3 of Houston's Top Experts Share Their Health Secrets

Jane Humphrey | May 4, 2021 | People Lifestyle Eat Drink Features

Health is the new wealth as more and more people focus on what matters most. We polled Houston’s top experts for an inside look at how they stay in top form.

Casey Barbles

Founder of The Informal Grub (@the_informal_grub) Casey Barbles is bringing her community together—one meal at a time.

Having recently launched a new market entity called The Feel Good Group, Barbles works hard to achieve her dreams of connecting people for a fruitful experience. PHOTO BY BETHANY BREWSTER OF BETHANY TAKES PHOTOS
Having recently launched a new market entity called The Feel Good Group, Barbles works hard to achieve her dreams of connecting people for a fruitful experience. PHOTO BY BETHANY BREWSTER OF BETHANY TAKES PHOTOS


Barbles begins her morning by checking in with herself. “First things first, I do 10 minutes of abdominal breathing to relax my nervous system and jump-start digestion,” shares Barbles. “After that I meditate for 10 minutes. This allows me to have a gentle wake up that creates a calm and stress-free start to my day” MEDITATION PHOTO BY POIKE/ISTOCK.COM
Barbles begins her morning by checking in with herself. “First things first, I do 10 minutes of abdominal breathing to relax my nervous system and jump-start digestion,” shares Barbles. “After that I meditate for 10 minutes. This allows me to have a gentle wake up that creates a calm and stress-free start to my day” MEDITATION PHOTO BY POIKE/ISTOCK.COM

What do you forecast for this year? In 2021, wellness to me is about community. When I started the Heights Mercantile Farmers Market, I was able to become part of an unbelievable community that truly made my heart heal and gave my life meaning and purpose. Now, with everything we all have endured this last year, community is more vital than ever.


The health enthusiast strives for 2 liters of water a day. WATER PITCHER PHOTO BY PIXPOETRY/UNSPLASH
The health enthusiast strives for 2 liters of water a day. WATER PITCHER PHOTO BY PIXPOETRY/UNSPLASH

Daily routine... sunup to sundown... go! Right now, to ensure I am staying on top of my wellness and not overdoing it when planning and operating farmers markets, I try to not schedule any meeting before 10AM. Another rule I have set with my sleep health due to late work nights is I do not set an alarm so that I can sleep until my body needs. I typically wake up around 7AM and begin my morning routine.

How do you stay active? I love to take my two sweet pups on a walk on my super secret trail here in The Heights to get my body moving and absorb many benefits from the morning sunshine, like vitamin D!

Secret for decompressing after a day on the go? When it is time to wind down, I always light a few candles and put on my record player to set the mood and turn my brain off after a full day of emails and meetings. This gets me in a fun and relaxed mindset to cook dinner and throw my laptop and cell phone far, far away. Just kidding... if you have seen my Instagram stories, you will see I post almost every waking move... especially what I am cooking—I love getting to share what local products and ingredients I am using.

KARMAN & MARCUS LOVELY

Karman and Marcus Lovely marry the perfect mix at their innovative specialty shop in River Oaks (duohouston.com).

DUO offers a variety of scrumptious options including lattes, teas and kombuchas galore COFFEE PHOTO BY JOHN SHEPHERD/ISTOCK.COM
DUO offers a variety of scrumptious options including lattes, teas and kombuchas galore COFFEE PHOTO BY JOHN SHEPHERD/ISTOCK.COM

Fitness and froth are the secret behind the success of DUO, the buzzy new beanery and Pilates studio nestled in the heart of the River Oaks District. The dynamic duo behind this cutting-edge concept is Karman and Marcus Lovely, who have combined their passion for health and wellness to share with the Houston market. Here, we caught up with the loveliest of Lovelys...

What would you say is the best part of your job? KL: Being able to create an amazing and beautiful environment that our staff not only enjoy coming to but truly feel like they are part of. Our goal was always to facilitate growth, and we feel like we’ve created a space conducive to that.


Reformer Pilates classes start at $30 with top trained professionals who work with individuals to target any particular goals or needs. STUDIO PHOTO COURTESY OF KARMAN LOVELY
Reformer Pilates classes start at $30 with top trained professionals who work with individuals to target any particular goals or needs. STUDIO PHOTO COURTESY OF KARMAN LOVELY

Daily routine? ML: I wake up early to hit the gym for a quick workout, then back home to wrangle the kids and dogs and help them get going for the day. My next move is to run to DUO for coffee and to catch up with our staff before heading to my office or to meet with clients. I usually pop back into the coffee shop for an afternoon espresso and to catch up on emails or client phone calls. I typically finish the day at DUO, giving myself a chance to recap with staff and interact with our customers before we close for the night. Shortly after, I head home, grab a bottle of red wine and visit with my wife and kids over dinner.

Beauty must-haves? KL: Switch2Pure Well & Glow facial oil and Tula Cooling & Brightening eye balm.

Must-have products in the fridge? ML: A massive amount of cheese. KL: Frozen blueberries and flax seeds.


Karman and Marcus Lovely have their sights set on growing their brand and aim to have three locations in the next five years. PHOTO COURTESY OF KARMAN LOVELY
Karman and Marcus Lovely have their sights set on growing their brand and aim to have three locations in the next five years. PHOTO COURTESY OF KARMAN LOVELY

NADIA BOLLINGER

Soaring to new heights in the beauty biz is Nadia Bollinger, founder of Real Eyes (realeyesskincare.com).

Combining a true love for beauty with her knack for business and technology, Bollinger is upping the skincare game one product at a time. PHOTO COURTESY OF REAL EYES
Combining a true love for beauty with her knack for business and technology, Bollinger is upping the skincare game one product at a time. PHOTO COURTESY OF REAL EYES


“Real Eyes is a product of my obsession for sciencebacked ingredients, my passion for listening to consumer dialogue and a drive to combine these elements in a way that is completely consumer-centric,” shares Bollinger. PRODUCT PHOTO COURTESY OF REAL EYES
“Real Eyes is a product of my obsession for sciencebacked ingredients, my passion for listening to consumer dialogue and a drive to combine these elements in a way that is completely consumer-centric,” shares Bollinger. PRODUCT PHOTO COURTESY OF REAL EYES


EYELASHES PHOTO BY YULIA LISITSA/ISTOCK.COM
EYELASHES PHOTO BY YULIA LISITSA/ISTOCK.COM

What is the best part of your job? I get to share my passion for eye skincare with other people and help them address issues with their skin that maybe they’ve never been able to resolve before. Very satisfying to think that I am working on products that I’m not only passionate about but that can also help people along the way.

Daily routine? I start every day at 5:30 with Pilates and an almond milk-based drink to fill me up for my morning activities. The girls wake up around 6:30, and mornings are focused on getting them and Mom and Dad ready and out the door for the day ahead. I try to keep things light during the day, drink about a gallon of water and have a light lunch (usually a fish-based small entree) and then, after picking up my little angels, come home and try to make a balanced meal for the family, protein, veggie, some starch and fruit for dessert. Evening time is a special time with the girls to unwind after the day and relax. Once they are in bed, it’s back to business.

Must-have products? Real Eyes Ritual eye cream (of course!) and EltaMD tinted sunscreen.

What’s next? Right now I am laser focused on growing the business and brand. This company has been in the making for a couple of years with R&D taking nearly 18 months. We have a team of real scientists who help us create a clean formulation that not only works but feels amazing on your skin, and that’s not an easy task. I am so excited to continue sharing my passion with the world, and that’s what I plan on doing.



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Photography by: Bethany Brewster, Poike, iStock, Pix Poetry, Unsplash, John Shepherd, Karman Lovely, Real Eyes, Yulia Lisitsa