How to Engineer an Epic Transformation with Adam Sud, Joseph Alexander, Ken Lander, and Josh LaJaunie: PYP 285

I had the great privilege of moderating a panel discussion at Engine 2's Plant-Stock event, held this year in Black Mountain, NC, over a weekend in August. The topic was, "Transformation and Recovery from Addiction." Read more »

Challenging the Immune System to Beat MS with Bob Cafaro: PYP 284

Bob Cafaro is a professional cellist, author, and ass-kicker of multiple sclerosis. If you missed our first conversation, check it out here. In his latest newsletter, he revealed two MS-busting tactics that he hadn't written about in his book, When the Music Stopped: My Battle and Victory Against MS.  Partly as an excuse to have another conversation with Bob (he's such a kind and passionate and awesome guy!), and partly to explore these two tactics, I reached out and managed to grab 30 minutes of his time in between the five dozen other things he has going on. Read more »

Recovering from Rheumatoid Arthritis with Clint Paddison: PYP 272

Clint Paddison was pursuing a career as a stand-up comedian in Australia when he was struck with a debilitating case of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A former athlete and science all-star, Clint found himself almost unable to work, to move, to enjoy life. He discouraged his girlfriend from marrying him because he didn't want to ruin her life. Read more »

An Olympic Quest Powered by Plants with Sarah Bofinger: PYP 271

Sarah "Mergoddess" Bofinger swam before she walked - literally. Born with hip dysplasia (I thought the same thing: "Isn't that something Golden Retrievers get?"), she required six surgeries before she celebrated her fourth birthday. Sarah was put in the water for therapy and rehabilitation, and took to it like a, well, mergoddess to water. Swimming, as well as dancing and gymnastics, helped take her mind of the discomfort and pain of the constant hip problems. Read more »

Training for Life (Literally) with D Anthony Evans: PYP 270

D Anthony Evans found out at age six that he had a rare disorder (Neurofibromatosis) that caused painful tumors to emerge at random all over his body. And things just got worse from there. His doctors explained that this disease generally leads to a highly aggressive form of cancer, MPNST (Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors). So he spent his youth wondering when and where the cancer would strike. Read more »

From Butcher to Vegan Nutritionist with Fraser Bayley: PYP 266

Fraser Bayley's arc of transformation is long and inspiring. Growing up in Auckland, New Zealand, Fraser was a poor student who struggled in school despite putting in the effort. He felt stupid, like something was wrong with him. His social anxiety was so severe, he dropped out of college but managed to keep a crushing load of student debt. When an after school job at a local supermarket offered him a chance to learn about butchery, Fraser jumped on the opportunity to apprentice himself in the grueling trade. It didn't require smarts, or much reading, or sitting still. Butchery was (and still is) a male-dominated field, where toxic masculinity is both a prerequisite and outcome of the brutal, repetitive, soul-numbing work. Fraser suffered from bipolar episodes, which he self-medicated through alcohol, drugs, and the company of other alienated, emotionally scarred, alpha males. Read more »

Ending Self-Deception and Becoming Real with Bethany Stec Janicek: PYP 263

Bethany Stec Janicek grew up on a Nebraska pig farm, on a diet of meat and dairy and cheese and butter. Always bigger than her peers, she began dieting in elementary school, and suffered the anguish that came with always failing, always giving up, and always feeling disappointed in herself. She was deeply disconnected from her true self, and masked her sense of inadequacy with a bubbly exterior and various coping mechanisms: food, cigarettes alcohol, clothing, and makeup. Everything in her life was literally or figuratively sugar-coated. Read more »

Binges, Self-Deception, and the Chevelle Car Window

I’ve been thinking a lot about my junk food habit. I liken it to the passenger window on the old Chevy Chevelle. One day I open that window and the damn thing won’t close. I try and try, but you end up having to dismantle the entire door panel to get the window back on the track. It’s a pain in the ass. And I am very aware of this window not working - for a few weeks. Read more »

Giving Ourselves the Gift of Health with Kassi and Derick Harrington: PYP 252

Kassi and Derick Harrington grew up in Thibodaux, Louisiana, where they grew obese and ill and miserable on the Standard Cajun Diet. Derick's life revolved around food: hunting and fishing and then frying whatever he caught. Kassi was overweight her whole life, as was her entire family. Derick suffered from hypertension, high cholesterol, an auto-immune disease, and was on the fast track to type 2 diabetes. He had no energy, no passion for life outside of the gustatory, and in his own words, was "just existing." Read more »