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8 Inspirational Stories (and Foods!) of the Week

12.19.13

Lifestyle

As a food blogger, I spend a lot of time sifting around the internet for articles that inspire me, entertain me, motivate me, or simply make me smile. I also spend quite a bit of time trying out delicious foods that I want to share with you all.

This week has been a huge week for inspiration, entertainment and yummy food, so I decided to make today’s post all about sharing the love!

1. Project Juice SF

A few weeks ago I was sent some delicious juices from Project Juice in San Francisco. Nor Cal is where my heart is, after all. If you read my blog you know that I am a huge cold-pressed juice fanatic, so I expected to enjoy the juices as I always do.

Of course the first juice I cracked open was the Mint Chip Shake (consisting of purified water, banana, almonds, spinach, cacao nibs, dates, mint, vanilla bean and sea salt) and the moment I took a sip I knew I had to share Project Juice on the blog. I have had (and made!) lots of mint chip shake variations, but I have never had the combo taste as sinfully delicious as Project Juice’s.

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Additionally, their #getyourgreens (how cute is that name?), Dr. Greens Plus and other green juices have an extra zing to them than most other green juices I have tried.

Also cool? Founders Greg Malsin and his wife Rachel started Project Juice almost a year ago when they moved to San Fran from New York because they felt there was a gap in the cold-pressed juice market in SF. They launched the business in January 2013, opened their first retail store in June, and have a second in the works as well as select retail partnerships with cafes and gyms. Greg quit his job and joined full time about a month ago.

Talk about inspirational – you can do what you love and turn it into a career. What are you waiting for?

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2. The Anti-Diet Project

Refinery 29 staff writer Kelsey Miller started The Anti-Diet Project after a lifetime of battling her weight, juggling diets that never worked for her and having a painfully unpleasant relationship with food. The Anti-Diet Project is based around the concept of Intuitive Eating, which has to do with deprogramming our diet-centric minds and learning to eat like a child again.

You all remember what it felt like to eat when you were a kid – you eat what you want to when you’re hungry, and you stop when you’re full. You don’t obsess over food in the meantime. You don’t have panicked thoughts about whether it’s going to make you gain weight, if someone is going to judge you or, as Kelsey hilariously puts it, “without being arrested by the fat-girl police.”

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Intuitive eating is all about getting you in touch with your body’s own signals, which is exactly what I try to promote on The Blonde Vegan. It’s not about being vegan because that works for some people and it has helped certain people lose weight, it’s because it works for me.

With Intuitive Eating, Kelsey is learning to take notes after she eats, but not in the Weight Watchers numbers sort of way. It’s about how the food makes her feel, how satisfied she is, what judgments or feelings that the eating experience generated, etc.

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I for one am thrilled about Kelsey’s journey and am so excited to watch her progress on her blog. And it certainly helps that she is a phenomenal writer. Yay for positive role models promoting health by listening to our own bodies! No more trying to ascribe to someone else’s definition of beauty.

And, as Kelsey says, “Weight loss, for the first time, is not my end goal. Every day, I remind myself how much I want to have a peaceful, healthy relationship with food. That’s the priority. I have a life to lead — I can’t waste time dodging bagels.”

 

3. Cassey Ho of healthy living blog Blogilates

This morning I woke up (or rather, was woken up by the sound of my adorable 18 month old niece running around the house sniffing cinnamon… long story, but I showed her how yummy the smell was and now it’s her favorite thing to do!) and scrolled through my Instagram feed.

I saw this photo pop up, and my first thought was that it was ridiculous that someone would be criticizing a VS model’s body on Instagram (jealousy is not a lovely trait, my friends). Sure, I completely agree that sickly thin models skew our country’s perception of beauty and health, but I don’t think Victoria’s Secret models fall under that category.

And to be criticizing her “saggy” butt just brings the ridiculousness to a whole new level. But then I read the caption and was more than pleasantly surprised to read what Cassey had to say about the body-bashing.

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Thanks, Cassey for this passionate and pragmatic defense. No need to put someone else down just because they don’t look like the next. And, let’s face it, VS angels are hawt, and I definitely see some curves. Don’t tell me this photo isn’t just a little bit inspiring! We all need gym motivation. It’s not about looking like them, but it’s still fun to see women looking confident and fabulous without being emaciated.

 

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4. Beyonce and Jay-Z

You guys might think this is old news, but Beyonce and Jay Z going vegan for a 22 day vegan challenge will never be old news to me. Kudos to my girl Fully Raw Kristina for providing Beyonce and her entourage with fresh produce and delicious raw cheesecakes while they were in Houston for Beyonce’s Mrs. Carter tour. You can read more about their reasoning behind the challenge on Jay Z’s blog.

And, for all those skeptics out there, this is a pretty nifty Time article. At first I was disheartened when I saw the title – “Jay-Z and Beyonce are Vegan! Why you shouldn’t follow their lead” – but the article actually has some great information and is more about making a consistent lifestyle change as opposed to dabbling in healthy eating and then falling off the wagon. I can roll with that.

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5. Chocolate Covered Katie’s “Why I Gave Up Running”

I read this post a few weeks ago and couldn’t believe how moved I was by it. I read Katie’s blog frequently (OK, you caught me, I’m obsessed with it) and have always been impressed by the fact that she is an avid runner on top of being an extremely successful food blogger… running a blog, writing a cookbook and taking fabulous food photos takes a lot of work, people!

I was surprised to see the title of her post about giving up running, but my surprise came more from the fact that she usually keeps her posts strictly food related. I loved reading about something more personal to her. Since reading it, she has inspired me to incorporate more details of my personal life on my blog (that’s why you’ve started seeing more photos of me on here!) and I feel like I know Katie that much more now. Bravo, Katie for sharing your story!

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6. Vegan Gingerbread Protein Pancakes.

Enough said. I am ALL about the holiday recipes right now. (What do you want to see on TBV for the holidays?!) Thanks, Vega, for another fantabulous and healthy recipe.

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7. Eminem-inspired Maid of Honor rap.

I have already informed my future Maids of Honor and bridesmaids that this is going down at my future wedding. (What super-awesome-sexy-wonderful-intelligent-veggie lovin’ guy am I going to marry, you ask? Great question. Please do let me know if you find him!)

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8. All of the amazing cleanse purchasers!

The Blonde Vegan 5-Day Cleanse Program went live on my blog on Sunday, and I have been thrilled by the amount of people who have signed up and/or expressed their interest! I am 100% inspired by anyone and everyone who is looking to make sustainable positive changes in their lives. No better way to do that than by starting out 2014 in the healthiest way possible — plant-based cleansin’ with a lean, mean, motivated group of peeps.

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