Tips for Staying Healthy on Vacation (While Still Having Fun)
6.13.2018

Tips for Staying Healthy on Vacation (While Still Having Fun)

For me vacation is all about having fun, de-stressing, and trying new activities and foods! Trey and I are definitely foodies, and picking out restaurants is one of our favorite parts of trip-planning. 

However, it can seem impossible to stay healthy on vacation, and I've definitely had trips where I feel disgusting by the end of the trip. I really don't like to feel bad (does anyone though?? haha), so I feel like I've finally made the right adjustments to stay healthy on vacation, while still treating myself. All of these tips are about finding balance! Please don’t completely deprive yourself on vacation, but also know that splurging at every single meal and laying down for 5 straight days may not leave you feeling or looking your best. 
how to stay healthy on vacation | Love, Lenore
Swap out a sedentary activity for something active
It depends on the type of trip and your destination to a certain extent, but there is pretty much always something you can do to be active while you travel! From renting bikes, paddle boarding, planning a hike or finding a free outdoor workout class, there are lots of ways to have fun while experiencing your destination in a unique, active way! If the location allows, I love to plan a hike on our trips. It's great exercise, the fresh air is refreshing, and it's often the best way to take in the area you're visiting!

Choose Fresh, Local Restaurants and Dishes
I'm always a fan of scoping out restaurants and menus in advance, and try to eat at local spots as much as possible. I'm always on the lookout for menus with locally and ethically sourced meat and eggs, and lots of fresh produce (versus friend foods). I love eating fresh seafood on the coast, or eating vegetables from a local farm. It's easy to make a healthy meal choice when you have these options in front of you! That being said, balance is key and a couple of splurge meals are absolutely okay!

Moderation is Key with Drinks & Desserts
I definitely think you should "treat yo self" on vacation, but moderation is key. I love to throw in some treats when I’m on vacation, but I don’t feel my best when I overdo it. If I know we’re going to dinner with drinks I’ll try to keep things cleaner at breakfast and lunch. I also try to pick just one or two desserts over the course of the trip.

Ditch the Uber and Walk!
If you’re visiting a walkable area, most definitely take advantage! Walking is such an underrated form of exercise, but it's so good for you! It’s also my favorite way to check out a new place because you can walk through neighborhoods and look at houses, and pop into little stores and restaurants.

Pack Healthy Snacks or Pick Some Up at the Store
It's easier to choose a healthier options when it's readily available to you! I'm also someone who likes/needs to have snacks around to keep my blood sugar steady. Some of my favorite snacks to pack or to grab at the store are raw almonds (I buy big bags then separate servings into little baggies), hard boiled eggs, string cheese, berries, and protein bars (but make sure they're low in sugar! I like Quest bars right now).

Put Some Veggies On Your Plate
And no, fries don't count! I think we all know how important vegetables are in our diet, but it's easy to leave them out sometimes. However, they're full of vitamins and minerals and fiber - all essential to caring for ourselves! If you have the option to have veggies as a side or to add a side salad, then get in those greens girl! 

What I Learned From my "Keto-ish" Reset
6.11.2018

Orange one-piece swimsuit | Love, Lenore

Hi guys! I talked about this on Instagram stories a few times, but I recently tried the Keto diet (more of a “Keto-ish” reset) for 4 weeks. I saw an astounding amount of success, so when 96% of you on Instagram (whoa!) wanted a blog post about my experience, I was extra excited to write this post! This is a long post, but I’ve divided it into a lot of different categories.

Why did I make a diet change/background?

I dove quite suddenly into the Keto diet one weekend in April after reaching a point of desperation with my hormonal acne. I’ve struggled with acne off and on since age 13, but suddenly, just weeks shy of my 27th birthday, I had the worst acne of my life. Not only did I feel ugly, but my face was also in pain. Over the past year I had been eating my cleanest ever yet was struggling with hormone and blood sugar imbalance, so it was becoming clear to me that the status quo wasn’t going to work anymore.

ribbed one-piece swimsuit | Love, Lenore

Why did I choose Keto?
+ My friend Jo’s fiance has eaten Keto for months, and his cystic acne has completely vanished. When Jo told me that I knew I had to give it a try.
+ I wanted to eliminate grains for a while to see how my body responded and to do a reset of sorts
+ In college I discovered I had a gluten intolerance, and ate strictly gluten free for two years to essentially heal my gut. I slowly added it back over the years (got lax and my stomach felt fine), but that definitely could have been contributing to my acne.
+ I’ve been reading Body Love by Kelly Leveque and Womancode by Alisa Vitti, and both discuss eating for blood sugar stability. In Womancode, it talks about how you can balance your hormones naturally through eating for blood sugar stability. While she does recommend eating some carbs, it’s low on grains.
+ As I cut dairy and reduced meat over the past year, I was eating more carbs and my acne progressively got worse. I’m sure my blood sugar was unstable. For this reason, I felt like I needed to detox myself from carbs and try something completely different! So I liked that this plan made it okay to eat animal protein and dairy (I always choose the highest quality available).
+ Grains and high-carb foods often cause inflammation and bloating, and I wanted to look and feel my best going into summer.
+ I liked the emphasis on healthy fats, and knew I needed more of them in my diet.


How I went about doing “Keto”:
+ I didn’t make any “Keto” recipes or follow a premade Keto meal plan during the 4 weeks as I felt a lot of  them weren’t actually healthy! Yes, cream cheese is high in fat, but I didn’t feel it was a healthy option for me. I’ve called this my “Keto-ish” Reset because I didn’t go crazy with Keto-specific meals.
+ I put my eating focus on lean and clean proteins, healthy fats, and lots of veggies.
+ I tracked everything I ate in the MyFitnessPal app to keep an eye on my macros. I kept my net carbs (total carbs - fiber) at 30g or less per day, and also tracked my fats, proteins and sugars.

Barton Springs in Austin | Love, Lenore

What I ate:
+ I ate eggs every single morning! Here are some examples of my breakfasts:
  • “Denver Omelette” inspired scramble: ½ tablespoon butter, sliced mushrooms + diced green pepper and white onion, ham (make sure to find one without sugar), and 3 farm eggs. 
  • 2-3 fried eggs + 3-4 strips of a clean, uncured bacon (the Never Any! brand from Aldi is awesome)
  • Scrambled eggs with spinach, mushrooms and feta + 2 strips of bacon + some smoked salmon or ½ avocado
+  I didn’t have to snack a ton once my body adjusted, but my main snacks were raw almonds and mozzarella string cheese! I would also mix in smoked salmon, hard boiled eggs, Quest bars and veggies dipped in guacamole.
+ Most fruit has a lot of carbs and sugars, so I stuck to small servings of berries.
+ Lunches were easier when I had leftovers, but here are some things I fixed quickly when starting from scratch:
  • Tuna or chicken salad using canned tuna or chicken + organic, clean mayo (love this Primal Kitchen mayo). I would eat it with cucumber slices, which was a tasty pairing!
  • 3-4 strips bacon + ½ avocado + a salad (with Primal Kitchen dressing) + ½ cup cottage cheese (and if I was still hungry I would supplement with some almonds or a string cheese)
+  Dinners were pretty easy, especially since it’s grilling season! This time of year we mostly eat meat and veggies and a salad anyways, so that’s what I made! I also made a lot of things where Trey had a “normal option.” Here are some examples of what we ate:
  • Grilled burgers: Trey did his on a bun and I did mine on top of a salad with some cheese and ½ avocado. 
  • Taco salad was another easy favorite, and Trey could supplement with tortillas or corn chips if he didn’t want only a salad. My Keto taco salad was comprised of organic, grass-fed ground beef cooked with diced onion and bell pepper served with lettuce, sour cream, avocado, pico de gallo and hot sauce. 
  • Organic & clean chicken Italian sausage, assorted roasted or steamed veggies, salad
  • Also, I would sometimes make a small batch of rice for him to eat with his dinner, and I would just skip that part! 
+ Eating out takes a bit more effort, but it’s not impossible! I leaned toward burger places and Mexican food (and Trey never complains about either!).
  • With burgers, I’ll just get a cheeseburger with lettuce instead of a bun, and I’ll add bacon or avocado if it’s available, then eat a side salad. 
  • At our favorite chicken spot I got grilled chicken strips or a grilled chicken salad, and used Primal Kitchen salad dressings for my dips and dressings (most dressings and dips at restaurants have added sugar!). 
  • At Mexican places I simply ordered fajitas without the tortillas, rice, or beans, and made sure to get lettuce, sour cream guacamole and salsa on the side - so yummy!
+  Specific food brands/items that helped were: Quest bars (not perfect ingredients, but they’re low carb, gluten free, and come in handy when you’re nowhere near your kitchen), Primal Kitchen salad dressings and mayo, Miracle Rice and Miracle Noodles, guacamole, and dark chocolate for dessert (Theo’s and Green & Blacks are some of my favorites).

What I didn’t eat:
+ Any grains or processed carbs. These weren’t as hard to eliminate as I thought they would be!
+ Starchy vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn)
+ Legumes (beans, lentils, hummus)
+ Fruits besides berries

Keto results | Love, Lenore

My Keto results:
+ I felt super, super lean throughout. My stomach was visibly flatter as early as day one, and I had zero puffiness or bloating, even on my period.
+ While I don’t know exact numbers, I definitely lost weight and inches. While weight loss wasn’t my primary goal, I’m definitely not mad about being leaner!
+ I wasn’t as hungry as usual (I’ve always had a huge appetite) and didn’t eat as much.
+ My skin most definitely improved. It’s glowing (I think from the healthy fats!) and my cystic acne is significantly reduced. I’m still getting some pimples, but my skin has showed a 75-80% improvement from 6 weeks ago, which I’m ecstatic about. Any progress is good, and these things take time!
+ I felt very even and calm throughout. No crazy highs or lows - I just had steady energy! I feel like it helped with anxiety and made me feel more clear-headed as well.
+ Going gluten free again made me feel fantastic.
+ My cravings for carbs and sweets decreased steadily throughout, and it got progressively easier to not eat them. There are a multitude of reasons to reduce sugar consumption, so I’m happy to be craving it less and less!
+ I got to eat things like mayo, bacon and cheese again, which made me extremely happy! These are things I’ve skipped for a long time.


My Keto cons:
+ Obviously you’re a bit limited with what you can eat. You have to do a little bit more planning ahead and a little more cooking.
+ You can feel a bit weak in the beginning as your body adjusts to fueling itself in a different way. My first spin class on Keto didn’t feel great. I also had a day-long headache about a week in, but after that I continually felt really really good.
+ I really missed my Fab 4 smoothies (Kelly Leveque’s smoothie formula focused on protein, fats, fiber and greens). I don’t even use much fruit in my smoothies typically (literally a couple of berries), but the carbs were still too high for this particular diet with the protein powder I’d been using. My smoothies were the first thing I added back into my diet when I was done with strict Keto!
+ I’m a big believer in the power of fiber (Kelly Leveque and Tanya Zuckerbrot share soooo much good info about it) and I felt like I struggled to get enough. Adding my smoothies back in has helped me to consume more fiber!

cute one-piece swimsuit | Love, Lenore

What I Learned:
+ I realized that I hadn’t been eating as clean as I thought I was. It’s easy to derail all of the good things you’re eating when you’re sliding in tortilla chips, burger buns and Girl Scout cookies. This was a good way to hold myself accountable and reset my cravings and habits.
+ I had been eating was more carbs than I realized. Rice is fine in theory, but not when you’re eating way more than one serving at a time. I was also combining too many carbs into one meal (for example, rice + beans + sweet potato).
+ I realized that I was definitely not eating enough protein or healthy fats before doing Keto. Incorporating more healthy fats (even though they seem scary) made me eat a lot less overall because they stabilize blood sugar and are satiating (versus carbs, which spike your blood sugar but then drop you to low blood sugar). Healthy fats like almonds, salmon and avocado are also amazing for your skin and hair! Eating more protein has made me feel stronger, and definitely helped to unveil more muscle tone.


So what’s next?
+ I decided to only eat Keto for four weeks as I think it’s a bit extreme and more of a reset option like Whole30 (at least in my mind). Research shows that it’s not the healthiest for women to do long term (this doesn’t apply to men because they have different hormone levels).
+ I am most definitely staying gluten free for the foreseeable future. I undoubtedly feel better, and it’s not that hard to do with so many gluten free options now.
+ I plan to keep limiting desserts and sugar to rare treats. My skin is so much better now that I’ve reduced my sugar intake and I really don’t crave it that much beyond dark chocolate anyway!
+ I plan to keep carbs and grains on the lower side, but won’t be tracking macros and keeping to 30 net grams or less on daily basis.
+ I plan to still eat mostly Keto/Paleo type meals, because that’s when I feel best, but will give myself some wiggle room a few times a week for things like sushi, quinoa or sweet potato.  

one-piece swimsuit with a lace-up back | Love, Lenore

If you’re still reading, then you’re pretty darn amazing and I appreciate you sticking it out through the entire post! I really did see amazing results with my Keto experiment, but I do want to include the disclaimer that there’s not one perfect way of eating and that this may not be the best fit for you! Different things work better for different people - we all have different DNA, weaknesses and strengths. If you are experiencing some health issues, I do encourage you to research the holistic/nutrition-based route! So many health concerns can be resolved through diet changes.

I tried to think of everything, but inevitably missed something, so if you have a question please don’t hesitate to ask! If you’ve tried Keto, I would love to hear your experience! Also, are there any wellness topics you’d like to read about next?

PS - my swimsuit can be found here (c/o | it's true-to-size and the quality is excellent)
Photos are by Jo Johnson Photo  

3 Things Making me Feel More Inspired
6.06.2018

summer outfit | emerald green top

As more of a right-brain kinda gal, feeling inspired has always been crucial to my happiness! But with anything in life, it ebbs and flows. However, there's nothing quite like the high of getting some fresh inspiration. I thought I would share 3 things that are inspiring me at this moment...

eyelet crop top + woven bag
summer crop top | Love, Lenore
top (c/o)  |  skirt (under $50! | c/o)  |  similar bag  |  shoes  |  hoop earrings  |  necklace

I've only listened to a few episodes so far, but I adore Jenna Kutcher's positive outlook on life! This podcast is a balanced blend between inspiration and practical life application. If you're an influencer or want to be an entrepreneur (or already are!), you should definitely give it a listen! I've already gotten some fresh ideas for social media strategies and blog content.

A Change of Scenery
Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the blog/Instagram world and the comparison game that I forget that I actually get to travel a lot compared to most people. I will certainly never take this for granted and wish I could travel more, because it inspires me like nothing else! I love Missouri, but sometimes getting out and seeing something different is the best medicine for me. I'm currently spending a week in Austin, Texas and the scenery, architecture, food scene, friendly people, and overall good vibes are giving me all sorts of inspiration! It's quickly becoming one of my favorite places!

Girl Time with my Best Friend
Related to the trip mentioned above; my best friend Jo and I are spending the week together, and we are having the best time! From girl talk to future dreams and business ideas to creating fresh content, I'm feeling all kinds of inspired. We're definitely a good contrast of personality traits, so we can always bounce ideas off of each other and brainstorm like no other!


April/May Loves
6.01.2018

Pretty summer things | Love, Lenore

I've been slacking in this department a bit, but I'm excited to be back at it. I love collecting my favorite things for you guys!

Spring/Summer Beauty Finds
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen (SPF 40). I’ve recommended this to so many girls already, because it’s truly fantastic. It’s clear. It’s non-greasy. And it works! I wore it every day of our California trip under my makeup, and even though we were outside a lot (including a long hike and a full day at the zoo) I never got remotely burnt on my face. Remember, daily SPF is the easiest and best way to prevent aging (and skin cancer)!

OGX Dry Shampoo. I picked this up at Walgreens after my friend Bri tried the brand, and I’m loving it! It smells amazing, and makes my second and third day roots look great (without giving them a nasty texture). I actually re-purchased this week so I won’t run out!

Not Your Mother’s 10-in-1 Hair Perfector. My sister told me about this, and it’s a great multi-tasking leave-in spray that doesn’t break the bank. I spray then comb through damp hair and my hair has felt super healthy lately. I love Not Your Mother’s products!

Fashion Additions
White mules by Dolce Vita. I was sold when I saw the wrapped heel. So chic! And they’re really comfortable!

Printed scarves. I can't get enough of the hair scarf look! I also love to tie little scarves on my bags. I ordered this hair scarf and love this super chic scarf as well.

Quay Australia Lulu sunglasses. Not only do they share a name with my fur daughter, but they're absolutely adorable and flattering, and the quality is great. They're also on sale!

Healthy Snacks
Veggies dipped in guacamole. As some of you know, I've been eating Keto lately, which means my hummus addiction had to go. However, in an effort to eat more avocado, I started making small batches of guacamole to dip my veggies in, and it's a surprisingly good combo! My favorite to dip is bell pepper slices, although cucumber, cherry tomatoes and carrot chips works great as well.

String cheese. I didn't eat dairy for a few months, so when I decided to try an entirely new eating plan (trying to figure out what works for my skin!), I added cheese back in. I can't tell you how happy this has made me! String cheese has become my favorite snack, and I've had at least one a day lately.

Reads
"'Ma chérie, Il faut se faire la vie belle,' is the soundtrack of my every day. It means, 'My darling, you have to create a beautiful life (no one will do it for you).' Ever since I was a little girl, my grandmother always repeated this line to me. She’d recite this quote as she was watering her flowers, pondering life, decorating her house, baking a cake, setting a table, wrapping a present or recognizing beauty in the world. Her quote has taught me to take matters into my own hands. How can I make a situation more beautiful? Meaningful? Harmonious? How can I turn negativity into positivity? Indeed, so much of my life has flourished because of this way of thinking. It’s incredible how much our thoughts dictate the way we see and react to the world around us. 'Ma chérie, il faut se faire la vie belle!'" - excerpt from this home tour with Alex Noiret.

3 Things I Drink Daily for Better Health
5.29.2018

3 Things I Drink Daily for Better Health | Love, Lenore
top  |  jeans  |  my favorite candle
for your own Lulu, visit your local animal shelter, favorite rescue organization, or search Petfinder (how we found Lu!) 💕

Lately I'm giving into my inner hippie and inner wanna-be nutritionist and fully embracing the holistic lifestyle. Give me allllll the wellness tips lately -- I can't get enough! With my renewed commitment to wellness, I've getting into some really positive daily habits, and one of them is mixing in some drinks (beyond just water) that are great for health! Here are 3 things I'm drinking [pretty much] every day right now...

why I drink warm water with lemon every morning | Love, Lenore

01 | hot water with lemon
This is nothing new and I've seen tips to drink this every morning at least 100 times. But I'm finally doing it! Reason one: when you wake up in the morning you're a bit dehydrated. Your body has been working throughout the night without taking in hydration.  So definitely make it a habit to drink some form of water first thing in the morning. Reason two: warm water, especially first thing in the morning, helps to flush the digestive system (never a bad thing). Reason three: lemon also helps to detox the body, so paired with warm water you're getting a nice little flush. Reason four: this detox + the vitamin c in the lemon are great for skin (vitamin c helps to boost collagen production)! 

Drinking this first thing in the morning while I have my quiet time with the pups has turned into such a relaxing ritual for me! Anything that helps me start my day stress-free is such a bonus. I've found an easy way to make my daily warm lemon water. Once a week or so I slice up a lemon and store the slices in a tub in the fridge. Each morning I grab a mug, plop in a slice of lemon, and pour hot water over it. After it steeps and cools for a couple of minute I remove my lemon slice and it's ready to go! Quick tip: We don't drink coffee, so I just use my Keurig for quick hot water. It makes this process so quick in the mornings!

02 | liquid chlorophyll
I've written about liquid chlorophyll before, but I've recently started drinking it daily again! Chlorophyll is not to be confused with chloroform haha. Chlorophyll is part of the photosynthesis process in plants and is one of the nutrients found in green, leafy vegetables. Some of its benefits include cleansing/detoxing, healing, cell renewal, and helping with iron levels, redness, inflammation and more! Heck. Yes. I simply add a teaspoon or so to a glass of water at lunchtime every day. It helps to change things up from my regular water, and I like that I'm getting extra health benefits. I buy this brand from a local health food store, but there are lots of places to order online.

03 | herbal teas
My recent nighttime routine is to wind down with a cup of hot herbal tea. It's so so relaxing, and there are health benefits too! I alternate between peppermint tea (aids with digestion, so is great to drink between dinner and bed) and dandelion root tea (in a nutshell: aids liver function so that it expels toxins before they make it to our skin). If I want an extra skin boost, I'll stir in a tablespoon of collagen powder.

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Let me know if you liked this post, and if you have requests for other wellness topics! I'll be sharing my experience with my Keto-ish reset soon!  

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