Vacation Recap: LOS ANGELES

Hey friends! I’m finally here to recap my fabulous trip to LA for the FounderMade Consumer Discovery Show 2018. My friend Sari (@eatwellwithsari) and I had the BEST trip and I can’t wait to share all of the amazing food and fun we had. Let’s just say if Metro Detroit had eats like LA, everyone except my bank account would be happy. [Only kidding, but whenever Pressed Juicery decides to open up in the area, I’ll be completely satisfied]


As someone who has only ever explored north and south of LA, I can now officially say that Los Angeles is just as worth traveling to. An incredible amount of healthy eats, the people are just fabulous, and the palm trees aren’t so bad either ;)

We stayed in an Air B&B in Venice with the sweetest family (if you follow me on IG, you saw they had the CUTEST dogs – does it get any better than that?). It was the perfect distance away from the CDS conference as well as shopping and eats on Abbott Kinney Blvd. Once you’re through with this list, you’ll probably wonder how 2 girls managed to eat at THAT many places in a matter of days, but what can I say? We’re EXCEPTIONAL foodies.

EATS:

Great White - Venice. I ordered the harvest bowl which had ancient grains, turmeric roasted cauliflower, sweet potato, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and this fabulous miso vinaigrette. I topped it with a poached egg for extra protein. Sari got the salmon mezze bowl, which was equally as incredible. The aesthetic in the restaurant was 12/10, I mean look at these tables.

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Café Demitasse - Santa Monica. They read my mind with these coffee cups and this cold brew with almond milk was fabulous. They also had a cute little patio outdoors

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Gjelina - Venice. A MUST, but definitely make a reservation. The place is typically packed – and for very good reason. Sari and I met up with a couple other blogger friends, Hannah (@hannah.guthman) and Jordan (@dancing.for.donuts). The restaurant is small plates that you can share perfectly family style. We ordered beets, cauliflower, Japanese sweet potato, vegan pozole, the organic half chicken, and a pizza with caramelized onion, arugula, and goat cheese. The chicken was, without a doubt, the best chicken I’ve ever eaten.

Pressed Freeze - Venice. Y’all. I had my VERY FIRST Pressed experience. And yes, it’s worth the hype and met every single expectation I had. If you’re not familiar, it’s a plant-based soft serve. I had the coffee and chocolate flavor (because who can pick one) topped with coconut shreds, fresh strawberries, and slivered almonds.

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Blue Bottle - Culver City was the BEST pour over coffee I’ve ever had and Sao Acai some amazing smoothie bowls. These were both in The Platform (where we went to SoulCycle), which also has a VanLeeuwen ice cream shop, Sweet Green, and Boba… if only we had unlimited time and room in our stomachs. The acai bowl was great and I loved that you could order with unsweetened acai, but we did have to wait a while (it was busy and not very well staffed). But I mean, look at it…

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Plant Food + Wine - Venice. We had an INCREDIBLE dinner here hosted by Daiya. Here’s a look at the menu… Hands down my favorite thing was the heirloom tomato and zucchini lasagna. The macadamia ricotta ACTUALLY tasted like ricotta. I’m not sure how they did it, but bravo. The coconut cream pie was also outstanding.

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The Rose Café - Venice. Y’all – you know when a restaurant does even a simple salad well, you’re in good hands. It’s definitely $$, but if you’re looking to splurge on quality food and service, this is your scene. Did I mention it had the CUTEST little courtyard? It was the same small plates style so we shared the burrata (this was my favorite), brussels sprouts, cauliflower, the lettuces, and the charred octopus. I had never even considered octopus, but Sari talked me into it, and it was SO tasty. We also enjoyed dessert (because duh) and they were both so light and refreshing and perfectly done.

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Kreation Kafe - Venice. They have a plethora of juices and health on-the-go eats, anyone could find something to enjoy here. We went here twice for coffee (the almond milk latte was fab) and also enjoyed a create-your-own smoothie and avo toast.

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Salt & Straw - Venice. As a self-proclaimed ice cream aficionado, I can without doubt say this was the BEST ice cream I’ve ever had. My three favorite flavors I tried were: almond brittle w/ salted ganache, avocado and oaxacan fudge, and honey lavender. I’ll keep dreaming about it until I go back.

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True Food Kitchen - Santa Monica. Well-deserving of every good word you hear about it. The cauliflower with harissa sauce was to die for, the Tuscan kale salad was perfect, and the butternut squash should definitely be converted from a seasonal item to a full-time member. Best pizza I think I’ve ever had AND it was vegan and gluten free (again, with the vegan ricotta… these people are truly magicians in the kitchen).

Malibu Farm Café - Malibu. A quick drive down the coast and also WELL worth it. Fabulous views, great hikes nearby, and I had a delicious egg scramble with smoked salmon. Next time I find myself in Southern CA, I’ll definitely be here for dinner.

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OKAY so now that you think we didn’t have time for anything but eating… you’re pretty much correct. We stayed PLENTY active, though, I promise. The great thing about where we stayed was that we were able to walk nearly everywhere.

Corral Canyon - Malibu. It’s not a super challenging hike, but you definitely work up a sweat and I was 100% sore the next day. The views from the top were breathtaking and I instantly felt at peace.

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SoulCycle - Culver City. This is just a must for me any time I find myself in a city with a studio. If you’ve never been to s SoulCycle class, I cannot recommend it enough. I’ve never experienced a workout like it. It’s indescribable.

Erewhon Market (can I get an AMEN). This place is not underrated and it is just as beautiful as I imagined. The breakfast bar and pre-packaged food sections were full of healthy, delicious, and also beautiful option (LOOK AT THESE TOASTS). Had to stop in and get some Hu Kitchen chocolate, a power salad, wild caught salmon, and even some GF + vegan chocolate cake, that we ate for breakfast with zero shame.

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I think that’s enough for now. It’s crazy because I still feel like I only scratched the surface with places to explore and things to eat.

Did you guys enjoy reading about my experience in LA? What are some of your favorite places to explore in the area?

Let me know in the comments!

xx,

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DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COLLAGEN BANANA BREAD {gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free}

Bread has always kind of been my thing, but there’s something about banana bread that’s even better. I think because it’s so easy to play around with, adding different ingredients and ways to spice it up. I’m not gonna lie, I really outdid myself with this one. It’s gluten free, full of collagen (hey protein), and also wonderfully chocolate-y ;)

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I used the new Bulletproof chocolate collagen protein collagen protein and it turned out FABULOUS. Added the perfect cocoa flavor without any artificial flavors, sugars, and even better? No whey. It’s the perfect comfort food as these temps come down here in the midwest — I can’t wait for you guys to try!


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Double Chocolate Collagen Banana Bread

Gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free, protein packed, chocolate-y banana bread.

Makes: 1 loaf

Prep time:

Cook time:

Ingredients:
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 c creamy peanut butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 c coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ c almond flour
  • 1/4 c tapioca flour
  • 2 scoops Bulletproof chocolate collagen protein
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 dark chocolate chips

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a medium loaf pan with coconut oil
  2. In large bowl, combine the bananas, eggs, peanut butter, coconut sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. In separate bowl, combine almond flour, tapioca flour, collagen, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Gently stir the dry mixture into the wet ingredients until combined. Fold in half the chocolate chips, leaving the rest to sprinkle on top.
  4. Transfer mix to prepared loaf pan. Top with remaining chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool completely before slicing. Store leftovers in refrigerator for up to 4 days. Enjoy!

3 DAY PREVIEW: InHerStrength 6 Week Guide

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Rumors are true – it’s finally here. When I first started this journey, I was the girl buying guide after guide, searching for that “perfect fit,” - no pun intended.

Enter Lindsey, circa 2014: I was hesitant to try BBG, but it seemed like everyone else was doing it, not to mention seeing great results, so I purchased. The problem? I made it a solid two weeks before I lost interest and fell off track. I became discouraged and blamed myself for lack of self-discipline. And maybe SOME of it was lack of discipline – but the truth is, if you’re forcing yourself to do workouts that you don’t enjoy, you’re missing the point of working out at all. I can’t tell you how many times I started BBG with the intention of finishing, only to become frustrated and quit each time.

I explored what seemed like every other “fit girl” guide out there. I won’t even tell you how much money I spent. I did find some success with guides that allowed me to fall in love with weight-based workout. Even so, I still felt as if something were missing.

The truth is, if you’re forcing yourself to do workouts that you don’t enjoy, you’re missing the point of working out at all

It wasn’t until earlier this year that I realized WHY I felt this way. The more I research and the more I devote to making this a lifestyle, the more I realize that physical health is only part of it. What about mental health? Emotional health? Spiritual health? Why was I only encouraged to focus on my physical gains and not my mental ones?

And what about food? How was I supposed to know what to eat? There was so much conflicting evidence on Instagram. Do I eat fruit or is it too high in sugar? Do I eat the avocado or is it too high in saturated fat? Is it okay to count calories if I’m discounting nutrients? Social media has such a way of overcomplicating what our ancestors have known for a long time: eat real food.

So then I thought: what if instead of constantly focusing on trying to change our bodies, we focused on truly taking care of our bodies? What if there was a guide that incorporated body, mind, and soul?

What if instead of constantly focusing on trying to change our bodies, we focused on truly taking care of our bodies

That’s why I created the InHerStrength Guide. The focus is change, yes. But tapping into how you’re feeling, how you’re fueling, and how you’re finding happiness at every step in your wellness journey. HOW?


  • Workouts that ANYONE can do: whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been working out for years

  • Both a gym version and a home version available

  • Video demonstrations of exercises so that you feel comfortable even if you’ve never stepped foot in a gym before

  • Meal prep ideas that incorporate REAL, simple recipes

  • Resources created to keep your mental health in check: weekly reflection and daily wellness pages

  • Templates to help keep you on track: weekly planner and meal planner

  • Accountability group on Facebook for support, encouragement, recipes, and lots of new friends

  • Provided at an extremely affordable cost (just $5/week!)


Think you might be interested? Here’s a 3 day preview of the guide. I’ll let you make the decision for yourself… but I hope that you find this as helpful as I intend it to be.

Let’s embrace all of our strengths together, not just the physical ones.

xx,

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Conquering "Gymtimidation"

Gymtimidation. It’s totally a real thing. I know because I’ve been there. You decide to purchase a new guide and you’re looking through it ready to hit the weights first thing the next day, only to wake up in the morning with a list of excuses to stay home.

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I used to have incredibly bad anxiety surrounding the gym. At first, I just didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I’d want to use the machines, but the thought of looking like a fool kept me from doing so. Then, even when I felt confident in what I was doing, I’d stress out about being the only girl in the free weights section. I’m not going to lie, to this day a full gym makes me a bit edgy. And the thought of trying out a new exercise and people realizing I don’t have a clue what I’m doing is a little bit daunting. But I’m here to tell you that it is possible to defeat this big, bad gymtimidation. I’m also here to tell you that everyone has been in your shoes at one point or another. I’ve learned little tips and tricks that allow me to combat my anxiety surrounding the gym and even embrace being the only female in a sea of testosterone.

  1. Time it right. There is nothing worse than getting to the gym and not being able to find a single area of solitude in the entire dang place. Get to know the gym and the “peak hours", and plan accordingly. This is honestly the #1 reason I started going to the gym at 5:30 AM. Less people = Happy Lindsey.

  2. Go in with a plan. This is one of the best pieces of advice I can offer. When I first started working out, not only would I plan the workout the night before, but I would watch youtube videos of IG accounts to learn exactly how to execute different moves.

  3. Find an area of the gym that isn’t busy. If you’re not comfortable with navigating machines yet, grab a couple pairs of dumbbells, a kettlebell, anything… and find a quiet corner of the gym where you can just do your thing.

  4. Make a bombass playlist. Excuse my language, but DO IT. Find songs that make you happy and empower you to absolutely crush your workout. When all else fails, Beyoncé [caution: this may lead to dance breaks during your rest periods — just go with it]

  5. Buy an outfit you feel amazing in. Nothing makes me want to get out of bed in the morning quite like the chance to show off a new workout set. And no, you don’t have to have top-of-the-line clothes to workout, just whatever makes you feel like the super babe you are.

  6. Put a hat on. I used to never understand how or why people worked out with a hat on, but now I don’t know how I ever worked out without one. It’s like you disappear from the world and everyone else disappears around you. Best. Feeling. Ever.

  7. Bring a friend for support. Because friends make everything better. And it offers some peace of mind when you have someone to talk to and also watch your form.

  8. Have a trainer show you around. This. Is So. Underrated. The trainers who work there, work there for a reason. Every gym has someone to show you around if you just ask. And when you feel comfortable navigating different machines, SO much of that gymtimidation goes away.

  9. Don’t compare yourself to other people. I know it’s hard not to. The reality is that everyone has been a beginner and 99.99999% of the time it’s all in your head that people are watching what you’re doing. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

  10. Remember your WHY. Every time you walk into that gym or wake up and get ready to go to the gym, remind yourself WHY you’re doing this in the first place. Acknowledge your fear, conquer your fear and make yourself proud. There is no better feeling than that.

I genuinely hope that these tips are helpful. Do you have any tricks for getting past fear and anxiety around the gym? I’d love to hear ‘em!

xx,

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25 Lessons I've Learned in 25 Years

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Hi friends! Long time no talk. I know, it's been a crazy long time since I've sat down to write anything. It's not for lack of effort, but between applying to PA schools and then my accident (that's a separate blog post in itself) and just life in general, I stopped making the time for it. The truth is I have always loved writing and it's something that I'm incredibly passionate about, but I haven't been making it a priority. So here's my promise, to you and to myself, to take it off the back burner and do what I love.

The last few months I've spent an incredible amount of time in reflection. On where I am, where I've been, and where I'm going. And with turning a new page and starting my 26th trip around the sun, I wanted to take the time to share these thoughts with you. Here's 25 things I've learned in 25 years of life:


1. There is no timeline for your life. It doesn't matter where you think you should be. It doesn't matter what your friends are doing. Getting married, buying a home, having kids -- do it when you're ready, or not at all. Learn to appreciate the present moment.

2. Sometimes your plan B is God's plan A. I've spent a lot of Sundays in church. And in the last year, many of those with Pastor Steven Furtick. To this day, nothing has hit me harder than these words. Whatever you think your plan is supposed to be, let that go. Everything will work out just as it is supposed to.

3. Social media is a highlight reel, not real life. I know it's easier said than done, but do not get caught up in it. There is always life "behind-the-scenes" you will never see.

4. Health is more important than looks. And the presence of abs doesn't equate to being healthy. The way you eat matters. The way you stay active matters. The way you speak about yourself matters. Your body is the only one you'll ever get. IT is your temple. Treat it that way.

5. Only follow people on social media that make you feel good about yourself. I only wish I had learned this sooner. Life is way too short to keep following people that don't improve your life and your well-being. Hit the unfollow button. It's such a relief.

6. You will drift away from friends. That's okay. It doesn't mean you're a bad person. It doesn't mean they're bad people. IT's just a part of growing up that we have to accept.

7. Do the things that scare you. Test your limits. Put yourself out there. So many of my largest successes have come from operating outside my comfort zone.

8. Rejection is one of the best ways to learn about yourself. Failure can lead to the most fulfilling place. Ever been kicked down to be helped back up to be kicked down again? Me too. If someone tells you you're not good enough, prove them wrong. Embrace rejection, learn from it, and move on.

9. It's okay to admit you don't know what you're doing. Does anybody really know what they're doing?

10. Someone else's success does not diminish yours. The world does not have a limit on success stories. Stop comparing yourself to others and honor your individuality.

11. We accept the love we think we deserve. And I promise you, you deserve the best. No matter what. Anyone that makes you feel otherwise doesn't deserve to be in your life.

12. It's never too late to change the path you're on. I don't care if you're 18, 35, or 60. I once had a patient who decided to get her BSN at 56-years-old after having a reception position for 30 years. She told me she's never been happier.

13. Not everything you lose is a loss. Not everyone you lose is a loss. I once tweeted this and it was up there with my most liked tweet. Clearly it's a valuable life lesson. 

14. My parents are actually cool. And usually right. Thanks mom and dad for putting up with me before realizing this.

15. Even the worst heartbreaks will pass. If you're here right now and you're doubting that it will ever get better. I'm living proof that it can and it will.

16. Puppies and babies make everything better. This is just science.

17. Always tell the people you love you love them. Even if you're angry. Tomorrow is never guaranteed.

18. There's no harm in asking the waiter for recommendations. I don't know why I used to be so embarrassed to do this. They know the menu better than anybody. And if you're anything like me when it comes to decision making, the pressure it removes is life-changing.

19. Taking time for yourself is not selfish. Get that massage. Stay in on a Friday night. Read a good book. Take a long walk. Spend time with yourself. Appreciate yourself. Besides, how can you truly give your all to others if you don't do that for yourself as well?

20. Take lots of pictures, but know when to put the phone away. A picture of a sunset will never compare to living in that moment. Give your full attention to the sounds, the sights, the smells. Remember the way those made you feel.

21. Coffee is good. Too much coffee is not. Know when to opt for decaf.

22. You can say no. People will likely even respect you for it. There's no sense in spreading yourself too thin just to be a people-pleaser. In the long run, you'll end up exhausted: physically, emotionally, mentally. That's no good for anybody.

23. "Days go slow and years go fast. And every breath's a gift, the first one to the last." Thanks to my main man Luke Bryan for that one.

24. A smile can make all the difference. You never know what someone else is going through. Be kind. Smile at strangers.

25. Follow your dream every single day. There's nothing cliché about dreaming. You really can do anything you set your mind to.


Hope you enjoyed this! We'll talk soon.

xx,

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