA and it’s GORGEOUS in Will Rogers State Park, our photos still turned out amazing.

PS… For the record, Danika’s favorite flavor was the Brasilia Blueberry. (Also unpictured via real cam, I’ll have you notice! I’m not the only addict around these parts.)

I’ll let the rest of the photos speak for themselves. Relaxation, beauty, hydration… Happy girl.

Bai5

Bai4

Bai2

Bai6

We also ran into an absolutely gorgeous horse on our way back down. Lily! She liked the Bai 5 too. :)

unnamed-5So… in a nutshell, how to stay true to yourself: ask yourself how you’re doing and what you need, take some time to reflect on how you will make that happen, and then take action. It’s ALL about taking action. And stay hydrated with yummy antioxidant teas while you’re at it. :)

How do you like to stay true to yourself? Are you an outdoor nut like me? Laughing at me for forgetting the nice camera in the car? (I would laugh, too!)

 

Loving Lately

Hi babes! I’ve decided to do a Loving Lately post today so I can gather all of my thoughts & express them to you in the best way I know how… to tell you what I am la-la-loooovin’ lately! I am being super rebellious & wild because Loving Lately’s, up until this point, have ALWAYS been on a Thursday, but hey, I guess I’m feeling cray today…

Shall we?!

 ▶ ▷ ▸ ▹ ► ▻ Loving Lately 2.18.15

●  ●  ● VACATION VIBES

DSC_0671

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I’ve just been on vacation in Mexico. I went with my best friend Jillian and both of our mamas. We stayed in the most glorious home, Casa Encanto, that happens to feel like a second home to me because I have been going there with my family for years. The house manager & house chef (two of my favorite human beings alive) and myself are in the middle of planning something absolutely EPIC there– stay tuned!!!

In the meantime, what I am absolutely loving lately is the extreme relaxation I feel after being unplugged & so completely at peace with myself. No email, no work, minimal phone, and lots of time with my beautiful humans & reading some GREAT books. (I am a huge reader.) I knew I was relaxed beyond reason when we got to the airport and our flight was delayed indefinitely. It didn’t even faze me! In almost any other circumstance I would have been that uptight girl who “NEEDED” to get home for something “SO IMPORTANT.” I was calm as a cucumber. I just took a breath, and let it go. Feeling relaxed is such a beautiful thing & I am determined to feel this calm as often as possible.

Also stay tuned for TWO upcoming Cabo recap posts. Too much info to share in one posty!

DSC_0913

●  ●  ● BREAKING VEGAN

I know, I know, I said my deadline for my memoir was last Thursday. It was supposed to be!!! But I have been so inspired while writing it that I can hardly stand to finish. New things keep flooding into my mind, new memories, new feelings, new ways to word something big/small that happened in my journey, and I am having trouble letting go of the manuscript. I am immensely excited to share it with all of you, and can’t wait to dive back into writing it this afternoon. Writing makes me so happy, and it also brings me into another realm. After working on the book all day I feel like I’ve truly been in a different universe. Has anyone else ever felt that way?!

●  ●  ● GOOD READS

Wellll, since I’m writing a memoir, it only makes sense that I should be reading good memoirs. I have stumbled across some amazing ones lately that have been so inspirational to me. One of those is It Was Me All Along by blogger Andie Mitchell of Can You Stay For Dinner? Andie’s story has been SO INSPIRING and motivating in my book writing process. My agent told me to buy her book because our memoirs cover similar topics– hers a 100-lb weight loss and personal journey, and mine of course being my eating disorder / transition from veganism. I knew I would be interested in her book once I found out what her story was about, but holy cow did she blow me away with her sensational writing and her INSANELY detailed recall of details from her childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. I can definitely say that reading her book kickstarted me into an entirely new realm of motivation to make Breaking Vegan as good as it can be, and it also shed some light on some food issues I am still working through. Thank you Andie for being amazing. You are a new idol of mine.

41na+XAudcL

Other GREAT memoirs I’ve been reading… Escape by Carolyn Jessop about her escape from the ultra-fundamentalist group of Latter-Day Saints. I am a sucker for memoirs about religious cults… Does that make me creepy? It’s so fascinating! And Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs is also really interesting and great so far.

●  ●  ● GOOD SPAS

Ok, on my whole “relaxation kick,” it’s only appropriate that I talk about good places to unwind IN Los Angeles since as much as I would love to be traveling every weekend, much of the time I am here. I have recently fallen in love with Le Jolie Media Spa in Sherman Oaks. They are tucked into a cute little alleyway off the beaten path, which is the first sign that I adore them and their space. Also, they were voted Best Facial in Los Angeles (up against some great competitors, that’s a huge deal), and I have been going to them for laser hair removal. It’s so important to have a huuuuge level of trust when going into laser hair removal, and I trust them and the doctors there wholeheartedly. They also have an OXYGEN BAR (TOO. COOL.) and tons of body treatments from Infrared Sauna to Body Scrubs to Body Contouring. Even if you’re just looking for a nice, relaxing massage– this place should be your new go-to.

slideshow_std_h_Le-Jolie-MediSpa-Studio-City

●  ●  ● GIVEAWAYS!

Today is the LAST day of our TBB x Satya “Vibes Don’t Lie” Giveaway!!! We are having away over $500 worth of Satya Jewelry + a Vibe’s Don’t Lie TBV Apparel long-sleeve tee. To enter, simply repost one of our many “Vibes Don’t Lie” photos (found on my blog, my Instagram & Satya’s Instagram) and tell us what Vibe’s Don’t Lie means to YOU! Hashtag #TBBxSatya & #VibesDontLie. To me, Vibes Don’t Lie means to listen not only to your gut but to your HEART. Your intuition knows what is right and what is wrong. In order to do that, you have to be in tune with your body. Let that happen. Let yourself roll with the vibes. They are always honest. :)

unnamed-12There are sooo many other things I am Loving Lately, but per #2 on the list (BREAKING VEGAN!) I’ve gotta run & finish this book so I can share it with all of you most lovely souls! Stay tuned for some fun posts this week (including a hiking post featuring my favorite antioxidant tea on this planet… Any guesses?!)

Xox, TBB

balancedblonde_final-02-01-01

Wednesday Wanderings

And when I say wanderings, I mean mind wanderings. A.k.a a little “thinking out loud” post for ya, and an added bonus that wanderings & Wednesday start with the same letter. ;)

And physical wanderings too, I suppose, because I am headed to CABO this weekend with my lovely mom, my best friend Jillian and her beautiful mama. We will be there for four nights, and I fully, 100% intend on u n p l u g g i n g from this work whirlwind I’ve been in and soaking in the beauty & relaxation of the trip.

wanderLet’s see… Where to begin about this week?! I will just hit you with a list, because you know I love lists more than life itself.

A) Breaking Vegan! The booooky book! I am almost finished writing it, and I will be turning it into my editor in the next few days. Originally I was saying that Thursday (tomorrow, holy freaking moly) was my final deadline but I think I made that day up because I wanted to have it totally finished before I headed to Mexico. All I know is that I am VERY much nearing the end, then I want to give it one last big sweep to catch or change anything that blares out to me that it needs to be changed. Annnddd I am adding in a Q&A, because I want to answer all of your q’s to the utmost degree, so send them in to me, por favor!! I can’t wait to share this story with all of you. Even thinking about finishing it and having you all be able to hold it in your hands and flip through makes me ridiculously excited.

B) Food Photos for Breaking Vegan! ! ! Yesterday we took all of the food photos for the book. We got to work cooking 10 different healthy, balanced meals from the book, Tynan snapped some absolutely incredible photos of each of them, and we took a few lifestyle shots in the kitchen. I am pretty thrilled with the way that they turned out and it will be nothing short of magical the first time I see the photos fill the pages of the book.

C) Emotions. Dude, woah. When you’re in the midst of finishing something that you’re extremely passionate about, emotions run high. I have been feeling everything with exceptional intensity lately, and it has made me super aware of my surroundings, my relationships and the nature of my day to day routine. I am so grateful for the quiet moments that contrast with the high energy, too busy to breathe, too much work to function, surrounded by people hustle and bustle that some days end up being. Because in the quiet moments I am able to reflect. When I reflect I learn a whole new side of myself and I learn how to nurture it, if need be, so I can keep on taking care of myself and being as happy as can be.

And some days my emotions have a mind of their own and they are untamable (I had a day or two like this over the weekend) — and in that case, what do I do? I choose to be kind to myself, even if it means not being able to finish the book when I thought I would or canceling a few meetings/appointments to chill and gather myself. Oh, and exercise– thank godddddly god for running/yoga/HIIT right now because there is no more therapeutic way for me to get my emotions out.

D) Life. Sounds pretty broad, right? But it kind of ties to the above. When I think about my emotions and how hard they can be to tame when I’m going through something challenging, it makes me think about life in general. I have a chapter in the book titled “What’s the Point?” — and thinking about that opens up a whole host of thoughts about how I want to live my life and why. Of course there’s a point, but the matter is finding it. And I think with this bloggy & TBB land that is slowly but surely building itself, I have found my point. Or at least one of them. :)

I have so many other things on my mind from half marathon training to colonic hydrotherapy to working with a new holistic health coach who also happens to be a friend of mine (hi, Kelly!) to the wonderment she has opened my eyes to about regulating blood sugar! More to come soon once I get a little more work done on the book, but I had to pop in and say something!!!

Any requests or questions for the Q&A section of Breaking Vegan? I’d love to hear it! 

Your New Favorite Healthy Dinner Recipe

You all know that my go-to cocktail is vodka + sparkling water + lime (a.k.a a vodka soda) and that I pretty much never stray from it. I mean if it’s going to be an extra wild night you might see me tipping back a tequila shot or two (or three), but those nights are few and far between these days. I have a book to write & a business to run, ya know…!

VEEV5

HOWEVER, when I hosted my TBB App Launch Party at Equinox in November, I fell head over heels in love with a certain something that I absolutely have to share with you… VitaFrute Cocktails. I am especially into the Coconut Colada cocktail – it’s literally made with only VEEV Spirit, all-natural coconut water and fresh pineapple juice. Kind of astounding, right?

I know. I feel like I’ve really struck gold with this one. It’s certified organic and has all-natural ingredients, annnddd there are under 125 calories per serving (that’s pretty darn good considering the sugary, calorie-filled alternatives you’ll find at the bars).

Plus, VEEV is local to L.A., which makes me very happy because then I get to hang out with them and hear even more about their cool company.

VEEV2

Most of you know that I have been feeling a bit ambivalent about alcohol these days. Either all or nothing, as usual. And I know what advice you would give me on that one. The same advice I give to all of you – balance! So that’s what I’ve been going for… and definitely what I will be going for this weekend!

But regardless of my preference to drink or not, I love making cocktails for friends when they come over. There is nothing like pairing a delicious, organic cocktail with one of my favorite healthy dishes.

A healthy dish that I’ve found pairs really well with this better-for-you cocktail is my delish Salmon Teriyaki dish with a side of quinoa and roasted broccoli. It is one of my go-to weeknight dinners, and ever since I started serving it with Coconut Colada my friends have been begging me to make it!

VEEV3Especially because I know so many of you are still right on track with your New Years Resolutions (which I like to call goals… since it’s about creating a lifestyle, not relying on a quick fix!), this is the recipe + cocktail for you.

The freshness of the coconut and pineapple flavors in Coconut Colada combined with the light tanginess of the teriyaki makes for a delicious pairing and almost makes me feel like I’m in Hawaii. (You know how I feel about Pina Coladas!)

As usual when I share a product I love, I am hosting a giveaway! Enter on social media by reposting one of my recipe photos from this post & hashtagging #TBBxVitaFrute. You will win two mason jars, a bottle of Coconut Colada and a $50 Amex gift card to purchase the dinner ingredients.

And because I love you all a lot, I’m sharing the super simple recipe with you right here:

VEEV6Ingredients:

1 6oz salmon filet

½ head of broccoli

½ cup quinoa

1 T olive oil or coconut oil

Teriyaki:

½ cup organic soy sauce

1.5 T maple syrup

¼ tsp ginger

¼ tsp garlic

½ T arrowroot

Method:

Boil the quinoa in 1 cup water over medium-high heat for about 20 minutes or until the water is fully soaked through, stirring occasionally. I like to add more water while it cooks to make it fluffy as can be, but that’s just me.

Combine teriyaki ingredients and mix or blend until smooth consistency is reached.

In a small saucepan, heat all teriyaki ingredients on low heat for about 7 minutes or until it starts to bubble. Transfer to a sealed container. I use a mason jar.

Chop the broccoli and throw into a small sauce pan with a dash of coconut oil or olive oil. Sautee for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.

Plate your salmon, quinoa and broccoli and spoon the teriyaki over it. I like to cover my salmon in teriyaki and leave my quinoa and broccoli plain, but that is up to you.

Enjoy with a glass of VitaFrute Coconut Colada!

VEEV1* Entertaining bonus points: Serve Coconut Colada out of a shucked coconut! If I was at your house and you did that, I would be your friend forever.

Thoughts on pairing a delish, healthy dish with a delish, healthy cocktail? Have you tried VitaFrute before? Do you love coconut flavors as much as I do?!

VEEV

Vibes Don’t Lie + an AWESOME Giveaway

Hi all! Todayyy is the day we have been waiting for over here in TBB Land! The release of our newest TBV Apparel design in collaboration with the incredible & inspirational Satya Jewelry. Shockingly I have been able to keep the t-shirt phrase a secret ever since we came up with it in the Fall… Who am I?! THAT is how you know I am excited about something… I actually keep quiet about it long enough to make the surprise as special as can be.

Before I go on & tell you all about the collab & the extremely fun giveaway we are doing, I have GOT to release this shirt and share it with all of you!

unnamed-20

VIBES. DON’T. LIE.

They really don’t, do they? Vibes are such an important part of our lives, our relationships and our connection with the world around us. And VIBES, by the way, have a different meaning for just about everyone. To me, vibes are an intrinsic feeling that I get that tell me how I feel about a situation. If I get a good vibe, I am flooded with happiness, enthusiasm and immediate excitement and passion. If I get a bad vibe… I let it go, and I know that the situation or opportunity is not for me.

There is nothing wrong with getting a bad vibe– getting bad vibes about a certain situation in life is GOOD, because it means you are in touch with your soul on a deeper level and you know what to say no to and what to say yes to. Because we can’t possibly say yes to everything… or else there wouldn’t be enough of our precious & wonderful energy to go around!
unnamed-25

Now that Vibes Don’t Lie (!!!!! I am doing cartwheels out of excitement !!!!!) is out in the open, Let me take ya on a little walk down TBB x Satya memory lane.

When I was visiting New York in October (NYC = my spirit city, in case you’ve forgotten), the beautiful Emily of Satya Jewelry asked me if she could bring a few pieces of jewelry by as a gift. Of course my response was, “DUH!”, because their jewelry is gorgeous and their motto of balancing handcrafted traditional jewelry with a free-spirited trendsetting style is so 110% and beyond up my alley.

So, she brought me a g o r g e o u s Libra zodiac necklace, along with a beautiful mala and a hamsa ring. For my less yogi-esque readers, hamsa is a sign of protection that also represents blessings, power and strength.

Pretty much immediately I knew I wanted to work with Satya to create something beautiful and release some collaborative magic into the world.

unnamed-2

Sure enough, two months later I had the opportunity to meet with the Satya gals again. This time we were talking collaborations, and a beautiful idea came to us. Why not create a t-shirt representing a phrase that means a lot to both of our companies? Why not something about good vibes… why not VIBES DON’T LIE?

So of course Tynan & I got right to work making sure we could bring this awesomeness into the world, and sure enough it fit right in for us. We’ve been wanting to do a long sleeve tee for a long time, and this is the most perfectly wonderful time to do it!

Our Vibes Don’t Lie tee is a super comfy long sleeve tee that for us Californians can basically double as a sweater. It’s warm, amazing quality (thank you Alternative Apparel), soft and flattering.

unnamed-5And because there was no way we could release this amazingness into the world without offering SOME kind of super fun interactive giveaway, Satya & TBV Apparel have teamed up to do a KILLER giveaway for one very vibey individual…

* The winner will receive a Satya Jewelry Mala necklace, set of gold bangles, gold Protection necklace + a special edition Vibes Don’t Lie” t-shirt, valued at $514. *

In order to enter, post one of our Vibe’s Don’t Lie photos (plenty in this blog post alone, and many on TBV Apparel‘s Instagram, The Balanced Blonde Instagram & Satya‘s Instagram!) and hashtag #VibesDontLie & #TBBxSatya. Tell us in the caption what Vibes Don’t Lie means to you, and we will choose a winner by February 18th!

unnamed-6

Don’t miss out on this limited edition specialty tee. We are so thrilled about it and hope that you are too! Xox to the MOOON (just like the Satya moon rings & necklaces– ahh!). You can purchase it on our TBV Apparel website.

unnamed-19

unnamed-15

unnamed-3

Calming Green Smoothie Recipe

Hi loves! It’s been a little while since I’ve shared a green smoothie recipe on TBB – which is pretty funny, considering rarely day goes by that I don’t drink a smoothie at some point during the day. Yesterday I shared my hydration secret of Liquid I.V. with you, and today I’m sharing my supplement secret.

When I was in the beginning of my eating disorder recovery and transitioning back from veganism, I learned that I was extremely deficient in many different vitamins and minerals. What I was most deficient in was vitamin b-12 and protein, but I was also super low in magnesium and calcium.

NaturalVitality2

Ever since I found that out, I’ve been on the hunt for the right types of supplements and vitamins. Every day I take a magnesium pill, two Omega 3 fish oil pills (in lemon flavor, yum!) and a chewable b-12 supplement. I also use pH drops in my water to balance out the acidity in my tummy.

Buttt lately I found something wonderful that I can put into my smoothies, water and juice that kicks up my magnesium and calcium intake. It’s called Natural Vitality, and it totally rocks. I like using the unflavored variety so that I keep the delish taste of my greens, almond milk, fruit and nut butter in my smoothies, but if you are a fan of Raspberry-Lemon flavors in your smoothies they have that option too.

Another reason I have been so into this stuff lately is because I have been exercising (and SWEATING) like a madwoman at Orange Theory Fitness, and Equinox on top of doing yoga and training for my half-marathon. In that sense I have been loving using Natural Vitality to calm my muscles and relieve stress. It’s also great for healthy blood flow… super awesome for people like me with naturally constrained blood flow (my fingers and toes are always freezing!).

NaturalVitality

Magnesium also regulates blood sugar levels, and I have needed a lot of extra help with that throughout my eating disorder recovery. When I was severely limiting my food intake my blood sugar levels were all over the place – so magnesium is my new BFF.

Those of us who exercise a lot or consume a lot of coffee/sugar/high amounts of protein are likely to be depleted in magnesium. Also, because of the mineral depletion in our soil and cooking/heating our food, the magnesium in our food supply is quite low by the time we end up eating it.

I think you guys will love this smoothie recipe! Especially my fellow super active loves.

Secondly… who’s excited for the release of our NEW TBV APPAREL DESIGN tomorrow?! I know I am. There is something super special about it… can you guess what it is?! Stay tuned.

NaturalVitality1

Muscle Relieving Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 overly ripe banana

½ cup blueberries

1 tablespoon almond butter

½ cup almond milk

½ cup water

½ cup ice

1 teaspoon or 1 packet Natural Vitality Calm

Method

Blend thoroughly & enjoy!

Natural Vitality also has a free Balance Guide you can use to get yourself on a good, healthy, balanced (you knooooww I love that) track.

Thoughts on magnesium and calcium supplements? Supplement powders? Green smoothies?! I am such a fan.

The Rehydration Acai Bowl ft. Liquid I.V.

Happy FEB! February is going to be the month of hydration on TBB. With my half marathon coming up next month staying hydrated is extra important for me right now. But even if you don’t have a rigorous workout routine that you follow, hydration should be huuuugely significant to you because when we are hydrated, we are our healthiest. When we are our healthiest… we can live our best lives. 

Lately, I have made it a point to drink a TON of water (think 10 glasses a day or more), sparkling water (for my stomach, as you know) and loads of green tea. Basically I’m a hydration machine… Which is really good because I sweat hardcore every day between running and yoga — and when I don’t stay hydrated I get SERIOUS migraines and become a huge pain to be around.

Acai4As far as staying hydrated goes… There is a really cool product I want to tell you guys about. A) I’m partial to it because I know the guys who started it and they are amazing people, and B) I actually really truly like it, use it on the daily and recommend it to people in my everyday life all the time so I might as well recommend it to all of you as well.

It’s called Liquid I.V. (so awesome, right?) and because they go by LIV for short I’ve become super into to saying #LIVbalanced all the time. Like many times a day. I’m a huge dork.

Say hi to Brandin, CEO & Co-Founder! You could say we got a little beveragey at the Lakers game last week.

unnamed

LIV just started being carried in 8 Whole Foods around Los Angeles… and my prediction is that they’ll be nationwide very soon because as it stands their boxes can hardly stay on the shelves.

LiquidIV

LIV is a natural healthy hydration solution that you can put into your water, juice, smoothie or… Drum roll please… Acai bowl (!!!!) for an extra boost of hydration. And when I say extra I mean they’ve patented a specific formula that gets the hydration into your blood stream much faster than water alone. It’s for the athletes, the people who are prone to dehydration (me) and even those of us who may have had a wild night out of the town.

And it’s LEMON LIME flavor and you know how I feel about all things citrusy. Kinda totally more than mildly in love.

And since I love you all, use the discount code LIVbalanced for 30% off of your order.

P.S. Look at Liquid I.V. next to my Yoga Digest cover in Whole Foods! Too cool or what?

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 7.55.44 AM

Nooowww are you ready for this acai bowl recipe featuring LIV? Here we go…

Acai1The Rehydration Acai Bowl

1 ripe banana
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons acai powder (or one packet of frozen acai)
1 large handful ice
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 packet Liquid I.V.

Toppings:
1/2 banana
Goji berries
Granola

Method:
Blend all ingredients, top with toppings and enjoy. Tip: pour second half of LIV into a glass of water for double rehydration!!

Acai2Thoughts on the importance staying hydrated? Where my athletes at?! Have you tried LIV? Order it, tag me in a photo with the #LIVbalanced hashtag and I’ll feature you in my next blog post about the importance of hydration in the third week of Feb!

Acai3