My New Year’s resolution for 2018 is to get healthier. Not that I’m ill, but just that I’m not as active as I could be and have a few pounds to shed.

I’m not writing this to encourage anyone to do what I did because that’s something you and your doctor should discuss. This is just to tell anyone who wants to read it about my adventure in January.

I started out the year on the Whole30 program (a stricter form of paleo), which for me is not much of a challenge because I’m already gluten-intolerant, and I’ve been primarily paleo for more than a year.

So I’ve given up pasta and bread since 2000 when I discovered the intolerance, other than the occasional rice forms that are not paleo or Whole30.

And recently, we have all sorts of flour choices that are not grain-based, such as almond, tapioca and coconut flours, making it possible to enjoy pastas and breads again.

That’s a double-edged sword, in my humble opinion, because I believe the reason I’ve never been obese is because of a gluten-intolerance. If not for that, I would gorge myself on pasta, pizza and bread. (I must have been Italian in another life.) But now, I can do so easily with all these other flours.

I eat paleo because I feel better when I do. I had never done the Whole30, though, and that was a great month. I felt better than when I’m eating just paleo, and had terrific energy. Four-and-a-half pounds came off, too, so I was able to stand up from a squatting position without Jack having to use a hoist on me.

The primary difference I see between eating paleo and the Whole30 is that all those other “legal” flours on paleo are mostly not legal on the Whole30, other than use for gravy. They don’t want you being tempted by things like bread, cookies, pasta, etc. Most of those things require your own baking/cooking anyway.

And because of that, I saved money on food, too.

I also decided to go back to my favorite “sport” for exercise: yoga. I love the stretching and how it cuts through the stress of life.

So, to encourage myself, one of the last things I bought at the Lady of the Lake going-out-of-business sale was a yoga calendar. It hangs near my computer to encourage me to do yoga again. I confess, I haven’t done any. But I did buy a new yoga mat a few weekends ago since the cats had destroyed my old one. (They enjoy destroying our things. It’s their favorite hobby.)

The yoga calendar now is turned to February and the pose in the photo is a sitting one, so a few times a day, I stretch my arms up from my office chair and assume the pose. Then I read about the celebrations of the month and there are many: National Freedom Day, Groundhog Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day, Ash Wednesday, Nirvana Day, Susan B. Anthony Day (why isn’t that a federal holiday?), Chinese New Year, Presidents Day and Washington’s Birthday.

And then it’s also Black History Month and my favorite, National Mend a Broken Heart Month, because “no one’s life needs romance to be complete.” There you go! So get out there and have a happy Valentine’s Day.

Becky Clark, Editor