my #1 tip for amazing skin
there’s a lot of information out there about how to get glowing skin… the quickest way to get rid of blemishes… the best products to use for oily/dry/combination skin… the easiest way to prevent wrinkles…and it seems like everyone has a different answer for what solutions are the best, which makes sense… because everyone’s skin is different and will react differently to different treatments and products.
while i can’t tell you what the best this or that is [i’m still trying to figure this out for myself], what i can tell you is that there is one tip for amazing skin that works for just about everyone. it doesn’t cost a fortune, it doesn’t come from the depths of the some remote village in southeast asia, and it’s not some complicated system that takes work to integrate into your routine. in fact, it’s quite the opposite of all of these things…
keep. it. simple.
yep. it’s really as easy as that. why? i’m so glad you asked!
our skin is one of our largest organs, and it has a few pretty important jobs, including protection [from UV damage, bacteria, dehydration, physical injury] and regulation [of temperature, the immune system, excretion of waste] of the whooooollllle body. so, we wanna take care of it. like, really, really good care of it.
keeping it simple is important when it comes to taking care of our skin because, just like with anything else, when we bombard our skin with sh*tloads of products [cough*chemicals*cough] it doesn’t know what to do.
i know so many people who swear by skincare products that not only break the bank, but are loaded with harmful chemicals. they have skincare regimens that are so complicated i don’t even think they even fully understand what they’re doing or how it’s working. they just see results, see the amazing skin they’re looking for, and stop asking questions. which is fine in some situations, but this isn’t one of them.
the good news is, it can be so much easier and so much better for you than that! and i’ve got a few tips where to get started [because i know it can seem like a daunting task].
1. narrow it down. great news, guys. you don’t need 20 different products for great skin. in fact, this is one of those situations where less is definitely more. i like to keep my daily skincare regimen to a facial cleanser, toner, and moisturizer [typically an oil of some kind… right now i’m using avocado oil and i love it] in the morning and before bed. i’m also a big fan of masks 2-3 times a week. [i love pretty much all of lush’s masks, and these collagen eye pads are my latest obsession].
2. clean it up. ditch the products that are full of chemicals. anything with sulfates, parabens, and PEGs. these synthetic ingredients have been linked to cancer, among other things. yea, cancer. this sh*t is not a joke. fellow blogger kate of living pretty naturally breaks this down even further for you here. [this goes for skincare products and makeup.]
3. eat [and drink] for beautiful skin. it sounds cheesy, but it’s true… beauty comes form the inside out. berries, pomegranates, kidney beans, walnuts, and green tea are just a few of the foods recommended for glowing skin, and one thing i’ve recently added to my daily routine is marine collagen powder. collagen promotes elasticity, cohesion and regeneration of the skin, hair and nails, and it’s kinda poppin’ up everywhere in the wellness world these days. i mix it into a cold glass of water first thing in the morning… couldn’t be easier!
what are your favorite easy, natural skincare tips for amazing skin?! any favorite products? would love for you to share the wealth in the comments below!
guest post: how to eat healthy on a budget
eating healthy is already challenging in and of itself for many people, and unfortunately, it often costs more to eat nutritiously than it does to eat unhealthy food, only further discouraging people from really making lifestyle changes. ever wonder how to eat healthy on budget? ith the proper planning and strategy, it’s possible to do just that!
by utilizing the following five techniques, you’ll be able to eat well and save money in the process:
1. buy packaged items in bulk. whether you shop at a membership warehouse store like costco or sam’s club, an organic market or a traditional grocery store, it’s almost always cheaper to buy in bulk. this is especially true for packaged items such as brown rice, quinoa and protein/snack bars.
while buying organic and higher quality packaged foods is generally more expensive, you can offset some of the cost by buying in bulk. for example, getting a large box of organic cereal with healthy ingredients is often cheaper [per ounce] than buying those single serving cups of lucky charms.
2. don’t buy pre-packaged produce. purchasing pre-washed bags of greens or packages of sliced pineapple might be more convenient, but that convenience comes at a significant cost. pay attention the next time you go to the store and you’ll notice the dramatic price difference between buying unpackaged fresh fruits and vegetables and those that are already packaged.
if you’re really busy and can’t make time to prepare your own fruits and veggies, stick to produce that doesn’t require any preparation, such as apples and celery. they offer nutritional value while requiring little effort to prepare.
3. grow your own herbs. a great way to enhance the taste of food without turning to potentially unhealthy sauces and dressings is by adding a few herbs. it’s amazing the difference a little fresh basil, oregano or sage can make on an otherwise bland dish. unfortunately, buying fresh herbs can quickly take up a large chunk of your budget. thankfully there is a solution: growing your own herbs.
unlike other fruits and vegetables, many herbs don’t require a garden, or even any outdoor space, in order to grow. this makes them ideal for homeowners and apartment dwellers alike. you can buy the seeds and soil inexpensively at a store like home depot, get a few small pots and you’re good to go! just set them on a windowsill so they can get sun exposure and water them regularly. give it a few weeks and you’ll have plenty of fresh herbs at a fraction of the cost.
4. snack on inexpensive natural foods. one category of foods in which the healthy option is actually cheaper is snack foods. doritos, cheetos, and other potato chips, for example, are really quite expensive. sunflower seeds, raisins and air-popped popcorn are much better alternatives to traditional snack foods at a lower price. if you really want to get creative, you can bake your own kale chips or pop your own popcorn!
5. invest in a blender and make your own smoothies/juices. juicing and drinking smoothies is one of the best ways to sneak some extra nutrients into your diet without having to eat something you may not like. once again, however, your budget is likely to get in the way of being able to consume store-bought juices or smoothies regularly.
investing in a high-end blender such as a blendtec or vitamix might be worth it, but with a $400 price tag, may not be an option for everyone. luckily, most of the less expensive blenders are able to get the job done just as well!
employ these five strategies the next time you head to the grocery store … your wallet will thank you!
this post was written by jason feller, the director of marketing for dealspotr.com, a site dedicated to helping consumers find the best prices on everyday items.
guest post: 5 tips for finding a fitness plan that works fo you
when it comes to finding a fitness plan that works for you, it’s important to remember that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. in fact, there are so many ways to keep fit and stay healthy that you don’t need to worry if hitting the gym just isn’t your thing. simply getting off the bus a few stops early or maybe going for a walk during your lunch hour can all add valuable physical activity to your day.
but, what you do need to remember is that any fitness plan has to work around your life, otherwise the likelihood is that you won’t stick to it. this isn’t necessarily a reflection of you, it’s just human nature … and it doesn’t have to stay that way! if you can find a way to get fit that works with your lifestyle, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your fitness goals.
keeping all of this in mind, let’s take a look at the best ways to find a fitness plan that will work for you!
1. don’t push yourself too hard at the start. when you first begin a new workout routine, you may feel super motivated and like you have something to prove, but pushing yourself too hard at the beginning is only going to create problems. if you haven’t worked out in a while, you could be increasing the chance of getting hurt if you push yourself too hard. not only this, biting off more than you can chew will encourage you to skip sessions when the going gets tough, and this will likely lead to you just stopping completely. a fitness plan is a lifestyle change, so when it comes to planning yours, you need to make sure that you find something that’s realistic for you.
2. do your research. whether you love going to the gym or would rather spend time at the park with family, there are plenty of ways to get fit. researching will help you to find exercises that you think you may enjoy. If you like swimming, find a pool that has an adults only swimming time so you can get a workout without the distraction of children. if you worry about how you’re going to fit your fitness routine around family/friend time, then bring them with you! working out with a buddy is more enjoyable than working out alone, and if you have kids, they can benefit from a bike ride or a run around the park, too. get creative!
3. tag team it. one of the best ways to ensure that you stick to a new fitness plan is to enlist someone else to join you. whether you choose to take your partner or a friend, it can be a great way to spend some quality time with someone. exercising together will also help you to bond and stay connected, while having someone to keep you motivated and vice versa. if you can’t get anyone on board, try making friends with people who workout at similar times as you. if you’re in touch with someone at the gym or in a workout class and they’re expecting you to be there, you’re more likely to show up.
4. follow a gradual plan. fitness is becoming more and more popular all the time, and because of this, the amount of plans aimed at people who haven’t worked out much before is growing. there are plans that can help you go “from your sofa to running a 5K” and much more. diving in head first isn’t sustainable, but working gradually towards a goal means you will be much more likely to stay on track.
5. find what works best for you. if you have a fitness plan in place and haven’t noticed any changes after about four weeks [or you just aren’t enjoying it], consider changing it up! remember, it’s always best to do a mixture of cardio and strength training, but strength training can be anything from yoga to hiking, and cardio can range from dancing to jumping on a trampoline …. think outside the box and create a fitness plan that keeps you entertained, motivated and is something you love to do!
getting fit and starting a new fitness plan can be intimidating at first, but when approached the right way, can change your life for the better. all you need is the motivation and a plan that works for you and your lifestyle.
and remember, fitness is about leading a healthier lifestyle, not worrying about the number you see on the scale or the tags of your clothes. focus on how you feel, because that’s what really counts!
this post was written by amy leach on behalf of focus training.
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 email@example.com!
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