happy halloween + healthy candy recipe round-up!
halloween is, and always has been, one of my favorite holidays. i love everything about it … figuring out my costume[s], dressing up, candy, parties, punch served out of a pumpkin, candy … you know the drill!
unfortunately, all of the popular halloween candy that goes around at this time of the year is just terrible for you. and even though i’m all about balance, treating yourself, and having fun, sometimes it just seriously isn’t worth it.
luckily, there’s lots of people out there like myself who have come up with their own homemade healthy candy recipes, so you can still indulge and enjoy yourself on halloween, without filling up on harmful chemicals and food additives.
here is a round up of some mouthwatering healthy candy recipes to help you take this halloween to the next level, without harming your body in the process!
what are you dressing up as tonight?!
motivation mondays: week 50
good morning! i’m finally back to feeling like myself, which means getting back to my regular schedule … as always, thanks for bearing with me … sometimes [always] you just have to put yourself and your health first, especially during cold and flu season, and get the extra rest that you need. i loaded up on all of my natural remedies, as per usual, which always helps get me on the right path quickly. you can read about them here, and if you follow me on instagram, you might have already seen the newest addition to my routine when i’m sick, temple turmeric.
also, i spent all day saturday doing the mandatory fall acivities we all know and love, and i just need everyone to know that in l.a. there are TACOS at the pumpkin patch.
my friends and i opted for non-traditional pumpkin decorating this year … mint green with rose gold accents and a little nod to beyoncé? sounds about right.
for motivation mondays, i just wanted to share this little bit of wisdom from the one and only joan rivers today … and i don’t really think it needs much explanation:
i love this because it’s so. effing. true. you can’t go through life without struggle. it just doesn’t work that way. no matter how good your life is, there will always be hard times. but just as there is always going to be hard times, there is always going to be good times. the hard times should only make the good times that much better. r.i.p. joan, and thanks for all of your wisdom. one of the most real women ever … i mean … not counting the plastic surgery.
links for the week:
1. check me out on prana writes again … 3 ways to get balanced like a yogi for people who aren’t regularly hitting the mat!
2. my friend allison had an amazing article about finding your purpose in life published on elite daily last week … definitely worth the read … go alli!
3. and this list of life lessons from a 90-year-old woman … is just … everything.
have an amazing day everyone! see you on saturday for a halloween themed post … think: candy!
photo courtesy of people
healthy snacks + why they’re so important
eating well is obviously the foundation of good overall health, but as always, it’s much easier said than done. so many things get in the way of maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, and for me one of the biggest obstacles has always been … snacks.
often, my day goes a little something like this: healthy breakfast: check. healthy lunch: check. 3 o’clock hunger pains: check. eat a healthy snack: check. still feel hungry 15 minutes later and proceed to stuff my face with anything i can get my hands on: check check check. you see where i’m going with this.
anyone who is a regular over here at bananas + bellinis knows that over everything, i believe that balance is the most important aspect to being healthy and happy. and with that being said, i don’t think there is anything wrong with having a cookie or some chips as an afternoon pick-me-up every once-in-a-while, but the majority of the time, your snacks need to be as healthy as possible for a couple of reasons:
1. the type of snacks we eat will determine how we function for the rest of the day. the food we eat not only affects the way we feel, but the way we think, too. if we eat something that’s loaded with sugar, we’ll do the old “crash and burn” not long after, both physically and mentally.
2. how we snack determines how we eat our major meals. if we eat a snack that leaves us feeling hungry, we’re much more likely to overeat at our next meal, or end up having a late night snack, than if we were to eat a snack that fills us up with the good stuff [healthy carbs and fats, fiber, and protein].
3. unhealthy snacks mean processed ingredients [aka alien food] and lots of [empty] calories. most packaged snacks that we find in grocery stores, bodegas and vending machines have tons of ingredients in them that we can’t even pronounce, let alone determine what exactly they are, and those types of ingredients come with calories that serve no purpose in fueling our bodies.
so, to sum it all up, eating healthy snacks is just as important as eating a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner. not only do healthy snacks set you up for eating healthfully throughout the day, they also keep you fueled up in the right ways so that you can be as productive as possible while staying focused and maintaining high energy levels.
the key to being able to consciously snack throughout the day is by making sure that healthy snacks are easier for you to get your paws on than the unhealthy ones are. so plan ahead! find some options that you’ll easily be able to take with you on your way out the door each morning. having healthy snacks that you can get to by mid-day without much thought will reduce the chances of you heading out of the office at 2:30 for some sh*tty pre-packaged cookies from the bodega on the corner.
need some ideas for healthy snacks that are easy to take with you on the go? check out this post from the snacknation blog: 42 health experts reveal their top healthy office snacks … my personal favorites? cashews, hummus and veggies, dark chocolate, and finally, half of a banana with almond butter and honey!
photo courtesy of the scent of oranges
motivation mondays: a day late
it’s certainly not the first time i’ve posted a “motivation mondays” post on a tuesday [club goin’ up?], and it probably won’t be the last. i’ve actually been rethinking this whole motivation mondays thing, and they will be getting a little bit of a makeover here soon … so be on the lookout for that!
anyways, the reason i wasn’t able to get this post together in time for yesterday is pretty good: my weekend was jam packed with fun, fun, fun that involved a lot of go, go, go and by the time sunday evening rolled around [when i typically write these posts] i. was. dead.
reason #1: i got way too drunk on friday night with my new coworkers, stayed out way too late and loved. every. minute of it. it’s all about #balance.
reason #2: i was lucky enough to attend the u.s.a. vs. mexico soccer game at the rose bowl on saturday. it was a close game, and team u.s.a. almost pulled through, but in the end, mexico came out on top. it still was a great time with a friend i hadn’t seen in months who was visiting from the east coast!
reason #3: i went to disneyland on sunday. all day. in the 100° heat. and had the most fun ever. felt like a kid again, which is never, ever a bad thing.
so motivation tuesday … whatever, it’s fine.
i love this because it’s so true. we’re always waiting around for other people to do something for us … to make us happy, to give us validation, to keep life new and fun and exciting … but guess what? relying on other people doesn’t always work out so well. actually, it can often backfire and leave us feeling let down, disappointed, sad, angry … you get the idea. so, every once in a while [or all of the time if you’re really feeling dangerous] blow your own mind.
try to impress yourself. do something nice for yourself … buy yourself flowers or the necklace you’ve been eying for months … go on a solo road trip one weekend … take yourself out to dinner … whatever it is you’re waiting for from someone else, just give it to yourself. doing something nice for yourself is often more satisfying than getting it from someone else in the first place.
links i love this week:
1. so, the company i’m working for out here in l.a. is pretty effing cool for more reasons that i can even express, but today, i want to highlight this reason: the awesome office show. it’s a podcast all about creating awesome workplace culture, and whether or not you own your own business, there is a lot to gain by checking it out … please take a minute to subscribe, rate and review if you like what you hear :)
2. i’ve been struggling with my protein intake, and this article really helped open my eyes a little bit. i’ve never worried too much about getting enough protein, but as a vegetarian, i need to be doing this. great read for anyone!
3. edward snowden, just killin’ the twitter game. this is seriously the best.
see you on thursday for a brand new post!
photo courtesy of cardigans and cocktails
product review: ambronite
over the summer, the team over at ambronite reached out to me to introduce their brand, what they’re all about and see if i wanted to try it out for myself. i had never heard of them prior to receiving their email, so i immediately started doing my research!
ambronite is a drinkable supermeal powder, which you turn into a shake by adding water. it’s meant to be used as a meal replacement, as each serving is 500 calories and packed with of nutrients. just an f.y.i., protein powders and pre-made smoothies aren’t my thing at all, but this grabbed my attention for one reason and one reason only: the ingredients list, which is made up of only 18 all-natural, organic ingredients including coconut, chlorella, berries, spinach, mineral salt, almonds and many more. a few other features?
i had them send over a sample, which to my surprise was a full order, complete with a bpa-free shaker bottle!
i made my first shake as recommended: by placing one packet of the powder into the shaker and just adding cold water. to be honest, it didn’t exactly do it for me. while it didn’t taste bad, it did lack flavor, something that’s super important to me. [to be fair, i didn’t try mixing it with a nut milk or fresh juice, which they also suggest!] regardless, i sucked it up, drank the whole thing and was pleasantly surprised by how filling it was. they promise to diminish hunger for 4-5 hours on their website, and i have to say, this was pretty accurate! to top it off, i felt energized and focused because i wasn’t left hungry and dreaming about my next meal … okay, i lied, i’m never not dreaming about my next meal … but you get the idea.
i decided to get creative with my next “super meal” and added about half of the packet to a simple smoothie … water, a handful of spinach and half of a banana … this really seemed to do that trick. i was conscious of not going overboard with smoothie add-ons because of the high calorie count of the powder, but it amazed me how well it came together with just a few things! i’ve also added a couple tablespoons to overnight oats and while it gives it a funny color, the taste is so light that it almost makes no difference.
3/5 bananas for ambronite!
if you’re looking for a way to get some extra nutrients into your diet, feel satisfied and energized while making your life easier, you should definitely give ambronite a try. they’re offering all of my followers and readers 10% off at checkout with the code BANANASBELLINIS10!
as always, while this post was made possible by ambronite, all opinions expressed here are my own!
image 1 + 2 courtesy of ambronite
pumpkin pie overnight oats
i’m addicted to overnight oats. literally, i’ve had them for breakfast nearly every single day for the past month. they’re quick, beyond easy to make and effing delicious.
it’s fall, so i’m obviously embracing the fact that fall makes me want to do sh*t that is basic as eff, and with that comes baking and cooking with pumpkin … because, let’s face it, pumpkin is freakin’ good. and it’s healthy … so we’re killing two birds with one stone here.
make these pumpkin pie overnight oats the night before you want to eat them [i make three separate servings all at once so i’m good to go for a few days] and grab them from the fridge on your way out the door.
for one serving you will need:
- 1/3 c. pure pumpkin purée [NOT pumpkin pie filling]
- 1/3 c. rolled oats [uncooked]
- 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut milk [or other unsweetened nut/seed milk of your choice]
- 1 tsp. chia seeds
- a few sprinkles of cinnamon and nutmeg [to taste]
- a dash of ground ginger [to taste; optional]
- in a blender, combine the pumpkin purée, coconut milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger until it’s all evenly combined.
- in a mason jar [or other airtight container of your choice] combine the oats and chia seeds, and then add the pumpkin/milk blend.
- stir until the oats are evenly distributed with the pumpkin and milk, tightly place a lid on the jar, give it a few good shakes and refrigerate overnight.
motivation mondays: week 48
good morning, and happy monday! [i really hate this phrase, but stay tuned, it will make sense why i’m using it in a minute … ] i hope you had a restful weekend and that the week ahead of you is lookin’ just as good.
today’s motivation mondays quote is brought to us by one of my people in the public eye these days … i love everything she does and literally would do just about anything to be friends with her … so, uh … mindy, if you’re reading this … wanna do brunch this weekend? lmk … i’m buying!
this gets back to the whole “mindset is half the battle” thing i know i’ve talked about before. for example, at the beginning of this post i said, “happy monday!” even though i hate people who say, “happy monday!” because it helps get me into the mindset that even though the weekend is over … it’s all good. it’s a new week and a new chance for great things to happen.
apply this to just about anything … when you wake up on a monday and all you want to do is sleep … when you just got dumped by the guy you’ve been seeing for a few months via email [true story right there] and your friends are trying to drag you out to the bar, but you would rather stay in, cry and eat ice cream … when you put on that dress for the big event you’ve been waiting for and it’s a little tighter than it was when you bought it … put on your effing lip gloss and pretend to be psyched. nine times out of ten, putting your best foot forward will make you forget about whatever it was that was bugging you and had you in a funk in the first place [at least for the time being].
fake it till you make, right?
links i love right now:
1. i have posts featured on a few other blogs right now … a smoothie recipe round-up over at wellspired, where i’m a regular contributor, and on the integrative nutrition recipe blog, which featured my favorite zucchini noodles recipe last week.
2. after the shooting in oregon last week, this article called out politicians for hiding behind mental health instead of addressing the real issue, gun control, when these types of tragedies happen. something needs to change, amiright?
3. my friend alexis started a blog, balance bride, that’s perfect for any bride-to-be who is wanting to look and feel her best for her big day … so go show her some love!
be sure to come back over this way on wednesday for a fall-inspired recipe you don’t want to miss [yes, it involves pumpkin, duh].
photo courtesy of the alison show
oz recap part 5: brisbane
we’re nearing the end of my trip to australia [can’t believe it’s been almost four months since i was there] and i’m really excited to share some pictures and a little bit about my experience in brisbane with you guys!
this wasn’t a city that got raving reviews from many people, but ended up on my itinerary anyway [long story], and i have to say, i’m so glad it did … i actually really loved this city. by the time i reached brisbane, i was traveling solo, which i had never done before, so i was really able to just do me.
after plans with a distant relative fell through [see: “long story” above] i ended up reserving an airbnb in the new farm area super last minute. it was truly a “basic” room in a small apartment, but was right by the river and had some cute restaurants and shops nearby, so it was all good.
because i don’t mind walking, i committed to exploring brisbane on foot … i think one day i walked close to 10 miles total, which was awesome. when i’m traveling with other people, they always want to take cabs or public transportation for anything farther than a 10-minute walk away, which bugs the sh*t out of me. the weather was awesome, there was so much to see and i wasn’t on a schedule … so i walked my ass off and love, love, loved every minute of it.
day 1: after dropping my things off at my airbnb, i immediately headed to the west end … on foot, of course. the brisbane river weaves through the city, which requires there to be a lot of bridges, including many that are pedestrian only. the weather was perfect [again, winter temperatures in the 60s and low 70s] and the city was just beautiful … saw lots of amazing architecture along the way.
[st. john’s cathedral … this felt very game of thrones to me!]
[king john’s square]
the main reason i wanted to check out the west end was because i was told it’s essentially the brooklyn of brisbane … and those reports were accurate. i wandered in and out of some awesome, funky shops and through a farmer’s market on boundary st. [one of the main drags in the west end] and had lunch [and a beer] at lock ‘n’ load bistro [all of my culinary adventure in australia can be found here]. there was a lot of cool street art in the west end also, which i think was my favorite thing about this neighborhood.
[grafitti in the west end]
after lunch, i walked over to the south bank along the water and through an amazing park, the rainforest green, before making my way into the queensland gallery of modern art, which was totally free to go into!
[flower arches along the river in the south bank]
i ended my day with a walk through city center and over to chinatown where i had an amazing thai dinner [huge asian influence in australia] before heading in for the night and catching an awesome view of the story bridge all lit up on the way.
[story bridge + brisbane skyline by night]
day 2: i started my second day in brisbane off with a run across the story bridge and along the water [the view was insane], ate lunch at the little larder in new farm, right around the corner from where i was staying and then, once again, started walking.
[morning run along the brisbane river]
i walked all along the river from new farm to the brisbane city botanical gardens, then across the goodwill bridge to kangaroo point, where you get an awesome view of the city and all of the cliffs lining the river, and finally, headed to the south bank again to check out the street beach and eat some ice cream for dinner … #vacation.
[brisbane botanical gardens]
[cliffs along kangaroo point]
[selfies are a necessary part of solo travel … at kangaroo point.]
day 3: my last day in brisbane was definitely legendary. i woke up super early so that i could eat two breakfasts [donut time + cocobliss … again #vacation … and also #balance]. after breakfasts, i boarded the mirimar ii for a river cruise headed to lone pine koala sanctuary, which a friend had recommended to me.
[view of the city from the mirimar ii]
the cruise was about an hour long, and there were some seriously envy worthy homes along the way. when we docked at lone pine, i was so effing excited i could barely control myself … we were given two and a half hours to explore … and i was on a mission. lone pine is one of the world’s most famous “zoos” … but it’s truly more of an animal sanctuary with an amazing history than a zoo.
[docked at lone pine koala sanctuary]
first thing was first: purchase kangaroo snacks and head to the kangaroo enclosure to play with some kangaroos. the kangaroos live in a huge open area [with some other animals, including emus, which kinda freaked me out] that you can just wander into … no cages, nothing! the kangaroos are so friendly, you can walk up to them, hold some food out and they’ll come right up and eat directly from the palm of your hand. i had way too much fun … and obviously had to take a few kangaroo selfies because , you know, when in rome.
[literally, in love with these guys.]
after some serious quality time with the kangaroos, i got in line for the moment i had been waiting for literally my whole life … holding a koala. i think the picture sums it up. his name was arinokoo [ari for short] and he was heavy, but so soft and sweet!
[top 3 moments of life? probably.]
i walked around the sanctuary and saw more koalas [once they get to a certain age they are retired and no longer able to be held by visitors], wombats, tazmanian devils and dingos. it was such a cool experience and for someone who hates zoos, this place was truly magical. you can see the care that goes into the animals and they aren’t cooped up in cages, it’s mostly open air enclosures and large fenced off areas, which was so nice to see. the koalas are also on strict schedules for the photo ops to make sure they never get worn out!
[wombat … how cute?!]
[tasmanian devils, just livin’ the life]
finally, i had a really nice surprise for my last night in brisbane … the bride and groom whose wedding i was in australia for in the first place got stuck in brisbane for a few days en route to their honeymoon … so i was able to grab dinner and a few drinks with them … seriously, best surprise ever, considering i left broome not knowing when i would see my soul sister again. all the feels.
[honeymoon crashing snapchat selfies…SO MUCH LOVE.]
overall, i think brisbane is pretty underrated … so don’t listen to the haters. if you make it down under, add it to your itinerary. even if it’s just for a day trip to lone pine!
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