Wright Mountain

My husband and I set a goal to hike all 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks. I suggested we start with the “easy” hikes and work our way up, but after hiking Wright over the weekend, I’m not sure that’s the best method.

We hiked Cascade last summer which is supposed to be the easiest high peak and let me tell you, I struggled. I work out regularly and I had a hard time going up the mountain. Cascade was extremely steep the entire way up and there were times I thought I was having an asthma attack. We stopped a lot to catch our breath and eat some Cliff Bars. It was definitely worth it in the end with the views, but my point is, what is considered “easy” doesn’t always mean that is true.

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Kyle and I at the top of Cascade Summer 2014

Wright mountain is also considered one of the easier high peaks, although harder than Cascade. These assumptions are based off of how high the mountains are, how long (mileage roundtrip), and the terrain. I have to say, Wright was definitely a challenge at the end, but for most of the hike I thought it was easier than Cascade. I was definitely out of breath and it was more like rock climbing up a mountain since there were soooo many rocks, but it was a more gradual ascent.

The last 30-45 minutes of climbing was absolutely brutal. It was like climbing a ladder on rocks all the way to the peak. The rocks were completely vertical and I was on my hands and knees for the last quarter of the way up. It was challenging and I am so thankful there was a group of us so we could help each other find ways to get up the mountain.

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I was below Kyle looking up at him to take the picture…just to give you an idea of how steep and rocky the trail is
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My friend Katie climbing up the side of a rock like a ladder

It is exhilarating to climb and get to the summit of one of the biggest mountains in NYS. The views were breathtaking. Something else that’s cool about Wright is there are pieces of plane on the summit from a plane crash in 1962. Of course my phone died before I could get pictures of that, but it’s pretty neat to search the summit for the pieces.

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We got really lucky on the day we climbed because Wright is supposed to be really windy at the top, but there was hardly any wind. The temperature dropped about 20 degrees and mixed with our sweaty selves we were pretty cold up top in the middle of the summer, but we know enough to bring zip ups for the top.

Something else that’s cool about hiking Wright is there is a waterfall about 1-2 miles in. A lot of people stop to take pictures and dunk their heads in the cool water!

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Most people also hike Algonquin and Iroquois since the mountains are so close together, but there was 6 of us and we wanted to get back into Lake Placid to hang out for the day.

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Again, the hike was not easy by any means…it was extremely challenging at the end, but the beginning of the trail was definitely doable. It took us 5.5 hours round trip and that was with stops along the way and hanging out at the summit for 30-45 minutes AND we burned over 2500 calories!! Awesome work out! I’d hike any day rather than go to the gym!

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Hiking Kane Mountain — Caroga, NY

View from the top of the fire tower on Kane Mountain, Caroga, NY
View from the top of the fire tower on Kane Mountain, Caroga, NY

My husband and I are avid hikers. He got me into hiking about six years ago when we started dating and I fell in love. Kyle went to college in Potsdam, NY which is in the heart of the Adirondacks. He climbed a bunch of the 46 high peaks (the 46 highest mountains in New York) including Mt. Marcy, the tallest and most strenuous mountain in NYS so he has a lot of experience.

I haven’t done a high peak since last summer and we are heading up to Lake Placid, NY (near Keene Valley which is where almost all 46 high peaks are located) in a couple of weeks to knock down two more high peaks. Since these hikes tend to be rigorous and demanding on the body, we decided to hike a small mountain to prep ourselves.

We live very close to Caroga, NY which is the home to a couple of smaller mountains including Kane Mountain. The reason why this mountain enticed us was because of the fire tower at the top. Unfortunately the picture of the tower didn’t come out well, the view was amazing!

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We decided to take our dog Brady with us because he loves the outdoors! Our awesome dog back pack came in handy since Brady is very small and gets tired very quickly.

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Although this was only a 1.2 mile hike and considered fairly small when compared to other NYS mountains, I definitely worked up a sweat. There were several steep areas and we kept a steady pace. It took us about 40 minutes to get to the top, but that was with stopping so Brady could pee on every tree and plant he saw. It took us 1:12:00 round trip and I burned 504 calories! Not a bad way to start the morning off!

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A lot of people ask what we eat and drink to stay hydrated. Typically when we hike one of the high peaks or a larger mountain in general and it takes hours to climb and descent, we pack a lot. I like to start the morning off with some Shakeology since it gives me a ton of energy and keeps me full for the first hour or so. Our other favorites are the Chocolate Chip Cliff Bars, bananas, oranges, deli meat and cheese roll ups, dried fruit, water, and/or Powerade.

The descent down is always more enjoyable for me because it isn’t as tough, but it is Kyle’s least favorite part. It really does a number on your knees. When you are climbing down steep parts of the mountain it takes a lot of leg control to keep yourself from falling forward. I can already feel the soreness in my legs!!

All in all I would say this is a moderate and short hike. It is perfect for someone who is just starting out or someone like me that needs a prep course before a larger mountain. We are hoping to hike Prospect Mountain in Lake George, NY next week so stay tuned!

Top 6 Tips for Weight Loss

There are so many different “rules” and “regulations” when it comes to weight loss, sometimes it is hard to figure out what you actually need to do to lose some weight!

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These are 6 basic steps that will help you shed those extra pounds…

  1. Drink water and stay hydrated! You should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking at least 75 ounces of water each day. Water helps your skin, hair, metabolism, digestion, bloating, and keeping you full. Did you know that when you feel hungry, sometimes you are just thirsty, but your body confuses the two? Water. Water. Water!
  2. Eat protein at every meal. Protein helps the body build and re-build muscle which is super important, especially if you exercise on a regular basis. Protein also helps you feel, and stay, full which decreases your chances of snacking on sugar in between meals. There are a ton of protein filled food to keep you going throughout the day such as eggs, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, peanut butter, beef, fish, and chicken just to name a few. If you are one of those people that eat protein bars like it’s your job, stop! A lot of protein bars on the market are filled with high fructose corn syrup and sugar. One good protein bar, such as Quest Bars, is sufficient each day…not 10!
  3. MOVE. Each and every day make sure you are being active in some shape or form. If the gym isn’t your thing, take a 45-60 minute power walk. Maybe you like the gym…switch it up each day….do some cardio on the elliptical, treadmill, or stairs. Make sure you get some weight training in there too. The more muscle you have, the more calories and fat your body burns. Don’t over do it though. Work out hard 3-4 days and then spend the other days doing something such as walking, bike riding, hiking, etc.
  4. Eat breakfast! So many people skip the most important meal of the day. Your body needs fuel in the morning since it was just dormant all night long. Not only does eating in the morning get you going for the day, but it boosts your metabolism and decreases the urge to snack and eat unhealthy foods during the day.
  5. Eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day. This will also keep you full. Do you see a pattern here? If you feel full on healthy foods, you won’t eat junk food or have a sugar crash. For example, for breakfast you can make yourself a veggie omelette, then snack on some yogurt and fruit, have a nice salad with some type of meat or fish, snack on a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter, and have a nice dinner with another source of protein, vegetables, and a good carb/starch such as a sweet potato.
  6. Stay away from processed foods! Foods that have more than 4-5 ingredients in them are a big N-O. Think about what our ancestors from years and years ago ate. There were no factories over producing food with additives and dyes. People ate what was found off the land. That should be your way of thinking. Always check to see how many ingredients there are, and if it comes wrapped in a package from a factor, it is most likely terrible for you. Processed foods are filled with unwanted and unnecessary toxins and additives that your body doesn’t digest….they just stay in your system and hinder weight loss. A good rule of thumb is if you can catch/hunt it, plant it, or it has less than 5 ingredients, you are good to go!

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The Girl on the Train

Lately, everyone I’ve seen is carrying around this book! I have been traveling a lot this summer and airports, resorts, and beach goers have this book in hand or their nose in deep.

This is a thrilling novel that kept me reading page after page. A web of affairs, lies, and hatred left me guessing and wondering throughout the entire book from start to end.

The first 50 pages or so talks a lot about the main character, Rachel, and her commute back and forth to “work” every day. I had no idea what Paula Hawkins was setting me up for. The plot begins to twist and thicken and before you know it, there is a ghastly murder and Rachel is determined to figure out who the murderer is.

In the process, she gets herself in a big mess with strangers, cops, and people that once loved her. Her drinking and disheveled life leads people to dismiss anything Rachel says, but little do they know how valuable her input and information is.

While reading, I was filled with curiosity, anxiety, and fear….those are all good things though, right?! Especially when reading a book! I could not put this down and ended up finishing it in 2 days.

Do yourself a favor and read this before the summer ends!

Has anyone else read this? Thoughts?

Healthy Camping Meal–Chicken Foil Packets

I’ve been trying really hard to work out and eat as healthy as possible this summer which can be difficult with all of the vacations I’ve been taking. I went camping over the weekend and wanted to watch what I was eating at least a little bit and needed a meal that would be easy to cook on our portable grill.

I included 3 staple nutrients….protein, carb/starch, vegetables. These were extremely easy to make and everyone loved them!

Ingredients:

  • BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • Chicken (1 piece for each person)
  • Red Potatoes (1-2 per person depending on the size)
  • Onions (I cut up 2 for 6 ppl)
  • Peppers (I cut up 2 for 6 ppl)
  • Seasoning of you choice (I used salt, pepper, and garlic powder)

**If you are following the 21 Day Fix Meal Plan, measure out the ingredients for red (protein), green (vegetables), and carbs/starches (yellow).**

To make the process easier, I chopped everything up beforehand and laid out 6 square pieces of tin foil on my countertop.

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I started by putting about 1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce in the center of each foil and then put 1 piece of chicken on top of the sauce and added more sauce on top of the chicken.

Then, I put a good sized handful of potatoes on top of the chicken. I didn’t measure out how much of the potatoes, onions, and peppers went in each foil. I just eyed them and tried to make each foil packet even.

After the potatoes I then put the onions and then peppers on top.

I sprinkled salt, pepper, and garlic powder all over the ingredients and then closed the foil packets up as tightly as I could.

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Because there is raw meat involved, make sure you keep these refrigerated until it is time to cook.

Once the packets are tightly sealed, there is no more work to be done…you can put the packets right on top of your grill, in the oven, or over a fire (the fire put on our site didn’t have a grill  to put food on so we used our portable grill).

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Surprisingly it only took about 10-15 minutes for this meal to be completely cooked. It was awesome to not have to do any food prep and just put them on the grill after setting up camp. The chicken was extremely moist and everything tasted so awesome!!!!

My husband and father-in-law wanted to add some cheese to theirs so right before I took the packets off of the grill I sprinkled cheddar cheese on top. It looked delicious!!!

Everyone enjoyed this easy and healthy meal so I’ll definitely be cooking this again!

Thoughts on Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

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I’ve read three Gillian Flynn novels thus far: Gone Girl, Sharp Objects, and Dark Places. I finish Dark Places late last night and definitely could not go to sleep based on what happened at the end of the novel. While I was up, I thought a lot about her three books and decided that Gone Girl is my favorite, Sharp Objects comes in close as my second favorite, and Dark Places is my least favorite.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Dark Places, but there were times where I skimmed over some pages because I thought they were too drawn out or getting a little chatty (know what I mean?) I didn’t feel like that at all with the other two books. Not to mention, this story line was GRUESOME. It creeped me right out!

Libby Day is the only survivor of a mass murder that occurred when she was 7-years-old. She was able to escape out a window while her two younger sisters and mother were brutally killed in the middle of the night. Her brother Ben was the only real suspect and was put behind bars due to Libby’s testimony claiming she saw Ben kill her family. This is a lie.

The novel places Libby being 30’ish years old where she meets a young guy in his early 20s named Lyle. Lyle is part of some bizarre Kill Club where famous murders are studied….Libby’s family being one of them. Lyle and his group members are convinced that Ben is NOT the murderer after studying the case for years. They begin to intrigue Libby with new evidence and cause her to think back on that fearful night. She realizes she didn’t actually see anything and that the lawyers pressured her into saying she saw Ben kill.

As the novel progresses, Libby goes to the end of the earth to find answers and closure about what happened to her poor family. She herself is caught in some dangerous and life threatening situations and learns more than she wants too.

Rumors about satanic worship, molestation, and desperation come to light and it is almost too much for Libby to handle…

This is definitely a book to read, especially if you have read other Flynn novels!

Has anyone read this? What did you think compared to the other novels?

A New Way to Use Chocolate Shakeology

I am always looking for new recipes for Shakeology whether it be for an actual shake or energy/protein balls. I like to experiment quite a bit with food, so during my last round of the 21 Day Fix I decided to mix my chocolate Shakeology and greek yogurt. IT IS AMAZING.

When I first mixed the two, it didn’t look like it would come out okay because it seemed as though there was way too much chocolate Shakeology and not enough of yogurt. I measured one of my red containers from the 21 Day Fix (protein container) for the yogurt. I kept mixing the two together though and what do you know? It turned into a chocolate pudding/mousse mixture. I added some raspberries (in this picture those were all I had left in my fridge…not even enough to fill 1/2 of a purple container).

This is the BEST creation…you can add any fruit, nut, etc. It is like eating dessert…but it is extremely healthy!! If you are following the 21 Day Fix this would count as 2 reds, and 1/2 or 1 purple (depending on how much fruit you decide to add).

I have a hard time fitting in all of the protein needed for the day (4 servings of the red containers) so this is ideal for me since it takes care of 2 of the 4 servings I need. Then, I eat a protein for lunch and 1 for dinner and I am all set.

You might ask why I don’t just put all of these ingredients in the blender to make a shake. Well, I do that too, but this has a completely different texture and taste for me. You’ll have to try it out to see for yourself!

If you are wondering what Shakeology is or the 21 Day Fix, check out my “Shakeology” and “21 Day Fix” pages at the top of my home page!

Do you have any unique recipes using Shakeology?