Every Sunday do you tell yourself you will be "healthier" this week? That you will eat better? Exercise more? Go to bed on time? Stress less?
Good intentions only last so long without a plan.
One of the biggest obstacles I see with my clients is a failure to plan. Without thinking ahead to how your week is going to look or how you WANT it to look, it leaves too much room for anything to happen (or not happen). If you normally wing it and it works for you and you are right where you want to be, then great! But if you need a little help in getting your health on track, read the tips below to get started planning ahead! With time, it becomes autonomous and you won't even have to put that much thought, time or effort into doing it - it will just become part of who you are.
1. Think about what you have going on during the week ahead. What does your schedule look like? Take your work hours, commute and any other activities into account. Do you HAVE to do ALL of those other activities? What is flexible? What is fixed? Plan around the things you can't really change. Prioritize self-care.
2. Pick 1-2 specific goals. Choose goals that you believe you can do and will help you the most during the week. Do you want to exercise 3 times and make dinner 4 times this week? Pick one or two things to focus on so you don't get too overwhelmed. Don't try to do it ALL. Especially during super busy weeks, maintenance is okay too. Start small but commit! Decide what it is exactly you want to do and what days and times work best according to your schedule and pencil it in. Treat it like you would any other appointment and don't cancel!
3. Figure out what needs to be done to make it work. Do you need to assign duties to others in your household and recruit help? Cut out a TV show or two? Go to bed earlier? Wake up earlier? Find easy recipes and go to the grocery store? Prep any food ahead of time? Wash your workout clothes and lay them out the night before? Think of what will make the biggest impact to make sure you reach your goals for the week and then do them!
4. Come up with back-up plans for emergencies, unexpected events or plan changes. Life is rarely ever neat and orderly. Things come up, plans change and excuses creep in. It is how you handle those things that matter. It is not IF something comes up, it is WHEN, WHAT and HOW. If you were planning on working out in the morning but the electricity went out and your alarm didn't go off - you can workout at lunch, after work, or maybe even the next day. If you wanted to make dinner but you forgot to defrost the chicken and you need to hurry to make an appointment, maybe you make a grilled cheese with a salad and a piece of fruit instead. Don't feel defeated, work around what life throws at you.
5. Don't give up. There will always be ups and downs. Be happy with the positive changes you made this week. If things didn't happen as you wanted them to, learn from that and use it to your advantage so you know how to do better next week. Never give up and think that you can't do it. If you spill some water on the ground, you don't just say "oh, I already made a mess, I might as well pour the entire glass on the floor". You wipe it up and move on. Nobody is perfect, don't expect to be.
I'm going to give you an example of what planning ahead for a healthy week looks like for me.
Sunday morning I usually look at my work schedule and plans for the next week. Using this week as an example I knew my week would look something like this:
Monday: 9-5 Work
Tuesday: 9-5 Work
Wednesday: 8-5 Work + 6:30-7:30 Work
Thursday: 9-1 Appointment 1-5 Work
Friday: 8-1 Bike Meeting 1-5 Work
My goals for the week are to run 3x and do yoga/strength 2x plus make dinner 2x (to eat twice each). I decided to run Monday/Tuesday/Thursday since I had a little more time in the mornings and I know running in this heat has been taking a lot out of me so I move a little slower getting ready after. I am doing yoga/strength on Wednesday and Friday because I can get it done a little quicker since I don't have to leave my house to do it and I need to be ready a little earlier those days. I made dinner Monday to eat again on Tuesday and recruited the help of my husband to make dinner Wednesday while I am training my client later in the evening and we will eat the same dinner again on Thursday.
To make sure I get up early enough to do my morning workouts, I aim to be in bed 8 hours before my alarm goes off so I get enough sleep and have energy to do my workouts and make it through the day. On Sunday, I also decided on a few recipes that looked good and simple for the week (pulled pork tacos with rice using the pork we had leftover in the freezer and salmon with potatoes and asparagus). Since I am used to doing this and it isn't overwhelming for me (normally), I also planned my breakfast and lunches out like I usually do so I could grab what I needed from the store. I try to keep it easy. Smoothies or oatmeal for breakfast, chicken sandwiches with crackers and fruit for lunch, granola bars and popcorn for snacks and chocolate chips and chamomile tea for a sweet after dinner treat.
The food helps fuel my body for activity and planning it ahead of time keeps it super simple so I don't have to think about it during the week - I just have to eat it! This weekend is a little different than others because it is going to be our "staycation weekend". That is why I didn't plan anything out for Friday-Sunday as I normally would. Instead, we are planning fun food and activities once we are out of work Friday...again - planning.
So stop trying to do it ALL. A positive change is a positive change no matter how big or small. They key is just to plan ahead! If you still need help with this part of your health journey - please contact me today!
You can also download the map here.
I love spending time outside. During the warmer months if I am outside, I prefer to be in water to help cool down a little. Luckily, the Harpeth River flows right through Franklin, TN and provides a great place to enjoy canoeing, kayaking, fishing, wading or swimming. When we first moved here we didn't even know we could access the river. We thought it was just something that was there and could be looked at from a distance but never truly enjoyed. One day, we discovered there were several different canoe access points along the river and we have been enjoying the river ever since! It kind of reminds us of being back in college in San Marcos where the river runs right through where we lived!
Over time we have mentioned these spots to others and realized a lot of people don't realize these access points are here (just like we didn't for years). I want everyone that lives or visits here to be able to partake in the beauty of the Harpeth River and use it as an excuse to get outside and be in nature more. There are currently 6 canoe access points with more proposed to come. In order of river flow direction, the sites are: Ladd Park, Eastern Flank, Pinkerton Park, Harlinsdale Farm, Williamson/Franklin Rec Center, and Rizer Point. I will describe each of the access points below and include pictures so you know what to expect. There are no bathrooms or water fountains located right next to any of these access points. The closest will be if you are by a park. At this point, at all of the access points when the river is low you have to travel down quite a few stairs to get into the river and might be challenging for some. I am also including the City of Franklin link here to provide more information.
If you plan on navigating the river, there are mile markers on the river to help you determine where you are entering and where you need to exit. Please use the river responsibly, know your abilities and float/swim at your own risk. Sometimes the water is really high (and brown after it rains like you can see in some of the pictures) and sometimes it is really low, so make sure to take that into consideration when you go. There also are snakes, animals and bugs like any other river - so again, just be aware. You will need your own canoe or kayak or rent them from somewhere around Nashville to actually float this area of the river. There is only one business that I know of that will actually take you on the river (in a drift boat) and that is Franklin Fly Fishing Co. If you don't want to mess with any equipment, just come on down and wade around. Time to start exploring!
If you want to float from the first access point to the last, you would start at Ladd Park (mile marker 95.7) and take out at Rizer Point (mile marker 83.7). You drive through the Ladd Park subdivision to get here and park in the grass under the bridge. This is one of our favorite spots for fishing. When the water is lower you can wade pretty far along the river bank.
This access point (mile marker 89.3) is located off of 431 across from Eastern Flank Battlefield and the Carriage Park neighborhood. There is a paved area for parking. When the water is a little lower, you can also wade pretty far downstream.
Pinkerton Park (mile marker 88.1) has access to the river as soon as you enter the park on the left hand side. You will see a driveway veering left down to a gravel parking area. This is a popular spot and also has great wading when the water is lower.
This is my favorite canoe access point (mile marker 86.3). I feel like not as many people know about this one and it is the most peaceful and quiet. To get here, you drive into the main entrance of the park, bypass the normal parking lot and turn onto the gravel road by the little house where there is a canoe sign. You take a left down the gravel road and keep driving back until you reach the gravel parking area. You can wade along the river bank and throughout a lot of this part of the river when the water is lower. There are a lot of big rocks to sit on and it is a great place to bring kids to play in the water as well!
Williamson/Franklin Rec Center
To get to the Rec Center access point (mile marker 84.7) you drive as if you are going to the Rec Center but then instead of turning right into the parking lot, you turn left down a little road and can either park in the grass field where it says canoe access or you can park on the side of the road by the entrance of the river. The stairs here are a little more steep, harder to climb and it creates more of a challenge to get in and out of the water. It seems like this would be the hardest place to get a canoe or kayak in and out of the water, compared to the others but we do see people do it still!
To get to this access point (mile marker 83.7) you have to drive through the Rizer Point subdivision. There are a few parking spots along the street but are often full. You might have to find another spot along the street in the neighborhood depending on how busy it is. This spot has the longest walk from where you park to where you enter the water - you have to walk down a wooded trail a bit before you get to the stairs that take you down to the water. This is the last spot to get out of the river. There is not any shoreline here to walk along or much room to wade (at least when we went here).
Dry Branch Wetland is a natural area that was created to remove pollutants from stormwater and to help reduce flooding. Luckily, we also get to benefit from the beauty of the small park as well! It is more of a place to take a peaceful nature walk vs getting in any intense exercise but it is still a great place to visit and get moving! The entire path is a little under a half mile (.4 mile) and has a 36 ft ascent.
The park is right on the corner of the Moores Lane/Franklin Road intersection. If you are looking at the Canterfield of Franklin (a senior community) from Moores Lane, the entrance to the park is to the right of the building and parking lot. You can enter 7015 Moores Ln, Brentwood, TN 37027 in your GPS to take you close (but not exactly there). I have attached a picture of what the entrance looks like right now. It looks like you shouldn't drive there but you can! There is a tiny paved entrance that immediately turns into a large grass area where you can park.
Right by the entrance you will see a bridge with the 1st sign with information on the park. The trail has information on the wetland posted all around so you can learn what is around you and how it all works on your walk! You will walk on the grass trail, proceed down to the pier to read more about the ecosystem around you and pass over a few bridges before returning to the parking area. Be on the lookout for unique plants, insects and animals! I noticed a bee stand on the other side of the Gateway Community Church entrance (The first time I went to this park I actually couldn't figure out where the real entrance was so I ended up parking at this church) and saw a few bucks, bunnies and a lot of birds and bugs.
If you are looking for a peaceful trail to walk and enjoy nature - come and see what Dry Branch Wetland has to offer!
Find more paths, trails and places to hike/run/walk in Williamson County, TN here!
Franklin Greenway Path (Bicentennial Park, Ruby F. Lynch Riverwalk Trail, Joel Cheek Park) + Judge Fulton Greer Park Path
I feel like I say this with all of the paths, trails and parks in the area but I really do mean it each time...this might be one of my favorite places to run! The Franklin Greenway is in walking distance from downtown Franklin and takes you through a tree-lined path along the Harpeth River. It eventually connects with the Judge Fulton Greer Park Path by the Franklin Recreation Complex. I love that they are both easy to get to and create a long path together (plus they connect with miles and miles of sidewalks around the area) so they make a wonderful place to get in a long, shaded run or walk. A bigger bonus is that you get to see the Harpeth River several times along the way AND they have canoe and/or fishing access. The Franklin Greenway is about 4.2 miles out and back (with a few little loops) and Judge Fulton Greer is .70, so if you want to run/walk/bike them both you can get in close to 5 miles with a total ascent of 92 ft.
You can start at either place or even in a few areas along the way. You don't have to combine them either. If you are looking for a shorter loop, stick with Judge Fulton Greer, for an out and back where you can turn around at any point just do the Franklin Greenway. If you want a longer route, you can combine downtown Franklin and Pinkerton Park (closer to the Franklin Greenway) and Hillsboro Rd (by Judge Fulton Greer Park).
The Franklin Greenway actually spans the distance of several different parks, paths and trails. It starts at Bicentennial Park, then goes to the Ruby F. Lynch Riverwalk Trail and Joel Creek Park before entering Judge Fulton Greer Park. You can enter it at any of those areas or surrounding neighborhoods (and it soon will be connected with a bridge to Harlinsdale Farm)! The main entrance is at Bicentennial Park located at 400 5th Ave. N, Franklin, TN 37064. You can park along the street in the designated parking areas. There are no bathrooms or water fountains here but there are some further down the path by Joel Cheek Park. If you want to do the full path, you can start by walking towards downtown Franklin on 3rd Avenue North (away from the river) on the sidewalk and then take a left on N Margin Street. This is the only very small portion where you will not be on a path. You will quickly see where the Franklin Greenway begins. It is a very wide, flat path that is surrounded by trees. It takes you back around close to where you parked, past the Harpeth River overlook, over the bridge and into the woods where you can see the Harpeth River and be protected from the sun, behind neighborhoods and Franklin High School, by Joel Cheek Park (where you can find a water fountain and bathrooms, a dog park, 3 athletic fields a playground and concessions), and then eventually to Judge Fulton Greer Park where you can keep going or choose to turn around and go back to where you started!
Judge Fulton Greer Park is located at the Franklin Recreation Complex at 1099 Fulton Greer Lane, Franklin, TN 37064. You can park anywhere in the Franklin Recreation Complex parking lot but the closest spot to the path is in the back by the pool. It has 6 tennis courts (with a water fountain), 2 sand volleyball courts, 5 soccer fields, a playground, picnic areas, an exercise area, fun outdoor activities, a walking trail and has a canoe access point to the Harpeth River. The walking trail takes you on a loop around the perimeter of the athletic fields and features an interactive area for kids to help them get active too! The path here is also mainly tree covered, flat and wide. You can stay at the park for a short walk or run or extend it to the Franklin Greenway OR take the sidewalk on Hillsboro Rd and get more miles on miles!
If you are looking to get in a long run, just want to walk your dogs or bring your kids, you want cover from the sun and need an escape in nature but don't want to drive too far from downtown Franklin - you need to try out this beautiful path!
Find more paths, trails and places to hike/run/walk in Williamson County, TN here!
I love adventures. No matter how small, I enjoy doing something different from my daily routine - whether it is exploring a new trail, experimenting with a fun recipe or fishing on the river. What do these 3 things have in common? Because they are new, I don't know what to expect, I don't know what will happen next. The fear of the unknown can either hold you back or push you outside of your comfort zone to experience exponential growth. Sometimes that can feel scary. Life is full of unknowns, aim to embrace it and thrive from it! Isn't that why we sign up for races, get out in nature, make goals for ourselves? If we KNEW we could accomplish everything we set out to do and that it would be easy...then we wouldn't really be making any progress. That's why we try to get stronger, faster, better. Different.
Feat: an achievement that requires great courage, skill, or strength.
Fuel. Explore. Aspire. Train.
The food you eat should nourish your body so it can flourish and perform at its best so you can do the activities you enjoy, for life.
Discover new recipes and how to incorporate more unprocessed foods, especially vegetables and fruit, into all of your meals and snacks.
You will find by eating more whole-foods, you will be satisfied after eating, feel better and have more energy. The best part? You can still enjoy your favorite foods/drinks in moderation.
An adventure or experience (no matter the size) helps breathe life into the daily grind. By breaking out of the ordinary you can discover a fresh perspective on life and get re-energized.
Learn how to maximize your life by prioritizing the things you WANT to do and the things that NEED to be done. Not everything on your to-do list needs to be done (at least not right away).
Adventure surrounds us everyday, we just have to choose to acknowledge it, claim it as our own and seize it.
Knowing who you are, what you desire to be/achieve and why, are the key driving forces behind your success in reaching your goals.
Dream, find your purpose and create a plan with the tools, resources, motivation and accountability needed to help you down your path when it gets hard.
Believe in yourself. The road might be long, have a few bumps along the way and will take a lot of determination, but it all is what makes it worth it. What does your best, balanced self. look like?
Your body is a complex system that is meant to move. With proper preparation and care it can take you places you never thought it could go.
Prevent injury, burnout, boredom and become well-rounded by working on stamina, strength, power, speed, balance and flexibility.
Whether you are working towards completing your first organized walk, a long race, participating in an outdoor activity or maybe just need to be fit to travel, you can develop the skills to get there.
WORK WITH ME
It is no secret that there are positive physical and mental benefits of movement and nature within your daily life. Whether you have a goal to walk your first 5k, run a trail marathon or just to participate in more outdoor activities – the impacts they can have are life-changing.
As your health coach I will guide you through a step-by-step process to transform your unique goals into sustainable behaviors that fit into your routine. Learn how to fuel your body for energy, explore the world around you, aspire to be your best balanced self and train for your adventures – all while enhancing your quality of life.
*If you aim to live life by engaging in new or exciting activities or experiences, no matter how small or large (a beginner walking program, an intense hike, a new race, canoe trip, travel across the globe, or even gardening, etc.) to increase your health and happiness; YOU are a daily adventurer.
I am a food loving, activity seeking health coach who resides in Franklin, TN with my husband and two sweet dogs (Lola & Penny).
I believe everyone should eat balanced and not cut food groups if you don't medically need to. All foods can fit in a healthy diet. Unfortunately, I have to avoid gluten and also limit myself with dairy, so my goal is to provide healthy, gluten-free/dairy-free recipes so EVERYONE can enjoy all foods, even if you do have to cut out certain food groups. My recipes are encouraged for everyone to eat, not just for those with sensitivities/allergies! Most of my recipes can be easily converted by using real dairy and whole-wheat in place of my allergy-free substitutes.
Looking for something specific? Everything can be found by category under the "Life" and "Recipes" sections on my website or you can search below.