When we talk about grooming and being well-groomed, it’s actually a wide spectrum.
However, grooming goes beyond just its name and includes style to fitness to eating. It’s all about your presentation. Are you a well-groomed man in all aspects of life?
We specialize in tools that groom those public touch points: fingernails, nose hair, eyebrows, etc. But that’s not where men’s grooming begins and ends. It’s about being a well put together man. A well-balanced person. What does that mean to you?
When I look at myself and try to become a better, well-groomed me, I think about health. Not just how I appear but how I appear on the inside in terms of my own well-being. Is there any way I can improve that as time goes on?
A Scare and a Choice
To answer that question, I chose becoming vegan and understanding the benefits of that choice after having a cancer scare several months ago. (Note: I’m not saying this is the answer for everyone, but going vegan is the choice I recently made and want to share why and how with you. Double note: Luckily my cancer scare was just that but I will now be going for regular checkups and screenings.)
It’s important to mention that I’m a true carnivore. I have a love of meat like crazy.
I love steak.
I love hamburgers.
I love bacon.
I love bacon on hamburgers.
I love bacon on scallops.
I love bacon on asparagus.
I’ve received bacon candy as gifts.
This is not something I did on a whim. One of the ideas Is to help heart health by cutting out animal fats.
Anyway, when I consulted with my general practitioner and urologist about going vegan they both nodded in approval.
Making the Leap
Becoming vegan is not something that’s automatic. I immediately thought about the food I can’t eat anymore. In the same instance I also thought: what the hell am I going to eat? What recipes am I going to make? Where can I go out to eat? There’s a lot of initial struggle.
Now, from what I can tell, there’s another thing to consider that wasn’t immediately apparent: will you be a ‘good’ vegan or a ‘healthy’ vegan?
A healthy vegan cuts out all added sugars in addition to meat and dairy. A ‘good’ vegan might do it for animal rights to cut out all animal products but might still consume added sugars and things like that. I should note you can be both a ‘good’ and ‘healthy’ vegan.
I’ve committed to being a healthy vegan and cut out added sugar completely. I don’t eat cookies, don’t put sugar in my coffee, avoid GMOs if I can help it, etc. I didn’t choose to be vegan for animal rights. I did it for my own long-term health.
Now, I say vegan because it’s easier to explain to people but I do have exceptions. I do need certain heart healthy proteins so I eat boneless and skinless sardines (their proteins provide tremendous fatty acids).
Think you have to spend a lot more time in the kitchen? Guess again. There are actually a lot of things to eat out there. Look over websites that have vegan recipes and articles on the best ways to go vegan. It takes a little bit of research on the front end, and most people can’t spend that kind of time, but it’s worth the extra effort early on.
Being Vegan and Eating with Friends and Family
You have to go in to veganism with a reason. You have to remember how it affects other people because it really does impact everyone around you. I wasn’t expecting that.
I recently went out to a birthday dinner with my wife and mother. I was thrilled with my vegan lasagna (with cashew cheese and sliced veggies!) but everyone else had a boring time and didn’t enjoy themselves. It sucked not only for them but for me, too. Once in a while if I have to cheat w/ a little grated cheese because of the restaurant, bar, or dinner party, I’ll just deal with it. I’ve learned that I can’t be too upset by this because there’s a need to embrace those social moments. After all, that’s why I’m doing this to begin with. To have those social moments to keep having those social moments and to have healthy social moments.
Bear in mind, you have to figure out what to make (and what you can make) on a daily basis. You can’t have hummus for every meal (although I do have a hummus recipe that is the best vegan hummus recipe you’ll ever have).
I’m not a preacher on becoming vegan, but it’s one option doctors seem to approve of. Better bloodwork. Lower cholesterol. Lower blood pressure. Belly fat. It affects all of these things.
This lifestyle change may be invisible to other people but the confidence won’t be invisible. Feeling healthier and feeling better are confidence builders that people will see. They’ll know you’re healthier. I know no one wants to hear someone preach to them about becoming vegan but I just wanted to share my story with you.
The thing I was amazed with most is how easy I was able to stop eating meat. I haven’t had this massive desire for bacon. Or steak. They still smell good and look good but I’m not dying to have them. There are some great recipes out there. I’ve fooled my entire Italian family with my completely vegan spaghetti Bolognese.
Whether you become vegan or not you should at least give it a shot to move to a healthier diet. If you decide you don’t like it, simply stop and eat what you normally do. At least you can say you tried (and you might be a little healthier for it).