COME SUPPORT A GOOD CAUSE WITH TIDE LOADS OF HOPE

08/16/2017

Tide-Bleubird-Loads-Of-Hope-4Tide-Bleubird-Loads-Of-Hope-6Tide-Bleubird-Loads-Of-HopeThe back-to-school rush has officially begun at our household. My big kids went back early last week, and my littlest ones aren’t far behind starting in just a few days. I can hardly believe that Plum is a freshman and Julian a senior in high school. Where does time go? Like clockwork, we were able to get all the kids new clothes for the start of the school year, in addition to the usual supplies. This year, however, in order to make room for their new digs, the entire family rounded up old clothing for donation as a part of the Tide Loads of Hope campaign. A few months ago, Aubrey and I had our closet redone by California Closets. I’m going to be writing more about that process and share it with you soon, but as a part of this effort, we too, rounded up some of our clothes to be loved and worn by people in need. We truly couldn’t believe how many things in our closet hadn’t been touched in years! It was incredibly rewarding, and a true family affair.

If you aren’t already familiar, Tide Loads of Hope is a mobile laundromat founded twelve years ago in direct response to the destruction and catastrophe caused by Hurricane Katrina. It aims to restore a sense of normalcy to the lives of those in need by providing the comfort of clean clothing. The Tide Loads of Hope mission extends far beyond natural disaster relief, however. That said, this year the brand is hosting a clothing drive, called “Driving For Hope”, to mobilize their efforts further and get even more people involved. The Loads of Hope truck that is making five stops on a nation-wide tour. Nashville is one of those stops, along with Philadelphia, Miami, Dallas, and the west coast! Our family is incredibly excited not only to donate, but to dig in, and really get involved on the ground level. It’s easy to teach your kids about opening your heart and volunteering, but putting action behinds those lessons is another story.

That said, we’ll be dropping off our donations on the day of the event in Nashville on August 18th. If you’re interested in attending, the truck will be parked outside of Walmart (7044 Charlotte Pike) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and word has it that country singer, Jessie James Decker, will be there between 10-11 a.m., as well. All collected clothing will be washed and the renewed items will then be donated to their new owners at Nashville Rescue Mission. So, if you’re looking for more ways to get involved, we hope to see you there with any unused or gently worn clothing. We’re really looking forward to helping our community with a fresh start and clean clothing, and teaching our kids more about giving to others.

If you can’t make it out to donate, you can support Tide Loads Of Hope by visiting TideLoadsofHope.com to donate directly or purchase a t-shirt, where $4 from each sale goes toward helping families affected by disaster.

DuoTide-Bleubird-Loads-Of-Hope-11This post is in partnership with Tide Loads Of Hope.

10 SIMPLE WAYS TO START YOUR PERSONAL WELLNESS JOURNEY

08/15/2017

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As soon as summer hit, I decided it was time to rethink a couple of things. One: I needed to balance my workload quite a bit (see workaholic) and make more time for things that are important to me. Two: I needed to get healthy—like really, really healthy. I have always been very good at the work hard, play hard mantra, but playing hard often ended in one of two things—eating out at fancy restaurants and eating all the things or one hell of a hangover. My ideal night-off included dinners at fancy restaurants with my girlfriends, and way too much wine, which isn’t the best idea when you have to wake up at 6am to be mom and work all day. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with either of the above (in moderation, of course), and neither of the two interfered with my daily responsibilities, I kinda felt like shit—physically. Plus, I wasn’t working out or moving my body regularly. I decided that I needed to make some changes. Real changes, not just a temporary fix. Easier said than done, of course, but it definitely CAN be done. That was nearly four months ago and I’m still going strong. Here are ten tips that I have found incredibly helpful on my path to personal wellness.

1. Get more sleep. That’s right! You snooze, you definitely don’t lose! I don’t know about you, but I have never been an early riser or one to wake with the birds. I think I was born a night owl, which often times finds me up late working (or watching reruns of That ’70s Show) until ungodly hours. I started forcing myself to try to be in bed by 10:30 on weeknights. Lately, I’ve been getting to bed a little earlier than that, so I can spend some time reading. It’s a great way to wind down and decompress the stress of the day.

2. Drink more water. You’ve heard it hundreds of times before, and for good reason. Water is vital to a healthy, well functioning body. When we don’t get enough, we become dehydrated, which can effect us in more ways than one. Fill a large water bottle up each morning and keep it by your side all day long. You’ll be surprised how much water you drink when it’s right in front of you. Set a goal! I started with 32 ounces a day and am now getting in right around 64. You will hit up the bathroom much more often, but you’ll be feeling great.

3. Kickstart with a cleanse. I have jumped on and off of the wellness train for more years than I can count. I’ve tried everything from new fad diets to the latest and greatest workout craze. None of them stuck longterm. I started this summer off trying something new after some friends of mine recommended a cleanse from Clean Program and it was incredible and life changing. I can’t recommend it enough.

4. Get active. Move your body. Everyday. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, get that body moving. When I started out, I would get up 30 minutes early each morning and head out the door to run/walk/jog my neighborhood. Then I started adding in workouts I could do at home like Ballet Beautiful and LEKfit. Once I got into a regular routine, I tried a month of local Pure Barre classes and other new ways to work my body, tone, and build muscle. Baby steps are fine, just get moving!

5. Educate. It’s so important to understand why certain things are good for you and why others are not. Of course, the plethora of information out there is endless and a lot of it is based solely on opinion and much of it is false, but so much of it is right. Start small and learn about something that sparks your interest in the wellness world. Fact check and be your own judge. I wanted to know more about adaptogens about a year ago and started researching, trying them out, and deciding for myself if they were for me.

6. Get inspired. When I was in high school, I would tape a photo of Nikki Taylor (really showing my age here, guys!) to the refrigerator in hopes of seeing her supermodel body and refraining from grabbing the box of Hot Pockets from the freezer. Ha! These days I prefer to stay motivated by following inspiring accounts on social media that align with my lifestyle preferences. Healthy eating and wellness feeds help keep me motivated, so I stay on track and don’t get bored.

7. Meal prep. Finding my meal prep routine has been a complete game changer and keeps my eating habits in check, at least most of the time. I spend my Sundays in the kitchen prepping clean foods, so I can throw quick meals together on the fly during busy work days. I just posted a bit about my weekly meal prep routine, here.

8. Get new gear. Whether it’s a new healthy cookbook you’ve been eyeing or the latest color combo of leggings from Outdoor Voices, getting a new little something that can excite you and motivate you towards your goal is 100% encouraged.

9. Setting goals. Mapping out your journey and setting realistic targets and rewards for yourself is a great way to keep your eye on the prize. That may be in the form of a chilled glass of rosé on a weeknight, a new adaptogen from the Moon Pantry (Here’s a code for first-time shoppers), or that brand new pair of sneakers you’ve had your eye on—your prizes are completely up to you. Just make sure you reward or bonus yourself for all of your hard work. I like to set small weekly goals for myself along with bigger, monthly goals. I am still working on my one year goal reward. I’m not sure what it will be yet, but you better believe it’s going to be good.

10. Join forces. It’s so much easier to make healthy choices when you aren’t at it all alone. Bring your partner or friends on board with you for support. Make healthy dinners together and meet for workouts a few times a week. This will not only help hold each other accountable, but it’s way more fun when you have teammates.

Photo above via Outdoor Voices.

TEN THINGS

08/11/2017

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I don’t know about you, but this past week has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I’m glad the weekend is ahead. Hope you all have a good one! Here are this week’s ten things…

1. Art and museums in NYC this week.

2. Don’t forget to take advantage of 30% off all sale items with the code ’30OFFSALE’ at Two Son.

3. Overlooked albums of 2017.

4. This boutique hotel in Tulum looks incredible, not to mention affordable.

5. Not eating meat? Here are 37 Vegetarian Recipes for Your Summer Barbecue.

6. How fun are these Instagram food accounts @_cookieboy_ and @designerlattes?

7. I’ve had a lot of inquiries about my morning workout LEKfit. It’s and on-demand subscription and offers a free week trial.

8. Have you seen Sofia Coppola’s new film The Beguiled? I hear it’s phenomenal.

9. I’ve been wearing these shoes all summer long and just ordered them in another color because I love them so much!

10. A rad cookbook where 100% of the proceeds go to Planned Parenthood? Count me in!

Photo above via Dôen.

EAT THIS: PEANUT TEMPEH

08/10/2017

PeanutTempeh_BleubirdA friend of mine suggested I try tempeh as a protein alternative, since I am no longer able to eat red meat. For those of you who may be scratching your head as to why I can no longer eat red meat, I have Alpha-Gal, which is a sudden and serious allergy to most mammal products. There’s a great podcast about Alpha-Gal on Radiolab if you want to know more about it. Anyway, back to the tempeh. While at the farmer’s market on a Saturday, I found a little stand that makes and sells tempeh called Short Mountain Cultures. I tried a sample that was prepared with a peanut-y marinade and really liked it, so I bought some to try and make at home. The dish was a success and for the next three days, I piled my delicious peanut tempeh on top of various bowls and salads. I’ve made this several times now and am obsessed. Try it! I think you’ll like it.

Ingredients:

One package tempeh (8 oz.)
3 Tbsp Tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
2 tsp chili garlic sauce (add more to taste)
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp un-sweetened, natural peanut butter
1-2 Tbsp coconut nectar or honey, depending on how sweet you like (I used 1)
A good squeeze of lime juice (about 1 Tbsp)

First things first. You need to remove the bitterness from the tempeh—a pro tip! Cut your tempeh into squares. Place it into steamer and steam for 10-15 minutes. While the tempeh is steaming, combine the rest of the ingredients above into a bowl and mix well. Once tempeh is done steaming, pat dry and coat with sauce. Let tempeh marinate for 30 minutes to an hour. Pre-heat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange tempeh on baking sheet and pour excess marinate on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!

Tempeh will keep up to three days in the refrigerator.

PeanutTempeh_Bleubird3PeanutTempeh_Bleubird2PeanutTempeh_Bleubird4PeanutTempeh_Bleubird6Recipe adapted from here.

SUNDAY MEAL PREP

08/09/2017

MealPrep_BleubirdMealPrep_Bleubird_2In order to start my week off on the right foot and to ensure that I am eating clean and not skipping meals, I spend most of my Sunday afternoons in the kitchen, prepping my food for the five+ days ahead. My meal prep routine technically starts on Saturday morning at the Farmer’s Market. I like to stock up on local produce and other locally made must-haves like tempeh and bone broth. I usually hit the grocery store next or Sunday morning to complete my list and then, while I’m putting everything away, I start prepping all of the veggies.

The above photos are an example of a typical meal-prep day well spent.

I roast a ton of vegetables in the oven with avocado or coconut oil, salt, and pepper. Here, I’ve roasted small potatoes, sweet potatoes, rainbow carrots, and cauliflower. I added some spicy paprika to the cauliflower. I also made a citrus lentil salad and marinated golden beets (my fave!). These are great additions to salads and bowls. I prepped some shredded chicken, peanut tempeh (another great one!), and quick pickled onions. I usually make a batch of quinoa and/or brown rice, so only a quick re-heat is needed during the week. I then chop up or spiralize a plethora of raw veggies—zucchini, cucumber, carrots, cabbage, radishes, and fresh herbs like mint, basil, and cilantro. Lastly, I prepare some clean dressings, cashew cheese, and sauces that I can dress my meals with for some extra flavor.

I’m usually in the kitchen for 4-5 hours prepping, but this saves me so much time and stress throughout the week. And, once you get your routine down and figure out your strategy, it goes faster. I just turn the music up loud and try to get the kids involved when and where I can—they make great sous chefs. I promise, once you start meal prepping and see what a difference it makes throughout the week, you won’t believe how you managed before.

One last thing: I’ve has a lot of requests for recipes as of late, so I will be sharing some of my favorite ones here, very soon! xx

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