I am so excited to share that my friend Jordan Younger, known as The Balanced Blonde, has just published her first book, Breaking Vegan! Jordan and I went to LMU together, and we both share a love for blogging. She has a very interesting story that is definitely worth the listen.
Her blog is all about incorporating balance into her healthy lifestyle. But that wasn’t always the case. Her original blog, “The Blonde Vegan,” was centered on her life as a practicing vegan. She created and shared recipes, explained how veganism had helped her with her stomach issues, and most importantly developed a strong relationship with her blog readers.
It wasn’t until Jordan started developing some issues with her food habits that she considered veering away from veganism. She had developed orthorexia (an obsession with eating healthy foods) and she came to the realization that she needed to make a major lifestyle change. She ditched the vegan label and started listening to her body. She made a very brave and bold decision to leave a vegan lifestyle in which she had become known for living. And that is how The Balanced Blonde was born!
**she insists her book is not bashing veganism, she is simply telling her personal journey through veganism and how she took it too far**
In honor of celebrating her newly published book, I wanted to host a Q & A here on the blog! Look below to see some of my burning questions answered by the balanced blogger herself
1. Introduce Yourself
Hi babes! My name is Jordan Younger and I write the health and lifestyle blog The Balanced Blonde. I live in Los Angeles and when I’m not blogging or working on my clothing line TBV Apparel, you can find me on the yoga mat, on a run through Brentwood, or snuggling with my perfect little kitten baby Hudson. I went to college with Hanna and am so excited to be featured on her blog today! Hope you guys love what we have to say.
2. CONGRATS on your newly published book Breaking Vegan! What has been the best part about telling your story through your book?
Thank you, sweet girl! I am beyond excited about it. I think the best part about telling my story through the book has been the therapeutic aspect. Since the book is a memoir and I write about some very deeply personal details from my life, writing certain parts of it was practically like going to therapy sessions. It also feels good to be so honest with my readers and to hold back zero secrets. It’s pretty funny to talk to people that I have never met and have them know about my life, my family, my friends, my journey and details about my eating disorder — but I feel so lucky to have this platform to share my story, and hopefully to help other people in the process.
3. You had a huge following as The Blonde Vegan, which might’ve made you hesitant to coming clean about your desire to be non-vegan. Was it hard to break it to your blog readers?
You are very right. I was SO nervous to come forward to my TBV readers about no longer being vegan. In fact, I remained vegan about 6 months longer than I probably would have had I not had the blog, because I wanted to so badly to keep being a face of the vegan lifestyle. I really enjoyed eating a plant based diet and was a huge part of the vegan community. But ultimately, listening to my body (and my heart and soul) was the BEST decision I had ever made. The honesty felt so good after feeling guilty about not feeling very healthy for so long, and it quickly became clear to me how many people were in a similar position as I was. I still hear from readers daily about how much my journey has helped them understand their own eating disorder and/or relationship with a labeled diet. It made the whole situation (and all of the major haters!) very worth it, because I know my story has helped a lot of people.
4. You went from a completely label-restrictive, vegan only diet to a more balanced, label-free lifestyle. What are some of the positive changes you’ve noticed in your life since?
Ah, so many positive changes! I still eat a lot of plants and healthy, veggie-based foods. Now I add in more variety like farm fresh fish and eggs, organic chicken, and a bit of hormone free meat here and there. I also eat more grains than I used to. To have more variety in my life has certainly helped a LOT mentally and physically. My skin is better, my hair is stronger, the health issues I experienced while on such a restrictive diet (loss of my period, orange skin, lethargy, etc) totally went away, and I am an overall happier and more balanced person. And the people around me have way more fun with me because I have so many less restrictions now!
5. Best advice for women who are struggling to maintain a healthy relationship with food?
Listen to your body! Learn to trust your body! Trust is absolutely huge. Once we learn to trust our bodies, we can listen to them and nourish them properly. And if we trust what we are feeling, then we are more likely to be true to ourselves in all areas of our lives — in our relationships and interactions, our work life, our exercise and passions, and more. And as far as body image goes: see yourself from someone else’s eyes. Drop the judgement. Fall in love with yourself. Pick a mantra. (More advice in the book… SO MUCH MORE! I’m wordy, lol.)
6. You have so many amazing recipes in your book (ahem, chicken teriyaki bowl & pumpkin almond butter oat bars)! What is your favorite couldn’t-eat-then-but-now-can food?!
Ah, LOVE this question!!! My favorite couldn’t-eat-then-but-now-can would have to be frozen yogurt with all the yummy toppings. It is my favorite treat, and I missed it so much when I was so restrictive. As far as fav recipes in the book, I love the acai bowl!!!