PYP 206: Marcus Cook on Getting a Second Chance and Doing Something New Every Day

At the height of his success in the business world, Marcus Cook weighed 489 pounds. As the founder of an oil pipeline supply company valued at tens of millions of dollars, Marcus had it made, but lacked the health to enjoy it. Then a business partner and mentor who had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer dropped a truth bomb on him: "I'm dying from an incurable disease. You're dying because you have a choice. You're the American dream, and you're throwing it away." Read more »

PYP 204: Brian Kateman on Reducing Animal Consumption by Building a Big Tent

Brian Kateman is cofounder of the burgeoning Reducetarian movement, and one of the bright young stars in the fight to save humanity, animals, and planet earth from spiraling into an unredeemable mess. Brian reached out to me about a year ago, sharing a modest vision for an edited book designed not to turn ordinary people into vegetarians or vegans, but simply to encourage and empower them to eat less meat. Read more »

PYP 199: Paul Chatlin on Getting a Second Lease on Life – and Using It in a Big Way

At age 55, Paul Chatlin was a few minutes away from surgery on a 100% blockage in his right coronary artery when his cardiologist asked him out of the blue, "Would you consider a nutritional change instead of bypass surgery?" Turns out the cardiologist's mentor was a dude named Caldwell Esselstyn, which is the only way this story makes any sense. Paul, tired of his severe angina, terrified of the life that followed bypass surgery that he witnessed in his father and three uncles, and in agony from the "elephant sitting on his chest," agreed. "I'll do anything." Read more »

PYP 198: Ed and Amanda Smith on Leadership, Community, and Health

Ed and Amanda Smith are the co-founders of Healthfest, a three-day annual event in a small Texas town that's become an unlikely hub of plant-based nutrition in the United States. Marshall, Texas, population 27,000, is smack in the middle of the "stroke belt." Where beef is king, hunting is a rite of passage into manhood, and if it ain't deep-fried, it ain't food. And there, where Ed served as mayor, is where they decided to bring plant-based knowledge and practice. Read more »

PYP 194: Ellen Jaffe Jones on “I’m not speeding up; they’re all slowing down”

I ran into Ellen Jaffe Jones at the Raleigh NC Vegfest, where she was inspiring young and old to get off their butts and embrace a healthy, active, vegan lifestyle. We had met on Skype for a podcast interview more than three years ago, but this was the first time we had met in person. And since I've become a runner, I badly wanted a copy of her new book, Vegan Fitness For Mortals. As one of the most decorated track and field athletes in the country (and getting more and more competitive as her non-plant-based rivals slow down and quit as their bodies decline), she has a lot to teach me about running well and sustainably. Read more »

PYP 192: Tad Hargrave on Healing from Whiteness

Tad Hargrave is an environmental activist and marketing teacher whose heartfelt wisdom and elegant and ethical strategies inspired and guided much of my own thinking when I was in the online marketing field. We've stayed in touch over the years, and as Tad is a prolific writer, I spend a fair amount of time pondering his pensive and powerful essays on, basically, how to be a courteous and committed ally to those on the planet who are suffering. Read more »

PYP 176: Ken Botts on the Power of One Plate at a Time

Ken Botts has been in food service for over 35 years, since he discovered the financial rewards of frying chicken and slinging pizza as a teenager trying to pay for his own car insurance. At age 18, he discovered Diet for a Small Planet, by Francis Moore Lappé, and made the connection between the food we eat and the world we inhabit. Read more »