Pure Barre PLATFORM - Bigger, Faster and TUCKING Awesome!

I've been dying {dying} to share this secret with you all for quite awhile now. Remember when I alluded to crazy loving a new "life-changing, calorie torching, is-this-twerking?, burn-in-all-the-good-places, hello skinny jeans favorite something" in my last Wednesday Loving Post here? Well, here it is my friends! Rolling out nationwide {look for it at your local studio soon!}, Pure Barre Platform is just another freaking awesome way Pure Barre will CHANGE your body. Lucky enough for us here in Lake Norman, we've been able to take these waitlisted, heart-pounding, hard-core Pure Barre classes for about a month now. And, we've lived to tell about it. See what people including LKN's favorite #girlboss Katie Moscovitch are saying about this BIG new cardio complement to the traditional "smaller is better" lift.tone.burn. you've come to love...

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The LTB Report... Clean Beauty Edition

Hi beauties! I'm so excited to introduce you guys to this fun new monthly feature highlighting tips and tricks from my favorite wellness gurus! From living happy to creating tasty recipes and tricks to obtain that lit-from-within glow, the LTB {Live.Taste.Beam.} Report will be your new go-to for living a deliciously healthy life! 

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What I'm Loving Wednesday, Fall Edition!

Hello hello! Guess what day it is?! Hump Day! And about stinking time for a round up of what I'm loving these days. Now that it is {finally} fall, there's lots of goodness to share! The vibrant red and gold crunchy leaves, pumpkin spice everythang and the leg-warmer, cozy-sweater-cooler days have me feeling all kinds of excited. However, I'll always long for longer sunshine filled days, short shorts and watermelon juice, but for now, this is good. Luckily fall is a beautiful, beautiful time of year that beckons through its windy whispers gently urging to slow down, stay grounded and turn slightly inward in preparation for the shorter, chillier days ahead. Ah, I can smell the sweet cinnamon and taste the pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies already... despite the 80 degree hot and sunny forecast for the day! OK, on to the good stuff...

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The Scoop on the Best Protein Supplements

I'm often asked what protein powders I use and recommend, so here's a quick little post highlighting my favorite "go-to" protein supplements and what I like about them. They're all vegan, organic and delicious. I do not recommend whey protein because it's overly processed and I'm just not a fan of dairy. Protein from plants is clean burning, easily digested, beautifying fuel for your muscles. Read on for my fav's. 

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My Public Apology to Coffee and How to Enjoy America's Favorite Cup the Healthy Way

So, I really kind of slammed coffee in my previous post here. I knew him as the enemy. The dark addictive cup of java always left me jittery, anxious and with mood swings... not to mention dehydrated. Yet, I kept going back for a Starbucks grande soy latte day after day. My health and my wallet were suffering. And I started feeling like I needed more to get that same boost I initially felt when I began drinking coffee again after having Emma. But, now I'm starting to sing a different tune. 

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What I'm Loving Wednesday! Head to Toe Edition!

Oooh, I've got some goodies to share with you this week! I'm excited just thinking about them. I don't find things I love so very often, thus why I'm not posting this feature on the weekly. I'm not going to make up favorite things just so I can write a blog... that's not how I roll. Here's my real favorite fav's in no particular order...

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Is Grain-Free the Way to Be?

You've probably noticed the war on grains these days. With "experts" demonizing gluten and paleo proponents living grain free because that's how our ancestors lived, you are probably scared to eat another piece of bread or you think they're all a special kind of crazy because you're clearly not giving up sandwiches anytime soon. Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, I will share with you the reasons why I, more often that not, go against the grain when it comes to making food choices for myself... as you've probably noticed based on all of my super delicious grain-free cookiesbrownies and pancakes

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The Case for Smoothie Bowls and Why I Hate the "D" Word

Hi friends!! Happy Friday! SO excited to finally get to jot down a blog post this week. Summer vacation has been brutal. Besides the heat firing up our Pitta dosha {more on this to come!}, having two kiddos at home both wanting to do things with me leaves not much down time and lots more "always on" time. "Sorry 3pm date with chocolate and tea, it looks like we're going to have to reschedule. Again." But, I am absolutely LOVING getting to spend time with them making sweet summertime memories... despite all the crazy! But, today is a "two-fer" Friday... I'm going to chat about smoothie bowls and the harmful, no good, very bad, "D" word. 

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To Juice or Not To Juice?

Ok, I'm going to be totally honest with you. For a long time {a very loooooooooong time} I thought juicing was pointless. To me, it was simply an acceptable way for celebrities and models to starve themselves and get away with it. I thought it was a reason to overcharge for a fiberless, sugar-laden, albeit all-natural, drink that Americans would be fooled into believing they needed to be healthy when in reality drinking these juices was causing blood sugar crashes and more intense cravings thus contributing to the obesity epidemic. The only time I thought it made sense to juice was if and when it was being used to give the digestive system a break so more energy could be focused on healing in the event of cancer or another taxing, life-threatening illness. And then, I thought it was only beneficial if the juices were all green and fructose free. Boy, was I way off base. 

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The Easy Health Trick I Learned from Disney

When you think Disney, you probably think Princesses, Mickey Mouse, rides, long lines and big crowds. Maybe Space Mountain, Dole Whips and Tonga Toast {google it!}. Healthy isn't necessarily on that list. I can't believe it made it on mine with all the temptation from {free!} cookies to fudge mousse to mini cheesecakes and roasted marshmallows our resort offered us during our stay. Even complementary chocolates were placed on our neatly made beds each day. And with days full of a screaming baby, 100 degree temps and 90 minute waits for the fun rides, adult beverages with pretty little umbrellas served in big ol' pineapples were super tempting. So, how on Earth, of all places, did I manage to pick up a healthy habit at Disney World on a 4 day vacation? 

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Getting to the Heart of Chakras

Sometimes when the modern world leaves me feeling less than and a bit undone, I turn to the traditional world. Specifically, I turn to yoga, to Ayurvedic wisdom and ultimately, to myself. Believe you me, I am no expert in this ancient science. I am no expert in yoga. And certainly no expert at life. I turn to these things because they provide comfort... a safe place from the storm that sometimes stirs up inside of me. Maybe you can relate?

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Probiotics and Why You Need the Little Buggers {Like Yesterday}

You probably already know that your body is home to bacteria, both beneficial and not so much. And most of these little creepy guys live in your digestive tract to help things break down and keep them *ahem* moving along. You probably only think of probiotics {meaning "for life"} when you've taken a round of antibiotics and maybe not even then. The thing is, your body constantly needs the bacteria in your gut to be replenished and kept happy due to the daily stresses of our modern world, including flack from your boss, processed foods and environmental toxins. And I'm not talking eat a yogurt and you're done. Nope, it takes a bit more thought than that, but it's so worth it. A happy belly is the key to having a flat belly, more energy, glowing skin and an optimistic disposition. 

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Storing Fat and Feeling Lazy? Here's the Culprit.

Fructose. This simple sugar naturally found in fruits and added for sweetness to many packaged and overly-processed foods {think bread, ketchup, soda} is getting a bad wrap according to findings from a recent study out of the University of Illinois. It appears that fructose, not glucose, not only causes weight gain, but consumption may also lead to inactivity. Talk about a double whammy for your waistline. 

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Silencing Your Inner Mean Girl and 9 mos Postpartum Update

Today is Emma's 9 month birthday! That means it's been 9 whole months since my body gave birth to that beautiful little human. What an amazing journey that's been! Watching my baby bump grow little by little and sometimes, seemingly over night by a lot! Then giving birth. And wow, not recognizing my new body in the mirror. Wondering if it would ever resemble something like the one I worked so hard to achieve before. Dealing with healing and around-the-clock care for a newborn. Then, slowly walking more and more everyday. Walking turning into running. Then tucking, shaking, pulsing, planking, dancing. Becoming stronger and stronger while my body slowly started resembling the one I once knew.

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What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Hi beauties! I thought I'd try something new today because I AM SO CRAZY EXCITED about lots of things and feel like a mad woman going back and forth from thing to thing with my spare minutes. Plus, how fun is it just to share all the great things you're loving? You kinda want the whole world to know, right?! From new books, to chocolate {swoon!} to local goodies, here's a rundown of the things that have me giddy today. 

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Rethink Your Comfort Foods to Beat Stress

Food isn't just food. It isn't simply a scientific blend of calories, carbs, fats and protein all tied up in a pretty little package. It's not just fuel for our body and we don't only eat when we are hungry. While some people do have the discipline to eat purely to fuel their bodies, I'm not talking about them... I'm talking about you and me, who turn to food for comfort and to feed our emotions as well as our souls. Bad day at work? Hello Ben&Jerry's. Boyfriend dump you? That bastard. Now, here have a triple fudge ooey-gooey brownie. Your pants won't button anymore? You can diet after you finish this big, glorious bowl of macaroni and cheese. Sounds familiar, right? Or maybe you're wrought with worry and don't want to eat anything at all which is just as much a detriment to your health as overeating. So what do you do? Easy... find comfort and the grounded feeling you're after in your favorites, made over. 

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Buzzkill: Why Bee Pollen Should Be Left For The Bees.

Bee pollen, also known as propolis, is garnering a lot of attention in the superfood world. Dubbed "Nature's Perfect Food" and "Energy in a Spoon" by the raw food and holistic health experts, it's easy to see how those tiny, golden granules have become so seductive to those looking to natural stimulants to keep up with the hustle and bustle of the modern-day lifestyle. In fact, I, until very recently, was a big fan of bee pollen. I listened to advice from my favorite bloggers and health gurus like Kimberly Snyder, CN, author and nutritionist to some of Hollywood's hottest A-list stars and purchased propolis from a local beekeeper that harvests the protein and B vitamin rich granules responsibly. I understood to start slow in case of allergic reaction, but since I am not allergic to bees nor do I suffer seasonal allergies, I knew I'd be fine. And I was. I polished off a big bottle of the sunshine-y pollen with no problem. The problem began when I bought a new mason jar of pollen from a different local beekeeper. I took my "energy in a spoon" {1 tsp bee pollen with a drizzle of raw coconut oil} and my throat began to close up.

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