7 Ways To 'Eat, Pray, Love' Your Way Around New York City This Summer

by Andrew Cristi
Good Vibrations Images

Ten years ago, Elizabeth Gilbert revolutionized finding inner happiness during an existential crisis with her much adored memoir of her travels, "Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search For Everything." In 2010, the popularity of the book only skyrocketed when it was turned into a film starring Julia Roberts.

Advising the world on how to find fulfillment past the superficial and seek new ways to live life to the fullest, Gilbert found devoted fans and followers all over who felt revitalized by her message. Even Oprah devoted two episodes of her show to the book. Because, let's face it: There's something inspiring about leaving everything behind and working on yourself in beautiful places.

With "Eat, Pray, Love," she sought the comfort of food in Italy, taking time to not care about what anyone thought as she indulged her cravings with pizza, gelato and spaghetti. With prayer, she found herself in India, leaving her time to meditate and focus on what might have been troubling her post-breakup. By the time she got to Bali, she sought balance in her life of both focus and excess. But how could you do that, when you don't quite have the bank account to travel all around the world?

Whether you're going through your own breakup or are just looking to find your own balance and purpose past the superficial world of instant gratification we live in, slow down and enjoy life again.

Here are seven ways to "Eat, Pray, Love" your summer without ever having to leave the country:

1. Start a new diet you're proud of.

In the book and film, Liz lets go of all cares about the outside world when she starts her "eat" portion of her adventure. She doesn't care about the muffin top she could be growing because, as she knows, what guy is going to turn you down when your clothes come off? And no one should live for the approval of anyone else, anyway.

That said, eating healthy is always a good idea. And when you look at a toned physique in summer clothes, you'll feel better. Start a diet that your proud of and find the joy in your meals. Don't deprive yourself, but instead seek ways to get a thrill out of trying new, healthy foods and become a health food connoisseur.

Trader Joe's is the best supermarket anyway, and you'll love to try awesome gourmet health spots that are also delicious, like The Little Beat Table.

2. Cheat with great eats.

Just because you're going to make your palette a little cleaner, doesn't mean you shouldn't still indulge. The beauty of doing this from home is you don't have to be limited to one type of cuisine. If Italian is your thing, you can enjoy the taste sensations and summer rooftop scene of La Birreria, Eataly's hit rooftop restaurant and microbrewery. Or, if you're in the mood for something a little spicier, check out the bang-for-your-buck Arriba, Arriba, which always pleases.

And remember, the most important part is to eat without guilt. Whether you usually frown after a meal because of how much it takes away from your wallet, or how much you might think it puts on your waistline, keep in mind that life is meant to be lived. The money will come again because you aren't looking to be reckless with your finances, and the weight will be lost because you aren't looking to be a glutton. You deserve this meal. Enjoy it.

3. Become a joiner.

Branch out from your norm by joining something that fits your interest. It is truly the healthiest thing you can do. You will meet new people and be involved in something that fulfills you. Bonus points if you can join some kind of team, that way there is more interaction with the other members.

Whether it's a painting class, archery or a film appreciation club, find something that suits you and join it. And if you find something that can be physical, it will help you work toward better body goals. Volleyball is a great team sport that keeps you active and is co-ed, meaning you might meet someone special. Remember, never be desperate, but never close yourself off. Balance is key.

4. Give yourself a vacation.

It doesn't have to be across the world, but it's summertime and you deserve to getaway. If your friends can't afford it and aren't being cooperative, find the guts to go alone. It can be very rewarding. And since the trip won't exactly be the expedition Liz takes all over the globe, you will learn if you like traveling alone or not.

Places like Club Getaway are great because they offer you tons of activities and social experiences where you can meet others without having to have a buddy by your side. They even offer certain weekends for other singles looking to do the exact same thing.

But if you're looking to just get away to get some quiet time and have your own little mini-pray retreat, Peace Village Learning & Retreat Center in Haines Falls might be more your speed. Silence, solitude and yoga will get you feeling refreshed.

5. Explore the beautiful cathedrals the city has to offer.

Some of the best and biggest spaces the city has to offer have free entry: the magnificent cathedrals. And most of them are always open. Whether they're putting on a mass or are off-duty, they are yours to explore. Light a candle and think about how lucky you are for each one of your blessings.

St. Patrick's Cathedral is particularly famous, and for good reason. Its beauty is jaw-dropping.

6. Host a dinner party for old friends and new.

Reconnect with old friends you might have lost touch with through the years, and remember why they were important to you. They say people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Reflect on why you loved these people and whether they were there to teach you a lesson, get you through a hard time or if they were a keeper.

Introduce them to your new pals you met through your adventures this summer and host one of those summer nights to remember that makes life worth living — good friends, good food and good conversation from sunset to sunrise.

7. Develop a new outlook on love.

Now that you've focused on yourself and found happiness and contentment with what you want to do, be open to the idea of letting someone in. Think of why things might have gone wrong in the past, but remember that good things usually come when we aren't seeking it.

Lay off all those social media dating sites for a while and try meeting people naturally. Let it come to you. Develop an attitude of "If it happens, it happens," and remember that you have plenty else going on for you and you don't need someone else to complete you. Keep that mantra in mind for when someone does come along.

Don't fall back into a bad habit of depending on someone else for your complete happiness. Allow yourself to find this balance, and then you can truly eat, pray, love forever.