I'm a 31-year-old lifelong Alaskan. I served four years in the U.S. Army before returning to Alaska, where I earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice. Currently, I'm a full-time state investigator, investigating doctors and nurses for things like drug diversion, application fraud, and malpractice. I also continue to work part-time as a police officer at my former full-time agency, picking up 1-2 patrol shifts per month. Additionally, I recently became a state organizer for a national civil rights non-profit organization.
I have a wonderful wife whom I've known as my best friend since ninth grade and two awesome little boys (ages 10.5 and 2.5). In my free time I like to hike, bike, jog, lift weights, meditate, practice yoga, listen to NPR, read (both fiction and non-fiction), and watch sports (go Denver Broncos).
I have dealt with chronic depression for much of my adult life and, more recently, it has crippled my motivation, causing a significant reduction in my physical activity and a sharp increase in poor dietary choices. In the past two years, I have become increasingly overweight (approaching obese according to my BMI). Despite the struggles, I am a perpetual optimist and I continue to push forward. It helps that my wife is a licensed practicing counselor. As such, she routinely checks in with me when we're at home together, while also making sure I continue going to therapy to work on managing the depression in the presence of an objective mental health professional.
About six weeks ago, I ran across a book titled How Not To Die by Dr. Michael Greger. Referencing a ton of peer-reviewed scientific studies, Dr. Greger's work really opened my eyes to the short-term and long-term benefits of eating a plant-based diet while ditching meat, dairy, and eggs. I learned that my diet filled with processed meats, dairy, and eggs was increasing my chance of Alzheimer's. I always knew in the back of my mind that my diet had been out of whack for a long time, and I knew it increased my chances of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other serious ailments. Yet, I procrastinated and yo-yo dieted for years. This time, seeing the copious amounts of research packed into those pages turned out to be the reality check I needed to get over the hump. I went to the store and bought a ton of fruits and veggies, overhauling my diet.
Three weeks ago, my wife surprised me with an early Christmas present -- a 23andMe DNA kit. Yesterday, my results became available and, minutes later, I learned I'm an APOE 3/4. I have barely skimmed the surface of this finding, but it's my understanding I have a ~23% chance of having dementia at age 85 because I'm an APOE 3/4 (correct me if I'm wrong) versus 11% for someone without APOE4 alleles. I know that diet and exercises can be excellent mitigating factors, so I am redoubling my efforts to stick to proper routines this year. I want to live a nice long life to enjoy time with my wife, children, and future grandchildren.
I look forward to being a part of this community with all of you and learning as much as I can.