In Cocktails Drinks Entertaining Ignite CBD Infused Toothpicks Mens Issues Mens lifestyle National Martini Day Recreation

Chew To Your Life's Content: Ignite CBD Infused Toothpicks

If you live in a major city, have a challenging job or career or are dealing with the waiting game until life gets sweeter & easier then chances are you probably constantly seek out ways to relax.  A vacation may not always be doable and sometimes even a staycation at home can even be a bundle of nerves especially if you're headaches rear their ugly heads at home too.  So what's a worn-out guy to do?

Ponder the answer to that question today as conveniently, it's Nation Martini Day.  Now we all have some form of wise adage about how a stiff drink can calm the savage beasts of stress and annoyance. It's the elements that collaborate to sooth and make one a little less tense.  This is precisely why I was intrigued to shed some focus on literally every element of my martini this June 19.  The lively gin, the fragrant vermouth and my briny kalamatas do a lovely dance together at the party but an interesting little skewer I discovered drives the dancing home.  In my efforts to relax, I decided to jazz up my martini with Ignite CBD Infused Toothpicks.

Each toothpick delivers a soothing dose of CBD isolate extracted from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant.  This is whole plant hemp oil and each pick contains 25mg of CBD.  That nice microdose  is enough to have a mild total-body calming effect, flavorful enough to deliver a satisfyingly sweet bite and discreet enough to skewer your olives, none the wiser.  The way you enjoy the infused-chew is similar to a chew-stick or teeth cleaning twig.  Most commonly used in the West Indies and continental Africa, the chew stick is a naturally herbal stick, that when chewed, the friction and inner-herbal juices of the stick are used to clean the teeth and freshen the breath.  The CBD Infused Toothpicks from Ignite perform a similar function in that you tenderly chew on one end of the toothpick to release half the dosage of CBD and then flip it to the other end of the pick and chew for a full dose when the flavor runs dry.  A great thing is that they come flavored so that a sweet taste will cajole you to chew to your heart and mind's content.  Find Ignite CBD Infused Toothpicks and other great products available now through their website here, enjoy the martini recipe below and the new fact that the full cocktail experience doesn't necessarily have to end when all the liquor is gone.

Dirty Finish, Clean Ignite

4 ounces            Tommy Rotter Gin
2 ounces            Carpano Dry Vermouth
1/2 -1 ounce      Olive brine
1                        Ignite CBD Infused Toothpick
2                        Kalamata Olives

Place ice into a shaker.  Add gin, vermouth and olive brine.  Shake or stir, your preference, just enough to chill the contents.  Strain contents into a martini glass.  Skewer the Ignite pick through the olive and rest against the inside of the glass.  

This is a nice way to elevate your martini and end your day on an appropriately relaxing note as the salty potent cocktail gives way to the sweet woody finish for a balanced experience.

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In Alcohol Review Cocktails Drinks Entertaining Mens lifestyle Novo Fogo Chameleon Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça Summer Drinks Wines and Spirits

A Sweet Trip To Brazil, On Ice: Novo Fogo Chameleon Cachaça

I have vivid memories of lazing around on a beach in Saint Martin and drifting off into an appropriately satisfying slumber under the warm Summer sun.  Of course this siesta was due less to sheer exhaustion and due more to the copious amounts of rum that was poured into my coconut cocktail.  That sun, seaside and sugar trifecta created the perfect setting for a beauty nap and also created my first awareness that sugar cane-based spirits are saccharine in nature but delectably potent as all hell.

Then in walks this spirit named Cachaça.  It's rum with eclecticism.  Cachaça is Brazil's love spirit and no brand delivers it with more gusto than Novo Fogo.  What makes Novo Fogo so special as mentioned in my first feature on their silver cachaça here is the cultivating of the sugar cane yeast for almost 24 hours in special temperature-controlled vats then how it rests in chemically-inert stainless steel tanks for one year.  After this process, the cachaça is then aged and finished in Brazilian oak barrels that are sanded and re-toasted so that there is virtually fresh wood for each new aging process.  The result is a potent spirit with a woody depth and distinct sweetness that gives you a matured & weighted herbal burst with pleasant notes of spice and citrus.  

An exciting and unique cachaça from Novo Fogo is Chameleon.  It lives up to its namesake by giving you classic cachaça distilling techniques mixed with Northern bourbon whiskey distilling methods since it's aged for one year in repurposed American oak barrels.  So it rests long enough to get the flavor from the oak barrels without that foreign flavor overtaking the beautiful notes of the Brazilian rainforest and cane juice loveliness.  The result is a slightly different kind of woodiness with those characteristic hints of spicy vanilla and herbal potency which make it a nice sipper or mixer with its diverse and chamelonic flavor profile.  Check out the great recipe below for a nice cocktail that highlights the beauty of this remixed cachaça.

Brazilian Buck

1 1/2 ounces         Novo Fogo Chameleon Cachaça
4 ounces               Ginger Beer
2 dashes               Aromatic Bitters
Squeeze of Fresh Lime Juice

Add ice to a highball or rocks glass then add the cachaça, ginger beer and lime juice.  Stir to combine then add bitters and lightly stir.  Garnish glass with lime wheel.

This was an intense and delightful array of flavors that hit all over the palette with the spiciness of the ginger beer & the heat of the aged cachaça, the sweet notes of the cachaça & herbal notes of the bitters all made distinct by the presence of the tart lime.  A perfect spirit to give you a great seafront catnap or a pleasant after-five wind-down.  Novo Fogo Chameleon is available now at your finer wine and spirit retailers.

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In Cooking Entertaining Food and Drink Good Eats Mens lifestyle Nuttin Ordinary Plant-Based Vegan Vegan Foods

How Cheese Got It's Groove Back: Nuttin Ordinary

I'm always asked if there's anything that I miss being vegan now.  At first, I missed a good piece of fish and my eggs scrambled hard with cheese in the morning but then I discovered the breakfast and brunch options that varied from the norm (not to mention the wonderment of avocados) and after that, the non-vegans cravings subsided.  I used to levitate towards the smell of bacon, but now I salivate over the the smell of garlic-roasted veggies.  Admittedly, eating vegan is made out to be a huge laborious undertaking especially when you read product labels and realize they put something from an animal in everything, but all in all there are many delicious substitutes that make you not miss the meat or dairy at all.  However, as with anything there are bad eggs in the bunch (no pun intended) and not all vegan food is healthy food, but after awhile and through moderation you get a better sense of the kind of vegan that meshes with your will.

Well I discovered Nuttin Ordinary recently and I must say that they are certainly not one of the bad eggs in the bunch.  Here I was thinking that my staple breakfast while in high school, a bagel with cream cheese, was to never be enjoyed by me again and then in comes this great product line.  Nuttin Ordinary is a line of 100% plant-based cashew cheeses that are just simply amazing.  Of all the nuts used to make vegan products I must say that I've found cashews to produce the creamiest end results. This is one of the reasons why Nuttin Ordinary is so delicious.  The creamy texture of these spreadable cheeses are so great for lathering onto a bagel, crudités-dipping and sandwich-topping.  The other reason that makes Nuttin Ordinary so flavorful is that it keeps the ingredients simple and to a minimum while having no gluten or preservatives.

That's something that sets it apart in the fast-growing vegan product world.  It's taken the simplicity of the ingredients and created something that is familiar to non-vegans and vegan alike without bizarre additives.  The results are the smooth and buttery consistency of their stellar Original flavor, the herbal loveliness of their Italian Herb flavor and the zesty fire kick of their Spicy flavor.  My post-vegan bagel has found a wonderful friend to fill the void.  

Nuttin Ordinary is now available at Fairway, Wholefoods, Wegman's and MOM's and for a list of other locations please check out the company site here

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In Fitness Health Mens Mens lifestyle Summer Fitness Ultima Replenisher Vegan Vegan Foods Wellness

Motivation Akin To Hydration: Ultima Replenisher

So with the official start of Summer only a little bit more than a month away and the unofficial start of Summer being almost a week ago, let me pose some questions to you.  How have you been working to A) maintain that beach body or B) turn that holiday dad body into that DILF body?  Well without knowing what your means to your chiseled, toned, bulked-up or tightened ends will be, I hope that your motivation has been strong and unyielding.  That's a big part of it though right?  Your motivation!  Lack of it can keep you in bed when you should be up and at the gym.  Lack of it can make you fall into the comparison trap and make you not think it's happening fast enough like it is for others.  Then lack of it can make you yo-yo like a mo-fo and not see contented results.  However, there's another aspect to consider.  

Ever on the expressway and run out of gas or ever printing out a 20 page document and run out of paper or ink on the 8th page?  Well sometimes we run out of steam which can literally render our motivation dismal.  There's something to be said about equipping oneself to start off on the most beneficial foot as possible.  That means, if your motivation is high then don't let over-exhaustion creep in and kill it.  This is exactly why it's important to stay well-hydrated during your fitness regimen.  However, since we can often sweat more water than we can drink during a workout it's important to stay clean hydrated without ingesting substances that could cause post-workout crashing.  This is exactly why an awesome product like Ultima Replenisher is a fitness must.  

Admittedly I am not a huge sports drink fan and reason being is the salt taste.  Ultima Replenisher is an electrolyte-rich powder that combats the excessive salt by being a healthy alternative to many fitness-centered drinks and methods that are loaded with sugar, salt, caffeine, preservatives and artificial ingredients.  Naturally sweetened with stevia leaf, Ultima Replenisher has nothing artificial and has very low sodium since the average person's diet consists of at least 2000mg of sodium.  The formula that makes this product so great is the presence of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and low doses of sodium and chloride including support minerals that create such an electrolyte-rich product that you're able to get clean healthy hydration essential for proper muscle performance and fitness-brain function.   

The end result is a powder that dissolves easily in water, tastes natural and not medicinal/synthetic and is packaged ready for a home workout in an assortment of conveniently-sized tubs or a gym workout in on-the-go travel packets that can slip conveniently into the tiny pocket of your running shorts or your gym bag.  Five vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, paleo/keto friendly flavors in lemon, cherry pomegranate, orange, grape/raisin and raspberry are available now to suit your palate.  For more information on the amazing Ultima Replenisher check out their website here. With such a great and useful product that offers zero carbs, zero, calories and zero sugar, as long as you keep up that motivation, you now have zero excuses.

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In Alcohol Review Dining Out Entertaining Mens lifestyle Wines and Spirits Winetasting

This Wine's Got An Interesting Story To Tell: 1000 Stories Wines

On a typical rainy Spring evening in New York, a lot can be found nestled in the little nooks and crannies of the city streets.  Delightful little eateries with locally-sourced specials, goodnight kisses had under the awnings of Old-World high-rises and the little peeks of west and eastside sky-line pushing their way through the dusky fog. 

It was on such an evening in classic New York fashion that I found myself tucked behind a beautifully arranged table for sixteen at the wonderfully hidden Fine & Rare at 9 East 37th St.  Usually the restaurant can be found offering up cool live jazz-infused acoustics to go with your pappardelle Bolognese and burrata heirloom tomato salad.  However, on this night I was ushered to the back of the restaurant to that grand table and intimately introduced to a wonderful collaboration of wine and spirit for the palette in the form of 1000 Stories Wines.  

1000 Stories is a line of exquisite and well-executed wines that distinguish themselves from the lot as they are aged in bourbon barrels.  The fineness of the grape meets the distilled beauty of the bourbon in 1000 Stories and creates broad flavor profiles that pull from the diversity of the loveliness of zinfandel and Bordeaux grapes and merges them with the lingering and definitive essences of oaky, sweet and herbal bourbon.  On that evening, winemaker and co-founder of 1000 Stories, Bob Blue gave a verbal soft-sell of how the brand came to be and then walked us though an exclusive tasting of the brand’s renowned line-up together with one of its latest, The Prospector’s Poof.

We started the pre-dinner tasting with a 2016 Zinfandel Batch 42, a peppery full rounded fruity wine then moved onto 2016 Zinfandel Batch 52, a wine sourced from grapes all over the Californian Redwood and Sanel Valleys that carried a welcomed depth that grapes from this Mendocino Region are recognized for. Then onto 2016 Zinfandel Batch 54 which was smoother yet carried a delightfully weighted depth while being soft and satisfying on the palette.  The 2017 Gold Rush Red was strong and full-bodied with its mélange of intense and bold grapes from the California Hills.  Finishing off the bunch was the 2017 The Prospectors Proof Cabernet Sauvignon another bold wine with the spiced pop of vanilla and fragrant herbs from the bourbon barrels.  With each wine it was important to note the presence of the grape characteristics and the presence of the bourbon attributes working together.  With the lesser-bodied wines, the sharp higher tannin zinfandels in their various aged stages allowed hints if the bourbon notes to carry through more while the Gold Rush and Prospector’s Proof carried weights that created a harmonious intermingling of full flavor.  Altogether, it was an evening of wine lessons that, when combined with the guests’ wine understandings, left us all with our favorites and a greater appreciation for brands like 1000 Stories that has found a way to make a wonderful staple even better.

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In Fitness Food and Drink Good Eats Health Mens Mens lifestyle Plant Fusion Plant-Based Protein Powders Summer Body Summer Fitness Vegan Vegan Foods Wellness

Plant-Based Redemption For The Willing And The Waiting: Plant Fusion

You blinked didn't you?  I think so.  You blinked during the winter, opened your eyes from that nanosecond and it's already a month into Spring.  Where does the time go?  Before you know it we will be bombarded with 'Back To School' ads and 'End Of Summer' deals.  It was just a short while ago, wasn't it, that you proclaimed aspirations of reclaiming that fit bod that went away for a time due to the cozy comforting culinary delights of Winter.  Now here it is almost halfway to Summer and about a month away from the unofficial start of Summer and what do you have?  A questionable waistline and regrets.  Don't get frantic, get started!

I, for one, am always looking for ways to live my best life by examining what I would like to do versus what I am doing all pushed up against always assessing how I think about doing things.  With my two year vegan anniversary a little over a week away, I have discovered the powerful coercive physiological aspect of food and how I don't have to subscribe to how things were always done.  I inform myself then think for myself based on what I've learned.  Over the past two years I've learned that I don't need whey and dairy in my protein powders to get the protein I need.  This is why I was glad to be introduced to Plant Fusion at a recent Editor's Showcase here in NYC.

Plant Fusion is a line of plant-based proteins that has a complete vegan assortment within their selection of shakes and powders.  Through sourcing garden-fresh ingredients from non-GMO produce and ensuring high quality standards for exceptional flavors, Plant Fusion speaks to those seeking plant-based protein choices that speak to individualized needs.  For example, they offer their 1:1 Fats & Protein powder that uses good fats and takes then from oil to powder form then blends it  with a high-alkaline plant-based protein.  You feel fuller longer and gain energy without sugar.  This is also the case with their Complete Lean protein powder whose prebiotic fibers and probiotics aid in digestive health, sustaining energy and supports healthy blood sugar levels.  Their Fermented Superfood Protein powder supports those seeking enhanced immunity, gut health and energy.  Meanwhile, their Collagen Builder is the first plant based shake that supports new collagen building, hydrates skin and joints with plant-based ceramides and protects existing collagen. 

So based on what you are seeking, all of Plant Fusion's proteins are candidates for pre and post workout shakes.  Along with Complete Lean, finishing out their 'Complete' line is Complete Meal, a perfectly balanced meal replacement that also builds and repairs muscle and Complete Protein, (my favorite) whose 21g of protein feeds the muscles, digests easily and is dairy, soy and gluten free.  What's even better is that Plant Fusion is free from the dry chalkiness that many plant-based protein powders can have.  It blends up smoothly and tastes natural and not overly processed with the unnatural sweetness.  Check out my post-workout smoothie recipe, that I swear by, below for a great pre or post workout smoothie suggestion then head on over to and learn more about their complete line of plant-based power.  You've just been briefed and what to ingest so now all you have to do is meet it halfway with the motivation and the movement.  

Post-Workout Plant Pump

1/4 cup      Ice
3                Frozen strawberries
10-15         Frozen blueberries
1-2             1" to 1 1/2" X 1/4" to 1/2" in diameter fresh turmeric root  
2                Pinches of ground black pepper
1/4 cup      Fresh cut pineapple
1/4 cup      Fresh cut papaya (with seeds)
1 scoop      Plant Fusion Complete Protein powder
1 tsp          Fresh cut ginger root
1                Fresh Banana
1 tbsp        Black Chia seeds
2 tbsp        Oatmeal
1 tsp          Almond Butter
1/2 cup      Almond Milk
Juice from a 1/2 of a fresh cut lime

Note:  You can also use a 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder if you can't find the root.

Put frozen ingredients in first and into a 24 ounce blender cup and follow order as laid out above.  Blend until smooth and enjoy.  

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