summer

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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Kiss My Face Sunscreen…A Review and a GIVEAWAY!

Have you guys read this hilarious post by Sarah Kallies about parenting and sunscreen?  Well, please do. It will cause belly aching laughter and resonate so true.  We are all just doing our best, right?

When perusing the sunscreen aisle on any given day at any given store, it is overwhelming to say the least.  Do we want zinc or do we not want zinc? What is it about minerals again? What are those bad chemicals called? Well let me help you zero in on a product my whole family uses.

I’m not an expert but I am a huge fan of Kiss My Face sunscreen.

The Dry Oil Air Powered Spray goes on super light, it isn’t gross and sticky like so many other spray ‘screens plus it smells delicious. I used this spray Memorial Day weekend at Smith Mountain Lake and got a nice, even tan with no burning. A few facts about the product:

Facts for Kiss My Face Dry Oil Air Powered Spray® Sunscreen spf 15

  • Vegan & cruelty free
  • Provides light weight non-greasy broad spectrum protection
  • Convenient air powered, eco-friendly spray sunscreen
  • Nourishing ingredients like Vitamin E and Coconut Oil
  • Free of parabens, phthalates, & artificial fragrances
  • Light Coconut scent
  • 80 minute water resistance

Practice Safe Sun:

  • Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before heading outdoors
  • Reapply sunscreen after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating
  • Also reapply every two hours
  • Do not spray directly on face

If you’re looking for a safe baby specific ‘screen Kiss My Face makes one just for our little ones! I used the lotion on Aubrey’s arms, legs, face and actually all over his head; he never complained and his skin was completely protected. Some info about the baby sunscreen:

Kiss My Face Baby’s First Kiss Mineral Lotion Sunscreen SPF 50

  • Vegan & Cruelty Free
  • 100% mineral active ingredients
  • With moisturizing Aloe & Chamomile for your baby’s delicate skin
  • Tear Free & Fragrance Free
  • Made with non-nano minerals
  • Broad Spectrum spf 50
  • Water Resistant for 80 minutes
  • Free of parabens, oxybenzone, phthalates, gluten, & artificial fragrances

We actually keep the baby sunscreen in Aubrey’s stroller and use it on his legs daily for walks or blanket sitting or swinging…anytime we are outside in this hot Virginia sun!

You can get the dry oil spray on Amazon here, the baby lotion here, OR you can get the product AND do something good by ordering through Amazon Smile here.  What’s Amazon smile you ask?

Automatically make a donation to Beagle Freedom Project (Animal Rescue Media & Education) when purchasing Kiss My Face sunscreen and other products through Amazon Smile.  When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price: Learn more at https://smile.amazon.com.  Just do it!  What a great cause and you’re getting a fantastic product to boot!

OR WIN A FREE BOTTLE FROM ME!  Just share this post on Facebook or Twitter and tag Blondes Eat Clean!

Must be 18 years or older and US residents only please.

Happy Summer and good luck to everyone who enters the giveaway!

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P.S. Kiss My Face provided me with a free product to honestly review.

How to Keep It Clean on Vacation

Summer (aka Open Season for Rosé) is upon us; long beach days with seafood and drawn butter, naps instead of workouts, Chardonnay instead of smoothies, sunning instead of swimming, tan lines instead of TRX, the list goes on. It’s part of what we all love about summer right?  Kids are out of school, alarms don’t have to be set, life is slower. But that doesn’t mean we want to undo all of our hard work; after all it’s also bikini season.

I have a few ideas to help us all stay on track this summer.  Let me know if you have any for me to add to the list!

  1. HYDRATE– Like for real, y’all.  I cannot explain to you how much better I feel when I drink TONS of water. Throw in some cucumbers or citrus for added hydration and flavor. Note: seltzer, la croix, iced tea…these are NOT replacements for the real deal h20.  So make sure you have water in you and on you always.
  2. Exercise– I know, I know. You’re on VACATION. But I always feel SO much better when I start every day, even vacation days with some sort of sweat session. Mix it up this summer.  If you’re in a new city, try a new studio or workout. If you’re at the beach, go for a run, swim in the ocean, standup paddle board or give surfing a try. Go on a hike, walk, or just hit the gym for a bit everyday and you will thank me (especially when you’re DONE and those endorphins are flowing!)
  3. Stick to Your Healthy Routine– I needed to remember this on a recent six day trip with my husband. I came home feeling so sluggish and couldn’t understand why. I slept a lot (no baby!), ate well, and exercised regularly. I thought about it later and it must be because I broke from my usual healthy morning routine and my body got a little out of whack wondering what was going on. I start every morning with a TON of liquids. I chase a shot of chlorella and coconut water with warm lemon water mixed with cayenne and turmeric. This is followed by a big glass of ice water, hot green and dandelion tea with Vital Proteins collagen, and finally, a green smoothie with Apple Cider Vinegar.  Well, I didn’t have ANY of these on my trip and started each day with bottled water and the buffet at our resort…not my smartest move. So my advice is if you have some healthy, daily routines and rituals, bring them with you on vacation.
  4. Drink with Caution– It’s vacay, duh, you’re going to want to booze a little (lot).  But be smart about it.  Pina Coladas and Strawberry Daiquiris look so good whizzing by your pool chair on a silver platter BUT DON’T DO IT. They are full of sugar, chemicals AND alcohol and loaded with tons of crap and calories. Opt for your liquor of choice mixed with ice water and fresh citrus (detox!) or a white wine spritzer (half wine, half sparkling water). Also see rule 1, HYDRATE while you booze.
  5. Eat What’s Fresh– This is a good rule of thumb for every day life but especially on vacation.  We were in Turks and Caicos where the local delicacy is conch. Sure, you can get it fried but we chose to have conch ceviche everyday. Loaded with veggies, citrus, and conch, it was cold and refreshing and super healthy.
  6. Wear Sunscreen– I had to throw this in there. Y’all.  WEAR SUNSCREEN.  That is all.
  7. Jump right back into your fitness and clean eating routine when you get home. I used to think I needed (deserved) a day or two to ease back into the crazy of life after a vacation. Maybe that meant ordering pizza the night after we return. NO! Try to get back to “the real world” and head straight to the grocery store or farmer’s market and stock up on your healthy essentials so you have no excuses!

I only nag you because I love you!  <——-I say this to my husband, what a lucky guy!

Photo:ammothedachshund.com

Happy Summer and thanks for all the love!

xo

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DIRTYLEMON. Part Two. skin + hair

Alright, alright, alright. I’m a believer!  I loved the detox week with my dirty lemon drinks but I think the skin+hair drink is where it’s at!

Unlike the detox drink, you don’t have to worry about drinking it after a meal so it gives you plenty of flexibility. Drink it whenever you want!  The ingredients are very different. This drink starts with filtered water, cold pressed lemon juice, horsetail, red clover, cayenne and hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides. 

I know, that was my question too.

Basically, to quote the website, this crazy blend “was carefully selected to improve skin elasticity, hydration, and skin density, increase internal collagen production and offer nutrients for optimal hair health.” Read more about the benefits and the details here.

photo:dirtylemon

 

UPDATE: I am on my second case in a four week period and I am obsessed.  Ordering is so easy. YOU JUST TEXT THEM AND SAY SHIP ME A CASE.  Genius.  I will keep you posted with my progress but I am feeling great and my skin is clearing up nicely! 

xo,

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