3 tips for a zen vacation
so… i’m leaving for cuba tomorrow… CUBA. i literally never dreamed this day would come… that i, as an american citizen, would EVER be able to visit cuba… so i’m pretty damn excited to say the least! i’m desperately in need of a vacation, so in keeping with the theme of the moment, i thought a travel-related post was necessary. let’s get right to it.
the term “vacation” has lost a lot of its meaning in 2017 america. i’m always reading about how many people don’t use their vacation days, how few vacation days many employers even offer in the first place, and how even when we do take vacation, we have a hard time actually vacationing…
you know… we check our email, we take work calls, we text with our bosses… some people will actually sit in their hotel room and work remotely because they feel so strongly that they can’t get away or everything will fall apart.
thankfully, i’ve never been one of these people. i love travelling, understand the importance of taking a break from things to reset and recharge, and just generally love being able to live life for a week or so a few times a year as if i have no real responsibilities.
so, if you’ve ever found yourself doing any of the above… or even if you’ve actually taken your vacation days, decided to check out, and had crippling anxiety over not knowing what was going on back home to the point that you couldn’t even enjoy your vacation… you’ve come to the right place.
here are my 3 tips for a zen vacation:
1. pack a journal. journaling can be really therapeutic. putting pen to paper and just writing, not even about anything in particular, can do wonders for a racing, anxiety-ridden mind. i always pack a journal when i go on vacation, and it serves a few purposes. first, i love being able to write down all of the amazing experiences i’m having, so that i can look back on everything in detail years later. sure, pictures will help keep the memories alive, but those little details can easily be forgotten. second, it’s a great way to pause, take a step back, and really start to process and get clear on things that might be going on in your life… ya know like your feelings, emotions, where you want to go with your life, if you should or shouldn’t break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend, if you should make a big, risky career move… whatever. i also love the practice of using a gratitude journal to put things into perspective and remind myself how great my life is, even when things aren’t going my way.
2. swap out your daily coffee for tea. as a society, we seriously rely on coffee to get us through the day. when you’re on vacation, you should be relaxing. sleeping in and going with the flow. sure, you might have tours or dinner reservations at specific times, but other than that, vacation is about taking it easy. instead of running to the closest starbucks to get your daily fix, pack some herbal teas instead**… especially those of the calming variety [think chamomile, lavender, ashwaganda]. it’ll help to ease the mind and reduce all of the stress you have about not being at work… which will help you be more present in the end.
[**of course, if you’re going someplace like columbia, italy or bali, where coffee is a huge part of the culture/cuisine… DRINK ALL THE COFFEE YOU WANT.]
3. get off your effing phone. i get it. we all want to be connected to our friends and family. we want to share all of the cool pictures we’re taking at all of the amazing places we’re visiting. [#doitforthegram] but, if you truly want to enjoy your vacation, if you really want to experience the culture of this new, exciting place you’re visiting… get off your effing phone. you don’t even have to go totally off the grid… [i know, scary thought, right?] even just limiting yourself to only checking social media in the evening when you’re back at your hotel can make all the difference… i mean… do you really wanna find yourself standing in front of the taj mahal or at the top of the eiffel tower scrolling through effing facebook or answering a work email? i don’t think so.
i’m planning on going 100% dark in cuba… my phone is going into airplane mode from the moment i step on the flight to havana, and staying that way until i land in LA next week. i’m really craving a little disconnection, and since wifi is hard to come by in cuba, this is the perfect opportunity to just go for it.
what are your favorite ways to check out and really keep it zen when you’re on vacation? do you have any cuba recommendations?! leave them in the comments below… and i’ll see you on the otherside… adios!
5 reasons we all need yoga right now
life in 2017… it’s interesting, right? the world is a really, really crazy place right now.
there’s lots of change happening and many of us are getting caught up in the moment of everything… we keep scrolling through the comments of those truly awful facebook posts [i’ve literally lost all faith in humanity doing this]… we’re cutting people out of our lives when their opinion doesn’t align with our own… sometimes, we’re just curling up into a ball, crying our eyes out, and telling ourselves that we should just give. the eff. up. that it’s all a waste of time and we have no control over where anything is going.
it’s easy to forget the big picture. it’s easy to feel hopeless. it’s so easy to be afraid of what’s ahead. but does feeling this way help us rise above the bullsh*t and continue to move forward, both on a personal and societal level?
i’m guilty of feeling all of the things i outlined above. i go through periods where i feel paralyzed by my anxiety… moments where giving up seems like the best option, because why fight a losing battle, ya know? and this applies to my feelings on my personal goals, my professional goals, and where i wish society would go as a whole.
my anxiety pretty much encompasses everything. it’s not picky. if i can worry about it, i most likely will, sooner or later. but there’s one thing that always, without fail, snaps me out of it. one thing that brings me back to the present moment, brings me back to my power…
probably not very surprising, considering that yoga works wonders for a lot of people, and i’ve talked about what it’s done for me personally here many times before. but sometimes, we do need that friendly reminder to put us back in our place.
a few years ago, i wrote an article for elite daily titled “5 reasons why all millennials would benefit from practicing yoga” that really hit home for me when i was writing it… and i think it resonated with others too – it was shared almost 300 times!
i wanted to share it here today, because i think all of these points are still valid… for everyone, not just millennials [although they may hit a little closer to home for us than other generations].
… and then go hit the mat… and take this little piece of yogi wisdom with you…
3 things you can do to improve your health that don’t involve diet + exercise
this time of the year is all about “resolutions” … many of which include diet and exercise. i’m sick of resolutions and sick of talking about “eat this, not that” and “5 moves to a flatter stomach”. let’s mix it up and talk about 3 things you can do every day to improve your health that don’t involve diet and exercise.
1. meditate. you’ve probably heard a lot about meditation… especially in the last year or so. it’s one of those things that’s becoming less weird as more and more people, from every walk of life, incorporate it into their routine.
it’s no longer just something that yogis or crunchy hippies do. that’s because it’s effing good for you. it’s known to reduce stress, help manage anxiety, slow aging, improve sleep, increase happiness, and strengthen the cardiovascular and immune systems. pretty crazy, right?
if you’re new to meditation, i recommend starting out with just 5 minutes per day, and using a guided meditation [you can find a lot of options on youtube… i really like this one]. once you’re comfortable with 5 minutes, up it to 10… then 15… then 20… and so on. i like to meditate first thing in the morning for about 20 minutes… it really helps to wake me up and start my day on the right foot!
2. spend time outside. let’s get real for a sec. most of us spend the majority of our time inside. at work, at home, commuting, at restaurants, the gym… i could go on forever, but i think you get the idea. all of these places are manufactured… they aren’t natural. ever think that actually spending time in nature could be… what we’re meant to do?
spending time in nature can boost serotonin levels, which helps stabilize your mood and regulates a number of bodily functions, including digestion and sleep. being outside also exposes you to the sun a.k.a. the best source of vitamin d there is.
take a 15 minute walk on your lunch break [yes, even if you live/work in a city], sit in the park and read a book, or find a restaurant with outdoor seating for your next boozy brunch. a little bit of time outside goes a long way!
3. drink water. okay, okay, maybe this technically has something to do with your “diet”… but not really. so i’m going for it. how many times in your life have you been told you need to drink more water? how many times have you told yourself that you need to be drinking more water? probably a lot. so, why don’t you just effing do it?
not to beat a dead horse, but water is like… SO good for you. water IS life. your body needs to be fully hydrated to operate properly. seriously, pretty much none of your systems can work the way they are supposed to without it. it aids digestion and kidney function, flushes out toxins, keeps your skin glowing, energizes the muscles, and can help manage hunger, which ultimately aids in weight loss.
and luckily, drinking water is really easy. we just have to make sure we’re actually doing it. i recommend buying a nice reusable water bottle [m obsessing over these swell x gray malin bottles] and taking it with you literally everywhere. having a nice water bottle actually makes me want to drink more water. kinda how buying new workout clothes motivates me to start working out more. also, keep a glass of water by your bed, and drink it first thing in the morning. you need to get re-hydrated after a long night of rest!
implement these 3 things in your daily routine [or even just one of them at a time] and you’ll notice a difference in how you feel… physically and mentally. you will improve your health… and your body will be so happy with you!
obligatory “new year, new me” post… or whatever.
happy new year, guys! i hope that everyone had an amazing holiday seaon… i certainly did!
it’s been a while, hasn’t it?! i took a little hiatus from posting for a while… not for any particular reason, except that i just needed to do it. the end of 2016 was a whirlwind for me [in the best way], but i’m excited to be back in action!
2017 is here. and you know what january means… resolutions. lots of ’em. we’re only in week two of the new year, so resolutions are definitely still a hot topic regardless of who you’re talking to. personally, i’m not really a fan of new year’s resolutions. i’m not into the “new year, new me!” mentality for a few reasons.
first, why now? just because the year on the calendar changed, suddenly you’re going to change, too? you don’t have to wait until it’s a new year… or month, or week, or day even… to make a change. do it whenever the eff you feel like it. the sooner you start taking action, the better.
second, have you thought about how you’re going to make that change? a lot of resolutions are empty. they aren’t thought out. there aren’t any action plans to go along with them. there aren’t smaller goals set and timelines created to help get to the large, overarching goal. and how can you seriously expect to be successful without a plan?
and finally, i don’t like resolutions because they don’t work. they just don’t. why is this? because with resolutions, one slip up is often discouraging enough to make us throw in the towel. and that’s not what life is about. i think the mentality of having “goals” to work towards, rather than having “resolutions” to stick to makes all the difference. looking back… i don’t think i have ever, and i mean ever, accomplished one of my new year’s resolutions.
[DISCLAIMER: if you’ve had success with making resolutions in the past, then by all means, keep going for it! i’m just speaking from my personal experience.]
this year, i have about 5 things that i really want to accomplish [it’s important to not be working towards too many goals at the same time… it gets hard to focus and can be discouraging] and in the spirit of the new year excitement, i figured i would share them with you here. i mean… everyone’s doing it… right?
1. get back to blogging regularly. after my hiatus [and about a year of posting really sporadically] i want to put more time and energy into bananas + bellinis this year. i have a lot of ideas… so i’ll be focusing on taking things one step at a time… as always… baby steps!
2. start teaching yoga. i’ve taught a few classes here and there, and quite a few private sessions since i completed my teacher training in 2015, but i really want to work my way onto the schedule at at least 3 studios this year.
3. get back to a more balanced workout routine. i’m obviously all about balance, but when it comes to working out… i tend to be a little off. i’ll have a week where i workout 4-5 times… followed by a week where i don’t work out one. single. time. this year, i want to maintain a consistent workout schedule [without getting carried away], while still mixing my workouts up. i’m hoping that my new classpass membership will help me with this!
4. read 2 books per month. reading is something that i have always loved to do, and when i lived in new york, my time spent commuting on the subway was dedicated to reading. i would fly through books, and no matter what, always had at least 1 hour a day to read. now that i drive to work, i don’t have time automatically worked into my schedule for this… and i miss it! i’m kicking the year off with born a crime by trevor noah [#swoon]. what are your other recommendations?! leave ’em in the comments below!
5. have the most fun ever. all the time. although i listed this last, i think it’s the most important thing… my “theme” for 2017, if you will. if i’m not having fun, i’m just not gonna do it. and on the flipside, when it comes to the things i have to do [you know, the things involved with being an “adult” like working, paying bills, doing chores, etc.] i’m going to make an effort to not hate every second of it. if i have to be doing it, might as well have fun in the process right?
so, to wrap up here, i’m back. i’m ready for 2017 [only took me about a week to wrap my head around the fact that we’re even in a new year to begin with]… and i hope you’re all excited to see where bananas + bellinis goes this year! so happy to have you along for the ride.
what are your thoughts on goals vs. resolutions? and what are your goals for 2017?! leave them in the comments below… i always love a little inspiration!
let’s talk about food-shaming
in the day and age of body positivity, self-love, and balance, it’s [unfortunately] still very common for things like body-shaming to happen on a regular basis. just look at the comments on literally any celebrity’s or blogger’s instagram feed and you’ll see people telling them they’re too fat, too skinny, ugly, too made-up, not made-up enough, dressing too slutty, dressing too conservatively… i’m getting annoyed just typing all of this out, so i’m gonna stop there.
while body-shaming gets a lot of press, one thing that’s a little less talked about is food-shaming. food-shaming is essentially the same thing as body-shaming, only instead of targeting the person, it’s the food that the person is eating that’s being attacked. which basically ends up turning into a personal attack… even if it’s in a roundabout way.
not sure what i’m talking about? food-shaming typically sounds a little something like…
“you’re eating that?” or…
“do you know how many calories are in those?!“
“ew. this wrap is disgusting. i can’t believe you’re still eating it.”
“what is that smell? it’s your food?! i’m literally gonna throw up.”
so, what’s the big deal? people have different tastes… it’s all a matter of opinion… right?
the problem is this: a lot of people feel bad enough around food as it is. they’re so wrapped up in trying to decipher the whole “dieting” thing that they can’t keep straight what foods are “good” and what foods are “bad”. they don’t know if they should count calories… or track macros… or cut sugar or carbs or dairy or gluten. they don’t know if they should go vegetarian… or vegan… or paleo.
or maybe, they had a bad day and just want to eat some effing ice cream.
not only is it confusing, many people feel massive amounts of anxiety when it comes to eating… regardless of if they show it or not. maybe they’ve tried atkins… they’ve tried the south beach diet… the ducan diet… and none of those worked, so they went vegan… and that didn’t work either… so they gave up, and are simply doing their best to try to figure out what will work for them [remember, it’s different for everyone].
or they were craving pizza and decided to just eat a damn pizza. some people listen to their cravings and act on them. crazy, i know. [and no, this doesn’t mean they’re weak. it just means they listen to their bodies.
if you haven’t already guessed… i’ve been there, and it’s effing stressful. the last thing i need is someone commenting on my carb intake or how i should be eating this instead of that… or how disgusting they think the food i’m eating is… that last one really bugs the sh*t of me.
the solution here is actually really simple and goes back to something we all learned in kindergarten: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
this might all sound silly, but i can tell you from firsthand experience that negative comments about what i’m eating [especially in the moment] really make me uncomfortable. they make me feel as if i should be embarrassed by my food choices… and sometimes, it’s bad enough to make me just want to stop eating all together. and if i have felt this way, as some who generally doesn’t give af what other people think of me… and also as someone who loves food… there’s a pretty good chance other people feel the same way.
if you follow a vegan diet and you’re at dinner with your friends and someone orders a steak, don’t tell them where the steak came from. if you don’t like the sandwich you ordered… and your friend is eating the exact same thing… don’t eat it. and don’t comment on how “effing gross” you think it is. that’s food-shaming at its finest and it’s not cool.
[disclaimer: i’m guilty of this kind of sh*t, but have been working on biting my tongue and keeping my opinions to myself lately.]
it’s time for all of us to get off of our pedestals and just worry about ourselves. i get it, your intentions might be good and you might be coming from a caring, loving place… but, even if you do mean well… just stfu and mind your own business. unless someone asks you for advice… you’re opinion on what they’re eating just does. not. matter.
just worry about taking care of yourself and being mindful about what you’re putting into your own body.
have you ever been food-shamed? or food-shamed someone else? how did it make you feel? share in the comments below!
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