Adventures in Belize

Once a year, we like to plan an adventure to a far away land we’ve never visited. Costa Rica, the Amalfi Coast in Italy, Ireland and Vieques have been years past destinations and this year we decided on Belize. And my mom is coming with us!

It all started around Christmas, when we thought instead of presents we’d go on an adventure together. Who needs gifts when you can have an adventure!

The day started early (3:30 am to catch a 6 am out of Denver International) but we made it to the long term parking in quite enough time (unlike the trip we took to Vieques where we were extremely late, thanks to Mike, and had to park in short term, which was a small fortune!)

First to Houston (2 hours), then onto Belize! Our first leg of the journey took us deep into the jungle, southwest of Belize city, to an eco village, in which we had rented Casa Santa Maria. The manager Lucy got rave reviews for her cooking (breakfast was included in the stay but we purchased her chef skills for our dinners too). Beyond excitement best describes the vibe!

We landed on Belize soil, picked up the rental Jeep (so fun!) and we’re off! Sunsets at 6pm in Belize, so we were in a hurry to arrive before dark. Later we would realize how serious that warning to get to the Casa before dark really was! After about 2 1/2 hours (and some SKETCH directions) we pulled down a dirt road with armed guards….10 extremely bumpy miles later we pulled into the Better in Belize Eco village and wound our way down to Casa Santa Maria. We made it! Lucy came out to greet us and I had never been so happy to see a stranger!

image

Placing our suitcases in our respected rooms (Mike and I took the gorgeous master, with our own porch complete with a hammock!) and mom had the downstairs queen bedroom. The house smelled wonderful and I immediately appreciated the fact we opted for built in dinners!

Exhausted as we were, we marveled at the gorgeous structure we were going to call home for the next four nights. Nestled into the jungle, Casa Santa Maria didn’t seem to have disturbed the jungle surrounding, more gave you a front row seat to the show. The main decks view couldn’t have been more spectacular and with the little light that was left gave us quite a show. Giant date palm trees and lush greenery surrounded us and the cicadas whistled so loudly it sounded as though they were everywhere!

Coconut curry shrimp, mashed potatoes, salad with a homemade dressing and Belizean ice tea followed by a delicious brownie. Scrumptious doesn’t begin to describe it after a long day of travel, so we thanked her graciously before she left for the evening and headed to bed. The adventure was delicious already!

 

Spring into Action

I’ve not written a blog for over 3 months – talk about needing to spring into action! The past few months have been filled with skiing, our engagement (yup, Mike popped the question!) family trips, hikes, snowshoeing, Colorado adventures, cooking, and beer. Lots and lots of beer.

image

Spring has sprung and I’m ready to dedicate, activate, commit to a healthy intention and spring into action with a 21-day challenge. I find that dedicating 21 days to make a positive change resets my mindset and creates a positive flow of energy in the right direction. Need to jump start a good habit? Want to commit to a healthy goal but only have found excuses? Want to incorporate a daily practice but haven’t found the right time? Join me in this 21 day challenge to Spring into Action!

I’m kicking off my challenge tomorrow….no time like the present, right!? Below are the next few days laid out – feel free to comment with questions, suggestions and how you’re doing!

image

Day 1 – Set an intention, goal, something you want to commit to for the next 21 days – write it down and find time to do it! My intention is to train for a season of hiking, by incorporating a daily yoga practice, weekly hikes in the foot hills of Colorado, and adding a daily circuit workout to weight train. My goal is to get stronger, lighter, more agile so I can have a summer full of healthy adventures!

Day 2 – Start Early. Whether it’s an exercise routine, a commitment to eat better, practicing yoga, or a meditation practice, try starting first thing in the morning, before you do anything else. Fix your mind around positive change and positive change shall follow you.

Day 3 – Close out the day. Ending your day with intention, with the mindset that you can accomplish all you set your mind to, should be how you end each day.

Day 4 – You’ve got a friend. Our friends are the family we choose for ourselves. Today, share your commitment with a friend, ask them to join you, support you, perhaps to make their own commitment.

Day 5 – Share the love. Whether you bring your husband to the gym with you or onto the yoga mat, leash your puppies and take them hiking, or cook a healthy meal with your kids, bring your loved ones into the mix. The network you surround yourself should strengthen you!

Day 6 – Step it up. Today, take your plan of action and kick it up! Add a mile onto your run or do a longer yoga class, try a new workout, add a morning and evening routine, or meal prep for the next few days. Whatever your intention or goal, crank it up today!

Day 7 – Keep it simple. I often get caught up in an elaborate, over-the-top plan to get where I want to go, so much so that I end up not ever starting or getting burned out quickly and abandoning ship. Today is about going back to the simplicity of your intention or goal, shaving it down to the roots. You do not need to overthink the steps to get you where you envision yourself. All you need is to take one step after the other.

That’s the first week – join me!

 

Thankful for Movement

Happy post-Thanksgiving! My holiday was spent in Moab, Utah with Mike, my mom, sister, brother-in law, niece, nephew, cousin and cousin in law. There was a whole crew of us! We spent our days hiking in Arches National Park, seeing gorgeous natural wonders, magnificent arches, babbling creeks, and huge boulders and jagged rocks. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life and feel so incredibly blessed to have gone to experience it with almost my entire family. There’s nothing like fresh air, family and natural wonders to make a holiday glorious. Our traditional annual Thanksgiving hike landed us at the Delicate Arch – talk about being thankful!

Moab

Unfortunately, a horrible tooth infection kept me down for the count for a good 30+ hours following the hike…coming to the Thanksgiving table for only a brief moment to gingerly nibble on some sweet potatoes, homemade cranberry and cauliflower before heading back to bed. After a trip to the ER the next morning, a dose of antibiotics, and some kombucha to combat the antibiotics screwing with my gut flora, I was on the mend. Our last day, yesterday, arrived and I was feeling so much better, ready to step outside and get a bit of dirt under my feet. My mom and I headed out and ended up hiking two glorious trails, each quite different from the next, both full of incredible sights.

So Day 14 of the Mindful 21 Day challenge has arrived and we are on our way home. An early start to the day hasn’t left time for meditation yet, but I have reflected on the past few days. Being with family is wonderful, but can be challenging if you share different viewpoints on things, have different habits or styles of doing things. That is where mindfulness becomes so crucial. Being mindful of how your actions, words, and behaviors effect those around you becomes so apparent when you’re in close quarters. It’s during these times when taking pause and breathing deeply can make a huge difference. And getting out into the great outdoors, turning off the ipods, video games, tv, means quality time spent in nature.

Family

Tomorrow, Day 15 of the Mindful 21 Day challenge, adds onto the 5 minutes of meditation and meatless meal with movement. Being mindful of our internal state, taking time to calm and center yourself is, I believe, vital for your happy. Taking a proactive approach to what you’re eating and being mindful of how it’s fueling your body is vital to your health. Incorporating movement into your life, feeling the fluidity of your body, adds vitality, energy, longevity to your life. Being mindful of moving your body each day should be a priority – and what better what to move than yoga!

sun salutation

Tomorrow, find time for meditation, a meatless meal, plus movement. Try a 5-10 minute yoga flow or, 10 sun salutations or even splurge and head to the studio. I recently joined Yogaglo, something my girlfriend and cohost Sarah introduced me to, and I am in love! Pick the duration, the teacher, the focus, the body part, the level and do it in the comfort of your own home.

I have some short Yoga videos on my YouTube channel, but there are also a million great FREE Yoga videos out there that will get you moving. Here’s one describing how to do a Sun Salutation. Try something that speaks to you and will work with your practice.

How will you move? Let me know what gets you up and flowing.

Happy movement!