Girls just want to have fun.

-♥ J :)

**And a must read article about how to talk to girls HERE.


Happy Healthy Belly at Lululemon Part 2

I love yoga.  I love food.  When Nina suggested an event at Lululemon that had yoga AND food, I was there like flax on seed.  Nina wanted the Lululemon yogis to have wholesome, real food snacks that wouldn't undo all the good that the morning yoga class had done for their bodies.  Here's what I made:

This smoothie recipe is a staple of mine.  I have pretty much made it for everyone who has ever come to my house...ever.  It's light, refreshing, cheap and easy.  (I, also, do a pineapple mint version of this smoothie...but with vodka mixed in...and topped off with champagne.  But that is a post for another day, Veggies...)

Pineapple Berry Lemonade Smoothie
Makes 1 serving
- 1/2 cup frozen organic berries
-1/2 cup frozen organic pineapple
-1 and 1/4 cup water
-Juice of one whole lemon
-Half a packet of Nu Naturals Stevia*

1. Put all the ingredients into blender.
2. Blend and enjoy!!!
*Agave or (a touch of) maple syrup can be substituted for Stevia.

This was my first time making these protein bars.  The recipe I used is from Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Cookbook.  The bars tasted great, but they were a little crumblier than I would have liked.  Next time I would add more almond butter or use less oats to see if I could get them to keep their bar shape better.  I was also thinking that if I added more oats to the recipe it would make a great no-bake granola.  Either way the flavor was delicious!  Experiment with the recipe yourself and let me know if you have any tips!

No-Bake Nut Butter Energy Bars
Makes 16 servings
-1/2 cup agave nectar
-2 tbsp coconut butter
-1 1/2 cup nut butter
-3 cups oatmeal
-2 scoops vanilla protein powder
-1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries or coarsely chopped dried apple
-1/2 cup slivered almonds
-1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1. Warm agave, coconut butter and nut butter in a saucepan until ingredients are soft enough to combine easily when mixed.  Remove from heat.
2. Add oatmeal and protein powder and mix well.  Then, add dried fruits, almonds and seeds.  Mix well.
3. Spread into 9-inch square pan. Let cool in the fridge and cut into squares. 

Once again, a big thanks to Nina and Lululemon for hosting such a fun event!!!  I had the best time!!

-♥ J :)

*To read more about Lululemon and their very cool philosophy click HERE.
**To get your butt kicked in Nina's spin class click HERE.


Just Desserts

I know that I promised you Part 2 of our Lululemon party, but I'm going to save that for tomorrow because I want to share some very exciting news….
My cousin Megan is a contestant on Top Chef Just Desserts Season 2!!!!

I am so giddy with excitement I can hardly stand myself!!!

Tune in to the Season Premiere tonight on Bravo at 10/ 9c and help me cheer Megan on to a sugary sweet victory!!!

Yay, Megan!!!

-♥ J :)

P.S. You can read more about Megan HEREBecome a fan of her and her fabulous work HERE.
P.P.S. How fierce are those heels that Megan is wearing in that picture above?!?!
P. P. P. S. More Lululemon fun tomorrow...promise.


Happy Healthy Belly at Lululemon Part 1

I am in love with Lululemon.  Not only is their sportswear as chic as it is functional, but they are a company that strongly believes in "creating components for people to live longer, healthier, more fun lives."  As part of their manifesto to "elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness," they routinely offer free fitness events to the surrounding community.  From Run Club to FREE yoga, Lululemon has tons of fun events to help people find their way to wellness.  This past Sunday Nina invited me to the Beverly Hills branch to serve up some healthy snacks and talk about all things "protein bar" after the store's FREE(!) yoga class.  Here are some of the highlights...

The beautiful store.  Clothing racks are cleared out for Fay's 9:30am yoga class.
Snacks are ready to go.  Just need some hungry yogis…
Hungry yogis!!!
We drank smoothies...
Ate homemade protein bars...
Raffled off this book...
Congrats, Dorit!!!
Fay (left), Nina (center) and I about to have some more smoothie.
It was such a fun Sunday at Lululemon!!  Thank you Nina for setting up the event!!  
Can't wait to do it again!!  

You can drool over Lululemon's ridiculously cute workout gear HERE.  
Coming up tomorrow: Part 2 of the Lululemon fun...the recipes.

-♥ J :)

*For more pictures and event info be sure to like the Happy Healthy Belly Facebook page or follow me on twitter @hhbelly.

**Very special thanks to Charli, Julia and John who selflessly got up REALLY early on a Sunday to help me cut bars, haul blenders and pass out napkins.  You guys are the best!!! xoxo :) 


Dreaming of Lentils

Tuesday night I saw Amelia eating the most scrumptious looking lentils and have been craving them ever since.  I usually buy the pre-cooked black lentils from Trader Joe's, but Amelia's delightful looking French green lentils have inspired me to branch out.  She says that cooking them from scratch is super easy.  They don't even need to be soaked over night.  Just rinse the lentils and cook away.  This yummy recipe seems like it would make a perfect side dish for a chic** dinner party, as well as a fantastic lunch for a lazy day at the beach...


This is what the human body can do...

"Think of the magic of that foot, comparatively small, upon which your whole weight rests. It's a miracle, and the dance is a celebration of that miracle. "
- Martha Graham  

-♥ J :)

**FYI....When you click on the video above a "Watch on YouTube" prompt may appear.  Click on that link and the video will play.


Yoga for sale!!! Get it while it's hot!!!

I LOVE hot yoga.  That's right I said it.  After that whole I think I might die right now feeling passed, I fell head over sweat soaked heels in love with hot yoga.  However, the studio I've been going to is a bit of a trek from my house.  That is why I am beyond thrilled that Moksha Yoga LA is opening a branch right in the heart of hollywood.  I've been stalking the studio's progress on their Facebook page for months and am happy to report they will be open for business this September.  They are having a huge pre-opening sale with up to 30% off on selected packages.  I already bought mine and can not wait to get started!  Summer may be winding down but September is looking hot, hot, hot!!!

-♥ J :)

P.S.  And speaking of Facebook pages…Have you liked the Happy Heathy Belly Facebook page yet???  NO?!  Well, whatcha waitin' for?!?  You can do that right HERE.  


Watch and Learn

First watch this video of Mark Hyman speaking about functional medicine at TedMed 2010.

Notable Quote:
"If you are standing on a tack it takes a lot of  aspirin to make you feel better.  And if you are standing on two tacks, taking one out won't make you 50% better…You have to deal with everything….You can take the blue pills, the red pills, the green pills and go to specialist after specialist when you get sick or you can step into 21st century medicine and work to find the causes of disease and the mechanisms and look at the patterns that connect everything together."

Then click HERE to learn how to cuddle from John Stamos.

Notable quote:
"Be careful not to let your arms get trapped beneath your special gal.  This is worse than death."

Happy weekend, Veggies!!!

-♥ J :)


It's getting real in the Whole Foods parking lot...

Oh, Whole Foods.  How do I love thee???  Let me count the ways….
  1. You have the most delicious, nutritious, fantastically, wonderful, surprisingly fun foods that any veggie lover could ask for.
  2. See number one.
Here are my latest finds.  If I were any more obsessed with them, they would need a restraining order.

Cashewtopia Gelato 
Most kinds of ice cream (dairy and non-dairy alike) bother my mother's stomach.  It is because of this, that I will not rest…not rest, I tell you(!!!)…until I have found a brand for her that is as pleasing to the palate as it is to her sensitive belly.  Even if I HAVE to try every single brand of non-dairy ice cream in the western hemisphere (Ow...ow...stop twisting my arm!), I will persevere until my mission is accomplished .  Cashewtopia is the new front runner in my quest.  It is an organic, non-dairy low-glycemic frozen dessert made from raw, organic cashews.  It has no processed sugar, dairy, eggs, soy, wheat, gluten and GMOs. And it is delicious.  Helpful hint: Let it soften for a couple of minutes before you dive in.  Hmmm...so. good.

Eden Foods 100% Buckwheat Soba Noodles and Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles
I've been on a noodle kick lately.  (Remember last week's gluten-free spinach spaghetti with faux-pesto???)  This week my attention has turned to buckwheat noodles and kelp noodles.  

Despite what the name would lead you to believe, buckwheat noodles (the 100% buckwheat kind..) are not wheat.  They are easily digestible, incredibly delicious and work great in soups or salads.  Be sure to follow the package instructions carefully when cooking.  Not doing so may cause your water to boil over, resulting in a huge mess and fits of pointing and laughter from your husband.

As for the kelp noodles, they are admittedly a little sci-fi.  They are translucent, crunchy and look as if they are a character in the movie The Abyss.  But I think they are so fun!!!  I mix them with hummus and then plop them on top of a salad. 

Evergreen Frozen Wheatgrass Juice
I love green juice but it can be expensive or time consuming or both.  That is why I use this trick when I'm in need of a quick green juice fix.  I let two cubes of frozen wheatgrass dissolve in a glass of room temperature water.  I garnish it with a squeeze of lemon and…Voila!  Green juice in under 5 minutes.  At about $1 a cube, that works out to $2 per glass.  And I don't have to clean the juicer…which is always a good thing.

-♥ J :)
P.S.  Have you seen this video???  Hilarious.


Things I learned in Nina's spin class...

I once went to a spin class where the music was so loud that it was impossible to hear anything the instructor was saying. This would have been fine except for the fact that he kept shouting inaudible instructions at me. Forty-five minutes of: "mmmskdkjdfnd, Jen!!!", "slfhsdjdkhsf, Jen!!" and "skjdhfjdhfdid, Jen!!!"  I had no idea what he wanted from me or why he was shouting my name over and over again. Whether he was saying "Excellent form, Jen!!!" or "We should buy a summer home in Tuscany together, Jen!!!" or "Look out something very heavy is about to fall on you, Jen!!!", I just kept giving him the same closed mouth half grimace/smile in the hopes that it would be an acceptable response to whatever it was that he was trying to communicate.

It was then that I decided that the art of spinning has everything to do with the teacher. One teacher can make you feel like Lance Armstrong, while another can lead you on the long techno-hell-ride to nowhere.  So imagine my delight when I found out that my childhood friend Nina had become a spin instructor! When I took her class last week I quickly found out that, as a spin instructor, Nina is the perfect balance of animal, beast of a teacher who is going to make you sweat your balls off (Sorry, John…he hates that phrase…) and a kind, nurturing, well informed guide who truly makes you feel as if you can become the best version of yourself. And she picks some kick ass music!  Here are a few things that I learned in Nina's class:


Pesto! Pesto! Pesto!

photo via Oh She Glows
I love pesto.  
Last night I tried to make a vegan version for my brown rice spinach pasta, but it turned out more like a fluffy green sauce.  It was very yummy, but definitely not pesto.  While I go back to the drawing board on that one, take a peek at this pesto made by Angela of Oh She Glows.  It's oil-free, made with navy beans(!) and completely vegan.  Hmmmm….I'll be dreaming about it all day.

-♥ J :)


I'm going to let you in on a little secret.

Dairy is bad for you. 
Ha!  Just kidding.  That's not the secret.  (No, but really, it is bad for you…)
My secret has to do with why I love minimalism.
I love (Love-ity, LOVE, LOVE!!!) minimalism because….

I'm lazy.
That''s it.
Secret's out.

I'm a big 'ole lazy bones who has no interest in washing, drying, buying, dusting, folding, finding, storing, repairing, moving, holding or looking at a bunch of stuff.  I'd much rather spend my time doing something useful…like catching up on episodes of Real Housewives of New York.  In a perfect world, everything in my home would have a purpose, a place and be pleasing to the eye.  In the real world, eh….I'm working on it.

That is why I just about fell over with joy when I walked into my friend Lindsay's downtown LA loft.  Lindsay's place, where she lives with her fiance Kaiser, made my little minimalist heart go all a flutter. As pretty as it was functional, their apartment was the "after" to my "before."

Now since this was the first time Lindsay and Kaiser were having us over, I resisted the urge to run around snapping pictures of their apartment.  That would have been strange first visit behavior even for me.  But, alas, that means I have no pictures for you.  I did, however, take a mental notes of the highlights.  Here are some the pieces that made me swoon.

The focal point of the studio was a gorgeous rustic wood bed (similar to this one).  It had a recessed mattress with built-in drawers for extra storage.  Lindsay said the bed was a queen but because of the wood frame "it felt more like a king".  The frame is so large that it also doubles as extra seating if they are having a party.

Lindsay and Kaiser have an uber-chic Barcelona Chair and Ottoman that is just begging for martinis, hors d'oeuvres and sparkling conversation.  The cozy throw they had on the chair made it equally as appealing for a night in with a good book.

To keep their space free of clutter, this folding dining table is kept in the closet along with these stackable chairs.  When extended, the table is 65 and 1/2 inches wide and seats 6.  Folded down it is a slim 9 and 1/2 inches which makes for very easy storage.  When entertaining, Lindsay and Kaiser move their couch to one wall creating a large open space.  The beautiful table then becomes the centerpiece of the room.

Thanks to Lindsay and Kaiser for having us over and congrats on your engagement!!!  
I'm sure your wedding will be as chic, warm and lovely as the two of you are.

-♥ J :)


Hey, it's August 1st….

That means The Simple Summer Strip Down is over, right???
That means we can go back to driving our fuel inefficient cars to the mall to buy things we don't need, while eating processed food in excessive packaging and tossing plastic water bottles from the window, right???  
That means we are headed to Vegas, yes???

Oh, Veggies.  
I wouldn't do that to you.  
We are having too much fun to stop now!
Because of the overwhelming demand (from me), I hereby decree that….

The Simple Summer Strip Down is extended!!!
One more month of tossing the junk that is sludging up our lives!!! 

Coming up this month:
-A guide to simplifying your wardrobe
-The Simple Summer Workout 
-The Cheaters Detox
-"I Wish I Could Quit You"
-And more!!!

Fasten your seat belts, Veggies.  We are gonna rock August so hard it's gonna think it's July!!!** 

-♥ J :)

(**Yeah, I have know idea what that means…)
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