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Ernest Swindell on Excel Bars: Bridging the Gap Between Taste and Plant-Based Nutrition



In the latest episode of the Plants vs. Meat podcast, Bryan delves into an enlightening conversation with Ernest Swindell, co-founder of Xcel, creators of the "best damn nutrition bar" on the market. This episode not only uncovers the origins of their vegan and gluten-free meal bars but also explores the broader implications of dietary choices on health, the environment, and animal welfare.


Ernest and his team at Xcel have crafted a product that epitomizes the balance between nutritious content and delightful taste. Originating from an accidental blend of dates and oats, what was once a breakfast mishap has transformed into a culinary innovation, offering a range of flavors that cater to diverse palates while maintaining a commitment to plant-based ingredients.


Despite not being vegans themselves, Ernest and his partner demonstrate a profound respect for all dietary lifestyles, emphasizing the universal appeal of good food. Their story is a testament to the fact that plant-based eating doesn't have to compromise on taste or satisfaction. Xcel's bars are a perfect example of how vegan products can successfully cater to a wide audience, including those who might not typically gravitate toward plant-based options.


The discussion also touches on critical issues such as the environmental impact of meat consumption and the ethical treatment of animals in the food industry. Ernest's insights into these topics highlight the importance of conscious eating and the potential for plant-based diets to contribute to a more sustainable and compassionate world.


As the Plants vs. Meat podcast continues to explore the intersections of diet, health, and sustainability, Ernest Swindell's episode stands out as a compelling narrative that encourages listeners to reconsider their food choices in favor of more plant-based options.

Check out Xcel's range of vegan meal bars and join the movement towards a healthier, more ethical approach to eating.


Listen to the full episode here!


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>Podcast Episode’s Transcript 

Please understand that a transcription service provided the transcript below. It undoubtedly contains errors that invariably take place in voice transcriptions.


Bryan (00:00.694)

Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of Plants vs. Meat. And we are here today to talk about the diets and the ways that people fuel their bodies and all sorts of good stuff. And joining me today is Ernest and Alana with Excel, the best damn nutrition bar out there. So welcome to the show.


XCEL (00:20.839)

Absolutely. Thanks for having us.


Bryan (00:25.846)

We, I really appreciate you. So you and I met at another event a little bit back and I just love your product. It's tell us all about the best damn nutrition bar.


XCEL (00:36.039)

Thank you first. Absolutely. We appreciate you trying it, and we're glad you enjoyed it. So tell you a little bit about the product. So we call it the best for a reason. It is vegan and gluten-free meal bars. We are, you know, we've been taking some of the things that we've talked about over the, you know, from that event and some other.


cohorts that we've attended and you know looking on making a slight pivot in how we brand. So looking at possibly calling it a meal bar instead of a nutrition bar because it is and can be used as a meal replacement bar. It's a date based bar dates being the primary ingredient combination of gluten-free oats nuts seeds dry fruits and all things of the sort


Bryan (01:09.303)

Yeah.


Bryan (01:16.354)

Yeah, yeah, yeah.


XCEL (01:28.631)

We like to call it an acci So I'll let Baby get the backstory on that, because she tells it so eloquently. So high level, and we met, we told this story, but the one thing that I omitted for the crowd was, I think oatmeal is nasty.


How did preference right I'm up in New Jersey So I am a cream of wheat kind of girl, but he's an oatmeal one morning and he wanted to add some pizzazz He wanted some chopped dates only had pity dates Put it into the blender thinking that it was going to just chop them but it turned into a very gooey substance and that day I thought that he became a food scientist because he used his ingenuity to Craft with his today's Excel bar


Bryan (01:46.064)

Great.


Bryan (01:49.836)

Okay.


Bryan (02:06.734)

Hehehehe


XCEL (02:12.327)

and it's going through name changes and different testing as far as what ingredients compliment one another. And we have a great array of delicious flavors and textures. So yeah, accident oatmeal turned into a meal bar. However, I hope that he omits the oatmeal moving forward. Not gonna happen.


Bryan (02:12.43)

That's awesome.


Bryan (02:25.954)

That's awesome.


Bryan (02:36.184)

We keep working on it. I do like the oatmeal, but I want to see some variety in it. You know, you got to mix it up and have the samplings, right? So.


XCEL (02:44.583)

Thank you.


Bryan (02:46.166)

Well, that is awesome. So I appreciate you giving us that background because like, it was so surprising to me because I am the real man who eats plants and I've been on this vegan journey for quite a while now. And, um, so I am just looking for people like you to come on this show and just sort of chat with me about, about that. Cause like you have a really good product, it's vegan, but yet you guys aren't vegan yourselves, right?


Not yet, anyway. I'm gonna try and convince you, but.


XCEL (03:15.582)

Right, right, right. But we respect all lifestyles and choices on what your palate prefers. Yeah. Yeah, and that's...


Bryan (03:20.642)

Absolutely. So, so I'm just curious, like, you know, and I grew up, you know, full meat eater too, on that whole front. And, you know, did it for whatever 35 years. So I've been 13, 14 ish years, more or less on my plant based journey on that front. Um, and so I'm just curious, like, if you look at the health aspects of it, like,


The best damn nutrition bar is vegan on that front. It gets you a lot of the vitamins, minerals, protein, all that stuff that you need on that front. People advocate for plant-based diets. Others say the meat diets. What do you see as the health benefits of the diets and stuff? How do you guys unpack the different kinds of diets that are out there right now?


XCEL (04:08.443)

So that's actually one of the original statements slash question was one of the main questions we get. Are you guys vegan? No, not. But what we will say is that we have no need to put any kind of animal products in our bars. The only thing that would potentially


Bryan (04:19.275)

Right.


Bryan (04:28.407)

Mm-hmm.


XCEL (04:32.899)

have the need to have any meat product or animal product, then it is chocolate. For the dairy. Yeah, for the dairy. But we use dark chocolate because we know people just like good food in general. But if we make it free of any animal products, then we also appeal to the vegan audience. I was born and raised in the South, Longbird, North Carolina. A lot of farmland and things like that. So my family actually.


Bryan (04:38.04)

Right.


Bryan (04:45.056)

Yeah.


Bryan (04:51.766)

Right.


XCEL (05:01.895)

grew up on farmland on the mother side of the family. So in addition to having their own cows, pigs, chickens and things like that, a vast majority of the diet, probably like 65, 70% of it was plant-based foods, things that grew down here, collards, black-eyed peas, field peas, cabbage, things like that. So we just like good food.


Bryan (05:05.068)

Yeah.


Bryan (05:18.562)

Mm-hmm.


Yeah.


XCEL (05:28.359)

So when somebody yeah, it doesn't it doesn't have to be It doesn't have to contain meat for us to enjoy it. So we're not necessarily Advocates for one particular diet or the other but one thing we both agree on and that we always explain to people Whether you are a meat eater or not is that plants plant-based foods are some of the best


Bryan (05:31.566)

Hehehe


Bryan (05:37.055)

Right.


XCEL (05:54.143)

and healthiest foods that we can eat because even cows and chickens have plant-based diets. Yeah, so we just we like meat but we don't necessarily have to have meat in our diet.


Bryan (05:58.346)

Right, right. And it's.


Bryan (06:05.246)

Right. So I guess I'm curious like how, you know.


you know, there's 8 billion people on the planet and the health, you know, just keep unpacking the health sides of it, right? Like there's not enough meat being produced to make sure everybody can have the meat on that front. And then like, you know, we're spoiled because we're in America. So we get any choice we want, whether it's seafood, fish, whatever your choices are. But like, do you, how, I'm curious, like your diet, like would you say you limit the number of meat? Like you more in that flexitarian space kind of a thing.


or do you have it every day? Or like, what's your sort of diet style now? And do you see health implications one way or another, whether you eat only plants or, like I'm just curious what your vision is on the health side of eating the meat.


XCEL (06:54.823)

You want to take a look? Well, what I will say is, starting from the latter question, is that I do a lot of fasting, first and foremost. Once a week I fast and I will make food in general. We do a lot of juicing.


Bryan (07:01.445)

Mm-hmm.


Bryan (07:08.438)

Mm-hmm.


XCEL (07:08.643)

and smoothies as well. So absolutely when you omit meat, I don't think that there's an argument between the two of us that we don't see that there isn't an increased energy and of course the lack of sluggishness and then to be a little gross. We know that it allows our bodies to emanate the waste a lot quicker, right? Right. Absolutely. But those are all things that are very, very important, right? We just came back from overseas and you know, you can tell the difference


Bryan (07:29.742)

Yes.


Bryan (07:34.326)

That's right.


XCEL (07:38.938)

because meat is it.


Yes meat will contribute to a slower digestive system, but so does the preservatives So you can tell the difference depending on where you are where you're eating Um as far as our diet is concerned There are nights that we won't have any kind of meat and then there are nights where we'll have a meat but we may have two vegetables And in a very small starch Um, I think our idea of eating is just uh eating cleaner Right with a whole bunch of sauce a whole bunch of cheese


Bryan (07:46.582)

Right.


Bryan (07:59.905)

Yeah.


XCEL (08:11.813)

Unless it's Guta, we are big fans of Guta. We're very much so, Guta has us hit up. We're very much so just conscious of the fact that we are in our mid to late 30s, right? Baby is a little closer to 40 than I am. And knowing that- Last lap. Yeah, last 39. And knowing that-


Bryan (08:15.254)

Heheheheheheh


Bryan (08:27.649)

Yeah.


XCEL (08:33.371)

Health is wealth, right? So we absolutely value the things that are going to give our organs what they need to continue to work. Because we understand that especially in our late teens and twenties, we probably did a lot of damage to them. So we wanna have longevity. We definitely wanna have longevity. Right, we wanna have longevity. So, but I will say this, I think as you get a little older, your palate expands and you start to acquire a greater taste for the vegetables


Bryan (08:34.86)

Right.


Bryan (08:40.206)

Mm-hmm. Right.


Bryan (08:48.214)

Yes, me too, I'm in that bucket.


XCEL (09:03.485)

that are actually richer because meat is beautiful, vegetables are beautiful, but you start realizing that your body responds better to certain things. Especially when you talk about the types of meat like red meat our bodies take a


Bryan (09:07.788)

Yeah.


Bryan (09:13.204)

100%


XCEL (09:19.971)

much longer time to break down and digest than red meats are also linked to they have higher levels of cholesterol and things along those lines so one thing well you know baby's more of a bigger red meat eater than I am but I do enjoy it so you know we tend to eat a lot of a lot more chicken well poultry and uh and fish


Bryan (09:31.159)

Yeah.


Bryan (09:48.702)

Yeah. It's it's


XCEL (09:49.159)

I'll tell you the best chicken we ever had in the world Listen was in Paris, France at a place called chicken world and it was a food truck and they told chickens and they consider chicken legs the whole quarter where you know in America we try to divvy it up and make proceeds on everything and you can just tell the difference so meat is Different everywhere you go interestingly, but I guess it's about how they


Bryan (09:58.481)

Okay.


Bryan (10:13.722)

I would say the best chicken I ever had was in Jamaica, Jamaican jerk chicken in Jamaica. It was hot too, but with a red stripe it was tasting good. That's honestly the one thing that as a...


XCEL (10:18.699)

Oh, you like spice, okay.


XCEL (10:25.959)

Oh yeah. I can eat with you because Red Stripe is one of the only videos that I drink.


Bryan (10:34.306)

vegan now, like I love spicy food and I love mushrooms. So I would say, you know, it's just interesting cause like more and more and more studies are coming out that are clearly showing that meat links to cancer and meat links to high cholesterol and high blood pressure and a ton of chronic diseases. And like, and specifically like, um, coal cuts and the processed meats, you know,


Those 100% the World Health Organization has clearly said that it's the same as smoking. You know what I mean? Like it's guaranteed to cause cancer and stuff like that. So I, you know, I, I like to hear the, the situation of, of people saying like, well, I eat the organic grass-fed, whatever, but like, it doesn't matter in my opinion, whether it's the eggs or the chicken or the fish, all of them have been scientifically proven that they're going to cause cancer faster


Bryan (11:29.74)

and all those things eat the plants to get the vitamins and minerals into them and stuff like that. So, but your big debate is really around the taste of it. So I guess my question for you, before we switch to some of the other topics, is around the taste of it. Like Better Meat Co has created this mycelium meat and has some steaks that in theory taste just as good as the meat alternatives on that front. Have you tried a wide variety?


XCEL (11:33.143)

You hang. Right.


Bryan (11:59.72)

of the plant-based meats and found any that you feel like really have resonated on the taste structure yet or the taste buds? No?


XCEL (12:09.557)

Nah No meat needs to just be meat and vegetables. This is just needs to be vegetables reason being Let it be what it is. Don't try to make it taste like meat if this


Bryan (12:20.358)

I know, but like the taste is so key to why we eat, right? Like that's the number one reason why they people, people are like, I love the taste of the cigarette, so I can't give it up or whatever. I'm addicted to the motion or something, but like the same is true with the meat. We know it causes these things in these situations, but it's the taste or, or the rituals of the culture that are holding us back. So I don't like my plants to pretend like they're animals either. I agree with you.


XCEL (12:46.375)

Yeah, right. But what? Yeah, let me jump in now. Let you get your. So one thing I will say is, you know, I made that statement because a lot of times when is the vegetables that they try to make taste like meat, there's so many preservatives and fillers and things that are added to it that make it just as unhealthy, almost as unhealthy as the meat. So if we're going to do, let's say.


Bryan (13:06.967)

Yeah.


XCEL (13:15.403)

a cauliflower, whatever, don't process it so much to where you're losing the health benefit of it. Prepare it in such a way that it still maintains the same health benefits. So I haven't came across a, well, there's been some like a mushroom jerky and things like that.


Bryan (13:22.239)

Agreed, yeah.


Bryan (13:26.956)

Yeah.


Bryan (13:35.05)

Mm-hmm.


XCEL (13:35.695)

Cause we both are big on reading ingredients. So if we see, you got the same amount of preservatives and additives and fillers and all that, now we'll leave that alone. But if it's strictly what it is, the mushrooms or what have you, with natural seasonings and flavors, okay, we'll work with those. We're more apt to try those than the fake meats. Go ahead, baby.


Bryan (13:38.091)

Yeah.


XCEL (13:56.583)

Same thing. Oh, my argument was the same thing that just like I enjoy a good black bean burger We need a lot of mushrooms. What's the one that we like is it lions man lions man? Oh Yeah, absolutely because it takes on flavor impeccably right but we're not going to lion's sake, you know


Bryan (14:06.214)

I was going to say, Lions means pretty darn close.


Bryan (14:11.994)

Yeah, it does. It does. Yeah, but that's the problem. Like, yeah. Well the meat subsidies keep the meat prices low and that the Lion's Mane's still more expensive, but when it switches. So, so I think we're both aligned 100% on the whole food side of this fence. The whole food, not maybe so much the plant based side of it, but the less processed food, the better it is for you. 1000%.


XCEL (14:22.979)

Yeah. Now, my argument was...


Bryan (14:38.494)

So let's switch gears and talk about the next topic that a lot of us vegans care so much about is the environment. So how do you believe that like the meat-based diet contributes to the environment right now?


XCEL (14:38.55)

Absolutely.


XCEL (14:53.125)

Pick me.


Bryan (14:55.582)

Alonna you get to go first this time.


XCEL (14:58.155)

It's population control Yeah, I mean if we didn't eat the animals then they would have they would take up more space on earth but


Bryan (15:00.502)

You think so?


Bryan (15:09.302)

But so I just, I just watched some statistic on this the other day, and I'm not going to quote it the right way perfectly, right? But like, I think there are 1.8 billion cows on this planet. Like it is by far the most produced animal.


you know, maybe chicken, probably chickens are, are right up there too. But like clearly humans have risen to the top of the food chain and we control exactly what we put on our plates. And those are the number, the chicken, the fish and the cows and the pigs are the most dominant animals on the planet by far. Right. So.


XCEL (15:47.387)

When you say by number or population.


Bryan (15:51.71)

Yeah, yeah, by far, right.


So, I mean, they outnumber us. I mean, I think we kill almost a billion animals a day to ship for food. So when you really start breaking down some of these numbers and see how much land is being used for raising the cows and raising the chickens and stuff like that, and how much land is used just to raise the vegetables to feed to the animals. So we take huge nutrient-dense awesome calories and feed them to the animals,


and then they get slaughtered and brought to us kind of a thing. So it's like a double, a double cycle. So I'm just curious your thoughts on the environment side of, of the, of the meat paradigm.


XCEL (16:38.039)

Yeah, I mean, I think everything is cyclical, right? You know, everything kind of goes in a cycle. Like nothing necessarily gets wasted. Everything has a use. But one thing I will say is, you know, when we are out and about, you know, we really don't see a lot of farmland in general. You know, we don't see large animal farms or even large vegetable farms.


Bryan (16:58.827)

Yeah.


XCEL (17:06.827)

I think we all know that a lot of things are getting produced in factories. Yeah. And so now.


Bryan (17:11.262)

Yep. Well, North, it's surprising because we're, we're both in North Carolina, right? So North Carolina is one of the largest producers of pigs in the United States on that front. And you know, when you drive past the pig farm. So that's too, that too.


XCEL (17:24.291)

Yeah, that and chicken farms. Yes, absolutely. Smell smells horrible. You know, but you know, you look at it, you know, those processing plants, you know, they generate a lot of harmful toxins in the environment. I mean, hell just from breathing it were like how are people even working in these kind of conditions? And so yeah, it would be great if


Bryan (17:43.006)

Yeah, yeah.


XCEL (17:49.551)

that were the case, which means we would have to reduce our meat consumption.


Bryan (17:55.102)

Well, we have to eat more best damn nutrition bars and less steaks on that front for sure. Right. So that's right. That's right.


XCEL (18:00.144)

Come burdening one bite at a time.


Bryan (18:04.074)

Well, I think, and I think that's the misconception. I don't think you guys, you guys don't seem and sound like, you know, you're eating red meat at every single meal by any means whatsoever. So like, but there are the, the standard American diet pretty much supplies the meat at every, every meal on that front. So it's, it's interesting to see the balance that we have to get to, you know, I hope everybody, you know, adopts a whole food plant based diet in some fashion. But, you know, I know there's going to be the people that just


XCEL (18:14.497)

No.


Bryan (18:33.968)

won't give up for the taste or whatever the reasons are. But like what real, I don't know what the numbers are. I feel like we've, we've probably already passed 1.5 degrees increase in the heat on the planet is my opinion. And so we're heading towards the destruction of all life on this planet, unfortunately. And so if we don't all switch to plant based tomorrow, that could reduce almost 40% of the emissions and really start shifting the world back to where it was.


and like maybe in a hundred, two hundred years we might be able to say okay we can introduce the cows again and have one piece of red meat per month or something like I don't know I don't know what that balance paradigm is but it's interesting to feel like I feel like we've already passed the tipping point and I'm just I'm worried for my future generations of children and everything else on the planet how do you guys see the climate change situations?


XCEL (19:31.003)

I wouldn't blame it solely, not that you're saying solely, but as heavy on the animals as quickly as we can reduce that by the carbon footprint with just our vehicles, right? Or the chemtrails. There's so many different factors that...


Bryan (19:42.39)

Yeah.


XCEL (19:46.607)

go into that, that I see removing animals as one of them, but I don't know if it's, and of course I haven't done the scientific research, but if that's as toxic as our vehicles every day or the things that we think are just normal modes of transportation, these animals were here before we were here, right? So I don't know if it's them or if it's really just us.


Bryan (19:48.013)

Yeah.


Bryan (19:55.563)

Yeah.


Bryan (20:08.686)

It's an interesting question because the vehicles is where everybody points to it. But we spent a lot of the vehicle time transporting the animals in the grain to feed them as well. But it is really the animals. The statistics are skewed because they don't lump all the animals together. They say cows is 2% and the chickens are 6 or 7%. And so when you say all transportation, it probably does add up to like 27, 28%.


animals never get all lumped together. But if you watch like, What the Health on Netflix and stuff like that, you'll see how they showcase some of those things. So it is, it's surprising when you look into the research, you'll see that it's much higher than people think for that side of it. But yeah, I mean, 100%, we gotta do some things for transportation as well.


XCEL (20:43.886)

Thank you.


XCEL (21:00.771)

And one thing I would say on that topic too is, you know, a lot of times when we're talking about animals, you know, we don't talk about the other uses of animals outside of consumption and eating. So if, if we're going to say, let's not eat as many plants, well, are we as a society willing to wear less cotton and use less leather products and other things that we


Bryan (21:25.578)

Yep, that's very true.


XCEL (21:27.599)

assume not by mouth, but just from physical resources that still have to kill these animals. Last thing about all in versus well, let's focus on this segment.


Bryan (21:36.631)

I agree, I mean I try and tell it.


Bryan (21:42.599)

I agree, because it's so interesting.


And I think we even talked about this. We at the other meeting we were at is like, you get to vote with your dollars. You know what I mean? And that's where you get to decide. So, so when I, I did get a leather belt for Christmas or something, and I asked, can I have the gift for seed? I do want to exchange it for a vegan belt, you know, just cause I do want to make sure I'm planting those seeds where I can, uh, on that front. So yeah, everybody gets to vote with their wallets, but that's where I guess I'm, I'm so excited to talk with you about like,


XCEL (21:51.259)

Yeah, absolutely.


XCEL (22:02.777)

Yeah.


Bryan (22:15.28)

the best damn nutrition bar and all the other vegan meal replacement bars and nutrition bars closer to market because, um,


It really goes into the last category is like the treatment of the animals, right? Like we talked about some of the numbers and stuff that are affecting the planet, but like the treatment of the animals, like there's, I don't, you know, I don't know what, what are your thoughts on, you know, we know the factory farming and the way they kill things and everything else. Like it's, it's a tough on a lot of fronts. You have some thoughts on, have you guys sat together and thought about that at all or


XCEL (22:51.851)

Not in terms of a business per se, but we have looked at a lot of documentaries like What the Hell and there's another one, The Blue Zones. That's a great one to actually listen to the audio audiobook. I haven't watched the Netflix documentary, but listen to the audiobook. But yeah, I mean, we see that animals are treated very


Bryan (23:02.666)

Yeah, yeah, that's a good one.


Bryan (23:11.986)

Mm-hmm.


XCEL (23:19.103)

inhumanely. I mean, they've showed images of cows literally crying. Like they have emotions and things like that. I think and me and baby were talking about this earlier going back even to a biblical sense where they still ate meat back in the day, but it wasn't the inhumane treatment. I guess you can say killing in general is inhumane. You know, if we lump that together.


Bryan (23:25.239)

Yeah.


Bryan (23:45.278)

Yeah, yeah. The Old Testament definitely had a lot of that in it. But yeah.


XCEL (23:50.119)

Uh, yeah, the one they don't want to talk about. But, you know, we look at that to how things are mass produced now, and where it's just, you know, whatever the treatment is, you know, we're going to come up a million chickens or whatever in this small sale. Well, then it actually creates a different flavor in the meat in itself, because now you're changing the hormone balance of the animal.


Bryan (24:18.678)

Yeah.


XCEL (24:20.219)

to where you're now you're getting a different taste versus those that are treated more humanely. So yeah, I mean, it does happen. We do see that, but like you said, in order to make a compelling argument against that, we have to change our purchasing habits. And until we do that, nothing's gonna change because when we verbally say.


Hey, we want to see a change, but our dollars say we're comfortable with the way things are looking about whatever change.


Bryan (24:50.538)

Yeah, 100%. I know the people at Five Guys, you know, they have the Five Guys burgers and fries has the veggie burger for me kind of thing now. But, you know, so it is slowly changing on that front, but it's not quite as still. I don't you know, I don't enjoy going to those kinds of places to a degree overall.


XCEL (25:14.567)

I think one of the reasons is, you know, one of the reasons people tend to continue to gravitate towards meat is because for decades and decades we've been brainwashed that we're going to die if we don't have protein. The only way you can get protein is through meat.


Bryan (25:28.063)

Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Bryan (25:32.302)

It's so true, right? I mean, and look at how many grams of protein are packed into your bars.


XCEL (25:38.499)

not a whole lot because we don't do any protein additives. We have about five to seven grams of protein but that's coming from the ingredients that are already in it the oats, the nuts, the seeds.


Bryan (25:49.389)

Right.


But I mean, just I think it goes to show like the plants do have the proteins in it. I mean, a protein is just made up of those, those amino acids. And as long as you get a nice variety of color and all the food you eat, you'll be fine on, on that front. What I mean, you guys, you guys are in the, the fitness business a little bit. Hit me with what, what do you think the right amount of protein is for, for somebody that's, you know, working out fairly regularly? Like, do you have any targets that you recommend to people?


XCEL (25:54.96)

Thank you.


XCEL (26:02.265)

Right.


XCEL (26:09.777)

Yeah.


XCEL (26:20.227)

depends on your goals. And this is based off of research that I've done throughout the years. But if you're looking to gain muscle, the industry recommendation, the standard recommendation is about 0.7, 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. I don't have, because I'm a personal trainer by trade as well.


haven't come across a lot of clients where they're looking to just gain a ton of muscle. The majority of the people that I've come across from a clientele standpoint, just people in general want to live a healthy lifestyle, which is what we primarily focus on is living a healthy lifestyle. So from that standpoint, we look at how can you live a sustainable or have a sustainable and healthy balanced diet.


Bryan (26:47.074)

Yeah.


Bryan (26:52.866)

Yeah.


Yeah.


XCEL (27:05.407)

Versus you need to make sure you get this X number of grams of protein and X number of grams of this Let's look at getting back to the basics What are some of the most healthy things that we can eat? Like we just said, you know plant-based foods Yeah more kale more all the above but let's listen to our bodies because our bodies Sellers tell us when we've had enough food


Bryan (27:05.527)

Yeah.


Bryan (27:19.902)

More kale. Yeah.


Bryan (27:30.338)

That's right. Yep.


XCEL (27:30.679)

our taste buds tell us, you know, when we're ready to eat or if something's nastier, something's good or whatever the case. So let's focus on the basics and live in a overall healthy lifestyle, whether you're a meat eater or not, whether you're plant based or not. What is it? What is a healthy diet look like? What are the nutrients that our body needs to give us the energy that we need? And then we focus on it from that standpoint. Well, the problem is that we eat for taste and to live anymore.


Bryan (27:54.666)

Yeah, that's awesome.


XCEL (28:00.219)

you know.


Bryan (28:00.222)

Yeah. And, and like, and I like what you said earlier, Alana, in the sense of like, everybody should remember what it feels like to be hungry, like fast, like, you know, maybe whatever your fasting schedule is, you know, whether it's once a year for a few days or once a month or once a week, like it's good to just like, let your body get, get everything out and sort of detox a little bit and, and fuel it back up. So, um,


XCEL (28:09.947)

Yeah.


XCEL (28:28.011)

Absolutely. I just want to add something really quickly just a very interesting point, you know Whether you need plants or me everybody has their own arguments and their own statistics because your belief system is very important to you I have my own dietary restrictions because I follow the dietary laws out of the Bible


Bryan (28:40.16)

Mm-hmm.


XCEL (28:45.399)

So I don't eat any pork or crustaceans, right? But we met a lady who was our Make it short right a lady who was our uber driver when we missed our flight Indescent and had to go over to Pensacola and for this hour ride She tried to convince us. I mean she meant it from the bottom of her heart. Okay


It the only thing that you need to eat was butter and ground beef She ate a pound of it every single day, okay, she broke it up into her meals She ate no vegetable. She told us how bad vegetables were and everything and we're thinking what do you think that the cows eat, right? we know that they're grazing and She gave us all types of statistics about why it was important and why was the only thing that you needed


Bryan (29:14.223)

Oh my goodness.


Bryan (29:29.247)

Yeah.


Bryan (29:37.122)

We gotta get her on the show. Hehehehe


XCEL (29:40.746)

And why she thought that it changed her lifestyle. Now.


Sounds outlandish to us, but when other people hear certain things that we say they don't believe it So it's my only Plotus is that everybody has their own belief system and they have what they think works for them and when you believe it so much Then you might start seeing those results because the mind is powerful But we all would agree that we know that eating a pound of ground beef and butter every day is gonna clog your arteries


Bryan (29:51.551)

Yeah.


Bryan (30:08.978)

Yeah, 100%. Yeah. And that's where I just say, like I'd be curious if she went on a plant-based diet for 30 days and saw her cholesterol numbers fall through the floor on that. But like you, we've mentioned the Bible a couple of times, so we're, we're both in the Christian faith. And, and I think like, I just like to point out Adam and Eve were vegetarians, weren't they? Or vegan probably.


XCEL (30:33.367)

I don't know. You know what? I do. It wasn't? No, no. I mean, he... I believe that he...


Bryan (30:37.993)

They were in the garden. They were talking to the animals, having fun with them. I don't think they were eating them.


XCEL (30:43.115)

I don't know that they ate them into I do believe that Adam Eve probably were vegetarians and my personal belief of reading it


Bryan (30:48.246)

Vegan I don't even think they ate the eggs so


XCEL (30:51.647)

Right, so I don't think that they ate anything until they got to Leviticus right after After they after this thing After they ate the food that they should have not and that's where things change shit abe and well then he gave you a list No, I'm just joking


Bryan (30:59.618)

That's right, after the sin.


Bryan (31:04.712)

I didn't mean to start a little fight there on that later, you know.


Bryan (31:12.002)

Well, this has been awesome. I mean, I think I really, really appreciate you guys coming on the show. I do hope that everybody who's listening does check out the best damn nutrition bar with Excel and what you guys are doing on that. Cause I do want to see more vegan products like what you're doing come out to the market. This is a tough topic to talk about in general with anybody. And I hope you guys had some fun just talking with me a little bit and sharing some stories and helping open up people's minds that are watching.


listening to this. In my opinion, try a plant-based diet for 30 days. Go get your blood work before and after and give it a go. But at the same time, we do have to find a path as a society in some way, shape, or form. And I personally think it's going to have to involve a whole bunch more plants. So any parting closing thoughts and do tell us how we can get in touch with you guys and where we can pick up some of your bars.


XCEL (32:09.659)

So I'll start and then maybe you can let me know what to find the bars, but I would say be open to change. Be open to change. We can find anything online that we want to substantiate what we already think is true.


If we want to find something that says, hey, you should eat a meat based diet or eat meat only, it's the healthiest way to go. And if we just do a Google search in there, we'll find something that's a stamp. You ate that. So we have to be open to change and be open to, uh, opposing views and just be willing to have a open dialogue about it instead of being so gung ho on what we already think we know. Well, adults agree to disagree. Yeah.


Bryan (32:27.832)

Mm-hmm.


Bryan (32:53.464)

Yeah.


XCEL (32:57.192)

Yeah. And, and try it for yourself. Like you said, get your blood work before and after you came.


Bryan (33:01.622)

I mean, most people, and that's what I like to point out is, you know, we've all been raised with the meat in our lives. And so we've gone, whatever, 30, 39 years on this planet, only eating the meat. So like I'm just encouraging you to try it for 30 or 60 days and see how you feel, you know, and then you can go back to meat eating if it's not for you, kind of a thing, but like you have to try it, like just like fasting or running or tennis or anything else, you've got to say you've tried it before you can knock it. So yeah.


XCEL (33:07.419)

you


XCEL (33:30.151)

See you soon.


Well, I thank you for having us because it was a beautiful conversation of everybody's opinions and stances My imparting words are I don't think I actually learned how to cook until I only cooked vegetables so I did a 21 day Daniel's fast and you know omit salt and you can only eat What is approved right through your church and the vegetables and the starches? And I think that's when I learned how to be creative because meat has its own


Bryan (33:49.539)

Mm-hmm.


Bryan (33:54.464)

Yeah.


XCEL (34:01.186)

flavor with the vegetables.


Bryan (34:02.372)

Mm-hmm.


XCEL (34:03.543)

Take a little more doctoring right because a lot of times we just fall also meat right? So I think I really wrap my head around being a little more domesticated and really understanding how to cook because you You learn whether you want your vegetables soft you still want to hold on to the integrity of the vitamins that you're getting So I think it's definitely um, everybody should be open-minded and then as far as where you can find the best damn meal bar For excel is we are located here in charlotte, North Carolina


Bryan (34:05.879)

Yeah.


Bryan (34:16.802)

Yeah.


Bryan (34:20.619)

Mm-hmm.


XCEL (34:33.877)

Uptown farmers market every Saturday starting back April I Think we're taking second with second week in April or December. It was cold outside We're also located at three of the rhino markets here in Charlotte, North Carolina And we are offered at Swarthmore University in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania as well as please don't forget to check out the website which is


Bryan (34:44.151)

Yep.


XCEL (34:56.827)

WWW that always excel calm excel without the additional e or the first e and Please check us out. We have nine flavors and they will all Really reach out to your taste palette whether you are a chocolate peanut butter fan or you like chocolate covered strawberry We have something for everybody


Bryan (35:16.39)

it. Well thank you so much Ernest and Alana for being here, hanging out with us for a little bit and don't forget to check out the best damn meal bar, nutrition bar, as their name and changes and stuff evolve. It's A-L- right?


XCEL (35:35.091)

Absolutely.


Bryan (35:35.534)

I got that right. Cool. Well, thank you again. And that's all the time we have for this episode of Plants vs. Meat. We need your help finding more people. So please recommend us, make a comment like this. Let's blow up this conversation and start talking about food and nutrition and how it ties into the environment, the animals and all those things. So help us spread the word and share this episode. Thanks everybody. We'll see you next time.


XCEL (36:00.879)

Take care.


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