The power of adding plants to your life!


Make or Break

Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.
-Mike Tyson

As I sit here having some new found weekly reflection time, I look back on how incredibly off track this week was and the discovery that my training program and my race date are off by about 3 weeks in a bad way. It’s tough enough to maintain clean eating and focus on training when it’s your birthday it’s a whole other thing when your wife’s birthday is 5 days later with the weekend perfectly placed between the two. I made it through my day pretty unscathed but once the weekend hit things started getting cray, as the kids say. I was able to get my big runs in on Saturday and Sunday totaling 35 miles for the weekend. Then came Sunday night and the big birthday dinner at my parents house. The menu, mexican food, and it was awesome and almost all plantbased. From an amazing quinoa salad to a black bean sweet potato chilli plus all the chips and homemade guacamole and salsas, as expected from my dad. Though vegetarian it was much more calorie dense and sodium rich then I would eat normally, but non the less top notch cuisine. We ate like kings and I was good with that, but then came the literally 4 gallon sized ziplock bags and a Pyrex dish worth of left overs. The next morning I made the decision to rest except to ride my bike to the store for groceries. One of the great things about eating mostly fruit and vegetables is that I can eat all I want all day with no ill affect. The unfortunate thing is that my mind set didn’t stray from the habit of grazing with my fridge full of goodness, I slowly found my way eating bowl after bowl through out the course of the day until I had cleared just over half of my haul. Tuesday was my wife’s birthday and already knowing that we weren’t going to have the “cleanest” of meals that evening I still felt it was my mission to reach the finish line and make sure the rest of the left overs were finished, go big or go home I guess. This is where things really start to unravel. I did the unthinkable, I skipped a scheduled run, oh the shame, but I was quick to rationalize it with the birthday thing and I was going to hit up a spin class in the morning and run that night, no big deal I thought. It ’twas a new day I was ready to get back to it. I head to the gym, ironically on my bike to go ride on a bike that doesn’t go anywhere, with my 2 year old in tow. My enthusiasm was quickly killed by a large group of toddlers that filled the kids club to maximum capacity. “No worries I have tonight to run” I tell this to myself a few times. Once home I begin looking at my training schedule and realize I have eight weeks left of training but my race is under six weeks away. “No worries I have tonight to run,” well guess who forgot about “girls night” for my wife’s birthday? At about 10:15 that night I knew I wasn’t running. I couldn’t remember the last time I hadn’t worked out for three days in a row, and eaten so terribly to boot. Now I could be a total mess and be angry and disappointed with myself, but for what? I’m not getting those days back, I can only move forward! Today I awoke knowing I need to have better back up plans, during my giant green shake (extra green today) this morning I made the plan. First I’m going to fill the house with an extra amount of fresh fruit and vegetable to “clean” my system and second I went old school circa 2005 with P90 and banged out a workout, the bleeding has been at least slowed now. Tonight after trick or treating and candypolluza starts, I will run, my legs should be fresh from the break so I plan to ad an extra 2 miles to what was already scheduled. Time with our loved ones is not guaranteed so how can I be angry about that, three days is nothing in the scope of life. I will be back on track by Monday and will figure out how to fix those two weeks of training I don’t have any more.

Don’t sweat the small stuff…..




1. Eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans
2.Drink water when thirsty
3. Exercise everyday

This is all it takes!
First things first this is originally from the book Approaching the Natural by Sid Garza-Hillmon

Now this looks awesome on paper and I can say I’ve come to the point in my journey that I stick to this a whole lot more then I don’t. I’m not perfect like everyone else I stumble all the time. I didn’t wake up one morning with this amazing epiphany of needing to stop eating all animal products. Rather it was a process of me trying to stop feeling so crappy everyday and trying to achieve optimal health. Notice I never mentioned weight loss I had already lost over a hundred pounds the wrong way but at around 250 lbs I thought I looked pretty good and had ran a few marathons at that weight, I just wasn’t to concerned about it. In hind site this may have been the biggest part of my success. The only caveat to what I was looking for was that is was not a DIET, diets have a start and a finish and I wanted a lifestyle not a gimmick. I hopped online and away I went searching and the ratio of diets to actual sustainable lifestyle changes are extreme to say the least. I found many possible options that I was considering but then I came across the movie Forks Over Knives and it opened my eyes to the power of a plant based life. It also provided the proof I needed with the medical and scientific results it showed. They proved it reversed heart disease among other western societies biggest killers. When Iwas kid, I witnessed my father have a heart attack, he was in his mid 30’s. Oh snap, I turned 33 yesterday! I think my motivation for having optimal health is pretty clear, I don’t want to have a heart attack like the three generations before me. Last thanksgiving I had my last meal before I began the transition to a 100% plant based life. Like I said I’ve stumbled sometimes hard, like the time I ordered 2 apple pies and a ice tea at McDonald’s (it was the lesser of the evils) when they gave me the order there were 2 twenty piece mcnuggets, a test from the universe that I failed with each bite of those forty delicious nuggets. That was the last time I’ve eaten chicken or farm variety of animal product, because I felt soooo shitty the next day and not with guilt but physically ill and bloated from the ridiculous amount of sodium I had consumed. As for the guilt, I don’t have it anymore when I slip up….we give to much power to food and it becomes a viscous cycle. I ate the food I shouldn’t have and that’s it i can’t go back, but I do remember how I felt and I hold onto that. Its a process always being tested and I pass more than fail now, but knowing I can always get better. Do I expect or even think this kind of eating is for everyone? No, we are all on our own paths of health, I can only speak for myself and my experiences with it. I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, but I know I feel great a lot more than I feel bad and my health per blood work and BMI is almost perfect now. Now for the big question, how much weight did I lose? Well here it is, I lost 60 lbs in the first 6 months with working out no more then 4 days a week and another 10 since I started a more intense training for the ultra.

It turns out the side effect of a healthy body is a healthy body weight…. Oh I was able to stop taking allergy medicine too!



Words For Success

I came across this yesterday and thought it was extremely well stated and a powerful tool for success. I hope it serve you well.


A healthy approach to living should be effortless and enjoyable. Most experts proffer some variation of “no pain, no gain.” That phrase is 75% negative.

Decades of psychology have essentially shown us that positivity works better than negativity. Imagine your dentist asks you, “How often do you floss?” and your answer is, “About two days a week.” There are two ways that dentist might react. If she says, “You are a bad patient. I’m disappointed with your lack of diligent flossing,” this makes you feel bad. Guess the easiest way to prevent your dentist from say that to you again? Never go back to the dentist. Your health will most certainly degrade.

Suppose instead that when your dentist asks, “How often do you floss?” Your answer remains, ” About two days a week,” and she responds with “Great work! Lets try and that to three to four days a week the next time we meet.” You feel good. You’re a great patient with the potential to be an even greater patient. Good on you! That positive reaction makes a huge difference. But there’s something else going on here– the power of small steps that can take to your big goals.

When you set a goal like, ” Lose fifty pounds,” the chances are low that you’ll get there. If you do get there, the chance are even lower that you’ll stay there. However, if you set a goal of, “No sugary drinks today,” then it’s almost impossible not to gain momentum. Breaking big goals up into tiny, realistically achievable habits removes will power from the equation. Imagine that. Instead of battling your will power, you are taking steps forward, building momentum, and feeling better every day, every week, every month, and every year. Before you realize it, you’re living a natural, healthy, and happy life.

Big goals, broken into tiny habits-even if you fail at them from time to time-will add up to a whole greater to the sum of its parts.

Biz Stone
Co-founder, Twitter


A little more reflection….

As I celebrate my 33rd birthday today I think about what I wrote about a couple posts ago on the subject of not controlling time. It seems that we only have personal reflection twice a year, our birthdays and New Years which I guess is like a birthday. I wonder what would happen if we had these same kind of reflections once a week or even just once a month, would we become more mindful of how we live our lives? More aware of the way we treat and judge others or the way we allow others to treat us? How much less regret or guilt would we have since we could hopefully stay ahead of actions we take that may cause these feelings? I think it’s worth a try….




Getting Past Intimidation

As I sit and stared at my entry confirmation for the McDowell Mountain Frenzy 50 mile trail run the doubt starts slipping into my thoughts and before I know it I full on question my decision to even have signed up for such a long distance. I remind myself of recent success though at much much shorter distance, success non the less. I find myself being intimidated by this new world of ultra distance racing, from the obvious time and distance on course to little things like getting lost on the trail or what to eat during the race. I think for many of us who have decided its time to make a lifestyle change and add physical activity to our lives, be it running or crossfit and all in between, have face very similar intimidations. These can become an easy excuse to stop before we even get started. Lets face it sometimes its sucks being the new kid, especially when your confidence is low from years of being overweight and dealing with the judgements that can come with it. These past experience over time have the ability to imbed thoughts that everyone will judge you at anything you try. Obviously we don’t live in a perfect world and there very well may be people that do judge you, but it’s also highly likely that they have been in your shoes. It’s funny how we convince ourselves that our problems are uniquely ours and that no one else has every been overweight and/or out of shape and tried to change that and faced the fears of judgment. Luckily we live in a time of instant information and the ability to connect with others who are or have been in our not so unique situations, between online forums and shoe stores that host weekly running groups. Fill your brain with knowledge and find people that want you to be successful in your life and slowly you won’t be the new kid that is overwhelmed by this new journey to a better life….or your first ultra.

The mental blocks are some times the hardest thing to over come, but if trying to get yourself motivated is the hardest thing you have had to deal with in your life, you have a lived a pretty blessed life…..



Drop the EGO and Slow Down

Saturday night I was on a long 25 mile run and had roughly 5 miles left when I had the pleasure of meeting a new friend who was in a state of boozie bliss. I’ve learned from dealing with intoxicated people in the past that there are usually only two ways this could turn out, 1. he was going to want to fight or 2. he was going to be my new best friend. Turns out there was a third option that night, as I began closing in on him he must of been inspired by my late night dedication and took off running. His initial surge quickly subsided and he pace slowed, and all of a sudden I found myself picking up my pace and 20 feet before passing him, he returned to walking. As I quickly passed still not sure how this night would turn out I gave him the universal runners head nod and in return he took his shirt off and gave me a “you think your better then me?” glare. I made it about 15 yards down the road when I was again joined by my new friend, after a few minutes of a nonsensical chat about running I knew there would be no fighting. But then out of nowhere I was filled with an overwhelming urge to show this poor drunk guy that I was a runner and I’m going to take him to the limit, maybe if this would of been a run less then 5 miles it would have been no big deal, but I was 20 miles in. Did I do the rational smart thing and just keep at my scheduled pace? NOPE!! So for the next mile and a half I’m giving this guy the business and feeling pretty good when all of a sudden he has the realization that he missed his turn and stops running turns around and walks away without another word shared between us. This is when I also realize I’m absolutely dying and I’m out of water and I’m still 3 plus miles from home, I slowly shuffle my way home wondering what I had just proven other then I was a complete moron….

What’s the point of this story?

There is a time and a place for pushing the envelope, most of the time training is not that place. Training is the base of the end goal, there has never been a medal waiting for me when I walked in the door. I know many of times wanting to speed up and pass someone faster just to “show’em” and in reality we have no idea who they are are what they are doing for training that day. What will you have to show for it? I hate being passed, but I had to get over it because I wanted and continue to strive to get better, and racing drunk guys at 10 o’clock at night doesn’t accomplish that. This need to run to your max in training isn’t specific to a new runner or a not so new one, its across the board. For new runners its usually that thing that derails the plan of running faster then anything, we either get defeated by the “forget it I can’t do this!” or worse injury. When if we just would of slowed down and realized that we are probably not Kenyan and its a process of building up. As for the seasoned runner it’s almost a bigger problem because habits are hard to break, and if mile stones have been reached why fix something that’s working. Ironically it’s not working at well as it could be, we see runners who train a ton but never show any improvements year after year, the most likely reason is they are stuck in a “grey zone” and what that means is that on prescribed hard days of training the effort isn’t hard enough, and on easy days the effort is to much and that I think has to do with ego. These specific efforts are crucial for improvement of the total race day outcome from building base to learning how to finish strong. At the end of the day I think we all need to understand the big picture of why we are putting in these efforts in the first place, it’s losing weight and getting heathy for some or setting a new PR for others. But mostly don’t race drunk guys, because they have superpowers and probably won’t remember the next day….

Slow is smooth and smooth is fast



All or Nothing…

This is why most of use fail at goals we set for ourselves no matter what aspect of life we are setting them in. It’s like it’s a built in easy out that has become an accepted part of society. How many times have you told yourself in one way or another “forget it I can’t do this!” and you gave up on whatever “this” happened to be? Fear of others’ judgement of our miss steps and this INSTA world we live there have become expectations of instant results and quick fixes, the truth is time is our friend when looking for quality results.

A year will pass no matter how hard we try to control everything else in our lives, so we might as well use the time to better our lives instead of beating ourselves up and giving up. A good example is giving up something be it smoking or soda. Even if we stumble through out the year we still consumed less then we would have if we just said “forget it I can’t do this!”….

So perhaps an All or Something is better then All or Nothing.