The Monthly Practice Report – March 2012



Welcome to The Monthly Practice Report, where I detail my practice of healthy living: 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 March?

  • Washington, DC: 3/1-3/11
  • Charlottesville, VA: 3/12-3/14
  • Richmond, VA: 3/15
  • Charlotte, NC: 3/16 + 3/18
  • Asheville, NC: 3/17
  • Anderson, SC: 3/19-3/20
  • Greenville, SC: 3/21 + 3/29
  • Columbia, SC: 3/22, 3/25-3/28
  • Charleston, SC: 3/23-3/24
  • Atlanta, GA: 3/30-3/31

Whew – what a busy 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!



  • Ideal/Goal: to meditate for at least 15 minutes in the morning, before other activities
  • Total: 681 consecutive days! (closing in on 700!! :)
    • Continued the daily practice for another month
  • How long did I meditate each day?
    • 15 minutes: 5 days
    • 30 minutes: 26 days
    • Most often amount: 30 minutes (84% of the time)!
      • Last month: 30 minutes (24 vs. 5)
  • 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.



  • 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 enjoy, mostly 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: 21%
      • Last month: 21%
    • Breakfast: 6%
    • Lunch: 16%
    • Dinner: 39%
    • Snacks: 21%
  • Not Paleo (the “no” list above)
    • Ideal/Goal: 10% OF THE TIME (or less)
      • For the month: 18%
      • Last month: 9%
    • Breakfast: 3%
    • Lunch: 3%
    • Dinner: 43%
    • Snacks: 20%
  • Alcohol
    • Ideal/Goal: 0-1 drinks per month
      • For the month: 2
      • Last month: 1

**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! 
  • At least 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: 28 (90% of the time)
    • Last month: 25
  • Other Exercise
    • TONS of walking!
      • I was regularly walking around these cities, just about every day, and would often go for periods of 2-3 hours at one time, exploring.
      • DC: ~16 hours walking total
      • Spent ~24 hours during the month walking total (that I kept track of!)
    • Hiking
      • Shenandoah: 2.5 miles
      • Asheville, NC: ~4 miles
    • Biking
      • DC: 2 hours
      • Charlottesville: 1.5 hours
      • Atlanta: 5. hours
  • Stationary
    • Cars: 24 hours (lots of 2 hour trips)
    • Buses: 6 hours (even did my morning 30 minutes of meditation on there!)
    • Trains: 9.5 hours (walked the cars)



  • 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: 26 (84% of the time)
      • Brainstorming of ideas for the site, how many hours I can devote to NA work per week, travel plans, notes from Way of the Superior Man
      • Last month: 27
    • If I don’t get to journaling in the morning (before email/work, etc.), it usually doesn’t happen.



  • My Stats:
    •  3/14/12: 134 lbs.
    •  3/24/12: 133 lbs.
    • Average:  134 lbs.,  19.37 BMI
      • Last month: 134 lbs., 19.37 BMI
      • Difference: 0 lbs, 0 BMI
  • Weight/BMI
    • I weigh myself (usually) on the same day of the week, first thing in the morning – before eating or drinking anything.
    • 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 (when available)
    • 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%.
    • Average for men is 18-24%; athletes typically compete at 6-13%



  • Sleep Hours
    • Ideal/Goal: to sleep for at least 7-8 hours each night
    • Average
      • For the month: 6.85
        • Last month: 7.42
    • Most often amount of sleep: 7.0 hours
    • Longest sleep: 8.0 hours (twice)
    • Shortest sleep: 1.5 hours (Homeless in Charleston!)
    • Number of days where sleep time was < 7 hours: 13 days
      • Last month: 6 days
  • Naps
    • Number of days with naps: 8 (26% of the month)
      • Last month: 4 days
    • Average amount: 20 minutes
    • Mostly occurred on days with lots of walking or being in transit
  • Awake Hours
    • Ideal/Goal: to be awake for 16-17 hours
    • Average
      • For the month: 17.15
        • Last month: 16.50
    • Most often wake hours: 17-17.5 hours
    • Longest day: 21.17 hours (Charleston again!)
    • Shortest day: 13.92 hours
    • Number of days where awake time was > 17 hours: 16 days
      • Last month: 8 days
  • Going to Sleep
    • Ideal/Goal: go to bed around 11 pm
    • Average
      • For the month: 11:45 pm
        • Last month: 11:25 pm
    • Most often sleep time: 11-11:30 pm
    • Earliest sleep time: 10:45 pm (twice)
    • Latest sleep time: 4:30 am (yup, Charleston!)
    • Number of days where sleep time was past 11:15 pm: 21 days
      • Last month: 8 days
  • Waking Up
    • Ideal/Goal: wake up around 7 am
    • Average
      • For the month: 6:45 am
        • Last month: 6:50 am
    • Most often wake time: 6:30-7:00 am
    • Earliest wake time: 5:15 am (catching a bus!)
    • Latest wake time: 8:50 am
    • Number of days where wake time was later than 7:15 am: 6 days
      • Last month: 4 days



    • Working Hours
      • Ideal/Goal: 6-7 hours per day, with each chunk being only 90-120 mins.
        • Days worked: 28 (90% of the time)
        • Average hours per day: 5.90
          • Last month: 6.35
        • Number of days where work was > 7 hours: 7 days (22% of the time)
          • Last month: 11 days
        • Most hours in one day: 9.5 (editing the Laundry video)
      • Blocks of Working Time
        • Ideal/Goal: work for no longer than 90 minutes or two hours at at time
        • Number of blocks > 2 hrs: 4 instances
          • Longest working session: 3 hours
      • In February, I began tracking  as part of my $100 a day goal
    • Days Offline
      • Ideal/Goal: one 24-hour period off the computer each week
      • Number of days: 4 (100%)
  • Morning Creativity Practice
    • Ideal/Goal: waking up an hour earlier to focus on creative work (before exercise and meditation)!
    • Days with Morning Creativity Practice: 22 (71% of the time)
      • Last month: 24



  • Contacts
    • Ideal/Goal: to wear 8 hours or less per day
    • Days worn: 25 (81% of the month)
      • Average hours per day: 6.92
        • Last month: 6.68
        • Average time I pop them in: 4:00 pm
        • Average time I take them out: 11:45 pm
      • Number of days where use was > 8 hours: 8 days (26% of the time)
        • Last month: 2 days
      • Most hours in one day: 10.6 (Shenandoah hiking)
  • Vitamins
    • I picked up Alive! Vitamins at Whole Foods in January and have been taking 1 pill in the morning. When I was traveling through Montana last summer, Joe Withey (of ) recommended this brand as it’s entirely plant-based!
    • Fish Oil: picked up the Whole Foods brand, and began taking 1000mg of Fish Oil (concentrated Omega-3 EFAs) daily!


What I Learned:

Or, “what worked and what didn’t?”

  • Walking works!
    • This is such a great (and easy) way to get exercise and to really explore where you are! While a car makes traveling around quicker, I’m glad that I have to rely on my two legs most of the time to get me places!
  • It’s not easy to go to bed on time.
    • When you’re traveling, and there’s work to be done or email to be checked, it’s easy to stay up!
    • It’s quite often that I’m having wonderful conversations with my host – and we may not get this chance again, so why not enjoy the connection time? I can always catch up on (a bit of) sleep another time! :)
    • I will usually adjust when I wake up if I go to bed late, always shooting for at least 6.5 hours of sleep.
  • I have a new enemy, and his name is Nutella.
    • Totally didn’t think I’d be sidelined by this! It’s just so addictive and sweet – I really went overboard at Le Pain Quotidien one night – I think it even caused a headache because of all the sugar!
    • I definitely felt “off” when I overindulged in this food. I wasn’t eating it in moderation, I was being a bit compulsive. When I’d take the first bite, it was so good, I would immediately go for a second, instead of truly savoring the first.
    • Iefinitely need to curb this behavior, and I imagine the next time won’t be such an issue because I know how it makes me feel (blah!) and I know how unhealthy it is.
    • Again: it’s important that I have healthy “treats” with me, like dark chocolate or medjool dates, so that if I do want something sweet, it’s not overly processed, and I don’t need a tremendous amount to satisfy me.
  • It’s important to take time off(line).
    • In March I started taking one day off per week, usually Saturday or Sunday. This is any 24-hour period, so it may be from 6 pm on Saturday to 6 pm on Sunday, or an entire calendar – whatever works best with my schedule that week.
    • I spend LOTS of time on the computer for work (that I truly enjoy), and I still find that I most enjoy life when I’m engaged with other people in the real world! :)
    • Again, with any commitment, once I made it 100%, it’s been easy to fit this into my life every week – plus, I LOVE the free time to read, walk, hang out, and just be off the computer!



OK – that’s the monthly report for March!


How are your practices going?


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

And if you have any feedback or questions about something you’re tackling, feel free to share!


Looking forward to learning more!