A Health Guide to St. Louis

After I’d been living in St. Louis for about three years, I suffered a stomach infection in 2016 and then again in 2017. I’ve been rebuilding my gut health ever since, and an unexpected result of this journey is that it has changed the way I live my life here. 

Right around 2016, so many great healthy options started popping up all over St. Louis. If there was any time when I needed to rebuild my gut health, then I’m glad it happened when the health and fitness lifestyle was becoming so trendy. In this post, I’m excited to share some of the places that are not only helpful if you struggle with food allergies or other related health issues, but will also allow you to still get out and explore this awesome city.

Here's a complete guide to all my favorite healthy things to eat, see, and do in St. Louis!

Favorite Healthy Restaurants + Cafes

Revel Kitchen

Revel Kitchen has two locations, one in Brentwood and one in Clayton, and they have kombucha on tap. Whattttt?! Oh, and they have great fresh pressed juice, salads, bowls, and smoothies too. 

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Wicked Greenz

Visit Wicked Greenz for all your L.A. lunch needs. I love their fresh ingredients and the beautiful lighting in there. 

Clover & the Bee

This beautiful new brunch spot opened in early 2018 in Webster Groves and it’s 100% worth the drive outside the city. Any spot that combines gorgeous design with tasty food is a win in my books. Oh, and their fresh juices are a must when you visit.

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Hello Juice

Hello Juice is almost too cool for St. Louis. Jk. We can hang. It is so cool, delicious, and healthy for all your smoothie bowl and avocado toast needs. Get there stat!

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Kaldi’s Coffee

To start your weekend off caffeinated, I highly recommend any of Kaldi’s Coffee shops, which are each beautiful and cozy in their own way. If I had to pick a few favorites, the Demun, Laclede Ave, and City Garden locations would be my top three. City Garden feels like you’re in NYC, Demun is like a second home in a darling neighborhood, and Laclede Ave’s location is just stunning. But no matter which location you go to, their vanilla latte can’t be beat.

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Blk + Mkt

Did you know sushi burritos are a thing? Well, now you do. Bulk + Mkt is killing the game. And the poke bowl game. 

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Nudo House

It’s not often you can find Pho and Ramen in the same place. Look no further. Nudo House is definitely worth the drive out to Creve Coeur (until they open their second location on the Loop in 2019). 

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Pure Vegan Cafe + Yoga

I’m not 100% vegan, but I try to eat that way a few times a week. Vegan Cafe does it so well you forget you’re eating vegan. They do such a good job and their carrot smoothie tastes like carrot cake — what more could you ask for? Their yoga classes are also great, and most are drop-in and donation-based. 

Knead Bakehouse

Knead makes the most amazing sourdough bread and pastries from their sourdough. Eating here truly made me feel like I had been transported to San Francisco. I also love their homemade juices and that they serve delicious Blue Print coffee. They’ve got it going on!

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Favorite Health Destinations

Tints | A non-toxic nail salon

Tints was everything I didn’t know I needed. Not only is it beautiful and clean, but they have a selection of polish that is five-free (free of five of the most hazardous ingredients typically found in nail polish, that is).

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I love getting my nails done as a guilty pleasure, but I also try to use “clean beauty” products. Before Tints, I had even stopped getting mani/pedis. I love their online reservation system, no tipping policy, and self-serve coffee and wine selection. Oh, and while you’re there, pop over to The Juice Bar next door!

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Palm Health

I joined Palm Health in January for medical assistance with the stomach issues I mentioned earlier. In March, I took the plunge and joined their wellness side as well, to take advantage of their work-out classes, gym, steam/sauna/salt room, and cafe. It has added so much value to my life. If you are in need of functional medicine, I couldn’t recommend Palm Health enough - it has totally changed my life for the better.

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Flowers and Weeds 

Flowers & Weeds is probably my favorite plant store in St. Louis, with Bowood Farms coming in a very close second. It’s perfect for city dwellers. Not only do they have brilliantly healthy plants and beautiful pots for sale at affordable prices, but they also have a potting station in the back, in case you don’t have a patio or yard for potting at home. There are giant bins of soil that you can scoop into your pots right there in the store. Oh, and they have a terrarium-making station—what more could you want from a plant store?

Holistic Fitness - Massage with Emmy

Who doesn’t love treating themselves to a massage every so often? I found Emmy at Holistic Fitness and am never turning back. She specializes in scoliosis and has been such a gift!

Float STL 

I’ve been hearing about “Floating” from friends for a few years and my husband even tried it before me last year, but I finally took the plunge (pun very much intended) in February and danggggg, it was incredible.

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Here’s how Sean Lavery from Float-Toronto has described the experience:

“You are floating in 850 pounds of epsom salt so you won’t be fighting gravity and the water is kept at 93.5 degrees which is skin-receptor neutral, which means you lose track of where your body ends and the water begins. Your ears stay just below the water, and the tanks are insulated against sound. After you shut the door and turn off the light, you float in total darkness. During your float the outside world is gone, and amazing things happen. It turns out that when you’re not fighting gravity or constantly taking in information, your body has a lot of extra resources at its disposal. Your mind is free to mull things over without distraction, your brain pumps out dopamine and endorphins, and your body gets to rest, de-stress, and heal.”

Needless to say, Floating is 100% worth the hype. I have literally never experienced something where you can truly escape from being overstimulated. No sound, no gravity, no light. For living in such a tech-heavy world, the gift of disconnecting from all the stimulation is really surreal.

And, if you’re in St. Louis, I loved my experience at Float STL and they will give you $10 off with this code: pb-640692.

Favorite Fitness Studios

Pure Barre 

I love the low impact yet high intensity workout that Pure Barre offers. No ballet experience needed, we all just meet at the barre ;) The instructors are so talented and make you feel so known. They make working out fun, which is no easy feat. 

Vegan Cafe + Yoga (see above)

Palm Health (see above)

Favorite Activities

Go Ape! 

If you don’t mind heights, take the day to drive out to Creve Coeur and do the ropes course at Go Ape! This brand knows how to do it. It’s so much fun and will make you forget to check your phone. 

Creve Cour Kayaking 

While you are climbing the tree tops at Go Ape! go rent a kayak or paddle board at Creve Coeur Lake. It’s $10 an hour and is such a great escape from city living. 

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Forest Park Paddle Boarding

If you don’t want to drive out of the city to get your paddle boarding on, check it out at Forest Park at the Boat House. You will never feel more like a St. Louisan than paddle boarding in front of Art Hill. 

Curling 

After becoming obsessed with curling this past Olympics, I did some research and found out that there is a curling club in Creve Coeur where you can take beginner lessons and play a game. They even have beginner leagues that my husband and I hope to join in the future. In the freezing temps of winter, it’s so fun to find escapes to have fun indoors. This is definitely our newest favorite. 

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Rent a Limebike + Scooter 

You’ve most likely seen the bikes and scooters taking over the city. I love seeing how they are helping us city folk be more active and spend more time outside, away from our phones. I hope these are here to stay. 

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City Garden + Kaldi’s Coffee

If you need a getaway but can’t actually leave town, may I recommend City Garden? The Kaldi’s  location in the garden makes you feel like you’ve been transported to Madison Square Garden in NYC and all the sculptures scattered around are so much fun to admire while sipping your favorite coffee or tea. It’s a must-see.  

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I would love to hear of any of your “healthy” St. Louis stops below! What am I missing?! :)

My Favorite Ethical White T-Shirts

For the rule-followers amongst us and with Memorial Day weekend now behind us, I thought it
would be fun to share some of my favorite ethical white t-shirts and blouses, as well as different
ways I like to style them. My most favorite ethical fashion company of all won't be a surprise to
those who've followed me for any amount of time, but — you guessed it — Everlane.

Everlane

I'll lay out a few of my top reasons I love Everlane and then we’ll get on to the shirts.

  1. They are known best for their "Radical Transparency". They believe in knowing who makes your clothes and that everyone deserves being paid a fair wage.
  2. They don't believe in the "mark-up" and are up-front about why they are charging what they charge. (see image below)
  3. A huge part of sustainable fashion is buying quality over quality and Everlane is just that. You buy clothes that last with Everlane and I can appreciate that about them.
  4. Their clothing is timeless and I love how most of their pieces are solid colors so they can be in my closet for years with no sign of "out of style".

With some of my favorite reasons why I love Everlane laid out, I'll now share some of my favorite white blouses/tees.

I'm wearing the The Japanese GoWeave Back-Zip Tee in White and I can't say enough good things about it. It's the perfect summer shirt as it is made from 100% triacetate—making it crease-resistant and cooling, perfect for surviving the heat with a subtle texture and silky drape. It also has a great weight to it that gives me the reassurance it will last for years to come.

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I am also a huge fan of scoop neck blouses and shirts and all the variety it allows when
accessorizing. I fully believe in working with a variety of textiles and materials when putting an
outfit together. With the subtle texture of this blouse plus the texture from my water buffalo horn necklace or bandana scarf from Noonday Collection, they compliment each other beautifully. 

I also love the creativity of the back of The Japanese GoWeave Back-Zip Tee, and how it elevates the style of the shirt.

My other favorite white t-shirts from Everlane are from their linen collection. Their lightweight linen gives you an easy drape and a breathable feel for warmer days. These are my go-to items when packing for a summer getaway.

Everlane also carries Men's and children's clothes as well so you can get your whole family amazing quality staples and ethical pieces in one shopping trip!

Other Favorite Ethical White T-shirts

I have other white t-shirts in my closet from a few of my favorite sustainable companies that I thought I'd share below - you might not need a new one now, but my hope is that when you have a gap in your closet and you need to fill it, you'll think of the companies I share here on my blog when you shop!

Live FashionABLE

FashionABLE has been a big favorite of mine as I have three of their purses, but they just came out with their new clothing line last week called .ABLE and I'm over the moon for it. I happened to be in Nashville over the weekend and got to try on and personally shop the new collection. I was like a kid in a candy shop. Their new clothing line is all handmade in Peru and is incredibly soft and could be mistaken for wearing butter. They are such great quality pieces and timeless. I'm a big fan of their color scheme and how I can have it in my closet for years to come.

ThredUp

ThredUp is a great second-hand online clothing company. A great way to shop ethically is to shop second-hand to give clothes a new life and ThredUp is my favorite avenue for shopping via thrift stores. You can filter by your size, type of clothing (tops) and color (white), and quickly scan to shop what you are looking for!

Krochet Kids intl.

Krochet Kids intl. makes their clothing line in Peru just like Live FashionABLE and considering I traveled to Peru last summer with Noonday Collection, that pulls on my heart strings. I love their Standard Tee and the Organic Tee.

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Made in the USA

Lastly, I encourage you to keep asking major companies #whomadeyourclothes and if your shopping at major companies such as Nordstrom or Macy's, don't forget you can search "Made in the USA" in the search bar! They make it so easy to make an ethical shopping purchase without even realizing it with the "Made in the USA" note in the details section! 

*this post is sponsored by Everlane, my favorite Ethical clothing line!

All in good time: Getting to know JORD Wood Watches

I've been slowly trying to create a more thoughtful closet over the last two and a half years that is full of more ethically made pieces that are also closet staples and will stand the test of time. Recently, I've begun the same process for my accessories and wanted to share a great company that I've recently learned about and couldn't love more. JORD Wood Watches is a local St. Louis company that makes beautiful watches almost completely out of wood! How fun is that?! 

I've worn the same watch for the last six years that has different materials and textiles so the simplicity of the Fieldcrest watch was quite a departure for me but I absolutely love it! This watch doesn't have any bells or whistles but instead is just a well-crafted, gorgeous, timeless (pun-intended) piece. I am not the only one who loves this watch; quite a few of my friends not only noticed I switched watches but complimented this watch. This Fieldcrest watch is a real head-turner!

I took some time asking JORD some questions about the watches and I'm excited to share what I learned with you!

Could you tell me more about the artisans who make the watches?

"Though the watches are all hand finished, we do a great deal of the manufacturing with specialty tooled machines.  Wood is a fluid substance, and it will contract and expand to a certain degree based on its environment.  We can’t change that property of the wood so we’ve found that machine tooling allows us to create pieces to exacting standards so that even when slight expansion and contraction occur the fully assembled watch retains its structural integrity. If we were to do those processes by hand there would be the opportunity for variation that creates a negative effect further down in the assembly process and possibly in the future during wear.

"Part of the craft, we feel, lies with our team who choose the wood to go through the manufacturing process.  That cannot be accomplished by a machine! The grain of the wood, the coloring, the density – that all has to be evaluated prior to the process.  Even more challenging, almost like putting a puzzle together, is when the watches are being assembled.  A single piece of wood can produce a wide variety of grain and coloring, so our team sorts through the individual pieces, matching them for shading and the strike of the grain, and making sure that the finished piece has a natural uniformity."

Where are the watches made?

"Our watches are manufactured in China in a facility that we manage.  We have a team on site, who follow production and are in charge of quality control, as well as a team who works specifically on prototyping.  Our designers are here in St. Louis and after the initial drawings, specs, and materials are chosen our team in China evaluates the design, considering production and long term wearability, makes whatever changes are necessary, and builds out samples. Prior to putting a new design in full production, several of the JORD partners will fly to China to oversee the final design and approve the materials. 

"We wanted to ensure the people working on our watches were trained adequately, treated fairly, and paid appropriately for their positions which is why we choose the facility that we did that allowed us to manage it. And to top it off, all of our watches are treated with natural substances, no hazardous chemicals. Not only for the sake of the environment, but for those who work on the watches."  

Noonday Collection bracelets and JORD W

Lastly, I'm so excited to be partnering with JORD to offer See Things Closer readers a special $25 e-gift code! Once you fill out the form, you will instantly be emailed your $25 e-gift code. You will have until 12/18/16 to redeem the code. I can't wait to hear what watch catches your eye below and if you have a favorite! Here's to shopping locally and supporting small businesses this holiday - cheers! 

a noonday collection ambassador trip: guatemala 2016

It’s a Friday afternoon in Santiago, Guatemala—a small town with a large indigenous Mayan population on Lake Atitlán. I’m standing on a cleanly swept dirt floor around a long wooden table, watching a group of local women sit and sift through piles of beads before they string them into beautiful multicolored beaded cuffs. I’m here with eleven other Noonday Ambassadors, on a weeklong trip to visit four Artisan partner groups.

As I look back on our week in Guatemala, what I will be taking away from this experience are the people I got to meet and what I learned from them, especially from the leaders of our Artisan partner groups.

During our time with Ana, an amazing woman leader working in Santiago,

 I loved seeing the sense of pride she has in her work. 

She enjoys who she works with, laughing and learning alongside them. She is always trying to improve—from constructing a tin roof over their rear workspace to switching from a wood-burning fire to propane gas to heat their dye (which can be hazardous for their health and also enables them to produce more—and thus earn more). Ana is proud of the work she has created for her community and leads them well.

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On another day in the nearby town of San Juan La Laguna, we got to meet Cristobol, one of Noonday’s key Artisan partners in Guatemala. Cristobol 

has a passion for empowering others,

 despite the difficult circumstances he went through in his past. I was so moved by the way he has built a network of teams in his workshop—we met the eight women who each have their own team, allowing them to learn leadership skills, and they even share the various steps involved in the creation of each bracelet.

Because of the work they’ve received through Noonday, each of these eight women leaders in Cristobol’s team have been able to open their own personal bank account and he’s also currently training twenty-one additional women to have a trade and soon join his team. He’s looking out for his community and I walked away from our time together inspired to grow even more involved in my own home community.

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Finally, I loved meeting Rosario and her team. Rosario has a 

determination to pursue her dreams.

 She drives four hours one-way every weekend to attend university and is also putting her daughters through school right now. In a community where it’s often typical for a girl to only complete education through sixth grade, Rosario’s determination to see her children and all of her female Artisans complete their education was humbling and inspiring to witness. She said that Ambassador trips always bring her joy and peace. It was amazing to realize our connection was just as meaningful for both of us.

This trip was a beautiful picture of how no matter what your role is in life and in the world, you matter. Whether you’re a Noonday Artisan partner,

Ambassador

,

Hostess

or customer, every role is vital and dependent on each other. I am so thankful to now have that perspective.

Now when I see our pieces, I see more than jewelry—I see the faces behind them, and the stories they shared with us. Just as the women in Rosario’s workshop transformed individual glass beads into wearable works of art, I now feel an

even stronger

connection with the story of Noonday—all of our individual stories, of Artisans and Ambassadors, woven together across the world.

So Worth Loving

I think we all struggle with the inside voice that tells us we are not worth loving. I think our media tells us every day that we need to be skinnier, wear more makeup, work harder, and do more. But, I often think what would our world and our personal life look like if we all believed we were “so worth loving”? What If we all ran our own race, didn't compare ourselves to others, celebrated each other’s successes, and truly believed we were beautiful. All bringing something unique and special to the table.

I’ve seen this cultural in the Noonday Collection Ambassador community and it’s so life giving, y’all. Our founder, Jessica, said it best. “Because, when you allow yourself to shine, you give others the permission to shine too.” When you focus on your own race and you run at your own pace, not the pace set by the world’s standards, life gets a lot easier. We begin believing we are worthy of love and living into our full potential!

This isn’t really a new concept, but it’s a concept many of us struggle to put into practice. Surrounding yourself with a community who believe this is game changer.  This environment enables you to really shine. You're able to really believe you're “so worth loving”. I pray that this continues to be the heart beat of my Ambassador community with Noonday and that it is put on women’s hearts all over the world. If you haven’t heard of “So Worth Loving” or Noonday Collection before, I encourage you to check it out. They are changing the game, one person at a time. Don’t forget you matter and your "so worth loving".