Backpacking Solo: Tips + Strategies

Have you ever felt called to go on a big adventure, or even to hit a local trail for a day hike, and then you ended up canceling on yourself because you couldn’t find a hiking partner and didn’t quite feel safe going alone?

I get it. The thought of taking off on a solo trek can be both alluring and frightening. And unfortunately, it keeps many otherwise avid adventurers from hitting the trail. Even for more experienced backcountry users, solo hiking can be intimidating and brings up fear. Undoubtedly, hiking with a partner is safer. That said, there are ways to make hiking solo more comfortable and safe so that you can get outside with more confidence.

Hiking solo can also be incredibly rewarding. It can help you increase your self confidence, your skill set, and your connection with yourself and the nature around you. I’ve hiked thousands of miles alone, and while it’s been unnerving at times, it’s also been one of the most satisfying parts of my times spent outdoors.

Here are some tips to get you started: 

  1. Trust your gut. This goes for life and on the trail. If someone seems creepy, get away as quickly as possible. Don’t be afraid to lie. Don’t tell people where you’re camping if they ask. Just give a vague answer like “Whenever I get tired”.   We’re taught not to be rude to others, but you don’t owe anyone any thing and your safety is your top priority.
  1. Identify what exactly scares you about solo backpacking. Is it getting caught in bad weather? Is it wildlife? Is it interactions with other humans? Often when something scares us, it feels like this nebulous overarching fear. If we can narrow it down exactly what makes us uneasy, we can take steps to prepare for that risk and that helps reduce fear. Take a moment to get honest with yourself and get to the root of your fears so you can work through them.
  1. Educate yourself. As we just covered, a lot of fear stems from the unknown and by educating yourself on likely conditions, common wildlife, and learning best practices for how to confront these scenarios, you can increase confidence.  The Backcountry Safety Course goes into depth on how to create a backcountry preparation plan and walks you through the most common risks you’ll encounter on a backpacking trip.
  1. Be prepared. There are measures you can take to make solo hiking safer. Tell someone where you’re going and when you plan to return. Give them contact info and instructions for what to do if you don’t return as planned. Carry a personal locator beacon (PLB) such as a SPOT or Garmin inReach. Carry runner’s mace if that makes you more comfortable. Take the proper gear for the conditions you expect to encounter. Additionally, avoid posting a detailed itinerary of your trip anywhere public, such as social media.
  1. Work with your mindset. Some fears are rational and some aren’t. The mind can take over if you allow it. I think it’s helpful to read, watch, and learn about others who you can relate to who are doing what you want to do. For example, if you’re a mature female and you want to start solo backpacking, seek out others in your demographic doing what you wish to do and read their stories, watch their videos. Normalize it in your mind. 

Finally, remember that you’re capable of great things. Solo backpacking may feel out of reach or scary right now, but by using these strategies you can get more comfortable with it and reap the many rewards of going into the backcountry alone.

Solo hiking is just a fraction of what’s covered in the Backcountry Safety Course, which also covers Navigation, Weather, Wildlife Interactions, Human Interactions and more!

Find more free resources here.

Is inflammation slowing you down on your backpacking trip?

Chronic and persistent inflammation can take a toll on your body and impact your hike by causing decreased energy and endurance, slower recovery, stiffness, joint aches and pains, brain fog, GI issues and more. Not fun when you’re out to enjoy nature! This post will cover how inflammation affects your backpacking trip, common sources, and what you can do to prevent it and have a more enjoyable hike.

So, what is inflammation?

It’s a critical component of your immune system which occurs when the body is injured or under threat. 

In the short term, inflammation is great because it can help the body protect itself and heal. The problem occurs when this response gets stuck in the “on” position because the body is under low level stress that doesn’t go away. This is what’s referred to as chronic inflammation and is the focus of this post. 

It shows up differently for everyone, but here are a few of the impacts it can have on you as a backpacker:

-decreased energy and endurance 

-slower recover

-decreased immune function

-slower wound healing

-increased susceptibility to illness 

-persistent joint aches and stiffness

-brain fog & inability to navigate or accurately assess backcountry risk

Dealing with any or all of the above can put a damper on your time in the backcountry. Consider the following sources of inflammation and which ones might be at play in your life. 

Sources of inflammation

-dietary triggers 

-poor sleep

-stress (physical, chemical, psychological)

-environmental toxins


-guilt, shame around food & body

-social isolation

-social media addiction

-lack of a higher purpose

Steps you can take to optimize performance

The sources directly inform the steps you can take to mitigate systemic inflammation. Nourish your body with good food, prioritize sleep, manage stress, reduce toxin exposure from cleaning products and personal care products, spend time with loved ones, look for the positive, and most of all – love and respect the body you’re in. 

Ready for the next step? The Adventure Ready online course walks you step by step through the process of reducing systemic inflammation and dialing in a personalized training plan so you’re ready for your next backcountry outing. Find details here.

Renew Yourself in the New Year

If you’re feeling off-kilter in the wake of 2020, you’re certainly not alone. The beginning of a new calendar year presents a time to refocus on what we want in our lives. We can choose for it to be a time to regain the balance that may have slipped away in the previous 12 months. Utilize the following practices to renew yourself in the new year.

Set the Vision

How do you want to feel? It can be easy to forget that we have a choice in the matter. After a whirlwind of a year, you may find that you’ve been in reactive mode for quite some time. Take a moment to tune into how you actually desire to feel moving forward. Write it down. Next, write down the things which make you feel that way. Perhaps it’s phone calls with friends, time in nature, eating healthy food, or donating your time. Make a plan for how you can do more of those things each week, even if you have to start small. Life will likely continue to test you, but having a guidepost for how you desire to feel and remembering that you get to choose is a powerful step to renew yourself.

Create Space

Creating space for what we wish to create in our lives requires removing the old. Examine each area of your life and evaluate how you can simplify and remove the clutter. In your home and office, remove trash and tidy up your space so that it feels calming and grounding. Is your closet full of clothes that you don’t wear which could be donated? Similarly, review your calendar and determine what tasks can be delegated or deleted entirely. Often, we don’t realize the mental energy required to make hundreds of tiny daily decisions ranging from which outfit to wear to what tasks to complete. I even invite you to audit your beliefs and determine what you may be holding onto that no longer serves you. Clear the clutter to renew yourself – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Feed Your Mind

You know that phrase “You are what you eat”? Similarly, your mind becomes what you continually feed it. Take inventory of what you’re mentally consuming on a daily basis. How much time are you spending on social media (check ‘screen time’ under your phone’s settings menu)? How much news are you taking in? Staying informed is one thing, but getting caught in the 24/7 news cycle is maddening. Taking a break from consuming any media at all can be a powerful way to regain balance by allowing you to connect with yourself, your intuition, and what actually matters to you. At minimum, set boundaries around what level of usage feels good to you and choose your sources intentionally. 

Nourish Your Body & Love Yourself

Instead of going on a new diet this January, what if you decided to focus your attention on loving yourself to the best of your ability? Can you practice self compassion and give yourself credit for doing the best you can? One of the most powerful ways to renew yourself in the new year is to honor your mind, body, and spirit. This might include eating healthy food, staying hydrated, and getting 8 hours of sleep each night. It may also include creating a morning routine that fills your cup, carving out more time to spend in nature, and being mindful of your self talk. Choose for this to be a time of prioritizing yourself and regaining your own sense of groundedness so that you can enter the new year feeling refreshed and ready to support those around you.

Ready to take the next step towards your adventure goals? Check out our library of free resources here.

How to Reduce Holiday Stress

The holiday season is a time to gather with loved ones to celebrate and connect, but it’s also a time of anxiety, overwhelm, and stress for many. Most of us know the familiar feeling of pressure to get the right gifts, make the perfect meal, and attend every event. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way! With foresight and intention, you can transform the holidays into a time of joy, gratitude, and connection rather than a flurry of stress, burnout, and loneliness. Use the following tips to cope with holiday stress and make this year your most easeful yet.

Prioritize Self Care to Stress Less

During a time of year when much of your focus is on giving to others, don’t forget to give to yourself too. The most powerful gift is self-care in the form of good nutrition, movement, and sleep. Focus on whole foods and keep sugar consumption in check. Aim to fit in daily exercise, whether it’s a 30-minute walk in nature, a gym session, or another favorite activity. Make this time non-negotiable. Similarly, block out 8 hours for sleep nightly and create an effective bedtime routine.

Rely On Stress-busting Herbal Allies

Herbs such as lemon balm, linden, passionflower, lavender, and milky oats can be wonderful for supporting the body during times of stress. Adaptogens are another great option for regulating the stress response. WishGarden has several formulas to help you cope with holiday stress including Deep Stress, Emotional Ally, Serious Relaxer, and Liquid Bliss. 

Maintain a Daily Gratitude Practice

In addition to keeping the physical body functioning optimally, don’t forget to nurture your mind and spirit. Practicing mindfulness meditation or spending as few as 10 minutes per day writing in a gratitude journal can profoundly shift how you interpret any stressful events that may arise. Not only does gratitude reset your stress response by shifting you into a parasympathetic state, it reconnects you to what truly matters to you.

Plan Ahead

Holiday overwhelm often stems from the feeling of having too much to do and not enough money or time. Prevent these feelings by taking time now to review your finances and create a realistic budget for the holidays. Seek out alternatives to traditional gift-giving, such as homemade gifts, upcycling, or creating an experience rather than purchasing an item.

You can approach your time similarly. Pull out a calendar and schedule events which are non-negotiable. Be realistic with what you can attend and accomplish. Evaluate what truly matters and what can go by the wayside. Discerning the vital tasks from the trivial ones helps you determine where your energy will be most effective.

Ask for Help

Remember that you don’t have to go it alone. Identify which tasks you can delegate and to whom. More than likely, the people in your life would be happy to support you. You just have to ask (nicely). Asking for help can also mean seeking out community if you’re in need of connection. Even when it feels hard to reach out, remember that others are there to support you.

The essence of the holidays is communing with loved ones and experiencing gratitude for our many blessings. Proactively managing holiday stress allows you to be fully present and enjoy this special time of year.

*this post was originally published on the blog of WishGarden Herbs.

Want access to a free healthy lightweight backpacking meal plan? Download it here.

The Importance of Giving & Receiving Kindness

When was the last time you experienced kindness? It may have been a thoughtful word, a smile, an act of generosity, or simply holding the door open for someone or having it held open for you. The beauty in kindness is that whether you are the giver or the receiver, it feels good, and the gestures need not be grand to be effective.

An example of kindness that comes to my mind immediately is the support I received from countless strangers during my 2,800-mile hike from Canada to Mexico along the Continental Divide Trail last summer. My journey was so much richer thanks to the individuals who gave me rides into town to resupply, purchased meals for me, and even invited me into their homes for a warm shower and a bed. These moments of consideration and generosity from strangers are some of the most powerful memories I have from that entire experience. Those acts of kindness inspired me to keep going when times were tough and to do my part to ‘pay it forward.’

Kindness is an integral part of humanity. In fact, it shows up as a core tenet of nearly every major religion. In Judaism, for example, Leviticus 19.18 states “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In Buddhism, the Metta prayer is a wish for all beings to be happy, safe, peaceful, and free. The Dalai Lama stated “My religion is simple. My religion is kindness.” There are countless examples across every culture demonstrating the importance of kindness.

Health Benefits of Kindness

Kindness doesn’t just feel good. Research indicates that there are a myriad of health benefits for the giver, the receiver, and even the observer. Both witnessing and performing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone.” Increased oxytocin lowers blood pressure and increases self esteem.

Being kind to others also increases the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of satisfaction, well being, and calmness. Furthermore, acts of kindness reduce pain via the production of endorphins, the brain’s natural painkillers. As if all of that weren’t enough, kindness also reduces the stress hormone cortisol, the overproduction of which is associated with a variety of health ailments.

Increased Connection to Others

Kindness increases empathy, helps us relate to others, and allows us to form more positive relationships. Practicing kindness has the transformational power to flip any situation upside down. For instance, if you’ve failed to reach a personal goal, kindness allows you to forgive yourself and to try again. In a professional setting, it allows you to see another’s perspective and to move forward with compassion in challenging circumstances.

Practicing Kindness

Kindness is a muscle that strengthens with practice. I invite you to make it an intentional part of each day. Here are some ideas to get you started: practice loving kindness meditation, perform a random act of kindness, make a donation, smile at a stranger, call a loved one, volunteer your time, buy someone a coffee. Small gestures can make a big impact. Finally, don’t forget that kindness practiced towards oneself is just as important as kindness given to others. 

World Kindness Day is November 13, so it’s a great time to go out of your way to give kindness towards others and towards yourself, but with all these benefits, why not treat every day like World Kindness Day?

Ready to take the next step in your health journey? Find more free resources here!

How to Get the Best Results from Your Diet


Are you focusing your health efforts on the activities that will make the biggest impact?

I see a lot of people spending way too much time on the things that aren’t moving the needle.

Things like:

Looking for the best protein powder.

Downloading new workout apps.

Researching supplements for weight loss.

Trying to decide if you should be intermittent fasting.

I get it. It’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae. You can do all of these things until the cows come home, but without the foundations in place, progress will be slow at best. 

If you’re putting in effort and not seeing results, check in on the following:

  1. Focus on 80% whole foods.

Whole foods are ideal to ensure that you get the micronutrients to keep your body functioning optimally. The water content and fiber of real food will keep you satisfied longer. By choosing whole foods over processed foods, you’ll avoid inflammatory compounds like food dyes, preservatives, trans fats, and more.

  1. Pay attention to your protein and fiber intake.

Protein is the most satiating macro nutrient. It’s also essential for immunity, blood sugar balance, and muscle repair. The right amount for you depends on your weight, activity level, and goals.

Fiber is also satiating. Furthermore, it’s essential for a healthy microbiome, which affects everything from your cravings to mental clarity, immune health, body weight, and more.

  1. Balance blood sugar.

No matter what diet you eat, balancing blood sugar is so important in reducing cravings, balancing hormones, having the energy for a full day outside, and so much more. I have several posts about this on my blog. Essentially, you want to include fat, protein, and fiber at each meal or snack.

  1. Sleep 7-9 hours per night.

Sleep deprivation affects several hormones which impact appetite and hunger. Ever notice how you crave all the carbs when you’re sleep deprived? Not only can sleep disturbances affect your waistline and put you at higher risk for metabolic syndrome, lack of proper rest prevents you from putting in full effort during training sessions.

  1. Manage your stress.

The stress hormone cortisol wreaks havoc on your health in so many ways. Regardless of what style of eating you follow and no matter how healthy you eat, if you’re not managing your stress, you’re not going to see the results you want. Your body holds onto weight, muscle gain is stalled, recovery is slower, and fatigue increases. Stress management can be as simple as a few deep breaths to shift from a sympathetic dominant state back into parasympathetic. Check in with yourself often.

Focus on Foundations for Faster Results

Nailing these foundations support you in feeling better in the day to day by reducing brain fog, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. On your adventures, it means the ability to hike longer days, recover faster, keep up with your adventure partners, and have a body that’s capable of doing what you love until your last breath.

I write about how important it is to personalize your approach and learn exactly what works for your unique body. I absolutely believe that and it’s why I work closely with clients to support them through that process. That said, a personalized approach goes hand in hand with focusing on the foundations.

You deserve a long lived, healthy, adventurous life. If you’re not feeling great, check on your foundations before searching for the latest “hack.”

Ready to take the next step in your journey? Find more free resources here.

Prevent Stress to Optimize Physical & Mental Performance


Stress in 2020.

How are you? Genuinely.

Take a deep breath and scan your body for any tension.

Because let’s be real: 2020 continues to be a hot mess.

From natural disasters to pandemics, economic challenges, & more, there is A LOT going on right now. If you’re experiencing heightened levels of stress in your life, you’re not alone.

I’ve experienced my fair share of obstacles this year & I can’t think of anyone in my life who hasn’t.

In fact, it’s one of the primary drivers of the concerns clients are coming to me with right now, whether they realize stress is at the root of their symptoms or not.

It’s contributing to:

>> unwanted weight gain, especially around the midsection, without changes in diet or exercise>> inability to fall asleep or stay asleep

>> waking up after a full night of sleep and still feeling tired

>> salt cravings

>> intense afternoon fatigue and an inability to get through the day without coffee and/or sugar

>> changes in appetite–either lacking an appetite or eating a whole pizza in one sitting (nothing inherently wrong with that, but if it’s not a conscious choice, there may be something deeper going on)

>> being set off into tears or a tantrum when anything goes wrong>> reaching for booze (or your escape of choice -e.g. food, cannabis, social media, retail therapy, etc.) as a coping mechanism

>> getting sick more often and wounds that won’t heal>> lacking motivation to work out, opting for another episode on Netflix instead

Stress affects how you think, feel, and behave. It manifests as full body fatigue, making workouts feel harder, as digestive issues like heartburn, stomachaches, and as a foggy brain, leaving you scattered, impulsive, touchy, and doubting yourself. It also wrecks your libido and, for another night in a row, you find yourself reaching for the ice cream instead of your partner.

Particularly in 2020, stress can be rooted in feelings of overwhelm and a lack of control.

But, here’s the good news: When it comes to your health, there’s a lot you CAN control during this time to replenish the body.

>>Assess your current stress load. The perceived stress scale (google it) is a widely used tool for this. Often we don’t realize we’re stressed until we quantify it.

>>Identify stressors which can be physical, psychological or even chemical. Financial concerns or an endless to-do list may be obvious, while others, like over training and toxic body care products are easier to overlook. It all adds up.

>>Now, are there any you can remove or lessen? The body will balance itself when we remove the roadblocks.

>>Incorporate restorative practices. Some stress is unavoidable so intentional stress relief is essential. I invite clients to create an ala carte menu of options such as exercise, time in nature, meditation, journaling, breathwork, & yoga.

>>Reduce stress via your nutrition by eating enough, balancing blood sugar with fat & protein & fiber, & reducing stimulants. Once diet and lifestyle is addressed, you can consider supplements, like adaptogens.

Take stress seriously. I’ve seen clients find reserves of energy, release stubborn weight, redefine their relationship with sugar/alcohol/caffeine, clear up brain fog, wake up motivated, and much more by addressing stress.

And lastly, I invite you to give yourself a break. If you’re feeling like everything is a little harder than normal right now, you’re not lazy. You’re a human. Which means your human body is susceptible to the effects of stress and it needs rest and nourishment.

Ready to take the next step on your path to optimal health? Connect with me here.

How to Keep Your Body Adventure Ready


Does the following sentiment resonate with you? 

“I want to be capable of doing what I love until my last day on Earth.”

I was recently having a conversation with a friend in the long distance hiking community about the concept of being a lifelong adventurer.

This is someone for whom adventure is an essential component of your identity. The adventure itself may take different forms throughout different times in your life, but the underlying spirit remains the same. For the lifelong adventurer, your excursions aren’t a “once in a lifetime” thing. They’re necessary for you to feel fully expressed and self-actualized.  

You do your best to get out there summer after summer. Living out of your car. Going days without showering. Well, maybe not living out of your car anymore. Or maybe you are. Either way, no shame in that. You do what you need to do to live a life that is meaningful to you.

While the adventures may look slightly different than they did a decade or two ago, you have no intention of stopping until your last breath. And having the health to do what you love, whether that’s hiking, biking, climbing, or just feeling good running around the yard with your labradoodle, is essential.

This hiking friend was telling me about how after he turned 40, he started noticing that he didn’t have quite the stamina he used to have and that he felt more stiff in the mornings. He’d started taking some supplements we discussed (more on that in a moment) and he shared how it helped him continue to crank out 30-40 mile days and recover faster after back to back to back hard days in the mountains.

Similarly, I worked with a woman who pushed her body running ultras in her early 30s and was now struggling with low motivation and lack of energy during runs and hikes. We developed a protocol to support her adrenals so that she has the energy to keep getting after it for years to come.

It got me thinking about the best ways to care for the body, that precious vessel, so that it’s capable of accessing wild places for decades to come. 

Here are 5 keys to keeping your body fit for adventure: 

Eat for longevity.

I talk about this topic ad nauseam, so I’ll keep it brief. Focus on whole foods. Include loads of antioxidant rich foods (think fruits & veggies). Keep blood sugar balanced by including fat, protein, and fiber at each meal. Remember, you don’t need to be perfect. Just shoot for 80/20 and know that what you put in your body 3 times per day makes a HUGE difference in how you feel and what you’re capable of in pretty much every area of life.

Manage stress.

Chronically high stress creates chronically elevated cortisol, which wreaks havoc on the mind & body, including weight gain, memory impairment, heart disease, digestive issues, depression, anxiety, and more. Life is wild. One of the kindest things we can do for ourselves is to set aside 10-20 minutes per day for intentional stress relief. Whether that’s a walk in nature, meditation, journaling, or a snuggle with your cat, find what works for you and make space for it. 

Supplement wisely.

Nutritionally speaking, we know that the body requires certain levels of nutrients to function optimally. We also know that due to the abundance of nutritionally poor foods available today, many of us do not get the daily requirements of several key nutrients. Furthermore, chronic illness, gut dysbiosis, exposure to toxins, stress, and heavy physical demands on the body all deplete nutrient stores more quickly.

As discussed above in regards to my friends, finding the right supplements to support your body can make a big difference. Getting blood work done is the best way to know where your current levels are and to determine what you may need. However, there are some supplements that can benefit nearly everyone.

I created a whole free guide about this which you can download here. It’s important to note that I’m not a doctor and you should educate yourself and make your own decisions. Side note: I wrote about the supplements I took on the CDT here

Train in seasons & learn to listen to your body.

I used to run 7-10 miles every single day. That eventually burnt out my adrenals and led to overuse injuries. Looking back, my body was sending me countless signals that it was not happy with what I was doing.

Have different ‘seasons’ for how you train. In the summer you might go harder because the days are longer and the weather is conducive to getting out more. In the winters, you may slow down and give your body time to rest and rebuild. Tune in and honor your body so it will keep going for years to come.

Personalize your approach.

An important component to remaining active and healthy in the long run is learning about your unique body. What foods does your body do best with? What types of exercise? What types of living environments? What supplements? How much social time do you need? 

When we’re not doing what’s best for our unique bodies in any of these areas, it can lead to inflammation, which has a cascade of negative effects on the body and is at the root of nearly every chronic disease. Take the time to learn what your body thrives on and honor that. 

Aging doesn’t have to be a slow decline into a sedentary life where the highlight of your day is watching the Price is Right (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the point is that if you want to live an adventurous life, you can!). With a bit of attention and self care, you can absolutely keep doing what you love for the rest of your life.

Your body is incredibly resilient and powerful!

Ready to take the next step on your journey? Let’s connect.

Dealing with energy slumps & cravings during a pandemic

relax digestion

Have you found it harder to stick with healthy habits with everything that’s been going on in the world recently?

Perhaps working from home has kept you more sedentary than normal, the fridge is just a few steps away anytime you need a procrastination snack, and alcohol feels a bit more tempting than usual.

If any of this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. I’ve heard this from a lot of clients recently.

If you’ve been trying to get back on track, I have a quick story to share and I’m curious if you can relate:

“I know what I should do, but I’m just not doing it.”

A client recently said this to me with guilt in her voice during our first session.

This smart, talented, driven woman explained to me how she “failed” at keto, at veganism, at going paleo, and with fasting. She told me how her body must be broken. And how she has no willpower.

She starts the day fasting, with the best of intentions. She eats a salad for lunch, and by mid afternoon, she’s on her 3rd espresso, dragging through the last meeting of the day. She eats her “clean” dinner only to end the night at the bottom of a pint of ice cream, in a puddle of shame and frustration. How did this happen again?

She doesn’t understand why she can’t “stick to her diet.”

This breaks my heart because not only is she not seeing the results from the effort she’s putting in, but she’s feeling like a failure in the process. On top of all the other stress she’s dealing with, she’s feeling like her health is a struggle as well.

She wants more energy, better mental health, and to lose a bit of weight, but it feels like nothing is working.  

Here’s the truth I tell her:

Your body is NOT broken. You DO NOT have a willpower problem.

Diets, food rules, and restriction do👏not👏work👏long term.

When you give yourself too many rules, the natural inclination is to resist and rebel. Only once you stop the steady stream of shoulds running through your mind, does space open up to hear what your body actually needs and wants.

If a certain style of eating is not satiating you, keeping you energized, nourishing your skin, hair, and hormones, and keeping your mind sharp, you haven’t failed at the diet. The diet has failed you. Just because something works for your boyfriend or aunt Becky doesn’t mean it’s right for you.

We’re all biochemically unique. But, in a world where we’re bombarded with so many “shoulds” around what we’re supposed to be eating, we forget that our own bodies actually know best. Imagine that 🤔

So, first and foremost, to make sticking with healthy habits easier, find out what works for your unique body. This goes for food, but also for exercise, supplements, stress management, etc. 

Additionally, here are 3 tips that you can implement today to regulate appetite and keep energy levels steady, especially in times of higher stress.

*Eat 20-30 grams of protein within an hour of waking.

As this study indicates, eating a higher protein breakfast can decrease levels of ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating hormone. It also slows stomach emptying, which means you stay satiated longer and have more consistent energy. This keeps you from reaching for that donut an hour after breakfast.  

By the way, if you intermittent fast and it’s working for you, keep on keepin’ on. Fasting works for some bodies and not others, particularly female bodies. It can raise cortisol which is counterproductive to your goals and lead to binges later in the day. So, if you’ve tried fasting and you’re not seeing results, try a different approach.

*Aim for 25-30 grams of fiber per day. 

Fiber keeps you full longer, stabilizes blood sugar, and supports a healthy microbiome. This can support a reduction in cortisol output. A healthy and diverse microbiome also means fewer sugar cravings. Most Americans get about 15 grams per day, by the way, so try tracking for a day or two to see how much you normally get. Go for whole food sources, like veggies, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds.


Thirst often masquerades as hunger. Whether on trail or off, start your day with at least a liter of water. Add sea salt and lemon, if it’s available, for a boost in minerals and energy. Drinking water before eating breakfast or a sugary snack ensures that you’re not confusing hunger for thirst. Staying hydrated also helps you avoid unnecessary blood sugar swings, keeping you from craving more sugar. Shoot for half your weight (in pounds) in ounces of water.

Getting your healthy food habits dialed in lays the foundation to build the other health habits on top of that. You have more energy and motivation for your workouts. When you’re feeling better from better food choices, you’re less tempted by the alcohol or the cookies.

In terms of improved energy and less cravings, these tips can work for you whether you’re at home or out on a wilderness adventure. 

You deserve a full, adventurous life (whatever that means to you!) and it starts with having a healthy mind and body. 

And it can be more simple than you’ve been led to believe. Which is why I do the work that I do: to take my own years of struggle and use it to support you in deepening your understanding of how food works in YOUR body so that you create the health you need to do whatever matters to you.

Ready to collapse the timeline on your health goals? Start here.

How to Improve Focus & Concentration

Your ability to focus and concentrate impacts nearly every area of life from career to relationships to creativity, productivity, and more. In an increasingly noisy world with multi billion dollar industries designed to capture your attention, the potential for distraction is endless and it’s easy to wind up feeling scattered, unproductive, and frustrated. 

Fortunately, the ability to focus and concentrate can be trained and enhanced with lifestyle choices. Try the following strategies to boost your ability to stay focused and attentive so that you can do more of what matters and tune out the rest.

Practice Mono-Tasking

You are always training your brain. If you have 17 tabs open and you’re jumping from one task to the next, your brain is learning to be distracted. You can support increased focus and attention by turning off phone notifications, keeping your phone on ‘do not disturb’ or in a separate room while working, closing browser tabs, batching email, and giving yourself boundaries around social media.

Keep in mind that the brain can only concentrate on one task at a time. While multitasking is possible, it requires the brain to jump back and forth from one job to the other. There’s a cost to this. For instance, have you ever been in the middle of writing an important document and someone interrupts you? It takes a moment to get back into the mindset of where you were. Imagine the time cost of this happening hundreds of times per day.

A couple of book recommendations: The One Thing, Deep Work, Essentialism.


Research indicates that increased attention is among the many benefits of having a regular meditation practice. Meditation also provides the ability to put some space between you and your thoughts so that you can choose what actually matters to you and be intentional with your attention. Focus requires that you not only choose what matters in this moment, but also that you choose what doesn’t matter so that it can be eliminated.

Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

A diet high in colorful fruits and vegetables is packed with antioxidants that support optimal brain function. Omega-3 fatty acids are another key component of a diet that supports a healthy brain that’s capable of sustained attention. If you’re not sure where to begin, start with these 5 brain foods: leafy greens, blueberries, eggs, walnuts, and salmon.

Include Herbal Support

In addition to lifestyle practices, herbal allies are an excellent way to support enhanced focus and attention. Herbs such as gotu kola, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, lemon balm, eleuthero, and bacopa are all great for brain health. These can be taken as tinctures or teas.

Remember that your ability to focus and pay attention plays a large part in the quality of your life! Which of these tips can you incorporate into your life today?

Ready to take the next step towards a healthy, adventurous life? Start here.