Parenting Is Hard. One Ritual Helps Keep Me Going

A Dad Considers Ritual Multivitamins

I’m usually up around 5 in the morning, and I don’t get much “me time” until 9 or 10 at night; just in time to fall asleep for the last 20 minutes of whatever show my wife and I are “watching.” Being an adult usually means running from one crisis or calamity to another, and it can take a toll.

The suggested solution to this issue is to work out, eat better, practice meditation and all sorts of activities that are, you know, not the sorta thing parents would have a lot of time for. And even if you’re a few months or years into the parenting gig, finding your way back to a routine of self-care is not easy. Even I would start weeks making big promises about getting in three weight training sessions, or swearing off fast food; this proved a great way to end every week feeling like a total loser jerk. When I was offered a monthly sample of Ritual, a daily multivitamin supplement, it seemed like an easy way to fit in something for myself.  

Now, Ritual is a multivitamin supplement with a soft spot for parents. The company gained notoriety with moms for developing a prenatal multivitamin that specialized in transparently-sourced nutrients without all the shady fillers a lot of brands cram into their products. They’ve recently launched a line for men with the same philosophy of scientifically-developed multivitamins, and while that’s all cool, what really intrigued me was the philosophy behind their design: That no pill or powder can make you stronger –– a refreshing angle for someone essentially trying to sell me a supplement. Instead, Ritual emphasizes that foundational health starts with small daily habits. 

If finding time to take care of myself was a challenge, I could manage to take two little pills a day. At least to start, right? 

Now, let’s be clear. Ritual didn’t give me sudden superhuman abilities or mental clarity. I was still groggy in the mornings and exhausted at night – I didn’t immediately start hitting my workout goals. There’s no magic pill. What I could do is stand in front of a mirror every day, open the Ritual container and look myself in the eye knowing that no matter what happened that day, I’d done something to help support my health. Something for myself.* 

So what does Ritual do then? Well, the big goal of a multivitamin is to help fill nutritional gaps in the diet. Yes, Brad, we all know that eating a pure Mediterranean diet that we cooked over campfires made from ancient trees would make us good to go, but the year is 2020, and that’s not in the cards. So Ritual provides key nutrients to help fill nutrient gaps in most modern men’s diets, using transparently-sourced nutrients that you can feel good about putting in your body. 

I take Ritual’s Essential for Men 18+ which is formulated with key micronutrients to help support men’s health –– including heart, brain, muscle, and normal immune support.*  The key differentiators here are their nutrient sourcing and No B.S. formula. For example, they get their Magnesium, which helps support bone health*, from Odgen, Utah. I’m not saying I needed to know my Vitamin K2 comes from Oslo, Norway, but when it comes to supporting heart health it’s comforting to see such transparency.*

At this point, it might go without saying that all of Ritual’s products are vegan-friendly, non-GMO, as well as gluten and major allergen-free. Since their whole thing is about accountability in their products, this commitment to quality isn’t surprising. I’m not even vegan, but I have to agree that it seems like multivitamins should be? I don’t know what goes into non-vegan multivitamins, but it’s not a filet mignon I can tell you that.

I can’t promise that I’ll be hitting my workout goals every week or even rejecting the Dad Tax of all the extra fries that fall to the bottom of the bag. But after a few weeks with Ritual, I believe there’s something to be said about starting small. Sure it’s just taking two little minty multivitamins every day. But that’s a habit that makes it easier to commit to other personal goals. This week I’ll commit to getting up early one day for a run. Next week, I’ll squeeze in a weight training session. It’s not a multivitamin that makes this happen, but if I can show up for one easy Ritual, I can see a path to another, and then another after that.

Heck, even the ritual of taking Ritual has to be flexible!  Mornings are chaotic, I’ve run out of the bathroom and forgotten to take them. It happens. But you just gotta keep committing to your habits. (Sidenote: The delayed-release design of the capsules means I don’t get an upset stomach if I end up taking the multivitamins later in the day on an empty stomach. Little details like that are nice.)

Ritual helps me remember the most important lesson in taking care of myself: you have to show up every day. Real health comes from habits that become ingrained in your behavior as second nature. The most effective way to build those habits is to commit to them actively…as a ritual. If mine, for now, is remembering to take two little minty multivitamins every day, that’s a foundation to build on. 

Ritual is committed to quality ingredients as a key to helping support foundational health. You can learn more about which of their products are right for you here.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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A Young Dad Pops His Neck…And Gives Himself A Stroke?!

(ABC News)

File this one under Holy Mother Forking Shirtballs.

Who doesn’t love popping their neck? That feeling of released tension coupled with the satisfying cracking noise eliciting either a high five or an, “Ew gross” from the wife is one of life’s simple pleasures.

Welp, I’m gonna ruin it for ya.

According to ABC News, Josh Hader, a 28 year old Dad from Guthrie Oklahoma, had a sore neck the other day, as dads often do. But when he stretched it out and popped it, the left side of his body went suddenly numb.

“The moment I heard the pop, everything on my left side started to go numb,” says Hader. “I got up and tried to get an ice pack from the fridge, and I remember I couldn’t walk straight.”

It turns out, Josh HAD A FREAKIN’ STROKE. Fortunately his Father-In-Law was on hand to rush him to the hospital where Dr. Vance McCollom diagnosed Josh with a tear to his vertebral artery. Cracking his neck bisected the artery, causing a clot at the base of his brain and preventing blood-flow. Let’s look at a scary-ass medical diagram thing to see what he’s talking about:

Vertebral Arteries
(Geeky Medics)

Yikes. But as rough as this sounds, it could have been much worse. Had more clots formed at the base of his brain, this simple stretch that we all enjoy could have killed the young dad. Instead, Josh is now thankfully recovering and in good spirits. While he’s still a little wobbly on his feat, he only had to deal with a few days of vision impairment – and oddly, hiccups.

He told CNN: “Those were terrible. Literally two weeks of straight hiccups since the stroke happened. Towards the end, they would make it almost impossible for me to breathe for a few seconds, and that was scary.”

Cool, so everything is a nightmare. According to Dr. McCollom, the hiccups happened because the stroke occurred near the base of Josh’s brain. Which is where hiccups come from? I don’t know. Personally, I like to think about my insides as, like, a spaceship with tiny little versions of myself running around and manning the controls, because that’s what Calvin and Hobbes taught me.

Calvin Strange Dreams

Now, there is a takeaway from all this, or else we wouldn’t be sharing this story. While this isn’t a common accident, but McCollom said it’s not the first time he’s seen it happen either, so we all need to play it a little safe with our neck cracking from now on. According to McCollom, there is a right and a wrong way to pop your neck.

“If you want to pop your neck, just kind of pop it side to side, don’t twist it. Whenever you twist it, there’s a risk of tearing that vessel.”

So everyone stop pushing for that last satisfying pop! Thanks, doc! I’ll probably also be investing in some Batman-level restraining neck gear as well.


While this is all extremely rough, there is one really inspiring part of the story. After everything he’s been through, the biggest challenge Josh says he faced has been not being able to help his wife take care of their youngest son. A dad, through and through, Josh’s first concern is for his family.

The universe throws us curveballs all the time, and some of them can be life-changing; but as long as dads stay committed to the best job in the world (and don’t twist their neck to hard) they can get through anything. We’re rooting for Josh, and are excited for his road to recovery!