The Art of Messing Up Your Life

MESS UP YOUR LIFE, the video. In case you wanna watch before you read! )

Sounds counterintuitive, right?

Why would I want to mess up my life when I could work to make it as perfect as possible: perfect body, perfect career path, perfect relationships, perfect sleep schedule, perfect fitness routine, perfect exterior in hopes that it will all blend to create the most perfect, content & wonderful interior there ever was?

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Let me tell you why. Perfection is not fun. It’s attainable, but not maintainable. Once you reach your “goal weight,” “goal job,” “goal ____” [FILL IN THE BLANK, you know what I’m talkin’ bout!] you set a new, higher, more unattainable goal for yourself.

Perfection is an issue. It’s not reality – it’s an escape from reality… A vessel to channel our nervous energy into that inhibits us from living in the moment, cultivating meaningful relationships, being in touch with our creative potential, and being effortlessly happy with who we are.

For many of us, reality is scary. It’s something we run & hide from for fear that what we see in front of us is going to be displeasing. REALITY is the face we see looking back at us in the mirror; reality is the look in your eyes, the curve of your waist, the sentiment behind your smile that tells you how your day really was.

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And not all days are perfect. In fact, most days are NOT perfect.

But you know what I’ve learned about perfection?

The happier you are with what you have, who you ARE, and where you are, exactly in this moment, in every moment, the less you’ll care about perfection and the more you’ll care about living in the moment — maintaining the true happiness of being your true self. “Stepping into your light,” as my dear friend Lisa calls it, which really resonates with me.

Once you step into your light, getting messy isn’t about fear of imperfection. It’s about embracing every ounce of imperfection to be perfectly, effortlessly, blissfully you.

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Filming this video was cathartic for me in so many ways. As you can tell in the beginning of my speaking part, it was emotional — I was near tears many times throughout the morning that we filmed, and re-watching it not only brings me to tears but makes the tears stream down my face. Stream.

It makes me bubble up with emotion not only to see how far I’ve come, to re-wire my mind every time I see it to embrace GETTING MESSY versus striving for perfection, to hear my authentic self shining through even if I was afraid, to look back and see how far this journey has taken me…

Not only does it make me cry because of all of the above, but to see my friends taking part in the video with me and allowing themselves to be vulnerable as well — that’s what hits me in the feels with this video.

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When we started filming that morning, it was a surprise to everyone involved that we were going to be writing our insecurities on the back of our t-shirts. In fact, I told everyone that part was optional because I was so unsure that they would want to put themselves out there so candidly. (Understandably so!!!)

To my great surprise, after one person stepped forward to write an insecurity… everyone stepped forward. One beautiful soul after the next after the next, and even though it was a new thing for many of us to be so vulnerable, we did it together, and it was a supportive, loving & incredibly magnetic environment to be so open within.

Beyond that — beyond my 9 or so dear friends that took part in #MessUpYourLife with me — I extend this video to all of YOU. I extend the invitation to celebrate your insecurities, the permission to be rawly, openly, PROFOUNDLY open and vulnerable, and to let the emotion flow.

To open up about those insecurities so you can let those bad boys go.

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The more we talk about our insecurities, the less and less real they become. So much of what we dwell on about our bodies/minds/lives that makes us unhappy and insecure all exists in our MINDS. Once we get it all out there in the open, it’s hard to believe that such little figments of our imagination can have so much impact.

Try it. I promise, it feels good.

THERAPEUTIC to the 91754938498237th degree!

I would be forever grateful & honored if you watched this video & commented by telling me what your insecurities are — what you want to let go of. I will read every comment (as I always do!) and burst with joy and love for all of your openness and vulnerability.

We are a team, never forget that.

Time to embrace who we ARE and never look back. Here’s to living in the messiness!!! Here’s to living our LIVES.

#TBBTribe

Thanks hugely to Enjet Media for bringing this video to life. I am forever grateful for your support, love & killer vid skills. You guys are everything.

P.S. If you want to hear me talk more about my journey, check out my podcast interview on the fabulous Daily Groove Summit. Honored to be a part of this project with so many health & wellness rockstars.

P.S.S. If you want to hear me talk ALL about my journey, the link to preorder my book, out November 15th, is here. Email me once you have preordered and I will add you to the #TBBTribe email list… With tips & tricks for staying balanced & HAPPY and healthy in your every day life. Basically, more of this bloggy, straight to your inbox. Boom shaka laka!!!

P.S. x 3: Please SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel if you like what you see. The more subscribers I have, the more videos I can create because it will be more legit for me to do so… ya feel? XOXOX love you peeps to the moon and beyond a mill times over.

Island Style: What I Wore in Hawaii

Hello, hello! I am back in Los Angeles after my wildly fun (major combo of relaxation + cray cray) six weeks of travel. The last two weeks were spent unwinding, reflecting, surfing, writing, planning (think RETREAT! *cough cough*) & spending time with family on the beautiful island of Maui, Hawaii.

If you only know one thing about me, you should know this: I love the ocean. It makes me feel alive, and gives me a surge of passion & energy that inspires my creativity to be boundless. The ocean, both swimming/surfing/paddleboarding in it & gazing out at it, reminds me how small I truly am in the scheme of the world… how small we as humans all really are. In the same way it reminds me that because we are so damn small, there is no reason we shouldn’t all be ridiculously, madly, insanely, hugely in love with the lives we live.

I am a city girl, but the island life suits me well. I am 99% sure that one day I will move to Maui for at least half a year, if not more. Maybe I will write my next book there. :)

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I am playing major catch up over here in TBB Land this week. (Did you know that while I was away we sold the MOST TBV Apparel tees in a 2 week period than we ever have before?! Thanks to Elite Daily for the killer shout out). FIRST UP ON MY CATCH UP LIST: What I Wore in Hawaii bloggy blog post.

I have been organizing photos from the trip & gathering links upon links so I can share all of my #islandlife outfits with you. Whether you are traveling this summer or just chillin’ by your pool, I think you’ll find a lot of these outfits to die for. They are all at the top of my summery list.

What I Wore in Maui… #IslandStyle

ViX dress: This ViX maxi is an absolute favorite of mine. I love throwing it on after a beach day and dressing it up with some wedges & delicate jewelry. I also love dressing it down with beach waves, my Wildfox wayfarer sunglasses & a good, icy cocktail in hand. Ridiculously comfy & oh so beachy chic.

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Dress (On sale!) || Similar, diff brand || Same print, bikini || Same print, coverup || Wildfox Wayfarer Sunglasses

Nike Swimsuit: This sporty suit has been my go-to ever since I bought it two summers ago (gasp!). But don’t worry, they have lots of new, cute styles that are very similar & just as colorful. (Links below.) I love the way it fits because it’s snug & supportive, so it’s perfect for swimming, paddle boarding, surfing & my endless beach walks. One note: they run small, so you might want to size up!

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Similar colors, diff brand || Similar suit, same brand (So sporty I love it) || Similar suit, same brand

Target Swimsuit: I adore this Target suit. Not only is it super affordable but it fits great, is always comfortable & I always get a ton of compliments when I wear it. It makes me feel good about myself… and that’s the point of clothes/swimwear in the first place, right? Again an appearance by my Wildfox sunnies.

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(Exact style sold out) || Same print, diff style || Same brand, diff style (I need it) || Same bottoms (Comfiest I own) || Sunglasses

Crop top, Maxi Skirt, Kimono get up: This is my favorite outfit that I wore on the trip. It combines my hippie, boho style with the the elegance and class of a simple sheer maxi & fitted lace crop top. The long, beachy hair and haiku booties top off this look & make it the perfect dinner (or date!) ensemble. Also special about this outfit is the paisley duster kimono made by the fab Anna Slevin Collection. (Totally unrelated to me wearing this kimono, I met one of Anna’s best friends on my recent Costa Rica trip & we became super close– how’s that for a small world?)

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Bustier crop top (Exact style sold out) || Very similar top || Similar, inexpensive  top || Similar, scalloped lace top (Need) || Sheer maxi skirt (Exact style sold out) || Very similar || Similar || Similar (gorgeous) ||Dolce Vita booties

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Free People maxi: Bought this dress right before my trip & I am so glad I did, because it’s the perfect throw-on maxi for dinner, drinks, lunchtime, post-beach, anything! You can dress it up or dress it down. I love the fun color and print, and my mom has it in the more subtle black & white. Both fab. Plus, I love how high the neckline is… makes it fun & different for a change!

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Dress || Similar, darker (Obsessed) || Free People Racerback Bralette || Sunglasses

Here’s the ‘fit in action with my beautiful fam in our yearly photo spot at Mama’s Fish House. :)

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Jen’s Pirate Booty: Okay, it’s no joke that I LOVE, LOVE my Jen’s Pirate Booty tunics. I am wearing one on the cover of my book (how’s that for special?!?!?), and I love wearing them as coverups or over little underdresses/camis/neon bralettes etc. for going out.

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Janis Tunic (On Bella) || Wildflower Tunic || Topshop Strappy Sandals (On Bella)

DNKY Swimsuit: I don’t wear one pieces very often, but when I do they usually have cutouts, fit like a glove (I have no choice, my torso is extremely long) & are so freaking comfortable I could do cartwheels for days. Plus, they are supportive enough to run it! Love, and love sticking with a timeless brand like DKNY.

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Swimsuit || Similar

ViX Caftan Coverup: This photo is from Costa Rica, but it counts because I wore this coverup on the daily in Hawaii, too.

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L Space Cover Up: Love the cold shoulder, love the breathability, love the flowy bell sleeves, love the color.

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TBV Apparel: Because I WOULD rather be a mermaid… Wouldn’t you?!

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Last but not least, if you want to shop these looks, you can Shop the Post below!!! I was there for so many days I only picked all of my fav / most island relevant outfits to share with you… but if you want to see more, just holler and I will do a second #whatiwore in Hawaii post!

How is everyone else’s week going?! What else do you want to see from my Hawaii trip?! Food, surfing, local spots, shopping, musings/reflections?! I am happy to share it all… I’ve missed ya! PS I am regulating my posting schedule AND my YouTube video uploading schedule, and I am stoked to be back on the regularity thang. LMK what you want to see!!! Love you all!

Updates from Hawaii, Thus Far…

BTW, this post is mainly a photo diary. Fun, right? 😉

Hi beauties! I am writing to you today as a sun-kissed, ocean-soaked, beach-blissed out, vacation-brained, mermaid-haired (a.k.a beach waves+not a whole lot of hair washing or brushing) tropical smoothie-drinkin’ Maui islander. I first started writing this blog post by explaining all about how I am on vacation with my family, and when I am on a family vacay I try to unplug from work for at least 3/4 of the trip.

But then I stopped writing and deleted all of it because it sounded boring and explanatory and it didn’t capture the true essence of what I’m feeling right now.

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What am I feeling?

Total, pure, happiness and gratitude for where I am, where I’ve been, who I’m surrounded with and the fact that after years of being such a tightly wound person, I can actually unwind & bliss out on vacation and know that my business will still run just fine. It will still be there tomorrow, and more importantly it will be there when I get  back and have my full energy to pour into it.

I’m going to give you the fulllll run down of my trip, what we did, the books I read, the yummy foods that I ate (including the acai bowl spot I FELL IN LOVE WITH and forced my mother to approach Helen Hunt at), but at the moment I am still here and soaking it all in. And when I have island brain like this, my posts are fewer and further between because I’m on the beach dreaming up novels I want to write, dipping into the ocean with my niece babies and the rest of my fam, and going on long beach walks!

But for now here’s a little breakdown:

A) I got a GoPro right before this trip. and I am OBSESSED WITH IT. I have been taking so many pics and can’t wait to share them with all of you!

B) We just moved from the Kaanapali side of the island to the Wailea side of the island, and I am all too stoked about it. The Wailea side is like home to my family, since we’ve grown up coming here every summer since before I was born, and pulling into the familiar surroundings yesterday afternoon was one of the most calming, comforting feelings I’ve felt in a long time. If you have ever experienced a true home away from home feeling, you know what I’m talking about.

C) So much beach yoga. So much amazingness. I’m even getting little Liv to join in the fun with me!

D) Finished Breaking Vegan edits fully & for real this time since I’ve been here, and it feels amazing.

E) Surfing tomorrow! Yippee!

F) The best freaking ahi bruschetta I’ve ever had in my life went down on this trip.

G) Daily Burn did an amazing piece on Breaking Vegan and I am thrilled! Check it out!

H) Photos speak louder than words, so….

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I would really, truly rather be a mermaid. <3

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To follow along with the rest of my trip via Instagram, check out my photos & my #tbbtravels hashtag. Xox

My Newest Athletic Wear Obsession…!

You can trust my activewear opinion, because there isn’t a single exercise brand that I haven’t tried – you could say I have an addiction. I like to call it a healthy addiction! Old Navy‘s Active Wear blew me away, and I’m not just saying that. Not only does it fit my bright and beachy taste, but it is very versatile. It’s fitting and comfortable for yoga, running, high intensity interval training, hiking and even lounging around the house (who doesn’t wear workout clothes when they lounge?). Oh, and it’s super affordable — you can go on a legit shopping spree in there!
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When I work out, I sweat. I am not one of those girls you see at the gym who barely breaks a sweat and can let their hair down and go out to dinner afterward. I look more like I’ve just stepped out of the shower when I’m done with a workout. For that reason, the clothes I wear have to be comfortable before, during and after I sweat. Old Navy‘s Active Wear totally lives up to that.
It’s hard to pick a favorite item because I like a lot of them for different reasons, but I absolutely love the majestic looking blue, white and green splattered capris with the sea foam green tank to match. Wearing that outfit makes me feel like a mermaid… which is kind of awesome, because I joke with my friends and yogis all the time that I must have been a mermaid in a past life because I love the beach so much. (Duh, you know my #idratherbeamermaid tee.)
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As far as tips and tricks for staying fit, I always tell people that the number one trick is to find what you love. If you are doing something you love, it will be almost impossible not to stick with it. Consistency is key, and once we set the precedence of consistency with exercise in our lives then we can trust ourselves to maintain it. Living a healthy lifestyle is all about creating that trust and then finding a way to sustain it. Sometimes what you love might be a big combo of things. I love yoga, running and HIIT classes. I love yoga the most, but in order to be the strongest yogi with the most endurance, I have to cross train. It’s something I’ve learned over the years, and my body always thanks me for it.
Another tip is to head outside. Fresh air does wonders for the mind, body and soul! Finding ways to exercise outside makes exercise more fun and adds to that consistency level. Go on a hike with friends or a beach run if you live near the beach. If not, a walk with your dog around the neighborhood after a long day is so great for the mind and body versus plopping down on the couch to watch TV.
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Lastly, believe in yourself. Know that making real changes takes time, and you have to be kind to your body and not expect those changes to happen overnight. When you live a consistently healthy, balanced lifestyle, there is no such thing as trying to lose weight or tone up for a specific occasion, because instead you are always your best, most confident and healthy self. And don’t compare yourself to others. We all must find our own version of health and beauty. You knooowww how I feel about that.
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Sooo I’m keeping today’s post short & sweet because I wanted to share all of this Old Navy awesomeness with you, and I am headed to a fun photo shoot for the rest of the day… 36 hours in LA, let’s go! Then HAWAII tomorrow. Cannot wait. Will definitely be rocking these clothes on the beach… Or at least before the beach. 😉
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PS… Click on the above for the direct links to these outfits!! xox

Napa Valley Getaway

Hi beauties! I am popping in to say hello before I hit the road for my 6 hour drive back to Los Angeles from Nor Cal today… Please tell me if you have any audiobook, music or other time-passing recommendations — I am all ears! I just downloaded Mindy Kaling’s “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” audiobook, and am super excited to finally give it a listen. Also open to others. :)

Before I hop into the car (bleh), I wanted to give you all a glimpse into my Napa Valley getaway weekend with some of my very best girlfriends. It was my dear friend Danielle’s birthday (her golden birthday, to be exact) so we headed to wine country to live it up, lounge by the pool & soak in all of Napa’s awesomeness. And the sun. We soaked up a LOT of sun… My lower back is such a blaring shade of hot pink right now it is both comical and painful.

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 9.59.46 AMTHE HOTEL: The Carneros Inn, otherwise known as one of the most gorgeous, vast, beautifully located hotels I’ve stayed in probably ever. The rooms were cottages, and they were grouped together in different “neighborhoods” (yes, that’s what they call them! I die) throughout the property. Between every neighborhood are rows of all different types of gardens, plants, apple orchards, fig trees (yeah, I tried one; no, they weren’t ripe), fountains, hummingbirds, the works. It felt like walking through a true fairy tale. The pool overlooked rolling vineyards, the fitness center was super awesome, there was a huuuuge and gorgeous lap pool, three restaurants, a super-cute marketplace that I obvi made  twice-daily pitstop to, and a superbly beautiful and perfect lobby on the hilltop. And our room had an outdoor shower AND indoor shower. We had a bit of fun with that… (Plus, if you follow me on Snapchat @jojoyounger, then you got the full room tour complete with our over-excitement about the double shower situation!)

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THE ITINERARY: We collectively decided to have a pretty low-key trip, as we all have super high-stress lives during the week and it’s not every weekend that we get to all be together and enjoy each others’ company. Instead of going wine tasting/venturing into the town of Napa, we stayed at the resort all weekend and soaked it ALLLL in. I am such a huge fan of doing that on certain trips, especially because our resort was so big and had so much to offer. We have all spent a lot of time in Napa (Helloooo, Nor Cal girls!) so staying at the hotel was so glorious and relaxing. On Friday night we hung out at the fire pits in front of the hotel, talked, drank wine, and caught up. Then we snuggled up back in our room and watched Orange is the New Black — well, those of us who could stay awake did. And you KNOW I was awake– insomnia nation. 😉 Saturday we spent the WHOOOLE day at the pool, and it was so wonderful! We met awesome people from all over the place (also from our hometown. Too cool), had yummy drinks, sunbathed, floated, dipped into the hot tub, enjoyed the views, had a few #slipperyshoulder moments on top of each others’ shoulders, and had a blast. Then we had a nice long time to chill & get ready before our late-ish dinner reservation at Boon Fly Cafe, where I ordered this delish kale salad with berries & smoked chicken:Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 10.21.15 AMSunday we hung out in our room and watched MORE Orange is the New Black, & the girlies ordered room service. I headed down to the market to blend my own smoothie since I LOST my NutriBullet mixer top after bringing it down to the seating area the first night… #fail.

THE FOOD: Food in Napa is always very good. Wine in Napa is always very good– it’s the home of the most dreamy wineries in California and pretty much all of the US. You can’t go wrong with any of it. Unless of course you’re me or anyone else with food allergies/intolerances, and you have to pay great attention to the food/drink you put into your body so you don’t have a terribly adverse reaction that might ruin your whole trip! So I decided to play it cool and continue this awesome clean gut program I have been doing for the last few weeks (will write all about it once I finish). That’s why I kept walking down to the market to blend my smoothies after I lost my darn NutriBullet top– but it was awesome because I brought my own shake packets and almond milk and they blended it for me with their blender! Saints. And I did have one meal per day of protein + veggies, and of course it was all delectable. Oh, AND Katie and I hit up this absolutely amazing market called OxBow Marketplace when we first arrived into the own… And we fell in LOVE! It was like a mini Chelsea Market from NYC and we about died. They even had a juicery. Too cool for words… I want to live inside of it.

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 10.25.36 AMThe drinks were also to die for… (Confession: mine in the middle is a sparkling water with lime + muddled mint, and it was also AWESOME. Never be uncomfortable to do your own thing for dietary reasons/personal preferences. It might be a little awkward at first but if you’re confident about it then everyone else will be. Be unapologetically YOU! Not to say I don’t drink, but it makes it tough to drink very much when I am working so hard to heal my stomach issues on a clean gut program. )

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I did however sip on some yummy, crisp & chilled white wine. And here’s my poor NutriBullet top the last time it was to be seen! Wah!

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And here is some more regular food porn for those who aren’t as limited as I am food-wise… #yumScreen Shot 2015-06-15 at 10.11.35 AM

THE CREW: What really takes a trip from good to great is the crew you’re with. I always have a blast with my close friends, and it was extra special because we are all so close and haven’t all been in the same city to celebrate D’s birthday for years and years. Don’t forget, Katie and I lived on the other side of the country until recently! And she only moved back super recently. We all have so much fun together & let’s just say when we were toasting to D’s bday & our lifelong friendships I may or may not have gotten a little teary eyed. : )

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THE DEALIO: Other favs in Napa include heavenly food at Bottega, champagne tasting at Chandon, delicious lunch/dinner at Mustards Grill, wine tasting at Beringer, spa treatments at the Solage in Calistoga annddd so much more. Now I am adding the fab Oxbow Market to that list!

THE HIGHLIGHTS: Living in bathrobes, taking in the views from the pool, creating memories with my BFFs, sliding off of Danielle’s/Katie’s shoulders into the pool again and again (lol), seeing the cutest puppy ever named Beatrice, falling in love with Oxbow Market, and so much more.Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 10.53.49 AMWho else loves Napa Valley?! Anyone considering a trip there soon? I am so in love with the whole area… We are so lucky to have so many beautiful places in this world to visit. :)

Why I Don’t Agree With “Cheat Meals”

So, it’s no secret that there is some lingo in the healthy living world that drives me up a wall. Anything that encourages people to follow any particular diet that doesn’t allow them to listen to their bodies (other than promoting real foods from the earth, of course), any phrase that encourages restriction, and anything with the word “cheat” in it are among the few that just rub me the wrong way.

A few of the words/phrases I can’t stand, just to name a few: cheat day, cheat meal, thinspo, fitspo, IIFYM, & #gains, among others. One day I’ll do a post on the others, but today’s post is debunking the idea of a “cheat meal.” And just as bad… a “cheat day.”

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Waiiittttt what’s wrong with cheat days? They sound so fun!

Look, I’m all about having variation in our diets. There is no one sized fits all diet regime, and there is no such thing as eating sOOoOooo clean+pure that we are untouchable. Indulging in something decadent and delicious in moderation is beautiful, and it should be part of our lives just like our kale, broccoli, fruits & green juices should be.

I don’t have a problem with treats. If I did, I’d be in big trouble. I like desserts, cookies & raw chocolate (okay, anything chocolate…) way too much to abstain from them 100% entirely for all of time. I did that for several years actually, and all it lead me to was having an eating disorder. What I do have a bit of a problem with is referring to those indulgences as “cheats.”

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When we refer to something as a cheat, technically we are dubbing it “not okay” under regular circumstances. When we call it a cheat, we are reinforcing the fact that in a perfect world we would never touch anything that wasn’t 100% pure, healthy or clean. Basically, we are reinforcing the fact that in order to be worthy then we have to be perfect… when striving for perfection is what trips us up and keeps us from living fully in the moment and being completely happy, satisfied & content with who we ARE, in this moment, right now.

So if it’s not a “cheat,” what is it, then?

It’s a treat!

The word “treat” reinforces a carefree attitude and reminds us that there is nothing wrong with listening to our bodies & indulging in our cravings when the timing feels right. It gives us the power to choose if and when we are going to indulge, and we do so for pleasure and not to feel guilty directly afterward.

There is no “correct” amount of time throughout the week that we should be treating ourselves. These specific diet plans out there that tout eating clean 95% of the time and “cheating” 5% of the time may sound like they are giving us helpful guidelines, but really they are encouraging us to follow someone else’s words rather than listen to our own body. What’s most important for all of us, in this healthy & balanced life that we all deserve, is to eat intuitively. Healthy, well, and also balanced.

There is a popular fitness and nutrition plan out there that encourages a 45-minute “cheat period” each week. When I found that out I laughed out loud. 45 minutes?! I understand that the point is to keep people reigned in from going overboard for an entire “cheat day,” but if you tell someone to eat a certain way all week and then give them 45 minutes to splurge, there is a good chance they might use the full 45 minutes to stuff their face! And even if they don’t, putting the idea in their head that those 45 minutes are “bad” and derailing all of their hard work to eat healthy and workout for the rest of the week is just silly.

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Life is an ebb and flow. We shouldn’t have to live our lives by when we can eat certain foods and when we can’t, and we certainly can’t believe that such a diet is sustainable for a full lifetime. And I’m not in the business of sharing anything with you that isn’t a LIFESTYLE plan– ya feel me?

When we treat ourselves, rather than give ourselves cheats, then we can go with the flow! If all of your friends are going out for fro yo, that sounds like a fab time to have a treat. If your family brings home donuts on a Sunday morning, that sounds like another great time to have a treat. If you are craving healthy foods and you feel like having a warm cinnamon tea for dessert instead of a brownie, that sounds like a FAB time to do just that. You shouldn’t feel like you have to “cheat” just because it’s your 45-minute allotted time slot to do so.

Another reason I’m against “cheat meals,” is because that for someone like me, who has been suffering with tummy problems their whole life, “cheating on” the way I know my body needs to eat in order to thrive is just a terrible idea. I can indulge and have something that my body doesn’t process well, but I will be off balance for days and it won’t be worth it. For me, it’s worth finding what DOES work for me and making all of that within limits, all the time. If my “treats” are never off-limits, then there is no crazy mystifying cloud around them. They are just there, and I can have them when I feel like it and I can not have them when I don’t feel like it!

And because of the particular way that I eat, it just so happens that my treats tend to fall under the uber healthy umbrella. I like (love) frozen dates with raw almond butter, fruit drizzled in raw almond butter, coconut shreds and honey, raw chocolate (I eat it by the fistful!), raw chocolate peanut butter cups, gluten-free peanut butter cookies from the farmer’s market, homemade chocolate chia pudding, and more!

That’s what works for me when I want a treat. I also like to put stevia in all of my tea and many of my smoothies for a sweet midday treat. I have a sweet tooth, and whenever I’ve tried to do the whole “cheat meal” thing it just makes me feel guilty for listening to my body.

We have to show our bodies respect & love by trusting them & listening to them, not by force feeding ourselves something that doesn’t sound good because it’s not “cheat day.”

Who’s with me? It’s time to fall in love with our bodies & the way we treat ourselves. We deserve it. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

And if my reasons weren’t enough, check out these 7 great reasons too!

ALSO, I have to add, my dear friend Sophie Jaffe from The Philosophie is the perfect example of someone who exhibits the, “It’s not a cheat, it’s a treat” mentality. She inspires me every day to live a nutrient-rich, energy-filled life surrounded by amazing people. That’s what it’s all about… not living life from “cheat meal” to “cheat meal”! Check out her site and her products to see an example of living that cheat-free, indulgent, healthy, radiant life.

Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts. What do you think about cheat meals? If you present a good argument about them to me, I would love to hear! 

How to Keep Your Motivation When It’s 100 Degrees Outside

Hi loves! I know it’s been almost a full week since my last blog post, but I wanted to leave the TBV Apparel new design announcement up at the top of the blog for as long as humanly possible! Plus, my family was in town for my nephew’s high school graduation and my niece’s third birthday, annnnddd I went to a gorgeous wedding in Plymouth, CA this weekend for one of my dear friends’ cousins.

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The winery in Plymouth right before the sun went down, but this doesn’t even begin to do it justice! The beauty was ON ANOTHER level.

And I’ve been doing the FINAL FINAL round of edits on Breaking Vegan!

All in all, you could say I’ve been a little bit busy. But if you follow me on Snapchat (@jojoyounger), Instagram, Facebook or Twitter then you know I’ve been posting away on social media as usual. I might be a little bit addicted to sharing my life with all of you. :)

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Keeks may or may not have eaten a big handful of blue M&M’s right before this photo was taken… But she told me they were carrots ; )

Another highlight of my weekend was that I finally got new running shoes! And I say finally because I have been running in the same Asics for over a year… meaning they’ve endured two half marathons, a 10k, daily workouts at Orange Theory, stomping around the streets of New York, 8 mile beach walks with my Lex Bex, hikes in the Malibu Canyons, boot camps with my mama and more.

And you know what they say about tennis shoes… You’re not supposed to wear them once they start to get worn out, and if you’re super active that could mean after 3-4 months. I was never sure whether to fully buy into that or not, especially since I get VERY attached to my shoes and I hate change, but my left ankle has been bothering me a bit for the past few weeks so I figured it was time to say buh-bye to my beloved Asics.

The good news is– my oldest sister works at Fleet Feet, a sports store in Sacramento! She’s a running machine and she knows what she’s talkin’ about. So on Sunday me, my mom AND my dad headed over there to pick out some new kicks. After trying on the whole store and then a few more, I decided on these Brooks Running Glycerin shoes in black. It was a tough decision to stray from my Asics, and Nikes don’t fit me well even though I love all of their styles, and the Brooks shoes totally stole my heart.

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Posing on the ledge between my hot tub and pool, like a boss. Doesn’t everyone start their workouts in places like that?

(My dad got Mizunos and my mom got Nikes. They are all BLACK, which makes my very chic mama oh so happy.)

After I posted the above photo on Instagram showing off my new shoesies, I got a few questions pertaining to: “How the HECK do you work out when it’s THIS BLAZING HOT outside?!”

Anyone in Northern California right now knows what I’m talking about, and I am willing to bet that it’s starting to approach that time of year in nearly all parts of the U.S. right now. In case you aren’t sure what I am referring to: it’s been 100+ degrees in Sacramento for the past few days, and before that it was in the big 90s.

Hot, hot, HOT.

Tamale.

So with the hawwtttt summer months on our horizon, I wanted to share a few of my favorite tips for staying motivated to exercise when it’s superdeeduper hot outside.

I know it can be easy to get a little sluggish when the temperatures are rising outdoors, especially if you like to do things like running, hot yoga, outdoor sports, etc. But other than working out INSIDE (gym, home workouts, yoga studio that’s not heated), here are a few ways that I stay on top of my workout game:

1. I rest when I need to. Sounds almost counterintuitive, right?! You thought I was going to tell you to push through the pain, suck it up & pretend like it’s the middle of winter outside, didn’t you? Sometimes I feel that way, but that’s not always the case. For example, this weekend I needed a LOT of rest. My body was super fatigued from all of my travel and also from pushing it a little too hard in the HOT yoga studio last week when it was blazing outside. I took Saturday and Sunday off to rest & recharge, and because of that my workout yesterday was much, MUCH better than all of my workouts from the previous week combined. #balance, my loves. Show yourself love and kindness when you need it, and don’t ever feel like a failure because your body is telling you it’s too tired to do something.

The REAL highlight of my weekend was taking a two hour bath on Sunday. Tea, reading, zoning out. Hell to the yeah.

The REAL highlight of my weekend was taking a two hour bath on Sunday. Tea, reading, zoning out. Hell to the yeah.

2. Just start, and see where it takes you. If you’re feeling a little bleh and wondering whether or not you need a rest day, chances are once you get your body moving you will up your energy levels pretty quickly. When you KNOW you need a rest day, that’s when you take one. Sometimes all it takes is starting… get down on the ground, do some stretches, hold plank for 30 seconds, do a little downward dog, jog in place. Oftentimes I find that once I START my workout, I am much more motivated to keep it going and get a good sweat in. I usually do a 20-30 minute home yoga/stretching session, and then I’m pumped to go for a run or for a long power walk outside. Or, when it’s this hot… usually to the gym to hop on the treadmill with a FAN.

3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! When it starts to get warm outside, it’s even more important to stay extremely hydrated. I drink 8-10 glasses of water per day (at MINIMUM), and I prefer drinking it at room temperature because it’s better for my digestion that way. If you need an extra boost of hydration, you know I love all-natural healthy hydration supplement Liquid IV. When you’re hydrated, you are much more motivated to keep your workouts going and you have more energy and clarity to get through your day.

4. Switch it up!!! Your workouts in the summer are inevitably going to be different than your workouts in the winter/fall/spring. It is hotter, and you need to listen to your body to find what works. Instead of an hour long run outside, cut it down to 30 mins and then do strength training indoors. Don’t push yourself to do something that’s going to be completely unenjoyable. If you don’t enjoy your workouts, you won’t keep doing them. It’s just the truth!

So… rest, BEGIN, hydrate & switch things up! You won’t regret it.

Also, in case you were iffy about following me on Snapchat… this video should convince you of how fun I am. 😉 (Click on the below.)

Snappy Chat Video

XO, oh… and check out my LARRY KING interview!!!

TBV Apparel NEW DESIGNS!

Guess what today is…?! The official relaunch of TBV Apparel – the conscious clothing line I started with my good friend Tynan Daniels in April 2014. We started the line as a project to exist as an extension of my then-blog The Blonde Vegan. I thought fun phrases like “Oh Kale Yes!” and “Is Vodka Vegan?” were fun and playful and would shed a lighthearted look on the importance of living and being passionate about living a healthy lifestyle.

But after a year of successful sales, countless new phrase ideas, awesome collaborations, incredible photo shoots, endless amounts of hard work, and the efforts of a small but mighty TBV dream team… We decided it was time to take TBV Apparel to the next level.

What does the next level entail, you ask?

A killer site revamp that represents the So Cal beach-inspired, free spirited personality the brand has developed, SIX (!!!) new t-shirt phrases, a bunch of new t-shirt styles, and a solidified energy and cohesiveness that signifies what we are all about. All in all, if I had to explain what we are about at the core in two different sentences: High On Good Vibes Making Our Own Magic(Both of which are now t-shirt phrases, of course.)

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Did I mention that the website was redesigned by my two TBV Apparel masterminds Tynan & Cole?

Yeah, they are graphic designers on top of their many other skills. They design, print and ship all of the tees, Tynan does all of the photography (he also did all of the photography for my book!) and Cole is the face of our TBV Apparel Men’s Collection.

I am basically ridiculously lucky to have them. Say hi to Cole below! :)

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Especially, you must check out the look book on the site! It is to die for. I cried when I saw it. Cried.

We are so thrilled to have a place to share all of our new designs with you that represent what we stand for: creating a community of like-minded individuals by sharing our core principles of truth, balance and virtue. We hope that our clothes will encourage you to live a passionate life that you are excited about just like we have. That’s what we all deserve, and that’s what our tees symbolize.

Last month we held a contest for TBB readers to come up with some of our newest phrases for this redesign. I am thrilled to announce that we loved so many of your entries (over 800!), that we chose not one but FOUR winners. The winners are…

Gabrielle Terzano of @livelaughyum for “You Had Me at Savasana,” Stacey Oswald at @simply.stace for “My Kale Shake Brings All the Boys to the Yard,” @jenconn for “Namaste or Whatever,” and @happyhealthymama for “Somewhere Between a Donut & a Juice Cleanse.”

You all KILLED IT with your phrase ideas! Thank you to everyone who put in your vote — we chose the top four, and we hope you love the designs we came up with to accompany the sayings! All of the winners will get a free t-shirt with their winning phrase on it as well as a lifetime 10% off of TBV Apparel. Your support and love means the world to us.

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On top of those four, we also made a Make Your Own Magic” crop tee and a I’d Rather be a Mermaid” crop tank.

Each of the tees represent what we love & want for all of you: to live a passionate life and to make your own magic wherever you go.

Also, shoutout to the unbelievably gorgeous (inside and out) Natasia Lutes for being our TBV Apparel angel! Natasia not only rocks the tees with utter perfection by being our very own real life mermaid, but she also represents the key elements of truth, balance and virtue that are oh so important to us. On top of that, she is a healthy rockstar and a purveyor in BALANCE. She is an inspiration and we are lucky to have her as the face of our brand.

All in all, head over to www.truthbalancevirtue.com to check out everything & shop your hearts out! We. Are. So. Excited!!!Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 7.36.26 PMlookbook-4_1024x1024Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 7.37.06 PM

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#VIBESDONTLIE

#TBVAPPAREL

#MAKEYOUROWNMAGIC

And we have soooo many more that we are so stoked to share with you. All on the site! Can’t wait to hear what your favs are!

www.truthbalancevirtue.com

My Favorite Plant-based Meal Delivery Service

Hi loves! Happy Tuesday! I have been feeling so balanced lately in regards to food, fitness, sleep, etc. and as you know that can be rare for me since I am such an all-or-nothing person. So, because of that, I figured I would share a few tips and tricks with you about what has gotten me back on track. And since I have been traveling so much, I have had to be extra good about finding and maintaining balance. Jumping between time zones is known to throw you out of whack a bittle.

So… tip #1 (spoilers, the only tip in this post because I am going into detail here): COOKING HEALTHY MEALS.

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When I am in the comfort of my own home I absolutely love to cook for myself and my family. Not necessarily because the act of cooking is calming to me or because I love spending time in the kitchen, but mainly because I like to have the choice when it comes to which ingredients do and do not go into the food that I make. I have a wildly sensitive tummy (you guys know this), and all it takes is one extra tablespoon of oil or one hearty butter glob at a restaurant to throw my stomach into a tailspin.

But here’s the problem with me and cooking: it has to be a simple recipe, or else I won’t do it. I don’t have a ton of free time, and the free time I do have I prefer to spend exercising, hanging out with people I love, reading, going on walks/hikes, etc. If I see a recipe that looks good but it also looks complicated and like there are too many ingredients (time consuming and a potential problem for my tummy) then I will pretty much steer clear.

So when I find anything that helps me with my time efficiency in the kitchen without sacrificing health then I am a happy camper. For that reason, meal delivery services rock. But they have to be the right meal delivery service that caters to the way I like to eat.

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I recently told you about my Blue Apron experience, and today I’m telling you about my experience with The Purple Carrot — a plant-based meal delivery service that I used the week before I left for NY. Although all of the ingredients are vegan (and non-GMO to boot!), the service is not just for vegans. (Hello, I’m not vegan and I love it!)

The meals they provided for me to make were an Asian Quinoa Salad and an Israeli CousCous with Kalamata Olives, and the snack was a SINFULLY delicious (but oh so healthy Blueberry Chocolate Trail Mix Bark. I’m warning you, the Blueberry Chocolate Bark photos are legitimate food porn. Be prepared to salivate.

Also, sidenote about the whole chocolate thing. SO many of their snacks in their recipe archive use chocolate in a healthy and plant-based way… That is my kind of meal delivery service. Like woah.

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Special thanks to my roomie Laura for whipping these meals up while I worked my butt off to get ready for NYC! She even put them in tupperware and covered them in foil until I was ready to photograph them. #goodroomieaward #shegottoeatsometoo #soshewashappy. :)

Now let me give you some background info…

The Purple Carrot offers meal kits that provide all of the raw, pre-measured ingredients that people need to make two meals throughout the week, plus ingredients to make a healthy plant-based snack. The meals serve up to four people, or if you’re like me you can make it for yourself and one other and have leftovers! I. Love. Leftovers. Makes life so much easier.

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There are easy-to-follow instruction cards included in every box… So if you’re like me and you make a lot of kitchen mishaps, all you need to do is follow the instructions and you will be fine. What I love about the food is that it’s plant-based food for both vegans and non-vegans who are interested in exploring a plant-based diet and/or want help transitioning to a more veggie-heavy lifestyle.

Think you’ll be hungry just because it’s plant-based? Think again! The meals are filling and they are full of veggies, whole grains, legumes and fresh fruits. It’s only $59/week, and for four people that’s a pretty rad deal. Oh, and if you use the promo code “TBB50” at checkout then you will get 50% off of your first order… making it $29.50. That is a STEAL, my lovers!

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Now, enjoy some yummy food befores before we part:

Asian Quinoa Salad:

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Israeli Couscous:IMG_1339IMG_1339

Blueberry Chocolate Bark:

FB7iRgZuUrr5ZkDHK_7Xg7faH_matn25_p6N1SR9xr4Be sure to check them out! Founder & CEO Andy Levitt founded the company in 2014 after watching the movie Forks Over Knives with his wife, and he also happens to be one of the sweetest people I have worked with on the blog in a long time. And don’t forget to use the discount code TBB50!

Have you ever tried The Purple Carrot or any other meal delivery services? If so, what were your thoughts? Would love to hear any favs you guys have had!

What Month Is It, Again?!

It’s June. Seriously?

There are so many days in the year where I have to stop and really think for a few minutes about what year it is. Most days, if you told me the correct year was anything between 2014-2016 I would totally believe you.

Similarly, this past Friday afternoon I was driving to my old high school, Sacramento Country Day School (Go Cavs ;)) with my best friend Katie to speak to the seniors on their Career Day. In the car I started remarking on how long it had been since we were in school there. It’s a Pre-K through 12th school, and we were both “lifers” meaning we were there from Kindergarten on. Basically, our whole entire beings were formed there.

During that conversation it struck me in both a funny and a seriously strange and freaky way: I couldn’t remember my exact age. It might sound silly, but my memory has always been one of my strongest traits. I would have scoffed at someone who couldn’t remember their exact age or what year they graduated. But somehow, in that car ride, I was completely confused as to whether Katie and I were 24 or 25. It started as a bit of a joke like wait a second what’s our exact age, but quickly I was saying okay this is not funny anymore, HOW OLD ARE WE?

“We’re 24!!!” Katie said. “…You’ll be 25 in October.”

And while it was a brief memory lapse and makes complete sense given the fact that mid-20s ages are all pretty similar and I don’t have any major distinctions between them in my mind, yet, it still freaked me out. It was the first time in my life that I had reached a point that my exact age number didn’t really 100% matter. When you’re 11, every month that passes by counts toward being 11 and a half, 11 and three quarters, etc. When you’re 18, your age is everything. When you’re 21, your age is everything. When you’re 22 and graduating college… Age means so much.

But I suppose I am finally reaching the point where age is kind of just there. I don’t feel any different than the 27 and 28 year olds that I know, and to be honest I don’t feel THAT different than some of the 35 year olds that I know… especially the ones who don’t have kids. Even many who do have kids! We’re all just here, doing our thing and living our lives. In a way it’s very cool and in a way it’s kind of a mind trip: age is just a THING, just like time and space is just a THING, and all that really, really matters about the time that we have is what we do with it.

Sometimes people tell me, “Oh, the reason you get confused about the year and the month and the day of the week is because you have a job that doesn’t require you to be into an office MWF from 9-5. To you it’s all the same.” I think they are right and that’s definitely a part of it… but I also think that my outlook on life has something to do with it.

What do I mean by that? To me, every day is laid out and available for me to enjoy it to the absolute fullest. Whether that means working from morning till night doing something like writing my book, photographing for TBV Apparel, hanging out and connecting with people in the wellness space, planning a retreat, being ON a retreat, spending quality time with my family or something totally different: a day is a day to me. Fridays and Saturdays are no different to me than Mondays and Tuesdays. Not because I don’t work hard during the week or because I don’t let loose on the weekends, but because time is almost irrelevant to me in some ways. I just want to live every day to the fullest and love it.

That’s why I cannot stannnddd when people tell me they are dreading a Monday or “hate Wednesdays” or can’t wait until the next three day weekend. These are our LIVES, you guys. Our lives were made to be enjoyed. If you don’t like what you’re doing, change it. Your life is in your own hands. Complaining to others about not liking your life won’t get you to a place where you do like your life– only you can do that by putting in the work.

So, in conclusion… It’s June!!! Time has FLOWN. Clearly I have had my head under a rock writing a book for the last year… so this year has been going particularly fast.

Anyone have any fun June plans?! I am heading to Hawaii with the fam in a few weeks. So very excited. PS: How do you view time? Like me, or in a more traditional way? I would love to hear!