Goodbye Meat, I Didn’t Love You as Much as I Thought

Two components that transform the human body into a well-oiled machine are the foods you eat and the supplements you take. Until very recently, I’ve focused a lot less on dietetics than exercise. However, my journey with NIØ has been one that has produced real change in the way I live, eat and exercise.

It’s been just over five months since I started a plant-based diet supplemented by nootropics. As a former athlete who is now middle-aged, I thought it may be best to start listening to my body again. In fact, after a few rounds of basketball, I’ve had no other decision but to listen to my body! When I first joined the BioSmart Labs team as co-founder & CEO, I was still Braven 1.0. I ate large dinners after 9 PM. I tried to fit in regular games of basketball and get home with enough time to play with my kids. I worked late, played hard and ate wrong. At the end of the day it was obvious: my lifestyle was wearing me out. My desire for change led me to reading about nootropics and biohacking. With biohacking, I found an emerging world where people created the diets that worked best with their specific genes.

My time learning about nutrigenomics made me a firm believer in trying to find the best meals for my particular genetic structure. This practice, I found, can be nurturing for the soul when combined with a proper training program. It really is that simple, wise physical decisions lead to success for your overall wellbeing. In fact, I once read that the former president of Princeton University experimented with implementing different diets into his study schedule. After years of practice he was able to sustain a successful career on what was close to only four hours of sleep each night. Crazy right? I decided to try it out.

The night I started the plant-based diet was one of those nights many of us have become all too familiar with. I had managed to snag only five hours of sleep but, much to my surprise, I was stoked. Having just finished a round of funding for NIØ, I was reflecting on the week when there was a knock at my door. I opened the door to find Clint, my friend and neighbor. Initially a short conversation, our discussion morphed into one that lasted for hours. We stayed up geeking out on dietetics, biohacking, and productivity. Eventually the conversation deepened to athletics, nutraceuticals, and, of course, nootropics. In good company, after a day that was supposed to be completely exhausting, I felt refreshed.

My conversation with Clint reinforced my desires to take care of myself and seek a new level of wellness through proper diet and exercise. While some may call it biohacking, I was simply trying different methods and seeing what worked best. A vegetarian diet produced the best results for me. However, there is a twist. I still periodically eat fish, eggs and cheese. Yes, I  still eat cheese.

Today, at 39, I have more energy than I’ve had since the years I was in my peak shape. Injuries from basketball bother me less and heal efficiently. Most of all, I feel focused on the court and off of it. It’s like that feeling of waking early for dawn patrol to catch a hurricane swell and paddle into the water before sunrise. Cool, crisp and completely ready for what’s ahead.

On the night that Clint stopped by, I couldn’t stop obsessing over the fact that much of the American diet is, for lack of a better word, complete garbage. Adding to the horrors of America’s history of poor diet is the business world. Food has become cheaper, mass produced and reduced to nothing but a profit margin by the corporate world. With these thoughts racing through my mind, I decided it was time to make a change for my health.

So, why has it taken me so long to go next-level on my diet? Did it take my height of well over six feet and the fact that taller people are at a higher risk of heart disease? Was it that a close family member had a quadruple bypass at 53? I guess it is somewhat related to these things.. However, it’s much more than that for me. It’s about taking care of the body the God gave me, feeling better and having the energy to keep up with my three children. More than anything, I want my children to have a dad who is completely present, focused and an active participant in their lives. I also apply my health to my business, the team at NIØ deserves a leader who has focus, drive and shows joy as much as possible.

I am no longer willing to ignore the importance of health and I’ve decided to control how I live and feel. So, as I drive home each day from working with the team at NIØ, I’ll pass the golden arches of America’s fast food empire. I’ll go home, see my wife and children and meet them with the focus and energy they deserve. After being in the busy world of tech companies and large enterprises, it’s time for a change in both business and lifestyle. I remember being a boy and my dad picking up my skateboard to teach me how to ride. He did these things until the day it was time for me to move out of the house. I want to be the same kind of dad: active, energetic and healthy for as long as possible. So, here’s to good health, focused business, and great love for my family. Goodbye meat, I didn’t love you as much as I thought.

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