thirsty thursday: coconut mango spritzers
we’re juuussstttttttt about in the swing of a 3-day weekend [and the official kick off of summer… yay!], and because i’m sure many of you will be hosting parties, making homemade brunches or enjoying breakfasts in bed, a morning cocktail seemed most fitting for this week’s thirsty thursday post. and these coconut mango spritzers will be the perfect addition to your holiday weekend mornings [or any weekend morning, as far as i’m concerned]! best of all? you only need 3 ingredients… it truly could not be easier!
for each of the coconut mango spritzers you will need:
- 1 part champagne [i did use prosecco because it was what i had on hand… still good!]
- 1 part peach + mango coconut water [i used vita coco]
- 1 part mango la croix
- unsweetened coconut flakes [optional]
you’ll want to create this drink in traditional champagne flutes, so that it will be super easy to measure out. first, fill each flute about 1/3 of the way with champagne, add the la croix until the glass is 2/3 full, and then top with the coconut water. that’s it!
the la croix gives this baby a little extra fizz [it is a spritzer after all] and the vita coco adds a little additional flavor… if you’re feelin’ it, you can even sprinkle a few unsweetened coconut flakes on the top as a fun garnish.
cheers… and happy memorial day!
p.s. these tips for staying balanced during holiday weekends help me make it through all of the celebrating year after year… they’re tried and true, and if you put them into practice, you won’t be sorry!
pumping the brakes + disconnecting
today i want to talk about something that seems to be one of those things that we’re constantly reading and talking about, but not necessarily following through on. we see it everywhere… the idea of pumping the brakes, slowing down, and really enjoying life and living in the moment… but how often are we doing this?
it seems like we are constantly in a rush… a rush to get to the next task, the next event, the next day of the week, the next promotion, the next relationship, the next vacation… and we distract ourselves in those “in between” moments, often with things that don’t bring any real value to our lives, such as social media or television. and we’re doing this so much that we’re often missing some pretty important stuff along the way. [and listen, i enjoy social media and a good binge watch on netflix as much as the next person, but hear me out.]
a few weeks ago, i spent the weekend camping in joshua tree national park [i plan on blogging about this trip and my new obsession with camping soon, so stay tuned]. it was a group trip for a friend’s birthday, and i was going into it only knowing a few of the people who were going to be there. committing to a camping trip in a place you’ve never been with a bunch of people you don’t really know can be a little intimidating… factor in that you’re pretty far away from home and there is no cell phone service [aka no escape from moments where you maybe feel awkward or left out]… and yea, you could definitely say that i wasn’t sure how it would all pan out.
for those of you who aren’t familiar with joshua tree, it’s one of the national parks out here in socal, about 150 miles east of l.a. in the middle of the desert. the little towns that surround the park are exactly how you would imagine desert town to be, and within minutes of driving into the park, you find yourself in a dead zone.
the idea of being in a dead zone, without wifi or at least cell phone service for even a couple minutes freaks people out [remember those verizon commercials from years ago?]… let alone a whole weekend? forget it.
so, in the spirit of making a long story short: i went to joshua tree, disconnected from my day to day life for two days with a group of people i barely knew… and had one of the best weekends i’ve had in a while. i mean, look at this place!
we’re living in a world where being connected constantly is the expectation. cell phone service is one thing, but even having a wifi connection at places like the grocery store, bars and restaurants, or in a public park has become commonplace. and we all know that we’re spending wayyyyyyy too much time with our phones in our hands, mindlessly scrolling our social media feeds, and checking to see who has/hasn’t texted us… i mean, for crying out loud, we don’t even use our phones to actually talk to people anymore.
being in the middle of the desert without any kind of connection to the outside world was so refreshing. every single person on the trip was completely unreachable, which allowed us to interact and connect with one another the way human beings were meant to: with face to face conversation that isn’t being constantly interrupted by buzzing phones letting you know that someone, somewhere has sent you a message that is so trivial it can be said via text message instead of an actual phone call.
it was nice to look at my phone, see that there was less than 10% battery left and not have an anxiety attack about needing to charge it.
on top of all of this, i also noticed that i was rarely checking the time throughout the weekend. when you spend your days in front of a computer/phone screen, checking the time constantly becomes a habit. so, when you know that it’s impossible to have received a text or a facebook notification, you check your phone much less [if at all] and suddenly, time doesn’t matter anymore. you’re living in the moment, not fast-forwarding through it. you’re moving with the universe and the people you’re with in realtime… at a pace much slower than what you’re used to… and wow, does it feel good.
at the end of the weekend, i felt so rejuvenated and relaxed [even after a saturday night spent drinking pretty heavily… i mean, after all, there are some things i’m just not willing to get away from!] that the idea of heading back to the real world and getting reconnected actually made me a little sad, and i felt as if i was leaving a piece of myself behind in the desert [okay, yea, i know that’s cheesy a.f. but whatever, it’s true].
so, do you see the point i’m trying to make? whether you’re spending your weekends in dead zones, switching your phone to airplane mode for a few hours each day, or establishing a “no phones at dinner” rule [except to take food pictures, obviously], disconnecting from technology and slowing down is not only a good idea, it’s so important.
important for our relationships [all of them, with others and ourselves]… important for our sanity… and important for our self-worth and personal growth.
when we’re disconnected, we have no choice but to focus on what’s right in front of us… getting to know the people we’re with, acknowledging our insecurities, confronting personal problems we might be facing, whatever. we automatically slow down and take things moment by moment for what they are, and we don’t distract ourselves from what’s most important with things that are so trivial, yet have somehow managed to become a priority over everything else.
we also can’t engage in activities that make us feel sh*tty, such as comparing ourselves to the people on our instagram feeds who seem to have it all together [remember, it’s all a matter of perspective]. it’s pretty effing liberating.
so, i challenge you to come up with a way you can disconnected this week. for a society that lives and breathes in the digital space, disconnecting sounds terrifying… but in all honesty, you might be surprised by how much you enjoy going off the grid. even if it’s only for one hour, it’s something, and something is better than nothing. start small and see where it takes you. it’s always has been [and always will be] about those baby steps!
need a starting place? i wrote this post a looooongggg time ago about ditching your digital addiction… i’m still working on applying these tricks and staying consistent with them each day. it’s alway easier said than done, but getting started is the first step.
and personally, i’m committing to this 7-day smartphone detox, starting today. i want to make sure that i don’t lose sight of that feeling i had in joshua tree when i was completely disconnected, forced to the pump the breaks, and really just soak up the present moment.
merry christmas! merry everything!
season’s greetings from north western p.a.! i’m back home in good old edinboro until monday, and i’m so excited to spend some quality time with my family and friends, eat and drink more than i should, and get a little r + r in before heading back to l.a. and resuming “reality” next week.
the weather here is unseasonably warm [as it’s been unseasonably cold in l.a.], which is fine by me [5 months in california and my already low tolerance for cold is even worse than it was before] … a white christmas would have been nice … but that just means i literally won’t have to see snow until winter 2016 … hashtag blessed.
i’m spending this week doing some planning for the 2016 bananas + bellinis updates [expect january to be full of newness], and even though december’s posts have been sporadic, i wanted to take a minute to wish you all a merry christmas! … a merry everything really! i hope santa brings you all you wished for and more … can anyone make sure this dog is under my tree tomorrow morning? that would be just spectacular.
p.s. don’t forgot about balance this week! indulge. be lazy. relax. eat. drink. sleep. but not without making sure you’re eating well, moving and being active even if just a little bit, and spending your time in a way that makes you feel good.
also, don’t let your annoying relatives get to you. let the questions about why you’re still single or where your career is going from your aunt/uncle/cousin/parents roll off your shoulder. nix the political discussions … they’re never productive and only add stress and chaos to your life.
personally, i’m doing my best to make sure i’m doing all of these things … yes, it’s hard this time of year … but you’ll thank yourself later … trust me.
the yoga diaries: an update
it’s been quite some time since i’ve done an installment of the yoga diaries, and as i sat in front of my computer trying to come up with a topic for a new post, i gravitated in this direction.
as i’ve mentioned in previous posts, my transition to life on the west coast [best coast] has been a process, and for a couple of months, i really neglected my yoga practice. the studio was too far away or i was too tired after a long day at work … i couldn’t afford a monthly membership … whatever the excuse was, i made it. and even though yoga has played such an important role in my life, for some reason, i failed to realize that this was going to be a problem … and wow, did it become a problem.
when i neglected my yoga practice, a lot changed … and not in a good way! i was constantly stressed out, sleeping for less than 4 hours each night, and just constantly on edge. it felt like nothing was going my way and that i was pushing and pushing and pushing towards things that i was just never going to get to. when i finally reached a breaking point, i assessed what i was doing and realized that one major thing that had shifted was how often i was hitting the mat. i recommitted to a consistent practice and almost instantly felt a shift in my demeanor.
this isn’t to say that there wasn’t anything else impacting how i was feeling, but it made me realize how important my practice is to my sanity and how i go about tackling each day. getting back to a consist practice [and teaching more!] is a new year’s resolution i’m already getting after … i mean, why wait when you can start now?
so, the moral of the story? whatever it is that keeps you sane … keeps you in balance, makes you feel good … never stop doing it, even when … especially when … things get crazy. they will only get crazier. find the hour, the day, whatever you need, to do what you need to do for you.
with all of this being said, a monthly installment of the yoga diaries will be part of the changes i’m making to bananas + bellinis in the new year. it’s important to me as i grow as a teacher and student, and i’m excited to get back to sharing the journey with you here.
3 tips for staying balanced this thanksgiving
thanksgiving is one of those holidays that most of us have a love/hate relationship with. on one hand, it’s amazing because it brings family and friends together over a big, home cooked meal where old traditions are carried out and new memories are made. on the other hand, family drama can come up, your entire life can be picked apart by judgmental aunts and uncles, and the big dinner can be the kickoff to the holiday weight gain we all dread so much.
anyone feelin’ me here?
while no one should be feeling like they need to take such drastic measures as drugging their family to survive thanksgiving, i think it’s so funny in the first place because it really is so relatable … amiright??
here are my 3 tips for staying balanced this thanksgiving, both mentally and physically, so you wake up monday morning after this long weekend not only feeling like yourself, but feeling better than you did today!
1. set aside some time for yourself. i’m not going home for thanksgiving this year because l.a. and my hometown are just too far apart and flights are too expensive, but somehow i still managed to fill up every single day of this long weekend with some kind of activity or adventure [not that that’s a bad thing]. however, i know the importance of taking some time for myself to chill the eff out, so tonight, when i leave the office, i’m heading to a yoga class to start my weekend off on the right foot. it’s very easy to get wrapped up in the go-go-go of a holiday weekend when you’re hopping from party to party, traveling or prepping for the big day, but it’s so essential to set aside some time for you! sleep in tomorrow, take a relaxing bath tonight or head out to your favorite workout class friday morning. whatever it is that helps you unwind and makes you feel good, make time for it!
2. eat mindfully. i obviously talk about this a lot [this is a health and wellness blog, after all] but this is even more important on thanksgiving, the holiday centered around eating. before you dive into your thanksgiving dinner, scope out all of the options and see what you’re workin’ with. fill your plate up with mostly veggies, and then add potatoes, turkey [if that’s your thing] and whatever else might be calling your name [obviously leaving some room for dessert, too!]. and when you do dive in: slow. the eff. down. take small bites. chew your food. breathe. it’s not a race. enjoy your food. by the time you’ve finished, you’ll feel full and satisfied, not like you need another huge plate to get the job done.
3. take 5 minutes to acknowledge what you are thankful for. this should be the obvious tip, as this is thanksgiving, but i think that the majority of us have lost sight of the holiday’s true meaning. thanksgiving isn’t about eating a turkey, it isn’t about leaving your family gathering early to head to the mall to trample other people in the name of “getting the best deals” … it’s about being thankful and appreciating everything you have. there are so many people in the world who would kill for your sh*tty studio apartment that you pay way too much money for … they would love to have a family as annoying and crazy as yours … and yes, they would probably do anything to have the job you complain about day in and day out. if you’re reading this from a computer or a smart phone, i guarantee you are luckier and more fortunate than most of the world’s population. take 5 minutes tomorrow to write down … yes! write down! what you’re thankful for and why. keep those things in mind when things aren’t going your way this weekend. an action this small can take you leaps and bounds … you’d be surprised!
happy thanksgiving, everyone! i hope you have an amazing day celebrating with your family and friends, and take some time to unwind the rest of the weekend … you deserve it!
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