Well, here we are, about to celebrate the end of 2012 and welcome the beginning of 2013. Can you believe it? 2013?! Wow.
Before we usher in the new year, I want to take a minute to reflect on what a fun ride 2012 has been. Here are some highlights (and low lights?!) from the past year.
January: I started the year with a desire to move toward a more natural, less toxic lifestyle, and I did it! This year, I successfully replaced all of my health and beauty care items to vegan and toxic goodies. It took a bit of trial and error, but I’m in a good place with all of my products. (Why did I search so long for a face wash?! Dr. Bronner’s really IS magic!)
March: I finally had my gallbladder surgery at the beginning of March; this was a decision I did not take lightly. I consulted many physicians and two surgeons, consented to numerous tests, and after considering family history, personal history, and future issues, the best decision for me was removal. While I am concerned with scar tissue, overall, I’ve been happy with my decision. Plus, I can eat a bit more fat than before without feeling like I’m going to die. Bonus!
May: In May, I made the leap into the world of raw veganism. I had been flirting with it for years, but I finally made the decision to give it real effort this month. I even managed an 80-10-10 style diet while on vacation over the July 4th weekend. Fast-forward to December, and I’m still high-raw, but I’ve added some cooked foods (mostly veggies) back into my diet. I’ll have a future post on this soon, but I found I was under-eating, and instead of losing weight, I gained about 5 pounds over the eight or so months of being high raw. ( At first I thought my caloric intake was too high, even through spot checking calories here and there, but after tracking for the past few weeks, I realize I’ve probably been inadvertently starving myself. Oops!)
I also did my first public presentation about the wonders of a vegan diet in May. I cooked a full meal(choice of two hardy soups, choice of two hardy salads, and tons of desserts) for the 50 or so ppl in attendance and presented about two hours of information. The event was well-received, and my quickly assembled cook-book CD’s were all purchased, which set the wheels in motion for Veggie V, LLC. (I’m currently in the processes of incorporating, so I can get some product out in the public!)
June and July: Both months took me away from home for a few days on road trips. In June, I went to Chicago for the Self Work-Out in the park with my friend Ellen – a fellow vegan. Even though our trip was cut short, we got to sample a couple of vegan restaurants in Chi-town We may be going back later in January for a Dr. Fuhrman immersion. I’ll keep you posted! In July, Mr M and I went back to a state park we visited last summer, Salt Fork, located in the south-eastern part of Ohio. It’s beautiful there! But, the weather was so freakin’ hot, we didn’t get to enjoy much of the outdoors this time (actual temps of over 100F every day!). Luckily, I planned to eat a high carb, low fat diet the four days we were gone, so I packed lots and lots of fresh fruit and veggies and had plenty to eat while we were holed up in our hotel room. Thank goodness for the mini-fridge!
August: I started a new job at the end of August, teaching at the university where I received my undergraduate degree. Adding the extra classes and driving to my schedule was tricky, but well worth it! I love working there The students seem to like me, and I’m teaching there again next semester. Woohoo!
October: Mr M and I went on another road trip at the beginning of October. I wanted to visit the school where I may complete my PhD, so we drove the 8 plus hours to Philadelphia. The people were nice, answered all of my questions, and the campus was beautiful. Bonus - Whole Food’s stores everywhere! Seriously, there are five within a few miles of campus in every direction. We also went into the city one day and visited as many of the sites as we could on foot. (We kept missing the bus tours!) After Phili, we drove up to Pittsburgh with stops along the way at the Yuengling factor and Hershey’s Chocolate World. I didn’t sample any of the beer or candy, but it was fun to see both places
November: I did my second public presentation on the joys of plant-based eating. This time, I spoke informally to a plant-based diet group on campus. I got myself involved with the group after reading about them on a campus-wide email. I hope to remain active with the group this coming semester as well. (Some of the people will continue with the program, but it will mostly be new people.)
In November, we also bought a new car! This is the first new car I’ve ever purchased, and I got to choose all of the options, the color, everything! After a lot of research and a lot of test drives, we went with the Subaru Outback. And, I love it! The gas mileage is SO much better than my previous vehicle, and it has tons of awesome features.
December: This month, Mr M and I have been spending some quality time together. I have time off between semesters, and he had a bunch of vacation time left-over, so we’ve been relaxing at home a lot. I’m going to be sad when Mr M goes back to work on the second; I like having him around – even if he is snoring on the couch and junking up the recycling with empty beer bottles
This year, I also continued working out regularly, but I incorporated a few more down days. In the past couple of years, I have only taken off a couple of days all year, but this year, I averaged about one day off a month. Honestly, I feel guilty when I don’t work out, but my daily life is pretty sedentary, so I really need that movement to not feel like a total slug. Since we joined a gym (a first for me!), I’ve found a new enthusiasm for the treadmill, and I love using the different weight machines. I’m still a bit intimidated to try them all, but along with my free-weight training at home (I’m still increasing my weight – woohoo!), I’m still getting in quite a few heavy weights workouts a week.
Well, there it is: 2012 in a nutshell. I have some fun things to share with you in early 2013, so stay tuned for that!
Happy New Year, everyone! Thank you for another great year. I really appreciate all of your support, and I’m continually excited to share my vegan adventure with each and every one of you!