How Gluten-Free Foodfluencer Lauren Less Spent $1,000 on Wellness

lauren less wellness diary

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What if you had $1,000 to spend on your health?

Welcome to Wellness Diaries. In this series, we send readers $1,000 to splurge on any product, service, or experience—as long as it’s something that can enhance health.

This time, we’ve got Lauren Less (@lesswithlaur), a Chicago-based food blogger and recipe creator. She uses her passion for food and helping others to create a space where people can access allergy-friendly recipes, chronic illness support, and health and wellness tips.

Food blogger/influencer, Less with Laur, Lauren Less
in a white kitchen, wearing a matching set and gauzey white button down, holding up a green drink, smiling.
Lauren Less

Meet Lauren

Lauren’s mission is to prove that you can live an incredibly full life with food allergies and chronic illnesses! She works full-time in real estate, part-time as a therapist, and has also completed yoga teacher training. She’s passionate about the intersection between physical health, mental health, and nutrition. Reading a great book in an Epsom salt bath, red light therapy, and Pilates are her current self-care faves.

Check her out on Instagram or TikTok or grab some delicious recipes from her food blog.

Lauren’s also a Ness Card Legend. That means she’s someone who uses the Ness Card (and we just think she’s especially cool). Here’s what she’s loving about the card:

“I LOVE that the Ness Card encourages people to live a healthy lifestyle. Health and wellness is my #1 priority right now, so the Ness Card is perfect for me because I receive 5x points for every healthy purchase. I am also a huge Sweetgreen fan, so I love that I am able to get $15 back in statement credits for every $75 I spend. Plus, I am obsessed with the card design. Once you have it in your hands, you’ll understand!”

Lauren Less’s Diary

$555 Knives

white knife set in a wooden block
Crate & Barrel

Wusthof Gourmet White 16-Piece Knife Block Set

“As a food blogger and recipe creator, I’m in the kitchen basically 24/7. I have been using my random collection of knives for the last few years and I’m lucky I haven’t cut my fingers off yet. This gourmet knife set is GORGEOUS and way nicer than anything I would ever purchase for myself. I am so excited to use them—they will definitely help me cook more delicious and nourishing meals!”

$95 Clean Facial

lena rose beauty products
Lena Rose

Lena Rose Facial Treatment

“I’m not usually one to splurge on a facial, so this was a really fun treat! I had been wanting to check out Lena Rose for a while. It is Chicago’s first and only green beauty spa. Lena Rose uses clean and non-toxic beauty products with earth-derived ingredients and they were great for my sensitive skin! The Classic Lena is a simple yet effective facial with lots of lymphatic drainage, which I loved. I am definitely going to be a return customer (especially now that my Ness card will get me 5x points!).”

$145 Ancient Bath Experience

huge ancient bath spa
AIRE Ancient Baths

AIRE Ancient Baths Chicago (90 minutes)

“I have always wanted to visit the AIRE baths—a thermal bath spa inspired by ancient Greek and Roman traditions—so this was the perfect opportunity. It was an incredibly unique experience. AIRE allows you to journey at your own pace through the baths at various temperatures, creating total relaxation for the mind and body. My favorite part was floating in the flotarium (salt bath)!”

$48 Alo Tank

cropped white alo tank top

Alo Aspire Tank

“I have had my eyes on the Alo Aspire tank for a while! The fit is perfect (I got a small) and I am so excited to wear it to my next Pilates class.”

$138 Leggings

graphite colored alo leggings with a slight sheen

Alo Airlift High-Waist Suit Up Legging

“Again, Alo is one of my absolute favorite activewear brands. These leggings are perfect for Pilates, hiking, biking, and dog walking!”

Total: $981.00 (4,905 Ness Card Points)

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“This card is such an exciting addition to my wallet and it’s perfect for someone who values health and wellness but hasn’t found a credit card that rewards me for that. I love getting rewarded for wellness practices like sleeping, meditating, and moving my body—plus extra points on purchases at my favorite places like Whole Foods, ClassPass and sweetgreen. The app is easy to use and the card is designed for your definition of health and wellness, which I love. It’s flexible!”

Kira's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“It’s no secret that wellness is such an important part of my everyday life. I spend a lot of money to help fuel my love of running, recovery, nutrition and mindfulness, so the fact that I can now earn rewards for every dollar I spend with the Ness Card is amazing. My health always comes first, and the Ness Card makes that easy to do. It’s a win-win for everyone!”

Andi's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“As a new mum, wellness and self-care is a priority for me—so I can, in turn, be able to take care of my baby. I love the incentives that Ness offers for making healthier choices. And to be rewarded along the way for those purchases is such a plus!

Oh, and getting 5x point rewards on my Erewhon $20+ smoothie makes it a little more justifiable.”

Amrit's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“I made a promise to myself to find my joy again in 2023. For the past few years, I haven’t been taking care of myself mentally and physically because I’ve just been on the go and focusing on the future instead of being present. I realized that part of the reason I wasn’t happy was because I wasn’t taking care of myself. So, now with the Ness Card—which literally rewards you for staying on top of your wellness journey—I’ve easily been able to focus on my mental and physical journey. Using the card is now a part of my weekly routine, whether I’m buying groceries, going to therapy, spending a day at the spa, or treating myself to a delicious yummy meal.”

Candace's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“I love life with the Ness Card! The team behind the scenes work really hard to make it valuable and to create a sense of community, which you feel in every newsletter and hand-crafted partnership. The card itself encourages me to be even more curious about where I’m spending my money. It definitely incentivizes me to spend ‘healthier’, which is really unique. On top of that, getting points for taking more steps? There is seriously nothing like it.

David's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“My favorite thing about the Ness Card is that it rewards you for your healthy habits, and not all of them require spending. Yes, you can earn 5x points when you spend at any of their approved health and wellness merchants (think Erewhon and many of your other favorites) but you also earn points for being active daily! So now your sanity walks are literally paying off :) As someone who not only works in wellness but lives and breathes it, essentially most of my expenses live in that realm and with the Ness Card I can now be rewarded nicely for those purchases.”

Kirsty's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“I love that I have rewards to look forward to when I focus on my health and wellness. As a mom of two and full time photographer/creator, it’s hard to find time to prioritize my health and—as my body ages—I want to make sure that I’m treating it to all the TLC it needs (and deserves)! The Ness Card reminds me to take care of my mental, physical, and emotional health on the daily.”

Valerie's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“It’s refreshing to have a card app that is so easy to use. I can track my spending and rewards at the click of a button. I love getting a notification when I get extra points for getting a full night sleep or getting my steps in, though of course those are optional. I work a lot, and I feel like I get extra rewarded for taking the time to take care of myself – whether it’s therapy or simply cooking at home instead of dining out. The points accumulate really quickly, and I’ve already gotten a $1,000 credit at Erewhon in my first four months. I also go visit family in Europe a lot, and no one takes my card there, so it’s so convenient to be able to use my Ness Card without ever paying a fee.”

Mélanie's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“As someone who spends the majority of her money on wellness, the Ness Card is perfect for me! I love earning 5x points on purchases at healthy businesses that I was already making, anyways. The Ness Card also motivates me to get enough sleep, practice mindfulness and other healthy habits. The app is really user-friendly and I love watching my points add up. I am excited to redeem them for wellness-related items!”

Lauren's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“The Ness Card motivates me to keep up my healthy habits, and has helped me discover new brands and products that are in alignment with my goals. I’m not spending any more with my Ness Card, but the money I am spending on health and wellness is actually earning me rewards, benefits, and even cash back. And because Ness’s definition of a ‘healthy merchant’ is so generous, I’m able to recognize all of the small ways I practice self-care throughout the week. From buying fresh veggies to going to therapy to taking my supplements, the Ness Card is there to cheer me on: ‘Keep being healthy, girl. You deserve 5x points for that.'”

Melissa's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“The Ness Card rewards me when I spend money on health and wellness. Especially because so much of my wellness routine is spent being active, gardening, making food with my husband, getting a massage, or having some me time, it is nice to be rewarded for that with points that are with brands I shop at all the time anyway. It allows my wellness choices to work harder which I love.”

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