It’s Jou Life has moved // New site address: itsjoulife.com

It’s Jou Life has moved! New site address:

http://www.itsjoulife.com

It’s Jou Life | a DIY / lifestyle blog—musing about natural, healthy, artisanal living, and everything in between.

Go to our new site and join our mailing list by entering your email (top right column section) and receive an email each time we post!

New It's Jou Life site // https://itsjoulife.com/

Go to our newly remodeled site // itsjoulife.com

 

Friends of Ours.

Hello, and welcome to It’s Jou Life! We’re Wayne and Jennifer, a (relatively) newly wed couple who found love in the most unexpecting place. This is our DIY / lifestyle blog—musing about natural, healthy, artisanal living, and everything in between.

We started this blog because our family and friends always ask us how we grow our own organic vegetables, what is Wayne woodworking on now, to send over our miso black cod recipe, what snacks stock our pantry, a tutorial on that cute zippered pouch, tips for marathon running, where do we worship, what to bring for a camping trip, what’s Jennifer’s skincare regimen… you get the idea. This is our way to share life’s loves.

Wayne of all trades is an engineer by day and a woodworker/gardener/chef by night. Jennifer is an activist, artist, actress, and an alliterations addict. You would often find us dancing to our own beat, exploring the great outdoors, at home watching Netflix, and hand crafting everything we own. We find the beauty in our every day, with each other, and in the Lord our Savior.

We both live to create with purpose and hopes to inspire. Thank you for joining us as we try to do all things with love. Here is a glimpse into our quirky lives.

//

We’ve refreshed and re-launched our It’s Jou Life blog to streamline and create more content that is relevant in our lives.

It’s Jou Life has moved! New site address:

http://www.itsjoulife.com

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$30 off ClassPass // https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/30-off-classpass-bargain-fitness

$30 off ClassPass // Bargain + Fitness

$30 off ClassPass // https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/30-off-classpass-bargain-fitness

Happy anniversary ClassPass! In honor of this celebration you’ll get $30 off your first month! Hurry (!) because this offer is for a limited time.

ClassPass a new kind of fitness membership that lets you enjoy diverse and exciting ways to work out. It’s a brilliant business model and suits my interests because I like variety and trying out new things. Each workout is a good sweat leaving me recharged and refreshed. It’s challenging and I’ve learned to push myself physically and mentally. I’m stronger, more toned, built endurance and always leave feeling I can conquer the day.

Catchup with my love and obsession for ClassPass and why it has transformed my mind, body and soul, in a prior post, here.

Deal

$30 off your first month special – Join me on ClassPass and you’ll get $30 off your first month of group fitness classes. From yoga and barre to cycling and Pilates, ClassPass lets you try the best boutique studios in your area. One monthly membership, endless options, all up to you! http://class.ps/d4g9x

Do something good for your mind, body, soul this 2016. Cheers to good health!

You must be a new ClassPass subscriber and must purchase a membership using this unique link (http://class.ps/d4g9x).

Free first SoulCycle class at DTWN LA studio // https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/free-first-soulcycle-class-at-dtla-studio

Free first SoulCycle ride at DTLA studio

Free first SoulCycle class at DTWN LA studio // https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/free-first-soulcycle-class-at-dtla-studioJumpstart your July summer festivities with some SOUL in Downtown Los Angeles! For the month of July, all SoulCyclists can take their first DTLA class FOR FREE*. That’s right. If you’ve never tapped it back at their 888 S. Olive Street studio, now’s your chance to catch a complimentary class there!
Here’s how it works:
• If you’re new to SoulCycle, sign-up for an account to ride for free, here.
• Click HERE to find a class that works for you between 7/1 and 7/31.
• Call the studio at 323-463-7685 to book your seat and mention this offer. They’ll look you up by your mobile # on your account.
• Drop the beat at DTLA!
And to make it even easier to find your SOUL, you can park for free for two hours with SOUL validation at the Level Building Garage. Enter on Hill St. (between 8th and 9th St.) then follow signs for Retail Parking.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a friend and come check out their DTLA studio in July!
*Please note: This offer is valid for existing riders as well as new riders. FIRST ride at DTLA only. One redemption per account. Sign-up for a new account to ride for FREE, here.

Strength. Integrity. Community. DTLA.

Growing trends of the natural and organic products industry // Natural Products Expo West 2016

IMG_6632The US-market of natural and organic products is a $153 billion industry and showing no signs of a slow down. Mainly driven by the consistent growth of consumers demanding natural, healthy and eco-conscious products, it’s no surprise that this mega industry has a plethora of new companies emerging every year.

Last month I had the delightful opportunity to attend the 36th annual Natural Products Expo West, the the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event. It was like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. As a healthy lifestyle enthusiast, I grasped all the natural product consumer trends, channeled my inner Augustus Gloop meets Michelle Phan–indulging in food samples while swatching beauty products. It was a weekend filled with tastings, education and meeting wonderful brands. I was among 77,000 attendees perusing more than 3,000 exhibitors at the Anaheim Convention Center. I didn’t have my Fitbit on me, but I’m sure I logged some serious miles that weekend.

NewHope

Photo courtesy of NewHope.com

Below is an overview of some consumer trends surrounding the healthy lifestyle products industry.

Back to Our Roots: Quinoa, chia, acai, Kombucha, raw, sprouted, coconut oil–superfood ingredients and preparation techniques that date back to the days of pre-industrialized foods. Brands are focusing on natural, whole and nutrient-dense ingredients. The skincare industry mirrors this trend with using pure ingredients like argan and coconut oil. I met a brand, Cocokind, an organic skincare line centered around using virgin coconut oil and superfoods. Consumers are conscientious with ingredients they eat and use on their body. They are staying away from genetically modified foods, artificial colors, preservatives, parabens and products tested on animals.

The Busy Individual: The always on-the-go individual lacks time, but craves smart and nutritious fuel in-between meals. Think hand-held snacks and drinks that are convenient, delicious and healthy. I like to kick-off my morning with drinking my greens with a Suja Juice cold-pressed juice. On a side note: I’m thinking of doing a juice cleanse to reset my body. Any advice or recommendations for which juice brand to try? A new product I’ve discovered are meat and veggie bars from Wild Zora and Wilde Snacks. It’s healthier than conventional jerkies because they are free from nitrites, nitrates, MSG, not too salty, contain vegetables, use grass-fed, free-range and hormone-free meats. I’m a big snacker and sometimes crave a meaty snack high in protein and low in sodium. Read my favorite snack discovery last year here.

The Socially Conscious Shopper: The today consumers have conscious living woven into the fabric of their lives and making informed decisions by keeping the environment and mission-backed products in mind. They choose purposeful brands with ethical practices and sustainable packaging over its conventional counterparts. I met a brand, This Bar Saves Lives, that donates a life-saving food packet with every snack bar purchased. It’s the “buy one, give one” philosophy, fair trade practices and donating proceeds to non-profits that allow consumers to make an impact with each purchase.

Over the next several weeks I’ll be sharing with you my tried and true favorite products from the expo.

I ran a 200-mile race // ragnar relay so cal // fitness

I never thought I’d ever do it, but I ran a 200-mile relay race as part of the Ragnar Relay So Cal race 2015. Our team came in #42 and ran it in 26 hours and 22 mins. As much as this race was lengthy, it taught me a lot about endurance and pushing my mental and physical limits.

It’s been about a year since and even now just the thought of running a race that starts at Huntington Beach to San Diego is exhausting! It’s what crazy people do, right? In all seriousness, it was actually one of the best and challenging experiences. The race was well-organized, scenic routes, energetic crowds and spirited team members made it all worth it.

It’s been a longtime dream of Wayne’s and my good friend Jason made it happen for us! Jason was the super team captain and master organizer of this beast of a race. We didn’t have to worry because as a veteran of the race he had all the binders, splits and routes mapped out. Best of all, our 12-person relay team represented all the Harry Potter houses in matching outfits. I was team Hufflepuff and was just too cool running in knee high socks, yellow and blue striped tie and a wand–casting spells against other runners.

My three legs were a cumulative 14 miles and had its own sets of challenges. I ran in the mid-day heat in the Santa Ana river channel for 7 hard miles, enjoyed the dark midnight hours and nature’s noises in Laguna Niguel and experienced the sunrise rays of along the beach in San Diego. The most challenging part? Staying up for around 30+ hours and doing my best to be physically functioning to race hard.

It was an energy like no other and my team members were the most spirited, supporting and encouraging group of individuals. We tag-teamed providing water support where there was car access, squeezed in a Taiwanese dinner between van shifts and took turns napping in 20-minute increments, if possible. The team medals were pretty wicked. The 12 medals also came together like a puzzle to read, “Together we ran 200-miles.”

The photos need no explanation. Pure excitement. Spirited Away. Full adrenaline.

Best. Race. Ever.

Just don’t ask me to do it again.

$20 off ClassPass // bargain + fitness

CPAs a long time fitness fiend, spending time training for marathons and even owning memberships at two gyms, I finally found my groove in a consistent workout routine. All thanks to ClassPass.

I LOVE ClassPass. It’s a new kind of fitness membership that lets you enjoy diverse and exciting ways to work out. It’s a brilliant business model and suits my interests because I like variety and trying out new things. I’ve been doing hot yoga, spinning, circuit training, ballet barre, stand up paddle boarding and been meaning to try boxing and surfing.

Each workout is a good sweat leaving me recharged and refreshed. It’s challenging and I’ve learned to push myself physically and mentally. I’m stronger, more toned, built endurance and always leave feeling I can conquer the day. I recently ran a half marathon in hilly San Francisco and set my personal record (!) and I owe it all to spinning and the motivational energy of my favorite instructor, Rene. During that race I just kept pushing myself. My lungs burned and legs were tired, but I knew I had it in me.

I can’t stop talking about it to friends. CP doesn’t have promo offers often, but I just came across a $20 off your first month of unlimited group fitness classes. Note: I pay $119/month and max three classes at each studio. This is an awesome deal because sometimes a month membership at a fancy gym or studio runs $120+/month. This way I can jump around and get diversity and cross train at various studios in different cities.

Deal

$30 off your first month special – Join me on ClassPass and you’ll get $30 off your first month of group fitness classes. From yoga and barre to cycling and Pilates, ClassPass lets you try the best boutique studios in your area. One monthly membership, endless options, all up to you! http://class.ps/d4g9x More details on the $30 off deal in a new post, here.

$20 off your first month special – Join me on ClassPass and you’ll get $20 off your first month of unlimited group fitness classes. From yoga and barre to cycling and Pilates, ClassPass lets you try the best boutique studios in your area. One monthly membership, endless options, all up to you! http://class.ps/d4g9x

Do something good for your mind, body, soul this 2016. Cheers to good health!

Healthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via Its Jou Life Blog // https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2015/11/23/recipe-walnut-and-date-cocoa-energy-balls

recipe // walnut and date cocoa energy balls

Healthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via Its Jou Life Blog // https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2015/11/23/recipe-walnut-and-date-cocoa-energy-balls

Lately I find myself getting hungry between meals at work, rushing to workout classes and running errands. These healthy walnut + date cocoa balls have been a staple in my every day. It not only provides protein and energy to get me through my long days, but also hits my sweet tooth cravings–guilt-free. Best of all, it’s so easy to make.

Walnut and Date Cocoa Energy Balls

Prep: 15 minutes

Yields: Approx. 19, depending on size

Ingredients

1 cup raw walnuts (or ½ cup raw walnuts and ½ cup raw almonds)

1 cup firmly packed pitted dates (slightly softened)

2 T goji berries (optional)

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Optional: dash of ground cinnamon, raw honey

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor, and process until extremely fine. Tip: If the dates were in the fridge, let it soften in room-temperature for about 15 min. Not required though. I just find it blends and have a more favorable texture if slightly softened.
  2. Taste mixture. Tip: If the mixture isn’t sweet or on the dry/crumbly side, add a few drizzles of raw honey. Process again.
  3. Shape into 1” balls. Tip: I like to use a mini ice cream scooper and then roll between my palms.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Good for about a week.

Healthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/recipe-walnut-and-date-cocoa-energy-ballsHealthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/recipe-walnut-and-date-cocoa-energy-ballsHealthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/recipe-walnut-and-date-cocoa-energy-ballsHealthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/recipe-walnut-and-date-cocoa-energy-ballsHealthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/recipe-walnut-and-date-cocoa-energy-ballsHealthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/recipe-walnut-and-date-cocoa-energy-ballsHealthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/recipe-walnut-and-date-cocoa-energy-balls

Day 10 // Meditate for 1 Minute | Birchbox Challenge

Day 10 // Meditate for One Minute #BirchboxChallenge via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1124

Sunrise up in the Alishan, Taiwan mountains

I’ve recently started setting my alarm clock at 11pm every night and been waking up more energized and ready to start my day (thanks to Day 16 #BirchboxChallenge)! I’ve been having quaint mornings of “me” time and among other things, I meditate for one minute. It helps reduce stress, clear my mind and calm my heart. I sit up straight, rest my palms in my lap, close my eyes, and pay attention to my inhales and exhales for 60 seconds.
The below tips to reap the full benefits of a one-minute meditation practice is taken from Birchbox and Tara Stiles, Strala Yoga founder and author of Make Your Own Rules DietI’m definitely guilty of getting lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life–rushing out of the house to get to an appointment, not taking enough walking breaks at work and Instagramming during dinner. Even taking just one minute to meditate gives me a jumpstart to a more productive and brighter day.

Get Comfortable

Set a time for one minute using your smartphone. Choose a place in your home where you won’t be disturbed, and arrange yourself in a comfortable seated position. If you are in a chair, place your feet on the ground evenly. If you are on the floor, try crossing your legs or sitting on your heels. Sit up straight and rest your palms in your lap. Close your eyes and begin to pay attention to your breath.

Focus on Your Breath

Watch your inhales and exhales as they come and go. Allow yourself to become interested in the depth and pace of your breathing. Begin to lengthen your inhales and exhales. If it feels comfortable, pause at the top of your inhale and at the bottom of your exhale.

Guide Your Thoughs

Relax your whole body, including your face, neck, shoulders, back, legs and feet. If you notice your thoughts starting to drift, guide your attention back to your breath.

Finish Strong

When the timer goes off, don’t just pop out of your practice. Continue to breathe for 10 more long, deep breaths. When you are ready, slowly open your eyes.

About the Birchbox Challenge

Birchbox teamed up with a panel of all-star experts to bring a 31-day challenge to make 2015 your healthiest, happiest, most gorgeous year ever. I’m joining Birchbox on this month-long challenge and will share my success with #BirchboxChallenge. Let’s do this together!

Day 9 // Get Sculpted in 6 Minutes | Birchbox Challenge

I’m a lover of High Intensity Training (HIT) classes. The pattern usually is 30-seconds of intense cardio/strength moves that get quickly gets the heart rate up, followed by 20-seconds of rest. The Day 9 Challenge is something a little different.

Day 9 Birchbox Challenge “Get Sculpted in 6 Minutes” is created by celebrity trainer Ashley Borden. She swears by crazy effective workouts that can be done in a short amount of time, with minimal equipment. She uses the AMRAP technique ( “as many reps as possible”), which works muscles nonstop to condition your entire body, increase your metabolic rate, and burn a ton of calories. Her Sexy Six workout is just six moves and six minutes long but will leave you breathless and sweaty. Once you learn the workout, repeat it multiple times a week, focusing on your form and adding time as you get stronger.

Set a timer for 6 minutes. Do the 6 moves below, in order. Repeat the order as fast as you can, while maintaining your form, until time’s up. Keep track of how many times you got through the entire workout at the end, and beat that at your next workout!

See the moves here on Day 9 Birchbox Challenge.

About the Birchbox Challenge

Birchbox teamed up with a panel of all-star experts to bring a 31-day challenge to make 2015 your healthiest, happiest, most gorgeous year ever. I’m joining Birchbox on this month-long challenge and will share my success with #BirchboxChallenge. Let’s do this together!

Day 5 // Become a Morning Warrior | Birchbox Challenge

I’d like to say I’m a selective morning person. I enjoy waking up early on the weekends–make tea, journal, go to the gym and even declutter my desk. As for the weekday, after hitting snooze three times, I drag myself out of bed with just enough time to brush my teeth and wash my face before bolting out the door for work.

I keep telling myself I should wake up earlier during the work week to make time to quiet my heart, energize my body and mentally prepare for a full day. I’ve been trying these three powerful yoga poses from the Day 5 // Become a Morning Warrior from the Birchbox Challenge and been getting a jumpstart on my day and feeling invigorated.

This three-pose yoga sequence from Masumi Goldman and Laura Kasperzak, the brains (and muscle) behind Two Fit Moms, will leave you feeling peaceful and centered. Plus, you’ll get a gentle flexibility and strength workout just minutes after you roll out of bed. Each of these fundamental yoga poses stretches and strengthens your muscles in a short period of time. Once you’re familiar with each of the poses and can hold each pose for five full breaths, repeat the sequence at a faster pace. Remember to practice the poses on both sides of the body.

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About the Birchbox Challenge

Birchbox teamed up with a panel of all-star experts to bring a 31-day challenge to make 2015 your healthiest, happiest, most gorgeous year ever. I’m joining Birchbox on this month-long challenge and will share my success with #BirchboxChallenge. Make sure to also enter for their daily prize giveaways. Let’s do this together!