Weekend Hiking

I’ve begun to think differently about movement and exercise in general. There’s something about that gym lighting, that repetitive gym motion that just doesn’t satisfy me as much as finding other ways to move.

My thoughts on this were probably influenced by an audiobook I listened to recently (incidentally, while walking). The book is called “Go Wild: Free Your Body and Mind from the Afflictions of Civilization.” It’s written by John J. Ratey, Richard Manning, and David Perlmutter. 

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m highly afflicted by the afflictions of civilization. I try to be zen about it, and while I enjoy ordering food on grubhub, I also long for the days without email and constant contact.  I need to spend some time in nature, and disconnect. I think we probably all should.

In any event, this book talks about a lot of things. But one of them is the many benefits of taking a “wilder” approach to exercise. And I’m kind of loving the approach.

Don’t get me wrong. I think the gym is great. But I find myself lately focusing more on movement that just comes through natural activity. And while I’m hiking less than I did in previous years, I’m being careful not to let Fall entirely pass me by without getting at least a few nice hikes in.

Last weekend, I did two mini-hikes that I thought I’d share with anyone who might happen to live in the NY/NJ area.

Hike One

On the weekend, a few friends and I hiked Campgaw Mountain County Reservation .

This one was surprisingly close to home, although not very challenging. And I hate to say, it wasn’t the most exciting hike I’ve done.

However! There was one exciting aspect, a ski lift at the top. Sitting on it was fun 🙂 Why didn’t I take any pictures??? GRR.

Also – it’s Fall. So everything is orange and pretty. Plus, friends. ❤

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moderate, but festively fall

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view from the top 🙂 

Would I recommend? Maybe. If you live close by, it’s worthwhile.

Hike Two (barely a hike, but still).

This one I’d definitely recommend!!

I’m lucky enough to live just off the Hudson River in New Jersey, which means I’m super close to palisades hiking.  This was a weekday, and it was already late afternoon, so we kept it short. But you could hike all day if you’d like to!

We took an Uber from West New York to Fort Lee Historic Park which was nice and beautiful and orange everywhere. It’s part of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, which has a ton of highly unique terrain you can only really find here.

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Fuck People Who Hate on NJ

We then did a short hike on the “Long Trail” towards the bottom of the palisades, where we chilled in some chairs. It’s pretty there and I’d recommend it.

You can hike up or down, and theres also a shore trail.  A nice starting point is the Alpine Picnic Area (although, that’s where we ended up).

Anyway…

These were not the most intense hikes, and I have not been the most intense hiker lately. But still a great way to spend time outdoors with friends, while working out the hot bod. Exercise really doesn’t have to be a chore – it could be awesome.

If you know of any local hikes, I’m always on the lookout so hollz at me.

Happy Hiking!

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Vacations and food

I will start by saying this- I love food but I am scared of it. My whole life food fed me emotionally rather than my body needing it to stay alive. But with making the lifestyle change that I did, I had to learn to eat food because I need it and not because I want it.

One of my biggest reasons for success is my food journal. It is my everything. While some people feel lost without their phones, I feel lost without my food journal. I feel more in control because of it. I guess it is my security blanket. It keeps me in check and holds me accountable for my actions. When people ask me for recommendations on weight loss and how I was able to lose 100 + pounds and keep it off, my first response: food journal. 

I haven’t been on vacation since I’ve been on this journey until this past weekend. My husband took me on a mini-getaway to the Poconos. While I was super excited for some relaxation, hiking, gambling, and a massage, I also feared the food situation. I have a weekly routine with food. All my food for breakfast and lunch is packed for work in advance and we have a set menu for our weeknight dinners. What was I going to do being away?! I kid you not, I began to panic. I started having irrational fears that everything I worked for all this time will go down the tubes and I will become the old me.

It took me a few moments but I gathered my thoughts. First thing I did was write a list of things we need. I like lists. I like being organized. I felt a bit calmer after that and that’s when I told myself to pack non perishable foods and I made a mental list of what I can eat when we eat out.

Foods I packed:

  • Protein bars… you all know I am always obsessing over different bars. My newest obsession is Oatmega
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Here I am doing a free Oatmega advertisement. The company didn’t ask me to do this. I just love this bar so much, I had to take this picture.
  • Nuts
  • Bananas and apples
  • Jerky

Tips for better eating while on vacation:

  • Make a mental list of what you’re going to eat while you are away. Doing this you psych yourself out and know what to look forward to.
    • Breakfast: Eggs and Fruit
    • Snack: Something that I packed
    • Lunch: Lots of greens and protein
    • Dinner: Same as lunch
      • Research restaurants and local food joints. I did research before we left. I looked at the menus and knew what I was going to eat even before we got there. 
  • Exercise/stay active. I get it, you’re on vacation and you want to relax. Personally, I find exercise to be relaxing. I also feel better about myself, Like I’ve done a good thing for myself for the day.
  • Portion control. I’m sorry, call it tough love but you don’t need to pig out while you are away. Pigging out because “you are on vacation” is stupid and you’ll regret it when you get home.
    • I know I’ve said this before…but can the restaurants PLEASE stop serving bread? WHY oh WHY must you do this to me? Next time I am going to “accidentally” hit it off the table.
  • Drink water to fill up. No juice… Juice = empty calories. I know you all know that alcohol is also empty calories. I’d strongly advise you to watch yourself. I don’t drink at all so it’s not a problem for me but I know people love to drink, especially on vacation.

The weather was too nice to spend time indoors so we visited The Seven Tubs Natural Area and did a good 4 mile walk.

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Moments after this picture was taken, I was crawling back up the hill, looking down and almost fell into the water. Thankfully my Husband was watching out for me and told me to stop crawling to my death.

We slept in a bit. Don’t judge me! I wake up the same time every day even if it isn’t a work day.

We had an AMAZING dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. 

Gambled and lost but we played craps for the first time ever!

What do you guys do when you go on vacation? Do you say, “ah, what the hell, I am going to do whatever I want?” Do you pack snacks? Plan in advance? Exercise? Have you gained weight while away? Have you lost weight while being away?

Our next trip is to Japan. This should be interesting…. *If you’ve been to Japan, give me some food advise! I don’t like fish or pork!

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Craving Nature

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Hubby and our dog, Marty

 

I never understood why Professionals (Doctors and Teachers) are so quick to diagnose children with attention disorders the second they “act out” or decide not to pay attention for a split second. I can’t believe I am about to say this…. but, “when people my age were younger” and acted out, all we needed to do was be engaged in an activity.

We didn’t have time to be bored or restless. I remember riding bikes with Dorit, Val, and Co. after school till it got dark out and if I wasn’t riding bikes or running around, I was in karate lessons, dance lessons, acting classes. I didn’t get my first cell phone till the age of 17 when I started driving and now you see children who aren’t even able to walk yet playing with an iPad!

Nature is the best medicine.

I find myself getting so restless, some days more than others. It’s been raining since Sunday and will continue raining through tomorrow… these rainy days are bad but what gets me more is when the sun is shining and I am suffocating inside.

While looking up the forecast for this weekend, I came across this article  titled, “Are You Nature-Deprived?”  It begins by telling a story about a family bringing their child to the Doctor to discuss her temper tantrums. Dr.Zarr learned that the majority of their weekends were spent inside. Instead of diagnosing her with behavioral issues, he advised the family to spend time outdoors. At the follow-up visit, the family noted the tantrums had stopped.

Negative effects of nature deprivation:

  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • ADD
  • Auto-immune disorders

Interesting note taken from Richard Louv’s, “Last Child in the Woods” :

Today, average eight-year-olds are better able to identify cartoon characters than native species, such as beetles and oak trees, in their own community. The rate at which doctors prescribe antidepressants to children has doubled in the last five years, and recent studies show that too much computer use spells trouble for the developing mind.

 

The same goes for adults… People spend so much time behind a computer and phone that they forget how to socialize. We make plans via texting rather than calling, we tell stories via email or texting rather than face-to-face. It seems to be a burden to be around people.

Instead of trying to make connections with people online, why don’t you join a club or group activity? Come on my flower children, go outside, enjoy the world around you.

Positive effects of spending time outdoors:

  • Boosts mental health
  • Reduces stress
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Helps with focus and creativity
  • Burn calories (walk, run, play!)

So, my question to you is, when was the last time you were outside? Did you feel better? Parents- do you find that time spent outdoors with your children result in better behavior?

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I love my fur baby. Missing warm weather.

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Seven Reasons Why You Should Hike for Fitness

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I love hiking more than anything else in the whole world. I just want to be one with nature. And then I want to come home to all of my modern amenities and never look at nature again.

Don’t Do it to Lose Weight.

When it comes to weight loss, physical activity is secondary to food intake.  And not everything has to be about weight loss. Sometimes it’s just about hugging a tree.

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I hike because I desperately enjoy sitting on unfamiliar rocks.

But, seriously. Do it to lose weight. 

But realistically speaking – who cares about nature? I, for one, haven’t stopped celebrating global warming since the moment Al Gore invented the internet.

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Just look how sweaty my back is. I am definitely losing weight!

Hiking and the Deep Burn.

Hiking is fantastic because…

1.   God gave you muscles. God gave you a variety of muscles. He wants you to roam this earth in sorrow and longing, constantly questioning his existence as well the purpose of your own. And he wants you to do this at various elevations.

Scrambling up and down hills engages a variety of muscle groups. This makes hiking a dynamic activity which brings you closer to God. Just ask a Rabbi and he will confirm that he has no idea what you’re talking about.

2.   You can take pictures. Hiking is scenic. When hiking, take a picture and post it on social media. This will accomplish two things. First, it will let everyone else know how much better you are than them. And second, it will create a cherished memory of a time when you let everyone else know how much better you were than them.

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Just check out this this glorious view.

 

3.   It takes a while. When you hike, the time flies because you are among friends, invariably talking shit about all of your other friends. A weekly hike gives me the extended workout I need to allow me to eat as many french fries as I can find under my couch cushion.

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Friends who hike together, talk shit together.

 

4.   It’s Conducive to Planning. At the gym, it’s easy to fall behind. One bad day at work, and suddenly you’re six tacos deep instead of six squats deep. Hiking, on the other hand, is conducive to planning.

Plan to hike EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY beginning on March 1. Compile a list of hikes, and actually schedule them out with friends. You will be accountable because these specific hikes are now in your calendar.

5.   It gives you something to talk about with fit people. Fit people love expending energy in various extraneous ways.  So if you want to talk to a fit person, try bringing up the hike you did last week. If the person is truly fit, then he or she was probably doing the very same hike as you, and at the same exact time.  Now the fit person is more likely to have sex with you.

6.   It’s good for your physical and mental health. With the exception of that scary thing from The Little Shop of Horrors, being around plants is good for your mental and physical health.

And since most of the plants on earth will be dead soon, you should take in as much nature as you can, while you still can.

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All of these plants will soon be dead.


7.    Trail Mix. 

Hiking is the only time when you are allowed to feel good about eating M&M’s. Don’t let this moment pass you by.

Downsides of Hiking

If you go hiking, you will probably get lost or worse – eaten by a bear. In either event, it won’t be a particularly pleasant way to go.

But in case you’re still interested, I find many of my hikes here. You can also check out Meetup.com for hiking groups near you.

Happy Hiking 😀

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