My Mom Just Became the Youngest Looking 60 Year-Old Woman I Know

Today is my mother’s 60th birthday. That really sounds weird to say, because it’s so hard to believe when you see her.

I have an image in my head of what someone is supposed to look like when they are 60, and my mom does not match that image. More than once in my 30s, people have genuinely assumed she is my sister instead.

But in addition to definitely not looking anywhere close to 60 years old, something I really respect about my mom’s perspective on life is this:

She has never once been ashamed of, or afraid of, her age. Whether it was back when she turned 40, and then 50, and now 60, she is simply proud of that somewhat arbitrary number.

A couple of months ago, I actually interviewed my mom on the YouTube channel for Family Friendly Daddy Blog. Feel free to check out the video below, where you can hear her say it herself, that she fully embraces whatever age she is:

I feel that because of how my mom has always viewed her age at the time, I have modeled my own perspective of aging in the same way:

To be vocal about it in everyday conversations is to your remind yourself of how many years you’ve been blessed with life on this planet with the people you love.

It’s very obvious, especially after you watch that video, that it’s against my mom’s identity to focus on the negative aspects of getting older.

Or to use that cliche about it being her 29th birthday instead of her real age.

No, not my mom. She is proud to be 60 years old.

She’s proof that it’s a choice.

You can choose to celebrate each new year of your own life.

Granted, I can’t deny it’s easy for a 60 year-old woman to be proud of her age when she looks so amazing for her age… but still, I know my mom would still feel the same way:

Don’t be ashamed of your age. Be grateful for all the years you’ve lived so far.

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Dear Jack: You Took Care of Your Sister While I Was Sick This Week

7 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

I don’t get sick… especially ever since I became a vegan over 5 years ago, when even most of my allergy and sinus problems went away. However, this week has been the exception to the rule.

Exactly a week ago, right as the dogwood trees turned from white to pink, it was like I was overtaken by the flu. (I can’t be sure what it’s like to have the flu, since I’ve never had the flu before; nor have I ever had a flu shot.)

My body began aching all over. My throat swelled up. My appetite went away.

And when Mommy checked my temperature, it was 103!

Last Friday, especially, was just a blur to me. I remember Mommy had to stay home because I pretty much just stayed in bed all day and slept. I really couldn’t do anything else anyway; I couldn’t even stand up straight or walk, without falling over.

For the past week, I have been living off of allergy pills and smoothies. Each day, I have felt a little better. Finally, today, I feel mostly back to normal.

Yeah, apparently it was just a really bad reaction to the pollen. I wasn’t actually sick; in terms of needing to go to a doctor. I didn’t have the flu. At least I don’t think so.

I can easily imagine how much worse things would have been for me if I was still eating dairy. I would have ended up with a sinus infection. Instead, my sinuses were completely clear. I am a vegan out of necessity- and it’s times like these I am violently reminded of that.

During all of this, you have been a major help to me. You could see I wasn’t myself.

So you took it upon yourself to help your sister. You filled in for me.

You helped get her snacks. You helped entertain her by getting her craft supplies. You even helped her rest after she got tired of playing.

It’s been a rough week, but you made it a little better for me. Thank you!

Love,

Daddy

My 2018 MLB Spring Training Grapefruit League Toyota Grand Slam Road Trip: From Orlando to Fort Myers in the 2018 Toyota Camry (Part 2 of 3)

After waking up at Loews Portofino Bay at Universal Studios, I began the 2nd day of my road trip across Florida by rushing downstairs to call dibs on the Toyota I would be driving that day.

It was the 2018 Toyota Camry that had drawn my attention. Not only is it a sporty (and fast) looking car, but I’m a sucker for red interior. As I began loading up my gear, I realized I wouldn’t even need to find and choose a driving partner for the day, as I noticed someone else’s gear was already loaded up.

Of the 8 of us automotive writers there for the event and 5 vehicles to choose from, my driving partner and I found each other simply by the process of choosing the car first.

Ray Logan, of 50Bold.com, had also chosen the Camry, and therefore, he had chosen me as well. It was no surprise that Ray and I hit it off quite easily.

Our mission was to take the Camry from Orlando to Fort Myers, where we would be watching the Orioles play the Twins at Hammond Stadium.

The midpoint stop on our journey was a vegan shop in Sarasota called CROP (which now that I am looking closely at their sign, stand for “coldpressed, raw, organic, produce”).

Of all days to be introduced to this wondrous place, it just happened to be my 5th anniversary of being a vegan. So as you can imagine, the owner was truly able to celebrate with me.

I explained to him how I have been free of dyshidrotic eczema, constant sinus pressure, and pet allergies for the past 5 years in which I have not consumed any meat, eggs, or dairy. While he was obviously happy to hear this, he wasn’t surprised, as he also personally believes in the power of plants alone.

It was such a thrill for me to be able to stock up on all kinds of manly vegan goodies for the 2nd half of the road trip. I enjoyed a HeartBeet Burger, a peanut butter and banana smoothie, chia coconut pudding, and some delectable vegan chocolates.

Yeah, I may have went overboard, and but hey… what a fun way to celebrate 5 years being healed of eczema (thanks to my vegan lifestyle) than to stock up at Crop!

By the time Ray and I made it to the game, food was no longer on my mind. But having gotten a little too much sun from the game the day before, we decided to hang up in the shade up at the top of the stadium; enjoying the game from a nearly aerial view.

After a good time at the game, we made our way to The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village. I loved how right there at the balcony near my bed, I had a nice view of yachts on the water. It made me think of the 1983 Jimmy Buffett song, “One Particular Harbor”.

I admit though, I felt kind of guilty not being able to share this amazing hotel experience while my wife was back home with the kids. Either way, I slept like a rock.

And I would need every minute of that solid sleep for the adventure ahead the next day in the Toyota C-HR, with a new driving partner.

This was an action packed road trip, for sure.

Work hard while playing hard. That was my theme.

To read all 3 parts of My 2018 MLB Spring Training Grapefruit League Toyota Florida Road Trip series, just click on the link below for the ones you haven’t read yet:

An Awesome Dad Vacation (Part 1 of 3)
From Orlando to Fort Myers in the 2018 Toyota Camry (Part 2 of 3)
From Cape Coral to Manalapan in the 2018 Toyota Camry (Part 3 of 3)

Stay-at-Home Dad 101: I Lost 11 Pounds in the Past 2 Months, From Overweight to Optimal (A Testimonial about Vegan Weight Loss)

Exactly two months ago on January 8th, 2018, I was very vocal and public about the fact I had become overweight, as a vegan. I was getting too much protein, and fat, and sugar.

I wanted to make sure it was common knowledge, and beyond anyone’s doubt, that with a BMI of 26. At 5’9″, I was officially 6 pounds overweight, at 176 pounds.

So I decided to cut out empty calories, and even extra protein, like the chia seeds in my morning smoothie and the mixed nuts in my oatmeal. I started eating whole apples and oranges. I switched back to just balsamic vinegar instead of oil-based salad dressing. I began drinking tea at night, lest I be tempted by anything more alluring.

A month later, which was a month ago in February, I had lost 7.5 pounds (at that point 168.5 pounds) and lowered my BMI to 24.5; which meant I was no longer overweight.

So what progress have I made since then? I lost another 3.5 pounds (now 165 pounds); which means my BMI is now 24, and I’ve lost a total of 11 pounds!

Here’s something that some fitness freaks won’t like hearing:

I haven’t been working out at a gym.

The weight I have lost has been exclusively because of the empty calories, and well as the extra calories, I’ve been cutting out of my diet.

I still haven’t reached my goal, though. For me, it’s about comfortably fitting into every pair of size 31 pants I own; as I was able to a few years ago.

That means I’m aiming to get down to 156 pounds; which would be a total of 20 pounds lost since January 8th of this year. That’s another 9 pounds to go.

And then once I reach my goal, it’s a matter of maintaining that weight.

I feel, though, since my formula is clearly working, I should be able to maintain the weight loss as long as I remain faithful.

This is my personal story about vegan weight loss.

How to Prevent Male Pattern Baldness? 5 Reasons I Appear to Still Have This Much Hair at Age 36

I assume an explanation is in order, for those of you who know me as Nick Shell, the daddy blogger. It’s just that in another corner of the Internet, I am known as Nick Shell, the hair loss guy. I have quietly gathered over 3200 subscribers on one of my YouTube channels dedicated to this topic; that’s nearly 3 times people who like Family Friendly Daddy Blog’s page on Facebook.

Therefore, it’s clear that I hold value as a spokesman to younger men who are concerned with the first signs of hair loss. Of course, when people hear about my alter-ego as “The Hair Loss Guy”, their response is, “Wait, you? You still have a full head of hair, don’t you?”

Exactly. Well, like many 36 year-old men who are mainly of European descent who still have most of their hair, I also have some slight, yet largely unnoticeable receding and thinning.

I couldn’t have planned it this way, but around the time I started noticing these signs getting worse, I coincidently made some changes in my life, that arguably, have made some progress in slowing down, stopping, or possibly even reversing hair loss.

Because I’ve had people constantly asking me about this on my YouTube channel, I figured it would be a good idea to write a blog post on it too, as I am now noticing that the few times I have written about hair loss, those posts have ended up becoming some of the most consistently popular articles here on this blog.

So what are the 5 main reasons I believe I still have this much hair, when I assumed during my teen years and my 20s that I would be bald by age 35?

I technically have a decent amount of Asian DNA.

One of my theories on hair loss is that Asian men in general are less likely to go bald, but they’re also less likely to grow a good beard. (Meanwhile, in general, most men of European descent are more likely to grow thick body hair but are more likely to go bald young.)

Because of my Mexican grandmother, the MyHeritage DNA test I took shows that I am 21.6% Central American. That would indicate my ancestors who were likely Mayan, Incan, Aztec, etc. In other words, they were Native American, in modern day Mexico.

To me, it’s common knowledge that Native Americans descended from Asian, thousands of years ago, when they crossed the Bering Strait. My mom’s 3 brothers, all who are “half-Mexican”, still have all their hair, despite being in their late 50s and early 60s.

Therefore, I believe that having nearly a quarter of ancient Asian DNA has helped slow down my hair loss, compared to had I been born with only European DNA.

In case you’re curious in finding out your own ethnic background, like I did, here’s a link to the same test I took: MyHeritage DNA test. 

I apply a mixture of Rosemary and Argan Oil on my hair each night.

After learning about a report that apparently showed how men who regularly applied Rosemary oil on their scalp had similar results to men who used Minoxidil instead, I decided to prove the report to be either right or wrong.

Since Christmas Day 2016, I have been faithfully applying a certain mixture of essential oils on my scalp before I go to bed each night. The general consensus among most of my YouTube subscribers is that the oil is working, especially in comparison to videos I did before I began applying it. Here’s an example:

I only use all natural shampoo, which also contains the same oils that I apply each night.

While I’m not faithful to a certain brand, I faithfully only use shampoo that specifically does not contain all those weird chemicals found in mainstream brands. By default, the shampoo I use contains the same mix of essential oils that I apply each night.

And in case you’re interested in trying out some shampoo that contains some of the oils I use everyday, here’s a link to Amazon.

I am a vegan.

Let’s face it: I’m probably one of the few, if not only, male vegans you’ve ever heard of. With now 6% of the American population being vegan, still only the minority of vegans are men. But what gives my vegan lifestyle more value when it comes to potentially preventing hair loss is the fact I’ve been a vegan so long: March 6, 2018 makes 5 entire years.

I don’t consume hormones like estrogen and testosterone from other animals since I don’t eat any animal products. Testosterone is linked to DHT. Some men are more sensitive to DHT, which is linked to hair loss. Therefore, since I am consuming zero testosterone, only producing my own, it is possible that my vegan lifestyle helps prevent further hair loss.

I have the right hairstyle.

There are definitely hairstyles which help downplay a receding hairline, without completely hiding it. I typically keep my hair short on the sides and back, and around 2.5 inches on top. I don’t comb my hair back, nor do I comb it forward.

I can’t say for certain that any of these 5 things truly prevent hair loss. However, I can’t say for certain they don’t. To me, it’s all just an experiment- and I am no professional, for sure.

The irony in all this is that I truly don’t care if I actually go bald. I am a person with a healthy self-esteem and a great understanding of my identity. I do not require hair to be happy, confident, or successful.

However, I do recognize that thousands of younger men rely on me to help them find ways to deal with their hair loss. So that is the reason I continue to be spokesman for hair loss when I myself still have most of my hair.

I hope you found this article to be helpful. To get a daily dose of my hair loss help, I officially invite you to check out my hair loss channel of YouTube:

How I Cured Dyshidrotic Eczema in 5 Steps and Have Remained Symptom-Free for 5 Years (But No One Cares Since I’m Not a Medical Expert)

If you Google “dyshidrotic eczema” right now, you’ll learn “this condition can’t be cured”, and “it can last for years or be lifelong”, and “the cause is unknown”. Hmm. Well, let it be known that I, Nick Shell, cured this skin disease 5 years ago, and have remained free of all symptoms for 5 years now. And I even know the cause of the disease. This is my person discovery. This is what I taught myself:

Dyshidrotic eczema is caused when certain people (often with Type A blood, like myself) whose bodies can’t process added sugar (from processed foods) or heavy metals (from bottom feeder animals like pork and shellfish), have no way to naturally detox themselves quickly enough. Therefore, the toxins attempt to release themselves through the skin; often in the palms of a person’s hand. To be cured, the person must change their diet in a way that draws out the toxins and helps their body sweat at a higher rate.

Time to celebrate my cure? No, because no one cares about my discovery. Here’s why:

I am not a medical expert and my cure does not involve using doctor-prescribed Big Pharma medications. Therefore, my cure will never be taken seriously by the rest of the world.

Most people will never learn about it. I will die years from now, having discovered the cure for a disease that more 200,000 Americans suffer from every year, and yet I will not be known for proving the cure.

But I’m okay with that. Because what really matters is that I can help people anyway. I am about to share the 5 secret steps to curing dyshidrotic eczema.

This system is the result of me being in a place of extreme desperation, praying to God, “I will do anything to be cured of this. Just let me know what to do. If you need to use me as your unlikely spokesman, I’ll do it. I will tell anyone who will listen.”

He answered my prayer, not by instantly healing me like the way he did the blind man, but by guiding me through trial and error.

Each sequential step helped improve my condition more, but it wasn’t until the final step that I realized my dyshidrotic eczema was completely gone and has not resurfaced in 5 years.

Perhaps it is possible for some to only have to do the first couple of steps to be cured. But in my case, I had to do all 5, starting in this order:

Cut out all processed sugar and replace it with whole fruits.

I was addicted to sugar. I realized though, I wasn’t eating fruit. Once I started putting entire bananas in my oatmeal, and in my smoothies, and cutting up apples and oranges for snacks, I learned that I wasn’t crazing sugar anymore. Plus, the natural unprocessed sugar from the fruit wasn’t making my condition worse, as I was now adding more fiber to my diet because of the fruit.

Start eating dark green vegetables every day.

I started eating a big salad every night with dinner. But I don’t mean iceberg lettuce and some carrot shavings. I mean a mixture of dark green roughage, including spinach. I learned this was helping to detox my body, especially as it also adding more fiber to my diet.

Begin Heavy Metal Detox treatment.

At Whole Foods, I found a small bottle called “Heavy Metal Detox”. It basically just consisted of a concentrated form of chlorella and cilantro. It cost around $25 and lasted about a month. I used it for somewhere between 6 to 9 months. It helps draw out the toxins from the body.

Here is a link to Amazon, so you can find the best deal on Heavy Metal Detox.

Visit a sauna 2 to 3 times for a week.

My wife found a local place where I could go and intensely sweat for about 30 minutes, at least twice per week. I did this for about 3 months, alongside the Heavy Metal Detox treatment. I ran outside a lot that summer in the sun, but that didn’t compare to how much the sauna helped.

Cut out certain types of meat, and maybe even all animal products, from your diet. (And stop wearing jewelry that contains nickel.)

I realized that my eczema had kicked into high gear once my wife and I got back from our honeymoon in New England, where all I ate for an entire week was scallops and shrimp. That also marked for the first time I had worn metal jewelry: my Tungsten wedding ring, which contained nickel. I then taught myself, using Google, that “bottom feeder” fish contain more nickel; as does Tungsten.

It was clear: the combination of wearing jewelry containing nickel and eating an abundance of shellfish containing nickel, had propelled my eczema into its worst version I had ever experienced.

That’s when I thought back to how in the Old Testament, how the Jewish people weren’t supposed to eat “unclean” food; like pork or shellfish. (The same goes for Muslims and Seventh Day Adventists.)

So I stopped eating pork and shellfish altogether. That drastically improved my condition.

After a couple years, I sort of accidentally, by default, become a vegetarian; since at that point I was already eating so much fruit and vegetables, and had learned to live without pork and shellfish.

Then about a year later (which was almost exactly 5 years ago now), I randomly decided to go an entire weekend without eating any eggs, milk, cheese, or yogurt. During that 48 hour span, all my sinus pressure cleared up, my sinuses drained this weird red plasma stuff, and I wasn’t allergic to animals anymore.

Obviously, I have remained a vegan ever since. And all these health issues, including dyshidrotic eczema, as well as constant sinus pressure, Sinusitis, and pet allergies, having remained gone since.

Five years.

So today, my goal is to provide hope for all the other people in the world right now, suffering from dyshidrotic eczema.

You come to a point in your daily agony that you finally give up on those lotions and creams from the doctor, which only temporarily help the condition.

You come to the point where you’re finally desperate enough to try anything.

Fortunately, my 5 step cure could be a lot worse.

I am Nick Shell. I discovered the cure for dyshidrotic eczema 5 years ago and have remained symptom free ever since; as I also cured my sinus issues and pet allergies.

But remember, I will never be famous for this. I will never even be invited on a talk show, to share my cure with the world. The medical community will never acknowledge me, as my cure does not involve a prescription drug created by Big Pharma.

I am just a crazy guy on the Internet, who served as my own human Guinea pig until I was cured. No one cares.

No one cares except for those who will read this and realize my cure is true.

Stay-at-Home Dad 101: I’m No Longer an Overweight Vegan- I Lost 7.5 Pounds in the Past 30 Days, BMI is Now 24.5

Exactly a month ago, I revealed to the free world that I had officially become an overweight vegan. At 5’9” and 176 pounds, I had a BMI of 26; which put me about 6 pounds past the “normal” or “optimal” BMI range.

Yes, this concept might explode in the face of some out-of-touch people who still assume vegans don’t get enough protein. By the way, I’ve noticed a pattern in which the same people who are the most vocal about the misconception that vegans don’t get enough protein, tend to be overweight men with onset diabetes or who are pre-diabetic. Perhaps that in itself is more ironic that the fact that a vegan can be overweight…

But as the video above proves, I have undeniably lost 7.5 pounds in the past 30 days. I went from 176 pounds to 168.5. I went from a BMI of 26 (overweight) to now a BMI of 24.5 (normal).

How did I do this? Starve myself? Go around hungry? Pay a lot of money to join a program to keep me accountable? Join a gym and slave away to intense cardio 2 hours a day?

Nah, that’s not my style. Instead, here are the changes I have made since a month ago:

I started eating 2 apples or 2 oranges every day; which provides natural sugar and fiber.

I stopped eating vegan ice cream and vegan candy bars at night after the kids are asleep.

Other than one Cliff bar each day as my only “treat”, I stopped eating any snacks that are processed; including whole grain waffles with vegan butter and maple syrup.

I also started drinking unsweetened “slumber” tea before I go to bed each night; to help keep my mind off of consuming any last minute empty calories.

For my salad each night with dinner, I only use balsamic vinegar; no longer any oil-based vegan dressings.

That’s it.

As far as exercise, there was one day the weather was decent enough that I went on a 2 mile run.

Obviously, this new regimen is working for me, so I will continue making this my new norm. My goal is to get down to the mid-150s for my weight; which at this point, is only 13 pounds away.

So a month from now, I will return with the newest update on my journey from overweight vegan to ideal-weight vegan.

In case you missed it, here’s the video from 30 days ago when I proved I was an overweight vegan. I want there to be no doubt in anyone’s mind I was indeed overweight just one month ago.