Dairy And Egg Free Testimonials: Nick Shell- A Year And A Half Later

Hi, I am Nick Shell, the creator of Dairy And Egg Free Testimonials, and this is the update to my story.

By now, you’ve probably read some testimonials of my converts: both Ben Wilder (6 months) and James Hardy (1 month).

But of course, I myself took the “48 Hour Dairy And Egg Free Challenge” a year and half ago… and I’m obviously still committed.

Dairy And Egg Free Testimonials: Nick Shell- A Year And A Half Later

Like the other guys who I have featured here on Family Friendly Daddy Blog, I decided to take the challenge to find out if it were true that by eliminating dairy and eggs for just 48 hours, my sinus and allergies would noticeably improve.

Well, here I am, a year and a half into the 48 hour challenge with no dairy and eggs. I haven’t been sick once since then, nor have I suffered from sinus pressure, nor have I produced sinus congestion. Period.

It’s not a coincidence, considering before the switch I suffered from 22 years of ongoing sinusitis, sinus pressure, and allergies to pets. Obviously, all those problems went away and have stayed away for the past 18 months.

Dairy And Egg Free Testimonials: Nick Shell- A Year And A Half Later

But I also want to address another issue. For more than a year before I went “dairy and egg free” back in April 2013, I had already been a vegetarian.

What I am telling you is that for nearly 3 years, I have not eaten any meat, including fish. And for the past year and a half, no dairy or eggs.

I just want to serve as physical evidence that if a person focuses on the right nutritious food groups (veggies, fruit, grains, beans, nuts, seeds), they don’t have to rely on animal products to be healthy.

Dairy And Egg Free Testimonials: Nick Shell- A Year And A Half Later

At age 27 in 2008, the year I got married, I maxed out at around 178 pounds, which took its toll on me, being 5’9”. That extra “beefiness” also came with “medically incurable” eczema (specifically called “dyshodrosis, which covered both my hands; plus acne, and again, constant allergy and sinus issues.

It wasn’t until in hindsight that I could actually see the change in the mirror and in pictures of myself. I just assumed it was a “bad camera angle” that I looked heavier.

Dairy And Egg Free Testimonials: Nick Shell- A Year And A Half Later

In desperation, I prayed to God to just show me what I needed to do and I would do it; that I would gladly serve as a spokesman to help others if I could just be cured on my haunting eczema (dyshodrosis).

That prayer led to a journey a few years long, in which I was gradually shown that becoming a vegan would be that cure I was so desperate for.

Dairy And Egg Free Testimonials: Nick Shell- A Year And A Half Later

I didn’t do it “cold turkey” (bad pun)… it was a gradual process.

On Thanksgiving Day 2008, I went kosher- meaning I stopped eating pork and shellfish. By December 2011, I had sort of accidentally become a vegetarian. Then of course in April 2013, I became vegan. (Not to mention, 6 months later in September 2013 I permanently gave up caffeine.)

Now at age 33, I am consistently around 142 pounds and have been since I went dairy and egg free 18 months ago.

Dairy And Egg Free Testimonials: Nick Shell- A Year And A Half Later

I went from a size large shirt to a medium; from a size 34 waist to a very comfortable 31. But it’s not about the weight I’ve lost, it’s about the medical issues I lost when I lost that weight.

Yes, I do exercise too- but I don’t work out in a gym. I take at least two 10 minute walks each other, mountain bike during my lunch break, and try to run 2 miles at least once a week.

And I’m healthy. I’m not sick. I’m not hungry. I’m not weak. I don’t feel light-headed.

I have more energy than I did before all these changes. And I get plenty of protein and nutrition from veggies, fruit, grains, beans, nuts, seeds.

Dairy And Egg Free Testimonials: Nick Shell- A Year And A Half Later

Being fully vegan means you consume no cholesterol. Yes, there is a microscopic amount in the fats found in plants, like nuts and seeds, for example.

But it’s not even enough to register as even 1% of your daily intake. Compare that to the daily percentage in just one medium chicken egg; around 62%.

Again, that’s 62% for just one egg!

I’m happy. Why would I ever go back now?

Becoming a vegan, or simply cutting out dairy and eggs, isn’t for everyone. But for anyone who is curious about heading in that direction, please feel free to let me know if I can help answer any questions.

Just leave me a comment or send me an email. I’m here to help… or at least, entertain.

Were you interested in what you just read? Was this post a strangely pleasant distraction to other things popping up on your Facebook or Twitter feed? Ya know… you could always like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or even subscribe to Family Friendly Daddy Blog by clicking on the appropriate icon on the left side of this page. No pressure though…

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All the Flavors of Pringles: Mingling and Pringling at Summer Dinner Parties

I can’t eat just one Pringle.  But I am able to eat just one can. Typically.

It’s funny how the summer time itself can make you feel more popular and sociable than normal.  My wife and I have noticed that nearly every weekend this summer we’ve got some event planned with other people, not to mention the many dinner parties we’ve already attended in the past several weeks.  Since there’s always that item or two that we need to bring to the dinner, we end up at the grocery to the day before to pick up the garlic bread or salad.

And while I’m there, I sneakily mosey over to the potato chips isle to explore the local Pringles selection.  Despite how adamant/religious I am about what I eat (nothing processed, no pork, no shellfish, no sugar, only wheat bread, must drink a minimum of three liters of water a day, etc.) I am willing to admit that one of my surprising weaknesses is any random can of Pringles potato chips.  Maybe it’s this subconscious belief that regular potato chips are “white trashy” and Pringles are the sophisticated option.  Even as a kid who never cared about nutrition, I still have always preferred Pringles over any of the greasier and/or more fattening options out there like Lay’s or Doritos.

Anytime I’m invited to a dinner party now, I use the event as an excuse to buy a can of Pringles.  It would be against my self-imposed moral code to simply purchase chips and bring them into my house to eat, because that means I’m contributing to the junk food industry.  But if it’s for a party, with the intended use of sharing, that it becomes justified in my mind.  And with all the weird flavors that Pringles provide me with and my curiosity to try them all, often I come home with at least half the can still in tact.  Prime example: Last Friday night, Mozzarella Sticks and Marinara.  (Basically the distinctive ingredient is sour cream.)

Surely obsession with Pringles is that they give me the illusion that I’m eating unhealthy foods like Bloomin’ Onions, Quesadillas, or Cheeseburgers, though I’m actually eating low fat potato chips.  The flavors themselves provide entertainment.  Not the mention the labels themselves.

For example, right now I’m looking at an empty can of Pringles Xtreme Ragin’ Cajun.  I like how a serving size is 16 “crisps”, not chips.  It’s funny how “spices” is listed as an ingredient, then a few later comes “spice extracts”, then “paprika extract”- so vague and yet specific all at once.  Of course there’s some Red Lake 40 thrown in there for effect, which is extracted from petroleum (click healthnutshell: Red Food Dye to read more about that).  My favorite part of it is the last ingredient listed: “and natural and artificial flavors (including smoke)”.

Wait, I don’t get it.  Is the smoke real or artificial?  Or half fake, half real?  I really need to understand this…

Pringles.  So good.  So weird.  So mysterious.

Pringles Flavors: The Complete Guide

The Glory of Eating Out: Entertainment, Activity, and Ignorance of Calories

Eating food can easily become entertainment, in of itself.

This Saturday, my wife will finish her final class for her Master’s program.  We’ve been anticipating this day for a year and a half- specifically, we’ve been planning to go somewhere nice for dinner to celebrate.  Though we’ve had our sights set for months on Stony River for a good steak dinner, we remembered recently that we don’t really like steak.  So we instead have discovered a quaint “only in Nashville” sort of place that looks to be more our speed: http://www.12southtaproom.com/

Something I’ve been realizing now more than ever is why eating out is fun.  There are obvious reasons for this, like not having to cook, set the table, or clean the dishes.  And the fact that when you eat dinner out, you have many choices of what you will eat.  All valid reasons.  Yet very obvious.

Here are more subtle reasons:

Environment: Whether or not you truly are a “people person”, or are one and just don’t realize it (People Watching 101), part of the allure of going out to eat is to be around people you don’t know, who serve as background noise and sometimes accidently, as entertainment.

Of course aside from the strangers we like dining near (not with), there also is something soothing/weird in looking at the random memorabilia hanging on the walls- whether it’s old pictures of sad, creepy looking people from the 1920’s, a goofy moose head, or a canary yellow guitar that Tom Petty used to record his Wildflowers album in 1994.  Ultimately, whatever it is, it’s something else to look at.

Activity: Eating good food that we enjoy is more than just about “getting full” or about nutrition.  It’s simply a fun activity.  Yes, we could make the same menu items on our own (with enough Internet research for recipes) and they may taste similar.  But aside from the fact that we’re not cooking it, there is something fun about having someone else serve you.  When someone else waits on you, it gives a sense of “I deserve this” (Password).

Ignorance to calories: Yes, we are overaware that fast food is a killer.  But we turn a blind eye to the nutritional facts at nicer restaurants, essentially all of them.  Even when the meal is low-fat, and even more difficult to pull off, low-sugar, it is still almost guaranteed to be high in sodium- which is linked to heart disease and hardened arteries.  But no matter how nice the restaurant it is, it’s pretty much given that there’s at least 75% of your daily sodium in the meal, at best.

And of course, the serving portions are typically at least twice to three times what a meal should be.  But turning a blind eye to all these nutritional facts makes it much more fun.

So go now, and celebrate, with strange wall decorations, quirky people sitting at the table next to you, and a meal prepared by the salt gods.