2011. Twenty-Eleven.

>> Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy twenty-eleven, everyone! I imagine some of you were wondering if we'd ever post again. I was, too (just kidding!). But seriously -- our extended break from the internet and other electronic devices has been, well, sublime. For example, I turned off my cell phone for over a week. Yes. Eight days. And though I missed a number of calls and quite a few text messages (sorry, friends!), I needed a breather.


You see, the theme this year -- 2011 -- is all about simplification. No, wait. Isn't that a math term? S.i.m.p.l.i.f.y.i.n.g is what I mean to write. In every area of life. Including the blog and other areas of web-life, too.

Quality Over Quantity:

Let's face it. Working 8 hours per day (full-time), maintaining a healthy lifestyle (exercising), and blogging like it's my job (omg.) don't exactly jive. It means I'm on the computer almost always. No hyperbole here. I'm shooting (increasingly crappy) photos and cooking/baking at all other times. Rushing to get out two to three posts per day and missing typos and other recipe mistakes. Stuff like reading, relaxing, and trying new things not related to the blog are nearly impossible.

This time-crunch isn't good for me OR for you.

I'm realizing that a lot of you who follow (never home)maker work full-time as well. And if you're anything like me -- when I go to a blog that posts more than once a day . . . I find unless I'm on top of my reading, I'm scrambling to keep up. I miss good, important stuff. The solution? One-ish posts per day. One quality, wonderful post per day to keep us all happy and on top of things. We'll see how it goes, but I'm excited at the opportunity to enrich our content for you!

Something's Fishy:

And it's my recent diet exploration. I feel like everywhere I look, I'm surrounded by vegan-ness. Even on our own site, we tend to focus heavily on vegan recipes. And I love them -- they aren't going anywhere. A large proportion of what I eat is vegan because it's whole fruits and veggies. But I know a vegan diet doesn't work for me with my heavy activity. I've slowly incorporated cheese, eggs, and a couple other dairy products like Greek yogurt into my diet. Now, I'm giving fish a try.

Fish is something I've debated throughout the years. I've been a vegetarian since age 12 and haven't enjoyed meat EVER. It's a texture/concept thing, really. Back to fish. With the exception of a single scallop and a bite of lobster, I hadn't had any in over 12 years. Until last night.

My goal is to give fish a try once a week for two months. I'm giving it that long because when trying new foods, I need to get over what I call the "ick-factor" . . . because even though our tilapia (recipe soon!) was absolutely delicious, I couldn't get over the weirdness of it all. Updates to follow.

A More Disconnected, but Centered Me:

Along with blogging, I maintain a pretty intense social media presence. I go back and fourth with it -- one day thinking that Facebook and Twitter are AWESOME . . . the next, wiping clean my profile and making it sleek and void of info. There's a happy medium, and it just means spending less time online. Not tweeting my every thought. Not sharing every article I come across. Calling my friends versus liking their shared stuff.

A more disconnected me means a more in-tune-with-myself me. It goes along with the quality over quantity blogging resolution. It means time for new things I want to do, like yoga. I used to do yoga four to five times a week . . . and now if I do it once, it's amazing. It means time to embroider and finish house projects. Hang out with my friends and family. Read (I got the Nook Color for X-mas!).

Here are some new/old things I want to try/get back into this year:
  • Yoga.
  • Embroidery.
  • Sewing.
  • Reading books.
  • Playing guitar/other music.
  • Re-learning Italian.
  • Writing.
  • Mastering the art of bread baking.
  • DIY-ing home projects.
  • Climbing. Snowshoeing. Other outdoor adventure stuff.

Personal Fitness Goals:

This one's tricky with me. Every year, I have some goals in mind. In 2009, the big goal was to run a marathon. Last year, it was to break 4 hours in the marathon. We all know how that went. This year, I'm torn. I'm still injured, despite an OK-ish 10-miler yesterday. But I am resisting pre-registration for many of my favorite races. This year, I guess, is all about playing it by ear. Running local races that I can choose to run the day of. Focusing on shorter distances like the 5K (I'd ideally like to break 22 minutes this year) and 10K (maybe finish in the 46 minute range).

What I'll surely continue is the cross-training that has helped me through my injury. Swimming a mile twice a week is definitely one of my goals. Maybe even trying a triathlon in the spring. We'll see. But I'm keeping it loose and free of expectation.

Other Health-Related Goals:

Drinking is another issue I go back and forth with. I enjoy beer. Especially craft brews. Cheap champagne. White wines. And recently tequila. (OK. That was just one night). I read Emily's post on why she quit drinking, and it got me thinking. I started asking myself why I (typically) drink a beer a day. It usually makes me feel groggy. Or why I drink a couple drinks at parties when I just feel sluggish and head-achey the next day. I'm not necessarily going to cut alcohol out completely, but I can see myself drastically cutting back on it. And at least this month, steering clear from it totally.

I'm planning to cut back on sugar, too. Of course, I always feel this way after the holidays, but I know I eat entirely too much sugar and it makes me ride high and then crash. Headaches. Sluggishness. A lot of those feelings I get from alcohol, actually. I'm seeing a trend here, though. The need to focus more and more on the whole, clean foods that give me energy. So, expect recipes using other types of sweeteners, like dates, maple syrup, and agave nectar.

I also need more me-time. Stephen works from 7 to 3. I usually work from 9 to 5. What this means is that in the afternoons/evenings and on weekends, I get very little time to myself. It's my own fault. I lean toward co-dependence just out of mere entertainment sake. But I want to go out and do more by myself. Even if it's just going to a yoga class. Or heading upstairs to read. Anything to spend less time with Stephen. Hahah. Only joking. But less time together means more quality time together. Right?

There are other goals I have, but these are the main ones that relate to the blog and my health/fitness. Of course, now I'm wondering what types of things you've written down. Lists you've created. Other stuff that will make your 2011 off-the-charts amazing.

Please share with us by leaving a comment or emailing us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.

Oh, yeah! We've announced the winner of our Beating Heart Giveaway! Go check the post to see if it's you!

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