3 Things I Drink for Prettier, Healthier Skin

Love, Lenore: 3 Things I Drink for Prettier, Healthier Skin

Since getting full on smacked in the face with hormonal acne starting at age 13, I've had a deep interest in skincare and skin health for many years (half my life actually!). It's a topic I could truly research all day, and I always have a list of questions for my amazing esthetician. Anything that can potentially improve my skin or give me a better glow, I want to know more about and try!

A few months ago, I listened to an episode of the LadyGang podcast (one of my favs!) where they had renowned celebrity aesthetician Kate Sommerville on as their guest. I truly learned so much about skincare and wrote down everything she said. I highly highly recommend listening to the interview, which is episode 59 from January 17, 2017! Coming from a family that has always valued natural medicine, I loved that she talked about how gut health effects your skin. Ever heard the saying "you are what you eat?" It's so true. She talked about how eating clean ingredients and supplementing with a good probiotic are two of the best things you can do for your skin, and that the health of your gut (for better or for worse) will reflect in your skin. She didn't touch on all of the drinks I'm sharing today, but I just wanted to share this episode with you guys as an additional resource because I truly learned so much!

Obviously drinking boat loads of water is essential to your skin's health and your overall health, but I thought I would share three other things I drink that all show positive effects on my skin! Knowing that I want to add these into my routine also help me to drink more water - a win, win!

Love, Lenore: 3 Things I Drink for Prettier, Healthier Skin

 I also want to disclose that I do not have perfect, gorgeous skin, and if you don't either, that's okay. It's a journey. I may never have "perfect skin," but I'm continually working to have my best skin and to always be improving it. Those of us that have had hormonal, cystic acne will have scarring, and may continue to get breakouts until the end of time (or at least it feels like we will). Maybe you're naturally oily and if you don't wear makeup you look like a little grease ball after a few hours (me!). Also, if you're super fair skinned like I am you know that every little flaw both at the surface and below the surface shows up big time.

So, don't get down on yourself if your skin isn't where you want it to be, just focus on improving your skin and your health as much as you can control and afford! Remember that there's always someone out there who would love to have your skin, even if you don't feel like it's that great.  

3 Things to Drink for Prettier, Healthier Skin

3 Things I Drink for Prettier, Healthier Skin...

1 | Liquid Chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is vital to the photosynthesis process in plants, and is one of the nutrients found in green, leafy vegetables. It has a bunch of amazing benefits for the body, and promotes cleansing/detoxing, healing and cell renewal, and also helps with iron levels, redness, swelling, and more. Kate Sommerville and Reece Witherspoon both swear by adding this to their water daily for skin and hormone health! Fortunately, liquid chlorophyll doesn't taste bad at all, and I've actually grown to like it. I try to drink a glass every day, or at least every other day! You don't need much (I add about a teaspoon to a glass of water) and a bottle will last you quite awhile. It also comes in a dropper form, and in a mint flavor.

2 | Apple Cider Vinegar.
Yes, it's disgusting. This is not a drink I look forward to, but when I'm consistent with it, I do notice that my skin tends to stay clearer. Apple cider vinegar has been touted for decades to have a multitude of health benefits, and although not all are backed up scientifically yet, it is proven to lower blood sugar levels, improve gut health (= better skin!!), and may even help boost your metabolism and burn fat.
ACV "shots" are trendy right now, but can actually be quite harmful to your teeth and digestive tract. Because of its high acidity, ACV can erode your teeth enamel and damage your esophagus. SO, the best/healthiest way to drink it is to mix it in with a glass of water, and to use a straw! The straw will prevent it from washing all over your teeth, and the water makes it easier to digest. I also add in just a bit of Stevia or honey to make it less tart. To get these health benefits, make sure you buy raw, unfiltered ACV that has "the mother" in it! You can read more about ACV here, here and here.

3 | Green Tea
Green tea is full of antioxidants and protects your skin against free radicals, which damage your skin cells and tissue. I drink a cup of hot green tea every single morning, which kicks off my daily hydration, plumps the skin, and gives me a more subtle dose of caffeine (versus coffee). In the summertime I also like to make batches of cold-brew green tea to keep in the fridge and to add variety to my daily water quota. When I'm consistent with drinking green tea my skin glows sooo much more and feels nice and plump (versus dry and/or wrinkly)!

Bonus Tips...

Take a good probiotic daily! As in a high-quality, refrigerated probiotic, not the $8 ones from the Walmart aisle. This will improve your gut health and hormone health, which both reflect in your skin.

Add in collagen powder! Collagen has a lot of benefits, but I use it primarily for its skin benefits. As we age, our body produces less and less collagen, which means wrinkles, looser skin, and less elasticity. Ugh! So, if you increase the collagen in your body, you can increase moisture, firmness and smoothness, and encourage your body to renew cells! As skin loses elasticity and gets thinner, cellulite shows up more, so collagen may actually help reduce the appearance of cellulite as well. I buy a powder that I add into smoothies, oatmeal, tea, and my liquid chlorophyll water!

I hope you enjoyed this post! I love learning about health, nutrition and skin care, so this post was so enjoyable for me to research and write! Do you swear by any of these tips or have some of your own? Also, would you want to see a Q&A with my esthetician about all things skin? Let me know! xx

Summery Set

top + skirt set for summer | cute red print
Free People set
matching off-the-shoulder top and skirt for summer

I knew I had to have this Free People set for summer because the color scheme is right up my alley! I think this is actually my first matching set, but I'm fully on board with them because they're more versatile than a dress or romper. I've already worn the top with my high-waisted cutoff shorts (love how Brianna styled with jeans here), and the skirt would look adorable as a swimsuit coverup with a bikini top, or even paired with a black or white crop top!

Quick note to tall girls... the skirt is fairly short, and pretty breezy! But sometimes with skirts or dresses like this I'll wear some little spandex shorts underneath (like for volleyball or dance) just to feel more comfortable in case I have a mishap πŸ˜‰

Free People set
Free People set | off-the-shoulder top with a matching skirt
summer vacation outfit
Top + Skirt Set  |  Sunglasses ("private eyes" |  Bag  |  Sandals

Also, if you're looking for sunglasses for the summer, my two favorite brands I've discovered this past year are Quay and Le Specs! Both are affordable and have tons and tons of cute options! I have two pairs from each brand, and may have to buy the pair I'm wearing here since I've now borrowed them from Brianna multiple times! πŸ™ˆ

On a completely random note... I've mentioned before how much I love Calvin Klein undies & bras (seriously so dang comfortable), and I happened to see a good sale on them here! I always wait for sales to stock up, so I thought I would share! 

Let's Brunch

healthy brunch recipes
the perfect avocado + egg toast

First things first, HAPPY FRIDAY!

 A couple of weekends ago, Brianna and I decided to combine our loves of breakfast foods and healthy cooking to put together this photogenic and delicious little brunch at my place! It was basically the cutest little friend date everrrrr πŸ˜‹ Over the past few years I've gone from barely being able to make basic tacos to enjoying cooking and experimenting with my own healthy recipes, so I'm planning to start mixing in some recipes into my blog post lineup! Read on to see what we made...

healthier, clean french toast recipe
healthier cinnamon french toast

We made 3 different recipes that were the perfect mix of savory and sweet. The first was my signature cinnamon french toast!

Healthier French Toast
 (makes 4 servings)
4 slices sprouted or whole wheat bread (I use a sprouted bread from Aldi)
1 egg
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (although I usually add more!)

Beat the egg in a shallow bowl, then add almond milk, vanilla and cinnamon and mix well. Dip each slice of bread in the mixture and evenly coat both sides. Cook on a skillet over medium heat and make sure to use a non-stick spray (I like to use coconut oil spray for this recipe).

Then simply top with all the fruit your heart desires as well as real maple syrup! It's delicious, clean, fairly low calorie...and such a pretty little dish!     

berry + protein smoothie bowl
berry protein smoothie bowl

I also made my go-to berry + protein smoothie bowl that is my favorite thing to eat after my Saturday morning barre class! It's refreshing, filling, and super nutritious.

Berry + Protein Smoothie Bowl

Handful of spinach
3/4-1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (start small & add as-needed)
Handful of frozen berries (I use a mix)
1 frozen banana (I freeze a batch of sliced of bananas every few weeks) 
1/2 scoop vegan chocolate protein powder
  1 tbsp PB2 (can sub peanut or almond butter)
1 tbsp collagen powder (so good for your skin + has protein)

Briefly blend almond milk and spinach first to ensure you don't end up with any chunks of spinach in the end ;) Then add the rest of your ingredients and blend away! You may have to pause your blender a couple of times to push everything down and add more almond milk until you reach your desired consistency. Remember that with a smoothie bowl you'll want a thicker consistency than with a smoothie you'd drink!

There are so many yummy things you can top your smoothie bowl with! Here are some ideas:
sliced bananas
fresh berries
raw cacao 
chia seeds
flax seeds
shredded coconut
chopped almonds
drizzle of honey or agave

healthy brunch recipes

Be sure to head over to Brianna's brunch post to get the recipe for her avocado + egg toast! It was so so delicious and I've already made it a few times since!

Oh...and I can't leave out the other essentials - coffee and mimosas! We made our mimosas with mango orange juice and Chandon rosΓ© (shout to Chandon for some of the best blogger mail ever!), and sweetened our coffees with vanilla almond milk, honey and cinnamon - yum!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe post as much as we enjoyed putting it together (and eating it)! Hopefully you're excited to see recipes and more lifestyle content on here! I already have some healthy summery recipes planned and can't wait to share them with you all!

Also, here are some links to my servingware:
Plates  |  Bowl  |  Mugs  |  Woven Placemats  |  Wooden Board

Greenhouse Vibes

off-the-shoulder top with floral shorts
cute floral shorts with an off-the-shoulder crop top

This post is part two from the shoot I did with my friend Jo of Jo Johnson Photography in Columbia a few weeks ago! For the full story of why we shot in this gorgeous greenhouse check out my first post here.

Gallery Style Boutique sent me this gorgeous little set (top, shorts) for the shoot and I am still so obsessed! I love that this outfit defines the waistline and is so comfortable yet flattering.

bell sleeve crop top with high-waisted shorts
Kendra Scott Amber necklace
cute spring summer outfit | bell sleeve top, high-waisted floral shorts
Kendra Scott Kirsten earrings

We also got to partner with one of my very favorite jewelry brands, Kendra Scott (via their beautiful St. Louis store), to style some of their gorgeous summer collection! I love this necklace that can be adjusted to a wide range of lengths (the choker length is my favorite though), and these stunning statement earrings that totally give off mermaid vibes!

spring/summer outfit idea
Top (c/o)  |  Shorts (c/o)  |  Similar Heeled Sandals (this year's version of mine is the "Jessy")
Bag  |  Earrings (c/o)  |  Necklace (c/o)

Photos by Jo Johnson Photography

I hope you girls are all having a great week! I get to see my sister this weekend for the first time since February, so I'm wanting the rest of my work week to fly by! She moved to Virginia last August for law school and we're super close, so it's been hard on me to only see her a couple of times in a year! 

Thanks for reading!

On Wearing What You Want, and Owning What You've Got

I truly try to live my life without regret, but one thing I catch myself regretting from time to time is not wearing whatever I wanted when I was younger and being prouder of my body! In today's post I'm wearing a crop top and booty-accentuating shorts, and you wouldn't have caught me in that even in college. Looking back I had such a good body and no thought of cellulite, but barely took advantage of that - such a shame!

Since I "filled out" through college I've been soooo self conscious about the fact that my upper half and lower half seem to be on different pages size-wise. If I slim down and lose weight, it shows in my stomach, ribs, boobs and arms. Not a lot I can control for the half I would change if I could 😲 

But why am I so self conscious about having a booty and muscular legs? I guess partly because I don't have the boobs to "balance" them out and don't have the stick skinny fashion physique I've envied since high school. I'm working hard to get over this though! Instead I want to be proud of having muscle that shows off my hard work, proud of my flat stomach, and proud to have some curves. I know that in 10, 20, 30+ years I'll look back on this season of life and think about how good and young and healthy I looked and wish that I had appreciated my body more...like I already do about the past 8-10 years.

crop top, cutoff shorts, slide sandals
crop top + high-waisted shorts
summer vacay outfit idea

So, one of my mindset goals for this year and moving forward is to wear what I want, and to just own and be proud of what I've got. It would be a shame to never show the ab definition and flat stomach I've been working really hard on just because I don't have the exact butt or thighs I want.

summer outfit with a crop top
Quay "high key" sunglasses, crop top, denim shorts
crop top + high-waisted cutoff shorts
cute summer outfit inspowrap crop top
summer vacation outfit idea
Top (c/o | matching shorts here)  |  Shorts  |  Slides  |  Sunglasses (more Quay here)  |  Lipstick ('velvet teddy')

 I hope this post ended up making at least a little bit of sense. I feel like I had a lot of pent-up thoughts to spill out here so I very well may have rambled without making much sense πŸ˜‰

Also, please know that I truly find all women beautiful. My friends and family represent a variety shapes and sizes and 'looks' and I find them to all be the most beautiful and healthy and inspiring women in the world! I just thought I would open up to you a bit about things I've struggled with mentally for many years in hopes that you will [in your own time] start to better accept your own body [if that's a goal of yours] and to just wear what you want to wear! I'm also not looking for attention or compliments or anything like that by writing this post. I'm just actively working on my body confidence, and thought it might be a relatable topic :) 

I recently updated my About Me page to say "The purpose behind Love, Lenore is to not only share my love of all things fashion + lifestyle, but to also help you and other women discover your own personal style and beautiful life that you love regardless of your budget or where you live or what you look like." I want to live that out more on this space, and I hope you're up for taking that journey with me.