Things I Learned – January

Another month gone, another list of things I learned! If you’re curious here’s what I learned in…


Now on to this month!

  • As much as I wish it could, my body is not built for 6 workouts a week. I need a rest day every three days or my body and immune system shut down. I know this. There is nothing wrong with working out 4-5 times a week. In fact, that is more than enough.
  • I am not as socially inept as I thought I was. Embracing my social awkwardness has actually allowed me to come out of my shell.
  • The only thing that could possibly make custard oats taste better is eating them out of a near-empty almond butter jar.

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  • I do not have to be doing something productive with my time during all waking hours. Even more, I do not have to feel guilty about not constantly checking things off my to-do list.
  • Despite whatever opportunities arise in the future, I will not stay in my current city when my work contract is up. For the sake of my mental sanity, it is time for me to get out.
  • I am no longer allowed to bake or cook when I’m sick and full of mucus. It leads to things like kitchen fires and flat sweet bread.


  • Protein bars take 5 minutes to make at home, and produce much tastier and healthier results
  • I like going to bed early and being awake early. Plain and simple. There’s no point in pretending I want to do any different.
  • Staying home all weekend because you don’t want to shovel is okay. Staying home from work because you don’t want to shovel is not.
  • Cottage cheese and feta are an awesome pairing, and make for a stellar pita-filler when I’m running low on other protein.


  • The older I get, the more I appreciate my family. I am so lucky for the family I have.
  • I need more fat in my diet. My skin is in awful shape.
  • I really am not a 9-5, mon-fri person.
  • Sometimes, I just feel like snacking, and it’s okay if that means salt & pepper Popchips and a cheese sandwich for dinner.

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  • My home is a reflection of my state of being. If I am unhappy, my living space becomes an unhappy place to be.
  • Lindt Fleur de Sel is officially the best chocolate there is.


  • My living room can be an awesome place to work out.
  • I don’t need to be a grown up, I just need to be me.
  • Guar and xanthan gums are intimidating and require more experimenting with on my part.


  • I don’t have it all figured out, and I probably never will. Maintaining my weight and eating habits will always require a conscious effort on my part.
  • Deb is a genius for inventing the hot chocolate smoothie.


  • Just because a person turns 24, does not mean they have to give up eating marshmallow fluff and sprinkles.
  • Everyone needs to send their smoothie ‘stache photos to Janetha.


  • Sometimes I need to dismiss my fear and embrace new relationships. Sometimes I need to work harder to restore old relationships. And sometimes I need to let go of relationships that just don’t work.

Your turn!! What did you learn this month??

Posted on January 31, 2010, in Lessons Learned and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 42 Comments.

  1. I learned not to forget the almond butter if you’re copying someone’s homemade protien bars :-)

    Also that I’m still capable of reprogramming my brain to eat healthy again.

    And that I’ve been very lucky to start a fire when I’ve forgot my food on the stove. Some tough luck there hopefully February will be smoother for you.

  2. Ooh that hot chocolate smoothie looks delicious! I (finally/) learned that my camera of one year has a macro feature. Duh!

  3. I obviously meant lucky NOT to start a fire!!

  4. I think this is probably the most important thing you could write to yourself

    ‘Sometimes I need to dismiss my fear and embrace new relationships. Sometimes I need to work harder to restore old relationships. And sometimes I need to let go of relationships that just don’t work.’

    I think that’s something that I’ve learned this weekend. That really revolves around the relationship with myself.

    Ohh..and you should come work in Australia for a year. :)

  5. Wow, you learned a lot of good things in only a month!
    I thought guar and Xanthun gum were intimidating at first too…but they are the best things to ever enter a smoothie

    Some things I learned this month: I need a steady stream of endorphins to keep me sane, I appreciate my family a lot more, and don’t try to drive your car in 2 ft. of snow :)

  6. OMg I’m sooo honored that I made your “learned” list for January and that you used my name in the same sentence as the word “genius”! :-) awww you are soo sweet! And I’m so glad that you like the hot choc smoothie- esp in the cold weather you are having!

    I like the one about just being you. And of working on the relationships that matter and letting the ones go that aren’t working. Smart.

    In January, I learned that there CAN be some times in life where everything isn’t collapsing (in my life, not around the world) and that there aren’t always fires to put out (sorry, the irony). I guess January was a nice lull in what is usually a chaotic life. Guess I’m not used to lulls! :-)

    Have a great happy Monday because you will no doubt be in bed by now like a good girl and won’t be reading this til the morning! :-)

  7. PS. Cute stash.

    PPS. Don’t fear the gums. They are your friends. They will change your life.

  8. cute stash!
    I need to make that smoothie, see i am scared of XG and GG and Deb knows this b/c i have had too many FAILS and ruined too many things$ causing me to get ticked off at the gums :)

    Protein bars take 5 minutes to make at home, and produce much tastier and healthier results = TOTALLY agree!

    BTW, I received some Glo Bars and i know you have had them. I have some thoughts but yes, homemade bars are really inexpensive, easy, and totally do the trick for me!

  9. I learned that kidney infections are no joke and that when you are sick, sometimes you have to take an entire week off work. I’ve never taken that much time off in my life!!

  10. That hot chocolate smoothie looks delicious! I’m going to have to try it. It’s good to reflect and write down everything you’ve learned. You’ve inspired me to do the same : )

  11. great post :)

    i learned that schedule and routine changes are scary and i’m afraid of them but i think/i hope i’ll be able to adapt.

    guess we’ll find out next month

  12. I definitely agree about the Fleur de Sel. My roommate thinks it’s the strangest thig ever, but bought me one for my birthday anyway because she knows that it’s my favourite!

  13. Ah I love this post! I really need to take some quiet time to reflect on this last month and the lessons learned. Thank you for providing such a wonderful example!

  14. I hear not staying in the same place!! Hubby and I moved from Michigan to Texas two years ago, and it was the BEST move we ever made. Sometimes you just need a big change :)

  15. great post girl!!
    you learned a lot :) i love OIAJ! my fav bfast!

  16. loved the things you’ve learned this month – many are so true.

    And totally agree with you about the fleur de sel chocolate – many don’t understand but I stock up at the 2 for 5$ events at shoppers – delicious!

  17. You sure learned alot this month! What a great way to start 2010

    I hope your February starts wonderfully,
    Nicole G

  18. What a great post I loved reading it! You are so honest and refreshing its a great way to be. x x

    P.S It takes a while to get the gums right but once you have they make smoothies the bomb! I tend to use 1/2 guar and 1/4 xantham and it works x x

  19. Love this post! It is so important to recount what we’ve learned each month. This month I learned: I love working with children! I’m going to change my major to early childhood education!

    Have a great week!

  20. I adore the “what you learned” as so much of my own healthy living journey has been realizing we are all so different…even if we have the same healthy living END GOALS.

    Im as you are in that I over train QUICKLY and it took me years of getting no where (or going backwards) to realize that fact!

  21. lovely post! Glad you are alive…as for the fat thing, I’ve a girlfriend who swears by drinking a tablespoon of extravirgin olive oil every night. Say it hydrates her skin inside and out. I get plenty of fat in my diet of poutine and butter cookies so I have never tried it but might be an interesting one if you can stomach it!…xoxoxo

  22. ughhh! I want those custard oats so bad! I cannot find oatbran anywhere though! There is like a severe shortage. re: more fat in your diet. Word up. That is one of my goals too, to see if it helps my hormones at all. We should have a challenge. xoxo

    • Yes!! I love the idea of a “Fat Challenge” ;) I’m putting it in my goals for this month, so I’ll invite others to join along too. We can share some fatty recipes and snacks :)

  23. I love this post! I think I’ll reply with one of my own!!! 

    Happy February!!!

  24. “I do not have to be doing something productive with my time during all waking hours. Even more, I do not have to feel guilty about not constantly checking things off my to-do list.”

    AMEN SISTER! i am working on that one myself. for some reason, i keep telling myself i need to do more, more, more. but really, relaxing IS doing something – it is helping your body!

    and i LOVE your smoothie ‘stache photo. fo reals.

    i think the one thing i learned this month is that not working out is not the end of the world. i used to be so fearful if i only worked out 0-3 times a week, but really – as long as i keep eating healthy, life does get busy and skipping workouts like that is okay.

    happy monday my love :)

    • Yes!! I don’t know where I got the silly notion that I have to do 6 intense workouts a week. I think it’s just because I want to leave every workout sweaty and tired. But my body can’t handle it. Fewer, less-intense workouts are still a-okay, and probably better for our bodies :)

    • I totally agree with this as well:

      “I do not have to be doing something productive with my time during all waking hours. Even more, I do not have to feel guilty about not constantly checking things off my to-do list.”

      When I go through the day going from one to-do to another to-do, I end up feeling really grouchy, and oddly enough, feeling like I wasted my free time. Free time should contain at least some fun time, otherwise life is just miserable.

      I learned at work that, even though I don’t love it and I don’t want to do it for the rest of my life, if I throw myself into my work like I do love it, the day will go by a lot faster and I’ll do things that I never thought were possible before.

      I also learned that when I take the time to indulge I should eat low carb, because too many carbohydrates and sugars wreak my body chemistry for days and make me crave food like never before.

  25. Great things you learned this month!

  26. So sorry about the fire! I tried to make country fried steak once and started a fire. Don’t ask how, I’m still not sure.

    This month I learned how to bake a bunch of delicious GF desserts. That my friends are awesome! That roast a chicken is a super easy way to get 4 cheap meals. Oh and that I’m ready to move somewhere warm and sunny without snow.

  27. i’m not a 9-5 mon-fri person either….

  28. I love this post!

    I learned that you can’t succeed without trying. Don’t let fear hold you back.

    • Love it. That has been my mantra recently! Whenever I start feeling anxious about something, I just tell myself that I’ll never know the great things that could have come from it if I don’t go ahead and just do it :)

  29. I can’t believe you nearly burned your house down!! I just read that update. Woah. Scary.
    I love all your lessons learned. Guar gum etc scare me plain and simple. I don’t even own a blender or anything…
    Oh and I REALLY need to make some of your protein bars – way better looking than mine!

  30. hi again! oh how i love your recap posts. they make my day. that cheese sandwich is a thing of beauty. bread and cheese.. does not get much better. and YAY for hot chocolate and smoothie staches! :) i am posting it tonight!! this month i learned that if i make a plan and am determined, i can stick to it with great results. hope your monday is going fabulously!!! xoxo

  31. Susan, I still find it hard to believe that you are “socially inept” when you are clearly so loved and popular in the blog world! I’m sure there is a social butterfly somewhere in there! :-)

  32. “I am not as socially inept as I thought I was. Embracing my social awkwardness has actually allowed me to come out of my shell.”

    I love this! I never really became myself until I embraced the good the bad and the awkward ;)

    Great post!

  33. what a seriously great post- i probably say that too often but this one takes the cake. I keep wanting to make a post like this for myself but I have yet to do so.

    Love the cocoa smoothie stache and that you are just learning so many wonderful things about yourself!

    i learned that no matter how many times I keep trying to change your link on my blog- it won’t update to… it keeps attaching my admin things before it. I’ve tried like 8 times.

  34. Hmm I’m not sure what I learned this month! This was quite a month for you, huh? Here’s hoping next month evens out a little for ya. Oh and I also think I need to eat more fat, but I’ve had my fair share of nut butter and avocado lately, so I’m working on it! One thing I do want to do is switch my egg scrambles from one egg and two whites to two whole eggs (less waste that way too!).

  35. Oooh, I’ve never considered the cottage cheese/feta idea for a protein, but I always have those kicking around – I’m definitely gonna try it out. :)

  36. hot chocolate smoothie. yet again another thing i didn’t try before leaving home. BOOOO.

    i have three-four weeks at home in july- seriously, i think i may have to make a pre-set meal plan of everything i want to make from blogger land. it will be jam packed.

    *ooo thinking ahead of future blog post* love it.

  1. Pingback: Goals For February « The Great Balancing Act

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