13 Special Valentine’s Day gifts you and your partner will enjoy

Picnic basket 

If you and your partner like to enjoy the fresh air of the outdoors, planning more picnics would be a great way for you to do that together. This Valentine’s Day, gift a picnic basket and plan a day at the park. It’s one of our favorite romantic outdoor date ideas. You’ll use it for more picnics together in the future in an eco-conscious plastic-free manner. 

Record player 

By now, most of us music-lovers have Bluetooth speakers in some shape or form. If you and your partner love the sound of vinyl but haven’t committed to buying one, maybe now’s your chance. Think of all the quiet nights in you’ll spend dancing the night away to Aretha Franklin or Sam Smith. If that doesn’t cry romance, I don’t know what does. 

Matching LARQ Bottles

LARQ Bottle Movement Black Onyx bottle set
LARQ Bottle Movement: Power Couple Set

If drinking more water has been on your list of wellness habits to build for 2020, you need to get yourself and your partner a pair of self-cleaning water bottles. Because the LARQ Bottle self-cleans using UV-C LED technology, the water bottle doesn’t develop a smell that is usually caused by bacteria and mold growth. Gross, right? That’s what happens to the average reusable bottle when it hasn’t been washed in more than a day. For peace of mind and freedom from the chore of washing your water bottle daily, you and your partner can do more important things. How about that pottery class you guys have been meaning to take? Or maybe that hiking trail that’s been on your list for some time now? Now’s the time!

Shop LARQ Bottle Sets


Nebia Spa Shower 2.0 in Matte Black
Courtesy of Nebia

Want a shower experience that feels as good as it is for the planet? The Nebia showers use between 45-65% less water than a standard 2.5gpm showerhead. Their H2Micro Technology makes this possible by atomizing water into millions of micro drops that create a spa-like experience that no other shower can mimic. Yes, all while conserving water without sacrificing the luxury experience of a shower. Nebia recently partnered with Moen on their newest model to achieve their goal of saving one billion gallons of water by 2021. You can pre-order the new Nebia by Moen now on Kickstarter (Estimated to deliver by May 2020). 

Robot Vacuum

Are you and your partner practical people who enjoy nothing more than practical gifts for one another? Getting a robot vacuum is probably the best investment you’ll make for your home–especially if you have a pet. No more pet dander and fur balls–just a clean house. How romantic. 

Aromatherapy diffuser

Vitruvi aromatherapy diffuser in matte black
Courtesy of Vitruvi

Ease all of your moods (and your partner’s moods) with a Vitruvi aromatherapy diffuser. Keep it by your bed and scent your home with essential oils stylishly. Essential oils have shown to relieve stress and promote overall wellness. If you and your partner are all about relaxing after a long day of work, an aromatherapy diffuser is just the thing to add to your lifestyle. 

Matching Travel Mugs

Always on the go with your morning matcha or coffee? Make mornings more enjoyable with matching travel mugs by W&P Design. Because of their ceramic construction, they don’t transfer flavors so you won’t get that residual coffee taste when you’re drinking your freshly brewed tea. Taking a travel mug with you will prevent more coffee cups from being wasted and contributing to this global single-use issue. Plus, bringing your own mug to most coffee shops will save you some money.  


A new eco-friendly mattress

What’s more romantic than treating you and your partner to and new bed–and an eco-friendly, non-toxic one to boot. The Avocado Green Mattress is completely organic and has dozens of certifications to back up their product so you know they’ve done the work and the research to create a high-quality product that is good for you and the planet. You’ll enjoy this mattress together for years to come.

Spa Robe 

Ettitude 100% bamboo lyocell waffle weave robe
Courtesy of Ettitude

Ever go to a spa and wish you could take the robe with you? The Ettitude waffle bathrobe gives you that experience without leaving the comfort of your home. It’s great to wear year-round–it’s ultrasoft, moisture-wicking and fast-drying. It’s also hypoallergenic, feel silky smooth on your skin, and made with 100% organic bamboo lyocell so it’s easier on the planet too. Continue with the theme by setting up an at-home couples’ massage for a relaxing Valentine’s date. 

Weighted blanket 

Bearaby Tree Napper weighted blanket in Stone color

A weighted blanket tops the list for a variety of reasons. For starters, it’s thoughtful; for a partner with anxiety, the gift of a weighted blanket is one of many ways to show you care and want to help in more ways than one. Plus, you can both cuddle under it while watching TV or reading together. Lastly, it’ll look great in your home, adding to the warm environment you’re cultivating. 

Scratch off map

Whether you’re a globetrotter or a national parks enthusiast, a scratch-off map will remind you and your partner to adventure more together. So if you are up for the challenge, see how long it takes you to cover every national park on your bucket list and more. 

Fresh linen sheets

Coyuchi Organic Linen Sheet Set in Moonlight Blue
Courtesy of Coyuchi

If you and your partner are lovers of all things home, you’ll love focusing your day of love on the bedroom. The bedroom is your sanctuary–for some of you, it’s your shared space–so why not adorn it with luxurious yet environmentally-conscious bedding? Buying organic textiles means fewer carbon emissions and less strain on the planet, according to the Textile Exchange. That’s why brands like Coyuchi are creating beautiful Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified linens. Inspired by coastal California, Coyuchi’s linens will make your room feel light, airy and fresh. A couple’s paradise, if you will.

Custom art prints 

We’re going to get even more sentimental here. Art prints are a great way to add a personal touch to your space. If you’re a married couple, framing your vows is utterly romantic and straight out of a novel–bring on the tears. If you and your partner are raising fur babies together, get a custom portrait of your pets. Getting an art print of the destination of your first kiss, or your first date or even the most memorable date you’ve had with your partner is also a great way to get all mushy gushy on Valentine’s day. We’re not crying, you’re crying. 



7 Romantic Outdoor Date Ideas

Planning something special for Valentine’s day can be a daunting task, but if you’re really in the mood to woo your S.O., you can do it with a thoughtfully planned romantic outdoor adventure. Scenic hikes, picnics, camping, glamping, and other outdoor activities are the makings of a fun and romantic date you and your S.O. will enjoy and remember for years to come. 

Take a day hike

A simple idea, but one that can be jazzed up to feel even more special for Valentine’s day or anniversary date idea. Find a hike that neither of you has been to, or maybe one that’s been on your bucket list for a while. Another fun idea is for the two of you to write down a bunch of different hiking trails or parks, put them in a jar and draw one at random! You can keep that jar of adventures for the next time you and your significant other run out of cute date ideas. How romantic. 


Prepare some food for the hike, a picnic blanket, and plenty of water from your favorite self-cleaning water bottles, and other refreshments. You can make it extra special by splurging on the food you both love. Don’t forget to research several spots where you can set up the picnic that will have a great view (just in case some are taken when you’re there). And lastly, remember to relax and enjoy each other’s company! 

Try a new activity  

What’s something neither of you has done together before? Ice skating? Snow-shoeing? Horseback riding? An outdoor spa? There are a ton of ways to enjoy the outdoors even when it’s cold out that are both romantic and fun. If things have been stressful lately, trying a new activity together is an especially fun way to let loose, be silly, and to be carefree. REI (yes, the same REI you go shopping for all your outdoor gear) has dozens of classes all over the US you can take. 

Take a class

With dozens of classes in different areas of interest, you can find something new to learn or do together. Who knows? Maybe you’ll both pick up a new hobby along the way you can share with one another. Try cooking classes if the two of you usually eat out a lot together, a pottery class if both of you don’t mind getting a little messy and creative, or even try an outdoor photography class so you can finally capture those adventures you’re always taking together. Want something more challenging? Try a rock climbing class to literally take your relationship to new heights. 

Go on a scenic drive

Sometimes the best destination is no destination. Driving aimlessly on the open road, blasting your favorite music, maybe sharing new ones, or throwing back oldies you both know the words to, and having meaningful conversations with one another, are the best parts about scenic drives. 


Pick a scenic route that you may have heard about but have never actually taken or one that’s nostalgic, but somewhere your significant other hasn’t seen yet. You can look up a few places to eat around your route, but the beauty in a day like this is to wander and explore with your loved one. Making it a somewhat spontaneous day out can reignite some untapped creativity or joy–and who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favorite place on this new adventure. Just make sure to pack some snacks for the road and lots of water (you’ll need it after singing at the top of your lungs!). 

Go stargazing 

If you live in a city with a lot of light, this may be particularly special for you and your significant other. The idea of this is inherently romantic–whether it’s driving up to a vista point somewhere to look at the view and enjoy the stars, or if it means camping in the wilderness to enjoy the fresh air, sounds, and more stars in the sky than you’ve seen in a while. Put together a playlist of you and your significant others’ favorite songs, bring come cozy blankets, refreshments, and maybe even some chocolate covered strawberries. 

Go glamping

This may require a bit more planning and booking in advance, but it’s sure worth it and definitely special. If you and your significant other like to enjoy the outdoors but want a touch of luxury to go along with it, a glamping trip might just be the thing for you. Rent a yurt or cabin for the weekend, and bring everything you need for s’mores and a good time. You can bring some refreshments, camping food, and even some board games. Here’s another cute idea–bring a canvas and some paint and do your own “paint nite” together in the woods. Bring on your artsy sides! Better yet? Just relax and enjoy the outdoors with your favorite person. 

Bonfire on the beach

This is typically something you may do with a group of friends, but it’s 10 times more romantic to do just with your significant other. Make sure you go to a beach that allows bonfires and be sure you are doing it safely in the designated areas. Typically, national parks beaches and other public lands will have information regarding campfires or bonfires on their websites. Beware of high tide and nearby fire hazards like docks, bushes, and trees–stay as far away from these areas as possible. 


Now that we’ve got the safety warnings out of the way–because nothing is sexier than being prepared–make sure you have everything you need to hang out by the bonfire with your beau. Bring warm clothes and lots of blankets, beverages like beer, wine, water (of course), hot chocolate–whatever suits your fancy–hot packed food, biodegradable wet wipes, cards or board games, a portable Bluetooth speaker, external battery, and maybe even an iPad to cuddle and watch your favorite movies or shows on. When you’re ready to head home, don’t forget to pack everything you brought out with you and follow the Leave No Trace principles to ensure your beach stays beautiful. Lastly, make sure you’ve followed the proper method of putting out your bonfire to ensure the land, wildlife, and people don’t get hurt. 


Valentine’s day is a great excuse to show your partner how much you care–no matter if you’ve been dating for three months or three years. But don’t let the romance die after Valentine’s day is over. Be spontaneous and plan more adventures together in the outdoors. Connecting with nature is the best escape for whatever lifestyle you’re living. So go ahead, let your inner romantic shine and show your partner how much you care.


8 Easy ways to boost energy

If you’re feeling sluggish lately, whether it’s from SAD (seasonal affective disorder), or just from burnout, you’re not alone. On that fifth cup of coffee and still no sign of that lively, energetic person you once knew? You’re not alone. If you’re in dire need of an energy boost, these tips for boosting energy are worth a shot.

Manage stress 

Your body reacts when you’re feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and downright stressed out by making you feel fatigued and tired all the time. It could also be preventing you from getting better sleep quality which makes you tired throughout the day. In order to get better sleep, try meditating, exercising, reducing caffeine intake, or whatever helps you unwind



When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, natural hormones that give you a boost of energy. On top of that, exercise has been proven to improve the quality of sleep, mood, and overall wellness. Instead of waking up and grabbing your coffee, go on a walk or run or do some yoga to boost energy and start your day off on a good note. Plus, you’ll get added benefits of cardiovascular health–it’s good for your heart. 


Get better quality sleep 

Getting a full night’s sleep is everyone’s goal, but let’s face it–it’s hard. Getting restful sleep is a surefire way to fight that midday fatigue and urge to grab another coffee. Luckily there are easy ways to get better sleep. To get better sleep, exposing yourself to daylight during the day and shutting off electronics 1-2 hours before bedtime will help you regulate your body’s circadian rhythm which will regulate your body’s melatonin production in order to get you sleepy in time for bed. 


Eat nutritiously

It’s no secret that diet and exercise are the keys to a healthy life and it’s no different when it comes to energy. Eating nutritiously will get your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to operate at its full potential; it’s literally fuel for your brain and body. 


Similar to what’s recommended on from the EAT-Lancet Commission’s Planetary Health Diet, a plant-based diet with low amounts of meat can have significant benefits to health. Eating nutrient-rich foods like whole grains and nuts will help you reach your daily recommended value of magnesium and folic acid (300mg for women and 350mg for men). 


You’ll also get B12 from animal-based foods like meat and dairy–for those who don’t eat meat, you might be deficient in this vitamin that is only found in animal products, but you can take supplements to get your daily recommended amount. Just remember meat-eaters: you won’t get extra energy from B12 if you already get an adequate amount. 


Low levels of iron can also leave you feeling tired and weak. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin, which is a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen from your lungs to the organs and tissues in your body. You can find iron in foods like edamame, lentils, spinach, clams, and mussels. Make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin C as well to maximize your absorption of iron. 



Caffeine is not always the answer (especially at odd hours of the day), but there is a way to optimize its powers. According to this study, you should be drinking coffee between 9:30 am and 11:30 am, the time frame which your body secretes the highest levels of cortisol (the hormone that helps you regulate metabolism), to reap the most benefits from the caffeine. 


If you’re an avid coffee and it’s just not affecting you anymore in the way that it should, try weaning off of it and swap for matcha. Matcha has caffeine to keep you alert and boosts energy, but it also contains L-theanine which is an amino acid that promotes well-being and relaxation. L-theanine has the added benefit of helping with memory and learning as well as inhibiting the possible side-effects of caffeine. It gives you that energy boost without the jitters, and it has a slow-release effect that gives you energy for longer periods of time, contrary to coffee. 

Drink water 

If you’re feeling fatigued, ask yourself if you’ve drunk enough water. If you’re dehydrated, one of the things you’ll feel immediately is tired and lethargic. Drinking water will give your body what it needs to be alert. Try to avoid just chugging a ton of water when you realize you haven’t gotten enough. Instead, keep your reusable water bottle with you throughout the day so you always have easy access to water. The LARQ Bottle is a self-cleaning bottle, so it doesn’t need to be cleaned after every refill like others do (it’ll prevent bacteria and mold growth with UV-C LED technology!), so you won’t forget it in the sink at home or get sick from this water bottle. No bacteria or funky smells here. If you prefer something lightweight with high water capacity, try out the LARQ Bottle Movement. It cleans and purifies water on-the-go too, with an ultra-lightweight non-insulated stainless steel build so you can carry more water without the added weight. 



If essential oils are more your speed, peppermint is a great one for focus. Dab or roll-on a bit of this for a fresh minty scent that will wake you up. Scents are effective because they travel through the olfactory nerves that connect to the parts of the brain that dictate emotions, mood or memory. Your body will react to the smell of peppermint by feeling more invigorated and alert. 


Get some sunshine

The sun boosts serotonin levels, also known as the ‘happiness hormone’. You’ll feel calm and more alert, so if you’re sitting inside with no sunlight, take a moment to walk outside and you’ll come back refreshed. 


Sunlight also helps regulate your circadian rhythm–your body’s sleep schedule. Getting an appropriate amount of light throughout the day keeps you alert when you should be alert, and sleepy when it’s time for bed. 


These easy tips for boosting energy are extremely attainable and can make a huge impact on your daily life. When it comes to your well-being, don’t cut corners. 


15 ways to sleep better


How many of us are actually getting the required amount of 7 or more hours per night? Show of hands? That’s not a lot of hands. About 35% of adults don’t get this required amount, according to the CDC. We don’t need to tell you how detrimental sleep deprivation can be. It can take a toll on your mental health as well as your physical health. Constant lethargy, foggy mind, and stress can all be results of sleep deprivation. To feel more energized for your days, think more clearly, and to manage stress, there are many mistakes you may be making that prevent you from getting quality sleep.


Here are some ways to get better sleep or fall asleep faster: 

Increase exposure to light during daylight hours 

Exposure to light during the day helps to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion. If you do no expose your body to light (artificial or otherwise), your body will feel tired and sleepy throughout your day and into the night. Because the sunlight helps our bodies differentiate between daytime and nighttime, a lack of light exposure during the day will make you sleepy and make it difficult to sleep later when your melatonin levels drop. This is part of the reason people get jet-lagged on long flights


Do not nap for longer than 30 minutes during the day

Heavy napping throws off your body’s sleeping cycle–especially in large durations–because the adult body does not need that much sleep to operate. Napping for longer than 30-minute intervals will make you less tired by the time bedtime rolls around, making it more difficult to fall asleep. If you want to fall asleep faster, avoid naps during the day unless you truly need it. 

Reduce consumption of caffeine

Coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages are great for staying awake (obviously) but not great for when you need to sleep later. Resist the urge to grab that second, third or fourth cup of joe in the late afternoon. 

Wake up consistently every day 

Setting an alarm to wake up at a consistent hour of each day regulates your body so you’ll fall asleep or get tired around the same time too. If you work inconsistent hours or days of the week, this may be a bit more difficult, but try to find a window where you can wake up consistently and fall asleep faster and more consistently for your bedtime. The same goes for your days off! We all want to sleep in on our days off, but avoid sleeping in more than 3 hours past the time you usually wake up. This can throw off your sleeping schedule too and make it more difficult to sleep on time that night. 

Limit eating and drinking alcohol right before bed

It’s recommended to eat at least 2 hours before bed to allow your body to digest. You’ll find that if you eat too close to bedtime or snack late in the night, it may be harder to fall asleep or have a great sleep. 

Alcohol right before bed could also affect your quality of sleep. If you want to get to sleep faster, make sure you’re not consuming alcohol 2-3 hours before bedtime. Studies show that alcohol negatively affects the quality of sleep in many ways–reducing the secretion of melatonin in the body resulting in disrupted sleep patterns. Drinking alcohol before sleep can also cause sleep apnea and oxygen desaturation. 

Take a warm bath or shower

We’re not ones to deny a nice warm shower or bath in any case, but taking one 1-2 hours before bed will help relax your body and mind to prepare for bed. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil for a spa-like experience that has calming effects. Making this a part of your nighttime routine can help you decompress after a long stressful day. We’ll talk more about essential oils’ effect on sleep later.  

Have a routine

Speaking of nighttime routines, having one helps a ton with sleeping. Going through the motions helps your body prepare for bed since there is a sequence involved that your body gets used to. It’s also like checking off a mini-list (if you’re a list person), so mentally you’ve checked everything off and are ready for bed. 

Keep your room dark during nighttime hours

Having light on in the room while you’re trying to sleep can lead to bad quality sleep and grogginess during the daytime–yes, we’re talking about the TV too. Referring back to your body’s circadian rhythm, your body needs to differentiate when its daytime or nighttime which is affected by light. If you are used to falling asleep to the sounds of the TV, try a white noise machine instead. 

Use a white noise machine 

A white noise machine plays soothing, repetitive sounds that help some people fall asleep faster and get better quality sleep. This ranges from waterfalls to birds chirping, or even the crashing of waves in the ocean, and creates an environment where your mind can relax and drift off without the disruptive blue light of your TV.

Reduce exposure to blue light at least 2 hours before bed

Blue light from devices like phone screens, TVs, tablets and more, are known to delay the release of melatonin, and in contrast, increases alertness disrupting your body’s circadian rhythm. See a pattern here? We’re probably all a little guilty of this, but putting your phone away from your bed could have many benefits. It’ll keep you from grabbing it and browsing for another hour past your bedtime, and when your alarm rings (assuming you use your phone’s alarm), you’ll have to physically get up in order to turn it off–no more hitting snooze. 

Exercise during the day

Exercise, as we all know, has many health benefits, so it’s a must to incorporate into your daily routine. Studies show that exercise can even help sleep by deterring symptoms of insomnia in adults. In fact, one study showed that in people with severe insomnia, exercise reduced the time it took to fall asleep by 55%, total night wakefulness by 30% and anxiety by 15%–increasing total sleep time by 18%. It’s quite possible that if you exercise right before bedtime, your body might need some time to adjust, so if you’re having this problem, try exercising during the day instead to improve sleep and benefit your body’s circadian rhythm. 

Use a humidifier or aromatherapy diffuser

Humidifiers are great for those with sinus congestion, when you’re sick, or if you live in a dry climate. They relieve congestion by adding moisture to the air and helping the hairs in your nose to move freely so they can filter out bacteria that can cause colds or allergies. They also prevent dryness that may lead to bloody noses or irritation in the nasal passages that may disrupt sleep in addition to keeping skin hydrated so you don’t toss and turn from irritated dry skin. Ever get that dry, scratchy feeling in your nose and throat that makes you wake up in the middle of the night? A humidifier will provide relief by adding moisture into the air in your room, resulting in better quality sleep. 

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to relieve stress which promotes better sleep. If you prefer holistic approaches, this may be worthwhile to try. Scents and smells that travel through our olfactory nerves connect to the brain, sending signals to different paths like the limbic system and the amygdala, which dictate emotions, mood, and memory. This indicates that scents can trigger physical reactions in the body proving effective in various ways–including sleep.

You can use aromatherapy for your benefit in several ways: topically when diluted with water and rubbed gently into acupressure points on the body, with reed diffusers, candles, or even with aromatherapy diffusers (some are a combination of humidifiers and aromatherapy diffusers!). The six types of essential oils proven effective for sleep are lavender, lemon or yuzu, bergamot, ylang-ylang, clary sage, and jasmine. All have properties that relieve stress and have calming effects to help you achieve better quality sleep. 

Keep your room cool

Keeping your room cool encourages deeper sleep. Your body naturally drops in temperature before bed, signaling that it’s time to get some rest. Keeping your room cool will trigger this response, but when a room gets too hot, it will block this signal or disrupt your sleep. 

Your body temperature naturally drops before bed as we mentioned, but it also naturally gets warmer when you’re closer to waking up, which can make you feel like you’re sleeping hot or make you wake up sweating profusely. Keeping your room cooler can prevent this and regulate that optimum temperature throughout the night. So–what is the optimum temperature? It’s recommended to keep your room between 60-68 degrees to stimulate the production of sleep-inducing melatonin. 


Meditation has been growing in popularity for good reason. It’s the practice of emotional wellness, caring for the mind, managing stress and promoting overall happiness. Practicing meditation is great for people who tend to be restless at night and have trouble clearing the mind before bed. Meditation is a practice, so it takes some time to get it right, but the benefits are worthwhile. Once you practice how to meditate, you’ll be able to use it to destress after each day and use your practice whenever you need to. 

Take supplements

You’ve heard us talk about melatonin throughout this entire read, so you probably know by now how important it is to have healthy levels of melatonin in your life. If you feel like none of the above methods are helping, it might be worth it to look into taking melatonin supplements. Always consult your physician before taking supplements to see if it is the right option for you.


Getting good quality sleep is so crucial for your wellness and worth investing the time and energy in for overall better quality of life! It’s your source of energy, anti-aging, and recovery. Try these tips for getting better sleep for yourself and see how life-changing great quality sleep can be. 


How to stay fit while traveling with Nike Master Trainer: Kirsty Godso

The biggest travel woe–whether for business or pleasure–is fitting workouts into your busy schedule. A gym is not always accessible (especially one with all the equipment you usually have back home), and eating nutritious meals can be even harder, making travel extremely taxing on your overall wellness. Ever get that sluggish feeling when you finally arrive back home? That’s your body trying to adjust to your not-so-healthy travel habits.

We were lucky enough to speak with Kirsty Godso, Instagram celeb (@kirstygodso), founder of PYROGIRLS and Made of Whey Protein and lead trainer at NYC’s Project by Equinox fitness lab. You may also know her as a Nike Master Trainer on the Nike Training Club app we’ve mentioned before as one of the best fitness apps out there. She specializes in high-intensity training and cardio workouts that will have you drenched by the end but feeling absolutely amazing.

Kirsty Godso Nike Master Trainer with Monaco Blue LARQ Bottle

Photo via @kirstygodso

Kirsty has a fiery and energetic personality that makes you feel hyped up and ready to take on anything. She explains her philosophy, “Energy and how you treat your body are a direct transfer onto others, I am incredibly passionate about trying to help others live a healthier life so there is an accumulative positive effect from it.”

Naturally, we were curious to learn from an expert–how does one maintain wellness while traveling?

Biggest mistakes people make

The major mistake people make in regards to working out while traveling according to Kirsty is that people overestimate how much time they need for a good workout. “It doesn’t need to be an hour. You can work out for 20 minutes and still stay fresh while traveling.” The important piece is using the time you have to work out.

Maximize the time you have for workouts

If you have a packed schedule and can’t work in a 40-minute or 1-hour workout, Kirsty advises to break up your workouts into smaller portions. “I might not have a full hour in my schedule to work out but I will have 15-minute gaps where I can get stuff done!” In these 15-minutes she will do a circuit consisting of 3 exercises and do 4-5 sets of each, then repeat this 15-minute workout 3-4 times a day. Kirsty adds, “It’s not ideal but it’s a great way to get little energy spikes throughout the day and make sure I’m still getting in some of my training.” When you’re traveling sometimes you’ll only have small windows to work out, but making the effort to use that time wisely will keep your excuses in check and help you get your exercise in for the day. When you’re back home and can follow your usual workout schedule, you’ll be back on track without feeling slow our “out of it”.

Photo via @kirstygodso

Kirsty’s Travel Workout (zero equipment)

Kirsty’s no-equipment program called “Burn” on the Nike Training Club app is perfect for travel. The program is entirely bodyweight and designed to get you lean and confident wherever you are. “You can blast these workouts anywhere–in your hotel room, the shabbiest of hotel gyms, a park, etc.” The workouts range from 20-40 minute durations so they’re easy to fit into any schedule. Kirsty’s no-excuse mentality will whip you into shape. Just try out her program–you’ll see.

Kirsty’s travel workout essentials:

  • Jump rope
  • Mini bands
  • Gliders (hand towels will work too)

Eating habits during travel

Eating nutritiously while traveling can be a real challenge especially if you don’t know what available to you. Kirsty recommends keeping a few essentials on you that will provide a baseline health routine to follow. Her must-haves for eating well on-the-go are:

Kirsty says, “I am essentially always traveling for work so I always pack my Made of Whey Protein, LARQ water bottle, and Maldon travel size sea salt with me wherever I go.” Made of Whey Protein is a performance-driven nutritional support product Kirsty developed that has a more potent concentration of protein without unnecessary additives. Kirsty uses this as a staple in her diet to reach her protein macronutrients per day in addition to a nutritious diet.

According to Kirsty, eating well and staying hydrated go hand-in-hand, especially during travel where you might feel fatigued quickly. The LARQ water bottle is perfect and easy to carry, plus it purifies water so Kirsty loves to travel with it and fill up wherever she goes. She adds, “I travel a lot and to a variety of countries so I love taking my LARQ bottle. It makes me feel confident when I’m hydrating on the go what I’m drinking clean water.”

The salt is the funny one–we asked about it, and she explained, “bad salt in food can make you inflamed so I prefer to travel with my own!” Being mindful of the food you eat and what you put in your body is a huge point Kirsty aims to drive home. You get what you put in.

As far as eating out goes, Kirsty will search for local restaurants that are more farm-to-table style and has healthy alternatives that don’t contain gluten, soy, corn, bad oils, and refined sugar. “You can really destroy a trip somewhere if you aren’t used to these things in your food and then all of a sudden your system is attacked with them.”

Stay Hydrated

Kirsty explains that staying hydrated is one of the most important things to do every day to stay energized and boost mood. When you’re dehydrated, you’re left feeling lethargic. “By the time you’re dehydrated, it’s a little bit late. You can’t just guzzle down a large amount of water. Your system doesn’t recalibrate right away. You want to try and keep your water intake flowing across the day so you never hit a point of feeling sluggish and slow.” Dehydration is linked to jet lag too. Is that enough motivation to stay hydrated?

Photo via @kirstygodso

Living a healthy and balanced life

Being healthy is all about balance in life. Kirsty stresses the importance of living well in all aspects of life: physically, nutritionally, and mentally.

Physically, Kirsty puts emphasis on prioritizing sleep and recovery a lot more than she used to. It’s important to listen to your body and give it time to rest between intense workouts so they can properly recover. “The world we live in is increasingly demanding and that definitely takes its toll. I definitely warm up much more efficiently than I used to and always take the time to glute and core activate before jumping into any workout.” Glute and core activations are important to strengthen them and have a major impact on your overall body strength. They support many compound movements that help you avoid muscle imbalances.

Kirsty is very mindful of her conversation with her body and food, referring to food as food, and not as calories or “treats” and so on. “The verbiage you use around food is very powerful so make sure you’re feeding yourself the right things physically and literally.” Put good in, get good out. Your fitness and health results rely on your eating habits too, so make sure your fueling your body with proper nutrition.

We all deal with day-to-day stressors, and Kirsty is no exception. She has learned to focus on breath-work and slowing down where possible. She says this method has helped her a lot in the way she responds to things rather than reacting. “Sometimes I might need to sit on something for a while to let it pass then reply when I have digested it and have a calm response.”

Breathing exercises and pushing pause are methods that we can all benefit from. We talk about meditation a lot here and this is definitely something that can help anyone live a more balanced life. Sometimes you just need to hit pause and take a moment to be in your own head in order to gain some clarity and calm.

There’s no secret sauce here when it comes to living a healthier lifestyle and balancing travel with exercise. Kirsty’s no-excuse philosophy makes working out while traveling all about maximizing time, being mindful of what you put in your body, and staying hydrated.


8 Life-changing wellness habits to kickstart your new year

For many, entering into a new year is the time for a clean slate–to start fresh no matter how unhealthy (physical, mental, or otherwise) your previous year was. 2020 is the turn of a decade which means many bigger shifts in habits, health, and overall wellness. If you’re having trouble kickstarting your new year, try shifting your mindset. It’s not about reinventing yourself or making major changes in your life, but rather, a series of small ones and changing your attitude for overall wellness–mind, body, and soul.


Whether you’re jumpstarting the new year with some hardcore fitness goals or pining for a big promotion at the end of the year, here are some healthy habits that will help you stay sane no matter how crazy life gets. To us, sustainability isn’t just about the planet, it’s about personal health too. 



You’re thinking about it anyway, so might as well put this at the top of the list. Exercise is important on so many different levels (so you’ve heard), but we’re not talking about weight loss goals or hitting your benching PR. We’re talking about cardiovascular health and mental health. 


You don’t have to commit to 6 days at the gym or running 5 miles every morning. 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week of any physical aerobic activity will help maintain overall cardiovascular health. If you wanted to, the American Heart Association suggests that breaking these up to 10-15 minute segments of your day will provide benefits too. This can be anything from a brisk walk to a jog or a swim to get your heart rate going. 


In addition to cardiovascular health, exercise can relieve stress. Exercise reduces cortisol levels (the body’s stress hormone) over time and increases the release of endorphins, which help boost mood! It’s also a great way to get better sleep. 


Eat well 

balanced healthy meal via Unsplash
Photo by Brooke Lark

Trust us, we love our In-n-out just as much as the next guy, but it’s really easy to overdo it. Eating well comes to the top of our list for many reasons; our diet can affect our health, mood, and even the planet. With disease and cancer rates increasing and fertility rates dropping, we’re not too far off from a Handmaid’s Tale type situation. 


The EAT-Lancet Commission’s Planetary Health Diet is shifting thought on what it means to eat in a healthy way that doesn’t accelerate the degradation of the Earth. Eating well means increasing our intake of fruits and vegetables (by almost triple) and reducing our consumption of meat, namely red meat which requires significantly more resources than any other food, and releases the highest number of greenhouse gas emissions than even their animal-based counterparts. If you’re a meat-eater, try eating less than 50g of red meat per day to reduce your impact. 


For better health, the Planetary Health Diet also recommends eating more plant-based foods that provide more nutrients to the body for optimum health and reduced risk for diseases and certain cancers. This means eating more whole grains, less refined sugars, more legumes and nuts, and colorful fruits and vegetables. With more conscious food choices, you’ll live longer, better, and prolong the life of the Earth for generations to come. 



This is no joke. With the volume of stressors that modern life throws at us, it’s increasingly difficult to completely shut off for the day. The practice of meditation takes time to get down, but can be extremely beneficial for mental health and even sleep. 


Reduce phone time 

Our smartphones are usually on us 24/7–it’s practically impossible to not be around your phone for more than a few minutes at a time. They’re tied to work, play and everything in-between so how could we possibly unplug? 


Exposure to light is healthy throughout the day because it regulates your body’s circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion. However, when exposing yourself to light even in nighttime hours–for example, before bed–you more often than not will have trouble falling asleep and have poor quality of sleep to boot. Light exposure is not limited to just your phone though; your TV, laptop, tablet, and everything of the sort, expose you to blue light which has the same effect on your melatonin levels. For the betterment of your health, it’s recommended to avoid all electronics at least 2 hours before bed. 


Keep living spaces and workspaces neat

If you’ve ever seen the show Hoarders, you’ll know why this is important. Cluttered spaces can lead to stress, fatigue, reduced productivity, and can even put a strain on your relationships. Keeping your living spaces and workspaces neat prevents you from losing important documents and prevents cloudy thoughts from clutter. It makes for a messy mind. 


Drink more water

This might not come as a shock to you, but most people are probably not drinking enough water. Requirements for how much water to drink aren’t one-size-fits-all because everyone’s body has different needs. What we do know is that chronic dehydration can take a toll on a person’s body since our cells and organs depend on it. Adult humans are made of 60% water and blood is 90% water, hence the need to constantly replenish. Not sure how much to drink? Drink enough water so that your pee runs clear–and if it’s on the yellow to the dark yellow side of the scale, you’re dehydrated. 


Dehydration also has negative side effects on your kidneys. Your kidneys filter fluids that flow through the body, so water is essential for the kidneys to function. Without water, waste products and excess fluid can build up inside the body leading to chronic kidney disease, kidney stones, or kidney failure–yikes. They can also lead to urinary tract infections (the second most common type of infection in the body). The solution to all of this? Drink plenty of water.


If you haven’t done so already, invest in a reusable water bottle that you can carry with you to have water on you at all times of the day. Among many other reasons, people are choosing a sustainable self-cleaning water bottle–the LARQ Bottle–because it uses UV-C LED technology to eliminate harmful, odor-causing bacteria all day long. This creates a more convenient approach to using reusable water bottles so you don’t need to wash it after every refill (the recommended amount to prevent bacteria growth). It even purifies water on the go so that you can drink from most water sources with peace of mind. No Bali belly here. 

Ditch fast food and takeout

Not only is it better for the planet, but it’s also better for your health. Making your meals at home lets you control what ingredients you’re putting in and puts you in control of your weight and your health. Plus, you’ll only put in things you love to eat, so why not right? 


In addition, less takeout means less waste. Those styrofoam boxes, plastic containers, and plastic utensils are not recyclable and go straight to the landfill after you’re done. Instead, make your own meals at home or dine in. You’ll enjoy the experience more and you won’t be contributing to the growing waste issue. 

Go zero-waste

One thing we really need to put an end to is this culture of single-use waste. Dependency on plastic single-use products is accelerating the degradation of the Earth and poses health risks to both humans and wildlife. In this new decade, if there’s anything you should resolve to do–it’s reducing waste. This means reducing packaged food purchases, single-use plastic waste (disposable straws, utensils, plastic wrap, sandwich bags, etc.) and spreading awareness of this issue to others. There is no action too small! Check out this list of things we’re ditching in 2020 for inspiration on what to swap out in place of some of the most wasteful everyday products. 

Keep a journal 

Journaling is an excellent way to unpack the day’s events, vent, or keep your thoughts in order. It may help you sleep better too because you’re not just going to bed with your thoughts. If you’re the type of person who has trouble going to sleep because you’re thinking about a million things a minute, the act of writing something down–we’re talking about taking pen to paper here–is the most effective method of clearing those thoughts. Set aside time at the end of your day to detox. Preferably a couple of hours before you plan to sleep. This allows you enough time to write and think about what you’ve written down before going to bed. 


A great way to conclude your journal entry is to also review the positive highlights of the day, what you’re grateful for–whether that’s from that specific day or overall in life. Sometimes we can get caught up in the curveballs that life throws at us, but it’s important to also reflect on the things you’re grateful for. Regularly writing down what you’re grateful for can meaningfully increase your well-being.

2020 is the year for growth, wellness and overall happiness. Ditch those old unhealthy habits, and step into a new you this year. Your body and the planet will thank you.


The Planetary Health Diet

The diet that can save the world

The issue 

Our world population is growing at a rapid rate–currently close to 8 billion people worldwide, and expected to surpass 10 billion people by 2050. At this rate, today’s eating habits continue to pose fatal health problems and severe global warming. 


According to the EAT-Lancet Report, “food is the single strongest lever to optimize human health and environmental sustainability on Earth.” Yet, malnutrition or poor quality diets and overeating are threatening both people and the planet. If eating habits don’t change now, the world we leave for our children will be severely degraded, where an increasing percentage of the population will continue to suffer from malnutrition and preventable disease.

The solution

A collection of 37 world-leading scientists from 16 countries in various disciplines, the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, and Health, put together the first full scientific review of a sustainable, healthy diet that benefits the health of humans as well as the planet. By assessing existing scientific evidence, the Commission defined a framework for the Planetary Health Diet that is sustainable for both human health and the environment. 


You’ve heard it before and here it is again–eat your vegetables. There’s no surprise that the Planetary Health Diet focuses on diverse plant-based foods, as these require far fewer resources to produce than their animal-based counterparts. In addition to diverse plant-based foods, the Planetary Health Diet also encourages the consumption of unsaturated fats rather than saturated fats, and whole grains. 


What this sustainable diet limits is–as you can guess–all the bad stuff. Limit the amount of refined grains, highly processed foods, and added sugars as well as animal-based products and meat. Notice this diet is not about quitting anything cold turkey, but rather reducing consumption of less sustainable and less healthy food choices so that people can live better for longer. 

animal-based foods more resource-intensive than plant-based foods
Source: World Resources Institute

In developing this diet, the Commission collected data regarding plant-based and animal-based foods and ranked them by their carbon footprint. Beef, unsurprisingly, has the largest carbon footprint; it’s resource-intensive meaning it uses significantly more land, freshwater, and produces higher CO2 emissions than any other food. 

Environmental impacts aside, red meat is also harmful to your health in high quantities. According to a study published in the European Heart Journal, daily consumption of red meat tripled trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) in patients, a chemical linked to heart disease.  Furthermore, the World Health Organization even classifies processed meat (like hotdogs and bacon) as carcinogens, known to increase risk for certain diseases and cancers.


The difference between the Planetary Health Diet and other plant-based diets is that the Commission is outlining a reduction in the foods that produce a high number of carbon emissions with the lowest health benefits. A guideline for following the Planetary Health Diet is reducing the intake of eggs, fish, refined sugars, and meat by less than 50 grams per day. This equates to doubling consumption of healthy foods (fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts) and reducing 50% of global consumption of less healthy foods such as added sugars and red meat. 


In the culinary space, world-class chefs see the importance of ingredients that nourish our bodies and the planet, developing recipes featured on EAT-Lancet’s website as well as boasting these same sustainable food ideals in their own restaurants. It proves that food can be delicious without the need for excessive amounts of meat or animal-based products. Take to Eat-Lancet’s website for Planetary Health Diet recipe ideas you’ll want to try tonight.


This diet, along with leading a sustainable lifestyle by cutting out waste, can save the world so that our Earth can sustain us past 2050 (that’s in 30 years!). If more people reduced their consumption of high-resource foods, we will be steps closer to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement so we can leave a world for today’s children to inhabit for a lifetime.


8 Things we’re ditching in 2020

This year, we’re more focused than ever on sustainability and bettering the planet. Yup, it’s 2020 and in case you haven’t considered it yet, it’s time to make some changes when it comes to what we’re putting into the Earth. 


Ever heard of microplastics? They’re small, broken down pieces of plastic from literal trash humans have created that end up in the land or the ocean less than five millimeters in size, which then are consumed by wildlife and thus ingested by humans. Plastics are treated with toxic chemicals like Phthalates and bisphenol A–among a wide range of other toxic chemicals, which as you could infer, remain toxic even when the litter becomes microplastics that are later absorbed by marine life and ingested by humans. There isn’t enough research to indicate the potential health risks to humans, but we know these chemicals are toxic to the environment, wildlife and humans, so why don’t we make efforts to reduce this kind of waste now before it’s too late?

Single-use straws

Forget 2020, these should’ve been ditched back in 2017. With many accessible alternatives, single-use straws should be a thing of the past. The turtles and generations after you will thank you. Plus, let’s be real, it probably only takes you 10 minutes to finish your iced coffee anyway–is it worth the waste these straws produce? Do yourself and the planet a favor and snag a set of stainless steel straws, stash them in your car, work bag, at home or at your desk so you’re never without one. 


Plastic bags

Not all plastics are created equal. Plastic bags, in fact, are not recyclable. Don’t use them to bag your recyclables and don’t use them to hold your groceries. Plastic bags end up in landfills, litter our water systems, streets, and pollute the ocean. Get with the new decade and get yourself some reusable grocery bags you can use for every Whole Foods run. Stylish and sustainable–that’s how we like it. 


High red-meat diets 

Before you red meat lovers write this off, listen–I love red meat, and with the risk of the vegetarians and vegans coming for me, it’s hard for me to give it up cold turkey. Red meat, among other animal-based foods and food products, are bad for the environment for many reasons. They require a lot of natural resources, making their carbon footprint significantly higher than their plant-based counterparts. Hence, the influx in demand for plant-based products. In addition to preventing environmental repercussions, of course, there are a plethora of health benefits to switching to plant-based diets including reduced cholesterol, less bloat, and lower risk of certain diseases and cancers. For 2020, join many others in reducing red-meat consumption. If not for the planet, then for your overall health. 


Processed foods 

Trust me, we love a good snack with Disney+ as much as the next guy, but reducing consumption of processed foods means reducing plastic and single-use waste as well (think about the packaging!). In fact, back in March 2019, we went plastic-free for a month here at LARQ HQ, and we saw first hand how dependent we are on single-use plastic. If you’re not fully convinced, try it for yourself: be conscious of how much waste you’re tossing away each week. 


Plastic cups 

“Can I get a cup for water?” – something you probably ask when dropping by your favorite taco joint or the movie theaters. You’ll probably receive a plastic cup for water that you’ll probably refill once at the most and then toss into the garbage. Can we just ditch this kind of single-use waste now that we’re in 2020? With so many options of reusable water bottles–and even our LARQ Bottle that uses UV-C LED technology to automatically sanitize the inner walls and purify water–you can truly have water everywhere you go. No need to grab that dinky plastic cup. 


Coffee cups

Sip on your favorite cup of Joe without adding to all the coffee cups in the landfills. Just like cups for water, coffee cups are just as wasteful and unnecessary. Instead, invest in a good thermos or a tempered glass reusable coffee cup. Some coffee shops even give you a discount for bringing your own cup–you know, to offset that oat milk substitution. 


Plastic wrap 

Just like all single-use waste, plastic wrap has got to go in 2020. Believe it or not, there are alternatives that actually work. Try wrapping your loose food items in bee’s wrap, use Tupperware to store food, or use these silicone cling wraps in a variety of sizes that fit everything from bowls to cups to sauce dishes. 


Plastic produce bags

If you think about it, a grocery store trip can be extremely wasteful if you’re not conscious about what you’re using. Produce bags are not recyclable. They’ll eventually end up in a landfill and most likely into the ocean. The solution? Don’t be afraid to carry that single apple to the checkout. You’re going to wash it when you get home anyway, right? There are also reusable mesh produce bags you can use for heftier trips. Pro tip: put all your reusables by your keys so you remember to bring them with you when you leave the house. 


Small changes make a great difference when more people start to adopt them. Refuse single-use whenever possible and start building habits for a sustainable future. It’s 2020, and it’s time to ditch single-use waste.