The first month of our 48 Really Great Dates project is in the books. Though we had a few hiccups, we managed to have a lot of fun, doing some super simple activities in/around our town. We spent a total of $39.56 on five dates. Here are the highlights:
To read all the details, be sure to visit our 48 Really Great Dates page.
For one of our dates, we attended a health fair, where we had our cholesterol, glucose, and BMI checked. For as much as I love to pick on Angie for her exercise routines, something seems to be working for her. Her numbers were great. My glucose was good but the rest left room for improvement. That, along with back pain that just wouldn’t go away last month, prompted me to take my health a bit more seriously. I don’t want to be old before my time and I don’t want to start a medicine collection.
For the most part, we eat a plant-based diet. On occasion, my mom will cook something with meat and we will eat it. These meals are very rare though. The more common problem is sweets. I don’t actually crave sweets and would never bake a cake on my own but my mom absolutely loves to bake and we end up with at least one cake, pie, or cookie a week. I certainly can’t eat all of these but I also hate not eating some of them. After all, she worked hard to create them and it makes her happy. And if you know anything about me at all, you know that I can’t throw them away without feeling like I’ve just destroyed the planet. It’s a dilemma, for sure!
While I figure out how to redirect my mom’s baking efforts, I’ve decided to work on a few other areas of my diet, cutting out things that may or may not be adversely affecting my cholesterol. The first item to go was cheese. We are not vegan so we’ve always maintained an exception for farm fresh eggs and certain cheeses. What can I say? I love cheese. But, I don’t want my love of cheese to break my heart…literally. So no more cheese. I don’t mention eggs because we aren’t eating them now anyway. We only eat eggs in the summer, and even then, only on occasion. I also cut out plant-based oils for the time being, even though they have some health benefits. Our salads are now being dressed with hummus. Our macaroni is being made with sweet potato “cheese”. It’s different, but good. If my cholesterol goes down, I’ll know what permanent adjustments I need to make in my diet. If not, I will talk to my doctor about other options (and believe me, I don’t want to do that).
In addition to the dietary changes, I started a daily stretching routine to help with my back. When I was 14, I had spinal fusion surgery to correct a 54 degree scoliosis curvature. Over the years, I’ve had problems with my back but nothing like the pain and stiffness I had in January. An x-ray showed moderate arthritis in my lower spine. Needless to say, I was not happy with the diagnosis (or myself) so I added the stretches and made a promise to walk at least 150 minutes a week – either outside or on the treadmill. One of the unused perks of our apartment is a very fancy fitness room – a room that I had previously never entered in the 2 1/2 years that we’ve lived here, until last month. So far, I’ve kept my promise and I’ve lost 5 pounds to boot.
Here’s the stretching routine that I pieced together from various Youtube videos:
When we haven’t been dating or dieting, we’ve been decluttering. I swear, I don’t know how so much stuff comes into our home when we buy next to nothing, except food! Yet, we managed to eliminate more than 50 items over the past few weeks, not including paper. We sold 11 puzzles and a lamp; donated a box containing boots, plastic containers, an unused garlic press, a magazine rack, and more to Goodwill; and gave my niece a stack of notebooks and personal care/toiletry items that we were never going to use. We even found a home for the Christmas tree that Angie rescued from the dumpster and repainted.
How’s your year going so far? Have you made any major lifestyle changes? How are your decluttering efforts coming along?