3 ways to ditch your digital addiction + get reconnected
ferris bueller, one of my ultimate [fictional] crushes, was right when he said it and i think now it’s more relevant than ever: “life moves pretty fast. if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” don’t believe me? let me ask you this: how many times have you found yourself sitting at dinner or at a bar with a group of friends, maybe even your significant other, only to realize that no one is talking and everyone is on their phones, sending a text message, browsing instagram or updating their facebook status? i’m guessing more times than you would like to admit.
last week, i read this article in the new york times about how disconnected our society has become from just about everything in the age of social media and smart phones. it really opened my eyes and got me thinking about my own habits when it comes to these things. i think that most of us can admit to being at least a little overly attached to our phones. we use them to kill time, fill awkward silences and even to avoid conversations that would be really uncomfortable to have in person. i’ve done all of these things and i’m sure everyone reading this has, as well. [don’t worry, no one’s judging you… at least not yet.]
it seems kind of backwards that things that should be keeping us more connected are actually doing the exact opposite. we’re not only pre-occupied and distracted when we’re with our friends and family, but we are also no longer present with ourselves when we’re alone.
after reading this article, i decided that i wanted to make a conscious effort to reduce the time i spend on my phone. don’t get me wrong, i love instagram and being able to see what my friends and family are up to, especially the ones i don’t get to see very often, but i want to be fully present with these people when i am with them and with myself on a regular basis. i think that we could all benefit from unplugging here and there, so i came up with three things we can all do to put down our phones and experience what’s going on around us a little more:
1. stop checking your phone first thing in the morning, right before bed and in the middle of the night. not only will this give you a chance to ease into your day, you’ll sleep better, too. the light from phone screens can have a negative affect on our sleep, especially right before we turn in for the night. experts say it’s best to avoid looking at your phone for at least one hour before you go to bed.
2. step away from your phone for at least two hours each day. whether you leave your phone in your purse/bag when you first get into work or leave it at home when you run out to do errands, two hours a day really isn’t that long.
3. turn off all social media notifications. doing this will help you to resist the urge to see what’s happening on social media all the time, ultimately reducing your phone-in-hand time.
this might seem a like a lot to take on all at once, but that’s okay! if you need to, take it one step at a time and at a pace you are comfortable with. i know that disconnecting from social media and stepping more than five feet away from our phones can be scary, but, you will be okay and i have proof in the form of a real life example. one of my close friends gave up all forms of social media – cold turkey – for lent and guess what? not only did she live to tell about it, after two weeks she said that she didn’t really care anymore. life is still happening, even if that meal, selfie or check-in doesn’t make it to social media. you just might actually enjoy yourself more if you’re not worrying about how many “likes” your status/check-in/picture/tweet is getting. give it a try and see what happens… i would love to know how it’s going for you!
kelp noodle stir-fry
i was recently diagnosed with an under-active thyroid, and since then, i’ve spent a decent amount of time doing some research on natural ways to support thyroid function. i came across this article about the health benefits of kelp and was immediately intrigued. kelp is a type of seaweed that happens to be another one of nature’s superfoods, loaded with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and amino acids. it also contains levels of iodine high enough to stimulate a lagging thyroid and boost a metabolism that might not be fully up to speed.*
naturally, i had to give this a try! i picked up a bag on my way home from work along with some other ingredients for an asian-inspired stir-fry dish. because the kelp noodles do not have to be cooked, it only takes about 15-20 minutes to whip this up. the following recipe makes two servings. you will need:
- 12 oz. kelp noodles, drained [they come in a bag filled with water]
- 1 head baby bok choy, each leaf sliced in half length-wise
- 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms
- 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, ground/grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. tamari
- sriracha sauce to taste
- gomasio for garnish
first, in a wok or large frying pan, heat the toasted sesame oil, ginger and garlic on medium heat for 1-2 minutes, then add in the bok choy, mushrooms, tomatoes and tamari. sauté until all of the veggies are cooked through [about 3-5 minutes] and then stir in the kelp noodles. add as much sriracha as you would like [i used quite a bit for some heat!] and sauté for another three minutes. once you are ready to serve, garnish with a few shakes of gomasio and enjoy!
has anyone else ever experimented with kelp noodles?
*i am not claiming that kelp noodles can cure a thyroid issue. if you think you might be suffering from an under active thyroid, get in touch with a practitioner who can help!
my 10 favorite uses for coconut oil
coconut oil is an anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbal and an anti-viral all rolled into one, so right away you know that it’s not messing around. when consumed regularly, coconut oil is known to support thyroid function, reduce muscle and joint inflammation, aid digestion and sooth stomach ailments, speed up the metabolism, improve cholesterol and overall heart health and kill bacteria and yeast in the body. sounds pretty good, right? here are five easy ways to incorporate it into your diet and start reaping the benefits:
- use it in place of pam or other oils when frying or sautéing food. unlike other oils, coconut oil will retain its nutrients even when heated to high temperatures.
- when cooking and baking, use it to replace vegetable oil and shortening.
- add a tablespoon or two to smoothies to boost your energy and aid digestion.
- layer it onto a slice of toast along with your favorite jam in place of butter for a sweet, healthy breakfast.
- use as an alternative to creamer and a natural sweetener in your coffee or tea.
additionally, adding coconut oil to your beauty regimen is an easy way to cut down on the amount of harmful chemicals entering your body. it will also help free up space in your medicine cabinet because it can take the place of so many other products. here are five ways you can easily incorporate coconut oil into your every day routine:
- use as a face moisturizer and body lotion. i personally moisturize with coconut oil every morning!
- put a small amount on a cotton ball and use as a make-up remover. bonus: it will help reduce the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes and is way cheaper than botox!
- massage into your dry hair one-hour before showering, then shampoo and condition as usual for an all-natural hair mask. you will love how silky and smooth it leaves your hair, i promise.
- place on cuts, burns, blisters or a bad sunburn to speed up the healing process.
- carry it with you in a small container to use as a lip balm.
finally, probably the best thing about coconut oil, aside from all of the health benefits, is that it’s super affordable. you can get a 14 oz. jar from spectrum for around $11, which is a small price to pay for something that can improve your health in so many ways. i always have at least one jar stocked in my kitchen and another in my medicine cabinet. what are some of the ways you have incorporated coconut oil into your every day life?
image courtesy of made of muscle
for my first official post, i thought it would make sense for me to share with you the recipe for my favorite go-to smoothie. it’s a perfect “beginner” smoothie because it doesn’t incorporate any “weird” ingredients [we’ll save that for later!], but it’s healthy, tastes like your favorite childhood sandwich and is super easy to make. i love to make this in the morning for a quick, on-the-go breakfast or as an afternoon pick-me-up.
you will need:
- 1 medium banana
- 1/2 c. fresh berries of choice [I used blackberries and raspberries here]
- 1 heaping tbsp. almond butter
- 3/4 c. hemp milk [or other non-dairy milk of your choice]
- 1 c. ice
optional: 1 tsp. chia seeds and 1 tsp. unsweetened coconut flakes for garnish
place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. pour into serving glasses [this makes one serving], garnish with chia seeds and coconut flakes and serve with a side of your favorite fruit. enjoy!
welcome to bananas + bellinis!
hey everyone! i’m kelsey and welcome to bananas + bellinis, my health and wellness blog dedicated to showing the world that healthy doesn’t have to mean boring and that, like the tagline reads, it really is okay to chase that shot with green juice.
my main focus may be health and wellness, but i promise to never tell you what type of diet you should follow, to only eat “good” foods and avoid “bad” foods at all cost or to exercise like a maniac five days a week or not bother exercising at all. it’s impossible to maintain that level of perfection and the good news is, you don’t even need to.
while I do have a passion for living a healthy lifestyle and things like yoga, green juice, organic beauty products and avocado toast make me really happy, i think that living a balanced life is more important than being perfectly healthy at all times. i love being healthy and taking care of myself, but i also love pizza, cupcakes, margaritas and the occasional evening [or maybe the occasional day] laying on the couch binge watching netflix. After all, if you can’t let loose [or maybe just be lazy], have fun and indulge every once in a while, you’re not really living your life anyways.
here, at bananas + bellinis, in the spirit of balance, i will share with you my favorite recipes [both healthy and indulgent!], natural beauty and self-care secrets, tips for living your healthiest, happiest life and anything else i stumble across along the way.
thanks so much for stopping by… see you again soon!
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