Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Prep for 2017 Post Bonanza: Part 1 - Weekly Pages

I have had several requests to share my planner layouts as New Planner Season (this surely deserves capitalization, right?) approaches, so I thought I'd show last week.  It's not beautifully neat as I did not plan on sharing it, but hey -- the reality is probably more useful than a fantasy 'example' version, anyway.

My Hobonichi Techo Cousin Weekly pages are where the nitty-gritty scheduling details go.  While I include our call weeks and big events (like vacations) in the monthly section, the weekly view is where true appointments/planned events go, because a) the layout makes it very easy to see what is going on 168 hours at a time, and b) I know that I will look at it!

Elements of my weekly layout:

Workouts - in the top boxes for each day, since I almost always do them in the morning

To do list - along the left side.  I make a list of tasks to accomplish each week, culled from a) the prior week's leftover tasks and b) the Projects List and monthly Next Actions lists I keep in my mini-bullet-journal (just a slim notebook that tucks easily into the planner cover).   Choosing each week's tasks is something I do as part of my weekly review, which I try to do every Sunday afternoon (though sometimes it's Monday morning).  

I will also add any time-sensitive task when it comes up, prior to the weekly review.  For example, this week I have "buy office holiday gift" and "buy Amelia birthday gift" because I wrote those down when the parties were scheduled.  

Calendar - to the actual vertical slots I put any fixed appointments.  Generally, this area is not used for vague to-dos or plans, but items that really have a start/end time and are planned in advance.   That said, sometimes I'll stick a second reminder for a time-sensitive task (on Weds night for example I wrote "make key lime pie".  

Both home + work appointments go in here.  Last week was spent largely at home, since I had 3 days off!  But typically there will be work meetings mixed in with home events that I want to remind our nanny about.  I definitely do not see any reason to divide the two as I really need to integrate both worlds continuously.

Dinners - along the bottom I write down the week's meal plan.  As you can see, last week included many meals out and with family, but normally we eat at home Monday through Friday, and sometimes Sunday too depending on what is going on.  

Weekend - while there is nothing special about how the weekend is notated, I pay special attention to those Saturday and Sunday slots, because I have found that we have much more fun as a family when we have at least something planned for each day, even if it's just a casual play date meet up in the park.  Since we try to go for a date night most weeks when not working, I make sure to arrange any necessary babysitting, too.

So - that's it!  I am quite happy with how this layout has served me over the past two years or so, though I have definitely made small refinements along the way (example: I used to use multiple pen colors but have since discovered I prefer all black with highlighter/marker accents as needed :) ).  

Upcoming posts in the Year-End Planner Post Bonanza:
- Daily pages
- Monthly pages
- Yearly calendar
- The Weekly Review
- Mini-GTD-Bujo: Projects Lists + Next Actions
- Mini-GTD-Bujo: Someday/Maybe and other things I track
- Others if you guys have specific questions/requests!

Monday, November 28, 2016

week in review and thoughts on Food Freedom Forever

I had a relatively inactive week the week prior, but definitely made up for it over the past 8 days!  Whew.  

M - 5 mi, 9:15/mi average.  It was 59 degrees!  Ave HR 167.  Felt fantastic in the cool weather.

T - Barre3 weekly workout (bodyweight workout, 30 minutes, hard!)

W - Intervals, 4 mi total.  1 mile warmup (10:10).  6 x 400m at following paces: 7:428:017:487:508:077:39.  Slow 400m jogs between each (~11:30/mi).  I didn't push super hard on this and next time I'd like to try to get closer to 7:30 pace on the intervals.  Ave HR 170, 70F

R - Thanksgiving!  SUPER slow + relaxed run with some walking.  11:05/mi average, HR average 152, 79F and sunny.

F - 6 mi total - 1 warmup mile (10:18), then 2 at race pace (8:428:54), then 1 recovery (10:56), then 2 more at race pace (9:228:48).  Ave HR 170, 75F.

S - Barre3 40 minute workout

S - 8 mile long run at relaxed pace (10:15/mi, 64F, ave HR 156)

Total = 25 miles / 2 barre3 workouts

Well, it was Thanksgiving week!  So we did lots of eating out or with family and I didn't have much of a meal plan.  It worked out, though.  This week I have all recipes from Run Fast Eat Slow and I'll try to take some pix and report back.

I did make key lime pie (fave recipe) which turned out really well (if I do say so myself :) ).

Blog posts / podcasts during a quiet week

Song Exploder - "Johann Johannson - Arrival".  Song Exploder takes a song and dissects it piece by piece along with the artist.  This episode had a song from the Arrival soundtrack, which I want to see now!

Lagliv's post makes me want to book a family trip to Mexico.  Immediately.


SO -- I read Food Freedom Forever a couple of weeks ago.  This book is written by one of the Whole30 creators, and I was intrigued by the idea that someone had written a whole book about finding that 'forever' balance with food.  Especially because lately, I have not felt particularly 'free' in this regard.  I am working out more, but not seeing the results I would like to see with respect to a) running speed or b) positive body changes.  I definitely think I need to add more strength training with heavier weights (barre3 is great and I am sore after the workouts, but I just have a feeling I'd see more 'results' by lifting more).   But I also think some of it is just eating too much crap (sugar, chips, processed #($*&@) and (therefore) weighing a few more pounds than I would like.

I love running.  I love getting faster.  I realize that yes, age is a factor and leads to slowdown at some point.  But I'm 36.  Should there really be this much of a difference between 36 and . . . 35?  My pre-kid times (okay, those are from >5 yrs ago, but still) are so much faster than I am now.  Does it matter, really?  No.  Not at all in the grand scheme of things.  But as a personal goal would I prefer to run faster?  Yes.

SO.  In the dual pursuit of faster running times, less negativity about my eating habits, AND better-fitting jeans, I went searching around and found Food Freedom Forever.  The idea sounded really appealing: "letting go of guilt, bad habits, and anxiety around food."  However, I found myself debating the entire book and muttering under my breath as I read it.  The author recommends a Whole30 (30 days of squeaky clean grain/dairy/sugar/alcohol-free eating) and then a transition to more 'normal' foods, but then to go back to the Whole30 whenever you feel out of control again.  I mean, obviously it was more nuanced than that to fill an entire book, but to me that just sounded . . .terrible.  Like an invitation to yo-yo.  Like the very opposite of Food Freedom.

The truth is that I really believe I can reset WITHOUT such drastic measures, and hopefully find my own more permanent balance over the long haul.  I think her approach may make sense if one is very overweight and in need of a total food/lifestyle makeover.  But that is not me.  I am a runner, generally like healthy food, and just need to PUT THE SUGAR ON HOLD and watch portions a little.  I think that with consistent effort in small ways, I can get the results I want AND enjoy my life.  Which includes wine.  And dark chocolate.  And OMG gluten sometimes.

SO, I am now on plan, but it's my own plan.  Just eating mostly healthy foods, cutting excess when it seems reasonable to do so, and keeping sugar to a minimum on non-special occasions.  I have faced this question many times before, but in my heart I just feel I am more of a moderator when it comes to food (and most things).  Abstaining will make me sad, potentially crazy, and would backfire.

I have decided to give myself at least until the new year to really try to just . . . moderate!  If it fails, the Whole30 will always be available come January.  I think NOT having to eliminate all wine will be motivation enough for me . . . will report back.  If my running times get faster in a month, we'll know it's working.

PS: planner series 2017 countdown starts tomorrow 😁


Sunday, November 27, 2016


The past few days just went by . . . really quickly.

Thursday - Thanksgiving proper.  We had 2 family meals with many overlapping family members.  Gastronomically speaking, I would say this was one of the best Thanksgivings yet -- Josh's brother Aaron is a chef/catering business owner and the more he is in charge of, the better :)  

swimming with a great Collins Ave view - Thanksgiving tradition

The kids are getting older.  Family gatherings are getting easier and more fun.  We're still not at effortless level yet, but I can see now that every year the holiday gatherings will get more and more relaxing.  (Unless we stir things up with another baby, but I am still squarely in the gray zone on that tough question.)

Friday - Josh's grandfather died in April of 2015, and we went to his stone unveiling (I never heard of this Jewish custom before, either).  The kids ran around and I spent most of my time controlling C, but still found time to reflect on how amazing Pop-Pop was and cried as both kids placed stones (A decorated hers elaborately, C scribbled) on his gravestone.  We followed this event up with generous naps (BOTH KIDS) and then another friend/family gathering (2 year old twin bday party :) ).  

Saturday - Josh and I cleaned up for a while, and then we headed over to his parents' house to swim + hang out with cousins/family again (definitely a theme here).  We stayed until 2 and then Cameron napped until ridiculously late.  He was up for about 45 minutes before our date night babysitter arrived, and we had a lovely dinner at Macchialina, which is now one of my local favorites.

Highlights:  cheese plate, polenta, homemade pasta with a butternut squash filling (ridiculously good), tiramisu (smooth and creamy with a touch of espresso granita -- in other words, just perfect).  

Sunday - (aka today) - I did my long run and Josh made pumpkin pancakes (YAY).  We then headed to Fairchild Tropical Gardens.  Both kids ran around, we had lunch, and we are now home and again both are asleep.  Annabel hasn't napped since she was 3, so twice in one weekend she has really surprised us (that said, I am not surprised she is tired since she's been up past 9 nearly every night and still pops up at 6:30-6:45 or so).

We have dinner/playdate plans with friends to help avoid that icky Sunday afternoon feeling.  That said, I am not quite feeling ready to go back to work.  Maybe in a few more days . . . luckily, we do have more days off coming up.   I did zero shopping this weekend.  I think I may try to hold off shopping (edit- I mean personal purchases for me, not gifts and things for household!) until 2017 . . . we will see.

Okay, off to read and maybe fall asleep a little . . . ahhhh this has been a great little vacation!

Albums of the Day
11.26.16 - Beck, Morning Phase (2014)
11.27.16 - Weezer, White Album (2016)

Neither of the the above were new to me, and I happen to love both of them.