31 Before 31

My 29th year was an interesting one.  I had a few normal months, then began the Natural Chef Program at Bauman College.  Afterward, I had plans to finish up my externship hours quickly and get back to reality, but Bell’s Palsy had a different idea and put me out of commission for a while.  I didn’t get to have the big 30th birthday party I wanted since I was still recovering, but I did have a nice dinner with close friends.  Now, exactly halfway through my 30th year, I’ve decided to put some goals down on paper (or on my blog).  Because I’ve given myself only six months, these aren’t lofty “see the Eiffel Tower” goals; these are things that I can realistically accomplish with some hard work.  Some are things that have been on my to do list for too long, some are to move forward on projects I’ve been kicking around in my head, and some are just fun.  Naturally, a few of them are cooking- and blog-related so I figured posting here would be relevant, plus publishing the list will hopefully hold me accountable.  I’m currently recovering from a strained lower back, so some of the health goals seem a little intense from where I’m at right now, which is on the couch with a heating pad.  I’ll update as I cross items off the list.

31 Before 31

  1. Jog 2 miles without feeling like dying afterward.  (I recently jogged one mile without stopping, but I did feel like death at the end.)
  2. Hike to the peak of Mount Tamalpais.
  3. Work up to ten real push ups (not on knees).
  4. Take a kickboxing class.
  5. Try acupuncture.
  6. Borrow a foreign cuisine non-vegan cookbook from the library and try at least three recipes.
  7. Finalize the list of recipes for my zine idea and work on at least five recipes.
  8. Advertise personal chef services at discounted rate.
  9. Enter all of the recipes I have printed into Living Cookbook database.
  10. Read at least chapters 5-7 of On Food and Cooking.
  11. Change blog template.
  12. Update blog roll.
  13. Register for Vida Vegan conference.
  14. Invest in some props for food photography and take more interesting pictures.
  15. Get trumpet cleaned.
  16. Fix and update iTunes library.  (I accidentally deleted a good portion of mine.)
  17. Go to a symphony concert.
  18. Finalize the list of songs for cover album project and start to think about style/arrangements.
  19. Plant herbs in the flower box.
  20. Get a few houseplants and try to keep them alive.
  21. Get a new phone.  (Mine is old.  I don’t even know how many years old.)
  22. Learn some basic conversational Spanish.
  23. Take a day trip up or down highway 1.
  24. Visit a city I’ve never been to.
  25. Go to Millennium and order the Frugal Foodie prix fix menu.
  26. Take an SF City Guide walking tour.
  27. Go to SFMOMA or the de Young.
  28. Host a dinner party.
  29. Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.
  30. Watch the eight movies on this list that I haven’t seen.
  31. Go on a picnic.

And, since I can’t post without a food picture…

This is the Spicy Asian Stir-Fry with Whole-Wheat Linguine from Vegetarian Times.  To be honest, it wasn’t very spicy, but it was a good, simple stir-fry, and it used up the bok choy from my CSA delivery.  I tend to make all my stir-fries the same way and serve them over rice, so this was a nice change of pace.


  1. Nichole said

    Erin, I hope you feel better soon so you can get cracking on your list!

  2. Adam said

    Regarding #14, a lightbox can do wonders for food photography. And you can make your own on the cheap: http://www.instructables.com/id/Do-It-Yourself-Photography-Light-Box-for-Under-40/

  3. Babette said

    This is such a big list! Thankfully many of them look like a lot of fun =) I enjoyed reading it, and told myself that I should really do the same!

  4. Neat idea! I’m two months into 30….I should do something like this. I’m a sucker for a goal list. BTW, my fave is #13….I hope you’ll come….it’s gonna be so, so awesome!

  5. chow vegan said

    Hope you get all better soon! That’s a fun list you got going there and quite a few things I would like to do myself. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  6. Katie said

    I love your list! I’m also planning to get acupuncture for the first time.

  7. Nanette said

    I am so impressed with your list! So far my boring 2011 list just includes eating whole grains every day. 🙂 I like #6 – I think I’m going to copy that one. Happy New Year!

  8. […] leave you with a few pictures of the scenery.  By the way, I haven’t forgotten about my 31 by 31.  I’ll post a roundup soon, then get to working on 32 by […]

  9. […] wasn’t even close to doing everything on my 31 Before 31 list, but I’m glad I wrote it because it really did help me to focus on my goals.  Here are […]

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