Tuesday, January 3, 2012

31 Days to Better Health - Day 3

Today I am feeling like the people on this boat who won the evening sailboat race.  :-) 

How are you feeling after the first two days in this series?  Is this helpful for you so far? If you have any suggestions for this series please let me know. My goal is for everyone to define what they want and make progress toward that goal(s) this month. I know if we work together we can all move forward and that would be amazing! *smiles*

Speaking of moving forward I have an observation that I would like you to consider. I couldn’t help but notice that I am the only one who has been willing to go public with their “stuff” so far. One of the main advantages of doing this is accountability. If you are playing along at home and haven’t shared here please share with someone you trust. Accountability is something that helps everyone stay on track. How many articles have you read that indicate that telling people that you are starting a diet or committing to an exercise routine increases your probability of success? Just something I wanted to toss out there for you to consider because I want all of you to be successful. If you want accountability but don’t want to go public on the blog feel free to email your answers/commitments and let me know how often you want me to check up on you.

Goals for the End of this Month:

The first two days of this series were bigger picture items to set us up for this task. Today we are going to focus on very specific goals for this month. For those of you who are not familiar with setting goals they need to be specific and measurable (so you know if you attained them or not), achievable (example no one will lose 30 pounds in a month so don’t set yourself up to fail), and they should be something that you really want. Don’t set a goal to please your husband or your family. The goals you set should be just for you.

To give you a good idea of what makes a well defined goal I wrote one goal that isn’t so you could see the difference.

If your goal is to improve your ratio of beans and greens to whole grain that not is not specific enough, nor is it measurable. However if you said I want to eat 2 bean servings and 2 green servings to 1 serving of whole grains now your goal is both specific and measurable. Not only that but it is also achievable. See how this works?

As I have been doing I will go first and share my goals for the month with you.

1. My first goal is to have my first two monthly newsletters written by the end of this month (January 31, 2012 at the end of the day). I also will have selected a contact manager software and have the link on my blog for you to sign up for subscriptions to the newsletter which will start in February.

2. My second goal for the month is to get back to using my Body Bugg to track my daily activity. I have not been wearing my Bugg much in the last two months and I know that I get more activity when I can see the numbers and track them. My time in finance taught me the value of a good chart and/or graph. LOL ;-)

3. My third goal for the month is to schedule at least one date a week with my hubby.  BTW my husband added the "at least" part which I think is a great sign. Since Dan has gone back to work I have been missing him tremendously. I think it would do us both good to spend more time together. In order to get him home earlier a few evenings a week I am going to schedule dates in his calendar. Wish me luck since we all know my husband works a lot!

I hope that seeing my goals for the month shows you how I connected my ideas of success with specific actions. Now it is your turn, what are you goals for the month of January?  When you are setting your goals for January don't bite off more than you can handle.  Remember you can always set goals for February, March, etc.

In the interest of accountability if you notice that I am not living up to the goals above please feel free to call me out. I am just like everyone else and could use a little prodding on occasion. ;-)


Today we had smoothies for breakfast (frozen bananas, frozen cherries, almond butter, cinnamon, kale, stevia, and cocoa powder). I would have used walnuts but we were out because as you know the cupboards here are fairly bare. This smoothie is definitely better with walnuts but the almond butter was fine in a pinch.

When we left the house to run errands and go grocery shopping (thank goodness!) I knew that we would be gone at least 2 hours, and it had been a few hours since breakfast. So that we didn’t get hungry while we were out I grabbed two nut and dried fruit bars and popped them into my purse. One thing I have learned is that planning is critical if you are going to stay on a healthy routine like ours. If you are trying to improve your diet I highly recommend keeping a small cooler in your car and cold packs in your freezer that way you can put the cold packs in the cooler to carry food with you when you are on the move. Having a thermos for hot food like soup is also very helpful, particularly in the winter.

While we were out shopping I could not help but notice what was in other people’s grocery carts. Dan said I was being nosy, which he later refined to observant, but I think he was kidding all along about the nosy part. I was just trying to learn what other Americans purchase to eat. It was shocking to see grocery carts filled with meat, cheese, processed food and the occasional fruit or vegetable. Most carts had one fresh produce item like bananas, or onions. I did see to carts that had two produce items but that was in addition to copious amounts of meat, dairy, refined flour products, snack foods like chips, and baked goods. Overall it was very obvious that the meat, diary, and refined carbs made up 95% of what people were buying. *sigh* This realization was incredibly depressing for me. It really is no wonder so many people in America are overweight or obese and in poor health. It made me very sad to see how big the problem has become.

Once we were home from the store and had the groceries put away I made lunch. Our lunch today consisted of a huge salad (in a serving bowl) with baby spinach, salsa, hummus, broccoli, paprika, and pine nuts. It was good to have produce in the house again. I was seriously missing having broccoli in the house for inclusion in my salad. I know that I am not right. ;-)

After lunch it was time to set up the speech recognition software on my laptop which Dan bought me for Christmas. So far it is definitely faster for me to type than to use this software. I am hopeful that as the software learns the sound of my voice this process will be quicker than typing at the moment it is more than a little frustrating. Why is it that things always take longer than you think they should? I guess that's just how life is most of the time.

Dan was a really good sport Monday evening while I was playing around with Dragon to teach it my voice patterns. I am sure this was no fun or him. At the moment that I am typing this he is listening to me and making little talking motions with his hands like a puppet. It is very funny and he is nodding his head as I said he is being a good sport. I swear that my husband is eternally youthful. Is my husband the only one who behaves like this? Please tell me I'm not alone in this. ;-)

While Sunday night I had no idea what to cook because the cupboard is bare Monday evening I have the opposite problem. Our refrigerator is stuffed with produce, like normal, and it is a bit of sensory overload now. It seems I always want what I don't have. However I think that is just what humans do most of the time.

In the end Dan suggested that we have leftover beans soup from our lunch yesterday. Since it was getting late I thought that sounded like a wonderful idea. Like yesterday we had a bowl of soup over quinoa.

We also had one more mug of hot green and white tea with a little fresh grapefruit juice and cinnamon. I am seriously in love with the flavor combination of this tea. Additionally I am very pleased to say that once we started brewing double strength tea we have no difficulty reaching 10 cups per day. Why didn’t I think of double strength tea sooner? Green and white tea are so mild in flavor that even double strength it isn’t overpowering and you are getting more of the health benefits. *shakes head* It really is so obvious to make the tea double strength now that I am doing it. I am only sorry that it took me so long to think about doing this.

Happy Thoughts:

• It was wonderful to have my hubby home on a weekday. Also it was very sweet of him to go grocery shopping with me. Anytime we do things together they are always more fun. You know you married the right person when being together makes even the most mundane tasks pleasant. I love you baby! *hugs*

• I am very, very happy to have a refrigerator stuffed with fresh produce again. Who would imagine something so small could make anyone this happy? I really do love produce! This fact still amazes me since more of my life I avoided vegetables. Who says you can’t make changes even later in life?

• Blog traffic on my two recent posts has jumped by approximately 30% compared to other recent posts. This suggests that people are forwarding links to these posts to their friends and that makes me very happy. *huge smile* I hope this means there are many of you at home answering the questions and trying to figure out what is important to you. I believe that working together we are all stronger than when any of us stands alone.

• While it has taken more time than usual I am very much enjoying writing this series on health which I would describe as a labor of love. Additionally it has forced me to get more in touch with what is important in my life. Somehow writing down the answers to the questions has had the effect of refining where I should be focusing my time and effort. I hope it is having the same effect for you.

• Knowing this week is another four-day rather than five-day is also a happy thought for me. There is nothing that I enjoyed more than spending more time with my husband. Short weeks mean that the weekend is closer than normal. If the weather forecast is correct, temperatures should be back in the 60s this weekend. Sounds to me like we may need to go spend a little time on the sailboat. Who wouldn't love a little unexpected boat time in January?

• I talked to one of my best friends yesterday evening. Since I knew they stay current on my blog I asked what they thought about my January posts. I laughed when my friend said “thank goodness you are not going to get more passionate about health.” See what I mean about if you are passionate about something all your friends will know? Thanks for the laugh! LOL

• Also last night I participated in a webinar on health. I wanted to see what sort of information other people were sharing, the format they were using, the conference call vendor, and just generally how other people run their webinars. The reason I was doing that is that I am considering doing some webinars of my own. Many of them would be free because I want to touch as many people as possible, but some of them would have a nominal charge. Does that sound like something you'd be interested in taking part in? If you would be interested, what topics would you like me to address? If I get adequate interest in webinars this will be something that I try to add this spring. I will be asking you about this again to get more feedback before I pursue it further.

• We had a few snow flurries this morning which was a treat. I would have completely missed that it was snowing if Masi had not showed me. I love to watch him watching the snow fall. Cats can be incredibly charming can’t they? Are you starting to see how much I adore my fur children? I can’t imagine what life would be like without them. They bring so much love and laughter to our home.  Before you ask I took this during a different snow event but since I like old architecture I wanted to use it.  ;-)

Signing out:

Like usual Dan went back to work and that means I am back to my normal routine. Today I need to attend to all the things I didn't do over the weekend while my sweetie was home. I have a lot of things to work on for the blog, around the house, food to prepare and e-mail to catch up on. It seems life is a never ending list tasks. However when those tasks are things that support your idea of success they don't seem like a burden. I hope the same is true in your life.

For those of you who want to get a jumpstart thinking about tomorrow that post is going to ask you to list the things you know you should be doing that you are avoiding. I will explain it more fully tomorrow but I think you can already see what we will be working on.

I hope you are enjoying the January posts as much as I am. Talk with you again tomorrow. Hope you have a great first week of the New Year. Let’s make 2012 our best and healthiest year yet! I know we can do it particularly if we work together. *smiles*


  1. I'm so glad you're blogging again and that you're doing well post-surgery. I found this post at the perfect time and linked to it on my blog today.

  2. Hi Brigid!

    Happy Holidays to you! Thanks, it was a rough month and I am happy to be back. I was definitely having online withdrawal. Now I just need to figure out how to reset my password on Facebook (I think I was hacked) and then I will be fully online again. ;-)

    Thanks for letting me this was helpful. Thank you also for the link love. You are very sweet! :-)


  3. Ali, I just wanted to tell you, I am glad to see you back. I am behind on your blog, but hope to catch up in my spare time (whats that?) when I have it. My husband's mentor just let him borrow "The China Study". When he first showed it to me when he got home, I was like, "I've heard of this book before and I want to read it" but couldn't think of WHERE I had heard about it. Then as I started reading the first page this evening I realized it was right here on you blog! I am very excited to read it when I desire some "for fun" reading, as I call reading when I have a small amount of time.
    Thanks for getting me hooked!

  4. Hi Joline!

    You are very fortunate to have a hubby who is interested in health since so few of them them are. :-) I think you will enjoy The China Study. It really opened my eyes and I think it will have the same effect on you.

    hugs from one Turk mommy to another,


Related Posts with Thumbnails