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.


Founder Spotlight: Clean Beauty with Indie Lee

What does clean beauty mean for you? For most, you probably haven’t put much thought into what ingredients are in your moisturizer or eye cream–it’s probably something with a big box name that you’ve heard people talk about before and decided it’s good. So allow me to introduce you to the founder and CEO of Indie lee skincare, Indie Lee herself.

Indie is a mom of three, and a fur mom of two. She’s been through quite a lot in her lifetime that has put her on the path she’s on today. Clean beauty is more than just beauty. It’s about keeping harsh chemicals and ingredients away from your skin so you can be healthy through and through. The emphasis on health here is huge and goes hand-in-hand with beauty.

“In 2008, I was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor that doctors felt could be environmentally derived and attributed to something as simple as what I was putting on my skin. I was given as little as six months to live,” she explained. This was her awakening. “I wanted to provide a platform to educate and empower others to make healthier, mindful choices. So I created Indie Lee skincare–I wanted the brand to be clean, efficacious, and look chic on a shelf.”

Indie’s brand and ours has a lot of synergies we were happy to chat about. We’re both focused on delivering effective products that solve real problems. We were happy to learn that Indie puts her heart and soul into her skincare line to ensure that her products are safe, effective, and clean.

Surprisingly, Indie had no beauty experience before starting her skincare line and was actually an accountant (previously managing HBO’s International finance division), so this was all new territory for her. “I simply knew that this brand was my mission and my platform for education and empowerment,” she explained, “Failure was not an option, so I built the brand from the ground up. It was hard work but to see what the company has become today is so rewarding. I wouldn’t trade a second of the experience.”

E: What are some mistakes people make in their skincare or lack thereof?

I: I think any mistakes simply come from a lack of knowledge. That’s why we are so dedicated to educating consumers. We really want to provide them with information to make the best choices for themselves. If I had to pick common mistakes thought, I would say not washing your face thoroughly enough, even then you aren’t wearing makeup. Also, clean your makeup brushes and cell phone screens weekly!

Another helpful tip Indie stresses is hydration–both in the form of a great moisturizer and internally with ample water. According to Indie, “keeping the skin happy and hydrated is key for a radiant, clear complexion.” –who doesn’t want that? It’s actually recommended for “most of us to drink between 8-10 cups (as a general rule of thumb) of water per day,” Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Director at Good Housekeeping Institute says.

A lot of men tend to shy away from skincare for dozens of reasons, whether it’s because most skincare is marketed towards women or the ones that are marketed towards men don’t combat the issues they want to address. So I asked Indie–what are some must-haves for men when it comes to skincare? Is there a difference in products for men versus women?

I: Any products that are a must-have for women will work perfectly for men. We actually have more male consumers than you’d expect, my son included, who I swear must bathe in our Brightening Cleanser based on how quickly he goes through it! I think for men who are looking to begin a more elevated routine, and good cleanser, moisturizer, and eye product are the perfect starters.

Choosing clean skincare is great for your skin’s health. But since we’re all about the planet’s health too, we had to ask Indie about sustainability as it pertains to her life.

E: What role does sustainability play in your personal life?

I: Sustainability is something that is very important to me and something I’m always striving to improve. The biggest changes for me have been carrying a reusable water bottle (and yes, I am OBSESSED with my LARQ Bottle and recommend it to everyone). I also think the little things can really add up – refusing single-use straws, bringing your own bags to the grocery store, refusing plastic cutlery with takeout, etc.

E: What, if any, were the hardest things for you to give up in order to lead a more sustainable lifestyle?

I: I think it was more of getting into the habits that you need to create to be more sustainable, and also not beating yourself up over it if you forget. If you leave your reusable bags in the back of your car, you’ll probably be more likely to remember them when you go to the grocery store. I recently saw a great quote from @zerowastechef that said ‘We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly’ and I couldn’t agree more.

Skincare is a huge pillar in self-care, so naturally, I wanted to know what Indie’s best practices of self-care are in her world.

E: What is your self-care ritual like?

I: Meditation is one of my biggest rituals. I meditate twice daily, even if I’m traveling. It’s something that always brings me back to center and keeps me grounded. That being said, I think self-care looks different to everyone, and you have to find what works for you. Yes, meditation is a form of self-care I practice, but I also think a drink with friends can be self-care. It’s all about what makes you feel fulfilled at that time and giving your mind and body what it needs. That’s not always a green juice.

Lastly, Indie wants you to know that “Passion is everything. If you can find something that you are passionate about, everything else seems to fall into place.” That’s something we can agree with wholeheartedly here at LARQ. Being passionate about creating great products is what all the founders we’ve interviewed (including our own) have in common. The drive to innovate and create a product that serves the people and addresses consumer issues is what keeps us going. You can see that really come through with Indie Lee and her amazing skincare brand. Read more about Indie Lee’s story and shop her line at


Founder Spotlight: Sustainable Living with Lindsay McCormick

Here’s something you use every day–toothpaste (hopefully twice a day). And it’s been slowly poisoning the planet for decades. Well, to be clear, we mean the tube that the toothpaste comes in.

Toothpaste tubes are made primarily of plastic #4 or some type of aluminum-plastic composite, which only certain waste facilities will process for recycling, which means much of it ends up in the landfill. And let’s be real, most of us are pretty diligent about recycling when it comes to the office or even in the kitchen, but when it comes to the bathroom, just about all of that goes down the drain (pun intended). So what’s the solution here?

For #PlasticFreeJuly, we’re excited to share with you an interview we had with Lindsay McCormick, founder and CEO of Bite Toothpaste Bits. She’s killing the sustainability game with her groundbreaking toothpaste product that is all-natural and zero waste.

Bite Toothpaste Bits are little pellets–they’re called Bits–of all-natural toothpaste that only require a wet toothbrush (and a good ol’ bite) to activate–hence the name. They’re packaged in refillable and recyclable glass jars and shipped 100% plastic-free. They use 100% recyclable mailers made from recycled newspapers and sealed with paper tape. They’ve pulled all the stops when it comes to nixing plastic completely.

Image Courtesy of Bite Toothpaste Bits

Lindsay founded Bite in August 2017 with the desire to keep plastic toothpaste tubes out of landfills and harsh chemicals out of our bodies.

“I was traveling all the time for my job as a TV Producer when I realized how much waste I was creating just by brushing my teeth. After looking into alternatives, I discovered all the questionable ingredients that were in toothpaste and that there were not only travel-friendly, plastic-free alternatives so I decided to make my own.” – Lindsay, founder and CEO of Bite Toothpaste Bits.

Elaine: What was the process like creating a sustainable toothpaste brand and product? What kind of challenges did you face?

Lindsay: I started Bite as an advocate for sustainability— I was not trying to start a company rather I was trying to create a change. Bite is relentless in our pursuit of being the most sustainable oral care company on the market. We’re listening to our community, hearing their wants and needs and then finding ways we can make that happen.

Toothpaste is something people have used twice a day, every day for their whole lives so asking people to change a habit that is so embedded in them was no easy feat. Luckily, consumers are becoming more and more conscious of their daily habits and the environmental impact they might have and are willing to take a chance on a new product like Bite.

E: How do you use the toothpaste bits?

L: Brushing with Bite is as easy as Bite, Brush, Smile, Repeat. All you do is bite down on a Bit and start to brush with a wet toothbrush and it will start to foam up like magic!

E: When did your passion for sustainability start?

L: For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with all things sustainability and the environment. As a kid, instead of asking for presents I would always ask my parents to “adopt” a specific animal in my name. They would then send a check in my name to the World Wildlife Fund and weeks later I would get a photo along with information on the animal I “adopted.” From Orca Whales to Ocelots I basically adopted every single animal I could. I’ve always wanted to make a positive impact on the world.

E: What do you think is the most challenging part of living a sustainable lifestyle?

L: It’s unfortunate that most unsustainable activities are incredibly convenient. As a society, we have placed convenience over sustainability in every way. Whether its remembering to bring your own bag or reusable cup, you’re going to have to make more conscious choices about your daily activities. The good news is that after you’ve been doing it a while it no longer feels inconvenient it just feels normal!

E: What are some changes you’ve made towards a more sustainable lifestyle at home? At the office?

L: Since our home also functions as our office I made it my priority to make it more sustainable. I’ve looked at the things that I do every day and made sustainable swaps for them. Whether it’s swapping out a plastic tube of toothpaste or swapping out regular toilet paper for bamboo toilet paper. Although those may seem like small changes— those small changes really add up. Mason jars for all leftovers and reusable food wraps made of cotton instead of saran wrap.

E: What are some products you stopped purchasing because of their environmental impact? What are some alternatives?

L: I’ve stopped buying drinks in plastic containers. Whether that’s bottled water, juices or sports drink— If I can’t fill it in my own cup or buy it in my own bottle I’m just not going to buy it. In our office and in my house we’re tree-free. We use cloth napkins and dishtowels. Even our toilet paper is made out of sustainable bamboo. In my skincare routine, sunscreen has always been a must for me. I used to be a surf and snowboard instructor and was always slathered in sunscreen. One of the switches I made recently is switching to a mineral-based, natural sunscreen called Nani La that comes in an aluminum container with minimal plastic.

I switched to a mineral-based sunscreen because the chemical UV filters in many sunscreens are bleaching the coral reefs and damaging the ocean.

E: What are your favorite products that help you live a more sustainable lifestyle?

L: Well…. I can’t not say Bite. I love starting off my morning and ending my night doing something I feel good about. Also, I recently bought one of those cute, insta-worthy zero-waste net bags which has quickly become one of my most used purchases. I cram three canvas bags worth of groceries into my net bag. All of the cups in our home and office are mason jars because not only can you use them to drink out of on a daily basis but also as leftover containers.

E: What is a guilty pleasure of yours that you wish was sustainable?

L: Real talk… take out. I always opt out of cutlery and napkins for to-go orders and I love supporting restaurants that use paper bags instead of plastic and paper boxes instead of plastic boxes. I still feel guilty when I do this because it is way more eco-friendly for me to be cooking my own meals. I try to opt for restaurants that use more sustainable packaging (I’m vegan so typically these go hand-in-hand anyway), but I still feel a little bit of guilt when the Postmates rolls up with a paper bag and excess amount of packaging.

E: What are some parting words you’d like to leave for our readers?

L: Every person and every brand for that matter has the ability to shape and influence the way people think, see and act every day. Whether it’s mindlessly tossing out an empty plastic toothpaste tube or glossing over the ingredients list, our daily habits can and will shape the future of our planet. Although you are one person, we are all one person and that’s a lot of people so you are going to have an impact on the world whether you realize it or not. We want to inspire people to make it a good one.

Something as simple as toothpaste tubes is something many of us never even think twice about, but people like Lindsay who are practicing mindfulness and bringing awareness to issues like plastic consumption in toothpaste packaging are driving the mission of saving this planet forward. It makes you wonder: what else do you use every single day that uses plastic? Can you find an alternative?


Sustainable Living with Elana Jadallah

We’re always inspired by others to become a more sustainable company. Reducing our environmental footprint and is a massive goal of ours not only as a company but as individuals as well. As part of our sustainable living series, we’ve got to gain some insight on what it means to be sustainable and some knowledge on how to live more sustainably at home and the office.

For this segment of Sustainable Living, we got to chat with Elana Jadallah, a photographer, marketing consultant and founder of based in beautiful Hawai’i. Through her photography, writing and online channels, her mission is to captivate others with the incredible world around them, spread the knowledge she has surrounding sustainable living and inspire conscious action. Through her work with small businesses, her mission is to tap into the unique ripple effect that businesses have on this earth and help them amplify positive impact through regenerative and impactful strategies.

Fun facts: Elana loves hiking, swimming, paddle boarding, reading, cooking, storytelling, anything that pushes her out of her comfort zone, even just a little. “Since living in the islands, I’ve developed a love for traditional Hawaiian arts like Haku lei making and she intends to learn how to weave lauhala next.

Elana Jadallah holding seaside mint LARQ Bottle on the beach in hawaii

Elaine T.: What does sustainability mean to you?

Elana J.: Mmm, if you would have asked me that a year ago, WOW, would the answer have been different! My understanding of sustainability is constantly evolving and growing. I used to be so focused in on simply plastic pollution and the need for more sustainable packaging (which is still a big focus!) but now I understand that individual, corporate and governmental sustainability has many, many more facets and ripple effects.


To me, sustainability means creating more long-lasting, conscious solutions for individuals, businesses, and society as a whole. Supporting others who are also seeking out these solutions and creating change. Allowing myself to be a student and a sponge. Learning as much as I can about the whole picture and working towards more regenerative and restorative ways of doing things that reverse the damage we as a society have caused and support our natural environment and ecosystems for the future.

ET: Did you always live a sustainable lifestyle? If not, how did you get your start?

EJ: No, absolutely not. I grew up not knowing anything about where my food came from, where my plastic waste would end up or what a ‘sustainable lifestyle’ even looked like. Like so many others who are passionate about the environment, my journey started with a captivating ‘aha moment’!


It was fairly recent, just a few years ago, when I started cleaning our local beach while Aaron surfed. I began to notice there were more pieces of micro-plastic on the beach than there were seashells. It completely broke my heart. It was devastating. I wanted to know more about the plastic pieces and how they were landing on our beaches, so I started doing research and was shocked. I had been so unaware of the incredible crisis our oceans and our planet are in. I felt so stupid and blinded by the convenient lifestyle we all live as a society. How did I never think about these things? How could I be so unaware?


I’m a firm believer that once you learn something, you can’t ‘unlearn’ it…So this started my journey of continued research and making changes in my lifestyle. I started by analyzing my behaviors and seeing what exactly my impact looked like. First I eliminated single-use bags at the grocery store (they’re banned here in Hawai’i which is amazing), then I committed to only using reusable water bottles and cutlery no matter what. And now, this more-mindful, less-wasteful outlook has trickled into every room in our home and every aspect of our lives. I now look at life through this lens of awareness and intention. It’s been an unraveling; a wonderful, challenging and empowering unraveling of past patterns and behaviors.

ET: What’s it like living in Hawaii? What are your favorite things about it?

EJ: I love having access to the inviting ocean waters all-year-round and the active lifestyle that yields for us, I also love the variety of climates (we have 11 of the 13 micro-climates present on earth here on the Big Island) and the immense beauty that surrounds me. Living in Hawai’i is absolutely special, although very different than what many picture it to be. Yes, it is beautiful and enchanting but I argue that it is so in a much deeper, more profound way than you encounter at first glance!


The mana (energy) here is strong and the Hawaiian culture is rich and unique. I feel wildly honored to call this place home but it’s certainly not for everyone and there are many things that differ living here from vacationing here. The things we are blind to on vacation might be that 90% of our food is imported (although sadly the Big Island could be 100% self-sufficient with the number of farms and land here) or the tragic, mostly unknown history of these islands and their people or that it’s a very sensitive eco-system which is being harmed by the constant influx of people. For example, how mass-amounts of sunscreen being dissolved in the water daily has killed the reefs here, how our shorelines are covered in micro-plastics but plastics are still widely distributed, etc. There are so many things that people overlook that need attention, love and energy in these islands. It’s become such a huge part of my everyday life to shed light on these issues and be part of the solution.

woman filling up LARQ Bottle in kitchen sink

ET: Our team here at LARQ has been trying to go plastic-free for the past few weeks, but it’s been tough. What kind of challenges do you face in cutting out plastic? What solutions or alternatives have you found?


EJ: AMAZING! Good on you guys. This makes me wildly happy to hear! Something I read the other day that I loved was this: ‘The world doesn’t need a few people doing zero-waste perfectly. The world needs millions of people doing it imperfectly.’ There is so much power in simply starting the journey to finding answers, to seeking solutions, to QUESTIONING our convenience. Something I find helpful is to count how many times you encounter plastic in one day (specifically single-use) and take a tally. Most will be shocked by the number. You can’t just throw plastic ‘away’ – they go somewhere (often times shorelines far, far away) and don’t break down for over 400 years. Once you take a closer look, the hope is that you’ll feel compelled to find longer-lasting, less harmful alternatives for the things you encountered the most in your day.

My biggest challenge is sadly food packaging. I walk into a Costco or a big box grocery and don’t know whether I want to scream or cry. Similar to the idea that you can’t ‘unlearn something’ it’s hard to ‘un-notice’ something. Once you start eliminating convenient, unneeded plastic… you start realizing that it’s everywhere. And one of the worst culprits is our food. The best solution I have found is to SHOP LOCAL (find a local co-op or CSA and shop at farmer’s markets) and we bring our own jars/containers to shop in the bulk section at the grocery store. Whenever possible, buy things like kombucha or olives in glass jars that you can reuse. The last tip for food: make things at home! You’d be surprised how easy some things (like nut milks – I love my Almond Cow! – or hummus are to make at home). Next time you run out of something store bought, see if you can make it yourself.


Also, I found it hard to eliminate plastic in the bathroom! Shampoo + conditioner bottles, soaps, razors, toothbrushes and toothpaste, cleaning products, feminine products even TP! Whoa. There’s a lot of waste. But through research, there are so many solutions when you seek them out. I’ve found an alternative that is zero or low waste for each of the things listed above. Shampoo, conditioner and soap bars, safety-razors, bamboo toothbrushes, menstrual cup, even sustainably made TP. It’s all in existence and help eliminate massive amounts of waste. I’m happy to serve as a resource to you – always reach out and I can give you my recommendations!


ET: What is a guilty pleasure of yours that you wish was sustainable? What would you tell the company who produces it?

EJ: Oooh! This is a good one. There are a few things that come to my mind. First is traveling – specifically flying. Flying is probably the dirtiest act in our lives. One round-trip flight between New York and California generates about 20% of the greenhouse gases that our cars emit over an entire year. I’m dedicated to learning more about effective, restorative carbon-offsetting for travel specifically.


The second that comes to mind is coffee. This one’s easy to solve by bringing a reusable to-go cup, choosing to have your coffee ‘to-stay’ or simply making it at home! Avoid K-cups at all costs and if you have to get a to-go coffee for some reason, ask for no lid and no stir straws.  


The last thing is my essential oils. Yep, I’m that hippie. I love to diffuse essential oils in our home, I wear them as perfume and use them for countless uses in our home. Sadly though, there’s a huge gap in the wellness industry when it comes to sustainability and regenerative business practices. I find that many wellness products (such as essential oils, protein powder, snack bars, etc) are still packaged with plastic elements, not using renewable energy for production, are sourcing from unsustainable farms, etc. so I have found myself buying less and buying more intentionally. The best thing we can do is communicate our concerns and needs to the companies who produce our ‘guilty pleasures’ and help them shift to better practices. They value customer feedback because their business relies on it.

Here’s a little excerpt of the email that I send to any company that I love but would love to see improve:


As you may know, _____________ (plastic pollution or climate change or unethical work conditions, etc) is a huge problem and I would love to see your company shift towards practices that are more conscious and sustainable. Below is a checklist of conscious business practices that I consider a standard of excellence. Any brand I give my business to must check three or more boxes on this list:

  • Repurposed/Recycled Materials
  • Compostable or Post-Consumer-Recycled Packaging
  • Fair Trade
  • B-Corp Certified
  • Carbon Neutral Shipping
  • Natural or Organic Materials (preferably GOTS certified)
  • Made locally to base consumer
  • Independently Owned
  • Not mass produced
  • Give back to cause/organization/community
  • Made with intention (i.e. honors tradition, brings awareness, tells a story

If you want the full email template to send out, sign up here!

ET: How do you find sustainable options that fit your needs? Can you name a few things you are constantly using, reusing or purchasing?

EJ: Great question! When I started this journey, I definitely felt like I was ‘the first pioneer doing this’ and like I had to find all the answers myself. Thankfully, that was not the case at all! There are so many people out there who are innovative (like LARQ for example!), aware and educated that have found or created more regenerative and sustainable alternatives to what we use on a daily basis. A simple google search will typically give you the answers you need. Also, one of the best books I’ve purchased that was helpful in this way was a used copy of ‘How To Give Up Plastic’ – written by Will McCallum, the Head of Oceans at Greenpeace.


Things that we constantly use + reuse:

Get creative, use what you already have and invest in better options when you run out.

ET: In your opinion, what’s the biggest change someone can make in their daily lives that will have the biggest impact on sustainability?

EJ: Your mindset. It’s not just about saying ‘No, thank you!’ to straws or eliminating single-use plastics ‘when you have the chance.’ It’s adopting the mindset that questions our own behaviors and allows for the vulnerability in saying ‘this is not a behavior that supports the future I want to see.’ By being willing to be self-critical and honest with yourself about that, it’s so much easier to make changes that are long-lasting. If you’re empowered with a strong mindset, you will seek out solutions and become a force of nature.

Elana Jadallah sits on blue beach towel with her seaside mint LARQ Bottle

ET: You got a chance to try our LARQ Bottle for a while, what are your thoughts on it? In what ways have you used the bottle that you can’t with others?


EJ: The LARQ bottle added value to my life by giving me peace of mind that I can always have access to clean water. We are mindful at home about filtering our water with charcoal but can’t always fill up from home. With the LARQ bottle, we can fill our bottles anywhere with confidence knowing that our water is clean. I can’t wait to take ours on our travels! I know this solves a huge problem for travelers who are going to different countries with different water treatment practices. By bringing the LARQ bottle while traveling, I am wildly inspired by how many plastic water bottles will be avoided.


ET: What are some parting words you have for people wanting to live a more sustainable and mindful lifestyle?

EJ: Remember this: striving for perfection will only defeat you. Instead, strive for progress.


Stay curious, allow yourself to be a sponge, keep asking questions and seeking out answers. The way I see it is that there are four phases of awakening: the ‘aha’ moment, the overwhelming phase, the research and action phase and lastly, the opportunity to use your voice. Keep striving for progress in all aspects of your life one step at a time. I’m here for you as a resource both for yourself as an individual or if you’re a business owner that is looking to make big shifts on your impact on this world.


It was an honor chatting with you today – I hope you found a takeaway that resonated with you! If you ever have any questions or want to connect, I’m here for you! Mahalo nui loa + a hui hou!



Sustainable Living with Jules Hunt

To us, it’s not about just boasting about sustainability but truly living it. And although we don’t live in a perfect highly sustainable world (what does that mean, anyway?) we can still make small changes here and there to reduce our environmental footprint.

In this sustainable living series, we’re discussing real-life situations and solutions for living more sustainably with some of our friends who are pretty much experts on the topic. We sat down with wellness and mindful lifestyle blogger, Jules Hunt from Om & The City, to talk about sustainability and her beliefs in making smarter choices for ourselves and our environment. Through her blog, Jules has built a following by “helping women simplify their lives and find a healthy hustle sans the burnout”. She shares real, actionable insight on everyday wellness, sustainability, non-toxic living, and purposeful productivity for your most vibrant life. Jules’s interest in wellness and sustainable lifestyle began when she was in college, recovering from an eating disorder, “I fell in love with yoga which taught me to love and respect my body in all its forms and to rethink my relationship with food.” Mindfulness started from within, then she started to take her newfound healthy habits out into the world, becoming immersed in clean beauty, minimalism, sustainability, and overall reducing her toxin exposure–topics you can expect to read more about on her blog!


Photo by Jules Hunt

Jules’s motto is “Simplify & Thrive”. Her sustainable living journey started with a simple closet clean-out and home purge in 2017, that progressed into something more impactful–her mindset. She’s become more productive with her time, running her business like a CEO, becoming significantly less wasteful, more thoughtful about purchases, and connecting with what she already has and value all those things.

“The deeper I go, the more I realize that less truly, truly is more,” she says, “having less ‘stuff’ gives me more space to breathe, think, move and create. In short, simplifying is a strong pillar in my life–so much that I wrote an entire guidebook called Simplify & Thrive last summer to help others declutter their lives, reduce stress and amplify happiness and productivity.” Jules truly believes that everyone can benefit to uncover real sustainable happiness with less.

Elaine: What does sustainability mean to you?

Jules: To me, it means being thoughtful about how our actions impact our wellbeing and the world around us. Sustainability isn’t black and white, and it’s not something that can be transformed over night. Sustainability doesn’t only refer to the environment, but it also is about how we treat our bodies and how we manage our time. Fad diets aren’t sustainable, working until 3 am every night isn’t sustainable, and for our planet, continuing this behavior of over-consumption isn’t sustainable. So, what can we do on an individual level and as a society to make a positive change towards sustainability? Well, it takes changing mindless habits, being intentional, questioning where things come from, reducing our desire for more, more, more, and staying consistent with our newfound positive actions.

E: How would you describe your approach to living a more sustainable lifestyle?

J: When people approach it from an ‘all or nothing’ standpoint, that’s when expectations fall short and feelings of failure set in. I believe every little bit counts. Doing SOMETHING to help the planet is better than nothing at all, and imagine the difference we would make if we ALL did a little something. Nobody is perfect, so don’t strive for perfection. Strive for progress.

E: We’ve been trying to go plastic-free for a month at LARQ. What are some tips you can share about reducing use and purchases of plastic products?

J: There are so many solutions for single-use plastic out there. The hard part is remembering to actually bring them with you! I wrote a blog post all about this. [Find out Jules’s tips on remembering to bring your reusable products with you]


Photo by Jules Hunt

E: It’s been really difficult for us to cut out plastic, specifically. What challenges have you faced in cutting out plastic?

J: The hardest part of eliminating plastic is in packaging that gets shipped to me which I can’t easily control, as well as packaging for specific food items that I purchase. I can’t do all of my shopping in the bulk and produce sections… it’s just not realistic for my lifestyle. I am allergic to wheat, so I do buy some gluten-free snacks… some of which come in cardboard boxes and others are packaged in plastic. It’s not perfect. I do my best to avoid single-use plastic as much as possible from disposable cutlery, bags, bottles, and I pre-pack all of my reusable essentials when I’m out and about for the day.

E: What is the biggest change you made in living a sustainable lifestyle? (something that took adjusting, or that significantly reduced waste)

J: I started saying no. No, I don’t need more gifts from brands. No, I don’t need to take this food to-go, I can dine-in instead. No, I don’t need to take that pamphlet or that business card or that flyer you’re trying to hand me on the street. I let go of the pressure to be agreeable and please everyone, and instead, I focus on being kind but holding myself to boundaries I’ve set for myself.

E: What advice do you have for people who want to live more sustainable lifestyles?

J: Start small. Pick one area of your life you’d like to focus on and just start. Be consistent. Consistency is the key to creating lasting habits and lifestyle changes.

E: So, you got to try out our LARQ Bottle for a week. What are your thoughts?

J: It’s a game-changer, especially for travel. I am very particular about my water as I use a Berkey Filter at home that purifies our water. When I’m on the go, I always struggle with refilling my bottle from water fountains. I don’t trust it nor do I like the taste. LARQ has made traveling and refilling my bottle so much easier. I don’t have to worry about washing it, and I can really enjoy my trip while staying hydrated!

We’re so inspired by Jules and her ideas on wellness and mindful living. The important thing is to be mindful–that’s the first step! We’ve seen on our own sustainable living journeys here at LARQ HQ, that doing something like a plastic-free challenge has been truly eye-opening. We’ve come to be more aware of single-use products (they’re everywhere!) and now even after the challenge is over, we’re still continuing to see the wastefulness around us and learning how to live more sustainable lifestyles. The best part about this is continuing to learn more from friends like Jules who are a little more seasoned on the topic than we are.

Liked this article? Check out our last post in this sustainable living series with Jess Ann Kirby!


Sustainable Living with Jess Ann Kirby

Sustainability has been a hot topic of discussion for us here at LARQ HQ. Mostly because we whole-heartedly are committed to reducing our environmental footprint–hey, we gotta walk the walk, right? We’re not 100% there yet, of course, and have noticed a struggle with trying to find alternatives for plastic products and getting into mindful practices, but we’re constantly striving to be more eco-friendly and we believe that even small changes and decisions can have a great impact on the future of our environment.

We wanted to learn more about how people are living sustainably and to learn ways to manage a sustainable lifestyle. Naturally, we thought to ask a few of our friends about the topic for this Sustainable Living series. First up, lifestyle blogger, coastal queen, and fashionista, Jess Ann Kirby.


Jess’s blog,, is a lifestyle blog and online community dedicated to fostering connections. Her blog will inspire you to live stylishly and unapologetically. She proves that you can be passionate about the finer things in life while also living a more mindful lifestyle. Yes, you can do both.

Elaine: What does sustainability mean to you?

Jess: Sustainability to me is about making responsible choices. It’s about being thoughtful in your decision-making and being prepared to act based on what’s best for everyone, especially the planet, not just what’s best for you at that moment. It’s about focusing my impact on the environment and creating less waste while also supporting companies and brands doing the same.

Agreed. Living sustainably is all about the future of this planet. Jess explains that she’s always been mindful of recycling and reducing her impact on the environment, but got really serious about living sustainably when her and her partner, Craig, bought their first home two years ago.

Jess and Craig really mean it when it comes to sustainable living. Their home has solar panels and this kickstarted their personal challenge of looking for other ways to make their home more eco-friendly and efficient. They share a car, compost, recycle, and support and buy from sustainable brands.

J: We always try to re-use materials especially when doing projects on the house. It’s all about making small changes that become habits, bringing reusable bags to the store, asking for no straw with your water at a restaurant, bringing a reusable water bottle like the LARQ Bottle everywhere to avoid single-use plastic.

E: What has been your biggest challenge in living more sustainably?

J: Travel is when I find I have the hardest time keeping up with being more sustainable. That’s why I really love our LARQ Bottles. I hate buying plastic water bottles so it’s just really nice that I don’t need to worry about it; I know I can have clean water anywhere and not be wasteful.


It’s true, we started LARQ after reflecting on how many plastic water bottles are still being purchased today even given the availability and accessibility of reusable water bottles. Travel is a pain point for a lot of people where you’d want to buy bottled water to be sure the water is drinkable instead of asking a waiter for tap water in a foreign country or refilling a reusable bottle at a water fountain. But if you’re sure that your reusable water bottle can purify your water, maybe that can eliminate your consumption of plastic water bottles.

When it comes to plastic, it’s truly difficult to avoid on a daily basis.

J: It’s brutal. Plastic is everywhere. It drives me crazy when fruit and vegetables at the grocery store are wrapped in plastic. WHY?! I really just try to avoid making any purchases that include single-use plastic. I go to the bulk section of the store for rice, cereals, etc. and use cloth bags. I try to avoid buying things with excess packaging. Once you start paying attention you realize how much plastic waste there is and how it can be avoided.

E: What are some products you stopped buying because of the environmental impact? What are some alternatives?

J: I try not to buy anything with plastic containers, easier said than done. Online shopping can be super wasteful with the packaging so I focus on supporting brands that don’t have wasteful packaging. We also use environmentally friendly cleaning products instead of harsh chemicals.

E: What are your favorite products that help you live a more sustainable lifestyle?

J: Obviously, we love our LARQ Bottles. Never leave home without them. I love shopping at Follain for beauty products because they’re focused on clean beauty and sustainability. For clothing brands, I love Mate the Label based in LA.


E: You travel a bunch! What are some items you absolutely need to travel with?

J: Our Leica Q [camera], LARQ Bottle, Silk sleep eye mask, and my skincare products.

E: We’re glad to hear that you’ve been finding a ton of utility in our LARQ Bottle! How has it fit into your lifestyle?

J: I’ve had the LARQ Bottle since last fall. I never leave the house without it. I also use it as a daily water bottle, instead of wasting glasses I just fill my LARQ Bottle and it’s easy for me to keep track of how much water I’m drinking.

E: Do you have any wisdom you’d like to share with our readers?

J: When it comes to living more sustainably, start small. Small personal changes become a habit. Don’t be too hard on yourself but don’t make excuses either. Every little change truly makes a difference.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. You don’t have to make a ton of changes overnight. It takes time to get used to a routine and stop depending on single-use plastics and other harmful waste. Once you become more mindful of the choices you’re making, you will be reducing your environmental footprint and making the Earth a better place.

Stay tuned for more interviews with more of our friends in this Sustainable Living series!