Photography by Sasha Israel
LANEY CROWELL IS CONSTANTLY ON THE GO. As Estee Lauder’s executive director of online communications, whether orchestrating photo shoots for life The Estee Edit, shooting videos with a certain reality star-turned-fashion darling or helming the global beauty brand’s social media presence with a swift tap of her perfectly manicured fingers. In short? She does it all. But how does the Northern Cali native stay balanced while criss-crossing the globe as often as one goes grocery shopping? Answer: A lot of practice. Take the mason jar swirled with superfoods from chia seeds to acai she keeps stocked in her pantry for smoothies on the go. Or her meticulously curated beauty bag she lugs on trans-continental flights that include her essentials from a scented Jo Malone candle to Castor Oil (for her brows, see below.) Read on for more of Crowell’s arsenal of stay-healthy tricks while she’s on the move and what secret supermodel tips she uses for herself.
Tell us about your secret weapon when traveling?
I travel three or four times a month for work and I was getting sick a lot. So to ward off sickness, I began making this smoothie when I’m not feeling well or when I’m getting on a plane because it has tons of Vitamin C.
What’s in it?
The base is raw, unpasteurized coconut water because we all know you get super dehydrated on planes but usually for other smoothies I use a base of homemade almond milk or green juice. Then I put in Camu powder, which has about 1000% percent of your daily Vitamin C requirements in one teaspoon. Then I do a whole orange including the juice and zest, some frozen banana, fresh pineapple, shredded raw unsweetened coconut, flaxseed, a couple drops of Immunity Max from Pressed Juicery and if I have the Lait de Coco from Juice Press, I’ll put a splash of that in and that’s it. So it’s a super Vitamin C packed smoothie with flaxseed and coconut, which keeps me full because of the fiber.
Is there a trick to smoothies on the fly?
My smoothies were taking a long time in the morning so I realized what was taking a long time was the taking out all the bags so I make a mason jar with seeds, flaxseed, Acai powder, cinnamon and shredded coconut and then I just do 3 heaping teaspoons of this. It’s such a time saver. My boyfriend calls me the chemist because I’m always concocting different things.
Why do you add flax seeds to your smoothies?
I feel like it fills me up, which is important when I’m getting on a plane because I don’t want to eat too much when I’m flying
What else is involved in your pre-plane routine?
I usually just do this smoothie but I also drink a ton of green juice when I’m traveling. In LA, I’ll go straight from the airport to Juice Served and pick something up because I try not to eat when I’m on the plane. Your tastebuds are different when you’re in the air and you can’t taste as much stuff so they load it with salt and sugar, so I try not to. Also, I always try to book my flight so I have time to workout in the morning beforehand.
What about long flights, do you not eat on those as well?
I’ll usually bring a salad with me. I’ll make it with spinach, tons of toasted seeds like pepitas, sunflower seeds, maybe some walnuts, and then whatever I have in the fridge that I don’t want to go bad while I’m traveling. I do it in my trenta Starbucks cup. I put olive oil, lemon juice, salt pepper on the bottom and cover it with a layer of the toasted seeds and nuts so that the lettuce doesn’t get soggy from the dressing. Then I do basically heaviest to lightest and whatever diced up veggies I have in the fridge that I don’t want to go bad and I just fill the whole thing up with fresh lettuce. And then I’ll put cellophane over it and then when I’m on the plane, I’ll just shake it. And I’ll do it even in business class. I get weird looks every time.
What are the principles you abide by when traveling?
1. Working out everyday. It’s so easy for me to slack on working out while traveling but sweating and blood circulation are so important to keep me from getting sick and helping my body regulate jet lag. I didn’t used to do that and by the end of a trip, I felt disgusting so now I make it a priority. When I’m in LA, I stay at Sunset Towers because I can walk down the block to Barry’s Bootcamp or SoulCycle or if I’m short on time, I’ll do a 20 minute jog and a three minute plank on my hotel room floor. I did that this Christmas in Little Cayman. I just went out to the street and ran for 10 minutes and then turned back around. It’s about keeping moving, the sweat and when you get back to New York, you don’t feel out of shape and you don’t feel like you’re starting back at ground zero.
2. Finding your spots is important. I definitely have my routine in LA because that’s where I travel to the most. I have my favorite juice bar, Juice Served. I try to go to there the day that I get to LA or the day after to Earth Bar to get a B12 shot for $25. I don’t know if it’s placebo or not but I notice a difference in terms of my energy level.
3. Stay hydrated, which means no coffee. When I’m traveling I tend to be more dehydrated. It’s all about Vitamin C and hydration. I try not to drink coffee in general but when I’m traveling, I never drink coffee. Instead, I’ll do tons of green juice. Going on a plane is hard on your body. People act like it’s no big deal but when you get off a plane, you’re tired because your body is working the whole time. Also depending on the trip, I try to stay on East Coast time. So in LA, I’ll go to bed at 8pm or 8:30pm and do a 5am Barry’s Bootcamp Class because the jet lag is hard.
4. Focus on simplicity. The less stuff you travel with, the less stressed you will be. I try to only bring a carry on. the more straightforward you keep your plans, the less stressed you will be. I don’t over book myself and I try to stay in a a familiar hotel. I always stay in the Sunset Tower in LA, they know me by name. Simplicity equals less stress equals less sickness and exhaustion.
Is there one airport that’s the healthiest?
San Francisco has amazing food from local restaurants. They have a juice bar. Other than that I bring everything.
Philosophy on eating and balance?
My number one philosophy is to never feel guilt. If I’m about the eat something that I know I would feel guilty about, then I won’t do it. That said, if I go out to an amazing dinner, I don’t feel guilty. I indulge all the time. It’s not always healthy, it’s just amazing food and I love the experience. Sometimes you eat a piece of food and it warms your soul and you hear your heart smiling but it’s fried chicken and that’s ok to me. My body absorbs food differently when I’m feeling guilty about it. I also try to eat vegan during the week or at least vegan for breakfast and lunch.
Guilt is hot button issue for many people when it comes to eating and dieting. How did you overcome that?
I’m the type of person where I’ll be going to asleep thinking about the M&Ms I ate. I hold on to stuff. I’m not a laissez-faire person. But then I learned from the Food Rules from bonberi and it changed my life. I call it bonberi-ing. Food combining has been huge for my stomach. I eat fruit in the morning and I don’t eat it any other time. I’ll do mainly roasted vegetables for lunch but if I do a starch or protein, that will affect what I eat for dinner. The second I eat a protein and a starch together, my stomach is super unhappy. It mainly just made me start eating so many more vegetables. Also with traveling, I don’t have a routine anymore. I used to feel healthy if I was super into my “routine” and I had to let go of that because I would feel stressed if I got out of my routine or wasn’t working out or wasn’t eating my “foods.” I had to become comfortable with not being able to have a diet or routine. Sticking with the food rules, I’ve noticed a huge difference in my energy, mood, and the way my clothes fit. Mentally I also feel much better eating these way because I don’t feel guilt or stress.
Take us through a day in the life when you’re not traveling?
I wake up and the first thing I do is I think about not going to my workout class but then I go. I alternate between Soul Cycle and Barry’s Bootcamp. Barry’s is intense, but I do it in a way that I’m alive afterwards. When everyone is going at 10-12 MPH on the treadmill, I go 8 MPH. I usually do a 6 A.M. or 7 A.M. class and then afterwards I go get my Trenta iced green tea unsweetened from Starbucks, come home, make a smoothie for my boyfriend and I. If I have to go straight to work, I make it the night before and I put it in one of the glass Juice Served bottles from LA. I usually bring a couple bottles home from LA and give them to friends.
At work, I’ll have packed my lunch from the night before, which is almost always roasted vegetables covered with a layer of spinach or kale. My body doesn’t love raw foods so I’ll usually heat it up. I roast the vegetables with olive oil. Sometimes I’ll make a burrito with a sauce of full fat greek yoghurt from White Moustache, mixed with the juice of a whole lime, garlic powder, chili powder and sea salt and put it on a cauliflower and kale burrito that I make with an Ezekial tortilla. In the afternoon, I keep raw almonds or cashews in my closet. Sometimes I’ll bring a snack, this week I brought a big container of quinoa I cooked in vegetable broth and added tomatoes, basil and pesto. I also brought a big thing of sautéed vegetables and a big thing of lettuce so sometimes I’ll eat two lunches. I’ll do one at 12 P.M. and another at 4 P.M. if I’ll really hungry.
I made a rule of not ordering in anymore because I used to do it all the time. I make my breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. I like knowing what goes into my food and can make sure it’s organic, fresh and not full of oil and salt. So now I always cook dinner. A lot of spiralizing happens at my apartment. Zucchini noodles, sweet potato noodles and my new favorite, parsnip noodles. Usually it’s vegetable noodles with some sort of sauce, either Rao’s tomato sauce, pesto, or tamari and nut butter sauce for dinner. I’m trying to curb that though because my boyfriend is getting a little tired of it. He’ll eat them but it was like two months straight of zucchini noodles so he put a pause to that. But the second he tried parsnip noodles, it’s all he wants. They taste like real pasta. I recently made parsnip noodles with soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar like pad-thai sauce and it was so good.
What is your favorite indulgence?
I eat a lot of dessert. We always have dark chocolate around. I like Mast Brothers and the Fair Trade Endangered Species brand. They come in sample sizes. We get a lot of Van Leewen vegan ice cream. But my favorite indulgence is sushi. It’s high sodium and generally combining protein and starches but I love it. Blue Ribbon is my favorite.
You have such beautiful skin. What’s your secret?
Very rarely do I wear makeup. I’ve been super focused on skincare so I don’t have to wear so much makeup. I have these wipes called Clear clinic Laboratories Medicated Pads with Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid from my dermatologist Dr. Eric Schweiger, which I use that really help my breakouts. I’ve had acne my whole life and he’s amazing. It’s a lot of not wearing makeup and it’s a lot of eating healthy and no coffee. Then I’ll layer three hydrating things. First is always Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, morning, night, afternoon, anytime. It just hydrates and is so mild. I equate it to Cetaphil facewash. It’s the most gentle but effective product. It protects your cells, helps them detox and supports them so they can then get rid of all of the pollution that enters into your cells. So basically it’s like a B12 shot for your skin. I’ll put on an amazing serum Hyalis Hydrating Serum by Neocutis from my dermatologist then I’ll do the Rodin face oil and that’s it for skincare. Finally I’ll put some Fatboy Perfect Puddy in my hair because I wash my hair everyday.
With a corporate job, do you have any tips for keeping healthy and active at the office?
Working in social media and online, I’m sitting down a lot. For me, the number one thing is working out in the morning and bringing my lunch. Knowing what’s in my food and knowing it’s organic has made such a huge difference. I was actually eating a lot less before than when I started bringing and making my own food but yet I feel so much healthier and my clothes fit better. Also not crossing your legs is a good computer tip because when you’re sitting down so much, you need your blood to be moving. I get up a lot because I drink so much water that I get up to go get more and also to go to the bathroom. I recently ordered some compression socks from that new line Item M6. They make stylish compressions tights and socks. It’s compression for people with bad circulation, they move your blood. So I put those on when I get on the plane just to help your blood not to sit down in your feet. I wear my tights all the time.
Do you ever do a tech detox?
I’ve been trying to put my phone down more but if you were to ask me how many times I check Instagram a day, I would say 50. Between Estee Lauder’s Instagram and mine, it’s constant.
With so many work meetings, how do you navigate when dining out?
I have a couple restaurants that I feel good about going. I do a lot of dinners at Ellary’s Greens in New York and LA has amazing food. Gracias Madre is my favorite place to eat out. It’s so fantastic because it’s organic, vegan and delicious. I usually order a lot of salads and two appetizers as opposed to an entree. Also, I changed a lot of my dinners to drinks and I don’t really drink so I’ll just get a club soda with lemon. Because I work in fashion, I can get away with a lot more than if I worked in finance. You can always say, I’m cleansing or I have to be at work and up early or I have Barry’s tomorrow so I’m not going to drink.
What’s the best beauty trick you’ve learned on set?
Liu Wen has amazing beauty tips, like old Chinese recipes for carp soup. She always talks about circulation. One of her tips that I loved, which I do is the second I get to my hotel room is to fill your bathtub up with cold water and put your feet in it. I started doing that. It depuffs everything and gets your blood moving again. Liu actually gets ice delivered to her room and fills the tub up with ice and just puts her feet in.
You’ve worked with the world’s most beautiful models, do they know something we don’t when it comes to keeping healthy?
One of my favorite models Hilary Rhoda, she once said in an interview, if you workout and you sweat, you don’t have to worry so much about what you eat. For me, so much of feeling good is to not be stressed and that resonated so much with me because it’s true. When I workout, I listen to my body more so I’ll stop eating when I’m full and eat when I’m hungry, but also if I want some ice cream or chocolate, I don’t feel bad about it.
FOR LANEY’S VITAMIN C SMOOTHIE, CLICK HERE
FOR LANEY’S GREEN APPLE, CLICK HERE