Don't Over Think It. Just Begin. -Rich Roll
Hello Love the Green Life, I am Jared, Jess’s husband. Jess has asked me to share some of my experiences and products that I enjoy with you all as a part of her series. You will get a little different perspective and learn about products that are geared more for men’s care as well as products that we have discovered along this plant based journey and now enjoy.
Before I get into the products I thought I would share a little bit about my background and my journey to living a more green, sustainable, plant based lifestyle. Believe me when I say journey, it was a journey that started with me as a young man eating meat at just about every meal, sometimes breakfast, especially lunch and dinner. I grew up with the mentality that if meat wasn’t included in the meal then it wasn’t complete. I also grew up using products by popularity and branding rather than ingredients, sustainability and effectiveness. The key to my success was my wife engaging me to look into more healthier alternatives and research. Watching documentaries and reading articles helped me along the path to not only changing my brands and habits but also my mindset.
Let’s start with some body care products that we have discovered and why I made the change. Please understand I am not an expert by any means and I am simply sharing my own experiences and knowledge. Please do the proper research and find the products that best work for you. For me hair care is a big one. It wasn’t until I found that my youthful thick head of hair was starting to thin and I was showing signs of baldness that I really started to research hair care products. In this journey I discovered a startling fact. Most hair care products contain chemicals that actually rapidly age and thin hair rather than help it. Chemicals like sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), diethanolamine (DEA) and other preservatives are used as solidifying agents or extend shelf life but can severely damage hair and lead to thinning and baldness in both men and women. Because I had such thick hair I used a lot of styling gel and other products and really ended up damaging my hair which caused severe thinning. Once I started researching, I realized just how many popular products actually used these chemicals. I now have found hair products that are free of these ingredients and actually promote healthy sustainable ingredients. I recently found products that are actually helping me grow my hair back!
The hair pomade styling cream I currently use is made by a company called Every Man Jack. I use a few of their products and I recommend this company as a great place to start due to their complete men’s product line. I use their razors which are free of the chemical gel shaving strips as well as their beard oils and face wash. This company’s products can now be found at Target, Whole Foods, their website, www.everymanjack.com, and possibly at local health stores in your area. I have really found that using natural and clean hair care products really seemed to slow down the thinning and balding of my hair.
Hey, slowing down hair loss is great, but you may be asking what if you want to regrow or thicken up your hair? Thanks to my wonderful wife, Jess, I am finding success in that struggle as well. I recently started using a scalp treatment serum and shampoo from Neora, a company headquartered in Dallas, Texas that uses a holistic approach to body care and wellness. After only about two weeks of daily product use I am starting to see tiny hairs growing again on my scalp. My once thin and patchy head of hair is starting to fill in again.
Hair care is not the only body care products I have switched. I have switched to healthier and clean deodorant, cologne and body wash as well. My deodorant choice was a bit of a transition to say the least. I was getting so frustrated with top name brand deodorants because they left me with a few problems. First I used the solid white deodorant stick which would often get clumped in my armpit hair or dry and flake. So I later switched to a gel stick which was better as it didn’t clump or flake, but would leave dark stains under the arms especially when I would sweat. Both the white solid and the gel stains over time bleached my clothes which would not come out leaving the shirt destroyed or awkward to wear. Imagine if these deodorants are doing that to your clothes what is it doing to your body as it is absorbing into your skin? Also not to mention all the toxic chemicals, like Aluminum and other Parabens that have both negative effects on your body as well as your brain. High concentrations of Aluminum have been linked to Alzheimer's Disease. I made the switch to deodorant rub by Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve company. They also make it in a solid stick, but I prefer the salve version. It’s holistic, long lasting and the Citrus Orange smells amazing and keeps me dry.
I use a few other body care products from the Chagrin Soap and Salve company besides deodorant. I use their after shaving balm and pre-shaving soap also. These two products really fend off the red irritated skin that can occur when shaving your face and body. They also keep your skin soft and smooth and allow a nice close shave. You can check out their many products at their website: https://www.chagrinvalleysoapandsalve.com/ and find the products that work best for you.
The last two body care products I would like to mention are my body wash and solid cologne, which actually came about in a funny way. My wife Jess stumbled across a Facebook ad for, at the time a little known company, called Ballwash. She thought it would be a fun sort of gag gift to get me their starter kit which included body wash and a solid cologne called Nutrub. As she researched this company she was pleasantly surprised to find out how holistic their ingredients were and sustainable their company was. I really love their body wash and surprisingly the cologne was wonderful too. I immediately noticed that the solid cologne was a vast improvement from my name brand traditional spray cologne. First, because this is a product you rub on, not spray, you can apply it to the very spot you want to. Second, it wasn’t full of harmful chemicals that absorbed into my clothes and more importantly my skin and lungs. Finally the scent lasted a lot longer than traditional spray cologne and I would say went better with my overall body chemistry. My wife really seemed to like it and noticed it immediately.
Onto the body or “Ballwash" which is an activated charcoal based wash that smells great and leaves my skin feeling fresh and rejuvenated. It lathers well and it doesn’t take a lot per use so it lasts a long time. Once again made from holistic natural ingredients and overall an amazing product. I recommend you check these products and more at https://ballwash.com/
I just want to highlight some things that I really enjoy as a green life liver and advocate of plant-based living. First is my love and passion for organic coffee. I started really drinking coffee as an employee of a major coffee retail chain and was sort of hooked (ha ha bad joke because caffeine is very addictive). However, since my time there I have realized that there are better coffee’s out there and many of them are not big chain coffee retailers, but rather local coffee shops and roasteries. In my area we have a small coffee roastery called Bent Tree and they are truly amazing. But I also enjoy other organic coffee that can be found at groceries stores like Whole foods and Target. I notice a distinct difference in the flavor from organic coffees and I prefer buying whole bean coffee and grinding it as I use it to keep it as fresh as I can.
I really enjoy Beyond Burgers, because like I said earlier before becoming a vegan I ate meat with every meal and these burgers as well as other products really taste and have the texture of the meat version they are trying to copy. That is also why my wife does not like them as much because she never really liked meat products to begin with. She prefers a black bean burger instead. However no matter what your preference one thing I truly learned is that the flavor and taste of meat was not necessarily the meat itself but the seasonings and breading that surrounded it. I started cutting out meat products in stages, first with beef, then pork and finally chicken. I was never a seafood eater so that was not an issue for me. With every step I took closer to being completely vegan I realized that I could enjoy the same great taste of food without the meat because you can take meat substitutes and veggies and season it, air fry it and cook it up and have the same satisfying flavor and taste. A prime example of this is Louisville Vegan Jerky which tastes great and has the same consistency of meat jerky. They have different flavors but my personal favorite is the black pepper.
I also found organic clothing super comfortable and amazing. I started out with simple things like organic underwear to protect myself from dyes and chemicals and loved the comfort and style so much I bought socks, white tees, hoodies and sweatpants. They are incredibly comfortable and made to last. My wife has also found me some great products that I didn’t even know existed, like an amazingly stylish wood watch from Treehut and a vegan wallet that she found in Amazon. It has held up and lasted way longer than any other leather wallet I have ever owned.
My change to living a more green, plant-based, holistic lifestyle didn’t happen overnight or dramatically. It took time to discover products, gain knowledge and compassion for this earth and the creatures we share it with. It was a journey and I am still on it and still discovering new products and ways to live green. Thank you for reading and I hope this helps you or a loved one discover new ways to live better healthier lives.