Should I Work Out On Vacation?

YES! The answer is YES!

But whyyyyy? (in the whiniest and most annoying voice you can possibly muster) Well, lots of reasons!

I know what you’re thinking. Why can’t I just take it easy and relax? I’ll get back to my workouts next week! A week off won’t kill me.—and you’re right! It won’t, but I have a couple of reasons that might just change your mind about that.

It makes you feel good!

Don’t you always feel better once you’ve gotten your workout in? Don’t you want to feel your best when you’re on vacation?–ESPECIALLY if you’re in a swimsuit somewhere?? I know I do. Don’t get me wrong, I want you to feel good about yourself in a bikini whether you’ve gotten your workout in or not, and I’m not talking about a balls to the wall, so sore I can’t walk the next day kind of workout. I’m just saying get your blood pumping and break a little sweat. Overall, working out makes you feel better mentally and physically, and you should always feel your best when you’re on vacation!

It’s fun to sweat somewhere new!

Right? Working out in the same place every day, whether it be at home or at the gym, can get monotonous. I love to check out the work out spaces whenever I’m traveling. It’s a motivator for me.

If you have Beachbody’s All Access On Demand, you really have no excuse not to!

I mean, seriously. I’m obsessed. All of your workouts are right there at your finger tips ALL THE TIME. No gym or equipment required. 25-40 minutes, and you’re done. You can do it from your phone, your computer, an Apple TV. Most days, I spend more time trying to figure out what I’m going to wear or do (aka I’m indecisive.)

Why would you want to step backwards in your results?

I get it. You’re probably not going to be eating THE BEST on your vacation or while traveling, but your results don’t have to take a backseat. You can continue to improve your strength or endurance any where. There’s no reason for you to ruin all of your results. You’ve worked too hard for that.

At this point, you may be rolling your eyes and thinking, “ok, whatever, Chelsea,” and that’s totally fine! I’m all about having balance in life, so I understand if you’re saying NO WAY, JOSE! to working out on your vacation. Sometimes, you just need a break. But on the other hand, if you’re thinking I  made some valid points, GET MOVING! 🙂

You can find me get my workout in on the daily right now while I’m on spring break. Let me know if you want to join!

xo, Chels

images by Lauren Dorman Photography

2016: A Year in Review

Hi there! Long time, no blog. Sorry, but I’m not really sorry about that. Reason being, it’s been a really GREAT and BUSY year. Lots of living in the present and not so much thinking about when/how/what I’m going to post. However, inspiration struck today, so here I am.

I feel like lots of people, especially in the social media world, have jumped on the 2016 WAS THE WORST YEAR EVER train, and that’s just SO NEGATIVE. Don’t buy into that y’all. Yes negative things happened, but I think it’s super unfair to say that the WHOLE year was negative. Negativity is a cancer. Don’t let it take you over!

Like I said, this year has been FREAKING FABULOUS, and I’d love to share with you the many reasons why. Have you ever had those moments where you KNOW you are in God’s will and EXACTLY where you’re supposed to be?? That’s pretty much how August through December was for me, and I am incredibly grateful.

and that’s just a little bit! God has absolutely blessed me and my family in the past year, and I am SO EXCITED for 2017. I love the feeling of a new year and a fresh start. This year, I’m not buying into any of the “new year, new me” bull crap. The new year does not call for a new you. The you that you are right now is already beautiful and amazing. Every day is just a new chance for you to be the best version of you that you can possibly be.

The most important lesson that 2016 taught me is to LOVE YOURSELF EXACTLY HOW YOU ARE. You are enough. You are made in God’s perfect image. This is the only life and only body you get. PLEASE don’t waste any more time hating yourself. There’s no time to waste.

and you know I love ya!

Happy New Year, y’all!

Savannah Georgia Photo Diary

Savannah Photo Diary

Our trip to Savannah, Georgia was just amazing. It is such a charming city with TONS of history, and it’s SO HAUNTED. The whole city just gave me this weird vibe the whole time, and I really think it’s because you can’t walk 45 feet without standing on a grave. They literally knocked over headstones and built on top of graves when they wanted to expand the city. Like ZERO respect for the dead. It was crazy!

Despite the dead people everywhere vibe (LOL) it is definitely somewhere we will visit again. Probably when it’s a bit cooler, though, because it’s a walking town and it was 900 degrees.

I’m going to do a bit of a picture dump now, but I’ll do a restaurant and fun activity post later this week!


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Dinner on the Savannah River at sunset.

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Just one of the beautiful houses in Savannah. It’s also one of the houses featured in the movie, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.


There’s a really old bell in that gazebo.


Statue of the waving girl.


On the top of Fort Pulaski with the Atlantic Ocean behind us.


The Candler Oak Tree


The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist


The Mercer Williams House

One thing I will mention before I close out–I definitely recommend reading and watching Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil before you go. Everyone in this city talks about it ALL THE TIME. And for the record, the Forest Gump bench is in a museum now and not still in the square where the movie was filmed.

We had a blast! I can’t wait to share more with you! Have a great week!


Hippy Tips: My Favorite Podcasts

Hippy Tip Podcasts

First of all, I want to thank everyone for all of the kind and positive responses to yesterday’s post. I love hearing your experiences with similar issues and how you overcome them. You guys are incredible, and your love and support means more to me than you will EVER know. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

On to today’s post!

So lets talk playlists. I have no idea why I took so long to jump on the playlist bandwagon, but it’s safe to say that I am now obsessed. I guess I always felt like I was betraying all my wonderful music that I love by listening to a podcast instead. Stupid. I know.

Podcasts really do make road trips and walks/runs go by so fast, and I’ve learned so much! Anyway, here are some of my favorites so far…

Favorite Podcasts

The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast

I’ve been following (aka obsessed with) Lauryn Evarts and her blog The Skinny Confidential for 4 years now. She’s irreverent and funny and so real. Lauryn and her fiancé, Michael Bosstick, started their podcast a fews months ago. They answer questions about branding, blogging, entrepreneurship, relationships, travel, marketing, and social media. I’ve learned so much from them and applied a ton of it. They’re super young too, so it’s nice to get sound advice from people my age doing big things.

The #AskGaryVee Show

I’ve talked about Gary Vaynerchuk before on the blog, and there’s a reason. He is a plethora of information and advice, and he genuinely wants EVERYONE to succeed. Gary stresses helping others without expecting anything in return because that’s being a good and decent person. Love it. On his podcasts, he answers tons of questions that are sent into him and interviews fellow influencers. He’s very fast paced, which I love.

Meal Mentor

I’ve also talked about Lindsay S. Nixon a lot on the blog. I use her vegan meal plans, cookbooks, and read her blog too. Her podcast is AMAZING! She interviews fellow whole foods, plant-based vegans whose lives have been changed by the lifestyle. It’s so inspirational and informative at the same time.


I know. I’m SO BEHIND. I’m almost finished with season 1. If you haven’t heard about Serial, let me explain. Throughout the season, the host unfolds one true story. It follows the plot and characters wherever they may go. The first season is about Adnan Syed who was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend his senior year of high school. There’s so many messed up things about his trial, though, that it really wasn’t clear that he was the killer. The second season is about the soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, that went AWOL while deployed and was held captive by the Taliban. I’m super excited to start that season.

Girlboss Radio by Sophia Amoruso

Sophia Amoruso is the founder of the clothing company Nasty Gal and author of the book #Girlboss. The book was so good, so I was super excited to find her podcast. She interviews all kinds of world renown girl bosses about how they’ve made their mark in creative, cultural, and business ventures, and they give awesome advice. They’re all super witty, too.

I have a few more vegan podcasts I listen to, but I won’t bore you with those unless you want me too. 🙂

Have a listen, and let me know what you think!


Going Vegan Helped Me Love Myself

If you have followed Mississippi Hippy for a little while, you know that I have spent a lot of my life struggling with body image and disordered eating. While I began recovering from my eating disorder about 8 years ago, my body image and food issues have lasted much much longer.

This was me at 5 years old. I was 5 years old when I was first told I was fat. I remember the day. I remember where it was. I remember what I was wearing. I remember EXACTLY what the person said. Words can be so damaging.

This was me at 5 years old. I was 5 years old when I was first told I was fat. I remember the day. I remember where it was. I remember what I was wearing. I remember EXACTLY what the person said. Words can be so damaging. Please excuse the old, grainy pictures.

If I was to track my progression on a chart, it would look much more like a roller coaster than a straight shot up. For YEARS, my happiness has been tied to my weight and how I perceived my reflection in the mirror. I was at my absolute happiest only when I was losing or had lost weight. It’s amazing how much a number on a scale can dramatically change your mood. It changed my brain. If I didn’t see what I wanted to see on the scale every morning, I was definitely not going to see what I wanted in the mirror that day. This would lead to obsessing over everything I put in my mouth that day and logging it into MyFitnessPal. I punished myself by doing workouts that were KILLING my body and old injuries just because they burned tons of calories. I always felt so guilty if I ate bread, potatoes, rice, or anything with carbs. If I did eat them, I binged, and I would immediately start figuring up how much cardio I needed to burn it off. I lived to hear, “you look like you’ve lost weight.”

I was miserable, and this is SUCH a miserable way to live. Honestly though, I just figured that’s how I was going to be forever. I was happy enough with other aspects of my life to make up for hating what I saw in the mirror most days. I lied to myself and others about how I had learned to love myself when in reality, I really only loved myself when the number on the scale was lower than the day before. I started thinking that’s what self-love was.

Body Pics

Left: I remember feeling so good about myself in this picture because it was my first time to wear it and the bottoms were bigger on me than they were when I bought them a few weeks before. However, I would have never taken a photo facing the camera head on. Right: My wedding day. I felt so beautiful, but I was so worried about my dress fitting the whole morning. I’d like to point out that I was the smallest I have ever been and was still considered overweight on the BMI scale, which is a load of crock, by the way!

When I became vegan back in November, I had pretty much given up on ever thinking that one day my ultimate happiness wouldn’t be tied to what I saw on the scale and in the mirror. It was not something I thought would even change when I was standing in front of all the beef in Kroger deciding that I couldn’t eat meat anymore. (whole story here) I didn’t become vegan to lose weight. I stopped eating animal products because I genuinely don’t like meat and hate the pain and negative impact animal agriculture causes. I gave up the dairy and eggs when I began researching the health benefits. Quite frankly, I had even prepared myself to gain some weight because of all the stories and testimonies I had read online about going vegan. I did gain a little at first, but I think that was more due to it being the holidays.

In March, I decided to get more strict about avoiding oils and cutting back on the added fats like peanut butter. If you know me or pretty much any of my best friends, you know that we’ve been known to eat whole jars of peanut butter in a day. It’s my FAVORITE. Don’t even get me started on Jif’s whipped peanut butters. HEAVEN. Anyway…I had been doing more and more research on the HCLF/Whole-Food, Plant-Based vegan diet, and it really resinated with me. Fast forward 4 months and I’ve realized that I haven’t really had a negative thought about my body or what I put in my mouth since March.


Now, to be fair, I have to tell you that I have lost about 20 pounds since I cut out oils and limited my added fats, but it’s not something I was focusing on. I stopped getting on the scale every day because I wasn’t consciously doing anything to lose weight. It has been very slow and steady. Believe it or not, I even stopped doing any type of regular workout. I had stopped my bootcamp classes that were killing my joints because they were very expensive, and I simply couldn’t afford them anymore.

I decided to give my body a little bit of a break around this time to see if my constant knee and hip pain would go away. I started doing more yoga at home because I love how it makes me feel mentally and physically, not because I was punishing myself for eating something “bad.” I went on walks around the neighborhood with my husband, and I went for runs occasionally because I felt like it. On May 14, I ran a 10k without training because some friends of mine were doing it, and I thought it would be fun. I’ve always loved the atmosphere and feeling of accomplishment when you finish a 5k, so I figured I’d walk most of it. Who cares, right? I ended up finishing in a much better time than I ever imagined I would and running a really good (for me) average mile time.

Post Magnolia Meltdown 10k on May 14, 2016

Post Magnolia Meltdown 10k on May 14, 2016

How could this be? My brain went into a tailspin trying to figure out how this could have possibly happened. I hadn’t trained or really worked out in 3 months, and I had been eating tons of carbohydrates without really thinking about it. Then it dawned on me–I had been at peace with myself since March. I was listening to my body and what it needed/wanted. I wasn’t obsessing over food or numbers. My knees and hips didn’t bother me during my run because I had been showing myself love by giving them time to heal. I was eating a diet that was made up of primarily carbohydrates without feeling guilty and being totally satisfied. On top of it all, I was losing weight without even trying or noticing.

Changing my diet to one that is high in carbohydrates, low in fat and full of whole, plant based foods has changed my life. THERE I SAID IT. I have never been happier with who I am and what I see in the mirror. I have never been more unaffected mentally by what I put in my mouth every day. I make smart, healthy decisions like it’s second nature, because it is now. I splurge with Oreos, beer, or Wendy’s french fries on the weekends, but I have still yet to feel deprived. I eat when I’m hungry, and I stop when I’m full. I am active, and I workout because I LOVE it, not because I have something I feel like I need to burn off. Very rarely do I track my food in MyFitnessPal anymore, and if I do, it’s out of curiosity–not guilt.

I know it sounds crazy that becoming a HCLF vegan did all of this. On the surface, I also know that eating this way seems extremely restrictive and difficult to maintain. It may even sound harmful to some. However, once you’ve done your research, it’s SO EASY and the healthiest way to eat.

I don’t get crazy about things when I go to restaurants or eat at a friend’s house. I actually had to ask my mom to stop telling the wait staff that I’m a “weird vegan” when I’m giving my out-of-the-ordinary order at restaurants. Without fail, the cook or manager would always come to the table to discuss my dietary restrictions, and I would feel so bad! Haha! I just finally had to ask my well-meaning mother to stop because it freaks people out. To me, it’s not worth  making others uncomfortable or their life more difficult. I ask for no cheese and DEFINITELY no meat, but if it comes out looking oily or the cheese is left on my salad, I don’t worry too much about it. I pick it off or eat around it or just eat the oil. I bring my own food to friend’s and family’s houses. Not a huge deal.

I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts by Lindsay S. Nixon of Happy Herbivore and Meal Mentor, and she always says to “strive for progress over perfection.” I’ve really taken that to heart. It’s also important to remember that in social situations, like eating out or parties, that you shouldn’t  be there solely for the food. You should be there for the fellowship and company of your friends and family. Also, we live in extremely advanced times. You will not die from your short term hunger. I PROMISE. (Unless you’re diabetic or something, then by all means do what you have to!) You can be hungry for a little while. You can eat after or before or bring a snack in your purse. Start scheduling catch up sessions with friends around activities like a walk or bike ride instead of food. These things have all been helpful for me.

Please note, I am not a doctor or an expert in eating disorders. Nor am I a nutritionist or certified personal trainer. I’m just sharing my personal experiences because when something makes you feel this good inside and out, HOW CAN YOU NOT SHARE IT WITH OTHERS? I am passionate about helping and inspiring others, and if my sharing can touch just one person, it’s more than worth it.

I realize this lifestyle is not for everyone, but if you have any questions about it or getting started, I would love to talk with you or help you in any way I can. Just leave me a comment, shoot me an email, or contact me via any social media outlet.

I love you all a whole, whole lot!