January 2019 Goals : How Did it Go?

crossfit, goals, pregnancy, running, swimming, year of 1% better

We’ve reached the end of the first month of the year! I’ll admit, it felt like a long month. Not a bad month, but it just sort of felt like it was January forever. I have a suspicion though that February will fly by — not because it is short, but because it is my dissertation defense month.

Inspired by James Clear’s Atomic Habits, I declared 2019 the year of 1% better. Though I did have some big goals like running one thousand miles, mainly I just wanted to work on little things, little habits. Part of this is because so much of 2019 is up in the air with a baby coming late May/early June and not even knowing where we will live, work, etc. (I’m not stressed, I’m not stressed, I’m not stressed) next year. I did not want to make a grand goal, get attached, and have something out of my hands happen. The other reason is that I am still convinced by Clear’s arguments. Do small things and eventually they will make a big difference.

So how did January’s 1% better goals go? Quick review: I wanted to submit my dissertation, run ninety-one miles, practice double-unders 3x a week, do not go out to eat (unless, of course, someone invites us out), swim 1x a week, read a book on Catholicism, and poach an egg.

I’ll begin with the most important. I submitted my dissertation last week Friday. And yes, I feel as weird about being done as I expected. This was the most important thing I had to get done this month. All else could slide (and as you’ll see did slide), but this was my baby, so to speak. A project I began working on in the spring 2017 is beginning to be over, although I suspect I’ll be stuck with Jean-Jacques Rousseau for awhile. I’m committed, ha!

The goals to run/walk 91 miles and to practice double-unders 3x a week did not happen. I am not one to offer excuses, but this was a little bit out of my control. I’ll offer the excuse of pregnancy. A couple weeks ago I had excruciating pelvic pain. I sat down on the couch and just could not get up. It is significantly better now, although definitely still there. It does seem, though, that running aggravates it. I have a pre-natal appointment today and I plan on talking about it, but it was a real bummer. To add injury to injury, I messed up my left ankle while attempting to do double-unders the other week. Granted, it also is doing much better. It was black and blue and swollen. Now, two weeks later, it is just swollen. Still, I’m calling the double-unders a win. Even with the little bit of extra work I did put into them before ankle-gate, I could tell I was improving. They were not beautiful, but my double-under attempts in work-outs actually began to include actual double-under successes. I feel confident that when things start to get better and I work on them again, I will begin to improve in no time. I cannot do double-unders, but I definitely became 1% better.

I only swam twice this month. I’ll admit, I love swimming, but it is really hard to get motivated. Also, currently, my swimsuit does not fit and when I put it on, I can actually hear, “I am the egg man. Whooo. They are the egg man. Whooo. I am the walrus…” I ordered a new one, a bikini even (giving that belly some room!). And it did not fit. Ok, these are excuses. Still, that is two times more than December and I love being able to swim with a watch.

We only went out to eat by ourselves once this entire month. Our reason was to celebrate me finishing and submitting my dissertation which it seemed required a little more fanfare and getting out of the house. With other people, I think we went out to eat twice. We used to go out to eat about three times a week, whether that was picking up sandwiches or whatever. I am calling this a huge success and I’m hoping to keep it up. As I said, it is not like the food around here is spectacular. It is just sheer laziness that led us to eat out as much as we did. Plus, not eating out has had led to other good habits such as finally starting to meal plan and prep. Successfully.

I’m doing the Carrots for Michaelmas CathoLIT2019 reading challenge, as a sort of over-all goal for the year. I finished my first Catholic read for the year with True Devotion to Mary. I usually read in the mornings, so this has actually been a pretty easy habit to incorporate.

Did I poach an egg? You should know better than to even ask. Those eggs have only been boiled (eaten with some delicious Maldon salt, oh my goodness the best discovery of 2019 so far) or fried over-medium in January. Maybe next month?

How have your 2019 goals been going? Did you have specific January goals?

 

 

 

 

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What I’ve Been Eating Lately

food, pregnancy

First, a disclaimer: I am not at all what you would describe as a “healthy eater.” I follow no prescribed diet. I still eat white flour and sugar. I would like to be better, but in the past couple of months nothing has sounded good to me to eat except for McDonald’s, Ben and Jerry’s, and Mexican food. I’ve felt good enough in the past couple of weeks to start to avoid those things again, but I am still having days where I’m just like “nope, need a fried chicken sandwich.” I’m not proud, but that is where I’m at right now. It is also probably why I gained more than the recommended amount in my first trimester. I’m trying not to care, because I am active, but still I care. I can’t help it.

This past week Sunday, I told Bruno that my big goal was to not go out to eat or get fast food for the next two weeks. I told him I did not care how bad the food I was making at home was (bad for you), but I wanted to do whatever it took just to prevent myself from ordering a pizza or eating Ben and Jerry’s from dinner. I figured even if everything I ate was smothered in cheese, even if I ate Eckrich farm sausage (I know it is disgusting and really bad for you, but it tastes so damn good), as long as I was not eating out that was good enough for me. It is Thursday, so, so far, so good. But the weekend is coming.

Anyway — here is a little bit of what I’ve been eating the past few weeks, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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I’ve been craving buffalo sauce on everything, so I figured I would give this buffalo chicken casserole a try. It was good, but almost too much tomato, not enough buffalo. Also, for whatever reason quinoa has not tasted good to me at all. I blame pregnancy, not the recipe.

breakfast

Here’s a standard breakfast – kale, coconut, yogurt smoothie (from the Eat Slow, Run Fast cookbook), with homemade banana bread with butter and coffee. Frankly, this has not been enough. Within two hours, I am starving. Breakfast is something I need to figure out.

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This soup was a big hit in our house. The only thing I think I would change is I would not cook the noodles in the soup and add them later (making it no longer a one-pot meal, but still pretty easy). The surplus of leftovers was amazing and delicious, but the noodles were so soggy by the end. Still. I will make this again.

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Another breakfast: yogurt smothered with granola and maple syrup.

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When Bruno cooks: ground beef, veggies, and potatoes. Nuun water on the side. I’m having a hard time with ground beef still. I used to love it, as in, I love cheeseburgers especially with bacon. This has been one of our throw together meals for a long time.

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Sausage, kale, sweet potato, and ricotta cheese. I threw this together after grocery shopping on Sunday. It was delicious. Probably not the best for you (hello sodium and sulfites), but still delicious. I love sausage, but I cannot find any “healthy” brands from our local Kroger, or maybe I’m just not aware of it. I would like to think the kale made up for it. Ha!

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Lunch this week — bbq chicken made with Montgomery Inn bbq sauce (because, Ohio!), salad with all the good veggies and all the bad salad dressing (see above about trying really hard to not go out to eat), and homemade sour dough bread with butter.

Not pictured: pizza from a local pizza place, Ruben sandwich from a local restaurant, buffalo chicken sandwich from a local pizza place, McDonald’s fried chicken sandwich, fries, and holiday pie (what is this deliciousness?), and pizza from another local pizza establishment.

I’m trying, people. Trying. And don’t give me that Yoda stuff, I’m pregnant.

xo, Ali

Cookbooks on my Christmas List

books

Between September and early November I avoided the kitchen. Cooking smelled horrible to me. The smells would send me running to the trash can, so I did not cook. I also ate terribly, but I digress. I missed cooking. I would never claim to be a good cook. I still struggle chopping things with a knife. I have never had the patience for precision in measuring (although I think bread making has forced me to get better), but I swear there is nothing like a long Sunday afternoon with the tunes on and making something for the upcoming week.

My big “ask” for Christmas this year is a dutch oven. I’ve been making sour dough bread almost every week for the last year (see above about September through November), but I would like to up my bread game, plus all the other wonderful things you can use a dutch oven for. They were on sale during Black Friday, so I’m hoping, just hoping maybe I’ll find one under the tree.

Here are some cookbooks I’m hoping to find along with that dutch oven:

The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother by Heng Ou. Part cookbook, part information book, it looks like a good one to read before Baby C arrives. Although I’ll admit that I could do a better job with feeding myself during this pregnancy (full disclosure, I have eaten McDonalds more times in the last three months than I probably have in the last five years — but when nothing sounds good….), I would like to try to do better both now and in the future. Plus, I want to feel better as soon as I can post-giving birth. I know part of that is out of my control, but what I would like to do what I can control.

Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes by Alison Roman. Who doesn’t want this book? I am probably late to the game. I want 2019 to be the year I make “the cookies” and “the stew.” Plus, the cookbook and the recipes look beautiful. Also, the reviews mention the recipes are “uncomplicated” and I can go for that. I really can.

Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky. Yes, yes, this made an appearance on last week’s running book list, but even I never ran a mile in my life I would want this cookbook. The recipes from the original book would please the non-athlete. The food is damn good regardless of whether you are planning on a long run the next day or not. I am sure this cookbook will be the same.

Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza by Ken Forkish. See above about wanting to improve my bread game.

Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines and Marah Stets. I do not watch the fixer-upper show. I have never been to Waco. So I would not consider myself a fan or even a super fan of Joanna Gaines. That said, I keep hearing good things about this cookbook. From my grandma to friends on my facebook raving about the recipes, I really want to give it a try and maybe, just maybe, I will become a Gaines super fan.

Le Creuset Cookbook: A Collection of Recipes from Our French Table. If you give an Ali a Le Creuset dutch oven, she’s going to want a a Le Creuset cookbook to go with it. Does this cookbook not look beautiful? I already envision myself making a delicious French stew listening to some Edith Piaf. This cookbook can make it happen. I just know it.

One Knife, One Pot, One Dish: Simple French Feasts at Home by Stephane Reynaud. Less mess is best. This is another cookbook for the dutch oven. The reviews repeat the beautiful magic word: simple. And yes, I want to make good, simple food throughout the week that does not look like I just threw something together (ok, ok, I know that will still happen but still!).

What cookbooks are on your Christmas list this year?

xo, Ali