Author Archives for Fit To Wander

About Fit To Wander

Welcome to Fit To Wander! I’m Rachel and I am extremely passionate about traveling, food, and fitness. I currently live in San Diego, CA with my husband Tristin and our adorable pup Scout. I’ve started this blog to share and cultivate my life passions as well as to hopefully help improve my reader’s health and well-being by promoting living a balanced lifestyle. I believe that being healthy involves more than exercise and healthy eating. It also involves improving one’s state of mind. My background in psychology has led me to view health from a holistic perspective. I believe that health is not only shaped by what we put into our bodies, but also how much we move, how well we sleep and our mindset. Yes, I do eat Paleo, well, more Primal, but I love to eat. In fact, love is a bit of an understatement. I might be slightly obsessed with food and have been known to even become “hangry” (thankfully, I have a very patient husband). I’m hesitant to put a label on how I eat because of the stigmas that can come along with any label, but the most important thing to me is to just eat real, unprocessed food as often as possible. I definitely believe in the 85/15% rule, as there is no way I am ever going to give up chocolate, especially not dark chocolate! The one thing I love more than eating is traveling (although it is a close race). I love everything about traveling...whether I am exploring an ancient ruin, wandering a new city, learning the history of the country, people watching while sitting in a cafe or trying a new cuisine that the country is known for. If I had to pick out the one thing that I love most about traveling, it would be that every time you set out, traveling opens you up to an array of new experiences, which appeases my almost insatiable curiosity. If you love food, love to travel, and want to live a healthy/active lifestyle, then you’ve come to the right place. I invite you to share in my journey as I wander down this ever-changing path called life. As one of the my favorite writers once said, “not all who wander are lost...” ~J.R.R. Tolkien

Channel Islands National Park: Kayaking Around Santa Cruz

During our camping trip to Santa Cruz we decided to take a kayaking tour around the island, exploring caves, admiring the beautiful scenery, learning about the history and geology of the island, and spotting wildlife in and out of the water.

Lucky for me, my nephew, Lucas, decided that he would love to go kayaking with me. We listened to the orientation, and then hopped into our double kayak to start cruising around the island.

Not so lucky for me, after about 30 minutes in the kayak, Lucas decided that he was good for most of the remainder of the trip and didn’t really need to paddle anymore. I got quite the workout maneuvering a double kayak mostly maneuvered by me, especially when we rounded the one side of the island straight into a nice headwind. My brother went into this excursion thinking he’d have it tough partnering with Camille, Lucas’ twin sister, but he certainly had the last laugh 🙂

Although my arms were couldn’t move for the remainder of the day following our kayaking adventure, it was truly an epic experience, and one I will not soon forget.

Navigating in and out of the caves was thrilling and beautiful.

The clarity of the water around the island is so incredible, you could see wildlife under the water from sitting in the kayak.

We got a visit from a curious and brave seal pup right off the side of our kayak. We also learned a lot about the interesting history of the island and its change from a Native American hunting ground to a private ranch, and finally to a National Park.

The tour company we booked this excursion with was called Aqua Sports, and they were great, however, I can’t really compare to the other tours aside from that they went a similar route as we did along the island, but didn’t seem to see quite as much as we did. The other tour companies include Santa Barbara Adventure Company and Channel Islands Kayak Center.

Another more budget friendly option for kayaking can be to rent or bring your own kayak over on your ferry. The most convenient option would be to rent from Island Packers. They do charge a small fee to transport the kayaks to the island, so if you rent kayaks, you will have to pay the cost of the rental and the cost to transport them as well. If you’ve never kayaked around the islands before, it’s definitely worth it to have the guides’ extensive knowledge of the island and the experience of navigating through the caves, as the tides can make it quite a challenge to get into and out of some of the caves.

During your visit to the Channel Islands National Park, I highly recommend spending some of your time out in the water around the islands. It’s truly an awesome experience.

Channel Islands National Park: Camping and Hiking on Santa Cruz Island

The Channel Islands National Park. One of the least visited National Parks in America…lucky for us!

Even though I spent 7 years living in Santa Barbara, I sadly never made it out to the Channel Islands. Ironically, now that we have moved down to San Diego, we made the trip to visit and camp on the islands.

In order to get to the Channel Islands, you have to take a boat across the approximately 26 mile wide channel. Island Packers have a monopoly are contracted with the National Park Service, and operate the ferries back and forth between the islands. The boats leave mostly out of Ventura Harbor, but they do have some that leave out of Oxnard.

If you’re camping on the island, the round trip fare is $78 per person. Also, you will need to reserve a campsite through Reserve America in addition to purchasing your boat ticket. So, as far as camping trips go, it is a bit on the expensive side due to the cost of the boat ride.

Tip: Be sure to check the availability of both the boat, and the campsites before booking anything, as there are more spaces on the boats than there are at the campsite!

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Local San Diego Review: Hiking in the Cleveland National Forest

A mere 60 miles from San Diego lies the Cleveland National Forest, a playground for hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and backpackers. We recently spent 2 nights at the Laguna campground (checkout my review) and hiked various trails in the area.

We could walk just a few minutes out from our campsite in the Laguna Campground to all of the major trail heads in the area. It was awesome!

Using our guidebook A Foot and Afield in San Diego County by Jerry Schad and the National Forest map, we trekked across a good portion of the available trails. On the map below, we outlined all of the trails we hiked during our trip (the “O’s” outline the hike for day 1, and the “X’s” outline the hike for day two).

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Local San Diego Review: Laguna Campground

Laguna Campground is located in the Cleveland National Forest just under 60 miles from the city of San Diego. Close enough to spend more time camping and less time driving, yet far enough away to relax, unwind, and explore. We weren’t really sure what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised and had an incredible experience camping here.

To get the to Cleveland National Forest you can either take the 78 through Ramona and Julian to Sunrise Highway or you can take the 8 East toward the desert to Sunrise Highway, depending on which part of the county you live in.

In my opinion, Laguna campground is probably one of the best campgrounds you could chose in the Cleveland National Forest area. The campground is pleasant, beautiful, peaceful, and so close to miles upon miles of great hiking trails. I could imagine that a weekend would be busier, but we were camping from Sunday-Tuesday, so crowds were nonexistent. In fact, there were only a handful of people staying on the entire campground. If you can avoid the weekend, I would highly recommend it.

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Paleo “Green Monkey” Smoothie Bowl

I love acai bowls. By love, I mean that I could eat them every day. However, it’s a pretty expensive habit, whether eating out or stocking the house with pure acai frozen packets. Alternatively, I occasionally make acai or other smoothie bowls for myself for breakfast or after a workout if I don’t feel like a full meal before dinner. With summer coming up, I will be craving them even more, so I have been testing out some new combinations lately.

This recipe that I came up with is really healthy, limits natural sugars, is packed with nutrients, is filling, and tastes great! It’s also a good way to incorporate more gelatin into your diet, and get the amazing benefits of including gelatin in your diet on a regular basis. If you’re not familiar with the benefits of gelatin, check out this post by Wellness Mama, this one on Chris Kresser’s blog, or this post from Civilized Caveman for more information.

There are two types of gelatin: regular (red can – which gels) and collagen hydrolysate (green can – which does not gel). This post on Butter Nutrition is a great resource for which type go gelatin is right for you, but the green can is cold water soluble so it usually works bests in smoothies and bowls. I keep both around the house and buy the Great Lakes brand. Definitely make that the brand you buy is grass fed!

Gelatin/collagen may not be healthy for everyone, so consult a physician or nutritionist if you have any questions about supplementing gelatin in your diet.

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Seven Day Road Trip up the East Coast of Australia: Sydney to Airlie Beach

One of the best ways to explore the East Coast of Australia is by car (or camper van if that’s your style). You could basically spend as much time as you wanted driving the east coast of Australia, as there are a ton of great stops along the way. Plus, you never know what you might see!

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I would recommend allowing two weeks if you want to make more stops, spend more time at each stop, or to camp and explore some of the natural attractions in the region.

We only had a week to make it up to Airlie Beach for our Whitsundays adventure (more on that later…stay tuned!), so we researched the most intriguing stops and made the most of our time exploring the region.

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Cooking Inspiration from the Contents of my CSA Box

As I mentioned in a previous post about CSA’s, I recently joined a local CSA and have been happily receiving large boxes of veggies. I’ve made a commitment to using all of the items that I receive in my box, so I don’t waste any food. Sometimes that means getting a little creative, especially if it’s the first time I’ve ever seen the vegetable!

Contents of our last box:

  • Red Leaf Lettuce (lots!)
  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Basil
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Baby Broccoli
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Mixed Bean Sprouts (used these as a topping for salads)

Surprisingly, the contents of the box goes way faster than I would have expected! I guess I eat more veggies when they’re around and I don’t want them to go to waste 🙂

So how did I make use of all of this for just the two of us?

  • Salads! Lots and lots of large salads with mixed kale and lettuce with tons of toppings:

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  • Grilled Chicken Thighs with sautéed summer squash (from the previous week’s box) topped with a basil pesto. I saved the left over pesto and used it for various other dishes & on eggs throughout the week.

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  • Sautéed Baby Broccoli & Kale using a bit of fat and seasonings (for side dishes). I’d also often top the kale with leftover pesto.
  • Creamy Coconut and Lemon Chard – I don’t have a picture of my personal creation, but this recipe is so incredibly simple and delicious. Since we received chard two weeks in a row, I made this dish a second time and added in grilled halibut to make a full meal out of it. SO good!
  • Simple Steamed Baby Broccoli with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and a bit of sea salt for side dishes with a simple protein (i.e. grilled chicken or fish).
  • Marinated Roasted Beets from Nom Nom Paleo…LOVE these. My husband isn’t usually a big fan of beets, but he said they were awesome. He even asked for a second helping the next day for his lunch at work!

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Finally, we used the sugar snap peas (and carrots) throughout the week as snacks for around the house and to take to work.

Hopefully, this gives you a glance at how we eat at home on a regular basis as well as some ideas for new recipes to try!

 

What are some of your favorite recipes made with any of these ingredients? Share with us below!

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