Ballet Beautiful, indeed.

After I saw this video on Cup of Jo yesterday, I immediately ordered these DVDs from Ballet Beautiful.  I've wanted them for a while, but had resisted because of the workout video ban.  Finally, I could resist no more.  What can I say??  Ballet is my kryptonite.  

-♥ J :)

P.S. More ballet.
P.P.S.  I've been threatening one for a while now, but I think the time has finally come.  Have your fun this weekend, Veggies, because Spring Detox starts on Monday.  Woo-hoo!!!  Check back in this weekend for my detox shopping list.


Getting some zzzZZen

photo via Insadco Photography/Alamy

Until last night, meditation had only ever put me to sleep.  Not the "Oh, how quaint I dozed off for a few minutes" kind of sleep, but rather the "I passed out and missed half the afternoon" kind of sleep.  Having dutifully tried and repeatedly failed, I had pretty much decided that meditation was not for me.  That is until last night.  Last night I watched Oprah's one hour special about a community in Iowa and its leading role in the Transcendental Meditation movement.  It was while watching this program that I felt the most unexpected and profound shift in consciousness.  It was a shift that could only be described as…incomprehensible rage.

"This is so stupid!!" I heckled.  "How could that work!!   We're really supposed to believe that just SITTING THERE and doing nothing changes your life.  That doesn't make any sense.  Why would that work???"  John wasn't taking the bait.  By now, he has learned that when the Crazy Train leaves the station you don't jump in front of it.  You let the wack-a-doo in the living room rant and rave until she tires herself out.  But last night, I wasn't tired...


Smooth Move

This morning Sid sent me this text:

"I just made the best smoothie of all time-but I think it may not have been so healthy.  Ice, vanilla soy milk, peanut butter, Hershey's syrup, banana and a shot of espresso. Mmmmm."

Sid was correct…not so healthy.  In general, a good rule of thumb is: if you are adding Hershey's Syrup to it, you have strayed from "healthy" territory.  This smoothie did come very close, though.  Here are a few simple tweaks that will turn Sid's glorified milk shake into more than just a sweet treat.

NO: soy milk and peanut butter
YES: almond milk and almond butter

Both soy and peanuts can be mucus forming and irritating to the digestive track.  Also, in their non-organic forms, they can be genetically modified and full of pesticides.  I prefer to use almond milk and almond butter in my smoothies.  In addition to being easier on my system, I think that they both taste ten times better (especially when you make your own almond milk using this recipe).

NO: Hershey's Syrup
YES: Choc-a-lot Vega Shake and Go Smoothie

This smoothie powder is my new favorite thing.  Just mix two tablespoons of the powder to 8oz. of water and you have a vegan, gluten-free smoothie with 11 grams of protein.  You don't even need a blender!  It's pretty tasty with just water but, if you do have a blender and some time, it is also amazing with ingredients like frozen blueberries, bananas or mangoes.  The smoothie I made this morning (recipe below) tasted like chocolate cake batter.  No joke.

NO: espresso
YES: maca powder

You know I have nothing to say about eliminating coffee (I'm gulping down a cup as I write this), but lately, as an afternoon pick me up, I've been adding a bit of raw maca powder to my smoothies.  Not only does it have a delicious earthy-nutty flavor, but supposedly it nourishes the endocrine system while increasing stamina and combating fatigue.  Maca powder gives me a boost of energy, without any added caffeine.  A word of caution: maca can affect your hormones so, if you have any concerns, check with a health care professional before introducing it into your diet.

-♥ J :)

Chocolate Cake Batter Smoothie
  1. Using a blender, blend ingredients together.
  2. Drink and enjoy!


Lets go to the movies...

What are you up to this weekend, Veggies??  In addition to filming a new video for Happy Healthy Belly TV, I (and millions of my closest friends) will be going to see The Hunger Games.  Just in case you couldn't care less couldn't get tickets to The Hunger Games, here are some other movies worth their weight in popcorn.  

-♥ J :)

Usually I try to keep this blog on a positive slant, but I ain't gonna lie to you…this video is DE-PRESS-ING.  It is also MIND BLOWING.  This comprehensive description of the world's energy crisis is scary in the way that only things chock full of unrelenting facts can be.  There's No Tomorrow is a must watch.  But you may want to watch it with a glass of scotch...

You can watch this inspiring film about transforming your health FOR FREE until midnight on March 31st.  Just click HERE, sign up for the email list and you will receive your free invite to watch the film online.  I saw it yesterday and it is amazing!!

This movie is what would have happened if Harry and Sally had decided to have a kid together.  Hilarious as it is heartbreaking, this movie explores the trials and misadventures of six friends navigating their way through uncharted adulthood.  As the writer/ director/star of Friends with Kids, Jennifer Westfeldt hits it out of the park!  I have such a girl crush on her.

P.S.  Or if you feel like reading this weekend...


Happy Healthy Belly TV: How to paint an accent wall

Happy spring my Veg friends!!!  Do you have  a case of spring fever like I do??  I woke up yesterday all a flutter with new plans, new projects and a flurry of new ideas.  I want shake off winter the way a soaked dog shakes off water.  When I get in a mood like this it only means one thing…I'll be cleaning the shiz-nit out of my apartment.  It always starts with the apartment.  Clearing out my living space just makes everything else feel lighter and brighter.  

In that spirit, I hope you'll enjoy this video that John and I made about how to paint an accent wall.  It always amazes me how adding a touch of color can change the whole feel of a room.  We made this video in the hopes that it will inspire you to bring a little color into your life as well.  Enjoy!

-♥ J :)

John's Five Painting Tips
  1. Use blue painter's tape to tape off the perimeter of your wall.  Be sure to use a "safe release tape" (like THIS ONE) on wood.
  2. Patch any holes with spackle or joint compound.  Once dry, smooth patches by sanding them with fine grit sandpaper.  You can also use a damp sponge to blend them with the wall's surface.
  3. Using a primer, paint over patches, scuffs or marks.  This ensures that spackle will not show through when you paint over it.
  4. To give your wall clean crisp lines, first paint the perimeter of the wall with a paint brush.  This is know as "cutting in."
  5. Use the "M Technique."  Paint an "M" in an 18 inch x 18 inch square.  Next, fill in the square making sure the paint is spread evenly in that area.  Continue to paint this way, making sure that your squares overlap slightly and are blended together thoroughly. 


Travelin' Veg Part 2: Tips for the Healthy Jet-setter

Traveling doesn't have to be synonymous with eating poorly.  While it's true that some vacations are one big debaucherous, hootenanny where you stuff yourself to the gills with good laughs, good times and every sensory pleasure your mortal body can handle…sometimes you are just passing through Cleveland on business.  Here are some travel tips for those times when you are out of your element and would like to return from vacation no worse for the wear.

1. Pack provisions.  If you saw me packing for an upcoming trip you would be struck by two things: One, my shrewd ability to pack for a ten day vacation with only one carry-on suitcase.  And two, the excessive amount of snacks that I shove into my backpack.  As you witnessed this display you might think to yourself, "Aww...how sweet.  That girl is clearly traveling to a remote island where footwear is of little importance and starving children are going to need 50 Lara Bars and a vat of hummus."  I pack food for travel as if I am leaving Earth and I'm not sure if our martian hosts know that I don't eat dairy.  This bizarre policy has worked out in my favor many a time: canceled flights, extended layovers, sleepless nights on a red-eye.  Packing this way also makes me quite popular with my travel companions.  I always bring enough to share.  Some of my favorite travel snacks are:

2. Start the day off green.  Since fresh green juice is not yet pouring from fountains across the country the way soda is, I always travel with Green Vibrance Organic Greens and Freeze Dried Grass Juice.  It comes in convenient single serving packets that only need to be mixed with 8 ounces of water.  No blender.  No juicer.  Just water, a glass, a stick to stir it with and you are good to go. Sure it tastes like lawn in a glass, but chugging it first thing in the morning makes me feel as if I've done my due diligence.  Whatever else the day may bring, I can at least feel good about giving it the old college try.  And speaking of the college try…

3. Two out of three ain't bad.  Mark Bittman lost 35 pounds eating vegan until dinner.  This is a great technique for vacationing (and life for that matter).  Just make two out of your three meals healthy, whole food and vegan.  Have fruit for breakfast; salad for lunch.  Come dinner time, you are free to indulge in the local delicacy of your choosing.  Whether it's your Mom's homemade lasagna that she only makes once a year or the chocolate souffle at the restaurant you've been dying to try, being selective with your indulgences makes them all the more special.  

4. Exercise.  Nerd alert…I LOVE exercising on vacation!!  Even if the hotel gym is a broom closet with a treadmill in it, that's where you'll find me happily, jogging away.  To me there is nothing better than pushing yourself to sweaty exhaustion…right before you suck down margaritas and do absolutely nothing.  Even if your vacation doesn't allow a ton of time for working out, you can always start the day with what I call "a quick hundred": 25 jumping jacks, 25 sit-ups, 25 push-ups and 25 squats.  Doing some exercise first thing in the morning will give you the energy you need for the rest of the day.  I mean, those margaritas aren't going to drink themselves...

-♥ J :)

P.S. Five ideas for a plane picnic.
P.P.S.  The argument for traveling light.


Top of the Veggie to ya!!

My last meal as a meat eater was corned beef and cabbage.  My Dad's birthday is two days before St. Patrick's Day and my stepmother usually makes a big traditional Irish dinner for him.  When I was 15, I decided to give up meat…the week of my Dad's birthday dinner.  I felt bad breaking the news on his big day, so I made his dinner my last meat meal.  It actually has turned out to be a nice little anniversary.  Every year as I wish my Dad a Happy Birthday, I say Happy Birthday to my Veggie self as well.  I also breathe a quiet sigh of relief that I never have to eat corned beef and cabbage again.  I hate corned beef and cabbage.  

In honor of St. Patty's Day and my Veggie anniversary, please enjoy this festive, healthy Very Veggie Shamrock Shake smoothie recipe.  Or just have a Guinness.  No judgements here. 

-♥ J :)

Very Veggie Shamrock Shake
You will need:
  •  juice of: 1 apple, 1 lemon, 1 cucumber, 1 bunch of kale
  • 1cup frozen pineapple
  • Blend juice mixture with 1 cup frozen pineapple.
  • Drink and enjoy!!
You will need:
  • a store that sells Guinness
  • a can opener
  • the day off tomorrow
  1. Open with can opener.
  2. Drink and enjoy!! (responsibly please...)


Salad Sundays: Bethenny Frankel Tofu Salad

I love the videos that Bethenny Frankel, Real Housewife turned Forbes cover girl, made before she was the multi-millionaire Skinny Girl mogul that we've come to know and love.  Back then she was just a girl with a kitchen, a dream and some really great, easy to make recipes.  This recipe for tofu salad (which begins at 1:40) is delicious on sprouted grain bread but, since this is Salad Sunday, I would eat it over mixed greens tossed with balsamic vinaigrette (like THIS ONE) and garnished with chopped tomato.  Yum!!!

-♥ J :)

P.S. THIS is my other favorite Bethenny Frankel video.


Travelin' Veg Part 1: Why you should CareHere

We were in the Houston airport for what felt like an eternity.  Our connecting flight to Nashville was delayed…again…and the healthy provisions* I had packed for the trip were running low. We wandered over to a restaurant near our gate.  "They have salad," I offered weakly.  Even I couldn't make a case for the tiny, depressed salad imprisoned in the refrigerator case.  Even the salad couldn't make a case for the salad.  It just lay there broken and defeated as if to say, "Yeah, I know.  Just keep moving.  The Doritos are on your left."  "Screw it.  I'm getting pizza," John announced.

So John got pizza…and then proceeded to choke on it for 45 minutes.  He swallowed a piece wrong and, because who knows how long it takes for the manufactured, science experiment ingredients to break down into something digestible (THIS VIDEO suggests never), John wandered the airport coughing like a TB victim for nearly and hour.  He never finished the pizza.  I remember thinking, "There has got to be a better way."

Turns out there is!!  When we were flying home from Nashville, we stumbled upon a new addition to the Nashville airport.  It's a tiny little wellness center called CareHere BNA.  I might have walked right past it except that I have hawk eyes when it comes to healthy snacks.  I whipped back around and shouted, "Hey!  Did that say hummus?!?"

The 1,100-square-foot facility offers basic medical care as well as fun snacks, beauty products and over the counter medications.  As I raced around clearing out their shelves, a voice in the back of my head cautioned,"Uh, hey Big Spender.  Why don't you ease up?  You are in an airport.  This stuff is going to be ridiculously overpriced."  But it wasn't!  It was regular "Whole Foods prices" over priced!  Which is to say, just the amount of overpriced I am used to paying.  I left the store very happy and very hydrated. Check out some of the bounty I picked up:

There is talk of CareHere BNA going nationwide, so keep your fingers crossed on that one.  Meanwhile, this is just one more great reason to visit Nashville.

-♥ J :)

*Healthy provisions you can pack from home and more travel tips in Part 2.


Salad Sundays: The Baja Fiesta Salad from Veggie Grill

I was in Nashville this past weekend for my cousin-in-law Michelle's wedding.  She married a wonderful man named Sean in an adorable rustic barn.  There was fresh brewed ice tea in mason jars, mini cups of gazpacho and made to order tacos from a local taco place.  There was singing and fiddle playing and homemade cake.  (In addition to the gazpacho, my very talented sister-in-law Cara made the pristine vanilla wedding cake and the banjo shaped(!!!) chocolate groom's cake.)  In a fantastic turn of events, Michelle even got talked into singing a number with her new husband.  This was great because I really feel like every party is better when Michelle sings.  The whole weekend was just delightful!  Hmmm…why was I telling you all this???  Oh, yeah.  I'm telling you all this to explain why Salad Sundays is late this week.  Salad lost out to tacos and cake.  

This week's salad is from the super fun vegan restaurant Veggie Grill.  If you live LA or Oregon, I highly recommend that you run, don't walk, to your nearest location.  Veggie Grill is cheap, fast, nutritious and delicious!!  You can check out their varied menu right HERE.  (A tip for you beginners, you are definitely going to want to get the nachos.  Definitely.)  For the rest of you Veggies, here is how you can make you very own Baja Fiesta at home:

The Baja Fiesta Salad from Veggie Grill

  • romaine lettuce
  • papaya
  • avocado
  • roasted corn salsa
  • quinoa
  • cucumber
  • cilantro
  • tortilla strips
  • portobello mushroom (added extra)
  1. Toss ingredients with ginger papaya vinaigrette (like THIS ONE).
  2. Eat and enjoy!!
-♥J :)

P.S. If you want to hear why I think every party could use some Michelle singing click HERE.
P.P.S.  For a Veggie Grill location near you click HERE.
P.P.P.S  Check back in for some tips on how to eat healthy while traveling.  I'll try to have them up by the end of the week.


Hungry For Change

"The whole dieting paradigm is flawed."  True dat.

-♥ J :)

For more info on Hungry For Change the documentary click HERE.


Zero waste. Lots of style.

I've told you before that I am obsessed with The Zero Waste Home.  Well, as if all the fantastic tips about how to reduce your yearly waste to almost nothing (!!) were not enough, now Bea has started a series on the blog where she let's you peek into her wardrobe.  Her super french, super chic, eco-friendly wardrobe. Click HERE to see how she styles this gorgeous red dress for every occasion. Le sigh.

-♥ J :)

*How Bea styles a STRIPED SHIRT.
**More Zero Waste Home TIPS.


Perfect Pina

"Dance, dance...otherwise we are lost."
-Pina Bausch

I saw the Oscar nominated  Wim Wenders documentary Pina last night.  It was so exquisite that I'm not even mad at it for costing me the extra point I needed to win the Oscar pool.  Man, I could have used that point!!  Okay, that's the last time I mention the Oscar pool.  Promise.

-♥ J :)

**More dancing.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...