Why Self Care?
After running around non-stop for 6-weeks in Europe-- shooting all day, editing all night, and eating to our hearts delight, we knew we needed a bit of a detox when we got back home to Bali. To be honest, we didn't for a moment regret the hectic schedule we had in Europe. We knew it would be a crazy 6-weeks, and we wanted to soak in the full experience-- including eating pretty much everything in sight along the way, haha! ((I mean, how could you possibly go to Europe and say no to croissants + gelato before and after meals?!)) With that being said, we do FULLY believe in living a balanced lifestyle, and that meant it was time to get back on track with our health asap-- so I wanted to break down for you guys exactly how we've been refreshing ourselves from the inside to the outside this month for our 30 Days of Self Care in Bali!
FROM THE INSIDE...
F O O D -
First things first: we had to change the way we were eating! Pizza, pasta, and wine on repeat are all amazing, but we kissed each of them goodbye to start our own version of the Whole30-- which we named the Whole30-ish, haha. ((You can read more about The Whole 30 here if you aren't familiar, but our 'cleanse' was much loser than the actual Whole30. It was pretty much just Whole30-inspired.)) We basically decided to cut out sugars, alcohol, wheat, and dairy-- which meant we were mostly eating veggies, fruit, and protein (for Zach- meat, and for me- seafood or tempeh/tofu). This kind of diet is super easy to maintain while still eating out in Bali, but if you try this at home then it might make the most sense to do a lot more cooking for the month! ((For some of our meals we forgot to say 'no bread,' so the temptation was really real when we had to set it aside after photos, haha.))
We've learned a lot while trying to stick to this cleaner way of eating in Bali, and we've also established some favorite cafes that were super accommodating for our dietary needs + restrictions!
Alter Ego-- This is a fairly new cafe in Canggu, and we are in LOVE. Their menu is split in half between vegetarian and meat dishes, so it's super easy to find whatever you are looking for. They also have tons of vegan options as well! We've been for both breakfast and lunch, and we've never left feeling disappointed. If the photos don't have you drooling already, you should at least go for the good vibes... There's tons of space to work here with lots of greenery inside and floor to ceiling windows so you don't feel as if you're stuck inside all day while on your laptop! It's a win/win situation!
Bali Bola-- This is a brand new cafe in Seminyak and it is safe to say we are completely obsessed with it!! From the interiors, the massive menu selection, and the freshness of each dish, it is overall an incredible place! You can tell by Bali Bola's quirky + fun designs that they pay close attention to details-- which was even more noticeable with every bite of food we tasted! Can I also mention that their juice + smoothie selection is super impressive, and I'm totally into their 'flexitarian' vibes!!
Koloni-- Koloni is basically a hop, skip, and a jump away from where we stay in Bali in Berawa, and we have become complete regulars there! ((If you watch our insta stories, then you've seen this place time + time again!)) The staff are all so lovely and all feel like friends to us at this point, and the food is so fresh + delicious! There are SO many healthy options-- you almost feel healthier just being there, haha. My go-to is the Buddah Bowl and Zach's is the Falafal Bowl. Both are really great and full of so many delicious veggies!
Crate-- Crate is one of those cafes that you absolutely cannot miss out on when you come to Bali. It's been our favorite since the first time we went last fall, and we just can't seem to get enough! We love how the menu is broken up into sections such as bowls, smoothies, entrees, etc, and everything in each section is the same price! It makes it much more inviting to want to keep coming back time and time again to try everything on the menu... and I think we've just about done exactly that! The cafe owner, Marie, is always hanging around too which is always very appreciated because you can tell how passionate she is about what she does. We feel right at home when we are at Crate! :)
M I N D -
In our opinion, there's really no point in focusing on self care without paying special attention to your mental well-being. Often times its so easy to overlook this aspect of self care because our immediate questions tend to be 'what should I be eating?' and 'how much do I need to work out?'. We end up neglecting the fact that our mental health is extremely vital to our overall health and deserves a lot of extra love + care! Taking a step back to pause, reflect, and dream is vital. We decided to start most of our mornings this month at to the beach to have some quiet time-- whether that meant reading our bibles or just simply being in the moment, watching the morning surfers, and basking in the heat of the sun. I truly believe that starting our days in a calm way mentally prepared us to be able to tackle whatever stresses the day ahead would bring along. ((And ironically enough, August was full of a lot of challenges + stresses from all sides that we did not expect...!))
Another way we started our mornings was by doing yoga, either at home ((we finally got our own yoga mats!)) or at Desa Seni. Desa Seni was the first place I ever tried yoga in Bali, and it has remained my favorite all these months later. I was so happy to try out some new classes with Zach! There are so many studios to practice yoga in Bali that it might get a little overwhelming when choosing the right one for you. However, we feel that Desa Seni has it all! It is conveniently located in our neighborhood of Canggu, and is also a wellness retreat in itself that you could book a stay with. There are many classes to choose from when it comes to their yoga selection, and the yoga studio sits right in the jungle surrounded by the sounds and smells of a tropical oasis which alone is enough to make you relax! We are huge fans for many reasons, but it helps a lot that the environment isn't intimidating at all and the instructors are so lovely!
...TO THE OUTSIDE:
B O D Y -
Working out this month was one of our top priorities, and we tried to find ourselves in the gym at least 5 days a week. I am a firm believer in at-home workouts as well if you can't make it to the gym for whatever reason, or if membership prices just aren't in your budget at the moment. Don't ever let not having a gym membership keep you from staying in shape! I am one of those annoying people who really enjoy working out, and Zach is the complete opposite. I could probably count on one hand the amount of times the two of us went to the gym together when living in NYC, and it has been such a shock to see that completely change as our lifestyle has changed so much while living in Bali! We both feel so much better when we push ourselves to get to the gym-- and having the accountability between the two of us really helps too! Some days this month we worked out really hard and felt so accomplished, and others we barely did much at all, but getting into the habit of going to the gym this month really made an impact on both of us-- and now we are hooked.
Here are some gym recommendations for those of you who live in Bali:
If you've been following Zach and I for any length of time, then you are fully aware that we both absolutely love massages! Nevertheless, they always feel like a special treat whenever we get one which is probably why we are so addicted because we love any kind of special treat, haha! Not only do massages make you feel pampered, relaxed, and luxurious in a way, but they are simply good for your overall health! They improve blood circulation, help to relieve stress and muscle tension in the body, reduce anxiety, remove toxins from the body, help promote healthy posture, and... need I say more?! There are so many benefits to getting massages regularly, and you will pretty much find us on a massage bed any chance we get. ;) We couldn't wait to get back to Bali after our European adventures because massages in Bali are on a whole other level!
Mandapa Reserve in Ubud-- It was our first time stepping foot onto Ritz Carlton's Mandapa Reserve tucked away in the jungle and hillside of Ubud, and our mouths were dropped basically the entire time. The grounds are stunning and vast, full of lush greenery and peaceful jungle sounds. The spa is magazine worthy ((in fact, I'm sure it has been featured in a number of magazines!)) and we felt like kings + queens just being there. The massage was incredibly relaxing, and we really appreciated how attentive the massage therapists were in making our experience one of a kind. The spa at Mandapa Reserve is not just full of treatment rooms, but it also has men + women locker rooms with separate saunas, steam rooms, and even a gigantic shared hot tub! It looks like a gorgeous infinity pool, but it's actually heated with jets overlooking the jungle! Even writing this out sounds like I am making it up it... and to be honest, I can't even begin to describe the beauty of this place. It's one of those 'you have to see it to believe it' kind of places! But here are some pics in case you need some convincing...
Sundari Day Spa in Seminyak-- Like I mentioned before, among many things that Bali is known for, add incredible spas to the list! There are tons of amazing spas on the island, but the type of luxury and affordability that you can find in Seminyak's Sundari Day Spa is simply unmatchable!! Their menu of treatments goes on and on, but we were really excited to try one of their rituals that is super unique to Sundari. We tried the Shakti Ritual, and the whole experience was so relaxing. We decided to end our month of Self Care with Sundari because it was literally the FULL treatment-- massage, body scrub, and aloe vera facial. The perfect trifecta for a pampering session!
S K I N -
It's crazy what all of our faces are exposed to when we travel: the climate of a new country, pollution, new bacteria, wind, sun, etc. Not to mention what it is exposed to just being in an airport and traveling! My skin is always left feeling dry and tired after traveling. Zach and I want to create better habits when it comes to taking care of our skin-- especially as we get older and continue traveling more and more.
Sofia Spa in Canggu-- After looking into several different spas in Canggu, we decided to go to Sofia Spa to experience some much needed TLC for our faces. Sofia Spa has a lot to offer and to be honest, it was hard to decide on which facial to choose from-- but we went with the Collagen Regeneration + Detox Action facial, and we are completely hooked! This type of deep cleansing is very unique to Sofia Spa. The facial includes exfoliation and hydration by ultrasound, blackheads extraction, and a warm massage by infrared. It is an extremely deep cleansing facial and after leaving the treatment, we felt completely refreshed and renewed! Not to mention we continued to see positive results for the days + weeks to come after this treatment. It really was a game changer for us and this treatment alone is almost worth a flight to Bali just to experience it! Both Zach and I are almost 30 ((okay I always joke because Zach is 29 and I am 28, so technically HE'S almost 30 and I am just so, so far away... #jokes)) but we want to be intentional about the way we care for our skin these days. Starting to focus on our skin a bit more closely is something we hope to maintain for the months to come!
Skincare is something that I always pay close attention to, so this month was no different in making sure I was taking care of my skin with a proper skincare regimen. However, I started using a new brand this month-- Mullum + Co.-- to try out a Bali brand, and I am already hooked! ((Which is saying a lot to be honest, because I am reeeally picky when it comes to skincare!)) I used to have terrible skin growing up, and so since I was in high school I've been very much into skincare and finding the right products to use on my skin. I am a firm believer in less is more when it comes to skincare routines-- and love using natural products that are found in the Earth rather than something full of chemicals that will cause me more harm than good in the long run. I was so excited to discover Mullum & Co. in Bali, especially because I am such a huge fan in oil cleansing!
Products I'm using:
- TSUBAKI BLEND: Camellia Oil + 24k Gold -- traditional Japanese face, hair, + body oil (high in oleic acid and Vitamins A, B, and E)
- DOPE Hemp Seed Oil -- nourishes, plumps, + firms the skin (helps smooth out wrinkles, super moisturizing, and helps treat acne)
- FRENCH KISS Pink Clay Mask -- use as a cleanser to get rid of dead skill cells and refresh your skin
- COFFEE + SEAWEED SCRUB -- amazing natural exfoliant (that smells heavenly!)
- ROCK N' ROPE SOAP -- volcanic rock soap that exfoliates + fights bacteria
**PS-- All Mullum + Co. products are organic and vegan if that's your vibe too!
R E T R E A T -
Sometimes it's hard to press pause on reality while you're at home and face to face with your everyday stresses + routines, so planning a mini escape could be a great way to start focusing on self care. Being able to remove yourself from your current location and into a place that helps you to be able to relax and refresh in a peaceful and new environment is ideal, and we spent 2 nights this month at Alaya Resort Ubud for a Wellness Retreat to be able to do just that. ((Do you remember our blog post from our first stay with Alaya when we first moved to Bali?)) Alaya is home to one of our favorite spas of all time, Dala Spa, and spending a few days there as well as enjoying some delicious healthy food was so good for the soul. Our biggest highlight was being able to try Dala's Sandalwood Healing Massage for the first time, and it was heavenly! Sandalwood is traditionally used in Bali as a healing ritual, and really helps to reduce aches, pains, and weariness. Relaxing in Ubud is our favorite kind of getaway, and it was such nice way to recharge. I didn't even open my laptop for the full 3 days, and it was pretty perfect. :)
Spending 30 days to really focus on self care has taught both Zach and I so much as we've taken the time to really slow down and notice how we take care of ourselves, as well as really listening to our bodies and figuring out what they need. I think when you don't take the time to slow down, it's much harder to interpret what your body is trying to tell you-- when it is screaming for rest, when something you are eating isn't sitting right with you, and when you need some serious pamper time. It's not realistic that every month will look like this past one did for us, but there are many things we've learned this month that we will continue doing to maintain a more healthy and balanced lifestyle. Traveling so much definitely takes a toll on you, and in order to maintain our jobs and lifestyles we are really trying to implement a lot more self care habits in our everyday life!
I hope you guys enjoyed our '30 Days of Self Care in Bali' post! If you have any questions/comments, please don't hesitate to drop us a line below and we would love to get back to you! We always appreciate your feedback-- and really hope this post inspires you to take a closer look at how well you care for yourself!
Until next time!