Collagen, Who Are You? & Energizing Collagen Matcha Elixir

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I met Vital Proteins at FounderMade’s beauty summit in the beginning of this past summer. I was most definitely late to the collagen party, but oh so excited to join it. I tested one pack and felt immediate energy shifts upon consumption. I was hooked. I used my coupon code and ordered my first lil tub o’ collagen peptides. My collagen ritual entailed filtered water, two scoops of collagen, and a splash of lemon juice. Sometimes a drop of stevia or a few mint leaves for those hot NYC days.

The first visible sign –that I could give immediate credit to collagen peptides–  were my strong nails. Fresh out of a gel manicure, rock solid nails. I was fascinated. I also physically felt an energy boost upon finishing a nice glass of collagen water. My skin was at its best. But I did not know why. I soon realized I had no idea what I was consuming and needed to figure it out, pronto.

As it turns out, collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It is only logical that we see immediate effects in a clear complexion, reduced wrinkles, and taut skin- as the skin is the largest organ in the body. And as we age, the production of collagen goes down by 2% every year. Just because I am in my early twenties, does not mean I don’t benefit from the glory of collagen. I sure as hell do. Taking collagen, supports healthy hair, skin and nails, but additionally primes your bone and joint strength. When I added my collagen elixirs to my routine, I drank it in the morning prior to attending a SoulCycle class. Little did I know, collagen is a fantastic pre and post workout supplement. The support of collagen over the past six months has been integral to my active lifestyle, which includes spin, HIIT and yoga.

I am so grateful I fell into the abyss of collagen through Vital Proteins, who sources their products sustainably. VP sources their collagen from grass-fed, pasture- raised, bovine hides from Brazil. Hence, VP is not a vegan product as collagen comes from beef and fish. Vital Proteins is exceptionally transparent about the source of their products and shares as much information as possible.

In closing, I have rounded up the benefits that have made positive contributions to my well-being,

Collagen is a fantastic supplement to support an active lifestyle.

It is a rejuvenating pre and post workout supplement that strengthens joints and bones.

I am not the only active human benefitting from Collagen. Vital Proteins sponsored professional athletes with collagen for 2 years and injuries went down by 60%. I mean? Rad sauce. VP is now the Chicago Cubs official collagen partner. They have even requested a sports green to make VP’s products more applicable to athletes.

It improves gut health.

I feel better when my stomach feels better. For a young woman with extensive stomach issues, that are deeply intertwined with my anxiety and emotions, my tummy can be deeply affected by my surroundings. Improving my gut health improves my overall well being. I devote time to better understand my body, and to learn how it be strengthened. The largest part of the equation, is without a doubt, the gut. To have a high functioning, clean gut takes genuine effort and care, but it is rewarding in every other sphere.

Your nails are strong even through the trials of a gel manicure.

(hopefully a non-toxic one– if your city permits such an indulgence)

‘Nuff said. I hope I have convinced you!

Head to my instagram for a giveaway of my TWO favorite products with Vital Proteins!!

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Energizing Matcha Collagen Tonic

1 serving Vital proteins collagen peptides

1 cup Almond milk

Less than half a cup of hot water

1- 2 tsp. Matcha

½ tsp.  Cordyceps 

1 tsp. coconut oil (1 tbsp)

Optional: 1 tsp raw honey or drop of stevia

  1. Boil hot water to prep your matcha and then use a matcha (or deep) bowl, to whisk your matcha with hot water
  2. Meanwhile, heat almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat and load the rest of your ingredients in a blender or bowl if you have a frother
  3. Once your milk is warm, blend or froth until desired texture
  4. Top with loose leaf tea or edible flowers to increase beauty

Enjoy!

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Collagen gifted by Vital Proteins

For More Information regarding collagen and Vital Proteins, visit:  VitalProteins.com // Cision PR Newswire // Vogue.com  // Paleo Magazine Radio: Interview with founder of VP

Charleston, South Carolina | | Photographed by Jesse Volk

Aloha, Leah Lani!

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I am currently in Asheville, North Carolina, escaping Irma and all her tropical madness. The storm is hitting Charleston today, and we are very thankful that Irma is not directly hitting our dear city, and we are instead getting hit with a storm surge. I am praying for all affected by Irma and Harvey, and looking to help however I can. For now, I will be staying safe and mindful as I travel back to Charleston this week.

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A few weeks ago, I received a few beautiful products from the ladies of LeahLani. The products I was sent to review are entirely natural and designed with care for sensitive skin. I am elated to report that I had no trouble adjusting to their products and can use them interchangeably with my skincare basics without any irritation or discomfort.

LeahLani is a Hawaiian based natural skincare company founded with spirit. The beautiful founder, Leah has a personal history with acne, which lead her to pursue studying at a holistic esthetician school. Her experience with skincare and passion for the holistic approach has produced the beautiful world of LeahLani. The products are handcrafted and each smell like floral glory. The ingredients are a fusion of the most powerful botanicals and Hawaiian nectars that produce stunning results on diverse complexions.

Not only is the story of the brand sacred, but every interaction whether through Instagram or email with the team has been lovely. LeahLani is all good vibes, positive energy and passion for their mission. Now onward to my thoughts on the products! Scroll away beauties!

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Most Like to Purchase again: Bless Beauty Balm

Smells like paradise and melts in your skin like a loving kiss. To enhance the results of its soothing nature, add a drop of your favorite brightening serum. The downfall of this product is the price. I use other balms that last longer and are more affordable. It is a nice addition to your moisturizing toolkit but I would not say one can survive on that alone.

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Best bang for your buck: Kalima Cleansing Powder

I love the Kalima Cleansing Powder. I typically use a very delicate face wash, that I can rely on in whatever condition my skin is in. Kalima is a combination of a sensitive care face wash and a mild exfoliator. It is a great product to have in your complexion pantry when your skin is craving a deep clean. It also smells like chocolate, which makes the process even more decadent. I don’t use it every day, because it is a bit of a ritual. To use: Rinse your face with warm water, drop some powder in your hand and add a few drops of water to mix. Be sure not to get the contents of your jar wet!

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Most fun: Meli Glow

Caveat : Although the Meli Glow mask smells like a bowl of tropical fruit, tastes delicious if it slides down your face, and is an all around fun experience- I do not see strong results from the mask. That certainly doesn’t define the effective nature or valuable properties of the mask- the ingredients are stellar in strength. In purchasing a mask, I generally want a specific result from it, and unfortunately my skin was not extraordinarily glow-y from the use of this product.

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It is truly a blessing to collaborate with artisans like LeahLani and I am grateful for the opportunity to play, test and discover through the process of reviewing. 

Thank you to the lovely team at LeahLani!

Let me know your experience with Leah Lani in the comments! 

Xo Hannah

Charleston, South Carolina | | Photographed by Jesse Volk  | | Products c/o LeahLani

London: Short, Sweet & Trendy

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Hello my loves!

    My affection for the international city of London, is rapidly growing. I adore becoming attached to a place. It motivates me to better understand the culture, curiously explore and get to know amazing people. Whenever I am visiting a new or familiar city, I ask myself, Could I live here? Often the mental response, is no. ( ’cause I am so dern picky) But a few spots have creeped into my heart, and then magnetically pull me to plan my next visit. London happens to have crawled into my life and does not want to leave. It wants me to go go go to London and stay stay stay. Until I can plan to move my booty to London, I will prance around and discover the best nooks, cocktails and boutiques! Enjoy this little weekend guide to London for the chic, health conscious and occasionally trendy traveler. Xo

*All restaurants are celiac/gluten free friendly.*

P.s. I will be sharing more about my current whereabouts & life happenings soon !! Keep those eyes peeled because my laptop is fixed and I am ready to write! Meow Meow xoxoxo

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Clean & Lean cafe at Bodyism. Breaky of an almond matcha latte & avo toast on gf/paleo bread

Clean & Lean Cafe at Bodyism 

When to go: Stop by for a light breakfast, coffee rest (limited seating) or an in-between snack

What it is: The cafe at the uber chic, members-only wellness center called Bodyism. With the warm & energetic atmosphere, you will feel right at home. It is difficult to tear yourself from the hot trainers & positive energy of Bodyism, but you must keep on keepin’ on! I mean the staff and guests are seriously good looking and the food is so tasty and friendly for my people (celiac people) !! 

Must try: Matcha latte with RICE milk (for a sweet & smooth addition to the earthiness that is matcha), as well as the gluten free/paleo bread

Celiac Awareness: Nearly everything (if not everything), is gluten free friendly. Fast & yummy nibbles that make you feel happy happy healthy. Bonus points that the team at Bodyism cares about the ingredients of their products as well as dietary restrictions !! 

Where: 222 – 224 Westbourne Grove, London, W11 2RH

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Peanut Butter protein pancakes at Clean & Lean with a nice matcha latte (aaaand thanks to my friends at Bodyism, I gave this matcha a go with rice milk –> DELISH)
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Duck & Dry boutique blow dry bar in Chelsea. Sadly, my stylist this visit was not thorough or the slightest bit friendly. It did not make the experience as nice as it should have been. <y lovely Sarah visits this spot frequently, and only has issues when she unfortunately is passed to that specific stylist. (book in advance)
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Wearing: See sunnies (unsure of availability), Tee found at Urban & Club Monaco pants (on sale !!) paired with Stuart Weitzman mules (no longer avail.) & LV Neverfull MM.

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The Ivy Chelsea Garden

The Ivy Chelsea Garden 

When to go: Literally any meal you could ever hope for… but I would say an indulgent lunch or dinner would suffice. However, one must plan ahead of time and book in advance. TRY to book a table in the garden !!

What it is: Incredibly chic and wildly delish. I usually avoid large menus, but I genuinely feel that the variety of options at the Ivy Chelsea does not hinder the quality and taste of the dishes.

Must try: An anytime cocktail (IE breakfast, lunch or dinner. Go wild.) I had the Six Bells Tea Cup (served in a china cup and served with a refill) & Sarah sipped on the Lavender Lady. We both agreed these cocktails just might be the best in London…

Celiac Awareness: They were very accommodating at the Ivy Chelsea, and helpful as I made my lunch choices. A+ friends !

Where: 197 King’s Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5EQ

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The Ivy Chelsea Garden 
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The Ivy Chelsea  
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Seasonal Soup: Roast iron bark pumpkin soup with truffled goat’s curd and sage leaves. Dying to return to this meal and recreate this soup in my kitchen. { The Ivy Chelsea }

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Ottolenghi Notting Hill

Ottolenghi Notting Hill

When to go: Early lunch. This little spot gets mad busy during lunchtime. Either go at an off time to pick up some grub, or allow time for a short wait.

What it is: Where does one even start? My sister-friend Blaire, introduced me to Ottolenghi. She is a big fan of his cookbooks, so these dishes are assimilated into our kitchen-culture in Charleston. (love you bb Blaire !! ) This Notting Hill gem gives you a little taste of Yotam Ottolenghi & his team’s extensive culinary talent. Each bite contains exuberant flavor that somehow does not overwhelm the senses. I am not a spicy girl, and I really appreciate intense flavor that is not painful for my tongue and/or tummy! So go. ASAP. 

Must try: Grab a few things! (Veggies, fish, etc… your options will be equally mouthwatering) Have them toss your goodies in a take away bag and you can make your way to a park for a moment of rest with a yummy lunch. 

Celiac Awareness: Most of the food is gluten free and there were several sweet options friendly for my people during this recent visit.
Where: 63 Ledbury Road, London, W11 2AD 

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I was happily surprised with the gf sweet options at Ottolenghi !! I am all about it, and this Lemon Pistachio Polenta Cake (gf) ft my nude nails, was tasty and moist (grody word but a real struggle in the celiac sphere of baked goods)

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Raw apps at Farmacy London

Farmacy London 

When to go: I was not enamored with the brunch, and prefer the full lunch menu. I am hoping to return soon and investigate the dinner situation. Bookings are available, however we did not book in advance and happily sat at the bar.

What it is: Healthy & upscale. The clientele all appear to bloggers with a mass of followers; given their indoor sunnies and decked out ensembles.

Must try: One of their seasonal dishes.

Celiac Awareness: Everything on the menu has some little “*” pointing to the allergens, or lack thereof. However, they were very cautious about my celiacs, as cross-contamination was a possibility. They were very thorough and kind, and thankfully I felt fine after my meal. I was surprised they weren’t more allergen friendly, given their obvious healthy mission.

Where: 74 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 5SH

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Avo toast on gf bread at Farmacy
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Farmacy London
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People watching at Farmacy London

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GF Granola served with almond milk {Daylesford Cafe}

Daylesford Farmshop & Cafe 

 

 

When to go: Breakfast or Lunch

What it is: Organic farmshop and cafe in Notting Hill. Daylesford has an organic farm and has created a mini bio empire in the UK! The cafe and farmshop in Notting Hill, is just a glimpse of all that Daylesford has to offer.

Must try: Gluten free granola & almond milk !! Being gluten free and lactose intolerant, the luxury and simplicity of cereal and milk as an option at breakfast join is unheard of! 

Celiac Awareness: Certain of the ingredients, the staff was accommodating.

Where: 208-212 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London, W11 2RH

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Organic market at Daylesford Farmshop
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Anntian top at Couveture & The Garbstore

Couverture & The Garbstore 

Why worth a visit? It’s got a nostalgic air of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, meets the modernity of the women of Notting Hill. Eclectic & tasteful brands can be found along the likes of Trademark, Apiece Apart, Rachel Comey and the list goes on… They’ve got women’s, men’s and children’s clothing along with a selection of trendy cat-lady home accessories.

Where: 188 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2ES

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Rugrats vibes at Couverture & The Garbstore
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Lutyens & Rubinstein Bookshop

Lutyens & Rubinstein Bookshop

Why worth a visit? If you like books and have lovely taste in reading material, you will dig this. 

Where: Lutyens & Rubinstein Bookshop, 21 Kensington Park Road, London, W11 2EU

Purchased at the bookshop: 

   NW Zadie Smith

   How Fiction Works James Wood

   Between a Wolf and a Dog Georgia Blain

Recently Read:   

    A Moveable Feast Ernest Hemingway  

    Kitchens of the Great Midwest J. Ryan Stradal 

    The Opposite of Loneliness Marina Keegan

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I adore you, Notting Hill.

London. September 2016.

Photos snapped via iphone. Taken by yours truly, aside from the obvious where I am in the picture.