The power of adding plants to your life!


4 Fast Days in PDX

The time flies when hanging out with family you don’t get to see on the regular, and the past four days were no exception.  I must first address the fact that both times I’ve been to Portland it has been sunny and upper 80’s, so I’m not sure what everyone is talking about when they say it’s always cloudy and rainy… The first full day there my brother had to work, so my dad, the boys, and I planned to spend the day in Hood River which is located a few miles west of Portland along the Colombia River. The drive along the giant river was awesome, this desert boy doesn’t see lakes that big let alone a river. The first stop of the day was at the Multhomah Falls an amazing set of 2 tiered water falls nestled in the woods coming off a shear faced cliff.  The place was magically, I know why bigfoot lives here….


After a bit of hiking and exploring we got back on the road and winded our way to Hood River and met up with some family. The first order of business was to locate some fresh berries that my dad could take back to Phoenix with him, it was a little early in the season but we were able to find some across the river. We crossed the river to Washington on a slightly sketchy draw bridge and found the shop with the strawberries and we weren’t disappointed. One more time back across the bridge to return to the Oregon side of the river and headed to a park so the boys could move their bodies after being in the car for most of the past 2 days, the park was down on the bank of the river and some very cool things for the boys to climb and play on along with a beach to play in the water. Again its sunny and mid to upper 80 the water was only a bit chilly for the boys to get their feet wet in and splash around.  After a bite to eat we made our way back to Portland…


Before we got back into the city I had to make one more stop, if you have read the book or watched the movie Wild the main character ends her time on the PCT on the Bridge of the Gods. With my wife and I being fans I had to stop and check it out, I always love going to places that I’ve read about, sometimes its a let down, this time was not one of those times.


After some afternoon traffic we finally made it back to my brother’s house, we got ready for a “guys night out” with my dad and brother. The first time I had been to Portland a couple of years ago were under much different circumstances, a tumor had been found in my brothers brain and things were a little intense. Fast forward to today and the tumor was removed and he is doing awesome! I’m not really sure if I can remember a time were just the three of us had hung out socially, the night would not be a disappointment.  The evening began at a place called The Kennedy School one of he properties owned by the McMenamins, now this place was an actual school at one time in history and now was a hotel (the classrooms are the rooms) with a couple of bars and restaurants  in it now.  What I thought was going to be dinner and some drinks became an adventure/scavenger hunt, the McMenamins own several properties and have created a passport were you get stamps and prizes.  A good time was had by all stamps were earned and prizes were won, beers were drunk and a lot of tater tots were eaten.

IMG_5297 IMG_5296

With a good buzz going by the end of the night there is only one place to go in and that’s the world-famous Voodoo Doughnuts, now its hard enough for me to turn down a doughnut when I’m stone cold sober so when I’ve had some beers, watch out!

The morning Uncle Zach (my brother) made the boys some most amazing pancakes to start the day off right.  The plan for today was to go explore another one the McMenamins properties the Edgefield an old poor farm, with the whole crew of 7 of us for more stamps, prizes, and tots. This I know for a fact was the first time all 3 generations from my dad to my brother and I’s sons all hung out, and great day had and many memories were made for sure. My oldest was fascinated by the glass blower and I think would have hung out in front of the tiny shop for hours if I would have let him.  One of the many cool things is that they make all their own wine, liquor, and beers on property and you can only get them from one of the bars they own. This was the day my dad had to fly home and end his part of the adventure, and I think he was sad to go.

IMG_5256 IMG_5255

The final day before we left was a day of recovery and recharging before the boys headed east to Denver, the past 4 days had been non stop and the chance to do nothing but lounge was fully embraced. Our time in Portland flew by, but to say it was awesome would be an understatement.

Until next time, stay weird Portland!!





My alarm went off at 330 am monday morning and we were off to the races, with only a minor set back of me forgetting my wallet for the first time in my life.  I luckily noticed my error not too far out-of-town and was able to get it with minimal back tracking and ultimately only cost about an hour of drive time. The boys were set up pretty sweet in the back of the family wagon, and my dad was riding shotgun on the first leg of our summer travels.  Our destination was Portland with a stop in the bay area to sleep the first night, a much different path than past summers.

With the wallet retrieved thanks to my amazing and heavy footed wife we were west bound with Joshua Tree NP as our first and only truly planned stop, it did not disappoint.  Much like Saguaro National Park Joshua Tree reminds you that not all forests are full of pines and evergreens, but cholla and joshua trees create a massive desert forest. The giant mounds of massive boulders scattered across the park made everyone in the car stop and think about the kind of force it takes to move such large rocks. As with all parks we visit the older boys picked up Junior Ranger books at the south gate and worked on them as we work our way north through the park.


Joshua Tree fascinates me and we will be back but I want to camp and spend a few days exploring the vast desert that it has to offer.

The planned course of travel had been to avoid the Los Angeles area and take the smaller less traveled state highways through Barstow and up to Bakersfield. I will admit not the most scenic route but much less holiday weekend traffic and our first unplanned stop. The Pacific Crest Trail is held in regards in my house so there was a bit of excitement when we realized we would be crossing it and were able to get out and snap some pictures and be able to say I hiked some of the PCT, 20 feet of the PCT anyway.


Then came Bakersfield, we had planned to take the 99 up and stay off of interstate 5 again holiday weekend and the traffic that comes with it. Siri had other ideas for how we would get to our day 1 destination and as I missed an exit she rerouted us to the 5! All things considered it could have been much worst, the only delays were caused by rubber neckers for accidents on the south bound side of the highway and I only ended up costing us about an extra hour. We made our way into Livermore California about 2 and half hours later than planned but we made it and day one was in the books.

Day 2

We took our time getting up and out of the house we were staying out and after a nice breakfast made by my uncle, we hit the road at about 8. What a difference a day makes, heading out of the bay area on a Tuesday was much nicer then heading into it at the end of a holiday weekend. The biggest thing I took away from this part of the trip was the fight for water, you can watch what ever you want on the news or read on the internet but until you drive through and see the signs and battle cries posted along the highway for hundreds of hundreds of miles you have no idea.  So whats my opinion? Well, I saw 450 miles of non native almonds trees and rice patties with feed lots in between followed by how low lake Shasta is, i will leave it at that. Once north of Redding the whole landscape changes from rolling farm lands to mountains with thick evergreen forest. The road and weather remained clear through the rest of California and into southern Oregon, I took the opportunity to stop in Ashland at Rogue Valley Runners or some schwag. For those that don’t know why I would care about this what seems to be a random shoe store in the a small Oregon town, its owned by Hal Koerner super star ultra runner and author of Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning. What can I say, I’m a fan and now I have a hat, some stickers, and a patch…


The drive north across literally the entire state of Oregon was beautiful and more importantly uneventful, we pulled into my brothers driveway after two days and just over 1300 miles…



Leave a comment

That’s a Wrap!!!

Another school year in the books, the last day of school is one of my top five favorite days of the years!!

The boys and I now get to get ready for the adventures that come with our summer break. This year will be no exception in just over 48 hours we will be on the road heading towards the great north-west!


Keep Moving Forward!


Its never too late to make changes!

Where has the time gone?

Adventures have been had, races have happened, 100 day running challenges have been completed, and dozens of other things have been experienced since my last “real” post almost a year ago!!! Much like many other bloggers you miss one day then two then a flippin year passes, I missed it and many times I sat down in front the computer wanting to knock out a post, but failed to produce anything maybe I was distracted or simply didn’t feel I had anything worth sharing with the world. Whatever the reason it’s not a problem unique to me, but I’m okay with that because I’m BACK.

I could do a recap of the past year, but I know I wouldn’t capture many of the details and I would probably be done with this as fast I started back up…

Soooo I picked the 2 biggies over the past year, my relationship with running and my body, which I guess go hand in hand and probably had a bigger influence on my lack of posting than I realized until just this moment.

I had seen so many other runners that had done and some still doing run streaks of consecutive days. I decided last fall that I would do my own 100 days of running with a one mile daily minimum, how hard could it be… At first no big deal school was back in session so i could go to the gym and knock out a mile or three on the treadmill or a quick run around the block again no big deal. Then I got to around 30 to 40 days and the streak started to take a toll, not on my body but my mind. It became a chore or a job not the escape that running had been in the past when I could just go out and be alone with my thoughts and enjoy the solitude. Instead now it was putting in “junk” miles just to get done plus I had a corresponding Instagram post for the day that just added to the stress, because I felt if I didn’t document it wasn’t going to count. I was becoming neurotic about it border line OCD and me and at around day 75 I knew running and I were headed for a separation very soon.  Day 100 totally by chance landed on the Ragnar Trail Relay, on last day I would at least be running for a reason besides it being the final day of the challenge. For the 30 hours out there in the desert i had a great time and did have a good time and lots of fun racing in the middle of the night, but like many relationships things couldn’t be fixed with one fun night.  I decided to focus more on hiking and exploring with the family, which was always more fun anyways. I was lucky enough to get picked up by Altra as an ambassador again and had already committed to run the Ragnar Del Sol relays in February. I had a couple runs between in month leading up to the race but was nowhere near where I needed to be for a road half marathon plus two more legs after that. To run at a level I had the year before compared to this year was another blow to my feelings about running.

Now this breakup with running happened 2 weeks before Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season, my timing couldn’t have been any worst. Thanksgiving started with a trip to Denver and merriment was had by all, many or maybe too many adult beverage were had but one fun weekend wasn’t going to destroy my waist line. It turned out it would take a about 5 months to do that and destroy is a very relative term I guess. Happiness and being content with life can be as bad as being depressed and unhappy when it comes to making healthy lifestyle choices. Lucky for me my choices were pretty incredible before that me slipping was still healthier than most of America, but I wasn’t moving my body as I once had and now I was enjoying craft beers on a more regular basis. I wasn’t getting plastered or out of control and i don’t have a drinking problem but I do have an eating problem when I do drink and the volume of food i consumed sky rockets after a couple of beers. Again I was 95% plant-based with a couple of sushi happy hours filling that other 5% during this time of excess. I don’t know what the damage has been in pounds because I learned long ago not weigh myself when I obviously know I have gained weight, but I do know that my clothes are tighter and my times are slower. I’ve put on some weight just like millions of other people who continue to battle the bulge.

Now I have been given and amazing opportunity to “transform” again but this time I get to track and document it all for whoever wants to watch. I have the desire to run again I crave it, I have gotten some runs over the past few weeks and i felt terrible but I missed it. With the runs comes the need to fuel my body with whole foods that are water and nutritionally dense, watermelons have returned as a staple in my house. I love having the feeling of control again, know one else can force us to want to make changes, it is personal decision that comes from within.

I want everyone to see and understand its never too late to make changes, no excuses, no dwelling on the past, it’s all about today!!!

Keep Moving Forward!

Keep Moving Forward!


1 Comment

I swear I’ve some new stuff a coming!!!

Its been a long summer of adventures (there was a bear involved) and fun, so much fun I guess I got lazy on the documenting it! I promise I’m coming back refreshed, recharged and ready to change some lives!!!!


In the mean time check out all the NEW stuff from my people at Altra, they have some amazing stuff that may blow your mind!!!






Where have I been?!?!

I wish I could say I was off on an epic adventure, but I wasn’t. I have been injured though, the first time in my athletic life even going back to high school, and it had a huge effect on my mental state in the beginning. I started putting on weight at a break neck speed and the full blown melt down was a brewing. I think we need diversity to realize what is missing in our lives or at least make us realize we need to have a moment to step back. I had been incredibly “comfortable” in my routine and had become complaisant, I ran a lot and bounced around on my nutrition though all plant based I never focused on one single version. Some times I was the raw fruitarian other times the no sugar no grains higher fat dude and everything in between. Well once the high volume aerobic disappeared the lack of consistency in my diet reared it’s ugly head and soon was all over the place trying to figure out what camp I wanted/needed to belong too. I felt like I was 365 lbs again trying to figure what I needed to and was reminded how hard it is for everyone else out there trying to change their lives for the first time or the 15th time. So many books and people giving out different info all over the place, it’s a big world of information! Ironically it was my wife who brought me the info that has me back in control and able to right the ship. I’ve learned to be okay with gym again, don’t get me wrong I miss the ability to just throw on my Altras and hit the road or trails but I’ve learned to look at the big picture. I will get back out there hopefully soon, but in the mean time I will keep grinding it out in the gym. With an amazing new structured nutritional plan and exploring new forms of exercise I feel really amazing about things to come. Again I want to give a HUGE shout out to Sid Garza-Hillman he continues to put out amazing content and is changing lives!!! Also check out ALTRA and all the new shoes that have just been released and others soon to be released, there is something for every one I promise you that.

I love feed back and questions, so keep them coming!! Follow me on twitter and Instagram @fat2plant.

I hope I can get this blog rolling again!