Aaron Stuber and Jackson Long are the irreverent, hilarious, and extremely fit duo behind the Thought For Food Podcast and nascent publishing empire.
Aaron is a cardiovascular nurse, and a long-time competitive climber. When he first started dating his vegetarian girlfriend, he initially dismissed that diet as “the dumbest thing I've ever heard of.” Then he began to feel the effects of adding more plants to his diet, checked out the science, and was hooked.
Jackson is a competitive road cyclist who has competed at the national and international levels. During one particularly grueling training season, he followed his coaches' paleo advice and ditched the carbs – and started feeling terrible. He also turned to research, found Forks Over Knives, Rich Roll, and Brendan Brazier, and turned his health and his fitness around in short order.
The two connected at a vegan meetup in Boulder (naturally ;), and discovered kindred spirits in each other.
The food is important, sure, but what really underpins their take on life is the phrase, “Do epic shit.” They worship the part of life that exists outside of our comfort zones. They advise us to tackle our addictions to food, drink, sloth, screens, and thinking by replacing it with a healthy addiction to personal growth.
And just in case you don't yet have a sense of this pair's willingness to be crude and funny to make a point, they have introduced the hashtag Take Epic Dumps to the world.
So I was eager to converse with Aaron and Jackson and get my own inspiration amped up by their positive energy. I think you'll feel the same.
We talked about:
- why “epic dumps” (ie large and satisfying bowel movements) are such a good metric for overall health
- the plant-based echo chamber, and how to reach outside of it to influence others
- finding concepts that everyone can get behind
- Aaron's slight performance improvement following his vegan transition
- Jackson on being a “closet vegan” in a cycling world rife with disordered eating
- leading by example, being comfortable, and not making your diet into a big deal
- why athletes are so susceptible to the positive pull of veganism
- “the magic happens when you cross the line from comfort to discomfort”
- giving people easily attainable goals
- the strategic importance of building self-efficacy rather than self-esteem
- “99.99% of people can eat one piece of broccoli a week”
- why it's more effective to meet people where they are than argue from an abolitionist vegan perspective
- and much more…
Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.
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Ready to embark on your Big Change journey?
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Connect with me
The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.
It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.
You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.
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