Real Talk : Stop Treating Yourself Like Crap!

If I could give one piece of advice for inspiration for the rest of my life it would be this - stop treating yourself - your body, your mind, your spirit, your soul - like crap.  Just stop!! Why are you feeding yourself fast food and drinking alcohol and not sleeping and beating yourself up about the way you feel? WHY?! 

It's not just about food or what products you're using or how you feel inside - it's everything.  You are the only one that can truly take care of yourself so why not do it right? Why not allow yourself those moments in your day to take a deep breathe and re-center? Why not feed your body only the best so it can perform its best for you? Seriously, why not? 

It's simple - feed your body whole foods.  Wholesome, nutrient dense foods to keep your body functioning the way it is meant to function.  Eat fruit instead of sugar, protein instead of empty carbs, and vegetables instead of starch.  If you eat well you will feel more inclined to push yourself harder and be better.  It's very hard to be inspired about your life if you've just stuffed yourself with crappy food.  It's much easier to feel invincible if you've just had a bowl full of nature. 

It's simple - be kind to your mind.  Feeling sad today? I dare you to let yourself feel sad.  Don't try to push those feelings aside or pretend they aren't there.  The only way to feel better is to live THROUGH those emotions and not around them.  The only way you're going to come out the other side a stronger person is if you allow yourself the time to process what your heart and mind needs to process.  The last thing you want is these emotions following you around for weeks, months, or even years and the only way to say goodbye is to feel them truly and honestly.  Take a "well" day instead of a sick day and allow yourself the chance to focus on your needs.  

Read books, watch movies, smell flowers, hike outside, take naps, write stories, take pictures, drink tea.  be GOOD to yourself, please.   

Listen, I am not perfect and sometimes I enjoy a homemade flourless peanut butter cookie after dinner, but the difference is that that peanut butter cookie feeds my soul. It has intention.  It has purpose.  It's purpose is to warm my belly and and it makes me happy! I doubt that SAD (standard american diet) is making you happy.

If you still want to stay out late all the time and get drunk and not remember what you did or said then be my guest, but don't be surprised when the next day you eat crap and treat yourself like crap.  If you know what staying up late will make you tired and cranky the next day then go to sleep early! If you know that you're in a terrible mood and the only thing that will help is to go home and take a bubble bath - then do that!!

We have to stop living in our pain bodies and remember that we have control over the way we feel, eat, and be.  Stop treating yourself like crap and start feeding your body, mind, and soul with kindness and I guarantee the inspiration will come.       

What's in My Backpack? Hiking Essentials for Summer

Getting out into nature helps to relax and re-center us so we can do our best in our daily lives!  With summer in full swing it's the perfect time for some great hiking and backpacking trips that will do just that.   There's all sorts of equipment and tips out there for hiking and backpacking heres a great list of 10 essentials that have worked the very best for me.  

Hydration
This might seem like a silly super obvious one - yes, you must bring water with you on your hikes.  But, there are so many water bottle options!! Theres hydration packs, collapsable's, insulated, etc. and I wanted to highlight when I like to use which.  Camelbaks and other water bladders are perfect for long hikes and backpacking trips where you need to carry a pretty substantial amount of water.  The disadvantages to this is it can be heavy, but necessary on long trips.  I like THIS hydration pack one that will slip right into a backpack.  THIS collapsible water bottle is perfect for shorter hikes.  I love this one because its as light as a feather and will get lighter and lighter as you drink!  

Another awesome water tip is to get yourself a LifeStraw.  Having a LifeStraw means you can drink from any water source you find (within reason..no salt and no gunk).  If there's a freshwater stream or any sort of moving fresh water you can feel 100% safe drinking from it with the LifeStraw...I swear it will taste better than your water from home.  

Navigation
It's always a good idea to know where you are.  When you're in the middle of nowhere its very easy to lose your way so its important to have some sort of navigation system - and a back up incase your tech fails.  I'd love to have some sort of GPS/step watch like THIS Polar GPS Watch and always carry a map of the area. It's also good to put your map in a protective case to make sure it doesn't get water damage or other wear and tear.  

Sun Protection
Sunscreen is your best friend.  Imagine being outdoors baking in the sun ALL DAY LONG and not protecting your poor skin from the damages that could cause? It's important to wear sunscreen on a normal day - let alone a day that you won't be going inside at all.  Bring face and body sunscreen to apply numerous times throughout the day so you don't get burned! Also, always bring sunglasses and a breathable hat on your summer hikes - these will help protect yourself even more from that powerful summer sun.    

Nutrition
Even if your plan is to only go on a short day hike you always want to bring food to have on hand - whether it be freeze dried meals or snacks you always want to be prepared.  When spending time outdoors sometimes things happen that you hadn't planned for and in those moments you want to be as prepared as possible.  Having extra food will keep you energized and able to keep moving.  I'll be sure to come up with some of my favorite trail snacks and meals in a later post.

Emergency Supplies
Having an extensive first aid kit is extremely important when hiking into the wilderness/desert/mountains/etc with no cell service and no hospital nearby.  Yes, you can call search and rescue if it's serious, but if one of you sprains an ankle and you don't have anything to wrap it in you're going to be really disappointed in yourselves.  It's especially important to have the basics on hand such as bandaids, burn kits, bug ointments, and antiseptic - these will all be super helpful for some of the most common camping ailments such as cuts, burns, and bug bites.