Adventure and Pets

Last weekend I made it out to The Chicago Auto Show with friends to check out some cool new cars and do something a little different.  If you don't know what the auto show is, it's basically exactly as it sounds... the nation's largest and longest running auto show.  They fill a huge convention center with all different kinds of amazing cars and even let you test drive some!  There also happened to be a pet adoption happening with Subaru because "Subaru Loves Pets" and that's generally all it takes to reel me in.  My 2 dogs are adopted.

My new friend, Doughnut, who I fell in love with. <3

My new friend, Doughnut, who I fell in love with. <3


So as I was perusing vehicles and puppies, it made me think of a question I get asked a lot, which basically inspired this blog...



"What do you do with your dogs when you travel?"



I get asked this by pet owners who don't travel much because they don't want to leave their furry friends and I get asked this by prospective pet owners who are apprehensive to get a pet for this reason.  As a person whose favorite things about life include my dogs and traveling, I want to encourage ya'll out there that you CAN have pets and travel! 



Depending on the nature of the trip or if it's abroad, I'll get a dog sitter.  However, if I'm being honest one of my favorite ways to travel is a road trip!  Hence, why I wanted to go to an auto show in the first place.  My car, my doggos, cruising somewhere awesome and checking out beautiful scenery along the way...  THE BEST.




Earlier this year I took a trip to a cabin in the woods up north with puppers in tow and it made the trip that much better for me not being a stressed out dog momma worrying how the "kids" were doing back at home.  The only thing that would've made it even better would've been a vehicle better equipped for adventures. Y'all know I love my adventures. ;-)

More of me and Doughnut because I couldn’t let her go. In the Subaru Forester

More of me and Doughnut because I couldn’t let her go. In the Subaru Forester





Since I was already drawn to the Subaru's because of all the doggies, I checked out the Subaru Forester in my favorite car color, Metallic Gray.  I found out that it's actually BUILT for adventures... totally meant to be.  It has symmetrical all-wheel drive, a boxer engine and it's fuel efficient.  It also has larger interior space (for my doggos) and higher visibility over the road (for shorties like me).  And it has a TON of safety features including Eyesight Driver Assist Technology.





Aaaaand did you know Subaru works with Cesar Millan for tips to travel with your dog safely??  FAN GIRLING. If only I could get Cesar to train my boys...





So I said all that to say this... YES, you can be a traveler and save a furbaby by giving them a good home.  Make sure you have a ride built for your family's safety and for adventures, like the Forester.  Get out there on the road so you and your fur or human family can see the world!  Happy adventuring!

The Forester in Metallic Grey is so my style. And Doughnut’s.

The Forester in Metallic Grey is so my style. And Doughnut’s.


Stay Wild,

Danielle

https://www.subaru.com/

No mud. No lotus.

Welp. :: ahem::  I’M A CERTIFIED YOGA TEACHER!!! ::celebratory party dance::  As Dietitian Gone WILD, I am a huge advocate for adventure.  Anything can be an adventure if you make it and life is a hell of a lot more interesting when you see it this way.  I crave adventure.  I chase adventure.  And it ignites something in my soul that I believe plays a vital role in my holistic health equation. 

This yoga teacher training journey was one of my most recent adventures.  2016 was… a year.  For all of us.  The highs and lows were extreme for me.  The Cubs won the World Series, after all, so I guess karma needed to balance that out with some other things (cough, cough..like our current political situation.. cough, cough).  2016 was just a year of… uncertainty and unknown.  Which, hey… isn’t that how all of the best adventures begin?

In the midst of all the chaos, I began seeking calm.  I was in need of some serious inner peace and began finding it through meditation.  It was amazing how a simple 10 minute meditation could improve my anxiety, mood and outlook for the day.  At the same time, I was practicing yoga.

Now, I’ve practiced yoga for years.  Occasionally I’d take class at a studio, but I mostly practiced at home as a means of exercise.  I used to dance in high school and college and I'm a runner, so yoga was a nice way to balance running that felt natural to me.  Finding meditation took my yoga practice to the next level.

I was discussing my love of yoga with someone last year and was asked if I would ever consider becoming a yoga instructor.  It seemed so natural to say, “yes,” and yet, I’d never even considered it before…

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Why hadn’t I considered it before?  I've asked myself this a lot since then and I really don’t know why.  I guess the picture of a yoga instructor in my mind had always been so goddess-like.  So calm, wise, in perfect shape.  Nothing that, in my mind, I even came close to (Yes, dietitians are human.  We're all about that bod love and acceptance, but we aren’t resistant to insecurities.  It’s a bummer.).  So the thought of being a yoga teacher never even crossed my mind in all the years I’d practiced. 

Now, however, I was in a new state of mind.  A mind that understood yoga was not at all about being perfect or comparing.  Yoga is about acceptance and practice and self-love and I was moving towards a realization that self-love is the door to love for all beings.  In this new state of mind, I absolutely would consider becoming a yoga instructor, if only for my own personal growth.  Maybe I won’t even teach, but I’ll grow (I told myself at the time). 

I did some research through friends and the internet, went into the closest CorePower Yoga studio, took a Hot Power Fusion Class (HPF), and asked about the HPF Yoga Teacher Training program.  I didn’t sign up that day, but I already had signed up in my mind.

I signed up a week or two later and began my journey.

And what a journey it has been!

Surprisingly, delving deeper into the mechanics of yoga actually back-tracked my spiritual journey a bit.  Normally, in a yoga class, I would focus only on myself. However, now as a trainee I had to study other bodies and how the instructors handled them.  This took me outside myself, but it was for a greater purpose.  Being a yoga teacher is actually pretty tough work, y’all!! There’s a lot going on that instructors make look so smooth and effortless.  I think this is another reason I had never considered being a yoga teacher… it means SO much to me.  It’s such a beautiful gift and touches people so deeply.  I don’t want to be the one to lead a crummy class and ruin this amazing thing!  If I do it, I want to do it PERFECTLY.  And there’s that word again… “perfect.”  It’s yoga practice, not yoga perfect, though, as they say…

 

 

Life has been busier than ever during the 8 weeks I’ve been learning to be a yoga teacher.  In typical life fashion.. everything happens all at once or not at all.  I’ve been exhausted and anxious, excited and motivated.  Mostly, I've been incredibly inspired by my teacher trainer instructors and fellow trainees.  And it’s gone by SO STINKIN’ FAST. 

But, here I am.

A certified yoga teacher.

Proving myself wrong, which is really the only person I should ever compete with for the sole purpose of self-improvement.

Since I had such an amazing experience and want to continue to grow, I signed up for Core Power’s Extensions program for another 5 weeks of yoga teacher training.  Sending so much love and gratitude to all those who offered me support and encouragement along the way. <3

Chase your dreams.  Chase adventures.


Stay Wild,

Danielle

MS, RD, LDN

 

 

Adventures in TV-land...

If you don't know, now ya know...

And, boy, I’m glad to have that off my chest!  I’m referring to a little documentary I’ll be on airing next Thursday, April 20th, on Lifetime TV network (yikes!).  Yes, I am on this season of Married at First Sight. ::gasp::  I know.  It’s crazy.  It’s nuts.  I’ve somehow managed to keep it quiet for a bit now and I still think it’s crazy!  What can I say.. I told you I like adventures.  Not to mention, I'm a hopeless romantic (hidden in tough-girl skin) and believer in the Universe working things out and letting them fall into place.  So, when this came my way, I figured it was my path for a reason and I rolled with it.  Lawdy, it’s been one wild ride. 

And the ride’s not over.  Coming up is (arguably) the scariest part of the adventure.  The TV part. 

Listen, I’m well aware I signed up for a televised documentary and have known it was coming for a while now.  Does that make it any less unknown or terrifying?  Nope. Not even a little bit.  The build-up has probably made it worse, if anything! 

I’d like to think of myself as an “I don’t care what others think about me” kind of person, but that’s easier said than done.  I expect there will come a lot of judgement and harsh words because that’s just the nature of the beast for anyone on a “reality-esque” show.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't guilty of judging people on TV, too.  You better believe my outlook on that has changed substantially since participating in this (and with the help of yoga and practicing non-judgment).  The assumptions and comments on social media have already begun and the show hasn’t even aired! 

My yogi-skills are going to have to kick into high gear here over the next few months.  This will give me a lot of practice in patience, trust, letting go and staying present.  But, I mean... I get it, man.  People like to talk.  And I have a pretty solid sense of humor so I can (and do) laugh at a lot of it. 

Even still, as with all things in life, I know there will be balance.  I’ve already met some AMAZING people on this journey so far and had some AMAZING experiences through it.  Thus far, it has opened my mind and my heart and helped me continue to grow and explore more.   And for any negativity, I hope to be met with supporters and kind hearted folks, as well.  I’ve already seen the well-wishers and supporters and believers in finding love out there in the social media world, too.  High fives to y’all! <3

After all, the documentary part can only show a portion of our journey.  There's only so much air time and it's not going to be possible to show everything, so I hope those watching will keep that in mind before judging too quickly or too harshly. 

Aside from any anxiety I’m working through regarding the TV part, I don’t want it to sound like it’s a total drag!  There’s a ton of fun things I’m super stoked to see on the show!  There’s going to be highs and lows, true to any relationship and true to life.  Heck, I may even dig the TV part of this.  It may be fun… who knows??  It’s just all unknown territory which is scary and exciting.  And that sounds like the perfect combination for an adventure.

So, I’m going to learn to ride the wave and try and have as much fun as I possibly can in an odd situation over the next few months.  Yoga is teaching me to learn how to be comfortable with the uncomfortable and I’d say this situation falls under that category!  I hope you’ll come along with me for the ride and wish me (and all the participants) luck!  Love n’ light, y’all!

Rock ON.

 

Stay Wild,

Danielle

MS, RD, LDN

Hello Wonderful, Wild World...

Okay, here goes…  HI GUYS!!  I know what you’re thinking.. ANOTHER girl with a blog.  I know.  In my defense, since I’m constantly sharing nutrition, yoga and other wellness-related info, I’ve been playing around with the idea of starting a blog for a while and finally decided to just go for it.  I mean, why the heck not?  “YOLO,” as the kids say…   Joking aside, I feel like I have things to share with the world that other like-minded folks out there would dig and we could share ideas back and forth and be inspired by one another.  So I’m going with my gut on this one.

A lot of what held me back from starting this adventure sooner was simply not knowing where to begin.  How do you start something like this?   So I decided to just start at the beginning with the “why” of this Dietitian Gone Wild blog and where I hope to take it.  If you wait for everything to be perfect before you begin, you’ll never begin and, to be honest, I’m kind of a spontaneous, risk-taker type anyhow.  I take pride in that.  That’s why it’s Dietitian Gone WILD and not Dietitian Gone Timid.   


So, that’s where I want to go first with you...  The name.  Why “Dietitian Gone Wild?”  Well.. a lot of reasons actually:

The first reason is related to "wild" foods.  By this I mean whole and natural foods.  If you read the Nutrition Philosophy on my site, you’ll know I believe in Holistic Nutrition and, for me, that means replacing the processed, hormone and pesticide containing foods in our diets with more whole, clean, REAL food because that is what leads to a more optimally functioning body.  I mean, why would we assume we could feed ourselves crap and expect our bods to function optimally?  Seems kind of like a "duh," right?  Still.. easier said than done and that's where I want to be available to help.  If you’re looking for a calorie count, I’m probably not your girl.  I’m all for listening to our bodies and healing our bodies and then seeing the positive rewards.

The second way “wild” resonates with me piggybacks on the holistic nutrition philosophy I mentioned above.  To achieve positive health outcomes, I believe we need to look at the entire picture.  Not just our diets or our exercise routines, but mind, body and soul.  In today’s society we are STRESSED O U T.  Like, really stressed out.  And workaholics.  And over-stimulated by the increase in communication thanks to technology.  We do NOT stop and just… chill.  We don't get out into nature enough.  We don't PLAY enough.  And unfortunately,  our bodies respond to this in a big way.  More research is beginning to look at the benefits of mindfulness and mediation on reducing stress and improving our physical health outcomes and I strongly believe incorporating these into our lives can help our bodies function optimally.  We need to find what it is that lights up our soul and fires up passion within us and do more of those things!  I WON'T believe we’re on this earth to work hard and die.  I believe we need to find that wild within us (which is unique for all of us) and embrace it fully!

And the final way “wild” speaks to me has to do with my personality, which you'll get to know a lot better if you (hopefully) continue to check out Dietitian Gone Wild.  Most Registered Dietitian’s are very strong Type A’s.  And in a lot of ways, I am.  I've always been a good student/dedicated employee, picked things up quickly and paid attention to details.  However, in a lot of ways, I am NOT Type A.  I am very go-with-the-flow and adventurous and spontaneous and all that good stuff.  Blame it on the Gemini, if you're into that sort of thing.  I believe in being healthy and that it’s hugely important, but I acknowledge that we’re human and sometimes you may just need a pizza and a beer and that THAT’S OKAY.  That’s part of the “feeding our souls.”  We need to have FUN and let loose every now and then.  Letting loose and having fun looks different to everyone, so I’m not suggesting everyone needs pizza and beer sometimes (even if I want to), but I’m just saying we need to find the balance.  Embrace your wild and learn how to balance it out.  And if you need help with that, well… I know a dietitian who's up to the task (wink, wink). 


So hopefully by now you’ve caught on that sarcasm is one of my favorite pastimes, but in all sincerity, I am VERY passionate about health and wellness.  I believe my calling is to share this passion and help others via this route.  I created Dietitian Gone Wild for that purpose and with it I hope to share recipes, health tid-bits, holistic concepts, yoga talk, travel and how that can feed our souls and lots, lots more!  I want to use this as an outlet to inspire and get inspiration back, because generally what we put out into the Universe, we get back.  So feel free to chat me up!  Leave comments, follow on social media, email me.. WHATEVER!  Looking forward to beginning this adventure and hope to have you along for the ride.

 

Stay wild,

Danielle

MS, RD, LDN