From ordering meat platters and steaks cooked Pittsburgh style (so raw that the center is blue) to raising vegan babies, running a vegan business and living as an ethical vegan, Eric Lindstrom’s story couldn’t look more different than it did just 5 years ago. And all of it, the result of a bet Eric refused to lose.
He gave up meat, dairy, alcohol and cigarettes overnight and the very next morning, took on a 30-day vegan challenge with his wife, Jen. But Eric wanted to make things more interesting and so he posed a further challenge. Whoever broke first and ate animal products would have to do the household chores for three months. Although his wife was a vegetarian already, her addiction to cheese would surely get the best of her and Eric indulged in thoughts of eating meatloaf while watching her clean the house. So he went to bed on January 4, 2012 and woke up a vegan. He had no idea of what to eat and since meat and dairy took center stage for so long, he had no clue as to where he was going to get his protein.
Early into his vegan challenge, Eric was set to go on a business trip to Minnesota with his meat-eating colleagues. Before leaving for the trip Eric “came out” to his boss as a vegan and when he ordered a cobb salad vegan style at a steakhouse, the rest of the group was queued in as well. Despite asking for the salad without bacon and blue cheese, the waitress brought it fully loaded believing that he must have been joking when he ordered. Who orders a salad at a steakhouse anyway?
Like many of us who move to the plant-based lifestyle, salad was his first go-to (well, that and french fries) but it wasn’t long before he realized the endless options, textures, tastes and experiences that can be enjoyed while eating a vegan diet. At the end of the 30-days he felt as if he could eat vegan longer so the challenge continued and Eric was still confident that he’d win the bet but five years later the bet is still going.
He says that he can’t ever imagine going back to eating animal products ever and he even created his own vegan business, ThankTank Creative. With big name clients like PlantPure Nation and Miyoko’s cheese, Eric is shown time and time again that his business is in alignment with his purpose. Plus he loves saying “thanks for all you do for the animals” when he ends a call.
The early days of not knowing what to eat quickly faded away as he discovered the delicious variety of vegan cheeses and other animal-free delights including fast food. Eric shares with us how to order vegan at Taco Bell and in fact, dedicates an entire chapter to navigating fast food as a vegan in his new book, “The Skeptical Vegan”. Eric documents his journey from carnivore to herbivore, shares his knowledge and tips to living a vegan life without feeling like you’ve given up a thing. Sacrifice and vegan simply don’t go together and this is never more true than in the case of the animals, a topic that Eric is very passionate about in his message of living vegan.
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Episode 24 Show Notes:
ThankTank Creative – Eric’s Vegan Business
The Meaty Vegan – Facebook
The Meaty Vegan – Twitter
30 Day Vegan Challenge w/ Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
Jason Wrobel – Celebrity Vegan Chef
Schar Bread Gluten-Free and Vegan
How to Order Vegan from Taco Bell:
Fresco Style (no cheese & no sour cream), replace meat with beans, you’ll get a 100% vegan taco
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