Tell us a little about yourself.
I lived in NYC and Long Island until December 2016 when I relocated to Pompano Beach, FL. I am involved in the marketing, media, content, and social media world, travel a great deal and speak nationally and internationally. I am a divorced Dad, have had challenges put in place to discourage a relationship with my daughters, and spend a lot of time, and especially mindshare, rebuilding and maintaining that relationship…. and fostering others with my friends and family’s children.
You can find Ted online here:
What lead you to veganism? How long ago?
I was generally improving my eating habits over the years and had a true awakening when my high school wrestling coach, who is a mentor and like a second father to me and was in great shape at 69, collapsed in his driveway and needed a quadruple bypass. He was told he’d be back in 8-10 years for another and he vowed to not be back and started researching. That was 7 years ago and he’s been a dedicated vegan since. I visit every year and eat with them, enjoyed it, but didn’t convert until 2+ years ago when my college roommate suffered two heart attacks which resulted in 70% of his heart being dead.
On my visit in September 2016, my coach, knowing I was already close (had given up dairy 2 years before due to his and his wife’s influence) challenged me to try it for 3 months. I upped the ante and said I would do so for one year (having read via his literature it can take your body 6-8 months to adjust and it just being my nature). I baselined my medical results with a visit to my doctor right before, and then a year later and again after 2 years. I’m all in… the difference it makes in your health is undeniable.
It is so incredibly easy and doesn’t exclude you at all. Everywhere and everyplace has easy alternatives. More and more people understand and respect it, and almost every restaurant will offer you something. It’s great as you proceed along the learning process about how many things are options and how very easy it is to get enough protein… contrary to foolish and uneducated popular opinion.
I have been vegan now for 26 months and travel all the time. Yes, I eat best when home. but always find alternatives everywhere when I travel, and I rarely if ever put people out. Wish I realized how easy it was sooner and would have started years ago. Also, truth be told it is getting easier and easier in the past couple of years as plant-based eating is going mainstream.
When you first went vegan how did you phase out your non-vegan food, clothing and other items?
I went cold turkey… 26 months ago. I do not live a vegan lifestyle other than food. Although I actively do my best to use all organic and natural products otherwise… household and personal care.
Are you a vegan Parent? If so, what are some of the challenges you find raising a vegan child? How have you dealt with this challenges? We would love to share your wisdom with others.
I am not a vegan parent, my children are in their early 20’s and do not spend much time with me. My 21-year-old daughter is vegetarian and has been since she was 14. If my children were younger I doubt I would be a vegan parent, but I definitely would do all I could to make sure they ate clean.
Do you believe we should show children the process of how animals are turned into meats?
Maybe as they get into their tweens and teens, but when younger it is really a parental decision.
What does being vegan mean to you?
Being vegan is secondary to how I treat others, have always, or at least for a very long time, been about… #BeGoodToPeople. I definitely kill insects, and I patronize all sorts of companies. I will not patronize companies like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola… and will not accept consulting work with them either.
Is it every vegan’s duty to become an activist?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! I am not an activist at all and never ever preach. I don’t even bring it up face-t0face unless others do. I DO preach out eating clean… that I am happy to impress upon everyone. But I also do not judge, especially people who are economically challenged.
Any recommended Vegan books? Any recommended social sites, blogs or pages?
How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger
What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?
I like True Food Kitchen a lot because there are so many in cities across the country it offers so many options to others I dine with (so a great go to). Straight Vegan, my faves are Bar Verde in NYC, VegeNation in Las Vegas, and Green Bar & Kitchen in Ft. Lauderdale. But I find great ones in every city I visit.
Please share your favorite vegan recipe?
My favorite vegan recipe is Beyond Meat Sausage, organic lentil pasta, with chopped red onion, chickpeas, broccoli, spinach, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, chia seeds and ground flax seed… and a bunch of garlic. Along with a kale and red cabbage salad topped with avocado.
Some encouraging words for new Vegans?
It is a lot easier than you think, and the food tastes awesome if you put time into finding and cooking things that appeal to you.
What personal recommendations can you make for people to meet other vegans?
Add it to your social profiles and let it be known with things you post that being vegan is something you are passionate about.
What does living cruelty-free mean to you? Does it extend to the way you as a vegan treats other humans too?
I am happy that by eating vegan I contribute a lot less to animal cruelty, but it is not a lifestyle thing for me.
What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?
I do not have trouble finding anything. If you mean what do I miss the most that I wish there was a good alternative for, then… eggs.
Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?
Have never struggled.