The Monthly Practice Report – November 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, if there’s something I’ve left out, or if there’s too much info, 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 November?

  • San Francisco: 11/1
  • San Jose: 11/2-11/3
  • Santa Barbara: 11/4-11/14
  • Los Angeles: 11/15-11/30


What was new to me…

  • Experimenting with meals according to my body temperature.
    • In the Secrets of Mind Body Nutrition class, Marc discussed how our body is hottest at the hottest part of the day, around 12:00 pm – and thus is most ready to metabolize food.
    • I’ve been looking to shift bigger meals away from dinner and more toward lunch, and then having something simple to eat at night.


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!



  • 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 559 consecutive days!
  • How long did I meditate each day?
    • 15 minutes: 6 days
    • 30 minutes: 24 days
    • Most often amount: 30 minutes!
      • Last month: 30 minutes (25 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)



  • 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: 20%
      • Last month: 22%
    • Breakfast: 13%
    • Lunch: 37%
    • Dinner: 33%
    • Snacks: 23%
  • Not Paleo (the “no” list above)
    • Ideal/Goal: 10% OF THE TIME (or less)
      • For the month: 13%
      • Last month: 6%
    • Breakfast: 3%
    • Lunch: 13%
    • Dinner: 17%
    • Snacks: 33%
  • Alcohol
    • Ideal/Goal: 0-1 drinks per month
      • For the month: 3
      • Last month: 2

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



  • 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: 23
    • Last month: 26
  • Other Exercise
    • 4-mile hike in San Jose
    • Spin Class in Santa Barbara: first time doing this – wow it was intense – so grateful for the good music throughout the class!
    • Yoga Classes in Santa Barbara: taught by my friend Melanie
    • Yoga Class in Runyon Canyon, LA: more info ! SO awesome to exercise outdoors in the sun!
    • Hike in Runyon Canyon
    • MASTERING the stairs (3 at a time) at my brother’s apartment: he lives on the 5th floor – no elevator for me!



  • 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: 10 (I need to re-commit to this one!)
      • Last month: 16
    • If I don’t get to journaling in the morning (before email/work, etc.), it usually doesn’t happen.



  • My Stats:
    • 11/3/11: 133 lbs.
    • 11/16/11: 132 lbs
    • 11/23/11: 131 lbs.
    • 11/30/11: 135 lbs. (thanks to Thanksgiving!)
    • Average:  133 lbs.,  19.08 BMI
      • Last month: 132 lbs., 9% body fat, 18.94 BMI
      • Difference: +1 lbs, +.14 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 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



  • Trip costs: $116.54
    • Gas costs around Santa Barbara: $55.19
    • LA Subway: $1.50
    • Miscellaneous Parking costs: $6
    • Caltrain (San Francisco-San Jose): $8.75
    • Amtrak (Santa Barbara-Los Angeles): $40.10
    • Redemptions/Points
      • Booked a one-way, cross-country flight on Southwest
      • Used my 8 credits (under former system)
      • Total cost: $5
  • Hacking Actions
    • Entered Radisson’s 50K points promotion
      • Booked a hotel at the LAX Radisson for one night, and did not stay there! (just did it for the points)
      • Total cost: $98.23 for 50,000 points = $0.002/point!
      • I ended up earning 54,125 points for this one stay because of online bonuses, silver level bonuses, and another 20 points per USD bonus.
  • Current Points (selected accounts)
    • American Airlines: 22,893
    • Amtrak: 42,825
    • British Airways: 107,208
    • Continental: 1,131
    • Starwood: 22,590
    • TOTAL: 196,647
      • Used: 8 credits (Southwest)
      • Last month: 192,907
      • Difference: +3740 (through regular spending on credit cards and email sign-up promotions)
  • Open Credit Cards
    • Starwood Preferred Guest AmEx (Personal), $65 annual fee
    • British Airways Visa, $95 annual fee
    • CitiBusiness American Airlines Visa
    • 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 11/25
      • Last month: 765
      • Difference: +7 points, .009% change
    • TransUnion: 772, as of 12/10
      • Last month: 761
      • Difference: +11 points, .014% change
    • Context: between 700 and 850 – very good or excellent credit score



  • Food: $472.50
    • Groceries: $373.92
    • Dining Out: $98.58
    • Average cost/day: $15.75 
    • Last Month: $417.70
    • Difference: +54.80
  • Travel: $116.54
    • (see above)
    • Last Month: $95.90
    • Difference: +$20.64 
  • Lodging: $0
    • Last Month: $0
    • Difference: $0 
  • Nomad Life: $22.81
    • Includes a car wash and oil change for a friend’s car (while I was staying with her)
    • Last Month: $0
    • Difference: +$22.81
  • Cell Phone: $2.99
    • Due to previous payments and credits, the bill was covered for this month; the only cost is for unlimited Skype calling to landlines in the US and Canada
    • Last Month: $181.88
    • Difference: -$178.89
  • Entertainment: $36.50
    • Last Month: $20
    • Difference: +$16.50
  • Health: $161.00
    • Includes full premium for health insurance
    • Last Month: $162.78
    • Difference: -$1.78
  • Technology: $353.16
    • Includes my purchase of a , , and eCamm Skype Recording software
    • Last month: $65.89
    • Difference: +$287.27

  •  Total Expenses: $1165.50
    • Last Month: $944.15
    • Difference: +$221.35
    • Financial Freedom (Ideal/Goal: income > expenses): NO.



  • Working Hours
    • Ideal/Goal: 6-7 hours per day, with each chunk being only 90-120 mins.
      • Days worked: 29 (out of 30) – took Thanksgiving completely off!
      • Average hours per day: 4.49
        • Last month: 5.36
      • Number of days where work was > 7 hours: 2 days
      • Most hours in one day: 9.0 (finishing Take the Train for Free, and two Academy classes)
  • Morning Creativity Practice
    • Ideal/Goal: waking up an hour earlier to focus on creative work (before exercise and meditation)!
    • Days with Morning Creativity Practice: 25
      • Last month: 22
      • Most often wake-up time: between 6:30-7:00 am



  • Sleep Hours
    • Ideal/Goal: to sleep for at least 7-8 hours each night
    • Average
      • The San’s (Francisco, Jose, -ta Barbara): 7.15
      • Los Angeles: 7.05
      • For the month: 7.09
        • Last month: 7.09 (!)
    • Most often amount of sleep: 7.5 hours
    • Longest sleep: 8.00 hours (went to bed at 10:30 pm, after bringing my friend to the airport earlier that day)
    • Shortest sleep: 5.58 hours (woke up at 4:45 am to bring my friend to the airport)
    • Number of days where sleep time was < 7 hours: 9 days
  • Awake Hours
    • Ideal/Goal: to be awake for 16-17 hours
    • Average
      • The San’s: 16.58
      • Los Angeles: 17.07
      • For the month: 16.84
        • Last month: 16.81
    • Most often wake hours: 16.5-17.0 hours
    • Longest day: 18.00 and 18.17 hours (travel days, plus work – see 9.0 “Working Hours” day above)
    • Shortest day: 14.50 hours (I knew I was getting up very early the next day to travel)
    • Number of days where awake time was > 17 hours: 11 days
    • Number of days with naps (avg. 30 min): 8 days
  • Going to Sleep
    • Ideal/Goal: go to bed around 11 pm
    • Average
      • The San’s: 11:15 pm
      • Los Angeles: 12:05 am
      • For the month: 11:30 pm
        • Last month: 12:00 am
    • Most often sleep time: 11:30 pm – 12:00 am
    • Earliest sleep time: 10:30 pm
    • Latest sleep time: 1:00 am
    • Number of days where sleep time was past 11:15 pm: 21 days
  • Waking Up
    • Ideal/Goal: wake up around 7 am
    • Average
      • The San’s: 6:30 am
      • Los Angeles: 7:00 am
      • For the month: 6:45 am
        • Last month: 7:00 am
    • Most often wake time: 7:00 am
    • Earliest wake time: 4:45 am
    • Latest wake time: 8:00 am
    • Number of days where wake time was later than 7:15 am: 3 days



  • Contacts
    • Ideal/Goal: to wear 8 hours or less per day
    • Days worn: 26 (out of 30)
      • Average hours per day: 8.57
        • Last month: 7.89
      • Number of days where use was > 8 hours: 15 days
      • Most hours in one day: 13.00 (Thanksgiving)



  • 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.



  • Protein Powder
    • Continued to use the Sunwarrior Protein until that ran out, and then I was using GNC’s Wheybolic Protein because my brother, whom I was staying with, had it.
    • I began experimenting with taking about 30g of protein with water within 30 minutes of waking up, which usually occurred during my Morning Creativity Practice. Tim Ferriss writes about 30g within 30 minutes in The 4-Hour Body: the principle behind it is to get your metabolism going.



  • Marianne Williamson – though technically not new (I first attended in January 2011), I was thrilled to be back in LA and able to attend her talks live. She talks the straight-scoop. Very deep conversations and topics, and right up my alley! She also has a radio show – plus, you can listen to her lectures online.
  • Mary’s Secret Garden – organic, vegan bistro in Ventura, CA
  • Sojourner Cafe – organic restaurant in Santa Barbara, CA



    • This international bestseller gives an entire history of philosophy set against the narrative of a young girl coming to terms with some heavy-duty and thought-provoking questions (like “Who are you?” and “Where does the world come from?“)
    • Still reading this one – it’s my first 500+ page book in… well, a long time…
    • Now enjoying it on my !





  • “Meetings” in LA
    • As I return to the city where I spent 11 years, there were multiple occasions to reconnect with many dear people – awesome to hang out with friends in person!!
  • 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



Or, “what worked and what didn’t?”

Thanksgiving was a bit of a disaster, food-wise.

Though not as bad as the Labor Day Party, I certainly ate more than I needed (and even felt hungry for) this year. I think this is the first year I’m really paying attention to when I’m hungry and how much I need. When dinner finally rolled around, I took a very simple plate, did not go back for seconds, and I felt quite satisfied and satiated. I even had room for dessert (a couple hours) later!

As I exercise regularly, it’s important to stay clean!

For the most part, showering every 2-3 days and doing laundry 2-3 times per month seems to work out. As I find myself in warmer climates, though, it’s been necessary to develop a stricter schedule to keep everyone (including me) happy. :-)

I need to wear my contacts less.

It’s cool to have a few days of the month where I’m going past my ideal, but when I’m doing it for more than half of the total days in the month, that’s not good. This is more for health reasons than for beating myself up over an arbitrary number. Eyes need air, and contacts limit that! I’ve typically worn my contacts until I go to sleep – looks like I need to get a jump on that process and take them out an hour or two earlier!

If I want to go to bed earlier, I need to do just that!

Especially when I’m staying with friends, I tend to be a bit more social at night and stay up later than I might want. It’s time for me to see how I can curb that and break any patterns I have – for the sake of my health! :-)


Raw sauce (listed below) over sauteed green beans and pecans!

Favorite Food Items from November:

  • Raw sauces:
    • Blend tomato, onion, lime juice, jalapeno, olive oil and basil in a food processor
    • Similar to pesto – also easy to make at home!
  • Sushi rolls:
    • Slice and dice any vegetables you’ll want to use:
    • substitute shredded cauliflower for rice (just steam it a little bit to soften it up!)
  • Great meat substitute:
    • Portabello Mushrooms and eggplant!
  • Raw Nut granola (gluten-free): Two Moms in the Raw – I enjoyed the cereal and think it would taste awesome in a bowl with coconut milk!

OK – that’s the monthly report for November!

If you have any feedback or questions about something you’re tackling, please leave a comment below and I’ll respond as soon as I can!


Thanks for reading, and for continuing to be awesome!

Until next time,


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