After taking a few years off from riding in the annual 100 mile Century for the Cure, I am proud to say that I’ll be participating once again. Although this year I have to be very honest, and say that I will be riding with a heavier heart.
This is why I ride…
In 2010, I began participating in this incredible 100 mile long bike ride to help raise money for the The Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. As you may or may not know, my wife was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2002. She was treated and cared for by an incredible team of doctors, nurses and social workers lead by Dr. Roger Strair at The Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and she has been in remission ever since. In 2010/2011, I had the great honor of riding along side Dr. Strair and meeting many of the wonderful people who he works with. It was a life changing experience to say the very least and I will be forever indebted to all them.
During the summer of 2015 my mother-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It is difficult to rehash this story, but again, my wife and her family found themselves returning to the Cancer Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, where Susan would undergo months of pain-staking chemo therapy and surgeries. Needless to say 2015 and 2016 will be years that my wife and our family will never forget.
It is with an extremely heavy, painful and saddened heart to say that we recently lost my mother-in-law to pancreatic cancer. I will be riding this year and dedicating every single mile to my wife and her mother, Susan, two incredible women who fought cancer. In addition, I also want to dedicate the ride to the incredible team of doctors, nurses and staff at both the Cancer Institute and RWJ, who became a second family to us. Their compassion, support and love made each and every day a little bit easier to deal with in the face of this horrible disease.
I am pedaling towards a cure for cancer in the 12th Annual Century for the Cure. I will be training hard for a cause that I believe in, and would appreciate your support to help me reach, and even surpass my fundraising goal. Funds raised go directly to cancer research at The Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and with your support, they will continue to strive to find life saving therapies.
I haven’t been blogging much lately, but leave it to Harry’s to spark some inspiration and get me off the phone and in front of the computer. If you follow GGV on the blog, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you’ll know that being vegan is a lot more than just posting pics of food (even though we’re all guilty of it). One of my favorite hashtags to use on Twitter and Instagram is #CrueltyFree. It sends a really powerful message and, as advocates for animals, it is something vegans take very seriously. Veganism is about animal advocacy and incorporating it into all aspects of your life – not just what you eat. I say it in my tag line, “Food • Drinks • Clothes • Shoes • Grooming • All the in between”.
One of my favorite things to talk about is #GroomVegan and usually when I do, I’m talking about Harry’s. I first blogged about Harry’s back in 2013 and then again in 2014, when they were on the brink of their second birthday. I don’t get paid to talk about them, and the reason why I do so much is because of their commitment to keeping their shaving creams and moisturizers #Vegan & #CrueltyFree. I also promote them a lot because they’re blades and handles give me the best shave I have ever had. I can still remember buying my first Harry’s Truman set. I shot an email to a customer service rep, and within 8 minutes I had a response to my inquiry. The rep provided me with a list of the ingredients and a 100% guarantee that the ingredients in the shave cream were vegan, free from animal testing, parabens, sulfate and gluten!
For about 2 years, all of my handles have been cooped up in their original boxes all alone for no one to admire, myself especially. UNTIL NOW! If you haven’t heard already, Harry’s newest shaving accessory is a home for your handle. Harry’s Razor Stand combines the slick design, ingenuity and functionality that I’ve relied on for almost 3 years. The new stand is like a mini brick; a solid foundation for your razor handle so it stays out of box and on the counter top. It keeps your blades dry and your Harry’s handle collection on display.
I happen to think that the lumberjack beard is on its way out. Although I applaud you if you’re harboring any baby birds in there. Every animal deserves a good home. But if you’re not, it’s time to clean up your act. Shave smarter, shave closer and pick up a Harry’s shave set and don’t forget to get a home for your handle.
Did you ever think there could be such a thing as a vegan bodybuilder? What about vegan football players or vegan ironmen/women? The truth is, now that you’re vegan, you should know that you’ve just joined a massive group of vegan athletes that think, eat and train just like you did before you became a plant-based human.
There are so many dedicated athletes and fitness nuts who thrive on a plant-based diet. So whether you want to be a bodybuilder, a marathoner or just a fit-conscious vegan, you can do it and plants can help you!
Once I decided to hop back on the workout wagon, the biggest obstacle standing in my way was TIME. Between working and commuting, I was exhausted when I got home and in no mood to workout. I didn’t know what to do until I went over to Whole Foods and combed through the wellness section to see if there was anything out there to get me through my intense workouts.
I’d like to cut right to the chase – the product family that jumped right out and caught my eye was Vega! CLICK HERE to learn about this company and their amazing line of products. Vega was formulated by the innovative Brendan Brazier; among other things, he is a marathoner and one of the most famous plant-based athletes. Through many years of trial and error, he was able to create his own plant-based diet that propelled him to becoming one of Canada’s top Ironman Triathletes. If this is your first introduction to Vega and Brendan, I suggest you take a minute to read more about both in the links above.
What makes Vega Sport so incredibly effective is that they focus in on the three phases of your workout equally. Whether you’re preparing for a marathon, a century ride, or just heading to the gym, you’ll be sure to know that your plant-based body will be plant-based powered.
I attribute great workouts to being able to intensely focus. When I first started working out on a serious schedule and regime, I noticed fatigue would set in much faster if I started a workout with my mind flooded with distractions. So, I turned to Vega to help me out. Enter…my ever saving grace, the Vega Pre-Workout Energizer. As a borderline narcoleptic (I’m actually serious), I usually don’t have a lot of excess energy…especially after a long day at the office. I’m not going to sit here and list out the ingredients and try to explain to you the science behind the pre-workout energizer because I’m not a scientist. HOWEVER, I will swear to you that this stuff does exactly what it says it does. After I get done with my stretch, I am ready to go!!! I can tell you that my mind is 100% focused and my body is ready to move to the next level. I’m not exaggerating. When I start moving, I feel energy rushing through my body. It’s not that fake energy you get from energy drinks. Its harnessable energy that you control and put to work in order to improve your health. Check out the pre-workout energizer in lemon lime or acai berry (my favorite) and get ready for the next level.
For the longer workouts, rides and runs, you’ll need something to get you to the finish line. Depending on your activity, there are a few different options.
Since my current usual workouts range from thirty minutes to an hour, I tend not to use the Sustain products as much, but when I do they really do work. For those of you who don’t think a half hour to an hour is a hard work out, then talk to my man Shaun T. Like I said, you have three options when it comes to enduring through the sweat, cramps, and climbs. There’s the ELECTROLYTE HYDRATOR that you mix in with your water. This zero calorie/no sugar supplement keeps you hydrated throughout your work-out and you can even drink this during the day while you’re on the job. I use this one a lot especially when I’m preparing for longer workouts. I drink it during the day so that I’m properly hydrated for when I get home.
There are also the Energy Bars, which help you sustain strength and energy during your work-out. These taste really good. I’ve used them on occasion and each time it’s worked well. They’re easy to eat most importantly…you won’t feel like your jaw is breaking when scarfing them down. Since they’re not very dense, you also don’t feel them sitting in your stomach as you continue your workout. You’ve got two flavor choices here: Apply Cherry and Chocolate Coconut Almond. You can’t go wrong with either choice.
The last item in the Sustain category is something I’d probably recommend for the triathlon athletes, marathoners and cyclists because its small and easy to ingest while on the go. The Endurance Gel is designed for quick digestion so you get a quick burst of energy, along with the benefits of being able to sustain that energy. I tried the Orange Zest (there’s Raspberry too) once during a workout. I’ll be completely honest with you so you know my review is genuine. This doesn’t taste nearly as good as the rest of the products that I’ve been using, but it’s not horrible and it works.
Time to recover and rebuild your muscles so you’re ready for the following day and getting to the next level…to do this, you’ve got:
I’ve tried all of the Recovery products post work-out, but only the Recovery Accelerator consistently for the past year. I am completely hooked on this one. Still think you only get protein from animal based products? Think again. The Performance Protein packs 25 grams of complete protein! Also, the Protein Bar packs 15 grams and tastes awesome! These products will help you answer answer age-old question of, “Where do you get your protein from?” You know what, haters gonna hate. Let ’em, knowing that you have this secret weapon in your back pocket helping you get leaner and meaner.
What I enjoy most about the Recovery Accelerator is how it reduces my recovery time, but also reduces any potential muscle inflammation and muscle/joint pain. I’m not in high school anymore, but at the same time, I’m not that old either. Fact of the matter is, I still get sore and after nine years of football, my muscles ache and this really gets me back on my feet in hurry.
There is so much more that can be said, but talk is cheap. If you’re serious about this plant-based diet and you’re serious about getting back to the gym and becoming a healthier you, then you need to bring Vega into your life. In addition to the sport products, they offer a wide variety of all-in-one nutrition systems and snack bars that will help you maintain your health properly.
Know one thing. I continue to use these products, because they are consistent and they work every time. Even though I’ve been using the pre-workout energizer for a year, I reap its benefits before and during each and every workout. That’s what I tell people when I tell them about Vega. People always ask me how much it costs, and I always tell them the truth. The cost is the cost, and it is a bit pricey when you’re on a tight budget. To be honest, my wife and I tried cutting out the Energizer and Recovery drinks one month for budget reasons. However, we absolutely noticed a huge difference in how this affected our bodies, and we made the decision to never cut them out of the budget again! Honestly, you do get what you pay for with Vega. Do you want to prepare for workouts, get through them and recover properly? Do you want to reach the next level and the level beyond that? YES? Ok, then trust me! The products taste great, they are plant-based and they can definitely help you achieve your fitness goals. Need I say more? RESULTS DON’T LIE!
Still have your doubts about plant-based fitness? Not only do results not lie, but neither do these guys listed below. I can’t tell you that they all use Vega, but they are all incredible athletes who have decided to sustain their bodies in the healthiest and kindest way possible. Check these guys out and tell me you still think meat is where you get your protein from:
When I first starting eating a plant-based diet back in college, (back in those days, it was still just called a “vegan diet”) our cafeteria at Rutgers actually did serve some vegan-friendly options. There were always great salads, crazy good french fries, soy-based turkey slices upon request and even soy “chick’n” nuggets from time to time. It was very rare that I went hungry, to be completely honest. But being a money strapped undergrad really limited my exploration of off campus options. I remember my first experience going into Whole Foods at Columbus Circle in the city and being so intimidated that I think I left empty handed. I really didn’t know what to do or where to look. I felt like I was walking into the Soup-Nazi’s place from Seinfeld where at any moment I could be asked to leave for not ordering correctly or forgetting my reusable canvas bag. NO TOFU FOR YOU!
Over the years, as I have evolved as a vegan or plant-based human, I have noticed this massive and positive shift in innovation including food, drinks, clothing…you name it, and someone has figured out how to make it vegan. Come to think of it, thats one of the major factors that has helped me be able to stay vegan.
If you’re like me, you probably like any “meat” options on the shelf. I don’t care what it looks like or how much it costs. If it’s vegan, I’m interested.
I’d like to talk about Neat – a healthy replacement for meat, another innovative company that has taken the preconceived idea of meat and just flipped it on its head. Neat had reached out to GuysGoVegan and asked if I wouldn’t mind testing out their new line of meat substitute products that they recently launched. I am always happy to test out a new product, especially one as unique at Neat. Within a few days, I had a package at my door and I was ready and excited to eat.
When you get a Neat meat, you are getting a 100% vegan product which is also soy and gluten free. Right now, Neat offers four great tasting meat flavors…
What’s so cool about their products is that the base ingredients of these meats are actually pecans and garbanzo beans. There are some additional ingredients to give each type their specific flavor, but Neat is a very simple product that is healthy, versatile and extremely tasty.
The next part is what makes Neat so damn cool. When you open a bag of Neat Meat, its not a crumble or patty. It’s actually a powder! Yup! Just a powerful little powder that you mix with water and your favorite vegan egg replacer (Neat now makes an Egg Substitute!), sauté and you’re good to go! You can make burgers with the original mix, top some pasta with the Italian, make tacos with Mexican and breakfast patties with the breakfast mix. Those are some basic ideas, but the possibilities are almost endless.
Neat Italian Mix
Just add water
Enjoy…don’t forget the wine
I want to thank everyone over at Neat for sending me these samples to test out. If you see Neat in the store, be sure to pick it up. It’s super fun to cook with and watch how this plant based powder transforms into a protein packed vegan meat. If you’re interested in checking out Neat’s story visit their website and watch their video,
I follow Neat on Instagram and Twitter. Let me tell you…you can tell from their photos and tweets that these are some of the hardest working people in the vegan world. No matter where you live, if there is a vegan event you can be sure to find Neat serving up some awesome concoctions. If you need some help finding Neat, Click Here to find the nearest distributor.
Neat Original Mix
Neat Mexican Mix
Neat Italian Mix
Neat Breakfast Mix-The Newest Mix!
One last thing I need to mention. Neat just released their Egg Substitute. I haven’t tried it yet, but I cannot wait to get my hands on it and test it out. Keep your eye on Neat, from what they’ve given us already, I’m sure there are more innovations to come.
This post is especially for the newly vegan guys who are still wandering through the grocery store looking for vegan deodorant, face wash, etc. If there are any seasoned vegan guys reading, I hope I’m introducing you to some new incredible products. The Vegan Cuts Male Grooming Box products should be in your stable of personal care products at all times.
I’ll admit it. The first time I went on Vegan Cuts to send my brother a birthday present, I was a little disappointed that there were only women’s beauty boxes and snack boxes. Although, extremely fun and exciting in their own right, it left me wanting a lot more. So needless to say, when Vegan Cuts reached out to me and asked me to test out the new Men’s Grooming Box, which was co-curated by The Discerning Brute himself, Joshua Katcher, I think I responded to their email before they even had a chance to hit the send button.
When they said “Limited Edition” they weren’t lying. This is an EXCLUSIVE box filled with unique, VEGAN, men’s specific grooming products which are NEVER TESTED ON ANIMALS and are damn near impossible to find in stores. I am stressing exclusivity here. It sold out literally in the first week. Oh and again, Joshua Katcher put his name on this. That’s right, THE DISCERNING BRUTE. So for future reference (hint hint…OCTOBER 2014!!!!!!!) when Vegan Cuts calls, you better pick up the next men’s box in OCTOBER 2014!!!!! DO NOT MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY.
Ok, lets see…WHAT’S IN THE MEN’S VEGAN GROOMING BOX!? Let’s start from the top and work our way down, ok?
The Relucir Shampoo is actually shampoo suitable for both you and the ladies. I’ve been using the shampoo for a solid week straight now. This is what you’ll notice first. The scent…the most important part of manly personal care products. What popped out to me first was the citrus smell, followed immediately by the rosemary. For me anytime you work rosemary into things other than food, it relaxes me almost as much as lavender. So I give the scent an A+.
The long-term effects are a bit more subtle at first, but you’ll definitely recognize a huge difference using this shampoo regularly. Like a lot guys, I suffer from the occasional dry or itchy scalp. For some reason going into this summer, I noticed I had a lot of dry skin. Honestly, it’s disappeared since I’ve been using Relucir. I’ve noticed that my hair has simply felt healthier and its also been reacting with my styling products a lot better. Great choice VC and TDB! This gets the first big ol’ GGV stamp of approval.
Next out of the box is a product from a company that I am happy to say I am familiar with already. The big, bad, vegan, no-animal-testing ally from across the pond, The Bulldog. The Bulldog Original Face-wash from Bulldog Skincare for Men is by far my favorite face wash that I’ve ever used. Again, first thing you’ll notice is the scent. You can see their ingredients right on the product page. I’m telling you, if I could bottle this scent and douse myself in it every day, I would. So if anyone from Bulldog is reading this, please take note.
I usually wash my face in the shower after my crazy Insanity workouts. What I like about this face wash is the lather. Its not very heavy on my face, if that makes any sense. You barely feel it going on, but trust me you’ll notice the benefits. It also washes away easily leaving my face really refreshed. You might notice a trend in this post. So once again, great pick and The Bulldog gets the GGV official stamp of approval.
Next up to bat is a product from a company that I first discovered this past year at the NYC Veg Food Fest. The Fanciful Fox, handmade personal care products for both the guys and the ladies, is actually made not too far from me in Scranton, PA. When I saw they were involved I was really excited. The Dapper Facial Serum is for the true gentleman in us all. Just a few drops on your face and you’ll be smooth and soft for the whole day. Not only that, you’ll smell damn good. There’s something about patchouli that just boosts my confidence in the morning. Try any of their products and you’ll see what I mean. What’s great about this serum is how little you actually need to cover your whole face. Seriously 1 or 2 little drops is all you need. So not only is it a mandatory item for your personal care arsenal, but its very friendly on your wallet. BAM! GGV stamp of approval!
Let’s stay on the face for just one more second. For a long time now, I’ve been stressing to my friends the importance of using a shaving oil, either on its own or in conjunction with your favorite vegan shaving cream. Shaving oils just make it that much easier for the blade to move across your skin catching each and every hair on your face. Allow me to turn the spotlight on Mr. Mustachio Shaving Oil which is one of the best shaving oils that I have ever used. Made in small batches by Formulary 55, I cannot recommend using this shaving oil enough. I usually apply the shaving oil first. I rub a generous drop or two vigorously into my skin before I apply my shaving cream. I use both items, because with traditional razors, double edge safety razors and even a cutthroat razor, I find that my skin really likes the oil and the shaving cream combined. So that’s what I do. The direct result is a silky smooth, hairless face and I really think the main reason for that is using the oil as a solid base. Hello, Handsome. MR. MUSTACHIO! Stamp please…bam again! GGV approved!
Let’s move off the face to the underarms. Ok, so when I opened the box and saw that there was a deodorant, I was pretty pumped. Before receiving this new product, I had been using another vegan-friendly, natural deodorant. I won’t name names, but I’ll tell you that one was failing the Shaun T “Insanity” test miserably; my wife and cats can attest to that. Enter Schmidt’s Cedarwood + Juniper Natural Deodorant. This isn’t your traditional roll on deo. You’ve got to be man and use your hand. That’s right, don’t let this little jar fool you. It’s a powerhouse vegan deodorant. Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant makes vegan friendly deodorants for us guys and the ladies as well. So I guess at this point you’ll want to know how it works. All you need to do is pinch a bit out of the jar and rub it in. Its quite simple. Next question…does it work? Have you done the “Insanity” work out, known someone who survived it or even seen the infomercial on TV? If not, just look it up really quickly. Sweat literally pours off my body during the workout, so I’ll naturally catch a whiff every so often to see if I’m stinking up the room. The first time I used this deodorant, I smelled great. Like I just walked out of the woods. Like a man should smell, right? Haha! Seriously, I’m not joking. After the workout, it smelled as if I just applied it. Ask me again if it works and I’ll stamp your head with the GGV stamp of approval! Buy this right now.
Last, but certainly not least, do me a favor. Reach for your wallet. Has it seen better days? If you’re like me, you’ve cycled through a few different innovative options: recycled bike tubes, recycled seat belts, etc. They’re all great options, but there’s a certain George Constanza thickness to them. Fresh off a very successful Kickstarter campaign, allow me introduce the SLIDE Wallet by Stitch & Locke. Extremely thin, eco-friendly and animal friendly, the SLIDE wallet offers the best of design and functionality. As I mentioned before, I’ve used some unique wallets in the past, but none have gotten the reaction that this wallet has. I love the contrast between the cork and the denim. It really pops when you whip this bad boy out at the bar. It is sure to impress just about everyone. The one issue I ran into with the bike tube wallet was heat. Once it got hot out, it never seemed to want to leave my pocket. It just stuck to my leg. The seatbelt wallet definitely served me best and didn’t mind the change in temperatures, but its just a little bit on the bulky side. The SLIDE wallet’s sleek design is perfect for me when I’m wearing a suit. If I’m at a wedding I tend to ditch the wallet all together. Now I actually don’t have to. Its so small, that I can barely feel it on my inside breast pocket. So I’m going to give out one more stamp of approval on the SLIDE Wallet and highly recommend picking one up as soon as possible. Your money will thank you for it.
As I conclude this article, I want mention a few things. I was asked to test out these products by Vegan Cuts and I was way more than happy to do so. Many thanks go out to the folks over at Vegan Cuts for thinking of me for this trial run. However, I want you to know, honestly that I tested these products out and really pushed them to the limits (i.e. the deodorant). My opinions and reviews are mine and I stand by them. If I seem excited by these products, its because I am. I truly enjoyed these products and I highly recommend them. If you have any questions about these products feel free to shoot me an email or get in touch with the companies directly.
Until next time Guys…Go Vegan and don’t look back!
All the best,
The Vegan Cuts Grooming Box: Limited Edition Co-curated by The Discerning Brute, Joshua Katcher.
You could say it was love at first bite. The first time I tasted Beyond Meat, my mind and taste buds were officially blown. If you haven’t tried their chicken yet, run, don’t walk to your nearest Whole Foods or go HERE!!!!!! to locate the nearest health food store that carries Beyond Meat and experience it for yourself.
Need a little beef in that burrito? They have that too. Just released last month, Beyond Beef isn’t your ordinary vegan beef crumble. This one might be a little harder to find, but when you do, make sure you stock up, because its flying off the shelves.
Beyond Meat loves to spread the love and so do I. How good can something really be if you can’t share it with your friends, right?
Here’s a little love from Beyond Meat and Guys Go Vegan…get out there and GO BEYOND! Click the photo, save some cash and pass it on.
On the brink of their one year anniversary, Harry’s is reaching for the stars and literally plucking them down from the night sky. Having just taken the men’s grooming world by storm back in March 2013, Harry’s has quickly found a cozy home for themselves in the booming niche of men’s grooming. It’s almost as if they have been at this for hundreds of years, but they haven’t, it’s only been 10 months…10 MONTHS!!!!!!!
As I’m scrolling through my Twitter feed on this snow-covered morning, I came across a new tweet from my favorite VEGAN friendly shaving company. There was an article from DealB%k in the NY Times written by Michael J. De La Merced, in which he highlights the most recent move from Harry’s that will undoubtedly shake up the “David vs. Goliath” world of shaving once again. This past Monday they announced the purchase of their own razor blade factory in Germany – the very factory that already produces their “sharperer” razor blades so that you can have a smoother than a baby’s bottom face for a fantastic price. This is very exciting news from a company that I’ve been keeping a close eye on ever since I came across one of their Facebook advertisements just this past summer. If you are interested in the details of the deal, I highly recommend reading the article,
Based on a simple idea from the genius minds of Andy Katz-Mayfield & Jeff Raider, the two set out with one goal in mind, which is my favorite tag lines from their website:
“Handsomer. Sharperer. Less Expensiver. An exceptional shave at a fraction of the price”
“Harry’s was built out of respect…for quality craftsmanship, simple design, modern convenience and most importantly for guys who know they shouldn’t have to overpay for a great shave.”
Those very elements: quality craftsmanship, simple design, convenience and affordability are infused into every aspect of this New York City based start-up. Holding a Harry’s, you quickly realize this isn’t your run of the mill razor. Every time I shave I know that my facial hair doesn’t stand a chance! Did I mention the price?! With a Harry’s razor and shaving cream, rest assured that your wallet won’t be pillaged like the Vikings raiding England. You’re getting a great shave with a great design and a fantastic price. Its a solid piece of equipment that your face and your wallet will be thanking you for years to come.
Cheers to you, Harry’s. I cannot wait to see what else you guys have up your sleeves.