Forest Bathing // Shinrin-Yoku

Shinrin-Yoku is the Japanese practice of “forest bathing”. Forest bathing is fairly self explanatory; just take a relaxing walk under the forest canopy, breath deeply, and soak in all the health benefits. It’s a popular preventative health care practice in Japan. I’ve always noticed a significant positive shift in my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state after spending some quality time in nature but I’ve never really understood exactly what attributed to that. Vitamin D, fresh air, and exercise are all fabulous benefits of getting outside but there are many other scientifically proven benefits to forest bathing. Some of these benefits include: improved mood, reduced stress, increased energy, reduced blood pressure, and accelerated recovery. One of the most impressive benefits is boosted immune function. Trees emit organic compounds that actually support our natural killer cells (cancer killing cells) and decrease our stress hormone levels. Literally forest healing! How fricking cool is that?! Nature is so incredible and so powerful. I enjoy forest bathing with my husband and dog! I take conscious, deep breaths and touch the forest floor and fallen leaves. One of my favorite things to do is to just stop and listen to the silence of nature, it’s beautiful. Get curious- touch, smell, listen, observe, and bathe in the forest.

10 Things: Fall Edition

1. This is my first “10 things” blog post and I am going to start doing them seasonally! I think they’re a great way to catch up and share little life details that otherwise wouldn’t make it into a blog post. There is magic in the mundane! I also love reading other bloggers “10 things” posts so that’s kind of what inspired me.

2. This is my first time experiencing fall in Virginia/on the East Coast and let me tell y’all, it’s the real deal. Summer has always been my favorite season but fall is a close second. It’s been somewhat of a late and dry fall but the Blue Ridge Mountains are covered in deep, dramatic hues of yellow, orange, and red. It’s such a beautiful, romantic time of the year.

3. Apple picking. And apple cider donuts. Enough said. Check out my previous post.

4. I’m really stoked for Halloween this year! There are tons of kids in our neighborhood so I’m excited to hand out candy to all the cute little trick or treaters. We never got trick or treaters when we lived in Boulder so it’ll be fun for us. And our next door neighbor is having a Halloween party!

5. We are still in the process of decorating our house and I don’t know if we will ever be “finished” haha but I’m really enjoying the process of finding our personal home style as a family- minimalist, clean, cozy, modern, and organic (aka lots of indoor plants).

6. My not-so-new favorite Netflix show is Friends. Jennifer Aniston is goals. I think everyone can agree on that! Tyler and I recently watched all 10 seasons.

7. I’m grateful that we will be spending Thanksgiving here in Richmond this year. I’ve traveled home to Louisiana every Thanksgiving for the past 6 years (except 1 year) and it’s nice that we can just stay here, be with family, and relax. It’s one of my favorite holidays but it’s also probably the most expensive and stressful holiday to travel. We plan on making a bunch of vegan dishes! It’s all about the sides.

8. I started a new job last month as a recruiting consultant. High five to adulting & paychecks!

9. We have been thriving and loving eating a whole foods plant based diet. I never feel deprived because we make so many delicious plant based meals at home. I feel amazing and more in tune with my body than ever. This is legitimately how humans are designed to eat for optimal health. Plus I’m not contributing to any animal cruelty! Now that it’s gotten cooler we are making more soups, stews, and warming foods.

10. Tyler, Waldo, and I escaped to the mountains this weekend and it was so rejuvenating. Much needed time as a family in nature. We cooked, hiked, and just unplugged. Here are some photos from our weekend!

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Apple Picking

Apple picking at Carter Mountain Orchard had me feeling all the fall vibes this weekend! It was foggy, chilly, and a little muddy up on the mountain but oh so beautiful and mystical. We picked plenty of Fuji apples for eating (they’re our favorite) and Granny Smiths for baking an apple pie. It was so fun to pick them fresh off the trees and snack on them. Although apple picking is such quintessential fall activity, it was actually my first time ever doing it. I love planning little day dates for the weekend so that we get to spend time together doing something fun in nature. It’s always so rewarding and rejuvenating! Hope everyone had a nice weekend!

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St. Mary’s Glacier

This weekend we went to a glacier!! Well a semi-permanent ice field but still cool. It was our first time at St. Mary’s. There was barely any snow but enough worth hiking to! Also there were a bunch of little waterfalls and streams from the melting snow. All the foliage was yellow and red, except for the evergreens which never cease to amaze me. I’ve said it a million times but I absolutely loveeee the fall colors in the mountains!! Although fall is a season of dying it makes me really appreciate how alive everything really is and how alive I am. St. Marys glacier was a short but rocky hike to a lake surrounded by peaks (James peak being one of them) then you can hike up to the “glacial field”. It’s near Idaho Springs west of Indian Peaks and James Peaks Wilderness areas. We hiked to the snow field and around the lake. It was so much fun!! I love going to new places. There were sooo many cute dogs, Waldo had so much fun and was so well behaved. His favorite thing is going hiking and seeing other people and sniffing other dogs. To get there we went through Golden and on I-70 but on the way back we went through Central City & Blackhawk and Rollinsville & Nederland for a different route and especially to get our smoky chicken noodles from the barbecue stand. Such a fun weekend with my adventure boys!! We capped the weekend with a trip to Sanitas brewery which has the best chill patio near the train tracks here in Boulder. We both got Bière de Gardes that were so delicious. It’s one of our favorite types of craft beer yet it’s difficult to find so we had to jump on it!! We’re having Tyler’s famous homemade pizza tonight, it’s seriously the best pizza I’ve had hands down and we make everything from scratch!! We love our food processor (seriously the best kitchen appliance ever) and our baking steel. It was a great October weekend! I have been in such a fall mood yet I have not bought one pumpkin flavored item lol. It’s festive and all but it’s seriously getting wayy overkill with all the pumpkin stuff (like seriously every single thing is pumpkin everywhere). We are sooo not ready for the weekend to be over but it’ll be here again before we know it! Now that I’m a full time working adult it feels like the work week is such a grind and everything revolves around the weekend, guess that’s what adult life is like! 

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