Happy International Day of Yoga

How did you celebrate International Day of Yoga?

My community offered free yoga classes all day at the pedestrian bridge overlooking the Wabash River today.

I was so happy to greet the morning, sharing Sun Salutations with others.

To Your Health!

~V

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💫GratiTuesday💫 A Reminder That Gratitude *every day* Is Important 

“People’s dreams are made out of what they do all day. The same way a dog that runs after rabbits will dream of rabbits. It’s what you do that makes your soul, not the other way around.”

– Barbara Kingsolver

I have a post-it note on my bathroom mirror that is a shortened version of this quote – it reminds me to live my gratitude by doing something that makes me feel connected to myself every day. 

What is one thing you could do each day that is an expression of your genuine interests?

One of mine is getting my love and our dog to hit the trails with me – taking care of our bodies, enjoying togetherness in nature.

To Your Health!

~V

For going out, I found, was really going in.

I’ve always loved that quote by John Muir. 

Today, some news effected me greatly. I was feeling down, and defeated and just an overall sense of gloom – it’s easy to say we’ll accept the things we can not change but, actually accepting…

I knew I couldn’t just sit and dwell. I needed to connect with my highest self by being in nature and with my gentle friend, Bear.


Our walk in the woods along the Wabash river gave me time to pause and reflect – to breathe in deeply and listen to my inner voice, trust the direction I’m going and, stay true to my path. 
To Your Health!

~V

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Take A Hike!

take a hike

The Cambridge Dictionary defines the term Go Take A Hike as a “Rude way of telling someone to leave”.

Now, I’m not trying to be rude, that isn’t even close to my intent, but seriously….Go Take A Hike!

I’ve blogged previously on Nature Deficit Disorder

One the reasons I love hiking? It’s a holistic means to increase wellbeing!

Natural Bridge at Red River Gorge, Kentucky April 2014
Natural Bridge at Red River Gorge, Kentucky
April 2014
Weekend escape with my love! Red River Gorge, Kentucky April 2014
Weekend escape with my love!
Red River Gorge, Kentucky
April 2014
Red River Gorge, Kentucky April 2014
Red River Gorge, Kentucky
April 2014

Hiking is much more varied than many other types of exercise, particularly those offered in a gym. Not only can your workout be different each time, depending on the trail you take, but the landscape will also change, if only from the seasons.

Hiking is an ideal form of exercise because it is easy to adjust to any level of fitness – you can start with a gentle stroll. Hiking can be on a level, well maintained path, or up a pathless mountain. This makes it excellent for people who are hoping to improve their fitness, as they can simply take more and more difficult hikes.

Hiking outdoors connects you to nature and natural rhythms, which may increase your happiness and help you feel more fulfilled.
A difficult hike, for example, up a hill or mountain, can also help you feel like you’ve achieved something. I have a fear of heights. I purposely plan trails that will challenge this irrational phobia. As a matter of fact, this past weekend while hiking Red River Gorge, Kentucky, I panicked and had to descend a set of steps on my bottom! But I did it! And when I looked up at the cliff I had just conquered I felt accomplished. I’m going back for more!

Hiking is a wonderful activity that is easy to start and continue, due to its varied and customizable nature. Hiking can help you to lose weight, clear and ease your mind and build a healthier body.

Do you have a nearby or favorite park that offers hiking trails? Well, then go take a hike!

To Your Health!

~V

Nature-deficit disorder: a reduced awareness and diminished ability for adults and children to find meaning in the life around them, due to a reduced amount of interaction with the natural environment.

Shades State Park, Indiana
Shades State Park, Indiana

I know you’ve heard it before, “Fresh air will do you good”? But it now also makes sense scientifically. A surge of studies strongly suggest evidence that we can be happier, healthier, and smarter if we weave more nature into our lives.

Studies are proving a link between the outside and your insides, and that the best mind-body medicine is right beyond your front door.

For millions of years, humans depended on nature for just about everything, including food, shelter, and the regulation of sleep cycles, says M. Sanjayan, Ph.D., lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy. “Nature guided us in a very direct way,” he says. “But in the past thousand years, that started shifting; in the past 50, it has really shifted. And that the sudden absence of nature from our lives could throw our well-being way off-kilter.” In fact, the modern way of living, complete with loads of sitting and indoor time, has given rise to poorer health.

Other research suggests that rising rates of allergies and autoimmune disorders might be caused, in part, by less exposure to healthy bacteria found in nature. Still more science has linked reduced exposure to nature to higher risk for obesity, cancer, heart disease, anxiety, and depression.

Basically, going outside has become an option. It’s not an option. It’s a non-negotiable. A cure for stress – not to mention a host of other ailments – might lie a simple walk.

Recently a Women’s Health survey, “Health Benefits of Nature,” found that (women) who felt too stressed were more likely than non-frazzled women to spend a free day curled up on the couch. Worse, when stressed women actively try to relax: 54 percent plunk themselves in front of the TV, 44 percent eat, and 31 percent have a glass of wine; only 26 percent head out for a walk in the park.

The “Health Benefits of Nature” survey, mentioned above also revealed that “Most women already understand that nature is good for health” and 73 percent wish they could spend more time outside. The surveys notes the mounting excuses as: Women are too intimidated by too-hot or too-cold weather (53 percent), too busy (44 percent), or too comfortable hanging out at home (22 percent).

Women aren’t exclusive to a rise in stress and poor health symptoms due to lack of time outdoors. For more on “Nature Deficiency” and the effects on our children and youth, check out this National Geographic interview with Richard Louv, the author of the bestsellers Last Child in the Woods (2005) and The Nature Principle (2011) at
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/06/130628-richard-louv-nature-deficit-disorder-health-environment/

I can’t stress enough, Nature is a powerful protector of your body and mind! You can start small;

•Sit outside for 10 minutes a day – no excuses here! Even better, meditate outdoors for 10-20 minutes.

•Hang up your car keys – If you can walk instead to run an errand, do it

•Schedule catch-ups around walks – Wine bars are so tempting. But for a fun change schedule dates and catch ups with friends around walks or activities outdoors.

•Build it into your kids routine – at our house we have technology free time, we go on day hikes, fish, camp or swim in our nearby creek. Get out there and play with your kids too! Climb trees, get dirty, be a big kid.

•Plant a garden – Whether it is in pots or in the ground get out there and get some plants growing.

•Eat outside – Obviously this is easiest in summer but if you can cook a healthy homemade meal, light a few candles and create a romantic connection outdoors with your partner. A win-win!

Kind of makes you want to get outside, like, immediately. Right?

~V

Be part of my journey – live a Vibrant, Vital, and Virtuous life today!

I’ve enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a goal of mine for over year!

I’m so excited!! I hope you’ll follow my journey (on this blog, on facebook, a phone call, e-mail, in person etc…) as I make real my dream to work in the wellness industry – to make the world a better place, and share what I’ve learned along the way.
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 My Health Coach training allows me to help people learn and become passionate about health and wellness. Whether you’re interested in learning about nutrition, want to lose weight, reduce stress, launch a meaningful new career, or even change the world, I’m training thru the  Integrative Nutrition to empower you to transform your life and achieve your personal and professional goals.

At Integrative Nutrition I’m learning from a  comprehensive curriculum that covers over 150 dietary theories and combines counseling techniques with real-world business training. Its unique nutrition philosophy takes a holistic approach to wellness and enables me to encourage clients to consider relationships, work, exercise, and spirituality as essential to building good health