After 5 and a Half Years, I Stopped Being a Vegan in September 2018… Finally, I’m Ready to Talk about It (Ex-Vegan Back to Kosher, Still Cured of Dyshidrotic Eczema and Sinus Issues)

Don’t get your hopes up- I still wouldn’t be any fun at a BBQ or a hot dog eating contest. But it is true that back in September, I quietly retired my strict vegan lifestyle of 5 and a half years, and my vegetarian lifestyle of 7 years. But why?

Because I realized that for the last few years, I had been gaining weight as a vegan– to the point I basically weighed as much as I did before I stopped eating meat, eggs, and dairy. Here is proof of my vegan dad bod.

For the first year and a half of being a vegan, I slimmed down to 156 pounds, which at 5′ 9″, placed me perfectly in the middle range according to a BMI chart.

Not only I had a lost and kept off nearly 20 pounds, but I also was finally free of my “medically incurable” dyshidrotic eczema and my constant sinus congestion.

I was convinced I would never forsake my vegan identity.

But after spending all of 2017 and 2018 trying to still fit into my size 31 pants, and eventually my size 32 pants, I realized that even with my routine of running on the weekends, my vegan diet wasn’t enough to combat the fact that since turning age 35, my metabolism had undeniably changed.

I was open-minded by the time I accidentally (?) met Mark Glesne at a Starbucks one Sunday morning after church in September 2018. With his experience as a personal trainer, he explained to me that my body had ultimately found a way to rewire itself so that despite consuming 0% cholesterol as part of my vegan diet, I had begun storing fat for lack of complete proteins that are found in meat, eggs, and cheese.

So since September, I have bid farewell to my vegan lifestyle and switched back to simply being kosher; which I have been since Thanksgiving 2008.

I have remained committed to abiding my Jewish kosher law for over a decade now; not eating pork or shellfish, or any other bottom feeder animals.

And even though tuna and tilapia are technically kosher, my eczema did briefly return when I ate those types of fish recently; as well as salmon that was farm-raised instead of wild caught. So I have to stick with fish that are cleaner; like cod, mahi mahi, and wild caught salmon.

As far as my sinus issues, they haven’t returned since I started eating cheese again. However, I refuse to drink cow’s milk, as I believe it was causing my severe sinus and allergy issues; not to mention, it contains a lot of unnecessary sugar.

To help counteract my metabolism noticeably slowing down since I turned 35 nearly 3 years ago, my great friend Mohamad Alaw (who took the photo of me above) helped me get started on a daily work-out regimen, which I have been faithfully doing, based on a website called Darebee.com.

I went from a consistent 176 pounds as a vegan, now to a new consistent 171 pounds by remaining kosher and working out daily; as well as mostly eliminating wheat flour, added sugar, and hydrogenated oils.

Granted, I’m still not comfortably fitting in my size 32 pants, but I believe I eventually will.

I definitely do not regret the 5 and a half years I spent as a vegan, and 7 as a vegetarian. Honestly, had I not begun gaining weight to the point I had a dad bod, I would have stayed a strict vegan the rest of my life.

(Click here to find the best deal on this funny dad bod t-shirt on Amazon.)

But the fact that being a vegan wasn’t enough to prevent a dad bod, I took it as a warning from my body that I needed to change what I was eating.

I still undeniably have a very strict diet, but there’s much more grace. I feel a little bit more human in social environments now.

It’s all about doing what works for me personally. Let vegans be vegans. Let bacon lovers be bacon lovers. Let them not be in a cultural war by demonizing each other like Democrats and Republicans.

Let emotional intelligence rule and let each person find their own way to happiness and health.

(Click here to find the best deal on this cute women’s t-shirt on Amazon.)

As for me, I’ll be a kosher guy who works out in his living room every day when he gets home from work- as he pursues a goal of fitting comfortably in size 32 pants again, and continuing to remain cured of dyshidrotic ezcema and constant sinus congestion.

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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.

Why Do Jews and Muslims Not Eat Pork or Shellfish? Preventative Health Reasons.

Before switching over to a kosher diet 9 years ago on Thanksgiving Day 2008, I always assumed that the reason Jewish and Muslim people didn’t eat pork or shellfish was more arbitrary; something to the effect of simply showing obedience to God by disciplining their eating habits.

But after eliminating all pork (ham, bacon, sausage) and shellfish (shrimp, scallops, clams), and seeing for myself how it was causing my eczema (dyshidrosis) to finally start clearing up after nearly a decade, even though it’s “medically incurable”, I realized that this whole kosher thing actually had a scientific purpose.

In the same way we all know now that beef is worse for our health than chicken, certain “bottom-feeder” animals are naturally less healthy than others for us to eat.

It easily makes sense that a pig, which will eat nearly anything and has no sweat glands, is naturally going to be less nutritious to the human body, as compared to a cow; though beef is red meat, cows eat only plants.

So indeed there is a scale of uncleanness in the animal kingdom, that helps us to understand which are most likely to increase our chances of getting cancer and disease.

I believe we all know by know what the black strip is along the back of a shrimp, right? When it comes to seafood, shellfish are the bottom-feeders who eat all the rotting remnants and feces. Even catfish fall into this category.

The more I learned about this, and realized that by eating only plants, I didn’t even have to worry about the “scale of uncleanness” anymore, it was a natural transition for me to switch to the Mediterranean diet, then vegetarian, and finally vegan.

So nine years ago I became kosher, and for the most recent half of those years I’ve been vegan.

The eczema has been gone for many years now. And the sinus infections. And the pet allergies.

Coincidence? I submit it is not.

Dear Holly: Nixing Your Baby Bottles and Pacifier in the Same Week

1 year, 4 months.

Dear Holly,

This is the last new picture of you with a pacifier.

The time has come. The days of “no more pacifiers” have begun. This picture was taken on your final day with a pacifier; last Saturday.

Things changed on Sunday. That marked for the first time you had to learn to fall asleep without a pacifier.

I helped you cry it out. I laid on your bedroom floor, next to you, as you exhausted yourself in tears; eventually giving up the fight and allowing me to wrap you up in a blanket and rock you to sleep.

Since then, each time has been easier for you. Sure, you sort of form a make-shift pacifier out of your little burp rag, but you’re getting there.

Personally, I didn’t care or think much about you still having a pacifier. But Mommy had been telling me that it was past time for you to still be using one.

So I used this opportunity to help, but with a personal selfish motive…

Mommy had also been telling me that it was time to get rid of your milk bottles; that you should be drinking out of sippy cups instead.

It now is safe to say that you no longer drink out of your baby bottles, nor use a pacifier. I personally saw to it. In just one weekend, it all ended.

There were two reasons I didn’t want you drinking out of those bottles:

First, those bottles were just extra trouble to be cleaning every day.

And second, I am personally opposed to you drinking any more dairy than you have to. I know you have the same genes as me; you can’t process dairy either. It just leads to eczema and sinus issues.

Since taking your baby bottles away, I have already noticed you naturally don’t even want to drink much milk anyway. I want to see you eating more solid foods.

I guess this means we’ll be able to see your whole face in pictures now, and hopefully, less skin rash as well.

Love, Daddy

Been a Vegan 4 Years Now and Nobody’s Impressed (How American Masculinity is Associated with Eating Red Meat and Pork)

No one will read this blog post. It will not show up at the top of anyone’s Facebook feed, like the way pictures of my adorable 11 month-old daughter do. Because ultimately, this blog is irrelevant to most people.

My dedication to the plant-based life is unanimously met with the sound of crickets chirping; especially since I have zero desire to try to convince anyone else they should become a vegan.

To go 4 years without eating any meat, eggs, or dairy products is nearly un-American, not to mention, un-masculine.

Our American culture subconsciously associates masculinity with eating meat: In particular, red meat and pork.

So for a man to deny himself of that form of protein… it isn’t considered noble, by most. Instead, it is met with confusion, at best.

To be exact, I haven’t consumed pork (which includes hot dogs, BBQ, and bacon) or shellfish (shrimp, scallops, lobster) since Thanksgiving 2008; over 8 years now. Nor have I eaten any meat (including fish) since December 2011.

I didn’t go vegan all at once; I accidentally stumbled into it after realizing my eczema (dyshidrosis), constant sinus pressure and sinus infections, and pet allergies disappeared once I cut out all animal products.

A couple of months ago I declared myself as the manliest vegan on the Internet. Granted, it was a tongue-in-cheek proclamation. Yet still, no one denied it.

Because really, A) no cares about the lifestyles of vegans except for vegans themselves and B) there are so few masculine vegans on the Internet to care enough to rebuttal my claim.

But in the rare event anyone is actually reading this, take a look at me.

It is very obvious I am not lacking protein. It is very obvious I look healthy.

And that’s with me consuming no meat, eggs, or dairy for 4 years now.

I have no health issues, nor do I require any medications or supplements.

My protein and “good fats” intake (which contains 0% of my daily cholesterol) comes from vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.

As for Vitamin B12, that is derived from the mushrooms, seaweed, and Kombucha I regularly consume.

Plus, my daughter is turning 1 year old this month. So obviously, my plant-based lifestyle didn’t interfere with my ability to father children.

I am an image of a healthy man. I just happen to not consume any animal products.

Yet our society continues to believe that eating red meat and pork is masculine. Our society continues to question whether vegans get enough protein.

Well, at least you know about one exception to the rule now.

But then again, no one will actually read this.

Vegan Confession: I Went Gluten-Free for a Month and This Happened…

I always assumed that in order to take it to the next level, up from already being a caffeine-free vegan, I would need to add “gluten-free” to my list of self-imposed rigid restrictions over my life…

Gluten-Free Vegan Road Trip to Atlanta, Georgia in a 2016 Toyota Highlander Limited

Furthermore, I assumed that by completely nixing gluten (wheat) from my diet, I would discover even more health benefits; like how when I became a vegan: my eczema, constant sinus pressure, reoccurring sinusitis, and pet allergies all went away in just a matter of days.

Plus, I had hoped (also like when I became a vegan), I would accidentally lose some weight (since I recently admitted to gaining 7 pounds over the course of the past year when I ate vegan chocolate bars and tater tots with my pregnant wife).

Well, after a month of being gluten-free, I can officially confirm that none of those things came true for me.

I have a feeling you were expecting me to say that going gluten-free totally changed my life, because that definitely seems to be the trendy thing to say these days.

And for the people who say that, I’m confident it’s true for them. I am happy for them that they found what works for them. I give them all my moral support.

But personally speaking, based on my experiment, the gluten-free experience didn’t impress me.

For a whole month, I was fully committed. I think back to last month in Atlanta, while our family was on our first road trip since having the baby.

Time after time, I turned down all kinds of magnificent vegan gluten-containing foods. At the Ponce De Leon Whole Foods where we ate several times, they had a tempting vegan pizza bar as well as plenty of other fun vegan yet gluten-filled delights. And I said no, for the sake of my gluten-free experiment. I sacrificed during an inconvenient time!

But in the end, I saw no benefits.

Granted, I lost 2 of the 7 pounds I had gained for the “vegan chocolate bar and tater tot” incident. However, that easily could have been for the fact I don’t eat vegan chocolate bars or tater tots any more.

Gluten-Free Vegan Road Trip to Atlanta, Georgia in a 2016 Toyota Highlander Limited

I am willing to acknowledge though, that gluten-free is a way of life for many people. However, I am not one of those people.

My body processes gluten just fine; no issues at all. But the trade-off is, I can’t process eggs or dairy without major instant health issues.

As for my future with gluten, the experience has taught me this: I prefer corn tortillas over wheat.

So as my wife makes Mexican meals, I will continue to only eat corn tortillas; not wheat. And I truly enjoy spelt and quinoa in her Italian meals, which we have been eating more of here lately.

In the end, I won’t eat as much wheat as before. Going gluten-free opened my eyes to other options. Yet still, gluten is my friend.

Vegan Confession: I am Addicted to Overeating

This is my secret…

Being a vegan keeps my addiction of overeating in check. I can’t trust myself with eating animal products. And I shouldn’t.

I’ve overeaten my entire life. Before and since becoming a vegan.

Vegan Confession: I am Addicted to Overeating

As a kid, I got away with it because I had a high metabolism. As a 4th grader, I remember how I would get the Double Whopper combo meal and finish it all.  I would eat at buffets, consuming more food that most adults; and I know this because adults would tell me.

In my mind, if I wasn’t overeating, I wasn’t really eating.

As a teen and young adult, I would be the guy who would eat the most pizza or the most fried chicken at gatherings.

My metabolism finally caught up with me full swing by the time I got married, at age 27. That’s when my health problems came in full swing, as well. Even though my metabolism slowed down, my desire to overeat never did.

Vegan Confession: I am Addicted to Overeating

As you know by now, committing to the vegan lifestyle over 3 years ago has eliminated and kept my former health issues in remission; including eczema (dyshidrosis), constant sinusitis, pet allergies, and sinus pressure.

I’ve realized that one of the many benefits of being a vegan is that, for the most part, I can pretty much each as much as I want of the food I am able to eat.

Now granted, eating oily tater tots and sugary vegan chocolate bars did cause me to gain 7 pounds in the past year while I was “sympathy eating” with my pregnant wife.

But when I stick with my normal regimen of veggies, fruit, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds, I’ve learned that I can get away with “overeating”. Ultimately, I just don’t have to worry about counting calories or portion control.

Vegan Confession: I am Addicted to Overeating

The reason for this is because by sticking with those 6 food groups, I am eating food solely for nutrition, including my daily allowance of protein and good fats; yet with 0% of my daily allowance of cholesterol.

I overeat simply because it’s fun. I openly admit this.

I’m not overeating because of some traumatic event in my life, nor because I feel incomplete in some way. I just simply like eating more food that I need to.

It’s fun.

Vegan Confession: I am Addicted to Overeating

If I ever went back to eating meat, eggs, and dairy, I would go so far the other way with it. I know it. I would be visiting the Wendy’s drive-thru on a daily basis.

Eating food is something I can’t be trusted with. I have no control when it comes to food.

Therefore, I keep myself safe behind the electric fence of veganism.

I am not addicted to alcohol. I have never used drugs.

But when it comes to food, I rely on the strict limitations of veganism in order to keep myself from getting out of control… because I am an addict of overeating.

Vegan Confession: I am Addicted to Overeating