A Lighter Life

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It was just six weeks ago that me and my husband moved to Oregon from Maryland.  Having lived in the hustle and bustle of the Northeast United States for most of our adult lives, we looked forward to a change of environment and a chance to experience a different culture.  Each weekend we hope to explore sites either within the Portland local area or venture out into the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. This past Memorial Day weekend was no exception.  Realizing that most people would probably be traveling towards the Coast to soak up the sun, we headed east to explore the John Day Fossil Beds and Painted Hills.  It was during this weekend adventure that I discovered how refreshing and light it can be to lead a simple life.

On the drive east, there was no lack of beautiful scenery.  The rolling hills, mountain peaks, and rural landscapes covered every mile of the road trip. As we stopped along the side of the road to take some pictures, we couldn't help but notice the rare sound of absolute peace and

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quiet in what seemed like the middle of nowhere.  This quiet calm was refreshing to our often overwhelmed senses.  At times, the sights seemed almost surreal as we peered onto preserved lands that revealed history of times gone by.  It did not take long for me to realize that any stress that I may have had in my mind at the start of this journey was small compared to the vast landscape of life.  As we met the residents of the small towns within this landscape, I realized that being in the midst of such great wonders of nature really brought a person down to Earth and made them realize what was truly important.

 painted hills

painted hills

Entering each restaurant or shop, the locals called each other by name and shop owners seemed to value each and every customer that walked through the door as if it was their only guest.  Every question or request was answered with a smile, and each customer was provided well wishes as they finished their stay.  Children in such towns rode their bikes around the streets as the local dogs ran playfully nearby, unleashed but obedient.  Stores closed at no later than 8:00pm.  It was after this time that lamp posts provided a shining light as the town settled to sleep in preparation for another full day of hard work.

Main Street in Prairie City, Oregon
Main Street in Prairie City, Oregon

Most of the restaurants in town seemed to be family-run with the owners also acting as waiters and cooks. Nearby farms and ranches, likely run by other residents in nearby towns, provided the fresh cattle and produce that helped feed the local towns.  Supermarkets and fast food restaurants were few and far between.  Fresh, home-cooked meals with family recipes were on every restaurant menu.

The lack of strong wifi signals and phone reception within the towns helped keep the focus of each day on enjoying nature and spending time with friends and loved ones.  Without technology and to-do lists, I could allow myself to truly rest.  This lighter living kept my stress levels low, my mind clear, and my body rested.

On the drive home, although there was traffic at times during our 6 hour drive home, looking at sights such as Mount Hood on the horizon made everything seem OK.  It was as if the fresh, crisp air blowing through the car windows from the far away mountainside washed all of my worries away.  Reality did set in as I pulled into the driveway of our new home, but that did not make me feel any less inspired.

 mount hood

mount hood

For the past three years, I have worked on updating my website with no idea how to best launch my site.  Since this past Memorial Day weekend, I realized the best way to introduce the world to My Lighttrack Dietitian was to write about an experience that encompasses the true mission of the site.  My Lighttrack Dietitian is about helping others to lighten their load, not only in terms of physical burdens, but emotional and mental burdens as well.  My Lighttrack Dietitian hopes to align others' thoughts to more positive thinking, opening their minds to trying new things, lightening their perspective on healthy living as less of a chore and more of an exciting journey towards a new way of life.

During this trip, I saw the way life could be if one took time out of their busy schedules to truly engage in life.  Once cellphones were set aside, time was scheduled for love of nature, oneself and others, and bodies were nourished with fresh food, life seemed more enjoyable.  When you start to enjoy life, you start to appreciate the possibilities that life has to offer.  It is in these possibilities that dreams become more tangible and motivation comes to life.  Therefore, whether you hope to become healthy or need helping staying healthy, My Lighttrack Dietitian will be there to guide you towards ways to live simply towards a lighter life.