My sister and I recently took a road trip to the Grand Canyon as like a last sister trip before she moves to Florida. Here are some highlights of our trip...
Our camping trip got cut short. We fell asleep shortly after setting up camp due to sheer exhaustion and the fact that it was too cold to be outside of the tent. The next day was spent checking out our surroundings and touring the Grand Canyon.
That evening, we got hit with an unexpected and unseasonable cold front, which we were not prepared for in both attire and bedding. At first, it started with a little rain. Okay, we can deal. Then the freezing rain started to pelt our campsite. Um, sure… no problem. Then, the thick snow started to fall. Having left our parkas and snowshoes at the outdoors store, these Texan gals were not cut out for that, so we quickly shoved everything into the SUV (soaking wet and covered in mud) into the car. Now, take note that we had strategically packed everything into the car so that it fit just so, with no room to spare. We did not have the time, patience, or warm clothes to take the time to do this. We made an unexpected, hasty getaway to beautiful Sedona. Imagine opening the trunk to the car when we got to the hotel that night. We spent the next day in a parking lot reorganizing all of our gear. I don’t want to complain too much, this was our view while we loaded everything in.
I want to take a second to marvel at the beauty that is Sedona. I have never seen a place so spectacular in its beauty. Even with the overcast weather, I still got a glimpse at how incredibly beautiful this place is. I think, if it can take my breath away in this kind of weather, imagine what it will do when it’s sunny, clear, and 80 degrees. Arizona made me feel calm, at ease, in mind, body, and spirit. I felt like my heart truly belongs there.
Like David Bowie sings about, changes are on the horizon for me! The time has come for my graduation. All of the years, hard work, and especially the writing and effort put in this last semester has made this moment much anticipated. I wrote my Capstone and created the presentation to deliver to the Capstone Forum. This semester was very demanding, but it was a wonderful experience. I can’t imagine doing it not sober. I would not have appreciated the experience and my Capstone would not have turned out as good as it did. Now, I feel like I hardly get a break before I start all over again. I’m working on compiling all of the requirements to submit my application to another master’s program in rehabilitation counseling. This type of education will be completely different from the type that I’m accustomed to. Not only in content, but in style since it is a distance learning format. I’m very excited about this endeavor and moving toward a career change. It will be hard, but totally worth it.
A lot has been going on with me as of late. It seems that I’m at the doctor or physical therapy multiple times a week. I used to be terrible about going to the doctor for any kind of ailment. I’d often schedule appointments and then cancel them as soon as I sensed any kind of relief. Anything that threw me off of my routine was not something I wanted to sign up for. I’ve really made a point to make this year a year that I take care of Me. Now I’m working on getting the rest of me in tip top shape. Ironically, I’ve had a few setbacks with injuries, but these have sort of been blessings in disguise. I’m learning more about my body and getting to know myself physically.
One of the many things I’ve done to improve my health is to start taking daily supplements. I was always a skeptic of supplements. And part of me still is. The old me would have stuck with taking a daily supplement for a week or two and then given up. My mom always nagged me to start taking a multivitamin. I would scoff and think it’s a load of crap. In part of taking care of Me this year, I had my general practitioner do a blood test to test for vitamin deficiencies. I highly recommend you get a vitamin deficiency panel done. This can help you more accurately pinpoint any issues, whether mental or physical ailments.
When I got the test done, I’d already started taking supplements, but I could feel in my body that something was a little off. It was the dead of winter and with enough research I figured I had a vitamin D deficiency. Here is a link to symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. Some of these symptoms are very unpleasant and most commonly result in depression. So, if you find yourself feeling a little down in the winter months, this could very possibly be a contributing factor. Sure enough, that was the really significant deficiency that came back on my results. I added a vitamin D supplement to my daily intake and made sure to stand in the limited sunlight that was available during the winter months.
I experiment with a variety of vitamins and supplements that I contribute to improving my quality of life. A year and a half ago, I ate an extremely clean diet. No processed foods or refined grains or sugar. It was a very hard thing to do and ended up consuming my life. Granted, I was still consuming copious amounts of alcohol while “getting healthy”. Everything I learned during that time of clean eating has helped me find a happy medium. I avoid most dyes and additives, to an extent.
The things I learned while living a clean diet surprisingly became useful when choosing the supplements that I would take. I found that certain brands like Nature Made add the toxic Yellow # whatever to many of their capsules. What the hell for?! I don’t get it. I can’t stress enough, ALWAYS READ THE LABELS! The name of a product is no indication of what actually goes in it. I found a multivitamin formulated for women that I really like. You can check it out HERE.
There are some supplements that I take that I probably won’t continue once I finish the bottle. However, here is a list of everything else that I could not live without.
I know this seems like a lot of vitamins, but I just portion them into a weekly pill case once a week. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time, and I feel much better since taking them. In fact, I stopped taking the Sun Theanine, being the skeptic that I am. About two weeks after taking it, I noticed a significant change in my mood. After analyzing what might be causing this, and trying to wait it out in case it was a monthly thing, I ordered my Sun Theanine and I’m back in business.
What are some supplements you all can’t live without?
Next week, my sister and I will be heading on a week long camping trip to Arizona. I will be able to disconnect, go off the grid, focus on my health and fitness, and connect with nature. Hopefully, I will come back refreshed and relaxed…though, my parents may end up down a daughter with our head butting! But how can we argue when we will be staring at views like this…