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Transitioning To Veganism: Protein Shakes/ Supplements

This is the fourth article in this series. While the first three compared milks, beefless crumbles and jerky; this one is a little different.

We could go on and on about the need to supplement protein, the fact of the matter is that most people who are active, ie. runners, weightlifters or cross-fitters need to supplement. Can you get enough protein from just food? Absolutely!

Most people do not have the time to sit around eating all day or preparing meals or counting every single macro. I enter as much as I can into https://www.myfitnesspal.com/ to track what I’m eating. I do minor amounts of prepping, you’ve seen the mason jar recipes, right? As a cable guy those are super simple to pop into my lunchbox along with some fruit and veggies and I’m off to work. If you want an example of calculating macros and consider yourself a macro geek check out http://www.nomeatathlete.com/calculations/

If I trained hard, or ran, the day before I will also pack a shake to supplement some of the protein I couldn’t ingest during the day. Again, if I had the time or wasn’t stuck in a van all day could I reach my protein needs? Sure, but I don’t have the time and this article is for those that don’t. This article is also for those that need more protein, those heavy lifters who are needing extra to build and maintain muscle health.

With the samples I received, I’m going to break them down super simple like. I will list the basic macros, taste, consistency and price comparison. I want to thank those companies that sent samples, I appreciate the support and you helping me to put this article together. I was not paid to write this, I approached each company for a sample; so my opinion is completely unbiased.

If you run a company and would like to be added, I will happily create an addendum to this post; just head to the “Contact” tab and send me a message.

Orgain – I tried the creamy chocolate flavor. This product took two scoops per serving which made the shake a bit thicker, but also, more flavorful. With water it was tasty but when I mixed it with soymilk it was like having a chocolate milkshake. As you can imagine, the macros change with whatever milk-alternative you use. I didn’t need to pull out my immersion blender, it mixed very well with about 10-15 good shakes in the shaker cup. I usually mix powders with at least 16oz of liquid.

Taste wise it was one of my favorites of the powders tested; so much so that I’ve placed many orders to restock since. I not only like the macros but I feel like I stay more full longer. The price point below is the price from their website, if you shop around you will find it cheaper than that. I order mine from Amazon. The consistency is not gritty at all; it’s fairly smooth. My only complaint is I’d rather it be a 30 serving tub and not 20; it would make the monthly subscription from Amazon worth it.

Orgain is not a completely vegan company and does offer products that have whey in them. Make sure you check the nutrition facts before purchasing.

Macros per serving

  • 13g of carbohydrates
  • 4g of fat
  • 21g of protein

20 servings per 2lb tub priced at $40

Ai Nutrition – Chocolate is the only flavor available for this, as far I could see from their website that is. The powder is pretty thin and you only need one scoop per serving. Within a couple shakes of your shaker it’s blended well, although it does seem to settle a bit between sips, so make sure you shake before each one. It’s not gritty, just seems that it doesn’t dissolve as good as others.

I like the taste, it’s certainly not a milkshake; the consistency is more like a chocolate milk. That said, the benefit of it being less viscous is it is more drinkable if you feel the need to slam your protein shakes. I prefer to sip it for a bit. I don’t remember where I read it but a while back I read something about sipping having more benefits to absorption. It also help to have a snack too. But anyway… I liked this one, liked it even better with vanilla soy milk.

Ai Nutrition is not an exclusively vegan company, they are a sports supplement company that sells all sorts of products. If order this powder make sure it is the “No Whey” kind.

Macros per serving

  • 7.1g of carbohydrates
  • .6g of fat
  • 22g of protein

20 servings per 1.6lb tub priced $35

About Time – For the longest time, this was my go to protein powder. I’ve tried all three flavors currently listed on the site: vanilla, chocolate and  cinnamon spice. The flavors were all tasty but I really preferred the vanilla though. It mixed super easy and was similar in texture to the Orgain powder, but a little less dense; this only used one scoop compared to two. After a few shaker shakes it was good to go and didn’t seem to settle too much, although I’ve gotten in the habit of shaking before a sip of any powder at this point.

As the macros will reiterate below, the nutritional profile of this powder not only makes it on par with some of the others, but outshines most of them. The cost per serving is also amazing, especially if you order on Amazon. We have a local place here on Cape Cod that I go to if I need a tub of this and it’s roughly $30. That is less than $1 per serving! Ya, that’s pretty damned amazing if you ask me. The only thing I really don’t like about this is the sweetness, sometimes it can be too much. Maybe it’s the stevia? I’m not sure but sometimes stevia can be hit or miss for me.

About Time is not a strict vegan company and offers other whey protein powders. They do offer a vegan protein brownie mix that I have yet to try. If ordering from them make sure to choose the vegan powder.

Macros per serving

  • 1g of carbohydrates
  • 2.5g of fat
  • 22g of protein

32 servings per 2lb tub priced at $45

Plantfusion –  For this test I tried the vanilla flavor. This powder is super soft, reminds me of baby powder in a way. Being so soft it is likely to make a mess so be careful with it, the particulates can get everywhere is you have a window open and a breeze comes in. Yeah, that happened to me. It shakes and mixes extremely well.

To be honest, maybe too well. What I mean by that is if you are to vigorous in your shaking skill the shake gets very frothy and I feel like you drink more foam than actual protein shake. Literally you only need maybe 5-6 good shakes, anymore than that and you are swirling it around quite a bit to try to get it to liquefy again. The flavor is nice, but similar to About Time, I can tell there’s a fair share of stevia in this.

I really hate to keep doing this, but the price I have listed below is directly from their site. If you go to Amazon it is much cheaper and has a great cost per serving.

Plantfusion is a vegan exclusive company. Rest assured that what you buy is ethically sourced and does not harm animals, or the planet, in any way.

Macros per serving

  • 4g of carbohydrates
  • 2g of fat
  • 21g of protein

30 servings per 2lb tub at $52

Evolve – I tried both flavors of Evolve, the chocolate and vanilla. It’s hard to choose which one was better as they both had a very pleasant flavor and texture. Evolve does require two scoops, so we go back to a substantial shake reminiscent or Orgain. It mixes well after about ten shakes and again, because of its thickness it is a sip type of shake, Comparatively speaking, the taste was good and the texture was not gritty or foamy.

The cost per serving is decent but we have another 20 serving tub here. I don’t know why that gets to me but I think protein companies should try to get at least 30 in there. It helps to stay with a workout cycle, and honestly, I think it would help to see if the powder if truly effective for the goal the person has.

The macros are decent, the carbs are higher than others but there’s not enough to make this something to stay away from. Actually, they add stevia but for once I did not really notice it. They have just enough to give it some sweetness but not too much to make it taste overly processed.

Cytosport is the parent company of Evolve and is not a vegan company. They are the makers of Muscle Milk and a variety of whey/ dairy based supplements. If Evolve interests you, the link I supplied at the beginning goes directly to the Evolve site and has no interaction with Cytopsport so you don’t order anything accidentally.

Macros per serving

  • 15g of carbohydrates
  • 3g of fat
  • 20g of protein

20 servings per 2lb tub at $25

Sotru – I lucked out and tried all three flavors (vanilla, chocolate and chai) as well as the super-food shake. There is an absolute difference between this powder and the rest. It is minimally processed and you can tell. It’s gritty and at times can get “chewy”, but not necessarily in a bad way. I’ve had shakes in the past from other companies that were gritty and truly felt like you were chewing on dirt. That’s not that case here and that grit is actual whole food. Remember that whole sipping for absorption benefits and eating something? They are just multi-tasking is all, I guess.

The taste is good but due to the fact the ingredients are as real as they get, it can get a bit earthy. That could be because of a couple other factors too. They use medicinal mushrooms as an ingredient as well as amaranth and quinoa, that could explain some of it. Or, it could be the fact that they ferment their products to help with digestion. Either way, it’s very unique and I don’t think it’d be for everyone. I like fermented foods though so it has this strange draw to want to drink more for me.

Sotru is a plant based company and believes in feeding the body good foods. The powders do not contain soy, so if you are not into soy you can try this out. Cost wise this is the most expensive of the bunch based on servings and macro breakdown.

Macros per serving

  • 4g of carbohydrates
  • 1.5g of fat
  • 18g of protein

21 servings per 1.3lb tub at $50

CONCLUSION

There are some serious options out there folks to support your health. There is a powder for everyone. If I can answer any more specific questions, please drop me a line in the contact tab above.

The prices I found are all from the company’s website. Most of them are sold on Amazon and are drastically cheaper. I recommend you shop around for a good price.

My favorite? Our of the one’s I tested for this article, hands down I love Orgain and have now incorporated it into new workout plan I am on. I not only use it in shakes but I make chia pudding with it as well and it’s got a great creaminess to it.

Again, if you didn’t see your company listed, I would be happy to create an addendum post or amend this one. To contact me go to the tab at the top of the page that says contact.

Transitioning To Veganism: Jerky

One thing I loved when I was not vegan was jerky. It wasn’t the fact that it was meat, it was all about the flavor and texture. I think a good reason behind it as well was the portability. Jerky was good for hikes, long runs and when I started running OCR races; I always had jerky with me. Like those frozen, funky vegan burger patties back in the day, jerky has come a long way and has become oh so glorious. It’s not just for omnivores anymore!

There are tons of companies doing their own thing and offering a variety of flavors and textures. Vegan jerky is becoming more of a niche market and is exploding. Ask companies like Louisville, their product is far from a novelty and is sought after by vegans all over. Believe me though, none of them are similar to the other and stand out on their own. I’m going break down 4 of my favorites and explain to you why they are better than eating animals; besides the obvious of course. So here we go…

Since I’ve already mentioned them, let’s talk about Louisville Vegan Jerky.  I was able to first try Louisville at this past years Ragnar Relay in the Adirondacks. They were a sponsor of the team I ran with, Strong Hearts Vegan Power. Teammates in my van can attest, after opening a bag (and completely finishing it) my reaction was a phrase I don’t know where it came from nor do I know what it meant. I exclaimed, “Jesus jumped up!” The jubilation and joy I felt overwhelmed me I guess. I missed jerky and this stuff had the texture and flavor I remembered so well. While it didn’t have that pull that some jerky has, the chewiness and seasoning of Louisville was amazing. At this point I’ve tried nearly every flavor minus a few of the small batches. If I had to choose a favorite flavor, I couldn’t. Can I recommend a few? Sure! The black pepper is amazing and is a bit more dry, which I prefer, it gave it more of that pull I spoke of before. The South Carolina BBQ is tasty as heck and is extremely moist, there’s a nice zip at the end as well. If you twisted my arm, I could pick my absolute favorite Louisville Jerky and that is the Buffalo Dill. My wife got some for me on my birthday and I was in heaven. Amazing! So far I have only been able to get Louisville by mail order, check them out at http://www.lvjco.com.

Next up we have the most accessible of all vegan jerky companies, Primal Spirit Foods. I say that because you have probably seen these at any major grocer or even in quite a few convenience stores; they seem to have a good handle on marketing and getting the name out. Another thing that helps them stand out is their incredible array of flavors. Lets not stop there though, the hits keep coming; they also offer a variety of textures based on ingredients. Most of their jerky strips are made from seitan, but they do also have some made from soy and my favorite; the spicy one was made from shiitake mushrooms as a base and was the most jerky like of all of them. The flavors are fantastic and are based on real ingredients. Being packaged singularly, Primal’s jerky is super simple to thrown in a backpack, ruck or even your fancy lil fanny pack! Minus the spicy flavor which was closest to jerky texture, the other have a similar chew to them. My only complaint, and I stress the ONLY is the fact they are somewhat difficult to open and you always end up with stick hands. I’m not sure there is much that can be done to the packaging to make that easier though. If for some strange reason you have yet to try these, you absolutely should; I eat these all the time now. For more info in Primal Spirit Foods vegan jerky check out http://www.primalspiritfoods.com.

For a while now, this next jerky company has been on my radar big time. Chris from the Vegan Zombie is always cooking up/ talking about Maywah Veg Market. He rants and raves about their products so I had to reach out and see about getting some jerky samples. What started as a small niche shop in Chinatown (downtown NYC), Maywah now not only services customers in the state of New York, but anywhere UPS can deliver too. I got the opportunity to try three of their products; the Roasted BBQ, Beef Jerky and the Bacon Jerky. As with the other two companies already reviewed, their products had their own distinct character and texture that carried throughout each flavor. The Roasted BBQ eerily looked a lot like meat jerky as it was a good piece that you bit and tore off pieces from. This had the most authentic texture to “real” jerky than most. I remember nearly 20 years ago being at a small general store in New Hampshire and seeing jerky in jars on the counter that had been smoked and roasted. Maywah’s jerky reminded me of that. The beef jerky had a similar texture, but was kind of pre-shredded you might call it; so it was easier to grab just a bit at a time and not have to tear into it. Again, the flavor was amazing and the texture couldn’t get any closer to the “real” thing. The bacon jerky was similar to what Primal is doing as it was more of a strip, but had the distinct Maywah flavor profile and texture. It had a real nice smokiness to it and as I’ve said a bunch, the texture was fantastic. It is not bacon, but bacon jerky. If you’ve had no experience with Maywah I highly recommend you order from them. The jerky is super inexpensive and they ship all over. I can’t wait to place a bulk order as they carry all sorts of substitutes. You can find them on the web at www.maywahnyc.com.

Last but certainly not least, is Lightlife. One of the first meat alternative companies, Lightlife has been at the forefront of veg movement for over 30+ years. I’d like say I’ve tried all of their products but at this point there are so many I can’t say I have. Their jerky is something new I’ve tried and it’s distinct from the others. They come in strips, similar to Primal but not as moist. Lightlife jerky has more of a dryness and chew like smoked/ dried jerky does. The only complaint is they only have two flavors. Having a wide range of products, I don’t expect that they will offer many more; they don’t need to. I’ve read other reviews online that say these are sweet; I don’t agree at all as I found them to be quite savory and smoky like jerky is supposed to taste. You can find these at most grocery stores as their distribution is pretty big in the major stores. Another solid jerky that you can just throw in your back pack or lunch bag for the matter. Find out more about Lightlife Jerky at https://lightlife.com/products/jerky

Every day more and more vegan foods & meat alternatives are hitting the market. Whether it’s faux hot dogs, sausages OR jerky, the fact is these products can stand up to, and maybe even push meat off the market. Once people realize they can enjoy the flavors and textures they love, without all the cholesterol and garbage that is in processed meats; they will be better off. I am so excited to have jerky in my life and thank all the companies involved in this article for sending samples to be part of it. If you are part of a company that was not written about here, e-mail me at vegancableguy@gmail.com and I’d be happy to create an addendum piece or add to this one.

What’s your favorite vegan jerky?

 

 

Meme Monday 10.17.2016

same-slaughterhouseSometimes a meme can be amusing, other times they can be outright frustrating, This weeks meme falls under the latter end of the spectrum; it’s about “humane meat” and is frustrating as all hell that some people believe it is a real thing.

Even for the least sensible human being, those two words put together should not make any sense. Somewhere along the line, they’ve been told the lie that “humane meat” is compassionate and the animals are taken care of better than those at industrialized factory farms. They will argue with you until they, or you, is blue in the face with frustration. In the end, they just don’t get it.

“Humane meat” is still the end result of another sentient beings death, there is no way around. Do they think at all that maybe that cow or that chicken didn’t want to die? Maybe they were hoping for a future of peace and tranquility, just living there days without worrying when the knife would slide across their throat.

Is there anything about death that is humane if one is not suffering, yet instead is happily enjoying their lives?

I’m sure it makes them feel all warm inside knowing that the dead chicken carcass on their plate was given the “good feed” and was given plenty of room to walk around. Or that the cow’s milk they are drinking came from one without antibiotics or other junk the big ag companies feed them. What they don’t want to hear about though is that cow’s milk belonged to its calf, not them. The same calf that was stolen from that cow at its moment of birth. I wonder if they ever heard a mother cry when their baby was taken away. Human, cow or whatever species of mother you put into the equation, they all cry for their babies when they are taken away.

Is it humane to put a mother through that type of misery?

99% of you reading this are already vegan, or are on your way. You probably already know all this. But for the 1% know this, there is nothing humane about meat. Death is death no matter how you define it, and no one want to die before it’s their time.

There is no such thing as humane meat, NO SUCH THING!

 

Tyson & Beyond Meat; A Match Made in Heaven or Hell?

A few days ago the news broke that Beyond Meat and Tyson Foods were in a collaboration of sorts. After dusting aside the inconsistent headlines and internet based subterfuge, it came down to the fact that Tyson food invested 5% in Beyond Meat. That’s not to say that controversy doesn’t remain though.

One of the concerns those in the vegan community have is that Tyson somehow will have a say in what Beyond Meat does. That is not correct. Ethan Browne, the founder of Beyond Meat, has vehemently said that Tyson does not have a say, nor will they have a seat at the table when it comes to making company decisions. “It is just an investment at this point,” Brown said. That’s a little bit of a relief, but questions regarding ethics continue.

ifyoucantbeatemjoinem-lgDoes this mean Beyond Meat is willing to take “blood money” in order to move forward. How is that ethical? Listen, I love Beyond Meat and we use it quite a bit in my household. Whether it’s using the ground for tacos or the chikn strip for stir-frys; we enjoy Beyond Meat. This investment has me scratching my head though and not understanding how they can take the money without some sort of promise of change from Tyson.

Was it greed? Could Beyond Meat be worrying more about the bottom line? I know for shit sure that Tyson is looking at this as a money-making opportunity. They could give a crap about ethics and morality as they’ve been caught time and time again treating animals cruelly. Recently they fired 10 employees that were caught in a Mercy For Animals undercover sting. That’s after being caught many times over the years for animal cruelty in their factory farms, or in farms that they partner with. Simply Google search “tyson animal cruelty” and you will be amazed at all the stuff that’s been reported about these guys.

Is it also possible that Tyson is seeing profits subside and that consumers are asking for less cruelty on their plates and more healthy options? Could there be the slightest bit of compassion arising from the depths of their blackened souls? I’m not holding my breath on that end, that’s for sure.

As far as Beyond Meat and their next move? I guess what we will have to do is wait and see. In his piece, “Why I Am Welcoming Tyson Foods As An Investor In Beyond Meat” Ethan Brown says this, “What can you expect from Beyond Meat going forward? More of the same relentless pursuit of meat. With Tyson’s investment, we are expanding the Manhattan Beach Project, our already formidable research and development program to understand animal meat better than anyone else so we can build it from plants. We will remain committed to non-GMO inputs and will continue to strive for understandable ingredients, always plant-based. Lastly, we won’t let a product that is “good enough” distract from what we know to be possible: building meat from plants.”

What are your thoughts on this? Are you still backing Beyond Meat?

Activism: What’s Your Place?

Today, there are many facets to the Vegan movement. At one point it didn’t seem like there were, and you generally had a collective of hippies that you assumed were the only “true” vegans because of their crunchy lifestyle and the air of lentil/ tofu that wafted off of them when they walked by. Today though it’s much more wide-ranging than that. With technology you don’t have to just stand in front of a business or law office to protest. Now you can do so with blogs, Facebook posts, online petitions, etc; the expression and volition in which tech is used are enormous. It’s not just on the internet, though, that vegans are stepping up and showing that this lifestyle is legit.

image borrowed from https://www.torrewashington.com/in-the-zoneYou’ve got athletes who are proving that you don’t need to eat the flesh of another living being to perform at your best. One of the biggest names in plant-based athleticism is Brendan Brazier who has done all sorts of endurance events and founded one of the most popular vegan supplement companies; VegaScott Jurek and Rich Roll are ultra-marathon runners that not only run really far, but they win races too. You’ve got bodybuilders such as Torre Washington who are demonstrating you don’t need animal protein to build a physique that rivals any carnivores. There are NFL players such as David Carter, aka the 300lb Vegan. MMA even has plant built fighters like former pro fighter, Mac Danzig. They are all pushing their bodies to extremes on a vegan diet solidifying the fact that we do not need to eat other sentient beings to push your body to its limits.

veganmillenYou’ve got your millennials who are grabbing a hold of the movement with vigor and pushing information into places it’s never reached before. With the explosion of the internet we are seeing all sorts of people posting about their vegan transitions on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and more. Statistically, the millennials have become the largest percentage of vegetarians/ vegans out of the last few generational period. It’s believed they could be the one’s to really help this movement gain some traction. Some of the biggest social media users, not expressly millennial, are the Vegan Bros who’s message if one that is much more palatable for younger generations.

You’ve got the activist who is loud and will protest with reckless abandon to prove that their argument is truth. These include people, and celebrities, such as Jane Velez-Mitchel who is hands down one of the most boisterous when it comes to ethical veganism. One of the most well know people in animal welfare circles has to be Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace (I didn’t link them for personal reasons) and the Sea Shepherd. You’ve also got well known animal rights advocates such as Will Potter who has taken more of a legal approach to his activism, but is still just adamant as others and pushes right to edge. Speaking of pushing to the edge, you’ve heard of Gary Yourofsky? Yeah, he’s one of the BIGGEST and absolutely LOUDEST advocate for animals and veganism. You may have seen him on this video below…

There is also the vegan that everyone despises; you know the holier than thou one who has that certain air of superiority in their voice that turns you off and makes you never ever think of going vegan in your whole life? They hold those words to annunciation and make you feel even shittier than you do? There’s so much condescension in their voice you are nearly driven to violence, not compassion. Ya, I knew a bunch of these jackasses way back and it’s partly what turned me off from this movement. Now if I meet one of those assholes I just ignore them, there’s not many of them left. I could name a few names but them I’m being just as big of a douchebag, so we will let you judge for yourself.

I know I’ve missed a bunch of people and ways in which activism can be represented. But I couldn’t forget one of my new favorite podcasts which is hosted by my SHVP teammate, Scott Spitz. His new podcast, The Rational Vegan, approaches activism in a, you got it, rational manner. I wrote and re-wrote a description of the podcast, but cannot sum it up any better than Scott, so here’s a snippet from the site explain the Rational Vegan.

12642635_1211424802218244_7259536695111202538_n“If we wish to promote a more ethical and compassionate way of living to the rest of the world, then it is in our own best interests to ensure that the vegan message is one that can be supported with both appeals to emotion and intellect. We need to hold ourselves to a both a high intellectual and ethical standard. If we do not, someone else will, which will in turn give the impression that veganism is either irrational, or is rife with inconsistencies. It is up to us to counter and challenge the widespread misinformation about what veganism actually is, and what it means to live vegan. – The Rational Vegan”

My point in all of this is, vegan activism takes many forms. We all have a voice.

For instance, I’m not a sign holder. I’m not a rabble-rouser. You won’t see me out there asking for signatures for a petition. You won’t see me busting down doors to labs or anything like that. I’m more like a vegan ninja.

My friends, family and co-workers all know about my veganism. I try not to bring it up, I just let it sit there. It’s when they ask a question that the box gets open. I try my best to choose my words and explain why the lifestyle benefits me physically, morally and ethically. All the while, not putting them down for their lifestyles. That approach won’t get anyone anywhere. They know about my blog and I get private messages from folks all the time asking questions. I am happy to open up and explain.

IMG_0222Because of joining Strong Hearts Vegan Power, it’s like wearing a big VEGAN sign on the front of our jerseys. Oh, well, that’s because we do wear those. But again, the shirt design are not condescending are printed with “We’ve vegans and we’re better than you!” That shit is frowned upon and again, would just turn people off. I’m proud to wear the shirt and be there if anyone needs me to be.

Of course, you are here on my blog and it’s another extension of the activism I am comfortable with. I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. I use them all and repost meme’s, links and articles that I find interesting enough to pass along.

So, I’m curious: What is your type of activism? What are you doing to help promote veganism?

It’s the most wonderful time, of the year… Ragnar week is coming!

No, it’s not Christmas in May. It is time for the Ragnar Relay to invade Cape Cod again though, and to me, that’s nearly as good as Christmas. Last year was my first and it was so much fun. Running 3 times in 24 hours was just a side effect, the awesomeness of Ragnar is spent traversing the 192 mile course with a team of 12 broken down into two vans of six.

Last year was so much fun. I knew all the guys I was sharing the van with as we had been racing obstacle courses for a while as part of the New England Spahten team. Most of the guys on the team I had known since the team began in 2012, so we had quite a bit to talk about. The camaraderie was as solid as it gets, and at the end of the race we were like brothers.

This year is different though and while I am excited, I am super nervous. Minus social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, I really do not know any of the people I am running with. I’ve been talking to some of them since the last Ragnar though, that’s how I knew about them. Ironically, one of the teammates I will be in a van with is friends with a family that I consider part of my own family. That sounds more confusing than it is… Point is, it could be awkward; or you would think it would be.

Thing is, I don’t think it’s going to be at all. You see, we have more than racing in common; we share moral and ethical values. A couple of years ago I went vegan for my health, but like any choice or life change, once you head down a path your eyes open to much more. We adapt and evolve with each change we make. I went what I thought was “plant-based” but that lifestyle morphed into veganism. And while they may seem so much the same, they are not as close as you might think.

This year at Ragnar is going to be much different from last because of veganism. You see, the team is very outspoken and while they wear their emotions and consciousness on their proverbial sleeve, they also wear it on their chest. If you are around Cape Cod next week you will see us, dressed in mostly black with bold white lettering on our gear that proudly says, “Strong Hearts Vegan Power,” we will most certainly be one of the most noticeable teams.

Last year the team was heckled here and there with the usual “BACON” cat calls, but for the most part people seemed interested in hearing the message. The folks at SHVP are not the preachy vegan types, they are willing to take the time to explain factual information, not just regurgitated one liners from documentaries. When I approached them they were nothing but welcoming.

So, maybe I’m not as nervous as I thought. I do know these people, they are me.

Bring it on Ragnar, SHVP is coming!

ps. Check out this video from last years Ragnar and SHVP.