Set your Biological Clock Back

Who doesn’t want to be younger? For one thing it means you’re further from death, but what most of us get excited about isn’t living forever, it’s living while we’re alive. I personally want to feel good. I want energy to do more stuff. I want less painful joints, less sick days, better sleep, less stress, I want…vitality! 

I know daylight savings time tends to have the opposite effect. Especially when we spring ahead. Well, what if you could set your biological clock back an hour, or a day, or maybe a year or two? 

I ran into this batch of research on Telomeres and it might be the fountain of youth. Better than that, it’s completely free and there’s no risk for trying it. Let me explain how it works, but first a quick explanation about this upcoming series on the blog. 

Disclaimer and Shameless Explanation

Let me start by saying I’m not a scientist. I don’t specialize in aging. I’m a writer and a nerd who likes to read about things that improve our lives. My goal is to help people so I started this blog to share what I learn that can be beneficial to others. I’m by no means the expert with all the answers. I’m in the cave with you. But when I find something that works, I’m going to put it here from now on. You can save a lot of time, energy, suffering and money by following my exploits.

#2 I’m not selling anything…this time. I reserved the right to make an offer should I come across something I want to endorse or promote. 

What is your Biological Clock? (scientifically speaking)

Your cells are dying all the time, and being replaced. Aging is when your cells don’t replicate fast enough to keep you freshly stocked with plump healthy new cells. Telomeres are non-coding DNA at the ends of your chromosomes that protect them. Think of them as the hard plastic bits at the ends of your shoe laces that keep them from fraying out. 

An enzyme called Telomerase is responsible for keeping the telomeres nice and long. When they get short your cells are closer to the end of their ability to keep replicating. 

We know all this from the work by Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD,who won the Nobel in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 for discovering the molecular nature of telomeres.

Blackburn is the  President of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA. Her 2017 book is entitled, “The Telemere Effect: A revolutionary approach to living younger, healthier, longer.” 

Here’s the amazing, fountain of youth secret: Blackburn’s on record as saying, “your Telomeres…listen to your state of mind.”

In fact in her books Blackburn Identifies 5 unhealthy thought habits that could be speeding up the rate at which you age, based on reviewing thousands of studies. 

They are…

Cynical Hostility – high anger and thoughts of mistrust of other people

Pessimism – leads to cancer, heart disease, earlier death

Rumination – unable to let go of conflict or anxiety, effects immune system

Thought Suppression – trying not to think about negative things instead of resolving them (it’s impossible to not think about something, it takes constant energy.)

Distraction – inability to focus or stay in the present 

Blackburn’s Answer…

…to potentially reversing damage to Telomeres and thereby reversing your age. She suggests meditation, long distance running (meditation while burning calories) and though awareness (realizing that you had a thought and thought it isn’t necessarily true or beneficial. 

Andy’s Answer…

I notice in all of the five negative thought habits, but especially in Rumination and Thought Suppression, how it’s not just having a thought that’s a problem–it’s not dealing with them. 

In our culture we’re trained to acquire things, not to lose them. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a promotion, a great marriage, or a happy family, but loss is inevitable. 

In fact you’re probably going to blow it several times before you learn how to succeed at anything. No one who you think of as successful got there without blowing it badly, many times. 

There are three life skills that will help you succeed more and faster.

  1. Find ways to leverage the hard earned experience of others, because you won’t live long enough to make all the mistakes yourself.
  2. Develop tools for dealing with your failures and losses so you turn them into wins eventually. 
  3. When you encounter a loss for which there is no win to be had, have tools that let you process that and move forward without it. (One mistake can plague you the rest of your life if you let it.) 

To acquire the tools to move past your grief and loss I recommend the “Grief Recovery Method,” by John James and Russell Friedman. In fact, I’d recommend walking through it with a certified grief recovery method specialist. I’m certified in this method, but find one in your area by looking online at the Grief Recovery Institutes website. 

Closing Truth

I make no attempt to hide my faith. I call this the Cleric Blog. I try not to force anything on anyone, and I believe anyone will benefit from following this blog. I’m going to review all sorts of books and self improvement programs, some from Christians sources but most will be what’s topping the lists of pop culture past or present. 

Occasionally I’ll interject some of my own discoveries or biblical truth that applies to the topic at hand…

Proverbs 23:7a “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”

Philippians 4:8 “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self control.”


Dr. Jonathan Liu WRote a post on April 4th entitled Nobel Prize Winner: 5 Things that Speed up Aging, and 1 Anti-Aging Secret.

Day 2 (of 63): It Begins

Link to The Beginning and to Yesterday’s Post


Welcome to my journey. Yesterday I laid out my life goals for quarter 2 of 2021, which is the time between now and June 9th when I turn 50. This tends to be the point in life when men and women take stock of where they’re at in life, in relation to where they thought they’d be. This is especially important for me because as a coach I’m a big believer in context:

We need to know who we are
Where we are
Where we believe we want to go, and
The plans we believe will take us there.

I try to do that thinking two to four times a year, but what sets this time apart is my 50th birthday. This could be the pinnacle of my life in many ways. I don’t mean because I’m cresting some hill and it’s all downhill from here. I just mean that my youthful physical strength hasn’t gone yet, but I’ve lived enough to gain some wisdom. Many philosophers comment that it takes 40 to 50 years for a man to figure out where to begin. We can lament that life is half over before we figure out what’s going on, but I choose to take heart. Warren Buffet built his fortune starting in his 50’s. Sometimes the big work of our lives doesn’t reveal itself until we’ve walked far enough down the road that we can see it.

Quick Recap:

I like to group my life goals so because we can’t work on everything all the time and we can’t really do one thing to the exclusion of everything else. That’s not to say we don’t benefit from doing an 80/20 purge. It’s good to prioritize things that we do well and delegate or delete things with low yield. But by grouping my goals into quadrants I can balance be intentional about moving the things forward evenly and not neglecting something that later caps my growth. (Think of a half barrel filled with water. It won’t hold more water than the height of the shortest slat.)

Whenever I can, I pick a single project that moves several categories forward–my one big thing of the season.

So I use the classic categories:

You’ve heard the old saying, “Early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise?” Well, I think that brilliant. I’m not the first to find it so. Craig Ballantyne started an awesome challenge called ETR (for Early to Rise), which lets you set your own goal in one of those areas and then puts the winners in a raffle to win $10,000. He has some great resources and I love his journey to success story.

I see 4 categories in the old saying. Health and Wealth are self explanatory. Wisdom, to me, is about Spiritual Health because “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom” (Prov. 9:10). I also see the Early to Bed/Rise part as indicating schedule and organization being a value. (I include things like doing an 80/20 efficiency/effectiveness audit). Yes its saying that the action of maintaining a good schedule is key to success in the other areas, but I think engaging with each of these 4 quadrants on a regular (daily or weekly) basis will help the other quadrants. It’s possible, even common, to exclude one of these quadrants in our daily life, but it will end up making it harder to succeed in the other areas.

So my categories are (2) Health, (4) Wealth, (1) Wisdom, and (3) Organization. I give you priority numbers (#) because I rank them in order of my values.

The Plan:

I spoke of my priorities in My One Big Thing Section of yesterdays blog. Build an ADU into our new house & move in, without losing ground on my health or career (both of which had already started to stall out because of Covid and Phase 1 stress of selling mom’s house/finding a house). I also announced that I’ll be blogging nearly every day for 63 days as a way of maintaining perspective during this busy season.

I haven’t yet shared the rest of the One Big Thing Plan. Starting with Schedule. I’m going to rise everyday at 5AM and go to bed and read at 9:30 each night. The first 5 hrs belong to God–I worship, shower, cartoon breakfast with my daughter*, journal (AM Pgs**), men’s prayer call, and writing a blog.

I don’t start the career/income portion of my day until 10AM (unless I have a special circumstance and this is for 63 days remember, some seasons have different rules). I say career/income because as a self employed person/independent contractor it’s not a simple thing to describe and mostly nothing you’d want to read about. What is worth mentioning is that I’m following my own advice, which I’ve given many times on blog posts, coaching session and speeches, that entrepreneurs should set a work schedule and protect the time they allocate for family and personal time. For this 63 day season, I have between 10AM and 5PM to deliver value and earn income.

My evenings belong to my family. This will shift a little as I can justify remodeling our new house as time spent for my family, but I’m still going to draw a circle around specific date nights with my wife and with my daughter.

Tomorrow I’ll go a little deeper into my diet and health plans for this season and/or my plans to make gains in my career/income too. But this post is getting long so I’ll end with a quick update (some of which will make more sense after tomorrows post).

Quick Update:

I got up this morning at 4:50 AM (10 minutes early) My time with the Lord was great, no new revelations. Time with my daughter and my men’s prayer call. Everything went to plan which I’m not assuming will always be the case, but I’m off to a great start. I’ve been doing well at eating my punishment food, LOL, which is something I’ll explain tomorrow.

We signed papers yesterday on the house and it recorded with the county this morning. So as soon as I complete some work projects and take a meeting with the pastor of my church, I will pick up my daughter at school and meet my wife and mom at the new house! WOOOT! I can’t wait to start the reno over there later this week.

Day 1 (of 63): Plan & Prep

Link to Post #1

Quick Recap:

I haven’t blogged in quite awhile. I’ve had some big wins and I’ve hit some walls, but I’m entering a new season in life–I’m going to turn 50 on June 9th and I want to be physically and financially fit by then (more on that in a minute).

I’m returning to this blog as a way of processing externally. I hope my readers will be encouraged, entertained, and pick up life hacks along the way. My life is an adventure seasoned with moments of deep insight and hours of whackado fun. This is your chance to watch what I’m doing and judge for yourself what might work for you, while avoiding the pitfalls I stumble into.

About me (in three sentences or less):

I’m a writer. I write marketing copy professionally and I write books, both fiction and non-fiction (Christian self-help style). I also coach Christian creatives and Entrepreneurs in writing/publishing, or conquer work/life obstacles.

How This Blog Works:

For those new to this blog, here’s how it works–I’m not a wise old man yet, but I’m half-way there. I’m still in the trenches with you but I’ve figures some things out that I want to leverage to reach my goal of being physically and financially sound by 50 years old. I need you to keep me accountable and to compensate you for that help, I’m willing to be vulnerable and transparent so that you learn along with me.

One of the things I’ve learned is that a key to mastering change is to find you one big thing. Remember in the movie “City Slickers,” when Curly holds up his index finger and says, “life is about just one thing?”

The Premise: One Big Thing

The story of Rocky illustrates my life philosophy well. Rocky is nice guy and an enforcer for Pauli (a low-level, mob-connected bookie). Rocky is in love with Pauli’s sister, Adrian, who abhors violence. This could have been a tragic romance, but thank God Stallone was brilliant. Rocky knows he must remake himself to win Adrian’s heart but wise enough to not leave his lane. He channels his abilities into fighting in the most socially acceptable venue and uses his feelings for Adrian to fuel his efforts–even though he isn’t assured that she’ll accept him.

There’s so much to learn by that movie. Adrian doesn’t train Rocky into becoming husband material, he refocuses his talent and goes for the brass ring because he sees a away to change his whole life for the better. He moves how and where he does what he’s good at so that he can earn a living and get the girl. Adrian still has to decide if that’s what she wants.


Your one thing is always rooted in your identity. Some of the people like me call themselves warrior/poets. I call myself a Cleric, because I’m deeply connected to God, I fight for what I believe in, and I guide other adventurers who are taking the same journey I am–to find a way to live inline with my values that is effective an authentic. A cleric is also a writer, and that’s one of my primary ways of processing life.

One goal of this blog is to shorten the cycle between input and output–between having experiences and sharing them with fellow adventurers who might need to glean lessons from my hard knocks.

I’ve found journaling essential to processing my life events into usable wisdom and publicly committing to goals essential to following through with challenging things. So another goal of this blog is to hold myself accountable to you, dear reader, for living an examined life.

Why Should you Read this Blog?

If your journey is similar to mine (at least for this season), you will find encouragement and inspiration, hope and commiseration, in following along on my trek. What’s my journey?

As I mentioned, I’m turning 50. I need to deal with the things I thought I’d have by now but don’t, and figure out how to steward what I didn’t expect to have, but suddenly do. I’m married to my dream lady, which only took 40 years, and we have one brilliant daughter who is turning seven very soon. My father passed away in 2003 and my mother has reached an age where she’s done living alone. So we’ve decided to buy a house together and live multi-generational.

In 2019 I finally struck upon the best use of my talents and my BS in business. I pursued training and certification as an life and entrepreneur coach, which I love but have not been able to scale as a business yet due to a little pandemic we’ve been having lately. My career also includes copy writing for a friend’s digital marketing company, which has saved my bacon. I’m so grateful for Threo. I’ve added skills and experience that radically improved my writing income.

Phase 1 is complete. Mom’s house is sold and she’s moved into the place we’re renting. My certification is in place and LLC exists. I’ve also been honored by my church with ordination, which opens up some sacerdotal counseling opportunities. I’m eager to explore some of the modalities that will offer. I consider it a good fit with my vision for coaching–I help people get clear on their goals and what’s holding them back, then make a plan to move toward their goals, and I get to walk with them (Cleric/Adventure Guide).

Phase 2 starts today when we sign at the title company for our new home. Then we will do some remodeling to accommodate a main-floor living space for mom, which we call the ADU (Additional Dwelling Unit). After that we all move into it, and I get to refocus on building my coaching and writing business.

Other important things that must happen during this season:

I can’t let go of my health. In January of 2020 I lost 25 lbs (of 65 I hope to lose) and I kept it off for a year. Then during phase 1, I gained back 10lbs. So my emergency protocol is activated. I have to go back on the diet that I lost all that weight with for about a week to get back on track.

In order to steward my new opportunity with my church I need to take a class called grief recovery method, which I’m looking forward to because I have some hurtles of my own to address. I don’t need to be perfect to help others, but I’m a hypocrite if I’m not at least working on my own stuff.

Also, I can’t go backwards at my brand new coaching/writing business, while I’m remodeling a house and moving two households into it. Some of you are probably tense just reading about this. Yeah, it’s…very exciting…I’m blessed to have a lot going on in this season. Did I mention I’m also unpacking a lot of stuff because I’m turning 50 this year? Of course I did.

Do you see why I need your help?

Writing this blog is kinda my one big thing.

I’ve now laid out for you, dear reader, my list of important and urgent things. In this blog you can follow along on this season of my grand adventure. I will unpack details of how I intend to pull off each area of my goals and I’ll tell you how it’s working. Writing each day will be my therapy and my accountability to continue pushing.

Stay tuned for the next installment…as soon as tomorrow.

Penny Library – Jan. 2020

Portrait of a Native American

He waved her off, shook his head, and said, “No thanks. I’m fine already.”

Bella smiled and offered him her hand. “I’m Bella Squire.”

He shook her hand and said, “Pete.”

I’d also seen Pete Bowyer before. He was Native American, of the Klickatat tribe. His ex-wife was a waitress at this diner. Pete was semi-traditional, most of his family danced or drummed for a show at a casino just North of Vancouver Town, but Pete liked to hunt and fish. His other hobbies seemed to be drinking coffee and keeping tabs on his ex-wife. 

Poor Bella was chasing a branded bull with that one and her eyes narrowed when she realized it. So she turned her attention back to Mani.

Pete took a pouch out of his pocket and crumpled some tobacco from it onto a rolling paper. He licked the edge of the paper and rolled a cigarette with one hand which he stuck behind his ear.

Penny Library – Dec. 2019

Portrait of a Cowgirl

The moment Mani took his seat she left her’s and approached him.

“Is this seat taken?” she asked, resting her hand on the back of the chair to Mani’s left. When he shook his head, she sat and offered her hand, “Bella Squire.”

“Nice to meet you,” said Mani, good-naturedly.

Bella smiled. She had shoulder-length blond hair tucked up, under a cowboy hat. Her shirt bore as much filigree as the fabric might hold and her jeans were tight enough to prevent her from putting anything in her pockets, even her hands. But I knew from past encounters that she rode barrels in the rodeo for a living. I’d also seen her sing Karaoke on a few occasions and I knew that she did that as well as she rode a horse. According to the wall in the men’s room she rode everything well, but I have no reason to believe it or not.

When Michelle freshened up her coffee, Bella brought out a small flask and spiked it. She offered some to Mani and he gave her a wink.

She poured a dash in his cup as well and then turned to offer some to the man on her left.

Penny Library – Nov. 2019

Portrait of a Fighter

I parked up front and shouldered my laptop bag. It was cold, but not so cold I needed the coat I wore. As I reached the entrance, a vehicle pulled in and parked next to mine. I paused with my hand on the door handle and looked back to see who it might be. A Toyota pickup someone body-lifted three feet, twenty years ago, rolled to a stop and its owner stepped from the cab.

He wore a camouflage jacket, rugged work pants and boots. He wore his face clean-shaven and his hair short and flat. I knew him by reputation, Manual Salazar, or as they nicknamed him in the octagon Mani Scar.

I held the door open and stepped back to let him pass. He gave a short nod and crossed the foyer where he returned the favor and held the inside door for me. We both headed for the counter. I let my bag drop into a swivel seat and sat near the cash register with my back to the door. Mani removed his coat, revealing his signature tank top that bore an American flag and accentuated his bulky chest and arms. As he sat in the seat on the end, by the restrooms, I noted the tribal tattoos that began at his elbow and patterned nearly to his neck over his left shoulder. The pattern parted around an earlier tattoo that read “I bleed for my country,” and a large scar from a bullet wound.

I knew from seeing one of Mani’s MMA fights, that the shoulder facing the bathrooms bore another tattoo reading simply ‘Army Ranger.’ Outside the octagon, Mani had fought in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia.

I could stare at him no longer without being weird so I took in the next patron, already seated at a booth in what had once been the smoking section.

Penny Library – Oct. 2019

General Prologue

In the Pacific Northwest, April marks the sixth consecutive month of rain. In a few weeks though, spring might start and the anticipation of sun builds in the bones of man and beast alike.

This is the time of year when insomnia creeps into bedrooms around city and town, and prods its sleepless victims to seek out the company of strangers.

The drinkers seek out a bar and the hoppy brew that may soon lure them to sleep. The working poor and entrepreneur seek extra shifts at work. But a small, odd group of disenfranchised non-drinkers, already drunks, bleary-eyed students, urchins, and the occasional stray mundane find their way to an all-night diner.

So afflicted, I sought out the warm glow of a diner downtown in the center of Vancouver Town, and watched the motley cadre of regulars assemble.

Having sought such company of strangers before, I can tell you these were no stranger than usual. Still, to distract my spent brain, I began to record all I saw and heard. Ennui plagued many of us and conversation broke out to fill the void, soon shifting the group from strangers to acquaintances.

However, before I rudely leave the reader in the dark, let me briefly describe the diner and the group of people who’ve joined me. Together let us pass the night and if the sunrise tomorrow is visible through the clouds may we glimpse it together before driving home.

Journey Plan: Healthy Balance


(Note: This season physical health journey will focus on balancing my endocrine system through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. Other Journeys this season include True-Up/Sharp Ax and the Eve & AM Journey. )


I’m excited to start this journey. A little history: I’ve always been pudgy but I wasn’t really unhealthy until I got a high-stress job about ten years ago. About the time I needed to start focusing on my health because of age I let it go almost entirely. It’s been an uphill climb since.

The reality is, even if you don’t struggle with your weight, our western diet and lifestyle don’t lend to health. We fight a two-front battle with our own bad habits/lack of knowledge and our culture’s lack of nutrition and physical activity. In truth, I’m not the only reason I’m fat, but if I don’t take on responsibility then I’m not empowered to change it.

My Goal…

I’m not a fan of traditional goal setting. I don’t find it innately motivating the way some people do. That may come as a shock given that I’m in the self-improvement arena with this blog and the books that are coming. I just know that goals can take my focus off what I really want (abundant life) and make it about one thin aspect of that (dropping x lbs. in x amount of time).

I do find goals helpful as benchmarks to make sure I’m not doing something unhealthy and that I’m still on track.

I’ve lost 70lbs in that last 5 years, then hit a plateau. Last year I broke through and lost another 15 lbs, hurrah! Which I gained back over winter, boo! So my first goal this season is to drop 5lbs a month for June, July, & August.

I can tell you what has worked:

Thrive by Level helped a lot, but was pricey, so I’m searching a for good replacement for it (probiotic/prebiotic/metabolism boost). I focused heavily on the gut when I lost pounds last time and will again.

Sitting less. I was able to add more activity throughout the day, which I will again. I love to “ponder walk” now, and whenever I hit a roadblock at the laptop I get up and walk around the block. I come back with answers and better health.

I worked out in the gym 3 times a week. Again that got expensive and after my initial boost, it leveled off effectiveness. I shifted to home workouts and that’s the direction I’m going to stick with this time. I read somewhere that 7 out of 10 people who lost weight and kept it off worked out at home or within a block of home.

I got sick…by that I mean I literally came down with the flu, pneumonia, then bronchitis during the winter of 2017. It shrank my stomach and I didn’t stretch it out again until the holidays. I’ve been really healthy this year even though my wife and daughter got sick this last winter. I’m going to use portion control & intermittent fasting techniques, described below, to reproduce a smaller appetite.

My Conclusions from Last Years Experiment

It may seem like a disappointing list but I learned two valuable things. First that some of the most significant things we do for our health can be quite simple and obvious. The other thing I learned is that there are saboteurs in the mix that cause failure no matter how hard you try. I think I identified that saboteur.

Although recently you’d think that fad diets were equal to men and women, for decades mainly they were aimed at women. I don’t think we get quite the right balance of nutrition while trying to eliminate everything that could or does cause problems. That combined with our current load of chemicals, stress, and sedentary lifestyle creates a hidden logjam guaranteed to derail our health efforts by running us out of willpower.

My Plan at this Time:

I’ve been pouring over research and testing ideas on myself for the last couple years and we need a two-pronged approach. First, self-control is actually part of God’s nature. It’s listed among the fruits of the Spirit… (Gal 5:22 & 23)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.


So we can’t divorce our Spiritual walk from our efforts to become healthy, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need a plan. My friend Chriss Skaggs once said, “God supplies everything you need, like salvation, but if you want something in this world you’ll need to fight for it.

So step two is an effective plan. That means we need a flow of actions that address a wide variety of physical, emotional, and lifestyle needs.

In the past I’ve looked at the areas I need to cover as Sub-Categories:

  1. Diet – What to eat/not eat
  2. Exercise – strength training, aerobic
  3. Lifestyle – Sleep, active habits, etc

It can be helpful to list my research that way since it’s the widely accepted way to do it. I’ll include both my own experience/research and also what I’m learning from Ben Levi’s course on building testosterone without supplements.

  • Diet – What to eat/not eat
    • Basically paleo (+ legumes & relume grains)
    • Eat Brazil nuts before bed
    • Supplements: Creatine & Magnesium (Probiotics, Prebiotics & Digestive Enzymes)
  • Exercise – strength training, aerobic
    • Basically CrossFit (eventually)
    • Starting with Home workouts, resistance, and isometrics
  • Lifestyle – healthy habits
    • Sleep,
    • Active habits, (Don’t sit so much)
    • Stretching, balanced (tai chi)
    • Stress reduction

I have a new take on the categories this time based on a balanced approach. Since I’m amazed by the mileage I’ve gotten from simple changes, I believe we need to conquer this incrementally. So I’m going to break things up into stages as you’ll see below.


The List So Far:

Lifestyle – Start here if you want to have success

Sleep – when your body repairs and builds hormones

Sleep in a dark, quiet, cool room. (Red light okay, Blue light is bad). Eliminate electronics an hour before bed. Get at least four 90-minute increments (6 hrs) 7.5 hours is best. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning (even weekends). Train your body.

Ponder walking – (Stop being sedentary)

Get up and move, look into standing desks, park farther from the door, find a fun activity like hiking, swimming, or bike riding that you can do with friends and family. Get one of those watches that reminds you to get up and move.

Stretching – Not what you’re thinking

We need a full range of motion. Static stretching is good too, and I will start doing it every night before bed. But the big need here is activities that require us to work the support muscles. I’m eager to find a good tai chi (or hsing ha), teacher. This way I can de-stress at the same time.

Stress Reduction – Live inside out, and loved

We need to a balanced approach to handling both the urgent needs of the day and making progress toward our life goals. I’m writing a book later this summer on ways to be more organized.

Frankly, there are seasons in life when we need to just survive, or work our way out of a corner. This doesn’t mean we aren’t loved by God. I’m writing a book to address this concept right now.

For the purposes of this journey plan, we need daily devotionals before bed and first thing in the morning. I recommend Graham Cooke’s audio teaching on rest and the Daily Battle section of my book, “Primacy of God.”

Drinking – (Reduce liquid calories, add water)

Increase water intake by having some on hand at all times. I’m allowing bullet coffee every morning (occasional red wine in the evening).

I’m supplementing my food with a morning smoothie of almond milk, protein powder cinnamon & turmeric. I’ll add more on this later.

Things in moderation: Alcohol (Mainly red wine) & caffeine (coffee once a day, never pop).

Eating – (Basic diet is my take on Paleo which I call the caveman diet)

Portion Control – The toughest thing I’m going to do by far. I’m going to eat from a smaller plate, take home half of any restaurant meal, reduce protein size and add veggies to lunch & dinner.

What I don’t eat: No processed sugar or artificial sweetener, pre-prepared foods with more than five ingredients, gluten, MSG, or things I’ve learned I’m sensitive to (milk). For now, I’m giving up mint (anti-testosterone).

I can’t worry about everything all the time, so I’m not stressing about sodium or fats.

What I do now eat: I’m not strictly low carb; to paleo, I add,  dried fruits until lunch, rye bread or ancient grains or steel cut oats during breakfast okay.

I specifically try to eat fish & avocado! Salads or veggies with lunch & dinner. Eat more garlic, onions & basil. Brazil Nuts before bed snack! (Contains selenium, vital, but only eat 3 or 4 nuts)

I take supplemental vitamin D3/K2, Creatine, Magnesium,

Things in moderation: Dark chocolate.

Core – Balanced Health begins in the gut

Diet –

I’m supplementing my food with probiotics (kombucha/kevita/pills/fermented foods). Digestive enzymes capsules.

Work out –

Squats (Ti Lo Han), Sit-ups, Push-ups, front & mule kicks (while balancing)

Intensity – (to be added in phase three)

Diet – supplement with EGCG (green tea extract) sometimes.

The big add here is intermittent fasting. There are several ways to accomplish this, but the method I favor is skipping breakfast a few times part of the week. There’s good research to support the benefits of fasting on insulin sensitivity, but the big goal here is to shrink my stomach and keep my body in it’s place.

I’m going to skip breakfast on Tuesday/Thursday.

Work out- Break a sweat and lose your breath

In addition to the other maintenance workouts I’m doing, I need to break a sweat at least three times a week. Rip a little muscle and raise your heart rate. This triggers my metabolism to burn and my endocrine system to balance. It’s also true that having more muscle results in burning more fat. Men need to labor, it’s in our DNA.

I’m going to try to find productive ways to get this workout Monday/Wednesday/Friday, like yard work, but I’m willing to hit a gym sometimes with a focus on my arms and shoulders.

Cheat Days –

Might sound crazy to include this here instead of the lifestyle section, but really it’s just dealers choice. The idea here is to increase willpower by giving yourself a break once in a while.

I’m going to combine this with a weekly date night. Want to reduce the feeling of being deprived by knowing there is a day when I can enjoy what I’m craving. It’s not gone forever, it just has to wait until I decide to do it.

An added bonus here is that if I screw up early in the week, I simply need to count that as my cheat day. The other big advantage here is we often discover that eating that thing you thought you wanted wasn’t worth it compared to how your body feels later.



Any resources I’m leaning on God to help with

All of it! I wish I had someone to tackle this with me, but I’ll manage.

Specific places I predict challenge (prayer requests)

I’m concerned because when I take on something big like this it often derails something else I’m working on…and I can’t let the other journey’s I’m on fall off my plate. I’m trusting that if I go moment by moment God is faithful to take care of things.

Estimated Start Date: June 10th (the day after my birthday)


Journey Update: 5/5/18


Welcome to Spring!

Andy “Sir Bunch Adventure Writer” Journey’s Update: May 5, 2018

If you stumbled onto this page prior to my main landing page here’s a link to the full list of current journeys and more info about what a Journey is.

Brief Overview:

I’m trying to update once a week on Saturdays, but as I mentioned last time, I’m giving myself a lot of Grace and Flexibility on that deadline because it simply may not be feasible. I also mentioned last time that I’d be at a men’s retreat all weekend last week so I wouldn’t get last weeks update done. Nothing like breaking the pattern out of the box, but that’s how things go more often than not with me.

Welcome to The Cleric Path, which is what I call this grand experiment in how to live more abundantly. This is a journey update I’m really excited about so let’s dive in.


May – Rewrite Primacy into my blog — ch10 of 10
I’ve been revising my next book on this blog as I go, and I’m finished with the revision. Don’t worry though, it’s not too late to read it for free. I’ll leave it up until I’ve finished the final steps.  I’ll give anyone who signs up for my list during this process a free digital copy of the book as soon as I’ve written the back matter and formatted it for publication.

I’d hoped to be finished prior to leaving for the Spring Boot Camp on the 26th of this month but it took until yesterday. I’m grateful to God for the content and to my awesome wife for helping me carve out time to finish this week. Reading it again, I’m blown away by how good this book is. Overall Score A-.

May – Upcoming (5/8/18) business meeting with my Awesome Wife to hammer out some details for the home remodeling projects.


April – BCNW Retreat — Attended
No matter how much I anticipate the awesomeness of these retreats, I’m never disappointed. When I step out of the Matrix God always meets me with a special message. It was harder than ever to be without my family for the weekend but it’s important and well worth it. I’ll be unpacking my notes from the retreat over the next few weeks–stay tuned. Overall Score A+.

May – It’s a season change and I’m still waiting on God for some marching orders. In the short run, I’m going back through my notes from the Boot Camp. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

ORG (Growth & Success)/Learning

May – Evening & Morning challenge
I’m Excited by the opportunity take on a very unique challenge. God wants to help me learn intentionality. Stay tuned for a link when I’ve published a blog post detailing it.

June – Read Book “The Five Choices” /Summary to Blog — tabled to May
Haven’t started. Just plane bit off more than I can chew this month. It’s a common problem for me. This is a transition month and I’m glad to get time on projects like that I want to bring to a close before the next season gets in full swing. (I know April is technically the first month of Spring/ 2nd quarter, but much like the weather, Spiritual seasons don’t follow the calendar exactly.) Overall score, Jury’s Still Out.

Health & Fitness

May – Audition Nucific Bio x4 — ordered and started
I continue my trial of Bio x4. I do notice less hunger, more energy, and good stomach health. I’m still not implementing additional diet/workout, which will come soon, but it’s a good test of the product alone. Want to increased fiber etc. One side note about Bio x4, it’s one of those “take 5 minutes before each meal” type of systems. I hope to have a solution to that soon.

Increased step goal (7,500) is still going well B+ overall.

Daily Stretching — Not started, Tabled to May 15

Wealth & Freelance

June – Upgrade & Revise Blog — Table upgrade to next month
Work continues. Lots to do. I’ve been blogging almost every day. I still love it. I have not managed to raise the money for some of the upgrades I’d hoped to accomplish. So I give it a solid B overall.

Final Note:

April was a transition month for me. I felt that God was moving some chess pieces. I’m still feeling that, which is not to say that God hasn’t done some cool things already. I know this much about the coming season. God is setting me free of fear of public humiliation. He’s empowering me to add speaking my message, not just writing it.

I feel strange to do a half update like this, but there are still some things up in the air and I wanted to get it posted while its only 3 days late. LOL. God Bless.

PS. It’s harder to understand what I mean when I say journey without reading more about it in my next book, “The Primacy of God.