Monthly Practice Report – August 2011

nathan with carrot


Welcome to the first edition of this new monthly series, where I write a detailed report of how this journey is going and how I’m doing with my commitments.


Why I’m doing this:

  • To be completely transparent with what my practice of healthy living and full-time travel looks like
  • To share the actual numbers with you in hopes that it makes this lifestyle (or any part of it) seem a little more attainable
  • To publicly track my progress among several categories
  • To provide cool resources that I find helpful

You’ll see information below on my expenses (food, travel, etc.), how I’m doing with my practices, travel I’ve taken, and anything else (hopefully) relevant!

I’ll also share some lessons learned and plans/goals for the future.


Please let me know what you think! What else do you want to know?

If anything is unclear, if you’d like more information on a certain topic, if there’s something I’ve left out, or if there’s too much info, I’m open to hearing all feedback and questions. Just leave a comment below.

Thanks – and I hope you enjoy this month’s report! :-)


What happened in August?

August was an usually active month in terms of both travel and activity, and also probably a more expensive month than usual. There was my impromptu road trip, and then a short vacation with my brother up to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Here were the three parts to my month:

  • The Epic Road Trip: August 3-16 – hiking, camping, and driving
  • Ashland, Oregon: August 17-23 – a leisurely transition from the wild
  • Vancouver, BC: August 26-30 – lots packed in during these days

I still attempted to be as frugal (and healthy) as possible during these times.

While I did get outside quite a bit (see below), there was also lots of inactivity time during this month, too.

  • I spent about 60 hours driving, 7 hours on the train, and 8 hours on the bus.


What was new to me…

I have never tracked my sleeping and waking times, or when I ate during the day, so this was all brand new to me, and really interesting.

I most often had about 5 “meals” during the day: breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, and dinner, with an occasional late snack

  • Average times for
    • Breakfast: 9:00 am
    • 1st Snack: 11:25 am
    • Lunch: 2:00 pm
    • 2nd Snack: 4:30 pm
    • Dinner: 7:30 pm
    • 3rd Snack (only 16 days of the month): 10:15 pm


Onto the report!

FYI: some of the links below are affiliate links that will earn me a commission if you purchase through them. If you do, I absolutely appreciate it; if you’d rather not, that’s cool, too. If you have any questions about any of the products or services, please let me know!



  • Ideal/Goal: to meditate for at least 15 minutes in the morning, before other activities
  • Continued the daily practice for another month, bringing the total to 468 consecutive days!
  • I’m excited to be approaching 500 and am working on something to celebrate that…
  • How long did I meditate each day (looking at the most often time)
    • Aug 3-16 (road trip): 20 minutes
    • Aug 17-31: 15 minutes
    • For the month: 15 minutes
  • When I got back from my trip, I began using my Blissitation tracks again; they’re really helpful for concentration, and one of the best parts is that I never have to think about how long it is – I just keep going until the track is over.
  • For September (and beyond): I’d like to see 30 minutes be a more regular occurrence



  • Ideal/Goal: to express my Highest Goal, my Path, my ideal Partner, my Hell Yes’s, my Strengths, my Zones of Genius, my Gratitudes, and any Big Ideas.
  • My journaling fell completely by the wayside for the month of August – looking to pick it back up and keep it going during September



  • 20 minutes of activity, as part of my morning practice: 24 days out of 31
    • Includes one or more of the following: yoga, energization exercises, tai chi warms-ups, balance poses, pull-ups, and stretching
  • Hiking on Road Trip: 40 miles!
    • Yellowstone National Park (Grand Canyon and Mystic Falls): 10 miles
    • Glacier National Park (Hidden Lake Overlook, Gunsight Pass, Virginia Falls, Avalanche Lake): 14 miles
    • Lolo National Forest (Jerry Johnson Hot Springs): 3 miles
    • Mt. Rainier National Park (Silver Falls and Glacier Basin): 9 miles
    • Mt. Hood National Forest (Tamanawas Falls): 4 miles
  • While in Seattle
    • West Tiger Mountain #3 and Talus Rocks: 6 miles
    • Stairs in Capitol Hill
      • 388 – the longest, public, outdoor stairway in Seattle!
      • I learned this from Mark Sisson: “don’t just take the stairs, MASTER the stairs!” – meaning that whenever you use the stairs, take them not just 2 at a time, but 3 at a time! You’d be proud, Mark. :-)
  • Vancouver, BC
    • Bicycling around the city: 33.5 miles!
      • From downtown, around Stanley Park, to Granville Island, then out to and around Pacific Spirit Park, and then through mid-town before heading back to Gastown.
    • Grouse Grind at Grouse Mountain
      • 2830 steps and 2800 feet elevation in 1.8 miles – not for the faint of heart!
      • My time: 1:10:00, with an 8-minute break at the half-way point
      • Apparently, Matt Damon was on the trail the same time I was. So yeah, Mr. Bourne and I worked out together.
      • And no, I didn’t do these 3 at a time… ;-)



  • Ideal/Goal: since December 2010, I have been following the Paleo diet, which is lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. No legumes, grains, starches, processed foods, or sugars. Dairy is OK, though I tend to avoid it.
  • When a guest in someone’s home, I defer to gratitude and do not refuse meals; that does not, however, give me free reign to eat whatever I want – everything in moderation.
  • There are also “non-paleo” foods I still love, most likely pizza, bread, and other baked goods. I occasionally allow myself these items – I’d rather be flexible and have a good time, than rigid and mopey. :-)
  • Animal Products (red meat, chicken, pork, fish, eggs, and dairy)
    • Ideal/Goal: 20% or less of diet
      • Road Trip: 13%
      • Since road trip: 25%
      • For the month: 15%
  • Not Paleo (the “no” list above)
    • Ideal/Goal: 10% or less of diet
      • Road Trip: 5%
      • Since road trip: 18%
      • For the month: 13%
  • Alcohol
    • Ideal/Goal: 0-1 drinks per month
      • Two drinks on two different days, both beer

**Above percentages calculated for 14 days with 20 meals for two-week intervals, and for 29 days with 80 meals + 55 snacks



  • My Stats(measured on 8/31/11):
    • 137 lbs.
    • 11% body fat
    • BMI: 19.65
  • Weight/BMI
    • According to the BMI data, I am within the healthy range (18.5-24.9 for men and women)
      • For my height, underweight would be below 127 lbs, and overweight would be above 174 lbs. (see this article from for how to find the weight range.)
      • Formula to calculate your BMI: ([your weight in pounds] x 703)/ [your height in inches]2
      • Example:  (150 x 703) = 105,450/ (70 x 70) = 21.5 (within the healthy range)
    • It’s tricky because I found many charts online where according to those, I was underweight – it’s tough to know the validity of those sites, so I think BMI is a much more reliable figure.
  • Body Fat



  • Trip costs: $489.51
    • Road Trip (gasoline): $469.51
    • Rideshare from Ashland to Eugene, OR (found on $20
    • Redemptions/Points
      • Amtrak
        • Eugene-Seattle, Amtrak Business Class: 1425 points, $0
        • Seattle-Vancouver, Amtrak Coach (Bus): 950 points, $0
        • Vancouver-Seattle: Amtrak Coach (Bus): 950 points, $0
          • Redemption reflects 5% rebate from having the Amtrak MC
  • Hacking Actions
  • Current Points (selected accounts)
    • American Airlines: 19,893
    • Amtrak: 28,850
    • British Airways: 105,557
    • Continental: 16,131
    • Starwood: 20,973
  • Credit Score: 772
    • Each month, I’ll make note of any changes to this number



  • Food: $395.62
    • Groceries: $337.28
    • Dining Out: $58.34
    • Average cost: $12.76/day 
  • Travel: $559.43
    • Gasoline (Road Trip): $469.51
    • Oil Change (post-trip): $49.07
    • Rideshare from Ashland to Eugene, OR: $20
    • Public Transportation (Seattle & Vancouver): $20.85
  • Lodging: $207.58 
    • Camping (paid): 12 nights, total cost: $207.58
    • Couchsurfing/staying with friends (free): 16 nights
    • Hotel: 3 nights, in Vancouver – my brother covered this (what a guy!)
  • Nomad Life: $80
    • National Parks Annual Pass (one-time charge): $80
  • Nonstop Awesomeness: $241.49
    • Website Design: $215.75
    • Business Meals/Coffee Shop Work/Website Hosting: $25.74
  • Credit Card Annual Fees: $65 (SPG AmEx)
  • Cell Phone: $77.77
  • Entertainment: $67.47
  • Health: $299.55
    • Includes full premium for health insurance, my annual eye appointment, and contacts order
  •  Total Expenses: $1993.91

**I expect to see the Travel and Lodging numbers dramatically decrease next month.



  • Goal/Ideal: to eat within 1.5 hours of waking, and to eat no more than 2-3 hours before going to sleep.
  • Averages for the month
    • First meal within 1.5 hours of waking (very consistent throughout month)
    • Last meal within 2.3 hours of going to sleep.
      • Most often: 3-3.5 hours
  • Average Times between meals
    • Breakfast and 1st Snack: 2.5 hours
      • Most often:  2.5-3 hours
    • 1st Snack and Lunch: 3 hours
      • Most often: 3.5-4 hours
    • Lunch and 2nd Snack: 2.5 hours
      • Most often: 2-2.5 hours
    • 2nd Snack and Dinner: 3 hours
      • Most often: 3-3.5 hours
    • Dinner and 3rd Snack: 2.5 hours
      • Most often: .5-1 hour


breakfast, lunch, and dinner times

(click on the chart for a larger version)


SLEEP AND AWAKE -(click on the charts below for larger views and to see the trendlines)

  • Ideal/Goal: to sleep for at least 8-9 hours each night and to wake up around 7 am
  • Sleep Hours
    • Average
      • Road Trip: 9.04
      • Ashland: 7.98
      • Vancouver: 7.27
      • For the month: 8.42
    • Most often amount of sleep: 7.50
    • Longest sleep: 10.50 hours, in eastern Oregon, on the first night of my road trip :-)
    • Shortest sleep: 5 hours, in Ashland, after a 20-hour day


Sleep Hours

  • Awake Hours
    • Average
      • Road Trip: 14.95
      • Ashland: 16.32
      • Vancouver: 16.85
      • For the month: 15.55
    • Most often wake hours: 14.75
    • Longest day: 20 hours, in Ashland – theatre + a very late night :-)
    • Shortest day: 13 hours, in Yellowstone – hiked 7+ miles around the Grand Canyon


Awake Hours

  • Going to Sleep
    • Average
      • Road Trip: 9:00 pm
      • Ashland: 12:30 am
      • Vancouver: 12:15 am
      • For the month: 10:30 pm
    • Most often sleep time: 12:00 am
    • Earliest sleep time: 8:00 pm, in Yellowstone (see shortest day above)
    • Latest sleep time: 3:30 am, in Ashland (see longest day above)
  • Waking Up
    • Average
      • Avg during road trip: 6:50 am
      • Avg during Ashland: 8:30 am
      • Avg during Vancouver: 7:30 am
      • Avg during month: 7:30 am
    • Most often wake time: 7:00 am
    • Earliest wake time: 6:00 am, multiple days during the road trip
    • Latest wake time: 10:00 am, in Ashland


wake and bed times



  • Ideal/Goal: to use few-to-no artificial or chemical products in my life: no deodorants, sunscreen, etc. I do use toothpaste.
  • Have been experimenting with no products in the shower (no shampoo, conditioner, or soap) since January 2011
  • My scalp has been dry throughout the year, which I’m not sure if it has something to do with the climate, my skin, the water temperature, or the lack of any products (even natural ones) – lots to experiment with here!
  • I have a small bottle of olive oil and Lavender essential oil that I mixed together and will start using again on my hair, after showering.
  • For more on the “No Poo” movement, check out this article.



  • Vitamins: taking a male multi-vitamin that I picked up in the co-op in Ashland and have been taking daily.
  • After my 20-hour day in Ashland, I took a half-dozen Zinc tablets (over a period of 18 hours) as a precaution to potentially eliminate a cold. Result: I never felt under the weather during August.



  • Eye Appointment in Ashland, OR
    • Last appointment: June 2009
    • All tests were good
    • Prescription for Contacts: R: -6.50, L: -6.00
    • Eyeglasses: -7.00
  • It’s been a while since the last time I had my eyes dilated (2+ years) – would like to set that up in the next six months



  • Whithey’s Health Store in Kalispell, MT – family owned and operated; plus I had a great conversation with Joe, the owner
  • Two RAW, VEGAN and GLUTEN-FREE restaurants in Vancouver, BC: Gorilla Food and Organic Lives
  • An EXCELLENT article on how our body builds muscle – includes tips on exercises and eating – HIGHLY recommend you check it out: Your Body’s Muscle-Building Mechanism. (If you have any trouble accessing it, try it at this site.)



  • Vagabonding by Rolf Potts: after several recommendations, I finally started reading this great book on how to approach long-term travel. His experience is very much about international journeys, and I must say that it’s quite compelling and inspiring.
  • Primal Body-Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas: two Portlanders mentioned this book to me, including Richard from Dick’s Kitchen – I’m excited to pick it up!



  • Optimal Living 101 Group Coaching: wrapped up final session (for now) 8/2/11
  • First full month of calls with new mastermind group: BizSoul – our focus is creating businesses that are true and authentic expressions of ourselves.
  • Continued calls with my Optimal Living Mastermind (formed shortly after the 2010 Optimal Living Teleseminar) – our focus is moving forward into growth in all areas of our lives – we are nearing one year of weekly calls!!! :-)



Or, What worked and what didn’t?


My body can do more than I think.

I’m kinda surprised at some of those activity numbers up there, particularly the hiking and biking miles! This shows me that even if I don’t consider myself an athlete in training, with consistent daily activity, I can lead a very healthy lifestyle and accomplish some cool things. I never felt like giving up or that I wouldn’t be able to make it – I knew I could do it.

The food during the road trip was also a fun experiment – to not only see if I could accomplish a healthy road trip (instead of stocking up on chips and other processed foods), but how little my body needed to get the tasks at hand done.


When traveling with others, it’s good to have a game plan.

When I’m solo, it’s easy to just have a few spoonfuls of Almond Butter and call it a night, but there’s definitely a social element when other people are involved. Since the majority of restaurants use quite a bit of processed foods, it can be challenging for me to find a spot that will work – and just wandering around looking at menus isn’t the quickest way.

Needing to know where the places I like are has inspired me to really dive into the Healthy Travel Guides and start publishing these, so that others can quickly find quality places to eat (along with working out or seeing some culture)!

Some of the other BIG lessons from this month were covered previously – click for Part I and Part II.


Other Highlights:


Really thrilled with my numbers above, in both the “Animal Products” and “Non Paleo” categories. It’s definitely more of a challenge for me to avoid those foods when I’m hanging out with friends that out in the middle of the woods.

  • Avocado for dinner – a total win. Definitely fills me up and is still a light and easy dinner for my body to process.
  • Goji Berries and Chia seeds in my water  – really enjoyed them, plus they add a health punch to my kanteen. Goji berries are one of the most nutritionally dense foods out there (known as a “superfood”) and chia seeds contain Omega-3’s. The only downside is that they tend to clog the drinking spout, but that’s a small price to pay.
  • Tomatos – hands down, my new favorite snack. So thrilled I have another way to eat them – just clean and bite into them like an apple!
  • Sardines – I tried these by themselves right out of the can (just in plain water, no oil or lemon) and thought they tasted fine (similar to tuna). I haven’t found a great way to transport them, so I’m not eating them too regularly.
  • Trail Mix – I have a tendency to eat WAY more than I need of this, especially when I was driving and just had the bag open next to me in the passenger’s seat. I’ve started putting only a handful of each item into a smaller bag to see if I can curb myself of just relentless snacking – I’m not looking to make “trail mix” a meal by itself.



I was surprised at how easy I found it to get to bed early. I really enjoyed changing up my usual late-night hours and getting a jump on the day. The stay in Ashland totally destroyed all that work. :-)

It didn’t help that the theatre I was seeing started at 8 pm (often my bedtime on the road) – made for some very late nights, and then of course, when there were friends to hang out with… (that’s how you get a 20-hour day that ends at 3:30 AM).

I know it’s up to me to stick to my bedtime, and I DO want to be more inline with the circadian rhythms of the day.



My goal with driving was to stop every 90 minutes or two hours so that I could take a hike, do some stretching, and rest my eyes. I didn’t always adhere to that schedule, but for the most part, it worked out pretty well.

It’s challenging because most seats in cars are not designed for optimal health. Ideally, you want your hips higher than your knees, and some kind of support underneath your shoulder blades, but to sit like that, most likely your head will be hitting the roof (at least mine was).

I was also getting restless sitting in the theatre for 3 hours or so. My solution: during intermission, I employed some of NerdFitness’ hip exercises and felt reinvigorated! I kinda wanted to jump up onstage and lead a demo! :-)


OK – that’s the monthly report for August!

If you have any feedback or questions about something you’re tackling, please leave a comment below and I’ll respond as soon as I can!


Thanks for reading, and for continuing to be awesome!


Until next time,



Did you enjoy this post?
Please like/tweet/share it with your amazing social network – and thank you!