TEN THINGS

08/11/2017

doen-late-summer-fall-17-442_1024x1024
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

AN UPDATE ON BIJOU’S DIET

07/18/2017

Bleubird_Iams_1
It’s been about five months since we switched Bijou over to an IAMS diet. If you haven’t already heard about this process, I wrote all about it here in February. When I first wrote about this, many of you were curious about the switch—especially those who were already big fans of #bijouthebengal. So, now that some time has passed I wanted to give you an update on her and how she has adjusted to the swap.

The first thing you should know about our animals is that we all love them dearly—especially the kids. They snuggle and play with all three of our pets non-stop. And, inevitably, they also like to get a little wild from time to time. Bijou’s always been able to hold her own, but most recently, we’ve noticed that she’s been way more playful—kitten-like. She used to spend most of the day upstairs, in my room, sleeping, but recently, she hangs downstairs with us, around the living room or kitchen, full of energy, rubbing against our legs, or makes herself comfortable right on our laps. (Bengals are not a super cuddly breed, so we are thrilled that she’s been more social and energetic.) Even my assistant, Tiana, has noticed the difference and has grown to love the constant company and distraction, while we work.

Another change I’ve personally noticed is Bijou’s physical appearance. She’s as cute as ever, but she seems to be looking her best since the switch. Her coat really is shinier and softer. I know this because previously, if Bijou didn’t consume a certain type of food (with a hefty price tag), she’d start to look a bit mangy and wild, and she hasn’t since swapping to IAMS.

Pets, in general, are a big responsibility. But, Bijou is definitely our most high-maintenance animal. That’s not to say that we don’t love and adore her, we do; it just means that sometimes we have to pay extra attention to ensure that she’s getting all of the love, care, and attention she needs and deserves. Her diet—along with other factors surrounding her health—is a big part of that equation. Making the switch to IAMS has been an overall seamless process that’s resulted in one happy and healthy cat. And, we’re thankful for that.

I know that some of you had a few questions about IAMS in my last post, so to read more on brand, its ethics, and its pet food, be sure to visit IAMS.com. We always aim to do what’s best for our pets, and Bijou seems to really be benefitting from her new diet.

Bleubird_Iams_2Bleubird_Iams_3

This post is in partnership with IAMS.

CLIFF NOTES: THE 21-DAY CLEANSE

07/06/2017

CliffNotes21DayCleanse_BleubirdAs promised, I am sharing my cliff notes to the 21-day cleanse I completed last month. The program is actually quite simple and can easily be found with a little Googling. Sticking to it, not as simple, but it can be done, and let me tell you, it has changed my lifestyle in so many amazing ways.

The Breakdown: You are replacing two meals a day with a smoothie. You can buy the Clean Program Powder (I highly recommend using theirs, since it’s full of everything you need to replace a meal). If that’s not an option for you, here are two protein powers that I like from Moon Juice (which is very affordable) and Vega. Both brands have vanilla and chocolate flavors. I personally prefer vanilla because I find it much more versatile. To that you can add anything that is allowed on the program (linked below). I really like to use a few of the Daily Harvest smoothie cups in because it makes the smoothie-making process that much simpler, but note: many of them are not compliant. You can also look for smoothie packs at your local health food store. Just be sure to the read the labels.

Supplements:
You need to take a probiotic each morning with you first smoothie. With all three meals (smoothie, food, smoothie) you need to take 2 enzymes, 1 berberine, and 1 silymarin.

Very important: You need to have at least a 12-hour food-free period, so that your body can clean itself. So, if you have your last smoothie (dinner) at 8pm, you cannot have your next meal until 8am.

Here are the links to the foods you CAN and CANNOT have. This is very strict, so make sure to check your labels and ingredients list while shopping.

I highly recommend buying the Clean Eats book. It’s great and is full of recipes that you can make that are cleanse-compliant. It also has recipes that are great post-cleanse. I also used It’s All Good so much during my 21 days. It’s been out for years, so chances are many of you already have it on your shelves.

Tips:

  • Do not eat out. I ate out once and it was very difficult. You would be surprised how many things contain cane sugar, honey, and soy.
  • Embrace cooking at home. Try to find joy in cooking healthy, new things.
  • Meal-prep! I reserved (and still do) my Sunday afternoons for the kitchen. It made preparing meals during the week so easy. (I’ll post about my meal-prepping routine, tips, and ideas soon.)
  • Go to the grocery store several times a week for fish, poultry, fruits, and veggies. I don’t recommend buying everything for the week at once. You want your food to be as fresh as possible.
  • Find a recipe or dressing that calls for sugar? Try leaving it out, or if it really needs a bit of sweetness, use coconut sugar. It’s amazing! Just use about half the amount the recipe calls for, and add more as needed.
  • Adjust your meal times to what works best for you. Because we have kids, we had our first smoothie late morning, around 11 a.m. or noon, had our lunch at dinnertime, so we could eat with the kids (around 5 p.m.), and had our dinner smoothie around 9:30 p.m. This worked well for us and our crazy schedules, and made it easy to still eat dinner together as a family.
  • Don’t cheat. Just don’t. You got this!
  • Take before and after photos. It’s crazy to see the difference in just 21-days.
  • Do not weigh yourself. You don’t want to get fixated on a number. It’s all about how you feel. And as a bonus, your clothes might fit a little better once you’ve completed your cleanse.

Like I mentioned in my cleanse recap post, if you are able to do the real thing, do it. The support you receive, daily emails, and tips are incredibly valuable. 21-days is a long time, and you need all of the support you can get. I hope this was helpful and let me know if you have any questions! xxJ

All Content © 2014 Bleubird. All Rights Reserved.
Site designed by Jane Reaction + Developed by Brandi Bernoskie