Pit & Peak Nightly Template

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Happy Saturday! I hope your day is filled with fun, relaxing and lots of good eats. I feel like sometimes I underestimate my love for food to your guys. Who else thinks about their next meal the moment they've finished their current meal.....GUILTY. Anyway Chris and I went to a concert last night and lets just say I ate all the things & was not quite pleased with myself. But today is a new day and starting fresh is in order. Speaking of starting fresh. I have another mindfulness template for you guys. I have had so many comments, DM's and personal messages about the morning mindfulness template completely changing peoples lives which is unreal to me. A little something that i've begun practicing and shared with you guys has made such an impact and I just adore hearing the ways you use the template to better your life! A few examples:

Nightly Template BL
Nightly Template BL
Nightly Template Blissfully Lively
Nightly Template Blissfully Lively
BL Nightly Template
BL Nightly Template

This nightly template was something I created after a pretty bad day. Actually if we want to be specific, a meltdown crying like a baby eating Justins Chocolate PB cups while watching Shameless sort of day....Ya feel me?

As I was sitting there wallowing in my own sorrows over a stressful day I began thinking about what was really upsetting me & trying to turn it around to think about the positive things going on in my life to snap me out of this funk.

This is where the pit & peak nightly template was born.

I think of this as an extension of the morning mindfulness template but something that you can do to REFLECT on you day. So one sets you up to have a fantastic day and the other reminds you and checks in with you on how that day affected you!

I hope you all use the PDF, take this template and write it out in your own notebook & best of all share with your loved ones. Promoting whole being wellness & spreading positivity is my thing and I want as many people as possible to utilize these tools!

Download Nightly Mindfulness  PDF HERE
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Love you all!

xo,

Lauren

The Best Day of Our Life Part 2 & Wedding Video

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Ok so before you do anything if you haven't read Wedding post part 1 ...DO IT!

& then come on back here for the rest of the deets. You guys as I am sitting here writing this I realized our wedding was one month ago tomorrow. CUE ALL THE FEELS. Idk if there is anything like your wedding day {well probably when you have kids, or that feeling when Tom Brady Wins the Super Bowl & then the next day is depression} because the experience was like none other.

{PS If you really want to see the wedding video, scroll to the bottom cause there are so many photos}

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{Our flowers were STUNNING, We used The Flower Room in Dover NH}

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The happiest day of our lives surrounded by all of our most favorite people. To have all of your favorite people in one place at the same time loving on and support you is such an unreal feeling.

SO as most of you know the day of the wedding was bit SCARY. We were in for some serious thunderstorms the whole day & it held off until about 2pm when we were going to do family pictures and our first look. Needless to say I was a hot mess express freaking out about our ceremony as it was completely outside!

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Luckily the universe fricken knew & stopped the rain at 3pm and cleared right on up into blue skies. Chris and I were able to do our pictures before and the ceremony was at 4pm.

Seeing Chris before anyone else, allowing us a little time to ourselves for a first look was probably my most favorite part of our whole wedding. His face when he saw me for the first time was so cute & immediately calmed me down. It was just a nervous excitement all day long so I totally recommend seeing each other and doing a first look w/ pictures before the ceremony!

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Dozens of people told us our ceremony was the best they had ever been to...SO flattering and nice as Chris's Aunt married us. She told our whole love story, how we met & struggled through 4 years of Chris being 3 hours away at school to now, where we are both living our happiest lives, loving and pursuing our passions. It was so amazing, lasted no longer than 15 minutes start to finish {long ceremony's are such a drag sometimes} & had me jumping for joy...LITERALLY, SEE BELOW

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{Chris's reaction to me walking down the aisle was the cutest thing everrrr}

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Our wedding was generously hosted by my aunt and uncle who own a fruit farm in NH {Butternut Farm} If you're ever in need of some pick your own delicious fruit! Their land is so beautiful and meant so  much to us as Chris grew up 10 minutes from the farm, always going a few times a summer to pick fruit w/ his family & it being my aunt and uncles farm who I am super close with. We knew it was the perfect place!

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We lucked out that the rain passed right on through and our cocktail hour and reception boasted a GORGEOUS double rainbow. We opted out of doing cake cutting and long speeches, leaving our reception to the fun part, dancing, mingling, playing yard games and enjoying DELICIOUS Cajan BBQ.

We substituted cake for Apple Cider Donut Sundaes {Chris's favorite dessert of all time} and everyone loved it.

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I'm so glad we went nontraditional on so many of our wedding decisions including cake cutting, my walking myself down the aisle, no mother or father dances etc. We just wanted it to be a huge party filled with love and positivity for us!

My family are huge dancers so the dance floor was packed once it got dark into the night dancing to such fun songs. Around 10pm Chris and I's college friends surprised me and all the guests with a huge fireworks show over the farm. It was so thoughtful and so much fun to experience this way of ending the night!

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{Blurry late night photos ARE MY FAV from the night}

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Chris and I left 2 days later for our mini honeymoon to Maine and we kept saying the whole time "The wedding was the best day of our lives but there was just something about it" I think that something that we realized was yes, your wedding is the best day of your life BUT when you're in a committed happy loving relationship and have such a happy life together it just feels like another day of living together, making life the best it can be.

But i've gotta say Chris having a ring on and officially being mine for life WAS PRETTY AMAZING!

Watch the whole video below of our special day!

Wedding Photos by: @Rayaonassignment

Wedding Video by: @seacoastflash

https://youtu.be/xuy85IdfwQo

P.S. Don't worry I will totally do a "what you need to know while planning a wedding", "The best wedding Hacks ETC" Post or Insta Live for all you engaged babes <3

xo,

Lauren

The Best Day Of My Life...OUR WEDDING

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I know you guys have been dyinggg to learn more about the wedding, even though I tried to share as I went, lots of amazing things got missed along the way. So I thought I would stop teasing you all with little Insta sneak peeks and give you the real deal. All wedding details in a post... or 2! {our wedding video will be live on the blog on Tuesday!}

BL Wedding Day
BL Wedding Day

Ok so right off the bat I just want to let you know you're in for a LONG ASS POST!

BUT HERE WE GO.....

Rehearsal Dinner
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Chris and I opted for a more casual rehearsal dinner because we didn't love the feel of sitting for too long. We went with a cocktail/ buffet style in a room that overlooked the water with only standing cocktail tables! We didn't want our guests stuck at a table sitting next to someone and only being able to talk to the two people right next to them and the one person across from them. We wanted lots of mingling and dancing!

We had our friend come play live music {Shout out to Matt Gelinas he is a phenomenal singer & musician in the Seacoast NH Area!}.

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Our overall goal for the Rehersal dinner was to have a fun kickoff Party with all our family and friends, my aunt and uncle hosted it and they thought of every last detail to make the night so special! We had salmon, lobster, chicken, potatoes, salad & mixed veggies which were all delicious. A very New England Affair!

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I bought those instagram worthy HUGE ASS white confetti balloons & they were a bust, so heavy they couldn't even float so we ended up tying them to the ceiling with the vines, so pretty!

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Is it just me or is my family so beautiful?! Every single person... Ok probably just me, but COME ON.

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For those that I KNOWWW are going to ask, This dress is @ShopTobi from 2 years ago...{YES I bought my rehearsal dinner dress before we were even engaged hahah} & the shoes are a Target online find

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Our little perfect flower girl niece

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The cutest little sister ever!

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The night ended w/ dancing our faces off and some seriously blurry pictures under a street lamp 🙊

The Wedding
TO BE CONTINUED.....

xo,

Lauren

Introducing...The BL Book Club

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I have been wanting to bring this to BL for quite some time as I am a ferocious reader and fricken love my reading time but have held off, worried that it would take up too much time to create a successful book club.

Thank goodness Instagram came out with the Live feature because I have found a new way to create the BL book club I have been longing for.

You guys know my obsession with any books from the self help/fitness/ wellness/ nutrition genre so that's exactly what this book club is going to be centered around.

Books that make us BETTER!

I have been asked by so many family and friends for book reccomendations & have been wanting a way to connecting with you amazing ladies that read and utilize the blog so I thought we would pick a book, assign pages & then chit chat over Insta/FB live weekly about what we read. Sharing our own personal connections to the book, stories we have or even just feelings/ things that the book made us think about during these pages.

blissfully lively Book Club
blissfully lively Book Club

The point of this book club is to bring all of you BL readers together while also giving us a space to chat! I have created a secret FB group, girls only for all of our chats... SO go become a member!

Ok so here's the format & FIRST book we will be reading!

BL Book Club
  • Start date Tuesday August 8th 8PM {FB live to assign pages & chat about the book!}
  • Book: Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini
  • Join BL BOOK CLUB FB Group
  • Weekly chit chat: Every Tuesday night at 8pm we will chat about the pages we've read and how it applies to our life, our choices, etc! & assign new pages for the week ahead. {don't worry if you miss it you can re-watch it later on!}
  • Use the group as a community, be able to share confidentially and give advice to others!

OK, so now go purchase your book or {amazon prime it 2 days before like I would LOL} and get ready for Tuesday night!

So excited for this babes!

xoxo,

Lauren

--

Looking for a smoothie to drink while reading? Check out the BL Smoothie from the EBOOK!

Fats: The Good, Bad & Ugly

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Oh FATS, we all know them as the evil, enemy, something we should never eat & the thing that will make you fat....newsflash, WRONG. Now you're thinking what the hell Lauren, really?... there a few different kinds of fats, yes some like trans fat {processed fat} aren't good for you BUT! Others like saturated & unsaturated fats such as avocados are amazing for you and boast tons of benefits while also helping you feel satiated for longer.

Ok, lets get into it...The good, bad & UGLY
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The Good Fat

unsaturated fats such as:

olive oil, avocados, nuts & omega 3 fats {found in fatty fish/ seafood such as salmon}.

When eaten these break down into various types of fatty acids, which help move along hormone production, cell development & growth & help with blood sugar balance.

Another type of unsaturated fats are omega-6s, such as: canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, cottonseed, grapeseed, corn, soybean or vegetable oil.

These oils contain excessive amounts of omega 6 which cause inflammation!

Also LOTS of packaged foods are made with Canola oil, even Organic crackers, bars, etc. so make sure you're checking!

Now there are also some fats that we can't make in the body called "essential fatty acids" which means we need to get them from eating food. These 2 essential fatty acids are called linoleic acid & alpha-linolenic acid. We can get these from foods that contain Omega 6 & Omega 3 {but appropriate levels of it, not overboard like the bad fats below}. Foods that contain omega 6 are organic whole foods such as eggs, nuts, seeds & grass finished meats. Foods that contain Omega 3 are "fish oil" fats or ones that you can get from eating algae/ seafood.

Blissfully Lively Fats
Blissfully Lively Fats
The Bad/ UGLY Fats

Trans-unsaturated fat {or better known as manmade fats} if any label reads "Partially hydrogenated" or "hydrogenated"...it's a NO! Thankfully, you can't purchase these as fats in a store, but they are visible within packaged foods. Make sure you're checking those labels/ ingredients. Labeling laws state that 0.5g & under of trans fats can be listed as 0g! Sneaky.

OK now stayyy with me, I promise this will make sense even though they're big words {I'm all about putting things in layman's terms}

The bottomline is most of us don't add enough of the good fat into our everyday diet, are consuming too much of the bad inflammatory fat, and our hormone production is severely affected.

Insulin production triggers the body to absorb glucose into the muscles, liver, and fat cells.

Hormones like insulin which pick up & process glucose or {sugar in the blood} and transport it to the liver, muscles etc. to be used as energy. If there isn't enough healthy fat to get this hormone going then glucose stays in excess in the blood and is stored in our fat cells {not what we want} aka converted into FAT in our bodies.

Good Fats BL
Good Fats BL

SO

Adding an appropriate amount of good fats to your diet daily will actually HELP you lose weight by keeping you fuller and releasing less insulin, allowing your body to properly use the nutrients for energy. Good fat elongates your blood sugar curve and keeps you feeling satiated, which creates less insulin spikes & crashes and less hangry snacking.

OKK now you ask what's an appropriate amount?

I suggest 2 servings of 1 tbsp daily.

This could be coconut oil in your morning smoothie, avocado with your salad at lunch or salmon for dinner.

Pick the healthy fats you like best & start adding them to your daily meals to feel satiated longer!

Here are a few recipe posts which boast healthy fats to get you started:

Veggie Egg cups

Acai Power Smoothie Bowl

Avocado Peach Salsa

Let me know if this article was helpful & if you babes have any more questions, i'm always here to help <3

xo,

Lauren

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Banana Cream Superfood Popsicles

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I have been on a sweets kick lately! Honestly I know I always say this but once you let you guard down and start eating all the things, you body craves alllll the things. My family came into town for the wedding and we were honestly just indulging. They were on vacation and I was stressed out so it resulted in eating all the sweets, ice cream etc. SO I decided to cut myself off to only homemade sweets. Which means I can share the recipe with you guys and create something low i ingredients, fake sugar FREE and actually delicious.

I have always loved banana popsicles and I knew I wanted to incorporate some super foods to this recipe so we've got a coconut cream based banana dark chocolate popsicle topped with toasted coconutssss. The bomb...Enjoy babes! Share on Insta using #BLmealprep <3

BL Banana Superfood Popsicles
BL Banana Superfood Popsicles

[amd-yrecipe-recipe:1]

xo,

Lauren

Morning Mindfulness Check List

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HIII Babes! I'm back & a married women...

The wedding flew by in a blink and I'm sitting here wondering how it all came together & then ended so quickly. It literally was the best day of my life and I can't wait to do a post or 2 all about it. {probably in a week or so}.... for now I will give you a sneak peek or 2 👇🏼

BL Morning Mindfulness
BL Morning Mindfulness
Morning Mindfulness BL
Morning Mindfulness BL

BUT I am here to give you what you all have been asking for! My favorite Morning Mindfulness Check List.

I chatted with you guys about how to create a morning routine, and my favorite routine currently {if you haven't read it, its a good one!}. Basically I gave you guys the gist on how drinking some tea, sitting with my thoughts & starting my day slower helps set me up for a more successful day & you all loved it. So thanks for that feedback!

You also have all been "screenshotting" my Morning Mindfulness Check List on Insta Stories so I decided to bring it here in super cute BL PDF format for you to download & add to your phone to complete each morning!

I complete this check list after my morning meditation to remind myself of things i'm grateful for, any to do's I want to accomplish during that day, A few positive affirmations & my most favorite a personal biography.

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This biography should read like one on the back cover of your favorite book, but about you. This one can be hard but I think it's so useful in daily visualization of your goals. If someone were to summarize your life and your accomplishments for 50 year old you, what would it look like? Here is an example.

"Sally Jane is a world renowned business coach, New York Times Best Selling author of her book 'Smart Money' & business educator for her 1 million plus community of millennials. She resides in Southern California with wife Janis & 2 beautiful children. Her net worth is $2 million."

I will continue to share my Mindfulness check list on Insta stories to give you guys a better idea of how to craft these up if you're feeling stuck. I made the PDF editable so you can download adobe pdf reader for your iPhone and input your answers each day, saving and redoing the next time you complete your mindfulness routine in the AM.

To download click the title below & save to your phone or computer!

BL Mindfulness Check List

BL Mindfulness Template
BL Mindfulness Template

xo,

Lauren

How to Create a Healthy Morning Routine

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I recently started sharing my morning routine on Instagram and immediately you guys began asking me for more info. Because of such a large amount of Q's I decided to make it into one blog post where you can find all the info on how to start your day off as stress free as possible.

So with this being said why don't I walk you guys through my morning routine...

My days, like I'm sure most of yours aren't ever really the same. Sometimes I have hours available in the morning to get up slowly & work on tons of BL stuff, other mornings i'm shortened on time because of a TRX class i'm teaching or a meal prep client/ odd jobs I'm taking on the side as I grow this platform!

The below format is ideally what routine I am striving for this summer.

BL Summer Morning Routine

Bl Morning Routine
Bl Morning Routine
7am: Wake up

Chris sets his alarm for 7am every morning so I am inevitably up at this time. Honestly morning wake ups are super hard for me but I am trying to get up earlier to fit in more me time. Chris uses a gradual alarm It's an app that you turn on at night that tracks your sleep and wakes you up when your body is in the lightest sleep cycle. So you would set it at a range of 6:45am-7:15am and it will wake you up anytime between there that it feels you are in your lightest sleep. Pretty genius!

7:15am : Sip on some water
BL Healthy Morning Routine Lemon Water
BL Healthy Morning Routine Lemon Water

I eventually roll out of bed after a few morning snuggles & stretches around 7:10am and make my way to the kitchen to hydrate. Think about how dehydrated your body is after not drinking anything for 8 hours. I try to drink 2 full glasses of water right when I wake up.

7:30am : Yoga/ Meditation
BL morning meditation
BL morning meditation

This is something that I began doing religiously about a month ago and it has changed my days immensely!! I put on my favorite spotify meditation station {click & it will send you to the exact playlist} and start through my first yoga flow. Something like THIS. I complete 3-4 rounds of the yoga flow & add a little plank work to it. Then I sit in meditation following Gabby Bernstein's Meditation music for about 10-15 minutes.

8am : Daily Reminders/ Gratitudes
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Immediately following meditation I write up my daily reminders. These are what you have seen on Instagram story if you follow along there. It consists of 3 "to do's", 3 gratitudes, 3 affirmations & 1 personal biography. I try to complete this every morning but if not I try and shoot for 3 times per week. This is my time to also write down anything that came to me during meditation. I am flooded with creative ideas every once in a while during meditation so I take the time to write this down afterward.

8:15/8:20am : Breakfast
BL Morning Routine Breakfast
BL Morning Routine Breakfast

Breakfast is no joke my favorite time of the day. I love breakfast food & I love the calm sense of self I have after completing these few morning practices. I usually opt for eggs, a fruit and a grain option in the morning. A few of my favorites are 2 BL Egg Cups, half a grapefruit & a piece of whole wheat toast w/ natural PB OR Avocado Toast w/ 2 eggs. I also brew up a cup of green tea or if i'm smart enough on Sunday I brew it up then & add it to the refrigerator so I can have iced tea. I just started reading the morning news over breakfast {no not crazy old school from a newspaper} but my new favorite app. The Skimm. It's an email news service formed by 2 women who want to make news easy for the every girl. So It's basically news in layman's terms, so genius. I just felt like I never wanted to watch the news because for 1 it made me sad and for 2 I couldn't really understand anything they were saying, but I still wanted to be informed so The Skimm is such an awesome tool.

9ish am : Begin work

I normally begin work around 9am outlining a list of "to do's" and then trimming that list down to 2/3 things that I know I can accomplish today. If I accomplish those things I can move on to 1 or 2 others. I try to keep my list of "to do's" incredibly small as a large list overwhelms me and then I don't get anything done.

If you guys have read through this you know that my daily workout wasn't included. I actually prefer to workout in the afternoon, my body responds to strength training so much better once I am up and have been using my brain for a few hours. After lunch around 2/3 or before dinner is my favorite time to workout.

Now I want to know...

What does your morning routine look like?

Lets share in the comments section & get the conversation started. A morning routine is so important and I think we need more ideas/ ways to get our bodies ready for the day!

xo,

Lauren

Avocado Peach Salsa

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This avocado peach salsa is what dreams are made of.

I seriously don't say that lightly. I was preparing it for one of my meal prep. clients last week and per usual had to give it a taste test to make sure the seasonings were good etc.

IT WAS SO BOMB.

The perfect pairing for fish tacos, grilled shrimp, lime chicken, turkey burger topping...the list could go on and on. This salsa goes with anything and everything & has the perfect amount of flavoring.

It's simply flavored by the peaches, red onion & dash of garlic salt. I love when that happens. When a recipe calls for so little ingredients but comes out being better than anything you've ever had. Simplicity is the name of the game friends, but you already know that because of the BL Guide to Simple Meal Prep Ebook that is being released this Wednesday!

This recipe is one of those that just reminds me of summer, like a refreshing pasta salad,  or homemade ice cream sandwiches. I mean this paring would be unreal sipping a corona w/ a lime & munching on some fish taco's topped with this deliciousness while basking in the setting sun on the beach...DREAMS FRIENDS.

Time to give you guys the goods...

BL Avocado Peach Salsa

BL Avocado Peach Salsa
BL Avocado Peach Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 peaches, diced
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • Juice of 1 1/2 limes
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, minced
  • dash of cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Chop all of the veggies & peaches, add into small bowl.
  2. Add juice of limes & salt/ pepper. Mix until fully combined.
  3. Chop cilantro, add in & mix until fully combined.
  4. Top w/ a dash of cayenne pepper.
  5. Enjoy!

I would love to see the recipes you create with this delicious salsa! tag BL on Instagram @blissfullylively & #blissfullylively.

P.s. What's your most favorite recipe of the summer?

I'm thinking mine might be ice cream & if you guessed it, yes there will be a little BL series on "nice cream". Let me know your fav. flavors belowwww <3

xo,

Lauren

BL Guide to Simple Meal Prep Sneak Peek

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The wait is almosttttt over. A few more finishing touches and my most favorite BL project that I have ever worked on will be released for purchase! This Wednesday June 28th! Here's a little sneak peek of what you will get!

  • BL meal prep tips
  • A weeks worth of client requested meal prep recipes
  • Weekly grocery list of all the meal ingredients
  • BL meal prep planner
BL Ebook
BL Ebook
Meal Prep Ebook
Meal Prep Ebook

I can't wait to release the Ebook in its entirety for you guys! $12 and available this Wednesday!!

xo,

Lauren

Your Summer Breakfast, Handled...Acai Power Smoothie Bowl

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I'm gunna make like Olivia Pope & have your summer breakfast situation...HANDLED.

LOL who ever understands this is officially my new BESTIE. But in all seriousness you guys you need this smoothie bowl in your life. It takes 5 minutes tops to prepare and is so nutrient dense it won't leave you longing for another breakfast after you eat it. {another fav. that has these bomb benefits... BL Egg Cups}

My whole thing with smoothies or smoothie bowls is I need them to have key nutrients, be dense & filling in order for them to work for me. Any of these smoothies that are filled with fruit & coconut water but are lacking protein, good fats & fiber are kind of doing you a disservice.

Breakfast Acai Power Smoothie Bowl

Because you spent time and $$$ on them but aren't getting the proper nutrients to fill you and keep you full for the morning.

So here you are, your fiber, fat, protein & greens filled smoothie bowl that will leave you feeling satisfied and wanting more.

BL Acai Power Smoothie Bowl

Blissfully Lively Acai Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 ripe avocado
  • 1 packet frozen acai
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup packed spinach
  • 1 carton Siggi's plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 cup- 1 cup almond milk

Toppings:

  • sprinkling of bee pollen
  • Unsweetened coconut shreds
  • Strawberries {berries of choice}
  • granola {check sugar content, should be lowwww}
  • chia seeds

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to blender, blend until smooth. Adjust almond milk ratio accordingly. You want the smoothie bowl thickkkkk.
  2. ENJOY!

I hope all your babes loved this recipe & will show me how you make it! Tag @blissfullylively and #blissfullylively on Instagram!

*PS! The BL Meal Guide to Meal Prep. is coming out next week! Tune in tonight 8:30pm EST on Instagram Live to learn a little more about it <3

xo,

Lauren

 

Cucumber Quinoa Salad w/ Lemon Vinaigrette

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My meal prep clients have been non stop raving about this salad, so I knew it was officially time to bring it to the blog, and the fact that its been in the 90's this last week calls for a cool refreshing dinner recipe. This quick quinoa based salad is easy to make and incredibly delicious! It takes under 20 minutes but has all the components of a salad you want. Whole grains giving a bit of a crunch from the quinoa {You guys quinoa has become my new favorite grain, i'm eating it with EVERYTHING}, refreshing cucumbers & tomatoes & a whole lot of flavor from the red onion & feta. To top it off this homemade lemon vinaigrette is the bomb!

Whip it up for a summer bbq or my most favorite meal prep day on Sunday, so you can enjoy it the whole week long!

BL Quinoa Cucumber Salad

* A quick little announcement! The BL Guide to Simple Meal Prep will be out soon! I can't wait to release my first PDF all about meal prepping and how to make eating whole & healthy SIMPLE!

BL Quinoa Cucumber Salad w/ Lemon Vinaigrette

BL Quinoa Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, chilled
  • 2 english cucumbers, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 lb cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped basil
  • DRESSING:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1. cook quinoa according to directions on box, transfer to bowl and chill in fridge.

2. Dice cucumbers, onion & basil & set in large bowl.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cook chicken breasts for 15 minutes until no longer pink in the middle, Dice into bite sized pieces and add to cucumber mixture.

4. In small mixing bowl add all dressing ingredients and mix until fully combined.

5. Add chilled quinoa to cucumber mixture & mix until combined.

6. Top with dressing & mix until combined.

7. Enjoy!

 

xo,

Lauren

 

Self Love Isn't Selfish!

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This topic has been something that i've been meaning to write about for a while but couldn't find the right words. Aka I needed to take some time to cool off a bit and think on it before I wrote a crazy rant that had people emailing saying "LAUREN ARE YOU OK?" 🙊

But really.

I had an encounter with someone I know recently and I was mind blown, HARD. I couldn't understand how someone could think so poorly & project this poor thinking of themselves onto others. Ok enough of me talking in circles...let me lay it out for you.

YOU DON'T NEED TO FEEL SELFISH WHEN CARING FOR YOURSELF.

Whether you're a mother, sister, friend, partner whatever, you making time for yourself doesn't have to mean that you're depriving the other people in your life.

I was having a conversation with someone recently and they said to me "I just don't understand why so and so went to the gym after work after having her kids in daycare all day, I mean I would be headed straight to that daycare at 5pm to pick up my kids".

self love selfish

So honestly I feel like there's a lot wrong with this statement including... projecting your values onto someone else, shunning someone because their choices are different than yours & caring too much about what others are doing with their life instead of making YOUR life worth living!

I politely said back to this person... "well I feel like she will be a better mom, spouse, worker in her life if she takes some time to better herself". AND honestly I 100% believe this.

 

I wanted to share this little idea with you because I feel that so many of us feel guilty for taking time for ourselves. I mean 100% honesty here I do it too. I will have had a busy day & want to head straight home to workout and destress but then the feelings of "oh Chris and I haven't had a date night recently" or "oh jeez I have so much work to get done, should I really workout?"

These feelings are normal and don't just relate to working out, it could be "should I go on that morning walk?" "should I take 10 extra minutes getting ready in the morning?" "Should I really be working tonight?". Because I need to do XYZ or Spend more time with XYZ

self love isn't selfish BL

We all have these nagging feelings of guilt for putting ourselves at the top of the priorities list and I'm here to tell you we have got to cut that shit out!

When you invest in you, you invest in your life, in your purpose. By giving yourself some attention you in turn will feel more clear.

So now lets chat, do you ever have these feelings, or have had a conversation like the above that made you question your worth? Lets get the conversation going because one persons story could help many!

 

xo,

Lauren

 

 

Wellness Spotlight

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You guys! It's been a minute since I've done a wellness spotlight post and i'm going to be 100% honest...I over committed.

I thought I would be able to do one wellness spotlight post a week along with keeping up with recipe and workout posts as well as launch the new BL in home meal prep business & nutrition coaching and do a little thing called plan a wedding on the side...I'M EXHAUSTED JUST WRITING THAT.

ANYWAY

I'm learning, i'm beginning to understand how not to stretch myself too thin till burnout mode and then need to take a step away. I'm starting to understand that although I want to do every single thing and have all these crazy dreams and aspirations for the blog, business, etc. I need to realize what's realistic for right now and do that.

It's so crazy how we compare and look at someone else doing something similar and think "I want to do that, if they can do it so can I" not realizing that the people we're looking up to have had 5 years or more in the industry, have 2 personal assistants and are just at a completely different stage than us all together.

SO...

The wellness spotlight posts will continue in their regular amazing fashion but just once a month. Lets get to it!

What to know in wellness

BL Wellness spotlight

  • Did you guys see this? BBG has been insane these past 2 or so years and you guys already know my stance on before and after photos {if not reference THIS post}, but I could not believe how right on the money this Well & Good Article is. I 100% believe the before and after culture is doing more harm than good on social media these days. Check it out and let me know your thoughts.
  • This article was unreal! Breakdown how nutrition labels really will be changing in the coming months for the July 2018 final date of all nutrition labels changed to read larger, be in EXACT portion sizes and list what percentage is added sugar among other things! I'm so excited for this change because as a nutrition coach one of my biggest struggles is helping people read and understand the food they're putting into their body. It shouldn't be hard, and we shouldn't be mislead!

Cook this recipe

One of my favorite breakfast options lately... Banana Coconut Overnight Oats

Move that bod

An old stand by... The No BS Full Body Workout 

Read this

I have been turned on to this book by so many friends lately for some reason so i'm feeling it's time to recommend to all of you babes too! Material Girl, Mystical World by Ruby Warrington. It was recommended by Gabby Bernstein too and you guys know how I fricken love her!

Mantra Inspo

I know this one's a bit simple but when asked at Wednesday nights Barre & Soul class "set an intention, what's your intention for the class?" I couldn't shake the thought of...

Just Let It GO!

Get clear on what matters to you and if this struggle isn't at the center of your core values, brush it off an move forward. We spend so much of our energy and time on something that won't even matter one year from now.

 

xo,

Lauren

Mint Mojito Fruit Salad

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I don't think i've loved a fruit salad more in my life! This recipe mixes my love for refreshing mojito's and all the fruits together. I thought this would be perfect for Mothers Day get togethers this weekend because honestly it's so damn simple but everyone will love it. A mix of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, fresh mint and a hint of lime. HEAVEN.  

Throw it all in a bowl, mix it together and add some fresh mint leaves to the top for a pretty presentation.

I hope you all enjoy a fantastic weekend with your families, Moms or Mother figures!

Mint Fruit Salad BL

BL Mint Mojito Fruit Salad

Bl Mint Fruit Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 carton fresh strawberries
  • 1 carton fresh blackberries
  • 1 carton fresh raspberries
  • 3 cups chopped watermelon {If you have it in stores}
  • 1/4 cup packed, chopped mint
  • juice of 1 lime

Directions

 

  1. Chop all fruit and add to medium sized bowl.
  2. Squeeze lime over top.
  3. Chop mint and sprinkle over top. Mix to combine.
  4. Enjoy!

BL Mojito Fruit Salad

xo,

Lauren

 

 

Why I'm Taking My Workouts to The Barre This Month w/ Barre & Soul

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Do you guys ever feel a call to switch things up while working out? You've stopped pushing yourself to hit the gym, you dread putting on your gym clothes and you're most definitely not enjoying or feeling the stress relief/ Endorphin high working out should give us. WELL THAT WAS ME. Even with a gym in my home 2 steps away I began to feel  a bit bored of my usual strength training routines. Luckily my amazing friends at Barre & Soul Portsmouth contacted me and wanted to extend a month long collaboration.

Could that timing be any more perfect?!

 

BL Barre and Soul

I have only done barre 2 or 3 times previously, and honestly didn't love it. My strength training mind races a mile a minute making me feel like I need more high intensity or heavy weight to get the job done. Even though I hadn't had fantastic experiences previously I knew I needed to take a little leap and try something new.

I went to my first class last week and was immediately converted to a Barre babe! Barre & Soul exudes this energy that makes you want to be better. The cult like energy that gyms like Crossfit or Kettlebell create but in a down to earth "babes supporting babes" sort of way.

BL barre and soul

Gyms that exclusively promote, market and have women as clients usually leave new comers feeling left out, not good enough or an outsider but you guys I WAS BLOWN AWAY. Barre and Soul attracts the best of the best, from instructors to clients. I walked in for my first class feeling a little out of sorts as Barre wasn't really my thing but that feeling was completely taken away by the generosity of others. I was shown around their cute little space, told how the class would run and then was helped  by a complete stranger to get all the props I needed. {I fricken love nice people}

My most favorite part about the way Barre & Soul teaches is there emphasis on yoga. Each class that I have been to they begin just like a yoga class. Sitting in a comfortable position, taking a few deep breaths and setting an intention for your practice. They even take a few times during the workout to lead you back to this starting place, stretching out and making sure your intentions are clear.

{Which helps because right after thigh work I'm glaring at the instructor to give us a break 😉}

Barre BL

Barre is a workout unlike anything i've ever completed...actually it kind of reminds me of long distance running. You start out feeling great, like a total badass for lacing up those sneaks and hitting the pavement & then about half way through you begin to have an internal struggle with yourself constantly reminding yourself  "I CAN DO THIS" maybe even getting to a point of "OH SHIT I CAN'T DO THIS". BUT the ending is my most favorite part, you have ward off those negative thoughts only to again feel like an absolute badass saying outlaid "OMG THAT WAS AMAZING".

Barre BL

As I myself was going through one of those internal struggles of "OH SHIT I CAN"T DO THIS", my mind went to a place of inquiry and I realized that time under tension is the thing that Barre & Soul thrives off of. That shaking, trembling feeling your muscles hate and your minds dreads, it takes you to a place of second guessing but in a weird way makes you long and obsess for more.

The feeling of being on your tip toes in a squat position holding a ball between your thighs & counting down with the instructor "3,2,1" only for her to say "HERE WE GO AGAIN JUST 8 MORE". Is the epitome of time under tension. How long can they work your same specific muscle groups in order to strengthen! It's an interesting process that makes you hate it and love it all at the same time! <3

Blissfully Lively Barre

I left the class in awe of what a kick ass workout it is! I would consider myself pretty strong for my size, definitely advanced in the gym and barre is something completely different. Trembling legs and shaky arms I laughed out loud at myself walking back to my car. Barre is something so out of my wheelhouse that is totally making me "check myself" just when I was getting comfortable in my strength workouts.

I can't wait to continue taking classes this month and update you all on my progress. Follow along for weekly updates on Instagram & check back here at the end of the month for a little recap of my time!

Question:

Have you guys tried barre, and what are your thoughts? I would love some of your feedback on class too! <3

Peace out, time to head to the barre!

xo,

Lauren

How to Balance A Social Life & Personal Health in Your 20's

Binge drinking, bar hopping & late night greasy snacks are the status quo when it comes to socializing in your 20's.

While this isn't my style of having fun on a weekend I know so many people love to socialize out at bars with friends. The reality of this though is some take it to a whole other level,  getting wild until 2am only to wake up the next morning and realize they drank all their calories away and have a faint memory of binge eating a few too many midnight snacks.

BL Balance in your twenties

In this post i'm not talking to the people who love to have a drink or two on Saturday night and socialize with their friends {though you too could find these tips helpful}, but I am talking to the people who feel like they can't rip themselves away from the binge culture that once was college and adjust to a more balanced social life that takes their health into account.

*SIDE NOTE: i'm also not saying the binge culture in college is ok, but that's just a topic for a WHOLE other blog post!

BL Balance in your 20's

Being social, how you're perceived, temptation and serious cases of FOMO are all things that hold people back from creating boundaries with alcohol. And i'm here to let you know we all feel these things from time to time, but putting your health and happiness first should always be the goal.

Bl Balance and social culture

Keeping in mind that this can be incredibly hard I thought why not give people a few tips on how to still socialize, create those fun experiences with friends, and enjoy a drink or two but also keep your health as a top priority with a little balance.

Lets get down to business...

👇🏼

Tips to balance a social life & your health in your 20's

  1. Practice self reflection: Is this something that I want to do? Is this something I'm doing because I care about what others think of me? Is this extra drink {handful of chips, night out} really worth it? It's so easy to get caught up in doing what other people do because of subconscious peer pressure but if it isn't serving you why do it? Before you say yes to anything regarding weekend socializing try to take a beat and really think if this is something you want or need in your life.
  2. Be ok with saying NO: This one goes hand in hand with the first tip. But when we practice more self reflection there are going to be times when we have to say no, or when we want to say no. This can be to another drink at the bar or to another night of going out with friends all together. You have to come to terms with the fact that people may feel let down by you not meeting their expectations, but that is 100% not YOUR problem. YOU DO YOU!
  3. Think about how you would like to be spending your money?: This one is difficult but so necessary to think about. Going out with friends leads to TONS of money spent. The question is how would you like to be spending your money, and only you can answer this. Uber's to and from the bar, 5 dollar beers & late night food adds up, and is this serving you? OR Saturday morning yoga class with your besties, whole food grocery runs & stocking up on drinks at the liquor store for a get together with friends at home? These are all questions we need to think about.
  4. Mix in a water & a workout: Going out with friends sometimes leads to peer pressure which means one {or two} drinks too many which can leave you feeling bloated, dehydrated, etc! When you do go out with friends try to mix in a water for every drink you have. This might sound annoying as you are at the bar but this can also be done the moment you get home, if you have 3 drinks chug 3 glasses or water before you head to bed. Another great way of creating some balance is heading to the gym the morning after for a little cardio to sweat out some of those toxins.

 

BL balance

The feelings of peer pressure and balancing our health while also continuing a social life in our 20's is so hard! I totally understand this struggle and I hope a few of this tips can help you guys get on a more mindful track!

If you want more of a personalized plan or help balancing send me an email!

xo,

Lauren

Blissed Out Matcha Smoothie Bowl

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I have been waiting to share this recipe with you guys! I crafted it up for my collaboration with Laney & Lu Cafe, the cutest local cafe serving fresh, local whole food & drink options that "nourish your body and feed your soul". Can you tell why I was so damn excited to collaborate? They are everything that BL stands for!

 

Yesterday I took over their Instagram account shared a bit about BL/myself and crafted up a few matcha smoothie bowls in their cafe. It was such a blast to work with such nice like minded people in the wellness space so I want to take a quick second to thank Jen the owner of Laney & Lu and Stef the general manager. You both are so gracious and real class acts! Thank you for letting me share to your audience!

** PS. If any of you go in to Laney & Lu this week and order the smoothie bowl tag me on Instagram @blissfullylively so I can see :)

https://youtu.be/apzifSjx2y4

You guys fair warning this matcha smoothie bowl will soon be you fav. superfood packed bowl, just sayin'! This bowl was inspired by my intense love for matcha latte’s and when playing around in the kitchen one day I decided to experiment with a little in my smoothie which resulted in the creamiest whole food goodness ever. The rest was history.

This bowl is packed with natural antioxidants from the matcha, so many good fats from avocado, protein from the almond butter and fiber from the greens & fruit! My number one goal when creating smoothies is to make sure i’ve got the 4 key ingredients. Healthy fats, fiber, protein & greens! I also topped this smoothie with my fav. accessory ingredients to add the perfect amount of crunch & sweetness to this bowl.

Ok time to reveal the recipe!

Blissed Out Matcha Smoothie Bowl

Matcha Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Ingredients

- 1 Banana frozen

- 3 frozen strawberries

- 1 cup spinach

- 1/2 avocado, chopped

- 1 kiwi, chopped

- 2 dates, chopped

- 1 tbsp almond butter

- 1/4 cup almond milk

- 1 tsp matcha powder

Toppings

- unsweetened coconut flake

- sliced strawberries

- chia seeds

- sliced banana

- local bee pollen

- goji berries

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients for the bowl into a blender, and blend until smooth.
  2. Top with unsweetened coconut flake, sliced strawberries, chia seeds, sliced banana, local bee pollen & goji berries.

xo,

Lauren

Why You Need to Take a Break From Work & Meditate

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  Between work, family, friends and other personal commitments, it might be hard to find time to just be yourself. This is a real shame because being ourselves is one of the most important things we can do.

So, it is important we accept taking a break for ourselves not as being selfish or as “wasting” time, but rather as something essential for connecting to ourselves, unlocking our full potential and improving our overall well-being. Taking a break from work to practice one of the world’s oldest relaxation techniques, meditation, is a great way to improve wellness. Let me show you why you should be taking time out of your day to meditate.

Benefits of Meditation

BL meditate

Meditation offers so much more than just better focus. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • It promotes higher levels of emotional well-being. Meditation helps reduce stress and anxiety as it forces you to focus on the current moment rather than the past or future. It allows you to be more aware of your surroundings and to take a step back from your current problems, which gives you much better objectivity. For some people, meditation has helped decrease depression and other mood disorders.
  • It improves the mind. Not only does meditation help improve focus, but it also helps promote creativity. So if you’re stuck on a problem or feel like you’re missing something, meditation can help get you past those roadblocks.
  • It keeps you healthy. Stress is linked to all sorts of health problems. Meditation can be a big help in reducing stress, which improves your overall level of wellness.

Even if you’re not stressed, meditation can still offer plenty of benefits. If nothing else, it’s a great way to relax and give your eyes and mind a break from the constant activity around you. In such a fast-paced world, where we're attached to our phones 24/7, I find having even one minute of peace and tranquility is all I need to reconnect with myself and remind myself who I want to be.

Try Quick Meditation

Blissfully Lively meditate & waterbottle

{Snag a BL glass water bottle Here}

It’s easy to see that meditation can be a great addition to your life, but our busy lives often make it tough to make room for this healthy activity. It’s easy to feel like there’s not enough time and meditation is often the last thing I think of on a busy day. However, if I pile too much work on top of myself, it consumes me, and I forget who I am and what I am doing. One way to prevent this from happening is to practice “quick meditation.”

It’s incredibly easy and requires nothing more than a timer. The steps are fairly straightforward:

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. Get comfortable in your chair.
  3. Breathe slowly and focus on your breath.
  4. Don’t worry if your mind slips to a work problem or random thought. Just gently nudge yourself back to your breathing. Counting your breath can keep your mind from wandering.

Mediate BL

And that’s it. After the time is up, I go back to work or move on to another project. If you’re new to meditation, there are loads of videos on YouTube you can watch or listen to for guidance, even if there are content restrictions at your workplace. Stepping away from your work for a few minutes to do some guided meditation or even to just relax to some ambient sounds can have a big impact on your mental and emotional state.

It’s easy to think we have more important things to do in life, but if we don’t take care of ourselves, our health and well-being will always fall by the wayside. By taking a few minutes each day to relax and to mediate, you are setting yourself up for a healthy and productive lifestyle.

xo,

Lauren

 

* About the Author: Caroline is a writer who enjoys writing about health and wellness. She is a firm believer in the “healthy mind, healthy body” philosophy. As an advocate of healthy living, she enjoys practicing yoga, Pilates and, of course, mindful meditation. She has gone on several yoga retreats to improve the connection between her mind and body and now practices some zazen at home.

How to Start Meal Prepping & Stick with It

As you guys know meal prepping is my jam. I mean hello I started a whole business based around it, but truthfully, it can be a bit daunting every Sunday to plan out your meals, prepare, & store them. I crafted up this post to help you newbie "meal preppers" get a handle on how to start and stick with preparing healthy choices every week.

Meal Prepping BL

How to Start Meal Prepping & Stick with it

1.Make it an experience: We all know the Sunday morning grocery trip when everyone and their mother is at the grocery store is no bueno! So it's time to switch it up! If possible make your shopping more of an experience than a boring thing that needs to be checked off the to-do list. I have started shopping for all of my produce at a local farmers market and I love it. Just stepping inside the market lights me up. I love the smell of fresh cut flowers, vibrant produce that hasn't been previously frozen & the homey feel.

Blissfully Lively Fresh Flowers Meal Prepping

{I wish you guys could smell these...PHENOMENAL}

Another amazing idea is a crop share. Check out local farms in your area to see if they offer this service. You can get fresh eggs, fruits & veggies per week throughout picking season. This also allows you some awesome variety in your produce selection, where as if you grabbed it from the grocery store you might just pick the same old same old broccoli. Options are endless and working with random ingredients could spice up your weekly prepping.

Meal Prepping Tips

2. Start small: Just start by prepping your snacks, or maybe 1 dinner out. Going full fledged meal prep of every single meal can be so overwhelming. Pick one thing like all of your snacks for the week, portion them out into glass tupperware and set that aside. Once your feel comfortable doing that move on to adding in 1 meal for you or your family per week. Eventually preparing healthy options will become second nature.

Every week I prep all of our veggies so I chop up some cucumbers, red pepper & carrots with a bit of hummus for a quick & easy grab and go snack. It's a double win if I'm already prepping a salad for the week so I already have all of those ingredients & utensils out!

BL Meal Prepping Farmers Market Bananas

3. Lists should be your go to: For anyone who is just starting out meal prepping lists should be your best friend. Snap a screenshot of your favorite Pinterest recipe, write down the ingredients on a digital or hand written list. There is nothing worse than walking into the grocery store unprepared & heading straight to the processed foods sections because you feel flustered.

Meal Prepping Tips BL

4. Make it Engaging: chopping up ingredients, and spending an hour or so in the kitchen can feel a bit boring, I love to make it engaging by listening to some of my favorite podcasts, or turning on a new Spotify playlist and jamming out. A few of my favorite podcasts are The Garyvee Show, Almost 30 & of course my own, Honestly Uncensored. Also BL has a Spotify playlist of some perfect hits to listen too while prepping away.

5. Do it w/ a friend or spouse: I love to head to the farmers market with a friend one day per week, make it a little girls date grab a coffee before hand and spend time with your bestie. Also another option to help you pass the time is a trade off. One of you cooks while one of you chops to get it done faster. I have clients who the husband chops up the veggies and the wife cooks up the dinners, fast and efficient! Love it. Tag teaming is always the way to go if possible.

Farmers Market Meal Prepping BL

Famers Market Meal Prepping Tips BL

6. Prep meals you are interested in: Start a Pinterest board of recipes to feel inspired by cooking up new delicious meals. If you are always preparing the same old same old, prepping the meal is going to be just as boring as eating them. Take a peek a the BL recipes tab to get your mouth watering!

Meal prepping 101

7. Do it all on one day... or break it up: To each his own! I love banging it all out in 2 hours on Sunday but some people may prefer prepping up 1 meal and a few snacks Sunday and then preparing again Wednesday after work! I know a crazy thought, but meal prepping can be cathartic to some {myself included, the repetition and zen-ness of it chills me out}.

I hope these few tips can help you get started on preparing healthier meal options in your own kitchen! Remember above all else try and add a little fun into it whether it be trying a new ingredient, bringing your kids into the mix or turning up the music and jamming out like me.

 

*Since so many of you asked via Insta my off the shoulder shirt is from Tobi.com & is on sale for $24 right now, & super cute farmers market bag is from Target. Both are linked below!

xo,

Lauren

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Feel like you're in need of more than just meal prep tips? Check out my in-home meal prepping service here.