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Showing posts from August 23, 2020

Mood-Boosting Tips

                    Staying positive and optimistic in such an unpredictable time is tough. We could all use some good vibes right about now.  If you are in need of a mood boost, give these simple tips a try: Cultivate gratitude - It's difficult to feel positive about your life if you are constantly making comparisons. We've been culturally conditioned to focus on what we don't have, instead of appreciating what we've already achieved or received. To turn your mood around, change your outlook. When you are grateful for what you already have, you'll feel more joy and contentment - no matter what you have or don't have in your life. Make a list - Bad, upsetting and dissapointing news is everywhere right now. If you spend a lot of time watching, listening and reading, you'll feel sad, negative and emotionally depleted. Everyday, write down at least five things you are grateful for. If you feel stuck, start by being thankful for the fact that you are making ti

Diet change? Take a gradual approach

  Your diet describes the kinds of foods that you habitually eat.  Dieting describes that foods that you choose to restrict or regulate yourself of, typically for medical, ethical or weight loss reasons.  When embarking on a dietary change, the outcome should serve you well in all areas of your life. Rarely does this happen when dieting.  If you are seeking a dietary change in order to improve your mental and physical well-being, manage your weight, change your body composition or improve athletic performance, it's natural to connect to a popular/trendy style of eating that promises results that are quick and easy. Fad diets (even if labeled as a "lifestyle") only work for a short amount of of time. Unless lifestyle habits are changed and maintained for the long-term, the diet will fail you. Keep these important reminders in mind when you consider a new/popular diet as a new way of eating: Diets are extreme and rapid. Too many changes occur at once, leaving you deprived a

Hiking in the Smokies: Alum Cave to Mt. LeConte

  We finished our trip to the Smokies with our longest-ever hike. Nearly 11 miles to one of the tallestmountains in the Eastern United States. For this hike, we set an alarm to ensure an early departure. I was concerned about parking for this popular hike, as well as weather and avoiding the crowds. We arrived to the trailhead just after 7:15am and started our hike around 7:30am. The first mile of the hike was pretty mellow. It felt like we were in a rain forest. I dressed in a tank top and shorts and felt a little cool to start but warmed up quickly. I brought a sweater for the summit. The first part of this hike was to Alum Cave (around 2.3 miles into the hike). The pictures online were impressive but seeing it in person was jaw-dropping.  I liked the first part of this hike (to Alum Cave) because it was broken into a few different segments. It took us 56 minutes to get to the Alum Cave and the time went by really quickly. The first segment was Arch Rock (around 1.3 miles into the hi