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We’d like to introduce you to this week’s BCB Mom IRL (in real life!) Jessica Luengo, 36, is a mom of 2, Emma (6), Benjamin (4), and CEO of plant-based nutrition bar company, Naturally Clean Eats in LA. You can read Jessica’s 10 Tips for Moms To Eat Healthy With Kids here. Keep reading for more about this amazing mom boss who is killing it!
We want you to meet our BCB #MomIRL…
Name: Jessica Luengo
Where do you live? Manhattan Beach, CA
What’s your background? How did you get to where you are today? As a Pilates instructor for 10 years, I was making healthy snacks out of my kitchen to fit the needs of my busy schedule and healthy lifestyle. I have always recommended clean, real food to clients when they were looking to prioritize their eating habits, so made these bars for a convenient nutritious snack. In June 2017, I decided to produce a small batch for resale and was picked up by Erewhon Market and Omni Hotels and Resorts the day I launched. The rest is history!
What are the 5 things you never leave home without (other than your phone)? A Naturally Clean Eats bar, lip balm, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a big jug of water! Oh, and my wallet—that’s always needed somehow, especially with kids in tow! Ha!
If there were 1 product or service that’s helped you survive motherhood, what is it? When the kids were newborns, the Boppy newborn lounger hands down was my most used and favorite product. I gift it to everyone! Service would have to be my nanny when the kids were not in school yet, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to work at my Pilates studio or start this company!
What are the 3 most useful products you loved when you had a baby? The Boppy newborn lounger, Graco sweet slumber sound machine, and the Nest camera.
What’s your go-to easy family dinner? Tacos! I either do grilled fish or saute up ground turkey, chicken, tofu, or jackfruit! You can also chop up cooked beets, lentils, sweet potatoes, and/or cauliflower to make veggie tacos – the fillings are endless! For a spice blend I always make my own: cumin, cayenne pepper, sea salt, pepper, dried Mexican oregano and paprika. We love Siete tortillas and fresh homemade guacamole (or Lazy Acres makes a great one!).
How do you balance it all? Do you have any #momhacks to share that makes this easier? I am a big fan of a cup of coffee in the morning and a glass of wine at night. That works for me because the coffee wakes me up and the wine helps me wind-down! Also, I have a notepad that I write down everything I need to do by which day which keeps me accountable (for the most part!).
Workout at home on the floor while your baby naps or is playing by themselves – there are so many apps now to make working out at home easy and accessible! I love Tone It Up and Open Gym. A lot of bloggers now post workouts too if you look for them, especially if you follow a fitness instructor! I don’t have time for a long workout, sometimes my schedule only allows for a 10-15 min exercise routine. Try not to be so hard on yourself and enjoy walks with your baby in a carrier or pushed in a stroller. Being outdoors always makes me feel better!
Talk to us about mom guilt…do you have it? How do you combat it? I do! Who doesn’t?! I try to talk to my kids a couple times a day when I have to travel and just seeing their faces helps. I bring them home a little something EVERY TIME I travel –even if it’s just a day trip—to remind them that I was thinking of them. My kids now get excited to see what little surprise they’ll end up with once I get home. I also talk to them about what I did all day, why I couldn’t make something, or volunteer at least a month in advance for something at their school to make it a priority in my calendar.
What is one thing no one really knows about you? I really love to sing in the car, especially after a long day. Sometimes driving home after a meeting, just singing to the music helps me decompress and my mood lifts. I wish I could say I have the voice of Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston…but sadly, I don’t!
What message do you think every woman should hear? You are beautiful.
What motivates you most? My kids.
What’s one regular family routine you have implemented to keep your family running smooth? Every night, we sit at the dinner table and share our “high and low” of the day. The kids love it and sometimes we find out new things they did in school, with friends, how they’re feeling, etc. It also reminds us to remember the small things, and be grateful for our family and our health (that’s usually one of the highs).
Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? I feel so lucky because I am surrounded by so many mom friends I’ve met throughout my life. I have a group of girlfriends that I’ve been friends with since 12 years old, two of which are now moms, and we have a bond no one can touch. My best friends from college who are all moms now. Some of my past Pilates clients who are mamas. Friends from when we used to live on the Westside and all of us had our first kids at the same time.
And of course, all my South Bay mamas, who I’ve met through the kids’ preschools and elementary school, or local gatherings. As you can tell, I’m a real girls girl and love supporting other moms. You’re in my tribe if you’re a kind person, have a sense of humor, and don’t have drama!
What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? The beginning will have so many highs and lows, so don’t get too wrapped up in that or a schedule, just enjoy and try to connect with your spouse. Let people HELP YOU –it doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it means you have sense to take a break so you don’t loose your mind! Oh, and if you have a natural birth, don’t look down after the baby is out… it’s scary!!! Bring pads to the hospital! All of these things are crucial pieces of advice. Lol.
When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? Get a facial, go for a walk or to a workout class, get a coffee or glass of wine with a girlfriend. Date nights with my husband every Friday night are a standard in our schedule—it’s important to prioritize your relationship!
BCB loves to introduce you to moms we think are amazing through our Mom IRL features. Check out Bump Club and Beyond for more moms we love! Are you doing something amazing that we should know about? Or do you know someone who we should meet? Be sure to email us with your recommendation at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
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