guest post: how to eat healthy on a budget
eating healthy is already challenging in and of itself for many people, and unfortunately, it often costs more to eat nutritiously than it does to eat unhealthy food, only further discouraging people from really making lifestyle changes. ever wonder how to eat healthy on budget? ith the proper planning and strategy, it’s possible to do just that!
by utilizing the following five techniques, you’ll be able to eat well and save money in the process:
1. buy packaged items in bulk. whether you shop at a membership warehouse store like costco or sam’s club, an organic market or a traditional grocery store, it’s almost always cheaper to buy in bulk. this is especially true for packaged items such as brown rice, quinoa and protein/snack bars.
while buying organic and higher quality packaged foods is generally more expensive, you can offset some of the cost by buying in bulk. for example, getting a large box of organic cereal with healthy ingredients is often cheaper [per ounce] than buying those single serving cups of lucky charms.
2. don’t buy pre-packaged produce. purchasing pre-washed bags of greens or packages of sliced pineapple might be more convenient, but that convenience comes at a significant cost. pay attention the next time you go to the store and you’ll notice the dramatic price difference between buying unpackaged fresh fruits and vegetables and those that are already packaged.
if you’re really busy and can’t make time to prepare your own fruits and veggies, stick to produce that doesn’t require any preparation, such as apples and celery. they offer nutritional value while requiring little effort to prepare.
3. grow your own herbs. a great way to enhance the taste of food without turning to potentially unhealthy sauces and dressings is by adding a few herbs. it’s amazing the difference a little fresh basil, oregano or sage can make on an otherwise bland dish. unfortunately, buying fresh herbs can quickly take up a large chunk of your budget. thankfully there is a solution: growing your own herbs.
unlike other fruits and vegetables, many herbs don’t require a garden, or even any outdoor space, in order to grow. this makes them ideal for homeowners and apartment dwellers alike. you can buy the seeds and soil inexpensively at a store like home depot, get a few small pots and you’re good to go! just set them on a windowsill so they can get sun exposure and water them regularly. give it a few weeks and you’ll have plenty of fresh herbs at a fraction of the cost.
4. snack on inexpensive natural foods. one category of foods in which the healthy option is actually cheaper is snack foods. doritos, cheetos, and other potato chips, for example, are really quite expensive. sunflower seeds, raisins and air-popped popcorn are much better alternatives to traditional snack foods at a lower price. if you really want to get creative, you can bake your own kale chips or pop your own popcorn!
5. invest in a blender and make your own smoothies/juices. juicing and drinking smoothies is one of the best ways to sneak some extra nutrients into your diet without having to eat something you may not like. once again, however, your budget is likely to get in the way of being able to consume store-bought juices or smoothies regularly.
investing in a high-end blender such as a blendtec or vitamix might be worth it, but with a $400 price tag, may not be an option for everyone. luckily, most of the less expensive blenders are able to get the job done just as well!
employ these five strategies the next time you head to the grocery store … your wallet will thank you!
this post was written by jason feller, the director of marketing for dealspotr.com, a site dedicated to helping consumers find the best prices on everyday items.
healthy lifestyle staples: cayenne pepper
if you’ve been reading bananas + bellinis for a while now, you might know that i have this little series i call “healthy lifestyle staples” where i like to highlight different products that i cannot live without and encourage everyone else to always have on hand … and cayenne pepper is one of them! let’s chat for a minute …
if spicy food isn’t exactly your thing … i really think it’s time that you get over it and start encorporating cayenne pepper into your diet … you can ease into it, and take a gradual start if that makes things easier on you.
why do you need cayenne pepper in your diet? here’s a few reasons!
- helps boost the metabolism + regulate digestion
- breaks up mucus + relieves sinus congestion
- balances out LDL cholesterol [the bad stuff] + triglycerides [more bad stuff]
- prevents headaches, including migraines
- as a natural anti-bacterial, it can help to boost immunity + keep you from getting sick so often, especially in those colder months!
sound pretty good? thought so!
wondering how can you add cayenne pepper to your diet? this detoxifying lemon water [another healthy lifestyle staple!] is a great place to start … all you need is a dash of cayenne. you can also sprinkle it on top of salads, pasta, avocado toast or soup … your options are endless!
Photo courtesy of Guiding Instincts
motivation mondays: week 44
good morning and happy monday! [i really need to come up with a new way to greet you guys at the beginning of the week … nothing is worse than someone who says “happy monday!” and actually means it … ] i hope everyone had a great weekend. i spent the majority of mine getting some much needed r+r … i was so wiped out by the time my workday was over on friday! i hung out at the beach on saturday with a friend after an amazing brunch at gjusta [i had iced coffee, a croissant and the fermented veggie bowl] and spent the rest of my weekend alternating between napping, watching friends and preparing to move into my new apartment [more on that to come in another post]! i’m excited to say that as of this weekend, I will no longer be a nomad and will officially have my own place in LA! #babysteps
this week’s motivation mondays is inspired by all of the negativity i’ve seen on social media lately. it seems like my newsfeed is composed of mean-spirited posts putting down this person, that celebrity, this group of people, that religion, and quite honestly, it’s exhausting. i’ve had to start “hiding” people from appearing on my feed because i just can’t take it anymore. and i’m not talking about people putting down bad people … i‘m just referring to people who seem to think it’s okay to carry on and on and on about people who they just don’t understand, or people who have lifestyles they don’t agree with. i saw this quote and I think we can all use this reminder from time to time:
just because you find something that someone else does to be “weird” or it’s “against your religion” doesn’t mean you need to go and plaster your disapproval all over the internet. yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but you never know who you might hurt in the process of sharing things to death on facebook. it all comes down to that lesson we learned when we first went to school as little kids … to treat others the way we want to be treated. even in 2015, as adults living in the age of social media, we should still be living by this rule.
you can’t know what another person is dealing with, and no matter how perfect of an appearance someone might be able to keep up doesn’t mean they have an “easy” life or haven’t gone through difficult times in their life. so maybe, the next time you want to say, share or do something mean-spirited that puts down someone else who has literally done nothing to you, take a step back and put yourself in their shoes. think about how you would feel if you were in their position. you should try your hardest to refrain from doing/saying/posting anything that could make another person feel bad … no one likes being around a fun sponge who is putting out negative energy, anyways.
long story short: don’t be an a**hole.
so, that’s my rant for the day! JUST BE NICE. THE WORLD REALLY NEEDS NICE RIGHT NOW, OKAY?!
links for the day:
1. as a Banksy fan, dismaland has seriously sparked my interest … wishing i was able to make a quick trip to the UK to experience it … how creepy does this place look?!
2. SPIRIT. ANIMAL.
3. and just to drive the whole “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” sentiment home…thanks jordan younger [aka the balanced blonde] for always keepin’ it real.
have a great week everyone … i have a new healthy lifestyle staples post for you on wednesday [hint: it’s hot] and another guest post on friday … and of course, sign up for my newsletter to get content delivered straight to your inbox on thursdays!
Image courtesy of SELF Magazine
oz recap part 4: cairns
wow, it’s hard to believe that almost 3 months later i’m still recapping my trip to australia … guess that means i used my time there well! … right?!
after spending almost a week in beautiful broome, my friend anna and i headed to cairns, in queensland, to snorkel the great barrier reef … making a major dent in the bucket list with this one! there wasn’t a whole lot going on in cairns … it almost reminded me of a jersey shore town, with all of the night clubs, hostels and backpackers … but it was a great launching point for the reef!
i don’t have many good pictures of the airbnb we stayed in, but i just needed to highlight how freakin’ cute this place was … the outdoor patio with the lanterns was magical in the evenings and it was such a nice little retreat.
one highlight of cairns for me was rusty’s market, which was filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, natural product vendors and, of course, fresh coconut water!
[coconut stand at rusty’s market][fresh fruit at rusty’s market]
the esplanade, which was down by the water, and the cairns marina offered amazing views. how cool are those fish statues?!
[cairns esplanade][cairns marina]
now, most importantly … let’s talk about our day trip to the great barrier reef! we went out with seastar cruises, and i have to say, they were fantastic! they served us coffee, tea and muffins in the morning when we arrived on the boat, a pretty solid lunch in the afternoon, and cakes on the return trip. the staff was super friendly and knowledgable, and overall the experience was great.
unfortunately, we had pretty choppy water and a lot of wind that day, and after the two hour trip to our first stop, michaelmas cay, i was so ready to get in the water! even though it was winter in australia, the water was like bath water … literally the perfect temperature for swimming, no wetsuit required! we hopped out onto the beach [there is a small section that people are allowed to go on, while the rest of the cay is reserved for wildlife], put our flippers and masks on, and quite literally, dove in!
[ready to go!]
[bluest water ever!]
we spent about an hour at michaelmas cay, got back on the boat and headed another hour out into the ocean, to totally open water, where we snorkeled hastings reef…this was where we were able to see huge coral walls, which were about 30 to 40 feet high. un.real.
besides the amazing reefs, we saw the most colorful fish … literally fish of every size and every color you could imagine … a massive fish [see the picture below], a giant barracuda [so scary!!!!] and my favorite and definitely the highlight of the day … sea turtles!! we also got to do a glass bottom boat tour, which was way cooler than it initially sounded, i promise. all in all, the day was great and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience!
the images below are really all that i have [i took some underwater video and snagged these pictures from seastar’s facebook page] … but i think you can get a feel for what it was like!
[smiling faces after an amazing, once in a lifetime experience!]
unfortunately, because of pollution and global warming, the coral is not nearly as vibrant and colorful as it once was and a lot of it is dead. the beauty is still there, but it was pretty depressing to really see what we’re doing to the planet with my own eyes in a way that was super easy to digest.
on that note, there’s one last thing i want to leave you with … not to get all political or anything, but please, if any part of you feels sad or upset about what is happening to the great barrier reef … or even if you’re unclear on exactly what is happening, please check out this link and sign the petition if you feel so inclined. we need to make sure we’re doing something to preserve this natural wonder … before it’s too late!
my next recap will be for brisbane [koalas and kangaroos will be covered] … i really loved this city and can’t wait to tell you all about it!
motivation mondays: week 43
IF YOU LIVE IN LOS ANGELES STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING RIGHT NOW AND GO TO THE BIGG CHILL IMMEDIATELY. IT’S THE ONLY MOTIVATION YOU NEED ON A MONDAY. if you don’t … i’m sorry for the #foodporn that follows … but … i had to. #sorrynotsorry
let’s stop talking about froyo, because honestly, if we don’t my entire day will be derailed because i won’t be able to think about anything else … onto this week’s motivation mondays quote!
i loved this quote for multiple reasons … including the galaxy pattern in the background. i think they make yoga pants in this print? if you know of them, please direct me to where i can purchase them.
so anyways, let’s do a little #realtalk here. there is this idea out there in society that there is a path that we’re supposed to be on. and it all looks more or less the same for everyone, regardless of your thoughts, opinions, dreams, desires, passions, aspirations … you see where i’m going with this. it often sounds a little something like this: get good grades in high school, go to a really good college, major in something practical … get really good grades here, too, score a job that pays well [and simultaneously takes up all your time and sucks your soul out of your body … they usually leave this part out] … work, work, work, work, work, work, be busy, on the go, running around, always doing something, never stopping ever, because busy equals successful equals on the right path equals impressing everyone equals doing what society says we should be doing. most people expect this type of lifestyle to eventually pay off in a big way, but unfortunately, unless it’s truly the lifestyle you want to have and are passionate about, it more than likely isn’t going to end up that way.
if you’ve every felt like the path you’re on just isn’t for you, you’re not alone and it’s totally okay to feel that way. you just have to get to a point where you can be okay with the fact that the person you think you’re “supposed” to be doesn’t have to be the person you actually become become. you’re allowed to create your own path, your own reality and go with what feels right for you. we should all be following our own expectations and goals, not those that someone else has set for us.
AKA: you just gotta do you. it’s as simple as that.
links I’m loving:
1. so next summer my family is doing a trip to the UK … we added this place to the bucket list this weekend. like … hot chocolate ice cream floats…ARE YOU KIDDING?!
2. my newest post for wellspired was published on saturday … let’s call it a round up of all of my favorite happy and healthy products!
3. you can never have too much avocado inspiration … amiright?
have a great week…see you on wednesday with more australia snaps!
Photo courtesy of Positively Positive
i attended a talk last week here in LA hosted by robin shirley, founder of the take back your health conference. she mostly discussed the healing powers of superfoods, and even though I’m no stranger to the idea of incorporating superfoods in my diet, i came away from the event inspired to start experimenting with them more. a great place to start? smoothies!
all summer, i’ve been having some serious cravings for ice cream … i mean … who doesn’t love ice cream? in particular, i’ve been daydreaming about creamsicles for the past few weeks … and i can’t be the only one who gets serious childhood nostalgia for these things … right? unfortunately, as i’m sure you can imagine, the original creamsicle popsicles are full of ingredients that are just terrible for you. enter: superfoods.
i went ahead and turned the creamsicle into a smoothie that’s actually good for you and tastes prettttyyyyyyyy damn close to the original we all know and love. my superfood of choice for this recipe was bee pollen, which is high in amino acids and protein, and has been shown to boost the immune system and regulate digestion … you can read more about the benefits of it in more detail here.
for one superfood creamsicle you will need:
- 1 c. fresh squeezed orange juice [cold]
- 3/4 c. unsweetened coconut milk [cold]
- 1 large banana
- 2 tbsp. all-natural vanilla protein powder [I like vega ONE, and this is where the greenish color comes from]
- 2 tsp. bee pollen
- place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- pour into a glass and enjoy…straw, hammock and sunshine are optional.
product review: block island organics sunscreen + special offer
i always love trying out new products that are organic, all-natural and don’t contain any harmful ingredients to find out what actually works, so when block island organics reached out to me and asked if i would like to try out their sunscreen, i was obviously onboard. i decided that reviewing products the same way i review fitness classes was probably a good idea, so we’ll be following the same “banana system” seen here, here and here.
i don’t think i need to go into detail about why you should be wearing sunscreen because, let’s face it, it’s 2015 and that type of thing is just common knowledge these days. unfortunately, sunscreen is one of those things that everyone knows they should be using, but still decide to go without … for a variety of reasons.
and i’m definitely guilty of this. i hate how sunscreen tends to be super greasy and difficult to blend into my skin, leaving a weird, uncomfortable film of lotion on my body that gets on my clothes, into my eyes, and makes my hair look as if i haven’t showered in a few weeks. the spray sunscreens, which are supposed to make life easier, do just the opposite. they are equally as messy and don’t offer even coverage, which can cause weird, streaky tan/burn lines. a girl seriously can’t win.
[we should all make sunscreen one of our beach necessities.]
luckily, block island organics solves all of these #firstworldproblems with their natural mineral sunscreen. it’s still a lotion, but it’s not super thick or greasy, so it doesn’t leave an oily layer behind. it’s easy to massage into your skin, which ensures even coverage and this stuff is seriously sweat-proof. i put it on before i biked about a mile and then took an intense 90-minute vinyasa flow yoga class where i got mega-sweaty. only in the last 15 minutes of class did i start to notice that i was sweating off the lotion just a tiny bit. not only does it work, it’s made in the USA, vegan, gluten-free and all-natural … free of parabens, dyes, phthalates, and all of that other sh*t we don’t want to be putting on our bodies. the verdict?
4/5 bananas for block island organics!
want to get your hands on some of this stuff for the last few weeks of summer? i’m sure your skin could certainly use some t.l.c.! from today [august 12th, 2015] until august 18th, 2015 at 11:59pm eastern time, the block island organics family is offering all bananas + bellinis readers 15% off their entire purchase at www.blockislandorganics.com! just use the code “kelsey” at checkout! [this cannot be combined with any other offer.]
please note that while this post was made possible by block island organics, all opinions expressed here are my own!
motivation mondays: week 42
okay, it’s monday morning and first thing’s first, let’s do a quick little LA food recap from the past week. the highlights were:
[tacos por favor…the potato tacos were ridiculous.]
[yellow coconut curry bowl with miracle noodles + tempeh from m café]
[clockwise from left: samoas donut, nutella cronut + samoas cronut from dk’s donuts.]
now that we’ve gotten that over with, let’s talk motivation mondays!
i think it’s important to touch on the idea of self-care and self-love from time to time, and that’s what we’re going to do today. whether we realize it or not, in our day to day lives we give and give and give ourselves to the other people … friends, coworkers/managers/clients, boyfriends/girlfriends/husbands/wives, pets, family, kids … we even give ourselves to complete and total strangers. we’ve spent a lot of time learning about how to be kind to others, how to treat others with respect, but rarely are we taught how to do those same things for ourselves.
being good to other people is a no-brainer. we all know the difference between right and wrong, and that the smallest good deed can mean the world to the person on the receiving end of it. what we forget, or maybe don’t even know, is that we deserve the same level of kindness and respect that we show others from ourselves.
make sure that you take time every. single. day. to be good to yourself. buy yourself the shirt you’ve been eying for weeks because you work hard and you deserve it. treat yourself to a doughnut [like I did this weekend]. look in the mirror and give yourself a compliment … and mean it. doing something nice for yourself is equally as important as being nice to other people. if you can’t be kind to yourselves, you’re telling the universe that you don’t deserve to be treated well by others. and that’s the truth.
links i love right now…
1. i will never not be upset that jon stewart doesn’t host the daily show anymore. it’s like, the end of an era. and yea, buzzfeed got it right.
2. more jon stewart … because i’m still in the grieving stages of this break-up, okay?
3. and again … because i’ll never be over this. miss you already, jon.
have a great week everyone … what’s one thing you’re going to do for yourself today?!
guest post: 5 tips for finding a fitness plan that works fo you
when it comes to finding a fitness plan that works for you, it’s important to remember that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. in fact, there are so many ways to keep fit and stay healthy that you don’t need to worry if hitting the gym just isn’t your thing. simply getting off the bus a few stops early or maybe going for a walk during your lunch hour can all add valuable physical activity to your day.
but, what you do need to remember is that any fitness plan has to work around your life, otherwise the likelihood is that you won’t stick to it. this isn’t necessarily a reflection of you, it’s just human nature … and it doesn’t have to stay that way! if you can find a way to get fit that works with your lifestyle, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your fitness goals.
keeping all of this in mind, let’s take a look at the best ways to find a fitness plan that will work for you!
1. don’t push yourself too hard at the start. when you first begin a new workout routine, you may feel super motivated and like you have something to prove, but pushing yourself too hard at the beginning is only going to create problems. if you haven’t worked out in a while, you could be increasing the chance of getting hurt if you push yourself too hard. not only this, biting off more than you can chew will encourage you to skip sessions when the going gets tough, and this will likely lead to you just stopping completely. a fitness plan is a lifestyle change, so when it comes to planning yours, you need to make sure that you find something that’s realistic for you.
2. do your research. whether you love going to the gym or would rather spend time at the park with family, there are plenty of ways to get fit. researching will help you to find exercises that you think you may enjoy. If you like swimming, find a pool that has an adults only swimming time so you can get a workout without the distraction of children. if you worry about how you’re going to fit your fitness routine around family/friend time, then bring them with you! working out with a buddy is more enjoyable than working out alone, and if you have kids, they can benefit from a bike ride or a run around the park, too. get creative!
3. tag team it. one of the best ways to ensure that you stick to a new fitness plan is to enlist someone else to join you. whether you choose to take your partner or a friend, it can be a great way to spend some quality time with someone. exercising together will also help you to bond and stay connected, while having someone to keep you motivated and vice versa. if you can’t get anyone on board, try making friends with people who workout at similar times as you. if you’re in touch with someone at the gym or in a workout class and they’re expecting you to be there, you’re more likely to show up.
4. follow a gradual plan. fitness is becoming more and more popular all the time, and because of this, the amount of plans aimed at people who haven’t worked out much before is growing. there are plans that can help you go “from your sofa to running a 5K” and much more. diving in head first isn’t sustainable, but working gradually towards a goal means you will be much more likely to stay on track.
5. find what works best for you. if you have a fitness plan in place and haven’t noticed any changes after about four weeks [or you just aren’t enjoying it], consider changing it up! remember, it’s always best to do a mixture of cardio and strength training, but strength training can be anything from yoga to hiking, and cardio can range from dancing to jumping on a trampoline …. think outside the box and create a fitness plan that keeps you entertained, motivated and is something you love to do!
getting fit and starting a new fitness plan can be intimidating at first, but when approached the right way, can change your life for the better. all you need is the motivation and a plan that works for you and your lifestyle.
and remember, fitness is about leading a healthier lifestyle, not worrying about the number you see on the scale or the tags of your clothes. focus on how you feel, because that’s what really counts!
this post was written by amy leach on behalf of focus training.
motivation mondays: week 41
oh, hey there! how are you?! good weekend? ready for the week? if you feel like you’re draggin’ a little bit post-weekend, you’ve come to the right place because on monday mornings it’s always motivation mondays here at bananas + bellinis! let’s get down to business:
no matter what your goals are, if the way you’re going about reaching them doesn’t excite you, you need to rethink it. if the goal itself doesn’t excite you … it’s time to really re-evaluate what you’re doing.
what you’re going after should genuinely make you so excited that you can’t even stand it. the idea of achieving … and working towards, for that matter … that goal should make you feel incredible and free and happy, and the idea of not achieving it should make you feel the exact opposite of those things.
long story short, if your goal doesn’t make you just wanna effing go for it wholeheartedly every. single. day … you’re doing something wrong. take a step back from your current routine, take a really good look at it and then ask yourself what it is you actually want out of life and start figuring it out from there! it’s a starting point and there’s nothing wrong with starting from scratch if it’s in the name of going after what you want.
links i’m loving for this week:
1. check out my brand new YOGA page and get at me if you wanna do some yoga!
2. haven’t signed up for the bananas + bellinis newsletter yet? well, what are you waiting for?! sign up HERE!
3. grilled avocados??!! good lawd, YES PLZ.
4. #mcm … because who doesn’t love leo? And also, you’re welcome.
have a great week, guys! email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you’re goals are! what are you working towards right now and how is it going? i would love to hear from you!
photo courtesy of the color run
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