At the beginning of the year, I made a couple one-month resolutions to be healthier.  I’ve been meaning to give the results / updates to that experiment and here we are — the results!  Finally!

To recap … my January resolutions were:

  1. Drastically reduce sugar intake
  2. Work out at least 4 times a week

Resolution 1 was a huge success, thanks to using MyFitnessPal for the month of January.  I was able to see just HOW MUCH sugar was in, like, EVERYthing I was consuming.  The worst offender was my morning (and mid-morning and afternoon) chai latte.  I make my own using a mix from Big Train, but after just two chais I was already past my daily sugar quota.  So that right there had to change. I switched to using herbal teas, black teas, and I drank a lot more water which I needed anyway.

Yes, tracking one’s food can be a big pain but just doing it for even two to four weeks can reveal all sorts of bad habits.  For example, I discovered that one of my favorite breakfast foods – toast with peanut butter – is outrageously full of carbs and fat with very little protein to show for it.  And one of my favorite comfort dinner foods – Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains – is also way out of balance in terms of carbs to protein, especially for the kinds of changes I was trying to make.

So with the help of my husband, we changed quite a few things about our food habits.  I started eating more salads, full of spinach, and I started using quinoa in more dishes.  We got a smoothie maker and experimented with combinations of fruit, greek yogurt, and hemp protein. I add anywhere from half a cup to a cup of spinach to my smoothies and, believe it or not, they’re actually really good!  We’ve been having smoothies for breakfast lately – they’re filling and appropriate for the bizarre warm weather.

I still have a sweet tooth, but we don’t have tubs of cookies in the house anymore.  Instead, I just eat a couple bites of a dark chocolate bar to “cleanse the palate” and I’ve stopped ordering my old chai mix.

Resolution 2 – working out 4 times a week was not so successful.  I was doing pretty well at the beginning of January with the help of Fitocracy and being inspired by their many work-out quests.  But once the school semester started, my work-outs went out the window.  I have learned from this experiment that I need to be much better about maintaining a home / work life balance (actually, I already knew that, but this was a good reminder).  From Monday to Thursday I would often come home and keep working on some project or another, waking up early to work on some project or another, and thus my work-outs would end up condensed between Friday and Sunday.  The good news, however, is that my treadmill time has improved, and we are signed up for a 5K in April. Getting better at running will be great, but I still want to incorporate weights training and yoga into my routine.  The thing I haven’t figured out yet is whether I’m more likely to do this in the mornings or in the evenings.

Overall – by this point, I’ve lost 12 pounds and feel much better.  I still have plenty of room for improvement, and fortunately the days are getting longer now to make that easier … I hope.  🙂