Gardening for the Mind and Body

Plant-veggiesI love Spring. Not just because warmer weather and sunshine is near, but also because I love to work outside. Yes, not only do I love to work hard in the gym, I love hard labor. Pushing a wheelbarrow up a hill that is filled with dirt not only keeps me busy, but it also helps my hamstrings, glutes, and core become stronger. These are thoughts that go through my mind while I am working. What muscles am I using? How can I engage my core using a shovel? How can I protect my back and keep it strong while using a rake in the garden? From 8am to 8pm, I could work outside all day long.

My garden is very important to me, because quality foods are very important to me. Although sometimes I have a cheat, I eat clean 90% of the time and train hard and love every minute of it. I watch my garden grow and learn to plant vegetables that I will eat. For example, I will not plan corn this year. I typically don’t eat corn because I classify it as grain (I mean it is what high fructose corn syrup is made from) and I would rather have sweet potatoes, just a personal preference! So this year I am focusing on onions, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, sweet potatoes and strawberries. These are my foods of choice because I eat them a lot! Some of you may think you can’t grow a garden because you live in the city. This is not the case! There are tons of online resources where you can find out how to create an urban homestead. Although some might be to the extreme, just take some of the ideas and implement them into your life.  You can also find locally grown fruits and vegetables in your area. Farmers markets and even friends can be great resources. If you are limited on space, you can team up with a friend. One of you can grow tomato plants in planters on your apartment balcony while the other grows sweet potatoes in their back yard and when harvest comes around you swap foods! There are many ways to grow healthy fruits and vegetables, spend a weekend planning and planting a few. It’s a great way to get outside and enjoy this spring weather, relieve some stress, and get in some physical activity other than your hard training sessions!

Some of my favorite resources are – learn about farmers markets in your area and ways to receive a fresh box of vegetables from local farms -great ideas and suggestions on how to utilize small spaces -ways to go green, DIY projects, recipes and organic gardening tips

“Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world”-Ralph Waldo Emerson. Hyla Conrad is a self-motivated WBFF Pro and lives by these words. Fearless in her competing and training, she holds nothing back.  Hyla learned that success comes from eating clean, training like an athlete, and having a positive attitude. She started fitness at a young age and grew up training in gymnastics, cheerleading, and track and field.  She believes a positive body image and healthy mental attitudes are crucial to a woman’s happiness and wellness. Her upbeat positive attitude shines through everything she does- from cooking clean meals to share with her husband, playing with her beloved dog Max, and stepping onstage for her next competition, that positive shine keeps on getting brighter.




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