Sunday, 17 February 2013 00:41

Viewer of the Month: Alex Charak

In April 2012 I received a Facebook message from a guy named Alex. He said he was a fan on my videos (even bought a birthday present because of my recommendation) and offered some advice on getting more views, so he immediately caught my attention (ha!). I was extremely impressed with his YouTube knowledge and thus it was no surprise to discover that he had a very popular channel...actually, channels. We've kept in touch ever since and to this day Alex sends me tips when he feels inspired - I owe a lot of my most successful video features to him! The least I could do to thank him was to feature him here and as you'll see he's a very cool "doctor" (you'll get my reference upon reading further).

 

I am so honored to be chosen as Eco-Vegan Gal's Viewer of the Month! My name is Alex Charak. I'm an actor/writer/YouTuber in New York City. I produce web content for youtube.com/drcoolsex and youtube.com/chronicgamergirl. I first stumbled across Whitney when I curiously searched Atlas Cafe NYC on YouTube. Even though I lived across the street and ate there everyday, I wondered if there was any video of it online. The first thing I saw was EvG's review. I watched some other videos, subscribed, and now follow closely on Facebook. Eco-Vegan Gal helps me to make smart, environmentally conscious purchases and to discover new, delicious food options.

When I was growing up, I didn't get much exposure to veganism. My parents ate meat and I did as well. Then, when I was sixteen, I saw "Super Size Me" and it changed my life. I cut out the fast food completely. But as I explored healthy eating online, I saw those awful PETA videos of chickens being hammered, cows being sliced open and all those other videos make you want to throw up. Once I saw what was happening, I had to stop eating meat. At eighteen, I went vegetarian, and, at nineteen, vegan. I felt morally at ease and healthier physically.

My parents have slightly high cholesterol genetically and I still do as well. It's something I have to watch and being vegan helps me combat that. Of course being vegan doesn't mean being healthy. I can't eat vegan peanut butter chocolate cake from Atlas everyday and stay fit (even with my five floor walk up apartment). Now that I moved into a building with an elevator, I have to watch my diet even more so. I'm about to bulk up in muscle and drop fat like crazy for a role in a new web series called "Alligator Man" about a superhero who is half alligator and…yes, half man. Thanks to some EvG blog posts, I've seen that it is possible to do in a healthy, vegan way.

For anyone who needs a quick defense of veganism, I like going to this Albert Einstein quote: "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." People some times don't understand veganism, but they sure do admire Einstein. Or toss a topical one at them with Abraham Lincoln: "I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being." If it that doesn't get them off your case, try this Mahatma Gandhi: "To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being." They'll get real quiet because no one likes to badmouth Gandhi.

Alex's favorite Eco-Vegan Gal video: I like a lot of the videos. Especially the vlogs and reviews. My favorite video is the first one I've ever seen. Atlas review:

 

Alex online:

Published in Viewer of the Month

Well, it's beyond December 21, 2012 and we're still here: phew! Admit it - you knew we'd be safe all along (I know I did). As silly as the fear of the end of the world seems in hindsight, I'm grateful for the awareness it brought me. I felt inspired to really look deep inside and examine my life, and find all the opportunities I had to grow. These feelings are often reserved for New Years, so it's as if like we got a head start on our resolutions and intentions for 2013!

Published in Everyday Living Tips
Monday, 24 September 2012 16:00

The Secret to Being Way Better

I do a lot of videos and writing on healthy food and lifestyle choices, but one aspect of wellness I don't explore often enough is the emotional side of it. That's why when I redesigned this website I created a section called "Feel" to focus in on holistic health care, fitness, everyday living tips and inspiration for the mind. I haven't created much content on these topics yet, so I was thrilled when Way Better Snacks asked their ambassadors to do an article around the phrase, "Eat Better. Live Better. Be Better." Clearly I have the first two elements covered, so I want to take an opportunity to delve a bit further into the third.

Yep, that was me almost 10 years ago, 1 year before I went vegan. While that was probably the heaviest I ever was, I have always struggled with my weight. Here is the story behind my journey to find a healthy diet that helped me learn how to understand and love my body. The following video includes more before and after pictures and videos.
Saturday, 10 September 2011 04:50

Remember 911. Remember Love (video)

 
The 911 attacks on the WTC are still as chilling today as they were 10 years ago. So many emotions come up for me: sadness, fear, confusion, nostalgia - but most of all, compassion. September 11, 2011 was a day when we remembered to love strangers, no matter who they were, what they looked like, or what they believed in.  We all came together because we needed that - we needed to feel connected. Every year we're reminded of this, but unfortunately it's not long lasting for most.

No wants wants to be considered selfish - that's a painful word. But the reality is that we spent the majority of our lives being selfish - it's simply in our nature. I guess the definition and use of the word is what really matters. To me, being selfish means doing something pleasurable at the expense of others, and unfortunately so much of what we do in American society falls into that definition.

Tuesday, 03 August 2010 04:06

Living Purely

I’ve been a vegan and environmentalist for over 5 years, and both passions took a while to develop. Recently, I realized why they were so important to me - they brought me closer to purity. However, I felt that I wasn’t living as purely as I could. According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, one of the definitions of the word pure is “without any extraneous and unnecessary elements”. When I stepped back and took a look at my lifestyle, I saw that there was a lot of nonessential elements - for example, I was eating food that wasn’t nutritious and was wrapped in a lot of packaging. I resolved to ask myself a question whenever I was making a decision: “do you truly need this?”  In many cases, the answer was, “no"

Sunday, 17 January 2010 14:56

Turning Shit into Fertilizer

Let me start by saying, this post is not literally about turning shit into fertilizer, however, it is metaphorically. This post is about turning a bad situation into a good one.

I lost my new purse yesterday. Luckily my phone, wallet, and keys were not inside. But unfortunately my new video camera, lavalier mic, extra battery, favorite sunglasses, To-Go Ware, organic cotton napkin, new Urban Decay lipstick, new dog toys, new chocolate, and new Brita filters were inside (it was a big purse!). I was attached to each item for various reasons (the purse was a holiday gift from my sister), and the loss added up to about $700. It's not worth explaining the process of how I lost it, but the chances of recovering it are very slim. I already really miss my To-Go Ware, which I use almost everyday.
 
So why write about this? First of all, sharing this experience makes me feel better. I really believe in putting thoughts into the universe; perhaps someone will have some great perspective that will cheer me up. It's frustrating and upsetting to lose something, especially something of value and importance. But, each of those items is replaceable (when I can afford them again), and ultimately all that matters is that I wasn't hurt physically. With the recent events in Haiti, I should feel fortunate that I'm alive and so are my loved ones.