beauty

Spotlight on the Fabulous Lauren Bender

Who is Lauren Bender? Where do you live? 

I’m a beachy blonde 23-year-old girl with a passion for health and wellness. I have an entrepreneurial spirit, crave adventure and love connecting with likeminded people. I’m from South Florida and currently live in my quaint beach town of Palm Beach Gardens.

What do you do? 

WHAT DON’T I DO?! I like to keep my life busy – the bigger the challenge, the better! I’m a model, workout fanatic and creator. I’m in the works of starting my own brand (lots of exciting things to come), modeling, the CEO of my Rodan and Fields team (BEST skincare, changed my life), getting my Pilates / Megaformer certification, and working in the business department of my dad’s nonprofit, Place of Hope.

What is a typical Tuesday like for you from sun up to sun down? What are you eating? Drinking? Doing?

Tuesdays get me motivated. I like to plan out my week the Sunday before, so I know what to get prepared for. My alarm goes off at 6:50 am and I tiredly put my slippers on. I normally jump in the shower, throw on my robe, and head straight to my Nespresso machine. I add collagen peptides and cinnamon to my Italian cappuccino. I love slow mornings, being able to sip on my coffee and read my devotions. Once I’m ready to go, I grab a yummy Whole Foods granola bar, a glass bottle of water and head to Place of Hope. I make sure to drink A TON of water throughout the day… like I flood my body with it. I like to stay hydrated and energized throughout the day to keep focused and have motivation to workout later. I don’t like to snack either, which I think is a major struggle for some people. I head home for lunch and normally make some organic bone broth, so yummy. During my lunch break, I like to get caught up on emails, follow up with people, and brainstorm my next project. I’m constantly working, but I love it! I always make afternoon hot tea with a teaspoon of ashwagandha (stress reliever, natural energizer and mind clearer). Right before I workout around 6:15 I eat a pre-workout snack – been loving a spoonful of almond butter lately. I workout at Core Evolution (Megaformer / Lagree Fitness workout – killer toning and cardio!) for an hour and normally head to my favorite vegan restaurant, Christopher’s Kitchen. My go-to meal there is their macro kale salad – quinoa, kale, chickpeas, cucumber, sunflower sprouts, beet, carrot, avocado, and cashew cheese. After a long, productive day, I put my favorite pj’s on and enjoy the rest of the night with my family. I jump in bed around 10pm (or earlier) with a cup of citrus chamomile hot tea, turn on my Spotify sleep station, and get ready for the next day.

What is a typical Saturday night for you?

Totally depends on what mood I’m in! If I don’t have any travel plans, I love finding the best local spots to hang at. I probably spent the day at the beach or on the boat, so I keep it pretty low key at night to catch up on rest. Currently loving The Cooper, a local farm-to-table restaurant with a seasonal menu and unique drinks. I’m either with a group of friends or at dinner with my boyfriend, so my Saturday nights always keep me entertained. I know my body, and I can’t function without sleep. So, I like to turn in at a decent hour, and wake up Sunday morning and head to yoga or Core Evolution.

What’s your workout routine? 

If I’m not at Core Evolution, I workout at the gym with the boys. If it’s leg day, we start with weighted lunges and I like to superset them with banded air squats. We stick to 4 sets of 12 reps for every exercise. We do about 5 different leg workouts and finish with 10 minutes of abs and 10 minutes in the sauna. On other days we workout triceps and chest, biceps and back and finish with 15-20 minutes of cardio. KILLLLER BABY!

Do you stick to a pretty strict diet?  What are some of your splurges?  Any healthy snacks or recipes you can share with us?

I am so against “strict diets” – we weren’t made to be scared of what we eat! I am used to and actually love eating healthy, so it’s easy for me thankfully. I am so aware of what goes into my body, I don’t want to flood it with crap. I have never counted calories or not eaten something because of a strict diet. I simply eat clean because I want to!

If I do splurge, like I did tonight, I have vegan ice cream from Christopher’s Kitchen topped with organic vanilla cookies. I have never had anything so good in my life!

I love finding new healthy snacks! My new favorite thing is going to the Whole Foods protein / granola bar section and picking out different individual bars. You can’t go wrong! Just pick what flavors you’re craving and grab a few for the week ahead. I also love snacking on goji berries and currants – simple but so good for you. Organic kale chips are so so yummy too. I put them in the oven at low broil with olive oil or coconut oil (you choose), pepper, garlic powder, Himalayan pink salt, and hot pepper flakes.

How would you describe your style? You always look so chic! Are you a bargain shopper or labels all the way?

Changes on a daily basis! I don’t think I can describe it with just one adjective. My eye is always drawn to all different styles! I love looking casual and comfortable in my worn out converse, ripped jeans, and white V-neck. I also love grabbing my Prada heels and black dress and heading to The Breakers for a cocktail. Then again, you can always find me in a bikini!

I am totally a bargain shopper. I’ll splurge here and there on a good pair of shoes or a nice bag, but love heading to TJ Maxx and exploring their fun shoes, accessories and tops! A good family friend also owns a consignment shop in West Palm Beach, so I’ll go to City Girl consignment for exclusive finds with a story behind them.

Do you read a lot of blogs?  Food? Fashion? What are some of your favorites?

I am obsessed with podcasts lately! My favorite is The Balanced Blonde. I love how real she is, it’s so refreshing. She blogs about life, health, travel and so much more. I have also been following Gold Fish Kiss for years, and met Rebekah at Miami Swim Week – such a sweet human with a happy soul! Her blog is full of tropical inspiration, and makes me want to be on an island with my favorite bikini. Steph Claire Smith is my IDOL. She’s an Australian babe who models, does kick ass workouts, and has her own recipe and workout books. All these girls are so inspiring – but I tend to drift towards more food, fitness, and health blogs. I go to some fashion blogs like Rocky Barnes, Sincerely Jules, and Jacqueline Mikuta for some inspiration on what to wear.

Beach or pool?

Beach – salt water cures everything!

Flats or heels?

Converse ;)

Drive or walk?

Walk – fresh air!

Smoothie or milkshake?

Smoothie no doubt – love making sweet smoothies that taste like healthy milkshakes too!

Steak or fish?

Fish – all about blackened Mahi

Is there anything else you can share with us?  Anything else you’re passionate about and want the world to know?  

I’m really excited about concentrating on getting out of my comfort zone and exploring. I’m finally making an effort to focus on my wellbeing and happiness. I think it is so important to take care of yourself spiritually, mentally and physically. I’m starting to do some soul searching through traveling, journaling, working out and relationships. I’ve become a huge advocate for living a balanced and pure life.

What’s next for you?  Where will you be in one year?  Three years?

Praying for amazing things in the future and trusting God and His timing! I would love to be modeling more and more a year from now. I truly have a passion for being in front of the camera. I know I will always be building strong relationships with people, no matter where life takes me. My goal is to travel back to Italy within the next 3 years to visit my family again in Milan, Sorrento, and Positano. I am up for anything that gets thrown my way, and enthusiastic for this journey of life!

 

I mean, I am obsessed with this girl!  Follow her on insta and expect <more> AMAZING things from her in the coming months!

Thanks again Lauren for opening your world to us!

xx,

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This is Starting to Get Personal…

But, I can’t help it.  I am sharing this with you because I wish SOMEONE had shared it with me YEARS ago.

Three words:

Laser. Hair. Removal.

Not one to ask for excess pain for no reason, I didn’t consider myself a candidate for LHR and continued to get monthly waxes or if those didn’t line up with my bikini/vacation/skin baring schedule I would go back to shaving and then wait to start a new rhythm of waxing again. The cycle was seriously and literally so irritating to me and my skin.  I wanted a solution that I didn’t even have to think about.

SIDENOTE: Not everyone wants to be hairless and that’s great…BUT THIS POST IS NOT FOR YOU!

I was getting a peel at the Center for Healthy Skin in Lynchburg when Lisa, the fabulous (and I mean FABULOUS) aesthetician and I began to chat about LHR. She made it seem like a no brainer. I am not new to lasers, I get my face lasered a few times a year because of this pesky discoloration I have always had in adulthood.

Anywho, LHR was cheap (considering what I pay for waxes, razors, recovery cream, etc), Lisa told me it was nearly painless, and it would take about 4-5 sessions to be HAIR FREE.  One caveat, every few months there may be a tiny bit of maintenance but I can handle that.  I was so excited! I wanted to rip my pants off and get started right there.

Unfortunately she made me stay clothed and wait a week but when I returned she applied some numbing cream to the area and had me wait about ten minutes.

Oh, one of the best parts of this treatment is you get to wear these fun shades AND play games on your phone (Lisa thought it would help distract me). So I was instagramming, slaying in WWF, and online shopping in the less than twenty minutes it took her to LASER me.  Session one, complete success.  (I took this selfie so y’all would feel like you were there with me, but didn’t have to be. You’re welcome.)

It didn’t hurt, I had no weirdness or redness the next day, and the area was very smooth.

UPDATE:


Session two
…even easier and seemed to go by faster than the first session. Zero irritation.  One month til session three. Will report those results post treatment!

Session three…I am stretching out about two months before my next and likely, last session! Also, I’m telling everyone I know who will listen about LHR. I am not getting a deal or free treatment because of this post, I just really am obsessed and thrilled with my results!  If you feel like I was feeling and want a more permanent solution, I did the research for you. DO IT!

GAMECHANGER!

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Should You Be Taking A Collagen Peptide?

In case you haven’t heard me mention recently I AM NOT AN EXPERT.  On ANYTHING really, except maybe my kid. But I am a health enthusiast, exercise hobbyist, avid researcher and a superfood/health product/youth serum junkie.  For months I heard friends talking about taking collagen.  But I was pregnant.  Then I was breastfeeding.  Then I forgot about it.  Well I was recently reminded by a friend on Instagram and decided to try the one that EVERYONE kept talking about.

Vital Proteins kept coming up in my research and conversations with friends who loved the stuff and were already addicted.  In my own hunt for information I liked what I saw about VP.  Specifically, that it is made from pasture raised, grassfed cows and is NON-GMO. It’s also whole 30 approved for my many friends who I know love this plan.

But why?  What’s the deal?  Do you need a collagen supplement?  I was inspired first that it improves joint health but I’m not going to lie, I was also excited that it also promotes youthful skin, healthier hair, and stronger nails.  Win/Win.  I love it when that happens.

Photo: Amazon

 

I ordered a tub here (it’s huge and lasts a long time) and decided to start by adding two scoops to my morning tea. It dissolves totally, tastes like nothing, and makes me feel strong and ready for the day. Or maybe that’s a placebo effect, but either way, I dig it. Vital Proteins advertises that it dissolves in cold liquids but I can’t really agree with that.  I tried it in cool water, a housemade green juice, and a suja juice and it got gummy and clear and solid.  It didn’t taste gross but it was a weird consistency and I don’t need that in the morning.  I have a baby, y’all.  I deal with enough weird consistencies!

Photo:Amazon

 

I can say after about six weeks of using Vital Proteins I feel like my skin is brighter and my nails are stronger. Not sure if much is happening with my hair, that would take a miracle I do believe. A combination of this, chlorella, and Dirty Lemon are making me really like my skin again, after years of HATING it.

Do some research on your own but as always, I like to share with you guys what I’m drinking, applying, shooting, tasting, testing, and practicing.  Would love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks!

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P.S. Featured Image from Amazon.Com.

What on Earth is Chlorella? (No, Really, What is It?)

OK, bear with me here friends.

Chlorella is blue green algae and it is also my current favorite superfood.  I started reading about it a while back and just decided to go for it.  I have a shot every morning. I know, I know. But it really isn’t bad and the benefits outweigh the scary color and interesting taste.

I have included several links here for you to read yourself but here are a few highlights:

  1. Chlorella benefits the entire body by supporting healthy hormonal function, promoting cardiovascular health, helping to negate the effects of chemotherapy and radiation, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and aiding in the detoxification of our bodies. It also promotes weight loss and MAKES YOU LOOK YOUNGERDr. Axe
  2. Chlorella is used for preventing cancer, reducing radiation treatment side effects, stimulating the immune system, improving response to flu vaccine, increasing white blood cell counts (especially in people with HIV infection or cancer), preventing colds, protecting the body against toxic metals such as lead and mercury, and slowing the aging processWeb MD
  3. Helps keep the immune system working in sound condition. May boost brain and heart health. May reduce body aches and pains. Can support the look and health of skin. May support eye health. May ease digestion and bowel movements. Helps keeps your liver healthyCan support a healthy blood sugar. May support an alert and sharp mind. Promotes joint health. –Sun Chlorella

I order microingredients brand here in powdered form from Amazon.  Each morning I mix a teaspoon of chlorella with about two tablespoons of cold pressed coconut water (this stuff is so good on its own too FYI).  Shake it up in a clean baby food jar (or whatever you have lying around) and bottoms up! It sort of “sticks” to the sides sometimes so I loosen the remainder up with water and take the rest down the hatch (like a boss).

photo: Amazon

I used to get sore hands and even have a little bit of a twitch in my hands at times and I think the healing power in chlorella has helped vastly.  I also think it has helped clear my skin. And it’s easy!  One shot and boom, you’re on your way to better health.

Try it and let me know what you think!

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PS Featured Image from Collective Evolution.  Learn more about them here.

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