Jordan Younger. Where do I even begin with this woman?! Blogger. Author. Clothing Designer. Yogi master. Podcaster. Recipe queen. Cat mama. Free spirit. She literally does everything, and she’s created an empire. As many of you know, I was Jordan’s intern/assistant until this past September when fall quarter at UCLA started up again, so Jordan and I have quite the history. Being a blogger’s assistant is a very unique experience. It’s definitely unlike any other job – do you get to go to a private Nick Jonas concert when you go to work?! Every day is different, and every day is exciting. You also get really close. I think we both learned a little bit TOO much about each other, including how creepily similar we are! Jordan has an energy that I really can’t describe. Being around her is endlessly motivating and inspiring. I house-sit/cat-sit for her every so often, and just being in her apartment makes me feel more creative. It’s rare to find someone whose aura is that powerful.
Jordan’s book, Breaking Vegan, was one of a few books that truly changed my life. Reading Jordan’s story truly made me feel less alone and helped me break through the intense mental hurdles I had up during my battle with orthorexia. I read it in one sitting on a 15-hour flight to Spain, during the darkest time in my life. I left that flight feeling completely inspired. When I got back to L.A. and heard Jordan was having a book signing nearby, I had to meet her. That night, I spilled my guts out and told her my entire life story. She probably thought I was so weird, but I was desperate to explain how much her openness and vulnerability helped save me from my health crisis. I guess she kinda liked me, because I snagged an internship with her by the next day. The rest is history.
Jordan has done a million and five other interviews, so I wanted to ask her some questions she’s not usually asked. She was also recently a guest on the Actually Adultish podcast, and it’s one of my favorite episodes. If you haven’t listened yet, DO IT. You’ll literally LOL. I could write 500 pages about my experiences with Jordan not only because, like her, I have a tendency to write way too much, but also because there’s just so much to talk about. To say I’ve learned a lot from her would be a massive understatement. But I’ll let her take the reins on this one. Let’s hear from the Balanced Blonde herself, shall we?
First, tell me a bit about yourself so my readers can get to know you! Give me the short and sweet lowdown on Jordan Younger.
YO, Addicted to Lovely readers! Isn’t Christina’s blog the best? Maybe I’m partial to it because I love her dearly as a person… but let’s be real, her writing is da bomb and her topics are ridic interesting and informed. So, the lowdown on Jordan Younger a.k.a The Balanced Blonde a.k.a Christina’s former boss (ish):
I am from Sactown, California! If you haven’t been to Sacramento, you should really go there. It gets a “boring” reputation, but that’s from people who generally haven’t explored or spent much time there. It’s such a gorgeous place, and so relaxed — and everyone is NICE.
I now live in Los Angeles (Brentwood, if you feel like stalking me — JK, please no stalking for reals). I am a full-time wellness and lifestyle blogger, which I am obsessed with! I write about what I love for a living. Every day is different (which Christina hates, but we will get into that!) annnndddd I do a ton of yoga. I also now teach a lot of yoga — so very fun.
I also have a podcast and a book and a t-shirt line and a CAT! I stay busy. 🙂
Give me the quickie version of how you started your blog.
Well, it started as a hobby. I created a health food Instagram account about 3 and a half years ago when I was sitting in an airport because I didn’t have a flight back from Hawaii with my family and I needed to entertain myself (WTF, right? Well, everything happens for a reason!). Then one thing lead to the next, the Instagram account turned into a blog, and the blog turned into a business, and the business turned into a full-time gig! Passion project turned life purpose.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned on your health journey?
The most important thing I have learned, by and large, is to find a balance and listen to my body. I tend to be very “extreme,” which is why I was a plant-based vegan for so long and why I sign up for marathons without even giving the training process a second thought. This year has been all about slowing down for me, truly learning to listen to my body, practicing tons of self-care and intense self-reflection, and enjoying the process instead of rushing to check things off my list. Learning to listen to my body and eat what I want and need versus force any type of restriction or anything specific because it seems “normal” or “right” has been so freeing! I write a lot about that in my book, Breaking Vegan, if any of you guys want to learn more on that front!
What’s the hardest part about being a blogger?
Hmmmm, well depending on the day you catch me on, I would probably answer this differently. But today I will say the hardest part about being a blogger is time management. Being an entrepreneur and blogger, I often fall into this mentality of wanting to do it ALL, and create it ALL… anything that pops into my head and I’m inspired by, I want to leap on top of it! But spreading yourself too thin is the worst thing you can do as an entrepreneur or blogger. You want to be able to pour your heart and soul into your brand… which requires trimming the fat, staying focused, delegating, and NOT taking on too much.
So, time management and remembering that focusing on less really is the best choice in the big picture. I am a dreamer, what can I say, so I always try to do it all! Then I have panic attacks about my schedule and can’t breathe or finish anything — not smart. I’m learning!
What’s your favorite part about being the Balanced Blonde?
Oh man, so many things! One of those things is the opportunity it gives me to meet and connect with people I’ve been inspired by for years and years. Yesterday I got to be in a beauty video with Gwyneth Paltrow for her natural makeup line, Juice Beauty. Now, THAT was awesome. She is a rockstar and paved the way in the wellness, health, and fitness world by helping to modernize certain aspects of wellness, nutrition, healthy eating and beauty… and um, she’s GP! I’m still pinching myself.
But beyond the cool people I get to meet, I love being able to wake up every day and do something that I love. My readers make that possible for me by being loyal, engaging with my content, and being awesome. So technically, THEY are my favorite part about being The Balanced Blonde!
I also love that blogging is an ever-evolving process, so my blog keeps me in check and keep me REAL about what I want now and in the future. I always have to think one step ahead to keep stuff relevant and current — which keeps me on my toes, and as someone who is very easily bored in this world (lol, but #truth) that is something I really enjoy.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in blogging as a career? Any tips?
Create a blog based on something you are endlessly passionate about, so you never run out of ideas, inspiration, and content. I think if your blog is rooted in topics you truly, madly, deeply love then you can’t go wrong and eventually you will garner a dedicated audience that is interested in those things too! And more pragmatically… beautiful content, consistency, lots of hashtags and genuine interaction and engagement on social media, and never forgetting where you came from and that your supporters deserve attention and gratitude from you.
Also, find your niche thing that makes you YOU! You don’t want to have “just another wellness blog” (or fashion blog or lifestyle blog or whatever it is), you want it to be distinctly YOURS. Oh, and never think it’s “too late” or it’s “too oversaturated” — it’s still a great time to get started!! There are a million and one readers on the Internet and space for everyone to be successful.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Well, as a Highly Sensitive Person… I literally can’t stand the sound of people chewing loudly. If someone chews loudly or with their mouth open, I actually may bite their head off and/or go into a full blown panic and/or legitimately need to remove myself from the situation. I am VERY highly sensitive to sounds — including loud breathing and lots of random noises that people make without realizing it. Bet you didn’t know that about me. 😉
Also, competitive / bitchy / fake people. Can’t stand them and can see them from a mile away!! Just can’t handle and don’t need that in my life!
One of the things I love most about you is your weirdness. What’s one of your weirdest quirks?
HAHAHA thank you! You’re weird too, thank god. I mean so far I think all of my answers probably showcase my weirdness, but one weird quirk is my obsession with Eminem. I know every single lyric to every SINGLE one of his raps… that always shocks people! I would give a limb to see him live… never have, and desperately need to!
Let’s imagine you have one last meal on Earth. WHAT IS IT?
OOOOMG. It would probably be a rotisserie chicken from Bandera (a restaurant in Sacramento, LA, and OC) with mashed potatoes, broccoli with lemon, and a huge slice of banana cream pie with tons of dark chocolate chips for dessert. With an Arnold Palmer to drink and like 50 sparkling waters with lime. I would just stuff my face if it was my last meal on Earth.
What’s one health trend/belief that you wish people would stop buying into?
DRINKING HUGE SMOOTHIES WITH TONS OF FRUIT and with a Perfect Bar crumbled on top, drizzled with honey, and saturated in chocolate chips and coconut chips and blended with coconut water and agave and bananas. And thinking that it will give you a six pack and that it’s the healthiest way to live.
I feel very passionate about this, because there are some big bloggers and Instagrammers in the plant-based vegan world who tout this way of eating and living as the healthiest way to live… but eating that way on a normal basis will actually raise your blood sugar so high that your hormones could reach the point of no return. I know this from personal experience!!! Blood sugar balance is a real thing, and of course a little bit of fruit is fine — but too much is not a good idea. 🙂
Please tell my readers what Hudson told the cat whisperer last time you spoke with her.
LOL!!! Well my most recent convo with her is on my podcast (Episode #4 with Miranda Alcott), and the main gist of what Huddy had to say was “SLOW DOWN, MOM!” So I have been trying to listen to him and just move a little slower through life rather than getting overstimulated and jamming through everything like a crazy person.
He also told Miranda that Christina is very funny, and he wishes she would talk to him about more intelligent things than she usually does…. so I hope you’ve been having deeper convos with him when you stay here, Christina!! Hehe.
Top places to go in L.A. and NYC?
(I’m assuming we are talking about food, because… duh).
L.A. faves: Cafe Gratitude, Rawvolution (RIP, but have to mention it), Flower Child, M Cafe, Kreation Juicery, Sun Cafe, Real Food Daily, Bandera, and Katsuya for sushi!
NYC faves: Hu Kitchen, Candle79, Candle Cafe, Peacefood Cafe, Jivamuktea Cafe, Two Hands in TriBeCa, Buddakan for a fun night out, Bluestone Lane Collective, Juice Press and both restaurants at The Standard Hotel!
Who’s your celebrity crush?! Gimme a girl crush and a guy crush. 😉
OOOOH love this Q. Guy crush is Ryan Gosling for LIFE (Ryan if you’re reading this — let’s get married!!). Girl crush is Sienna Miller. Love her, love all the characters she plays, and want to get all of her same tattoos.
Sidenote — recently obsessing over Evan Rachel Wood ever since I started getting into Westworld. AND James Marsden. Yes, I’m actually watching a TV SERIES… it’s part of my slowing down efforts!
Storytime! What’s your most embarrassing moment?
Ohhhh my goodness let me think. Well one thing about me is that I hate speaking in small groups of people. Put me in front of a large group and I am more comfortable than ever. But when I have to speak or present in front of a small-ish group of people, I usually dread everything about it and say something dumb! When I teach really small yoga classes I usually end up saying something that makes NO sense when I try to dive into what I think is about to be a really inspiring story… since I recently started teaching again, a LOT of those situations are on my mind!
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
The banana cream pie from Bandera that I mentioned above in my last meal on earth request is for sure a guilty pleasure. Oh and I LOVE the Bachelor franchise. Even Bachelor in Paradise. SO sinfully guilty yet so entertaining.
3 things you can’t live without? (People/Hudson don’t count!)
HMMMM. Laptop, sweet-smelling candles, and my COZY BED.
Tell me what your current favorite recipe is – it can be easy, complicated, whatever!
My raw vegan peanut butter cup recipe will ALWAYS be my favorite. I crave it in my sleep sometimes… it’s just coconut oil, cacao, peanut butter and a bit of honey. So simple yet so delicious, and it lasts in the freezer for basically ever.
What’s the weirdest wellness trend you’ve ever tried?
Coconut oil as a facial cleanser. Sorry, but for people with sensitive skin and a rash/acne-prone face… that is the WORST thing I’ve ever tried. The weird part about it is that I wanted it to work so bad (because it’s so natural and trendy!!!) that I did it for MONTHS before accepting that my face was bright red and inflamed every single day.
This might be difficult because you’re so open about everything, but can you think of something that not many people know about you that you’d be willing to share?
I really am so open about everything, but one thing people MIGHT not know about me is that I can’t let go of people. I have a really, really hard time with it to the point that almost all of my exes are still in my life as very close friends of mine because I cannot let go. I finally learned to let go of a few people / things, but one of my very best friends is my ex-boyfriend from high school, Tommy. You’ll find him on the podcast too as my audio engineer! We dated for 10 years off and on and we are lucky our friendship worked out. Beyond Tommy, I am trying and learning to let go of the other exes… and that’s been liberating.
What are some things you do to stay “balanced”?
Meditation, yoga, journaling, reading, try to get enough sleep every night, Bulletproof coffee in the mornings, Hudson cuddles, plans with friends so that I don’t work ALL the time, and to be honest — teaching yoga has been the biggest “balancer” for me of all time lately because it requires so much time, energy and focus that it has shaken up my routine and really helped me to balance out other areas in my life and work routine!
You always have secret TBB projects in the works…can you give us a hint about anything??
YES! Well, the “business of blogging” ebook that I’ve been working on for forever is going to come out soon (it was on the back burner for a while, I’ll be real, I got too excited about the podcast and other things) + a big, huge project that I guess is not a secret as of now is that I want to open my own TBB branded yoga studio (hopefully a chain eventually) in the next 2-5 years. So boom. Let’s make it happen.
So much love to Jojo for letting me interview her! I hope you learned something new about The Balanced Blonde! If you’re not already, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, and OBVIOUSLY head over to her blog for all things TBB. Trust me, Jordan will always leave you entertained. 😉 #tbbmademedoit