Nutrition and Wellness

The Best Foods, Digestion Aids, Supplementation and Lifestyle Management Plans for Optimal Wellness

Making Healthy Living a Lifestyle!

What a great year already … just a week into the New Year and it is awesome!
Healthy Lifestyle ... mproving Helth, Improcing LivesI  expect this to be an indication of the rest of the year.  My healthy lifestyle continues to pay great dividends for me in a BIG way.  I ended 2016 on a very positive note, and couldn’t imagine how wonderful 2017 is kicking off!

A brief recap of my 2016 end of the year, and a view of some of my scheduled January 2017 healthy lifestyle activities:  

In November 2016 I represented AARP and was awarded a Positive Aging Image Award by the Georgia Institute on Aging / Leading Age program, simply because of the way I live my life!  Can you even imagine?!  I was in great company, with Ambassador Andrew Young receiving the Icon in Positive Aging Award. November was also the month I completed the Atlanta Track Club Triple Peach Road Races.  I finished the last of the races, the Half-Marathon on Thanksgiving Day. My first time ever doing a half-marathon.  The other two races in the Triple Peach were the 10k Road Race on July 4th, and the 10-Miler on October 23rd.

In December 2016 participated in the Florida State Senior Games in Race Walking and the Cycling Time Trials.  My goal was to qualify for each of those events so I could participate in the 2017 National Senior Games to be held in Birmingham, AL in June.  Florida was the last qualifying location for the year. I received a Bronze medal in each event. This was my first time competing in either of these sports.

On January 1st – New Year’s Day I did the Atlanta Track Club Resolution Run/Walk … in the rain, no doubt!  There were more than 2,500 participants.  It was mostly wet, a light drizzle, and the temperature was in the 40’s. But, I was determined!

On January 2, 2017 this wonderful article, written by Laura Berrios,  How City Girl Became All About Urging Seniors to Have Fun Outdoors was published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper, the only major daily newspaper in metro Atlanta.

On January 4th, as a result of the article, I was interviewed by Lin Tatum, host of the hour-long show radio Better Living, which airs in metro Atlanta GA, New Orleans LA, and Phoenix AZ on Saturdays and Sundays.

On January 7th, I checked my steps, to see how many I had logged since I had my Garmin Multisport Smartwatch.  This was the one year anniversary of having the watch.  I had clocked more than 3.5 million steps, equivalent to more than 1,500 miles … whew!  I had no idea!  I was just enjoying my walks and how great they made me feel. Plus, on my walks at the park in my neighborhood, I made new friends who walked the trail regularly.

On January 16th, I was summoned to have a team for the Martin Luther King, Jr., 5k Drum Run/Walk, at Piedmont Park in Atlanta.  Click here to join the team.  Yay!  People are signing up! BTW, I walk … I am not a runner!

On January 21st, I plan to participate in the Atlanta Track Club Peachtree City 8k/15k.  I plan to do the 8k which is approximately 5 miles.  This event is a part of the 2017 Grand Prix Series presented by Piedmont Healthcare, which includes 11 different run/walks around metro Atlanta. I will do as many as I can.

On January 22nd, I am scheduled to participate in the Hot Chocolate 15k Run/Walk. At the time I signed up last year it was before I knew about the Grand Prix, and definitely did not realize they had events just a day apart.  The plan is to do them both.

On January 28th, I have signed up to attend the Southern Snow Seekers One-Day Cataloochee Ski trip.  It is for beginners (that’s me!) and families.  I will probably just be an observer to see it I want to try this ski think again.  Many, many years ago I was a member of the Jim Dandy Ski Club in Detroit.  I went on a ski trip with them, but could not make it off the bunny hill.  I will observe on this trip and see if I will be ready for next year.

I say that to say … we will see how this Healthy Lifestyle thing is working for this 68 year old!  Quite frankly, I expect it is working well.  However, I do know my limitations. I am very happy with my quest to meet my personal mind, body, spiritual and emotional wellbeing needs. I am on track (pun intended) with my own self-directed Healthy Lifestyle Coaching.

Mindful Meditation is one of the things I practice to help keep me focused and boy has it worked for me.  When I reviewed my list of projected goals at the beginning of 2016 and compared them to my 2016 accomplishments, I was right on target.  Actually I surpassed many of my goals as a result of being able to stay focused throughout the year.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I did not venture off track, but, I was able to get back on track a lot more easily my practicing mindful meditation.

Walking was my primary physical activity for the year. Being gifted with a Garmin Multi-sport Smartwatch, which prior to receiving the gift, had convinced myself I didn’t really need one, ended up being the best gift ever.  It really kept me on track!  I had it set to regulate itself as I met, or fell short of my daily steps goals. I was able to track my heart rate and my sleeping patterns.  It was very eye-opening to track my activities without having to think about what I was doing and then to see the results.

dsc_2574My spiritual and emotional wellbeing are strengthened with my hikes in the woods, my positive thoughts, conversations with, and support  from friends, and my feelings of oneness with God.  I am able to see the bright side of most things.  Practicing ‘positivity’ helped remove or, at the very least, limit my relationships with people who have negative energy.

As I have moved forward into 2017, I can clearly see how my actions have become healthy habits which are now incorporated into my lifestyle. I had to determine my true level of self-commitment and how I saw myself in the big picture … my dreams.  It is never too late to have big dreams and to follow them.  One of the best benefits of following my dreams led me to discover my passion and my life purpose.   As a result, I have  surpassed many of my goals and had accomplishments far beyond my dreams.  Guess I wasn’t dreaming big enough!  I have discovered when you actually believe and walk your talk, you really can achieve your dreams.  I absolutely love my Healthy Lifestyle Coaching.  Not only is it self-fulfilling, it is so gratifying to see how I am able to help others live their best life.

I have been encouraged to share my Healthy Lifestyle Blueprint on a larger scale because many more people can benefit from them.  Because I so love the coaching I do, the results that I see, and the reassurance I get from others,  I will have a FREE online video conference to cover the basics of making healthy living a lifestyle to help those who are ready to change their routine 2017 and live their best life ever! This has been brewing for some time now and is the primary reason I am currently in the process of writing my first book, The Joy of Aging.  I have started The Joy of Aging Community group.  Feel free o visit it and post your joys of aging. We can have joy, no matter the age. Being in good health makes it all that much easier to have a quality of life that automatically results in a life filled with happiness.  We can learn how to fine tune our lives and orchestrate it to have harmony as any great symphony orchestra when all the instruments are in place.  I am here to be your conductor and help you create the best music for you to love, laugh and dance to like no one is watching!

If you are interested in joining this FREE online video conference coaching session, please RSVP here.  The space is limited.

Please feel free to visit my website at anytime to signup for my monthly online newsletters or any of the groups for fun activities, including the upcoming Spring into Life Retreat April 21 – 23, 2017.

Categories: Health Coach, Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness, Other Outdoor Adventures, The Basics | 1 Comment

Happy Healthy Holidays!

happy_holidays

Hope you are enjoying this wonderful time of the year … a time for family and friends!  I am so full of peace, love, happiness and gratification, that I am trying my hand at poetry, again … hope you enjoy it:

My wish for you during this joyous holiday season and after
Is that your life is filled with friends, family,
shared love and laughter
You are a wonderful person who plays a meaningful part
As you inspire others with encouragement and support
that I’m sure truly warms their heart,
I want to let you know that because you are so special
to many in so many ways,
I want to personally take this time to wish you Happy Holidays!

I am going to share with you 3 concepts I use as I move into the New Year. I hope they will be as helpful for you as they have been for me:

  1. It is a time of reflection, to review the goals and  aspirations you had for this year, relish in all of your accomplishments, of which I am sure there are many more than you realize.  All the small accomplishments count too!
  2. Let them go … revise or revoke those goals that were not attained, for whatever reason.  Reconsider or rewrite them so they will better fit into the next chapter (2017) in your book of life; and
  3. Be ready for a renewal of your mind and rejuvenation of your soul like never before.  Make a personal commitment to ‘Change Your Routine in 2017’ and be ready to savor all the spices that will be sprinkled in your life to season it to  perfection … Your life is your own extraordinary gourmet recipe for you to add all the ingredients that allow you to indulge the delectable flavors of your life experiences and satiate your palate!
I am sure if you take the time to connect the dots in your life backwards, as the late Steve Jobs of Apple once said, you will be able to delineate how you arrived to where you are, this very moment.  It is up to you to choose to change your path, or stay on the one that you are currently on, with maybe some tweaks to make it an even greater journey for next year.
I am so very happy to be enjoying my best life right now and believing that it will only get better!  Why not start a little early and take a sneak preview of what may lie ahead … although we never know what the future holds, we have our dreams that keep us in pursuit.  Join me as I am already looking forward and preparing myself to live my dreams  next year, of which  I expect it to be yet another phenomenal year, beyond my imagination!  I am so excited about the possibilities and propose that you too, get excited about your future.  I believe, if it is to be … it is up to me!

I am truly living my life to the fullest! And, I encourage you to do the same.  My primary mission is to spread joy to everyone with whom I come in contact, in person, via the Internet, telephone or video.  If you are or will be in the Atlanta area, consider coming out to meet and greet me and the many others in my network who will join us at our Annual Holiday Champagne Meet & Greet / Mix & Mingle Brunch.  Come and share in the fun, frolic and delicious food along with our unconditional love and holiday hugs.  See old friends, meet and make new friends. And, join us for our Holiday Toast, of which you can add your own toast, if you so choose.  Click here for the details and to RSVP

Recently, I have been summoned and encouraged, particularly during this time as I am being recognized for my lifestyle, simply for the way I  live my life, to better promote my successful Healthy Lifestyle Coaching sessions, and my Valuable Tips & Techniques to make Healthy Living a Lifestyle. Because I love what I do and the results not only show in my life, but also the lives of others with whom I coach, I am offering for the first time ever, a Special 2 for 1 Healthy Lifestyle Coaching Series to help you accomplish your New Year’s Healthy Lifestyle goals and put you in the 8% of those who actually maintain their resolutions throughout the year. If you are interested in more information and/or want to sign up, visit my web site at  or send me an email.

We will have our Annual December Hike at Stone Mountain on Saturday, December 3.  Click here for more information and to RSVP.  We will also have our Annual Fun & Fitness Hike on January 7, 2017 at Red Top Mountain. I will include a link for that one in my next post.

May you be blessed, and continue to bless others. carolyn-hartfield-cropped

And, as always…I wish you optimal health, happiness and harmonious living!

carolynsig

Categories: Health Coach, Lifestyle Management, The Basics | Leave a comment

Health Literacy … Your Responsibility – Your Health – Your Life!

Did you know only 12 percent of adults have Proficient Health Literacy, according to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy. 
Healthy Lifestyle ... mproving Helth, Improcing Lives
In other words, nearly nine out of ten adults may lack the skills needed to manage their health and prevent disease.  Fourteen percent of adults (30 million people) have Below Basic Health Literacy.  These adults were more likely to report their health as poor (42 percent) and are more likely to lack health insurance (28 percent) than adults with Proficient Health Literacy.People with limited Health Literacy often lack knowledge or have misinformation about the body as well as the nature and causes of disease. Without this knowledge, they may not understand the relationship between lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise and various health outcomes.

October is National Health Literacy Month. As a trained Health Literacy Coach through a program at the University of Georgia, and a certified Health Coach through a program at Emory University, I encourage you to use October to learn some Health Literacy Basics and improve upon your current knowledge.  We all know there is always room for improvement!

When I reached the great age of 65, I started going for my Medicare Annual Wellness visit around my birthday, which was in September.  To my dismay, the doctor I had been seeing, Dr. Jennifer Moncrief, whom I loved,  had left Emory and I had to see a new doctor.  The short of the long is, as we were reviewing my health status, of which I will report, was excellent, we were talking about weight and BMI, he admitted to me, without me asking, he was out of shape, which of course was obvious.  My previous doctor was in great shape.  Also, he seemed rather taken aback, though very polite, at the level of my questions, knowledge and responses.  While I left the appointment feeling exceptionally well, I was a bit disappointed with him.  I think I will seek a new doctor.  Someone more engaging and someone I can feel comfortable with who walks the talk of health.

I don’t know about you, but if someone is going to give me some advice, I want it to be obvious that they walk the talk of whatever it is they are departing to me.  That is a high priority and level of credibility for me.  And because that is a way of life for me to my very pleasant surprise, I will be a celebrated at living gallery of Georgia’s elders engaged in positive aging, by the LeadingAge Georgia / Georgia Institute on Aging ‘Profiles of Positive Aging Image Awards Gala in November at the Atlanta History Center.  Please cllick here for more information and of course to purchase tickets and come out and support me and the others.  Ambassador Andrew Young is the featured Icon Speaker!

As a result the focus for this month, I put together the following three valuable tips I feel confident will help you with your health literacy, and know that they continue to work for me.  Please review them and know that the talk I walk is based on my personal experiences, training and my research.  I feel very confident with what I share.  I know that because I have improved my health literacy and assured myself of optimum health!  I want you to know that, no matter your age, it is possible to improve and live your best life, as a very good friend of mine always tells me … I live life like it is golden!

Following are the three valuable tips I want to share with you and encourage you to consider incorporating them into your lifestyle during Health Literacy month.  If you start the first of October, you have more than 21 days, which is what they say is the length of time to make a them automatic, and turn them into healthy habits.

  1. Determine what Preventive Measures and Services, i.e., improved diet, physical activity, annual health screenings, etc., are best for you to improve your current health status.
  2. Become knowledgeable about your medical conditions and treatment so you can manage them effectively. Commit to do your own research and develop questions to ask your health professional to help you better understand your condition, the medications you are taking and any associated side effects.
  3. Develop a short-term, practical action plan that you can incorporate into your daily routine, i.e., walking more, drinking more water, making healthier food choices, etc.; and the long-term results you want to achieve. Keep a written log of your progress.

The goal is to have them become an integral part of your lifestyle where you don’t have to think about them, you just do them!  As someone who continues to work on improving my healthy lifestyle habits, at ageCarolyn Hartfield68, they have proven to have me living my best life … now!  Join me!

Please feel free to share your thoughts, experiences and comments.

 

Categories: Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness | Leave a comment

My Metamorphosis…

METAMORPHOSIS{Project Self Discovery}Metamorphosis-Butterfly

I have been on hiatus from my blog, going through a real self-discovery.  I am now much more focused on my mission in life, who I am, and what I was put on this earth to do.  As great as life continues to be for me, I knew it was time to readjust.  What is so absolutely amazing, is that as I have been in, and quite frankly, continue to be in the process…just when I was thinking life couldn’t get much better…it did!

Since becoming an official senior citizen in 2013 when I turned 65 and had a phenomenal year, 2014 was quite different, but even better.  Then here is 2015, and just in the month of January, if this is any indication of the rest of the year, all I can do is be in the moment and savor in the splendor!!!

In actuality, as I review the past 14 years since I relocated to Atlanta, relentlessly determined to follow my dreams, going places and doing things where many people over the age of 50 would never consider, I broke traditions to pursue my almost lost dream, but would soon discover a passion I did not know was in me. With the formation of my Lifestyle Management LLC company, the development of my online newsletter, my Hartfield’s Hikers, and my Meetup groups, people have come to join me in my quest for a healthier mind, body and spirit.  Little did I know, at the time, how this pursuit would literally change my life, and the lives of others.

What is so amazing, with all the changes that have already occurred, the transformation process continues as I attend Emory University to become a Healthy Lifestyle Coach so I can expand key areas in my life and be in a better position to help others.  2015 is leading me to reach out to my original target audience, baby boomers…those men and women over the age of 50, and although I wrote and spoke it, I had not aggressively moved in the direction of inter-generational activities.  Well, it has pretty much been dropped in my lap. Some new programs that I will be exploring by Spring of this year.  More on those later.

In the meantime, all in the month of January 2015, I have been featured on CNN’s AccentHealth Network, WATC-TV Atlanta Live, That’s My Biz-TV Internet show, launched my redesigned web site, which I actually did myself, received an invitation to join the board of the American Hiking Society, invited to start senior hiking groups at local recreation centers, and spearheading hiking expeditions for teenage girls, and I have started my Voice Over Talent lessons. Mind you…all this among my regular stuff…in January!

The moral of my story…it is never too late to discover your passion and pursue your dreams!  Expect to hear from me more regularly.

Travel-VariosLiving Life to the Fullest!!!

 

Categories: Fitness, Health Coach, Hiking, Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness, Other Outdoor Adventures, Outdoor Adventures | 2 Comments

Life Truly Gets Better with Age!

Carolyn in Tree at Grand CanyonIt is absolutely unbelievable how much I am enjoying this new status of mine…Senior Citizen!  In my last blog, I mentioned the great doctor’s visit I had, my first as a senior citizen, and using my new Medicare card.  Well, it is even better than what I stated.

I just received in the mail the results of the lab tests that were run…a total of 36.  I have to admit, I have no idea what some of this stuff is, but I am in the process of looking them up.  The great news is, 35 out of 36 were well within the Normal Range.  The only one that differed was my total cholesterol, which was ‘slightly elevated’ as stated in the remarks from the doctor.

Of the 36 lab results, I had some familiarity with only 13.  The ones I recognize are: Sodium Level; Potassium Level; Chloride Level; Carbon Dioxide Level; Glucose; Protein Total; Calcium Level; Cholesterol Level Total; HDL Cholesterol; LDL Cholesterol; White Blood Count; Red Blood Cell Count; and Hemoglobin.  Nonetheless, I am elated that all are within normal range, without any medications or drugs, prescribed or over-the-counter.

So, in my effort to have 36 out of 36 Normal Range Lab Results, this morning, I added Chia Seeds to my bowl of oatmeal, after my workout.  By the time I go back to the doctor, I expect it to be within the normal range.  I must admit, knowingly I have been eating things I know I should have avoided, but the human craving, and just plan greediness got the best of me.  But, I am now back on track.  This is just another confirmation for me, the importance of a good diet and physical activity.  This life is truly stupendous!  Much better that I ever dreamed…WOW!

It is now confirmed, not just through my word, but from the testing from a medical doctor:  Yes! I am well seasoned, and savoring in the spices of life!!! Life really does get better with age.  I am a living testimony to that fact.

I continue to get positive feedback from my friends and supporters.  While they say I inspire them, they truly inspire me!  I guess that is what is referred to as our ‘Mutual Admiration Society’. So be it, life is great!  This is the month we start the  season with the Thanksgiving holiday.  It is so very appropriate, as I, we give thanks for our truly amazing lives and all the wonderful people with whom we share our experiences.  Thank you to each and every one of you!

Photo: Celebrating my 65th birthday at the Grand Canyon.  Photo credit to Ian Welch.

Categories: Fitness, Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness | 2 Comments

Celebrating Life as a Baby Boomer-Senior Citizen

GroupPhotos7This year, 2013 has proven to be one of the best years of my entire life! 

As a ‘Forever Young’ Baby Boomer, I officially became a ‘senior citizen’ this year, and I have been celebrating all year…with old friends, new friends and anyone who wants to celebrate with me!

This is truly the year my motto has fully manifested, “Living Life to the Fullest!!!” I am so grateful for all the things in which I have been able to participate this year, and all those who help make it possible.

Here are a few of the activities in which I have participated;

  1. My first trip to Belize, Central America
  2. My first experience sailing the high seas in a Catamaran yacht
  3. Snorkeling for the first time
  4. Riding my bicycle more than 40 miles, in one ride
  5. Seeing the New York Broadway Show, Motown the Musical…seeing that I am a Detroit Motown girl!
  6. Touring the Grand Canyon, hiking the Bright Angel Trail, biking the canyon rim, and walking the Sky Walk
  7. Seeing a Moonbow at Cumberland Falls in Kentucky, one of only 5 places it is visible in the Western Hemisphere
  8. Reconnecting with old friends, including friends from my teenage years, and my first boyfriend
  9. Being featured in a local Atlanta area Lifestyle magazine
  10. Being featured in a Life Plus, Informed & Inspired Senior Living TV segment.          And last, but the most significant…
  11. Having my first doctor’s appointment as a ‘senior citizen‘ and being told there was no code for me in the computer system because I was ‘so healthy.’  My vital statistics (blood pressure, weight, BMI, etc.) were great, all without any medications.

I am so happy and content with my life.  I am really inspired by those with whom I share my lifestyle and activities, and they tell me I am their inspiration.  That, I will say is one of the most rewarding and heart-warming accolades I can ever receive.  Most times, I get choked up when I am told how much of an inspiration I am.  To know that I am making a difference in the lives of others while pursuing my passion, and living my life with defined purpose, is what it’s all about  It doesn’t get much better than that.  But, I do expect the best is yet to come!

So, off I am to the next adventure…see ya soon!

Visit my websites to see some of the activities:

Categories: Bicycling, Fitness, Hiking, Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness, Outdoor Adventures, Water Adventures | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrating Life!

I recently celebrated reaching the age of 64!  As a matter of fact, my birthday was on the 5th of September, and I actually started celebrating about 2 weeks prior and continue to celebrate.  I feel I am entitled to celebrate at lTree Climbing at Panola State Parkeast one day for each year, if  I so choose…and I so choose.  That means I will be celebrating at least until November 9th!

Life is so good, I just can’t stop celebrating and being grateful for every day!  Here is what I have been doing so far…beginning about 2-weeks prior to the 5th….Bicycle Riding; Tree Climbing, Hiking Tallulah Gorge, Finishing the Treetop Quest Obstacle Course where I Zip Lined, swung on Tarzan style ropes and crossed on various suspended ‘monkey’ bridges.

While bike riding, we got caught in the rain, it was fun!  It was warm so no big deal.  Right after bike riding, we went over for the tree climbing adventure.  When I was challenged to hang upside down while pretty high in the tree, I thought for sure as I did it, ‘I have lost my mind!’  I have to admit, although I did hang upside down, I held on with one hand, as opposed to no hands.

Leading my Hartfield’s Hikers group at Tallulah Gorge where we crossed the suspension bridge and took the stairs, a total of 1,120, down into the gorge, and back up.  Tallulah Gorge is where, in 1970 Karl Wallenda walked a tightrope 750 feet up, across the gorge.  Well, as I walked tightropes and swinging cable bridges and the like from tree to tree, I thought about the Wallenda’s and could not even begin to imagine how they were able to walk those tightropes, with no support!  It was fun envisioning myself as a Wallenda…hahaha…as I crossed through the treetops.

I am proud to say, I received my certificate of accomplishment from Treetop Quest for completing Level 5…the most difficult obstacle course there.

In the meantime, I continue to work out regularly, and eat fairly healthy.  I am getting back into my 90% organic food choices, and at least 50% raw fruits and vegetables.  I continue to take my all natural, dietary supplements.  Since my birthday, I have stepped up my regular workouts.  Now I am completing 45 minutes as opposed to 30 minutes on the treadmill at 4.5/13:20 minute mile, at a 10.0 incline.  I fluctuate my strength weight routine between 35lbs. and 45lbs.  And, of course my stretches.

I plan to treat myself to a BIG birthday gift…it will obviously be late, but within my 64 day window. Won’t say what it is until I actually have it! Also, been in touch with childhood friends, reconnecting with them is really good.  I plan to travel more in 2013 and visit some of them.

Well, getting back to my birthday celebrations, I vowed that I would meet my challenges head-on and stretch myself to go for feats that I felt were a stimulating test of my abilities.  I would also try many things that I previously knew nothing about…like all this tree climbing I have been doing.  There is absolutely no way i would have ever thought I would be climbing and swinging, high up in trees!

Something else I did as a first for me…I went kayaking and felt comfortable on my first time out, after being shown what to do.  It was one of the most relaxing times ever, being out on the river, which was very calm.   And, I am already getting excited about my 65th celebration, as I plan to take a group to experience the Grand Canyon.  We will hike the Canyon, ride the Canyon railroad train, and explore other adventures while there.  I am sill planing, so more on that later.

Let me not forget to mention my professional speaking engagements.  I have been receiving invitations to speak about health and wellness from a different perspective, they way I do things…having fun, while getting healthier.  My activities are well rounded.  I was at the theatre yesterday to see ‘The King and I’ remembering the late great Yul Brynner as I enjoyed it.

Well, I think I need to come to a close for now.  I hope I have inspired you to try something new and different that may be a stimulating test of your abilities. I am not suggesting you climb trees as I did, but simply try something that will help you get over any fears you may have, or something that challenges your physical abilities.  And, it can even be eating some of those foods that you know are healthier for you but may not taste as ‘good’ as you are accustomed.  Believe me, your taste buds will  change, especially as you start feeling better and becoming more healthy!

Enjoy life and celebrate it everyday…live your life to the fullest!!!

P.S.:  This is September 11th, let us remember those who lost their lives on 9/11/01.  Pray for their families, as I pray for you and your family for lives fulfilled, on purpose. Today reminds me of one of the reasons why I celebrate everyday, because tomorrow is not guaranteed!  Peace…

Categories: Bicycling, Hiking, Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness, Other Outdoor Adventures, Outdoor Adventures, Water Adventures | Leave a comment

Living A Life Rewarded…

I was told by a friend and mentor, “When you help others get what they want, you are helping yourself get what you want.”  With that said, I tell you how my life has truly been rewarded!

First, as a point of clarity, by no means am I advocating helping someone solely for the purpose of reciprocation, but rather, helping from a moral, sincere heart, and you will be rewarded, if only by knowing that you have made a difference in someone’s life.

Now, let me move on with my story…

Here I am, at the time, a 52 year-old city girl who had recently relocated to Atlanta, simply because I was ready for a change in my life.  The short of the long is, I had never been to Atlanta, only knew one person living in Atlanta,  and she was someone with whom I had worked many years before.  We had renewed our friendship to the tune of regular telephone conversations.  During one of our conversations, she said to me, “Carolyn, there is a lot going on in Atlanta, you should be here.” I am sure she really did not expect my response when I said, “okay”.  Within forty-five days, I had packed my belongings, shipped them to her place, and prepared for my first trip to Atlanta, to visit her, 10 days after my things arrived…was I ready for the move or what?!

I had, for many years told myself that I wanted to relocate to a warm weather city.  I had no idea where, when or how, it was just a dream of mine. This apparently was my time and I took advantage of it.  Believing it was truly my time…my opportunity to walk in my faith and take the leap.  I started sending her money before I arrived to help her with some personal issues she was having at the time.  So, when I arrived, my initial reward was not having to pay rent for several months, as I lived out the comparable money I had sent ahead.  I helped her in a time of need, because I could, and she helped me realize a latent dream of moving from my home city and exploring the possibilities of new adventures in a new ‘warm weather’ location.  I loved it!

The day I arrived in my new home city, which was within 30 days following my visit, she had arranged for us to attend Evander Holyfield’s ‘Real Deal’ weekend event at his estate.  That event, and others I was privy to attend with her,  led to my meeting others with whom I networked, and started building my foundation of new acquaintances.  This includes being the Managing Director for a breast cancer organization, which afforded me the opportunity to be caregiver to a couple of ladies, one of whom stayed with me for a while.   Both times were very rewarding experiences, especially knowing that I was able to personally make a difference in their lives during a time of despondency.

Having owned a small health food store chain, I was very much into natural health and wellness.  As a result, I was able to bring a different perspective to the Health Ministry service where I volunteered at the church I had joined. I became certified as a ‘teacher’ and helped coordinate several classes and projects, including one where I produced a journal to help people along in their pursuit, with applicable scripture.  As a result, I was able to touch the lives of hundreds of people in their quest for optimal health and wellness…how rewarding, and it continues as I run into some of them from time to time, and they express the impact it continues to have on their life.

Imagine, doing what I loved…helping people improve their state of health and wellness, and bringing balance to my own, in the areas of mind, body and soul/spirit.  It was an awesome reward!

Then, I was invited to an event featuring renown motivational speaker, Les Brown.  I had put on one of Les’ first speaking engagements in my hometown area many years prior, and was able to renew my friendship with him.  As a result, I became director of his speakers training program and coordinated one of his ‘best ever’, as he said, training conferences. That was a time of growth for me, and I met speakers from around the country.  Here in Atlanta, we hosted his most successful, sellout, Motivational Monday speaker’s showcase event, and produced a CD.

That led me to the introduction, by one of the speakers, to an organization for newcomers to the Atlanta area.  This is the group that introduced me to hiking.  Here I was, about to celebrate my 56th birthday, and as a tradition, I try to do something challenging that I have never done before, so I went on my first hike.  We hiked Blood Mountain in the North Georgia Mountains.   It was one of the most exhilarating things I had ever done in my life…I was hooked…experiencing nature, in the raw, the fresh air, blue skies, it was awesome!

As it turned out, a few years later, the hike leader was unable to continue due to a change in his work schedule.  Sensing my love for hiking, he asked me to take over leading the hikes…wow, what an opportunity!  As I prepared myself for this new venture, I became certified as an Outings Leader through the Sierra Club so I could really understand what was entailed, behind the scenes, as I took on the responsibility of leading people on wilderness trails.  This is where I kicked in my marketing background and grew the attendance to the hikes through my online newsletters…my first official hike included 30 people!  All previous hikes were considered good if 8 to 10 people attended. Henceforth, never having missed a monthly hike for the last three years, plus, every month we have people being introduced to hiking and experiencing the same joy and exhilaration I felt on my first hike.  It is so very rewarding when my hikers tell me how the experience has changed their life, particularly as it relates to their health and peace of mind.  It is comments like that, that are so rewarding to the work I do that motivates me to continue, knowing I am helping men, women and young people to open up to the possibilities of new adventures and experiences in their life.

A couple of the most profound rewards was when  one of the hikers who had been stationed in Afghanistan, returned home and came to one of the hikes, and told everyone how much he appreciated the newsletters and photos, and how they made him feel so connected to us, and inspired.  Another was a public school teacher of 17 years, who was so inspired to explore life’s possibilities after going on several hikes with us that she did not renew her upcoming contract, took a job teaching in Dubai and went zip lining there, that she had been to afraid to do when we went zip lining and horseback riding together, before she left.  She is now enjoying teaching again and living her life to the fullest!!!  I am both honored and humbled to know the work I am doing is having that kind of impact on others.  The feedback is the best reward ever!

There are many other stories that I may share from time to time…but the purpose here is to let you know, when you help others, you are truly helping yourself.  My life is so rich now, I look forward to finding a way to help someone every day, even if it is as simple as finding someone without a smile, and giving them one of mine…I always get it back…a big reward for a small gesture!

Categories: Fitness, Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness, Outdoor Adventures, Triple-A Plans | 1 Comment

The Perfect Balance for a Life Fulfilled!

The last few weeks have been really, really  busy…but through it all, my life just keeps getting better and better!  Without realizing what was going on, when I stopped to reflect on my events of recent weeks, I uncovered one of life’s most rewarding and explicit discoveries to a life fulfilled…perfect balance.  If you are like me, you seek balance in your life…I discovered, if you pursue your passions, perfect balance will be accomplished.

I attended a weekend session to strengthen my business acumen, spent a weekend camping, took a day of hike in the woods, and enjoyed a day at a history museum.  Each event was experienced with a totally different group of people.  As I was basking in the pleasurable experiences and the interesting people whose company I shared, I thought WOW!  Life is great…what can I do to continue to feel so fulfilled…um…that’s when I make the following discovery…perfect balance leads to a life fulfilled!

1.  The weekend SuccessQuest Boot Camp and the people with whom I spent time to hone my business skills, provided mental stimulation, development of solid action steps, and plans for my next moves, resulted in an immediate  implementation process for me.  There were also others with whom I connected, and formed viable business relationships.

2.  The hikes at Raven Cliff and Dukes Creek Falls, and pioneer camping at the Roosevelt State Park experiences were both inter-generational, family friendly events.  They allowed me to get my exercise in a fun and enjoyable environment, take in the great outdoors while engaging in great socialization activities that transcended all generation and gender gaps…grandparents, parents and grandchildren, men, women, boys and girls.  There were father  – son(s), mother – daughter(s), mother – son(s), professionals, unemployed, students, friends and relatives.  These events allowed be to commune with nature, enjoy the tantalizing, yet soothing sounds of nature as I chose to be silent, or in meditation. These events easily accommodated light conversation, as well as conversations that led to a sense of freedom, self-discovery, stress relief, for me and those with home I conversed,  and ultimately resulted in a true sense of unrestrained happiness, peace and harmony.  These were real Wonderful Outings in the Wilderness (WOW!) events.

3.  The visit to the Atlanta History Museum fulfilled a need for cultural events.  I learned a lot about the foundation on which the Atlanta culture was built.  There were displays, artifacts, tours, short films and live performances that depicted real historical figures.  I was with a friend with whom I was able to share my insights and relative connections of the past, to the present.  We ended our time together with a healthy, ethnic meal and stimulating conversation…what a great day!

In the past few weeks, God has shown me that in my quest for a life fulfilled, I just needed to be quite, reflect and realize that I had attained the balance of which I was seeking.  Balance that allows me to share my God given talents with others, as they share theirs with me, and to realize that there is always room for improvement when you have an open mind, and willing to be a student, as well as the teacher, when appropriate; to include family and friends and time in nature to better appreciate and marvel in His creations which brings a renewed peace, love and harmony; and to delve deeper to gain a deeper understanding of those things around me, not to judge, but embrace the differences and learn and grow from them.  With balance in these three (3) areas MIND – BODY – SPIRIT…they are truly all encompassing in many different ways, and are guaranteed to result in perfect balance for a life fulfilled!

I say to you…seek perfect balance in your life…pursue peace, joy and harmony…happiness, unconditional love, and optimal health.  Awaken to new discoveries about your natural talents, your passions, your curiosities.  When was the last time you tried something new, as I did when I went on my first ever hike in the woods at age 56 and discovered I absolutely love being in the outdoors basking in God’s wonders.  Now I help others discover the great outdoors by doing what I love…leading them on regular hikes, camping trips, and other outdoor activities while having fun and staying healthy. Now it is to the tune of  exposing thousands, regularly just through my online Atlanta African American Adventurers, OPALs meetup groups, online newsletters and this blog. I no longer have to look for people with whom to invest my time, rather than just spending time with those who would pull me out of balance, they find me.   This way everyone benefits and gets a good return on their investment!

 

I am looking forward to my upcoming ‘Seasoned and Savoring in the Spices of Life’ fall tour.  I will engage, excite and encourage, men and women age 50 and older to find the perfect balance in their life, and how they too can have a sensational, yet simple life on a limited budget.  East region cities to include; Atlanta, Raleigh, Charlotte and Washington D.C.; West coast cities to include; Los Angeles, Riverside, Las Vegas and Denver.  To include your city to the tour contact Jahi at BAPS – 301.842.7452, or Carolyn at 678.231.4973.  For Carolyn’s bio and more information on her program, go to Speaker Match.

Categories: Fitness, Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness, Outdoor Adventures | Leave a comment

Excel in 2012…already Happening…less than 3 weeks into the Year!

Let me tell you…if these first couple of weeks in January are any indication of how my year is going to be…it will definitely be a wildly exciting, adventurous and successful year for me and all the people with whom I associate…join us!

Chicopee Woods Hike a Great Start for 2012

We had our first 2012 hike on the 5 mile easy to moderate trail at Chicopee Woods which is located in Gainesville, GA behind the Elachee Nature Science Center.  The weather was perfect.  We had a great group of 25 hikers, including first timers.  So, for 2012 we hiked our first collective 125 miles.  Afterwards, a few of  us went to one of our favorite places just a few miles north from where we were, Jaemor Farms on I-985, for fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables…and freshly made fried pies and ice cream…yeah, yeah, fried pies and ice cream, and now they have these great cake balls for only 99 cents.  They were so delicious!!! This was our treat as we stood around eating our treats laughing and talking about the fun we had just experienced on the hike and other fun times!  Although some had just met for the first time, it was like a group of old friends reminiscing and enjoying each others company.

Unexpected Meetup Promotion

I ordered new Hartfield’s Hikers promotional cards and a banner.  They were received in time for our first hike of the year.   In addition to posting the hike in the newsletter, I posted it on my Atlanta African American Adventurers Meetup as well as the Georgia Outdoor Stewards meetup, of which I am a co-organizer.  Well, to my pleasant surprise, on Thursday, January 12, 2012, our group photo (with my brand new banner) was featured on the Meetup Homepage!  Wow!!!  That was really an unexpected bonus!  Check this out…there are more than 92,000 local meetup groups, with 90,000 topics in 45,000 cities, holding 280,000 monthly meetings with 9.5 million members, and we were chosen!  I was so busy getting ready for my weekend trip to Cumberland Island, I was unable to let people know we were featured, however, we were found by many!

Cumberland Island National Seashore Martin Luther King Jr., Service Weekend

Off to Cumberland Island the following day on Friday the 13th, (a GOOD Friday I must add) leaving the house at 5:15a.  At the time, I was not sure how many Hartfield Hikers would be attending, once again, I was pleasantly surprised to see that of the total number of 60 for the weekend, 13 were through Hartfield’s Hikers, including Kristina who is a Special Education teacher and she brought 2 of her deaf students.  Accolades to Kristina for giving them such a memorable experience!  Some of us, including me, opted to camp out.  We stayed at Hunt Camp.  It is further north from where we met for meals and the cookouts. It was also quite a ways from where we camped last year, the campsite is located right across from Plum Hollow a Carnegie family member mansion which we were able to tour.  All I can say is ‘awesome.’  You can view the Plum Hollow tour photos here.  My camera battery needed to be re-charged near the end of the tour, that is why the last photo may seem a little odd.

Saturday morning, February 15th we split up into our service groups.  The group to which I was a leader had a pretty good trail route. We cleaned and trimmed the trail that ended at the beach.  We took a break there before we headed back for lunch, then over to the Dungeness ruins to cleanup.  Check out our photos here.  Included in these photos are when some of us went searching for shark’s teeth.  I don’t anyone found any, but last year we found some and some other fascinating artifacts, including shells.

WCLK 91.9FM Radio Interview

I was been invited to be a guest on Kiplyn Primus’ radio show ‘The Local Take’ on WCLK 91.9FM, which airs on Saturday mornings, twice a month at 7:30a.m..   Show host Kiplyn Primus went on her first hike with Hartfield’s Hikers in December 2011.  She told me as many times that she has hiked around Stone Mountain, she had never been on the Cherokee Trail which goes within the forest of Stone Mountain.  When I as at the station for the taping, almost three weeks later, she told me she had been back on the Cherokee trail 3 times since hiking with us.  On Friday evening after arriving at Cumberland Island, Stephen called to tell me he was listening to the show.  Another pleasant surprise for me.  I did not think it was going to air until Saturday morning.  Our conversation was short because the reception on the island is not that strong.  Then while we were out performing our service work and were near the shore where the reception is clear, I received several more calls from listeners inquiring about Hartfield’s Hikers.  I mention this because I think it is amazing that the calls came through as I was at the shore where I could receive them with good reception…this is all a part of the ‘divine order’ of things.  If I can get a copy of the interview, I will post it.

‘Just Get Serious’ Online Interview

We also had another interview for this month.  Donna Satchell creator of the ‘Just Get Serious’ series and author of Just Get Serious About Success interviewed me for her online newsletter, 2012 New Year’s edition entitled Make This The Year You Find Your Passion!  We talk about the fact that I was a girly city girl who had never really experienced the true enjoyment of the great outdoors as I did when I moved to Atlanta, and how my first and second hikes were the catalyst to me discovering a passion a did not know I had.  As a result, I started Hartfield’s Hikers and have provided the opportunity for many others to discover their passion and dreams as a result of their eye-opening and mental clarity derived from hiking.  The full interview is posted in Donna’s newsletter which can be found on her Just Get Serious web site.

On Track for a Year of Optimum Health and Wellness!

Some of you may know that I owned a small health food store chain when I lived in Detroit.  It consisted of 3 stores and a cafe.  I sold and/or closed them in 1991.  Well, I was given an opportunity to start an online health and wellness store, Hartfield’s Healthy Haven.  The products are superior.  I know this because I have research the company and the quality of the products are second to none.  I am being mentored in this endeavor by health and wellness icon, the legendary Dr. Shirley Carmack.  And, I must say, as I am able to help people, which was my primary goal with the brick and mortar store, to help people attain and/or maintain optimal natural health and to be an OPALs role model at age 63, being very active and in optimal health with no chronic diseases and taking no pharmaceuticals nor over-the-counter drugs. Oh yeah, and I am feeling pretty good about taking finals for my first class for endeavor to become a Natural Health and Holistic Nutrition Practitioner.

I must say…no, I must shout I am truly “Living my Life to the Fullest!!!”

Categories: Camping, Hiking, Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness, Other Outdoor Adventures, Outdoor Adventures | 1 Comment

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