Nǐ hǎo, I'm Julia.

2017 Review: What I Learnt And Experienced

  • Veganism - Whilst I’ve eaten less meat this year than I’ve ever eaten (I think I only ate one steak and one sausage over 2017), I’ve been more relaxed about eating eggs and dairy. This has mostly happened whilst on holiday or when eating with other large parties, say with my team members or in set menu parties. I’d therefore call myself more of a vegetarian this year, rather than a vegan. I feel like I need to tighten up my food standards in 2018.

  • Fermenting foods - As I continue learning more about nutrition, one of the things I’ve started getting into is making my own fermented foods. I started with vegan kimchi, which was indistinguishable from restaurant served kimchi IMHO! I then moved into culturing soya yogurt and brewing kombucha tea. It’s good fun, easy and beneficial to my health and happiness.

  • Genetic testing - I’ve been getting increasingly interested in biohacking and personalised health. Wanting to learn more about my own building blocks, I did a 23andMe test. I debated with myself for a while on whether I wanted to entrust my personal data to a private company, but ultimately decided that this was a good thing to do if I could help support personalised testing in the future for a larger proportion of the population.

  • Hiking - I did my first ever hut to hut hiking trip in the Dolomites this year. It ended up being pretty hairy and I had to cut the trip short due to some unforeseen extreme weather conditions, which was a shame (made it super memorable though!). I’ve therefore got some unfinished business here that I’ll need to sew up at some point.

  • Skiing - Continuing the trend from last year, I went skiing twice this year. I visited Les 3 Vallées in March (staying in Courcheval) and squeezed in a last minute trip to Les Arc in between Christmas and New Years. I felt something click into place in Courcheval and have since felt that my skiing has really ratcheted up a notch. Les Arc was actually where I had my first skiing experience 6 years ago and it felt great to be back, and see how much I’ve developed as a skier.

  • New York Marathon - I finished one of my DREAM marathons, running the New York Marathon in November despite being injured. I was adamant that I would finish despite being undertrained going into it and I did, without walking, which I’m super pleased about. It was my worst ever marathon from a timing perspective, but my best ever from an experience point of view. The New Yorkers really know how to throw a good marathon!

  • Fasting - I did my longest fast this year, for just over 1.5 days. I had originally wanted to do a 3 day water fast but as the research is inconclusive on whether it is beneficial for women, I decided not to. I tend to skip breakfast most days (and have done so since young), a form of intermittent fasting, but I’m thinking of being a little more structured this year - perhaps trying the 16:8 or 14:10 protocol. My main aim here is to finish dinner earlier as I tend to eat pretty late into the night which I don’t think is terribly healthy.

  • Stoic philosophy - I decided to learn more about stoic philosophy this year, reading writings from Seneca and Marcus Aurelius. Unbeknownst to me, I’ve striven to live my life following a number of the key tenets that make up stoic philosophy. Learning that there’s an entire branch of philosophy that holds so true with how I see much of the world has been a real revelation.

  • Meditation and journaling - I haven’t been able to get into a meditation or journaling routine yet. I have instead, done sporadic periods of meditation and journaling throughout the year, when I’ve really felt like my daily life has lacked focus and structure. Instead of using the 5 Minute Journal as I did in 2016, I’ve been using Evernote to write digital entries instead, which I’ve preferred. I’m going to try keeping an offline daily logbook in 2018 instead, so let’s see how that goes.

  • Decluttering - I’ve been trying to simplify my life this year, starting with my physical possessions. I’ve been decluttering my flat throughout the year, being brutal about discarding as many objects as possible, particularly clothes. Why? Because the feeling of lightness I feel after decluttering really transfers over to a freer state of mind. I’ve been trying to follow the KonMari method, but still feel like I have some ways to go with this.

  • Becoming a COO - I formally stepped into the role of COO for the startup I co-founded early in 2017. This is a brand new role for me, and I constantly feel like I have no idea what I’m doing (anyone else?). If there’s one thing I’m good at however, it’s learning by doing and everyday’s a school day. 😄 One of the best things about having to take on such an unstructured and undefined role is that I’ve learnt a lot about myself in terms of how I work best, who I typically tend to work best with and what it is I truly enjoy doing.

Wishing you all a great 2018 year ahead with good health and happiness!

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