The Monthly Practice Report – December 2011

nathan with carrot

 

 

Welcome to The Monthly Practice Report, where I detail how my practice of healthy living is going: the commitments, goals, and other metrics!

 

 

Why I’m doing this:

  • To be completely transparent with what my practice of healthy living and full-time travel looks like
  • To share the actual numbers with you in hopes that it makes this lifestyle (or any part of it) seem a little more attainable
  • To publicly track my progress among several categories
  • To provide cool resources that I find helpful

You’ll see information below on my expenses (food, travel, etc.), how I’m doing with my practices, travel I’ve taken, and anything else (hopefully) relevant!

I’ll also share some lessons learned and plans/goals for the future.

 

Please let me know what you think!

If anything is unclear, if you’d like more information on a certain topic, or if there’s something I’ve left out, I’m open to hearing all feedback and questions. Just leave a comment below.

Thanks – and I hope you enjoy this month’s report! :-)

 

Where was I in December?

  • Los Angeles, CA: 12/1-12/7, 12/11-12/13
  • Mammoth, CA: 12/8-12/10
  • Grafton, MA: 12/14-12/18, 12/30-12/31
  • West Barnstable, MA: 12/19-12/29

From sunny LA to high up in the Eastern Sierras to Cape Cod, it was a whirlwind month…

 

Onto the numbers!

FYI: some of the links below are affiliate links that will earn me a commission if you purchase through them. If you do, I absolutely appreciate it; if you’d rather not, that’s cool, too. If you have any questions about any of the products or services, please let me know!

 

MEDITATION

  • Ideal/Goal: to meditate for at least 15 minutes in the morning, before other activities
    • Continued the daily practice for another month, bringing the total to 590 consecutive days!
  • How long did I meditate each day?
    • 15 minutes: 7 days
    • 30 minutes: 24 days
    • Most often amount: 30 minutes (77% of the time)!
      • Last month: 30 minutes (24 vs. 6)
  • Continue to use my Blissitations tracks
    • They’re really helpful for concentration, and one of the best parts is that I never have to think about how long it is – I just keep going until the track is over. (Affiliate link above)

 

NUTRITION

  • Ideal/Goal: since December 2010, I have been following the Paleo diet, which is lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. No legumes, grains, starches, processed foods, or sugars. Dairy is OK (raw/unpasteurized is best), though I tend to avoid it.
  • When a guest in someone’s home, I defer to gratitude and do not refuse meals; that does not, however, give me free reign to eat whatever I want – everything in moderation.
  • There are also “non-paleo” foods I still love, most likely pizza, bread, and other baked goods. I occasionally allow myself these items – I’d rather be flexible and have a good time, than rigid and mopey. :-)
  • Animal Products (red meat, chicken, pork, fish, eggs, and dairy)
    • Ideal/Goal: 20% OF THE TIME (or less)
      • For the month: 30%
      • Last month: 20%
    • Breakfast: 10%
    • Lunch: 40%
    • Dinner: 63%
    • Snacks: 16%
  • Not Paleo (the “no” list above)
    • Ideal/Goal: 10% OF THE TIME (or less)
      • For the month: 17%
      • Last month: 13%
    • Breakfast: 7%
    • Lunch: 7%
    • Dinner: 30%
    • Snacks: 16%
  • Alcohol
    • Ideal/Goal: 0-1 drinks per month
      • For the month: 2
      • Last month: 3

**Above percentages calculated for 30 days with an average of 90 meals + 70 snacks

 

EXERCISE

  • Ideal/Goal: some form of movement every day; could my morning options (see below), hiking, biking, or walking – something to keep me fit, to maintain and sustain me! 
  • 20 minutes of activity before meditation
    • Includes one or more of the following: yoga, energization exercises, tai chi warms-ups, balance poses, pull-ups, and stretching
    • Days: 24 (77% of the time)
    • Last month: 23
  • Other Exercise
    • Hiking
    • MASTERING the stairs (3 at a time) at my brother’s apartment: he lives on the 5th floor – no elevator for me!
    • There was lots of DRIVING this month (Mammoth, Joshua Tree, Cape Cod): I really kept an eye at how long I was sitting (would try to keep it to two hours or less), and when we got out, it was time to stretch!

 

JOURNAL

  • Ideal/Goal: to express my Highest Goal, my Path, my ideal Partner, my Hell Yes’s, my Strengths, my Zones of Genius, my Gratitudes, and any Big Ideas.
    • Days: 6 (19% of the time)
      • Last month: 10
    • If I don’t get to journaling in the morning (before email/work, etc.), it usually doesn’t happen.

 

WEIGHT

  • My Stats:
    • 12/7/11: 133 lbs
    • 12/14/11: 134 lbs.
    • 12/23/11: 135 lbs.
    • 12/28/11: 137 lbs.
    • Average:  135 lbs.,  19.37 BMI
      • Last month: 133 lbs., 19.08 BMI
      • Difference: +2 lbs, +.29 BMI
  • Weight/BMI
    • I weigh myself (usually) on the same day of the week, first thing in the morning – before eating or drinking anything.
    • For body fat %, I’ve used scales that send electromagnetic pulses through the feet to determine body fat. With any device, I’m going to assume there’s a ± 2-3%.
    • According to the BMI data, I am within the healthy range (18.5-24.9 for men and women)
      • For my height, underweight would be below 127 lbs, and overweight would be above 174 lbs. (see this article from Livestrong.com for how to find the weight range.)
      • Formula to calculate your BMI: ([your weight in pounds] x 703)/ [your height in inches]2
      • Example:  (150 x 703) = 105,450/ (70 x 70) = 21.5 (within the healthy range)
    • It’s tricky because I found many charts online where according to those, I was underweight – it’s tough to know the validity of those sites, so I think BMI is a much more reliable figure.
  • Body Fat

 

TRAVEL

  • Trip costs: $297.27
    • Gas costs while using cars in LA and to/from Joshua Tree: $75.06
    • Driving to/from Mammoth: $96.97
    • “Staying” at the Radisson (booked a room to earn 50K points, and didn’t stay there!): $98.24
    • Super Shuttle to LAX: $27
  • Hacking Actions
    • Cancelled my CitiBusiness AA Visa – it had been one year, a fee was due, and I don’t use the card. I plan to reapply for the AA Citi Cards
  • Current Points (selected accounts)
    • American Airlines: 22,893
    • Amtrak: 42,825
    • British Airways: 107,373
    • Club Carlson: 54,125
    • Starwood: 25,742
    • TOTAL: 252,958
      • Last month: 196,647
      • Changes: removed Continental from this list; added Club Carlson (Radisson)
      • Difference: +56,311
  • Open Credit Cards
    • Starwood Preferred Guest AmEx (Personal), $65 annual fee
    • British Airways Visa, $95 annual fee
    • Amtrak Mastercard
    • REI Visa
  • Credit Score
    • These scores are reported by two separate credit agencies. A credit union I use provides the Equifax score as an included service, and I signed up with Credit Karma (free) to obtain the TransUnion score. Since the numbers are so similar, you really only need information from one agency.
    • Equifax: 772, as of 12/30
      • Last month: 772
      • Difference: 0 points
    • TransUnion: 772, as of 1/16
      • Last month: 772
      • Difference: 0 points
    • Context: between 700 and 850 – very good or excellent credit score

 

EXPENSES

  • Food: $296.54
    • Groceries: $220.66
    • Dining Out: $75.88
    • Average cost/day: $9.56 
    • Last Month: $472.50
    • Difference: -$175.96
  • Travel: $297.27
    • (see above)
    • Last Month: $116.54
    • Difference: +$180.73 
  • Lodging: $0 (though technically I did pay $98.24 for a room at the Radisson – that was ONLY to get points, and I did include that figure in my travel costs above)
    • Last Month: $0
    • Difference: $0
  • Nomad Life: $18.37
    • While staying with friends: car wash and an eBay listing fee for their item
    • Last Month: $22.81
    • Difference: -$4.44
  • Cell Phone: $73.67
    • Verizon Wireless and unlimited Skype
    • Last Month: $2.99
    • Difference: +$70.68
  • Entertainment: $2.99
    • Last Month: $36.50
    • Difference: -$33.51
  • Health: $156.00
    • Includes full premium for health insurance
    • Last Month: $161.00
    • Difference: -$5.00
  • Technology: $2.99


  •  Total Expenses: $847.83
    • Last Month: $1165.50
    • Difference: -$317.67
    • Financial Freedom (Ideal/Goal: income > expenses): NO, but just barely.

 

PRODUCTIVITY

  • Working Hours
    • Ideal/Goal: 6-7 hours per day, with each chunk being only 90-120 mins.
      • Days worked: 25 (81%)
      • Average hours per day: 4.07
        • Last month: 4.49
      • Number of days where work was > 7 hours: 2 days (8%)
      • Most hours in one day: 8.25 (finishing Healthy Living: VANCOUVER)
  • Morning Creativity Practice
    • Ideal/Goal: waking up an hour earlier to focus on creative work (before exercise and meditation)!
    • Days with Morning Creativity Practice: 15 (48%)
      • Last month: 25

 

SLEEP AND AWAKE

  • Sleep Hours
    • Ideal/Goal: to sleep for at least 7-8 hours each night
    • Average
      • California: 7.01
      • Massachusetts: 6.74
      • For the month: 6.85
        • Last month: 7.09
    • Most often amount of sleep: 6.5-7.5 hours
    • Longest sleep: 8.83 hours
    • Shortest sleep: 4.25 hours
    • Number of days where sleep time was < 7 hours: 15 days
      • Last month: 9 days
  • Naps
    • Number of days with naps: 3 (10%)
      • Last month: 8 days
    • Average amount: 20 minutes
  • Awake Hours
    • Ideal/Goal: to be awake for 16-17 hours
    • Average
      • California: 16.64
      • Massachusetts: 17.14
      • For the month: 16.91
        • Last month: 16.84
    • Most often wake hours: 16.5-17.5 hours
    • Longest day: 19.50 hours
    • Shortest day: 13.58 hours
    • Number of days where awake time was > 17 hours: 12 days
      • Last month: 11 days
  • Going to Sleep
    • Ideal/Goal: go to bed around 11 pm
    • Average
      • California: 11:30 pm
      • Massachusetts: 12:05 am
      • For the month: 11:45 pm
        • Last month: 11:30 pm
    • Most often sleep time: 12:00 – 12:30 am
    • Earliest sleep time: 10:10 pm
    • Latest sleep time: 2:00 am
    • Number of days where sleep time was past 11:15 pm: 22 days
      • Last month: 21 days
  • Waking Up
    • Ideal/Goal: wake up around 7 am
    • Average
      • California: 6:45 am
      • Massachusetts: 6:45 am
      • For the month: 6:45 am
        • Last month: 6:45 am
    • Most often wake time: 7:00 am
    • Earliest wake time: 4:15 am
    • Latest wake time: 8:30 am
    • Number of days where wake time was later than 7:15 am: 5 days
      • Last month: 3 days

 

OTHER HEALTH

  • Contacts
    • Ideal/Goal: to wear 8 hours or less per day
    • Days worn: 20 (out of 31)
      • Average hours per day: 8.84
        • Last month: 8.57
      • Number of days where use was > 8 hours: 13 days (65%)
      • Most hours in one day: 12.50

 

CHEMICAL-FREE

  • Ideal/Goal: to use few-to-no artificial or chemical products in my life: no deodorants, sunscreen, etc. I do use toothpaste.
  • Showering
    • Have been experimenting with no products in the shower (no shampoo, conditioner, or soap) since January 2011
    • I have a small bottle of olive oil and Lavender essential oil that I mixed together and will start using again on my hair, after showering.
  • Shaving
    • With the olive/lavender oil combo – seems to work well; the blade needs a little extra cleaning, and only seems to last through two uses.

 

HEALTH CARE, ILLNESS/INJURY, & PREVENTION

  • Health Insurance
    • Shocked to discover that even though I’m no longer a California resident, as long as I continue paying the premium for my California health insurance, I can keep my current policy – they can only cancel if I stop paying or if I request that. I had looked into Massachusetts plans, but they were either limited in out-of-state coverage (necessary for me), or substantially more expensive than what I’m paying. What a nutty system!

 

COOL FINDS

  • The Moth LIVE – hear and watch stories told live, and even share one of yours!
  • Seth Godin in Conversation (plus tons more goodies on this Vimeo channel)
  • OK GO x Pilobolus with the song “All is Not Lost”: what an amazing use of technology – this band is always inspiring
  • Sun Power Natural Cafe: ok, I’ve been here before (located near Universal City in LA), and every time I go it’s just worth mentioning again! The food is amazing!!
  • Photo Movies with Google Picasa: create movies easily with your pictures – you can even add a song and title cards! I use the software all the time to manage my photos and to upload/sync photos with my Google account

 

CONNECTION

  • Mammoth Excursion:
    • Met a whole new group of people on this trip, and long drives are a fantastic place for deep conversation to happen.
  • Family:
    • It’s great being with my family after almost a year, and this time had significant resonance as someone passed away December 21st. It was an absolute blessing that we have all been together at this time.
  • My two mastermind groups:
    • Optimal Living Mastermind (formed shortly after Optimal Living 101) – our focus is moving forward into growth in all areas of our lives (in place for more than one year!)
    • BizSoul (formed shortly after the World Domination Summit) – our focus is creating businesses that are true and authentic expressions of ourselves

 

WHAT I LEARNED IN DECEMBER

Or, “what worked and what didn’t?”

Why I practice (hint: it’s not for the easy days)

When I meditate, eat right, exercise, and am grateful, I feel alive. It’s good times all around. Smiles from ear to ear. It’s an absolute bonus when I do all this on fun days – it’s just smooth sailing.

Then there are the very challenging days, the days that test us: events that come out of left field and knock us down. That’s why we practice – so that we can push through those days and show up to each moment the best version of us possible.

I’m still eating lots of treats, but I’m starting to realize it doesn’t taste as sweet as I thought.

If desserts are in the house, there’s a good chance I’ll eat ’em. The GOOD NEWS is that I’m starting to find I don’t enjoy the taste as much as I thought. When I bite into store-bought “goodies,” I’m often left with an empty taste in my mouth, as if I’m searching for the flavor – something that never happens when I’m eating fruit or dark chocolate!

It’s up to me to figure out what substitutions I can make, and HOW MUCH I will eat.

When I go out to eat with others – particularly for Chinese Food – it can be challenging to find foods that completely align with my nutritional values. It won’t always be easy, or even possible.

But there are always options: go for more veggies, and watch how much I eat. I can always just take a “taste” of something without spooning an entire pile onto my plate.

 

Raw tomato sauce  over sauteed green beans and pecans!

Favorite Food Items from December:

  • SALADS!
    • Throwing in whatever I can – I usually make enough salad for at least two people (or two meals)!
    • Some of my recent ingredients: Spinach, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Carrots, Avocado, Walnuts, Pecans, Apples, Currants, Cranberries, Oranges, Red Onion, Bell Peppers, and Sunflower Seeds
  • Veggie + Paleo Jumbalaya
    • Eggplant, Portabello Mushroom, Shrimp, Onion, Garlic, Green Peppers, Cauliflower, Tomatoes, Jalapeno, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Oregano, Thyme and Salt
    • Get the recipe here! (substitute the veggies for the sausage)

OK – that’s the monthly report for December!

How are your practices going?

 

I’d love to hear your answer + any other comments you have below!

And if you have any feedback or questions about something you’re tackling, just let me know!

 

Thanks for reading, and for continuing to be awesome!

Until next time,
Nathan

About

Former life: actor/office worker/virtual assistant; lived in Los Angeles for 11 years. Since then: sold nearly everything, took a $5 flight to Hawaii, lived there for 3 months, wrote an eGuide about all of it, and still traveling. Currently: digital nomad - looking to improve myself, have fun and serve others.

Posted in exercise, food, hacking, health, monthly report, numbers, travel

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