Graphic: FitXBrit

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a healthy lifestyle?  For most of us we immediately think of clean eating or regular exercise.  Although diet and physical fitness are key, maintaining a healthy mind is where everything starts.  That’s why mental breaks are so essential.  Whether you’re finding some quiet time for yourself in the midst of a work trip or making it a point to get your rest at home, unwinding is totally necessary to maintain a healthy balance.  Let’s be honest.  How many of you are anxious, overworked, and in dire need of some relaxation?  We were too. In March, we decided it was time to treat ourselves to a bestie getaway to clear our heads, enjoy a life time-out, and re-center.

We absolutely love the West Coast and both of us have been to LA several times between the two of us, but never for anything other than business so, we decided to forego the SXSW festivities in Austin for a spring break siesta in sunny SoCal.  While we came to the conclusion that time zones are the devil and sticking to a schedule is pretty difficult, we also came to another realization: going with the flow can do wonders for your peace of mind.  We found ourselves enjoying new experiences, finding our peace, and returning with some majorly renewed spirits.

After deciding to accept the #NoMeatMarch challenge, we kind of forgot that our trip fell smack dab in the middle of it.  Lucky for us, Los Angeles is pretty much the epicenter when it comes to healthy options so, we weren’t without a plethora of vegan spots, salad joints, and fresh eats.  One such restaurant we absolutely fell in love with is Crossroads.  The vegan-only eatery was one of the biggest highlights of our trip; so much so that we dined there three times in three days.  Twice for dinner and once for their brunch. No shame. None at all.

Images: FitChicks

Aside from the awesome atmosphere and super central location, Crossroads offers an amazing vegan take on some of our favorite foods - it is, however, extremely easy to over-indulge in you aren’t careful.  We totally weren’t careful, by the way.  Everything from dairy-free fettachini alfredo and fresh tonic lemonade to house fondue and homemade ‘chicken’ and gluten-free waffles (!!!) made it to our table.  We definitely left wishing (and hoping) one of these makes it’s way to Dallas.  

Image: CNKDaily

In the last few days of our trip, we opted to depart from the bright lights of LA and retreat to the seaside city of Malibu.  Needless to say, the scenery was absolutely beautiful but, more importantly, we were in a place to appreciate it.  The amazing cliffs off Zuma Beach and even a breathtaking view from our zen retreat were made all the more memorable because it’s something we can’t experience everyday.  Just taking deep breaths of the salty air, feeling the breeze through our t-shirts and watching the water glisten in the afternoon sun, was enough for a major Eat, Pray, Love moment.

The whole point of our trip was not only to enjoy some away time, but to really get some mind rest.  As we both build businesses and generally handle all of the things life throws at us on a daily basis, it becomes super easy to get so caught up in the things you have to do that you forget to enjoy the moment.  Our stay in Malibu came complete with a ‘zen retreat’ high in the canyons. Without cell service and spotty internet, we were given the opportunity to take in nature and give our spirits some much-needed TLC. 

What are a few ways you take a mental breather? Leave your suggestions in the comment section below.

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