Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Goals Evaluation

July 31 - time for to see how I did with my goals to Enjoy July.

1. Read: A

I definitely read for at least a half hour each day.  If not during the day, I always read at night before bed.  And so, I successfully completed (in time-consuming order)...
  • Game Change: Incredible piece of historical, factual literature.  Whether you're politically-minded or not, this is fascinating on its own, and also offers real insight into the way campaigns work.  Seriously, read it. 
  • This is Where I Leave You: I highly recommend this novel. Snarky Jonathan Tropper bares all in the story of this dysfunctional family. 
  • It Starts With Food: Another healthy eating, Paleo great read.  Learn about re-calibrating your psychological and biological relationship with food by doing a month of Whole30 paleo-inspired eating. Get clean.  Full review on this to come soon! Also check out Krysten at Darwinian Fail - she's doing her Whole30 now! 
All of these get 5 stars.  I am two-thirds through The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking (a VERY interesting book my Dad got me.  Offers insights into our psychology and superstitions), which I actually began before It Starts With Food but then got antsty and breezed through ISWF in the middle.  Then reading got put aside while I did big important things like schoolwork and moving. But I'm giving myself the A because I did manage to read a LOT this month, daily, even with packing and schoolwork and course readings and more.  This last book will get done! 

2. Try some Recipes: B-

I did try some (sometimes w/ alternative flours), but not twice per week, and not the types I really wanted to.  Life is busy, and July was BUSY.  Still, some yummy happened out of this...
  • Zucchini Banana Chocolate Chip Bread, from Sweet Tooth Courtney 
  • Fluffy Pancakes, made gluten-free with corn flour, because I had it on hand.  They were good, but a little grainy, as I was worried they'd be. Next time I'll try using coconut flour!
  • After all that dessert and floury goodness, I wanted something more light and refreshing, and maybe something for acceptable use in meals.  Enter: Raw Vegan Basil Salad Dressing, from Bexlife. 
    • This was perfect, because we had basil growing outside!  Really refreshing and delicious on both salads and salmon! 

This month, I'm going to be trying a lot of bigger, nutritious recipes!  I'll be using this book and can't wait to share more of it with you - again, very soon!

3. Continue with regular yoga, including HOT!: A

Trial month of Hot Yoga, COMPLETE! Oh man.  I know I loved my first session, but I quickly learned that hot yoga, like everything else in fitness, varies by instructor and class type.  I found two instructors that I really liked, and a few that were just okay, and one class session that really made me understand why some people respond to hot yoga with "I'm never, ever, doing that again."  It takes a lot to stay in that heated room, and if the pose sequences and movements don't keep me engaged, I won't be able to think about anything but the sweat and heat.  Simply moving a lot doesn't make it better.  It's got to make sense, too.

One of the classes was shorter--an hour instead of 1:15--but a BOOTCAMP!  It was intense but pretty awesome.  Still, my favorite class was my first, where the instructor made it feel as calming, cleansing, and rejuvenating as I know it was.

Did it change me?  Did I benefit?  Well, I'm not really convinced.  I think that for serious change, you'd have to do it REGULARLY, and maybe for longer than a month.  What I did notice above all else, that I was very surprised by, was the improvement in my skin.  As I mentioned after my first class, my face would just glow for the day or two after a class, and I think it helped my complexion, too.  As far as flexibility or balance, I don't think I reaped those benefits YET, although I can see how the class really stretches your limits in those arenas during the class itself.

Would I continue?  Yes, if I had the spare cash and could join a studio, I'd do it from time to time, but hot yoga is truly exhausting, and not something I can see myself doing daily or even every other day.  It takes a lot out of you, literally!

After the June Yoga Challenge and my hot yoga month, I'm still eager to keep it up!  To help me continue my yoga practice in a very busy and transitional month for me, I treated myself to Jillian Michaels's Yoga Meltdown.  This way, I can practice at home, in just 30 minutes, and even at a high intensity!  It'll be a step up from the AM and PM Yoga for Beginners DVD; I'm sure Jillian doesn't make it easy... :)

4. Run outside: A

That first Thursday the 5th, I finally ran up and down a nearby road, because my ankle was feeling mostly better.  It was HOT. I ran a mile, slow for me (11:14), before hobbling inside ready to chug water and shower off.  Too hot. Not a fan, but I did it.

The following Thursday, I ran 2 very hilly miles outside, in the gross humid heat.  The dense air makes it harder to breathe properly and steadily.  But: 2 miles in under 20 minutes! Check.  Ran the first mile entirely, and went maybe a mile and a half before I snuck in a walk or two.

That Monday, did 3.1 miles (5k) out on steady flat road path.  Ran the first 2 miles nonstop, and then waved in and out with my music.  Had no Garmin, no idea of pace or time!  That was kind of nice, to just GO.

And I didn't write it down but I'm fairly certain I ran outside once more after that, completing the once a week requirement.  That all being said, I also did a LOT of running indoors on the treadmill!  A few 3-mile runs, one nonstop 3-miler, and a four... looks like 31 miles run in July.  As always, you can follow my training on DailyMile.com!  So, mission accomplished. Gotta keep it up this week, adjusting to actual distance in the heat before a big, fun 5k next week... stay tuned!

That wraps up July!  How did you do with YOUR goals for July?  Got big plans for August?  
Make the most of what's left of summer!  Don't forget to relax, enjoy, and maybe even plan a brief staycation :) 


  1. Running outside is hard and the gross air does not help!

  2. I enjoyed the read and really like the format of a few goals you deem important to you, and then reflect on them in writing. Setting goals is something I do, but reflecting on them I do not do well at all. Hence I'm missing a key part of being accountable... Very happy I stopped by :)


  3. Awesome job on your goals! I always try to read for a while each day, too. I had no idea Jillian Michaels has a yoga DVD... I'm going to check it out :)

  4. I'm waiting on It Starts With Food from the library. The holds list was loooooong. Which I find encouraging. :)

    1. Hah, yes that is good news! I'll post my review of it soon. Hope you enjoy when you get it!

  5. Ohhh I want to read It Starts with Food!! That sounds good!! I might have to download it on my kindle. I need a new book :)

  6. I HAVE to try those cookies - I'm a sugar cookie fan. Pinned that recipe to try soon, glad you shared!


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