Location: Eugene, Oregon
Current Craft/Gig/Work: Parent/Athlete/Writer/Editor/Speaker/Coach
Number of Children and Ages: Two; 5 year old son and 2 year old daughter.
One word that best describes how you live: Exploring
Current Mobile Device: iPhone 4s. It has all the apps I need.
Current Computer: MacBook Pro
What is the first thing you do or think of when you wake up in the morning?
I aim to wake up with a smile. I then create or rather re-create a vision of what I want to create in the world.
Walk us through your first hour of the day…
As I mentioned before, ideally, when I get up before the children, which is the usual, I start with focusing in on my vision. Then after I leave the quiet bedroom behind and reach the living room, I will meditate for ~15 minutes. The meditation helps to foster a space between my mind and I, so that I may use my mind rather than being pulled and pushed by it. After meditation I will jot down 3 outcomes that I would very much like to finish that day, onto my white board. I then type any associated tasks needed to reach those outcomes in my iPhone app ‘CARROT’. After those are set, I turn to thinking about and/or jotting down at least 3 things I am grateful for. If I have the time, I may also slip in a run or walk at this point of the morning. Then I get spruced up for the day, and that just about rounds off my first morning hour. (Download Kevin’s Morning Jumpstart PDF)
What’s your ‘place of work’ set up look like?
I work from home, and I use a small bedroom as an office/banana ripening bodega. On my desk you’ll see various stones and gems that Dakarai has collected and gifted to me. Each has a unique magical power to help Papa get work done.
What’s your favorite way to stay organized?
Lots of lists. I am a very big proponent of the GTD (Getting Things Done) method as well as the Agile Results method. I use Omnifocus to organize and keep my important, long term goals and pursuits. I use a white board and the app ‘CARROT’ to keep track of the day to day tasks.
If you were low energy before, what was the biggest change you made to have more energy?
The biggest change came in mindset. I read books such as The 80/10/10 Diet
. I finally understood that there are at least 33 elements of life affecting my health, and that my health could only be as strong as the weakest of these elements. Diet was my weakest link, and hence improving my diet gave me the biggest rewards for my initial efforts.
I changed my diet from the SAD (Standard American Diet) to a low-fat raw vegan diet (80/10/10). Dropping dead animals (beef, pork, chicken, fish, etc) and animal by-products (milk, cheese, eggs, etc) has transformed my health and life. Replacing these former ‘foods’ with whole, fresh, raw fruits and vegetables helped my body to heal and now affords me the freedom to run up to 70+ miles at a time. I was so unaware of how my diet was affecting my health, and I was simultaneously and equally unaware of the total harm caused by treating animals as food.
It’s remarkably simple. Eat the majority of your calories as carbohydrates from whole, fresh fruits. If you choose the non-raw route, then get your calories from starches (potatoes, rice, corn, etc). Supplement or compliment your daily carbohydrates with a delicious salad of veggies. Stay plant-based. This diet is my primary key to high energy.
What’s your best energy-saving shortcut or life hack?
Eat fruit for meals. Fruit is not a snack. Not for high performing athletes and not for parents who also need as much fuel to burn. Learn to eat simple fruit meals; Ex. 10 bananas in a smoothie or 6 mangoes or 1/2 of a watermelon
What is your favorite go-to meal?
Bananas and… Bananas make a delicious smoothie all on their own and pair well with so many other fruits and vegetables. I’ve enjoyably paired bananas with celery, lettuce, mango, strawberry, blueberry, date, carob, peach, raisin, and the list goes on and on.
How do you stay fit?
I thoroughly enjoy movement. Running has taken the forefront since having children, mostly because I can squeeze it into any schedule. There’s definitely a sweet spot in my heart for fútbol, I’ve recently taken soccer back up again, and definitely plan to stick with it. And for me, daily vigorous play with the children is a given. Both of our children enjoy being spun and spun to no end.
What is your night time/sleep routine?
Our night time routine essentially starts at dinner. After we eat, the kids migrate into the bathtub, occasionally joined by one of us parents. Afterward bathing, a bit of house picking up is the goal, yet dancing and spinning usually prevail. Then it is up to the bed to read books, massage on the soothing essential oils, and cuddle the kids to sleep. With me, whispering a story to Dakarai while caressing his golden locks, and Meagan softly serenading Tulani to sleep with a lullaby.After the kids are asleep in our bed (we co-sleep 4 in 1 bed), my wife and I may spend some time together or we may work on our respective projects. It doesn’t take much for me to fall asleep come nightfall, as I try to put in the effort during the day, and I am early to rise. Going to bed around 8-9pm works the best for me, allowing for my preferred 4-5am natural wake up time. Though I am no stranger to finding myself staring at the next day on the computer clock, as I try to finish a project, I do tend to keep myself in check often enough.
What are you currently reading? Or watching?
What apps or software can you not live without?
Final Cut Pro – favorite video editing software | CARROT – snarky, wise-cracking to-do list | Strava – tracks my running/cycling activity | Omnifocus – keeps track of my long term goals and recurring responsibilities | Evernote – where I store all of my virtual notes & book reviews | Spotify – music player extraordinaire, Instapaper | my own personal e-magazine with articles I select
What is something that you happen to excel at, when it comes to parenting?
Dropping my inhibitions and playing ‘like a child’ with the kids, even in public.
What is the best life advice you have ever received about being a parent?
Children learn from adults who are doing. Words only go so far. Our example, of how we live as parents, will be the most powerful message we have for our children.
The Continuum Concept, by Jean Liedloff radically shifted how I understood my role as a parent, in such a positive way! Teach Your Own and Dumbing Us Down, will provide key insights for allowing children to blossom unhindered. Simplicity Parenting is a practical and insightful book that will help remind you that simple is not only easier for the parent to maintain, but is also far healthier for the child. Non-Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg, gave me methods to communicate, and more importantly provided a proper foundation of respect to build a communication base upon with the children.
Fill In The Blank: I’d love to see __________ answer these same questions.
Loni Jane, Rich Roll, & Elon Musk
The How I Live series asks athletes, heroes, experts, and flat-out high energy parents to share their diets, shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Every week we’ll feature a new parent and the recipes, habits, tips, and insights that keep them thriving. Know someone that you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Let us know.
Photo by Kevin Cosmo