product review: halo top ice cream
product reviews are something that i have been wanting to start doing here on bananas + bellinis for some time now, and today, i’m reviewing something that’s pretty cool in more ways than one: ice cream. yep. ice cream. a little confused? let me explain!
the social media team over at halo top creamery reached out to me and asked if i would be interested in getting some of their ice cream and writing a blog post about it. i mean…why would i have ever said no to that offer?!
obviously you guys know i’m all about balance and treating yourself every once in a while, but even so, ice cream is one of those things i rarely keep in my freezer. that’s all changing now, thanks to halo top!
halo top ice cream is pretty awesome because it proves that ice cream can be healthy and taste just as good as ice cream is supposed to. it’s made with all-natural ingredients [no processed sh*t], is low in calories and sugar, and high in protein. to top it all off, it actually lives up to its claims! i got my hands on lemon cake and vanilla bean flavors…both were decadent, creamy and didn’t taste like they had any business being labeled as “healthy”. the lemon cake flavor was definitely my favorite of the two and i can’t wait to try their birthday cake and chocolate mocha chip flavors next.
it’s a no brainer: 5/5 for halo top creamery ice cream!
right now, halo top is sold in select grocery stores and supermarkets [i found it here in LA at whole foods, and you can track it down near you on their website] and comes in a variety of flavors … there’s no way you won’t find something you like!
guest post: the balanced beauty’s top tips for achieving the body of your dreams
it’s been a while since i’ve had a guest blogger appear on bananas + bellinis, but after i connected with aly of the balanced beauty i knew that you guys would love what she has to say, and what better way to share her approach than with a guest post? a few of my recipes were featured on aly’s blog during her summer slim-down series [here + here] so be sure to check that out as well, but without further adieu, meet aly!
hi there! my name is aly mang and I am a board certified holistic health coach, founder/owner of the balanced beauty and fellow green juice lover… kelsey and i connected because we share a similar passion for health, wellness and striving for balance.
i personally believe balance is the key to living a healthy, happy life! my business was created because as i began to coach many young women, i saw that the majority were using an “all or nothing” approach when it came to dieting or wanting to change the way they looked. my advice is to ditch the extremes and know that balance on your plate, in your relationships, fitness routine and overall life is the way to achieve complete harmony and peace within yourself.
here are a few of my top tips for achieving the balanced body of your dreams!
1. love your body NOW.
the first step is to be grateful for who and what you are. stop comparing yourself others… you were born to be you. also know that the grass is not always greener on the other side. each individual has their own unique set of concerns, challenges and struggles. be grateful for the body you were given and if you want to change it because you want to improve it, come from a place of love! when you shift your desire to change for all of the right reasons, it will make the process much more rewarding and your goals will be more attainable.
2. eat from the earth!
this is a simple way to check yourself. before you consuming anything, ask yourself, “is what I’m eating from the earth or is it manmade?” often times manmade foods are processed and loaded with ingredients that can be toxic to your system. hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, flavorings and colorings may make our food look pretty or have a longer shelf life, but they can reek havoc on our skin, body and immune system. read labels and pay attention to the chemicals or preservatives you are putting into your system. a build-up of toxic ingredients may be the reason you feel sluggish, bloated or are lacking that inner glow!
3. food is FUEL.
the #1 misconception I find when first coaching clients is that they think they need to eat less if they want to lose weight. false! i encourage my clients to eat throughout the day to keep their metabolism burning like a well-oiled machine. go longer than four hours without eating and you’re setting yourself up for ravenous eating and poor choices later on. making healthy choices and fueling your body throughout the day is the best way to keep your metabolism strong and in time will make you a fat-burning machine!
4. quality supplementation is key.
i understand healthy eating can be difficult all day everyday. we sometimes slip-up or have limited time in our schedules to prepare and organize our meals and snacks properly. this can leave holes in our diet, causing us to lack very important nutrients we need to function at an optimal level. this is why, in addition to eating from the earth and making mindful food choices, I recommend proper supplementation. this helps to ensure that your body has what it needs to feel mentally alert, energized and properly supported.
**below are a few of my favorite supplements that i recommend to support overall health, immunity and fitness goals. all of these products are all-natural, non-gmo and made with high quality ingredients. **
morning greens [my #1 recommendation!]
this is a green powder that you can mix with water and drink each morning on an empty stomach to fortify your entire system with 100% of your daily vitamins, minerals, greens, antioxidants and probiotics need! it’s also great for gut health, which is necessary for a healthy metabolism. this formula is 100% all-natural and raw… the perfect foundation for any balanced beauty body!
**the link above contains a limited-time offer of 50% OFF exclusive to balanced beauty and bananas + bellinis clients and followers… so act fast!
omegas fight inflammation, improve workout recovery and brain function, and are optimal for beautiful hair, skin, nails and a healthy heart! this formula has no fishy aftertaste or added ingredients.
grass-fed whey protein
protein powders can be a great option pre- or post-workout when you’re on-the-go and can help you build lean muscle in a delicious way! while there are many similar products on the market, athletic greens are the only products i recommend to my clients because of the high quality ingredients. i credit these particular products for my own personal health and overall wellness, which is the only reason i feel 100% confident in sharing them with you!
thank you, kelsey, for the opportunity to introduce myself to your fabulous community. for more healthy tips, recipes and inspiration, be sure to check me out on instagram, twitter and facebook or at the balanced beauty blog!
health + happiness,
6 healthy travel tips for maintaining balance while on vacation
if you follow me on social media, you may have picked up on the fact that i have a very exciting trip coming up this week. if you haven’t, i’ll cut right to the chase: on friday i’m off to the land down under for two weeks…. ahhhhhh!!!
this is a trip i have been dreaming about for essentially my whole life, only it’s extra special because i’ll be spending the first leg of the trip in broome [which is in western australia] to watch one of my dearest friends tie the knot! it all seems really surreal and i don’t think it’s even hit me that this is actually happening just yet!
the only thing i’m more obsessed with than health and wellness… okay, and yoga… is traveling. i’ve had the wanderlust bug ever since i first found out that traveling was a thing and that there are so many places in the world to see and experience. traveling is the best way to learn, not only about other cultures, but about ourselves, too. we all know that i’m all about balance, treating yourself and saying “no” every once in a while, but sometimes i think we use being on vacation as an excuse to throw caution to the wind and really get all sorts of out of whack. which is totally fine if you’re okay with that, but personally, i find that coming down from the vacation high and re-entering the real world is only that much sh*ttier when i also physically feel like total garbage.
i’ve done a little bit of traveling in the past couple of years and along the way i’ve picked up on some key ways to stay healthy while still 100% immersing myself in the local culture, cuisine and lifestyle of wherever i happen to be. here are 6 healthy travel tips to help you maintain balance [and still have the best effing time ever] while on vacation.
1. pack healthy snacks. i’m a foodie and one of my favorite things about traveling is getting to try the local cuisine, but i still remain mindful of the fact that my body does not appreciate it when i load up on foods it’s not used to. i’ve started packing my own snacks, not only for the plane, but to snack on throughout the course of the day during my trip, as well. it’s super easy to throw raw seeds and nuts, snack bars [i love the new glo bars from raw revolution], some dark chocolate, tea and fresh fruit into my carry-on before i head to the airport. this helps me avoid having to waste time searching for healthy snack options or eat something i wouldn’t normally eat just to satisfy my hunger [and plane food… woof].
2. find ways to move. while most hotels have fitness centers, this is not always an option, especially if you’re taking the hostel or airbnb route when traveling. and even if you do have access to a gym, not everyone wants to spend time indoors on a treadmill while visiting a new and exciting place. an easy way to move while on vacation is to book some excursions that involve being active. hiking, snorkeling, biking, surfing, paddle boarding and skiing are just a few examples and depending on where you’re headed, you might find yourself with endless options. you can also throw a jump rope in your suitcase for a quick and easy cardio option or bring a travel mat with you and check out a local yoga studio [obviously i’ll be doing this in oz]!
3. explore on foot. this one kind of goes hand-in-hand with numéro dos. one of the best ways to see a new city is to walk it. you get a much better feel for the energy of a place when you wander to and from tourist sites, through parks, in and out of shops and down small, hidden alleyways than you do taking cabs or public transportation everywhere. get your hands on a map and head out of your hotel in the morning with a general plan in mind and see where the sidewalks take you!
4. stay hydrated. okay, so i’m pretty sure that every list of tips I’ve ever compiled here includes drinking water, but that’s because it’s that effing important. staying hydrated does wonders for our entire system and there is no such thing as too much water. i travel with a vapur everywhere i go because they’re lightweight and roll up when empty to save space. do yourself a favor and invest in one of these babies before your next trip and keep it with you at all times.
5. stick to your usual meal schedule. eat whatever the eff you want. like i said before, traveling is not traveling without experiencing the local cuisine, but what i mean by this is that you should try to stay on your regular eating schedule as much as possible. eat breakfast, lunch and dinner around the same times you normally would. this way, even if your body is not used to some of the things you might be eating, it’s on a schedule it’s used to and will continue to metabolize your meals optimally.
6. sleep. it can be quite tempting to get up early to explore, be out and about all day and then go out out to party like the locals do in the evenings… which you definitely should do! just try not to do this every. single. night. and make sure that you have some room for sleeping in the next day if you do plan on pulling a “4am-er”. sleep is super important to your overall health and wellness for many reasons, and this is no different when you’re on vacation!
**bonus tip: pack the perfect carry-on for the most healthy, relaxing and enjoyable experience possible on those long flights!**
there you have it! implement these things into your next vacation and i guarantee the post-vacation blues will be a little less severe, getting back to your routine will be easier and you’ll be feeling like yourself again in no time!
p.s. if anyone has any recommendations for places to go, things to do, food to eat, alcohol to drink, etc. in broome, cairns, brisbane, north stradbroke island or sydney please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
vodka lemonade with ginger, basil + chia seeds
happy memorial day weekend, everyone! i don’t usually post on saturdays, but i wanted to make sure i did something a little holiday weekend-themed for you guys since it is memorial day weekend, and what better way to kick it off than with a bananas + bellinis approved cocktail recipe?!
as we all know, based on the name of my blog alone, i love being healthy, but i also love having fun, enjoying life and throwing back a few cocktails every now and then. but, while i am all for going out with your friends and enjoying your poison of choice, what i’m not all for is the sh*t that often comes along with it… drinks mixed with soda, juice from concentrate, high calorie mixers, syrups, you get the idea.
with that being said, i’ve recently become inspired to start experimenting with mixing up my own cocktails using all natural ingredients. i really feel like i’m living the bananas + bellinis mission statement… seriously, being a mixologist might be my true calling.
so, here’s my first creation: a summer-inspired vodka lemonade recipe. i kept the ingredients natural, fresh and healthy. the chia seeds might seem like a weird addition, but trust me, as a superfood, they serve a purpose! the measurements below are what you will need for one drink.
- 1 shot of vodka
- 1/2 c. all-natural ginger ale [i love bruce cost]
- 1/2 c. club soda
- the juice from one large lemon [about 1/4 c.]
- 2-3 basil leaves, shredded into large pieces
- 1 tsp. chia seeds [optional]
- fill your glass about half full with ice cubes.
- add the vodka, ginger ale, club soda and lemon juice; stir well.
- mix in the chia seeds and basil [the chia seeds will float up to the top].
- garnish your glass with a lemon slice and a paper straw, serve immediately.
5 things more important to your health than what you eat
Image courtesy of The Wellness Warrior
when it comes to our health and wellness goals [losing those last pesky 10 pounds, getting mad gains, being beach ready in time for summer, etc.] diet obviously has a huge impact on whether we reach them or not. i’ve read that the key to weight loss is 80/20… 80% what you eat and 20% how you’re working out. while i’m sure that there is some validity to this, diet and exercise are not the only things important to your overall health and wellness.
in my health coaching practice, i work with clients to find balance in all areas of their lives, simply because a person can be eating all of the “right” things, working out regularly and still not be seeing the results they are after if they are constantly stressed out or feeling drained [physically or mentally] by other things going on in their lives. when pursuing your health goals, you need to look at the overall picture and make adjustments accordingly.
here are 5 things more important to your health than what you eat:
1. where your food is coming from: while this is obviously related to diet, it’s less about what you are eating and more about where what you’re eating is coming from. food that comes in cardboard boxes that has a sh*tload of ingredients you can’t pronounce should be avoided as much as possible, along with fruits and vegetables that have been doused in pesticides, refined sugars, highly processed carbs, and meat/fish/dairy from factory farms. whole, organic, natural foods such as fruits, veggies, legumes, whole grains and meat and dairy products from grass-fed/free-range animals [if you’re into that sorta thing] should make up at least 80% of your diet. when you’re eating real foods, you don’t need to worry about counting calories and you’ll find that your weight will begin to naturally balance itself out.
image courtesy of buzzfeed
2. career: believe it or not, if you aren’t happy with your job, the chances are that you’ll be pretty unhappy overall. because we spend so much of our time at work [a lot of people go wayyyyy beyond the traditional 40-hour work week, which in my opinion, is already long enough], it has a huge impact on how we feel. work-related stress easily permeates our home and social lives and while we do our very best to keep “work” and “life” separate, that can be pretty hard to do sometimes. as you know, stress can have a major impact on your mental and physical health, including making weight loss more difficult. finding a career that you look forward to showing up for everyday is a key component to living a healthy, balanced life.
image courtesy of a gentle woman
3. relationships: much like your career, if you’re in a miserable relationship [not just romantic, but with a toxic friend or an unbearable family member], your overall health suffers. we need fulfillment from our relationships, the same way we need nutritious fulfillment, and when we’re in relationships that aren’t giving us what we need or are draining us because we give too much every thing falls apart. if you’re not happy with your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife, do something about it. start communicating and voicing your feelings. see if the changes that need to be made can be made or if it’s time to move on. cut a toxic friend or family member out of your life. these things are not easy to do, but dealing with the consequences of maintaining the relationships that no longer serve you is even harder.
image courtesy of etsy
4. sleep: sleep is so important to our health for many different reasons. first and foremost, we simply need to rest… duh. not getting enough sleep runs us down, leaves us feeling lethargic and impacts our performance at work and the gym/in yoga class/etc. and can make us unbearable to be around in social situations. i mean no one likes dealing with a grumpy, sleep-deprived 28 year old, amiright? second, sleep is essential for regulating hormones in our bodies, including hormones that are responsible for helping us maintain our weight. when our hormone cycles are disrupted it throws our entire body out of whack, making losing weight [and keeping it off] even more difficult than it already is for some of us. 7-8 hours of sleep a night is ideal, but you should never be getting less than 6 [although having a late night out here and there is totally fine, just not something you should be doing three times a week].
image courtesy of kissing karma
5. your attitude: you’ve probably heard this all of your life, but it’s true. attitude. is. everything. what you think you become. if you’re always putting yourself down and telling yourself that you’re never going to reach your goals, guess what? you probably won’t. we can create our own reality through our thoughts. the power of intention is real and sometimes the difference between making it and breaking it is believing you can do it. wake up every day and make the choice to believe in yourself… to be happy… to accept yourself no matter what. instead of being your biggest critic, try being your biggest cheerleader and see what happens. if you only take one thing away from this post, let it be this:
image courtesy of @successwithjake
let’s be clear here for just a minute: i‘m not saying that you should stop worrying about what you’re eating or how often you’re working out. both of those things are still very important, but without these other things, they really don’t mean much of anything. take it one step at a time if you have to. start going to bed 10 minutes earlier than usual one week, then up it to 20 minutes the next. have a conversation with the friend who is mentally draining you tomorrow and then start figuring out your next career move. It doesn’t have to all be done at once. baby steps… remember?!
sign up for my newsletter!
follow me on instagram!
posts by topic
- September 2017 (1)
- August 2017 (2)
- July 2017 (1)
- June 2017 (2)
- March 2017 (3)
- February 2017 (2)
- January 2017 (3)
- October 2016 (1)
- September 2016 (2)
- August 2016 (1)
- July 2016 (1)
- June 2016 (5)
- May 2016 (4)
- April 2016 (4)
- March 2016 (3)
- December 2015 (4)
- November 2015 (6)
- October 2015 (8)
- September 2015 (8)
- August 2015 (10)
- July 2015 (11)
- June 2015 (11)
- May 2015 (11)
- April 2015 (11)
- March 2015 (12)
- February 2015 (12)
- January 2015 (12)
- December 2014 (11)
- November 2014 (9)
- October 2014 (15)
- September 2014 (11)
- August 2014 (7)
- July 2014 (4)