Website for the “Ethically Handsome” Man – The Discerning Brute


The Discerning Brute is a website for the ethically handsome man and definitely worth checking out!

When it comes to veganism, sometimes it feels like we’re talking about secret women’s business; after all, 79% of US vegans are women (vegetarians are a more even split at 59% women, 41% men). But a popular website is shaking up the image of what it means to be manly:, for “the ethically handsome man.” I wanted to write this post to introduce you to the website and the inspirational man behind it. 

While it’s not an out-and-out vegan or vegetarian website, the Discerning Brute was founded in 2008 with a focus on “fashion, food and etiquette for the ethically handsome man,” and regularly highlights visionaries and creates discourses with creative influencers who want to “redesign the world, redefine success, and look good doing it.”

The site was founded by Joshua Katcher, an adjunct professor of fashion at Parsons The New School for Design. He is also the founder of the Brave GentleMan clothing label, which utilizes what Katcher calls “future suede,” “future leather,” and “future wool,” sustainable and ethically made fabrics which are superior to animal fibers. There has been a growing popularity in the fashion industry the last few years for the use of these high quality, cruelty free materials. 

Katcher says, “In order for fashion to be truly good, the handsomeness of an object must be matched by the handsomeness of how it was made. There is poetic grace and heightened pleasure in fashions of conscientious construction.”

We couldn’t agree more. Here’s to the ethically handsome man!

Joshua Katcher_Discerning Brute

PlantPure Nation Documentary Review


I was thrilled when I learned I had an opportunity to go to a screening of the new documentary about plant-based eating, PlantPure Nation.

When I learned that PlantPure Nation was being brought to us by the same producers as Forks Over Knives (2011) I was especially excited to check it out. (If you haven’t seen Forks Over Knives, read my review HERE!)

The documentary is narrated by Nelson Campbell, son of renowned nutrition researcher and co-author of the best-seller The China Study, Dr. T Colin Campbell. The film basically picks up where Forks Over Knives left off, focusing less on convincing the viewer that a whole foods vegan diet plan is the way to go, and more on how we, the people, need to take the initiative and come together to demand our rights when it comes to accessibility of information and availability of fresh, whole plant foods. PlantPure Nation follows the journey of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Nelson Campbell, and Kentucky State Senator Tom Riner as they work tirelessly to start a grassroots movement as well as pass legislation that will bring awareness of the benefits of a plant-based diet to the public eye.

During the course of the film, you go on the road with Nelson as he leads pilot 10-day “jumpstarts” starting in the unlikely small town of Mebane, NC, where Southern charm and barbeque make up the culture. Here he manages to gather 16 participants who receive education, medical exams, and prepared fresh vegan meals for a 10-day period. As you witnessed in Forks Over Knives, the participants were overwhelmed with the results after the ten days when their total and bad (LDL) cholesterol dropped by an average of 20%.

PlantPure Nation also emphasises the role of the medical community, featuring several doctors who testify to the fact that nutrition is hardly a part of their education or professional development at all. They are trained to write prescriptions for drugs. One doctor even threw out the idea that it would be legitimate if one day, it would be considered malpractice for doctors to NOT educate their patients about how a whole foods, plant-based diet can prevent, treat, and often reverse chronic conditions and disease.plantpure nation

This documentary is both powerful and informative. For people like me with a short attention span, Nelson speaks a bit on the slow side, but I believe this is necessary to clearly get his points across, especially to those hearing the information for the first time. You spend a large part of the movie inside the offices of politicians and inside governmental walls, so be prepared to learn a great deal about the legislative process which can be a bit tedious, though vital in order to further grassroots efforts to make change. 

The take-home message is that we have the power to create a movement and revolutionize our health care system and save both our own lives and the lives of people in the U.S. and all over the world. PlantPure Nation is not just a movie, it’s a movement… a movement with structure. They have started something called “PlantPure Pods” which are being formed on the local level all over the country. The Pods are groups of people coming together to bring awareness and start positive change within their communities.

You can join your local Pod HERE. I did… join me!


Fed Up Documentary Review

Fed Up Documentary

I just watched the documentary “Fed Up” and it PISSED ME OFF, which is exactly why I think it is so great!

The documentary is about why America and other modernized parts of the world are so fat! Way too fat! The statistics are unreal. 2/3’s of Americans are overweight. In 20 years if things don’t change 90-95% of Americans will be overweight. 90-95%!!! Do you know why?? One word…..SUGAR, and the food industry is solely responsible! They have been manipulating and lying just so they can make more money and they are killing people and ruining lives without any concern whatsoever.

The film shows the lives of a few different overweight children and how they are trying to lose weight, which they are unsuccessful with until they finally understand HOW TO EAT. It’s not about a diet. It’s not about exercise. It’s a way of life and a majority of people have NO IDEA how amazing it feels to live it because people are so addicted to sugar and it’s done on purpose. Why? Because the food industry execs want to keep the dollars rolling in, so they hide sugar in everything and anything just to make it more appealing, to make it taste better, to make you want more of it. I was aware that processed foods are terrible but I had no idea how much sugar they are putting in everything, including “health food”. It’s disgusting!

Basically anything that comes in a package is going to make you fat if you are not careful, but why on earth would anyone knowingly put poison into their bodies??? THEY WOULDN’T! That’s why when you look at the nutrition labels on your food, you will notice that they don’t include the daily percentage of sugar per serving. Why?? Well because if you are on a diet and you read the label on a “healthy” item and you see that the daily percentage of sugar for one serving is upwards of 200% then you probably wouldn’t buy it. FOR ONE SERVING. Think about a whole day….this is why people are fat and don’t have any clue how to fix it. They are being poisoned. It’s unfair and I’m pissed about it and I can’t understand how it’s legal!

This film is great and I highly encourage you to watch it! You will probably get pissed too, you definitely will learn something and hopefully you will share what you learn and encourage the people around you to start  educating themselves….especially those of you with children. High five to Katie Couric who is an executive producer and narrator of the film, for a job well done! 

I took this photo yesterday of the nutrition label on my kale… where is the daily percentage of sugar? 


My Vegan Journey Part 1: Regaining My Health


I don’t plan to write about myself much here on Sexy Fit Vegan, but for my first couple of blogs I’d like to share my personal journey of regaining my health and strength as I transitioned to a vegan diet and lifestyle.

I want to show you that it is possible to not only be healthy but to perform at a high level while eating plants! If there are any specific topics you’d like me to cover in future blog posts, or questions you would like answered, please leave them in the comments below.


In April of 2010 I decided to stop eating meat for ethical reasons. As a supporter of animal welfare I felt eating meat was very hypocritical. Even though I’d felt this way for a while, I was struggling with the myth that is still popular in the fitness industry, that a diet high in animal-based protein sources is necessary for strength and muscle gains.

I started by cutting out meat then eventually fish, eggs, and dairy and transitioned to a fully plant-based diet on December 31, 2012.

I stopped competing in powerlifting and kettlebell sport by 2009 and as I began changing my ideas about nutrition my training focus began to change as well. I stopped lifting as heavy as when I was competing and I began practicing meditation and studying qigong and the internal martial art of Taijiquan as well. I’ve come to believe that there should be no separation between strength and health and that training needs to be holistic in order to accomplish this. This concept I’ve come to refer to as “Abundant Health”.

As I transitioned to a vegetarian, and eventually vegan, diet I placed a big emphasis on raw plant-based foods. Raw fruits and vegetables make up at least 50% of my diet and sometimes 75% or more. The rest of what I eat consists of cooked plant-based food, mostly rice, beans, lentils, potatoes/sweet potatoes, and cooked vegetables. I usually only drink water, coffee, tea and non-dairy milks. I am not one to shy away from dessert or other treats though!

The results of eating this way were amazing. Here is a snapshot of my before and after blood work results, the after physical was done after only about 4 months of following my “high raw plant-based diet”.

Physical “Before”

  • Bodyweight: 230 lbs.
  • Blood Pressure: 125/85 – 135/90
  • Total Cholesterol: 220 mg/dL
  • HDL: 41 mg/dL
  • LDL: 130 mg/dL
  • Triglycerides: 135-300 mg/dL

Physical “After”

  • Bodyweight: 178 lbs.
  • Blood Pressure: 102/67 – 112/72
  • Total Cholesterol: 151 mg/dL
  • HDL: 43 mg/dL
  • LDL: 95 mg/dL
  • Triglycerides: 65 mg/dL

Now that I had dramatically improved my health, body composition and quality of life I started to wonder if I could possibly regain the strength I had lost while maintaining a lighter body-weight and most importantly my health. I will get into that in my next blog!

Until next time, stay strong AND healthy!


Fighting Chronic Inflammation

anti-inflammatory-foods to fight chronic inflammation

Chronic inflammation can be one of the main underlying causes of illness and disease. It can also cause premature aging and weight gain.

The truth of the matter is, reducing inflammation in your body can literally save your life.

The good news is that there are some simple ways to prevent and treat inflammation. In a nutshell, eating a whole-foods, fiber rich, nutrient-dense vegan diet is synonymous with an anti-inflammatory diet!

Unhealthy Eating, Chronic Inflammation Cartoon

Let’s first look at the top inflammation-causing foods that we need to eliminate from our diets. Chicken and eggs are the top sources of arachidonic acid in the diet, an omega 6 fatty acid involved in our body’s inflammatory response. Trans and Saturated fats, found in meats, especially deli meats, highly processed oils such as canola, safflower,  and corn oils, some margarines are among the top culprits of inflammation. Dairy products cause an inflammatory response in the body, as do processed sugars and grains, table salt, and alcohol.

Eating a variety of vegetables and fruits is the best way to fight inflammation in our bodies. Here is a list of some of the foods that have been found to have particularly strong anti-inflammatory effects:

    • Chia seeds (crushed to make them more bioavailable (easier for your body to use))
    • Avocado
    • Walnuts
    • Cooked white mushrooms
    • Kelp
    • Cruciferous Vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower)
    • Blueberries
    • Turmeric
    • Green Tea
    • Garlic
    • Ginger
    • Sweet potatoes

It is also important to avoid allergens in order to reduce inflammation. Gluten, dairy, and peanuts are a few common allergen examples.

Finally, regular exercise is important to ward off inflammation.

Check out the Sexy Fit Vegan Guidelines and download your free copy of the Sexy Fit Vegan Sample Meal Plan to help you get started on your anti-inflammatory diet today!

Straight Talk About Consuming Soy

consuming soy beans

In the last few years we have all heard a ton of conflicting recommendations on consuming soy. So what’s the real deal with soy?

Well first of all, there is good soy and bad soy. Consider soy that is genetically modified, moderately/highly processed, and/or not organic, to be “bad soy.” The effects of these types of soy products are unclear, but we do know that they do not offer the same benefits as good soy. “Good soy” is that which is organic and unprocessed (whole soy beans) or minimally processed (tempeh and tofu). Also, keep in mind that we are discussing a moderate intake of soy (3-4 servings/day). A healthy vegan diet involves consuming a wide variety of legumes, vegetables, fruit, seeds, nuts, and whole grains. More than 3 servings of soy per day, for most people, means that you will not be getting enough of a variety of other foods with important nutrients our bodies need to be healthy. Another tip is that I recommend using non-soy milks such as almond or coconut to “save” your soy servings for edamame, tofu, and tempeh so you are getting unprocessed soy with all the fiber and protein in tact!

That being said, let’s address the common concerns in regards to GOOD soy, based on the latest, most conclusive findings on consuming soy.

One question that’s simple to answer is, “Are soybeans really a quality protein source?” The answer is YES! Soybeans contain a Consuming soy in the forms of Tofu and Tempehlarge amount of high quality protein. They are also a complete protein, meaning they contain all the essential amino acids we need to build muscle. The great thing about soybeans is that you can consume the protein without the cholesterol that you get with meat.

Getting a bit more complicated and controversial is the question, “Does soy contain estrogen that could cause breast cancer in women and have adverse side effects on men?” Simply put, soybeans contain isoflavones, a class of “phytoestrogen” that has been found to have some meaningful health benefits to humans. For a more detailed explanation of the physiological effects of phytoestrogen in the human body click HERE. A majority of studies have shown that phytoestrogen from soybeans act as a protective factor for breast cancer as well as increase one’s chance for survival from breast cancer. In addition, it appears that consuming soy may reduce the risk of other cancers, particularly prostate and colon cancers.

Another common concern is the belief that soy will cause thyroid dysfunction. Based on the available research, this is not the case. The issue comes only with people who have an existing thyroid condition for which they take medication. Soy can alter how some thyroid medications are absorbed in the intestines and  it is therefore important to discuss your soy intake with the doctor upon being prescribed such medication.

Last, you may be wondering if consuming soy is good for your heart. It seems that soy does have a positive effect on heart health. The isoflavones in soy have a dilating effect on our blood vessels, reducing blood pressure. Soy is also high in fiber, which is a protective factor for heart disease.

So there you have it… the simple, condensed answers to your common consuming soy-related questions and concerns. The verdict, for most people, a moderate intake of organic, unprocessed soy is a healthful choice, although you certainly don’t NEED to be consuming soy in order to maintain a healthy, balanced plant-based diet.

I am providing a few solid resources that go into more detail on the latest research if you are interested in learning specifics.

Top 10 Tips for Going Vegan in 2014!

Veggies on forks

If you have resolved to adopt a plant-based diet in 2014 these “Top 10 Tips for Going Vegan” is for you!

First of all, congratulations on the decision to hop on the path to feeling and looking your best, staying healthy and disease-free, and living conscientiously! I have compiled these tips to help you along your way:

1. Take it One Month at a Time.

You have been eating a certain way for a very long time, right? Well completely changing your whole diet overnight and expecting it to last, in most cases, sets yourself up for failure. Instead, create manageable steps month by month. For example, lets say you are a vegetarian, and you know that giving up cheese is going to be your most difficult food to eliminate. So for January, you make the decision to eliminate milk completely from your diet. Then, in February, you have “cheese-less weekdays,” meaning you do not eat cheese Monday through Friday, but allow yourself some over the weekend if you are craving it. Get the idea?

2. Instead of “Giving Up” Animal Products, “Replace” Them!

Choose vegan substitutes for the animal products you are eliminating to keep readily available at home.Coconut Milk Ice Cream
If you are a milk drinker, find the non-dairy milk that you like best and stay stocked. Same goes for cheese, yogurt, and ice cream (you still get to splurge every now and then on a vegan diet!). When it comes to meat, my suggestion is that for the first couple months, if you can find substitutes that you like, even if they are not the best for you (most faux meat is processed and less healthy than choosing whole foods such as beans and nuts), allow yourself some leeway to eat them anyway as a stepping stone. Ultimately though, using these products only on occasion is the best way to attain a healthy, whole foods, plant-based lifestyle.

3. Find support from other vegans.

There are vegans everywhere these days, and we have the technology to connect, so use it! Seek out other healthy vegans in your community, there are often local vegan-related meet-ups you can join. The other option is finding support online through forums (such as the new, Sexy Fit Vegan Forum!) The more support the better!

4. Talk to your friends, coworkers, and family members about your lifestyle changes.

Old habits will stay current habits if you don’t communicate with the people who surround you on a daily basis. Talk to these people and let them know about the changes you are making, and ask them for their support.

5. Take a B-12 Supplement.

Vitamin B-12 is the one nutrient that can be difficult to get on a plant-based diet. There are many products fortified with B-12, but I think it is simply a good habit to take a supplement to ensure you are ingesting enough. A deficiency can be hard to diagnose early enough to prevent permanent damage to your body. But again, it is a simple fix. Take a supplement.

6. Find at least one Protein That You Enjoy and Use It As Your Go-To.Vegan Protein Cartoon

22 Days and Plant Fusion are two I highly recommend that contain both high levels of protein and other ingredients that pack your body with powerful nutrients. All you need is a shaker bottle to create a perfect snack. Getting enough protein to gain lean muscle can be one of the most common worries among people looking to maintain/gain muscle mass and increase strength and performance. A few shakes a day is a simple way to ensure your protein intake stays high.

7. Invest in a Vitamix.

You may look at the price tag on this thing and cringe. I did! And then I received one for my birthday and my life changed forever! Ok, that may be a little dramatic, but it made me a believer in the Vitamix. The smoothies, juices, soups, nut milks, and dips you can make, quickly and easily, makes it well worth the cost. Making a smoothie with super foods like hemp seeds, flax seeds, and dates can come out chunky with a regular blender, but with the Vitamix, you are always ensured an even, smooth shake.

8. Find Time to Plan Ahead.

The first several months, it’s important to realize that it is going to take you more time than usual to figure out your food choices. Find the time so you do not get into an “emergency situation” in which you feel like you’re starving, and have no idea what to eat! We’ve all been there. If you are like me, by the time you get to that point it’s too late for your brain to think clearly and for you to make logical decisions. Avoid this situation by making the time to plan your day’s food intake. You may need to pack a lunch, or keep healthy vegan bars in your car. Always keep good-for-you snacks around. Celery and hummus, carrots and raw almond butter for example.

9. Variety is Key.

Its important to keep in mind that eating a wide variety of vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains is the key to a well-balanced plant-based diet. Forks Over Knives DocumentaryChances are, by adopting this new lifestyle you will end up eating more different foods than you did before. Research plant-based super foods to add to your meals and shakes, such as hemp and chia seeds. You are exploring new options that you probably never sought out before! Keep an open mind and adopt the attitude of fun exploration rather than limitation.

10. Continue Your Education.

Continuously learn about why a vegan diet is so great by watching documentaries such as Forks Over Knives, reading articles, reading books, and even visiting factory farms and animal sanctuaries if possible. This way you will keep your motivations fresh in your head instead of letting them fade and slipping back into old habits because of it.

Cheers to the start of the healthiest, sexiest year of your life, 2014!!!

The Low Down on B-12 on a Vegan Diet

B12 on a vegan diet Chart

There has been an ongoing debate on whether or not you can get enough B12 on a vegan diet without supplementation.

I set out to do a review of the literature on this topic and have come to the following conclusion for myself:

There is enough evidence that a vegan diet in today’s society is likely to lead to a B12 deficiency, that I choose to consume a B12 supplement on a regular, consistent basis.

Why is this such a hot topic?

For one, B12 is a complicated vitamin! I didn’t know how confusing a vitamin could be until the day I started researching this one! In simple terms, B12 is actually formed by a bacteria that is found mainly in soil, feces, and fecal contaminated water (I bet you didn’t think you would be reading about poop when you started this article!) We often contain the bacteria in our bodies, but it is generally found in the part of the intestine past the point where nutrients are absorbed into our bodies, so it is eliminated before doing us any good. Some animals, such as cows, have a digestive system that supports the bacteria to produce B12 within an area of the digestive tract that allow for adequate absorption. This is why eating them provides you (well, probably not YOU) the vitamin. Many animals also get this bacteria through the soil they consume along with their food. This is not the case however, if the soil being consumed does not contain adequate cobalt levels, as cobalt is necessary for B12 production.  When it comes to plants, in our modern times, extreme measures are taken to rid them of all bacteria which destroys dangerous bacteria, but simultaneously kills the good bacteria that would give us B12. Vegan or not, people can become B12 deficient for other reasons as well, particularly due to malabsorption from gastrointestinal issues, medications, and other vitamins and minerals that, at high enough levels, can block B12 absorption. If the pie chart from NutritionFacts.Org is even close to reality, there is a good chance the amount you are getting is insufficient.b12 on a vegan diet-supplement

What happens if you don’t meet your body’s B12 requirements?

You can often go many years without noticing the symptoms, or at least making the connection, often when it is too late to reverse the damage. A B12 deficiency could eventually cause nerve and blood vessel damage, which can possibly lead to some terrible health problems such as cardiovascular disease, dementia, birth defects, depression, and bone density issues. It is therefore important to know the signs and symptoms, and get tested if you are having any. A few of the early warning signs are listed below, and full a more comprehensive list, click HERE.

  • Unusual fatigue
  • Faulty digestion
  • No appetite
  • Nausea
  • Loss of menstruation 

How to Get Enough B-12

In summary, with all the risk factors involved, I believe supplementing is the smart thing to do. There are 3 types of B12. There are several types of B12 and the research on which is “best” is mixed. The most common (and cheapest) type of B12 is cyanocobalamin, and most research seems to suggest that for most people (except this type is effective enough to meet our B12 needs. Then there is hydroxycobalamin, which is often considered a better option than cyanocobalamin, but is only found in an injectable form. More recently however, methylcobalamin seems to be getting hyped as superior to all others, so I am using this type currently. I think, at this point though, if you are not using anything, just start taking one of these it is a good start. Flax Milk containing vitamin B12 Please note, that each specific type of B12 calls for a different recommended dosage. There are also different dose recommendations for treating a deficiency and simply maintaining proper amounts in the body.

There are also many vegan, B12-fortified foods available these days. The new flax milk I started using for example, contains 25% RDA of B12. In my opinion though, relying on these foods to meet all your B12 requirements on a daily basis is unrealistic.

I hope this helps you in your search for true vegan health! Please feel free to address the topic further on our Sexy Fit Vegan Forum and for a more expansive, detailed, technical explanation about B12, I recommend the article on VeganHealth.Org.

In Health & Happiness,


Robin Quivers Fights Off Cancer Going Vegan

Robin Quivers Adopts Vegan Diet to Fight Cancer

Robin Quivers Adopts Vegan Diet to Fight CancernRobin, long time sidekick to Howard Stern, is back in the studio after taking a year off to fight endometrial cancer by going vegan.

She attributes the strength she possessed during her stent of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation to her vegan diet plan.

In her book “The Vegucation of Robin,” Quivers wrote “My plant-based diet was helping my body heal. I couldn’t believe the difference I saw. I’d never had such a dramatic shift in my health – not when I was taking medication, not when I was wearing a neck brace, and certainly not when I was eating whatever I wanted. I no longer had to rearrange my entire life around being sick.”

It’s just so great to hear another story about the healing powers of a whole foods, plant based diet. Go Robin!!!

If you are interested in more details, see the articles from the following:
NY Daily News
Dr. Oz
Today Show via YouTube

Meat Industry Today… Not Just Unhealthy. Downright Scary.

Meat industry contamination-go vegan

It unfortunately seems like the meat industry practices haven’t quite hit rock bottom despite the fact that more and more people are becoming aware of the healthy dangers of meat, as well as the cruelty it entails for the animals.

This article from the Washington Post, published September 8th, 2013 details evidence that things seems as though they are going to get worse before they get better. All the more reason for people to put a rush on their transition to a healthy, plant-based diet!

The article, entitled, “USDA pilot program fails to stop contaminated meat” begins:

A meat inspection program that the Agriculture Department plans to roll out in pork plants nationwide has repeatedly failed to stop the production of contaminated meat at American and foreign plants that have already adopted the approach, documents and interviews show.The program allows meat producers to increase the speed of processing lines by as much as 20 percent and cuts the number of USDA safety inspectors at each plant in half, replacing them with private inspectors employed by meat companies. The approach has been used for more than a decade by five American hog plants under a pilot program.But three of these plants were among the 10 worst offenders in the country for health and safety violations, with serious lapses that included failing to remove fecal matter from meat, according to a report this spring by the USDA inspector general. The plant with the worst record by far was one of the five in the pilot program.

Read the USDA inspector general’s report on swine-plant inspection, with key sections annotated by the reporter.

What the USDA watchdog found

IG report on the Health of the Meat Industry

Read the rest of this article here. For me, stories like this are simply a reminder of the urgency to spread the word, and help people find the motivation and knowledge to be healthy, energetic, and fit through a whole foods, plan-based diet so as to be able to enjoy life for years and years to come!