Sunday, July 31, 2016
The weather forecast for next weekend's tennis championships in Oklahoma City is 100º every day with 50% humidity. Most teams would be intimidated by the heat. I say, "bring it." Tennis is mostly a mental game. I know the temperature is the same on both sides of the net and I refuse to let my dreams wilt just because Mother Nature is shooting fireballs out of her nostrils.
We have our final team practice today before we depart for the playoffs on Wednesday. The eight Midwest teams in the playoffs will be divided into two pools of four with a round robin format. The top two teams in each pool will advance to the semis on Saturday and the finals will be played Sunday morning. We have the opportunity to play as many as five team matches during our long weekend in Oklahoma. We won't have many spectators watching us but they'll be cheering for us from their air-conditioned homes. I'm super excited. This is what I live for. Have a great day.
Saturday, July 30, 2016
275 days. That's nine months of preparation to launch my next book. I hoped it would be sooner but I realized other events going on in my personal life needed more attention. I made an important discovery about life along the way – if you don't pay attention to how you're living, you may not live long and prosper. I was so fixated on completing my first novel that I forgot everything else important in my life. I was headed to an early grave. Not anymore.
Ask any parent with multiple children how each pregnancy is different and they will give you a variety of answers. It's the same for authors. Every book is different because every experience is different. I'm hoping the wisdom I gained along the way will help me be better prepared for what's ahead in the next three trimesters. The truth about this pregnancy is I'm not really writing a book, I'm living individual chapters that will be woven together with words. This book has a purpose – to change lives. All proceeds from this next book will be donated to Children's Hospital. I'm going to be busy these next nine months but not too busy. I hope you check in here to follow the story as it develops. Have a great day.
Friday, July 29, 2016
The labor pains have already begun in the nine month journey to releasing my next book. Like its two siblings, this baby will be self-published. I'm planning on using my "down time" to write while I'm recovering from robotic surgery on 8/08. I would like to release my baby in time to do a book signing at my day job during our Children's Miracle Network fundraiser. All proceeds will be donated to the Children's Hospital.
These last eleven months have been amazing. I made radical changes to my food program once I discovered I was in danger due to my typical American lifestyle. It was silently killing me. My time spent in seclusion while writing my first novel contributed to the problem. I'll share more in future stories. This next book is going to be very personal. I'm going to share all the lessons I learned about the food experiment that saved my life and I'm going to ask others to join me in the fight to restore our health. Most parents want to know if they're expecting a boy or a girl. I'm praying for two things – a healthy baby and an on time delivery of 5/1/17 at Children's Hospital where the real magic happens and where some of my favorite people work. Have a great day.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Your journey in life is a long and winding road. The people you meet along the way are struggling to find their purpose. Spend time with them. Get to know them. You may have something inside yourself that they need. Instead of racing to the finish line, slow down and look around. The journey becomes meaningful when you discover your purpose in life – sharing your gifts and talents with others. Have a great day.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
T minus seven days to departure. It's all about the checklist now. Even though I've been here over a thousand times in my head, I'm still making out checklists. Mrs. Caveman agreed to let me take our Vitamix with me to the playoffs in Oklahoma City next week. That makes the food part of the journey much simpler. The blender is my secret weapon. It took a year to refine my recipe and the combination of fruits, veggies and seeds is making a big difference in the health and fitness category.
I'm on the courts again tonight with my teammates after a full day at my day job. This is it. It's a big checklist of final things to do in preparation for our tournament next weekend. Have a great day.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Dreams never die, they recycle. They're like butterflies you let go of and watch fly away. One day when you're least expecting it, the dream reappears, lands on your nose and rekindles your passion. My butterfly was disguised as a tennis ball and it struck me dead center on my face while I was playing a friendly game of men's senior tennis about a year ago. At 55, I was old enough to play with a group of men ranging from 60 to 82. They reminded me of past friends I met while living in Southern California in the Valley of the Sun. I was having so much fun with the senior butterflies that my tennis story could have ended there and I would have lived happily ever after. One of the tennis pros at the club saw me playing with the seniors and told me about a group of doubles players who played tennis on Wednesday nights. She invited me to join midway through the season because they were short players and needed to fill a few spots. "You'll start at the bottom and if you win you can move up," Aimee said, unaware she was connecting with my inner competitive caveman side. I was all in.
I had no clue when that butterfly landed on my nose one year ago that I would find myself playing on a traveling tennis team headed for the Midwest Sectionals in Oklahoma City next week. Play begins in ten days. I have new Wilson racquets, new shoes and a recycled dream of returning to Southern California for a shot at the national championships in September. We are the Iowa Men's 4.0 state champions in the 18+ division and I'm the oldest member of the team.
My dream nearly ended in February when I dove for a ball and ended up tumbling on court 4 during our Wednesday night doubles match. I thought I pulled a muscle but it wouldn't heal. I visited my doctor and he told me I needed surgery to repair a groin hernia. The surgery is on hold until approximately 8:08 in the morning on 8/08. That's just enough time to complete our ten hour journey home from Oklahoma City after the regional playoffs. Should our national championship dream still be alive by the time I meet Da Vinci, the robot being used to fix up my aging body, I told my team-mates I'll be back on the courts in time to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Stay tuned for the rest of the story. Have a great day.
Monday, July 25, 2016
Fear cripples. It's not a synonym for adversity but many falsely lump these two words together as the same evil force. I see the magic in adversity. This is where new opportunities are hatched if you're willing to endure the short-term pain you must face in order to transform your adversity seeds into a bumper crop.
If you want a better life, learn to be an adversity farmer. The seeds come in many forms: broken hearts, broken relationships, failed business ventures, unfair bosses, extreme weather, bad health, unemployment, etc. When the world is running away from adversity, water your seeds. Find the magic. Find the lesson. Seek the new opportunity. Embrace change. You will never be hungry when you sow the seeds of adversity.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
My hope for you today is that you will be touched by an angel – a special person who helps you find your own connection to the Creator. That's how powerful this person is in my personal life. Today I get the opportunity to hug an angel and thank her for inspiring me. Have a great day.
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Impossible dreams are the nightmares of the undisciplined. If you're having trouble sleeping at night, consider adding daily discipline to your routine. And if you don't have a routine, start there. Your routine is your road map to your goals. Get in the habit of doing important activities as soon as you wake up. Make check lists. Check everything off every day. You can do this. Have a great day.
Friday, July 22, 2016
Having a bad day? It happens. Your best plans fall apart. An unexpected set of events disrupts your life. I call it being in the muck. This is the time in your life when you can set yourself apart from the average person who focuses on the trap rather than the solution. There's always a solution. Never give up. The muck can't win. What it can do is shape you and make you stronger.
Perhaps my best learning experience from my years in the muck has to do with vision. It was really easy to see why everyone else was stuck but I never really looked closely at my own weaknesses. I had to scrape the muck off the mirror and see myself. The truth is I was actually feeding my own muck just like cancer cells feed off of certain foods you allow into your body. I had to stop feeding my own muck. There are other food sources for muck – jealousy, hatred, anger, envy, self doubt. I needed a new life, a new attitude and a creative solution for killing the muck. My opportunity was in the mirror. That person in the mirror is free now. I see new opportunity every morning when I wake up. It's closer than you think. Have a great day.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
I felt right at home yesterday on a near record-breaking day. Outside temps reached 99º while the humidity index soared. Most people in the Midwest were happy to be inside. Not me. My place was with my warrior buddies on the tennis courts late in the day. The conditions don't get much tougher. That's the way I like it. Our date with destiny is now two weeks away. We're Oklahoma City bound for the regional playoffs.
Stay tuned for the rest of the story. It's getting hot and steamy and there may even be a tornado or two on the horizon. Mother Nature is adding her spin to our adventure. Good thing the wind is my friend. Have a great day.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Are you still groveling about everything that went wrong yesterday? Sorry. That day ended when you closed your eyes and went to sleep. It's over. Today is your reset button. You can alter the course of your life by making small changes in your thoughts and actions. If you feel the need to reread past chapters of your life, make sure to do this for research purposes only. Your life is not meant to be lived in the past. Review your past mistakes and use those errors as a foundation to write fresh new chapters. I'm ready for a new day. How about you? Use your reset button wisely and make the most of this awesome day. Have a great day.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
I call it the "blue zone of happiness." The idea comes from research about the places on earth where people live to be about one hundred. They don't fit the common stereotypes we may have in our heads about old age. As I get older I find myself living on the upper end of the happiness scale. Most of my days are 10's. Here are ten ideas to help you raise the bar on your happiness scale and make each day a ten:
- Fill up your kitchen with plenty of fruits, veggies, nuts, beans and seeds. These foods will give you abundant energy throughout the day.
- Stop buying processed foods at the grocery store. Your headaches will disappear. The little things that get under your skin will no longer bother you. Your food cravings will disappear once you stop eating anything with food labels on the package.
- Start each morning with a Mulligan Big Cup. Click here for the recipe.
- Bookmark this blog and visit at least once a week. I promise to keep it positive here in the blue zone of happiness.
- Take a hike. Strive for 6,000 steps or more daily.
- Join a group. Choose wisely. You will take on the attributes of the people you spend the most time with. My tennis buddies are helping me to reach my fitness goals while having fun at the same time.
- Make time for your favorite things. You may need to give up certain things in order to free up time. Do you really need to spend 3 hours a day on Facebook or in front of the TV? You will be happier doing the things you love.
- Turn of the TV while you're eating. Your food tastes better and your conversations are more meaningful.
- Practice random kindness. You will feel better when you're helping others have a better day. Keep it anonymous.
- Practice gratitude. When someone does something nice for you, say thank you.
Monday, July 18, 2016
|my shrimp birthday cake.|
Regardless of genetics, you can reduce your risk of almost every modern disease by trimming your body fat. I'm thirty-three pounds lighter on average since I started eating like a caveman over ten months ago. The real cost of those thirty-three pounds of belly fat is about $6,000 per year in future health care bills. I think that number is actually a bit low since it only includes additional health care costs for treating diabetes and doesn't weigh in on the cost of treating patients with heart disease or cancer. Did you know cancer cells love birthday cake? I have a feeling cancer cells and all the other thugs they cohabitate with won't be accepting any future birthday celebrations at my place. Too bad because I'm planning on celebrating many birthdays well into the 4th quarter of a long and happy life. Have a great day.
Sunday, July 17, 2016
I look forward to sharing my experiments with you once I get through this busy week. Stay tuned. And don't forget to experiment a little bit today. It may change your life in ways you've never imagined. Have a great day.
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Mrs. Caveman will be joining me for lunch at one of our favorite eateries today. It's a continuation of our anniversary celebration. The lunch break will give us an opportunity to make a pit stop and stay connected. The small things you do in your relationships make a difference. No matter what color the flag may be on your race course of life or what color your straw is in your morning smoothie, find a way to reach out to the people who matter in your life. It's smoothie time. I'm proceeding with caution. Have a great day.
Friday, July 15, 2016
Mrs. Caveman gets a red straw for her morning smoothie today. It's not normally the color I pick for her but today is special. It's our twenty-seventh wedding anniversary. Our journey began five miles to the south of us in a small town where she grew up. The tiny church where we recited our wedding vows is no longer there. Not much has changed in her hometown. The population is holding steady at about 200, the same as it was when she grew up. She moved away at 18 and found me in the Valley of the Sun. Now her roots are also my roots. This is my home. Yes, home is where the heart is. You can search the world over to find what you're looking for only to discover that everything you need is right in your own backyard. The same thing happened to me when I scoured the planet for a graphic artist for my first novel, The Caveman in the Mirror. The search ended five miles to the south of us in my wife's hometown. Yes, I've found where the green grass grows and it's not on the other side of the fence – it's in our own backyard. She'll be savoring her view while sipping her smoothie – the one with the red straw. Happy Anniversary, Mrs. Caveman. I love you!
Thursday, July 14, 2016
I have three weeks to go in the training process for the next step in our team's tennis journey. It's the "in-between" period. I believe this is the time period that makes the difference between a successful outcome or lights out on dreams. We have the strength. We have the knowledge. Most of all – we have the will. That's why I'm getting out of bed this morning even though my body aches from the long night of training last night after a full day at my day job. This is not the time to roll over and go back to bed. It's not the time to give in to my sore body. It's all about will power. Twenty-two days to go. I must keep training. Have a great day.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Are you struggling to find your identity? I can relate. My first identity crisis happened in the summer after 8th grade. Most of my friends moved on to a different high school and I suddenly found myself alone in a strange new world. As scary as it was, I made new friends and found new interests. Then it happened again at graduation time – best friends became rivals and some disappeared off the radar for good.
Perhaps the greatest challenge anyone will ever face in the identity department has to do with parenting. As rewarding as this role is, it's only temporary. What happens when the last one leaves the nest? Is your identity vacated? Does your monetary worth as a person become devalued?
I found my permanent identity. It has nothing to do with my circle of friends or the various hats I wear. My identity is in Jesus Christ. He's been there every time I struggled to find my identity. My greatest hope is to always remember who is with me every day, every time, in every situation, without fail, no exceptions – Jesus. The challenges don't disappear. In fact, there are times when being a follower gets complicated. I hope my actions help others see who I really am. They always speak louder than words. And if you need help taking the mask off, ask Jesus to give you an identity you can be proud of. You are one in a billion. Have a great day.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
We're killing ourselves. It shouldn't be this way. There aren't any saber tooth tigers to worry about and we have everything we need to live long and prosper. But we're not. Ask yourself, "am I walking enough?" The distance from the couch to the TV isn't enough. Nor is the distance from your kitchen to your automobile. Think about all the excuses you have for not walking 40 miles a day like our ancestors. These excuses are your adversaries. They may as well be wearing tee shirts showing who sponsors them – diabetes, cancer, heart disease, arthritis.
I'm one of the lucky ones. I was the champion of excuses. I didn't even see the enemy creeping up on me while I was locked up in solitary confinement writing my first novel. If I hadn't changed my ways, my next release may have been published on my tombstone – The Caveman in the Grave. One thing I'm certain of in this uncertain world we live in – my life needed some serious editing. Hold the epitaph, please. I'm walking. No more excuses. Time to mow my yard. You guessed it - it's not one of those fancy schmancy disease-promoting riding mowers. I'm walking and I won't stop until I reach the Men's Doubles Championships in the 90-year-old division. How about you? Are you walking enough? Have a great day.
Monday, July 11, 2016
I'd like to introduce you to Da Vinci, the robot my surgeon will be using to repair my inguinal hernia on 8/08. I'm the first patient scheduled at approximately 8:08 AM, four weeks from today. I found a way to eliminate the bulge in my belly by eating like a caveman. Unfortunately, another bulge showed up in my groin when I got a tear in my abdominal muscles, most likely from long hours pushing myself to my physical limits on the tennis courts. Several months ago, my primary care physician recommended I schedule the outpatient surgery immediately to reduce any risks. He was concerned when I told him I needed to wait until our tennis team won the state championship. My surgeon assessed my situation and wished me luck on the tennis courts, telling me surgery could wait as long as I'm not in too much pain and the bulge is not incarcerated. For me, missing out on the opportunity to be on the tennis courts with my team-mates during the regional playoffs in Oklahoma City, August 4th through the 8th, would feel like incarceration.
Our fairy tale tennis story continues. We are now state champions. Should we come out on top at the regional playoffs the weekend before my date with Da Vinci, my hope is to be 100% repaired and ready for nationals in So Cal on the weekend of 9/23 thru 9/25. For those of you wondering if there will be a story posted at 8:08 on 8/08, don't worry. I'll prepare my blog message in advance so I can remain asleep while my surgeon and Da Vinci work their magic. I gave my doctor permission to video the surgery for those of you who may be interested in robotic surgery. Have a great day.
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Mrs. Caveman and I will be celebrating 27 years of marriage this Friday. It's been one heck of a roller coaster ride. I do my best to hold her umbrella during the storms. What I like most about life is holding her hand, in good times and in bad. Yes, love conquers all. I salute all the people in this world who are celebrating long-term relationships, especially my wife – the love of my life. Have a great day.
Saturday, July 9, 2016
Do you want love to agree with you? If so, you must be willing to go the distance. You may travel so far from your comfort zone that the air becomes thin and you have trouble breathing. Yes, love takes your breath away. There may be compromises. When you find conflict, put your loved ones first. The best choice you can make is to find a way for love to agree with you. Pay the price. Make the sacrifice. Do what it takes for love to win. Have a great day.
Friday, July 8, 2016
The 45 day Caveman Food Experiment is about to begin for Patient XX. Her questions are common for anyone in her position. What foods do I need to buy when I'm shopping? Do you have any good recipes? How long will it take to start feeling better? How do I handle other people in my household who aren't following the experiment? I've been there done that. I'm not a food expert. The only reason I'm helping others on their food journey is because I was the first lab rat in a 45 day food experiment and it worked so well that I want to reach out to loved ones and encourage them to improve their health by changing their food program.
It's up to Patient XX to decide when she's ready to start. Once her 45 day journey begins, she'll be sharing her progress here on this blog. Stay tuned. Paige will be introducing herself soon. I appreciate her willingness to be in the spotlight. Have a great day.
Thursday, July 7, 2016
She refused to allow a massive heart attack one week shy of her 96th birthday stop her from one final celebration on earth before departing. My Grandpa's youngest sister, Maria Cuca Rubalcaba O'Brien, born 7/5/20, passed away on 7/6/16. I will never forget the day I showed her my coin collection when I was a young boy. She stood up to get something from her bedroom – a shiny gold coin from Mexico to add to my collection. Her generosity and kind spirit will never be forgotten. May her soul rest in peace. Good-bye, aunt Cuca. I love you.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Today's story is brought to you via my index finger. That's my last resort for reaching you when a monster storm knocks my entire neighborhood offline. I'm using my cell phone and one finger to conquer Mother Nature's obstacles.
Don't worry about the challenges you're facing. They are your opportunities to develop your creativity. Don't give up. There's always a way to win. Have a great day.
Don't worry about the challenges you're facing. They are your opportunities to develop your creativity. Don't give up. There's always a way to win. Have a great day.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
I celebrated my 56th birthday cake yesterday with an unusual birthday cake. My wife knew it would be a challenge to find something that fit my new lifestyle so she asked me to pick it out myself. I roamed the aisles of my favorite home away from home and settled on the "cake" you see in the photo above. It's actually a shrimp platter with a candle on top! You may be thinking, what planet was this guy born on? It's all part of a lab rat experiment set up ten months ago to eliminate health risks caused by eating birthday cakes and other processed foods which are the mainstay of the average American diet. These items are off my plate for good, even birthdays. No more eating anything with a label on the package.
Here's a shot from my birthday barbecue. The romaine lettuce is a great replacement for the bun and it doesn't cause my insides to inflame like the Pillsbury Doughboy. My birthday cake was a big hit yesterday and I don't feel guilty having leftovers today. Please stay tuned for more food ideas in future stories. Have a great day.
Monday, July 4, 2016
Remember the big rush to the "important" birthdays that seemed so far away when you were younger? Sweet sixteen? Eighteen? Twenty-one? I'm six years into the third quarter of my life on this 4th of July and the merry-go-round of life seems to be accelerating with each passing birthday. I don't want the ride to end. That may not be the way you feel. Maybe there's something going on in your life that scares the Hell out of you. Maybe your merry-go-round is out of control and it's making your head spin. It all comes down to one thing – fear. I have a birthday wish for you. When you look up in the night sky tonight, I want you to imagine all your fears exploding, one firecracker at a time. Start with the little things scaring you and save the big ones for the grand finale at the end of the show.
For those of you who fear getting old, here's something to consider: the game of life doesn't end when time expires in the fourth quarter. There's a place reserved for you and all your loved ones who came before you are waiting for you to join them. That's also where the real fireworks are. Don't worry about how many minutes are left in the game. Don't worry if the game clock is moving too fast or too slow. Just keep playing the best you can and savor your life, one day at a time. Have a Happy 4th of July. I hope you enjoy watching all your worries light up the night sky.
Sunday, July 3, 2016
The battle of the bulge is won when you recognize what's going on outside your stomach and take action. There are three specific targets influencing your over-sized belly: your head, your refrigerator and your friends. Win this battle and you're on your way to defeating even bigger enemies including cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and more. I'm sharing this with you because I'm sick and tired of losing so many friends, associates and loved ones to these diseases which are preventable. Ready? Here goes:
- Your head. Is it your ally or your enemy? Analyze your thoughts. Check what information you're feeding your brain. Every negative thought entering your head needs at least ten positive thoughts to neutralize it. Learn to ignore those hunger signals from your belly. Most are false alarms, especially the ones that say, "I need another doughnut."
- Your refrigerator. You can't eat junk food if it isn't in the home. Your refrigerator is your supply line to your belly. Understand how organized shopping lists and well-stocked supplies of fruits and veggies are vital to your overall strategy. Make sure your refrigerator doesn't fall behind enemy lines.
- Your friends. Choose wisely. Make sure they know the changes you're making are because you love them and you want to be around long enough to enjoy their company. If they truly love you they will support you.
Saturday, July 2, 2016
No, I didn't drink the Kool-Aid. Nor did I eat any processed foods during my food experiment. The goal of the experiment was to determine if altering my food program could reduce my stage II hypertension without the need for medication. It worked. The 35 pound weight loss was a bonus. So was the 50% reduction in bad cholesterol. Don't ask me how this happened. I'm a lab rat. I'm also a food dummy. I have a goal – change the world. I'm going to do it by sharing what I'm learning. Here's what I learned so far:
- I'm no longer hungry between meals. Prior to the experiment I was always craving snacks – mostly quesadillas, nachos and ice cream.
- I stopped craving potatoes loaded with butter and sour cream.
- I enjoy going to the movies without any need to visit the concession stand for the extra large popcorn that comes with a free refill. A small bag of almonds, walnuts and raisins works fine.
- I stopped snoring.
- I never had high blood pressure even though my readings were off the charts. My body was suffering from inflammation and it was food related. My body immediately recovered when I eliminated processed foods and anything with a label. Dairy and bread are also off my plate for good. The only thing I know for sure is that when I eat mostly fruits, veggies, nuts, beans and seeds, my body doesn't suffer from inflammation, high cholesterol or obesity. My blood pressure is approximately 118/68 and my doctor says I'm healthy.
Do you want to be a part of my plan to change the world? Give up processed foods and anything with a label on it for 45 days and see what happens. If the results are favorable, share your success with two more friends. If this experiment catches on, eventually obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and other diseases with diminish and the world will be filled with happy, healthy lab rats. The experts in charge will have to find a new line of work. Have a great day.
Friday, July 1, 2016
It's almost impossible to modify your food program all by yourself or if you happen to be surrounded by people resistant to change. I'm fortunate to have a supporting wife and a group of friends who are willing to consider the caveman food experiment as an alternative to the failed American diet. I'm also thankful my mother and my siblings came to my side when I discovered my body was suffering from food related challenges.
I'm getting ready for the next phase of the caveman food experiment. Patient XX recently joined our group and she will be reaching out for help once her doctors finish with their tests in August. Asking Paige to eat mainly processed foods for the months leading up to her endoscopy is a torture worse than waterboarding and she feels isolated right now. The twenty-five extra pounds she's carrying around aren't helping her well-being. My hope is for the other lab rats in the group to surround her with hope and encouragement. She can't wait for the fruits, veggies, nuts, beans and seeds and for the secret sauce the caveman support group will offer her. Have a great day.