*Persist* It's not you, it's the straps.

<p> A half hour into a sandy 5.7-mile backpacking hike, J was struggling. She was sulking: feet fumbling, head down, arms limp and a yell of humorous (and not) dispair every hundred feet. She pointed out every portion of flat land with tree cover along the way, "We could just tent here. They won't check."  </p>

<a href="http://ciaoemili.com/home/2017/11/12/persist-its-not-you-its-the-straps"><img src="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57b0e0e16a4963e7a40d44a2/57b0e17a29687fbd6a7ec437/5a08efd9085229359d910ae1/1510549941978/IMG_7782.jpg?format=1500w" width="100%" title="Persist" alt="Persist It's not you"></a>

5 Things I Did Right In My 20s

I was going to make this long and funny. Instead, I’ll opt for short and sweet. As I reflect on the last decade, there are five things that I can say went well and mattered more than I thought they would. 

Reviving the Spirit of the Amateur

<p>In the advent of sharing and connection, we have left behind the amateur and the leisurely hobbiest. Fearing public humiliation and mean spirits, it can be easier to leave experimentation behind for the pursuit of something more promising. We expect to be good, even great. </p>

<a href="http://ciaoemili.com/home/2017/9/24/reviving-the-amateur"><img src="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57b0e0e16a4963e7a40d44a2/57b0e17a29687fbd6a7ec437/59c84296a803bbff9d2ddccc/1506297434822/IMG_1931.jpg?format=2500w" width="100%" title="Reviving the Amature" alt="Reviving the Amaturel"></a>

5 Travel Tips for Engaging to Relax

<p> Often vacations are relegated to passive relaxation activities meant to reinvigorate the vacationer. But is that the passiveness the best way to recharge? It hit hard on this trip to Portugal that sometimes the best way to recharge is to engage. </p>

<a href="http://ciaoemili.com/home/2017/9/16/5-travel-tips-engaging-relax"><img src="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57b0e0e16a4963e7a40d44a2/57b0e17a29687fbd6a7ec437/59bdcdff51a584fb03d4d1dd/1505620854046/IMG_5821.jpg?format=2500w" width="100%" title="Travel to Engage in Portugal" alt="Travel to Engage in Portugal"></a>

7 Learnings From Nixing Added Sugar For A Month

<p> After spending a harrowing month nixing added sugar, I've got some knowledge to drop. </p>

<p> *1. Zero grams of sugar doesn't always mean no sugar* If there are less than .5 grams of sugar in each serving, a company can claim zero grams on the nutrition label. </p>

<a href="http://ciaoemili.com/home/2017/8/31/7-learnings-from-a-month-without-added-sugar"><img src="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57b0e0e16a4963e7a40d44a2/57b0e17a29687fbd6a7ec437/59a8984ed7bdce2051c1a4a6/1505349414011/IMG_6693+%281%29.jpg?format=1500w" width="100%" title="Learnings from No Added Sugar" alt="Learnings from No Added Sugar"></a>

*Reminder* Salads Don't Have to Suck

<p>Yup, that's it. They really don't have to suck. Salads get such a bad rap for being blah and unfulfilling health sacrifices, but that doesn't need to be the case at all. They can be incredibly delicious and quick to make. </p>

<a href="http://ciaoemili.com/home/2017/8/28/reminder-salads-dont-have-to-suck"><img src="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57b0e0e16a4963e7a40d44a2/t/59a4874912abd971dc04cfe9/1503954774490/IMG_6912+%281%29.jpg?format=1500w" width="100%" title="Salad Love" alt="Salad Love"></a>

A Philosophy for Making Healthy, Goal-Oriented Choices Easier

<p> Simple rules and designs can create an environment that makes healthy life choices much more organic. You can make rather painless (albeit somewhat inconvenient) changes to architecture a life that will suit your goals better. Here are rules and designs I created for my goals: </p>

<p>To watch less TV, design the space so the television goes second. </p>

<a href="http://ciaoemili.com/home/2017/8/21/philosophy-for-making-healthy-goal-oriented-choices-easier"><img src="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57b0e0e16a4963e7a40d44a2/t/59a07c2ef5e231745ba5a078/1503689788907/IMG_4243.jpg?format=1500w" width="100%" title="Watch Less TV" alt="Watch Less TV"></a>

 

10 Spirit Boosters for Sucky Days

We often don't speak honestly about struggles in public, but we all have them. I toiled over the loss of a job opportunity over I so dearly cherished last week. Reaching out to friends for support and perspective provides empowerment, but there are times when you need to hear the voice of others. These are ten pieces of inspiration that resonated with me deeply over the years and the struggles.

<p><h3>(1) Admiral William McRaven on the importance of starting the day with accomplishing a task – make your bed.</h3></p>

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