Five years ago this month I started working for Woodhouse, a timberframe company, as their Vice President of Marketing and Communications. This point in time, and its significance in my life, appears throughout my forthcoming book, The Skeptical Vegan.
It was my first week of being vegan.
During my initial meeting and interview with the company president we had a lunch meeting that would be the very first time I ate out as a vegan (see Chapter Two for more details). Also, an ill-fated trip as a new vegan to a Minneapolis steakhouse with a group of burly builders made for some interesting off-menu ordering (see Chapter Three) and it was during my hour and a half commute to my office in Pennsylvania when I first made “the connection” while staring down a hillside of cows (see Chapter Four).
January 2012 was when it all began.
In case you’re looking for product placement in this blog post, you might think it’s my forthcoming book, The Skeptical Vegan, which is available for preorder NOW (comes out in July) and which I keep mentioning. However, the real product placement for this chapter of my vegan journey belongs to: NuGo.
NuGo Nutrition is an Oakmont, PA-based protein bar manufacturer whose “Chocolate Pretzel with Sea Salt” pretty much kept me alive for that first year of being an on-the-road vegan, driving to and from Woodhouse.
As a new vegan I was struggling to find something I could grab quick on the road (after dropping our foster twins off at daycare) that was nutritious, delicious, filling, and satisfying (and available at 7:30 am on my way out of town).
My regular stop took me to Wegmans (on the way) and for the first two weeks I would buy a soy vanilla latte and a couple bananas. Then I would expand into more fruits with the latte but it never felt like I was eating a “meal.” I craved more. A few failed attempts at finding a vegan AND gluten-free protein bar finally led me to NuGo. And I’ve been a fan of all their products ever since (still most in love with the pretzel, FWIW).
They have Mint Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Coconut, Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Mocha, Peanut Butter Cup and more! Getting hungry? Then don’t click here.
Each delicious bar features:
- REAL dark chocolate for vegans with a sweet tooth
- High protein for vegans who think about things like protein
- Low fat for vegans who want to lose some weight
- Vegan for vegans
- Pareve for vegans who look for this kind of thing
- Certified gluten-free for GF/Vs
- Certified Kosher for Jewish vegans
- Antioxidant rich for vegans who need more antioxidants!
- … and their bars are non-GMO-certified!
Every morning I would buy two bars (pretzel) and my latte and listen to satellite talk radio, trying to make all three last me an hour as I drove into northern Pennsylvania to my office. Since I currently live just an hour from the Pennsylvania border, I recently mapped to see how long it would take to get to the NuGo factory so I could stop in and act like Charlie at the chocolate factory but, alas, it’s 5 1/2 hours from home.
Next time I am in the Pittsburgh area … I will hopefully have a chance to stop in and thank the good people of Nugo for helping me become (and stay) vegan.
LOOK for The Skeptical Vegan from Skyhorse Publishing this July and PREORDER now at Amazon or Barnes and Noble!