thirtsy thursday: spicy cucumber margaritas
yes, i’m well aware that it’s not quite thursday yet, but since tomorrow is cinco de mayo, i wanted to make sure this post was up a day early, just in time for all of your balanced celebrations!
one thing you should know about me is that i effing love margaritas. for whatever reason, they have always been my favorite cocktail… maybe it’s because i associate them with the summertime, and sitting on the beach, soaking up the sun… but anyways, it was inevitable that i’d be experimenting with making my own, and what better a day to share the recipe with you than cinco de drinko?! [and there will be more where this came from, i can promise you that!]
this spicy cucumber margarita is pretty much the perfect balanced cocktail. the tequila will get you feelin’ a little loose while the cucumber will help keep you hydrated [and gives the drink a really light and crisp flavor] and finally, the jalapeño will not only add a little kick, but help boost your metabolism, too.
for 2 spicy cucumber margaritas you will need:
- 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 small jalapeño, seeds removed + thinly sliced [more or less to taste]
- juice squeezed from 4 limes
- 1/2 cup tequila blanco
- 2 tsp. raw honey [more or less to taste]
- coarse kosher salt, sweet chili powder + cane sugar for rim
- a few cucumber + jalapeño slices set aside for garnish
- place the cucumber and jalapeño slices, lime juice, tequila and honey in a blender. blend until smooth.
- on a small plate, combine a little salt, chili powder and cane sugar [about a tsp. of each should be good]. wet the rim with a leftover piece of lime, and then dip into salt, chili powder, sugar mixture.
- place several ice cubes in each serving glass along with one cucumber and one jalapeño slice.
- pour blended mixture over the ice, garnish glass with cucumber and jalapeño, top off with a fun paper straw [or a paper umbrella] and enjoy!
happy cinco de mayo! [and as always, no drinking + driving!]
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.
my holiday gift ideas for the hard to buy for people in your life!
it’s the most wonderful time of the year … and in the blogging world, that means one thing … holiday gift guides!
this year, i decided to combine the women’s and men’s gift guides into one post, since we’re approaching the final full week for holiday shopping before christmas is officially here.
here are a few holiday gift ideas from your’s truly … #4 in the men’s guide is my brother’s company … so if you have a bearded guy in your life, this will be perfect!
[also, if someone wants to snag #1 on the women’s list for me, i promise to love you forever.]
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!
happy halloween + healthy candy recipe round-up!
halloween is, and always has been, one of my favorite holidays. i love everything about it … figuring out my costume[s], dressing up, candy, parties, punch served out of a pumpkin, candy … you know the drill!
unfortunately, all of the popular halloween candy that goes around at this time of the year is just terrible for you. and even though i’m all about balance, treating yourself, and having fun, sometimes it just seriously isn’t worth it.
luckily, there’s lots of people out there like myself who have come up with their own homemade healthy candy recipes, so you can still indulge and enjoy yourself on halloween, without filling up on harmful chemicals and food additives.
here is a round up of some mouthwatering healthy candy recipes to help you take this halloween to the next level, without harming your body in the process!
what are you dressing up as tonight?!
love + light on valentine’s day 2015
happy friday, loves! i hope your week has been amazing and that you’re all ready for the weekend [i know i am]! valentine’s day is tomorrow and i’ve talked about it a lot over the past week. i shared some gift ideas and talked about the importance of not stressing over this holiday regardless of your current “situation”. i’m not hating on valentine’s day at all, i’m just not worrying about it, and you shouldn’t be either!
don’t put any pressure on making tomorrow the best day, like, ever. honestly, my most memorable and fun valentine’s day was spent with two of my friends getting drunk, attempting to go out [and failing miserably], coming home early, changing into sweats, and eating drunk food while watching the office until we fell asleep.
it should only be about making the most of the day, whatever that means for you. relax. go out. cook. watch netflix. ho to yoga. hit the gym. drink some wine. book yourself a massage. plan a trip. do you. and don’t let anyone tell you there’s something wrong with that.
so, that’s my spiel. i’ll leave you with just a little valentine’s day inspiration…
happy valentine’s day!
peace, love, light + xo’s,
image #1 courtesy of glitter guide
healthy, happy valentine’s day gift guide
with valentine’s day just around the corner a lot of emotions tend to come up around this time of year. excitement, anxiety, confusion, loneliness, anger… considering that this holiday is all about love, it seems weird that this holiday can often make us feel anything but.
regardless of whether you just started seeing someone, are married, single or in one of those “it’s complicated” situations, valentine’s day is no reason to feel sad, stressed or like you’re missing out anything. if you’re celebrating valentine’s day with someone, treat them and spend some quality time together. and if you’re not… treat yourself! open a bottle of wine and cook yourself a solid dinner, start the day at your favorite workout class, go out with your other single friends or spend the entire day sleeping, watching netflix and ordering delivery… whatever makes you feel good.
after all of the positive feedback my holiday gift guides [here and here] received, i decided to make a valentine’s day gift guide, but my list is a little different from most of the other valentine’s day gift guides i’ve seen simply because it covers gift ideas for her, him and most importantly, you.
hello 2015 + my new year’s resolutions
well, it’s here. the last day of 2014. looking back, this year was one of the most eventful, fun, and all around ridiculous years of my life. i traveled to california [a few times], miami, india, istanbul, munich, budapest, vienna and new orleans and in the process checked some things off of my bucket list, i started this blog and launched my health coaching practice, i ran my first half marathon… and for the first time in my life, i actually met almost all of my new year’s resolutions and the ones that i didn’t meet are in the works for 2015.
this year, i have five resolutions that are based on one thing: making myself feel good. on monday i talked about why a lot of the common new year’s resolutions tend to fail and made sure to ask myself the how, why, what and who for each of my resolutions to make sure that they were aligned to me, how i want to feel and what i want to achieve in 2015. my 2015 new year’s resolutions look a little something like this:
1. establish a morning routine. this is something i have been struggling to do consistently for quite awhile. i find that i easily get thrown off by one rushed morning or an early wake up call for the gym or yoga and i want to put an end to that. i’m going to start simple with five minutes of meditation when i first wake up and slowly build on that as the year progresses.
2. be nicer to myself. i’m definitely guilty of being extremely hard on myself… with work, my workout regimen, the food i put into my body, the way i look at myself… as much as i talk about balance sometimes i struggle with finding my own. no one is perfect, we aren’t designed to be perfect and it’s exhausting to have to battle my own inner dialogue so much. i’ve come a long way with this over the years, but there’s always room for improvement.
3. leave the past behind me so it doesn’t affect the present. i’m one of those people who tries to make sense of everything and be prepared for any and every outcome to any given situation. while being proactive can be a great thing, it’s not so great when you let your past experiences have an impact on what’s going on in the present. your thoughts become your reality and just because one time this one bad thing happened to you doesn’t mean that will be the case for the rest of your life. part of breaking the pattern is breaking the thought pattern and I’m going to make a serious effort to just let life flow and stop projecting past experiences onto new ones.
4. less texting, more talking. i love technology and social media as much as the next person, but sometimes i seriously worry about the direction it’s taking society. technology is an amazing thing when used the right way, but if we allow it to take over our lives and dictate the way we conduct ourselves, it’s not doing us any good. i want to make more of an effort to connect with the people in my life face to face or over the phone instead of through texts and social media. this means more coffee dates with friends, picking up the phone just to say hey or make plans… anything goes!
5. do. epic. sh*t. i’m honestly not sure how i can possibly top 2014, but that doesn’t mean i’m not going to try. i already have some pretty exciting things in the works and I’m sure in the coming months more opportunities to check some stuff off of my bucket list will be popping up. life has been pretty exciting lately and i want to continue that trend for as long as possible. this will probably be one of my new year’s resolutions well beyond 2015.
one thing i keep reminding myself that i want you to remember when it comes to new year’s resolutions is that everything is a process. success never comes quickly and you have to make a conscious effort to put these things into practice every day. don’t be so hard on yourself and enjoy the ride!
before i sign off for 2014, i just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of my readers and subscribers! launching this blog was something i had wanted to do for a pretty long time and i couldn’t be happier with the way it turned it out and how it’s going! i have a handful of things planned for the next few months that i can’t wait to share with you.
i also wanted to remind everyone that now through january 31st I’m offering a free month of health coaching to anyone who signs up for my 6-month program by january 31st. if you need help figuring out how to take your health to the next level or need someone to hold you accountable as you work towards your goals and resolutions, email me at email@example.com to schedule your free initial consultation to see if we might be a good fit. i would love to support you in the new year as you work towards the life you’re dreaming of.
i hope you all have an amazing new year’s celebration! [remember the milk thistle if you plan on drinking to avoid starting 2015 with a nasty hangover.] enjoy yourself, let loose and get ready for your best year yet!
i would love to hear what your plans are and what resolutions you’ve made. comment below or email [firstname.lastname@example.org]… see you in 2015!
motivation mondays: new year’s resolution edition
happy motivation mondays! i hope everyone had an amazing holiday celebrating and that you have exciting plans for saying goodbye to 2014 and ringing in 2015 in just a few days!
i was able to sneak away and spend a few days at home over christmas, which was really, really nice. while i was home, i made it a priority to relax and enjoy myself, but to not get too carried away and try to stick to my normal routine as much as possible, especially when it came to working out, doing yoga and eating. i put my own healthy holiday suggestions to use and checked out a hot vinyasa yoga class at yogaErie [which i really enjoyed], did a bootcamp class led by my brother at the gym he trains at and was able to get my normal cardio and strength training sessions in, as well. on christmas eve my parents hosted a get together at our house, so i was able to see some of my aunts, uncles, cousins and family friends that i haven’t seen in a while. we ate [a lot] and drank [a lot], but i was definitely more conscious than usual about how much i was eating. i ate cookies and cupcakes and cheese and bread and pie and candy, but i monitored my portion size so that i didn’t feel like total sh*t at the end of the night. seriously guys, simple adjustments and doing your best to stick to a schedule can make a huge difference.
christmas day was a little more relaxing… we woke up without alarms, made breakfast [i have a new recipe to share with you later this week!], opened gifts [i got some seriously awesome stuff] and spent most of the day watching christmas movies and, of course, eating leftovers from the previous night. it was a wonderful and relaxing few days, but as always, i was excited to make my way back to new york… just in time to do a few last minute festive things with my mom, including a trip to radio city music hall to see the rockettes!
with the new year right around the corner [seriously, where did 2014 go though?] i wanted to chat a little bit about new year’s resolutions, why 99% of the time they are total bullsh*t that only leave us feeling terrible about ourselves and how you can set yourself up for success in 2015. so, here is today’s [week 16!!] motivation mondays post – new year’s style!
many new year’s resolutions revolve around diet/exercise/losing weight/looking like a victoria’s secret model and i think it’s safe to say we have all made a resolution like this at least once in our lifetimes. i know i have [i think just about every year i have been on the planet] and i saw little success until i changed my mindset about resolutions, being healthy and reaching my goals.
there are two problems with these types of resolutions: 1] we tend to go to extremes trying to achieve them [crash dieting, cutting calories to a low, unmaintainable level, working out 7 days a week/for hours at a time] and 2] we are often going after them for reasons outside of ourselves in the first place [trying to impress a girl/guy, wanting to have Beyoncé’s body, working to “fit in” according to the unrealistic standards society has set for us].
as we all know, extremes in any aspect of your life are not maintainable and rarely lead to long-lasting success. it has to be about changing your lifestyle, building new, healthy habits and achieving balance. so instead of starting a low carb, 800 calorie-a-day meal plan on january 1st, start with swapping out some of the not-so-healthy things you eat/drink for healthier options [i.e. diet soda for a green juice, pasta for brown rice] and build on that. add an extra cardio session to your workout routine or check out a new class at your gym [or just join the gym in the first place]. where you are right now is perfectly fine and making small, manageable changes over time is the key to success. and, i hate to break it to you, but the only person who is ever going to have beyoncé’s body is beyoncé, so you might as well just remove that goal from your list now and work towards having your best body that only you can have.
in 2015, instead of looking outside of yourself for inspiration [impressing someone, trying to meet society’s standards, etc.], ask yourself a few questions to get really clear about things. why is this your resolution? what are you looking to achieve? how do you want to feel? who are you doing this for?
the only person you should ever be trying to impress is yourself and the only person you should be competing with is the person you were yesterday. working towards your goals should boost your self-confidence and make you physically feel good in your body. so, if any of your answers to these questions aren’t aligned to making you feel this way, it’s time to rethink your resolutions and make them about you [in a totally non-selfish way, of course]. here are a few examples:
- try one new exercise class per month to continue to push your body and find out what makes you feel your best. some ideas include spinning, boxing, pole dancing, hot yoga and aerobic dance.
- instead of ordering delivery or eating out all weekend long, make a commitment to start preparing at least one healthy home-cooked meal each weekend to avoid extra calories, sugar, salt and other food additives.
- read a book for 30 minutes before bed rather than scrolling through facebook/twitter/instagram to feel more relaxed and get your body ready for a good night’s sleep.
make your resolutions about feeling your personal best and living a life that you enjoy. there is no need to make yourself miserable.
as always, i love including a few fun links in my motivation mondays posts and to stick with today’s theme, here are some things i think you guys will benefit from as 2014 comes to a close and a whole new year begins this week:
these inspiring wellness videos are perfect for some resolution inspiration.
this article gives you six ways to stay in shape in the new year… not a single one involves a gym.
google’s year-in-review is a great reminder that even when things seem hopeless, this world and the people in it are pretty amazing.
what are your new year’s resolutions for 2015? would love to hear from you in the comments below!
image courtesy of imgfave
healthy, happy men’s holiday gift guide
last week, after i shared with you some of my favorite gift ideas for the holiday season, i decided it would be fun to make a men’s holiday gift guide for you, as well! i mean, what guy doesn’t want bacon caramel toffee and an “i love tacos” t-shirt?
also, please remember to sign up for my bi-monthly newsletter for more healthy, happy holiday inspiration and exclusive content reserved just for my subscribers!
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