February is almost over, and just as I did in January , I’m here today to provide an analysis of the last month—what I did or didn’t accomplish and how I hope to improve in March. Here are my observations:
1) Achieved January goals!
My grandmother and I are going to make homemade vanilla extract late next week—the real deal, folks, with Madagascar vanilla beans and vodka, all organic! I made sprouted grain bread, for which I’ll write an entire post all to itself in the not-too-distant future. I cut back on soy almost entirely. I stocked up on tea . The only project I forewent was homemade chocolate, but I have my reasoning, upon which I’ll expound shortly . . .
2) Eat 3 square meals and avoid snacking.
I’ve more or less discovered how much food I need at each meal to keep my energy levels soaring for 4, 5, sometimes 6 hours, depending. I’m not altogether adverse to snacks, but I also recently read an article that further educated me about the subject (or at least one side of the argument). I’m not sure where I stand quite yet. Intuitive eating is optimal, of course, but my schedule is structured in such a way that requires me to eat at certain times, or else I’ll be forced to miss a meal, and that’s something that I refuse to do, not only because I’ll feel miserable, but I’ll also turn into a grumpy monster that’ll likely make my hubby and friends miserable, too. My one struggle is still late-night snacking. I find myself peckish around bedtime and feel an urge to eat—sometimes, I can ignore it, other times I can’t. Something to continue working on next month . . .
March Goal(s): Perhaps eat a slightly later dinner in order to get through the evening without the hunger pangs. Or eat more earlier in the day. The balance will come . . .
3) Manage stress more effectively in order to avoid binging.
Check! I was binge-free all month—not even the temptation to do so. I still encounter stress on a regular basis, but I have new diversions now, such as Pinterest . Serious. Addiction.
March Goal(s): Embark on a regular meditation practice—this has been somewhat difficult for me. I am a yogini through and through, but stilling my anxiety and my hustle-bustle mind is often very, very, very hard. The health benefits of meditation are indisputable, so it’s time for me to commit once and for all.
4) Buy a water filter.
Check! My new chiropractor highly recommended I purchase one, considering how much water I drink. After browsing Amazon, I opted for this one because it’s BPA-free, and it works like a charm. I can honestly taste the difference! It feels so good knowing that I’m consuming much purer water than before.
5) Research gluten-free diets and a vegan alternative to fish oil.
Concerning the former, I was briefly convinced I had a gluten sensitivity, and perhaps I do; but upon glancing through a list of common symptoms, I only identified with one or two. My main problems, I suppose, are gas and lower belly bloat toward the end of the day. My colon hydrotherapist also suggested gluten may be the problem—I’m still considering experimenting with a week of eating gluten-free and assessing how I feel after those 7 days. I’m hesitant, though, because my pantry is currently stocked with grains that do contain gluten.
As for the latter, I learned something new this month—that ground flaxseed is not the best, most “nutritionally complete” vegan substitute for fish oil (flaxseed does have its benefits, though, so I haven’t stopped including it in my daily breakfasts). Why? Fish oil contains DHA and EPA, two Omega-3 fatty acids that support human health in numerous ways (especially in the brain), and while flax certainly provides a wide range of good fats, it does not offer the above two. What is awesome for us vegans, though, is that it’s not fish, but algae from which DHA and EPA originate. So, after browsing through supplements, I selected this product , namely because it contained the highest levels of fatty acids per capsule.
6) Making everything—and I mean, everything—from scratch is great, but . . .
. . . it takes a whole lotta time! Too much time, in fact. Making sprouted grain bread was a fun and interesting experiment, but it pushed me to the limit, actually. I don’t have a lot of free time as it is, and when that time was sucked up by seemingly endless planning, cooking, and cleaning the kitchen, I began to realize that I was simply doing too much. I felt like a mid-19th century prairie housewife! That being said, lengthy processes such as sprouted grain bread won’t be happening again any time soon (if ever), and I also have no desire to continue making homemade almond milk. My local grocery now carries unsweetened So Delicious coconut milk , so I’m now purchasing that, to save time, energy, and my sanity.
Question: In hindsight, how do you perceive your February? What did you accomplish? What do want to achieve next month?