It was absolutely gorgeous here in Tennessee yesterday, and I simply could not stand it anymore:
I had to get outside!
Things have been really stressful lately between business, closing out the first quarter, tax deadline, a lingering “sick” with a full schedule, etc.
Instead of shutting down and pulling the covers over my head with a pint of ice cream (the OLD me)…
I took the day off to go play. 🙂
This is a new habit I developed to overcoming emotional eating. Now, anytime I get stressed or frustrated or pissed… I hit the pavement or the trails and pound it out.
So yes, I still have “screw it!” days – I just handle them different now. 😉
I was actually meeting up with my guy for a hike at 3:40, but I decided to head out early and get in a hike on the way too. 🙂
I took a change of clothes with me, because I knew my mission: to climb Big Falls – and figured I would get drenched and muddy (and I did, lol).
The two shirts I chose for the day…
Blaze Your Own Trail and Live Your Passion
Suiting for my mood, mission and mindset. 🙂
I started my adventures at Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park in Manchester, TN. This is an area I’ve hiked several times and always enjoy. There’s so much to explore!
On my way downriver to Big Falls, I stopped at the log you see in the picture above – one I’ve scaled before out over the cascading falls – and decided to lay in the sunshine with a dizzying upside down view of the falls below me. 🙂
Crazy but FUN!
Big Falls was busy with a large family having a great time, so I hiked downriver instead – ALL the way downriver. I found a nice quiet spot in the sunshine off the main trails to enjoy my low carb lunch.
I don’t use a day pack, just my Fabletics Fanny Pack usually. It’s very convenient and lightweight, large enough to carry plenty, and leaves me hands-free to do some serious hiking and climbing. 🙂 (My Live Your Passion tank is Fabletics too!)
I brought very compact but nutrient-dense LCHF “snack packs” with me to fuel me on my hikes. All three were from recent Keto Krate boxes, which I LOVE. I get to try all kinds of new & interesting keto-friendly specialty foods – cheap. 🙂
I had Pili Nuts, an LC Spicy Pepitas Snack Pack and something new:
I brought the “raw, organic, vegan” pumpkin seeds & kale pack because… I thought I wouldn’t like it, and figured if I got hungry enough out on the trail I’d eat it anyway. 😛
I’m not a big fan of kale, lol.
I WAS WRONG. It’s amazingly delicious!!!! As in – I’m off to order more (LOTS MORE) as soon as I finish writing this for you. 🙂
Of course, Pili Nuts have been a favorite for awhile now. They are a HUGE soft, buttery nut that will totally rock your socks. They’re still being wild-harvested at the moment, from volcanic soil in the Philippines, so they’re insanely nutrient dense. Knowing they’ll be “farming” them soon (because I know things!), I’m stocking up on them NOW. 😉
Use code LOWCARBTRAVELER (all caps) at EatPiliNuts.com for a special discount from me to you! 🙂
I decided to hike back upriver instead of getting back on the trail. This is a path I’ve hiked a couple of times before, and a beautiful one! But on those previous hikes we were in a drought here… which is NOT the case anymore, lol.
I came around the bend and lost “trail” to a wet slimy bluff, and rapid waters below Big Falls – my destination, and mission.
I’ve hiked worse. 🙂
I sat there for a second and ate a few more Pili Nuts, scoping out my options, then just went for it! My only concern? I forgot my waterproof phone case. 😐 Fortunately I had a ziploc bag on me, so I stuffed my phone in there with the snacks…
I made it, mostly dry (not really! lol) and got to climb Big Falls. 🙂
There was a nice family there that I asked to snap a few photos for you, but unfortunately the guy zoomed in – making the pictures blurry, and you also can’t really tell what I was climbing or how high up it was.;)
Suffice it to say it was an awesome climb and a FULL BODY workout. 🙂
It was getting late in the afternoon so I did a fast upriver off-trail hike out and back to my car so I could drive about 22 minutes for my next hiking adventure…
The second hike was Machine Falls at Short Springs State Natural Area in Tullahoma, TN. It’s not a super long hike, but it’s a pretty decent workout to get down to the falls… but SO worth it! 🙂
This photo just doesn’t do it justice.
The view is breathtaking. 🙂
We hiked, we played, we climbed Machine Falls, we got drenched of course -lol…
The cold spray from Machine Falls was refreshing after a sweaty hike on a warm spring day. It was 79 degrees and sunny with a touch of humidity. Beautiful day for March!
After playing in the falls, we hiked up to the rock overhang overlooking the waterfall for an awesome view… and had a quick snack.
We finished off the Pili Nuts and Kale & Pepitas – which I had mixed together in my Ziploc, because they were SO amazing together!!
I rarely EVER share my favorite low carb snacks, and especially my Pili Nuts (because everyone falls in love with them and wants to steal them!! lol), but… gosh he’s handsome. 🙂 haha
We sat for a bit, we each explored around some there above the falls, and I took some time to enjoy what I love most on my hikes… a quiet moment in the sunshine to reflect on life. 🙂
There’s something about nature that makes you feel so … small, yet connected. I don’t even know how to explain it, but it drains all the stress right out of me. 🙂
Next we decided to hike out off-trail, following the river down where it meets the next, turning left and hiking upstream to see Busby Falls before hiking out.
There was TONS of tornado damage all throughout the Short Springs State Natural Area from a recent storm, by the way. It was shocking.
There were trees down everywhere to climb over on the hike upstream.
Most of the downed trees were literally ripped out of the ground by the roots…
Another moment of total respect for nature, and reflection on the destruction that rebuilds. Nature has a way of seeming to destroy things, but storms and tornadoes actually have a positive effect on ecosystems, and benefit wildlife and plant life.
I could relate to that. Some of the worst things I’ve ever been through in life… turned out to be the most positive turning points – in hindsight.
A scary storm. Destruction and devastation. A mess to clean up afterward. And then new growth, and positive change. Yes – I could relate.
These are the moments I realize WHY I enjoy hiking so much.
Not just for the amazing exercise and range of muscle use, and the sweat and stress relief, but for the lessons I come home with.
We continued hiking upriver, over both Lower and Upper Busby Falls, which was a welcome “cool down” along the way.
We did finally connect back with the trail, which you can see straight ahead in the picture below, then hiked up and out back to the car.
It’s amazing how FAST I can hike out of somewhere the moment I realize there’s hot coffee in the car 🙂 lol. I always bring a Contigo Travel Mug with a coffee to enjoy after an invigorating hike.
Those mugs are like MAGIC the way they keep things so hot for so long.;)
It was an awesome hike. 🙂
And I met my goal of 10,000+ Fitbit steps!
It was a FUN day with two cool hikes and A LOT of climbing – so those were some serious steps. 😉 lol
For breakfast that morning I had 3 eggs scrambled in real butter with colby jack cheese. Then the low carb foods on the trail.
For dinner… we went out to eat. Yes: wet, muddy and all! 🙂
I had a delicious low carb dinner at Ruby Tuesday: the Coastal Trio (Lobster, Shrimp & Parm Crusted Tilapia) with Green Beans & Broccoli.
Here’s how my meals & macros came out in MyFitnessPal for yesterday:
It was a fabulous day full of healthy foods, sunshine, exercise… and insights. 🙂
It feels GOOD to be back on the trails, to be moving again, and to be working my muscles. I’m anxious to work back up to the strength and muscle tone I had before I got sick at the beginning of the year.
I have another fun hike planned with friends on Saturday, so I’m doing simple strength training at home until then – simple exercises focusing on abs, arms & core.
What about you? How are things going with you?
And… what’s YOUR favorite kind of exercise? 🙂
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