City Java smoothies by Ken Hawkins, on flickr

 

This is not a post about hiking.

You’d think I’d do a heck of a lot of hiking wouldn’t you (you know, being a hiking blogger and all)? But in recent times, not so much.

We obviously get out for some short hikes with the kids, and I’ve done a few day hikes that haven’t made it onto the blog yet. But I haven’t done anything more than a day-hike in over 18 months.

For this I am sorry, my awesome readers.

You’re here, so you can tell it’s not that my interest in hiking has waned. I’m writing this blog post to explain.

It’s been a big 16 months. I’ve gone from living in a share-house and having lots of time on my hands, to living with (and learning to be a step-dad to) two young children. Not to mention that I’ve researched and co-authored a book in that time as well. Life has been hectic, and finding my groove has proved a major challenge.

Diet and exercise used to be one of my highest priorities. I could easily go for a run after work, then spend 3 hours in the kitchen preparing a well-balanced vegetarian feast to get me through the next couple of days. I’d even fit in a couple of hours of freelance work or blogging after that. On the weekends I’d socialise and hike, then still manage to get some more work in. I had no idea just how much that would change when I became a step-dad.

The kidlets and I bonded even more quickly than I could’ve hoped for. We almost instantly felt like a family. We grew closer by the day and, of course, they became my first priority. All the while, diet, exercise, sleep, and finding time and energy to go for a hike were sliding steeply down life’s mountainous priority list. It wasn’t long before my energy levels reached an all-time low.

But I’m slowly getting the hang of things. Finding the rhythm of the day-to-day and finding ways to plan for and fit in time for self-care. Food was an obvious place to start, since it’s fuel for everything else. I couldn’t keep up the care that I was putting into my vegetarian diet, so I went back to meat. Past Neil would kill me for saying this, but it’s made a huge difference to energy levels and allowed me to put a bit less time into planning my diet. I’m no nutritionist but I think the next most effective change I’ve made has been adding juices and breakfast smoothies to my routine. What could be easier than just throwing everything into a blender or juicer? With the right ingredients they can pack a nutritional punch, and they’re quick and easy to make and consume. Best of all, they’re delicious.

I’m getting there. Slowly. If I keep at it, I might even manage to get away for an overnight hike before the cold weather sets in again. I owe it to you guys, and I owe it to myself.

 

This post was brought to you by Bushwalking Blog and Vitality 4 Life. It might be worth checking out Vitality 4 Life’s juicers if you’re thinking I might be onto something with the whole juice and smoothie thing.