Life Begins


I’m turning 40 this year. The big FOUR OH! I’m kind of excited about it. I used to be excited about new years, but new years eve last week was pretty flat. Truth be told, had my kids not been all excited about it, I would have been in bed and asleep by 10.

So as the year begins, here is where I’m at:

My last job burned me out. It burned most of my team out, but I was the only one working on a graduate degree at the time. After 3 years of killing myself for the team, the manager held a meeting, and most of the team got promotions and changes in responsibility. With the exception of the manager, I had seniority in the team. It’s not so much I didn’t get anything, it’s more that no-one said anything to me about it prior to the changes or after. A recruiter called the next day, and offered me a potential position as a contractor in Portland. So less than a month later I moved to Portland, and started a new job.

I spent weeks in Portland, and then weekends in Utah trying to be a dad, husband and sell our home. On top of the burn out, I was good for little more than playing the role of Zombie.

I did a lot of research, worried that I was dealing with chronic fatigue. Mentally, physically and emotionally I was completely done. It’s possible I’m beyond repair, but I’m not willing to give up on life yet.

So, here’s what I’m doing to recover in all of those areas:

I’ve started martial arts. I do Tang Soo Do with one of my sons twice a week, and I’ve started doing Brazilian Jui-jitsu as well. It’s taken a toll on my body, but I need the physical exertion, the discipline and time with my son.

I’ve wrangled myself a full-time position with my employer. I’ve been afraid in the past to mention employers, due to the fact that most have been Mormon and/or overly right wing leaning. My current employer is Nike – the shoe/clothing company. Not only are they an amazing employer, but they are very involved in supporting equal rights, and promoting healthy living. It’s nice to work for a company that shares my values, and respects my time with my family as well.

In order to tackle the burn out, I’ve been trying the ketogenic diet. I read some stuff and listened to some podcasts talking about ketosis as a great way to improve endurance, but I got the distinct impression that it had an effect on the nervous system as well. It took some more research, but I’m pretty sure that being in ketosis is going to have a positive effect on my mental state as well. I’ve only been on it 2 weeks, and the last week was a bust due to Christmas, but I feel better, and I’m down 8 pounds. Still not sure how much of this is placebo effect, how much is due to the reduction of stress, and time off work for the holidays, and how much is actually due to the introduction of increased ketones flowing around in my blood stream.

I’ve got other stuff I’m working on too. Improved financial stability, better relationships with my family, and improvements to myself as a person.

2016 is starting off pretty positively!


I was born and raised with hate. There is a word in Southern Africa which is similar in meaning and purpose to the infamous N-word in the United States. It’s word which I thought about using in the post, but I don’t feel like I have the right. It’s a word which was one of the first my young mind heard and repeated. Sitting on my mother’s lap in the front seat of the family car, and pointing to my black brothers outside the window, using that wretched word.

I’m descended from British Colonial stock. My ancestors were involved in colonizing several countries in Southern Africa and India. I feel guilty, because if there be a god, he knows that that those who perpetrated the acts of colonialism feel no remorse. As a child and a young man, I knew something was wrong. I would question the ethics of denying people the right to vote, purely upon race. If the government was good, surely my black brothers and sisters would see and appreciate that, and vote for what was right. The reaction was never good. Family members called me a *****lover. I felt pride and shame, and my parents didn’t really seem to care.

I’d like to think that I was better than the environment I grew up in, but in many ways I was simply a product of it. I was a Mormon, and a strong and devout Mormon at that. I was a member of the true Church of Jesus Christ… I had the truth! And yet part of that “truth” included the lies that my black brothers were a product of choices in a former life. Part of that truth was that my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters were choosing to sin. I shared those beliefs. I believed those beliefs. And now I regret those beliefs.

Nothing comes close to the cognitive dissonance I experienced when as a young Mormon missionary, I encountered a young black man who questioned my belief in God, and who held a PhD in philosophy. It didn’t compute.

I used to this that it was good to associate with those who had differing opinions. That those different thoughts and beliefs were important in helping me learn and grow. But I’ve learned there is a difference between different beliefs and ideas and pure hate.

I grew up around hate. I belonged to a religion of hate. And hate is different from simply having different beliefs and philosophies.

I’ve been trying to cut the hate out of my life recently. There is no benefit which I can see to associating with those who hate another because of their race, religion, sexual identity or anything else which is used to label and subjugate.

It’s time to burn my history and begin anew. Like the Phoenix, dying and then rising from the ashes, I feel duty bound to put off the old, and make a concerted effort to right the wrongs of my ancestors.

A good friend said that perhaps the best I could do is to make what small changes I could to improve the world for the next generation. And perhaps he’s right. But what if I could do more. What if I have been given an opportunity to give back more, and right the wrongs perpetrated by my forefathers.

New Coffee Concoction

Along with the awesome stir-fry, I’ve been having a twist on Bulletproof coffee in the mornings.  Here’s what goes into it:

  • 8oz Coffee
  • 4oz Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Scoop Protein Powder
  • Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 5gms Creatine Monohydrate

I’ve tried a couple different things.  Ultimately using Keurig’s Dark Chocolate Truffle coffee seemed to tasted the best.
I tried both pea protein and rice protein, and the pea protein was definitely smoother, but the rice protein was vanilla flavored, and definitely made it less unpalatable.

I make it really hot, and use my NutriNinja to blend it all together.

I’m not enjoying it very much though.

Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry

As part of my training, my MMA coach gave me a basic meal plan to follow.  Part of that plan involves Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry.   Unfortunately this seems to be one of those recipes where it could mean almost anything.   So piecing together parts from different recipes and following the spirit of the rest of the plan, here is what I made last night.   Smell and taste were both excellent, so I’m hoping I can stomach eating this once a day for the next couple of weeks, if not months.


  • 2lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Rice Vinegar (Seasoned)
  • 1 tbsp Canola Oil
  • Dash sesame oil
  • 10 oz Sliced Carrots
  • 10 oz Sliced Broccoli
  • 16 oz Sliced Green Beans
  1. Cut the chicken up into small strips, put in a large bag, and cover with Teriyaki Sauce.  Leave in fridge for a couple of hours to marinate.
  2. Place Canola Oil and Sesame Oil in a large frying page and heat.
  3. Add the marinated chicken and cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the vegetables and cook for a few minutes more.
  5. Mix 1/2 cup Teriyaki Sauce, 2 tbsp Soy Sauce and 1 tsp Rice Vinegar and pour into frying pan.  Cook another couple of minutes.

In hindsight, I probably should have used coconut oil instead of canola oil.   Other than that, it smelt really good, and after letting it cool, I split it into 5 or 6 portions and froze them.  I’m hoping the freezing and reheating process doesn’t make the vegetable too mushy.

The meal plan has this as 1 of 5 daily meals, and after the detox phase (2 weeks), you can have it with a cup of white rice, although I may experiment with quinoa, couscous and brown rice instead.