By Jordan Younger
Once a strict vegan, Jordan Younger from The Balanced Blonde has since embraced that life is all about balance. She chose to listen to her body, and she is still listening to her inner voice as a constant striver of balance, happiness, and passion. Jordan advises her readers to “be silly, work hard & be passionate, and repeat.” What is a Day in the Sweat Life like for Jordan? Read on.
1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
The first thing I do when I wake up is walk to my kitchen and make a glass of warm water with lemon (and sometimes stevia if I'm in that kind of mood!). Then I do some light stretching for a few minutes before I start my day... It works wonders on the way I feel, and on my mindset for the rest of the day. And then I usually dive into my email.
2. What is your go-to workout?
My go-to workout is power Vinyasa yoga. I am an absolute yoga junkie. There is nothing I love more than connecting my body with my mind and my spirit, and there are few other things I've found that do that as well as yoga. I also like to get a good sweat on, so the power and flow aspects ensure that I am getting my butt kicked in the process. I also love HIIT workouts and running. OrangeTheory Fitness is my favorite group-led workout class.
3. What does a typical day of meals and snacks look like for you?
I spent many years as a plant-based vegan, where meals and snacks looked exactly the same every single day. Now I try to incorporate more variety, because that's what my body needs and it also gives my mind a rest. I still lean toward a very healthy diet full of veggies and fruits, so my breakfast is usually a big green smoothie with kale, banana, blueberries, almond milk, chia seeds, plant-based protein powder, and almond butter. I make sure that thing is packed full of protein! I usually snack on raw nuts or fruit, and lunch and dinner are both usually either fish or chicken with steamed veggies and a salad. The desserts I eat are pretty healthy too, so I usually sneak one or two of those in there throughout the day!
4. What is your favorite indulgence?
The raw vegan peanut butter cups I make are probably my favorite dessert of all time. (See below for recipe!) The best thing is that they can hardly be classified as an indulgence, since they are made of purely nutrient-dense foods that fuel you and give you energy. As far as a true indulgence... I am a brownie and cupcake kind of girl. Anything with chocolate chips.
5. What is your healthy living philosophy?
I believe that living a healthy lifestyle is all about balance and consistency. Going 100% too extreme in any direction does not result in health; it results in obsession and hinders us from living our lives to our fullest degree. Striking a balance is where the healthy sweet spot really is: making exercising a priority but resting when you need to, eating well and mindfully but indulging every once in a while, having your routine but being open to trying new things, and so on. When you're balanced, it's easy to be consistent! And confidence is a huge part of it too. Believe in yourself, and you will find your healthiest you.
6. Do you meditate?
Yes, I do. Not enough, but I love it. I try to meditate before bed since I have pretty bad sleeping problems. Meditation is something I would like to delve deeper into.
7. What can we find in your gym bag?
Everything! I am notorious for carrying around everything I could possibly need wherever I go... My gym bag always has to have headphones, a headband, a towel, an extra pair of workout clothes (or three), socks, tennis shoes, snacks, a water bottle, a brush, chapstick, and probably way more.
8. What is your favorite active wear brand?
I have a few favorites right now, but at the core I am always a Lululemon girl.
9. What is the last thing you do before you go to bed?
In an ideal world, meditate. In my typical day, check my email or talk to someone I love on the phone.
10. What or who inspires you?
Anyone who has the courage to chase their dreams and be unapologetically who they are. Also, my mom. She is the most patient woman I know and I admire her for that, among many other things!
Raw Vegan Peanut Butter Cups
Serves 9-12 (depending on how big you make them)
Peanut Butter Portion:
– ½ cup natural peanut butter
– ½ cup natural almond butter (you can do 1 cup of one or the other, but I love the variety of flavor in the combo)
– 1 tbsp organic agave syrup (may substitute with maple syrup or honey)
– 2 tbsp organic coconut oil (melted)
– ½ cup cacao powder
– 1 tbsp organic agave syrup
– 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
– ¼ cup organic vegan chocolate chips
1. Whip out your trusty muffin trays, and if you don’t have them, buy them, because they come in handy for just about every yummy treat.
2. Combine the nut butters, coconut oil, and agave syrup in a bowl and stir until the ingredients are well mixed.
3. Place a spoonful of the mixture into each muffin cup until you have used it all.
4. Place in the freezer until hardened. Now time to start on the chocolate portion!
5. Combine the cacao powder, coconut oil, agave, and chocolate chips in a bowl and stir until well mixed.
6. Place a spoonful of the chocolate mixture over the hardened peanut butter mixture.
7. Pop them back into the freezer and harden. Now comes the tough part – wait until they are hardened, so that you can nom on those puppies!