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!
3 simple ways to manage stress + anxiety
sorry that today’s post is going up a little late… but there’s a reason, i promise! … which i will explain: one thing i haven’t talked about too much here on the blog is my ongoing battle with stress and anxiety. it’s not exactly the easiest thing to talk about, but i’ve sort of felt a “call” to write about it lately. i think that there’s a certain level of therapy involved in being vulnerable, and i just wanted to make sure i was doing it right [stress about being perfect, anyone?]… so, here we go.
ever since i was little, i can remember experiencing extreme bouts of stress and anxiety, which tended to manifest in the form of stomach aches, constant nausea, heartburn [i literally never left home without a pack of rolaids], and nights lying awake in bed for hours before being able to fall asleep because my mind wouldn’t stop racing.
throughout my life, i’ve definitely been able to recognize that i experience high levels of stress and anxiety… but to a certain extent, assumed it was normal. everyone seems to be “stressed” these days, right? why should i be any different? i even feel like sometimes we glorify being “stressed” and look down upon the people who aren’t, accusing them of being “lazy” and “unmotivated”.
can stress be a good thing? sometimes. but if you’re experiencing stress that:
- disturbs your sleeping patterns
- impacts your appetite [in either direction]
- makes you feel short of breath, nauseous or lightheaded
- causes you to break down, shut down or lash out
… then it isn’t the good kind of stress.
to this day, i still experience high levels of stress and anxiety that cause all of the above. and it effing sucks. sometimes it’s worse than others. sometimes i’m stressed about work… sometimes about my appearance… lately i’ve been stressed about the state of the world we live in and where society is headed… you name it, i’ve probably stressed about it excessively at one point or another.
the difference now is that i don’t just accept it as “normal” and struggle to live with it… i manage it.
over the past six months [after having a breakdown mid-november], i’ve found what works best for me when it comes to managing stress, and have a few different things i turn to when i start feeling even just a little bit anxious.
these 3 things help me to get centered and continue moving forward with a sense of calm [or, let’s be honest, at least a lower level of stress]:
1. get moving. it’s a no brainer that exercise is directly linked to our state of mind. think about it… how many times have you left yoga or finished a sweat session feeling worse than you did before? literally never. even though the thought of doing any sort of physical activity can be the last thing we want to do when we’re stressed, we need to suck it up and just do it [nike was seriously onto something here]. not only will all of those endorphins make you feel like you’re on cloud nine, going for a long run or hitting the yoga mat, even just taking a 10-minute walk, gives you a chance to remove yourself from whatever it is that’s stressing you out and just focus on the present moment.
2. meditate. over the past 3-4 months, my meditation practice has become consistent, and it plays a huge role in helping me to manage stress. every morning, i wake up 20 minutes early and do a guided meditation [i have a little “meditation corner” set up in my room] to set the tone for the rest of the day. i’m one of those people whose brain never. shuts. off. and meditating forces me to be still, acknowledge the thoughts i’m having, and then immediately let them go. it allows you to remove yourself from the outside world and turn inward, where the answers to just about all of our problems lie. if you’re new to the whole meditation thing, start small! even 5 minutes each day is enough to rewire your brain.
[not sure where to start? boho beautiful has some really great guided meditations on youtube, but this one specifically is good for cultivating a sense of peace and tranquility… and it only takes 10 minutes!]
3. listen to your favorite music. i’m a music lover. i grew up in a household that always have music playing, and my parents instilled their love of music on me from a very young age. i love finding new music just as much as i love listening to artists i’ve been obsessed with for years, and dabbling in new genres has expanded my musical preferences quite a bit. across the board, one thing’s for sure: music has healing powers. feeling stressed? play some jack johnson. feeling tired? put on the chainsmokers. feeling sad? hello, t. swift! need to make yourself feel like a badass? “big rings” by drake can help. allow yourself to really feel the music and let it take you away for a minute. keep it playing in the background while you go about your day [if you can] or plug into your headphones when you’re trying to get through your least favorite activity at work. there’s a reason that music is such a huge part of every culture… it’s universal, and as bob marley said, “when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
of course, there are many other ways to manage stress and anxiety, and i definitely encourage you to explore and find out what works best for you. these 3 things are simple and seem to help me the most, but i also keep journaling, taking a relaxing bath, and simply breathing up my sleeve for those really stressful times when i feel like i need to battle it from all angles.
what are your go-to methods for stress management? share in the comments below, or email me at email@example.com!
twenty eight, feelin’ great
this past tuesday marked my 28th birthday, and i said this last year when i turned 27, but… twenty eight… seriously?!
just to backtrack for a minute… on may 10th, 2015, i was in l.a., hoping that my plan to leave new york for the best coast would end up working out… not knowing where i was going to live or work… how or if i was going to make new friends… and a year later, i’m here, working at a company i love, and surrounded by some of the most amazing people i’ve ever met… pretty. effing. insane.
last year i made a list of 27 things i’d learned in my 27 years on the planet, and this year i thought i would keep the tradition alive, but instead of 28 life lessons i thought i would list twenty eight things i’m grateful for. practicing gratitude has become a part of my morning routine over the past few months, and it just seemed fitting. so, here goes nothin’.
- for my family and friends, near and far. they are the most important things in my life, always and forever.
- that it doesn’t snow in l.a… ever.
- for my job at snacknation and all of the amazing people it has brought into my life.
- for my big girl apartment.
- that i no longer have to take public transportation… ever.
- for music, especially the way it brings people together.
- for the beach [where i could go every day if i wanted to.]
- for my morning routine, even though i over sleep from time to time and have no time to do it.
- that my hard work is paying off, even if it took longer than i thought it should have.
- for re-discovering my love of camping. seriously, my amazon cart is full of camping gear after going to joshua tree a few weeks ago.
- for blogging and having this creative outlet to do what i really love to do… write!
- for yoga.
- that leo finally won an oscar. about damn time.
- for puppies. still don’t have one of my own, but one of these days that’s going to change.
- for coffee. not sure how people make it by without it.
- that i broke up with the scale and haven’t looked back.
- that i took the leap and moved to l.a. i’ve never felt more at home.
- that i can workout outside all. year. round. [hello, hiking!]
- for the people in my life who call me out on my sh*t.
- for learning how to put myself out there.
- for being able to say that i’m making serious progress with mastering my mean girl.
- for pizza. never not grateful for pizza. and also grateful for margaritas.
- for the bad days. they make the good days even better.
- for weekends away when i can disconnect from social media and my phone… and reality.
- that i said “yes!” to almost everything for a while, but grateful that i’m starting to say “no” again.
- to be going to the u.k. in july with my family. nothing gets me excited quite like traveling does.
- that i’ve adopted the “i.d.g.a.f.o.s.” mindset. because there’s no point in being miserable.
- and last, but not least, i’m grateful for having another amazing year to look forward to!
the 3 podcasts i’m obsessed with right now
i’ve spent the last few months really refining my morning routine. to say that this has been a process for me is an understatement, but i’ve added something that has required no additional effort on my part: listening to podcasts while i’m getting ready!
to be honest, i was never really much of a podcast listener until a few months ago [aside from serial, obviously]… i love music and typically spent my mornings bopping around to whatever band/artist/d.j./pop diva that i felt spoke to my mood at the time, but once i realized how much amazing content is out there and available via podcast [and once serial wrapped up], i decided to dive a little deeper.
i’ve found a few podcasts that i’ve become obsessed with. they range from inspirational to funny to informative… whatever you’re looking for, i guarantee you can find it in a podcast!
so, without further ado, here are the 3 podcasts i’m obsessed with right now that i suggest you give a listen to, as well!
1. the skinny confidential’s him + her podcast
the skinny confidential has been one of my favorite blogs for a few years now, so when lauryn and her fiancé, michael, launched the him + her podcast, obviously i was going to jump onboard with it. they talk about everything from business tips to health and wellness to boob jobs [yep, seriously] to relationships, and they are effing hilarious. if you’re looking for a well-rounded, kind of random but also informative and funny podcast, start here.
2. this american life
the creators of this american life also created serial, so this seemed like a natural next step for me once the second season wrapped up. the format is very journalistic, and overall this podcast is kind of hard describe, but they cover a wide variety of topics that are super interesting. the best thing about this podcast is that it’s been around for a while, so the archives go waayyyyyyy back. you could literally listen for days. bonus: the host, ira glass, has the most amazing, soothing voice and is just lovely to listen to.
3. #girlboss radio
sophia amoruso, the founder of nasty gal and the author of #girlboss, is a huge inspiration for me, and #girlboss radio is right up my alley, too. i love her book, can’t wait for the next one, and truly admire her hustle and the empire she’s building. each week, she interviews a different #girlboss about their climb to the top, the struggles they went through to get there, and asks them what advice they would give those trying to find their way in the world.
so, there you have it. who knows… maybe one day bananas + bellinis will have a podcast… the wheels are certainly turning! [allison micco: i’m lookin’ at you.]
what are you favorite podcasts? share in the comments below… can’t wait to hear your suggestions!
all images via podbay.fm
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