Saturday, January 9, 2016

2015 Goals: September - December

See recaps for January to April here and May to August here

Try 12 new vegetarian restaurants.

I liked all of the new restaurants, which were all in wildly varying genres - Paradox Cafe in September (breakfast cafe), Sweet Hereafter in October (bar), Papa G's for November (deli/comfort food), and Departure in December (swanky Asian small plates).

I think Departure is probably the one we're most likely to return to (despite being the most expensive). It's the closest to our part of town (it's in downtown Portland - so many veg restaurants are way out on the east side!), and is good for satisfying a variety of tastes (veg, omni, GF), as well as being upscale enough to meet my MIL's preferences, so will probably return with a larger group of in-laws.

Try 12 new recipes, each from a different currently-owned cookbook.

October's recipe (phyllo triangles) and November's recipe (black-eyed peas and potatoes), both from the Vegan Lunch Box series books, were ok, though not my favorite thing ever. September's recipe (orange tofu from Vegan Junk Food) was also not fantastic, but I did take on the deep-frying method it used, and have used that method multiple times since. 

December's recipe (chocolate pie from Vegan Pie in the Sky) was good, for a pie, but as I said I'm not a huge pie person. But anything chocolate is definitely ok, at least!

Visit/do 12 "Portland bucket list" type things.

Despite the fall season, we spent a lot of time outdoors! In September, we hiked Multnomah Falls. In December, we visited the World Forestry Center (ok, that's inside, but about the outdoors!), took the MAX across the Tilikum Crossing then ran back over it, and did the Peacock Lane run

Read 2 books each month.

(Let's be friends on goodreads!)

September: 2

MaddAddam. Third and final in the Madd Addam trilogy. I liked this one better than the second one, as all the stories converged and you finally figured out when you were and what was going on. I never loved it, but was invested enough to continue reading to the end and didn't hate it. Might hate the friend who recommend the trilogy, though.

Bossypants. Highly entertaining! Pretty quick and light read without being pure fluff.

October: 4

Expecting Better. Totally absolutely recommend if you're pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant. I know the author isn't a doctor, but she's basing the book on looking at the actual data and conclusions, and it's really helpful information to make your own educated decisions. I understand why "they" want to come up with broad recommendations to give to every pregnant woman, and that requires going to the lowest common denominator instead of leaving too much open to interpretation. But if you're willing to do the legwork and take responsibility for your own decisions, this is a highly valuable resource. It's also a surprisingly entertaining read!

Born to Run. Really interesting if you're a runner! While definitely way out of the specific part of running I ever see myself being involved in, it was interesting. I even made and tried iskiate!

Origins. Similar, in a sense, to Expecting Better, this book delves into some research about how our actions and experiences while pregnant will impact the fetus. However, while Expecting Better is basically going on a journey from worried (everyone says I can't do this or that or the other thing!) to taking a calm, educated look at the real data; Origins is starting from a viewpoint of the fetus as the "perfect parasite" (doesn't matter if I get perfect nutrition, it'll pull what it needs first) to exploring all of the negative things during prenatal development that can have a long-term impact on people's health. I found the general journey, going from little worry to huge worries, a bit disturbing and reactionary, and also disliked some gendered and otherwise bothersome beliefs that seemed to be scattered throughout the narrative. Though intriguing, I'm not sure it's a book I'd recommend per se.

Love in the Time of Algorithms. As someone who met my spouse on an internet dating site, it was really fascinating to get this sort of behind the scenes look at how that industry has developed over time.

November: 0

December: 2

Do Unto Animals. This is a new book by Tracey Stewart, which I heard about on The Daily Show (uh, was that awkward enough wording? Trying not to identify a woman by reference to her husband, but her husband is how I know about her (and her book)!). It's a pretty quick read, with fairly short chapters with different focuses and ideas. I think it's intended to be read by families - some of the stuff would go over the heads of younger kids, but a lot of it is projects that would be fun to do with them, and it's a lot of information that's more beneficial to kids than adults (e.g., how to appropriate pet a cat), but also provides information that might be new to plenty of adults (e.g., how tail signals from a cat or dog indicate their mood).

I Am Malala. Obviously an important and relevant topic and issue to learn about, and also a fascinating specific story to read. 

Lose 22 pounds.

Same shirt! Sept 2014 (148) - Dec 2015 (124)

I hit 124 by the end of September, and have maintained it since!

Total: -22 pounds

I'm fluctuating slightly between 122 - 125 (I weigh myself once, sometimes twice, per week), but always come back to just under 125, so I'm calling it 124. I'd like to get under 120 and have that range be more like 118 - 120, but I'm fairly content if this is where it sticks, too. It's only been a few months, so I know there's still deliberateness that I need to continue to not gain it back (much less lose a couple more pounds),  but it has been a bit more effortless than I would have expected. 

Bike 1,500 500 miles.

After August I set a modified goal to reach towards for the rest of the year, and just barely hit it! (So, uh, that's half my yearly mileage in the last two months...)

September: 24.4 (5.69/week)
October: 30.45 (6.87/week)
November: 102.50 (23.9/week)
December: 150.60 (33.8/week)

Total: 500.05

Run 1,000 1,100 miles.

I hit the original goal of 1,000 early enough (in November) that I decided to make a new stretch goal for the remainder of the year - 1,100 miles reached!

September: 135.80 (31.68/week)
October: 70.40 (15.89/week)
November: 55.90 (13.04/week)
December: 70.75 (15.9/week)

Total: 1,100.4

Swim 165,000 57,750 yards.

Ha ha ha! Like biking, modified the goal at the end of August to make it feasible, still totally didn't meet it, at all. Swimming is the one sport that, though, rely on other entities (pool schedules coordinating with my work schedules), but I didn't try all that hard. Setting basically the same goal (50,000 yards) for 2016 - hopefully that's a slam dunk!

September: 4,900
October: 5,500
November: 6,500
December: 0

Total: 42,210

Participate in a race each month.

September: Best in the West sprint tri (PR), Forest Grove Lions Club Run for Sight 5k (PR), Best Dam Run 10k (PR)
October: Portland Marathon (PR)
November: Tacoma City Turkey Trot
December: Ho Ho 5k

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