EcoTrek Fitness Bars GIVEAWAY!

This is your last chance to win free EcoTrek Fitness Bars. Don’t miss out on this awesome opportunity. It ends at 12 am tonight Eastern Standard Time!

Guys Go Vegan

Whether you’re on the run, on the trail or on the road, it’s not always easy to find something to eat as a vegan if you’re not prepared.  Over the years, through much trial and error, I have found that it is always easiest to grab some sort of granola or energy bar before I leave the house.  They’re always clutch when you’ve been running around all day and there isn’t a vegan-friendly meal or even snack in sight.  However, usually on the verge of starvation, I will scarf the thing down and then still be looking for something else to eat.

Let’s face it.  When you walk down the energy/granola bar aisle at the grocery store, it can be very overwhelming.  In America, many times we’re provided with more options than we really need.  Too many options = HARDER DECISION.  In the case of our grocery trip here, if…

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EcoTrek Fitness Bars GIVEAWAY!

Whether you’re on the run, on the trail or on the road, it’s not always easy to find something to eat as a vegan if you’re not prepared.  Over the years, through much trial and error, I have found that it is always easiest to grab some sort of granola or energy bar before I leave the house.  They’re always clutch when you’ve been running around all day and there isn’t a vegan-friendly meal or even snack in sight.  However, usually on the verge of starvation, I will scarf the thing down and then still be looking for something else to eat.

Let’s face it.  When you walk down the energy/granola bar aisle at the grocery store, it can be very overwhelming.  In America, many times we’re provided with more options than we really need.  Too many options = HARDER DECISION.  In the case of our grocery trip here, if someone is standing next to you in the aisle while you are hemming and hawing about bars, they most likely think you are flat out crazy.  There’s a good chance that, at this point, you have 10 bars in your hands and, like me, you’re reading all of the ingredients trying to settle on one.

Allow me to speed up this decision making process for you.  Introducing,  EcoTrek Fitness Whole Food Bars!  From founder and personal trainer, Cari Draft, the EcoTrek Fitness Bar proves big things come in small packages.  At only 195 calories and 10 grams of protein per serving, this bar should soon become your next best friend to bring on every hike, car ride or just long day out on the go.

Cari was kind enough to send me some of these to taste test.  Although I only communicated with her through email, I could tell right away how passionate and energetic she is about her product.  I really couldn’t wait to try one for myself.  The great thing about these bars is that you can eat them pretty much whenever you want.  You don’t have to be working out.  Keep in mind though, they are low in calorie and I don’t think they are meant to replace regular meals.  I do know that I wasn’t looking for an additional snack right after eating one of these, as I had in the past.  One of these bars and a bottle of water…and you are re-energized, friends!

Cari created three perfect flavors in my opinion.  You’ve got Dark Chocolate RaspberryDark Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut20140107-222026.jpg

Chocolate and coconut and chocolate and peanut butter are my two favorite flavor combinations on the face of the Earth, and I don’t think many of you will disagree with me.

Well, I have to say that she really nailed the flavor on these bars.  The toasted coconut really pops as soon as you take your first bite and along with the chocolate, you almost feel like you’re eating candy.  That goes the same across the board for the other flavors as well.  They are also really light and airy.  Some bars out on the market are so densely packed that eating one is a workout all in itself.  Eat enough of those other bricks and your jaws will be flexing in the mirror.

Here’s the genius in Cari’s creation.  Go to the Nutrition Facts and check out all of the nutrition that is jam packed in these.  You would have no idea that in each bite you’re getting all of the nutritional benefits of acai, mangosteen, and spinach just to name a few.

To make a long story short, EcoTrek Fitness Whole Food Bars are delicious, nutritious and VEGAN-friendly, most importantly.  The balance of flavor and nutrition make these some of the best bars I’ve tasted yet.  Thanks to Cari for this amazing product!  Head over to Shop EcoTrek Bars, place your order and tell Cari what you think on her Facebook page FitGirlCari!

In order to enter the giveaway and win your free sample pack of EcoTrek Fitness Bars, just follow the link below and like EcoTrekBars, FitGirlCari and Guys Go Vegan on Facebook.  You’ll get one (1) entry for each like.  For an added bonus, tweet this offer (through the link) out to all your followers for an additional two (2) entries per day.  Good luck! 

The giveaway will start 12 a.m. Monday 1/13/14  and end 12 a.m. 1/20/2014

CLICK HERE FOR THE ECOTREK FITNESS GIVEAWAY!

GGV STAMP OF APPROVAL

2013, you may have won the battle!

I give up 2013! You win!

As I concede to this past year I have to say that I am very happy to put this one behind me.  I’ve had the typical ups and downs that come pre-installed with every year: money problems, car problems, work problems.  Come to think of it, its been mostly hassles, problems and obstacles.  Its kind of depressing.  However, I can honestly say there are a lot of things I am truly grateful for, so even though the events of this past year truly SUCKED, I’ve got a lot to look forward to.

There are positive things about this last year that changed my life.  It wasn’t all bad (mostly, but not all).  I was given the opportunity to quit a job that drained the life out of me and pushed me to my mental and physical breaking points.  I am very happy to say that job is very far behind me…GOOD RIDDANCE!

I also started Guys Go Vegan, blog/social network for all of us vegan guys.  Its been something that I’ve always wanted to do.  I just never knew how start it or build it.  Watching it grow and evolve has been really exciting.  I’ve connected to so many different people and companies, that I never thought I’d be communicating with.  Once a Twitter hater, I am now addicted and once a Facebook fiend, I have successfully weened myself off of it.  (Although the GGV Facebook page is coming soon)

The most challenging thing over the past few years has been making a career change.  I have been successfully unsuccessful at finding a new job for about…oh I don’t know, FOREVER!  Realizing landscape design was not for me pretty much as soon as I started it, I’ve struggled figuring out what my purpose in this life is.  This past year, with all of the changes and bad jobs, the switch finally flipped in my head and I am happy to say I’ll be embarking on a new journey in February.  NYU Continuing  Ed, here I come.  Fingers crossed and plenty of prayers, I’ll be ready for a new adventure this summer.

I learned a lot this year about myself and about others.  I said goodbye to my Gramps (big breath)…and to a new level of stress that I hope to never experience again.  Looking forward to what this year has to offer has definitely got me smiling again.  More blogging, new connections, new friendships…new career?

F-off 2013.  Here we go 2014.  Let’s do this.

Cheers everyone!

GGV

Need a Career Change?

I officially joined the workforce in 2008. From that very point to where I am now, I can honestly say that I have never really liked what I do. That being said, after discovering The Art of Manliness, a fire ignited in slide of me. I’m still working in the field that I makes me miserable, but I’m making the decisions and moves to right the wrongs. Case in point, this blog. So here’s to you Bret McKay!

Check out this recent post by AoM, writen by Jeremy Anderberg, if you’re struggling with your job and your career. I’m sure it will help.

How to Deal With a Job You Don’t Like
(Photo credit: The Art of Manliness)

In the Belly of the Beast

I urge you to read this article. Read it and pass it along. Thanks to articles like these put out through conduits like Rolling Stone they are able to reach audiences previously unaware that this cruelty exists. People like this actually exist and they need to be stopped. Please, please read this and allow yourself to feel the words and imagine the picture it’s painting. I guarantee it will change you for the better.


In the Belly of the Beast by Rolling Stone

That’s a Fancy Moustache You Have There…

Congratulations! You’re halfway through this glorious Movember. For many of you, this might be your first moustache. That’s okay; to be honest, this only my second Movember.  So far, it’s been a great season, to say the least. Keep up the good work!

At this point, you might be wondering what to do with your luscious ‘stache. It might be getting long, or it might be a little sharp or dry. Movember is more than just a month out of the year in which you happen to grow a moustache. Take pride in your upper lip sweater, because you’re representing a much bigger cause here. It’s your responsibility to spread the word about proper men’s health care, raising awareness about testicular and prostate cancer, as well as mental health.

With a great ‘Mo comes great responsibility.

Every once in a while, I institute the “go big or go home” mentality. That being the case, I’ll have to come clean here. I usually rock some level of facial hair all year round, so this year I officially started growing the ‘stache around the end of September. If you want to commit to growing a serious moustache, you’ll need to be prepared with the right tools.

Facial hair requires just as much love as the hair on your head. Think about it – you wash your hair everyday with shampoo, and maybe even a conditioner, and it usually looks good, right? Would it shock you that the ‘Mo needs just as much TLC? Like any fine craftsman, you’ll need a few good tools to tame the wild beast. When stocking up for the long haul, it’s always important to keep it vegan.  Then you will also be able to say, “No animals were harmed in the growing of this moustache.”

Your Tools:

  1. Moustache Comb
  2. Moustache Wax
  3. Moustache Conditioner and Wax Remover
  4. Shampoo/Conditioner
  5. Repeat

1. The first thing you’ll need is a fine-toothed comb. Small hair equals a small comb. Head on over to Kent’s to pick up a good one to commemorate this years ‘Mo. Once you get out of the shower, make sure to comb your ‘stache.  If you’re attempting the coveted handlebar, you’ll want to comb outwards on both sides, creating a nice part in the middle.  If you’re going for the classic porno ‘stache just comb it downwards.  Always comb!

2. Next, you’ll need a great moustache wax.  Not all waxes work in the same way.  Some need to be heated up more so than others in order to be worked into the hair properly.  Some have a strong hold, which is important if you’re unable to refresh throughout the day.  My recommendation is to visit my friends over at Petal Pusher Fancies.  Let’s call them PPF for the duration. I started out by purchasing their Vegan Dandy Candy Moustache Wax.

First and foremost, this wax is vegan and that’s the main reason I picked it up.  Now I’m sure there are more out there, but its important to me that they say they are a vegan product.  This not only means that their products are void of any animal-based ingredients, but it also means that the products were not tested on animals before they went to market.  It’s important to support companies that are compassionate from start to finish.

Secondly, their waxes just smell amazingly manly, like any great moustache should.  Created using a fine mixture of Steam-River Rum Oil and hints of orange, other fine oils, spices and natural butters, this was a great introduction to moustache waxes for me.  In order to get a good application of this wax, you’ll need to heat it up with a hair dryer or other heat source to make it easier to distribute through your hair.  I also like to run hot water from the sink and let the faucet heat up.  Then I’ll take a small amount of wax and stick it to the faucet just in case I need some extra wax at the end.

A few weeks into the growing season, I thought I’d try something different.  PPF also offers a Vegan Soy Free Dandy Candy.  Same great smell, same portable tin, but very different wax.  I found this wax to be much easier to apply.  It barely needs to be heated up and it’s very easy to work into the hair with your fingers.

Honestly, I think that both of these waxes have great holds and I would recommend both of them.  Different occasions call for different waxes.

3. The last essential tool for maintaining the moustache is a good wax remover and conditioner. You might be asking yourself, “Where can I buy that?!” Luckily for us, our friends at PPF thought of everything (which is why I love this company). One of my problems last Movember was that my hair was so dry and rough that I could barely curl the ends. So, I did some digging. I literally searched “moustache conditioners” and there it was, the The Wicked Cookie-Duster Wax Remover and Conditioner! The answer to all my problems. This stuff is wicked awesome, and it smells (insert adjective more potent than “incredible” here). I just can’t describe how good this smells.  You’ll just have to buy it and experience it for yourself. Just apply it with a kid’s size toothbrush. (Yes, a kid’s toothbrush. I use one with Woody from Toy Story on it because…well, why not?). Let it sit for a couple of minutes or let it seep into the hair overnight. The longer the better, because it really does work. My hair has never felt softer and this really helps when combing and styling. The hair will actually go in the desired direction (for example, the handlebar is starting to emerge nicely).

4. When it’s time to remove the conditioner, make sure that you use shampoo and NOT a face wash or a bar of soap. This will only have a reverse effect on the hair. You just spent all of that time softening the hair; don’t go and muck it all up!

5. Repeat this process for as long as you plan on keeping that work of art on your upper lip.

One last thing for which I have to applaud PPF: they offer an incredible gift set for all of you vegan guys out there.  Make sure to pick this up for the holiday season: Vegan Wet Shaving Kit.  Regular shaving is okay with your Mach 1500 or whatever, but have you ever shaved with a double-edge razor, an old fashioned shaving brush and a shaving cake?  Most of us haven’t, because we either don’t know where to buy them or they are just so damn expensive.  PPF to the rescue once again.  This gift comes with a lot of things, and the shaving brush is VEGAN!!! Did you know that those brushes are typically made from badger hair?  Gross, right?  What did the badger ever do to us to deserve that?  Now with this gift set, you can enjoy one of the closest shaves ever, stay true to the vegan cause…AND IT’S FUN!  For a quick tutorial, I would suggest checking out:

logo

TRUe gentleMAN

Greetings Vegan Brothers,

I think I stopped shaving on a regular basis when I realized that the blades were costing me more than a tank of gas, and the razors required more battery power than my cell phone.  This all changed when I got my first hot towel single blade shave.  From then on, I have been fascinated by the thriving renaissance of the good ol’ fashioned shave.

As Movember rapidly approaches, your significant other is most likely cringing at the thought of having to deal with the beautiful, bountiful and bristly hairs of that glorious ‘stache.  After finding out about the product detailed here, you can now assure them that, even if they choose to boycott your lips, the rest of your face will be cleanly shaven.

Bored and scrolling through Facebook one day, breezing past countless pictures of babies and ecards, a little ad caught my eye.  This ad was for a shaving company called Harry’s.  Immediately, I was attracted to Harry’s classic and simple design, so I had to dive in a little deeper and explore the offerings on their site.  I found that their color schemes and product designs were modern and masculine and…wait for it…their prices are actually affordable.  Like I mentioned above, shaving had become a rare act; could it be possible that I, a middle class American, could now afford to shave a on regular basis?  Not only that, could I actually enjoy the process of shaving?

Let me tell you, the best way to experience Harry’s is to purchase a set, whether it be The Truman, The Winston, or The Fall/Winter Truman. They all come with a VEGAN, NO ANIMAL TESTING-friendly shave cream, 3 blades and a sexy-looking razor all for under $25 (with free shipping too).  Guys Go Vegan reached out to Harry’s to check in on their shaving cream, and within 5 minutes had an email back with the complete list of ingredients.  Fantastic customer service and the ingredients are 100% GGV approved.

I went ahead an ordered the The Fall/Winter Truman “Woodsman” color.  You’ll see the packaging below, which mirrors Harry’s sleek website design.  It was a great shave to say the least, and the shaving cream fragrance was definitely pleasant and not overwhelming.  A little drop of the cream goes a long way, so you’ll have it for a while.  It felt great to find this gem and not have to shell out tons of money, as is entirely possible with some of Harry’s competitors.

Harry’s is about great design, convenience and a great shave at a low cost.  They offer a handy Auto-Refill service, depending on how fast your shadow shows up each day, which translates into one less thing to worry about.  While you’re exploring their site, don’t forget to check out their We Give A Shave program, which helps veterans returning from war re-adapt to home life.

I can’t say enough about Harry’s, so feel free to take a look at the pictures of the set I received and see for yourself.

Cheers,

GGV

Vegan Brew

This next article is near and dear to my heart. Never in a thousand years did I think I would have to worry about my beer not being vegan. About 2 years into eating vegan, a friend of mine informed me about how, (take a deep breath) Guinness was brewed. After some quick research I found that it’s common for wine and beer to be filtered to some capacity using insinglass. Here is the link to Guinness’ Wikipedia page; look under Guinness and Health

I love craft brew. Turns out there are already some great resources out there that will help you out whether you’re at home or on the go.

VeggieBrews
Great app when you’re on the go. I use VeggieBrews when I’m I the liquor store staring aimlessly at 2, 3 or 10 beers unable to decide. I take out my phone, type in the brewery, select my beer and the beer is either listed as vegan, vegetarian or none of the above. It usually lets you know why it’s not vegan. This app is clutch.

If you’re sitting in front of computer, getting ready for a party or whatever, check out Barnivore.
Barnivore offers the same service as VeggieBrews, but they include wine and liquor too. This website is incredible and it’s easy to use their site on your phone as well.  I wish they had a mobile app.

Guys, these resources are priceless. With these resource you’ll never second guess your brew again.

Drink responsibly,
GGV

Where’s the beef?

You know the first thing a guy thinks about when he goes vegan, believe it or not, is MEAT.  Strange right? “How the hell am I going to give up meat?”, is what you’ll ask yourself.  Also, “where am I going to get my protein?”.  (We’ll address the “P” word later on, don’t worry.)

I think that as men we automatically relate being manly to eating meat, which is probably something that has been pre-installed in our “man hard drive” since the dawn of time.  Going vegan is going to require  you to update your operating system or for some, wipe it clean.  There are options out there; some good, some bad and some that will completely satisfy your carnivorous cravings.  If you don’t believe me, then see what the expert of all experts has to say, Alton Brown, about the newest discovery and meat substitute, Beyond Meat.  Do  yourself a favor and read this article,Tastes Like Chicken.  I think, it speaks volumes about how far we’ve come in the plant based protein world, and did I mention Alton Brown is singing Beyond Meat‘s praises.

Here are a few of my favorite substitutes after Beyond Meat:

  1. Field Roast (Great sausages, and perfect for Turkey Day)
  2. Gardein (Great chick tenders, and well just about all of their products)
  3. Upton’s Naturals New found favorite.  Wonderful flavor and abundant in spices!
  4. Lightlife Smart Deli (After all we’re men and men eat sandwiches, but not all of their products are vegan)
  5. Tofurky! (They make everything from pepperoni, to Tempeh bacon)
  6. Boca Burger (Good options, but not my first choice)

Don’t forget that not all substitutes are created equal.  Check the ingredients, because vegetarian is not always vegan.

Try some out and let me know what you think.  Check out my poll,

Stay strong men,

GGV