I’ve been away from Backcountry Paleo for a few months.

Hello again!

I’d better cough up a reason, right? My readers have stuck with me by visiting the website while I’ve been away, and I deeply appreciate that. I feel I owe it to you to ‘splain myself (yes, that was a Princess Bride reference!).

Life happens. You’ve heard that before. And sometimes, things go a little sideways. Or a lot sideways.

During the end of last year, there was a cascade of very stressful events in my life. A hopeful climbing partnership abandoned due to a wacky mountaineering trip; the death of a friend on a mountain in Canada; a hurricane that threatened a family member’s home; a loved one in the hospital with a life-threatening health issue. And more.

When things go sideways with no break, sometimes the stress piles up so high you have to retreat into your cave and lick your wounds. So I did.

Now I’ll backtrack a bit.

Blogging about real life

Backcountry Paleo is about AIP and Paleo outdoor food. It’s about awesome adventures. It’s also about living an active outdoor life with a chronic health condition. Some of my readers are simply looking for recipes; many of my readers have chronic health conditions, and not only seek the recipes but also inspiration for their journey back to health and vitality.

I feel that being real with my readers is important. Sometimes I battle with myself about how much to share. I can paint a pretty picture of great trips and success, but I also have my share of tough days and setbacks, and sharing how I deal with it is potentially helpful for others. Which brings me to self-care.

Self care is a priority

When I initially fell down the autoimmune rabbit-hole, it was largely due to pushing myself too hard while not listening to my body’s cries for rest and help. I had no self-care skills and it kicked my ass. That launched me on a long road of illness and recovery.

When life gets crazy-town like it did for me last autumn, self-care becomes critical. What is self-care? In a nutshell, doing what is necessary to be healthy and function well, namely managing diet, exercise, sleep, and life stress. Under that simple list lies a deeper well of topics. Sometimes self-care must happen at the expense of social life, work, family, or other priorities. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have what it takes to be there for yourself or anyone else.

Our culture teaches us that caring for others before ourselves is good and right. In my opinion, that’s not really the best way to handle it. Ideally we’d manage our self-care on a daily basis, making it the foundation from which we handle life – and we therefore have what it takes to really shine.

But sometimes things come at us too fast, or get out of balance, and we need a reset. Did I fall short on my self-care last summer? No. But last autumn, once that string of events got going, my stress level seriously cascaded. I had to pare things down, give my body, mind, and heart time to recover and rebuild. Especially after my stress-induced shingles debacle last April, I knew I had to listen to my body and hide out for a while.

a sign beside the trail: image of a wasp, "PLEASE STAY ON TRAIL"

guess who got stung on the trail?

And while I was in the cave licking my wounds for a few months, some really exciting things happened.

I’ve had time to:

  • Recommit to the self care I need to function well and be a rad mountain goat
  • Reflect on my long-term goals and dreams for outdoor adventures
  • Get back to a strong training program for climbing and adventuring
  • Brainstorm where I want to take Backcountry Paleo as a resource for the AIP and Paleo outdoor community

Now what? I’m stoked for what’s coming! I’m back to blogging, energized, training hard for my outdoor ventures, meeting new adventure partners, and excited to take Backcountry Paleo in some awesome new directions. More on that soon! I’ll also be posting more about how I handle my own self-care.

Please join me as the adventures continue. I’ll see you on the trail! Or maybe on some awful Pacific Northwest bushwhack to a remote alpine basin 😉