Every Wednesday is Noodles & Company: How I Accidentally Founded the “Lunch Bunch” Tradition at My Office

This week marked the third month of my return to the corporate world. After an unexpected gig as a stay-at-home dad for 6 months, my mind is now consumed for 8 hours a day by a constantly shifting workload of HR, marketing, and admin; as my English degree somewhat randomly translated into a lifelong career as a professional recruiter; in addition to running this blog, managing two YouTube channels, and handling SEO for companies on the side.

Never in my life has anything I’ve ever done required such a high percentage of brain functioning as my new current job at a Fortune 500 company; as I hide away all day in a fancy 6 story building outside of Nashville. It’s not stressful, but it’s undeniably challenging.

For most of my 11 years as a recruiter at my previous employer, I was known for just bringing my lunch everyday. And I definitely never went out to lunch with any of my co-workers.

But about a month ago at my new job, I decided to reward myself for surviving the first two months of training. I walked half a mile around the corner to the Noodles and Company; knowing without a doubt they would quickly and easily be able to accommodate my needs as a manly vegan.

The meal was everything wondrous I imagined it would be.

So after I walked the half a mile back to my office, I casually mentioned to Lori, who works in the cubicle next to me, what I did on my lunch break.

She immediately responded, “When are you going again? Let me know- I want to go next time!”

For the next two Wednesdays, she and I both went. Then word spread. Today made the 4th week of our tradition, and now were up to about a half a dozen people.

We’re all Noodles Rewards members; meaning we earn special discounts and freebies each time we stop there for lunch.

It feels good to be a part of the group- and to know we’re going somewhere I actually want to be each week and that I never get tired of.

My favorites are the Spicy Korean noodles with tofu and the Thai Green Curry.

Noodles & Company is naturally an extension of my identity. Not only do they openly cater to vegans like myself, but they also have so many menu options for everyone else in my lunch bunch; including one co-worker who orders theirs gluten-free; which is very easy to do with there not only being rice noodles but also Zoodles, made from zucchini.

I also appreciate that I can get meals that come so spicy they fog up my glasses. I like how we can see the staff making our food the moment we order it and then how our food is brought to our table just a few minutes later.

And not only is the price in my budget, but as a token Millennial, I avoid going to restaurants where I have to tip. Noodles and Company is a fast-casual style restaurant; meaning that there is not full table service offered.

By now, it may be easy to assume that Noodles and Company is sponsoring this post. But no, they’re not.

In fact, this isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned there here on my blog, simply because I am passionate about their brand. Back in January 2017, I featured them in a story about my son and I going to see Rogue One and stopping at Noodles and Company for dinner. (See picture above.)

I am simply writing about something I very much like. I am a huge fan of Noodles and Company.

And therefore, the Lunch Bunch is sure to arrive every Wednesday.

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Today I Began Using BRB Hair Loss Shampoo to See If My Hair Will Grow Back Thicker (Includes Promo Code to Save You 10% on Your Order!)

With nearly 5,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel devoted to men’s hair loss, it was like receiving a compliment when Brb Hair Loss Shampoo reached out to me and asked if I would like to try a bottle of their product, to mention in one of my videos.

I instantly replied with a more grandiose proposal:

“How about you keep me supplied with your shampoo, and I’ll make at least one video per month to document whether it is helping reverse my male pattern baldness?”

It was a match made in hair loss heaven.

So today, coinciding with the official American launch of the Thai brand hair loss shampoo, Brb, I now present to you the “before” photos.

My plan is to document the next 9 months of my journey on my YouTube channel, as 9 months is the span of time in which most users find positive results.

Something that I particularly appreciate about Brb is the ingredients consistent of natural extracts native to one of my most favorite countries in the world: Thailand.

While I don’t judge any man for choosing to use the products of Big Pharma like Propecia or Rogaine, I personally prefer natural products instead of chemicals. I feel the BRB is an obvious extension of my own brand as one of YouTube’s most popular hair loss channels.

If you are interested in joining me on my journey, you can actually purchase BRB at a discounted rate, thanks to an exclusive promo code; which is simply my last name:

Shell.

Just click this link to place Brb Hair Loss Shampoo in your cart, then type in Shell where it says “Enter a promo code” in order to receive an exclusive 10% discount.

I think this will be a pretty cool public experiment. Each month, I promise to make at least one video showing what my hair looks like, after each new month of faithfully using BRB shampoo.

Yes. I am the human guinea pig and I am inviting the entire world to watch.

Here we go!

Plant-Based Millennial Family Checks Out Vegan-Friendly Restaurant Called “Squeeze In” in Truckee, California (Featuring the 2018 Mazda3), by Manly Vegan, Nick Shell

I didn’t choose the vegan life: The vegan life chose me.

Yes. I’m saying it: If I didn’t have to be a vegan, I wouldn’t be. Right about now, I would totally be downloading some greasy fried fish, dipping it in gobs of tartar sauce, and then washing it down with a Super Big Gulp size cup of sweet tea.

Amazingly, that is my fantasy non-vegan meal choice; not a big steak or a juicy burger with bacon and cheese.

If I ever returned to eating meat, eggs, and dairy, my thorns in the flesh would return as well: dyshidrotic eczema, constant sinusitis, and extreme allergies to animals.

But for over 5 years now, I’ve completely been cured of my ailments. For me, being a vegan is a choice of the head, not of the heart.

Either way, being a vegan has been part of my identity for over half a decade. Not to mention, I’ve also been a vegetarian for 6 and a half years and kosher (no pork or shellfish) for 9 and a half years.

My wife has been a vegetarian as long as I have, and both our our children have been their entire lives.

So naturally, road trips have to be a little bit more planned out for us; since we can’t just stop at the first exit we see. This month we took a road trip across northern California as we made our way to Lake Tahoe. Since I didn’t know about meal prep delivery at the time, my wife found a place called Squeeze In, which is located in the center of a nearby town called Truckee.

If your family is also plant-based like mine, then research no further. Squeeze In is where you’ll be dining next time you go to Tahoe.

I was so pleased with my veggie burger and elaborate salad. It’s such a cool environment, too.

And I really appreciated the bucket of toys the waitress brought to the table, to help occupy my tired and hungry kids as we waited for our food.

After our beautiful drive in the 2018 Mazda3 through the scenic mountains of northern California, the Squeeze In was quite the oasis for us.

I’m convinced that even if you aren’t forced to be a vegan like I am, you will still have a wonder meal and a great time at Squeeze In.

Thanks for checking our my blog; for I am the manly vegan. And you never know, maybe next time, I’ll be coming to your town.

Have you read all 3 of my blog posts featuring my family’s road trip to Lake Tahoe in the 2018 Mazda 3? Here’s a table of contents just to be sure. Click on the title of the blog post you would like to see:

Lake Tahoe Family Road Trip for Our 10th Wedding Anniversary 
Cabin Life in Truckee, California for Our 10th Wedding Anniversary 
Plant-Based Millennial Family Checks Out Vegan-Friendly Restaurant Called “Squeeze In” in Truckee, California

Dear Jack: You Lost Your Other Front Tooth This Week While Getting Your Teeth Brushed

7 and half years old.

Dear Jack,

You managed to accidentally lose yet another tooth this week; your other front tooth. This one came with the least anticipation. Tuesday night as I was putting you to bed you briefly mentioned that another tooth felt sort of wiggly.

My response was to tell you to leave it alone so it didn’t keep you up too late.

The next morning, as I was brushing your teeth, I kept this in mind. I was very careful not to even brush that one tooth.

But as I was pulling your toothbrush from the back of your upper teeth and attempted to pull it around to the other side, apparently I unknowingly barely grazed the edges of the bristles of your toothbrush against the edge of your lose tooth.

That’s all it took.

I saw your tooth hit the bathroom sink and fall into the stream of running water. It was like I had the ability to move very quickly as time passed by extra slowly, like Quicksilver of X-Men.

Amazingly, I was able to snatch your tooth up with my pointer finger and my thumb, on the first try, saving it from being washed down the drain.

If I had the chance to try it a second time, I probably wouldn’t have been successful. It was that moment in time I wasn’t prepared for, yet I still managed to accomplish the mission.

Minutes later, as I took a picture of you with your tooth, and also a close-up of your mouth, your sister assumed that she was supposed to pose as well.

So I got a picture of her pretending to show up her missing tooth, even though she’s still several years from even losing her first one.

As for you, I told you to take a break from losing anymore teeth for now.

Love,

Daddy

As the World’s Manliest Vegan, I Proudly Endorse All-Natural, Essential Oil Based Products from Jack Black (Courtesy of Boardroom Salon for Men in Nashville on West End); Also Featuring from Prep U

As an accidentally popular Nashville-based daddy blogger and YouTuber who happens to be The World’s Manliest Vegan, or at least The Manliest Vegan on the Internet, I’m not “get a free family vacation to Disney World” famous.

But I am “get a free trip for myself to Florida to see the Grapefruit League Baseball Series” famous.

I’m also “famous enough to get a free car with a full tank of gas for a week” anytime my family goes on a road trip or takes a vacation.

And to my delight, I’m also at the point now where on any given day, my wife may announce to me, “Nick, some company set you a package in the mail…”

This week, I got a care package courtesy of the newly opened Boardroom Salon for Men in Nashville on West End, including all natural, vegan-friendly products from Jack Black that they sell at their location:

Jack Black Charcoal Body Bar Messaging Soap

You may remember how about a month ago, I did a special video there when they gave me my first ever clean head shave.

Well now, a month later, they’re still keeping me in the loop. Apparently, they learned how passionate I am about all-natural products; ones that are based from essential oils, not weird chemicals.

Coincidentally, I also happen to receive a care package from Prep U:

Prep U Body Wash

Prep U Active Dry Powder

Prep U Body Spray

Prep U Natural Deodorant

The Prep U product line is specifically made for pre-teen boys; though I must say, their deodorant is my new favorite, of any brand! It works so well.

In case you didn’t know, about a decade ago, I stopped using personal products that contain shady ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate. I also stopped using deodorant that contains aluminum.

I am a dyshidrotic eczema survivor. In order to be healed of my disease, I had ultimately become a vegan (5 years now) and only use all natural products.

So as you can imagine, the products sent to me this week by Boardroom Salon for Men in Nashville on West End are obviously an extension of my identity and completely inline with my own brand image.

In addition to being all natural, they also smell very clean, in a classy, subtle, masculine way. In other words, not like Axe body spray.

For me, this is like Christmas in June. I’m the 37 year-old dad and husband. I don’t get nice stuff for myself. My money goes to my family- and my attempt to pay off the mortgage early.

Getting these care packages this week made me very grateful and very happy, as you can see in the picture below.

Thank you Boardroom Salon for Men in Nashville on West End. I am honored to serve as spokesman for natural products for men!

As One of the Few Known Men on Earth Under Age 40 Who Has Never Seen Porn, I Am Currently Mentoring Younger Men Who Are Addicted to It; From a Psychological Perspective; Not a Religious or a Moral Viewpoint, Nor in a Judgmental Way

Back in 2014, researchers in Canada were attempting to compare the behavior of men who watch pornography regularly, with men who have never seen pornography at all. However, they were unable to find one man who had never watched pornography.

Too bad they didn’t know I existed, because I would have been perfect for their study.

I understood from the very beginning, as a preteen, that viewing such unrealistic images and ideas of women would ultimately psychologically rewire my brain, potentially like the equivalent of a computer virus.

To me, it was always beyond religion and morality. It was always about psychology instead.

It’s true, I’ve never looked at, nor watched, pornographic material. I’ve had multiple opportunities, when no one else was around, but I can’t really say it was ever a true temptation to me.

I have always been fundamentally opposed to the idea.

On my main YouTube channel which officially crossed the 4,000 subscriber mark last month, I serve as a mentor and life coach, helping younger, insecure balding men realize that their identity and how attractive they are to women actually has a lot more to do with confidence, kindness, and skill sets.

Recently, I discovered a subtle trend in which my subscribers were openly talking in the comments section, about looking at and watching pornography. Then I made the connection:

Why is it that some guys go bald young and it doesn’t seem to affect their confidence at all (and therefore they don’t watch my channel), yet others barely show any signs of hair loss but they freak out about the possibility of going bald on a daily basis?

The answer: Most of my subscribers are in their teens and twenties, meaning that they’ve grown up with unlimited access to pornography online, during those crucial years of developing their sense of identity and building confidence in who they are. (The Internet went mainstream in 1997, before most of these guys were even born.)

Compare that to me, a guy who has never looked at or watched pornography.

It makes sense now why my YouTube channel “about hair loss” is so popular: It’s really a YouTube channel that helps young men who may be experiencing hair loss, which is quite common, who are also addicted to or at least regularly exposed to pornography, overcome their insecurity issues; taught from a 37 year-old man who was never psychologically corrupted in the way they have been.

So I began making some videos addressing, and testing, this pattern I was seeing.

Those videos became some of my most popular and received more thumbs up than my other videos.

Some of my viewers confirmed I was correct: That regularly looking at and watching pornography has crushed their ability to be confident in themselves and only reinforces their insecurities about the concept they are experiencing hair loss; or at least, think they are.

To test my theory, I made a video in which I predicted in the title, that 99% of my subscribers were addicted to pornography. I stated in the video that if I were wrong, that out of my 4,000 subscribers, more than 40 would leave a comment proclaiming they do not consume pornography either.

Instead, only 2 people left a comment saying that. So yeah, over 99%.

I then theorized that many of my viewers were drawn to pornography due to some unnamed psychological trauma they experienced as a child (like being abused, their parents divorcing, a close family member dying, etc.), and they never got the proper counsel with a psychiatrist that they needed.

So that childhood trauma was never dealt with or even acknowledged, which psychologically set a pattern in their mindset to be anxious about things they have no control over: like hair loss.

I discovered this connection after reading an article on Huff Post that found the common theme among people who suffer from anxiety or depression is that they live with unresolved psychological trauma from their childhood.

Turns out, men who were overly obsessed with hair loss fit into this category as well.

I consider myself a missionary to the mainstream.

The way I see it, I was put on this Earth to serve others. If I can help thousands of insecure, pornography-addicted young men to acknowledge that pornography is killing their confidence and sense of identity, I can hopefully lead them to a decision to be pornography-free as I am, and eventually, overcome their trigger, which is hair loss.

I say, an attractive man is a confident man- and a confident man doesn’t tolerate the use of pornography in his own life.

So when I’m not being a Family Friendly Daddy Blogger, I’m serving as the host and life coach of a PG-13 rated YouTube channel to help mentor younger men.

It’s like my alter-ego.

HairMax LaserBand 82 Hair Growth Laser Device is FDA Cleared for Men and Women in Early to Moderate Stages of Hair Loss

DISCLOSURE LANGUAGE

HairMax sponsored this article; I received the product as compensation for my time and platform. HairMax believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. HairMax’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

As a YouTuber of a channel focused on men’s hair loss, which currently has over 4,000 subscribers, I am becoming more of an official spokesman on the subject. I have even noticed that here on my blog, much of the traffic I am now receiving is thanks to the times I’ve published articles about men’s hair loss.

I have stumbled into this position, for sure, as I myself am not necessarily balding, but now thousands of men watch my videos every day on the subject. I believe much of my success is due to the fact that, in the real world, it is not acceptable for a man to voice his insecurities about his hair loss.

Instead, he is often met with, “Oh, just get over it! Balding happens to a lot of guys. Just shave it all off. Who cares?”

But for a younger, single man, it is a much bigger deal. So many of my YouTube subscribers feel that without hair, they can’t be confident in themselves.

As long as that’s what they believe, it will be true for them.

I encourage my subscribers to find the path to hair loss confidence in the path that suites them individuals.

Therefore, it is no surprise to me that the folks at HairMax reached out to me recently regarding their newest product designed to help men, and women, who are suffering from hair loss.

On my own, I decided to make this commercial for the HairMax LaserBand 82:

The HairMax LaserBand 82 stimulates hair growth, reverses thinning, energizes hair follicles, revitalizes damaged hair. Hair grows in denser, fuller and healthier.

HairMax is the pioneer of at-home laser hair regrowth technology and is the undisputed global leader in the field, bringing doctor recommended laser light treatments to hair loss sufferers around the world. The newest generation of HairMax Laser devices are game changers in the hair loss industry offering a safe and effective treatment for hereditary hair loss – without drugs or harmful side effects.

The HairMax LaserBand 82 delivers therapeutic light energy (low level laser) directly to your hair follicles through 82 medical-grade lasers to treat hair loss and promote hair growth.

The curved design incorporates patented hair parting teeth which part your hair during treatment to allow optimal laser light delivery to your follicles. 3 elements for efficacy for treatment includes the hair parting teeth, the laser light intensity and the laser light density working in unison to provide a highly effective treatment for hair loss and thinning hair. Comfortable, portable and convenient for home use or while traveling.

Fast, Easy and Effective – treatment takes as little as 90 seconds, 3 days a week.

Laser Light Hair Growth Device – FDA Cleared for Men and Women in early to moderate stages of hair loss.

Clinically Proven in 7 Studies – Safe and Effective for Hair Loss and Thinning Hair.

Average increase in hair count – 129 additional new hairs per sq. in. after 6 months

Fastest laser hair loss treatment available – each treatment takes as little as 90 Seconds – (up to 10 minutes)

Move it over 3 areas of your scalp – Front, Middle, Back at 30 second intervals

Non-drug treatment – no harmful side effects

 

Shop here for the Laser Band 82 at HairMax.com