TBV Babe of the Week: the lovely Rachelle Tratt

Hellllooo my beautiful loves, and welcome to our second official TBV Babe of the Week! Miss Natasia Lutes kicked it off last week with a real bang, and we are so stoked to be adding to our TBV babe gang this week with the incredibly soul-shining & inspirational beauty Rachelle Tratt !!!

Below Rachelle is rocking her fav TBV tee: My Kale Shake Brings All the Boys to the Yard, & styling it like the lovely, gypsy, yogi soul that she is. (Reminds me of someone’s style I know… Oh wait, MINE! No wonder I am obsessed.) Plus she paired the outfit with her gorgeous Neshama Project jewelry… The combo, too stellar, I die.

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And in case you missed last week’s intro to the new weekly #TBVBabe installment, let me give you a little rundown: the people I am choosing to represent our brand in this fun new way are babes from the INSIDE out, and their beauty radiates outward into everything they dip their hand, heart & soul into. These people are inspiring and living life outside of the box, in all of their very own magical ways, and creating a life full of happiness and GOOD VIBES for themselves & everyone around them. I am choosing people who inspire in all areas from yoga to entrepreneurship to fashionistas to nutritionists & everything in between.

Today’s babe of the week can’t be summed up in any one particular category. She is a yogi, she is a teacher, she is a business owner, she is a world traveler, adventurer, fountain of knowledge (especially about Israel! Talk to this girl about Israel, she will blow your mind), and of course a loving Golden Doodle mama.

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Rachelle & I have had a lot of mutual friends for a long time, and whenever I learned more about her I became more and more hooked on everything I knew she represented. I am in love with her hamsa necklaces, and even more in love with the message behind them. In a video on her site, Rachelle explains a bit of the inspiration behind her company…

“I always knew that I wanted this to be greater. Not just a necklace, not just a product that’s sitting on a shelf somewhere.”

And I was like woah. Yes. This girl and I need to be friends and my TBB readers need to know about her.

And thus she became our second babe of the week, this interview went down annnddd the beautiful Friday morning I spent at the Venice Farmer’s Market with her made my day a whole lot brighter.

Q&A with high vibe yogi livin’ babe Rachelle Tratt:

Q: As I mentioned above, I am so inspired by the kind, open, loving energy you radiate. What do you do in your “me time” to ensure that you are able to bring it in your yoga teaching, friendships and relationships? (Seriously wondering, because whatever you do I’m going to implement!)
A: Aw thanks so much love. Honestly, I spend as much time outdoors in nature  as possible. Moving my body, practicing yoga, dancing, walking Bailey, and or some form of movement, every day, ensures that I am able to stay that kind, open, loving, energetic being that you so sweetly mentioned above. Oh and I only surround  myself with like minded supportive beautiful Souls who get me and love me to the moon and back. This is a huge factor, I have no more room for negativity or heavy relationships in my life, this right here is the key to helping me stay energetically light.
( TBB Side Note… I LOVE THIS ANSWER. YES, YES, YES. )
You Had Me At Savasana tank | Do You Even Yoga? tank | Photo ft. BAILEY!
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Q: When we were shooting your photos at the Farmer’s Market, you told us a great story about where Neshama Project, your jewelry line, got its name. Will you share that with our TBB readers?!
A: Neshama (means) Soul in Hebrew and the N in Neshama is in honor of my mom, Nicole, who passed away when I was nine years old. She met my dad in Israel in 1973, and through their love story, I have created and formed my own unique love story with the country. I have never considered myself to be a religious or political person, and well, with every hamsa or meaningful product from us, that is out their in the world, adorned by a beautiful Soul, is our way of spreading light for a country that houses my heart. My mom was a humble artist who stood for charity, kindness and creating ways to inspire and give back to the world. This is at the core of The Neshama Project and why I continue to do what I do. “In every day, in every moment, find ways to make someone smile, give them hope, wake them up and let them shine” has and always will be our mission statement.
( TBB Sidenote: The above quote is also in Rachelle’s email signature… Which I think is so cool. How often do we get such an important & beautiful reminder in EMAIL land? Hardly ever. )
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Q: Our line TBV Apparel stands for finding Truth, Balance and Virtue in every day life. What significance do those three attributes hold in your life, and what do they bring to mind for you?
A: Truth –> to me is my ability to share authentically from my heart, the good-the challenging-the inspiring-and the messy- at all times, regardless of how it may be perceived by others.
Balance –> to me is my ability to work hard and play hard. The kinda’ gypsy soul that likes her green juice with a side of kale after a sweaty yoga class, and the same gypsy soul who likes some tequila with a side of tacos after partying with her friends.
Q: What brought you to your yoga mat for the very first time, and what inspired you to stay, and eventually teach?
A: I grew up a total tom boy, I played tennis and basketball, so after college when I was no longer a part of a competitive team I found myself looking for an outlet to express myself.  During that time I was about  20 years old and was experiencing intense stomach problems that the doctors didn’t really know what was going on. A roommate at the time suggested that I should try yoga, and i remember laughing at her and being like “Yea ok, sure, I’m just gonna sit here and meditate, oommmmmmm”-  So I took my first class, it happened to have been a Bikram class, and well, I hated every single moment of it. I hated the fact that the teacher was yelling at me, I was judging myself and every single very fit and barely clothed person in the room, and to top it all off- there were mirrors! I already felt so uncomfortable in my own skin, and I had to look at myself in the mirror for an hour and a half, c’mon!!! Then- the AHA moment came- Shavasana. I finally felt at peace in my mind, in my body, and in my stomach, and that was it. I was hooked. And its been a done deal ever since :)
So I guess “You Had Me at Savasana” holds a little more significance for Rachelle then we even realized… SO COOL. 
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A, cont: For me these days, my practice has evolved into less of a physical outlet, and more of a spirited way to clear my mind, listen to my heart, and connect with my body. I look at it like every time that I step onto my mat, I have an opportunity to move with meaning, and allow my practice to stand for something greater by being rooted in intention.
It’s funny someone asked me the other day why after 8 years do I still teach? Teaching yoga has become a means for me to humbly share my wisdom; an internal acknowledgment that comes from my own personal experience on this w i l d beautiful & often messy adventure called, life & love.
Q: Quote that you live by?
A: I have so many quotes and sayings that inspire me daily, but this poem below, always always does it for me…

“…I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” – Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903

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Q: Who in your life inspires you?
A: My family, my friends, my colleagues, people who have struggled in their lives, and preserved, and who have created something beautiful from something challenging.
Q: What is your favorite TBV Apparel phrase?!
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Q: Tips for overcoming fear & pursuing your dreams and passions.
A: If there is something you want to do and create – GO DO IT – because no one is going to do it for you!
Q: Complete this sentence: Life is worth living, because…
A: love, beauty, & magic exist around every corner.
Q: If you were stuck in the middle of the jungle and had only three items to bring with you, what would they be?
A: Bailey.
My man.
Some hummus. :):):)
Hiiii Bailey! 
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Q: FAVORITE part of what you do!!
A: Connecting with amazing, inspiring, holy beautiful, powerful, loving, playful, creative, women – like YOU!
Q: Where can we get more Rachelle in our lives?! Your website, your jewelry, your retreats… Tell us!
A: Enjoy visiting our site The Neshama Project and learn more about how the company started, our mission, and the inspiring organizations that we support with each sale. Shop with Meaning!
I teach that thang called yoga in Venice at The Yoga Collective Mon & Wed 7:45pm candle lit soulful flow. And Friday and Sunday at 10:45am! And one Sunday a month, my girlfriend DJ Glenniest and I host a charity yoga class. We call ourselves Dirt & Glitter. Wanna know why? Come this Sunday Aug 2 and experience the magic!
I have some exciting opportunities coming up to Wake up to magic. Nourish your Soul. and Travel with Meaning. I believe that travel is one of the things that truly makes your life richer. All aspects of the trips that I have designed have a volunteering element so that our wild adventures both have the power to give back and stand for something greater!
Soulful Adventure to Bali this September 915 ! To learn more visit the yoga page to our site and Seek Retreat. Our second Soulful Adventure to Israel is happening in March- and my sister wife Sophie from Philosophie and I will be hosting our second Nourish Your Soul retreat to Tulum with dates still to be determined!
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Rachelle, thank you so much for being our BABE OF THE WEEK this fine Friday, for rocking TBV Apparel like a boss, for sharing your soul with us and opening our eyes to the fab Neshama Project world you’ve created. WE HEART YOU.
Don’t forget to visit Rachelle on her website & her Insta, where she posts awesome stuff allll da time. And visit us at TBV Apparel & check out the line! PS, what’s everybody up to this weekend?! Some true, balance, virtue, yoga, fun & good vibey stuff I hope! xx
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All photography by the AMAZINGLY talented Iselin & Hale.

Breaking Vegan Preorder Giveaway Winners… DRUM ROLL, PLEASE!

Hiiii lover loves, guess what?! I have finally chosen the winners of the #TBBTribe Breaking Vegan Book Preorder GIVEAWAY! It took me a while to choose because, well, you guys all rock, and I am so, SOOOO grateful to everyone who preordered right off the bat & continues to preorder. This preorder period will go until November, when the book LAUNCHES & will be in all of your hands!!!!

Here are the places you can preorder from:

 Amazon: Here

  Barnes & Noble: Here

  Indie Bound: Here

  Indigo Books: Here

   Bookish: Here

Even though this particular contest is now closed (woo, woo, 10 amazing winners), you will still all receive the free healthy recipe eBook that comes with preordering the book. So if you haven’t preordered, get on it!!! A lot of people have been asking me why preorders are important, with the book coming out in November and the preorders being available now. So I want to take a sec to explain because trust me before I went through this process on the author side, I had never preordered a book months in advance in my entire life. (Except for Chocolate Covered Katie‘s book, because I was WAY too excited for that one.)

Here’s why preorders are a thing…

When a book does well in preorders, different outlets like Amazon & Barnes and Noble & Indie Bound, etc. will base THEIR order number off of the preorders. If it only does moderately well, they’ll only buy a moderate amount of copies. If it does really well, they will buy more copies. The more copies they buy, the more likely the book is to do really well and get into more people’s hands. I can explain this all to you guys without sending like a sales-psycho because you are my readers/supporters, and you know that this book is MY LIFE and basically what I’ve always dreamed of.

Meanwhile, I totally get that preordering a book months in advance is something a lot of us don’t do. (I usually just wait for the book to come out.) But now, seeing how things go on the publishing side of things, I realize how important it is to get preorders in order to get eyes on the book. That’s why I am offering fun giveaways, the free recipe eBook, SIGNED book plates (!!!!), and the opportunity for Skype seshes for people who preorder & send me their purchase receipt.

Plus, the book is $5.00 cheaper in this preorder period!!! 

So there is my little explanation, so it can make sense as to why I want you guys to get your orders in before the book launches. :) LOVE YOU ALL and if you don’t want to preorder the book, that is more than okay. (OBVI!!)

I am still finishing the eBook — 7 recipes out of 10, down — because I didn’t anticipate my summer to be so INSANE and I also like to take my time with this stuff to bring you guys all of the best recipes, photos & writing content as possible. It should be really in the next couple of weeks, and if you email me your purchase receipt of the book then the eBook will come STRAIGHT to your inbox right when it is finished!

OH ALSO! Who wants to see an exclusive recipe from the book released in the next week or so? If there is interest for that… I am so doing it. I cannot WAIT to share these photos + recipes with you!

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And now, without further ado…

Breaking Vegan Preorder Giveaway WINNNAASSS:

GRAND PRIZE (More than $550 total in product!): A pair of Lululemon pants, a NutriBullet blender, a 16-pack of Pitaya Plus packets, a case of Bai antioxidant infusion, a jar of Justin’s maple almond butter, Justin’s dark peanut butter cups, 1 box of Peanut Butter RxBars, a bottle of VEEV VitaFrute (organic vodka), a box of Nourish Snacks, a CaliScrub facial scrub, a large bag of Philosophie Superfoods Green Dream powder, prAna E.C.O Yoga Mat, Bison Bacon Cranberry EPIC Bars & Sample Pack of EPIC Bites, 1 large tub of VEGA Protein Powder, 1 TBV Apparel tee of your choice, a box of Liquid IV healthy hydration supplement

WINNER: Erin Hinkle, a.k.a one of my dear TBB readers & supporters, one of my main Snapchat friends, & a beautiful soul inside & out. Erin posts about the book on Instagram every so often & shows major support, which is not lost on me, EVER. So excited for you to receive your goodies, Erin!

Prize #2 + #3 (Same Prize Items for each): A NutriBullet blender, a 16-pack of Pitaya Plus packets, a case of Bai antioxidant infusion, a jar of Justin’s maple almond butter, Justin’s peanut butter cups, 1 box of Coconut RxBars, a 4-pack of Clean Energy RUNA tea, a bottle of VEEV VitaFrute (organic vodka), a box of Nourish Snacks, a CaliScrub facial scrub, a small bag of Philosophie Superfoods (flavor of your choice), prAna E.C.O Yoga Mat, 4 most popular EPIC bars + a bag of EPIC bites, 1 large tub of Vega Protein Powder, 1 TBV Apparel tee of your choice, a box of Liquid IV healthy hydration supplement

WINNERS: Sophia Van Doren & Paulina Casey, two super sweet souls who make their support of this project (and this blog!) clear. I had the fabulous pleasure of meeting Sophia at my Juice Press event in NYC over a year ago, and her wonderfully kind demeanor has stuck with me. Paulina, I hope I get to meet you one of these days, too!!! (MAYBE ON THE BOOK TOUR?!?!?)

Prize #4: “A LuluLemon Experience With Jordan” (So fun!!) — The opportunity to come into the Brentwood, Los Angeles Lululemon store and try on the latest and greatest Lulu trends! Jordan (me) will hang with you and help you decide what to get, and you will go home with a brand new free outfit! Killer prize, in my opinion. Plus a prAna E.C.O Yoga Mat!

WINNERS: Stacey Oswald, a.k.a Cupcakes & Kale Shakes, a.k.a the lovely girl with SO many small world coincidences — I emailed her back one morning and then RAN into her at Live Beaming, her new place of work!!! Stacey, we are gonna have a BLAST picking out an outfit for you at the Brentwood Lululemon!!!!

Prize #5: A Lovin’ Summer beach tent — basically the coolest thing around, and it’s 99% UV protective. If you live by the beach or are going on a beach vacation this summer… This is your prize.

WINNER: Zoe Howard, my babe of all babes. There was NOOOO one better to give this prize to, because A) we fell in love under the Costa Rican sun (Zoe came to COSTA RICAAAAA on a yoga retreat with me on April after reading about it on the bloggy!), B) You live in HAWAIII and you are a beach dweller, C) I want to protect that gorgeously glowing skin of yours, D) your support means the world to me… More than you know, and your kind words, emails, texts and comments stick with me for WEEKS after I read them. You have given me so much joy in these short few months since I’ve known you… So I want to gift ya back GF!!! MUAH.

Prize #6 + #7: The Beauty Basket! A pack of Sunology sunscreen, a case of Cate McNabb Cosmetics & Hello Hair product

WINNERS: Stephanie Layne & Macey Shinpaugh, because you both sent me wonderful emails along with your preorder receipts & because this beauty basket is one of my FAV prizes, and I hope you gals enjoy. <3 <3 

Prize #8 + #9: The Hydration Basket! VEEV VitaFrute organic vodka + mason jar, a case of Bai antioxidant infusion drink, DRINKmaple 12-bottle case of maple hydration beverage (so yummy), case of RUNA tea, Liquid IV healthy hydration supplement

WINNERS: Laura Jackson & Jamie Tingey, because the support I’ve gotten from these girls over the years of having this bloggy has radiated from the screen, and I adore them both and all of the words we’ve exchanged. I had the pleasure of meeting Jamie at mine & Sophie’s Equinox event last summer… and she is utterly lovely! I hope you girls LOVE your prizes. Muah, muah, muah.

NOT TO MENTIIOOONNNN, the SKYPE WINNERS! I know I told you all I would email you to choose a Skype time, oh, about TWO months ago, but now that I am finally back in LA & settling into my new apartment, now is the perfect time and I can decide my full self to chatting with you guys and getting to know you. You Skype winners, you know who you are already — I will be emailing you with details & time slot options this week! 

P.S. A few book-related things to get excited about…

Q&A’s on the bloggy WITH:

Steven Bratman, the doctor who coined the term orthorexia, AND the amazing writer who wrote the FOREWORD of my book.

– Emily Nolan, the KILLLERRRR founder of My Kind of Life & Women Empowerment Event #TOPLESS. Emily wrote a blurb for the book that’s on the back cover. :))))

Chocolate Covered Katie, who needs no intro because she’s THAT AWESOME, because she wrote a fabulous blurb for the back cover of the book & I am so honored and touched.

Annie Lawless, BFF + writer of one of the fab blurbs in the book. (And the founder of SUJA and a best-selling author… come on…)

Kathryn Budig, Lori Majewski, Alex Jamieson, Kelsey Miller & Deliciously Ella…. All FABBBBB writers of blurbies for the book

The Inaugural TBV Apparel Babe of the Week: Model+Yogi Natasia Lutes

Hi guys! If you receive my weekly newsletter, then you know I have been planning a verrryyyy exciting new weekly installment here on TBB. From now on, each Friday I will be featuring a “Truth Balance Virtue Babe of the Week!”

Spoilers: This #TBVBabe Natasia is our inaugural babe of the week, annddd if you haven’t already done so, by the end of reading this post you’re going to fall in love with her. Consider yourself forewarned.

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Each babe will be an awesome, inspiring person from the wellness/yoga/health community, the blog community, the entertainment industry or really just anyone I think of and go, “WOW, this person would inspire my readers.” A lot of thought goes into the babe of the week… because although each person will be different & their unique personality and style will shine through in each feature, they are being chosen because they represent our core mottos of truth, balance & virtue.

Luckily, I know a ton of people who represent TBV in every way, shape & form. I have a lot of great people lined up — girls & guys, bloggers & yogis & business owners & models & YouTubers and PR directors and friends and family… AndDddDdd I want feedback from all of YOU so I can start featuring you or someone you know who represents the good vibes we cultivate over here at TBV. #highongoodvibes, anyone?

Each week we will feature a Q&A with the chosen super rad individual with photos of them in TBV Apparel, snapshots of their life and who they are / what they do, and of course they will share with us how they style the tees!! And fun fact: the t-shirts they’re wearing in their photos will tell you which tee is their fav, because that’s part of the awesomeness…

Except for our inaugural babe, because we actually have the pleasure of having photographs of her in EVERY single TBV t-shirt, because she is one of our TBV Apparel models & so happens to be the FACE of our summer collection!!!

So, without further ado:

Meet Natasia Lutes….

the wise-beyond-her-years, stunningly gorgeous (inside & out), yogic & in-tune-with-the-earth, smoothie-loving, beautifully balanced & ridiculously sweet wellness goddess California babe who happens to be from Sactown (representttt!) — can you tell I love her? Can you tell I chose her for a reason? I hope so, because she’s the inaugural babe & the face of our brand for a reason.

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One of the reasons we chose Natasia to represent our brand is because she embodies what it means to be a person of truth, balance & virtue. She understands herself & the world in a way we can all learn a lot from.

AND she styles the tees just gloriously, because her comfy, laid-back, quirky style is almost as laid-back & quirky as mine. (Okay, probably the same amount. Wonderfully.)

( Health is the New Black | Do You Even Yoga? | Is Vodka Vegan? )

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Here we gooooo:

Q: Natasia… It’s an honor to feature you on TBB today. You embody all that we strive for over here at TBV Apparel from radiating the best of vibes to living a healthy, yogic, down to earth & happy lifestyle. Oh, and on top of it all you are a go-getter and, in my experience, up for anything (hello, you hung out of a helicopter over Los Angeles with the sickest background of all time. You = life). Tell us a bit about how you’ve found balance in this crazy, fast-paced world!

A: Honestly, it all really comes down to realizing that so many factors affect our well-being. Without nourishing ourselves in all these facets of our lives, we seize to exist and function at our optimal levels. Balance really is the key component to health: physically, mentally, spiritually, socially, emotionally, academically.. everything! It is something I have come to prioritize every day and yoga is a huge part of it. I have learned that my practice has the ability to translate it self to how I choose to approach life off my mat as well. We as human beings have so much power over our own realities, many people just don’t understand to what capacity our minds control every aspect of our being. Along with that, I am seriously so connected with nature. Whether it’s the full moon that somehow throws off my sleeping pattern or finding clarity out in the water, there’s something about immersing myself in the simple treasures of the earth that reset my naturally high vibrations.

Q: What does living a life of “Truth, Balance & Virtue” mean to you?

A: It’s quite simple in my eyes. Staying true to who you are. I made a promise when I first entered college and it really has stuck with me. I told myself that I would never let other people lower the standards I hold for myself. It’s so easy to get lost in the whirlwind of life and almost unconsciously begin adapting to the norms in which other people live their lives. That’s why I think it’s so essential to find those little things that re center you and can snap you out of little funks by reminding you who you really are.. That can be anything, too! For me it could be going home and re connecting with my family, walking barefoot in the grass, stepping onto my matt and letting everything go except my breath.. you just have to find what that is for you and know you can go back there no matter what.

Natasia is wearing the Namaste or Whatever Crop below )

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Q: Putting yourself out there as a model and exposing yourself to the unfortunate words of criticism that come from any type of exposure takes a whole lot of guts and inner confidence. Can you tell us a bit about how you’ve found that self-confidence within you to do what you do, and to do it so well? And when criticism comes, how do you deal?

A: Honestly I think part of someone’s confidence is just how they are wired. With that, a lot of mine definitely has to do with how I was raised. I’m really lucky.. My parents never put any pressure on me growing up, like ANY. There was never any negative body talk or self- critique in my house. Actually, to be honest, coming to college kind of rocked my world. I was so taken back by how poorly girls speak of themselves and it really got to me. BUT, in my short 21 years on this earth I have learned that no matter who you are or what stand for, there will always be someone with a negative comment. I consider it a gift that I got to experience such harsh rejection at a really young, delicate age. I am one who naturally thinks the world is a pure, blissful place to live in, which it is!! However, growing up in such a small, safe place (SACTOWN wuddup) I didn’t really ever understand that you have to look out for yourself and be cautious in this world. The modeling industry not only taught me that you cannot take yourself or the opinion of others too seriously, but that there is SO MUCH MORE to life than how good of an impression you can make on a casting director in less than 15 seconds (I wish I was exaggerating). Take everything with a grain of salt. Use every form of critique as a way to understand someone else’s perspective. Enable yourself to learn from each person who crosses your path. That’s about it.

Vibes. Don’t. Lie. 

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Q: Do you have a favorite quote or upbeat reminder for yourself when you’re feeling like you need an extra boost of inspiration?

A: If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.

** TBB Note: This. Is. So. True. ^^^^

Q: Your favorite TBV Apparel shirt phrase?

A:I’d Rather Be A Mermaid” because I think I am one.. but also “Somewhere Between A Donut And A Juice Cleanse” because that is also so true and the story of my life. BALANCE amiright?

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Q: What does an ideal day in the life of Natasia look like?
A: I LOVE MORNINGS. So definitely wake up early, hop on my bike, and grab a big frothy cup of coffee on my way to yoga. After I would definitely head to SunLife for my favorite smoothie ever then get some snacks to hit the beach. Maybe catch a nice sunset hike and meditate at the top of some insane mountain? Jumping in the hot tub and then running into the ocean again before heading home to take a steamy hot OUTDOOR shower (my ultimate heaven.) The night would end with all of my favorite people coming over for a big dinner and we would sit around a bonfire laughing together until the sun comes back up again.

Q: You shot our TBV Apparel revamp with us & are featured allll over the site & the lookbook (as the founder, this collab makes me so incredibly happy!). Any funny stories from the shoot that you think TBB readers would like to hear? Behind the scenes is always fun. :) 

A: Well, any day with Austin, Tynan and Jordan is always a fun day in my book! I’m just such a dork.. pretty sure half the time when people are laughing WITH me  they’re actually laughing AT me. But I love it. hmm.. when we were shooting at the beach we had to change on location since it was kind of a trek form the car and instead of hiding behind a rock or waiting for someone to hold up a towel I would legit just be chucking clothes left and right. Pretty sure I gave everyone on the beach a show. Sorry?

Her Kale Shake Brings All the Boys to the Yardddd.

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Q: I’ve noticed from FB / Snapchat / knowing you in life that you love yummy foods like Pressed Juicery Freezes & acai bowls justttt as much as I do (major yum). What is your fav dessert/healthy indulgence?!

A: You just nailed it. PRESSED JUICERY FREEZE is my ultimate vice. But I don’t even consider it a vice.. healthy, refreshing, sweet, satisfying, and brings a smile to face. I try to get a new combination every time I go so it has sort of turned into a game for me. (Also an excuse to go multiple times per day?) How many times I go per week will remain undisclosed..

I mean hellloooo... yum & i need this.

I mean hellloooo… yum & i need this.

Q: Let’s talk fashion, you boho fashionista you. Describe your style in 5 words!

A: I asked my sister what she would say for this one and she replied, “How does that look good.” Everyone always laughs at my outfits. I would say WEIRD, spunky, random, comfy, unique.

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Q: What do you think the “secret” to being our happiest, healthiest self is? 

A: Push yourself to be the best version of you, who you are at your core. It’s great to draw inspiration from others and use their success as drive but I also feel like there is a fine line that can easily be crossed once motivation turns to comparison. At that point it’s toxic. It’s easy to think we need to achieve a bunch of things and brag about it to be happy or find success or discover what we came here to do. But the purpose of living is to LIVE. To dig deeper, explore, discover, create, experience, develop, evolve, learn, grown. We don’t have to accomplish or achieve anything, we just have to intentionally place ourselves outside of our comfort zones and get lost to discover who we truly are. Say hi to random people, fall in love with a stranger, taste new food, dance in the rain, meditate under the mood, skinny dip in the ocean. Wander alone to discover what our souls really crave.. then chase it! Let life take us where we need to go without having our minds stop us. We didn’t come here to be perfect, we already are.

Q: Finish this sentence: “Life is a wild ride, but ____________ make it all worthwhile.”
A: ..the relationships you make, the food you taste and the adventures you embrace..

( You Had Me at Savasana ) … Actually Natasia, you had us at hello!

aRivS8T1mfGwhf0bAaOqAnh1BG213FNy1PbWUh9rRbETHANK YOU mucho mucho to Natasia for being our very first babe of the week. And even more thanks to her for cultivating such a beautiful, balanced space to live and share with us. Can all 21 year old girls be so wise? Please???!! Let Toss be your guide. :)

Also, shop TBV Apparel to get your hands on the rad tees she’s wearing!!! Her beachy, yogi vibe makes us oh so happy. 

Move, Nourish, Believe

When I first got into the healthy living game on Instagram over two years ago (as @theblondevegan… we all know what road that went down, lol) I did my research when it came to hashtags. I hashtagged my photos like crazy with all of the health-related, fitness and plant-based hashtags I could find. It turns out that a lot of my favorite healthy living bloggers with big social media presences used the hashtags #mnb and #movenourishbelieve. I was intrigued from the get go — I loved the phrase and wanted to know where it came from! Move, Nourish, Believe… three principles I tried to live by every day. I needed to know more.

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Wearing: STRONG Tank + Pia Core Stability Tights

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It didn’t take me long to get to the bottom of it. I quickly realized that the phrase “Move Nourish Believe” was associated with Lorna Jane, a.k.a the boomingly-popular brand of super cute activewear with a killer mission behind it. I mean, I knew about Lorna Jane the company because they have a big store in the Santa Monica promenade where I’ve found some of my absolute most favorite printed yoga pants for years… but once I started looking further into it, I learned that LJ was a full-blown lifestyle brand.

Then I needed to know even more. But not before beginning to hashtag my pics #mnb, of course. Which then made my followers think I was Australian… Which was awesome. And my insomniac hours made them think that more and more, since I never seemed to really be on east coast or west coast U.S. time with my posts, lol.

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Upon my digging, I learned that Lorna Jane was founded by none other than Lorna Jane Clarskon, the insanely inspirational Active Living philosopher. LJ inspires women not only to MOVE their bodies every day, but NOURISH themselves from the inside and BELIEVE in themselves and their ability to achieve great things. And she wrote a book. And we KNOW I am a sucker for business owners turned authors or vice versa… I mean, hello. Dreams do come true for women who have a mission and kick butt while pursuing it. Never forget that.

So, you can imagine my excitement when LJ threw out the idea of partnering with TBB & making me one of their MNB Mavens. You guys know that I only agree to represent companies I truly believe in from the inside out, and this company is absolutely, 100% one of them. When your mission statement draws on the principles of moving, nourishing & believing… how can I not go gaga for them?

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To kick off the partnership & celebrate their summer collection, I’ve chosen a few pieces to highlight on the bloggy today to show you what their clothing is all about. Lorna Jane’s lifestyle website has content ranging from recipes to workouts to inspirational messages and then some, but the core of the brand is the CLOTHES. And I am all about cute, versatile activewear, that’s for damn sure. It’s the only thing I wear.

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The items I’m rocking in these photos are the: Sweet Stuff Casual Tee (I can’t tell you how many compliments I got while wearing this tank around West Hollywood… It was awesome), the Essence Harem pants, the Feel Good Sweatshirt (“Just a Girl Doing it Her Way”… Story of my life and I love it), the Pia Core Stability Tights & the Comfort Sports Bra in black.

So, interspersed with my photos today I’ve decided to tell you how I like to move, nourish & believe…

FAVORITE WAYS TO…

MOVE:

My favorite workouts are power vinyasa yoga (duh) & high intensity interval training. I like to switch it up between the two because yoga keeps my muscles lean & my body/mind/spirit balanced, while the HIIT training gets my heart rate up and keeps my heart and body at maximum health. Plus, cardio feels so, soooo good to me & without it I tend to turn into a huge stress-ball who forgets to breathe. It’s all about the balance for me. The yin & the yang.

Wearing: STRONG Tank + Harem Pants

LJ18NOURISH:

I like to nourish my body with a balanced, whole foods diet. I stay away from “labels” of any kind, because I don’t believe that nourishment has anything to do with putting yourself into a box. I think it’s super important to listen to our bodies and feed ourselves what we crave, especially when we are MOVING a lot (exercising like cray cray) & we need the fuel. I eat a lot of veggies but I eat a lot of lean protein, too. Sugar doesn’t make me feel my best but I still have a sweet tooth, so I practice moderation. To me, nourishment all comes down to balance, fulfillment & listening to your body. Our bods know the way.

Wearing: “Just a Girl Doing it Her Way…” + Tights

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I don’t talk much about my spirituality on the bloggy. I talk about fitness & food all day long… but spirituality is another story. For the most part, I’m a big believer in karma. You know I have a huge connection to the number 201, randomly, which makes me believe that the universe has SOOOMEE semblance of a plan for each of us, and there are inherently good “spirits” (angels, karmic waves, energies, whatever you want to call them) watching out for us. I believe that the energy we put into the world has a lot to do with the way our lives end up, and the energy we receive from the universe in return. Also, did you guys know that I am Jewish? I grew up Jewish, went to temple every Sunday, had a Bat Mitzvah… but I also celebrated Christmas because my dad’s side is Catholic. So I grew up with a very balanced philosophy, but still had that awesome, supportive community and foundation of my Jews behind me. It was cool to grow up in that setting & feel like I belonged. I believe that whatever YOU want to believe, as long as its positive and leads to your overall happiness, is all good. There is no right or wrong, none of us really KNOW, so why not believe in positivity & good vibes? You get what you give. Be what you want to receive.

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How do yooouuu like to Move, Nourish & Believe? Let me know your thoughts below & check out Lorna Jane‘s site!!!

Also, a GIVEAWAY!!!

We are giving away $250 toward Lorna Jane clothing to a reader who enters this contest!!! Enter below for your chance to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

7 Secrets for Finding Balance in this Crazy Life…

( BTW, if you don’t feel like reading my ramblings, pop right over to Carbon38 to check out my full spread & my “7 secrets” on their site! Such a killer collab. )

P.S. If nothing else, you must, must check out this Spiritual Gangster hoodie from the collab. Photos below, but I had to share it up front because woah. I saw it on the racks pre-shoot & ran to it.

TBB x Carbon38

Wearing: Rio Legging | Tencel Racerback Tank | Koral Activewear Divert JacketDance Crop Sports Bra

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It’s no secret that “balance” is something I largely prioritize in my life. But, what a lot of people don’t know is that I don’t always consider myself an entirely “balanced” person. I actually struggle to find a middle ground with a lot of different things. I am a very extreme person, so every day I have to check in with myself and make sure I am practicing the art of balance moderation.

Wearing: Teeki Eagle Feather Hotpant | Labyrinth Luna Explorer Bag (*Love) | Zoe Karssen Stripe V-Neck (SO COMFY.)

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Need examples of my extremeness?

I am obsessed with Orange Theory Fitness (a rigorous high intensity interval training class), and I went through a phase where I went every single day of the week. It might not sound super intense to you, but it IS. Even the owners of the studio had their eyes popping out of their head when I said I’d been in every day for three weeks straight. Then I didn’t do Orange Theory for nearly a month, mainly due to travel, but still. I am on ONE end or the other.

I am either doing yoga twice a day or once a week. I struggle to just do something a normal amount… whether it be fitness, eating healthy (we all know I went way overboard with that), writing, working, etc. I am ALL or nothing.

Wearing: Spiritual Gangster Hoodie (!!!! OMG. Perfection alert. THIS HOODIE.) | Nat + J Tatiana Tank | Alo Yoga Ascendant Legging

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Soooo, because of that, I have had to teach myself a few tips & tricks to stay on top of the art of balance. It kind of reminds me of when I was in high school & was diagnosed with ADHD after years and years of struggling to concentrate in school. The doctors told my parents I got by for so long without being diagnosed because I had taught myself ways to compensate — by asking my friends what the teacher had instructed us to do, by scanning the room to see what people were doing when I didn’t know what it is was that we were supposed to be doing, by distracting from the fact that I was distracted by making people laugh/pretending like I was just too immersed in my drawing/doodling to care.

It’s kinda like that with balance, too. Because it’s such a struggle for me to escape my extremes, I have had to learn some basic tactics.

Wearing: Michi Hydra Crop Legging | Throttle Tank | ALALA Neoprene Jacket | LeSportSac Large Weekender Bag

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I’ve teamed up with Carbon38 to share my 7 Secrets to Finding Balance in this Crazy Life, & you can go here to read them and check out our full editorial on the site.

Sidenote: I had soooo much fun working with Carbon38 on this feature. Those girls know what they are doing when it comes to activewear, photography, styling & everything in between. I am a full-blown fangirl of what they are doing with their company. (Women-run business, yes yes yes.)

Wearing: The Upside Yoga Pant | Nux Exhale Tank | Nux Paloma Bra

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Sooo let’s just finish out the post with a bunch of pics & outfit deets! You in?

Wearing: Alo Yoga Coast Legging | Koral Activewear Slope Pullover Hoodie | Vitality Crop Top

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Wearing: Koral Activewear Dart Vest | The Upside Yoga Pant (Left) | Rio Legging (Right) | Nux Exhale Tank (Left) | Tencel Racerback Tank (Right) | Nike Juvenate (Left) | Topshop Platform Sandal (Right)Carbon38collage

SHOP THE POST…

& CHECK OUT THE FEATURE!

If you guys were in need of activewear / yoga clothes / cute, versatile & comfy clothing, I hope this post gave ya some guidance!!!! Who’s in for another TBB x Carbon38 collab soon?! I know I am!

Mini-Vaycay to San Diego: Treat Yourself w/ some Good Vibes & Self-CARE!

Soooo you might have noticed from my Instagram that I took a little mini vaycay to San Diego last weekend & had the time of my life. First of all, living in LA, it’s almost ridiculous how few times I’ve been to San Diego. One of my best friends from college is from there, one of my bloggy BFF’s Annie lives there & so does my blog manager / good friend Ali, not to mention a handful of other really amazing people that I know.

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Long story short: I will be taking a lot more trips to San Diego from now on. It is SO easy to get there from where I live. Once I picked up Danika in OC, my travel companion / photographer all around right-hand-woman, we got there in like… less than an hour. Easy peasy. And it’s one of those extremely cool cities that fascinates me because parts of it can be so urban, yet it’s literally ON the beach. My two favorite environments mixed into one.

D & I were lucky enough to stay at the Hotel Palomar in Downtown SD. To say we were blown away with our second-to-the-top-floor corner room would be a vastttt understatement. Our views were so beautiful, we screamed upon walking into the room. Screamed. Yeah, we are dorky and excitable & we don’t even tryyyy to hide it. I think my excitement also had something to do with the facts that:

A) I have only been to San Diego twice-ish and have never gotten to take in the beauty of Downtown SD from above like that… and you know how I love city life.

B) It’s been a rather stressful few weeks of apartment searching & personal life happenings, and I really, really needed a getaway with a good, down to earth soul. It was so refreshing and relaxing.

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There was chilled champagne waiting for us, and if you follow me on Snapchat (@jojoyounger), then you know I popped right into that baby on the balcony after a minor few minutes of struggle…

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Our shower had a bathtub inside of it — and not in the way a bathtub and shower can often be combined, but actually a huge walk-in shower with a huge bathtub IN it. Here are some photos in case my explanation doesn’t make a whole lot of sense…

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After we settled in & toasted our champagne overlooking Downtown San Diego, we headed to True Food Kitchen to meet none other than the fab Annie Lawless for din din. Only I would choose to go to a restaurant in SD that I can also drive 5 miles to in Santa Monica… but I love the place and hadn’t been there in a while, so it seemed like a great choice for three healthy gals like us.

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Hiii, Annie. You = my life.

We had a blast & shut the restaurant down… as we always do… too much fun to be had. Then it was back to our hotel for a night in our bigggg comfy bed (I am such a sucker for hotel beds + comfy bedding), and then a relaxing morning of workouts & downtime before our Jurlique facials.

I will spare you the story of waking up at dawn to meet Annie for a workout class that I ended up not making it to (car issues…), but I ended up working out in the hotel fitness center & LOVING having such an early start to my day. I got to explore the downtown area after that, check out one of the city’s hottest cold brew places (god, what an oxymoron), and then popped back over to the hotel to snap photos with D before our spa appointments!

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Having some fun in the hotel room pre-facials

Having some fun in the hotel room pre-facials

Wearing: Nasty Gal Pin Stripe Shirt Dress. (In love.)

We snapped the morning away in the gorgeous sunny room and then headed down for our facials. I have gotten a lot of facials/massages in a lot of hotel spas (because this is my number one favorite pastime in life… I truly get giddy over it), so I was eager to see how this one would compare.

After having experienced it, I can say, in my unbiased opinion, Jurlique blew me out of the water. Let’s start with the fact that my skin has been a bit of a mess for the last several months… Don’t ask me why, maybe it’s stress, maybe it’s working out & sweating too much in yoga/running without washing my face quickly enough, maybe it’s hormones (I personally think it’s all of the above), but my skin has not been so great lately.

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It’s been a week since the facial, and I have noticed drastic positive differences with my skin. Yesterday I woke up to a clear, un-irritated face for the first time in a very, very long time. (Too long.) I couldn’t help but stare at myself in the Orange Theory mirrors during my workout class yesterday because I am so used to seeing a face full of irritated, red skin staring back at me. And all I saw was clear, clear, clear!!! Until I really got heated of course…

The spa itself was gorgeous and so peaceful. The seating area was open, tranquil and inviting… Three of my major stipulations for true relaxation. We got super comfy robes to put on and relaxed until our appointment times.

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In the facial room itself, there was an awesome STEAM shower that was the perfect beginning to an unwinding massage. She used a ton of awesome Jurlique products on me throughout the facial and walked me through the process step-by-step. My personal favs were the balancing foaming cleanser (balance, baby!), the calendula redness rescue restorative treatment serum, and the rose moisture plus daily moisture balancing serum.

The extractions were painful, but that’s because I really, really needed them. The whole experience was so relaxing I didn’t wanna leave, and neither did Danika. Then we popped into Be Social PR to say hi to the team and we had GLOWING red faces and probably looked/seemed high, from the experience, but that’s okay. :)

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This is why I think spa days are necessary, every so often, for the modern, busy woman:

  1. We have to TREAT ourselves, and sometimes in order to relax you need to put yourself into a totally different environment than we are used to, away from the noise of our everyday lives. One of the best ways to do that is to let go and allow someone else to take over… Namely, someone who helps people relax for a living!
  2. You are worth it. You are worth spending an extra buck on yourself if you’re going to come out feeling refreshed and relaxed. You are worth spending some time ALONE, in a tranquil & calm environment, one away from technology/cell phones/life. You are worth treating yourself… Doing something special and out of the ordinary, something that makes you feel like you are celebrating you. You are worth celebrating.
  3. If you have skin problems, facials can be extremely beneficial. You get a one-on-one session with someone who is trained to take care of skin and make it look beautiful, so you might as well pick their brain and ask them what you can do to take care of your skin on a daily basis. Everyone’s skin is so different– once they get to know yours throughout the facial, they can give you tailored advice and help you choose products that are right for YOU.
  4. If you have back problems or soreness, massages are soooo beneficial (I know I’m deviating from the whole facial thing, but I am talking about spa days in general now too). I know so many people who avoid getting massages/facials because of the cost, and then try them for the first time in a while and remember how AMAZING they are. In my opinion, it’s worth skipping a couple expensive meals out to get a massage once a month. Self care should be prioritized.
  5. If you are easily stressed, a day at the spa… followed by a restorative yoga class (or vice versa) works WONDERS on the psyche. I am a notoriously stressed, tightly wound, anxious individual. Sometimes exercise cuts it, sometimes taking time off work and spending time with friends cuts it, and other times I need to switch it up and do something different and entirely relaxing — where I get pampered. It may sound excessive, but taking care of yourself should never be viewed as excessive. It’s called prioritizing.

So, there you have it, our mini-vaycay in San Diego at the Jurlique Spa & Hotel Palomar. Sometimes exactly what you need is to get out of your comfort zone, go on a little roadtrip with someone who makes you happy, and do something totally relaxing and enjoyable. BOOM.

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Thoughts on pampering ourselves / taking time out of our busy lives for self-care? I think it’s so important and highly underrated. Also, who has tried Jurlique products?! They are GREAT for sensitive skin — trust me, I would know. My skin blows up in flames at the sight of potentially inflammatory products. Do tell!

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All photos by Danika Miller, Iselin & Hale Photography. @iselinandhale

 

Q&A with Tess Masters, A.k.a The Blender Girl (+ KitchenAid Giveaway!)

Hellooo my loves, and happy Sunday! I have a really fun post to share with you today, and it involves a very special someone. Drum roll please… Say hello to Tess Masters, otherwise known as The Blender Girl!

(BTW, I love the name The Blender Girl. I also loooove blog name alter egos. There are so many people out there who know me as The Balanced Blonde and aren’t really sure what my first name is, and sometimes people ask me if that bothers me. Quite the opposite actually… I love being referred to as TBB. TBB is my baby & I work on it every day, so being acknowledged by that name is actually pretty cool!)

I'm sorry, but how sensational is this cover?!?!

I’m sorry, but how sensational is this cover?!?!

I am celebrating Tess on the blog today because she wrote a BOOK (not her first), and it’s allll about smoothies. It’s based off of her best-selling app & it’s absolutely KILLIN’ it on Amazon right now. #1 new release in the Vegetarian category, and wayyy up there in a bunch of related categories — which I can appreciate like crazy, because I stalk Amazon rankings like it’s my job. I think it’s fun. I know, I know, I have weird hobbies…

As the title suggests, there are 100 smoothie recipes in Tess’s book. They are all gluten-free, vegan and paleo-friendly. I am a sucker for a good smoothie, and I have a lot of favorites up my sleeve. Tess’s super awesome infographic below of her smoothie steps is very much in alignment with mine, so right when I saw that I knew I was in good hands.

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Actually, I knew I was in good hands before I saw this, too! I am lucky enough to know Tess personally, and WOAH what a radiant soul. You guys would love her. She brings people together, and it’s clear from having any sort of conversation with her that she cares deeply and genuinely about what those around her are up to, and how she can help them succeed. It can be rare to come across someone who realllyyy means well, values their tribe & supports their friends in every way, so when I find people like that I hold on to them.

Now, let’s get to more about the book. The book is BEAUTIFULLY made and the recipes are really impressive. Like I said, I am a smoothie freak. I thought I had tried most combos that would be up my alley — but she surprised me with so many of hers.

For example… the Chai Thai smoothie. WHAT?! Look how amazingly yummy this is.

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And, Tess was kind enough to make this recipe available to share so you guys can enjoy this smoothie & you can also get a sneak peek into what the rest of the recipes in her book are like! See below…

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YUM, right? And, now for a little Q&A with Tess herself!

Q&A TIIIIIME:

Q: Tess! Your book is out of this world beautiful & I am so honored to feature you, one of my longtime favorite plant-based bloggers, on TBB today. As a fellow writer I am always intrigued by others’ writing processes — especially when it comes to a project as in depth as a book! Can you tell us a bit about your book writing process?

A: Thank you. I really appreciate the kind words. I always wire frame my story, keep detailed notes, and slowly piece the whole thing together. I have a board with post-it notes, several documents on my computer, and I keep rearranging the story as it comes together. I like to do a mixture of recipe development and writing to mix things up so that I don’t get burnt out. Doing it that way ensures the narrative text informs the recipes and the food serves as an example of the tips I share in the front matter. I then read aloud with Scott (my partner, who is a writer) to make sure things are clear, and I have a group of about 30 recipe testers who extensively test the recipes with all kinds of blenders to ensure the recipes are accessible to everybody.

Q: You have 100 recipes in the book (so awesome), which makes this book a fabulous read for those who are looking for anything from a sweet, savory, nutrient-rich, filling or lighter smoothie option. Out of all 100… do you have a favorite? How about a morning go-to?

A: The Pomegranate Slam It! is my favorite recipe in the book because it is so dimensional, and takes you on a flavor journey much like a textured dish. It just explodes in your mouth like a firecracker. It’s also a great blend for inflammation and immunity, and is alkalizing and detoxifying.

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Q: I can only imagine that with developing so many recipes for your book (and your wildly popular app, which came before the book!) there must have been some smoothie flops. Or, as you call it in your book, “a big glass of death.” (LOL, I can so relate.) Give us a glimpse into one of your funniest or most memorable smoothie flops!

A: Oh gosh. I am still being haunted by a collard-beet swamp water concoction that tasted like a big old glass of dirt. I called on my smoothie super powers that day, and nothing could lift that blend off the dirt! Even the magic ¼ cup of cacao couldn’t save me that day. I did manage to rescue it to “drinkable” status, but certainly not mindblowing enough to make the book!

Q: What is your take on how long a smoothie or blend “lasts” in the fridge while maintaining its nutrient-density?

For full nutrient and live enzyme potential smoothies are best consumed immediately after blending. However, that’s not always possible or convenient. I think 24 hours is my threshold for how long I would leave a smoothie in the fridge. However, with some blends, ingredients become more assertive, and the flavor profile changes dramatically while chilling. To be safe, I recommend freezing smoothies in glass mason jars directly after making, and defrosting in the morning and shaking or reblending to revive the prize!

Q: Do you have a favorite spot in LA to get smoothies when you are out and about and don’t have time to make your own? What about in NYC?

A: In L.A, I love the blends at Sun Café, Café Sage, Café Gratitude, Kreation, and Moon Juice. In NYC, I head to One Lucky Duck, Juice Press, Liquiteria, and Blossom du Jour.

Q: Favorite place to purchase organic produce for your blends?

A: My local farmers market in Studio City has awesome organics, and I love heading over to the Santa Monica market. I also get so much of my produce from Melissa’s Produce.

Green Mojito from the book... Mmmmm!!

Green Mojito from the book… Mmmmm!!

Q: Your go-to blender?

A: I test my recipes on several different blenders. At the moment, the Vitamix 5200 is my favorite high-speed blender, I love the KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond for a mid-range machine, and I travel everywhere with my Nutribullet.

* TBB SIDENOTE: I totally agree on the blender front. I am a Vitamix girl through & through, but I LOVE my Nutribullet for travel. 

Q: When you aren’t drinking smoothies… what is one of your all-time favorite plant-based dishes to whip up?

A: Oh, I make my Red Cabbage Detox Salad (on my website) every single week. It’s been a staple in my life for years, and it just never gets old. Delicious!

Q: Unrelated to food: favorite place to travel?!

A: I absolutely LOVE Italy. The food, the people, the approach to life, the art, the scenery, and the language. I just can’t get enough.

Q: Your book is gorgeous, and clearly writing and recipe development are huge passions of yours. Can we expect any more books in The Blender Girls’ near future?

A: Yes. I am writing my next book right now. It will be released by Ten Speed Press in January 2017.

YAY! Wonderful on all levels. I already can’t wait for her next book… Check out Tess’s website HERE & show her some support. She is an amazing woman doing incredible things for the wellness community. And of course, check out her BOOK, her APP, annnddd this super rad Kitchen Aid GIVEAWAY worth $2,000!

Huge thanks to Tess for hanging with us today! Why don’t we all use today to celebrate someone who inspires us? I like that idea… :) xo  

SHOP THE POST:

Cryotherapy: What it is, & Why I love it

Ever since I posted about my first cryotherapy experience on Instagram last week, I have been getting a lot of requests to do a post about what the treatment is all about. It’s an awesome new trend that’s making its way to LA… So it’s something you fellow So Cal babes of mine are going to want to have the 411 on! Mainly, people have been asking, “What the heck is cryotherapy, anyway?” And I don’t blame you…

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To be honest, I was wondering the same thing before I tried it. I knew that “cryo” meant to freeze, and I had kind of sort of heard about it before in the context of someone telling me, “Oh, it’s a Beverly Hills housewife thing because it’s so expensive but it boosts your metabolism by like 25%.”

That’s all I knew about it before the other day. A couple of awesome gals in LA reached out to me & said they were starting a juicery & cryosauna company and were interested in their employees wearing TBV Apparel uniforms — Think “Oh Kale Yes!” “Don’t Talk to Me I’m on a Cleanse,” High on Good Vibes” and more. Perfect partnership, right?

Instantly I was stoked about the opportunity and super intrigued. They invited me in for a little juice tasting & cryo-session this week before their official opening tomorrow, and WOAH was I in for an unexpectedly awesome treat.

Me being me, I did a little research about the treatment before I tried it out. I learned, through the super informative world wide web, that people love cryotherapy because it activates collagen production and tightens skin (big plus), reduces cellulite & makes your metabolism work 3x faster (super big plus), decreases injury recovery time by up to 50% (HUGE plus), reduces inflammation and itching in serious skin diseases (score… I have psoriasis and eczema), and is highly effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis and chronic joint disorders.

People often experience a HUGE jolt in energy after a cryo session.

What a sec, though. What even IS cryotherapy?!?!? I know, I know. I was confused about it too. To get cryotherapy treatment you step into a cryosauna, which is basically a standing-up pod that your head pokes out of as the pod fills with subzero (WAY below freezing cold) air. Most people stay in between 2-3 minutes, and I truly cannot IMAGINE staying inside for any longer than that. You go in 100% naked with gloves on your hands and fun, rubbery, comfy shoes on your feet. You have to take off all jewelry because it could burn you… Just like getting frost-bite!

When I showed up at Cold & Thirsty for my first cryo session (and a super delicious juice tasting), I still didn’t really know what to expect. I had done my research, but the whole idea of cryo was still a pretty unknown phenomenon in my mind. I wasn’t sure what the whole dealio was and I didn’t know if I’d even be able to last in the pod for the full session, considering the 15 degree temperatures during my New York winter basically stripped me of my insanity.

Delicious juicy juice shots pre-cryo sesh

Delicious juicy juice shots pre-cryo sesh

I was immediately put at ease when I arrived because the girls were super excited for me to try it and walked me through the process step by step. I learned that while cryo is brand new here in Los Angeles, there are more than 50 places to receive cryotherapy treatment in Dallas (What?!?!? Where my Texans at? You’ve gotta try this) and it’s rapidly gaining popularity. It was even featured on Dr. Oz, CBS News, The Doctors (remember when I was on that show!? Hehe), and more.

You burn an extra 500-800 calories the day you receive a session… If that’s not incentive I don’t know what is. (Lol.)

So right away I was like okay if this is such a popular movement and these girls swear by it then I’m sure I will be fine.

After a delish juice & almond mylk tasting, I stripped down, took off my jewelry, and popped into the cryosauna. My heart was racing because I was still thinking WHAT have I gotten myself into…

They made sure I was totally ready and then they turned the chamber on. I watched as the temperature dropped from low, to lower, to lower, to lower until it had reached NEGATIVE 200 degrees. At one point Brooke & Katie (the super awesome owners) said to me, “You’ve made it 30 seconds!” And I was thinking, THIRTY seconds? Howwww has it not been 2 minutes already?!

But even though it was freezing cold and my body was freaking out about the subzero temp, my mind was BEYOND exhilarated. I am an extreme person, you guys know this, so my whole entire being was pretty much high on life to be doing something so radically different and system-shocking.

Here I am in the POD!!

Here I am in the POD!!

Once the two mins were up my insides felt as frozen as my outside. I was DYING but also full of energy and shaking with coldness/shock. It was an insanely cool feeling, and I think after doing something like that you’re kind of proud of yourself for lasting through it, which is also a good feeling. I put my robe back on as fast as humanly possible and stepped back into the normal temp room.

It’s kind of crazy how fast your body returns to its regular temperature after the process is done. I felt really cold for a minute or so afterward, then regularly cold, then a little chilly, then totally back to normal about four minutes later. I couldn’t believe how fast my body found its equilibrium again.

I can’t say I experienced a jolt in energy (maybe because it was my first time?), but what I CAN say is that I slept like an absolute baby that night… best sleep I’ve had in MONTHS (maybe years), and you know what a crazy insomniac I am. And the fact that I was really stressed about apartment hunting / work stuff and I still feel asleep so easily and slept SO soundly is really telling. It was definitely the cryo — there’s nothing else that could have caused it.

I have felt really energetic and hyper-focused the last few days too, which I pretty much attribute to the cryo as well. They explained to me that some people like to do the treatment once a week (after they feel like the benefits start to wear off), some do it more than once a week, and some just once in a while. If it were possible for me to go all the time I think I would– it’s just such a cool concept, and I think the more often you go the more benefits you will reap. Also, your body probably gets used to it and the subzero temps likely start to feel more bearable.

I will DEFINITELY be going back… I hope to go on a weekly basis, but we will see if that happens or not. I am going back next week with my babe Sophie for a little cryo/juice date, so I will update you on how that goes!

All in all, the coolest thing about it is that it’s basically a wellness treatment for someone who is SUPER busy and on-the-go and only has 10 minutes to spare. Get there, park, receive your treatment, grab a juice and only 10 minutes have passed. I think that’s pretty amazing… especially with the fast-paced world we live in and the trouble we often have finding time to take care of ourselves. (Speaking of self care, have you seen mine and Sophie’s new video?! We answer some self care questions you guys asked us on Instagram.)

Who else has tried cryo? What have your experiences been? Anyone else feel that it has helped them sleep better?! That was definitely the coolest part about it for me…

Also, if you haven’t subscribed to the #TBBTribe newsletter yet, here is the link if you’re interested! I have been sending it out every Sunday evening, and it’s a really fun way to keep you guys updated on what I’ve been up to, run cool Q&A’s, share quotes / findings of the week, healthy recipes, book updates… ya know. It only goes out once a week, and I promise to never spam you. 😉 xox

Why I’ve Been So MIA…

(Also, a huge major awesome freaky story at the bottom of this post… I want your input! Really badly!)

Hey beauties. If you follow this bloggy on a regular basis, then you’ve probably noticed I’ve been a little MIA lately. A post here, a post there, a vacation here, a vacation there… And sometimes a week or so between posts.

In an ideal world, I’d like to post every day of the week. In a realistic yet still pretty ideal world, I like to post every day Monday through Friday! In my current world, I have been posting 1-2 times a week for the last month or so. See how that compares to what I WANT to be doing? Yikes…!

Well here’s why, in a nut shell:

I am SUCH an all-or-nothing person (this is why I’m the balanced blonde… because every day I strive for balance. STRIVE, not necessarily achieve, lol) that it’s really, really, really hard for me to pour my full energy into a bunch of things at once. I can handle it when they’re all interconnected– like the bloggy, TBV Apparel, my cleanse programs, my book, my YouTube channel, my new #TBBTribe newsletter (so stoked on this BTW), ya know. That kind of stuff.

But when I start doing a whole lot of things that don’t fall under the same semi-similar umbrella, it’s really hard for me to juggle. Exhibit A: I have been apartment hunting for the last week or so, and it has absolutely consumed me. I have hardly been able to eat or sleep or even shower (I’m weird, I know, I have issues), and I have gone days without exercising or making time for myself. I know it probably sounds silly to those of you who are able to focus on a bunch of things at once & don’t get so extreme about things, but for people like me it is TOUGH to have such a huge, unresolved, pressing issue on your plate that you can’t immediately handle.

I like to solve things and make them better immediately. RIGHT away. It’s probably a method of deflecting but I’ll deal with that eventually, lol. I also have super high standards for myself & where I want to live, so those two contrasting things started driving me MENTAL.

On top of it, I’ve also had lots of fun free-lance projects, cool TBV Apparel happenings & a few little mini-vacays. Between all of that, when I sat down to blog I. Couldn’t. Do. It. I couldn’t muster the creative energy or sense of self that I need to actually write passionately to you guys and let it flow.

Annddddd I’m never going to half-ass anything with my bloggy blog, so I kind of took a mini hiatus.

But here’s the good news. The really good & exciting & actually kind of freaky (I’ll tell you why) news… I found an apartment that has everything I am looking for, and I put my application in this morning! I am a notoriously picky person. VERY picky. Like I said, very high standards. My intern Danika gave me the most wonderful, yet unintentional, compliment a couple of days ago. She told me that I never settle for things that don’t make me extremely happy. Apartments included. And not even “settle,” but basically I can’t function if things are not 100% the way I want them to be. So even though it consumed my whole entire being for a fretful week or so, that’s okay because I came out with a place I love a lot.

I find out for sure if I get the apartment or not on Monday, but I have a pretty good record soooo I think they’ll be okay with me. 😉 Unless of course they realize my whole life is available to read on the Internet and then I’m just doomed.

Jk. I’m still pretty darn innocent.

FREAKY STORY!!!

Anyyyywayy… Let me tell you what’s FREAKY about this apartment. When I lived in Italy coming up on four years ago, a lot of interconnected things started happening with the number 201. Every hotel I stayed in, I was put in room #201. Every hostel, #201. My apartment in Florence, #201. My bar tab, $20.10. I would look up while I was walking out of the blue and see huge painted numbers of 201 everywhere. Several times a day. 2:01a.m. or p.m. both times a day too. WEIRD. And my best friend & Italy roomie Clare had the same experience. (Well, we were together the whole time so of course we both did.) Also, once we put it together we realized we had both lived in two separate room #201’s our sophomore year of college too.

When I returned to the states to finish the rest of college, it kept happening. Everywhere I went I saw 201’s. Especially when something big was happening in my life. When I was in the cab about to appear on Good Morning America to discuss my transition from veganism, I saw a huge painted 201 directly outside of the building I was walking into. It felt like such a sign, even though I didn’t know what exactly it meant. When it came time to move back to LA from NYC, I knew the situation was right when my friend Laura had an open bedroom in her apartment for me… Apartment #201. Last year, when my grandpa was moved into the dependent wing of his retirement home, he was in room 201, RIGHT after I finished telling my dad about all of my freaky 201-ness at 2:01p.m. For real.

I see it everywhere to this day, and everyone around me knows it because I can’t help but point it out. It’s awesome because good things always seem to happen to me at 2:01, both a.m. and p.m. So here’s the freaky thing…

I have toured a LOT of apartments in the last several days. I mean a lot. I have hardly even looked at the apartment numbers and addresses because they literally all blend together at this point. When I set foot into the apartment I ended up falling in love with and put an application in for today, I didn’t even notice at first… Then, as I was walking out to check out the hallway, I saw it.

2 0 1.

Apartment number two, zero, freaking ONE.

I couldn’t help but gasp and then flip a shit. The realtor wasn’t sure what to do. I could hardly get my words out to explain what an INSANE coincidence it was, and that I had to have the apartment immediately.

“You don’t get it, this apartment, this number… I ALWAYS LIVE IN 201’s. ITS MY LUCKY NUMBER. This is weird. This is weird. This is so weird. I knew I loved it. I mean… I have to have it. I need this apartment.”

He definitely thought I was certifiably insane (I know this because in the end he told me so), and I knew I was walking away with a damn good apartment.

That’s another reason why I know that even though I don’t hear back until Monday, it is going to work out. I just have a feeling. And immediately, everything feels so much lighter and so much more in place.

So now it’s time to start packing my stuff, organizing & MOVINGGGG from 201 to 201. I am staying in the same neighborhood, but now I will have my own apartment which will rock because I really do need my own space to do what I do. Work from home, blog, film vids, develop recipes… All that jazz.

So, please tell me. Do you have a weird, recurring number or situation in your life?! A lucky number, occurrence, person, place, thing? I need to know. I NEED to figure this out. If you are spiritual & know the meanings of numbers, living spaces, etc… Pleeeease share. I am curious for some answers, and more than tempted to get the numbers tattooed on my body because there is an outer force telling me that these numbers are a part of me!!

Free Spirit Diaries: How to Create Structure in Your Life While Maintaining Your Independence

FreeSpiritDiariesJUST GOTTA LET YOU KNOW: This post is a little long & doesn’t have a whole lot of fun photos or anything like that, but bear with me here because if the title struck you then I think this is going to resonate – A LOT. 

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HEYO! I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, about striking a balance between creating structure in my life but also leaving myself enough wiggle room to be spontaneous, travel, work at my own pace & save energy for the passion projects in my life that I love oh so much.

The daily struggle, right? Creating a life for yourself that is reliable and efficient but also super fulfilling, tons of fun and personally challenging.

It can be a tricky thing, working for yourself. Especially when you are a notorious free spirit who doesn’t exactly do well with the standard “structured lifestyle.”

That’s why this career path has been an absolute godsend for me. I get to do all the things I love: write, connect with people, talk about health & fitness, be creative, take mid-day yoga breaks, collab with like-minded people, film videos & build my own schedule. I don’t have set hours or anywhere specific to be at any specific time of day, for the most part. If I feel like taking a day off or hopping on a plane to work from a super different environment, I can totally, 100% do that.

It’s… awesome. ( To say the least. )

I wholeheartedly believe that everyone can find the perfect job for them that meets their passions, needs & fulfillments. You can read more about my thoughts on that here.

But, as all things do, being your own boss comes with its own set of challenges. It lacks the dependency of a traditional or corporate job, which means if you’re not putting in the effort ( even if you are putting in the hours, with this lifestyle it’s all about EFFORT and effectiveness of your effort ), then you’re out of luck. Or at least you’re not thriving as much as you could be / should be.

So, in order to thrive as much as we possibly can in our alternative environments, we’ve gotta be efficient with our time! Mapping out our days helps make that happen, even if the scheduling itself isn’t necessarily “traditional.”

Have I mentioned that I don’t do well with the whole structure thing? The simple solution of writing tasks down in a day planner & sticking to them doesn’t cut it for me. My daily to-do list in every day planner I’ve ever owned always, inevitably, turns into a medley of all sorts of colors and shapes and plans and ideas and inspiration for posts I want to write/books I want to work on/events I want to plan/quotes that pop into my head in the middle of the day/what have you. I am a doodle queen… like for real.

As the years have gone on I’ve learned that just because my organizational skills are different from many people around me, that doesn’t mean I don’t have them, and it doesn’t make my skills any less effective. I just have to exercise them & not let the daunting task of figuring it all out get in the way. And when I do that, doing it my own way works better for me.

That’s why I blog! So I can create my own schedule. But I also have big goals for this blog, for my book Breaking Vegan, my clothing line TBV Apparel & the business of TBB as a whole. So I can’t exactly just sit around dilly dallying either. It’s a push and pull, a learning curve, a BALANCE.

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A lil’ metaphor action…

So, stick with me here. I’m about to create a little bloggy job metaphor to explain how I like to map out my days:

I like to think of my job as more of an adventurous road trip than a straight-up journey with a destination. A little corny? Yeah. Totally applicable? Chyeah. Read on…

If you have a map with the purpose to take you from A to B, chances are you’re not really going to deviate from it. Why would you? You might get lost, and it will make you late. You just want to get to your destination — and that’s cool! There is a time and a place for such trips.

If you’re going on a road trip, sometimes the point is to kick back and enjoy the ride. You still want to get to where you’re going, of course, but it’s okay to make some detours along the way. If the opportunity to see a really cool waterfall that you didn’t know existed pops up, you’ll probably take it! If a friend lives an hour or so away from the freeway but you haven’t seen her in forever & you want to catch up, you can do that. You don’t have to be anywhere at any specific time. You’ll get there, and you have trust in that.

My job, as a lifestyle blogger / author / creative entrepreneur, definitely falls on the “adventurous road trip” end of the spectrum. I understand that that type of lifestyle doesn’t work for everyone. In fact, I know people who would hate the unpredictability of an only semi-planned, open-ended road trip! But when it comes to life choices that’s what works for me, and I embrace it. I love being able to shift my schedule around to fit in spontaneous lunch dates and fun workout classes and an impromptu trip to the beach if I feel like I need to breathe in the fresh sea air. That nontraditional structure is what I need in order to thrive.

But here’s the thing: Just because traditional structure doesn’t do it for me, doesn’t mean that my life is just a free for all. Like I said, I have big goals. Having big goals means having the responsibility to stay on top of your shit. Ya feel me?

When you have goals, you need a roadmap. A roadmap for a ROAD TRIP, no matter how often you allow yourself to take detours & how far those detours take you. Because after all, some of the best moments of your life might happen on those detours — those beautifully unplanned moments where you feel most alive. And they MIGHT just set the stage for a brand new building block in your business. Crazy cool, right?!

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My Road Map:

SoOoOo, I recently decided to try mapping out my weekly schedule. And it’s been helping SO MUCH. Here’s a little glimpse into how I set it up:

I broke each day down into:

1) Blog / work focuses: creating & capturing visual content for posts pertaining to food, lifestyle, TBV Apparel, product reviews, fitness, home decor, etc. ;working on Breaking Vegan + #TBBTV

2) Creativity: free writing, reading fav blogs/websites/books for inspiration, collaborations with like-minded people, brainstorming/writing new content

3) Organization: catching up on emails, responding to emails, working with my photographers, planning weekly schedule of meetings/collabs/workouts/interviews

4) Self: daily exercise, plans with friends/family, travel, chill time, try new things

Some days of the week focus more on #1 and #2 than others, and some days focus on #3 and #4. I’ve tried to find a balance between all of the above to make my time the most useful & enjoyable.

ALSO, I’ve set a little schedule for the bloggy blog & what you can all expect when you come here.

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MY SCHED: 

I will be posting a new YouTube video every THURSDAY from now on (yipppeee!). Soon, Fridays will be “Truth Balance Virtue Babe of the Week” posts (get EXCITED — I am lining up a fabulous crew for this!), while Mondays – Wednesdays will focus on recipes, workouts, recovery inspiration, product reviews, travel recaps, fashion posts & more. Basically, M-W is my time to be supa dupa creative go with the flow TBB like I really am at heart, while the structure of the Thursday/Friday posts will keep my booty on track. SUNDAYS will be the day of the week that I send out my #TBBtribe email (sign up here for the weekly newsletter!) & Wednesdays will be all about capturing content out of the office — lifestyle posts, collabs, the works.

It’s a start, but I’m feeling good about it. I also wrote a list as long as my body twice over about all the things I need to do / catch up on, and having it all written out feels soooo weirdly cathartic.

Plus, I’m gonna be easy on myself. If a week comes around where filming a new video just seems whackadoo impossible because of other things going on, it’s not going to be the end of the world.

That’s why I do what I do… because things like that fly in the bloggy world! At least, when I’m the boss they do… 😉

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Thoughts?! Who’s with me on the whole non-traditional structure thing? I think it’s so fun & fulfilling to create an alternative career path for yourself, but it’s also a ton of work. I think I’m a bit addicted to the work… I think most of us bloggers are. If we weren’t we sure as hell would have chosen a different path, ya know?! I feel good about my new routine… Let’s SEEEE how it goes!! Xox

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