I am a 30-something gal living the life in the artsy mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina. I was born and raised in Charlotte, NC, but left there in 1993 and headed for the hills. I went to college, majored in Psychology, and subsequently waited tables in and around Boone, NC for quite a few years. I moved from there to the slightly-bigger-but-still-in-the-mountains town of Asheville. There, I went to school for massage therapy, and thus began my current obsession with health and wellness. I practiced massage full-time for about five years, then realized it wasn’t always going to pay the bills, so decided to return to school for a graduate degree in Counseling. I figured I might as well get paid to listen to all the things I heard while I had clients on my massage table!
I am now a counselor by day, but my real passion is healthy living. In addition to my wholistic health background and knowledge, I have poured over fitness, food, and health articles and information for years. These things have shaped the way I live and have inspired me to pursue a healthy lifestyle of my own. I started running in 2001 and have run the Cooper River Bridge Run almost every year since – short, sweet, and fun! I am an active member of my local YWCA and it has truly changed my life. There, I’m a regular in the indoor cycling classes and weight training. I also started training for a sprint triathlon last year but had to abort mission due to ear issues with swimming. I had ear surgery in February 2011 and have since begun triathlon training again. I plan to complete the MedWest Sprint Triathlon in July 2011.
I have also recently begun experimenting in the kitchen with healthy meals comprised of mostly whole foods and local, farm-to-table-when-possible ingredients. There was a time when I could hardly boil water (my husband will vouch for that!), but now I enjoy reading through cookbooks and other food blogs and trying new things. While still far (far!) from a kitchen pro, I am feeling more and more comfortable. I was a late bloomer, what can I say??
I have always been frustrated and turned off by diets that eliminate anything – be it a specific food or food category. Similarly, I have never agreed with any diet that suggests eating or drinking one thing for long periods of time (uh, cayenne and lemonade fast? really??). I am a HUGE proponent of “anything in moderation is OK”, as long as you’re balancing things out. I think it’s fine to eat, for example, avocados (OK, maybe I need to work on the “moderation” part with those! love them.), but try not to eat a whole one every day (a serving size is 1/4 of an avocado). Pay attention to portions, and you can eat almost anything within reason. Same goes for dessert, fast food (I really try not to eat fast food unless it’s an absolute food emergency), and alcohol. Occasionally is fine. No need to say never. It just ends up making your body crave whatever it is more, then you will inevitably over-do it. It’s all about balanced, smart choices; not depriving yourself.
So I live in the mountains, and have for almost exactly half of my life (I’ll let you math people use that information to calculate my age). It has shaped who I am in so many ways. Specifically, the town of Asheville is so full of creative, artsy, health-conscious people and restaurants that it makes it easy to live this lifestyle. I will be sharing many local eateries among other Asheville treasures. I also try to incorporate some of the local activities into my exercise routine when possible. I love love love to hike, the more strenuous the better. Nothing like the reward of a killer view at the top of a butt-kicking, sweat-inducing haul up a hill! Also, thanks to my gym, I have become an avid indoor cyclist, inspiring me to take it to the streets last fall. There is no better way to experience the backroads (and hills!) of rural Appalachia than on a bike. You forget you’re exercising when surrounded by such beauty.
While not a parent to children of the two-legged variety, I am an animal lover and always at least have a couple of the four-legged variety around. My current dependents are Sadie Mae, a Carolina Porch Hound (read: mutt of unknown origin, though we have some guesses), and Corrina, some kind of wolf and who-knows-what-else mix. Their cuteness will no doubt make occasional appearances in my blog. However, another important implication of the word “Mama” in my title is that of age. In my blog-reading pursuits, I have found a plethora of healthy living blogs, but they are mostly maintained by people younger than me. While there is *nothing* wrong with that, I saw an untapped niche. It’s still possible to be fit and healthy well into your 30s and beyond. Here’s to health and fitness, forever – it’s a lifestyle, not a momentary experiment.