So You Want to Be Healthy?

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About half a year ago I was tired of being tired. I was feeling physically fatigued and depressed. My skin would constantly break out. Without health insurance, I really couldn’t go to a doctor to get any blood work to diagnose my symptoms. So I chose to take matters in to my own hands and started experimenting with my lifestyle choices to see if anything changed.

1. CUT THE CRAP

I was drinking coffee daily and eating junk food nonstop. McDonalds for lunch, pizza for dinner… anything that was quick and easy. I was constantly snacking on sugary treats.

The first thing I cut out was coffee. It was a tough choice but I had to do it. The withdrawal headaches sucked, but I made it through. Now I didn’t plan to never drink coffee again. I allow myself to have a nice toasty cup once a week, generally on the weekend when I can relax and enjoy it.

The next thing I cut out was processed food. I began reading about Clean Eating and decided to give it a shot. I began food shopping at Whole Foods and never looked back.

The third thing I am still struggling to cut out is sugar. Sugar is my number one weakness. If you hand me a cupcake, I will devour it and ask for a second. It’s a problem. I have reduced my sugar intake, however I still have moments of weakness.

2. ADD SOME VITAMINS

I wasn’t getting proper nutrition and my body was trying to tell me that through aches and fatigue. Now I take a women’s multivitamin, omega-3, vitamin A, and chaste berry extract. These have improved my overall physical well being. I actually feel good!

3. WATER WATER WATER

I don’t drink anything else except green tea and spearmint tea. When I can, I’ll cut up some lemon slices to add. It is great for digestion and hydration. No more soda or juice, and I rarely have the desire to drink those. Sometimes I do enjoy the occasional beer or glass of wine.

4. GET ACTIVE

Humans spend too much time sitting down these days. I drive 45 minutes to work, just to sit down for 8 hours, and then drive home for another 45 minutes. Then I would just sit around at home until it was bedtime. You have to get up and move around. When I’m at work I try to walk around or stand as much as possible. Then I do the same thing when I am at home.

Now I am trying to incorporate more exercise in to my lifestyle. I try to go for one long walk/jog/hike a week. I do yoga at home 2 -3 times a week. I use tiny 5lb weights every other day.

5. LOVE YOURSELF

No one is perfect. Working in the mental health field, I see people break down over one setback. So what if you had pizza for lunch? So what if you didn’t hike this week? So what if you drank a couple beers? SO WHAT? Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are a human and you deserve to indulge. The important thing is moderating how often this happens.

Like I said before, I have one cup of coffee a week. I also allow myself to have one junk food meal each week. The sugary snacks…? Well sometimes I can go a whole day without it, and other days I crave it. So that is something I am still working on. But hey, I’m not hating on myself for it!

Can you imagine a life where you never got to have coffee, cookies, alcohol, pizza, cheeseburgers again? We would all be miserable!

The bottom line is: Reduce the processed food, increase the clean food, take supplements (if needed), get active, and love yourself!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Hawk Mountain in Kempton, PA

Hi everyone, Jessica here. I decided that my first official blog post should cover the initial hiking trip that started it all for me! I was never really an outdoors kind of person. Now, I always wished I was an outdoors person… I just always had excuses. Either I had no time, no money, or no one to go with! But it was time for a change.

Thats me on the left in the grey hoodie

A few of my friends from college made a trip to Hawk Mountain in 2013. Unfortunately I was unable to go that time around. But when it was time for them to take another trip the following year, I jumped right on board. The trip was set to take place in November 2014. Now I’ve never been hiking before but I thought, “How hard could it be?”

The first thing I had to do was to get prepared. Thanks to my paranoia surrounding Dooms Day 2012, I had a bunch of survival supplies that I could bring with me (i.e. first aid stuff). I had also recently purchased some New Balance hiking sneakers that were on sale at Sears. I went to good will to get some old cargo pants. I packed a bunch of snacks the night before so that I would have plenty to eat on this day trip. Oh and don’t forget the water!

So my friend Rachel and I are driving up the road towards our destination and…

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“We’re going to climb that?!” Okay so maybe I didn’t do my research. I was a hiking newbie and only expected a few trails through the woods. So we got there around noon since it was a about an hour and a half drive from central Jersey. Oh, did I mention it was in November? Meaning: it was freezing cold!

After everyone met up and paid the cheap $6 fee, we headed off. The trail actually begins at an already high elevation, so without much trouble we were met with our first panoramic views. After that we hiked down hill in to the valley and crossed the river of rocks. This was so exciting and difficult. My ankles were NOT prepared. After the rocks and spending some time trekking through the valley, we started heading uphill again towards the summit. This was a strenuous rock scramble for me since it was my first time, but I’m sure it will all get much easier as I continue to train.

What I couldn’t understand was: I am a thin and relatively healthy girl and I struggled with endurance, and yet a few of my hefty male college friends were trucking along with no problem as they chugged beers and smoked cigarettes. Only more motivation for me to keep training I suppose!

Once we made it to the top of Hawk Mountain I got hit with the endorphin high from accomplishing this physical task. Looking around at the views, I really felt on top of the world. The mountain is really only 1500ft about sea level, but after growing up in flat south Jersey I felt like I could fly. Now I am officially addicted!

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Rachel and I

Check out my gallery below for pics. If you’re interested in hiking here, take a look at Hawk Mountain’s website.