Tag Archives: The Happiness Project

January’s Fail

And so another month has come and gone. Hard to believe I’ve already given myself and “completed” three months of personal challenges. January was a month of no meat, and while I tried, I would be lying to you and myself if I posted here saying I completed the month successfully. While it wasn’t a total failure (i.e. eating meat frequently), I did have some. I’d say I got a D on this, you know, if we were giving it a grade.

For the most part, I stuck to a full-fledged vegetarian diet. However, while on vacation, I quickly realized that our society truly does cater to the meat-eaters of the world (for the most part). There were some restaurants that didn’t have one vegetarian  item listed; and I’m talking not even a pasta dish where I could request it without some ingredients. Sure, I could have asked for something vegetarian and off the menu (especially since I was in Disney and they are very accommodating), but I didn’t want to go through the hassle. That may seem like a cop-out, but it was the reality of the situation and the way I decided to handle it. My husband liked to declare throughout the month, “you’re the worst vegetarian ever!”

When I had the choice between meat and no meat, I always went meatless – even if it meant passing up my favorite chicken fingers and honey mustard sauce, or filet mignon at my in-law’s. I also cooked completely vegetarian for the month, but that’s standard far in our household.

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So, I guess you can say I learned something this past January. I prefer a vegetarian lifestyle, but when faced with only meat options, I’ll eat it. Similarly, there are times when I really just want a hamburger. Though, the thought of meat has become increasingly unappetizing. While waiting at the deli counter with my husband over the weekend, I couldn’t bring myself to pick something out. So, the bottom line is that no, I am not a full-fledged vegetarian. I don’t have a need for the label, so we’ll leave it at that. I prefer veggies, grains, and legumes over meat on most days, but every once in awhile, at least for now, I need some meat in my life (insert “that’s what she said” here). Who knows, this all may change – but for now that’s my eating philosophy; eat what you want, how you want, and when you want.

What’s on deck for February, you may ask? Yoga! I’m hoping to do yoga at least once a week, preferably more. Since I’m not really working right now (hello student teaching), they’ll all be done at home either with Pocket Yoga, On Demand, or my own routine. That way, I can save the dollar bills but still get in my practice. Hopefully this will go better than last month – we’ll see!

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Filed under Project, Vegetarian/Vegan

Halfway Happiness

For those of you that remember, back in October I started my own little Happiness Project, outlining the next four months. I guess you could say it was like doing my resolutions early, and differently. I’m not a big resolution person, because it’s usually a way for me to set myself up for failure. I find myself with grandiose ideas and plans in my head, but usually too lazy to actually carry them out. Creativity seeps from my pores – I just need someone else to carry out the projects for me.

Anyway, December was the month of running. I wanted to run as much as I could, regardless of the distance  in preparation for the Goofy Challenge next weekend. I realized that there was little I could do to prepare myself for running 39.3 miles in 2 days, but I figured running as frequently as possible would help give me a confidence boost. I log all my mileage over at DailyMile, and am happy to report that I ran 4 times a week every week in December as promised, except for the week of Christmas. BUT, I ran 5 times the week before – so that evens out, right? Without doing any super long runs (longest was 16 miles), I was able to log my heaviest mileage month in awhile. I’ve steadily been going up since October, and hope to keep it that way.

Yes, I opened presents post sweaty run. These sweet socks will totally keep me running through the winter!

My plan is to keep my mileage relatively even throughout January, and then try to pick things up a bit come February for an April half marathon. My husband has his eyes set on a full marathon in early June, but I’m not looking for another marathon until next fall. Hopefully, though, I can keep my  mileage respectable and run closer 4 hours instead of 4:30 next marathon. But we’ll see – I just need to keep myself injury free.

January has started, and that means it’s a new goal – going vegetarian. My husband giggled at me on New Year’s Day when I moaned that I wanted pudding, but wasn’t allowed to eat it because of the gelatin. I quickly ran to the pudding asile of the grocery store to discover that instant mousse is an acceptable treat. I plan on attempting to satiate my pudding craving with some mousse in the near future. It might seem odd for someone that loves burgers so much to try out a vegetarian lifestyle, and especially just for one month. Eating less meat is something that has been on my mind for awhile, and I figured this little project would be the perfect opportunity to give it a shot for a month. Who knows if I’ll continue it after January or not, but I will have at least given it a try.

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I already have a ton of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks in my possession, and have already made so many delicious things from Oh She Glows, Post Punk Kitchen, Daily Garnish, and other veggie friendly blogs. If anyone has any other great resources for recipes (especially things to eat for lunch) that would be great! I’m looking forward to a month full of veggies, beans, and grains. To be honest, that’s most of my dishes these days anyway, but forcing myself not to cop-out and have something easier (usually involving meat) should be interesting. Since I’m the cooker of the household, I am still going to prepare any meat related dish my husband wants – I’ll just leave the meat out for myself. But, since I am in charge in the kitchen, he doesn’t eat much meat anyway. It should be an interesting month!

So I’m halfway there – I baked my way through November and ran my way through December. January will be meat free, and then February will hopefully be the month of yoga. Who knows what will be next, but I’m enjoying these little monthly goals.

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Filed under Food Blogging, Home Cooking, Running, Vegetarian/Vegan

A New Project!

I don’t know how or why this idea came about, but I’ve decided to try something new for the next few months. Each month, I’m going to tackle something, and do it for the entire month (hopefully). I just recently finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (check out the blog here), and of course was subsequently inspired. Now, I’m not looking to “happify” myself (yes, I made that word up) per se, but rather to try and do things whole-heartily that have been swimming as ideas in the back of my head for months, maybe even years. I’ve already got ideas for the next four months, and then I’ll reevaluate the project after that.

You are probably thinking; “what does this have to do with food? This is a food blog.” Well, each month may not necessarily deal with food, and if that’s the case, I’ll likely leave it off the blog. But for those food related months, you better believe I’ll be writing about it! Conveniently, two out of the three ideas that I already have are food related, which should come as no surprise since it’s one of the only things I think about (alright, that isn’t true, but it’s high on the list!).

As you’ll see from the months below, they follow a pattern, which I didn’t even do on purpose (at first). The months flip flop between being food related, and being fitness/health related. These are by no means “new year’s resolutions,” and I feel the need to point that out for a few reasons. First, it’s almost November, and there are still two full months until the New Year. But more importantly, if I label them as such, I’m likely setting myself up for failure. These aren’t requirements so much as things I would like to increase and do within my every day routine. I’m not going to punish myself if life gets in the way and I can’t make it out to run 4 times one week in December, or if it just isn’t in the grocery budget to buy ingredients to bake one week… I’m doing this to increase my personal enjoyment and do things I like – not make them into chores (I have enough of those)!

Hopefully November and January will prove to be a success in terms of finding and creating new recipes to meet my goals. I’ll likely start off each month with a plan of action, and update within information accordingly. If I do what I’m supposed to in January, there should be at least one baked good posted a week – but we’ll see!

So, here’s the plan. Fingers crossed I stick to it, and this isn’t something I abandon right away, or even a month or two into it. I’d like to at least tackle the four months I already have outlined. After that, I can reevaluate.

November: bake something every weekend (other’s recipes, or my own)
December: run at least 4 times a week – it doesn’t matter if its 2 miles or 20 miles – get out there
January: go full-out vegetarian for the month
February: practice yoga at least 3 times a week – can be at home, or in a studio

Have any of you had similar goals/projects for yourselves? Have they been successful, or complete washes? Any advice? Spill!

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