There’s a first time for everything, and today it’s my first Inspiration post!!! I’ll be interviewing influencers in the food, health, and wellness world that inspire myself and others through their whole missions and incredible work every other Friday.
I’m kicking off the Inspiration section with one of my closest friends, soul sisters, and partners in crime — Jordan Younger! Jordan is the blondie behind TheBalancedBlonde and the brilliant gal behind TBVApparel. Knowing Jordan for the past few years has brought so much love, authenticity, and (of course) inspiration…
Name: Jordan Younger
What’s your mission? To inspire people to be the healthiest and happiest versions of themselves by sharing health, fitness, nutrition and lifestyle inspiration from my everyday life.
Where did it all start? I started the Instagram account @theblondevegan in June 2013 as a place to share the colorful food photos I had all over my camera and iPhone. I wanted to show people that living a healthy, plant-strong life was accessible and also FUN! Eating healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. The journey has been wild ever since, as I created my blog from there and then ended up going through a lifestyle transition from ‘The Blonde Vegan’ to ‘The Balanced Blonde.’ After this very public transformation, I incorporated a lot more “finding balance” types of posts into my daily blogging routine. Now I have a YouTube channel, a clothing line called TBV Apparel, a book coming out in November (!!!), Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, events and retreats along with my daily blog. But it all started in a little corner at the airport in Hawaii where I impulsively decided to make a food Instagram!
How did you turn blogging into a full time career? I turned blogging into a career with a combination of overflowing passion for what I was doing and an absolute TON of hard work. My biggest pet peeve is when people tell me I am “lucky” for how successful my blog has become. I do acknowledge that there is always an element of luck when it comes to something striking it big or not, but that “luck” is always backed up by countless hours, days, weeks, and months of hard work, strategizing, outreach, time and dedication. I knew I wanted to make it a full time job because I was so addicted to working on it that it didn’t FEEL like work– and that’s always been my dream type of job to have! I ended up creating a plant-based cleanse program to sell on my site to start generating a bit of revenue, which allowed me to spend more time writing and working on what I loved. I now do a lot of product reviews, affiliate programs and sponsored posts to be able to make a living as a blogger, but it all stems back to pouring love and energy into the blog!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from doing what you do? How important it is to connect with people. The interactions with my readers on my blog, Instagram, email, YouTube, etc. are by far the best part of what I do, and it’s taught me how insanely important human connection is. Those are the people that will support you, cheer you on, and make life exponentially more fun and interesting. I’ve also learned that also there is no such thing as working “too hard,” it’s necessary to take breaks every once in a while or you get burnt out. Lastly, I’ve learned that if you pursue your dreams hard enough and believe in yourself wholeheartedly then you allow space for them to come true.
You just finished writing an incredible book! Tell me about it? Ahhh, yes!! My most exciting and cherished project to date. And for anyone reading this, TARA makes an appearance in my book and is one of the only people who has read a chapter of my book so far. Very exciting and her support means the world to me. The book, titled Breaking Vegan, is a combination of a memoir and a balanced guide to living a happy, healthy lifestyle. There are 25 recipes in the back. (You guys can be the judge of whether my recipes even hold a candle to Tara’s!). The memoir portion of the book deals with my journey through veganism, the development of my eating disorder orthorexia, and the difficult and extremely worthwhile journey of moving away from my plant-based lifestyle and recovering from my eating disorder. I have been working on the book for the last year and it is coming out this November. I couldn’t be more thrilled to share it with everyone… It’s very personal, and everyone who has read it so far tells me it’s very “honest,” so that’s one thing I can be proud of. SO EXCITED ABOUT IT! It’s all I think about…
What does an ideal day of breakfast, lunch, and dinner look like for you? Well, since I used to be very rigidly tied to having the exact same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner when I lived a more strict-with-myself lifestyle, I have now learned to appreciate balance and variety. I love to have a big green smoothie for breakfast with either kale or spinach, banana, blueberries, almond butter, almond milk and plant-based protein powder. For lunch I love making big salads with either chicken or salmon and lots of veggies, nuts and berries. Dinner is usually steamed veggies with some kind of protein– salmon is my favorite, but I like to switch it up. For treats, I am all about raw chocolate and raw chocolate peanut butter cups! I definitely don’t deprive myself in that department. And for snacks I love, love fruit with almond butter and coconut shreds.
Favorite post of yours? My recent favorite is probably this post I wrote about why I hate the idea of a “cheat meal.” My all-time favorite is either my “Why I’m Transitioning Away from Veganism” post, since it’s so raw and honest, or my “Raw Vegan PB Cup” post, because it’s my fav recipe.
One food you can’t live without? Almond butter!
What does your beauty routine look like? Lately I have been obsessed with using coconut oil as a face cleanser, moisturizer, hand lotion, hair mask, and more. I am so, so into it right now. Some of my favorite paraben-free cosmetics and beauty products are by the companies Cate McNabb and 100% Pure. I do a lot of face masks (I make my own with coco oil, avocado, chia seeds, and more!) and use a LOT of lotion. Other than that, I’m pretty laid back when it comes to my beauty routine. I like to keep it natural.
What does being whole mean to you? Being whole means giving attention to all areas of your life, from health and fitness to love and relationships to family and friends to self-care and learning. It means taking care of yourself, putting yourself first, and prioritizing balance. It means letting go of perfection in order to embrace realness. Then you can truly step into your light and be whole.
Who inspires YOU? Anyone who pursues what they love with no looking back. Specific people who inspire me are my mom, Tara, Kathryn Budig, and many bloggers who have absolutely killed it to get where they are now!
Where can we find you? You can find me on www.thebalancedblonde.com, on Instagram @thebalancedblonde, Twitter @balancedblondie, Facebook ‘The Balanced Blondie’, Youtube ‘The Balanced Blonde’, Pinterest ‘The Balanced Blonde’, on Amazon ‘Breaking Vegan‘ and TBV Apparel on truthbalancevirtue.com.
Big thanks to the amazing Jordan Younger for giving us a little peek into her journey. Hope you all enjoyed the first of many Inspiration interviews! Stay tuned for more.
Photos by www.JennieFinken.com.